Campeche (Spanish pronunciation: [kamˈpe.tʃe] (listen)), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Campeche (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Campeche), is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Located in southeast Mexico, it is bordered by the states of Tabasco to the southwest, Yucatán to the northeast, and Quintana Roo to the east; to the southeast by the Orange Walk district of Belize, and by the Petén department of Guatemala to the south. It has a coastline to the west with the Gulf of Mexico. The state capital, also called Campeche, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. The formation of the state began with the city, which was founded in 1540 as the Spanish began the conquest of the Yucatán Peninsula. During the colonial period, the city was a rich and important port, but declined after Mexico's independence. Campeche was part of the province of Yucatán but split off in the mid-19th century, mostly due to political friction with the city of Mérida. Much of the state's recent economic revival is due to the finding of petroleum offshore in the 1970s, which has made the coastal cities of Campeche and Ciudad del Carmen important economic centers. The state has important Mayan and colonial sites; however, these are not as well-known or visited as others in the Yucatán.
Estado Libre y Soberano de Campeche
|Free and Sovereign State of Campeche|
Coat of arms
|Anthem: Himno Campechano|
State of Campeche within Mexico
|Capital||San Francisco de Campeche|
|Largest city||San Francisco de Campeche|
|Admission||April 29, 1863|
|• Governor||Alejandro Moreno|
|• Senators||Aníbal Ostoa Ortega |
Cecilia Margarita Sánchez García
Rocío Adriana Abreu Artiñano
|• Total||57,507 km2 (22,204 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||390 m (1,280 ft)|
|• Density||16/km2 (41/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||29th|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|ISO 3166 code||MX-CAM|
|HDI||0.762 High Ranked 22nd|
|GDP||US$ 12.0 billion[b] |
US$ 14,590, per capita (nominal)
|Website||Official web site|
|^ a. Separated from Yucatán on May 3, 1858, was federal territory from 1858 to 1863.|
^ b. The state's GDP was 153.6 billion of pesos in 2008, amount corresponding to 12.0 billion of dollars, being a dollar worth 12.80 pesos (value of June 3, 2010).
The state of Campeche is located in southeast Mexico, on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula. The territory is 56,858.84 square kilometres (21,953.32 sq mi), which is 2.6% of Mexico's total. It borders the states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Tabasco, with the country of Belize to the east, Guatemala to the south and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Politically, it is divided into eleven municipalities: Calkiní, Calakmul, Campeche, Candelaria, Champotón, Ciudad del Carmen, Escárcega, Hecelchakán, Hopelchén, Palizada and Tenabo.
Campeche is a relatively flat area of Mexico with 523 km (325 mi) of shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the surface is of sedimentary rock much of which is from marine origin. The area with the highest elevations is near the borders with Guatemala and Quintana Roo. Notable elevations include Cerro Champerico, Cerro los Chinos, Cerro El Ramonal, Cerro El Doce, and Cerro El Gavilán. However, these hills are separated by large expanses of lower flat land. In the south of the municipality of Champotón begin a series of rolling hills known as the Sierra Alta or Puuc, which extend northeast to Bolonchen and then into the state of Yucatán. These have only an average altitude of between forty and sixty metres (130 and 200 ft) with some reaching 100 metres (330 ft). There other areas of these rolling hills, near the city of Campeche with main ones known as Maxtum, Boxol and El Morro. Another set is called the Sierra Seybaplaya in the center of the state.
Rainforest areas subdivide into a number of types which include perennial tall tree rainforest, semi perennial tall tree rainforest, deciduous medium height tree rainforest, semi deciduous medium height tree rainforest, deciduous low height tree rainforest and semi perennial low height tree rainforest. Away from the coast, these rainforests are interspersed with savannah areas and along the coast are accompanied by areas with sand dunes, mangrove wetlands and estuaries. Species that can be found in the various rainforests include huapaque, cedar (cedrela Mexicana), pukte (bucida buceras), sapote, dyewood (Haematoxylum campechianum), dzalam (lysiloma bohamensis) and more. It also includes a number of precious tropical hardwoods such as red cedar, mahogany, ciricote (cordia dodecandra) and guayacán (guialum sanctum). Along the coastal areas, palms dominate such as the coconut and royal palm. The main wildlife species in the state are the jaguar, ocelot, puma, deer, wild boar, raccoon, hare, ring-tailed cat and spider monkey. There are many bird species including the chachalaca, ducks, quail, pelican, toucan, buzzard and many more. Reptiles include rattlesnakes, coral snakes, boa constrictors, various species of sea and land turtles, iguanas and crocodiles. While still rich in wildlife, much has been decimated because of agriculture and exploitation of forest resources destroying habitat as well as uncontrolled hunting. Off the coast is most of the state aquatic life including many species of fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Many of these are exploited commercially.
Most of the state's surface freshwater is in the south and southwest, with rivers, small lakes and estuaries. These diminish in the north where rainfall rapidly filtrates into the subsoil. The rivers in the south and southwest belong to various basins, with the largest being the Grijalva-Usumacinta to which the Candelaria, Chumpán and Mamantal Rivers belong. The Usumacinta also flows in the state but it tends to change course frequently and occasionally divides into branches. The east branch of this river is also called the Palizada River, which has the largest volume although it is narrow. The San Pedro River is another branch is the Usumacinta, which passes by the community of Jonuta in Tabasco before emptying in the Gulf. The Chumpán River is an isolated river formed by the union of various streams. It runs north-south and empties in the Laguna de Terminos. The Candelaria River forms in Petén, Guatemala and runs north-south and empties into the Laguna de Pargos. The Mamantel River empties into the Laguna de Panlau. The Champotón River is in the center of the state and empties into the Gulf. The rest of the states streams flow only in the rainy season.
