Realsa. Official travel agency where you can find information about transportation, hotels and fares. You can also do your online reservations. Responsible: Eduardo del Real.
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Living proof of a mining treasure, guarded by its wind-swept mountain. City of museums, land of the ¨ zacate ¨ ( a type of native grass), an example of beauty, culture and tradition. Colonial treasure of our country with a face of quarried rock and a silver heart.  Zacatecas, land of color and of a cruel sky, of  generous and hardworking people, keeper of historic ranches (haciendas) and pink churches where one can breathe history.  Birth place of Ramon Lopez Velarde, Camino Real de la Plata in which a holy child watches over us from his sanctuary.

Declared as one of the 180 most beautiful cities of the world, whose architectural beauty is supported by it's history, art, culture and hospitality, by UNESCO, the UN body responsible for evaluating and granting the title of "World Heritage Site" to cities whose urban center is of such historical and architecture value that it's already a part of mankind's patrimony.

This acknowledgment, received by Zacatecas in 1993, carries with it a responsibility, and positions it in the world as one of the most lovely cities; as well as being considered one of the best preserved colonial cities on the American continent. It's also member of  the group Tesoros Coloniales del Centro de México (Colonial Treasures of Central Mexico) whose treasures include a rich cultural heritage of museums and important arqueological zones like ¨La Quemada¨ and ¨Altavista¨ and the unusual and spectacular natural sites of the ¨Organos¨ and ¨Cardos¨ mountain ranges.

The state of Zacatecas has a privileged geographical location: in the exact center of the Mexican republic. Because of its strategic location in the north-central zone it can be accessed rapidly and easily from the most important and progressive cities of Mexico either by land or air. We have endless alternatives that offer experiences in the context of a magical city where you can enjoy the history, art, culture and tradition of a noble and loyal people. Zacatecas is a city of light and color, with a wide range of entertainment and attractive tourist sites, including illuminated historical locations for nighttime visits. These sites offer magical scenes for panoramic walks, concerts, expositions and the traditional    ¨callejonadas¨: usually nightwalks through the historical parts of the city accompanied by the sound of the ¨Marcha de Zacatecas¨ (March of Zacatecas), enlivened by the popular mescal Huitzilán and finished off with a dinner of one the local gastronomic dishes.

Visit the depths of the earth in the Eden mine, and enjoy an unequalled panoramic view from the sky while traveling by cable car to the Cerro de la Bufa where the fall of Zacatecas took place. The city has an extraordinary and extensive art collection housed in 10 important museums. They range from contemporary art, to world and sacred art collections. Also, within the state you can find one of the most imposing pre-Hispanic sites in the north of Mexico; the archeological site ¨La Quemada¨ situated in the county of Villanueva and Altavista in Calchihuites.


In Jerez, land of Ramón Lopez Velarde, one can find the splendid Carlos mountain range; and in the mining town of Sombrerete are the enigmatic Organ Mountains. In the city of Fresnillo there is the Niño de Atocha Sanctuary, one of the three most important religious centers of the country. When you are there you can observe the immortal work of its most famous sons: Francisco Goytia, Manuel M. Ponce and Tomás Mendez. Zacatecan gastronomy is varied and includes exquisite dishes, a very fine and delicate confectionery and excellent table wines, as well as the spiritual drink, mescal.

The ability, sensibility and crafts creativity of the people of Zacatecas can be appreciated chiefly in the details of magnificent silver pieces, pink quarried building stone, textiles, weavings, hand-stitched materials, leather goods, hand-worked belts, semi-precious stones, pieces of onyx and wrought iron. Among its most important historical sites are the Former Convent of San Agustin, an example of baroque arte of the 18th century; the museum Manuel Felguerez; the Fernando Calderon theatre with its neoclassical façade and exquisite lobby and the Antique San Francisco Convent, which today houses the Rafael Coronel museum.

