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Pachuca, Hidalgo

Full namePachuca
Native namePachuca de Soto
Settlement typeCity and Municipality
Municipal PresidentGeraldina García Gordillo
Elevation6561.7 ft (2000 m)
Total Population275578 (2005)
Other information
Time zonePST (UTC-6)
- Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-5)

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Pachuca, formally Pachuca de Soto is the capital of the Mexican state of Hidalgo. It is located in the south-central part of the state. Pachuca de Soto is also the name of the municipality of which the city serves as municipal seat. Pachuca is located about 90 km from Mexico City via Highway 85.

The name Pachuca has been traced to several possible etymologies and has been much debated. It has been traced to the word “pachoa,” meaning strait or opening, “Pachoacan,” meaning place of government, or place of silver and gold, and “patlachuican,” meaning place of factories or tears. The official name of Pachuca is Pachuca de Soto in honor of congressman Manuel Fernando Soto, who is given credit for the creation of Hidalgo state. Its nickname of “La bella airosa” (Beautiful Airy City) comes from the strong winds that blow into the valley through the canyons to the north of the city.

The area had been long inhabited but except for some green obsidian, but the mining that Pachuca is famous for began in the mid-16th century, during Spanish colonial rule. Pachuca remained a major mining center until the mid-20th century, with the city’s fortunes going up and down with the health of the mining sector. In the mid-20th century, a major downturn in mining pushed Pachuca to change its economy to industry, with the revamping of the Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo. Today, mining is only a fraction of the municipality’s economy.

One cultural aspect that makes Pachuca stand out is the influence that Cornish miners who immigrated here in the 19th century have had. Many of their descendents remain in Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte, as well as two heritages that define the city, soccer and a dish called “pastes.”

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