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Colima State, Mexico

COLIMA STATE, MEXICO, a small Pacific coast state of Mexico, lying between Jalisco on the N.W. and N., and Michoacan on the E. Including the Revilla Gigédo islands its area is only 2272 sq. m., which thus makes it the second smallest of the Mexican states. Pop. (1895) 55,264; (1900) 65,115. The larger part of its territory is within the narrow, flat coastal plain, beyond which it rises toward the north-east into the foothills of the Sierra Madre, the higher masses of the range, including the Colima volcano, lying outside the state. It is drained by the Ameria and Coahuayana rivers and their affluents, which are largely used for irrigation. There are tidewater lagoons and morasses on the coast which accentuate its malarious character. One of the largest of these, Cuitlán, immediately south of Manzanillo, is the centre of a large salt-producing industry. The soil is generally fertile and productive, but lack of transportation facilities has been a serious obstacle to any production greatly exceeding local demands. The dry and rainy seasons are sharply defined, the rainfall being abundant in the latter. The climate is hot, humid and malarious, becoming drier and healthier on the higher mountain slopes of the interior. Stock-raising is an important industry in the higher parts of the state, but the horses, mules and cattle raised have been limited to local demands. Agriculture, however, is the principal occupation of the state, the more important products being sugar, rice, Indian corn, palm oil, coffee, indigo, cotton and cacao. The production of cacao is small, and that of indigo and cotton is declining, the latter being limited to the requirements of small local mills. There are two crops of Indian corn a year, but sugar and rice are the principal crops. The "Caracolillo" coffee, produced on the slopes of the mountains culminating in the volcano of Colima, is reputed the best in Mexico, and the entire crop (about 506,000 lb. in 1906) is consumed in the country at a price much above other grades. There are important mineral deposits in the state, including iron, copper and lead, but mining enterprise has made no progress through lack of transportation facilities. Salt is made on the coast and shipped inland, and palm-leaf hats are manufactured and exported. Hides and deerskins are also exported in large quantities. A narrow-gauge railway has been in operation between the capital and Manzanillo for many years, and in 1907 a branch of the Mexican Central was completed between Guadalajara and the capital, and the narrow-gauge line to the coast was widened to the standard gauge. The chief cities of the state are the capital Colima, Manzanillo, Comala (the second largest town in the state), 5 m. from the capital, with which it is connected by an electric railway, Ixtlahuacan Coquimatlan and Almoloyan.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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