Brief History
The Nahuatl words zacatl which means ¨zacate¨ ( a type of native grass), and co ¨place of¨ (hence, 'place where zacate is abundant'), give the name to the state of Zacatecas and its capital. The state territory was inhabited by various ethnic groups; specifically, between the 6th and 10th centuries A.D. the cultures of ¨Altavista¨, in Chalchihuites and ¨La Quemada¨ in Villanueva developed, showing clear meso-American features.  With the discovery of the rich mineral deposits in the Zacatecan earth, the founding of the actual city of Zacatecas began. When the Spanish arrived numerous indigenous groups were living in this area (zacatecos, caxcanes, huachichiles, tecuexes, irritilas and tepehuanes). The first Spanish settlement in the region was in 1531, when the original Villa de Guadalajara was founded, in what is today the county of Nochiltlan. Although, this settlement didn’t survive, because of rebellions of the local tribes, headed by the caxcanes, it was re-established in the place that it occupies in actuality.

In 1546 important silver deposits where discoveredat the foot of the Cerro de la Bufa. Also in that year on September 8th, the city of Zacatecas was founded by Juan de Tolosa, Diego de Ibarra, Cristóbal de Oñate and Baltazar Temiño de Bañuelos. In 1585 Felipe II of Spain awarded the city with the title of  ¨City of Our Lady of the Zacatecas¨; three years later, he honored the city by awarding it with the ¨Escudo de Armas¨ (Coat of Arms). During the viceroy period, new towns like  Villas and Reales de Minas were founded. With the continuing colonization and development of the mines, sumptuous religious buildings and elegant mansions were built. The image of the architecture reflected the importance and ancestry of the inhabitants of these cities which like Zacatecas figured amongst the most important in, as it was then called, New Spain.  

During the colonial era, various religious orders were founded , primarily Franciscan, Augustans, Dominicans, Jesuits who erected grand monasteries and churches. These buildings competed sometimes, in sumptuousness and wealth with the splendid mansions of the rich ¨ silver aristocrats ¨.  In the Formative Period (19th century) the city adopted the neoclassic fashion and the French style, developed mainly in the time of Porfirio Diaz.

Although Zacatecas had always being an important center during the independence and reformist movements, it played a specific role during the revolutionary period, when, in the capital , the historic siege of Zacatecas took place. This seminal battle, that was organized an executed by the generals Francisco Villa, Felipe Angeles and Panfilo Natera is revered as the triumph of the Mexican revolution.

The city of Zacatecas is not the only place rich in attractions; the wider state itself also offers a broad range of sites and places of popular interest for all tastes. There are spectacular mountain ranges, canyons and caves, picturesque towns, archeological zones, as well as customs and traditions that make Zacatecas a region with tourist alternatives for every visitor.


Zacatecas City
This city of nobility was founded on September 8th 1546, when a small group of Spaniards, led by Juan de Tolosa, discovered in the surrounding mountains, rich mineral deposits. The city was originally called 'Mines of the Zacatecans'.

Its mineral riches gave significant wealth to the Spanish Crown, which made possible the city being awarded with the title of 'The City of Our Lady of the Zacatecans'. This growing town was known at it's outset as ¨ The Mines of the Zacatecans ¨ and, thanks to the wealth produced in such a short time, was granted by royal decree the titles of 'Noble and Loyal City of Our Lady of the Zacatecans'. In 1588 the city received its Coat of Arms.

Zacatecas is one of the better preserved Mexican historical cities. It also possesses, one of the most beautiful examples of the exuberant novo-Hispanic baroque architecture: its Cathedral. The city of today, with its important and magnificent buildings, which were constructed and inhabited by the noble silver aristocrats, the religious preachers and the powerful miners, grew up around the magnificent Cathedral. The city of Zacatecas managed to create an atmosphere - still present today - that resists defeat, and which reflects unequaled kindness, sincerity and warmth.

