Exploring Tierra Caliente Mexico: Culture, Challenges, and Opportunities

Tierra caliente mexico

Tierra Caliente Mexico is a geographic region of Mexican origin located in the valley of the Balsas River basin and stands out for its history and culture, here we will tell you a little of the most important elements of this area.

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One of the most important elements within the culture and history of Tierra Caliente Mexico are the remains of domestic utensils and objects that were used in rituals, which were elaborated in ceramic, all this represents evidence that numerous populations have inhabited the area of the riverbanks for many years. It is also important to highlight that it was during the Colonial period that the terracalenteña culture was established, which is a mixture of natives, Europeans and Africans.

This zone of the Valley in the Balsas River basin includes southeastern Michoacán, northeastern Guerrero and towns adjacent to the State of Mexico. In addition, some take into account parts of Jalisco, Colima and Morelos.

It is important to mention that Tierra Caliente Mexico is located within the hydrological region of the Balsas and its territory has four basins, which are the Balsas-Zirándaro River, which runs through almost the entire region and extends through the northern region, the Balsas Infiernillo River, Cutzamala River and the Balsas Mezcala River. It is important to mention that this region is called Tierra Caliente Mexico for two reasons, the first is because of its high temperatures and the second because this area has been the protagonist of violent socio-political processes.

Historical background and cultural evolution of Tierra Caliente Mexico

The first thing to highlight is that Tierra Caliente Mexico is made up of 37 municipalities of Guerrero, Michoacán and Estado de México, it has a warm climate and its temperatures exceed 50 degrees Celsius and during the rest of the year although it is less hot, it still stands out for its hot weather.

Regarding its history, some studies discovered that the most outstanding towns of Tierra Caliente were founded by the Mezcala, a wise culture belonging to the Mesoamerican era, which stood out for its architecture, ceramics and sculpture.

It seems that the Mezcala arrived in 400 A.D. to the Tierra Caliente region and began founding towns such as Tepecoacuilco. This culture was polytheistic and worshipped gods such as Cutzamala and Pungarabato.

Tierra caliente mexico

Over the years this region has been subjected to a spiral of socio-political violence, making it worthy of its name. Some of the most outstanding characters in Tierra Caliente Mexico are Fray Juan Bautista Moya, who in his lifetime evangelized numerous populations in the area, the precursor of cardiology in the country, Ignacio Chavez, the precursor of the republic Ezequiel Padilla Peñaloza and the former Mexican First Lady, teacher Eva Sámao Bishop.

The cultural heritage of Tierra Caliente Mexico is highlighted by the sones, jarabes, valonas and gustos, which are still in use today. It should be noted that it was in the Colonial era that the taste arose, which is a union of musical elements of the Spanish and native Mexicans.

On the other hand, Ciudad Altamirano is known for being the most important commercial center of Tierra Caliente, Cutzamala is relevant for having a historical and cultural center, where you can see vernacular mansions.

Currently, the Tierra Caliente region is of great importance in the country for its production of crops such as avocados, blackberries, lemons and papaya, among others, which transcend borders. Likewise, its historical (socio-political) and cultural relevance make this region one of the most important in Mexico.

Most important towns of Tierras Calientes and their handicraft specialties

In Tierras Calientes Mexico there are numerous key towns in the production of handicrafts and we will tell you about the most important ones:


The artisans of this town are dedicated to the production of wooden furniture, leather and saddlery (equipales, huarache). Their craftsmanship stands out for being a mixture of natural and animal resources learned from the pre-Columbian cultures, with what was elaborated by the Europeans since their conquest in the area.

San Juan de Los Plátanos

Most of the inhabitants of this town are dedicated to making harps, guitars and vihuelas for musicians of the Tierra Caliente region. The instruments they make are of very good quality, which is why they stand out as talented artisans.

Among the instruments they normally make are harps, vihuelas and guitars.

