Sonora Facts

Sonora Facts
Sonora is the second largest Mexican state in terms of landmass at 69,249 square miles. Sonora is a border state with the United States, bordering primarily Arizona, but also the bootheel of New Mexico. Unlike most other Mexican-U.S. border states, there is no natural border between Sonora and the U.S., although border fortifications are in certain places along the U.S. side of the border. Sonora is known for its beautiful desert landscapes and majestic mountain peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain chain, but also for drug cartel violence in recent years. Unlike many states in central and southern Mexico, the region of Sonora was sparsely inhabited in the Pre-Columbian period and the indigenous population there is neither very large nor influential. Due to its proximity with the United States, Sonora has also been influenced more by American culture and history than other Mexican states and has a similar "cowboy" (gaucho) culture and history as in Arizona and New Mexico.
Interesting Sonora Facts:
The Colorado River flows into Mexico from Arizona, separating Sonora from Baja California.
Besides the Sierra Madre Occidental chain, which runs north-south through the eastern part of the state, Sonora has a plains region and a coastline on the Gulf of California.
The majority of Sonora has a desert or arid climate, with the higher elevations in the mountains having cooler temperatures.
Hermosillo is the capital and largest city in Sonora. It has a metro area of more than 800,000 people.
Drug cartel violence and crime in general has devastated Sonora's once lively tourist industry over the last two decades. Despite the problems, tourists still come to Sonora's beach resort locations of Puerto Penasco and San Carlos.
The formerly nation-wide dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is still powerful in Sonora: the current governor and one senator are members of the political party.
Sonora is eighteenth among all Mexican states in population with more than 2,800,000 people. Due to its large physical size, though, it is twenty-seventh in density among Mexican states.
The city of Nogales, Sonora is located on the border with Arizona. Many Mexicans cross the border legally into the United States everyday to visit family and friends and to work. Conversely, thousands of Americans visit Nogales daily for authentic Mexican food and to get good deals on different items.
Sonora became the twelfth member of the United Mexican States on January 10, 1824.
In 1854, about one quarter of Sonora was sold to the United States in the "Gadsden Purchase." The United States acquired most of what is today southern Arizona, including Yuma and Tucson, and the bootheel of New Mexico. The U.S. wanted the land south of the Gila River to allow American railroads to build lines to southern California.
Despite its arid climate, agriculture comprised the most important sector of Sonora's economy. Modern irrigation equipment allows ranchers and farmers to water fields and the long growing seasons mean that more crops can be grown. Sonora is also known for its livestock, especially large cattle ranches.

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