General Aspects
The territory that the state occupies is located in the Central Mesa between the eastern and the western Sierra Madre, in a vast semi-arid region favorable to agriculture due to the presence a variety of water sources that come from both the Sierras. It has a surface area of 75,040 square kilometers. The states that it borders are: to the north, Coahuila; to the north-east, Nuevo Leon; to the east, San Luis Potosí; to the south and south west, Aguascalientes and Jalisco and to the west, Nayarit and Durango. The state is divided into 58 counties.

The state of Zacatecas, with a population of 1 400 000 inhabitants, is an important producer of animal, mineral and agricultural raw-materials. The farmland of Zacatecas produces beans, chili, garlic, broccoli, grape, guava, peach and prickly pear cactus. It's also a state with important livestock production, including mainly cows, pigs, goats, horses and fowl. Also, there are important stockbreeding facilities widely recognized through out the country, such as: Valparaiso, Torrecillas, El Sauz, Jose Julian Llaguno and Santa Fe, which belong to respectively, the ranches of San Mateo, Jesus Cabrera, San Antonio de Triana, Suarez del Real, Presillas and Flores Huerta.

The main materials extracted from the mines of Zacatecas are silver, lead, zinc, gold, copper and cadmium; it also has important non metallic mineral deposits for industrial usage such as: kaolin, onyx, quarried rock and quartz to name but a few.

Throughout the state a dry climate predominates, although the southern regions enjoy more wide-ranging weather, varying between temperate and sub-humid. Despite these regional exceptions, an average temperature of 16º C. predominates in the sate; the coldest months are from November to January. Even though rainfall is not abundant, the rainy season is from June to September.

Population: According to the reports of the last INEGI census (2000), the state has a population of 1 354 000 inhabitants, whose principal population centers are situated in the counties of: Zacatecas (124 000), Guadalupe (109 000), Fresnillo (184 000), Jerez (55 000), Sombrerete (62 000) and Rio Grande (60 000).

As far as its communication routes, Zacatecas is reached quickly and easily from the most important and progressive cities of the country, by way of modern highways and toll roads such as federal highways 45, 49, 54 and the 23. By way of its International Airport, it is also connected via various air lines to the most important cities of the Mexican republic, with flights going to Tijuana, Leon, Morelia and Mexico City, as well as to Oakland, Los Angeles and Chicago, in the United Sates.

The state of Zacatecas is proud to receive the participants of the 5th International Congress on Women, Work and Health that will take place in the city of Zacatecas from October 27th through October 31st in 2008. The events of the Congress will be held in the new facilities ¨ Siglo XXI ¨ of the Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas (Autonomous University of Zacatecas).


Information taken from the web page of the Government of the State of Zacatecas
Welcome from the Governor of the State of Zacatecas

Autonomous University of Zacatecas

The presence of the Jesuits in the state of Zacatecas dates from 1590, although it was not until 1750 when they dedicated their first church (known today as Santo Domingo) and developed a course of instruction that came to fruition four years later with the foundation of the Colegio de San Luis Gonzaga (School of San Luis Gonzaga).The school was a result of the donations made by a Jesuit professor for the teaching of grammar, history, theology, morals, scholastics and philosophy. Its formal authorization, however, arrived too late, in 1784, 16 years after the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish domains. The school was reinaugurated in 1786 as the Royal College of San Luis Gonzaga under the responsibility of the secular clergy and subsidized by the royal patronage. It was based on the standards left by the Jesuits, assimilating the constitutions of the colleges of Mayor de San Pedro, San Pablo and San Idelfonso of Mexico.


Basically, the educational content of the programs was identical those of their first phase, except for the teaching of reading and writing. This was considered the beginning, not only of the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, but also of formal teaching as maintained by each state administration.

Incidents during the War of Independence, as well as the outcome of the struggle and the resulting financial disorganization, caused the closing of the college in 1824. A liberal and federalist of strong conviction, Francisco Garcia Salinas was, most importantly an enthusiastic promoter of obligatory public instruction. Not unexpectedly, during his government the foundation of an educational institution with legal support was proposed by a decree of the Congress of the State on October 10th 1831. The institution was formed on November 5th of the next year, in the city of Jerez, with instruction starting immediately. The courses that were taught were: Latin grammar; philosophy; civil rights (with a preference to civil law); ecclesiastic history and canonic law. In April 1837 the school moved to the city of Zacatecas. By that time it was already known as the Garcia Institute. The first director was Teodosio Lares, who would later become Treasury Minister in the second empire.

