Guadalajara is the birthplace of Mexico’s most recognized symbols around the world – the mariachi, the tequila, the traditional and folkloric dancing and the charrería (horsemanship), which is a cultural tradition and a sport that incorporates equestrian competitions and demonstrations, specific costumes, music and food.
Guadalajara is the cultural center of western Mexico and the second most important cultural center in the country, recognized by the Organization of American States in 2005 as the Capital of the Culture in the Americas.
Guadalajara is an authentic colonial and cosmopolitan city, considered the second most important in Mexico -due to the strength of its economy and life quality-, where the architecture of each historical building tells the social, political and economical transformation of Mexico.
In Jalisco, the parcels of blue agave are protected by the Declaration of Protection of the Naming of the Origins of Tequila, which has been in effect since 1974.
A product of the cultural mix between the pre-hispanic inhabitants and the Spanish conquerors, tequila has played a predominant role in the formation of the national identity. This drink, extracted from the blue agave plants that line the thousands of acres that make up the agave landscape (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 13, 2006) has crossed borders, seducing palates and seeking strong flavors. In doing so, tequila has given a unique meaning to Mexican culture around the world.
For all the unique features that enclose the production of this ancient drink, the Tequila Route was created, a trail were past centuries are reflected in valuable cultural heritage, archaeological monuments and magnificent constructions that takes you back to past times as history, art and architecture are blended in a unique way shaping places like no other.
The cultural identity of the state of Jalisco is represented in the wide ranging works of the artists that apply their trade in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, where the majority of these pieces take shape.
Especially in Tlaquepaque and Tonalá (the most important artisan centers in the entire country) you can find an endless array of decorative and functional pieces whose most common characteristics are the imagination and skill employed in their creation.
With the use of processes and techniques in the visual arts that have been passed down from generation to generation, many pieces stand out, such as: the ceramic plates and cups fashioned at high temperatures; the burnished clay vases and tiles; the shiny hand-blown glass bottles and vases for flowers; the bronze and stone sculptures; paper mâché figures; and a wide variety of items that can bring a touch of beauty to any place.
The handicrafts in Jalisco are held in such high esteem that many local artists have been able to position their works beyond our borders, making them popular collection pieces.
Nowadays you can appreciate the talent of artisans from Jalisco in museums, galleries and places in countless countries around the world that exhibit contemporary figures and paintings, beautiful jewelry, gold altarpieces and fine furniture with the signature of local artists.
“Guadalajara has become a unique place that offers exceptional
experiences that involve the senses with millenary traditions considered heritage and cosmopolitan trends that reflect the passion of people and their identity”
Among the manifestations of the Jalisco culture, Mariachi music has reached a point where it is not only considered a symbol of Mexican identity, but also declared part of Global Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
A special mention must be made of the International Mariachi and Charrería Festival (Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi y la Charrería), an event that every year, since 1994, has brought together the best mariachis from around the world to perform in the traditional galas and festivals, making it a high-quality event with a lively tradition.
An Intangible Heritage of Humanity: The city of Guadalajara has positioned itself as one of the most important centers for the culinary arts in the country -giving recognition to the designation given to the Mexican Gastronomy as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO- thanks to its large number of restaurants that pay homage to regional and international cuisine.
As the heir to deeply-rooted Mexican tradition, the banquet in Guadalajara offers delightful dishes such as: beef stew, carne en su jugo, with bacon seasoning and fried spring onions; goat-meat stew, birria tatemada, in a tomato sauce; the succulent local meat soup, pozole rojo, with pork; or the spicy, chili-sauce-drenched pork rolls, tortas ahogadas.
Recognized as the National Sport of Mexico, it is a tradition where the skills shown in horse riding and lassoing make them an art form. In this originally rural, cultural festival, robust and valiant men display their authority in riding horses and wielding the lasso, making it a show without comparison.