The Laguna de Términos lagoon is located in the southwest of the state, near the Tabasco border. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico only by the Isla del Carmen. It receives fresh water from most of Campeche's rivers as well as salt water from the Gulf. In these brackish waters have developed a number of aquatic species such as sea bass, small sharks, crabs, oysters, turbles, and storks. The lagoon is ringed by smaller lakes and forms the most important lake-lagoon system in the country. These lakes include Atasta, Pom, Puerto Rico, El Este, Del Vapor, Del Corte, Pargos and Panlau. This system formed about five thousand years ago by the accumulation of sediment carried by surrounding rivers. This system connects to the Sabancuy estuary to the northeast.
Campeche is in the tropics; it has a humid climate, with a defined rainy season, and a relatively dry season from late winter to early spring. Average annual rainfall varies between 900 and 2,000 mm (35 and 79 in). The hottest and most humid areas of the state are along the coast between the Laguna de Términos and the northern border. Average annual temperature is 26 °C (79 °F) with highs up to 36 °C (97 °F) in the summer and lows of 17 °C (63 °F) in the winter. Prevailing winds are from the northwest from November to March, from the north between September and October, from the southeast from June to August and from the south in April and May. In the winter, storms from the north called “nortes” can bring colder dry air from the area of the United States. In the late summer, there are sometimes hurricanes.
The state has a number of ecosystems, from rainforest, to savanna to coast and sea. Environmentally, the state is divided into four major regions. The coast region consists of the entire coastline of the state and a strip of shallow water just offshore called the Sonda de Campeche with coral reefs and low islands called cays. The region has large expanses of mangroves which dominate the swamps. Non-swamp areas are dominated by palm trees. Wildlife is dominated by bird and reptile species such as storks, pelicans, ducks, seagulls, lizards, turtles and water snakes. The Mountain region is in the north and east of the state consisting of two chains of low hills called the Dzibalchen and Sierra Alta. It also includes the savannah area and an area called Los Chenes, where natural wells called cenotes are common. This area is noted for its tropical hardwoods and the chicle or gum tree. Wildlife includes deer, armadillos, rabbits, quail, and woodpeckers. The Rainforest region is located on the center and south of the state with a wide variety of trees including tropical hardwoods such as mahogany. Many of the plants used in the state's cuisine such as achiote and tropical fruits are from here. This area is under threat due to over exploitation. The River region is located in the southwest of the state, named after the various rivers that flow here, mostly emptying into the Laguna de Términos. It has the hottest and most humid climate in Campeche with wildlife and vegetation similar to that found in both the Rainforest and Coast regions.
Campeche has three main protected areas: The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the Laguna de Términos Reserve and the Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve with total an area of 1,810,597 hectares (4,474,080 acres). The Calakmul Reserve was created in 1989 over 723,185 hectares (1,787,030 acres). It consists of Yucatán and Tehuantepec moist forests, containing high and medium growth semi-deciduous forests and seasonally flooded low height semi-deciduous forests. There is also aquatic vegetation. The Laguna de Términos Reserve includes the lagoon and the area surrounding it with an area of 705,017 hectares (1,742,130 acres). It was established in 1994. Los Petenes is a natural reserve consisting of isolated pockets of rainforest with mangrove areas in between. The wildlife is dependent on a varied and complex system of fresh and brackish water. The reserve extends over 382 hectares (940 acres) in the municipalities of Campeche, Tenabo, Hecelchakan and Calkini.
The name of Campeche is derived from the Maya name of a settlement called “Ah-Kin-Pech” where the city of Campeche is now. When the Spanish first arrived to the area in 1517, they called it Lazaro, since "the day of our landing was St. Lazarus' Sunday".:20 The native name means “place of snakes and ticks.”
The first people to dominate the state were the Maya, who arrived to Campeche from Guatemala, Honduras and Chiapas. The main Mayan cities were Edzna, Xtampak, and later Calakmul and Becán. The Maya civilization reached its height between 600 AD and 900 AD From 1000 AD on, the Maya cities collapsed and were abandoned for unknown reasons. This led to the establishment of smaller settlements and a mixing of the Maya and Chontal people in the south of the state, which had commercial ties to the central highland cultures of Mexico. From the 11th century to the 16th century, Campeche was divided into smaller dominions.
The first Spaniard in the area was Francisco Hernández de Córdoba y Antón de Alaminos in 1517, who landed at a settlement called Can-Pech, part of the Sol Garrapata dominion. He renamed it San Lázaro. He moved onto the territory of Chakanputon (today Champotón) where he and his men were attacked by the warriors of this dominion. Hernandez de Cordoba died of his wounds from this battle, prompting the Spanish to call this bay the “Bahía de Mala Pelea” (Bay of the Bad Fight) . The conquest of Campeche and the rest of the Yucatán Peninsula began in earnest in 1540, under Francisco de Montejos, senior and junior .
The Spanish introduced sugar cane and other crops in the area, starting in the 1540s, but the main value of the area was the port of Campeche, established in 1540 where the old Maya village used to be. During the colonial era, it was a commercial port equal to Havana and Cartagena even though piracy was a constant threat. It shipped valuable exports such as agricultural goods, tropical hardwoods and dyewood, then a widely used textile dye in Europe. It also handled gold and silver from other areas in Mexico going to Spain. Imported items to the port included luxury items such as Italian marble and crystal chandeliers from Austria . The Spanish built a European-based colonial city here and as it became rich, it was filled with large mansions. However, to survive in the hot and humid environment, the Europeans also adapted a number of Maya products such as hammocks for sleeping and storing drinking water in hollow gourds. They also built with the area's local red cedar, mahogany and “sahcab” a local limestone. The shipping in these waters attracted pirates such as John Hawkins, Francis Drake, Diego the Mulatto, Henry Morgan, Cornelis Jol, Bartolomeu Português, Lewis Scot and Roche Braziliano . Most of the attacks were at the port of Campeche, but Champontón also suffered significant attacks in 1644 and 1672. Fortification of the city of Campeche began as early as 1610, but these structures were insufficient. The worst pirate attack occurred in 1685, when Laurens de Graaf sacked the city of Campeche and the surrounding haciendas for over thirty days, killing about a third of the area's population. This prompted far more extensive fortification with numerous forts and a wall around the city that measured 2,560 metres (8,400 ft) in an irregular polygon shape. Most of the forts survive but only 500 metres (1,600 ft) of the original wall remains. These fortification cut the threat of pirate attacks but it remained walled until 1890. Campeche was officially recognized as a city in 1774 (the first in southeast Mexico) and in 1784 was declared a minor port. In 1804, the port was closed due to the war between Spain and England. This caused discontentment in the city and fomented insurgent tendencies.
