Cascade Park

Cascade Park

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Quiz Time - What's in a Name?

Did you know that many Mexican cities have what you might call a first and a last name?  Often the name of a famous person from history is tacked onto the name of a city.  For example, San Miguel de Allende honors Ignacio Allende, a hero of Mexico's war for independence from Spain.  San Cristóbal de las Casas honors Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish priest in colonial Mexico who became known as "the Protector of the Indians".

Most of the time, however, cities are simply known by their "first name".  Can you supply the full name for these Mexican cities?

1.  Oaxaca de _______

2.  Puebla de _______

3.  Taxco de _______

4.  Toluca de _______

5.  Acapulco de _______

To give more people a chance to participate, I will accept only one answer at a time.

Good luck!  ¡Buena suerte!

UPDATE...  That was quick!  Joan answered number one...  Oaxaca de Juárez.  The name honors Mexico's most famous President, Benito Juárez.  Juarez was born in a village outside of the city of Oaxaca, and served as the governor of the state of Oaxaca.

Congratulations to Joan!

Now can someone give me the full name of one of the other cities?  (Joan, wait a while before answering again.)

UPDATE...  Congratulations to Kim, the author of the "Gringosuelto" blog.  He correctly answered number three... Taxco de Alarcón.  The colonial silver mining town of Taxco was the birthplace of Juan Ruiz de Alarcón.  Born around 1580 in Mexico, he later moved to the mother country of Spain where he became one of the outstanding playwrights of the Spanish "Golden Age".

Kim is a frequent traveler to Mexico and is very knowledgeable about the country.  However, he always arrives at my quizzes too late to give an answer.  You finally won one, Kim!

There are three cities remaining.  Who can give the full name of another city?  You too, Joan.  :-) 

UPDATE...  Joan correctly answered number three.   Puebla de Zaragoza honors General Ignacio Zaragoza who defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla on the fifth of May in 1862.

Congratulations, Joan.
Two cities remain.  Who can give the complete name of one of them?

UPDATE...  Kim correctly answered number four.  The city of Toluca, located about an hour to the west of Mexico City, is officially called Toluca de Lerdo, in honor of Sebastian Lerdo de Tejado who succeeded Benito Juarez as President of Mexico.

Congratulations, Kim!

Just one city remaining

FINAL UPDATE... The quiz is now completed.  Joan gave the correct answer of Acapulco de Juarez.  The city, which was the first internationally known beach resort in Mexico, honors President Benito Juarez.

Thanks to Joan and Kim for participating in this quiz.


  1. Joan, just one answer at a time. I deleted your comment so that others can have a chance to answer. But I will credit you for answering the first one correctly.

  2. Kukukachoo! Where is everyone?!

  3. Taxco de Alarcón.

    Kim G
    Boston de Massachusetts
    Where the state was named after an Indian tribe.

    1. Congratulations, Kim! You finally arrived in time to answer one of my quizzes!

  4. Finally! I've not arrived too late.

    So I'll enter the second round: Toluca de Lerdo.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where our street is named after a county in Scotland.

    P.S. Any thoughts on switching to Disqus? I'm tired of proving, re-proving, and re-re-proving that I'm *STILL* not a robot.

    1. You are correct, Kim. Congratulations!
      It's weird that some people have to go through that rigmarole of proving that they are not a robot, and others don't have to do anything.

    2. Disqus! Disqus! Disqus!!!! (Said in a chanting tone of voice, as might be heard at a football game)

      How hard could it be?

  5. I've read that the indigenous named the villages and then the Spanish tried to obliterate that by adding a Spanish name. Hence, I never pay attention to the last part of the name, added by the Spanish! Well, except with San Miguel, ha, but most of us just say San Miguel. I love the tongue twisting names..........

    1. Yes, that is true. Although in the examples I gave in the quiz (perhaps with the exception of Taxco) the extra names were added after Mexico's independence and honored Mexican heroes. One example of what you are talking about is Querétaro... the Spanish renamed it Querétaro de Santiago. It's also interesting how the Spanish named a number of their cities after places back home in Spain. Some that I can think of off the top of my head are León, Salamanca, Mérida and Valladolid.