Tijuana Baja California
Tijuana Baja California
Many people, when asked if they have ever been to Mexico, respond that they have been to Tijuana. They went for cheap pharmaceuticals, cheap booze and clothing knock-offs before they returned to the US.
We usually recommend folks keep on driving to get the full-bodied Mexican cultural experience.
Tijuana is a diverse metropolis filled with contrasts. Deep poverty and slums clinging to cliffs while mansions, country and golf clubs cater to the wealthy and filthy rich. The highly religious and humble contrast with drug lords and criminal elements. The taco stand owner eking out a living and the multinational manufacturer eking out cheap labour and an extra buck for their stock holders.
Keep driving my friends. Go south.
By Dorothy Bell
Population: 1,700,000 people in the city, 1,900,000 in metro
Climate: Semi-arid – similar to a Mediterranean Climate with 231 mm (9.09 in) of annual precipitation falling mostly between November and March. Tijuana experiences hot summers with average highs of 26 to 28 C (77 to 82
Originally occupied by hunter gatherers called the Kuneyaay, a Yuman speaking tribe. In 1542 Europeans arrived and later mapped the coastine. Junipearo Serra founded a mission near San Diego in what was then called Alta California (Upper California).
As settlement grew the governor of the California’s awarded a large land grant (100 KMs) to Santiago Arguello which became a cattle ranch known as “Aunt Jane Ranch” or Ranch Tia Juana.
The Californias were divided after the Mexican-American War and the US took Alta California as their own. Most Spanish speaking residents stayed on the US side of the border. The city of Tijuana July 11 1889 marked the founding of the city.
In the early 1900’s Californians came across the border for day trips and short holidays. A racetrack was built in 1915 and then rebuilt after a massive flood destroyed the grounds. Durring the prohibition Tijuana attracted many US tourists with casinos and legal drinking. The Ceasar salad was invented here in the late 20’s. Spa’s, dog and horse racing, casinos and alternative living attracted Hollywood Stars and gangsters.
While Tijuana has tried to restructure its image and industry, it remains a weary wayward destination for US visitors. Its population continues to boom as Mexicans flock to the area to work in factories and fields along the border.
Shopping. Drinking. Shopping. Drinking. Shopping.
300,000 visitors cross by car or foot the Tijuana –San Ysidro border. Most tourists come to buy. Its not high culture that most are after – although there is plenty of that if you look for it. Music, dance, sports, golf and other recreation complexes abound as in any major population center.
Avenida Revolución is where you go for nightlife; Bars, dance clubs, restaurants, taco stands, and pharmacies. The drinking age limit in Mexico is 18 (compared to the US age restriction of 21) provides a magnet for young people to experience the “wild side” of the border. Zona Norte is the red-light district of the city. This area features legal prostitution for the street prostitute and strip club. Full contact strippers (touching allowed) also sell other sexual services.
Manufacturing is the main industry of the city with over 500 maquiladoras (NAFTA inspired manufacturing plants)which provide cheap labour for multi-national corporations to assemble goods. They pay approximately 100 pesos a day (well under $10US) or double the Mexican minimum wage. Industry noteables include Airbus, Bimbo, BMW, Cemex-Philips, Dell, Ford, GE, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kodak, Lanix, Matsushita/Panasonic, Microsoft, Nabisco, Pall Medical, Plantronics, Pioneer, Samsung, Sanyo, Siemens Mexico, Sony, Toyota, Volkswagen, Vizio, Vortec, , Zonda,
Tourism is also a major industry employing hundreds of thousands of employees.
From San Diego drive 38 kms south on the Interstate I-5. The highway leads directly across the border to Tijuana.
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