2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: North American Geography

Ciudad de Tijuana
Coat of Arms of the municipality of Tijuana
Motto: Aquí empieza la patria, "The Homeland Starts Here". The government translates the phrase as "Gateway to Mexico".
Date Founded July 11, 1889
Demonym Tijuanense in Spanish
Population 1,410,700 ( 2005)
Density of population 2 212 hab/km² ( 2000)
Altitude 20 metres
Latitude 32° 31' 30" N
Longitude 117° 02' W
Time Zones ( UTC) Pacific Standard Time – 8 hours (GMT)
Telephone area code 664
Website www.tijuana.gob.mx
Sources: INEGI, Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México

Tijuana (Spanish [ti'xwana], English usually [ˌtiːəˈwɑnə]), is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California and the seat of the municipality of Tijuana; the city's current mayor is Jorge Hank Rhon of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Hilly Tijuana is the westernmost city in Latin America as well as one of the northernmost cities ( Mexicali a few hours to the east by car, is slightly farther north). For this reason Tijuana is referred to as the corner of Mexico and/or Latin America. The city stands on the U.S.-Mexico border, adjacent to San Diego County, California, United States to the north. The city of Playas de Rosarito seceded from Tijuana in the year 1996 to become its own city. Although population figures are considered as official, yearly entries of large numbers of mostly-national —but also third-country transnational— migrants conform vast squatter sprawls amongst endless hills, complicating population counting.

The city's motto is "Aquí empieza la patria". The Mexican government actually translates it as "Gateway to Mexico", but the literal translation is "The homeland starts here." It is also sometimes known as the "Most visited city in the world," owing to its proximity to the world's busiest border crossing.

It is sometimes considered a mix of Mexico's good and bad: known for its economic prosperity, popular night clubs, and shopping areas, Tijuana is also considered to be Mexico's biggest illicit drug and prostitution centre, with high kidnapping rates.

Agua Caliente's towers, located on one of the city's main avenues, Boulevard Agua Caliente.
Agua Caliente's towers, located on one of the city's main avenues, Boulevard Agua Caliente.


The city of Tijuana is situated in a region once inhabited by the Kumeyaay Indians, a tribe of Yuman-speaking hunter-gatherers. Europeans first arrived in 1542, when the Portuguese explorer João Rodrigues Cabrilho toured the coastline of the area, which was later mapped in 1602 by Sebastián Viscaíno. In 1769, Father Juan Crespí documented more detailed information about the area that would one day be called the Valley of Tijuana and Father 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 100 km².

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 began to play in a new role, forming a socio-economic structure for the city.

The year 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 agreement was dated July 11 of that year. Decades later, during the second Symposium of History held in 1975, this date was recognized as the date the city was founded.

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 crossing over the border, coming to Mexico for trade and entertainment.

During the Mexican Revolution, Tijuana was also a small stage for revolutionaries loyal to Ricardo Flores Magón, who took over the city in 1911. Shortly, thereafter, federal troops arrived and routed the rebels. Being so close to the action, San Diegans could watch the battle from the safety of the international border.

In 1916, the Feria San Diego, California Panamá brought a great number of visitors to the neighboring American city to the north. Tijuana took the opportunity to attract these tourists to the other side of the border with Feria Típica Mexicana. The fair included curio shops, regional foods, thermal baths, horse racing and boxing matches. With this event, the city became universally known as a tourist destination.

The 1920s changed Tijuana forever when the enactment of prohibition in the US sent droves of Americans across the border to partake in legal drinking and gambling. Large and impressive casinos opened, like Agua Caliente in Tijuana. The Caesar Salad was invented during this period in the city in a hotel named Cesar on the now renowned Avenida Revolucion.

The international events of the following years had profound repercussions on the city. Tourism increased significantly as innumerable Americans came to Tijuana to enjoy the nightlife. In addition, the large number of Mexican citizens from all over the country began to relocate to Tijuana, tripling the population. Between 1940 and 1950 the city grew from 21,971 to 65,364 inhabitants.

In the 1950s, when nightlife and tourism began to decline, the city started to restructure its tourist industry, by promoting a more family oriented scene. Tijuana began to develop 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 Colonia Lomas Taurinas, a neighbourhood nestled in a valley near Centro. The shooter was caught and imprisoned, but doubts remain about who his paymaster might have been.

Today, the Tijuana-San Ysidro border crossing is the most crossed international land border in the world. Although tourism constitutes a large part of this movement, Tijuana and its surrounding area has become a major player in NAFTA with new maquiladoras and industrial plants.

Origin of name

Historians have investigated the origins of the name of the city of Tijuana. One legend says that it was the name of a ranch in the area, property of "Tía Juana" – Aunt Jane, although it is now shown that name comes from the Yuman Indian language from the early inhabitants. In other documents there are mentions of "La Tia Juana", "Tiguana", "Tiuana", "Teguana", "Tiwana", "Tijuan", "Ticuan", "Tijuana". Based on the Yuman language, historians have come to recognize Tijuana originating from "Tiwan", meaning close to the sea.

Nonetheless, most English-speaking Americans pronounce the name of the city Tia wanna, though it is commonly called "TJ" in Southern California.

Playas de Tijuana, Crowds gather at Tijuana's beach on a hot summer.
Playas de Tijuana, Crowds gather at Tijuana's beach on a hot summer.


Tijuana is at 32°31′N 117°01′W. This US-Mexico border city just south of San Diego, California. The adjacent city and formerly part of Tijuana is Playas de Rosarito. Because of the vast area and diverse population from all continents, Tijuana's population counts are contested, and the locals often vastly exaggerate. However, including Tecate, greater Tijuana is home to some 1.6 million people as of census 2005. If one were to consider San Diego-Tijuana as one metropolitan area, as some demographers do, the population swells to nearly 4.5 million.

Culture and entertainment


CECUT by night
CECUT by night

The city has various schools of superior studies, conservatory music, dance schools, plastic arts, science and culinary arts. Also, there is a professional and university theatre, an opera, many movie theaters, two bullrings, and diverse festivals along the year.

The Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) is comprised of a theatre, lecture rooms, video rooms, a library, exhibition hall, Museum of the Californias, a futuristic planetary movie theatre, and a restaurant. Since 1992, the CECUT has hosted the Orchestra of Baja California (OBC), it headquarters the Centre of Scenic Arts of the Northwest (CAEN) and the Hispanic-American Centre for Guitar (CHG). Since 2001, the CECUT receives an 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 a school, theatre, and public library. Dance, painting, music, plastic arts, photography and language are taught there. The city also has 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. An anthology of Tijuana's art scene, as part of the Strange New World exhibition, is being curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and will travel extensively across the USA in 2006. Art collectives like bulbo explores the use of media like television bulbo tv and print "bulbo PRESS", to show different realities of Tijuana out of México. The music of The Nortec Collective and other electronic music artists, such as Murcof, have placed Tijuana in the international eye of specialized magazines and forums in recent years.


Universities of the region include the College of the Northern Border ( COLEF), the most important social research institution in Tijuana; Baja California's Autonomous University ( UABC), the third best public University in Mexico, with Baja California's best medical and dentistry school and the second best Business Administration and International Business programs in the Republic of Mexico (and on par with most similar programs in the US); Tijuana Institute of Technology (ITT), with a strong program in engineering majors; Universidad Iberoamericana - Tijuana, the most prestigious private school in Baja California and in Mexico is the leading education institution for innovative programs; and Centre of Technical and Superior Teaching ( CETYS Universidad), One of the best universities in the state, CITEDI (Centro de Investigación en Tecnología Electrónica y Digital), a research centre focused on electronics and digital computing beloging to the Instituto Politecnico Nacional, on of the major national federal universities in México focused on technical issues;

The demand for technical jobs is high in this region. For that reason, other technically-oriented universities such as Colegio Nacional de Educacion Professional Tecnica ( CONALEP), Centro de Ensenanza Tecnica e Industrial ( CECATI), Universidad de Tijuana ( CUT) and Univer have been founded.


Avenida Revolución has many open bars, pharmacies, and curio shops, that attract many tourists. The majority of these businesses accept the US dollar and use English to conduct everyday business transactions
Avenida Revolución has many open bars, pharmacies, and curio shops, that attract many tourists. The majority of these businesses accept the US dollar and use English to conduct everyday business transactions

Tijuana's most prestigious entertainment centre is the Club Campestre de Tijuana, but the Hipodromo dog racing track would be the most notable that is open to the general public. Parque Morelos has a small zoo and big open spaces perfect for recreational activities and weekend barbeque; El Parque de la Amistad has a small pond, and a running and dirt-bike track. Parque Teniente Guerrero is a small park located downtown with a public library and weekend entertainment by clowns.

