Currently, the Tijuana metropolitan area is the sixth-largest in Mexico, with a population of 1,483,992 and as the San Diego-Tijuana Metropolitan Area it is the 14th largest metropolitan area in North America, at 4,922,723. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico.
The land where the city of Tijuana would be built was originally inhabited by the Kumeyaay, a tribe of Yuman-speaking hunter-gatherers. Europeans arrived in 1542, when the Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo toured the coastline of the area, which was later mapped in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno. In 1769, Juan Crespí documented more detailed information about the area that would be called the Valley of Tijuana. Junípero Serra founded the first mission of Alta California in San Diego.
More settlement of the area took place near the end of the mission era when José María Echendía, governor of the Baja California and Alta California, awarded a large land grant to Santiago Argüello in 1829. This large cattle ranch, Rancho Tía Juana ("Aunt Jane Ranch"), covered .
In 1848, as a result of the Mexican-American War with the United States, Mexico lost all of Alta California. Tijuana acquired a new and distinct character and purpose on the international border. The city began to shed its cattle ranching origins and developed a new socio-economic structure. 1889 marked the beginning of the urban settlement, when descendants of Santiago Argüello and Agustín Olvera entered an agreement to begin development of the city of Tijuana. The date of the agreement, July 11 1889, is recognized as the founding of the city.
Tijuana saw its future in tourism from its inception. From the end of the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th, the city attracted large numbers of Californians coming to Mexico for trade and entertainment. The California land boom of the 1880s attracted the first big wave of tourists, who were called "excursionists" and came looking for echoes of the famous novel "Ramona," by Helen Hunt Jackson.
In 1911, during the Mexican Revolution, revolutionaries claiming loyalty to Ricardo Flores Magón attacked and took over the city for shortly over a month. Federal troops soon arrived and, combined with local loyal militia known as the "defensores de Tijuana," routed the rebels, who fled back across the line and were promptly arrested by the U.S. Army. This event is a source of much local controversy, and the "rebels" are almost universally reviled in Tijuana as "filibusteros".
In 1915, the Panama-California Exposition brought a great number of visitors to the neighboring California city of San Diego. Tijuana took the opportunity to attract these tourists south of the border with a Feria Típica Mexicana - Typical Mexican Fair. This fair included curio shops, regional foods, thermal baths, horse racing and boxing matches.
The first big professional race track was soon thereafter opened in January, 1916, a few meters south of the border gate, near what is now called Pueblo Amigo. It was almost immediately destroyed by the great "Hatfield rainmaker" flood of 1916. Rebuilt in the same general area, it ran horse races until the new Agua Caliente track was opened several miles south and across the river on higher ground, in 1929, one year after the famous casino and hotel complex.
Legal drinking and gambling attracted U.S nationals, especially during Prohibition in the 1920s. The Avenida Revolución area became the tourist center of the city with casinos such as the Foreign Club, and lodging such as Hotel Caesar's, birthplace of the Caesar Salad.
In 1928, the Agua Caliente Touristic Complex was opened, including hotel, spa, dog-track, private airport, golf course and gambling casino. A year later, the new Agua Caliente Racetrack joined the complex. During the eight years it operated, the Agua Caliente hotel, casino and spa achieved a near mythical status, with Hollywood stars and gangsters flying in and playing. Rita Hayworth was discovered there. Musical nightclub productions were broadcast over the radio. A singer known as "la Faraona" got shot in a love-triangle and gave birth to the myth of a beautiful lady ghost.
Remnants of the Agua Caliente casino can be seen in the outdoor swimming pool and the "minarete" (actually a former incinerator chimney) nearby the southern end of Avenida Sanchez Taboada, on the grounds of what is now the Lazaro Cardenas educational complex.
In 1935, President Cardenas decreed an end to gambling and casinos in Baja California, and the Agua Caliente complex faltered, then closed. It was eventually reopened as a school. The buildings themselves were torn down in the 1970s, and replaced by modern scholastic architecture.
In 1925, the city attempted to shed its negative image of hedonism and lawlessness created by American mob empresarios by renaming itself Zaragoza, but its name soon reverted to Tijuana.
With increased tourism and the large number of Mexican citizens relocating to Tijuana, the city's population grew from 21,971 to 65,364 between 1940 and 1950.
With the decline of nightlife and tourism in the 1950s, the city restructured its tourist industry, by promoting a more family-oriented scene. Tijuana developed a greater variety of attractions and activities to offer its visitors.
