The Bajío has repeatedly been recognized as the region with the best quality of life, the safest region, and the most dynamic in Mexico, sometimes credited that in Latin America too. Nowadays, the region is a vigorous services region that is experiencing an ongoing social and economic revitalization. It is a strong business and economic centre. The largest cities of Bajio are Guadalajara, León, Santiago de Querétaro and Aguascalientes.
History of Bajío culture
Recent archaeological studies of the Bajío have discovered an extensive, historic cultural tradition unique to the region, particularly along the flood plains of the Lerma and Laja rivers. The Bajío Culture flourished from 300 to 650CE, with cultural centers ranging from El Cóporo in the far north of Guanajuato to Plazuelas in the far south west. More than 1,400 sites have been discovered throughout the state of Guanajuato, with only the sites of Cañada de la Virgen, El Cóporo, Peralta, and Plazuelas having received extensive study. This region was also known as La Gran Chichimeca in later years. It was the epicenter of the historic Chichimeca War, the Northern Revolutionary States, and cradle of Mexican War of Independence.
In general usage, the region is usually associated with the States of Guanajuato and Querétaro, although it only forms a part of them. It is characterized by its highly mechanized agriculture, with mean precipitation in the order of 700 millimetres (28 in) per annum (one of the highest in the country). During the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the area was known as the breadbasket of the territory. As of 2014, the region produces sorghum, wheat and maize as its main crops.
The free and sovereign states of the Bajío are:
State of Aguascalientes
State of Guanajuato
|4||Santiago de Querétaro||Querétaro||801,940||1,097,025|
|8||Lagos de Moreno||Jalisco||153,817||164,212|
|9||San Juan del Río||Querétaro||138,878||402,112|
|10||Tepatitlán de Morelos||Jalisco||104,377||288,635|
The region has had an outstanding industrial and economic development in the last 15 years. The cities of Bajío has one of the highest income per capita in Mexico.
The Bajío is home to numerous World Heritage Sites, attracting investors, tourists, and migrants. World Heritage Sites:
- San Miguel de Allende
- Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco
- Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda
- Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila
- Hospicio Cabañas
- Guanajuato City
- Zacatecas City
- Querétaro City
As of early 2014, there are more than three thousand Japanese immigrants in the Bajío area, and it's claimed that this population is larger than the historical Japanese community in Mexico City. The Guanajuato government believes that by 2016 there will be five thousand families living in the area. This immigration is being driven by foreign investment in the area, especially in the automotive sector.
By the end of 2014, it is expected that there will be 100 families settled in Querétaro. In the capital of Querétaro there are 50 Japanese restaurants, 15 of which opened in 2013, mainly in the area of Juriquilla and new shopping centers. There are also talks of the Liceo Mexicano Japonés opening a campus in Querétaro. Bajío Shimbun is a monthly, Japanese-language newspaper founded in June 2015. The first Japanese consulate in Mexico was inaugurated in January 2016 in León and will serve the Bajío region. As of 2017, there were 1,143 Japanese in Aguascalientes, 43% of all foreigners in the state.
There is also a Korean community in the area that is likewise growing as a result of foreign investment. As of 2014, it was more common to see Korean students in private schools than it was to see Japanese.
High-speed rail in the Bajío
There are plans to build a high-speed rail Querétaro-Mexico City system, which would continue to Guadalajara. It would work as the main form of transportation in all the Bajío and its capital cities.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bajío.|