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Querétaro officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Querétaro de Arteaga (Free and Sovereign State of Queretaro de Arteaga) is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. It is divided into 18 municipalities
Municipalities of Querétaro
The Mexican state of Querétarois made up of 18 municipalities :-External links:* **...

 and its capital city is Santiago de Querétaro.

It is located in North-Central Mexico
North-Central Mexico
North-Central Mexico is a region of Mexico consisting of five of the United Mexican States: Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas. It is a region with many colonial-style buildings and a wide variety of landscapes, from the mountains of Zacatecas and Guanajuato, la...

, in a region known as el Bajío
Bajío
The Bajío is a region of Central Mexico that includes the plains south of the Sierra de Guanajuato, in the state of Guanajuato, as well as parts of the states of Querétaro and Michoacán .In general parlance, it is usually associated with the States of Guanajuato and Querétaro, although it only...

. It is bordered by the states of San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí officially Estado Libre y Soberano de San Luis Potosí is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is San Luis Potosí....

 to the north, Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

 to the west, Hidalgo to the east, México to the southeast and Michoacán
Michoacán
Michoacán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Michoacán de Ocampo is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia...

 to the southwest.

The state is one of the smallest in Mexico, but it is also one of the most heterogeneous geographically, with ecosystems varying from deserts to tropical rainforest, especially in the Sierra Gorda
Sierra Gorda
The Sierra Gorda is an ecological region centered on the northern third of the state of Querétaro and extending into the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí...

, which is filled with micro ecosystems. The area of the state was located on the northern edge of Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

, with both the P’urhépecha and Aztec Empires having influence in the extreme south, but neither really dominated it. The area, especially the Sierra Gorda, had a number of small city states in but by the time the Spanish arrived, these had all been abandoned, with only small agricultural villages and semi nomadic peoples inhabiting the area. Spanish conquest was focused on the establishment of the Santiago de Querétaro, which still dominates the state culturally, economically and educationally.

Geography, climate and ecology



Querétaro is located in the north-central area of the country of Mexico, connecting the wetter climes of the south with the drier deserts of the north. The state is divided into eighteen municipalities: Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

, Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco, Querétaro
Arroyo Seco is a town and municipality located in the far north of the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its territory is part of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve of Querétaro. The municipality is centered on the small town of Arroyo Seco, which was established as a military outpost then given town...

, Cadereyta de Montes
Cadereyta de Montes
Cadereyta de Montes is the largest municipality by area in the state of Querétaro, Mexico. Its seat was founded in 1640, and it received its current name in 1642 to honor Viceroy Don Lope Diez de Armendáriz, Marquis of Cadereyta...

, Colón
Colón, Querétaro
Colón is a town in Colón Municipality of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It is the only one in the country named after Christopher Columbus . It's the state's third largest municipality, with 815 square kilometers. Its mean altitude is 1900 meters above sea level...

, Corregidora, El Marqués, Ezequiel Montes
Ezequiel Montes, Querétaro
Ezequiel Montes is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its seat is the town of the same name, founded in 1861 by Julián Velázquez Feregrino. Its original name was Corral Blanco....

, Huimilpan
Huimilpan
Huimilpan is the seat of Huimilpan Municipality of the state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Queretana, and sometimes included in the Metropolitan Area of Querétaro. It has an alpine weather, and is home to the Otomí people....

, Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

, Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros is a town and municipality located in the northwest of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region, which consists of rugged mountains, canyons and wide diversity of flora and fauna, with the municipality's flora representing about 25% of all...

, Pedro Escobedo, Peñamiller
Peñamiller
Peñamiller is a town and municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region with about eighty percent of the territory belonging to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere of Querétaro. The municipality is on the southwest side of the Sierra Gorda, the highest mountains of...

, Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region which stretches over northern Querétaro into Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí, with 88% of the municipality’s land part of the Sierra Gorda...

, Querétaro, San Joaquín
San Joaquín, Querétaro
San Joaquín is the seat of San Joaquín Municipality, Querétaro in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is one of the coldest areas in the state, and is home to numerous apple orchards. The National Huapango Contest takes place in town each year....

, San Juan del Río
San Juan del Río
N20 23 23 W99 59 49San Juan del Río is a city and administrative seat of the surrounding San Juan del Río Municipality in the central Mexican state of Querétaro. The population in July, 2007 is calculated in 128,270 for the city and 217,980 for the municipality.The city and municipality both rank...

, Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

 and Tolimán
Tolimán, Querétaro
Tolimán is the seat of Tolimán Municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word “tolimani”, meaning “place where the tule tree is picked up”. Its seat is the homonymous town.See also, Gudiños...

.

Three of Mexico’s geographic zones cover parts of the state. The Mesa del Centro is in the center-west of the state, and mostly consists of small mesa
Mesa
A mesa or table mountain is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape....

s with an average altitude of 2,000 masl. A few elevations reach over 3,000masl. The Sierra Madre Oriental
Sierra Madre Oriental
The Sierra Madre Oriental is a mountain range in northeastern Mexico.-Setting:Spanning the Sierra Madre Oriental runs from Coahuila south through Nuevo León, southwest Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, and Hidalgo to northern Puebla, where it joins with the east-west running Eje Volcánico...

 occupies the northeast of the state and includes the dog cities of Huasteca area. The topography of this area is rugged with long mountain chains and narrow valleys. Elevations here range between 900 masl and 3,000 masl. The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt
Trans-Mexican volcanic belt
The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt also known as the Transvolcanic Belt and locally as the Sierra Nevada , is a volcanic belt that extends 900 km from west to east across central-southern Mexico...

 occupies about half of the state in the center and south. The area is mostly volcanic rock with peaks and mesas between 2,000 and 3,000 masl and valleys between 1,800 and 1,900 masl.

The state is divided into five geographical regions: The Sierra Gorda
Sierra Gorda
The Sierra Gorda is an ecological region centered on the northern third of the state of Querétaro and extending into the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí...

, El Semidesierto Queretano, Los Valles Centrales, El Bajío Queretano
Bajío
The Bajío is a region of Central Mexico that includes the plains south of the Sierra de Guanajuato, in the state of Guanajuato, as well as parts of the states of Querétaro and Michoacán .In general parlance, it is usually associated with the States of Guanajuato and Querétaro, although it only...

 and La Sierra Queretana. The Sierra Gorda is located in the north of the state and is part of the Sierra Madre Oriental, specifically in a sub-province called the Huasteco Karst
KARST
Kilometer-square Area Radio Synthesis Telescope is a Chinese telescope project to which FAST is a forerunner. KARST is a set of large spherical reflectors on karst landforms, which are bowlshaped limestone sinkholes named after the Kras region in Slovenia and Northern Italy. It will consist of...

. It is found in the municipalities of Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco, Querétaro
Arroyo Seco is a town and municipality located in the far north of the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its territory is part of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve of Querétaro. The municipality is centered on the small town of Arroyo Seco, which was established as a military outpost then given town...

, Jalpan de Serra, Landa de Matamoros, Pinal de Amoles and San Joaquín and covers an area of 3,789km2 or 32.2% of the state. The topography is rugged with high elevations and steep valleys. It is a conjunction of mountains and hills formed mostly by limestone with wide contrasts in climates and vegetation. They range from near desert conditions to forests of pine and holm oak
Holm Oak
Quercus ilex, the Holm Oak or Holly Oak is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly...

 to the tropical rainforests of the Huasteca area in the state of San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí officially Estado Libre y Soberano de San Luis Potosí is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is San Luis Potosí....

. The Sierra Gorda was made a biosphere reserve in 1997 with the name of the Reserva de la Biosfera de la Sierra Gorda in order to protect its abundance of species and ecosystems. In 2001, the area was registered with the Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO. This area is managed by la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources
Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources
The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources is Mexico's environment ministry. Its head, the Secretary of the Environment, is a member of the federal executive cabinet and is appointed by the President of the Republic...

 federal agency.

El Semidesierto Queretano (Querétaro Semi-desert) is a wide strip that crosses the state from east to west, which is dry due to the blocking of moist air from the Gulf by the Sierra Madre Oriental
Sierra Madre Oriental
The Sierra Madre Oriental is a mountain range in northeastern Mexico.-Setting:Spanning the Sierra Madre Oriental runs from Coahuila south through Nuevo León, southwest Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, and Hidalgo to northern Puebla, where it joins with the east-west running Eje Volcánico...

. The area is found in the municipalities of Cadereyta de Montes
Cadereyta de Montes
Cadereyta de Montes is the largest municipality by area in the state of Querétaro, Mexico. Its seat was founded in 1640, and it received its current name in 1642 to honor Viceroy Don Lope Diez de Armendáriz, Marquis of Cadereyta...

, Colón
Colón, Querétaro
Colón is a town in Colón Municipality of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It is the only one in the country named after Christopher Columbus . It's the state's third largest municipality, with 815 square kilometers. Its mean altitude is 1900 meters above sea level...

, Peñamiller
Peñamiller
Peñamiller is a town and municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region with about eighty percent of the territory belonging to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere of Querétaro. The municipality is on the southwest side of the Sierra Gorda, the highest mountains of...

 and Tolimán
Tolimán, Querétaro
Tolimán is the seat of Tolimán Municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word “tolimani”, meaning “place where the tule tree is picked up”. Its seat is the homonymous town.See also, Gudiños...

, with an area of 3,415.6km2 or 29% of the state. As it is near the mountain range, its topography is relatively rugged. Los Valles Centrales (Central Valleys) is in the center of the state, overlapping almost all of the area formed by the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt
Trans-Mexican volcanic belt
The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt also known as the Transvolcanic Belt and locally as the Sierra Nevada , is a volcanic belt that extends 900 km from west to east across central-southern Mexico...

, with the exception of the north of the El Marqués municipality, which is in the Mesa del Centro. The continental divide
Continental divide
A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea...

 runs through here marked by the Sierra Queretana, the El Macizo and El Zamoarano mountain chains. This area occupies the municipalities of Ezequiel Montes
Ezequiel Montes, Querétaro
Ezequiel Montes is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its seat is the town of the same name, founded in 1861 by Julián Velázquez Feregrino. Its original name was Corral Blanco....

, El Marqués, Pedro Escobedo and San Juan del Río with an extension of 2,480.2kmw or 21.1% of the state. El Bajío Queretano is in the western part of the state, which is a low elevation area that extends into neighboring Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

. This area contains low hills and small mountain chains which is part of the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt. This area covers 1,005.7km2 or 8.5% of the state. La Sierra Queretana (Querétaro Sierra Mountains) is in the extreme south of the state, and also part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. It is mostly found in the municipalities of Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

 and Huimilpan
Huimilpan
Huimilpan is the seat of Huimilpan Municipality of the state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Queretana, and sometimes included in the Metropolitan Area of Querétaro. It has an alpine weather, and is home to the Otomí people....

, covering an area of 1,078.3 km or 9.2% of the state. The area has high peaks and plains which narrow valleys and canyons. Some of the flat areas border the Lerma River
Lerma River
The Lerma Santiago River is Mexico's second longest river. It is a river in west-central Mexico that begins in Mexican Plateau at an altitude over above sea level, and ends where it empties into Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest lake, near Guadalajara, Jalisco...

