|I've spent a week in Guadalajara and I really enjoyed my time in that historical city. Back in Québec, we like to think and say that Quebec City (founded in 1608) is the oldest city in the Americas... well, Guadalajara was founded 66 years before that (and there were other cities of course created in Mexico even earlier)! It's currently the 2nd largest metropolitan area (with about 4.5 millions), slightly ahead of Monterrey, but WAY behind Mexico City (22 millions). It's packed with Americans some for work, but most for retirement.|
Guadalajara is the capital of the
Mexican state of Jalisco. It was officially founded in 1542, and its
vibrant with history. There are massive buildings and monuments to
remind that rich history all over the Centro (historical downtown).
I went to explore the Centro on two occasions and I was charmed by
the look of it, the richness of the history pouring out of every old
With its impressive size it's not
surprising to be able to find just about anything in the city. Since
there are many Americans in the area (in the main city itself but
also around like Chapala), we also have all the major US chains,
which are not present up North (besides the border cities of course).
The Americans are also here to manage many call centres to answer
calls for American companies, at a reduced cost for them of course.
Transportation is very easy in the city
having not only buses but also a subway system now counting two lines
that was created 20 years ago only! The cost is of 6 pesos (about
US$0.50). The only transportation problem is that the new bus
terminal is way out in the suburb of Tonala... and since the city
buses aren't convenient at all for luggages, you have to take a cab.
What brought me to Guadalajara were two
UNESCO sites. First in the Centro, you have the Hospicio Cabañas,
which is a giant multipurpose charity building. Just West of
Guadalajara you find the town of Tequila from where originates the
famous beverage, the fields and old factories are listed by the
I also had the opportunity to get in
contact with the Día de Muertos tradition. I first visited the
cemetery by day to witness the traditions then I visited it at night
to participate at an horror nightly tour of the cemetery with a
lesson on the history of the cemetery in between scares attempts by
comedians along the tour.
I've now been in Mexico for a month
already and I really begin to blend in. The initial shock is over
and I'm gradually adding Mexican food in my diet to get my body used
to the local bacterias. I especially concentrate on regional specialities. I'm feeling much better now and that allowed
me to explore more and be more adventurous... hence my initiative to
meet with locals and make interviews. I'm still revising my Spanish
to improve my skills. I'm far from being fluent... but I hope to be
much closer to be by the end of the year.