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Mexicali, Baja California

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Mexicali, Baja California

Mexicali
City
Ciudad de Mexicali
City of Mexicali

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The City that Captured the Sun
Motto: Warm Land
Mexicali
Mexicali
Location of Mexicali in Mexico

Coordinates: 32°39′48″N 115°28′04″W / 32.66333°N 115.46778°W / 32.66333; -115.46778Coordinates: 32°39′48″N 115°28′04″W / 32.66333°N 115.46778°W / 32.66333; -115.46778

Country Mexico Mexico
State Baja California Baja California
Municipality Mexicali
Founded March 14, 1903
Government
 • Type Ayuntamiento
 • Municipal President Francisco J. Pérez Tejada Padilla PRI
Elevation 8 m (27 ft)
Population (2010)
 • City 689,775
 • Density 81.94/km2 (212.2/sq mi)
 • Urban 875,000
 • Metro 996,826
 • Demonym Mexicalense, cachanilla
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
Postal code 21000-21399 (urban area)
Area code(s) +52 686

Mexicali (pronounced Municipality of Mexicali, and 2nd largest city in Baja California. The City of Mexicali has a population of 689,775, according to the 2010 census, while the population of the entire metropolitan area (as well the municipality) reaches 996,826.

The city maintains a highly educated and skilled populace. Its standard of living is one of the highest in Mexico. As the city has modernized and become a cosmopolitan and international center in a desert region, it has maintained a sizable middle class. In Mexico, it is recognized for its substantial investment in education as well as its low unemployment levels.

Mexicali's economy was historically based on agricultural products, and to this day it remains a large sector of the economy. As time has progressed however, its economy has gradually gone from being agriculturally based to industrially based. Companies such as Mitsubishi, Autolite, Nestle, Coca Cola and Goodrich Corporation have built plants in the city and its metropolitan area. Silicon Border is located here as well; a large industrial park that is a high tech manufacturing area.[1] Its goal is to become a global center for semiconductor manufacturing. Mexicali's proximity to the United States has made the city a popular tourist destination with Americans from Arizona, California, and Nevada. The city is a well known sports city with many ball sports being popular in the region.

Founded on March 14, 1903, Mexicali is situated on the U.S.-Mexico border adjacent to its sister city Calexico, California, with which it forms a metropolitan region, Calexico-Mexicali. Mexicali also has the distinction of being the northernmost city in Latin America.

History

Early history

The Spanish arrived in the area after crossing the Sonora Desert's "Camino del Diablo" or Devil's Road. This led to the evangelization of the area by Catholic missionaries and also the population reduction of the native peoples. Today, indigenous Cocopah people still inhabit a small government-protected corner of the delta near the junction of the Hardy and Colorado rivers. These people mostly work on agricultural ejidos or fish the rivers, although many have migrated to Mexicali.[2]

The early European presence in this area was limited to Anza's and subsequent Spanish expeditions across the Colorado Desert and subsequent travelers on the Sonora Road opened by them. Also the presence of the Jesuits who attempted to establish a mission at what is now Fort Yuma. They left after a revolt by the Yuma in 1781. After this, the Spanish had little to do with the northeastern corner of the Baja California peninsula, perceiving it as an untamable, flood-prone desert delta.[2] Later in the 1820's, the Mexican authorities reopened the Sonora Road, peaceful relations being restored with the Yuma.[3]

The Sonora Road provided a route for American fur trappers, and later American troops of Kearny and Cooke passing through the area during the Mexican American War. The annexation of most of Alta California soon was followed by the California Gold Rush that saw a flood of gold seekers from Mexico on the Sonora Road, especially from Sonora, and from the United states via the Southern Immigrant Trail. Herds of cattle and sheep were driven into California across this desert trail also.

