Tlalpujahua is a municipality located in the Mexican state of Michoacán (formally “Michoacán de Ocampo”). The name Tlalpujahua has its origins in the nahuatl words tlalli, which means "land" and Poxohuac, which means "sponge". The name of Tlalpujahua means "spongy land". Another name for this city is Xijumú Otomí. The people refers to its inhabitants as “The people that refused to die.”


Tlalpujahua has his origins in the prehispanic culture. Its inhabitants were called “mazahuatls”. In 1460, the "taracos" habited this place, after them, the aztecas arrived to Tlalpujahua.

In 1522, Gaspar de Avila decided that Tlalpujahua would become part of Tarimeo. Don Vasco de Quiroga decided it had to be part of Michoacán. In 1560, golden and silver mines were discovered. They were named Tlapujahua's Royal Mines. In 1575, Don Antonio de Morales governed Tlalpujahua. In 1593, Gaspar de Solís, mayor of Tlalpujahua, carried out the first reunion with natives and outlined the construction of houses in the new town. On July 4, 1603, the first industrial guild was constituted. It had 14 sugar production facilities. In 1765, Tlalpujahua, included the villages of San Miguel Tlacotepec, San Juan Tlalpujahuilla, Santa Maria, Our Lady of the Remedies and San Pedro Tarimangacho.

At the beginning of the 18th century, a fire destroyed part of Tlalpujahua and important buildings and documents were reduced to ashes. In 1820, Tlalpujahua and many of its mines were destroyed by the mexican war of independence. In 1822, the first town hall was constituted. On December 10, 1831, Tlalpujahua was recognized as municipality.

On May 21, 1859, the city received the title of "Mineral of Rayon", in memory of the Lopez Rayón brothers. In 1937, a flood destroyed the "Two Stars" mines and the principal neighborhoods of the village. As a consequence, the economy deteriorated and people emigrated towards other cities or states.

Illustrious figures

Ignacio López Rayón.- was secretary of Sr. Miguel Hidalgo (1773-1832).

Tomás R. Del Moral.- Engineer, was The Director of the Commission of Statistics and Geography of the State of Mexico (1791-1847)

Cenobio Paniagua.- Musician and composer of michoacana music and the first writer of operas in Mexico (1821-1892)

José María López Rayón.- Insurgent (1767 - )

Francisco López Rayón.- Insurgent (1782-1815)

Rafael López Rayón.- Insurgent (- 1823

Ramón López Rayón.- Insurgent (1775-1839)

Elvira Vargas.- Writer and Journalist

Luis Eduardo Jurado.- Painter

Chronology of historical facts

1558. The Spanish re-discover the mines that previously the aborigens were exploiting and transforms the life of the people and of the region.

1576. The mayor of the mines, Gaspar Solís, for orders of the Viceroy, carried out the first indigenous congregation and the first outline of the new city.

1600. There begins the construction of some chapels as "Our Lady of Carmen " and "The St Lawrence". The temple and convent of San Francisco is founded.

1603. On July 4, it was constituted, the congregation of the royal one of Tlalpujahua's mines.

1603. On July 4 it was constituted, the congregation of the royal one of Tlalpujahua's mines.

1733. The mining summit demonstrates with the mines of Holy Ana and the Wreath.

1735. The mining deputation is constituted.

1750. There begins the construction of the new parochial church.

1769. It enters decadence the mining exploitation.

1810. On October 24, Ignacio Lopez Rayón, threw an important manifest in favor of the independence.

1812. They are established in the hill of the Rooster, the brothers Rayón, doing of him a strength for the manufacture of guns, smelting of cannons, increase of troops, and a press is established also.

1813. On April 30, the realistic troops take Tlalpujahua and some days later, force the Insurgents to leave the hill of the Rooster.

1814. In December there is shot the vicarious one of the parish of Tlalpujahua, father Juan Antonio Romero, who Insurgent had joined to the movement.

1815. Francisco Rayón recovers the village of Tlalpujahua.

1820. As a result of the War of Independence the mining activity is left.

1822. The first town hall is constituted, but it is recognized until December 10, 1831.

1825. To authorities of Don Mariano Michelena, representative of the Mexican Government, the English men resume the exploitation of the mines in Tlalpujahua. Three years later would fail.

