Atlanta-based correspondent for news.coinupdate.com, Brandon Christopher Hall takes us on a journey through the United States’ southern neighbor, starting in Baja California, then traveling south and east through every state and the federal district of Mexico City. Along the way he takes a look at coins from each region.
Querétaro (Free and Sovereign State of Querétaro)
Capital city: Santiago de Querétaro
Largest city: Santiago de Querétaro
Nickname: (no official nickname)
Motto: (no official motto)
Area: 4,517 square miles
Order of admission to the Federation: #11 (December 23, 1823)
Deceptively quaint Querétaro is actually the seventh most densely populated state in Mexico. It is also the first state in which Mexicans declared their independence. The third-largest monolith in the world, La Peña de Bernal, exists in Querétaro and is estimated to be more than 100 million years old. Querétaro is an excellent stop for anyone interested in wineries; in fact, the state is so renowned for its production that wine has found its way onto the state’s coat of arms in the form of a grape arbor. Now let’s take in the scenery at the “place of crags.”
Querétaro is made up of three geographic zones: the Mesa del Centro, Sierra Madre Oriental, and Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Due to the state’s location in central Mexico, the hot and dry climate of the north clashes against the wet and tropical climate of the south, creating a very eclectic mix of microclimates. Eighteen distinct ecosystems exist in the state, including tropical rainforests. Earthquakes are not uncommon in Querétaro (some experts have suggested this is due to aggressive mining efforts, though the government denies this accusation).
Not surprisingly, flora and fauna are also quite diverse in number and variety. Conifer and oak forests cover the northern landscape while tropical rainforests are dominant in the south. Beautiful Jacaranda trees can be seen all throughout the state and the capital city, boldly displaying vibrant purple flowers. Squirrels, bats, skunks, gray foxes, and gophers are typical mammals in Querétaro. Thick-billed parrots and woodpeckers are common in the forests.