Cuajimalpa de Morelos is one of the 16 boroughs
Boroughs of the Mexican Federal District
Mexico City — politically and administratively constituted as the Federal District — is divided into sixteen boroughs for administrative purposes. They constitute second-level administrative divisions, on par with the municipalities of Mexico. However, unlike municipalities, they do not have...

 of Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

. Its name comes from the indigenous expression "over sticks of wood". At the 2010 census, it had a population of 186,391 inhabitants, the second-least populous of Mexico City's boroughs (after Milpa Alta
Milpa Alta
Milpa Alta is one of the 16 delegaciones into which Mexico's Federal District is divided. It lies in the southeast corner of the Distrito Federal, bordering the States of México and Morelos. It is the second largest and most rural of all delegaciones. It is also the least populous and...


The historic center of this borough was designated as a "Barrio Mágico"
Barrios Mágicos of Mexico City
The “Barrios Mágicos” of Mexico City is a list of twenty one areas in the Federal District, which have been named “magical neighborhoods” in order to attract tourism to them. The program is sponsored by the city government but is patterned after the “Pueblos Mágicos” program of the Mexican...

 by the city in 2011.


Cuajimalpa's name comes from the Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 word Cuauhximalpan that is composed of "cuauh"(itl) (tree, wood), with the transitive verb "xima", (carpentering, to work, or to polish), followed by a "I" formative and of the preposition "pan" (above, have more than enough, in). The first two elements form "cuauhximal-li" (small chip) that without the formulative suffix "li" (tli aphaeresis, lost the t to be eles between two) and with the posposition it comes to mean "on the wooden chips" and it designates a place where wooden chips are worked.

Early years

Although Cuajimalpa's history certainly extends to the pre-Columbian city of Tenochtitlan, still much is unknown about its history prior to the arrival of the Spanish.

Founded as a municipality on February 8, 1862, Cuajimalpa belonged to the Town of Santa Fe, separated from the neighboring towns of San Pedro Cuajimalpa, San Pablo Chimalpa, San Lorenzo Acopilco and San Mateo Tlaltenango, this San Pedro Cuajimalpa considered as head of the municipality due to its proximity to the El Camino Real
Old San Antonio Road
The Old San Antonio Road was a historic roadway located in the U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. Parts of it were based on traditional Native American trails. Its Texas terminus was about southeast of Eagle Pass at the Rio Grande in Maverick County, and its northern terminus was at...

 route between the cities of Toluca
Toluca, formally known as Toluca de Lerdo, is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the...

 and Mexico City.

San Pedro Cuajimalpa existed in the place that occupies its modern-day market, an old inn refuge of travelers, which during the Mexican War of Independence was used by Realistas ( Spaniard Viceroy army), during the dates that surround the battle of the Battle of Monte de las Cruces
Battle of Monte de las Cruces
The Battle of Monte de las Cruces was one of the pivotal battles of the early Mexican War of Independence. It was fought between the insurgent troops of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and Ignacio Allende against the royalist troops of General Torcuato Trujillo in the Sierra de las Cruces mountains...

, and in the later retreat of the Insurgentes (Insurgentes) (It means a Civil Native Mexican and Spaniard Creole little army).

The house was destroyed in the 1970s and the site is today is a center of psychological support and the offices of civil protection.

In 1862, Cuajimalpa was made a municipality which today represents an important residential area of Greater Mexico City.

20th Century

During the 20th century, two railroad lines were built through Cuajimalpa, one leaving San Lázaro station in Mexico City which goes to Toluca
Toluca, formally known as Toluca de Lerdo, is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the...

, and the one between the manufacturing areas of Loreto and Peña Pobre, in San Angel, to take advantage of the wood in the area. The train was retired in 1953 after an accident at Arteaga y Salazar streets.

In 1898, the first water aqueduct system was introduced to San Pedro Cuajimalpa. Until 1916, the public illumination was by gas lamps. The nearby modern real estate development of Santa Fe is settled upon the site of several old mines. Ancient pottery and prehispanic statuettes have also been found in the red mud of the area.

In 1917, Desierto de los Leones National Park
Desierto de los Leones National Park
Desierto de los Leones National Park is located entirely within the limits of the Federal District, it stretches between Cuajimalpa and Álvaro Obregón boroughs....

 was created, within which is a convent erected by the order of the Barefoot Carmelite.

During the revolutionary period, the mountains and valleys of the delegation were the site of many fights between Zapatistas
Liberation Army of the South
The Liberation Army of the South was an armed group formed and led by Emiliano Zapata that took part in the Mexican Revolution. The force was commonly known as the Zapatistas....

 and Carrancistas. It is said that the Zapatistas amputated the ears of the males of the town, to be able to distinguish them from the Carrancistas.

