Campeche, officially called the Free and Sovereign State of Campeche, is one of the thirty-one states that, together with Mexico City, form the United Mexican States. Its capital and most populated city is San Francisco de Campeche. It is located in the Yucatan peninsula, southeast region of the country, bordering Yucatan to the north and northeast, Quintana Roo to the east, Belize to the southeast, Guatemala to the south, the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and Tabasco to the southwest . With 899 931 inhabitants in 2015, it is the third least populated state - ahead of Baja California Sur and Colima, the least populated - and with 14,20 inhab / km², the fourth least densely populated state - ahead of Chihuahua, Durango and Baja Southern California, the least densely populated. It was founded on April 29, 1863. From a physical point of view, Campeche is in a position of transition between the Guatemalan Petén rain forest and the deciduous low forest of the extreme north of the Yucatan peninsula. There are various theories about the origin of the word Campeche (in Mayan: can pech, 'snake and tick') Others indicate that Campeche is derived from the words kin (in Mayan: Kin, 'sol') which means sun and pech, such as already indicated, tick. Some suppose that to this name (kin pech) the prefix ah can be added, which means place and altogether it would say "place of the lord sun tick".

On October 4, 1540, Campeche was the first town founded by the Spanish in the Yucatan peninsula.

Before the Spanish conquest, the area that Campeche currently occupies was populated by the Mayan civilization. Its land served as a transit for the Itza and the Xiues, conquerors of the great cities of Chichen-Itza and Uxmal, which at the time were the heart of the lordship of Can Pech which means "place of the Lord Sun tick" population that had 15,000 inhabitants approximately, with about 3,000 houses with mud walls and thatched roofs, very similar to the current ones in rural areas.
The first Spanish incursions into Campeche were commanded by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in 1517 and Juan de Grijalva in 1518; Some time later, in 1540, Francisco de Montejo, "El Mozo", decided to found a villa in the place that currently occupies the main plaza of Campeche, decreeing the creation of San Francisco de Campeche, previously called San Lázaro and Salamanca.

During the colonial period, Campeche was an active commercial port, it focused its attention on the exploitation of the dye stick, used for the manufacture of dyes and the manufacture of boats, and served as the port of entry and exit from the province of Yucatan to the Hispanic Metropolis. This wealth and prosperity provoked attacks by English and Dutch pirates, such as Henry Morgan and William Parker, who sought not only to seize wealth but to undermine the power of Spain, for which reason the Spanish crown projected the construction of protection works in 1651 in the port, which concluded in the XNUMXth century.
The town was elevated to the category of city by Cédula Real de Carlos III in October 1777. After Independence, Campeche was the head of the department of the same name, which was one of the five members of the state of Yucatan, later the August 7, 1857, a group of liberals led by Pablo García, started a popular movement so that the Campeche District separated from Yucatan and became one more state of the federation, a decision ratified by President Juárez on April 29 of 1863, leaving Campeche as the capital of the new state.

The state of Campeche has a solid popular culture that manifests itself in its festivities, its culinary arts and its crafts. Campeche is one of the states of the Republic where fruit water is best prepared, very refreshing for that climate, and cold pozol. Its gastronomic specialties, which include the wallpaper pompano, the pan de cazón, the chocolomo, the sweet empanadas with ham and cheese, and the fish broth, among many others, are true delicacies for the traveler. in carnival season, especially in the Calkiní area, “Las vaquerías” are celebrated, where the Dance of the Head of Pigs is performed. This dance consists of transporting on a tray the baked head of a pig, profusely adorned with flowers and colored ribbons that the girls hold with their hands. Behind them follows a musical ensemble. This parade reaches the tejabán where the "dairy" will be held. It is extraordinary to see members of high society dance the jarana with humble peasants, since at that time there are no social classes but only the pleasure of dancing the traditional jarana. The musical ensemble is normally integrated with instruments from the region: the marimbol, which is a kind of box with a hole in the center and steel straps on the edge, usually extracted from strings of old phonographs, as well as jaraneara guitars and some instruments of wind. Also at these parties the "bombs" are customary, which are verses with which a lady is praised, who will also receive a flower from the hands of the reciter.

