Silao (official name: Silao de la Victoria) is a city in the west-central part of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. It is the seat of the municipio with the same name. As of the 2005 census, the city had a population of 147,123, making it the seventh-largest community in the state. Silao is a center of agricultural and industrial activity in the area, with a wide variety of farm crops, produce and dairy packing plants and a General Motors truck and SUV assembly plant which currently makes Chevrolet and GMC Full-size Pickups.
This city is served by the Del Bajío International Airport. It functions as the central airport for the cities of Irapuato, Guanajuato, León, and Salamanca.
In its original Nahuatl, it was called Tzinacua by the Otomi and Tarascan natives. Tzinacua loosely translates into 'place of dense fog', derived from the quantity of thermal waters surrounding the area. In the Otomi language its name is Tsinäkua that also means 'place of dense fog'.
In the place where Silao now sits, there was an Otomí settlement that was conquered by the Tarascan tribe. It then received the name Tzinacua, that in English means "place of dense fog", because in the area of Comanjilla, there were columns of water vapor rising from thermal springs. Later, the name was changed to 'Sinaua' which means 'without water'. Over time, the name gradually changed to 'Silagua' and then 'Silao'.
Silao is located in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. It is situated 100° 25´ 59´´ longitude west of the Greenwich meridian and 20° 56´ 24´´ latitude north. Its altitude is 1,780 meters above sea level.
The municipality of Silao has an area of 531.41 km², equivalent to 1.76% of the total state area. The city of Guanajuato lies to the east and north of Silao; to the south lies Irapuato; to the southeast is Romita; to the west is León.
The territory of Silao is almost planar formed in by the Bajío, between its few important elevations, one can find the 'Cerro del Cubilete' whose altitude is 2,570 meters above sea level and is considered the geographic center of the country.
The Silao River, crosses the major part of the municipal territory. It is fed by the Magueyes, Pascuales, Hondo, and Tigre streams, as well as the Gigante River, which is its major tributary. Within the municipality are some streams of importance, like those of the Agua Zarca, San Francisco, El Paraíso, Pabileros, and Aguas Buenas.
The climate of the city is semi-arid in the majority of the territory, with rains in the summer and an average annual temperature of 28 °C. Temperatures can rise as high as 34 °C in the month of June, and a minimum of 0 °C has been reached in the months of December and January. However, in the northeastern zone the climate varies to semi-dry with a temperature predominantly in excess of 28 °C. Precipitation varies between 600 and 800 millimeters per year.
According to the results presented by the second 'Conteo de Población y Vivienda' (census) of 2005, the municipality counts a total of 147,123 inhabitants.
The indigenous population of Silao is limited to 203 inhabitants that represent 0.15% of the total municipal population. The principal native languages are Mazahua and Nahuatl.
According to the second 'Conteo de Población y Vivienda' (Census) of 2005, there are a total of 187 persons who speak some indigenous language.
The municipality has a density of 250 persons per square kilometer and an average population increase of 1.6%.
95.8% of the population of Silao (as of 2000) are Roman Catholic. Approximately 1.8% are Protestants and Evangelicals, and 1.4% are other religions. The last 1% either stated they don't have a religion or it wasn't specified.
Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol, construction was started in the end of the 17th century and ended in the year 1728. Its style is neo-classical.
Templo del Santuario, constructed at the end of the 17th century.
Templo de la Casa de Ejercicios, built in 1834.
Palacio Municipal, formerly functioned as city jail and headquarters.
Mercado González Obregón, main market in Silao.
Monument to Cristo Rey (Christ the King), started construction on December 10, 1945 and completed on August 17, 1949. The monument itself stands 20 meters from foot to head and is in the 'cerro del Cubilete', which is considered the geographic center of the country of Mexico.
Casa de Mauricio Ruiz, historic house, home of the mexican artist Mauricio Ruiz Chávez
Cristo Rey, December 2005
Some of the attractions in Silao are:
Here one can find the 'Cerro del Cubilete' that is considered the geographic center of the country. In the highest part of the mountain (at 2,500 meters) stands a monument to Cristo Rey or Christ the King. It represents the unity of the people of México in the Catholic faith. Construction started on December 10, 1945, and was completed on August 17, 1949. The monument itself measures 20 meters from its feet to its head. Its location dominates the scenery of the 'Bajío' region surrounding Silao.
Museum of the Chávez Morado Brothers (muralists and sculptors).
Silao has 27 parochial churches and innumerble buildings rich in architecture and history.
Building of the 'Casa de la Cultura' (House of Culture), previously the military quarters of Silao.
Silao is also central to other cities and towns of interest to tourists. The cities of Guanajuato and Romita are approximately 10 minutes by highway. León and Irapuato are about 15 minutes by highway.
This District is located at Guanajuato Puerto Interior The business district is development at this time. This District is designed to lodge: hotels, financial and commercial buildings
"Principales resultados por localidad 2005 (ITER)". "INEGI: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática". 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
"GM Global Operations Mexico Silao Assembly". gm.com. 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
Tony Burton. "Did you know? Mexico has more than one geographic center".
Official website of the commerce of Silao, Guanajuato (Español)
Ayuntamiento de Silao Official website of the municipality of Silao (Español)
Guanajuato Encyclopedia of the Municipalities of Mexico (Español)
Official website of the municipality of Silao, Guanajuato (Español)
Periodico de Sociales Gente&Stilo de Silao, Guanajuato (Español)
Órgano Colegiado de Educación Media Superior & Superior de Silao, Guanajuato (Español)
Enciclopedia de los Munincipios de Guanajuato (Español)