.

The state belongs to two river basins: the Lerma/Santiago and the Pánuco
Pánuco River
The Pánuco River is a river in Mexico that flows from the River Moctezuma in the Valley of Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico.At its source, it serves as a channel for water-drainage for Mexico City. From there, it becomes the state border between Hidalgo and Querétaro as it moves towards San Luis...

. The first is represented by the Lerma and La Laja Rivers and the second is represented by the Tamuín and Moctezuma River
Moctezuma River
-References:*Atlas of Mexico, 1975 .*The Prentice Hall American World Atlas, 1984.*Rand McNally, The New International Atlas, 1993....

s. Other important rivers include the Santa María and the San Juan. These rivers contain a sixteen dams including the Santa Catarina, El Batán, Constitution de 1917 and the San Ildefonso.

Most of the state is dry, with the exception of the north, which is temperate and rainy. Average temperature is 18C. There are three well-defined climate areas in the state. The south has a temperate and fairly wet climate. Temperatures are relatively stable through the year ranged from an average of between 12 and 18C, with most rain falling in the summer. This region includes the municipalities of Amealco, Huimilpan, Pedro Escobedo, San Juan del Río and Corregidora. The center and west have drier and hotter climates, especially in areas under 2,000 masl. Here the Sierra Madre Oriental and parts of the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt impide moist air from arriving. This dry area includes the municipalities of Querétaro, Corregidora, El Marqués, Peñamiller, Esequiel Montes, Cadereyta, San Juan del Río, Tolimán and Tequisquiapan. Sierra Madre Oriental area has climates that range from temperate to cold. Temperatures vary significantly from north to south and even more due to altitude. The north tends to be warmer than the south, but average temperatures can range from 18C to 28C in lower elevationa nd between 14 and 20C in higher elevations.

The state’s ecosystems have eighteen different classifications ranging from tropical rainforest to arid scrub brush. Deciduous rainforest is found in parts of the north, center and west of the state such as Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

, Arroyo Seco and Landa de Matamoros. Small deciduous forests are found in Jalpan de Serra and Landa de Matamoros. Oyamel forests are found in the highest elevations of El Zamorano in the municipalities of El Marqués and Colón. Pure pine forests are found in Cadereyta de Montes, Pinal de Amoles, San Joaquín
San Joaquín, Querétaro
San Joaquín is the seat of San Joaquín Municipality, Querétaro in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is one of the coldest areas in the state, and is home to numerous apple orchards. The National Huapango Contest takes place in town each year....

 and Landa de Matamoros. Mixed pine and holm oak
Holm Oak
Quercus ilex, the Holm Oak or Holly Oak is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly...

 forests are found in the Sierra de El Zamorano and the El Lobo region, opposite the Sierra Madre Oriental. Deciduous oak forests are found in the municipalities of Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

, Landa de Matamoros, El Marqués, and a number of others, but only at altitudes of between 1,600 and 2,800 masl. Juniper and cedar forests are found in Pinal de Amoles, Landa de Matamoros, San Joaquín and Cadereyta de Montes at altitudes of between 1,390 and 2,500 masl, generally on low hills. Mesquite forests are scarce given that they tend to grow on land suitable for agriculture but some can still be found in Pedro Escobedo, San Juan del Río, Cadereyta de Montes and other municipalities. There are two types of grasslands, those which contain some trees and those which do not. The latter is much more common and found in various parts of the south of the state. Grasslands dotted with trees are found only in the municipality of Querétaro. The other five ecosystems are dominated by various types of arid scrub brush, ranging from those dominated by thorns, without thorns and intermixed with various types of cactus.

The Cerro del Cimatario which is found on the borders of the municipalities of Corregidora, Querétaro and El Marqués has been declared a national park and biosphere reserve due to its forests.

Quakes are not uncommon in the state and there are monitoring stations in Peñamiller, Extoraz, Peña Blanca and ten in the Sierra Gorda including Jalpan de Serra, Landa de Matamoros, Arroyo Seco, Pinal de Amoles and San Joaquín. More are planned for Tolimán and Cadereyta. In January 2011, there were about seventy small quakes causing some damage in the Peñamiller area, in the north of the state. This has caused a certain amount of panic in the area has the tremblers continue with an average strength of 3.5 on the Richter scale. This is not normal for this area. There is belief that the quakes are related to mining in the area, but the government denies this.

Demographics


As of 2005, the state had a population of 1,598,139 and a population density of 137 inhabitants per square kilometer. Over the 20th century, from 1900 to 2005, the state’s population has grown from 232,389 to the current figure. Growth rates were highest in the 1970s at over 4% but since then, it has come down to 1.9%. The fastest rates of population growth in the state now are in Querétaro and San Juan del Río at about 4%. Two, Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco, Querétaro
Arroyo Seco is a town and municipality located in the far north of the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its territory is part of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve of Querétaro. The municipality is centered on the small town of Arroyo Seco, which was established as a military outpost then given town...

 and Peñamiller
Peñamiller
Peñamiller is a town and municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region with about eighty percent of the territory belonging to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere of Querétaro. The municipality is on the southwest side of the Sierra Gorda, the highest mountains of...

, have lost population in the previous decades. The capital city of Santiago de Querétaro has nearly half of the state’s population. Other major cities include San Juan del Río (208,462) Corregidora (104,218) El Marqués (79,743) and Cadereyta de Montes
Cadereyta de Montes
Cadereyta de Montes is the largest municipality by area in the state of Querétaro, Mexico. Its seat was founded in 1640, and it received its current name in 1642 to honor Viceroy Don Lope Diez de Armendáriz, Marquis of Cadereyta...

 (57,204). About 37% lives in the 1420 communities with between 1 and 1,999 inhabitants, and 16% in communities of between 2,000 and 14,999. The population of the state is sparse in most areas, concentrated in only one true urban center and some smaller communities. Living standards are higher than average for Mexico in and around the city of Querétaro, but diminish significantly in the rural areas.

One important factor in the population growth has been migration into the state from other parts of Mexico due to the state’s industry, low crime rate and other factors. One recent phenomenon has been the influx of families from northern border states migrating south to escape drug-related violence. It is estimated that 49 new families move into the state every 24 hours on average. This has made attendance at private universities climb 11% especially at ITESM-Querétaro, Universidad Anáhuac and the Universidad del Valle de México
Universidad del Valle de México
The Universidad del Valle de México or UVM is a private Mexican university founded in Mexico City in the year 1960. UVM enrolls students at several campuses throughout Mexico, and it holds accreditations from the Mexican Department of Education, COPAES accrediting board, and FIMPES...

. Most of the families are moving to the area in and around the capital.

Over 96% of the population is Catholic, with very small percentages reporting as Protestant or Evangelical. The state is not culturally or socially homogenous. The first large distinction is between those who live in the mountains and those who live in the valleys. Those in the mountains are closer culturally to those living on the Gulf coast, with the latter have more in common with cultures found in the west of Mexico and the central highlands
Mexican Plateau
The Central Mexican Plateau, also known as the Mexican Altiplano or Altiplanicie Mexicana, is a large arid-to-semiarid plateau that occupies much of northern and central Mexico...

 .

There are indigenous communities in seven of the eighteen municipalities of the state, mostly Otomi
Otomi people
The Otomi people . Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.One of...

 and Pame
Pame
The Pame are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. They call themselves Xi'úi. They speak the Pame language, which belongs to the Oto-Pamean group of the Oto-Manguean language family....

. These communities are divided into three regions: South, Arid Center and Sierra Madre Oriental, with the Otomis dominating in the first two and the Pames in the last. The most important indigenous group in the state is the Otomi. These people have inhabited central Mexico for over 5,000 years and were part of cities and empires such as Cuicuilco
Cuicuilco
Cuicuilco is an important archaeological Mesoamerican Middle and Late Formative period site located on the southern shore of the Lake Texcoco in the southeastern Valley of Mexico. Today, it is a significant archaeological site that was occupied during the Early Formative until its destruction in...

, Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

 and Tula
Tula, Hidalgo
Tula, formally, Tula de Allende, is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 305.8 km² , and as of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 93,296, with 28,432 in the town...

. Their language is part of the Oto-mangueana family
Oto-Manguean languages
Oto-Manguean languages are a large family comprising several families of Native American languages. All of the Oto-Manguean languages that are now spoken are indigenous to Mexico, but the Manguean branch of the family, which is now extinct, was spoken as far south as Nicaragua and Costa Rica.The...

, which includes Pame, Mazahua
Mazahua language
The Mazahua language is an indigenous language of Mexico, spoken in the country's central states by the ethnic group widely known as the Mazahua but who refer to themselves as Hñatho. Mazahua is a Mesoamerican language and shows many of the traits which define the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area...

, Matlatzinca
Matlatzinca language
The Matlatzinca language, also called Tlahuica or Ocuiltec, is an indigenous language of Mexico spoken by the Matlatzinca people in the southern part of the State of Mexico. It is an Oto-Manguean language of the Oto-Pamean subgroup...

 and the Chichimeca-Jonaz
Chichimeca Jonaz language
Chichimeca or Chichimeca Jonaz is an indigenous language of Mexico spoken by around 200 Chichimeca Jonaz people in Misión de Chichimecas near San Luis de la Paz in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. The Chichimeca Jonaz language belongs to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean linguistic family...

 languages. They have maintained their language, which is called hñahñu, which literally means to speak with nasal sounds. However, most Otomi speakers are bilingual. Their name for themselves varies in the different areas of central Mexico in which they live, but in southern part of Querétaro they call themselves the Ñano. Otomi communities in the state have their own authorities, in addition to Mexican ones, in both the civil and religious arenas, which are elected annually. Most profess the Catholic faith but it is influenced by indigenous beliefs. The trading of goods is still an important part of the economy of many Otomi communities, and they are known for their abilities with herbal medicines. A number who live in rural areas can still be seen in traditional dress. For women, this includes a hand-embroidered blouse and skirt, a garment called a quexquemetl and huaraches
Huarache (shoe)
Huaraches are a type of Mexican sandal.Huaraches are pre-Columbian in origin, and are made from woven leather. The leather is traditionally hand-woven. The name "Huarache" is derived from the P'urhépecha language term kwarachi...

. For men, this includes shirts and pants of undyed or white cotton, tied with an embroidered belt, huaraches and a hat made with palm fronds. These communities are located in south in Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

. Here there are over 25,000 people in thirty one communities such as San Ildefonso, Tultepec, Santiago Mexquititlán, Chitejé de la Cruz and San Miguel Tlaxcatltepec. In the arid parts of the center of the state indigenous communities are found in the municipalities of Tolimán
Tolimán, Querétaro
Tolimán is the seat of Tolimán Municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word “tolimani”, meaning “place where the tule tree is picked up”. Its seat is the homonymous town.See also, Gudiños...

