Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California. As one of the largest and fastest growing cities of Mexico, Tijuana exerts a strong influence on local economics, education, and politics. As the city has become a leading center in the country, so has the surrounding metropolitan area, essentially blossoming into a major industrial and paramount metropolis in northwestern Mexico – currently one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.
Despite these expansions, however, Tijuana has retained an intimate and special connection to its heritage, tradition and culture. Which is, at once, a lively urban melting pot stoked by migration from throughout Mexico, with the variety of regional cultures fusing with longtime Anglo and Chicano influences.
On the street, this is reflected in people’s politics, language and everyday life, and in the attitudes and accents of elegant chilangos (transplants from Mexico City), itinerant vendors from southern Mexico and the hip clientele at trendy hangouts.
Despite the adventurous pull of its coastline, among shark cage diving and sailing tours, Tijuana is most vibrant beneath displays of its cultural brevity. And the city acts as a proverbial canvas constantly showcasing its urban art scene, with murals, graffiti and exhibitions at street events, being a regular sight.
The newly converted Pasaje Rodríguez – as part of the historic center’s recent revitalization – makes for great sightseeing, whereby you can admire and buy locally produced art. It’s also worth checking out the fascinating cultural centers of El Lugar del Nopal, Las Tablas Theater, ArTé Casa Cacho, Tj Art & Rock Café, Dionísio Café, and the Estación Teatro.
However, come autumn time, the cultural events season kicks off with the Entijuanarte Cultural Festival taking the reigns – showcasing local, national and foreign contemporary artists.
The quest to establish a distinct identity, both for themselves and for the outside world, shapes the work of these artists and intellectuals, who are at the forefront exploring Tijuana’s evolving culture at the frontier of change.