Place:Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

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NameAcapulco
Alt namesAcapulco de Juárezsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Acapulco de Juárezsource: Wikipedia
TypeCity
Coordinates16.85°N 99.92°W
Located inGuerrero, Mexico     (1531 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Acapulco de Juárez, commonly called Acapulco, is a city, municipality and major seaport in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, south of Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semicircular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico's history. It is a port of call for shipping and cruise lines running between Panama and San Francisco, California, United States. The city of Acapulco is the largest in the state, far larger than the state capital Chilpancingo. Acapulco is also Mexico's largest beach and balneario resort city.

The city is one of Mexico's oldest beach resorts, which came into prominence in the 1940s through to the 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco was once a popular tourist resort, but due to a massive upsurge in gang violence and murder since 2014 it no longer attracts many foreign tourists, and most now only come from Mexico itself. It is the deadliest city in Mexico and the third-deadliest city in the world, and the US government has warned its citizens not to travel there. In 2016 there were 918 murders,[1] and the homicide rate was one of the highest in the world: 103 in every 100,000. In September 2018 the city's entire police force was disarmed by the military, due to suspicions that it has been infiltrated by drugs gangs. A health crisis has developed due to large quantities of uncollected refuse building up in the streets.

The resort area is divided into three parts: The north end of the bay and beyond is the "traditional" area, which encompasses the area from Parque Papagayo through the Zócalo and onto the beaches of Caleta and Caletilla, the main part of the bay known as "Zona Dorada" ('golden zone' in Spanish), where the famous in the mid-20th century vacationed, and the south end, "Diamante" ('diamond' in Spanish), which is dominated by newer luxury high-rise hotels and condominiums.

The name "Acapulco" comes from Nahuatl language Aca-pōl-co, and means "where the reeds were destroyed or washed away". The "de Juárez" was added to the official name in 1885 to honor Benito Juárez, former President of Mexico (1806–1872). The seal for the city shows broken reeds or cane.[2] The island and municipality of Capul, in the Philippines, derives its name from Acapulco; Capul. Acapulco was the eastern end of the trans-Pacific sailing route from Acapulco to Manila, in what was then a Spanish colony.

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History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Pre-Columbian

By the 8th century around the Acapulco Bay area, there was a small culture which would first be dominated by the Olmecs, then by a number of others during the pre-Hispanic period and before it ended in the 1520s. At Acapulco Bay itself, there were two Olmec sites, one by Playa Larga and the other on a hill known as El Guitarrón. Olmec influence caused the small spread-out villages here to coalesce into larger entities and build ceremonial centers.[2]

Later, Teotihuacan influence made its way here via Cuernavaca and Chilpancingo. Then Mayan influence arrived from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and through what is now Oaxaca. This history is known through the archaeological artifacts that have been found here, especially at Playa Hornos, Pie de la Cuesta,and Tambuco.[2]

In the 11th century, new waves of migration of Nahuas and Coixas came through here. These people were the antecedents of the Aztecs. In the later 15th century, after four years of military struggle, Acapulco became part of the Aztec empire during the reign of Ahuizotl (1486–1502). It was annexed to a tributary province named Tepecuacuilco. However, this was only transitory, as the Aztecs could only establish an unorganized military post at the city's outskirts. The city was on territory under control of the Yopes, who continued defending it and living there until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1520s.[2]

16th century

There are two stories about how Acapulco bay was discovered by Europeans. The first states that two years after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, Hernán Cortés sent explorers west to find gold. The explorers had subdued this area after 1523, and Captain Saavedra Cerón was authorized by Cortés to found a settlement here. The other states that the bay was discovered on December 13, 1526 by a small ship named the El Tepache Santiago captained by Santiago Guevara.[2] The first encomendero was established in 1525 at Cacahuatepec, which is part of the modern Acapulco municipality. In 1531, a number of Spaniards, most notably Juan Rodriguez de Villafuerte, left the Oaxaca coast and founded the village of Villafuerte where the city of Acapulco now stands. Villafuerte was unable to subdue the local native peoples, and this eventually resulted in the Yopa Rebellion in the region of Cuautepec. Hernán Cortés was obligated to send Vasco Porcayo to negotiate with the indigenous people giving concessions. The province of Acapulco became the encomendero of Rodriguez de Villafuerte who received taxes in the form of cocoa, cotton and corn.[2]

Cortés established Acapulco as a major port by the early 1530s, with the first major road between Mexico City and the port constructed by 1531. The wharf, named Marqués, was constructed by 1533 between Bruja Point and Diamond Point. Soon after, the area was made an "alcadia" (major province or town).[2]

Spanish trade in the Far East would give Acapulco a prominent position in the economy of New Spain. Galleons started arriving here from Asia by 1550, and in that year thirty Spanish families were sent to live here from Mexico City to have a permanent base of European residents.[2] Acapulco would become the second most important port, after Veracruz, due to its direct trade with the Philippines. This trade would focus on the yearly Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade, which was the nexus of all kinds of communications between New Spain, Europe and Asia. In 1573, the port was granted the monopoly of the Manila trade.[3]

17th–19th centuries

The galleon trade made its yearly run from the mid-16th century until the early 19th. The luxury items it brought to New Spain attracted the attention of English and Dutch pirates, such as Francis Drake, Henry Morgan and Thomas Cavendish, who called it "The Black Ship." A Dutch fleet invaded Acapulco in 1615, destroying much of the town before being driven off. The Fort of San Diego was built the following year to protect the port and the cargo of arriving ships. The fort was destroyed by an earthquake in 1776 and was rebuilt between 1778 and 1783. At the beginning of the 19th century, King Charles IV declared Acapulco a Ciudad Official and it became an essential part of the Spanish Crown. However, not long after, the Mexican War of Independence began. In 1810, José María Morelos y Pavón attacked and burnt down the city, after he defeated royalist commander Francisco Parés at the Battle of Tres Palos.[2] The independence of Mexico in 1821 ended the run of the Manila Galleon. Acapulco's importance as a port recovered during the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th-century, with ships going to and coming from Panama stopping here. This city was the besieged on 19 April 1854 by Antonio López de Santa Anna after Guerrero's leadership had rebelled by issuing the Plan de Ayutla. After an unsuccessful week of fighting, Santa Anna retreated.