This route became a U. S. Mail and stagecoach route in 1857 when the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line and in 1858 Butterfield Overland Mail route passed along the Alamo and New Rivers and established stations there including its New River Station in the vicinity of a Laguna along the New River in what is now Colonia Hidalgo, Mexicali in 1858. This mail route remained in use until 1877 when the Southern Pacific Railroad came to Yuma making it obsolete.

Later 19th century

In the mid-19th century, a geologist working for the Southern Pacific Railroad came to the delta area, discovering what the native Yumans had known for centuries: that the thick river sediment deposits made the area prime farming land. These sediments extended far to the west of the river itself, accumulating in a shallow basin below the Sierra de Cucapá.[2] However, from this time period until the 1880s, the area was almost completely unpopulated, mostly due to its climate. In 1888, the federal government granted a large part of northern Baja state, including Mexicali, to Guillermo Andrade, with the purpose of colonizing the area on the recently created border with the United States. However, around 1900, the only area with any real population, aside from the Cocopah, were concentrated in Los Algodones, to the east of Mexicali.[4]

20th century

In 1900, the U.S.-based California Development Company received permission from the Díaz government to cut a canal through the delta's Arroyo Alamo, to link the dry basin with the Colorado River. To attract farmers to the area, the developers named it "The Imperial Valley". In 1903, the first 500 farmers arrived; by late 1904, 405 km² (100,000 acres) of valley were irrigated, with 10,000 people settled on the land harvesting cotton, fruits, and vegetables. The concentration of small housing units that straddled the border was called Calexico on the U.S. side, Mexicali on the Mexican side.[2] Led by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler, one company controlled 800,000 hectares of land in northern Baja California by 1905, and began to construct the irrigation system for this valley. However, instead of using Mexican labor to dig the ditches, Chandler brought in thousands of Chinese laborers.[2] Mexicali became culturally more Chinese than Mexican.

The Mexican side was named Mexicali (a portmanteau composed of "Mexico" and "California") by Coronel Agustín Sanginéz. Initially the area belonged to the municipality of Ensenada.[4] The town of Mexicali was officially created on 14 March 1903 when Manuel Vizcarra was named as the town's first authority and assistant judge (juez auxiliar).[2] On January 29, 1911, Mexicali was briefly "liberated" by the Liberal Party of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Mayor Baltazar Aviléz declared the municipality of Mexicali on November 4, 1914 and called for elections to create the first ayuntamiento or district council, which was then headed by Francisco L. Montejano.[4]


In the 20th century, the Colorado Riverland Company was dedicated to renting land here to farmers; however, these farmers were almost always foreigners, such as Chinese, East Indians and Japanese. The Mexicans were employed only as seasonal labor. This situation led to the agrarian conflict known as the "Asalto a las Tierras" (Assault on the Lands) in 1937.[4]

Agricultural production continued to increase during the 20th century. Cotton became the most important crop and with it developed the textile industry. In the early 1950s, the Mexicali Valley became the biggest cotton-producing zone in the whole country and in the 1960s, production reached more than half a million parcels a year. Currently, the valley still is one of Mexico's most productive agricultural regions, mostly producing wheat, cotton and vegetables. The city of Mexicali is one of Mexico's most important exporter of asparagus, broccoli, carrots, green onions, lettuce, peas, peppers, radishes and tomatoes to the world.[2]

The government of the municipality was reorganized when the Baja California territory became the 29th state in 1953.[4]

21st century

Today Mexicali is an important center for industrial production in the automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, metallurgical, and health services as well as manufacturing and exporting products to various countries.[5]

The 2010 Baja California earthquake occurred at 15:40:40 local time (UTC-8), Sunday, April 4, 2010, reaching a magnitude of 7.2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake struck 60 km south-southeast of Mexicali.[6] The quake was felt strongly in the northern regions of Baja California and the United States-Mexico border, and was also felt in western cities such as Tijuana, San Diego, Los Angeles and parts of Arizona.

