Coahuila de Zaragoza, is a place full of fortresses, attractions and tourist products in five regions. It has seven magical towns with beautiful architecture, culture and traditions, the cradle of historical figures. With a unique paleontological past in the country. Territory of great natural wealth, its ecosystems include deserts, forests and mountains.
The history of which there is a record in Coahuila begins during the Upper Cretaceous Period, approximately 72.5 million years ago, when it was inhabited by prehistoric living beings that inhabited what is now Saltillo, Ramos Arizpe, Parras de la Fuente and mainly, General Cepeda and its surroundings; also in Múzquiz, Sabinas and Sierra Mojada, in the Carboniferous Region and North of the State.
Thanks to this heritage, Coahuila has impacted the world scientific community, considering itself as the state of the Mexican Republic with the greatest paleontological wealth and standing out in the international context among the top 10 places.
Many centuries after that stage, after the arrival of the first settlers who, according to historians, were able to enter from the United States and Canada, for more than 12 thousand years, hundreds of ethnic groups of gatherers and hunters, inhabited the territory that we know today. . Its vestiges are present in almost the entire state. The societies, belonging almost entirely to three major linguistic branches, were occupying areas with very different offers of vegetables and animals to reproduce their existence.
As proof of these organized societies, various caves were found in different areas of the state that protected mortuary bundles, formed by flexed skeletons covered with a large cloak and well tied, one of the characteristic elements of Coahuila archeology. They reflect the complex belief system of the hunter-gatherer groups that inhabited the region.
Before man transformed the landscape, the region that most attracted indigenous peoples was that of the Mayran and Parras lagoons, now disappeared, on whose margins societies that spoke different languages, such as Zacateco from the south, irritated to the west, were able to establish themselves for seasons , the coahuileño to the north and the chiso to the northeast, with some intervention of cuachichiles in the eastern part.
The landscape that the indigenous people knew was transformed during the last four centuries by the European conquerors, in such a decisive way that, if the first settlers returned to life, they would not recognize their millenary gathering and hunting grounds.
The indigenous people learned to know the biotic resources of each of the ecosystems, even those that seemed most precarious, such as the Mapimí Bolson. There, the Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries formed a society, after bloody battles and resistance from the Toboso indigenous people, cocoyomes, bobosaigames, depos and other communities.
His legacy is in cave paintings, petrogravures, projectile points and dozens of mortars where they ground the seeds that provided them with the necessary proteins and vitamins. They knew the use of shrubs, plants, leaves, flowers, roots, and fruits; Despite their supposed fragility in the environment, they managed to dominate the conditions of the place and successfully fought at first the interference of the Spanish.
A characteristic element of many Mexican towns was the construction of architectural works, however, the ethnic groups of Coahuila, due to the location of the area, lived slightly out of phase with the cultural level of other tribes in the country, so they did not leave a large number of archaeological remains. or constructions since they were nomads, they were not established definitively.
The arrival and rise of the Spanish Empire to establish the Viceroyalty of New Spain in Coahuila, was complicated; The area was one of those that took the longest to be dominated by the Spanish, mainly due to the strong opposition of the indigenous people and the difficult access due to desert conditions.
There are several theories regarding the entry of Spaniards into the territory of Coahuila, some point out that Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca entered through Nuevo León in 1532; others point out that the first to enter through the south of the state was a friar in 1567. However, according to a General Archive of the Indies, in Seville, the slavers arrived in 1564 from Tampico and made an access route to the Laguna de Mayran, which was indigenous territory, a road that crossed the cities of Monterrey and Saltillo today. Little by little, the Spanish settled down and built temples and convents, the well-known missions, especially in the north of the state.
The southern part of Coahuila, belonged to the new Biscay, from Mazapil and Durango, the founders of Parras and Saltillo left. The central region of Monclova and Candela, was colonized from the New Kingdom of León. At that time the foundation of villas began and land was distributed. Due to the diseases brought by the Europeans and the mistreatment of the Indians, they abandoned the Spaniards and the towns were empty, the foundations failed.
That is why when Saltillo was about to depopulate, it was decided to bring to the territory of Coahuila a group of Tlaxcala families that could counteract the warlike power of the nomads and induce them to a more sedentary and productive life.
In 1591, they founded the Pueblo de Indios San Esteban de la Nueva Tlaxcala, along with Saltillo, which was an independent town in Nueva Vizcaya and was politically linked to the viceroy, and even built their own parish. From this Tlaxcala town, fourteen more emerged in Coahuila and Nuevo León.
Coahuila is a territory of desert and semi-desert plains, but also with abundant pine forests, such as those of Arteaga and land suitable for growing grapes such as Cuatro Ciénegas and Parras. It is for these qualities that explorers and missionaries used the southeast region as a springboard to colonize northern Mexico, a mission that included Texas.
At that time, towns and haciendas emerged that flourished in the 16th century. Santiago del Saltillo, Santa María de las Parras and San Francisco de Patos were born. Much of this territory belonged to the Marquesado de San Miguel de Aguayo.
