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The geography of our city’s currently location is one of the many sites that the Kumiai natives would visit for food and better weather conditions. Approximately around 1829, this same site which is located in a wide valley on the Tijuana River and surrounded by mountains, hills and canyons, was given to the soldier and

politician Santiago Argüello Moraga by the political chief of the Department of the Californias, José María Echeandía, under the name “Tia Juana”. In 1976, the VIII City Council designated July 11, 1889 as the official date of the founding of Tijuana.

Beginning of the urban settlement

In the early XX century, Tijuana was a small town with a population of only 245 people. The only inhabited areas were downtown as well as the main avenue, Olvera Street, which is currently known as the Avenida Revolución.  At that time it was occupied with tourism-oriented businesses.  In a relatively short time, Tijuana has come to be one of the most important and dynamic cities, not only in Mexico, but in the entire world.  The latest census shows a population of 1.5 to 2.3 million people.  This makes Tijuana a city of progress and a city where residents contribute daily to hard work, responsibility and honesty making Tijuana a unique place in so many ways.


The city of Zaragoza (Tijuana) began its urbanization on July 11, 1889, when Santiago Argüello and Agustín Olvera’s heirs came to an agreement to establish the urban development for the current population. Decades later, during the II History Symposium in 1975, that date was declared as the official founding of the young city.

From its inception, Tijuana recognized an opportunity for tourism. From the late XIX century to the early decades of the XX century, California residents have crossed south of the peninsula to pursue business.

The historic events of 1911 gave life to a heroic city making it a milestone that only few know about.  Then, in 1915, the Panama-California Exposition drew many visitors to Tijuana, along with the “Feria Tradicional de Mexico” (Traditional Fair of Mexico) which presented Tijuana to its U.S. neighbors with arts and crafts, local cuisine, thermal springs, horse races and boxing. This event put Tijuana onto the world map.

Tijuana, the city of opportunities



The 20s brought important events to Tijuana such as the so-called “ley seca” or the prohibition to sell, produce, transport, import/export alcoholic beverages in the United States.  So many North Americans saw Tijuana as the opportunity they lacked in the country. Years later, gambling was authorized in Mexico and

important casinos opened up in the country such as the Casino Aguacaliente. By the 1940s, Tijuana’s nightlife had become a major attraction for U.S. visitors as well as the nationals from the south of Mexico that had begun migrating into the city, causing the city to grow from 2,1971 residents in 1940 to 63,364 by 1950. Nightlife began to diminish and family-oriented tourism began to rise.

In recent years, Tijuana has become a demographic phenomena due to its way of life and employment  opportunities. The current population is estimated at more than 2.5 million citizens including a large student population in 25 different universities and institutions, and is the fourth most populated city in Mexico, behind Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.  Tijuana is also an important hub for manufacturing/assembly companies or maquiladoras.  It is also one of the main cities in the world where televisions are assembled.

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