Geography

The Mexicali Valley is one of the largest and most fertile valleys in Mexico.[7] The Valley has over fifty different crops and is similar to the Imperial Valley in its agricultural production. National and international industries have invested in Mexicali and surrounding cities to take advantage of its fiscal opportunities.[7] The Valley's resources puts the region above other similar areas as its abundance of natural resources are the largest in North America.[7] The Mexicali Valley is a primary source of water for the region, having the largest irrigation district in Mexico.

Ecology

The New River, which flows north to the State of California from Mexicali, is considered the most polluted river in North America, containing toxic levels of lead and other heavy metals, fecal bacteria , pathogens , and industrial waste . Air pollution is also a problem during summer and winter months with dust and other particulate levels exceeding healthy levels.

In spite of its arid desert location, Mexicali is watered through a system of aquifers in the valley. Under a 1944 water treaty, the city is "...guaranteed [an] annual quantity of 1,500,000 acre feet (1.9 km3) [of water] to be delivered..." from the Colorado River.[8] However, a proposed concrete lining in the United States on the All-American Canal would cut off billions of leaked gallons of water, which is used to irrigate onions, alfalfa, asparagus, squash and other crops in Mexicali.[9]

The nearby Cerro Prieto volcano[10] is adjacent to the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station.[11]

Climate

Mexicali
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
13
 
20
5
 
 
9.1
 
23
7
 
 
7.9
 
26
10
 
 
1.3
 
30
13
 
 
0.8
 
35
17
 
 
0.3
 
40
21
 
 
1.5
 
42
26
 
 
8.1
 
42
26
 
 
9.1
 
38
22
 
 
8.9
 
32
16
 
 
4.6
 
25
10
 
 
11
 
20
6
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [12]

Because of its low annual precipitation, Mexicali has an arid climate (BWh). Under the criteria for the Köppen climate classification, Mexicali maintains desert climate temperatures every year. In October 12, 1932, the city experienced snowfall. Rainfall usually occurs in the winter months of December, January and February. Although summer is extremely dry in Mexicali, one of every two days there is an end moisture content. In July 1995, Mexicali experienced its highest ever recorded temperature of 52°C (125.6°F). In 2008, during the months of July and August there were several heavy thunderstorms that let down large amounts of rain and hail. Summer rainfall in the city is infrequent. During winter time, Mexicali is affected by the snows that occur in the town of La Rumorosa located in the Sierra de Juarez, about 45 minutes west of the city, causing decreases in temperature in the urban area lasting from two days to one week.

Climate data for Mexicali (1951-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.0
(93.2)
33.8
(92.8)
39.5
(103.1)
41.0
(105.8)
47.0
(116.6)
49.1
(120.4)
52.0
(125.6)
49.4
(120.9)
47.1
(116.8)
47.4
(117.3)
39.8
(103.6)
30.5
(86.9)
52
(125.6)
Average high °C (°F) 20.4
(68.7)
23.0
(73.4)
26.0
(78.8)
29.5
(85.1)
34.9
(94.8)
40.0
(104)
42.3
(108.1)
41.5
(106.7)
38.4
(101.1)
32.2
(90)
25.1
(77.2)
20.2
(68.4)
31.13
(88.03)
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.1
(55.6)
15.4
(59.7)
18.1
(64.6)
21.2
(70.2)
25.9
(78.6)
30.5
(86.9)
34.0
(93.2)
33.6
(92.5)
30.3
(86.5)
24.2
(75.6)
17.6
(63.7)
13.0
(55.4)
23.08
(73.54)
Average low °C (°F) 5.8
(42.4)
7.8
(46)
10.2
(50.4)
12.8
(55)
16.8
(62.2)
21.1
(70)
25.7
(78.3)
25.7
(78.3)
22.2
(72)
16.2
(61.2)
10.0
(50)
5.8
(42.4)
15.01
(59.02)
Record low °C (°F) −7
(19)
−3.5
(25.7)
−0.9
(30.4)
0.0
(32)
8.0
(46.4)
19.6
(67.3)
23.5
(74.3)
20.5
(68.9)
8.0
(46.4)
0.3
(32.5)
−1.5
(29.3)
−8.0
(17.6)
−8
(17.6)
Rainfall mm (inches) 10.5
(0.413)
7.5
(0.295)
6.4
(0.252)
1.5
(0.059)
0.5
(0.02)
0.3
(0.012)
4.0
(0.157)
10.0
(0.394)
8.7
(0.343)
8.7
(0.343)
5.3
(0.209)
11.1
(0.437)
74.5
(2.934)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.5 2.4 2.2 0.6 0.3 0.1 1.0 1.4 1.2 1.1 1.2 2.2 16.2
Source: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional[13]