During the government of Lázaro Cárdenas
Lázaro Cárdenas
Lázaro Cárdenas del Río was President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940.-Early life:Lázaro Cárdenas was born on May 21, 1895 in a lower-middle class family in the village of Jiquilpan, Michoacán. He supported his family from age 16 after the death of his father...

, Cuajimalpa experienced an expansion of the residential developments that already denominated the Delegacion with new construction that characterizes Cuajimalpa's appearance today. The growth was promoted by the president's family member Avila Camacho, which bought large plots of land in the areas near Herradura, Interlomas, Bosques de las Lomas, Lomas de Chapultepec and Lindavista.

In this period, Mexican personalities such as Emilio Azcárraga Milmo
Emilio Azcárraga Milmo
Emilio Azcárraga Milmo or Emilio Azcárraga Jr. was a Mexican businessman and the son of Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta, Sr. He was educated at Culver Military Academy, he graduated in 1948. He was married three times, most recently to Paula Cussi...

, Mario Moreno "Cantinflas
Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes , was a Mexican comic film actor, producer, and screenwriter known professionally as Cantinflas. He often portrayed impoverished campesinos or a peasant of pelado origin...

", Pedro Infante
Pedro Infante
José Pedro Infante Cruz , better known as Pedro Infante, is the most famous actor and singer of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and is an idol of the Latinamerican people, together with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís, who were styled the Tres Gallos Mexicanos . He was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa,...

, and several Presidents began to arrive to Cuajimalpa and specifically to the Contadero. Among them were the wife of Miguel de la Madrid, who occupied the Exhacienda Stands out the Doves, and the brother of Carlos Salinas
Carlos Salinas
Carlos Salinas de Gortari is a Mexican economist and politician affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party who served as President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. Earlier in his career he worked in the Budget Secretariat all the way up to Secretary...

, with his country residence "El Encanto", and several houses of José López Wicket, the celebrated "Colina del Perro".

Since the 1980s, large urban centers have been developed in Cuajimalpa, such as upscale Santa Fe
Santa Fe (Mexico City)
thumb|400px|Panoramic view of Santa Fethumb|200px|Carlos Lazo AveSanta Fe or City Santa Fe is one of Mexico City's major business districts, located in the west part of the city in the delegaciones of Cuajimalpa and Álvaro Obregón. Paseo de la Reforma and Constituyentes are the primary means of...

 and Parque de la Colina, which were built on lands used previously for mining and trash disposal.

In the 1970s, a series of industrial parks was developed in Santa Fe that included a Center of Social Readaptation (CERESO), built on a landfill that expels gases nightly, causing unpleasant scents. In Parque de la Colina, a golf course and private residential area were created.

Development in the area has been at the expense of the forests that have served as part of the ecology of the Valley of Mexico
Valley of Mexico
The Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with the present-day Distrito Federal and the eastern half of the State of Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the Valley of Mexico was a centre for several pre-Columbian civilizations, including...

, and were one of the main sources feeding the aquifers of the Valley. The development of a unit of the Metropolitan Autonomous University
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
The Metropolitan Autonomous University is a public university located in Mexico City, Mexico...

 has been impeded by the action of local residents and national environmentalists.

Geography & Climate

Cuajimalpa de Morelos is located in the southwest of the Federal District. It borders Miguel Hidalgo
Miguel Hidalgo, D.F.
Miguel Hidalgo is one of the 16 delegaciones into which Mexico's Federal District is divided. The borough includes some of the most affluent parts of Mexico City, such as Lomas de Chapultepec and Polanco. Its population at the 2010 census was 372,889 inhabitants, and it lies at an elevation of...

 and Álvaro Obregón
Álvaro Obregón, D.F.
Álvaro Obregón is one of the 16 delegaciones into which Mexico's Federal District is divided. It contains a large portion of the south-west part of Mexico City. It had a 2010 census population of 727,034 inhabitants and lies at an elevation of 2,319 m...

 boroughs and the municipalities of Ocoyoacac
Ocoyoacac is a town and municipality in Mexico State in Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 134.71 km². It is one of the 17 municipalities that border Mexico City...

