Chapala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chapala, Jalisco
Municipality and town
Chapala.jpg
Coat of arms of Chapala, Jalisco
Coat of arms
Municipality location in Jalisco
Municipality location in Jalisco
Chapala, Jalisco is located in Mexico
Chapala, Jalisco
Chapala, Jalisco
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 20°20′N 103°10′W / 20.333°N 103.167°W / 20.333; -103.167
Country  Mexico
State Jalisco
Area
 • Total 385.58 km2 (148.87 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total 43,345
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)

Chapala About this sound tʃa'pala is a city and municipality in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, located on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest freshwater lake. According to the 2005 census, its population is 43,345 for the municipality.

Geography[edit]

Chapala is 28 miles (45 km) south-southeast of Guadalajara, on Mexico Highway 44. It is located at 20°20' North, 103°10' West.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Chapala
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.0
(86)
32.0
(89.6)
34.5
(94.1)
37.0
(98.6)
39.0
(102.2)
36.5
(97.7)
35.0
(95)
36.5
(97.7)
31.0
(87.8)
33.5
(92.3)
30.0
(86)
30.0
(86)
39
(102.2)
Average high °C (°F) 22.7
(72.9)
24.4
(75.9)
27.0
(80.6)
28.9
(84)
30.3
(86.5)
28.5
(83.3)
26.2
(79.2)
26.0
(78.8)
25.7
(78.3)
25.4
(77.7)
24.5
(76.1)
22.8
(73)
26.0
(78.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.0
(62.6)
18.1
(64.6)
20.2
(68.4)
22.0
(71.6)
23.4
(74.1)
22.8
(73)
21.2
(70.2)
21.1
(70)
20.9
(69.6)
20.3
(68.5)
19.0
(66.2)
17.4
(63.3)
20.3
(68.5)
Average low °C (°F) 11.2
(52.2)
11.9
(53.4)
13.4
(56.1)
15.0
(59)
16.5
(61.7)
17.1
(62.8)
16.3
(61.3)
16.3
(61.3)
16.1
(61)
15.1
(59.2)
13.4
(56.1)
12.0
(53.6)
14.5
(58.1)
Record low °C (°F) 4.0
(39.2)
2.0
(35.6)
7.0
(44.6)
10.0
(50)
5.0
(41)
11.5
(52.7)
10.0
(50)
10.0
(50)
9.0
(48.2)
9.0
(48.2)
7.5
(45.5)
2.0
(35.6)
2
(35.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18.5
(0.728)
4.5
(0.177)
2.8
(0.11)
5.5
(0.217)
18.6
(0.732)
184.1
(7.248)
261.1
(10.28)
205.4
(8.087)
163.6
(6.441)
50.2
(1.976)
12.8
(0.504)
7.7
(0.303)
934.8
(36.803)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1.9 1.0 0.5 0.9 2.8 14.5 19.8 17.7 13.8 5.5 1.7 1.8 81.9
Source: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional[1]

History[edit]

Although there are several theories as to the origin of the city's name, the most likely is that it comes from Chapalac, the name of the last chief of the Nahuatl-speaking indigenous people of the region. Chapala became an official municipality on September 10, 1864, by decree of the Jalisco State Congress.

Culture[edit]

In the late 1940s the famous American writer Tennessee Williams settled in Chapala for a while to work in the play called The Poker Night, which later became A Streetcar Named Desire. As Williams explains in his essay "The Catastrophe of Success," Chapala offered him an ideal place to work, "a remote place among strangers where there is good swimming."

During the first world war, in 1915, Norwegian speculators intended to make Chapala a luxury resort town. A railway is to be built, with separate carriages for black and white people. In addition to the railway, the speculators will also provide two motor vessels to trafficate the lake with connections to the other small towns at the lakes borders. A first class hotel is to be built, likewise an automobile club with attached casino. An extensive dam, 8 kilometers long is to provide dry land with plots for luxury dwellings. What the shareholders in the company, "Compania di Fromento di Chapala" received, was only phographs of railway carriages and locomotives.

Since the 1960s, Chapala has been frequented by both Mexican and international tourists. Among the area's cultural attractions is mariachi music, for which the state of Jalisco is particularly known. While many fine mariachi bands have been based in Chapala, the most famous groups are based in larger cities nearby. The most famous mariachi in Mexico is Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, founded in the late 19th century in the southern Jalisco city of Tecalitlán, Jalisco, but now based in Mexico City. Although mariachi music is believed to have originated in the town of Cocula, the greatest concentration of mariachis can be found in the city of Guadalajara, located about 30 miles north of Chapala; it is considered the city that most epitomizes the external concept of Mexico propagated by the international mass media (characterized by charros, tequila, sombreros, and mariachis). A worldwide mariachi festival is held there each fall, mariachis from throughout the world (including Europe and Asia) regularly participate.

Tourism[edit]

Chapala, along with its namesake lake, is well established as a weekend getaway destination primarily for inhabitants of the city of Guadalajara. Most of the area's expatriate population (originating primarily from the United States and Canada) reside not in the city proper but in and around Ajijic, a village of approximately 5,000 inhabitants located approximately 5 miles west of Chapala. Many of these residents, stay for a long time, and try to make Chapala like "home."

Coordinates: 20°20′N 103°11′W / 20.333°N 103.183°W / 20.333; -103.183

References[edit]

  1. ^ NORMALES CLIMATOLÓGICAS 1971-2000, National Meteorological Service of Mexico. Retrieved August 4, 2012 .

External links[edit]