Campeche remained a wealthy and important port until the early 19th century, when a number of events brought on decline. In 1811, the port of Sisal was opened in what is now the State of Yucatán, taking much of the city's business. Another issue was that Independence brought the abolition of slavery, cutting agricultural production. The lack of shipping made the city relatively isolated from Mexico City. From the 19th century until the latter 20th, the state's economy was dependent on agriculture, fishing, logging and salt mining.
In September 1821, the city of Campeche proclaimed its adherence to the Plan of Iguala and the new Independent government of Mexico, forcing out its last Spanish governor a month later. At Independence, Campeche was one of the two most important cities on the Yucatán Peninsula, along with Mérida. There was political friction between the two. Campeche was the more liberal of the two, and supported the 1824 Mexican Constitution which established a Federal Republic. In 1824, Campeche's representative proposed that the peninsula be divided into two states: Mérida and Campeche but this was not accepted. Political divisions intensified along with the nationwide struggle between Liberals and Conservatives .
Despite Campeche's and Mérida's differences, both were involved in an insurrection against Mexico City headed by Jerónimo López de Llergo in 1839 with the aim of creating an independent state of Yucatán. After initial victories, López de Llergo proclaimed the peninsula independent and in 1841, the Constitution of the Yucatán was promulgated on federalist principles. Yucatán independence did not solve the peninsula's internal political problems. Mérida's trade with Havana continued but Campeche's trade with Mexico City was cut off. Campeche wanted to rejoin Mexico for this reason and Andrés de Quintana Roo tried to work out a settlement between the two cities. Mexican president Santa Anna then sent an expedition to force the Yucatán back into Mexico. More fighting came with the outbreak of the Caste War, in 1847, an indigenous rebellion that took place in Campeche and the rest of the Yucatán. This and foreign pressure to pay debts, forced the Yucatan to formally reintegrate into Mexico in 1849.
The Mexican Constitution of 1857 completely broke the schism between Campeche and Mérida with various rebellions breaking out. During one of these 150 men took over one of the main forts of Campeche and demanded a political union consisting of it, Champotón and Isla del Carmen. Other settlements in the west of the peninsula expressed its desire to be partition with these areas as a new state. In 1858, representatives from Campeche and Mérida signed an agreement to divide the peninsula, which was ratified to make the division official.
During the French Intervention in Mexico, forces under Felipe Navarrete took Campeche and forced the state to rejoin the rest of the Yucatán. In 1864, insurgents defeated the imperial army in Hecelchakán and in 1867, they retook Campeche to regain the state's independence.
During the Mexican Revolution, Manuel Castilla Brito took up arms in Campeche in support of Francisco I. Madero. However, the insurgents were defeated by General Manuel Rivera, a Victoriano Huerta supporter in 1913. Forces loyal to Venustiano Carranza entered Campeche in 1914. Slavery and serfdom was abolished on the haciendas. In 1917, Campeche wrote its current constitution.
There was some improvement in the state's economy starting in the 1950s when fishing and timber industries became more developed and there was better communications between the state and Mexico City. In 1955, the University of Campeche was founded and a state system of middle schools was begun. However, Campeche's main economic change come with the discovery of oil off its shores in a shallow water region called the Sonda de Campeche. This oil was discovered by a fisherman named Rudesindo Cantarell in 1971, who reported an oil slick. In 1975, the first oil platform, called Chac Number One began operations. The first set of offshore platforms were completed by 1979. The find has made the state the top producer of petroleum in Mexico, providing 70% of all oil pumped in the country. The economic boom tripled the population of the city of Campeche in ten years, and nearly doubled that of Ciudad del Carmen, which before was only a small fishing village. However, the production of oil has brought environmental problems to the area, especially fishing yields, as well as internal strife between locals and newcomers.
The oil money allowed for the revitalization of the city of Campeche starting in the 1980s. The State Office of Cultural Heritage Sites and Monuments bought abandoned properties to restore them for use as museums, schools, theaters and a library. More than a thousand facades and monuments have been refurbished in the historic center and the oldest residential areas.
As of 2015, the state has a total population of 899,931. Seventy five percent live in urban areas along the coast and twenty five percent live in rural areas. The most populated municipality is Campeche. Most of the state's population growth has occurred since 1970 when the population then was only 215,600. As of 2010, the most commonly spoken indigenous language spoken in the state is Maya, with 71,852 speakers. This is followed by Chol with 10,412, Tzeltal with 1,900 and Q'anjob'al with 1,557. There is a total of 91,094 speakers of an indigenous language in the state, which is about twelve percent of the total population. This is up from just under 90,000 in 2005. Fourteen percent of these speakers do not speak Spanish. There are about 7,000 Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites of German descent in the State of Campeche, mostly around Hopelchen and Hecelchakán. These Menonnites came in the 1980s from the Mennonite settlements which were founded in 1922 and 1924 in the states of Chihahua and Durango, partly via Zacatecas.
Sixty three percent of the population profess the Catholic faith as of 2010. Most those who are non Catholic belong to Evangelical or Protestant churches. The National Presbyterian Church in Mexico has a large percentage of followers in Tabasco State.
