Poza Rica, formally Poza Rica de Hidalgo is a city and its surrounding municipality in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Its name means “rich well”, because it was a place known for its abundance of oil. In this century oil was discovered in the area. It has since been almost completely extracted. This has resulted in the decline of oil well exploration and drilling activities, though there are still many oil facilities.
The city shares borders with the municipalities of Papantla, Tihuatlán, and Coatzintla, and stands on Federal Highway 180. The archaeological zone of El Tajín is located approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) from Poza Rica. The area is intensely tropical, with two popular beaches within one hour, Tuxpan, and Tecolutla, and one within 40 minutes east, Cazones. Mexico City is about 220 kilometers (140 mi) from Poza Rica. Unlike most Mexican cities, it does not have old buildings because it is a new city founded officially on November 20, 1951. For that reason it has contemporary architecture with well-lined and designed streets with a modern look. While the petroleum industry features heavily amongst the industrial landscape in Poza Rica, the city also has a wide variety of other industries with a large middle class. As one of the largest and most populous cities in Veracruz, Poza Rica is an important industrial and commercial center, and a central hub for several road transportation lines. The city has recently seen a lot of growth, with several shopping malls opening around the city. The city had an official population of 174,512 inhabitants and the municipality had 181,438 at the census of 2005. However, the Poza Rica metropolitan area, which includes the municipalities of Papantla, Tihuatlán, and Coatzintla, showed a total population of 458,330.
Poza Rica is close to the Costa Esmeralda, the northern beaches of Veracruz, such as Tecolutla, Tuxpan, Cazones and Playa Esmeralda. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of El Tajin is 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) away. It has a downtown area which provides a good shopping experience. It has a local famous height called “El cerro del abuelo” where it’s possible to see the whole city and its “quemadores”, big petroleum burners which were used to light the city in the early years. There are few of them at the present time. Every year there is a holiday called “Desfile del 18 de marzo” (March 18 Parade, “Petroleum Day”) which commemorates Mexican oil expropriation and has two beautiful parades, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is a city with a predominantly young population. Though there are few expatriates a few English language schools employ teachers for locals and PEMEX employees.
Recently the city has experienced a revival in economic activity, driven by investments in oil production by the parastatal PEMEX company. The economy is driven by trade, the petroleum industry, fashion, and tourism. This has brought a boom in trade, which together with its strategic location and concentration of services, causes a daily flow of residents from other towns, municipalities and nearby cities like Papantla, Gutiérrez Zamora, Tecolutla, Martínez de la Torre and Tihuatlán in the state of Veracruz. This extends its area of influence of the neighboring towns and villages State of Puebla that converge to it for various reasons, among which are health, employment, education or shopping, as it is located in the major centers of supply, trade and services.
The city of Poza Rica has three malls: Plaza Gran Patio Poza Rica, which contains the stores Suburbia, Walmart, VIPs, MM cinemas, Cinemex, Burger King, Solo Tennis, Playground, Casino, The Home Depot, Office Depot, Peter Piper Pizza, Church’s Chicken, and Pizza Hut, among others; Crystal Square contains Chedraui and Factories in France; Poza Rica Square contains Soria supermarket, MM cinemas, Cinemex, Toy, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), exa fm radio, and Burger King.
The city consists of five neighborhoods (The 5 Barrios de Poza Rica).
Cross Poza Rica: the most elapsed from the city because it is where you will find most of the trade source of the city; there you can find electronic stores, sports shops, clothing stores, music shops, markets, offices, banks, cinemas, restaurants, and bars.
52 is an area which is northeast of the city which also has markets and busy shopping centers and the GREAT PATIO Commercial Square.
Totolapa is the third area of the city located across the bridge of Poza Rica.
Petromex is one of the colonies where most of the pozarricenses, citizens of Poza Rica, reside.
Arroyo del Maiz is the area which houses the Tecnologico de Poza Rica, also Conalep School.
The city of Poza Rica has 36 parks. The most important are:
Parque Plaza March 18. It is the city’s central park is located between Avenues Lazaro Cardenas and Calle 8 Norte. It has an auditorium for musical events. It also attracts young people who practice hobbies such as rollerblading and biking.
Juarez Park. It is the second largest park in the city, located on 16th Avenue West.
Parque de las Americas. The park features all the flags of America, and is located on the hillside.
Public transport is the main means of transport of pozarricenses. Transport in the city are buses that take you to different areas of the city, as well as shared taxis.
Poza Rica taxis are the tsuru model that move around the city.
Central Bus Terminal: For land transport with the rest of the country, Poza Rica has three bus terminals:
The North Central, where more than 30 lines come from across the country (Estrella Blanca, ADO, Axis Gulf, First Plus, Chihuahuan, AU, PLATINUM ADO, ADO GL, Premium Green, Futura, Omnibus de Mexico)
the second terminal has access only to passengers going to the neighboring city of Tuxpan. (ADO Bus)
The third terminal is in the Petromex (Alternate Petroleum), which exits south of the country (Xalapa, Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos, Villahermosa, Ciudad del Carmen, Chiapas, etc.)
El Tajín National Airport in Tihuatlán serves Poza Rica.
Most pozarricenses profess the Catholic faith, but there are groups of Pentecostals, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, evangelical Christians, and Baptists, among others.
In the city are various youth groups like emos, skaters, Punk, Rappers, Cholos, reggaeton, Rastafarians, metalheads, Goths, Darcketos, Popular, Zoot, and Hippies.
Poza Rica is one of the more dangerous cities in the northern part of the state as it is an area where criminal organizations tend to settle. In 2008 SEDENA PFP and the Navy adopted to monitor the city and chose other strategies to reduce crime in the city.
Tourism is a major economic activities of the city as each year thousands of national and international tourists comes into the city, though most are from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Pachuca, Monterrey, Tulancingo, Reynosa, Matamoros, McAllen, Dallas, and Houston. The main destinations are the beach which is just 45 kilometers from the city center as well as the archaeological site of El Tajin, where every year a summit is held. Another attraction is the Tajin Teayo Castle.
As for the local cuisine, this is distinguished by typical regional dishes Totonac and Huastec, of which the best known is the Zacahuil, plus a variety of typical Mexican snacks, among which are sopes, bocoles, molotes, tlacoyos, enchiladas, and blanditas.
The administrative boundaries of the municipality are determined by the municipality northeast of Papantla, south to the town of Coatzintla and to the northwest by the municipality of Tihuatlán, separated from the latter by the course of the river Cazones.
The center of the city sits in a small valley on the basin river Cazones, in the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, with an average altitude of 60 m, although most of the land sits on uneven ground and mostly hills northeast of the city, among which is the Cerro del Meson, with a maximum height of 242 meters. The predominant soils are of the vertisol type, with a high content of clay forming expansive cracks in dry seasons.
Since its inception, the rapid urban growth in extension exceeded the capacity of available flat land in the city, expanding the urban area to the northeast of the city, using increasingly uneven ground and hills bordering the town of Papantla, inhabiting the slopes of the hills that surround the city center.
The town of Poza Rica is located in the watershed of the river Cazones, this River 100 km long born in the mountainous region of Hidalgo and flows into the Gulf of Mexico, has a higher average annual runoff of 40 m³ / s in its mouth. The city is also surrounded by several Cazones River tributary streams such as the Mollejón, Hueleque, Salsipuedes and Arroyo Corn, which is regularly affected by flooding the annual rainy season.
Mexico’s only nuclear power plant (Laguna Verde) is about 200 kilometers (120 mi) away, near the state’s capital city of Xalapa, Veracruz.