07 July 2009

At Home on the 20th Parallel

I have been reading quite a bit about the Mexican state of Yucatan and in particular about the city of Mérida. The people who live in Mérida seem to be very fond of the place and I was wondering about the differences and similarities between Mérida and Irapuato. Perhaps I should just go visit Mérida and find out but the trouble is that Mérida is one of those out of the way places that you just about can't get to from here. I took a look at a map of Mexico to see what Mérida and Irapuato might have in common and lo and behold something jumped right out at me. I had always thought of Mérida as being south of us but the truth is that because Mexico curves back on itself down at the bottom the city of Mérida is due east of Irapuato on the 20th Parallel. As a matter of fact I discovered that most of the cities in Mexico with a concentration of Americans and Canadians are strung out along the 20th Parallel. It's like a club...the "20th Parallel Club".

Puerto Vallarta 20° 37" 0'
Guadalajara 20° 40" 0'
Lake Chapala 20° 13" 33'
Irapuato 20° 41" 1'
San Miguel de Allende 20° 56" 24'
Querétaro 20° 36" 0'
Mérida 20° 58" 0'

For those people who live in:

Veracruz 19° 12" 0
Puebla 19° 3" 0'
Mexico City 19° 26" 3'
Morelia 19° 42" 0'
Pátzcuaro 19° 31" 0'
Melaque 19° 12" 0'

Sorry folks, 20 is where we draw the line. "Youse guys" are part of the 19th Parallel crowd.

Hey Veracruz and Melaque. You are both at exactly 19° 12" 0' latitude on opposite coasts. You people could form a club of your own...the "Ends of the Line Club".

For a great fun map of Mexico check this out:



Steve Cotton said...

Bob -- Considering that Calypso and I share some profound political similarities, I would be happy to join any club that would have the two of us -- despite what Groucho may say. How about if we call the 19 club, the discount version of the 20 club?

Calypso said...

In good company con mi amigo Steve. The 19th parallel club is OK with me.

I accept Steve even sans ID ;-)

YayaOrchid said...

That's an interesting little map. A lot of those cities sound alike to me. Especially the ones ending in 'uaro'

I marvel at how you are able to find such interesting data, Mr. Bob! And I'm so glad you share it with us.

Jonna said...

I always think of us as being in the far south as well, and I know better. We are always referred to as Southern Mexico, maybe that's it.

Great idea, I like the 20° club. I hope you do come and visit, it's really not that hard to get here :) We have roads now! You might have to fly through DF however, not sure. If you and the Sra come east, we'll get all the Mérida bloggers together for a party. We're a sociable bunch :)

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

ALright, I am off to see where we are here in Tulum. I love looking at maps!

Tancho said...

At least it is not the far left or the far right club. I think I am in the middle of things here.

Bob Mrotek said...

Steve & Calypso,
From now on whenever I think of the 19th Parallel I will think of it as the "Cotton-Calypso" line and consider you two the anchors :)

The suffix "cuaro" comes from the Purépecha language and means "place". For example the name "Pátzcuaro" means "place of stones" or "city of stones".

That fiesta sounds nice. We just might take you up on that invite one of these days :)

Rosas Clan,
Tulum Latitude 20° 7" 3' N
Welcome aboard the 20th parallel Club!

Alice said...

According to the map, your town is home of the strawberry?!? Well, thank you for sharing the harvest with the rest of us.

I do believe most of US strawberries come from the Watsonville, CA, area. Maybe you have more in common with Watsonville than Mérida.

1st Mate said...

Thanks for that map link! Best one I've seen yet for points of interest, etc. I'll forgive them for leaving San Carlos out, I guess we're just a 'burb of Guaymas anyway.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment on my map 1st Mate.. however, the link that Bob has shown for it is to a site that has copied the actual graphic files off my site and put it onto theirs! Please use or cite the original link to it at http://www.mexicomexico.com/mxmap.htm

Thanks, Luke Pegoraro

Bob Mrotek said...


¡Dalo por Hecho! (see above)

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.