Total Campeche contributes 5.1% of Mexico's total GDP . The average salary per year in the state is $141,088 pesos in comparison to the national average of $99,114. However, there is a very large discrepancy between highly paid oil workers, mostly coming from out of state and locals who do not work for PEMEX . Most land is owned as community property under the ejido system (61%). Twenty nine percent is privately owned and the rest is under state or federal control. Three out of four residences are in urban areas, which generally have basic services. Most of these have cement foundations, with cinderblock walls and brick or cement roofs. Rural residences are usually construction from local materials which may have roofs of laminate, palm fronds or even cardboard, walls made of laminate or wood, with foundations generally of cement or packed earth. Overall in the state, running water, garbage collection and electricity is available in over 80% of homes, but sewerage in only a third. Over sixty five percent of the territory is exploited for forestry products, with over 25% used for grazing, with only 3.3% used for agriculture and about 5.5% used for other purposes such as human settlements.
Only 3.3% of the state's land is used for raising crops due to the soil composition. Over ninety percent of cropland is used for seasonal crops such as corn with the rest used for perennials such as fruit trees. The most important crop is corn, followed by rice and sorghum. Other important crops include jalapeño chili peppers, watermelon, sugar cane and various tropical and non-tropical fruit bearing trees, especially citrus and mango . Most cattle are raised in the center and south of the state for both meat and milk products and account for the most product by volume. In the north, most commercially raised livestock is domestic fowl mostly chickens and turkeys, but domestic fowl is raised in most rural homes all over the state. Sheep and goats are raised sparsely all over the state, depending on local vegetation. Forestry, including the extraction of precious tropical hardwoods, remains an important economic activity despite the degradation of many of the state's forests. Commercial fishing is mostly done along the coast, with shrimp being the most valuable catch, followed by crustaceans and mollusks. This is mostly done in the coast reason, where most of the economy outside of oil production relies on fishing and the building and repair of fishing boats.
The secondary sector of the economy (mining, construction, and industry) is almost entirely concentrated in the coastal area of the state in the municipalities of Campeche, Ciudad del Carmen and Champotón. Mining, mostly oil production, accounts for 52.8% of the state's GDP. This oil lies off the coast of the state, in a shallow water section of the Gulf of Mexico called the Sonda de Campeche. Campeche oil and gas production accounts for 37% of Mexico's total with crude oil alone accounting for 76% in absolute numbers. Campeche does not have metal deposits but it does have deposits of building stone, such as sandstone, marble and limestone, sand, gravel, lime, clay and other minerals. Most deposits are located in the municipalities of Hopelchén, Champotón and Calakmul. In the far north of the coast region, there are important deposits of salt. Construction and manufacturing account for 6.7% of the state's GDP. The most common type of industry relates to food and food processing including seafood, soft drinks, cookies, flour, sugar and honey. Another common industry is that of building materials such as cinderblock, wood products and the processing of building stone. Most industries are small with little financing for technology and growth. Since the 1990s, factories of the “maquiladora” type have opened in the state, such as the Calkiní Shirt Company in Tepacan, Calkiní, Textiles Blazer in Lerma, Campeche, Quality Textil de Campeche in Becal, Calkiní and Karims Textile and Apparel México in the city of Campeche.
Commerce and services account for 33.2% of the state's GDP. The commerce sector of the economy is mostly traditional with small establishments catering to local or regional needs. In the larger cities, supermarkets and malls can be found. Most commerce with entities outside of Campeche is in seafood, agricultural and forestry products. The state has thirty four traditional public markets . All petroleum products are marketed by the national oil company PEMEX. The state has about five hundred businesses dedicated to tourism, about half of which are restaurants, a little less than a quarter bars and a similar number of handcraft shops. There are 126 major hotels mostly in the municipalities of Campeche, Ciudad del Carmen and Champotón.
Much of Campeche's territory is filled with various archeological sites, almost all of which are Mayan. These sites are far less known and visited than sites to the east such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Tulum . An early important site is Edzna, located near the city of Campeche in a region known as los Chenes. It was one of the most important ceremonial centers in the pre Classic Maya period (300-900CE). Its building show Petén, Chenes and Puuc influence, with a large acropolis surrounded by various temples, the most important of which is the Pyramid of the Five Floors. It was discovered in the 1920s and excavated in the 1940s. It is located away from other Mayan settlements on the peninsula and was probably a collection center for the agriculture products grown in the area, reaching its height between 600 and 900. These were sent to the city of Tikal in exchange for ritualistic adornment for the site. Its most important building is the Pyramid of the Five Stories, built as its name implies. Another important find came in the 1990s. During the planting season in early May, archeologist Antonio Benavides noticed that the setting sun illuminates a stucco mask hanging one of the pyramid's rooms. The effect also happens in August, during harvest and it is believed to be related to the asking and receiving of abundant crops.
The largest archeological site in the state is Calakmul, which means “twin heaps” in Maya. It is located in the Petén region built in the late Classic period (500-900 CE). Calakmal is estimated to have been populated around 1000 BCE with its height at around 600 In 695 CE, Calakmul was conquered by Tikal and the city fell into decline. Calakmul is located in the interior rainforest of the state in a biosphere named after it near the Guatemala border. The site extends over 70 km2 (27 sq mi) and was one of the largest cities of Mesoamerica. Its temples were mostly dedicated to ancestor worship encircling the palaces of the elite in the center. There are an estimated 6,000 structures at the site with only half a dozen restored. The two most important structures are the twin pyramids of Temple II and Temple VII, similar to structures found at Tikal. Temple II is tallest at 50 m (160 ft) high. The site has been heavily looted by grave robbers.
