Zacatecas Facts

Zacatecas Facts
Zacatecas is one of the thirty-two states that comprise the Estados Unidos Mexicanos, or United Mexican States. Nearly one and a half million people call the 29,000 square mile state their home, making it eighth among all Mexican states in physical size, but twenty-fifth in population. Located in north-central Mexico, Zacatecas borders eight other states and has quite a diverse topography and climate. The northern part of the state is in the Chihuahua Desert, while the south gets a bit more rainfall, yet is still arid. Zacatecas is a Nahuatl/Aztec word for "abundant grass," which reflects the regions Pre-Columbian heritage and its grasslands in the south. The region was on the periphery of the Mesoamerican Civilization before the Spanish arrived, although it was not very densely populated compared to the Central Mexican Valley. After the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century, the small native population was quickly subsumed and today Zacatecas has the smallest indigenous population in Mexico.
Interesting Zacatecas Facts:
Zacatecas City is the capital and largest city of Zacatecas. The population of the city is just over 130,000 people.
The city of Calera de Victor Rosales is the only city in the state with an international airport. It also has a freeway and railroad.
Although the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) no longer dominates the Mexican government and politics as it once did, it is still the most powerful political party in Zacatecas.
Zacatecas' economy is based on mining, which makes up about 13% of the country's Gross Domestic Product. Besides lead, zinc, and other minerals, gold and silver are heavily mined in Zacatecas. More than 50% of Mexico's domestic silver production comes from Zacatecas.
Zacatecas has been ravaged by crime in recent years, with three of its municipalities - Zacatecas, Fresnillo, and Guadalupe - making the list of Mexico's most dangerous cities. The dramatic increase in crime has largely been the result of the drug cartel wars.
There are fifty-eight municipality sub-divisions within Zacatecas.
The Tamaulipas drug cartel controls most of the illegal activity in Zacatecas.
Zacatecas was the tenth state to join Mexico on December 23, 1823.
Due to its central location, Zacatecas played a role in the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1823) and the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).
Part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain chain cuts through Zacatecas, although most of the state is plains and desert.
The state is home to a diverse rang of fauna, including deer, coyotes, wild boars, and several species of water fowl.
Approximately 40% of the state's population has migrated to the United States, although in recent years those numbers have declined. More recently, migrants from Central American nations have passed through Zacatecas on their way to the United States.
Two Pre-Columbian archaeological sites and the state's unique cultural festivals once drew many tourists, many from the United States, but the recent cartel wars and upsurge in general crime have devastated Zacatecas' tourist industry.
Zacatecas the leading Mexican state in bean, chili pepper, guava, and nopal production. Ranching and the production of other crops also play a role in the agricultural sector of the economy.

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