Pachuca, formally known as Pachuca de Soto, is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Hidalgo. It is located in the south-central part of the state. Pachuca de Soto is also the name of the municipality of which the city serves as municipal seat. Pachuca is located about 90 km from Mexico City via Mexican Federal Highway 85.
There is no consensus about the origin of the name Pachuca. It has been traced to the word pachoa (strait; opening), Pachoacan (place of government; place of silver and gold), and patlachuican (place of factories; place of tears). The official name of Pachuca is Pachuca de Soto in honor of congressman Manuel Fernando Soto, who is given credit for the creation of Hidalgo state. Its nickname of “La bella airosa” (Beautiful Airy City) comes from the strong winds that blow into the valley through the canyons to the north of the city. In the indigenous Otomi language, Pachuca is known as Nju̱nthe.
The area had been long inhabited but except for some green obsidian, but the mining that Pachuca is famous for began in the mid-16th century, during Spanish colonial rule. Pachuca remained a major mining center until the mid-20th century, with the city’s fortunes going up and down with the health of the mining sector. In the mid-20th century a major downturn in mining pushed Pachuca to change the basis of its economy to industry, resulting in the revamping of the Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo. Today mining forms only a fraction of the municipality’s economy.
One cultural aspect that makes Pachuca stand out is the influence that Cornish miners who immigrated here in the 19th century have had. Many of their descendents remain in Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte, as well as two heritages that define the city, soccer and a dish called “pastes.”more