In 1994, PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated in Tijuana while making an appearance in the plaza of Lomas Taurinas, a neighborhood nestled in a valley near Centro. The shooter was caught and imprisoned, but doubts remain about who the mastermind might have been.
Over forty million people cross the border each year between Tijuana and San Ysidro, California, making it the busiest land-border crossing in the world. Although tourism constitutes a large part of this movement, much is also business related. Tijuana and its surrounding area have become a major industrial center, with numerous maquiladoras, particularly since the advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.
Another foundation myth is that in the beginning there was an old Indian woman, "tia Juana" (aunt Jane), who provided travelers with good food and a place to rest. In spite of scholarly denunciation, this story continues to be very popular with residents of the city. It has particular resonance amongst those who like to imagine the city as a place of hospitality.
In Spanish, the name is ; in English, the pronunication /ˌtiːəˈwɑːnə is generally used. It is commonly called "TJ" in California and "Tiyei" (matching the sound of the English initials "TJ") in Mexico. Mexicans from Tijuana typically refer to themselves as "Tijuanenses."
The nickname "Tijuas" is increasingly popular among residents and visitors alike.
Due to a recent increase in violence in the city, a new term is developing. The term "Yo Tijuaneo, y tu?" translates to "I Tijuana, and you?" This term comes from a new popular local verb "Tijuanear" meaning "to Tijuana" describing the cosmopolitan aspects of living in the city and frequently crossing the border. The term is becoming much more popular to help stop unfair and false criticisms of the city.
The majority of Tijuana's populations is made of immigrants from other regions of Mexico especially Sinaloa, Jalisco, Oaxaca and the Federal District. Because of the diversity in Mexico and the influx of immigrants from almost every region in the country there are no accurate estimates on ethnicity or race of the current population.
Tijuana today is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico with an average of 80,000 people moving to Tijuana yearly, along with construction of 26,000 new homes a year.
There is a high poverty level in Tijuana as it is a hub for people from poorer parts of the country to escape extreme poverty because of the availability of employment.
The Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) is composed of a theater, lecture rooms, video rooms, a library, an exhibition hall, the Museum of the Californias, a futuristic planetary movie theater that displays IMAX films, and a restaurant. Since 1992, the CECUT has hosted the Orchestra of Baja California (OBC), it headquarters the Center of Scenic Arts of the Northwest (CAEN) and the Hispanic-American Center for Guitar (CHG). Since 2001, the CECUT receives about a million visitors per year, making it Baja California's most important cultural center. Another important culture center is La Casa de la Cultura, comprising of a school, a theater, and a public library. Dance, painting, music, plastic arts, photography and languages are taught there. The city also has the Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (Municipal Institute of Art and Culture), the Tijuana Wax Museum, and the Museo El Trompo (The Trompo Museum).
Tijuana also has a very active and independent artist community whose internationally recognized work has earned Tijuana the title of "one of the most important new cultural meccas", according to Newsweek. Strange New World, an exhibition of Tijuana's current art scene, is being curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and is traveling across the USA in 2006 and 2007. Art collectives like Bulbo and film production like Palenque Filmaciones explore the use of film like the award winning Tijuana Makes Me Happy, media like television bulbo TV and print "bulbo PRESS", to show different realities of Tijuana out of Mexico. In 2004, Tijuana earned international acclaim for an art exhibition displayed on the cement banks of the Tijuana River and along the Mexico/U.S. border fence in Otay Mesa.
Graffiti is widespread in Tijuana. It can range from free-hand writing in spray can and marker form, often carrying social or sexual commentary in English or Spanish, pictures in wheatpaste and stencils, consisting of stenciled renderings of personalities crucial to Hispanic culture from past and present eras, such as television news announcers or stars, but also extending to images of artists like Salvadore Dali. Graffiti in Tijuana may seem at first to consist largely of simplistic tags and thus not as technically evolved, colorful, or accepted in the mainstream as the "pieces" of graffiti scenes of the United States, Europe, or Japan, but large, colorful graffiti murals adorn walls from both native Tijuanense artists as well as visiting graffiti writers, especially from California. The Tijuanense art pieces show as much prowess and skill as those made by their more renowned U.S. counterparts, although illicit graffiti is strongly discouraged by the Tijuana government, as in other major metropolitan areas.
