The city of Guadalajara is the capital of the State of Jalisco and the second largest urban area behind Mexico City. For several years it was named "The City of the Roses," "The City of the Fountains" and "The Royal City." and was at one time best known as, "The Pearl of the West." Guadalajara is one of the most representative cities of Jalisco, known as the capital of folklore due to the traditional Mariachi, popular dances, handicrafts, traditional cuisine, tequila and the national sport, charrería. The city is located on the Western side of the Mexican Republic, bordered by the states of Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Nayarit and Guanajuato.
The word Guadalajara comes from the Arab word "Guadal - jil - hara", which means "River Valley of Stones." On February 14th, 1542, Doña Beatriz Hernández led 64 families into the Valley of Atemajac, on one side of the river San Juan de Diós, and founded the city of Guadalajara under the Royal order of Charles V. Jalisco.
Guadalajara has the third-largest economy and industrial infrastructure in Mexico and contributes 37% of the state of Jalisco's total gross production. Its economy is based on commerce, services, and manufacturing. Commerce and tourism employ about 60% of the population. The city is known as the "Silicon Valley of Mexico," as Guadalajara is the main producer of software, electronic and digital components in Mexico. Companies such as General Electric, IBM, Intel Corporation, Hitachi, HP, and Oracle have facilities there.
Guadalajara is home to several prestigious universities and schools. The Universidad de Guadalajara (UdG) was established in 1791. Other universities include ITESO, a Jesuit university, Universidad del Valle de México, Tec de Monterrey, Universidad Marista de Guadalajara, Universidad Guadalajara LAMAR, Universidad Panamericana Sede Guadalajara, Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), the oldest private university in Mexico, and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA).