On Tuesday, February 14th, the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco turned 481 years old.
In 1530, Spanish conquistador Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán set out to conquer various settlements around the western Atemajac Valley.
He entered through the small community of La Barca toward Tonallan (today known as Tonalá), accompanied by 500 Spanish soldiers and 15,000 indigenous people. After a successful conquest, he named the new lands Guadalajara after his birthplace in Spain.
The city was then moved and founded again three more times over the next decade in different locations near the Atemajac Valley. Finally, on Feb. 14, 1542, Guadalajara was established one last time next to the San Juan de Dios river.
Guadalajara is nationally recognized as the place where the priest Miguel Hidalgo, father of Mexico’s independence, abolished slavery on Dec. 6, 1810. It’s also regarded as the home of one of the founders of Mexico’s muralism movement, José Clemente Orozco, whose most famous murals can be found at some of Guadalajara’s public buildings.
Today, the “Pearl of the West” (La Perla de Occidente) is home to the most important national and international events, such as literary fairs, music, and film festivals, as well as the home of important professional sports teams and companies.
The “Perla Tapatía” has also stood out for being the cradle of important talents in different disciplines, such as:
Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican engineer to go into space
Isaac Hernández, professional ballet dancer winner of a Benois de la Danse Award
Nuria Diosdado, an artistic swimmer who has competed in two Olympic Games
Guillermo del Toro, Multi-awarded, Oscar-winning famous film director and producer
Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, considered the best pound-for-pound in the world at some point in time, and the world champion in four different categories.
Lorena Ochoa: former professional golfer, first Mexican ever to play on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour (2003 to 2010)
Sergio “Checo” Perez: Considered the most outstanding Mexican Formula One racing driver ever, Red Bull Racing F1 Team.