While most sites are in the interior rainforest of the state, there are fifty five archeological sites on the coast alone, mostly remnants of small villages. The Isla de Jaina is one of the best preserved archeological sites in the state because of its location on an island on the coast, surrounded by estuaries and mangroves. It requires special permission to visit. Unlike others on the coast, it was a true city. Other sites include Can-mayab-mul in Nunkiní, Xculhoc in Hecelchakán, Chunan-tunich, Xtampak, Hochob, Pak-chén and Dzebilnocac in Hopelchén, El Tigre in Candelaria, La Xoch and Chun Cedro in Tenabo and Becán in Calakmul.
Campeche is one of the least known and unrated colonial cities in Mexico, mostly bypassed by those visiting more famous destinations in the Yucatan peninsula. The city's historic buildings are protected by decree to keep them from being destroyed or altered by the growth of the city. Campeche was one of the most important ports in New Spain. It suffered more than twenty one major pirate attacks in the colonial era. After 1685, the city's main fortifications were begun taking 24 years to complete. They succeeded in stopping major pirate attacks, with only one, Barbillas, finding a way to enter the city in 1708. The fortifications consisted of a formidable wall with four main gates, three opening to land and one to the sea. It also included a number of forts such as San Carlos, Santa Rosa, San Juan and San Francisco. Stories persist that many of the mansions had tunnels to escape pirates, but these have never been found.
The state has a number of colonial era churches. The Asunción church in Dzitbalché was constructed in the 18th century, with a pointed arch doorway, choral window and bell-gable. The Guadalupe Church in Bécal, Calkiní was built in the 18th century. The San Diego Apóstol Church in Nunkiní, Calkiní was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The church and former monastery of San Luis Obispo is located in Calkiní, built in the 17th century of stone, wood and metal over a former Mayan temple. The facade is simple with a bell-gable and there remains only one of its original Baroque altarpieces, which was made in the 16th century. The Cathedral of Campeche is from the 16th century. Its façade is of worked stone with two levels marked off by two grooved pilasters. The San Francisco Church in Campeche was established in the 16th century although the current building dates from the 17th. The church marks the spot where the first mass was held on mainland America. Most of the state's colonial era churches are located in and near the city of Campeche, with some in Ciudad del Carmen. The Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church in Ciudad del Carmen was built in the 18th century. The Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Church was built in the 18th century in Sabancuy, Carmen. The church and former monastery of San Francisco de Asís was begun in the 16th century by the Franciscans in Hecelchakán.
Outside of the city of Campeche, much of the notable civil architecture in the state is found on the various former haciendas. Many of these haciendas have been turned into hotels, spas and other tourist attractions. Hacienda Blanca Flor is located in Hecelchakán outside Campeche. This hacienda was a site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Caste War. Hacienda Santa Cruz is between Campeche and Calkiní in the Nunkiní community. It is dated to the middle of the 18th century established to raise cattle. It continued operating until the Mexican Revolution. Hacienda San José Carpizo is in the Champotón municipality, founded in 1871 by José María Carpizo Sánchez and was one of the most important on the Yucatán Peninsula, raising cattle. It survived the Mexican Revolution until its workers abandoned it in the 1940s. Hacienda San Luis Carpizo is located in Champotón and belonged to José María Carpizo, dedicated to agriculture. This hacienda was restored by the Mexican Army to house the Marine Infantry School in 1999. Hacienda Uayamón is near the city of Campeche with origins in the 16th century. It was attacked and its owner killed in the raid by Laurens de Graaf in 1685. It continued to operate until the Mexican Revolution and today it is home to the Hotel de Gran Turismo. Hacienda Tankuché was dedicated to raising dyewood (palo de tinte) but changed later to henequen. Despite losing most of its land in the Revolution, its henequen mill continued to operate until the 1980s.
Notable museums in the state include the Del Carmen Archeological Museum, the Museo de las Estelas Mayas in Ciudad del Carmen and the Camino Real Archeological Museum in Hecelchakán. The Museo Fuerte de San Miguel is located on one of the Campeche's old forts. The museum is dedicated to the state's history. Opened in 2000, it is the newest and most modern of Campeche's museums.
Most of the beaches frequented by visitors are in the municipalities of Campeche, Champotón and Ciudad del Carmen. In Campeche, these beaches include Mar Azul, San Lorenzo and Playa Bonita. In Ciudad del Carmen, they include La Maniagua, Bahamita, Sabancuy, Playa Caracol and Playa Norte, Isla de Pájaros. In Champotón, they are Acapulquito, Costa Blanca, Payucán and Sihoplaya. In the interior of the state, there are a number of water parks such as El Remate in Tankuché and San Vicente Chuc-Say on a former hacienda of the same name. These generally take advantage of the local rivers, springs and cenotes. Ecotourism includes caves such as Xculhoc, Chuncedro and Xtacumbilxuna’an or Mujer Escondida.
The state has two main government sponsored cultural festivals, the Festival del Centro Histórico and the Festival de Jazz. Campeche has a Festival del Centro Histórico in November and December, which attracts over 5,000 artists, intellectuals and academics to over 800 events such as concerts, theater, dance, book presentations, and workshops. The Festival de Jazz was begun in 1999 and has had the participation of figures such as Mike Stern, Caribbean Jazz Project, Yazzkin, Chano Domínguez, Eugenio Toussaint, David Gilmore and Scott Henderson . One notable economic fair outside the city is the “Jipi” Sombrero Festival in Bécal in April and May.