The pig's head that was used in the dance is later cut into pieces to make tacos, which are served with a special sauce to all the audience. The dance is paid for by the community with the help of the municipal authorities. On the other hand, in the town of Nunkiní you can admire and obtain splendid artisan samples of the crestría and the most wonderful mats of Mexico, woven with a material that only grows in the southeast, called huano, painted with natural dyes and adorned with beautiful drawings.

The friendly town of Becal is famous worldwide because the finest hats called Panama are manufactured there, as well as many other kinds of jipi palm articles. These crafts are made in a humid cavern so that the palm does not dry out, which is cut into "rows" so thin that they could be mistaken for sewing threads. In Tepakán, women make very fine jugs, with two handles that are removed from the body of the jug and decorated with pale colors, among which stands out a blue very similar to the Mayan blue of antiquity.

In the city of Campeche the hawksbill was formerly worked, even with silver inlays, to make jewelry and ostentatious fans. Given the worldwide closure that protects this species of turtles, the locals have replaced the hawksbill with a bull's horn, to carry portraits, chests, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and pins, among other exquisite crafts that spring from the expert hands of the architects Campechanos, who also convert sea snails and shells into objects of art.

Finally, to distinguish themselves from Yucatecans, in the mid-twentieth century women from Campeche devised a blouse finely embroidered with black thread in a cross stitch on white poplin, which on the shoulders shows boat designs and on the front the Campeche crest. However, nothing is as fresh and beautiful as a hipil embroidered with the counted thread or cross stitch technique.

FESTIVALS Among the religious events in Campeche is the festival of the Black Christ of San Román, which has its origins in the arrival of the Black Christ in the year 1565. It is celebrated from September 13 to 29 with cultural and sporting events, serenades , flower games competitions, agricultural, livestock, artisan and industrial exhibition; mechanical and pyrotechnic games; popular dances and processions.

The San Francisco neighborhood party is held in honor of San Francisco de Asís, which is celebrated from October 4 to 10, with various activities such as dances; fireworks and rides; liturgical processions and offices.

Feast of All Saints, is held in honor of the faithful departed and all Saints, and is held annually from October 30 to November 2; In it religious ceremonies, visits and offerings are carried out in cemeteries and cemeteries, as well as flower arrangements in the altars of the hearth homes, as well as gastronomic offerings with the famous and traditional pibi-chickens, accompanied by sweet fruits and traditional drinks of the state.

Within the popular festivals there is the carnival with a movable date, either in February or March; This event is said to be one of the best in the country. Of his outstanding activities we can mention the coronation of the queen of Campeche, the ugly king and television; parade of allegorical cars; comparsas with their colorful costumes, and rides; to name a few.

There is also the Polkeken Party, which is a colorful show that highlights the Rooster and Pig Dance, where women wear regional costumes; This event takes place on January 6 in Lerma.

Finally, in terms of sports, there is the Ah-Kim-Pech Cup, a sports competition, valid for the national motorboat championship, which consists of an outboard motor boat race in different categories, and which It is complemented by popular celebration dances for the winners.

There is a wide range of dishes such as pan de cazón, pickled vine, bean with pork, stew, tamales, mondongo, chocolomo, cochinita, hibes with pork and black filling; complemented with sweets, such as nance, plum, pineapple, ciricote, cocoyol, pumpkin, papaya, sweet potato, cashew, coconut, tamarind, mango and cassava.

In its drinks, it offers a wide variety, and you can enjoy coconut, new corn atole, agua de horchata, cashew, mango, pineapple, orange, saramullo, grapefruit, Jamaica, papaya, pitahaya, nance, Sandia, among others.


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