Economy

In its beginnings Mexicali was an important center for cotton production for export until synthetic fabrics reduced the worldwide demand for the fiber.

Currently horticulture is the most successful agricultural activity with scallion (green onion), and asparagus being among the most important crops. Cotton and wheat are still cultivated but with government price guarantees and subsidies making wheat farmer protests an annual event. There is an annual agribusiness fair in March drawing interested people from all over Mexico and the United States called Agrobaja.

The current prospects for economic growth in Mexicali rely on in-bond and assembly plants, mainly for export, including companies like, Selther, Daewoo, Mitsubishi, Honeywell, Paccar, Vitro, Skyworks Solutions, CareFusion, Bosch, Price Pfister, Gulfstream, Goodrich, Kenworth and Kwikset. Mexicali is also home to many food processing plants such as Nestlé, Jumex, Bimbo, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, and Sabritas.

There are joint efforts on behalf of the Baja California government[14] and the private sector to attract more companies to Mexicali based on a cluster strategy focusing on the regions' strengths of qualified labor, abundant energy and water supplies, a pro-business environment and its location on the California border.

Mexicali is considered among the most prosperous cities in Mexico, although US tourists can observe the level of poverty in rural villages surrounding the modern, upper-middle class enclave of Mexicali proper. There is recent research that indicate a high level of disease prevalence like respiratory illness,asthma,and other medical issues in the local inhabitants. The North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 that eliminated most trade restrictions between the two nations offers Mexicali an economic boom in the next decade.

Silicon Border

Main article: Silicon Border

Silicon Border is a 40-square-kilometre (9,900-acre) development tailored to the specific needs of high-technology manufacturing and is situated in Mexicali, along the western border of the U.S. and Mexico.[15] The aim of the manufacturing park, which began in 2004, is to transform Mexicali into the world's next semiconductor manufacturing center. The Mexican federal and Baja California state governments have committed more than $2 million to the design and manufacturing of the project. Former President Vicente Fox has also offered 10 years of tax-free status to any firms that locate in the park and invest $1 billion or more.[16] Silicon Border’s vision is to provide Mexico with an infrastructure that enables high-tech companies anywhere in the world to move manufacturing operations to the country and exploit its competitive advantages such as geographical location, human capital, research, legal and tax benefits, intellectual property, international treaties and logistics provided by the country for manufacturing high technology products while allowing research to develop processes, design, fabrication and testing able to compete with Asian operations and costs.[17]

Q-Cells, the world's largest manufacturer of photovoltaic cells,[18] has manifested its intention to develop a major thin film photovoltaic manufacturing facility at Silicon Border.[19] With the world economic depression of 2008, Q-Cells delayed its plans to settle in the park.[20] A variety of electrical and water facilities are already built at Silicon Border in addition to energy-saving lighting.[21] The infrastructure build-out, financed by ING Clarion, consists of potable water plant and distribution, fiber optic telephone and data cable, power substations, and waste treatment facilities. Silicon Border not only provides manufacturing space to companies creating "green" products, but does so in an environmentally conscious manner.[22]

The Autonomous University of Baja California and CETYS, a private not-for-profit university located in Mexicali, have started new programs such as Aerospace Engineering, Semiconductors and Microelectronics Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering, Bioengineering, History and Sociology to prepare the required human capital for potential high-tech firms.[23]

