Guadalajara is the capital city of the central state of Jalisco in Mexico. It’s also the second largest city in the country and considered a colonial city, although much of its architecture dates from the independence period.
Guadalajara is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. This growth has been driven in part by the booming electronic industry in the city’s industrial outskirts. Other important and growing industries are pharmaceuticals, food processing, and fashion.
Guadalajara is the 10th largest city in Latin America in population, urban area and gross domestic product. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, the name of which came from the Andalusian Arabic wād(i) l-ḥijāra (واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة), meaning “river/valley of stones”. The city’s economy is based on services and industry, especially information technology, with a large number of international firms having regional offices and manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, and several domestic IT companies headquartered in the city. Other, more traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing are also important contributing factors.
Guadalajara is a cultural center of Mexico, considered by most to be the home of mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and globally renowned cultural events which draw international crowds.
Population: City: 1.5 million (2014) Metro: 4.4 million (2014)
Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
Fun Fact: The Guadalajara area is known as the birthplace of the world famous Mariachi bands and also as the home of the Mexican hat dance. The area around Guadalajara is mainly known for the Mexican craftsmen that turn out countless handmade items that are treasured the world over.
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