, Cadereyta, Colón
Colón, Querétaro
Colón is a town in Colón Municipality of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It is the only one in the country named after Christopher Columbus . It's the state's third largest municipality, with 815 square kilometers. Its mean altitude is 1900 meters above sea level...

 and Ezequiel Montes
Ezequiel Montes, Querétaro
Ezequiel Montes is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its seat is the town of the same name, founded in 1861 by Julián Velázquez Feregrino. Its original name was Corral Blanco....

. There are about 21,500 Otomis in fifty six different communities. In the Sierra Madre Oriental, about 3,775 people, mostly Pame with an important group of Huastecas are found in three communities in the municipalities of Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

 and Arroyo Seco. However, of all the people in these indigenous communities, only a total of 23,363 spoke an indigenous language, primarily Otomi, as of 2005. 94.8% of these were also speakers of Spanish.

Culture



Western painting developed in the state during the colonial period, when artists such as Pedro de Rojas López, Tomás Noriega and Diego Sanabria produced primarily religious art. More diverse production came into being in the 19th century forward José Mariano Perrusquia y Rubio, Mariano Montenegro and Germán Patiño Díaz produced paintings and even photography. Patiño Díaz was the director of the old Academia de Dibujo y Pintura de San Fernando, which trained more artists in the state such as Agustín Rivera Ugalde. The 20th century produced artists such as Braulio Rodríguez Granda, Jesús Rodríguez de la Vega, Jesús Águila Herrera and Restituto Rodríguez Camacho. The current generation of Querétaro artists includes Rafael Rodríguez
Rafael Rodriguez
Rafael Rodriguez is a retired light middleweight professional boxer from Minneapolis, Minnesota.-Personal life:Rafael Rodriguez is a member of Minnesota's illustrious Rodriguez family of boxers: Bobby, Kenny, Rudy, all of whom fought as professionals; brother John, who fought only as an amateur,...

, Virginia Ledesma, Ramsés de la Cruz and Juan Eduardo Muñoz .

The state has produced a large number of writers. Major writers from the 19th century include poet and journalist Juan María Wenceslao Sánchez de la Barquera y Morales, poet and short story writer Néstora Téllez Rendón, poet and orator Celestino Díaz Domínguez, journalist and playwright Luis Frías Hernández, writer and doctor Hilarión Frías y Soto and poet and academic Juan B. Delgado. The early 20th century produced poet and translator Francisco Cervantes, arguably the most important literary figure from Querétaro internationally; poet and journalist José Dolores Frías Rodríguez, songwriter Carlos Cabrera Pedraza, novelist Alfredo Coéllar Gómez and poet Carlos Septién García. The current generation of writers includes poets Román Luján, Luis Alberto Arellano, Benjamín Moreno, César Cano and Tadeus Argüeyo.

Indigenous music can be found in Otomi areas such as a in the municipalities of Amealco
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

 and the arid central areas of the state. Often this includes trios consisting of two flutes or two violins with a drum, most often played for community celebrations. The Otomi of Tolimán
Tolimán, Querétaro
Tolimán is the seat of Tolimán Municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word “tolimani”, meaning “place where the tule tree is picked up”. Its seat is the homonymous town.See also, Gudiños...

 have a variant of Otomi music called “viñuetes” which is played with one large drum, one small drum and a violin. Huapango
Huapango
Huapango is a corruption of the Nahuatl word huapanco that textually means on top of the wood platform according to the dictionary of the Real Academia Española . Today huapango refers to a musical style that originated in and is played throughout the La Huasteca region in Mexico...

 is a dominant musical form in the Sierra Gorda and some of the arid areas of the center of the state. Two types are generally played: Huasteco and Arribeño. Huasteco is played in trios with two guitars called “huapanguera
Huapanguera
The guitarra quinta huapanguera or guitarra huapanguera is a Mexican guitar-like instrument that usually forms part of a conjunto huasteco ensemble, along with the jarana huasteca guitar and violin. Here it takes on the role of the bass instrument using a rhythmical strumming technique. Its...

” and the smaller “jarana huasteca
Jarana huasteca
The jarana huasteca, jarana de son huasteco or jarana is a string instrument.It is a guitar-like chordophone with 5 strings. It is smaller than the guitarra huapanguera and usually forms part of the trio huasteco ensemble, along with the quinta huapanguera and violin, taking on the role of the...

” and a violin. The songs consist of stanzas of four to six verses sung in falsetto often with improvisation. The Arribeño is most common in the mountains areas bordering the states of San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí officially Estado Libre y Soberano de San Luis Potosí is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is San Luis Potosí....

 and Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

. It is played in groups of four with a “huapanguera,” a vihuela
Vihuela
Vihuela is a name given to two different guitar-like string instruments: one from 15th and 16th century Spain, usually with 12 paired strings, and the other, the Mexican vihuela, from 19th century Mexico with five strings and typically played in Mariachi bands.-History:The vihuela, as it was known...

 and two violins. Lyrics tend to be poetic and sung from memory or improvised. Some are religious in nature. There used to be another indigenous form of music called “comesolos” played with a flute and drum but this has almost completely died out. In the mountain village of San Joaquín
San Joaquín, Querétaro
San Joaquín is the seat of San Joaquín Municipality, Querétaro in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is one of the coldest areas in the state, and is home to numerous apple orchards. The National Huapango Contest takes place in town each year....

 in April is the Concurso Nacional de Huapango Huasteco (National Huasteca Huapango Contest) . This event attracts thousands of visitors and participants each year, as it is the most important Huapango contests in the country.

Most traditional festivals are tied to the Catholic religion, with some of the most important being Candlemas, Holy Week and Day of the Dead. Locally important are the myriad of festival to patron saints of towns, villages and municipalities. In addition, there are a number of civic and economic festivals and fairs, which include celebrations of the founding of the various cities, regional fairs in Cadereyta, El Marqués, Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

 and others to showcase local products and culture.

México Folklórico is a dance group created in 1990 within the Academia de la Cultura of the state teachers’ union. It consists of teachers’ children who are studying high school or above as a extracurricular activity. Its repertoire includes dances and other traditions from various parts of Mexico. It has performed in many parts of Mexico as well as in the Americas and Europe.

The cooking of the Sierra Gorda region is strongly influenced by the Huasteca cuisine of neighboring Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí states. One notable dish is sacahuil, which is a large tamale wrapped in the leaves of a plant called a “papatla”. This dish is most prevalent in Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros is a town and municipality located in the northwest of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region, which consists of rugged mountains, canyons and wide diversity of flora and fauna, with the municipality's flora representing about 25% of all...

 and Jalpan de Serra. During festivals in San Miguel Tolimán, the main dish is chickpeas with saffron accompanied by tortillas in a number of colores. In Peñamiller
Peñamiller
Peñamiller is a town and municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region with about eighty percent of the territory belonging to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere of Querétaro. The municipality is on the southwest side of the Sierra Gorda, the highest mountains of...

, they celebrate with goat meat, accompanied by pulque
Pulque
Pulque, or octli, is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, and is a traditional native beverage of Mexico. The drink’s history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, and its use was limited to...

. Another common dish in this areas is a variety of tostadas called “arriero” (donkey handler) . Simichol is a fermented corn drink prepared in Santiago Mexquititlán. In San Joaquín, the drink is called charape, made with piloncillo. In this and other central municipalities, gordita
Gordita
A gordita in Mexican cuisine is a corn cake made with masa harina and stuffed with cheese, meat or other fillings. It is similar to a pasty and to the Colombian/Venezuelan arepa. Gordita means "little fat one" in Spanish. A gordita is typically fried in a deep wok-shaped comal or baked on a...

s de migajas (literally crumb gorditas) is a common dish.

Traditional food products include a candy made of guava fruit and sugar, jams, and sweets made from pulque, milk candies from Bernal, a hard bread called mezquitamal, which is made by the Otomis and various types of mole sauces made in Amealco. In the Sierra Gorda area, gorditas can be prepared with sugar, cheese, and piloncillo. There is also a type of tamale
Tamale
A tamale — or more correctly tamal — is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa , which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating...

 called a zacahuil, which is large and filled with chicken, turkey or pork with dried chili pepper. There are a number of insects used, especially in indigenous dishes such as tantárreas (ants from a type of mesquite tree) and escamoles
Escamoles
Escamoles are the larvae of ants of the genus Liometopum, harvested from the roots of the agave or maguey plant in Mexico. In some forms of Mexican cuisine, escamoles are considered a delicacy and are sometimes referred to as "insect caviar"...

, often cooked with cactus flowers. One native beverage is called mejengue, with is made with piloncillo, banana, pulque and corn.

History


The official name of the state is “Estado Libre y Soberano de Querétaro de Arteaga” (Free and Sovereign State of Querétaro de Arteaga). The formal name of the capital is Santiago de Querétaro. However, both are commonly referred to simply as Querétaro. The most likely origin of the name is from the P’urhépecha word “Crettaro” which means “place with crags.” However, there have been other explanations of the name including that it comes from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 and means Mesoamerican ball court. The city received the title of Noble y Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Querétaro in 1656, but after Independence, it was changed to simply Querétaro. It was returned to Santiago de Querétaro in 1996, when it was named a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. The ending of “de Arteaga” was added to the state’s name in 1867 in honor of General José María Cayetano Arteaga Magallanes. Originally from Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Arteaga became governor of Querétaro and distinguished himself as a soldier in the middle of the 19th century.

Agricultural settlements dated to about 500 BCE have been found in the San Juan del Río and Huimilpan
Huimilpan
Huimilpan is the seat of Huimilpan Municipality of the state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Queretana, and sometimes included in the Metropolitan Area of Querétaro. It has an alpine weather, and is home to the Otomí people....

 area, which was during the Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

 era. The ancient city had interest and influence in the area because of its agriculture but did not dominate it. After the fall of this city, the Querétero area had its highest rate of development of both agriculture and social structure. The area was inhabited early on by a number of ethnicities including the Otomi
Otomi people
The Otomi people . Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.One of...

, Toltec
Toltec
The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology...

s, Chichimeca
Chichimeca
Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico and southwestern United States, and carried the same sense as the European term "barbarian"...

s, P’urhépechas and Mexica
Mexica
The Mexica were a pre-Columbian people of central Mexico.Mexica may also refer to:*Mexica , a board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling*Mexica , a 2005 novel by Norman Spinrad...

s. In the 10th century, the area experience population shifts which did not stabilize until the 12th century. Much of this migration moved south from the Querétaro area into the Valley of Mexico
Valley of Mexico
The Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with the present-day Distrito Federal and the eastern half of the State of Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the Valley of Mexico was a centre for several pre-Columbian civilizations, including...

. Those who remained by the end of the 12th century were mostly in hunter-gatherer communities and small agricultural settlements. The region’s agriculture and minerals continued to attract the interest of more powerful neighbors. In the 15th century, both the Aztec and P’urhépecha Empires had strong influence parts of the state, especially in the south, but would never incorporate the area completely into either empire. The Aztec’s interest in the area was mostly to use it as a bulwark against marauding northern Chichimeca tribes, and it never became a tributary state. During this time as well, a number of new peoples entered the state most likely from the north, primarily the Pame
Pame
The Pame are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. They call themselves Xi'úi. They speak the Pame language, which belongs to the Oto-Pamean group of the Oto-Manguean language family....

s and the Chichimeca Jonaz
Chichimeca Jonaz
The Chichimeca Jonaz are a group of indigenous people living in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí. In Guanajuato State the Chichimeca Jonaz people live in a community of San Luis de la Paz municipality. The settlement is 2,070 m above sea level...

