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Sonora(sōnō`rä), state (1990 pop. 1,823,606), 70,484 sq mi (182,554 sq km), NW Mexico, on the Gulf of California, S of Arizona. HermosilloHermosillo
, city (1990 pop. 406,417), capital of Sonora state, NW Mexico, at the entrance to the gorge of the Sonora River. Hermosillo is a transportation, manufacturing, and agricultural center in an irrigated area where cereals and cotton are grown and cattle are raised.
..... Click the link for more information. is the capital. Sonora is mostly mountainous, with vast desert stretches; along the gulf are low, broad coastlands. Reclamation projects on the Yaqui, Sonora, Mayo, and other rivers have opened large areas to agriculture. The most extensively irrigated of all Mexican states, Sonora is a leading national producer of cotton and wheat; other cereals and vegetables are also grown. Agriculture is highly mechanized. Cattle raising and fishing and aquaculture are important, and large quantities of shrimp are exported to the United States. Gold, silver, copper, and other metals are mined in Sonora. Power plants at Hermosillo and Guaymas have aided Sonora's rapid industrialization. Food processing and textile and automotive manufacturing are major industries, and numerous maquiladorasmaquiladoras
, Mexican assembly plants that manufacture finished goods for export to the United States. The maquiladoras are generally owned by non-Mexican corporations.
..... Click the link for more information. , low-cost foreign-owned plants which finish products for export to the United States, exist throughout the region. Nogales is the chief point of entry from the United States. Systematic Spanish exploration of Sonora, principally by Cristóbal de Oñate, began after Francisco Vásquez de CoronadoCoronado, Francisco Vásquez de
, c.1510–1554, Spanish explorer. He went to Mexico with Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza and in 1538 was made governor of Nueva Galicia.
..... Click the link for more information. 's expedition in 1540. Spanish missionaries, notably Eusebio Francisco KinoKino, Eusebio Francisco
, c.1644–1711, missionary explorer in the American Southwest, b. Segno, in the Tyrol. He was in 1669 admitted to the Jesuit order. A distinguished mathematician, he observed the comet of 1680–81 at Cádiz, publishing his results in his
..... Click the link for more information. , were active in colonizing the territory during the 17th cent. Originally part of Nueva Viscaya, which also included the present-day states of ChihuahuaChihuahua
, state (1990 pop. 2,441,873), 94,831 sq mi (245,612 sq km), N Mexico, on the border of N.Mex. and Texas. The city of Chihuahua is the capital. Largest of the Mexican states, Chihuahua is divided into two regions—the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental to
..... Click the link for more information. and DurangoDurango
, state (1990 pop. 1,349,378), 47,691 sq mi (123,520 sq km), N central Mexico. The city of Durango is the capital. The western half of the state is dominated by the Sierra Madre Occidental.
..... Click the link for more information. , Sonora was later united with Sinaloa; they became separate states in 1830. Sonora played a key role in the Mexican revolution against Porfirio DíazDíaz, Porfirio
, 1830–1915, Mexican statesman, a mestizo, christened José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz. He gained prominence by supporting Benito Juárez and the liberals in the War of the Reform and in the war against Emperor Maximilian and the
..... Click the link for more information. that began in 1910.
a state in Mexico, on the northwestern coast of the Pacific Ocean. Area, 184,900 sq km. Population, 1.283 million (1974). The capital is Hermosillo. Most of the agricultural land is irrigated. Sonora grows cotton for export and wheat for domestic consumption. It has cotton-ginning and food-processing enterprises. Nonferrous metallurgy is also practiced in the cities of Cananea and Nacozari de García.