, Huixquilucan
Huixquilucan de Degollado
Huixquilucan is a town and municipality in Mexico State, Mexico. It lies adjacent to the west side of the Federal District and is part of Greater Mexico City but independent of...

 and Xalatlaco
Xalatlaco is a town and municipality in Mexico State in Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 93.23 km². It is one of the 17 municipalities that border Mexico City, bordering the capital city's southwest side....

 in the state of Mexico. It has a median altitude of 2,760 meters above sea level (9,055 ft), and has an area of 8,095 hectares, of which 6,473 are wildlands and 1,622 hectares
are urbanised, organised in 47 "colonias" (neighborhoods) and 4 towns, with a regional seat. In terms of percentages the territory of Cuajimalpa represents 5.1% of the Federal District area.

Cuajimalpa is an important provider of oxygen and filter of atmospheric pollutants, given its large forested zone. It receives the highest precipitation of the Federal District and has a system of ravines, gullies and superficial streams of water, that are important in the recharge of groundwater and the climate control.

Also, it bestows topographical characteristic favorable to the conservation of flora and fauna native to the Valley of Mexico.


The borough has two important elevations:
  • Volcan La Palma, 3,800 meters above sea level (12,467 ft, its highest point).
  • Cerro San Miguel 3,780 meters above sea level (12,401 ft)

Other important altitude facts are:
  • 2,760 meters above sea level at the borough's city hall. (9,055 ft)
  • 2,460 meters above sea level at its lowest part. (8,070 ft)


The borough belongs to the basin of Rio Moctezuma and the sub-basin of Lago Texcoco-Zumpango.The main streams are: Rio Santo Desierto, Arroyo Agua de Leones, Río Borracho, Arroyo Agua Azul and Río Atitla


The climate is primarily semi cold with a high degree of humidity. The yearly median temperature ranges mostly between 10 °C to 12 °C (50°F to 54°F). Total rainfall averages between 1,200 to 1,500 mm (47 to 59 in). The following chart illustrates the rhythm of the weather year-through for Cuajimalpa according to the National Weather Service of Mexico (Servicio Meteorológico Nacional)

Mayors, without trustworthy data

  • 1861 - ????: Ángel Gonzalez
  • ???? - ????: Juan de Mata González
  • ???? - 1883: Lucio Cortés
  • 1903 - ????: Enrique Rivera, as Prefect
    Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

  • 1883 - 1910: Pedro Segura

Revolutionary Prefectures

  • 1910 - 1912: Rómulo Luna
  • 1912 - 1913: José María Leyva, appointed by Francisco I. Madero
    Francisco I. Madero
    Francisco Ignacio Madero González was a politician, writer and revolutionary who served as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913. As a respectable upper-class politician, he supplied a center around which opposition to the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz could coalesce...

  • 1913 - 1914: Marcelino Nava, appointed by Victoriano Huerta
    Victoriano Huerta
    José Victoriano Huerta Márquez was a Mexican military officer and president of Mexico. Huerta's supporters were known as Huertistas during the Mexican Revolution...

  • 1914 - 1915: Pedro Muciño, elected
  • 1915 - 1919: Maurilio Sánchez, appointed by Venustiano Carranza
    Venustiano Carranza
    Venustiano Carranza de la Garza, was one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. He ultimately became President of Mexico following the overthrow of the dictatorial Huerta regime in the summer of 1914 and during his administration the current constitution of Mexico was drafted...

  • 1920 - 1920: Margarito Vázquez, elected
  • 1921 - 1923: Enrique Segura, elected
  • 1923 - 1925: Jacinto Ortiz, elected
  • 1925 - 1929: Teófilo Sánchez, elected

Delegates appointed by the President

  • 1929: Fermín López Urbina
  • 1929 - 1935: José E. Ancona
  • 1935 - 1942: Erasmo Reséndiz Sánchez
  • 1942 - 1947: Eulalio Cabañas
  • 1947 - 1964: J. Ascensión Almaraz Espinoza, AKA "Don Chon Almaraz"
  • 1964 - 1970: Mario Ruíz M.
  • 1970 - 1976: Ramón Osorio
  • 1976 - 1980: Margarita García F.
  • 1980 - 1982: Máximo Evia
  • 1982 - 1988: María Inés Solís G.
  • 1988 - 1993: Margarita Peimber Sierra
  • 1993 - 1994: Jaime del Río
  • 1994 - 1997:
  • 1997 - 2000: Yenny Saltiel Cohen

Mayors chosen by direct vote

They are known as Borough Chiefs (Spanish: Jefes Delegacionales)
  • 2000 - 2003: Francisco de Souza
  • 2003 - 2006: Ignacio Ruíz López
  • 2006 - 2009: Remedios Ledesma García
  • 2009 - 2012: Carlos Orvañanos Rea

External links

Delegación Cuajimalpa Official site
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