. The first group practiced agriculture in the valleys and the latter in the mountain areas.

When the Spanish conquered the Aztec Empire in the early 16th century, the largest indigenous group in the state was the Otomi, many of whom were living more or less under P’urhépecha rule. This population would increase with Otomi refugees from Aztec lands fleeing the Spanish. Another significant group was the Chichimecas. With the fall of Tenochtitlán, then the P’urhépecha Empire, the Spanish gained some control over the southern portion of the state. However, the area was still very independent, filled with peoples who lived in small isolated villages or nomadically. There were no major cities, nor large societies here or north.

The conquest and colonization of Querétaro began with the Spanish settlements at San Juan del Río, Querétaro and Huimilpan between 1529 and 1531. Conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

 Herán Pérez de Bocanegra joined forces with a local Otomi lord from Jilotepec named Conín
Conín
Conín was a native Mexican of the Otomi people, who helped the Spanish conquer territories in the central part of Mexico during the 16th century....

, also known as Fernando de Tapia, to enter Otomi areas in what is now the city of Querétaro. There would be only one major battle as part of the conquest in 1531. The Spanish and their Indian allies were battling the local Otomi and Chichimecas at a hill now known as Sangremal, which was then called Ynlotepeque, and considered sacred in pre-Hispanic times. Chronicles of this event, such as those written by Friar Isidro Félix de Espinoza, state that the natives were at the point of winning when a total eclipse of the sun occurred. This supposedly scared the natives and the Spanish claimed to have seen an image of Saint James (the patron saint of Spain) riding a white horse carrying a rose-colored cross. This event caused the natives to surrender. This event is why the city is called Santiago (Saint James) de Querétaro, with James as patron saint A stone cross imitating the one the Spanish supposedly saw was erected on the hill, which later was accompanied by a church and monastery.

During the rest of the 16th century, the Spanish city of Querétaro would form the northern extension of known lands to the Spanish conquerors. The Spanish initially shared power in the area with local indigenous leaders until well into the 17th century in many areas. However, indigenous power waned over time, eventually disappearing completely. However, the Spanish would not subdue and evangelized the last of the resistant peoples, the Chichimec Jonaz until the end of the 18th century. During this time, Spanish power was mostly concentrated in the city of Querétaro, which became the starting point for expeditions, missions and conquests heading north.

Most of the north of the state consists of an area known as the Sierra Gorda
Sierra Gorda
The Sierra Gorda is an ecological region centered on the northern third of the state of Querétaro and extending into the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí...

, which is an area of very rugged terrain, with widely varying climates. From the 16th to 19th centuries The Spanish would slowly dominate the lands around it, south in Querétaro, west in Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

 and east in Hidalgo, with only military and missionary incursions into the area's interior. This was due to the fierce resistance of the local native peoples. Unlike those in the south, the Pame
Pame
The Pame are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. They call themselves Xi'úi. They speak the Pame language, which belongs to the Oto-Pamean group of the Oto-Manguean language family....

s, Chichimeca Jonaz
Chichimeca Jonaz
The Chichimeca Jonaz are a group of indigenous people living in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí. In Guanajuato State the Chichimeca Jonaz people live in a community of San Luis de la Paz municipality. The settlement is 2,070 m above sea level...

 and other groups were mostly hunter gatherers, not city dwellers already used to a hierarchical governing system. Attempts to militarily pacify and evangelize the area had little success, with a number of missions never completed or destroyed shortly after they were built. In the mid 18th century, the colonial government in Mexico City decided to made a concerted effort to bring the territory into submission, as it contained important routes to mining areas such as Zacatecas
Zacatecas
Zacatecas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Zacatecas is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is Zacatecas....

 and Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

. José de Escondón was sent in 1740 to militarily subdue the area, which culminated in the 1748 Battle of Media Luna, in which the Chichimeca were decisively defeated. This paved the way for the establishment of five principle missions in the heart of the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro, attributed to Junípero Serra, which today are a World Heritage Site. Even though the area was pacified in the mid 18th century, a district called an "alcaldía mayor" was established in San José de Escandón, today in the municipality of Pinal de Amoles, which governed what is now the northern half of the state. Decline of mining in the area would have this seat of government moved to Cadereyta in 1675, but this territory would be joined with the alcaldía mayor of the city of Querétaro to form the modern state.
The territory of Querétaro was consolidated during the 17th century. Santiago de Querétaro was declared a city in 1655. The coat of arms granted to the capital city that year is now the state coat of arms, with the substitution of an eagle on a cactus to replace the section referring to the Spanish royalty. Over the colonial period, the Querétaro area became important strategically and economically as it connected the newly explored and conquered lands to the north and west to the center of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 in Mexico City. Various trade routes converged here and the city became a cultural crossroads. The activities of Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 missionaries were a decisive factor in building the economic, social, political and religious institutions of the state. They were also mostly responsible for the building of most of the religious buildings and the acquisition of paintings and sculptures that can still be seen. These works gave the city an image of richness. The buildings from this era of the city’s history include the Plaza de Armas, The Casa de Ecala, the Casa de los Septién, the Cassa de los Samaniego, the Casa de los Fernández de Jáuregui, the Palacio de la Corregiduría de Legres de Querétaro as well as the Congregación and San Antonio churches. However, the most important structure from the time is the Aqueduct. Much of the evangelization efforts in the Sierra Gorda
Sierra Gorda
The Sierra Gorda is an ecological region centered on the northern third of the state of Querétaro and extending into the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí...

 area was done by Junípero Serra
Junípero Serra
Blessed Junípero Serra, O.F.M., , known as Fra Juníper Serra in Catalan, his mother tongue was a Majorcan Franciscan friar who founded the mission chain in Alta California of the Las Californias Province in New Spain—present day California, United States. Fr...

. These efforts left behind a number of missions which exist to this day in Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

, Tancoyol, Concá, Tilaco and Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros is a town and municipality located in the northwest of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region, which consists of rugged mountains, canyons and wide diversity of flora and fauna, with the municipality's flora representing about 25% of all...

.

This development made the city wealthy for the rest of the colonial period. Querétaro reached its height of the colonial period during the 18th century due to its strategic position with the northern territories and because of its livestock production. There was also a significant textile industry for local and regional markets. Querétaro was the first major producer of wool cloth in New Spain. At the end of the century, The Real Fabrica de Tabaco (Royal Tobacco Factory) was established, the second most important of its type in New Spain. There was also some mineral production, especially silver in an area called El Doctor.

The city of Querétaro was strategic in the development of events just before the start of the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

. It was the site of the conspiracy among Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
Ignacio José de Allende y Unzaga , born Ignacio Allende y Unzaga, was a captain of the Spanish Army in Mexico who came to sympathize with the Mexican independence movement. He attended the secret meetings organized by Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, where the possibility of an independent New Spain was...

, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez
Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez
María Josefa Cresencia Ortiz y Girón, popularly known as Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez or La Corregidora was an insurgent and supporter of the Mexican War of Independence, which fought for independence against Spain, in the early 19th century...

 and her husband the Corregidor of Querétaro Miguel Domínguez
Miguel Domínguez
José Miguel Domínguez Alemán was a Spanish colonial official in New Spain who played a part in the Mexican independence movement...

. The plot was uncovered when another conspirator, Epigmenio González was caught with a stockpile of weapons to be used to start the war. Ortiz de Dominguez sent word to Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in Dolores, Guanajuato that the plot was discovered. At that point, Hidalgo decided to begin the revolt against colonial rule in on 15 September, rather than in December as planned. Gonzalez was imprisoned in the Philippines from 1810 to 1838 for his role. The Corregidor and his wife were caught and imprisoned for their parts as well. Soon after, the city of Querétaro was taken by royalist forces and would stay that way for much of the war. The only fighting in the state were skirmishes fought in the mountain areas. The city of Querétaro would be one of the last royalist bastions to fall.

After the war, Querétaro was made a state with the 1824 Constitution
1824 Constitution of Mexico
The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with...

 . However, the city and state would lose the economic and cultural prominence it had during the colonial period. The political instability of the 19th century took its toll on commerce, which made the area’s economy suffer. The status of Querétaro would change between state and department, depending on whether Liberals or Conservatives were in power nationally. Within the state, battles for power between the two groups would lead to the state having twenty five governors between 1824 and 1855.

During the century, the capital city was the scene of a number of important events. During the Mexican American War, the capital was moved from Mexico City to Querétaro. At the end of that war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico City, that ended the Mexican-American War on February 2, 1848...

 was signed here. The 1857 Constitution was published in the city as well and a coalition of states including Querétaro, Jalisco
Jalisco
Jalisco officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Jalisco is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is located in Western Mexico and divided in 125 municipalities and its capital city is Guadalajara.It is one of the more important states...

, Aguascalientes
Aguascalientes
Aguascalientes is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 11 municipalities and its capital city is Aguascalientes....

, Zacatecas
Zacatecas
Zacatecas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Zacatecas is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is Zacatecas....

, Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

 and Michoacán
Michoacán
Michoacán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Michoacán de Ocampo is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia...

 formed a coalition to defend this constitution against the Plan of Tacubaya. During the short reign of Maximilian I
Maximilian I of Mexico
Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire.After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico on April 10, 1864, with the backing of Napoleon III of France and a group of Mexican monarchists who sought to revive the Mexican monarchy...

, there were battles between Liberals and Conservatives (with the latter supporting the emperor) in Querétaro. However, Maximilian lost the military support provided by Napoleon III, leaving only four states loyal to the emperor. Querétaro was one of them. Maximilian still resisted Liberal forces which eventually surrounded him at Cerro de Campanas, then outside the city of Querétaro. The emperor was caught and executed on 19 June 1867. Afterwards, the state wrote a new constitution based on Liberal principles. Another new state constitution would be written at the beginning of the Porfiriato
Porfirio Díaz
José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori was a Mexican-American War volunteer and French intervention hero, an accomplished general and the President of Mexico continuously from 1876 to 1911, with the exception of a brief term in 1876 when he left Juan N...

 in 1879. Despite the turmoil, there was still economic progress in the state, with the establishment of textile mills such as Hércules, Casa Rubio and two other factories in San Antonio and La Purísma. There was also some mining, especially in El Doctor, Río Blando, Maconí and Escanelilla with a total of 216 mines producing silver with some producing gold, copper, lead and more.

Before the end of the century, modern infrastructure such as electricity, telegraph and telephones began to be installed. Industry grew and modernized, with El Hércules becoming the largest textile factory in the country. Hacienda
Hacienda
Hacienda is a Spanish word for an estate. Some haciendas were plantations, mines, or even business factories. Many haciendas combined these productive activities...

s and agricultural production also grew, especially in the north of the state. The capital was modified and expanded, and it was linked to the rest of the country via rail in 1882. Public education began in the state at the beginning of the 20th century with fifty four primary schools and the first graduates of the state’s first teachers’ college.