The colonial era developed when the colonizers imposed themselves by force of their weapons and the help of viruses that were decimating indigenous societies. Peninsular Spaniards and Creoles, followed by mestizos, developed an economy that transformed the regions and tipped the balance of power in their favor.
In Parras, wines and spirits began to be produced from the 16th century, the saltillenses stood out as wheat producers and recognized for their annual fair attended by buyers and sellers from Texas and Louisiana to Veracruz. Other towns such as Monclova, San Pedro, Candela, San Buenaventura and Cuatro Ciénegas, were later consolidated.
Once the separation from Spain was achieved, the state of Coahuila and Texas was established in 1824, which had an ephemeral life. American colonists seized Texas and declared independence from Mexico in 1836. A few years later, the northern neighbor would invade the national territory and take over half of the country.
The 19th century was very bloody for Coahuilense. Between 1810 and 1940 there was no tranquility; Governor Vidaurri forcibly created the state of Nuevo León-Coahuila and annexed this territory as if it were another country. The French invaded Mexico as part of the diplomatic move to impose a European emperor, a battalion that settled in Coahuila; Disagreements between conservatives and liberals began, lasting over a century. Clashes and problems with indigenous people intensified, many of these coming from the part that was now under US power.
The population of the state was always very little and the territory very wide. This was Coahuila, when the first news of the struggle for independence arrived. The insurgents arrived in the territory and were welcomed and cheered by the people, unaware that days later they would be arrested and later shot.
The origin of the name Coahuila dates back to the 16th century when the Spaniards who arrived in this territory encountered natives from these lands who called themselves Coahuiltecos; Hence various names such as Cuagüila or Cuauila were derived.
Some historians think that it means "viper that flies", "place of many trees" and others point out that it means "the place where snakes crawl".
It was in 1868 that the then President Benito Juárez granted Coahuila its independence as an entity of the Federation and assigned Coahuila de Zaragoza as its official name, to remember the immortal hero of Puebla, the one who on the evening of May 5, would communicate that the National arms had been covered in the same glory that was born in 1829 in the prison of Bahía del Espíritu Santo, Texas, when this province still belonged to Coahuila, Mexico.
The state of Coahuila, and particularly the southeast region, is linked to important moments in the history of Mexico. It was not until 1910, when the Mexican Revolution arrived, that the inhabitants already had an experience of struggle and rebellion that served to have a place of importance in the struggle, following the example of Miguel Ramos Arizpe, who faced Spain one hundred years Before, Francisco I. Madero, originally from Parras, emerged with a project of citizen participation and in defense of freedom of expression.
Before the assassination of President Madero, the then Governor of Coahuila Venustiano Carranza, formed the first Constitutionalist Army in Arteaga and opposed the coup military regime and managed to get a new Constitution approved in 1917, the basis of the Constitution that until today governs to the country.
Throughout its historical life, Coahuila has gone through all the government systems in force in Mexico, both the federal system and the central system, for which the name of the entity has varied between state and department; varying along with it, the name of the holder of the Executive Power of the State.
The Tlaxcala presence left the Dance of the Matlachines, an artistic expression that dates back to 1591 and is performed in almost the entire state; Originally it was a war dance, today it is a dance of a religious nature.
Also noteworthy are the Dance of Feather or palm, also known as Dance of the Conquest, in which they represent Cortés, Malinche and Moctezuma; the Dance of the Caballitos and the indigenous dance of the Kikapú.
In folk dance, the Contradanza de Arteaga, the General Cepeda Patent Syrup stand out and the polka, the paso doble and the mazurca are danced throughout the state.
Among the representative music, the norteña and the corridos that narrate the lives of characters or places stand out, pieces that use the accordion and the sixth bass as basic instruments; sometimes accompanied by violin or double bass, performed by groups of two or three musicians known as "Fara - Fara". The highest expression of popular singing is the "Cardenche"; a polyphonic song that is performed a cappella by three voices, two high and one low, where the theme is love, heartbreak and sad farewell; it is common to hear it in pastorelas and funeral ceremonies in the Laguna and Sureste regions.
Another important cultural expression of Coahuila is the textile crafts, the loom weaving that led to what is now one of the emblems of the state, the Saltillo serape. Artisanal transformation work essentially with the weaving of fibers, wool, cotton, ixtle, sotol, palm and tule.
The difficult conditions of the environment, have made throughout the centuries the people of Coahuilenses elaborate crafts with a more utilitarian than artistic character; highlights in some areas of the Southeast region, the artisanal elaboration of pieces of gardening such as brushes, scouring pads and brooms made with hard fibers, product of emblematic desert plants such as palm, sotol and ixtle, with which reins, backpacks, nets, baskets, clotheslines and toys.
In the Centro region, mainly in Candela and Cuatro Cienegas, crafts are made carved in Mesquite and polished with candelilla wax, they make napkin rings, spoons, plates, bowls, salad bowls, mortars and figurines.
In the Carbonífera, saddlery is made in belts and extraordinary saddles. The Kikapú handicrafts are also noteworthy, integrating beautiful deer suede tehuas, beaded embroidery and the beautiful dolls and costumes typical of the Mascogos.
