Mexico has a territory of 2 million square kilometers and an estimated population of over 113 million. Mexico is part of North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by  Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.

GENERAL ASPECTS OF GUANAJUATO

“Guanajuato is located in the geographical center of Mexico. The capital of the State of Guanajuato is the City of Guanajuato (which is where the CLA Study Center is located). The city of Guanajuato has a population of 171,000 inhabitants and was named Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1988.

The city of Guanajuato is famous for its mines, its topography and its legends. During the Spanish Colonialism (XVI and XVII Century) Guanajuato was one of the most important exporters of gold and silver in the world, giving its Spanish founders great wealth to create beautiful buildings, churches and haciendas, which you can still appreciate and explore today.

UNIVERSITY OF GUANAJUATO

The University of Guanajuato was founded in 1744 when the Spanish Crown gave the authorization to the Jesuits to teach courses about arts, philosophy and writing. Since then The University of Guanajuato has overcome several armed conflicts such as the Mexican Independence and the Mexican Revolution and has continuously evolved to what it is today.

The University of Guanajuato represents a fundamental part of life for the Guanajuatenses (demonym of the inhabitants of Guanajuato). Restaurants, bars and stores in general have to maintain low prices for the student’s budgets. Because the University of Guanajuato has nearly 30,000 students the city attracts many festivals for art, culture and music. There are a lot of free events around the city and discounts are given to students simply by showing their student Id.

PRICES AND COST OF LIVING

As mentioned before, prices and cost of living in Guanajuato have to remain low for the budget of the students. The following is a list of prices of different things around the city:.

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SAFETY AND SECURITY

It is no secret that concerns for safety and security in Mexico have risen over the last decade. But is also worth noting that not all states in Mexico are dangerous. There are many states of Mexico where it is perfectly safe to live and travel to, Guanajuato being one of them.

CLA takes the safety and security of its students very seriously, which is why our organized trips and excursions are always to safe areas. During orientation we talk about regular safety and security measures around the city and also about what states students should avoid traveling to.

Guanajuato is far away from the main areas of concern. Around 19 million tourists, both nationals and foreigners, visit Guanajuato every year. This makes it one of the favorite and safest destinations in the country.

(To read more about safety and security in Mexico, click here)

CULTURE, ART AND MUCH MORE

GIFF (Guanajuato International Film Festival)

Every year, during the second and third week of July, Guanajuato hosts the GIFF. Free movies are screened all over the city in unconventional sceneries such as public plazas, the staircase of the University of Guanajuato, the subterranean streets and the local graveyard.

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The Guanajuato International Film Festival has quickly established itself as one of the most important Film Festivals in Latin America. The city becomes a hub of opportunities for young filmmakers and artist alike. The streets are filled with locals and tourists and you can feel a festive atmosphere everywhere!

If you would like to read more about the Guanajuato International Film Festival click here

FIC (International Cervantino Festival)

The city of Guanajuato is transformed every year during three weeks of October from a quiet city (usually populated by students) into a sprawling, multi- cultured, and truly magical cosmopolitan arena. The FIC has become the most important international artistic and cultural events in Mexico and Latin America and one of the major events of its type in the world.

During Cervantino every public plaza, street and rooftop is a potential stage for a theatre performance, music concert, street circus or opera concert. The best part is everyone is invited. Most of the shows are free or as little as 4 USD!.

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To read more about Cervantino 2015 click here

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

Day of the Dead on November 1st is one of the most important traditions in Mexico. Death for ancient Mexican civilizations wasn’t a moment to grieve. Death was considered an opportunity to celebrate life after death and the visit of their loved ones from the afterlife to this world for one full day. Every year on November 1st the family and friends of someone that died set up an ofrenda (offering or altar) for him/her. The ofrenda incorporates different elements such as seeds, flowers, cut-out paper, fruits, vegetables and the favorite meals or drinks of the person for whom the altar is dedicated.

There are many ways you can engage in this tradition. One way people commemorate this tradition is by going to the graveyard and cleaning and decorating the tombstones. By the end of the day the graveyard looks like a big celebration. There are Mariachis playing songs and singing and remembering the people they lost.

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Easter and Holy Week Break

Every year during the first two weeks of April, the students of University of Guanajuato enjoy two weeks of holidays.

During this time you can travel independently to other parts of Mexico or abroad. We can help you out by giving you tips on where to go, how to get there and how to save money. For example, there are several airlines where you can find cheap tickets to travel to different national destinations and you can also find great deals on international airfares of places close to Mexico. .