"Place of Montuous Frogs" Top 5 Page for this destination Guanajuato by pencho15

Guanajuato Travel Guide: 180 reviews and 585 photos

Ancient History

The name of Guanajuato is a derivation of a word from the tarascan language Quanaxhuato wich means "Place of Montuous Frogs" the name comes because the tarascans tought the many mountains surrounding the place looked like frogs. The zone was originally inhabited by otomies, wich where later displaced by chichimeca groups (the name chichimeca is used to reffer to many different nations from northern Mexico who usually had no relationship, they are treated as the same because regretfully we know almost nothing about most of them). The new group were semi-nomadic people whi didn't stay long in the zone, but they still formed a small settlement mainly due to the fact that frogs were a sacred animal to them and they wished to be near the mountains that represented them, despite this all the zone remained mostly undeveloped.

Colonial History

It was in colonial times that the city of Guanajuato came to be, after consolidating their dominion over the aztec empire, the spanish started an expansion that would led them to conquer an enormous land, at first the zone called Aridoamerica in wich Guanajuato is located was not of interest for them as it has poor lands, but around 1548 a silver mine was accidentally discovered, and so the spanish started traveling to this zone in search of this metals that would soon became one of the most important products of New Spain, being rich in minerals Guanajuato was already growing place by the end of the XVI Century, and it would consecutevely reach the rank of village, city and intendence (the colonial equivalent to a state). As this was the time in wich Guanajuato reached the biggest political and economical success most of the historical places that remain today come from this time.
Later the intendence of Guanajuto would be the root of the independence revolution in Mexico, and the city was starred in some important chapters of this war

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After the independence Mexico became a very politically unstable country, and mining as well as other industried entered in a decay, it wasn't until the goverment of Porfirio Diaz that the country had certain peace, and in this times Guanajuto had several civil works that modernized the city, but despite this in the beginings of the XX Century the city entered in a big depression, a solution for this problem was found in tourism, the city was completely restored and promoted, the city also started a cultural program that has gicen this city one of the richest cultural life in the country, the most noted event is the cervantine festival wich is held every year since 1972.
I visited the city in 2007 after reading a national geographic magazine that listed it as one of the better managed UNESCO world heritage sites, they have certainly made a great work preserving all their heritage.
Recently the city and the state of Guanajuto has been regretfully noted by scandalous affairs about human rights, specially regarding the sexuality, following a openly religious politic in a lay country abortion is criminalized in the state, but ignoring the common sense the laws had been taken to the extreme of criminalizing women who suffer a misscarriage, it is a shame that a so cultural rich city seems to be so retrogade in human rights.
Despie this Guanajuto is a role model in their cultural politic, and it is an incredible beautyfull city, I recommend visiting it a lot, you won't regrett it.

I just found out I have been nominated for the Barney awards for my work on this page, I must say this is totally unexpected, I would never had imagined somebody would considered me, but I am very grateful and happy for the nomination. to whoever that considered my work to be worthy of attention I am very glad that you have liked my page and I hope it is useful to You and to everyone.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:an example for the rest of Mexico on how to preserve your heritage
  • Last visit to Guanajuato: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Nov 19, 2010
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pencho15

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