The most popular tourist attraction is Avenida Revolución. Many foreigners travel there to drink, buy prescription drugs, bootleg brand-name clothing and accessories, and Mexican curiosities. However, there are plenty of other night clubs that do not have the touristic hassle over at Plaza Fiesta, across from the Plaza Rio Mall. Locals are more likely to drink and party there without the sleaziness found on the Revolución strip.

Avenida Revolución is also famous for its nearby red-light district La Coahuila (also known casually as Zona Norte) which boasts a large number of street prostitutes, being tolerated in this portion of the city, as well as a great selection of strip clubs. The strip clubs are typically full-contact, in which the dancers will allow patrons to fondle them. The dancers also solicit their services which typically tend to be more pricey than those of the street prostitutes. About 1,200 prostitutes from all over Mexico work in La Coahuila street, making it a sex tourist destination that ranks in popularity with Amsterdam and Bangkok, according to Melissa Farley, a researcher with Prostitution Research and Education, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization.

Tijuana possesses a diversity of shopping malls, the most visited being Plaza Rio, 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 Rio also represents a common place for the people to socialize.

Typically, just about everything that can be found in the US is also available in Tijuana - for example roller skating rinks, pool halls, bowling alleys, traditional cantinas and car clubs.


The US dollar is accepted in many Tijuana businesses, but local peso rates are lower. As prices go in Mexico, Tijuana is one of the most expensive places in Mexico for goods, and it rises as you approach the US border, with some Mexicans resorting to shopping in San Diego. Tijuana is particularly famous among US youths, who cross the border in order to drink alcohol prior to their 21st birthday (Mexico's legal drinking age is 18). Tijuana makes a lot of money from medical tourism because many drugs can be bought for pennies on the dollar when compared to the US, as well as discount dental and optician work.

Due to Tijuana's proximity to large California cities and its large, inexpensive, skilled and diverse workforce, it is an attractive city for foreign companies to establish extensive industrial parks comprised of 'assembly plants' or maquiladoras, even more so than other cities in the US-Mexican border zone, taking advantage of NAFTA to export products. At its peak, in 2001 Tijuana had roughly 820 of these 'maquiladoras' (today the number is closer to 550).

Foreign and domestic companies employ thousands in these plants, usually in assembly related labor. Such jobs are demanding and ill-paid by US standards, but yet high pay for Mexico, as the nominal GDP per capita is above the national average at about $9000 per year, third only to Cancún and Mexico City (source: INEGI). This makes Tijuana a popular city for poor migrant workers from other parts of Mexico, as well as other countries to the south, and very profitable trafficking of drugs, people, and other goods across the border. Not withstanding, there are some high-tech firms and telemarketing companies that pay better than average making their way into the city, and many skilled people with technical trades and college degrees are making their way to the city to find work in the growing but less established economic sectors.

Among the companies that have setup 'maquiladoras' in Tijuana we find: Sony, Toyota, Samsung, Kodak, Matsushita/Panasonic, Nabisco, Philips, Pioneer, Plantronics, Pall Medical, Sanyo, etc.

Binational economic development along the US-Mexico border is key to the development of Tijuana going forward. Multiple regional (San Diego-US/Tijuana-MX) think-tanks exist on both sides of the border that promote such regional collaboration and innovation.


Club Sport Founded League Venue Logo
Tijuana Galgos Basketball ? Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional Auditorio Municipal Tijuana Galgos Logo
Tijuana Dragons Basketball 2003 American Basketball Association Auditorio Municipal Tijuana Drag Logo
Tijuana Potros Baseball ? Mexican League Calimax Stadium Tijuana Potros Logo
Club Tijuana Gallos de Caliente Football (Soccer) 2006 Primera División A CREAD Stadium Gallos Tijuana Logo

There are also two professional basketball teams. The Dragones de Tijuana play in the American Basketball Association against teams from the US. The team is comprised mostly of American players. Their season is during the winter months. The Galgos de Tijuana ( Greyhounds) de Tijuana play in the LNBP ( Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional) during the summer months. The team is comprised mostly of players from Mexico. Both teams play in the Auditorio Municipal.


Tijuana is well-served by bus, road, and air transportation links to all of Mexico, and to the United States via two heavily traveled border crossings.

Air Travel

The General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport is the city's airport, with ten airlines serving destinations across the nation. As of November 16, 2006, Aeromexico has introduced twice-weekly international service to Tokyo, Japan. U.S. and select Canadian destinations can be reached from the busy San Diego International Airport, located about 35 kilometers north of the international border.