1859. There is granted it the title of Mineral of Rayon on May 21, in memory of the brothers Rayón.

1861. It was named A Head-board Distrital and was including: Angangueo, Contepec and Tlalpujahua.

1862. In the Reform, the conservatives occupy Tlalpujahua's seat, which is recovered later by the liberal general Rafael Cuellar.

1874. The michoacan legislation is busy with getting the necessary elements for Tlalpujahua's mining development.

1899. The mines Two Stars are exploited. It turns the summit and the mining prosperity.

1909. On April 3, Porfirio Díaz visits Tlalpujahua for knows the mines “Two Stars”.

1920. In this village the general Francisco J. Múgica lives there for some time.

1937. The tragedy happens where are destroyed the mines of Two Stars, because the flood of muds of them pull at the mine and making buried the Chapel of Our Lady of Carmen.


It is located to the northwest of the State, in the coordinates 19°48 ' of north latitude and 100°10 ' of length west, to a height of 2,580 meters on the level of the sea. It borders in the northern part on Contepec, in the eastern part and south on the State of Mexico and, in the western part on Senguio and Maravatío. His distance to the capital of the State is 156 km.


His surface is 190.86 km ² and represents 0.32 per cent of the whole of the State.


His hydrography is constituted by the river San Jose; for the Orange creeks and Ciénega; cold and thermal water; and for the preys Brockman and Estanzuela.


His climate is moderated with rains in summer and moderated with rains all the year. It has an annual rainfall of 1,004 millimeters and temperatures from 6 to 23 °C.

Principal ecosystems

In the municipality, dominates the coniferous forest with pine, oyamel and junípero; and the mixed forest with pine, encino and cedar. His fauna conforms for cacomixtle, raccoon, weasel, armadillo, duck and teal.

Natural resources

The forest providing useful wood surface is occupied by pine and encino, the not providing useful wood one is occupied by bushes. The municipality possesses deposits of gold, silver and copper.

Characteristics and use of the soil

The soils of the municipality date back of the periods paleozoico and mesozoico, correspond principally to those of the type podzolico of mountain. His use is basically agricultural and forest and in minor proportion rancher.

Ethnic groups

According to the General Census of Population and Housing 1990, in the municipality there inhabit 58 persons who speak some language aborigen, and of which 28 are men and 30 are women. Inside the principal languages aborigines can mention the Purépecha and the Purepecha.

Demographic evolution

In Tlalpujahua's municipality in 1990, the population was representing 0.6 per cent of the whole of the State. For 1995, it had a population of 18,376 inhabitants, his rate of growth is-2.8 per cent per year, the negative rate of growth owes to such factors as the emigration to the interior and exterior of the country principally, and the density of population belongs 96.28 inhabitants for kilometer square. The number of women is relatively bigger than the men. For the year of 1994, they have given themselves 979 births and 193 deaths, also this way the migration and immigration in the municipality has been considerable since it presents emigration towards other conditions in search of work.


The religion that prevails in the municipality is the Catholic followedin minor proportion by the Evangelical one.


In the municipality there exists nurseriesof initial education like: Pre-school, primary, secondary. For the average top level it relies with two places where they offer the Baccalaureate.


The medical services demand of the population of the municipality, is attended by organisms public and deprived like: Clinics of Health assigned to the Secretariat of Health, the Peripheral Position of the ISSSTE, Clinic of the IMSS and the Particular Doctor's offices.


The municipality counts with a municipal market, tianguis once per week, trades with diverse commercial drafts, CONASUPO's shops and track.


In the municipality exists a sports unit with field of rapid football, fronton, basketball and volleyball. In addition there have a field of baseball and a Municipal Audience.


The municipality possesses approximately 4,038 housings, of which it predominates over the construction of adobe and tile, followed in minor proportion for that of partition, wood and other materials. (INEGI 1990)

Public Services

Drinkable Water 80% Drainage 40% Electrification 60% Lit Public 60% Compilation of Garbage 70% Bought 50% Track 70% Pantheon 100% Public Security 90% Parks and Gardens 60% Public Buildings 50%

Mass media

Tlalpujahua possesses the following mass media: Newspaper, radio and television.