The largest religious festival in the state is Carnival in the city of Campeche. Carnival was introduced in 1582. By 1688, the annual event featured orchestras and in 1815, formal dances called “saraos” were organized which originally were held only in the homes of the elite. Later in the 19th century, events in the streets for the masses became popular, with the various neighborhoods of the city organizing their own events. Eventually, these merged into a citywide celebration featuring various traditional dances such as Baile del Pavo, Son de la Cucaracha, the fandango, fandanguillo and various forms of tropical jaranas. They also include more risqué dances such as those called la Culebra, Los Papagayos and la Contradanza de los Palitos which have Afro-Caribbean influence . Other important religious festivals include Candlemas (Candelaria) in Hool, Champotón and Campeche, feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmen in Ciudad del Carmen, feast day of Saint Joachim in Palizada, and the feast day of Saint Roman in Campeche, the feast of San Isidro Labrador in Calkiní in May, the feast of the Cristo Negro in San Román, Day of the Dead in all of the state, feast of the Holy Cross in Sabancuy, Carmen in May, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmen in Ciudad del Carmen in July and the feast of the Señor de la Salud in Hecelchakán in April. During these festivals is when the state's most traditional music, called jarana, and traditional dances can be heard and seen.
As a Mayan region, Campeche has had corn as its staple since the pre Hispanic period, accompanied by beans, vegetables, tropical fruits and seafood, with some meat. There are two main types of cuisine. Mestizo is mostly of Spanish origin with some indigenous additions and the other is called Maya and is almost purely indigenous. Some foods have been reinvented. One is papak’sul, or papadzul, which was made with beans and chili peppers. Today it is a torilla filled with cooked egg and squash seed salsa. Common seasonings are a mix of indigenous and those which came from Europe such as salt, oregano, pepper, habanero chili peppers, achiote, cloves and vinegar. Regional dishes include cochinita pibil, beans with pork, pork with achiote, panuchos, empanadas, chanchanes, chocolomo, tamales, shark tacos, pickled vines, seafood such as many species of fish, shrimp, octopus and crustaceans. Similar to cochinita pibil, pibipollos are chickens roasted in underground pits, most often prepared for Day of the Dead. There is also a large number of seafood based dishes such as pan de cazón. One notable shrimp dish is made with giant prawns and called “siete barbas.” Tamales are filled with ground pork or chicken seasoned with achiote, pibil or sweet corn. The staple bread is the corn tortilla. The town of Pomuch in the municipality of Hecelchakán is known for its bread and has a type named after it.(turimsoenc) Cheese was mostly likely influenced by pirate with queso de bola related to Dutch cheese making traditions.
The average number of years of schooling for those over age 15 is 8.5, which means that most finish middle school. This is slightly under the national average of 8.6. Over 55% finish primary school and over 35% finish a level over high school, either in technical training or university. The state has over 1800 schools from preschool to university level. These include seventeen teachers’ colleges and twenty eight other institutions of higher education.
The first educational institution in the state was located in the former monastery of San José in the city of Campeche, founded by the Jesuits in 1756 called the Colegio Clerical de San José. In 1823, its name was changed to the Colegio Clerical de San Miguel de Estrada. After the Reform Laws closed the monastery, The Instituto Campechano was established in 1859 by then governor Pablo Garcia in the same building. The Institute operated until the mid-20th century when it was replaced by the University of Campeche, which was initially housed at the Institute.
The Universidad Autónoma de Campeche was founded in 1957 by the state to systematize higher education in the state as its first major university. The institution operated out of several buildings until the mid-1960s, when the Ciudad Universitaria campus was built, and named the Universidad del Sudeste. This name was changed to the current one in 1989. The university offers twenty three bachelor's degrees, and eight graduate degrees.
The Instituto Tecnológico de Campeche was founded in 1976 as the Instituto Tecnológico Regional de Campeche as part of a nationwide system of technical colleges with only two majors. The college gained its own campus in 1978 and its current name was adopted in the 1980s.
The state has eighteen radio stations (fifteen commercial), seventeen television channels, one of which is local, ten from Mexico City and the rest cable or satellite, and four local newspapers, along with various from Mexico City. Telephone service is still mostly landline but cellular infrastructure is growing.
The state has 3,872.69 km (2,406.38 mi) of highway, about a third of which is federal, connecting urban areas. There are eight nine main bridges, most of which are just to the south of the city of Campeche and near Ciudad del Carmen. The two largest are the Puente de la Unidad and Zacatal, which connect Ciudad del Carmen with the mainland. Other important bridges exist in Champotón, Candelaria and Palizada. Federal Highway 180 is the main thoroughfare in the state, running along the coast from the Tabasco state border connecting Ciudad del Carmen and Campeche with Mérida in Yucatán state. There is 403.84 km (250.93 mi) of rail line and two main airports in Campeche and Ciudad del Carmen. The latter also has a heliport and there are twenty five over air strips in other parts of the state. The shoreline has thirty seven commercial and military docks. The presence of PEMEX is the main force behind the building and maintenance of port infrastructure. The most developed public transportation is in the city of Campeche although busses, taxis and other public transportation is available in most towns.
The Campeche airport, officially named Ing. Alberto Acuña Ongay, serves the city and port of Campeche with domestic service, mostly to Mexico City. Opened in 1965, it served about 100,000 passengers in 2009.
The Bay of Campeche (Spanish: Bahía de Campeche), or Campeche Sound, is a bight in the southern area of the Gulf of Mexico. It is surrounded on three sides by the Mexican states of Campeche, Tabasco and Veracruz. The area of the bay is 6,000 square miles (16,000 km2) and maximum depth of the bay is approximately 180 feet (55 m). It was named by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba and Antón de Alaminos during their expedition in 1517.Calakmul
Calakmul (; also Kalakmul and other less frequent variants) is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region. It is 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities ever uncovered in the Maya lowlands.
Calakmul was a major Maya power within the northern Petén Basin region of the Yucatán Peninsula of southern Mexico. Calakmul administered a large domain marked by the extensive distribution of their emblem glyph of the snake head sign, to be read "Kaan". Calakmul was the seat of what has been dubbed the Kingdom of the Snake or Snake Kingdom. This Snake Kingdom reigned during most of the Classic period. Calakmul itself is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 people and had governance, at times, over places as far away as 150 kilometers. There are 6,750 ancient structures identified at Calakmul; the largest of which is the great pyramid at the site. Structure 2 is over 45 metres (148 ft) high, making it one of the tallest of the Maya pyramids. Four tombs have been located within the pyramid. Like many temples or pyramids within Mesoamerica the pyramid at Calakmul increased in size by building upon the existing temple to reach its current size. The size of the central monumental architecture is approximately 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) and the whole of the site, mostly covered with dense residential structures, is about 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi).