California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has continued to promote cooperation with the project and has encouraged economic partnerships with Silicon Border in his radio addresses.[24][25] At the beginning of 2006, the California governor created the “California/Baja Silicon Border Work Group,” run by deputy secretary of the California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, Yolanda Benson. State officials promised to hasten construction of the roadways needed to link up with those being built for Silicon Border in Mexico.[26]

Silicon Border is the only site in North America with abundant and inexpensive electrical power, natural gas and water, as well as a large labor pool of high skilled and motivated individuals. The area is supplied with water from the Colorado River and a major electrical sub-station supplied by three separate power plants.[17] Further infrastructure improvements associated with Silicon Border are to include a new highway (under construction) and an additional border crossing.[27] Silicon Border estimates that in the next ten years, the Silicon Border Science Park could generate 100,000 jobs, both within Mexico and the U.S.[28]

Tourism

Mexicali also relies on tourism as a medium revenue, and visitors cross by foot or car from Calexico 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.

Many residents from California, Arizona and Nevada look for medical and dental services in Mexicali, because they tend to be less expensive than those in the United States. Mexicali is 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 doctor's prescription, although several accessible doctor offices are located near the border as well.

Mexico's drinking age of 18 (vs. 21 in the United States) makes it a common weekend destination for many high school and college aged Southern Californians who tend to stay within the Calzadas Justo Sierra, Benito Juarez and Francisco L. Montejano.

Mexicali hosts Baja Prog, one of the world's most important events in Progressive Rock. Since 1997, Baja Prog has been in the eyes of the world for being an event gathering the best acts of the progressive rock scene.

Mexicali possesses a diversity of shopping venues and malls, the most visited being Plaza La Cachanilla, located just a few minutes away from the US border. The mall hosts a variety of shops, which sell a wide array of things, ranging from cheap Mexican curiosities to expensive imports. The Plaza La Cachanilla also represents a common place for people to socialize, especially during summer days when the weather reaches high temperatures, many families come and spend the day inside the air conditioned mall.

Just about everything for recreation can be found in Mexicali, including pool halls, bowling alleys, traditional cantinas, car clubs, full contact strip clubs, movie theaters, museums, a zoo, a state university, a convention center, supermarkets, and fast food restaurants.

The Galerias del Valle, anchored by WalMart Supercenter, 12-screen movie theater Cinepolis, 2 casinos, and a food court. Is located by Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas and Calle 11. The mall's food court contains such eateries including Carl's Jr., Applebee's, Starbucks, and Burger King.

Proposed Infrastructure

Mexicali is located in a strategic location which puts it in line to benefit from two multi billion dollar infrastructure projects if they go forward. These are a hydro-engineering project and the Punta Colonet port project. The hydro-engineering project is the renovation of a Canal connecting the Gulf of California with Laguna Salada south west of Mexicali or construction of a new canal direct to Mexicali. The water project would then connect by pipe or canal further to the Salton Sea in California. The water project would supply the area with sea water for desalination and hydro electric power. The second proposed project Punta Colonet would connect Mexicali by rail with a deep water container port on the western side of the Baja California peninsula.

Cityscape


Boroughs

The municipality of Mexicali is divided into 1 city area and 14 administrative boroughs of which the city of Mexicali occupies 3 beside the city area. These boroughs offer administrative services such as urban planning, civil registry, inspection, verification, public works and community development and are served by a Municipal Delegate. Aside from the administrative boroughs listed below, others include: Shopping and Historical Center, Xochimilco, Santa Isabel, Progressive, Hotel Zone, Independence - ProHogar, Colonia Hidalgo, San Pedro, Pedregal Valley, and Puebla Valley.

Civic Center - In this sub-area are located the main federal, state and municipal buildings. A few miles from the Civic Center is the New River, where other buildings like the CEART, Forest-Mexicali Zoo and the Faculty of Administrative Sciences of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California are.

