Street Names in La Paz



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By Donneley McCann

There are a number of streets in the country that are named after the different national heroes and key dates in Mexico’s history.  Many cities share several of the same street names. For example, you will find the street 16 de Septiembre in Mazatland, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara and Mexico City, to just name a few.

The most popular street name in Mexico? Miguel Hidalgo, or just Hidalgo, known as Father of the Homeland is the most common name for streets nationwide, with more than 14,000 currently in existence. He is followed by revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata.

Here is my now second list (I had a list of street names published in 2016 that can be found at www.bajacitizen.com) of some busy streets in La Paz that are named after a national hero or a key date and a short account of its importance.

  1. AGUSTIN OLACHEA    

Born in 1890 (died 1974) in Todos Santos, he worked in the mines at Santa Rosalia until he began his illustrious military career.  He was Governor of Baja California Sur from 1946 to 1956 and later served as the National Secretary of Defense from 1958 to 1964. General Olachea is to date the Sudcaliforniano who has reached the highest in the political and military spheres of Mexico. In his honor, several schools, streets and even La Paz’s traditional market on Allende are named after him.

  • 16 DE SEPTIEMBRE      

Day of Independence.  Early in the morning hours on this day in 1810 a priest rang the church bells and cried out to the townspeople  to take up arms and rise against the Spanish Crown an event known as “El grito de Dolores“. The ensuing war lasted until 1821 ending three centuries of Spanish rule.

  • MARQUEZ DE LEON   

Lived from 1822 to 1890.  Born in San Antonio and at age 21 joined the navy and when retired from his military career he settled in Todos Santos and managed to amass a fortune in San Antonio mining which he generously spent on services to Mexico. When his “Revolutionary Plan of El Triunfo” (to protest the long era of Porfirio Diaz) did not prosper it forced him to take exile in the  USA. Granted amnesty he eventually returned to his homeland  and he died in Mexico City.  His remains were exhumed and buried in La Paz at the Rotunda de los Sudcalifornianos Ilustres beside the Teatro de la Ciudad.  Our local airport bears his name.

  • LUIS DONALDO COLOSIO

A politician and economist. He was the P.R.I. Presidential candidate until his assination in Tijuana during the presidential campaign of 1994. Colosio was on the campaign trail and had just left La Paz for Tijuana the day he was killed.

5.  PADRE KINO EUSEBIO FRANCISCO  

An Italian Jesuit missionary, geography explorer, cartographer and astronomer who lived from 1645 to 1711.  He proved that the Baja California penninsular was not an island by leading an overland expedition.  Padre Kino founded many missions and has the copper silicate  mineral “kinoite” named after him.  He drew the first maps of Baja California and the Gulf of California.  His story is featured in a 1977 movie “Mission to Glory:  A True Story” which you can view on youtube!

  • BELISARIO DOMINGUEZ 

1863 to 1913 –  A Mexican physician and politician who was once Governor of Chiapas.  He constantly opposed President Victoriano Huerto and after a speech to the Chamber of Senators in 1913 against this President. He was kidnapped from his hotel room and murdered by bullets in a cemetary.

  • IGNACIO MANUEL ALTAMIRANO   

1834 to 1893 – A Mexican liberal writer, journalist and politician. “Clemencia”  which he wrote in 1869 is often considered to be the first Mexican novel.  He founded several newspapers and magazines.  Altamirano was a public prosecutor and magistrate.  He also founded the Normal School of Teachers in Mexico.

  • VALENTIN GOMEZ  FARIAS  

1781 to 1858 – Farias was the 7th President of Mexico for 5 short intervals during 1833 to 1847.  A medical doctor, after Mexico’s independence, he entered politics and emerged as the principal spokesperson for the liberals.  His efforts led to a coup and he was exiled for 12 years.  When returning to Mexico he helped topple President Paredes and became acting President but his war financing policies led to a revolt, he was ousted and his political career ended.

  • MELCHOR OCAMPO    

1814 to 1861 – A radical liberal lawyer, scientist and politician.  Fiercely anticlerical, perhaps an atheist, his early writings against the Roman Catholic Church gained him a reputation as an articulate liberal ideologue and he was ultimately executed by conservative Generals.  In his home state of Michoacan at the National College of San Nicholas in Moralia, there is a classroom containing objects of Ocampo, his library and his heart!  Preserved in an urn and given by his daughter at his request because he said his heart belonged to the school.

10.  MANUAL PINEDA    

1804 to 1891 – Pineda was a Mexican army officer who led the resistence on Baja California Sur to the American invasion in the Mexican American War of 1846 – 1848.   Although he was eventually defeated, his protracted resistence made the US hold on the Baja peninsula unsecure so in the peace treaty it was omitted.  Thank-you Señor Pineda!

Donneley has been a full-time resident of La Paz for several years. She is a regular on the social scene and is famously known for her extravagant dinners.