Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Going back in time as many centuries as you can imagine, the descendants of tribes who occupied the territories of Oaxaca, Tabasco and Campeche arrived at Mactumacza Valley, settling on the Quishimbac River. It is said that those Zoque Indians, craftsmen of ceramics, silk and cotton, corn farmers and hunters of rabbits, planted a ceiba tree near where the new State Capital Building currently stands.

So this is how those Indians came to found the town of Coyatoc, a word derived from the words Coya , rabbit, and toc home. Yet others agree that the name of the town was Coyatocm, which would convey a slightly different meaning: Place House of Rabbits.

The invasion and domination of the Nahua in the 15th century changed the name of this Zoque town, being then called Tuchtlan, meaning place where rabbits abound. It was later, with the Spanish conquest, that the Iberian colonizers would give a completely different pronunciation to the Nahua word, using as a reference the Zoque pronunciation of Tuchtlan, to accentuate the word as Tusta, which led at the same time to the pronunciation Tuxtla. The city of Tuxtla, with an approximate area of 413 square kilometers (159 sq. miles), occupies only 0.5% of the territory of the state.

However, it is the city with the highest population density in the state, as well as the state capital of Chiapas. Tuxtla Gutierrez has a throbbing downtown at the foot of Mactumacza, called the Cerro del Agua. Historians agree that Tuxtla never was formally founded as a town, although it is known that in the middle of the 15th century, a group of friars integrated the Zoque Indian villages that were scattered throughout the Tuchtlan Valley at that time, to give life to a town named San Marcos Tuxtla. There, they erected a chapel dedicated to St. Mark.

Yet, even during colonial times Tuxtla Gutiérrez was not a very important town because of its political dependence of the town of Santo Domingo de Guzman de Chiapa de Indios, what is today the town of Chiapa de Corzo. By 1813, the town of Tuxtla had 5 thousand inhabitants, of which almost 75% were Zoque Indians, 19% mestizos, and the rest Spanish.

On September 4, 1821, infused with the ardor of a free country, city officials proclaimed the independence of the town of Tuxtla, both from Guatemala and Spain, incorporating itself into the rising Empire of Agustin de Iturbide, and converting itself into the capital city of this wonderful state.

Subsequently, on May 31, 1848 the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez added to its name Gutierrez, as a posthumous tribute to the federalist hero Don Joaquin Miguel Gutierrez of Chiapas.

The climate of Tuxtla has changed with the filling of hydroelectric dams in central Chiapas, especially the Netzahualcoyotl Dam, whose reservoir has cooled the lower layers of the atmosphere of the place. Strong winds blow from the northwest, but the development of streets and buildings has contributed to rising temperatures in the area.

Tuxtla Gutierrez is a hot and humid city, ranging from 18 to 36 degrees Celsius (64-98 F).

The city has beautiful wildlife and nature, with exquisite trees, birds and reptiles. The locals of Tuxtla know very well that the region is situated, from northwest to southeast, along a migration route for birds. See for yourself depending on the season, just focus with a good pair of binoculars on the moon on a clear night, and you will see flocks of birds traversing the sky. In Tuxtla there are many places of interest to see.

That such as the Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo on the outskirts, which displays the region's nature and wildlife, including jaguars, quetzals, pumas, crocodiles, macaws, spider monkeys, harpy eagles, scorpions, etc., all situated in enclosures that mimic their natural habitat.

In the Natural History Museum, there is information about the biodiversity of Tuxtla, and even some fossils and data on the flora of Chiapas. For its part, the Museum of Archaeology and History contains important remains of the most important cultures that flourished in Chiapas, covering the prehistoric periods, Early Classic, Classic, Late Classic, and Postclassic: the Olmec, Mam, Maya, and the many people who have stepped on the rich soil of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Right in the heart of the downtown, you can hear the sound of the marimba and enjoy a refreshing drink of pozol, or a tazcalate which receives its special reddish color by one essential ingredient; chia.Both drinks are made from corn, as well as the delicious Chiapanecan tamales that visitors should be sure not to miss.

And you musn't miss the majestic Sumidero Canyon These awesome ancient formations were created by action of the Grijalva River coming down from the mountains of the central valley itself, which, no doubt, will be recorded in your memory forever. Come to Tuxtla Gutierrez A city of pleasant experiences and memories, the wonderful capital of the state of Chiapas.