West Mexicali - This subzone consists of all the communities to the west of New River Line to International Boulevard Héctor Terán Terán. The prominent communities are Pueblo Nuevo, Baja California, Orizaba, Villafontana, Villanova, Santa Monica, Nationalist, Esperanza, Santa Clara and San Marcos. Located in West Mexicali are the military headquarters.

New Mexicali - This subzone is the most populated in the city with a population still unconfirmed, though it is estimated to have 200,000 inhabitants. The best known communities of this subzone are González Ortega, also called Palaco (a name derived from the Pacific Land Company[29]), New Mexicali, Villa Florida, Villa del Roble, Toledo Commercial, Residential Laureles, Victoria Residential, Residential Sevilla, Condor, Villa Verde, Valley of Colorado and Villas del Palmar. Ortega Palace is recognized as one of the most popular colonies colony along with Independence, New and Pueblo Nuevo. Within this subzone, is the Plaza New Mexicali, Centenary Sports Centre, the Universidad del Valle de Mexico, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Instituto Tecnologico de Mexicali, the University of Baja California, the New Campus of the University Xochicalco, and soon construction will soon begin on the new General Hospital of Mexicali.

Chinatown, Mexicali

Main article: Chinatown, Mexicali

The city claims to have the largest per capita concentration of residents of Chinese origin, around 5,000. While this does not compare to U.S. cities like San Francisco or New York. The Chinese immigrants came to the area as laborers for the Colorado River Land Company, an American enterprise which designed and built an extensive irrigation system in the Valley of Mexicali. Some immigrants came from the United States, often fleeing anti-Chinese policies there, while others sailed directly from China. Thousands of Chinese were lured to the area by the promise of high wages, but for most that never materialised.[30]

Since 2000, new migrants from China to Mexicali come from many of the same areas as before 1960, with perhaps 90% from Guangdong or Hong Kong.[31]

Demographics

The city itself had a 2005 census population of 653,046, whereas the municipality's population was 895,962. It is the 13th largest municipality in Mexico as of the Census 2005 with population estimates exceeding one million alone. The population is constantly growing due to the number of Maquiladoras in the area, lack of urban planning, and migrational aspects, like seasonal labor and the constant in-and-out flow of immigrants to the U.S. or into Mexico.

Environment

A study by Instituto Mexicano de la Competitividad has listed Mexicali as Mexico's most polluted air of large cities, with a PM10 rating of 137 for the year 2010.[32] It is thought that the reason is lack of pavement (dust) and lack of wind, especially in summer. No information for PM5 or PM2.5 was given. Monterrey, Cuernavaca, and Tijuana rounded up the highest PM10 list in the study.

Education

Main article: List of schools in Mexicali


According to a previous census conducted by the INEGI (National Institute of Statistics and Geography)[33] in 2008, the number of students who have graduated from Mexicali's public and private schools are as follows:

Pre-scholar students: 18,648
Primary school students: 17,272
Secondary school students: 12,337
Technical education students: 531
Baccalaureate students: 6,152

Some public universities in the city include Autonomous University of Baja California, Universidad Politécnica de Baja California and the Technological Institute of Mexicali. Private universities include Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior, University of the Valley of Mexico and Xochicalco University.

Culture

The residents of Mexicali (Mexicalenses) call themselves "Cachanillas" (due to a local plant, the cachanilla, used by the Cucapah tribe to build shacks) and are from culturally diverse backgrounds, and it is among the most ethnically diverse cities in Mexico, with people from various Native American, European, African, (east) Asian, and Middle Eastern origins.[34]

There is a very popular song called «Puro Cachanilla» also known as «El Cachanilla» that identifies people from Mexicali.