In 1843, physics, mathematics, cosmography, chronology, grammar, Latin, French, law, economics, psychology, morals, music and drawing were taught. In addition, law and fine arts academies operated. With these and later additions, the field of experimental sciences was opened, and the humanities lost some of their presence. Because it reflected the historical circumstances of the period, the Institute was closed several times: in 1853 due to conflicts between Zacatecas and Aguascalientes; in 1858 because of the War of the Reform; in 1864 due to the second French intervention. In 1869 the high school opened, adapting the same plan of studies as its sister school in Mexico City. In 1870, the forerunner of the nursing school, the school of midwifery was created.  Topography and hydrology curriculums were also begun; and later mining, mineral extraction, civil engineering, and metallurgy followed.


In 1876, the engineer Jose Arbol y Bonilla founded the astronomical observatory; in 1880, the equipment for experimental physics and chemistry, and the herbarium were acquired. All of this is a reflection of the positivistic tendency that dominated the national public teaching (during the restored Republic) particularly during the Porfiriato. The culmination of this process was in 1885. From then on the school was known as the ¨ Institute of Science and Literature ¨.

The movement of 1910 was also reflected in institutional life. In 1918 the Institute took the name of ¨ State College ¨, Then in 1920 it adopted the name of ¨ Science Institute of Zacatecas ¨, and was the responsibility of an educational council,  independent of the government. For political reasons, General Matias Ramos closed the Institute in 1934. Three years later it was re-opened and conducted business with a certain regularity. Its first Charter was approved by the state legislature on May 1951. In 1958 it reorganized its courses of study, establishing the following schools: Law, Nursing and Engineering, all separate from the high school curriculum. The next year, the State Government granted and guaranteed by law the academic and administrative autonomy of the school, naming it the Autonomous Science Institute of Zacatecas,  and later awarding it, in 1960, with a charter in accordance with its new status.

It is also noteworthy that the Science Institute had a physical plant that didn’t satisfy it’s growing population, as well as that in this period, the subsidy it received wasn't sufficient . Because of that, the buildings were literally in a state of ruin. Fortunately for the university community, the enlargement, remodeling and construction of the actual physical plant of the University began to be looked at. Named by the governor, Abraham Torres assumed the position of Rector. The group of buildings University Unit 1 were built. They are a vivid example of the struggle to create the appropriate conditions so that academic studies can be carried out. The principal façade of our house of higher learning is meant to reflect these conditions. In this section of the university the Schools of  Dentistry, Veterinarian Medicine and Animal Husbandry, Economics, Accounting, Nursing and Medicine, and Health Sciences were housed. All of them are of recent creation. To the curriculum were added a Middle School, a High School, the Law School and the Engineering School, all of which had been grouped together up to this time in the building that the High School nº 1 occupies today. It’s worth noting that the architectural and stylistic character of the recently created group of buildings is a prototype of daring design. Especially when we consider the architectural tradition inherited from the urban center of the city of Zacatecas, known as an excellent example of the mix of European styles with local and continental variations. While the center of the city presents styles that go from Churrigueresco Baroque to the French styles imported by Porfirio Diaz, the university center posits an unique variation on modernism, similar to the style generated around the same time in other Latin-American countries like Brazil (Norman Niemeyer being its most well-known exponent). This variation was unique even for the area, in which, for example, different buildings were being constructed with modernist pretensions,  but honed closer to the conservatism of the European schools (like Bauhaus). The modernism in question stipulates no limits, being, from a critical point of view, a bit out of focus, with respect to a more functional vision of the complex of  buildings, but justified, nonetheless, by its moment of interpretation in the social and student movements that took place on an international level. With time, other buildings were constructed, such as the nuclear reactor for educational purposes, and the Fernando Calderon theatre. In summary, the expansion with the conversion of the ICAZ into the UAZ was justified. 

