UNESCO City of Music

since 2023

Mexicali, Baja California is a city located right in the northernmost part of Mexico, bordering the States of California and Arizona in the United States. It is a city that since its founding in 1903, celebrates an important multicultural essence, being greatly influenced by the United States not only due to its geographical location but also from the Canton region of China, from which numerous migrants have made Mexicali their home. Leading this town to become host of one of the most vibrant, unique and economically active Chinese communities in all of Latin America.

The city was first conceived as a macro-agricultural project in the early 1900s, but over the years, it has diversified its economic vocation that today positions it as a thriving city, with great opportunities for investment, enthralling maquiladora companies from all over the world. Population in Mexicali is close to 1,200,000.

During the prohibition era in the United States (from 1919 to 1933), Mexicali grew into a city that dwelled through a golden age and it became a destination visited daily by the Hollywood elite. The result of those glory days unfolded into a beautiful song by the name of Mexicali Rose, composed and written here, recorded in New York (1923) and made famous by Bing Crosby, putting the name of our city on the world map.

Mexicali is a border city that has learned to take advantage of the best of both worlds. We are a mixture of cultures reflected in the innate talent of our people. In recent decades, Mexicali has constantly provided trendsetting musicians and singers both in Latin America’s music industry as well as in the United States.

Our geographical location places us in a situation of constant and evolving change. Large communities of migrants continuously arrive fixated fully on living the American dream, as we are the entry and exit door to the Golden State of California. Whether they come from Central or South America, the Caribbean or even from some regions of Asia and Europe, we embrace everyone while we enrich ourselves with what each migrant contributes culturally to our city.

The State of Baja California to which we belong, is a benchmark of talent and creativity. Proof of this is that two of its cities are already part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network: Ensenada for Gastronomy and Mexicali for Music; forgoing that Tijuana and San Diego, California together have become the first multi-country region that will host the World Design Capital in 2024.

Mexicali merges leadership, strategy and will in order to consolidate the talent of its people and create better economic conditions and quality of life through music. We are currently working together with authorities and non-governmental organizations to recover, reactivate and edify the historical and cultural downtown of our city. Due to the natural growth of the urban area, it had fallen into a certain abandonment and today is re-emerging as a social, cultural and gastronomic showcase with great participation of the entire community.

We are Mexicali, City of Music

As a Creative City of Music, the following steps will be important:

  • Coordinate and unify all cultural-musical efforts that different institutions and schools implement, in order to detect talents that can be promoted through training towards professionalization.
  • Implement an intense professionalization program that helps us to upgrade the talent of the local musicians and singers to a higher level. This plan must consider the parameters of the new digital music and entertainment industry.
  • Generate economy through constant activations where the entire Musical Ecosystem of Mexicali must be involved, integrating them to a sustainable model in which everyone can have participation and remuneration for their services.
  • Contribute with our musical activations and happenings for the recovery strategy of Mexicali’s Historic and Cultural Downtown, adding value to visitors’ experience, with high quality shows for all musical genres, aimed to please local community as well as tourists who constantly visit Mexicali.
  • Provide musical introduction to children from the less favored suburbs and migrant communities through easy-to-involve educational programs in order to awaken interest in art, seeking to distance them from vandalism and crime that surround their communities.
  • Turn Mexicali into the city with the most favorable legal framework for the presentation of live music and live shows throughout Mexico, through government public positive policies that promote art at all levels and thus be able to consolidate a wide variety of musical offerings in our city, 365 days a year.


Abelardo Vazquez Ramos
Creative Industries Director of Baja California

Carlos German Romero Palazuelos
686 119 4178