Ciudad Juárez , one of Mexico’s preeminent manufacturing locations, is a city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez has an estimated population of 1,800,000. It stands on the Rio Grande, across the border from El Paso, Texas. The two cities form a metropolitan area of more than 2.5 million people. More than 60,000 people cross the border daily, a major port of entry and transportation in Mexico. The city has a growing industrial center with more than 300 maquiladoras (manufacturing facilities) located throughout the city.
A Brief History
Ciudad Juárez was founded as El Paso del Norte (North Pass) in 1659 by Spanish explorers, seeking a route through the southern Rocky Mountains. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo established the Rio Grande as the border between Mexico and the United States. During the French intervention in Mexico (1862-1867), El Paso del Norte served as a temporary stop for Benito Juárez’s republican forces until he established his government-in-exile in Chihuahua. In 1888, El Paso del Norte was renamed in his honor.
Ciudad Juárez again served as a provisional Mexican capital during the initial phase of the Mexican Revolution, when forces loyal to opposition candidate Francisco I. Madero, led by Pancho Villa, seized the city on November 20, 1910. The scene of intense fighting for a decade, Juárez recovered during the U.S. Prohibition era (1919-1933) as an entertainment center. Juárez continued to attract tourists from the southwest USA during the 1940′s and 1950′s, with its bars, nightclubs, brothels, bullfighting, and shopping. Juárez has grown substantially as a Mexican manufacturing location in recent decades due to a large influx of people rapidly moving into the city in search of jobs with the maquiladoras.
Ciudad Juárez has three public universities: Instituto Tecnolgico de Ciudad Juárez (ITCJ) and Universidad Autnoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) which is ranked among the best universities of the country with several locations inside of the city. The ITESM (Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey) is considered the best school system in Latin America. The city has the highest literacy rating of the country with about 99% of people above 15 years old able to read and write, many of them in two or three languages. This the level of education found in the community and its environs makes Ciudad Juarez one of Mexico’s premier manufacturing locations.
Places of Interest
- Auditorio Civico Benito Juárez: A theater for the arts.
- Auditorio Municipal: A state-of-the-art theater.
- Zona Pronaf: Bars, museums, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
- Estadio Olmpico Benito Juárez: Home of the local soccer team Los Indios (The Indians).
- Avenida Juárez; Bars and shops.
- Parque Chamizal: a park of over 40 acres (16 ha) with jogging trails, swings and recreational areas, which was once shared by El Paso and Juárez, was given back to Mexico by John F. Kennedy in the 1960′s.
- Museo del Concorde: A place to see original parts of the airliner.
- Centro Cvico Paso del Norte
- Misiones, Galerias Tec, Plaza Juárez and Rio Grande shopping malls.
- Parque Central: (Central Park) A family-oriented recreational area
- Parque Xtremo: The largest extreme park in Latin America.