Tijuana is home of the Nortec, a fusion of Norteñas or typical northern-Mexican music and electronic music, such as the music of The Nortec Collective and other electronic music artists, and Murcof, which have placed Tijuana in the international eye of specialized magazines and forums in recent years. Additionally, Tijuana also enjoys a large base of support in many other musical scenes, such as hardcore, punk, black metal, Tijuana Brass and house music. Famous musical acts from Tijuana include the world known singer Julieta Venegas, and bands like Delux.
Musical clubs in the Avenida Revolución area and others often cater to a diverse range of tastes by offering nightly variations on musical fare, such as New Wave music one night, and punk rock bands on the next. Interestingly, some metal bands from Europe whose members cannot perform in the United States due to prior felony convictions in their own countries will play music festivals in Tijuana so as to attract fans from both Mexico and the United States.
Although poverty is widespread throughout the city, a very affluent and prominent society has developed in Tijuana. The Club Campestre de Tijuana (Tijuana Country Club) has many affluent members and a famous golf course. A large sized Rotary Club is also located in Tijuana. The Grand Hotel Tijuana and many luxurious restaurants have been developed along Bulevar Agua Caliente (often called "El Bulevar" by locals) and in the Zona Rio. Around the country club and Agua Caliente, many developments of wealthy and luxurious gated communities have filled the hillsides, most of which have views similar to Mount Soledad in San Diego or areas of Orange County. There are many amazing restaurants in Tijuana, attracting both locals and travelers. These four-star restaurants range from Argentine to Italian to Japanese food.
Tijuana's most prestigious entertainment center is the Club Campestre de Tijuana golf club, but the Agua Caliente Racetrack would be the most notable that is open to the general public. Parque Morelos has a small zoo and park space; Parque de la Amistad has a small pond, and a running and dirt-bike track. Parque Teniente Guerrero is a park located downtown with a public library and weekend entertainment by clowns. El Foro was an attraction for being a jai alai venue, but now is a concert venue commonly used.
The most popular tourist attraction is a nightclub show. Many foreigners travel there to drink and dance, buy prescription drugs, illegal drugs (especially in and around dance clubs), purchase bootleg brand-name clothing, timepieces, and other personal accessories found globally, as well as manufactured and hand-crafted local curiosities. There are many night clubs, including over a dozen gay clubs but locals and regular tourists avoid touristic hassle over at the clubs at Plaza Fiesta or other areas of the Zona Río without the crowds, heavy marketing, and occasional tourist misbehavior or outright lawbreaking common on the Revolución strip, though the Revolución has been known for its bolstered number of nightclub shows. While still an entertaining town with an enjoyable atmosphere, locals and tourists alike would agree that it has lost its "anything goes" mentality which it had once acquired, a mindset that was dangerous to tourists, locals, and the tourism industry as a whole.
Tijuana possesses a diversity of shopping malls including Plaza Río, Plaza Mundo Divertido, Plaza Monarca, Plaza Carrousel, and Centro Comercial Playas/Plaza Coronado. Plaza Río is the largest mall and is located just a few minutes away from the US border between Paseo de los heroes and the Tijuana River. The mall hosts a Cinépolis and a Cinépolis VIP movie theater, a Sanborns restaurant and a variety of shops, including the large department stores Mas and Dorians. Plaza Mundo Divertido is off of Tijuana's main east-west highway with arcades and rides for the whole family. Plaza Monarca is on a north-south artery known as "Gato Bronco" and is anchored by the movie theater Cinépolis and the grocery chain Gigante. Plaza Carrousel, so named because the mall contains a children's merry-go-round, is minutes from the Cinco y Diez retail hub centered around a former five and dime store. The beach community of Playas de Tijuana saw a burst of construction in 2004, which yielded the Plaza Coronado complex next to the existing Comercial Mexicana-anchored Centro Comercial Playas.
Tijuana also enjoys notoriety among Americans and other nationals for its red-light district Zona Norte (referred to as La Coahuila as it is one of the main streets in it) which boasts a large number of legal street prostitutes as well as, in parts, a selection of strip clubs offering at least one establishment per block. The strip clubs are typically full-contact, meaning the dancers will allow patrons to fondle them. The dancers also sell their sexual services which are pricier ($US 72 in early-2007) than those of the street prostitutes, and while true of many clubs, is not valid to say of all clubs, or even all of them lower-priced clubs engage in the practice of prostitution.
People filling up prescriptions for drugs classified in the US as Schedule II or Schedule III have found it more difficult to locate such medications, and the purchase of pseudoephedrine also has become restricted by Tijuana pharmacies, as it is in the United States. For a prescription to be filled in Tijuana and brought legally to the United States, any drug covered by the US Controlled Substances Act would require a prescription from the United States for re-import.