In the North region, mainly in Guerrero, pieces are carved from stone, wood and deer antlers, an abundant animal in that area.
In the Laguna region, recently the artistic blacksmithing with steel stands out and extraordinary pieces of silverware, crafts with unique, modern and traditional designs are made that are increasingly making their way in the national and international market.
As a cultural destination, Coahuila occupies the fourth national place of entities with more museums per inhabitant, since it has more than 60 cultural venues in public and private operation in the five regions of the state, places where much of the cultural heritage is displayed , historical and paleontological.
On the other hand, as a tangible cultural heritage, Coahuila has more than 900 historical monuments and buildings such as presidios, churches and cemeteries, inventoried in the INAH catalog, in addition to old haciendas' helmets, which date from the colonial era and are part of the Ruta del Camino Real de los Tejas, used for the transit of minerals since the 18th century, said heritage reflects much of the history, idiosyncrasy and beliefs of the people of Coahuila.
The gastronomy of Coahuila is a whole feast of aromas and flavors, an important reason why visitors will want to return to this land, full of traditions and ancient recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
The people of Coahuilenses have created incomparable dishes with the products of the state, which despite being mostly semi-desert offers interesting ingredients that are the basis of true culinary wonders.
Due to the different settlements of foreign ethnic groups in our municipalities, the gastronomy is very varied and rich in dishes derived from Spanish, Lebanese, Arab, Argentine, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese and Mexican cuisine.
However, the best that is eaten in this land are the cuts of meat, both beef and goat and pork, since in some regions with high livestock production, the typical dishes revolve around this product, extraordinary stews are made such as barbecue, discada, picadillo, chicharrón, cortadillo and shredded meat with which to fill the traditional gorditas, small and thick flour tortillas packed with such delicious flavors.
The machaca prepared with dried meat, charcoal-roasted meat, roasted kid, salseado or fry are other delicacies of the state, according to historical antecedents, Coahuila is the cradle of this traditional recipe that was exported to Nuevo León, so it became in an icon of regional gastronomy. Likewise, the roast pork, a tasty meat stew with a sauce of rattlesnake and spices, served with an aromatic and soft rice or accompanied by seven different soups, is the favorite banquet to celebrate weddings in most rural areas .
In the Carboniferous Region, in addition to the exquisite cuts of meat for roasting in the city of Sabinas, in Múzquiz pork chorizo is produced with a flavor and quality recognized throughout the Northeast of the country. The high livestock production allows the Laguna de Coahuila Region to be considered as the most important dairy basin in Latin America with a production of more than eight million liters of milk per day, with which excellent dairy products are made not only in the state , but throughout Mexico.
In some regions of the state, dishes are cooked with flora and fauna typical of the desert, such as soups and viper broths, frog legs and wild rat, also they take advantage of the nopalitos and different flowers that occur in the cactaceae.
In the North and Carboniferous region, having two important dams such as La Amistad and Venustiano Carranza, different dishes are prepared based on fish. In that area there is also plenty of venison with which tamales are prepared or eaten roasted on the coals with delicious flour tortillas very typical throughout northern Mexico.
In addition, the dishes derived from our crops of corn, beans, wheat, squash, prickly pear, cabochons, prickly pears, chili and tomato are some of the best known and allow us to create a tasty variety of healthy and traditional recipes.
The snack that Coahuila contributed to international gastronomy are the “nachos”, those triangulated fried tortillas bathed in cheese and jalapeño peppers that was born in Piedras Negras and is world-famous. In the state, delicious breads are also made such as the mamones de Viesca, the Campechanas de Parras, the corn bread of the North and Center-Desert region, the cakes of Sacramento, the steel bread and the apple pie of Arteaga, Torreón's “French” bread and Saltillo's renowned pulque bread, there are also walnut empanadas and fritters.
Thanks to the quality of the milk, nuts and fruits such as apples, figs, quinces, grapes and peaches that are produced in the various regions, delicious typical cajeta and fruit sweets, its smooth consistency and unmatched flavor are a true delight. for the palate.
Coahuila also produces excellent fruits such as melon, watermelon, fig, quince, peaches and highlights the high production of apples in Arteaga from which multiple types of candies and preserves are derived. However, the Coahuila grape deserves a separate place, since thanks to its excellent quality table wines are produced that are recognized worldwide.
The diversity of ecosystems in the state of Coahuila de Zaragoza, allows grapes of excellent quality to be grown in our territory, producing an average of 4 million bottles of wine annually, which are distributed mostly in Mexico and elsewhere. countries of the world. In Coahuila, wine production is distributed in the five regions of the state with 23 wineries distributed in more than 9 municipalities with an extension of so many hectares of production, with more than 110 labels.
Coahuila de Zaragoza has important strengths as a wine producing land, in addition to having Casa Madero, the oldest winery and winery in America created in 1597, it is also the fourth oldest in the world and the second of the five most emblematic wineries in Latin America.
Some of our places that you can visit