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Mazatlan Culture

Because of its unique demographic history, the culture of Mazatlan is somewhat different then what you will tend to find in other regions of Mexico. Also, many geographic realities have figured in a great deal in the development of the cultural of Mazatlan. For instance, its natural sheltered port along with its prime location along the Pacific coast made Mazatlan the last stop for people and machinery heading to the California Gold fields during the gold rush of the late 1800s.

This was a major factor contributing to the influx during that period of German immigrants who came to produce materials such as heavy machinery, equipment and textiles for market in San Francisco and the surrounding gold fields of California. The Germans brought the “party” to Mazatlan when they introduced the region to their beer, folk music and polkas. This German music was the seeds of the brash and lively dance music called “banda” that you can hear today booming from homes and cars throughout Mazatlan and northern Sinaloa.

Mazatlan’s location along the Pacific coast means that another arrival to disembark from South America was the tradition of Carnival. Mazatlan is now home of the third largestMazatlan, Mexico Culture Carnival on the planet, second only to Rio and New Orleans. Carnival technically begins in mid February and lasts for about a week but the locals being anxious for it to begin and loath to see it end begin partying a few days early and like to celebrate for a few days after it is over.

The Regional Cuisine Tells a Colorful Story

The cuisine that you will find being served in restaurants and beach “palapas” in Mazatlan is heavily influenced by the topography of northern Sinaloa. The flat rich farmland, bisected by  a number of rivers that flow year round first caught the eye of the Spanish who began arriving in the 1500s. They introduced the area to their ranching and farming traditions and culture that can still be seen in the surrounding areas to this day.

Indigenous people of the area left petroglyph’s on rock faces in the Mazatlan that have been dated as far back as 10,000 years. They also left their style of preparing fish and other seafood grilled over an open bed of coals called “barabacoa”. The Indians of Mazatlan would also grind their corn or “maize” to make thin flat grilled cakes that you may recognize as tortillas.

So, the delicius cuisine of Mazatlan tells the storied history of  a  people there who’s culture has been influened by an asortment of immigrants who have arrived over the past severl hundred years. The music and architecture of Mazatlan and the surrounding region also reflect the heavy European influences that have played such a large role in the development of the culture and the way that “Mazatlecos” live their lives.


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