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					Baja California

The Baja Peninsular goes up to the US / Mexico border and has the Pacific
Ocean to the west. Baja California means Lower California in Spanish. The
Mexican state has a population of almost three million and Mexicali is
the state capital. Most residents have American Indian and Spanish roots
but there are some people descended from Europe, the Middle East, Asia
and Africa. The main sources of income are from tourism and
manufacturing.

Mexicali is the thirteenth largest city in the country and plays an
important part in Mexican politics and the economy. Sitting on the border
results in many people trying to cross over into the US illegally. There
is a large Chinese community here and a thriving Chinatown with many fine
restaurants. The Plaza Calafia is the venue for bullfights and national
and international championships take place at the professional 18-hole
golf course. The most populous and biggest city in Baja California
however, is Tijuana and it also sits on the border. It is a favorite
destination for tourists and a lively area for nightclubs and shopping.
The beach is very popular in the summertime. The positive aspects of the
city are unfortunately marred by a reputation for drug abuse and
prostitution. Culture plays an important part in life here, with various
festivals, opera productions, dance schools and art galleries. There are
also two bullrings and the Tijuana Wax Museum. Sports teams represented
are basketball, baseball and soccer.

San Felipe attracts a lot of people who want to retire here and is also
frequented by young people looking for a fun weekend. The young like to
party on the beach, where they set up camp, and to ride their dirt bikes
in the sand dunes nearby. Tourists like to come and take photographs of
the giant cardon cactus that grow here. The young of Baja California also
like to come to Playas de Rosarito, where there is a stretch of beautiful
beaches and dance clubs. Their claim to fame is that the movie, Titanic
was partially filmed in the nearby Fox Studios. Some sets from the
filming are on display in the museum there. Ensenada has the only deep-
water port in Baja California and the commercial fishing trade is
important for the economy of the area. It also receives cruise ships.
Tourism is also significant and there is a lot to do and see here.
Visitors like to see the local geysers and it's a popular spot for
surfers and windsurfers. There are also tours of the area's vineyards and
trips to see the migrating gray whales.

				
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