In 2004, there were 11 theaters[35] in the city:

  1. Teatro del Estado.
  2. Teatro al Aire Libre del Centro Comunitario Estudiantil.
  3. Teatro de Casa de Cultura de Mexicali. Idem.
  4. Teatro del CREA
  5. Teatro Universitario de Mexicali, it is mainly used for UABC ceremonies and occasionally for plays.
  6. Teatro al Aire Libre de Rectoría
  7. Teatro del Seguro Social that was inaugurated in the 1970s.
  8. Teatro al aire libre del Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior CETYS unveiled on September 2006.
  9. Teatro del Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior CETYS.
  10. IMAX Teatro in The Sol del Niño Museum
  11. Centro Estatal de las Artes with multiple theater and convention center

Mexicali also has the Baja Prog festival, a series of progressive rock concerts that take place during four consecutive days in springtime. It is hosted by CAST, a progressive rock band from Mexicali.

Sports

Mexicali has many sites where people from all over the country visit, as well as visitors from United States and Canada, such as the bullfighting arena, Plaza Calafia, where many bullfights ("corridas") are organized along the year. Mexicali has also a professional 18-hole Golf Course "Club Campestre" where both national and international championships take place regularly. Beside the amateur leagues, there are a few professional sport teams which plays in different leagues.

Basketball

Mexicali's basketball teams are the Bomberos de Mexicali of the CIBACOPA Pacific Circuit and Soles de Mexicali of the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional (LNBP) of Mexico. Soles lifted the National Trophy as the 2006/2007 LNBP Champions. Their stadium is the "Auditorio del Estado" located in the "Ciudad Deportiva de Mexicali".

The Bomberos de Mexicali were founded in 2010 and participate in the Pacific Coast Basketball Circuit, CIBACOPA. The team demonstrated strong results in the first leg of its inaugural season, yet was negatively affected by the April 4th earthquake of the Mexicali region, seeing its second leg play out as a road team in Tijuana’s Municipal Auditorium. Due to the earthquake and its aftershocks, the Civil Protection Ministry of Mexicali ceased all massive events within closed structures. The Bomberos look to return in 2011 with reinforcements and a competitive team that will vie for the league title. Bomberos arrived to Mexicali and reached an agreement with the Municipal Government to renovate the hardwood of the Mexicali Gymnasium and call the Silver Colossus their home.

Mexicali was also home to the now defunct franchise Calor de Mexicali (Mexicali Heat), which participated in the 2007 edition of the Pacific Coast Basketball Circuit. They played their home games at the "Gimnasio de Mexicali" located on "Avenida Reforma".

Mexicali was also home to a 2006 American Basketball Association franchise, the Centinelas de Mexicali (The Sentinels).

Football

The "Ciudad Deportiva" also houses a football stadium where the Cachanillas de Mexicali, a Mexican third division football team plays.

The home of the Pioneros del Valle, also a Mexican third division football team, is located in the Mexicali Valley.

Baseball

In addition, "Ciudad Deportiva" is the location of the "CasasGeo" stadium where the professional baseball team "Águilas de Mexicali" plays every season. The Águilas de Mexicali is a Mexican baseball team playing for the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico in Mexicali, Baja California. The team was founded on October 14, 1976. They have won the championship three times, 1985-1986 (coach Benjamin Reyes), in 1988-1989 (coach Dave Machemer), in 1998-1999 (coach Francisco Estrada). The team also won the 1986 Caribbean Series, played in Venezuela. The "Águilas de Mexicali" were formed in 1976 and have been a member of the Mexican Pacific League since. They are located in the border city of Mexicali, Baja California and have won three LMP pennants. Their brightest moment came when they won the 1986 Caribbean Series, only becoming the second Mexican team to take the title. Mexicali was the host for the Caribbean Series in 2009.

The Azules de Mexicali is a professional Mexican baseball team which plays in the North Sonora League, the main supporting league of the "LMP".

