Home to nearly five million inhabitants, the state of Guanajuato is located in central México. Capital city is Guanajuato. The north is mountainous, while the south is largely devoted to agriculture (corn maize, beans, barley, and wheat). The first Spanish settlement in Guanajuato was that of San Miguel de Allende in 1542. During colonial times, the capital city was an important silver-mining area. In 1810 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla began the Mexican war for independence and took the city of Guanajuato in the same year. The state was also home to a number of important battles during the Revolution of 1910, with Pancho Villa losing his chance to march to the capital at the Battle of Silao (if I remember correctly). Other important cities are León, Irapuato, Salamanca and Celaya. The region became a state in 1824.

The principal industry is mining (gold, tin, lead, mercury, copper, and opals, in addition to silver). Other industries include flour mills, tanneries and leather factories, cotton and woollen mills, distilleries, heavy industrial factories (General Motors) and foundries. The state is traversed by railroads and highways, with the four-lane highway from León to Irapuato considered a prime example of modernizing the Mexican transportation system.

Guanajuato city

Spanish colonial city founded in 1554 which became one of the three important silver-producing centers of the Spanish Empire during the 16th century (along with Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí. The mine called "La Valenciana" was particularly rich and helped produce the gold-filled church of the same name. The Alhondiga (a granary turned armory) was overtaken by independence forces led by Father Miguel Hidalgo in 1810. When Miguel Hidalgo was finally captured, his head was skewered on a pole and set in front of the Alhondiga for all to see. The Museum of the Mummies is famous for displaying well-preserved corpses that were dug up during the construction of underground streets (IIRC, I'd have to ask the relatives down south about that). The Cervantino Festival is an annual event occuring every October which celebrates the works of Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote and many other tales. Many a party is to be found during the two weeks or so of the festival, and hotel rooms throughout the city are booked months in advance by just about every type of person imaginable. I have unfortunately not been able to experience the Cervantino, but hope to do so before I get too old.

Population: city (1990) = 73,108; (2000 estimate) = 77,000... state (1980) = 3,006,110; (1990) = 3,982,593; (2000 estimate) = 4,656,761.

Population provided by www.citypopulation.de