Coahuila

Coahuila is the third-largest state of Mexico.  In the northeastern part of the country, Coahuila borders San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, and Chihuahua.  It also borders the United States Texas for 318 miles along the Rio Grande.

Important Facts about Coahuila

Coahuila has an area of 58,519 square miles.  With a population of 2,798,064 people, it is the fifteenth most populous state of the country.  The capital is Saltillo, and most crowded city is Torreon.  Coahuila became a state in 1824.  Texas was part of Coahuila until it declared itself a republic in 1835.  Eventually, the United States annexed Texas as the 28th State in 1845.  Meanwhile, Coahuila grew into one of Mexico’s most important industrial centers producing roughly a third of the country’s steel.

Geography and Landscape

Cuatro Cienegas Coahuila Mexico
Cuatro Cienegas Coahuila Mexico

The Sierra Madre range crosses Coahuila.  Its lands are part of the Chihuahua Desert as well as the Miapi Desert.  It also contains a fertile region of known as “Lagunera” which stretches into Durango, as well.  Most of the desert lands of the state are intensely hot and dry.  Wildfires are frequent in the arid and semi-arid regions of Coahuila. The forested areas of Coahuila, particularly the mountains, are a more moderate climate.

The Cuatro Cienegas (Four Marshes) are off to the west of the city of Monclova.  This area falls under the national biosphere reserve protection.  In contrast, the southern region of the country is famous for its wine and brandy production.  A land of contradictions, there are many pools, lagoons, wells, and rivers in the state.  As a result, the flora of desert scrubland, but also cassava and thistle bushes.  The forests are stands of oak and pine trees.  Incidentally, the fauna includes rattlesnake, grizzly bear, eagle, puma, wild boar, and deer.

History of Coahuila

coahuila coat of arms
Coahuila coat of arms

Early Coahuilans entered the region of Coahuila roughly twelve thousand years ago.  Archaeologists discovered that these people often lived in caves near rivers where they fished and hunted.   Some of the best-known tribes of Coahuila include the Huauchichiles, Coahuiltecos, and Rayados.  The Spanish did not begin to colonize this northern area of Mexico until long after they conquered the Aztecs, in 1550.

The Spaniards had a hard time invading Coahuila.  They did not do well in the extreme climate of the region and short supply of water.  There were popular uprisings in the decades that followed the period of colonization.  Spanish diseases killed off nearly 90% of the indigenous locals in the area.

Because disease wiped out the local population, the Spanish imported indigenous people from other areas; for example, they brought Tlaxaltec people of the south.  In 1856, Coahuila was incorporated into the state of Nuevo Leon but retained jurisdiction over its lands in 1868.  Over time, Coahuila became well known for its wine production.

Tourism

Tourists visit one or several of its unique regions.  The wine-making part is popular with tourists, but so are both of its biosphere reserves.  Museums, festivals, and other activities lure tourists to the villages.  Also, the mountains and amazing features of the landscape attract eco-tourists and adventure-seekers.  Ultimately, Coahuila has a rich past that complements its remarkable history.

Cuisine

Situated in Mexican cattle country, Coahuila loves its meat and dairy.  Coahuilans eats many wheat-based items as it’s is so close to the U.S. where wheat is consumed more widely than corn.  Some of the state’s traditional meals include baked goat and rehydrated salt beef known as machaca con huevos.  Popular in this state are milk-based candies and desserts.

Saltillo

Saltillo is sometimes called the Athens of Mexico.  It is rich with cultural attractions that make it one of the most important cities of northern Mexico.  Founded in 1577, Saltillo has colonial architecture.  The most recognizable feature of this Colonial Center is the pink marble.  Of course,  Alameda Zaragoza, and its artificial lake are most famous here.  Likewise, the cathedral and museums also draw tourists to the capital throughout the year.

Other Things to See and Do:

  • Parras.  Famous for its wine. Also noteworthy here is the extreme natural beauty. Many Mexicans believe the Parras wineries are the best in the country.
  • Arteaga Mountains.  The diverse terrain of these mountains attracts many tourists.  Attractions include a gorgeous landscape, hiking, mountain biking, and camping.
  • Museo del Desierto.  This world-famous museum of the desert ecosystem is famous.  Fusing regional geology, paleontology, biology, art and more, the museum is itself a major draw for visitors to the state.
  • Torreon.  One of the nation’s fastest-growing cities.  As a business hub, Torreon is home to international companies. It is known for great restaurants, shopping venues, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Museo de las Aves Mexico. Are you interested in birds? This museum in Saltillo represents roughly seventy-three percent of the country’s bird species.  Through its exhibits and environmental education, the museum is vital for Mexico’s conservation efforts.