Chihuahua, Chihuahua

Population: 740,000

Time Zone: Central Standard Time

Airport: Chihuahua International Airport (CUU)

Elevation: 4,650 feet

One of the wealthiest, per capita, cities in Mexico, Chihuahua is nearly a mile high in elevation. This distinctive location ensures the state maintains a pleasant year-round climate, although can get quite cool in the winter. The economic engine is the ever-growing maquiladora industry, employing thousands of local people from assembly-line workers to mid and upper-level management. (A maquiladora or maquila is a factory that imports materials and equipment on a duty-free and tariff-free basis for assembly or manufacturing and then re-exports the assembled product, usually back to the originating country. “Maquiladora” is primarily used to refer to factories in Mexican towns along the United States–Mexico border, but increasingly is used to refer to factories all over Latin America. Maquiladora factories encompass a variety of industries including electronics, transportation, textile, and machinery, among others. )Several universities in the city produce a well-educated populace and a fairly high-standard of living. The early years of the city were dominated by huge cattle ranches and mining interests and Pancho Villa’s army captured the city as a northern headquarters base during the Mexican Revolution. His home, La Quinta Luz, is now an interesting museum with interesting memorabilia, including the car in which he was gunned downed and assassinated.Chihuahua was once one of the most important downs in Mexico, although many of the colonial era buildings were demolished in the 1970’s to make room for wider streets, there are still a number of interesting historical sites to see. Many of today’s visitors are attracted to Chihuahua as the starting, or ending point on the railroad line through the majestic Copper Canyon.