Road links

Tlalpujahua communicates for the federal road 126 Morelia - Atlacomulco - Mexico, in turn it possesses state roads like Tlalpujahua-Venta de Bravo and Santa Maria of the Angeles-Angangueo. In addition, it has telephone, telegraph, mail and services of foreign buses.


The agricultural activity is the second one in order of importance being his principal culturing: the corn and bean. It represents 10% of his economic activity.


There it grows up: Bovine, porcine, sheep and birds meaning 10% of the economic activity of the municipality.


The municipality possesses an established industry being his principal economic activity. Tlalpujahua possesses Factories of Spheres, Packings of Carton, Pencil sharpener, Laminated Quarry and Clothes. It represents 29% of his economic activity.


Tlalpujahua was named a "Pueblo Mágico" in 2005. It possesses several tourist sites which they stand out: The National Park " Brothers Lopez Rayón ", the Museum of Mineralogy and History, Exconventos and Chapels of the 16th century and the XVIIth.


The municipality possesses medium and small trades where the population acquires the articles of the first and second need.

Historical monuments

The municipality possesses (relies on) several architectural monuments: the Monument to Ignacio Lopez Rayón, the Exconvento Santuario of the Virgin of Carmen of the 16th century, Tlalpujahua's Parish of the 17th century, the Chapels of San Miguel of the 17th century, San Pedro, San Juan Joaquín and Santa Maria of the Angels.


Tlalpujahua has the” Museum of Mineralogy and history” and “ The House of the Brothers Lopez Rayón”.

Holidays, dances and traditions

July 16. Celebration in honor of the Virgin of Carmen

August 8. Celebration in honor to the Virgin of San Juan

November 13. Civic act in honor to the Brothers Lopez Rayón


The music is of popular character.


Christmas spheres and pottery are made manually.


The typical food of the municipality is: the barbecue of hole, the head of beast to the oven and the soup of fungi.

Tourist Centers

In the municipality several tourist places are located in the National Park, the Museum of Mineralogy and History, the Exconvento of the Virgin of Carmen, churches and chapels of the 16th century and the XVIIth.


Municipal head-board: Tlalpujahua

Principal localities

“San Francisco of The Kings” His principal activity is the agriculture and industry. It is located to 14 km, of the municipal head-board and has 793 inhabitants

“Tlacotepec” His principal activities are the agriculture and the exploitationof the quarry. It is located to 4 km from the municipal head-board and has 375 inhabitants

“Tlalpujahuilla” His principal activities are the agriculture and forestry. It is located to 2.5 km from the municipal head-board and has 775 inhabitants

“San Pedro Tarímbaro “ His principal activity is the agriculture. It is located to 13 km from the municipal head-board and has 290 inhabitants

“The Remedies” His principal activity is the agriculture. It is located to 31 km from the municipal head-board and gutter by 608 inhabitants

“Santa María of the Angels” His principal activities are the agriculture and the pottery. There are located 3 km from the municipal head-board and has 1198 inhabitants.

Chronology of the municipal presidents

1949 - Lino Rebollo

1950 - Moisés Bastida Gasca

1951 - Agustín Enríquez Santamaria.

1952 - Abad García

1951 - 1953 Simón García

1954 - 1956 Moisés Bastida Gasca

1957 - 1959 Luis Valenzuela Vega

1960 - 1962 Isaias Monroy Duarte

1963 - 1965 Otilio Carmona Esquivel

1966 - 1968 Ricardo García Bastida

1969 - 1971 Rodolfo Vargas Escamilla 1972 - 1974 Rogelio Mercado Martínez

1975 - 1977Joaquin Muñoz Orta

1978 - 1980 Filiberto Marin Jiménez

1981 - 1983 Gustavo Bernal Navarro

1984 - 1986 Otilio Carmona Esquivel 1987 - 1989 Rogelio Mercado Martínez

1990 - 1992 Moisés García Escutia

1993 - 1994 José Luis Muñoz Ruiz

1995 - Roberto Rangel Saavedra

1996 - 1998 Gabriel I. Rodríguez Hernández

1999 - 2001 Gabriel Colín Salazar

2002 - 2004 Manuel Colín


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