Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31
states that constitute the United Mexican
States. Veracruz is borderd by Tamaulipas to the north, the Gulf to the east,
Tabasco to the southeast, Oaxaca and Chiapas to the south
and Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosi to the west.
With a population of 7 million
the state holds the third place in the nation.
capital is Xalapa, other
important cities include Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos and
In April 1518, Juan de Grijalva
disembarked on an islet near the shore that was called San Juan de
Ulúa. On April 22, 1519 Hernan Cortez
disembarked on Chalchihuecan beach, where he decided to found a
village and form the first colonial settlement in Mexico. That day
was Good Friday, the day of Holy Week known as the day of La
) — hence he chose the name of
La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz
It was from this base in August 1519 that Cortez
began his course of conquest inland to
, Mexico, while his
subsidiary conquistador commanders pacified other regions that
today shape the entity of Veracruz.
From this beginning, Veracruz as the entry point for conquest
became the principal point of communication and harbor between
Spain and New Spain
. From this port were
shipped many products to Europe
rice, wheat, domestic animals, gun powder, textiles, wine and all
the considerable produce from this rich colony.
During the Mexican Revolution
there was a brief occupation of the port of
from April to November 1914, as the United States
tried to prevent a shipment of arms to the forces of Victoriano Huerta
Prior to independence from Spain, there were numerous slave
rebellions throughout the Americas, including in Mexico. The first
documented slave rebellion in Mexico occurred in 1537; this was
followed by the establishment of various runaway slave settlements
called "palenques." Some rebellions were in alliance with Indians
and mestizos even as far north as Chihuahua. In 1608, Spaniards
negotiated the establishment of a free black community with Yagna,
a runaway rebel slave. Today, that community in Veracruz bears its
Veracruz is located in the east-central part of Mexico, between
17°10 and 22°38 North and between 93°55' and 98°38' West. It has a
mainland area of and includes several islands in the Gulf of Mexico
totalling a further .
borders the states of Tamaulipas to the north, Oaxaca and Chiapas to the
south, Tabasco to the
southeast, Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosí to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the east.
In the coastal plains and throughout most of the state, the climate
is hot and humid. In the foothills of the mountains, the climate is
cool and humid. The climate only becomes cold in the mountain
regions, where it also rains copiously. Veracruz is occasionally
affected by hurricanes
has a tropical climate and impressive natural scenery, such as the
Citlaltépetl Volcano (also known as Pico de Orizaba), the highest peak in the nation.
picturesque cities and towns that have preserved their local
architecture. Along the coast is the Costa Esmeralda, a
beach strip north of the port, and the archaeological zone of
Tajín, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage
capital of Veracruz is Xalapa, located in
the central western part of the state. With more than 7
million inhabitants, the state of Veracruz is the third most
populous in the nation, after the Federal District and the State of
population of 7,011,214 inhabitants, according to the National
Census of 2005 conducted by the INEGI; Veracruz de Ignacio de la
Llave has third place in the nation, only behind Mexico and Distrito Federal. Seven percent of the inhabitants reside in
the port of Veracruz and only six percent in the capital of Xalapa.
Fifty six percent of the population is less than 30 years old. Life
expectancy is similar to the national average of 71 years for men
and 76 for women.
population index of the entity does not seem affected by the 3%
that migrates to other parts of the country, or the 11 out of 1
thousand people average that migrate to the United States every year.
As for the ethnic diversity of religion, in Veracruz there are 13
indigenous cultures present, whose representatives speak mainly
nahuatl, totonaca and huasteco.
It is worth mentioning that 83% of the Veracruz population claims
as their religious
Institutions of higher education include:
The state of Veracruz is a land of many natural resources; its
inhabitants are therefore involved in agriculture, livestock
breeding and fishing. The state also has industry and tourist
The fertility of the land, the variety of climates and the
abundance of water permit the cultivation of many different crops.
Veracruz is an important producer of corn, sugarcane, banana,
mango, citrus fruits, potatoes, tobacco and other cropsVarious
animal species are also bred: cattle, pigs, goats and sheep.
Studies have shown that the improvement of cattle has led to the
increased production of milk and meat. Veracruz also produces
poultry and bees.
Since it is a national and international port, the city of Veracruz
plays an important role in the transportation of many of the
products that enter or leave Mexico. Tuxpan, Coatzacoalcos and Alvarado are characterized by great activity as internal
Industry is also crucial in Veracruz, since it is one of Mexico's
main oil producers; it is also known for its production of food,
beer and steel piping.
Veracruz produces handicrafts like articles and household goods
made from palm, vanilla figures, pottery, woolen textiles, musical
instruments and goods made from tortoiseshell.
In the pre-Hispanic era, Isla de
(Sacrifice Island) was inhabited by the Totonacs
and the Olmecs
was named Chalchihuitlapazco. It was discovered in 1518 by Juan de Grijalva
, during the exploration of
the Gulf of Mexico. One of the largest islands around Boca del Río
, this site is
surrounded by a coral reef.
was the second
settlement after "La Villa Rica de la Veracruz". It is located 25
kilometers from Veracruz City. It features the house of Hernán Cortés
. It is a small town
that holds the oldest still-standing Catholic chapel built in the
was founded by Totonacs. It is
located 198 meters above sea level between the Cazones and
El Tajín (City of Thunder) the main ceremonial center of the
Totonacs, is located near 3 miles from Papantla, a beautiful and
impressive old city where ruins and traditions are found.
Every year in February, the site hosts the Cumbre Tajín
Veracruz is also where one of Mexico's largest and best-known
is celebrated every year.
is the official and heavily
dominant language in Veracruz. Nahuatl is still
spoken and common use in some towns and zones like Zongolica, Papantla, Mixtequilla and Huayacocotla.
Northern Italian dialects
can still be heard in the
old Italian settlements of Colonia Manuel Gonzalez, Huatusco and
most areas between Xalapa and Orizaba and Cordoba, Veneto
is the main dialect along with
. In the area near Gutierrez
Zamora the first Italian settlers still retain linguistic
traditions of the Piedmontese dialect which has influenced local
Spanish. There are a very few Greek
speakers in towns near Rinconada, the "gitanos" (Gypsy).
on the region of the low San Rafael, French is predominant, due to settlers from
the Haute-Saône region in France where the towns of San Rafael,
Jicaltepec, Mentideros and other nearby towns are reminiscent of
rural France. German
used in the failed colony near Hatusco called El Mirador, where an
old Finca was. Today the descendents of these German settlers still
retain the southern Bavarian
to a minimum and keep their traditions, founded by Karl Sartorus.
Also to be mentioned: Catalan
, and more Spanish dialects that
were brought and kept by their descendants. Although some people
know essentials of English, mainly in commerce or touristic zones
of big cities, locals never use it to communicate.
Traditionally, the (Spanish) accent of Veracruz resembles Caribbean
Spanish, with a strong tendency to drop the final -S/-Z as in the
Cuban and Chilean accents.
- máh o menoh for más o menos
- conohco for conozco
- bahta for basta
- Veracru for Veracruz, etc.
Yet under the influence of the capital, this feature has weakened
among the younger generation.
The state of Veracruz is subdivided into 212 municipalities
. See municipalities of Veracruz
The municipalities are grouped into the following regions
- Huasteca Alta
- Huasteca Baja