14 Tidbits about Guadalajara, Mexico, for 2014


The Exporatorio and UDG

Welcome to discoverGDL.com! To kick things off, we’ve assembled a list of 14 tidbits about Guadalajara for our 2014 launch. Brush up on the city’s traits and its rich history and culture!

  1. Guadalajara was moved 3 times after it’s initial settlement in 1532 before its fourth and final location was established in the Valley of Atemajac.
  2. King Charles I of Spain granted Guadalajara the status of city in 1542 when the population officially numbered only 126 people!
  3. The 4 old population centers of Analco, Atemajac, Mexicaltzingo, and Mezquitán comprise the current historic city center. Analco is the only one of this group not to have a stop named after it along the two modern-day lines of the city’s Tren Ligero (light rail).
  4. The University of Guadalajara was founded in 1791. It is the second largest university in Mexico after UNAM in Mexico City.
  5. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a leader of the Mexican War of Independence, signed an anti-slavery proclamation while living in the city at the end of 1810. Anyone who did not comply with the proclamation was to be put to death. This proclamation has been honored since the end of that war. You can find statues of Hidalgo throughout the city and at least one with a broken chain in his hands.
  6. In 1964, the city’s population eclipsed 1m. Current population estimates from 2010 put the population at nearly 1.5m in the city proper and close to 4.5m for the greater metropolitan area, making it the second largest city in Mexico. Since the early 1990s, the population has been stagnating and even declining in the municipality of Guadalajara.
  7. The metropolitan area consists of 7 municipalities besides Guadalajara (listed in descending order by population): Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, El Salto, Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, and Juanacatlán). The municipality of Guadalajara is the only one out of the 8 total to see declining population figures from 2005 to 2010.
  8. The two main products of the city are electronic items and beer, including Minerva Colonial, Tempus Albier, Poe and Házmela Rusa, although many industries and various businesses call Guadalajara home.
  9. In 2011, Guadalajara hosted the Pan American Games. One byproduct of this was the bike-only lanes built into both sides of Calz Federalismo which can still be enjoyed by bikers today, although remember to always ride with care!
  10. The city is widely regarded as the epicenter of Mariachi music, though Cocula, Jalisco reserves credit for being the source of Mariachi. Guadalajara is home to a Plaza de los Mariachis and numerous Mariachi-based events.
  11. Some have nicknamed the city the Silicon Valley of Mexico given the presence of well-known multi-national technology corporations including HP, IBM, Kodak, and Oracle.
  12. It is rumored that many corporations pilot their Mexican offerings in Guadalajara given the toughness of market entry. The rationale apparently is that if an offering succeeds here, it is likely to succeed elsewhere in the country.
  13. The Rotunda de los Hombres Ilustres actually contains the remains of the 98 people memorialized by the monument.
  14. The rainy months are June through October, and when we say rainy, we mean torrential downpours often accompanied by lightning and thunder that can flood streets and sometimes feature giant ice-cube-like hail falling from the sky. We therefore feel that the best months to visit the city are decidedly NOT the months of summer, but November through April.