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Port of Veracruz

remembered its 480th anniversary on 22nd April, 1999

Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortés landed at San Juan de Ulúa on Thursday 21st  April, 1519,
next day,  they went on and disembarked at Chalchihuecan beach,
it was Good Friday, therefore spaniards named the site as:
"Villa Rica de la Verdadera Cruz"
later to become : Veracruz

Veracruz has been referred to as "The Major Gate to Mexican History"



The port of Veracruz is only one of six cities in Mexico with a World Trade Center. This increases the city's attractiveness for national and international trade shows and conventions.

Some 5 million tourists visit the state of Veracruz on an annual basis; approximately 22% of that total represents business visitors Hotel occupancy in the port of Veracruz metropolitan area. The metropolitan area of the port of Veracruz has a total of 153 hotels with a combined capacity of 4,250 rooms.
 
      Veracruz in history

The Spanish Conquest of Mexico began precisely in what is today's State of Veracruz. The first major spanish expedition, led by Hernan Cortes, landed at the beaches of San Juan de Ulúa on 21st April 1519  and next day, on a Good Friday, Cortes founded the first town council on the American continent at what was then called by the Spaniards: Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.     Today, the port of Veracruz remembers the 22nd of April in the year of 1519 as the date of its founding.

The Spaniards subsequently established two other strategically important cities in present day Veracruz state, both located at where major rivers met the Gulf of Mexico.

These communities were Villa de Santiesteban del Puerto (now Panuco) in the northern part of the state and Villa del Espiritu Santo (now Coatzacoalcos) in the extreme southern part. 

During the Colonial period, the port of Veracruz became an important point of contact, politically and commercially, between Spain and the new dominions of the Spanish Crown in Mexico. As goods and people moved between the port and Mexico City, a number of trade important communities quickly developed: Xalapa, Cordoba and Orizaba. At the conclusion of Mexico's War of Independence from Spain, the treaties recognizing the independence of Mexico were signed at Cordoba in 1823. 

Subsequent to independence, one of Mexico's most flamboyant and controversial historical figures, Veracruz native General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, dominated much of Mexico's political life until the 1850s.
Santa Ana's hacienda near Xalapa is now an outstanding museum, faithfully mirroring lifestyles during the early Mexican Independence period. 

In 1858-1860, then President Benito Juarez established the seat of his   government at the port of Veracruz, from where he issued Mexico's famous Reform Laws. 

In 1864, Austria's Archduke Maximilian arrived at the port of Veracruz en route to Mexico City, where he was to establish the Second Mexican Empire,  driving Juarez into exile. Three years later, with the collapse of the Empire and the execution of Maximilian, the Archduke's body was to leave Mexico from Veracruz. 

During the Presidential period of Porfirio Diaz which lasted 31 years, the first major uprisings favoring agrarian and labor reforms --precursors to the    Mexican Revolution of 1911- took place in the state of Veracruz, at  communities such as Acayucan, Santa Rosa and Rio Blanco. When Diaz   resigned the Presidency In 1910, he left for Europe from the port of Veracruz, never to return to Mexico. 

The port of Veracruz housed the provisional government of President   Venustiano Carranza for a number of months during the Revolution. 

During the late 1950's and throughout the 1960's, the port of Veracruz   became a major manufacturing development pole as part of Mexico's     industrial decentralization policies, with Veracruz as a result becoming a major national producer of steel, aluminum, machine tools and petroleum industry equipment.

Modern Veracruz

The port city of Veracruz is at almost the same  latitude as Mexico City, 261 miles due west.
Veracruz is reached by highway, train, and air from Mexico City.

By car, the 4 hour drive passes through the state of Puebla and across the  formidable Cumbres de Maltrata mountains down into the lush vegetation that characterizes just about all the state of Veracruz. Among its main attractions are: 

The San Juan de Ulua Fort, which nowadays is a museum 
The Santiago Bulwark, housing the History
Museum. 
The Veracruz Aquarium, where marine species from the Gulf of Mexico can be observed. 
The antique Cathedral. 
The Museum of the revolution. 
The Plaza de Armas. 
The District of La Lagunilla. 
El Malecon, where you can take a walk and purchase beautiful handicrafts such as coral beads. 

In or nearby of the Puerto de Veracruz, you can enjoy several swimming beaches where you will also find restaurants offering the delicious regional cuisine at the following locations: 

Villa del Mar 
Mocambo 
El Playon and 
Boca del Rio 

Other attractions in the Puerto de Veracruz are the Mandinga Lagoon and the Island of the Sacrifices. 

The most important festivity of the port of Veracruz is its famous Carnival, which is celebrated with parades, dances and other amusing activities.

Thirty five miles to the north of the Puerto de Veracruz is situated the Chachalacas sandbar which has beautiful beaches with soft sand and gentle waves, where you can practice aquatic sports.

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If you have comments or suggestions, email me at JoaquinDorantes@netscape.net