20th century

In 1911, revolutionary forces took over the main plaza of Acapulco.[2] In 1920, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) visited the area. Impressed by what he saw, he recommended the place to his compatriots in Europe, making it popular with the elite there. Much of the original hotel and trading infrastructure was built by an East Texas businessman named Albert B. Pullen from Corrigan, Texas, in the area now known as Old Acapulco. In 1933 Carlos Barnard started the first section of Hotel El Mirador, with 12 rooms on the cliffs of La Quebrada. Wolf Schoenborn purchased large amounts of undeveloped land and Albert Pullen built the Las Americas Hotel.

In the mid-1940s, the first commercial wharf and warehouses were built.[3] In the early 1950s, President Miguel Alemán Valdés upgraded the port's infrastructure, installing electrical lines, drainage systems, roads and the first highway to connect the port with Mexico City.


The economy grew and foreign investment increased with it. During the 1950s, Acapulco became the fashionable place for millionaire Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and Brigitte Bardot. The 1963 Hollywood movie Fun in Acapulco, starring Elvis Presley, is set in Acapulco although the filming took place in the USA. Former swing musician Teddy Stauffer, so-called "Mister Acapulco", was a hotel manager ("Villa Vera", "Casablanca"), who attracted many celebrities to Acapulco.

From a population of only 4,000 or 5,000 in the 1940s, by the early 1960s, Acapulco had a population of about 50,000. In 1958, the Diocese of Acapulco was created by Pope Pius XII. It became an archdiocese in 1983.

During the 1960s and 1970s, new hotel resorts were built, and accommodation and transport were made cheaper. It was no longer necessary to be a millionaire to spend a holiday in Acapulco; the foreign and Mexican middle class could now afford to travel here. However, as more hotels were built in the south part of the bay, the old hotels of the 1950s lost their grandeur. For the 1968 Summer Olympics in neighboring Mexico City, Acapulco hosted the sailing (then yachting) events.

In the 1970s, there was a significant expansion of the port.[3]

The Miss Universe 1978 pageant took place in the city. In 1983, singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel wrote the song "Amor eterno", which pays homage to Acapulco. The song was first and most famously recorded by Rocio Durcal. Additionally, Acapulco is the hometown of actress, singer, and comedian Aída Pierce, who found fame during the 1980s, 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century.

During the 1990s, the tollway known as the Ruta del Sol was built, crossing the mountains between Mexico City and Acapulco. The journey takes only about three and a half hours, making Acapulco a favorite weekend destination for Mexico City inhabitants. It was in that time period that the economic impact of Acapulco as a tourist destination increased positively and as a result a new type of services emerged like the Colegio Nautilus. This educational project, backed by the state government, was created for the families of local and foreign investors and businessmen living in Acapulco who were in need of a bilingual and international education for their children.

The port continued to grow and in 1996, a new private company, API Acapulco, was created to manage operations. This consolidated operations and now Acapulco is the major port for car exports to the Pacific.[3]


The city was devastated by Hurricane Pauline in 1997. The storm stranded tourists and left more than 100 dead in the city. Most of the victims were from the shantytowns built on steep hillsides that surround the city. Other victims were swept away by thirty-foot waves and winds. The main road, Avenida Costera, became a fast-moving three-foot-deep river of sludge.

21st century

In the 21st century, the Mexican Drug War has had a negative effect on tourism in Acapulco as rival drug traffickers fight each other for the Guerrero coast route that brings drugs from South America as well as soldiers that have been fighting the cartels since 2006.

A major gun battle between 18 gunmen and soldiers took place in the summer of 2009 in the Old Acapulco seaside area, lasting hours and killing 16 of the gunmen and two soldiers.[4] This came after the swine flu outbreak earlier in the year nearly paralyzed the Mexican economy, forcing hotels to give discounts to bring tourists back.[5] However, hotel occupancy for 2009 was down five percent from the year before. The death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 resulted in infighting among different groups within the Beltran Leyva cartel.

Gang violence continued to plague Acapulco through 2010 and into 2011, most notably with at least 15 dying in drug-related violence on March 13, 2010, and another 15 deaths on January 8, 2011. Among the first incident's dead were six members of the city police and the brother of an ex-mayor. In the second incident, the headless bodies of 15 young men were found dumped near the Plaza Senderos shopping center. On August 20, 2011, Mexican authorities reported that five headless bodies were found in Acapulco, three of which were placed in the city's main tourist area and two of which were cut into multiple pieces.[6]

On February 4, 2013, six Spanish men were tied up and robbed and the six Spanish women with them were gang-raped by five masked gunmen who stormed a beach house on the outskirts of Acapulco, though after these accusations, none of the victims decided to press charges. On September 28, 2014, Mexican politician Braulio Zaragoza was gunned down at the El Mirador hotel in the city. He was the leader of the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN) in southern Guerrero state. Several politicians have been targeted by drug cartels operating in the area. Investigations are under way, but no arrests have yet been made. The insecurity due to individuals involved with drug cartels has cost the city of Acapulco its popularity among national and international tourists. It was stated by the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil that the number of international flyers coming to Acapulco decreased from 355,760 flyers registered in 2006 to 52,684 flyers in the year 2015, the number of international tourists flying to Acapulco dropped 85% in the interval of nine years.

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