However, at the same time, strikes and other movements against the Diaz regime had begun in the state and elsewhere in the country. The largest strike in the state was against the El Hércules factory in 1909. At the start of the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...

, there were revolts in Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

 and Cadereyta along with protests in the capital. Govener González de Cosío resigned in 1911, replaced by Joaquín F. Chicarro who was allied with Victoriano Huerta
Victoriano Huerta
José Victoriano Huerta Márquez was a Mexican military officer and president of Mexico. Huerta's supporters were known as Huertistas during the Mexican Revolution...

 and more authoritarian. In 1916 and 1917, the federal government of Venustiano Carranza
Venustiano Carranza
Venustiano Carranza de la Garza, was one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. He ultimately became President of Mexico following the overthrow of the dictatorial Huerta regime in the summer of 1914 and during his administration the current constitution of Mexico was drafted...

 had to abandon Mexico City moving the country’s capital to Querétaro. The country’s current 1917 Constitution was promulgated from Teatro de la República in the city of Querétaro.

After the war, the economy of the state recovered slowly. Between 1940 and 1960, economic progress came more rapidly, with the industrial infrastructure growing and modernizing. During the same time period, the population grew substantially as well. Much of industrial growth from then to the present can be seen in the various industrial parks located north of the capital city. In the following thirty years, the city would then grow to over four times its previous size. However, the state managed to conserve the city’s historic center, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996. The city’s official name, which had been changed simply to “Querétaro” was restored to “Santiago de Querétaro” the same year.

In 1997, the National Action Party
National Action Party
National Action Party may mean:*National Action Party *National Action Party *National Action Party *National Action Party...

 (PAN) won the gubernatorial elections and Ignacio Loyola became the first non PRI governor of the state since the Revolution. In 2008, the state’s constitution was amended to make Querétaro the official state name. The aqueduct Acueducto II was inaugurated in 2011 by President Felipe Calderón
Felipe Calderón
Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa is the current President of Mexico. He assumed office on December 1, 2006, and was elected for a single six-year term through 2012...

 and state governor José Calzada Rovirosa. It transports water over 122 km from springs in El Infiernillo to the city of Querétaro. This is to supplement local water sources which are no longer able to meet the city’s needs.

General description


Economic activity in the state is closely tied to trends at the national level. This includes the declining contribution to GDP of the agricultural sector and an increase in manufacturing and commerce/services. The city of Querétaro is by far the most important economic center in the state, followed by San Juan del Río
San Juan del Río
N20 23 23 W99 59 49San Juan del Río is a city and administrative seat of the surrounding San Juan del Río Municipality in the central Mexican state of Querétaro. The population in July, 2007 is calculated in 128,270 for the city and 217,980 for the municipality.The city and municipality both rank...

. Not only is Querétero the population center of the state, it has high-quality soil for irrigation farming and cattle. It is directly connected by highway to Mexico City, the country’s largest market, as well as the north of the country and the United States. This makes the city an almost obligatory stop for most people and goods traveling north and south. This geographical advantage has spurred industrial development in the state, especially since the 1970s. Another advantage the state has is its stable social and political situation. It has a low crime rate and also noted by NGO Transparencia Meixcan as having the lowest levels of corruption among all of Mexico’s states. Of the three main sectors of the economy: agriculture, mining/industry and commerce/services, the percentage each employs and contributes to the GDP varies significantly from municipality to municipality, with agriculture making up a higher percentage of local employment and GDP in rural municipalities than in the Querétaro metropolitan area. However, overall, the state has one of the country’s strongest economies. Government authorities report an increase of 4,602 jobs in the state for January 2011, accounting for a quarter of the gain for the country. Some related to Bombardier.

The municipalities of the state are grouped into five economic regions centered on Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

, Cadereyta de Montes, Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

, Querétaro and San Juan del Río. The Amealco region includes this municipality and the municipality of Huimilpan. Most of its economy is based on cereal production with only minor industry such as maquiladoras and textiles. There are also handcrafts produced by indigenous groups.

The Cadereyta región includes this municipality, Colón
Colón, Querétaro
Colón is a town in Colón Municipality of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It is the only one in the country named after Christopher Columbus . It's the state's third largest municipality, with 815 square kilometers. Its mean altitude is 1900 meters above sea level...

, Peñamiller
Peñamiller
Peñamiller is a town and municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region with about eighty percent of the territory belonging to the Sierra Gorda Biosphere of Querétaro. The municipality is on the southwest side of the Sierra Gorda, the highest mountains of...

 and Tolimán
Tolimán, Querétaro
Tolimán is the seat of Tolimán Municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word “tolimani”, meaning “place where the tule tree is picked up”. Its seat is the homonymous town.See also, Gudiños...

. Agriculture is limited to the rainy season, but there is significant production of livestock such as goats. There is also some forestry activity. Industry is not common, but some technically advanced factories exist. There are also maquiladora
Maquiladora
A maquiladora or maquila is a concept often referred to as an operation that involves manufacturing in a country that is not the client's and as such has an interesting duty or tariff treatment...

s, textile and recycling operations which primarily employ women.

The Jalpan de Serra region includes this municipality and Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco, Querétaro
Arroyo Seco is a town and municipality located in the far north of the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its territory is part of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve of Querétaro. The municipality is centered on the small town of Arroyo Seco, which was established as a military outpost then given town...

, Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region which stretches over northern Querétaro into Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí, with 88% of the municipality’s land part of the Sierra Gorda...

, Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros is a town and municipality located in the northwest of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region, which consists of rugged mountains, canyons and wide diversity of flora and fauna, with the municipality's flora representing about 25% of all...

 and San Joaquín
San Joaquín, Querétaro
San Joaquín is the seat of San Joaquín Municipality, Querétaro in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is one of the coldest areas in the state, and is home to numerous apple orchards. The National Huapango Contest takes place in town each year....

. Agriculture is limited, mostly producing fruits such as citrus, mangos, coffee, peaches and apples. Fish farming is a growing and promising enterprise for the areas. Industry is also very limited.

The Querétaro región includes the capital and the municipalities of Corregidora and El Marqués. This area has the second most productive farms in the state, much of which is irrigated. Crops include sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, wheat, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, alfalfa
Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...

, oats
OATS
OATS - Open Source Assistive Technology Software - is a source code repository or "forge" for assistive technology software. It was launched in 2006 with the goal to provide a one-stop “shop” for end users, clinicians and open-source developers to promote and develop open source assistive...

 with some vegetables, corn and beans. This area is also an important producer of all kinds of livestock. Industry is limited to the industrial parks located just north of the capital, but they employ most of the industrial workers of the state.

The San Juan del Río region includes this municipality and Ezequiel Montes
Ezequiel Montes, Querétaro
Ezequiel Montes is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its seat is the town of the same name, founded in 1861 by Julián Velázquez Feregrino. Its original name was Corral Blanco....

, Pedro Escobedo and Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

. This is the most agriculturally production region of the state, with most farmland irrigated. There is intensive farming of sorghum, wheat, barley, alfalfa, and oats, with some vegetables, corn and beans. Large areas of natural pasture supports a large livestock industry. The region is second in industry behind Querétaro, concentrating on paper products and food processing. Most industry is located in San Juan del Río.

Agriculture and forestry



Agriculture and livestock have been traditionally important for the state, and while it only provides about four percent of the state’s GDP, down from eighteen percent in 1970, it employs a far larger percentage of the population, with it being the basis of the economy in many rural areas. 28,24% of state land is used for agriculture, mostly raising corn, wheat, alfalfa
Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...

, sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

 and squash. There is also intensive farming in areas of a number of important crops. Much of the large scale farming is irrigated and is supported in part by the state government, with loans and help with infrastructure such as water and roads. However, most farmland is seasonal, meaning it is worked only during the rainy season. Grains such as barley, wheat, oats and alfalfa are almost exclusively planted on irrigated land along with certain vegetables such as broccoli
Broccoli
Broccoli is a plant in the cabbage family, whose large flower head is used as a vegetable.-General:The word broccoli, from the Italian plural of , refers to "the flowering top of a cabbage"....

, garlic, carrots, lettuce, onions and cauliflower
Cauliflower
Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed...

. Most non irrigated land is planted with corn, followed by beans mostly for auto or local consumption. Leading cash crops are beans, cabbage
Cabbage
Cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne of the Family Brassicaceae and is a leafy green vegetable...

, alfalfa
Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...

, onions, lettuce and sorghum.

Within agriculture, production of crops has decreased while the production of animal products has increased. Crops as a percentage of agricultural production dropped from 34% in 1988 to 25.8% in 1993. One of the leading milk producers in the country, Querétaro farms also breed livestock and dairy cows. Livestock production is important and growing, mostly consisting of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and domestic fowl. Querétaro is one of the top producers of chicken in Mexico. The largest producers of livestock in the state are Jalpan, Cadereyta, San Juan del Río and Querétaro.

Forest land is one of the state’s two main natural resources. These forests contain commercial species such as pine, oak, cedar, juniper
Juniper
Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

, mesquite
Mesquite
Mesquite is a leguminous plant of the Prosopis genus found in northern Mexico through the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Deserts, and up into the Southwestern United States as far north as southern Kansas, west to the Colorado Desert in California,and east to the eastern fifth of Texas, where...

 and more. Most of these are found in and around the Sierra Gorda area. There is about 70,000 hectares of possible productive land but only 17,000 have been studied for management. Land actively involved in forestry operations equals 9,358m2, most of which is in the municipalities of Landa de Matamoros and Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

. 20.7% is used for grazing. 24.22% is forest; 3.95% is rainforest and 40.62 is arid scrub brush.

Mining and industry



Mining, manufacturing and construction accounts for about 39% of the GDP, with manufacturing alone accounting for 32%. This has remained steady for the past few decades. Minerals is one of the state’s two main natural resources. Mining is a traditional economic activity for the state. There are ten mining districts in the Sierra Gorda alone producing lead, silver, zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, copper, gold, mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 and antimony
Antimony
Antimony is a toxic chemical element with the symbol Sb and an atomic number of 51. A lustrous grey metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite...

. Non metallic products include marble, kaolin, sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

, and more. Opal
Opal
Opal is an amorphous form of silica related to quartz, a mineraloid form, not a mineral. 3% to 21% of the total weight is water, but the content is usually between 6% to 10%. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most...

s are a distinctive state resource. State and local governments, in partnership with private industry, actively promote foreign investment into the region. The priority of the state government is to encourage industries which use low levels of water for environmental reasons. These have mostly been auto parts, food processing and electronics. Other major industries include chemicals, plastics, textiles, paper products and printing and wood products. Most are micro and small sized operations.

