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History of Baja California Sur

Baja California Sur was first inhabited around 11000 B.C. Explorers found arrowheads and clovis points left by 4 nomadic tribes: the Pericu, the Guaycura, the Monquil and the Cochimi. In Cueva de Palma, you can still see the paintings of these hunter-gatherer tribes hunting wild animals drawn in 1700 B.C. These tribes had a very small amount of agriculture, but were skilled fishermen and potters. The Pericu occupied La Paz up to the tip of Baja California Sur in Cabo San Lucas, the Guaycura occupied La Paz to Loreto, the Monquil also occupied Loreto and the Cochimi occupied northern Baja California Sur. The Pericu ate mostly marine life with some wild fruits, berries, nuts and small game. The Cochimi hadn’t discovered agriculture, so they mainly lived off wild fruits, nuts, berries, and land animals.

Cave paintings from Cueva de Palma
Cave paintings from Cueva de Palma

Spaniards started arriving in Baja California Sur in 1533, but no one colonized Baja California Sur until 1697. In 1697, the Jesuits made the “Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó”, which was the first permanent mission to Baja California Sur. The Jesuits also went north to Baja California. The Franciscans took Baja California Sur in 1768, then ceded it to the Dominicans in 1773. As the Spanish began to colonize, disease and war caused the indigenous people’s population to drop.

Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó
Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó

After the Mexican War of Independence from 1810 to 1821, Baja California Sur was divided into four municipalities. Loreto, the oldest settlement in the region, was made the capital of Baja California Sur, but in 1830, the government moved to La Paz due to heavy rains. La Paz is still the capital today. After The Mexican-American War in 1847, America withdrew from Baja California Sur and the following year the two countries signed The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, where Mexico agreed to sell America what is now Nevada Utah, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. In 1853, a journalist  got 45 Americans to try to capture La Paz without permission from the U.S. Mexico was able to easily drive out the Americans. President Porfirio Diaz made Baja California Sur a state on October 8th 1974.

A painting of the Mexican-American War
A painting of the Mexican-American War

Today, Baja California Sur’s population is 712,000 (according to a 2015 study). Baja California Sur is the biggest salt, lobster and squid supplier in the nation. Fishing and livestock is also a popular occupation, as it is a large producer of cow meat and milk. BCS is also a popular tourist destination. The beautiful clear waters and abundance of fish, has made this place a popular sport fishing and diving destination for tourists.

Sources

https://spartacus-educational.com/WWcochimi.htm#:~:text=The%20Cochim%C3%AD%20lived%20in%20the,discovered%20the%20advantages%20of%20agriculture.

https://www.visitloscabos.travel/blog/post/8-facts-pericues-tribe-populated-los-cabos/

https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/baja-california-sur

https://www.citypopulation.de/php/mexico-admin.php?adm1id=03

https://www.explorandomexico.com/state/3/Baja-California-Sur/economy

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Sea of Cortez
Shredder of guitars, lover of pugs, and all-around great kid!
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