Mexicali young baseball players through the Little League program had played three times the Little league World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. First time in 1985 Felix Arce Little league representing the West of United States and 2005 and 2007 the Seguro Social Little League representing Mexicali.[36]

American football

The team plays in the newly built convention center, while local businessmen negotiate a deal for an American football team with the af2 under ownership of the Arena Football League in 2008. The owners announced they made a new team, the Mexicali Borregos Salvajes but has not officially joined af2 but could play in the Mexican Pro American Football League in games against teams from across Mexico.

Infrastructure


Transportation

Land

Mexicali is located at a Junction of major interstates and federal highways. These include Interstate 8, leading from San Diego, California to the Arizona Sun Corridor where the cities of Phoenix and Tucson dominate, Federal Highway 2, which leads east to San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora and west to Tijuana, and Federal Highway 5 connecting San Felipe with Mexicali. Other roads lead southwest to Ensenada or north to the Imperial Valley.

The road system in the city of Mexicali and its conurbation is very complex. Over the urban area long boulevards are traversed from one end of which most are 6 lanes with a median of 2 lanes. The backbone of the city is the Lazaro Cardenas Boulevard extending from east to west. This boulevard is 24.5 km long and consists of 6 lanes (3 each direction), a shoulder in each direction, and ridges of 3 lanes creating a wingspan of 50 meters. In certain sections the boulevard is made of 8 to 10 lanes. Other important boulevards include: Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Benito Juárez, Anáhuac, Justo Sierra, Venustiano Carranza, Manuel Gómez Morin, Francisco L. Montejano, Cetys, Héctor Terán Terán, Independencia and Heroico Colegio Militar, among others. There are two corridors within the city: New River Ecological Corridor, which is guided in the ancient New River bed, and the Palaco Industrial Corridor,[37] this crosses the southern Industrial zone of Mexicali. There is also the beltway, located in the east of the city, connecting the Lazaro Cardenas Blvd. with Islas Agrarias Blvd.[38] and the road to Colonia Abasolo,[39] and this in turn with the Airport Road.

Within the urban area there are vehicular bridges, like the Lázaro Cárdenas-Benito Juárez Blvds. underpass, Héctor Terán Terán-San Felipe Hwy underpass, Adolfo López Mateos-Independencia Bridge, and Lázaro Cárdenas-Adolfo Lopez Mateos Distributor. The latter has a 15-m high bridge which makes it the highest in northwestern Mexico. It was also designed with first-world seismic technology, which supports earthquakes of similar magnitude as 7.2 degrees Richter of the day April 4, 2010.

The road layout in the urban sprawl is very efficient. Many communities are portrayed by satellite imagery as rectangular while many streets are straight and wide, maintaining standard deviations with few bends.

On 6 January 2011 at a press conference, the city of Mexicali, led by Francisco José Pérez-Tejada Padilla, along with the state governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, unveiled the modernized Palaco Industrial Corridor. This project will be the largest and most expensive in the history of road infrastructure in Mexicali with an initial investment of 285 million pesos and 546 million more for the installation of the Express Line 1 (Fast Transportation bus line), with a total investment of 831 million pesos. The new Palaco Industrial Corridor began constructions in March 2011, with 6 lanes and berms at the edges that included two additional lanes to service the BRT. Its opening was planned on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

Metropolitan transit

In the past 10 years, the public transport system has greatly improved with the implementation of modern units for the convenience of users. Currently there are over 40 routes across the city and its urban area, where companies like Atusa, Getusmex, among others, offer this service. The fees for bus service marked by the Municipal Transportation System are:

  • Modern service unit with A/C: 11.00 pesos
  • Standard service unit without A/C: 6.50 pesos

Air

The city is linked to other Mexican cities by the Mexicali International Airport, which serve the city and the surrounding towns.

Sea

The proposed canal linking the Gulf of California with Mexicali, by way of Laguna Salada, would provide sea transportation to and from the Gulf from other important west coast cities and regional inland centers such as San Diego, Ensenada, and Phoenix.

View

See also

  • List of people from Mexicali

References

External links

  • Link to tables of population data from Census of 2005 INEGI: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática
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