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Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. Its metro area population is just over 5 million, making it the second largest city in Mexico. Guadalajara is a city of plazas, gardens, cathedrals, murals, and palaces. Considered by many to be the birthplace of both Mariachi music and tequila, Guadalajara’s cultural events and festivals draw in visitors from all over the world. With a history dating back more than 500 years; there is no shortage of museums, monuments and other attractions of historical significance either. The area’s natural beauty also attracts many locals and tourists each year. Guadalajara’s surrounding lakes, hot springs, rivers, forests, mountains and canyons offer all the outdoor recreation one could dream of.
Many international companies have a presence in Guadalajara, and the local economy is strong. Development in the area has exploded in recent decades, and Guadalajara leads the nation in modern shopping and entertainment centers. About 60% of the population is employed in either commerce or tourism, and a strong technology sector has earned the city the nickname "Silicon Valley of Mexico". Seminars, conventions and other events are an important draw as well.