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This area is popular for being a center of equipment production, and its artisans use wood and cowhide to make backpacks, wallets, sheaths for knives and machetes, retrancas and saddles.


What are the current challenges in Tierra Caliente?

The Tierra Caliente region of Mexico has always been known for its socio-political problems, and because it encompasses areas of great importance in Mexico, it is often the center of operations for various political and criminal movements.

That is why currently, the challenges are mainly related to economic development and security, as authorities must constantly face the influence of drug cartels in the area.

Due to the course of the Balsas River and the fertile lands of the region, Tierra Caliente Mexico has been known for its agriculture; however, over the years, this area has become the most violent region in the country and its inhabitants have been victims of extortion and threats on a constant basis.

Violence in Tierra Caliente has reached exponential levels and many residents and merchants have been subjected on some occasions to road blockades and the burning of vehicles and stores. It is precisely for this reason that the authorities in the region (Civil Guard, National Guard and Mexican Army) frequently increase operational exercises in Tierra Caliente, in order to prevent and disintegrate the criminal organizations that plague the population on a daily basis.

Economic and social dynamics of the region

The main economic activity in Tierra Caliente is agriculture, with mango, avocado, corn, sesame, lemon, melon, watermelon, beans, and sorghum. This region also develops livestock, handicrafts and mining in areas with copper, iron and uranium deposits.

All this economic development allows the Tierra Caliente region to have a developed commercial sector; however, this is constantly affected by high crime rates and Tierra Caliente is negatively affected by the organized crime that constantly attacks its inhabitants.

The heart of the region are the municipalities of Tepalcatepec (one of the most insecure in Tierra Caliente), Parácuaro, Nueva Italia, Buenavista, Gabriel Zamora, Churumuco, La Huacana and Parácuaro.

The social dynamics of the region are quite unequal, which is why thousands of inhabitants decide to emigrate in search of better opportunities. There is a notable inequality in income and schooling is constantly affected by the violence in the region; it is also important to note that many experts believe that the poverty experienced by many of the region’s inhabitants leads to a greater increase in organized crime.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that the authorities in the region are constantly striving to develop improvements that will benefit the population. Their initiatives are mainly focused on the battle against organized crime, as this is the problem that plagues the majority of the inhabitants of Tierra Caliente, which is why numerous law enforcement agencies have been deployed.

It is important to mention that improved security in Tierra Caliente would bring with it better economic development. Despite having a large market in sectors such as agriculture, livestock and mining, many of the merchants leave the region due to constant extortion.

Tierra caliente mexico

What is tourism like in Tierra Caliente?

The region of Tierra Caliente Mexico, has many places to visit if you like beautiful landscapes, crafts and culture, and Tierra Caliente is characterized by its artisan towns like Ario De Rosales which is dedicated to saddlery, Huetamo where you can buy beautiful gold jewelry, huaraches and leather, and Naranjo del Jorullo where they make crafts based on volcanic stone.

On the other hand, the roads that go north to Patzcuaro and Villa Madero offer a spectacular view that you should not miss. Antúnez is another place in the region that you must visit, it has imposing hills and is the protagonist of festivals such as carnivals, it also offers beautiful furniture made by expert artisans; if you like water, you should visit Paracuaro, Apatzingan and El Huaco.

Safety tips for tourists: 

  • Never ride in a stranger’s vehicle. 
  • Always notify your loved ones where you are. 
  • Do not accept drinks, objects or food from strangers. 
  • Never stay in lonely or dark places 
  • Investigate which areas of Tierra Caliente are constantly subdued by organized crime (Apatzingán, Buenavista Tomatlán, Aguililla, La Ruana or, somewhat further away, Uruapan are some of the towns and cities where members of organized crime are most active). 
  • Tierra Caliente Mexico is a hot area so we recommend that you always wear loose clothing.
  • Do not give your personal information to strangers 

You already know everything about Tierra Caliente Mexico, now tell us do you want to visit this place full of culture and beautiful handicrafts?

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