Mazatlán is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa;
the surrounding municipality, for which the city serves
as the municipal seat, is also called Mazatlán. It
is located at 23°12'N 106°25'W, on the Pacific coast,
just across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California
Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning "place of
the deer". The city was founded in the 1820s. By the
mid-1800s, a large group of immigrants had arrived from
Germany. These new citizens developed Mazatlán into
a thriving commercial seaport, importing equipment for the
nearby gold and silver mines. It served as the capital of
Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873.
Mazatlán, with a population of 340,000 as of 2000,
is the second-largest city in the state and Mexico's largest
commercial port. It is also a popular tourist destination,
its beaches lined with resort hotels. A car ferry plies
its trade across the Gulf of California from Mazatlán
to La Paz, Baja California Sur.
In 2005, Mazatlán hosted and won the "Serie
del Caribe", which is an annual baseball tournament
with teams from México, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and
the Dominican Republic.
Every year, Carnival is celebrated during the week before
Ash Wednesday. There are a lot of festivities, including
the election of a Queen, parades, and balls. This is the
third largest Mardi Gras in the world, behind the celebrations
held in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.
History: By late XVIII and early XIX centuries Mazatlan
was a bunch of huts inhabited by indians occupied of fishing.
But, according to Abel Aubert du Petit-Thouars, french explorer,
by 1828-1829 arrived to this port the spanish banker Machado,
who stablisehd commercial relations with vessels coming
to Mazatlan from far places such as Chili, Peru, US, Europe
and China. That's the way the commerce headed by this spanish
banker turned the bunch of huts into a small village that
by 1836 was inhabited by 4000 to 5000 persons.
During the Mexican War, the american army took the city
between 1847 and 1848; in order to avoid the shelling of
the city the mexican army had abandoned it. On 1859 the
port was bockaded by HMS Amethyst. On the morning of November
13, 1864, french men-of-war shot twelve times against the
city but there was no dead; that's the way Mazatlan became
part of the Mexican Empire under Maximiliano. On November
13, 1866, the mexican general Ramon Corona expelled the
imperialists from Mazatlan. On 1868 William H. Bridge, captain
of HMS Chanticleer threatened to shell the city after custom
authorities seized to his general payer, Mr. Wallace, twenty
three gold ounces. Ramón Corona simply ignored him.
Americans living on the east coast willing to become a gold
digger in San Francisco used to sail from New York or anyother
Atlantic port to mexican ports in the Gulf of Mexico. From
these ports the future gold diggers horse ride for weeks
to Mazatlan. Here they had to take another ship which after
four to five weeks would take them to San Francisco.
The Lighthouse: It began to shine by mid 1879. The lamp
had been handcrafted in Paris, France, and it was formed
by a big oil lamp with mirrors to enhance the light. Since
it was static, on the distance it was often mistaken as
a star. By 1905 this lamp was changed to a revolving lamp.