Recently numerous artists created an aura of freedom and pleasure regarding the life in Tijuana. The famous singer Manu Chao, author of "King of the Bongo", has a song called "Welcome to Tijuana" and the refrain goes: "Welcome to Tijuana/ Tequila, sexo y marihuana"
|Club Tijuana||Football||2006||Primera División A||Estadio Caliente|
|Tijuana Galgos||Basketball||2005||Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional||Auditorio Municipal "Fausto Gutierrez Moreno-CASAS GEO"|
|Tijuana Dragons||Basketball||2003||American Basketball Association||Auditorio Municipal "Fausto Gutierrez Moreno-CASAS GEO"|
|Tijuana Potros||Baseball||2005 (Called "Toros" in 2004)||Mexican League||Estadio de Beisbol Calimax|
The city is home to two professional basketball teams. The Tijuana Dragons play in the American Basketball Association against teams from the United States. The team is composed mostly of U.S. players. Their season takes place during the winter months. The Galgos de Tijuana (Tijuana Greyhounds) play in the LNBP (Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional) during the summer months. The team is composed mostly of players from Mexico. Both teams play in the Municipal Auditorium.
The city has a strong tradition of football. It currently plays host to Club Tijuana of the Primera División A, the second tier of Mexican football, who play their matches at the Estadio Caliente, a new 33,000 seat stadium. The club has ambitions of becoming a top club.
Tijuana is home to many primary schools as well as several colleges and universities.
Tijuana also relies on tourism as a major revenue. About 300,000 visitors cross by foot or car from the San Ysidro point of entry in the United States every day. Restaurants and taco stands, pharmacies, bars and dance clubs are part of the draw for the city's tourists. Many shops and stalls selling Mexican crafts and souvenirs are also located in walking distance from the border. Mexico's drinking age of 18 (vs. 21 in the United States) make it a common weekend destination for many high school and college aged Southern Californians who tend to stay within the Avenida Revolución. Tijuana is also home to several pharmacies marketed toward visitors from the United States. These pharmacies sell some pharmaceutical drugs without prescriptions, and at much lower costs than pharmacies in the US. Many medications still require a Mexican doctor's prescription though several accessible doctor offices are located near the border as well. In addition Tijuana has a legal "red-light" district known as the Zona Norte which also adds significant revenue to its economy. Tijuana is also home to many businesses selling products and services at a much cheaper rate than in the United States. Such businesses as auto detailing, medical services, dentistry and plastic surgery are heavily marketed and located near the city's border with the US.
The plants are intended to treat approximately 5 mgd each, to tertiary levels and provide the reclaimed water to the surrounding areas for agriculture, industry etc.
There are several issues that they are facing: no infrastructure to convey the reclaimed water to customers and inadequate groundwater recharge infrastructure.
Gun battles between rival drug cartels or between cartels and the police have erupted in public. In April 2008 police found 1,500 shell casings on various public streets after one such episode that left 13 suspected drug traffickers dead.
Major bus lines:
Major taxi lines:
There are as many bus lines (the companies) and routes as fixed-route taxi ones or calafias, and new routes for buses, taxis or calafias are frequently created, due to high demand of public transportation. Public transportation service is cheap, with bus tickets at $8.00 Mexican Peso (about $0.75 U.S. dollar) the maximum; fixed-route taxis are somewhat more expensive, depending on the taxi route, reaching $15.00 Mexican Peso. Bus, taxi and calafia lines and routes are distinguised one from another by their vehicles colors.
Major bus (also served by some fixed-route taxi lines) routes by destinations include the following:
All bus, fixed-route taxi and calafia routes reach Centro, and most of them reach or reach nearly Plaza Rio (at Zona Rio) and Otay areas.
In 2006, Tijuana underwent a major overhaul of its existing system of guayines, or shared fixed-route station wagons, forcing the replacement of the guayines with new models of vans, serving as fixed-route taxis. Major transit hubs include Centro (Downtown Tijuana), Otay, Soler, and the Cinco y Diez avenues.
Both cities are served by the MEXICOACH buses.
Two important Mexican federal highways end in Tijuana, one of them is Federal Highway 1, which runs south through the Baja California peninsula, ending in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. From Tijuana to Ensenada, most travelers take Highway 1-D (scenic road), a four-lane, limited access toll road that runs by the coast starting at Playas de Tijuana. Mexican Federal Highway 2 runs east for several hundred kilometers near the international border, currently as far as Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.