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What You Need To Know

Zapopan is a city and municipality located in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Part of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, the population of Zapopan city proper makes it the second largest city in the state, very close behind the population of Guadalajara proper. It is best known as being the home of the Virgin of Zapopan, an image of the Virgin Mary which was made in the 16th century. This image has been credited with a number of miracles and has been recognized by popes and even visited by Pope John Paul II. The municipality is also the home of the Centro Cultural Universitario, which contains one of the most important concert venues in Latin America and is the home of the new stadium for the C.D. Guadalajara.

The name Zapopan comes from the Nahuatl word “tzapotl” which means among sapote trees and the word “pan” which means among under. It also has the nickname of “Villa Exmaicera” (ex-corn village), as it used to be a major producer of corn. Its seal was designed by José Trinidad Laris in 1941 for the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding.

Population:1.142 million (2010)
Area: 344.8 mi²

Currency

The Mexican peso is the standard currency used in Mexico. 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 peso bills are most often used but you will occationly see a 1000 peso note. Peso coins are in denominations of $1 $2, $5, and $10 pesos, there is also limited edition $20 peso coin in circulation.
US dollars are excepted everywhere in the area but if you use dollars in restaurants, shops, etc., the exchange rate will not be the same as when you exchange at a bank or withdraw pesos at an ATM. At the best it will be rounded down to the nearest whole number, for example if the bank’s exchange rate is 14.86 pesos to 1 dollar, some businesses will round down to 14, most likely it will be 13 or even 12 pesos to the dollar. Many businesses will post their exchange rate and/or prices in pesos and dollars.

Climate

The climate here is mild, and generally warm and temperate. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. This location is classified as Cwa by Köppen and Geiger. The average annual temperature in Zapopan is 19.4 °C. Precipitation here averages 957 mm.
Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is 252 mm. The average temperatures vary during the year by 7.7 °C. Useful hints about reading the climate table: For every month, you will find data about precipitation (mm), average, maximum and minimum temperature (degrees Celcius and Fahrenheit). Meaning of the first line: (1) January, (2) February, (3) March, (4) April, (5) May, (6) June, (7) July, (8) August, (9) September, (10) October, (11) November, (12) December.

Languages

The official language of Mexico is Spanish, which is spoken by 90 percent of the people. Indian languages of the Aztecs, Mayans, and other tribes are still spoken throughout the country.

Safety

Guadalajara is known to be one of the safest cities in Mexico. Nonetheless, the usual precautions should be taken as in any other large city. Crimes against tourists and foreign students are not very frequent and mostly take the form of purse snatching. Criminals usually work in teams and target travelers in busy places, such as outdoor restaurants. Should anyone spill something on you, be alert to your surroundings and step away–accidental spills are a common method for distracting the victim.
Never carry illegal substances with you; Mexican police are very strict regarding these cases.
Emergency numbers in Guadalajara: Emergency (066); Air and Land Ambulance (52-33) 3616-9616; Green Angels or Road Assistance (52-33) 3668-1800 extension 31489; Municipal Anti Rabies Centre of Guadalajara (52-33) 3643-1917 or 3644-6206; Fire Fighters (52-33) 3619-5155 or 3619-0510; Guadalajara Amber Cross (52-33) 3605-0092; Mexican Red Cross 065 or (52-33) 3345-7777; Green Cross (52-33) 3614-5252 or 3613-1572; Municipal Police of Guadalajara (52-33) 3668-0800; and Safety for Tourists 01 800 36 32 200. You can also get in contact with the embassy or consulate of your country of origin.

Education

Universities

  • Universidad Panamericana, campus Guadalajara www.up.edu.mx;
  • Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) has its second biggest campus in the city.

International schools include:

  • Colegio Alemán de Guadalajara, a German international school
  • Lycée Français de Guadalajara, a French international school
  • Instituto Miguel Ángel de Occidente

Getting Around

Dozens of bus routes provide transportation around the city. As of November 2014, regular buses cost MXN6; there are also luxury buses (Turquesa, Tur and Cardenal) which cost MXN10. Look on the front window of the bus to see where it will go, and ask the driver if you’re uncertain. You can also try to purchase a route map, although as of early 2008 they are no longer being published and are therefore almost impossible to find. This means planning your route ahead, or asking the locals (provided you know some Spanish). Riding the bus also provides a good chance to see different parts of the city and get your bearings. Note that bus drivers will give you change within limits.
Taxis are another option if you don’t want to try to figure out the buses. You can either agree to a price with the cab driver or ask him to turn the meter on. Using the latter option, there is a risk that the driver won’t the take the shortest possible route if he thinks you don’t know it yourself. The meter will normally be a better price than the price the hotel will tell you to pay, if they hail. As always, be sure to ask the fare before you get in. Cabs cost more at night or when they have to cross the outer ring of the city.
Uber is now available in Guadajalara as of 2015.
A simple subway network can be useful if you happen to want to travel along its currently limited path. There are two lines that join at the Western edge of the Centro Historico. One runs North-South beneath Avenida Federalismo to the edges of the city in both directions. The other runs East through the Centro Historico to the Eastern suburbs. Fares cost MXN6. The subway closes at 11pm.
A new bus service named ‘Pre Tren’ (Pre Train) goes from the main (Juárez) subway station through the Zona Rosa to the west Outer Ring at a 50{08fc4192278a9b4ee05604cd6184dd40a783eea2bcf51a228ad27031605ecc79} discounted fare for subway card users and provide a good service with new, air-conditioned, red colored units. The service is better than the smaller ‘camiones’ (bus) service.