Bus Travel

Mexico is served by an excellent network of bus transportation, reaching virtually all parts of the country. The city has a main Central de Autobuses, in the eastern part of the city. There is also a small terminal downtown which serves a few Mexican bus lines and US-based Greyhound Lines. Another small depot is near the border, with frequent service to Ensenada.


Tijuana is home to the world's busiest border crossing and queues to enter the U.S. can literally be hours long. However, after clearing customs and immigration formalities, Interstate 5 is a major 8-10 lane freeway to downtown San Diego, Los Angeles, and north to the Canadian border. Interstate 805 takes a more easterly route north and rejoins I-5 in the northern part of San Diego.

Two important Mexican federal highways terminate in Tijuana. Mexican Federal Highway 1 runs south through the Baja California peninsula, terminating in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. From Tijuana to Ensenada, most travelers take Highway 1-D , a four-lane, limited access toll road. Mexican Federal Highway 2 runs east for several hundred kilometers near the international border, currently as far as Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.

Driving to Tijuana from the USA

Either Interstate 5 or Interstate 805 lead directly to the international crossing at San Ysidro, California -- a community within the city limits of San Diego. To enter at the Otay crossing, leave either 5 or 805 at the exit to Route 905 and proceed to follow that highway directly to the Otay crossing. Mexican Insurance may be required to be purchased, either at the border or online. Daily insurance costs about $25 USD/day. There is ample parking in San Ysidro for travellers crossing on foot, taking a taxi or tourist bus service which is available from the large parking lot located west of the I-5 freeway. This parking lot is next to the pedestrian border crossing. From there, it is a ten minute walk to the downtown shopping and restaurant area along Avenida Revolución.

Tijuana Makes Me Happy

Tijuana has always been thought of as a hub for tourists to purge their appetite for tequila. Its reputation for violence has been blown out of proportion. The feature film Tijuana Makes Me Happy directed by Dylan Verrechia, produced by James Lefkowitz and Pablo Tendilla, with music by Pepe Mogt from Nortec Collective, shows a brighter and more realistic picture of this city. The goal in their film is to break down the preconceived notion of Tijuana as a city of sin by showing the humanity of its people: their struggle, the strength of character, and the love of life that flourishes within. It also seeks to show that Tijuana is also in its own right a melting pot rich in culture, a place where people from all over Mexico come to work and live, people who are genuine and whose stories deserve to be heard.

El Arco, a man watches Tijuana's arch located in Ave. Revolucion.
El Arco, a man watches Tijuana's arch located in Ave. Revolucion.


Mexican politician, Luis Donaldo Colosio was murdered here on March 23, 1994.

The famous battle between the Tijuana Cartel and their rival, Chihuahua-based Juárez Cartel was portrayed in the 2000 Hollywood movie Traffic.

Tijuana's International Airport ( General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport) is known for the tight approaches airplanes have to carry out, flying just over a fence before landing.

Caesar Salad was invented in Tijuana in 1924 by an Italian chef named Caesar Cardini.

About 300,000 people cross the border between San Diego and Tijuana every day.

Despite general perceptions about the economy, there are various products that are more expensive in Tijuana than in the United States. Among these are: designer clothing and perfumes, prepackaged snack foods, burnable CDs, and other common products.

In the animated TV series Futurama, Tijuana is the industrial heartland of the United States. The fictional robot Bender Bending Rodriguez was assembled here.

In the animated TV series The Simpsons Krusty the Klown takes a group of children to Tijuana in the episode Kamp Krusty. To make it up to the kids, Krusty personally drives the bus to, "the happiest place on earth... Tijuana!"

The city is mentioned in Nortec Collective's song Tijuana Makes Me Happy.

The feature film Tijuana Makes Me Happy by Dylan Verrechia, James Lefkowitz and Pablo Tendilla, depicts a brand new positive and truer image of the city of Tijuana.

From the arch hands a sign saying "Bienvenidos a Tijuana" (Welcome to Tijuana)
From the arch hands a sign saying "Bienvenidos a Tijuana" (Welcome to Tijuana)

In the movie Inside Man, Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) mentions that the last time he had "his Johnson pulled that hard", it cost him five dollars. When asked about that, he mentions "It was Tijuana. Don't ask."

One episode of the show " The OC" took place here

Retrieved from " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tijuana"