Puerto Chiapas, Mexico
Puerto Chiapas is the entry port to the southernmost part of Mexico and the town of Tapachula.
The original name of this city was Tapacholatl, which in the Nahuatl language means "flooded land." According to tradition it was founded in 1486 by Tiltolotl, the leader of the Aztec army sent by Ahuizotl to conquer the region. In 1813 the Courts of Cadiz (first constitutional congress in Spain) officially recognized it as a town. They authorized maritime commerce with the rest of Mexico, Guatemala and Peru via the port of San Benito later known as Puerto Madero and today bears the name Puerto Chiapas. In 1920 the Soconusco Coffee Union was established, and in 1929, airplane service was introduced. It was not until the 1950s, however, that Tapachula became modernized.
The city of Tapachula is characterized by its warm climate and traditional architecture. It is the region where the mango variety named Ataulfo was first grown. The vegetation is exuberant and extremely varied; the most representative flowers are the heliconias, hawaianas, anturios and orchids, which grow in the highest points of the region.
Archaeological evidence shows that somewhere around 1750 BC the inhabitants of the region had developed a hierarchical village society, with larger, more elaborate houses presumably reserved for chieftains. A few decades before the Spanish arrived, the Aztecs conquered Soconusco. The region had been relatively isolated before that, protected from the rest of Mesoamerica by the mountains of the continental divide (Sierra Madre del Sur).