From its early years, the University has demonstrated democratic and critical characteristics that take in both freedom and controversy. Between 1971 and 1972 the ¨Symposium on University Reform¨ took place, and showed these characteristics during a wide ranging debate. Institutional structure, organization and operation was analyzed, as well as content, methodology, teaching techniques, and the ways of linking with the unprotected sectors of society, etc. The standards that were put in place at that time for the University are in essence those that have prevailed to the present day.

In the first four years of the life of the University, the school population grew exponentially. Resources also increased, as did efforts to improve quality. In the subsequent years the creation of new university facilities took place. The schools that occupied the first universitary complex expanded. Growth that was a result a national project of remodeling, expansion and construction of schools, directed by the Administrative Committee of the Federal Program for School Construction (CAPFCE for its initials in Spanish). Most the schools were located outside the first complex that is in the Zacatecas-Guadalupe conurban zone and in rural sites located in different counties throughout the state.

In 1977 there was an effort to stop the popular democratizing movement and critical tendencies, by armed factions that went to the extreme of taking over the administration. Most of the students firmly defended the principle of autonomy, which, in the end, prevailed. In the following years, the national trend of popularizing higher education for the masses continued to be reflected locally. The students, for their part, created a culture of confrontation and political compromise in all aspects of academic life. At the end of 1984, there were 13 schools, which offered 16 different curriculums, from bachelors’ degree to post graduate. There were also 3 institutes and 2 centers of investigation, together with 2 educational centers, affiliated to these schools, and also dedicated to investigation. In the period of 1984-1988 the number of professional schools increased by 4. These schools offered 21 different options in the bachelor’s degree, and 12 in post-graduate. The exchange relationships with other national and international educational institutions were broadened, and the activities designed to fulfill important functions of investigation, extension of culture and services were increased. Efforts were made to better the levels of academic performance.

The culmination of this period was in 1988, with the realization of the first two phases of the General University Congress. There was a proposal to facilitate the reform of higher education (characterized by its democratic aspects) and the construction of proposals that would link knowledge with the processes of social change.  There were attempts in the Congress to express a new university culture: plural, with full participation, tolerant and analytically rigorous. Put forth as proof of the advance towards a new phase of institutional maturity. In the years of 1998-2000, the University Community experienced, again, an 'Integral Reform Process', that carried forth improvements in the academic, administrative, financial and legal structures. The creation of a new charter was of major importance, as was the change in the global administrative scheme, i.e., dividing  the University into Knowledge Areas, each one of which is made up of Academic Units (before known as schools or faculties), which are themselves made up of programs . In each Academic area curriculums are initiated or are continuing.

In 1996, after almost a quarter of a century after the first university complex was built, a process of decentralization of the federal administration occurred, which turned over to the CAPFCE the same administrative responsibilities. The result was the delegation to the University the responsibility for the projection, design and construction of its physical infrastructure. This process, which had been implemented many years before in other universities of the Republic, handed over to our house of higher learning that same responsibility.


Although at the beginning the University emulated the pre-established projects of the CAPFCE, the Music School building was the first to break this mold.  Afterwards the same thing happened with a building in the Law faculty, the buildings that make-up the post-graduate complex and the buildings that will house the curriculums of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Literature; so that today in actuality there is a consolidation of the projection, the planning and the design of the New University Campus 21st Century.

The effects of modernization and new technical and scientific discoveries gave impulse to the creation of new and better facilities for the development of the activities of teaching and investigation in the Centers of higher education. The physical plant that the State University System counts on, has been exceeded spatially and operatively. For that reason, to meet the level of new educational challenges and to be congruent with educational policy, the construction of a space that concentrates the infrastructure of today’s higher level and future needs has been proposed.  Owing to the political and economic conditions in the last few years, our University, has been aided by both the state and federal governments, consolidating its educational programs, promising to carry out the reform that we’ve previously seen and also renovating its physical infrastructure given that the evaluation of its current capacity has shown it to be inefficient, underused and obsolete. In this way, the present Construction Master Plan responds to the prioritization of the consolidation of the physical infrastructure of the DES. Health Sciences are priority number one, and the rest follow in accordance to the urgency and the state of their needs.

