Mexican California’s Heritage

The name “California”, in Mexico, has an interesting origin, as it has been mentioned in various ancient legends. One such legend dates to the 15th century when a book called “Las Sergas de Esplandián” was written. It referred to an island called California, which was said to be populated only by women led by their queen, Calafia.

According to Hernán Cortés’ imagination, a land in California existed – a desert terrain where he arrived on May 3, 1535, in the bay of La Santa Cruz (now known as Bahía de La Paz). Cortés launched an assault on this first encounter, years later known as the spiritual conquest.

For centuries, writers have penned tales of ships and conquests, and this activity has been especially prominent in the peninsula that poetically resembles a firm arm, boasting enchanting spaces such as islands, a gulf, the Pacific Ocean, and the sierras. These elements harmonize perfectly, blending the sun, the sea, and the desert, creating California’s unique landscape.

The rich history of Mexican California, filled with pirates, Jesuits, and Conquistadors, has forged an inspiring region. It has been chiseled by the resilient Californios of the past and reimagined in the present as it looks towards a bright and promising future.

“Artery of my homeland …”

“Whimsical silhouette…”

“Sister of the winds…”

“Of legends, of cactus, snatches, and pirates…”

Jesús López Gastelum (1927)

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