Los Altos de Jalisco
Los Altos de Jalisco
Spanish for Highlander
Los Altos de Jalisco, or the Jaliscan Highlands, are a geographic and cultural region in the eastern part of the Mexican State of Jalisco, famed as a bastion of Mexican culture, cradling traditions from Tequila production to Charrería equestrianism. Los Altos are part of the greater Bajío region of Mexico, considered to be one of safest regions with one of the highest qualities of life in Latin America
Los Altos are known for their high quality of life, for historic Mexican colonial architecture, and numerous traditional Mexican arts, primarily equestrianism, Mariachi, Tequila production, and traditional Mexican dances and festivals. The region is known as having one of the largest concentration of Mexicans of European descent in the country, primarily descended from the Criollos of Castillian, Crypto-Judaism, Galicians, Asturian, Andalusian and Basque origin settled, but also from early Portuguese settlers and later French, Irish people, and Italian immigrants, among others.
The first towns that inhabited the region were the Chichimeca nations, a name given by the Mexicas to a group of indigenous peoples who lived in the center and north of the country. 
The casualties that the Spanish conquerors had in the region due to the Chichimeca attacks led them to answer with a warlike ethnocide tactic. They took to the Altos de Jalisco, rural Castilian militiamen, who have the great majority of French descent who arrived in Castile, Spain during early of Middle Ages to repopulate the center of Spain. However, there were also Portuguese, Basques, Italians and Flemishs (natives of Flanders), who had previously fought against Turks and Moors during the Reconquista. In this way, among Europeans and Indians, the crucible of races so uncharacteristic of this region was formed. 
After the French intervention in Mexico within the early 1860s, the French forces were expelled from México under the order of General Eulogio Parra in 1866. However, some French communities stayed in the obscured areas of Los Altos, Jalisco.
Los Altos is one of the two main tequila producing regions in the state of Jalisco, the other being the municipality of Tequila, Jalisco. The main tequila producing center in the region is Arandas and the second region is Atotonilco El Alto.
The charro tradition was strong in Jalisco, to be specified in a region called Los Altos de Jalisco. In Spain, a charro is a native of the province of Salamanca, especially in the area of Alba de Tormes, Vitigudino, Ciudad Rodrigo and Ledesma. It's likely that the Mexican charro tradition derived from Spanish horsemen who came from Salamanca and settled in Los Altos de Jalisco.
Architecture of Los Altos
Many of Los Altos's older architectural structures, including entire sections of Pre-Hispanic and colonial, have been designated World Heritage sites and Pueblo Mágico for their historical, cultural, artistic significance. Lagos de Moreno is only one city in Los Altos de Jalisco on the lists of Pueblo Magico out of 121. The architecture in Los Altos are heavy influenced by European architects during the Spanish Colonial to early WWI era.
Los Altos have many shrines. San Juan de los Lagos is the second most visited pilgrimage shrine in Mexico, after the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City . The numerous shrines are important tourist attractions for the state of Jalisco:
- Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos, in San Juan de los Lagos.
- Our Lady of the Assumption, in Jalostotitlán.
- Martyred Saint Toribio Romo González, in Santa Ana de Guadalupe, municipal of Jalostotitlán.
- Martyred Blessed Anacleto González Flores in Tepatitlan de Morelos.
- Martyred Blessed Miguel Gomez Loza in San Francisco de Asis, municipal of Atotonilco el Alto.
- Martyred Saint Julio Alvarez Mendoz in San Julian, Jalisco.
- Martyred Saint Atilano Cruz-Alvarado in Teocaltiche.
- Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Atotonilco El Alto.
- Martyred Saint Pedro Esqueda Ramírez in Teocaltitán, municipal of Jalostotitlán.
- Martyred Saint Sabas Reyes Salazar in Tototlan.
- Holy Child of the Little Peanut (Santo Niño del Cacahuatito) in Mezquitic de la Magdalena in municipal of San Juan de los Lagos.
Since 1996, Los Altos has been organized administratively by the state of Jalisco into two regions, the North Highlands (Altos Norte) and the South Highlands (Altos Sur).
The North Highlands (Altos Norte) region covers 8,882 km², which represents 11% of the state's territory. The municipalities in the region are the following:
Lagos de Moreno is the municipality seat of the North Highlands. In this region, factories develop clothing, furniture, footwear, metal goods, sweets and jams. Some of the municipalities in this region have a very important livestock activity mainly in the production of dairy products.
The South Highlands (Altos Sur) region has 6,667 km², which is 5% of the state's surface. The municipalities of this region are the following:
Tepatitlán de Morelos is the municipality seat of the South Highlands. In this region is the most recent municipality of the State, San Ignacio Cerro Gordo, which was separated from Arandas. Traditionally Atotonilco el Alto, Ayotlán, Tototlán and Degollado belong to this southern zone of Los Altos. In general, the region has the production of tequila and the development of livestock, clothing, and various crafts.
- Luis Alfonso de Alba Góngora, Mexican under-secretary for Latin America in the Secretary of Foreign Relations, former Mexican Representative to the United Nations
- Ramón Muñoz Gutiérrez, Senator of Jalisco in the Mexican Senate of the Republic
- Emilio González Márquez, former Governor of Jalisco
- Pedro Moreno, general and father of the Mexican War of Independence
- Francisco Primo de Verdad y Ramos, 18th-century lawyer and politician of colonial New Spain
- Victoriano Ramírez, Mexican general of the Cristero War.
- Vicente Fox, Mexican businessman and politician who served as the 55th President of Mexico, his paternal grandmother is native to Lagos de Moreno.
- José González Gallo, Mexican lawyer and politician who served as Governor of Jalisco.
- Lola Álvarez Bravo, famed photographer, prominent figure of the post-Mexican Revolution artistic renaissance
- Juan Pablo Villalobos, author and entrepreneur
- José Rosas Moreno, 19th-century writer, fablist, and poet
- Mariano Azuela González, 19th/20th-century literary critic, novelist, and essayist
- Jorge González Camarena, Mexican painter, muralist and sculptor, his parents were originally from Arandas.
- Guillermo González Camarena, Mexican electrical engineer who was the inventor of a color-wheel type of color television, brother of Jorge.
- Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Mexican cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and served as Archbishop of Guadalajara.
- Alan Estrada, Mexican actor, dancer and singer.
- Luis Fernando Vargas, writer, analyst and journalist, has been a correspondent for events like the apostolic visit to Mexico of Benedict XVI and the political campaign of Josefina Vazquez Mota in the region, native to Tepatitilan.
- Luis Fernando Macías, professional cyclist, silver medalist at the 2009 Pan-American Road and Track Championship
- Armando Reynoso Gutiérrez, baseball player for the Mexico national team, Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame member
- Isaác Brizuela Muñoz, Mexican-American footballer for C.D. Guadalajara
- Carmelo Reyes González, former professional wrestler
- J. Paco Gonzalez, Mexican-born American Thoroughbred horse racing trainer.
- Antonio Martínez, Mexican-born American professional football player.
- Martín Vásquez, Mexican-American former professional football player and current coach.
- Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Mexican MLB player (Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox , Texas Rangers)
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