It's in these facilities of the Health Sciences, that the projects of the 5th International Congress on Women, Work and Health will be hosted and take place.

The mission of the UAZ consists in educating and forming honest and responsible enterprising professionals, with a solid humanistic, scientific and technological formation, capable of contributing to the full development of the state of Zacatecas and of Mexico. They are involved in the solutions to regional and national problems, principally, in the struggle against inequality and exclusion. They exhibit a respect for the environment and human rights. They not only tolerate but are interested in the knowledge to be gained from differing ideas and have a critical attitude towards understanding the social and political phenomenon of the world in which they live. They see these ideas as an opportunity to project their values, knowledge, abilities and culture; the elements of our identity.     

The institutions with a solid organization are the ones that have clear direction in their perspective of the future, who know how to plan and how to anticipate events, that are pro-active, and those that also know and can develop the area of opportunity that is the basis of its origins. The Autonomous University of Zacatecas, ¨ Francisco Garcia Salinas ¨, recognizes that its social and institutional mandate is to educate. To carry it out, it must investigate with scientific rigor problems of social and public interest, posit solutions and raise the quality of its educational system.

Vision for 2012
The Autonomous University of Zacatecas, ¨ Francisco Garcia Salinas ¨ is an institution that embodies and develops a culture of participative strategic planning. Its academic organization is supported by strengthening and developing areas of knowledge, and in this way solidifying the decree of the General Congress of University Reform 1998-2000. It’s acknowledged as the lead institution in higher education in the state of Zacatecas. It is an institution that is in charge of the mechanisms of communication and inter-relationships, sharing it's strength and resources with other educational institutions. It is recognized as the main support for the development of the state of Zacatecas, a link that makes it possible to fulfill it's social mandate: to be consistent in the presentation of high quality education and to be a part of Zacatecan society. It finds itself engaged in a common effort with public educational institutions and our state authorities to eradicate educational problems among children, while managing to raise the index of those who start elementary school and continue on to finish their studies with professional and post-graduate studies.  It counts upon an academic model focused on the student. It is involved in full development and expansion of the educational program through internationalization and implementation of new educational models such as education at a distance and virtual education. Its academic opportunities are flexible and all-purpose and consist of a solid foundation with alternative ends. Most of its plans and programs are accredited and those that lack such accreditation are in the process of acquiring it or of being evaluated for it. It has the most solid academic base in the state thanks to its high grade of professionalization. Plans of development for the academic sections are consistent with the overall institutional development scheme, with the graduate profile, with the academic program plan and with the established institutional lines of investigation. Investigation takes place through inter- and trans-disciplinary network, permitting the proposal of alternative solutions to the important problems of our surroundings: the countryside, the semi-desert areas, migration, water, diseases of slow development and demographic and epidemiological transitions. The extensions and the links are oriented to investigate and propose different alternative solutions concerning any problem of our environment. Its students count with an integral formation and dedicated to their own education. Its graduates are characterized by their involvement in solutions to the structural problems of our state and are an integral part of society. University workers are fully identified with the values, mission and vision of the institution; they assume their role with pleasure and satisfaction. 


The UAZ is recognized by students, by society and by the public and private sectors, as a financially sound institution thanks to its transparency, which has been obtained through a permanent policy of honestly rendered accounts and by its vocation to respect university norms.

But above all, it is recognized for its endeavors to promote the rule of law and the establishment of justice for all citizens.


Information taken from the 2006 UAZ Master Plan

Welcome to the Autonomous University of Zacatecas


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Image by Raúl Cedillo
The icons' butterflies are
prehispanic figures

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