Throughout the Classic Period, Calakmul maintained an intense rivalry with the major city of Tikal to the south, and the political maneuverings of these two cities have been likened to a struggle between two Maya superpowers.
Rediscovered from the air by biologist Cyrus L. Lundell of the Mexican Exploitation Chicle Company on December 29, 1931, the find was reported to Sylvanus G. Morley of the Carnegie Institute at Chichen Itza in March 1932.Campeche City
San Francisco de Campeche (pronounced [sam fɾanˈsisko ðe kamˈpe.tʃe]; Yucatec Maya: Ahk'ìin Pech, pronounced [aχkʼiːn˥˧ pʰetʃ]), 19th c. English also Campeachy, is a city in Campeche Municipality in the state of Campeche, Mexico on the shore of the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico—and its municipal seat also serves as the state's capital city. The city's population at the 2010 census was 220,389, and the municipality for which it serves as municipal seat had a population of 259,005.The city was founded in 1540 by Spanish conquistadores as San Francisco de Campeche atop the pre-existing Maya city of Can Pech. The Pre-Columbian city was described as having 3,000 houses and various monuments, of which little trace remains.
The city retains many of the old colonial Spanish city walls and fortifications which protected the city (not always successfully) from pirates and buccaneers. The state of preservation and quality of its architecture earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Originally, the Spaniards lived inside the walled city, while the natives lived in the surrounding barrios of San Francisco, Guadalupe and San Román. These barrios still retain their original churches; the one in Guadalupe is almost 500 years old.Campeche International Airport
Ing. Alberto Acuña Ongay International Airport (IATA: CPE, ICAO: MMCP), also known as Campeche International Airport, is an international airport located in Campeche, Campeche, Mexico. It handles national and international air traffic of the city of Campeche. It's operated by Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, a federal government-owned corporation.
In 2017, the airport handled 178,675 passengers, and in 2018 it handled 165,185 passengers.Campeche catshark
The Campeche catshark (Parmaturus campechiensis) is a catshark of the family Schyliorhinidae. It is known only from the holotype, a 15.7 cm immature female found in the northwestern Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. The specimen was collected at 1,057 m, a depth beyond current and probably future fishing pressure in the region. The reproduction of this catshark is oviparous.Chactún
Chactún (Maya: Red stone) is the name of an archaeological site of the Mesoamerican Maya civilization in the state of Campeche, Mexico, in the northern part of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The site of approximately 54 acres is located in the lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, between the regions of Rio Bec and Chenes. There are some significant differences that have yet to be explained completely, which distinguish it from some of the other nearby sites.Ciudad del Carmen
"Isla del Carmen" and "Carmen Island" redirect here. For the island in Baja California, see Isla del Carmen (Baja California).Ciudad del Carmen is a city in the southwest of the Mexican state of Campeche. Ciudad del Carmen is located at 18.63°N 91.83°W / 18.63; -91.83 on the southwest of Carmen Island, which stands in the Laguna de Términos on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. As of 2010, Ciudad del Carmen had a population of 169,466, up from the 2005 census of 154,197. In July 2006 Ciudad del Carmen celebrated its 150th anniversary as a city.
The city is nicknamed "The Pearl of the Gulf". Ciudad del Carmen was a small city mostly devoted to fishing until the 1970s when oil was discovered in the region; since then it has grown and developed substantially. To this day Carmen is known as one of the best locations to find seafood in Mexico. As late as the early 1980s the city could long be reached only by ferry boats called "pangas" or small motorboats ("lanchas") operating between Ciudad del Carmen and Zacatal; this changed with the construction of a causeway bridge to the mainland in the 1980s (eastbound) and another one in 1994 (westbound). The construction of the first bridge was motivated by the sinking of one of the island's pangas which resulted in the death of nearly everyone on board. The bridge Puente El Zacatal, constructed in 1994, is one of the longest in Latin America.
This border area at the western edge of the Yucatán Peninsula was previously part of the state of Yucatán, then of Tabasco; since 1863 it has been part of the state of Campeche. In 1840 the city had a population of about 7,000.
The city is also the seat of the state of Campeche's Carmen municipality, which includes the city and the surrounding area. The 2010 census population of the municipality of Carmen was 221,094 people, second only to the capital municipality of Campeche.The main university in Ciudad del Carmen is the Universidad Autónoma del Carmen (UNACAR).Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico (Spanish: Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. The U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida border the Gulf on the north, which are often referred to as the "Third Coast", in comparison with the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
The Gulf of Mexico formed approximately 300 million years ago as a result of plate tectonics. The Gulf of Mexico basin is roughly oval and is approximately 810 nautical miles (1,500 km; 930 mi) wide and floored by sedimentary rocks and recent sediments. It is connected to part of the Atlantic Ocean through the Florida Straits between the U.S. and Cuba, and with the Caribbean Sea (with which it forms the American Mediterranean Sea) via the Yucatán Channel between Mexico and Cuba. With the narrow connection to the Atlantic, the Gulf experiences very small tidal ranges. The size of the Gulf basin is approximately 1.6 million km2 (615,000 sq mi). Almost half of the basin is shallow continental shelf waters. The basin contains a volume of roughly 2,500 quadrillion liters (550 quadrillion Imperial gallons, 660 quadrillion US gallons, 2.5 million km3 or 600,000 cu mi). The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important offshore petroleum production regions in the world, comprising one-sixth of the United States' total production.Haematoxylum campechianum
Logwood redirects here. It may also refer to members of the genus Xylosma, which is part of the willow family, Salicaceae.