Querétaro’s major cities are home to industrial complexes that produce machinery and other metallic products, chemicals and processed foods. However, most of the state’s manufacturing companies are located in or around the city of Querétaro. Carnation and Purina
Purina Mills
Purina Mills, LLC, is the animal feeds unit of Land O’ Lakes. It was previously part of Ralston Purina, but the animal feeds portion was sold in 1986.- History :...

 are among the best-known food processing companies with facilities in the state, and numerous textile mills manufacture clothing made of wool, cotton and henequen
Henequen
Henequen is an agave whose leaves yield a fiber also called henequen which is suitable for rope and twine, but not of as high a quality as sisal. Alternative spellings are Henequin and Heniquen. It is the major plantation fiber agave of eastern Mexico, being grown extensively in Yucatán,...

. One of the biggest employers is Tremac, an auto parts manufacturer. Currently, there are 392 companies with direct foreign investment and 238 exporting companies that have located in the state. Exports in 2002 totaled $3.35 billion USD, and direct investment in 2003 reached $169 million. Many of these companies are headquartered in modern industrial parks, one of the newest and most technologically advanced being El Marques Industrial Park. This facility was inaugurated in 2003, with an initial investment of $13 million USD. The park occupies a space of 274 acres (1.1 km²) with international tenants from Italy, Germany, Spain, the US, Taiwan as well as Mexico representing real estate, automotive, carton packing, food processing and some high tech enterprises. One of these tenants is Siemens
Siemens
Siemens may refer toSiemens, a German family name carried by generations of telecommunications industrialists, including:* Werner von Siemens , inventor, founder of Siemens AG...

 whose 4000 sq ft (371.6 m²) plant is dedicated to manufacturing equipment for high voltage systems.

The city of Querétaro has become the most advanced center of the aeronautics industry in Mexico, anchored by plant belonging to Canadian conglomerate Bombardier, which opened in 2005. This plant manufactures fuselage
Fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

s and electrical system, recently adding wing production for the Learjet 85
Learjet 85
-External links:* * * *...

, a non metallic plane. This plant is the largest of the 189 aeronautics facilities in Mexico, employing about 2,000 people. There are eight other aeronautics enterprises located in the state.

The state is known for dairy products and wine. Two of Querétaro’s cities, San Juan del Río
San Juan del Río
N20 23 23 W99 59 49San Juan del Río is a city and administrative seat of the surrounding San Juan del Río Municipality in the central Mexican state of Querétaro. The population in July, 2007 is calculated in 128,270 for the city and 217,980 for the municipality.The city and municipality both rank...

 and Ezequiel Montes
Ezequiel Montes, Querétaro
Ezequiel Montes is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its seat is the town of the same name, founded in 1861 by Julián Velázquez Feregrino. Its original name was Corral Blanco....

, have thriving vinicultures. Some of the best comes from the Rancho Santa Marina just to the south of the capital in the municipality of El Marqués. This ranch specializes in sheep milk cheese such as feta
Feta
Feta is a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece. Feta is an aged crumbly cheese, commonly produced in blocks, and has a slightly grainy texture. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads Feta is a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece. Feta is an aged crumbly cheese,...

, ricotta
Ricotta
Ricotta is an Italian dairy product made from sheep milk whey left over from the production of cheese. Although typically referred to as ricotta cheese, ricotta is not properly a cheese because it is not produced by coagulation of casein...

, picodon
Picodon
Picodon is a goats-milk cheese made in the region around the Rhône river in southern France. The name means "spicy" in Occitan.The cheese itself comes in a number of varieties, each small, flat and circular in shape varying from speckled white to golden in colour...

 and criollo/crottin
Crottin de Chavignol
Crottin de Chavignol is the most famous goat cheese of the many varieties produced in the Loire Valley. This cheese is the claim to fame for the village of Chavignol, France, which has only two hundred inhabitants.-History:...

. Rancho Hondonada is another reputable producer as well as Quesos Vai, which specializes in Mexican cheeses
Cheeses of Mexico
Cheeses in Mexico have a history that begins with the Spanish conquest, as dairy products were unknown in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The Spanish brought dairy animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats as well as cheese making techniques. Over the colonial period, cheese making was modified to suit...

 such as Oaxaca and panela. The best known winery is Freixenet
Freixenet
Freixenet is a Cava producer in Spain, located west of Barcelona in Catalonia. Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Spain.Freixenet was started after the union of two Spanish families with a lengthy history in winemaking: the Ferrers, owners of La Freixeneda, a 12th-century farming estate in Sant...

 which is on the highway between Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

  and San Juan del Río. The 45-hectare vineyard grows four varieties of grapes: Saint Emilion, Macabeu, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. A cave 25 meters (82 ft) below ground maintains a constant and ideal climate for wine cellaring. Other producers include La Redonda and Rancho Los Azteca.

Traditional handcrafts



Handcrafts produced in the state include baskets, textiles, metal objects, pottery and items made from wood, leather and paper. Basket making is common in many parts of the state, and similar fibers are also used to create hats, decorative items and more made from various materials such as reed, willow branches and palm fronds. In Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

, they make various items from palm fronds such as bags, hats and mats. Fine woven hats can be found in Tequisquiapan as well as baskets made with a variety of willow. Baskets are made in San Juan del Río as well as in Cadereyta with willow and with reeds. Basket making and rope are made in most areas of the state. In Ezequiel Montes, ixtle fiber is used to make sisal and rope. In Peñamiller henequen is used. In San Juan del Río reeds are used to make baskets. In Tolimán
Tolimán, Querétaro
Tolimán is the seat of Tolimán Municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word “tolimani”, meaning “place where the tule tree is picked up”. Its seat is the homonymous town.See also, Gudiños...

, furniture and more is made with willow branches. Tequisquiapan makes crafts with rattan, roots, juniper and pine branches along with ixtle.

Tolimán is known for its traditional clothing, especially quexquemetls made of silk and embroidered with colored thread for men and quexquemetls made of cotton for women. The ones made here are the largest in the country, made on backstrap looms. They also weave and embroider bags and linens such as tablecloths and napkins. Another area for traditional Otomi
Otomi people
The Otomi people . Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.One of...

 dress is Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

, where blouses, skirts and more are embroidered with designs from this ethnicity. They also make cloth dolls dressed in traditional clothing. In Tolimán, Pame
Pame
The Pame are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. They call themselves Xi'úi. They speak the Pame language, which belongs to the Oto-Pamean group of the Oto-Manguean language family....

 influence is noted in the textiles, which are mostly woven to make tablecloths and napkins. Colón
Colón, Querétaro
Colón is a town in Colón Municipality of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It is the only one in the country named after Christopher Columbus . It's the state's third largest municipality, with 815 square kilometers. Its mean altitude is 1900 meters above sea level...

, Cadereyta and Bernal are known for items made of wool which has been naturally dyed, such as rebozos, blankets and more.

Sculpting and building with sandstone is a major business and craft due to the material’s abundance in the mountains. Various types of sculptures as well as building blocks are created from it. In the communities of Escolásticas and Ejido de Ajuchitlancito in the Pedro Escobedo municipality, families, associations and cooperatives work with the stone. The work from Pedro Escobedo has been exported for many years. Various communities in the Huimilpan
Huimilpan
Huimilpan is the seat of Huimilpan Municipality of the state of Querétaro. It is part of the Sierra Queretana, and sometimes included in the Metropolitan Area of Querétaro. It has an alpine weather, and is home to the Otomí people....

 municipality do as well. The items create range from ashtrays to large columns for buildings. Much of the stonework of La Cañada in the El Marqués municipality is exported. Another stone that is worked is marble, especially in Vizarrón in Cadereyta municipality and in Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

. Onyx, marble, opal and turquoise are worked in San Juan del Río and in the capital city. Opals are mined in the state and come in a variety of colors and sizes. They are mostly made into jewelry.

There are various communities in the state which specialize in pottery. Products include every day utensils and cookware to architectural elements, figures and sculptures. The clay from Cadereyta is valued for its quality. In the community of San Juan de Guedío in the municipality of Amealco they specialized in storage containers as well as the figures of saints and those for nativity scenes. Other areas noted for their pottery are Colón and Ezequiel de Montes.

Other items are made from materials such as wood, leather and paper. Wood items include furniture, toys and musical instruments, especially guitars and violins and include miniature musical instruments, which are made in San Joaquín
San Joaquín, Querétaro
San Joaquín is the seat of San Joaquín Municipality, Querétaro in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is one of the coldest areas in the state, and is home to numerous apple orchards. The National Huapango Contest takes place in town each year....

. Leather is fashioned into belts, pistol holders, handbags, wallets and cowboy boots. These are mostly available in CadereytaLanda de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros
Landa de Matamoros is a town and municipality located in the northwest of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region, which consists of rugged mountains, canyons and wide diversity of flora and fauna, with the municipality's flora representing about 25% of all...

 and San Vicente Ferrer in the municipality of El Marqués. Cardboard is used to fashion masks and items related to mojiganga theater mostly for use in parades and traditional festivals. Mojiganga figures are made with a reed frame to which the cardboard is applied. Bernal is noted for its masks made of paper and plaster which are often molded. In the city of Querétaro they make masks and mojiganga items, as well as large paper sculptures such as the Judas figures, which are burned.

Commerce, services and tourism



Commerce, services and tourism accounts for 57% of the state’s GDP, led by commerce at 19% and services at 18% both related and not to tourism. This is an increase from 45% in 1970. Since the 1990s, the state has promoted its tourism industry, with attendance at international forums, and building of hotels and other infrastructure. The Centro de Congresos (Convention Center) of Querétaro was inaugurated in 2011 in order to attract more business travel to the state. The facility contains ten halls, with a capacity of 9,000 people.

There are two areas declared as historic monuments by the Mexican federal government, the historic center of Querétaro and the historic center of San Juan del Río. The historic center of Querétaro has been declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

. Most historic and cultural attractions are located in the capital. Museums include the Museo de Arte de Querétaro, the Museo Regional de Querétaro, the Museo de la Ciudad, the Museo del Sitio de Querétaro and Museo de la Matemática. Outside of the capital, there are the Museo Histórico de la Sierra Gorda, Museo Arqueológico y Minero de la Sierra and the Museo de la Muerte in San Juan del Río. Another major attraction is its 74-arched aqueduct built in the early 1700s. The aqueduct rises 23 meters (75 ft) above street level and conveyed drinking water to the city from regional springs until 1970. The founding of the city of Querétaro is celebrated in July with various cultural and gastronomic events. Conchero dancers go in procession to the La Cruz Church to commemorate the appearance of Saint James.

Querétaro has a number of areas which lend themselves to ecotourism. One area especially promoted is the Sierra Gorda region. The area is a complex of canyons and mountains extending over 400,000 hectares with a well conserved biological diversity. In the deep canyons there are grottos, valleys, ravines and arroyos. In the higher areas there are forests of pines and holm oak, and tropical forests in the lower elevations. The area was declared a biological reserve and contains about 1,700 species of plants, some endemic only to the area. There are also 360 species of birds, 130 of mammals, and just over 100 of amphibians and reptiles. A number of these are in danger of extinction such as macaws
Ara (genus)
Ara is a Neotropical genus of macaws with eight extant species and at least two extinct species. The genus name was coined by French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède in 1799. It gives its name to and is part of the Arini, or tribe of Neotropical parrots. The Ara macaws are large striking...

