The State of Chiapas is the southern most state in Mexico, sharing a border with Guatemala. In general the state of Chiapas has a tropical climate, except in the mountains (such as San Cristóbal de las Casas) where the weather is temperate. The state is overflowing with ancient history, culture and natural beauty. Before the arrival of the Spaniards around the year 1570, the area was
Chiapas is famous for its wide variety of festivities, traditions, crafts and cuisine, you’ll also find a lot of natural beauty in Chiapas at such places as Canon del Sumidero National Park, the Cascadas de Agua Azul Biosphere Reserve and the Montebello Lagoons, where you’ll see turquoise-blue waters surrounded by a forest with indigenous plant and animal species. What’s more, you can visit fascinating Mayan archaeological zones, including those at Tonina, Bonampak, Yaxchilan and mysterious Palenque, where archaeologists have made recent discoveries of the rulers’ tombs. Nearby, in the magical city of San Cristobal de las Casas, you’ll see beautiful religious buildings like the Cathedral and the Templo de Santo Domingo. You can also visit the plazas and markets, where you’ll find crafts, garments and wood sculptures made by Tzotzil, Tzeltal and Lacandon indigenous artisans.
Chiapas was conquered by Spain in the early 16th century, and became part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, administered as part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala (what is now Central America), from Santiago de Guatemala. When Central America achieved independence from Mexico in 1823, western Chiapas was annexed to Mexico. More of current day Chiapas was transferred after the disintegration of the Central American Federation in 1842 and the remainder of the current state taken from Guatemala in the early 1880s by President Porfirio Díaz. Chiapas remained one of the parts of Mexico least affected by change, with the descendants of the Spanish continuing to control indigenous peoples through such institutions as debt slavery, despite attempts by the central government to abolish those practices.
The state’s population is about 55% Mestizo, and 40% Indigenous, mostly of Maya ancestry. Around 35% of the indigenous population does not speak Spanish as a first language. The 20th century saw massive population growth in Chiapas. From less than one million inhabitants in 1940, the state had about two million in 1980, and over 4 million in 2005. Overcrowded land in the highlands was relieved when the rainforest to the east was subject to land reform. Cattle ranchers, loggers, and subsistence farmers migrated to the rain forest. The population of the Lacandón was only one thousand people in 1950, but by the mid-1990s this had increased to 200 thousand. Gross birthrate is one of the highest in the country at 22%, but it also takes an infamous first place regarding child mortality at a stunning 25%. Now, concerning the Distribution of the population, nearly 52% is still settled in rural areas, quite above the national average of 24%.