Haematoxylum campechianum (blackwood, bloodwood tree, bluewood, campeachy tree, campeachy wood, campeche logwood, campeche wood, Jamaica wood, logwood or logwood tree) is a species of flowering tree in the legume family, Fabaceae, that is native to southern Mexico and northern Central America. The tree was of great economic importance from the 17th century to the 19th century, when it was commonly logged and exported to Europe for use in dyeing fabrics. The modern nation of Belize developed from 17th- and 18th-century logging camps established by the English. The tree's scientific name means "bloodwood" (haima being Greek for blood and xylon for wood).Jaina Island
Jaina Island is a pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site in the present-day Mexican state of Campeche. A small limestone island on the Yucatán Peninsula's Gulf coast with only a tidal inlet separating it from the mainland, Jaina served as an elite Maya burial site, and is notable for the high number of fine ceramic figurines excavated there.The term "Jaina" translates to "Temple in the Water".List of Maya sites
This list of Maya sites is an alphabetical listing of a number of significant archaeological sites associated with the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.
The peoples and cultures which comprised the Maya civilization spanned more than 2,500 years of Mesoamerican history, in the region of southern Mesoamerica which incorporates the present-day nations of Guatemala and Belize, much of Honduras and El Salvador, and the southeastern states of Mexico from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec eastwards, including the entire Yucatán Peninsula.
Throughout this region, many hundreds of Maya sites have been documented in at least some form by archaeological surveys and investigations, while the numbers of smaller/uninvestigated (or unknown) sites are so numerous (one study has documented over 4,400 Maya sites) that no complete archaeological list has yet been made. The listing which appears here is necessarily incomplete, however it contains notable sites drawn from several large and ongoing surveys, such as the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions (CMHI) and other sources (see References).
Note : Ignore the Spanish definite article "El" or "La" (and their plurals "Los" and "Las") when looking for a site in the alphabetical listing e.g. for El Mirador, look under M rather than E.List of television stations in Campeche
The following is a list of all IFT-licensed over-the-air television stations broadcasting in the Mexican state of Campeche. There are 13 television stations in Campeche which are affiliated to at least one Televisa, TV Azteca, or TRC network.Municipalities of Campeche
Campeche is a state in Southeast Mexico that is divided into eleven municipalities. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, Campeche is the third least populous state with 899,931 inhabitants and the 17th largest by land area spanning 57,693.59 square kilometres (22,275.62 sq mi).Municipalities in Campeche are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.The largest municipality by population in Campeche is the state capital Campeche, with 283,025 residents, while the smallest municipality by population is Palizada with 8,971 residents. The largest municipality by area is Calakmul, which spans 14,031.51 km2 (5,417.60 sq mi), while Tenabo is the smallest at 1,061.63 km2 (409.90 sq mi). The first municipalities to incorporate were Campeche, Carmen, and Hecelchakán on April 6, 1825, and the newest municipality is Candelaria, which incorporated July 1, 1998.Petén Basin
The Petén Basin is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica, primarily located in northern Guatemala within the Department of El Petén, and into Campeche state in southeastern Mexico.
During the Late Preclassic and Classic periods of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican chronology many major centers of the Maya civilization flourished, such as Tikal and Calakmul. A distinctive Petén-style of Maya architecture and inscriptions arose. The archaeological sites La Sufricaya and Holmul are also located in this region.Piratas de Campeche
The Piratas de Campeche (English: Campeche Pirates) are a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team which plays in the Mexican League (LMB) based in Campeche, Campeche, Mexico.Quintana Roo
Quintana Roo (Spanish pronunciation: [kinˈtana ˈro]), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Quintana Roo (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Quintana Roo), is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, make up the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 11 municipalities and its capital city is Chetumal.
Quintana Roo is located on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula and is bordered by the states of Campeche to the west and Yucatán to the northwest, and by the Orange Walk and Corozal districts of Belize, along with an offshore borderline with Belize District to the south. As Mexico's easternmost state, Quintana Roo has a coastline to the east with the Caribbean Sea and to the north with the Gulf of Mexico. The state previously covered 44,705 square kilometers (17,261 sq mi) and shared a small border with Guatemala in the southwest of the state. However in 2013, Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation resolved the boundary dispute between Quintana Roo, Campeche, and Yucatán stemming from the creation of the Calakmul municipality by Campeche in 1997, siding with Campeche and thereby benefiting Yucatán.Quintana Roo is the home of the city of Cancún, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, and the towns of Bacalar, Playa del Carmen and Akumal, as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Cobá, Kohunlich, Muyil, Tulum, Xel-Há, and Xcaret. The Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve is also located in the state.
The statewide population is expanding at a rapid rate due to the construction of hotels and the demand for workers. Many migrants come from Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Veracruz. The state is frequently hit by severe hurricanes due to its exposed location, the most recent and severe being Hurricane Dean in 2007, which made landfall with sustained winds of 280 km/h (170 mph), with gusts up to 320 km/h (200 mph).Sack of Campeche (1663)
The Sack of Campeche was a 1663 raid by pirates led by Christopher Myngs and Edward Mansvelt which became a model for later coastal pirate raids of the buccaneering era.Televisión y Radio de Campeche
Televisión y Radio de Campeche (TRC) is the state broadcaster of the Mexican state of Campeche.
TRC operates an AM radio station, XESTRC-AM 920 "Voces Campeche" in Tenabo, as well as TV station XHCCA-TDT channel 4.1 in San Francisco de Campeche. It also holds the concession for XHRTC-FM, a currently unbuilt FM radio station also in San Francisco de Campeche.Yucatán Peninsula
The Yucatán Peninsula (; Spanish: Península de Yucatán), in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. It is approximately 181,000 km2 (70,000 sq mi) in area, and is almost entirely composed of limestone.