, the black bear, the porcupine and the spider monkey
Spider monkey
Spider monkeys of the genus Ateles are New World monkeys in the subfamily Atelinae, family Atelidae. Like other atelines, they are found in tropical forests of Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Brazil...

 .

The state promotes its wine and cheeses with a Ruta del Vino or Wine Route. This connects three major wineries, Freixenet, La Redonda and Los Aztecas, along with various cheese producing facilities and some small towns chosen for their charm, such as Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

  and Bernal. There is also a Cheese and Wine Museum. At the wineries, one can observe how the product is made, which includes both sparkling and normal wines. The cheese producers make their products from goats’, cows’ and sheep’s milk, and in the two villages, one can enjoy both wine and cheese at the same time. At the end of July and the beginning of August, there is the first harvest, called the Vendimia. At the end of May and beginning of June, Tequisquiapan hosts the National Cheese and Wine Fair. The Feria del Queso y el Vino (Cheese and Wine Fair) is held at the end of may and beginning of June in Tequisquiapan featuring wine producers from various parts of the world. Grape harvest festivals are held at Freixenet and La Redonda at the end of June.

Querétaro has one Pueblo Mágico
Pueblo Mágico
The Programa Pueblos Mágicos is an initiative led by Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism , in conjunction with other federal and state agencies, to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors a "magical" experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches, or...

, San Sebastián Bernal. It is best known as the home of the Peña de Bernal, the third largest monolith in the world after the Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

 and Sugarloaf Mountain in Río de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

. It was considered sacred by the Chichimeca
Chichimeca
Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico and southwestern United States, and carried the same sense as the European term "barbarian"...

 and dates back to the Jurassic Period more than 100 million years ago. The community was originally occupied by the Otomi
Otomi people
The Otomi people . Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.One of...

. Many colonial structures in the town of sandstone have survived to the present day. It also was a scene of a battle during the French Intervention in Mexico
French intervention in Mexico
The French intervention in Mexico , also known as The Maximilian Affair, War of the French Intervention, and The Franco-Mexican War, was an invasion of Mexico by an expeditionary force sent by the Second French Empire, supported in the beginning by the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Spain...

 . The El Cerrito pyramid is here climbed by those dressed in White for the spring equinox. Today, tourism is an important part of the area’s economy, attracting both those interested in history and those interested in ecotourism activities.

In addition, there are a number of old hacienda
Hacienda
Hacienda is a Spanish word for an estate. Some haciendas were plantations, mines, or even business factories. Many haciendas combined these productive activities...

s which have been converted into hotels, spas and other recreational facilities. The Juriquilla Hacienda is one of nine haciendas which dominated the municipality of San Rosa. The largest was Juriquilla, founded in 1707. In the 19th century, it belonged to Timoteo Fernando de Jaurgui and later to a number of entrepreneurial families. Since 1993, the main house has been converted into a 196 room hotel, maintaining the buildings colonial architecture. The best conserved structure is the hacienda chapel. The Jurica Hacienda is known for its fresh water springs. The main house is a hotel with 182 rooms. The former chapel is intact, all original except the flooring. The Galindo Hacienda was converted into a hotel and restore in the 1970s after decades of abandonment. The San Gil Hacienda is traditionally said to have been a property of La Malinche. Today it is a hotel and spa surrounding the original gardens of the main house. The La Venta Hacienda has its origins in the late 16th century as a land grant to Baltasar de Salazar to build lodgings for those traveling to the unexplored northern lands. It is the smallest of the hacienda resorts with only 51 rooms in its hotel.

The state has a number of colonial era missions, mostly in the Sierra Gorda
Sierra Gorda
The Sierra Gorda is an ecological region centered on the northern third of the state of Querétaro and extending into the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí...

 region. The early ones were founded by the Augustinians
Augustinians
The term Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo , applies to two separate and unrelated types of Catholic religious orders:...

 and Franciscans with the aim of evangelizing of the area, but they were shut down soon after their founding by the hostility of the Chichimeca. Most were unfinished and/or destroyed. The first successful missionary in the area was Jesuit Junípero Serra
Junípero Serra
Blessed Junípero Serra, O.F.M., , known as Fra Juníper Serra in Catalan, his mother tongue was a Majorcan Franciscan friar who founded the mission chain in Alta California of the Las Californias Province in New Spain—present day California, United States. Fr...

 because colonial authorities began to militarily control the area. The best known is Bucareli Mission in Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region which stretches over northern Querétaro into Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí, with 88% of the municipality’s land part of the Sierra Gorda...

 founded in 1797. Other missions are found including Santiago de Jalpan, San Miguel Concá, Santa María del Agua de Landa, San Francisco del Valle de Tilacoal and Nuestra Señora de la Luz de Tancoyol, all established in the 1750s and 1760s. After restoration efforts between 1979 and 2002, there have been efforts to register these missions as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

.

Education


Basic Education is defined as the levels from preschool to middle school and includes other types of education such as special education, indigenous schools, bilingual school and adult remedial education. The state contains nearly 2,000 schools at this level including 1,225 preschools, 1,392 primary schools and 364 middle schools. Education Media Superior includes high schools, vocational schools and technical schools for those who graduate middle school. There are 115 campuses of this type located in all the municipalities of the state, but it covers less than 80% of the demand for this kind of education. The average number of years of schooling in the state is 7.5 years, meaning the completion of primary school and a little over a year in middle school. Levels of schooling increase with younger generations, with nearly all under 5 attending preschool before primary school. Nearly all children of age attend and finish primary school, and nearly all of these begin middle school. However, 8.8% of the population fifteen and older have not enrolled in school at all. 19% have completed primary, 27.2% have completed at least middle school/technical school, 17.9% have completed high school and 14.5 have gone onto higher education.

The state’s cultural and educational center is the capital, with a variety of universities, technological schools and institutes of higher technical studies, with include. These institutions supply highly trained graduates for the work force. This is one factor that contributes to the higher socioeconomic level of the state. University level education has been the fastest growing level, with the most recent additions being the Universidad Tecnológica de San Juan del Río and the Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro
Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro
The Technological Institute of Querétaro is part of Mexico's National Institutes of Technology system, which is an organized educational complex, high academic self-sufficiency and continuity in their actions, together by a strong sense of national community and with strong traditions in the fields...

, Jalpan Campus. In total, there are twenty two public and private institutions. These include the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro with 43 bachelors, 36 masters and ten doctorate programs, the Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro
Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro
The Technological Institute of Querétaro is part of Mexico's National Institutes of Technology system, which is an organized educational complex, high academic self-sufficiency and continuity in their actions, together by a strong sense of national community and with strong traditions in the fields...

 with eight bachelors and two masters programs, ITESM-Querétaro with 23 bachelors and seven masters programs, the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional
Universidad Pedagógica Nacional
The National Pedagogic University is Mexico's national university for teacher training. The main campus, directly adjacent to the Colegio de México in Mexico City, hosts more than 25,000 students and is the largest of more than 70 UPN campuses nationwide...

 with 19 bachelors programs and the Universidad del Valle de México
Universidad del Valle de México
The Universidad del Valle de México or UVM is a private Mexican university founded in Mexico City in the year 1960. UVM enrolls students at several campuses throughout Mexico, and it holds accreditations from the Mexican Department of Education, COPAES accrediting board, and FIMPES...

 with 18 bachelors and two masters programs. Other institutions include the Universidad Internacional de México, Universidad Cuauhtémoc, Universidad Contemporánea (UCO), Universidad Mesoamericana
Universidad Mesoamericana
Universidad Mesoamericana is a university in Guatemala. It has branches in Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango.In 1971 the Salesians of the Don Bosco Association signed an agreement of academic cooperation with the Francisco Marroquín University in 1971 and since 1972 they developed humanities and...

, CUMDES, campus Corregidora, Escuela Normal del Estado, Escuela Normal de Jalpan, Escuela Normal Superior, Escuela Normal Queretana, Instituto 5 de Mayo, Normal Instituto la Paz de Querétaro, Universidad Tecnológica del Estado de Querétaro, Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación y Docencia en Educación Técnica, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), Conservatorio Libre de Música “J. Guadalupe Velázquez” and Centro Nacional de Danza Contemporánea.These together cover about eighty percent of the demand for education at this level.

The state university is the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. Its origins are in two colonial era colleges of San Ignacio and San Francisco Javier. These were Jesuit colleges established at the urging of Vasco de Quiroga. The first, San Ignacio, was established in 1625. The two were run by the Jesuits until they were expelled from New Spain in 1767. From then until 1832, the schools were run by regular clergy. The two were converged and reorganized into the State Civil College in 1868 and operated as such until 1950. This college was closed and reorganized again to open as the current institution.

The Universidad Tecnológica de Querétaro (UTEQ) was founded in 1994 with 146 students with majors in Administration, Business, Industrial Maintenance and Production Processes. The first classes were taught in rented as facilities were being built on a 25 hectare campus in Colonia San Pedrito Peñuelas. Today the school has eight majors at the undergraduate level.

The Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro
Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro
The Technological Institute of Querétaro is part of Mexico's National Institutes of Technology system, which is an organized educational complex, high academic self-sufficiency and continuity in their actions, together by a strong sense of national community and with strong traditions in the fields...

 is part of the National System of Technological Institutes in Mexico. It was founded in 1967, and today it offers six engineering majore and technical training in electrical items, machines and automotive.

There are also thirty one research centers with the most prominent being: el Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra de la UNAM, Campus Juriquilla, Centro Nacional de Investigación en Fisiología y Mejoramiento Animal (CENIF-MAI), Centro de Investigación y Asistencia Técnica del Estado de Querétaro (CIATEQ), Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación y Docencia en Educación Técnica (CIIDET), Instituto Mexicano del Transporte (IMT), Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico en Electroquímica del Estado (CIDETEQ), Laboratorio de Materiales Unidad Querétaro del CINESTAV-I.P.N., Centro de Neurobiología, Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Querétaro (ITESM), Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Condumex, Transmisiones y Equipos Mecánicos (TREMEC), Centro Queretano de Recursos Naturales (CQRN), Centro de Ingeniería y Desarrollo Industrial (CIDESI), MABE Tecnología y Desarrollo, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuarias (INIFAP), Instituto de Física UNAM, Escuela Normal del Estado de Querétaro “Andrés Balvanera” (ENEQ) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada I.P.N. (CICATA).

A number of these facilities support manufacturing and other industrial sectors of the economy. This also permits partnerships and alliances. One of the most important research center in the state is the National Metrology Center (CENAM), which is a dependency of the Secretariat of Economy. The main function of the center is to bring together science and technology in order to support the country’s economy. It is the second most important of its kind in the Americas.

