The U.S.-Mexico border city of Mexicali is the capital of the state of Baja California. It is an ethnically diverse city that has blended Mexican, Chinese, American and Cocopah indigenous cultures for more than a century. The Cocopah Native Americans lived her for hundreds of years and their art and culture are still visible. Mexicali, officially established in 1903 in an effort to colonize the border area and to establish a sophisticated agricultural community, became the world’s largest exporter of cotton.
A large influx of Asians began arriving at the start of the 20th century, hired by the Colorado River Land Company that was building the Mexicali Valley’s irrigation system. Mexicali’s Asian presence is visible in the Chinese inspired architecture and the Chinesca area of the city, or Chinatown. Here you can also sample the local Mexican-Chinese fusion cuisine.
Within Mexicali is the “Silicon Border”, a 10,000-acre office park built in 2004 to facilitate the development of science and technology manufacturing industries, including semiconductors, solar energy, nanotechnology and aerospace engineering. The Silicon Border is the first of its kind in the country, and provides manufacturing space to companies from around the world to develop green technologies.
Mexicali has a number of hotels with event space, including the Lucerna Mexicali Hotel, with 176 rooms and suites, a business center, two restaurants, two pools and 5 event halls that hold up to 250 people. It is appropriate for banquets, conventions, or business meetings. Mexicali’s Fairs and Expositions Center (FEX) holds up to 20,000 individuals. The complex was designed for large-scale events, such as the most important agricultural exposition in the region, Agrobaja, which Mexicali hosts every year.
The International Airport of Mexicali (MXL) is located 12 miles east of the city, with international charter flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. Mexicali is a short 40-minute drive from Calexico, California.