San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast and borders San Diego County, Tijuana, and Baja California. The Greater San Diego region is the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the United States with 4,771,387 people living in 643 square miles of land, and has been growing steadily over the last few decades, particularly with over 100,000 new residents over the last 5 years. The first people to visit the area were the Huichol people between the year 700 and 800 AD. Some speculate that they traveled to the area from the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in modern-day Colombia or perhaps they came from the Coast of Peru.

[1] There is not yet any solid evidence to definitively say when the first humans arrived in the region.

[2] The region was first colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. There is no consensus as to who established a permanent settlement here first. All we know for sure is that they named it San Diego. When the first group of San Diegans arrived from Mexico in the 1700s, they built a church and a fort on the site of the current San Diego Mission, but since they lacked the means to plant and feed themselves, the settlement soon fell prey to several devastating raids from neighboring Native American tribes. For the next 150 years, the San Diego area was governed by several independent missions, most of which were founded by Jesuits. A relatively large number of religious and secular missions were founded and abandoned during this period.

[3] The Spanish first referred to the region as New Spain and then part of Mexico. Later, the US took control of the area and designated it as the territory of New California, although Mexican control of the area was maintained for a time. It was not until 1848 that it was transferred to the control of the US. During the 19th century, the area was dominated by one man, Juan Bautista Alvarado. Alvarado led a rebellion of Indian allies, known as “banditos,” against Mexican authorities, starting in 1831. The group was eventually routed and Alvarado was hanged. The final years of the Mexican–American War were fought on the Pacific coast. In 1848, the U.S. government allowed the New Mexican Territory to have complete control over its own affairs, including the control of internal security and criminal justice. The region became known as Alta California, in tribute to the governor of Alta California, Jose Antonio Carrillo. American control of Alta California would eventually include parts of today’s Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. In the area of California, Alta California included most of what would become Los Angeles, and parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, and Fresno. The rest of the region, including the Tijuana area and Baja California, remained under Mexican control until the signing of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. At the end of the Mexican–American War, California became part of the United States and the area controlled by the U.S. would become the 30th state, and later the 33rd state, of the Union. 20th century [ edit ] US army soldiers in San Diego As Mexico lost its south-eastern provinces to the United States, many Mexicans crossed the border, looking for work in San Diego. The wealthy, however, were still reluctant to live in a frontier town.

[4] Many well-to-do Mexicans opted for the Los Angeles area, which became a haven for people from the less-developed north. The first wave of mass migration to California did not occur until about 1860, when over a million people migrated across the border between 1857 and 1890.

[5] This migration consisted of families, mostly poor and ignorant, who left their homeland in search of prosperity in the United States. In the early years of the 20th century, there were two thirds more Mexican workers in California than U.S. citizens.[19] As the U.S. population grew rapidly, people from various parts of the U.S. and world began to relocate to California for the warmer climate and lower cost of living. The number of Mexican workers declined after 1910 because of a labor shortage, the inability of Mexico to adequately meet the demand, and the fear of Mexicans flooding the workforce and contributing to unemployment.

[6] Until the 1930s, most of the jobs in California were not high paying. Agricultural and domestic work dominated, with immigrants starting agricultural work, farming, or domestic work to support their families. The majority of Mexicans were unskilled workers, and although most immigrants wanted to work in cities, work on farms remained their best hope for employment.[19] Most of the Mexicans in the U.S. came from Mexico City, Guadalajara, or other cities in the south of the country, and more than 80% came from Mexico’s rural areas.

[7] One family immigrated with four siblings to California from Toluca. The parents had lost their own jobs in a tobacco packing plant in New Orleans,where they worked as field workers and pickers. The father had a job in a packing house in San Francisco and the mother was a domestic worker in a home in Oakland.

[8] While there was a definite pattern to where Mexicans came from, there was also a wide variety of immigration. Mexicans from California tended to be more urban and educated than those from the south. The common factor among the various regions was that they all came from rural backgrounds and worked in agriculture. Recent immigrants to the U.S. tend to have more education than those who came in the previous period. Mexicans in the U.S. tend to be better educated than most other Latino immigrants. A study conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center found that among those born in Mexico, 74% have graduated from high school, higher than all other Latino groups.\


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