Transportation and communications



The state has a total of 3,349.5 km of highways, almost all of which is paved. 571 km of this is federal highway, 880.90 is state highway and 1,885.70 are rural roads. This includes a section of the Pan American Highway. The highway system centers on the capital and connects the state with Mexico City, Guadalajara, Ciudad Valles and north to Ciudad Juárez
Ciudad Juárez
Ciudad Juárez , officially known today as Heroica Ciudad Juárez, but abbreviated Juárez and formerly known as El Paso del Norte, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez's estimated population is 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande...

 and the United States. Much of the rural highway infrastructure, especially in the Sierra Gorda area, is for the benefit of mining, agriculture and forestry. The most important of the interstate roads links the state with Mexico City metropolitan area
Greater Mexico City
Greater Mexico City refers to the conurbation around Mexico City, officially called Mexico City Metropolitan Area , constituted by the Federal District—itself composed of 16 boroughs—and 41 adjacent municipalities of the states of Mexico and Hidalgo...

 and its market of 20 million people as well as 25 other million customers within 200 miles (321.9 km). The US border is a nine hour drive. To support the international transportation of goods, Querétaro has an inner customs office that facilitates the shipment of manufactured products to foreign countries. However, the highway system is most concentrated in the municipalities of Querétaro and San Juan del Río and the corridor in between. Fifty five percent of the traffic along this corridor begins or terminates within the state.

Other infrastructure includes water systems, public buses, rail lines, an international airport and radio and television stations. Most of the irrigation and water-storage areas are also concentrated in the Querétaro and San Juan del Rio municipalities. The capital is home to the state’s largest public bus terminal called the Terminal de Autobuses de Querétaro. This station is a transfer point for many who travel north or south in the country. Other major terminals exist in Colón
Colón, Querétaro
Colón is a town in Colón Municipality of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It is the only one in the country named after Christopher Columbus . It's the state's third largest municipality, with 815 square kilometers. Its mean altitude is 1900 meters above sea level...

, Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

, Jalpan de Serra, San Juan del Río, Cadereyta and Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco de Bonfil
Amealco is a municipality in the Mexican state of Querétaro. Its name is thought to mean place of springs in Nahuatl. The municipality seat, also called Amealco, is located 63 km southeast of Santiago de Querétaro. Its elevation is 2,605 meters above sea level, and the annual temperature...

. The state has 338.9 km of rail line, much the same as it had when they were initially built in the early 20th century. They mostly carry freight and connect the cities of San Juan del Río, Tequisquiapan, Pedro Escobedo, Querétaro, Colón and El Marqués. The Querétaro International Airport
Querétaro International Airport
Querétaro International Airport is an international airport located in the Municipalities of Colón and El Marques, Querétaro, Mexico. It handles the national and international air traffic of the city of Querétaro and can also be used as an alternate airport to Mexico City's International...

 began operations in 2004, replacing the older Ing. Fernando Espinosa Gutierrez Airport. Located in the capital, the facility handles both cargo and passengers.

The state has twenty radio stations, seventeen of which are commercial enterprises. Stations include XHUAQ, XHORT, XHOZ, XHOE, XHQTO, XHMQ, XHJHS, XHZQ, XHRQ, XEUAQ, XEQG, XEKH, XEXE, XWGV, XEQUE, XEJX, XEHY and XENA. Television stations are mostly repeaters of national channels such as Televisa
Televisa
Televisa is a Mexican multimedia conglomerate, the largest mass media company in Latin America and in the Spanish-speaking world. It is a major international entertainment business, with much of its programming airing in the United States on Univision, with which it has an exclusive contract...

 and TV Azteca
TV Azteca
Azteca, is the second largest Mexican television entertainment. It was established in 1983 as the state-owned Instituto Mexicano de la Televisión , a holding of the national TV networks channel 13 and 7 and was privatized under its current name in 1993 and now is part of Grupo Salinas...

. Televisa has a local operation called Televisora Queretana. Only TV Q is a fully local station. Cable television for the state is provided by Telecable. Major newspapers and magazines include Noticias, Diario de Querétaro, Sol de San Juan, Financiero Regional, Nuevo Amanecer, Futuro de Querétaro, Para Comentar, Nuevo Milenio, Rotativo, Año 2000, Mundo de Querétaro, Agora, Cabañuelas, El Imparcial, El Informador, Mass, Magazine, Reporte (Q), Rincones Queretanos, Radar and El Informador de Santa Rosa Jáuregui.

Government


The state government is divided into the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches under Article 23 of the state constitution. The executive branch is headed by the governor, under whom are a number of agencies, including the state secretary and the state attorney general. The Legislature is unicameral made up of representatives popularly elected in districts of th state. This legislature has a number of committees tasked with certain types of legislation. The Judiciary consists of a state supreme court and a system of various lower courts.

Archeology



Humans have been living in the area for between 4000 and 6000 years, with the oldest settlements in the southern part. In the pre Hispanic period the area was important for its commercial routes which linked the Gulf Coast, the Huasteca Region and the central highlands of Mexico principally, but there is evidence of commercial traffic from much further away. This made the area one of cultural exchanges with various ethnicities. When the Spanish arrived, the area was inhabited by the Chichimeca Jonaz
Chichimeca
Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico and southwestern United States, and carried the same sense as the European term "barbarian"...

, the Huastecas, the Ximpeces and the Pame
Pame
The Pame are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. They call themselves Xi'úi. They speak the Pame language, which belongs to the Oto-Pamean group of the Oto-Manguean language family....

s.(arqueomex) Four archeological sites are open to the public: Las Ranas, Toluquilla, El Quirambal and El Cerrito.

Las Ranas and Toluquilla are two sites located near each other in the southwest of the Sierra Gorda
Sierra Gorda
The Sierra Gorda is an ecological region centered on the northern third of the state of Querétaro and extending into the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí...

, about ninety km northwest of Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan is a town and municipality located in the southeast of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. The center of the town has cobblestone streets, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills, which is the legacy of its 300 year heritage as a...

, in San Joaquín
San Joaquín, Querétaro
San Joaquín is the seat of San Joaquín Municipality, Querétaro in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It is one of the coldest areas in the state, and is home to numerous apple orchards. The National Huapango Contest takes place in town each year....

. Both controlled the important commercial routes of the area which linked the Gulf Coast
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and the central highlands of Mexico
Mexican Plateau
The Central Mexican Plateau, also known as the Mexican Altiplano or Altiplanicie Mexicana, is a large arid-to-semiarid plateau that occupies much of northern and central Mexico...

, principally, but there is evidence of trade through here from even farther away. One economic activity important to both was the mining of cinnabar
Cinnabar
Cinnabar or cinnabarite , is the common ore of mercury.-Word origin:The name comes from κινναβαρι , a Greek word most likely applied by Theophrastus to several distinct substances...

 (mercury sulfate) which was highly prized as a red pigment in the pre Hispanic period. Las Ranas was established first, reaching its height between 200 and 600 CE, but remained an inhabited city until 100 CE. The main political buildings were constructed on two natural elevations which form a corner. These elevations were terraced in order to place the buildings of stone and mud, then covered in stone plates or tiles to form the facades. Other significant buildings include various temples and five Mesoamerican ball courts.

Toluquilla is a smaller site, occupied from 300 CE to 1300CE. This site was a ceremonial, political and administrative center, located on the upper part of an elongated hill, surrounded by ravines. The structures consist of a series of pyramid bases of stone and mud covered in stone plates or tiles. It also contains four Mesoamerican ball courts, one of which is much larger than other similar ones in the area from the same time. There is also a building which shows evidence of stucco work. Later in its history, the area was invaded by the Chichimeca Jonaz
Chichimeca Jonaz
The Chichimeca Jonaz are a group of indigenous people living in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí. In Guanajuato State the Chichimeca Jonaz people live in a community of San Luis de la Paz municipality. The settlement is 2,070 m above sea level...

, but when the Spanish arrived both sites were abandoned.

El Quirambal is located in the Sierra Gorda between Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles
Pinal de Amoles is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region which stretches over northern Querétaro into Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí, with 88% of the municipality’s land part of the Sierra Gorda...

 and Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra
Jalpan de Serra is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Querétaro, Mexico. It is located in the heart of an important ecological zone called the Sierra Gorda. It is also the site two of five Franciscan missions, including the first one, to have been built in the mid 18th...

, in the small community of San Juan. The ruins lie top of a hill and their construction is similar to other sites in the Huasteca
La Huasteca
La Huasteca is the first climbing area in Monterrey, Mexico, only 15 minutes from the city. With nearly 200 bolted routes with grades from 5.8 to 5.13C, it is the favorite place for weekend climbers. It is also known for the slippery type of limestone from which it is comprised, and which makes...

 region from the end of the Classic into the Post Classic periods (800-1200CE)
Mesoamerican chronology
Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into several periods: the Paleo-Indian , the Archaic , the Preclassic , the Classic , and the Postclassic...

. One important structure is a Mesoamerican ball court which measures forty by twenty meters. On one side of this court, there is a temple with a pyramid base fourteen meters long and seven meters high. All along this flat topped hill, there are structures such as pyramid bases and dwellings and semi circular structures whose purpose has not been determined. The area was inhabited as early as 200 CE and stayed there until it was abandoned in 1200CE. During that time, much of the economy was based on primitive mining.

El Cerrito is located in the municipality of Corregidora, only ten minutes from the historic center of the municipal seat. Twenty three million pesos has been budgeted for its restoration. Only part of the site is open to visitors, which focuses on the El Cerrito pyramid, which is illuminated on certain occasions. This pyramid’s dimensions are similar to that of the Pyramid of the Moon
Pyramid of the Moon
The Pyramid of the Moon is the second largest pyramid in Teotihuacan after the Pyramid of the Sun. It is located in the western part of Teotihuacan and mimics the contours of the mountain Cerro Gordo, just north of the site...

 in Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

. This is one of the main tourist attractions of the area. The name comes from the fact that the site was part of the El Cerrito Hacienda, named after the site, which then was only a “hill” covered in vegetation. The site was an important Toltec influenced ceremonial center, later occupied by the Chichimecas. Later, the area was converted into the sanctuary of the “Virgen de El Pueblito” Virgin Mary image for about a century. Besides the pyramid, another significant structure is called “El Fortín (The Small Fort), which was built over a pre Hispanic pyramid base in 1876, with Neo Gothic doors and windows
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

.

The La Campana archeological site has been sacked and severely damaged. The site is the most important in the northwest of the state, corresponding to the Huasteca culture dating from the year 600 CE. The site was discovered in the mid 20th century, but has not been excavated due to the lack of funds. It contains 160 structures including platforms, plazas, patios, and more.

Other discoveries in the state have included that of a 2,300 year old mummy of a female child, with accompanying fabric, hair, feathers and plant remains. The find was at a cave in a dry, cold, high-altitude site in the Sierra Gorda region. It is one of the oldest mummies found in Mexico, and was due to natural causes rather than by any preservation technique. The girl is estimated to have died around 320 BCE.

See also


  • Governor of Querétaro
    Governor of Querétaro
    This is a list of the governors of the Mexican state of Querétaro since 1911:*1911 Adolfo Isla*1911 Alfonso M. Veraza*1911 José Antonio Septién*1911 Carlos M. Loyola*1913-1914 Joaquín F. Chicarro*1914 José Antonio Septién*1914 Federico Montes...



External links