Calexico is a city in Imperial County, California, United States. The population was 27,109 at the 2000 census. Calexico is about 122 miles (196 km) east of San Diego and 62 miles (100 km) west of Yuma, Arizona. The name “Calexico” is a portmanteau of California “Cal~” and Mexico “~exico”, which like that of the adjacent city of Mexicali, emphasizes its importance as a border city.
More than 60,000 people pass through Calexico per day. The Police Department of Calexico consists of about 8 patrol cars on duty at any one time. However, their traffic department has about 25 employees that patrol and control traffic and intersections often clogged by border commuters.
Major events every year are the Mariachi festival on March 25 followed by the SDSU "Perspective of the Latino Race" art exhibition on April 3.
Curtis Hanson's Losin' It was filmed in Calexico.
The band Calexico is named after the town.
Calexico is located at.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16.1 km²), all of it land. Calexico is located 230 miles (370 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 125 miles (201 km) east of San Diego, 260 miles (420 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona, and adjacent to Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Calexico's location provides easy overnight trucking access to all those transportation hubs plus the ports of Long Beach, California, and Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Calexico's strategic location is seen by many as the prime link between the interior of Mexico and the major markets along the west coast of the U.S. and Canada.
Calexico is served by State Routes 98, 7 and 111, with direct connection to Interstate 8 (5 miles north) and State Route 86. There are eighteen regular and irregular common carriers for intrastate and interstate truck service to Calexico.
Rail service is provided by Union Pacific Railroad, and connects with the main line to Portland, Oregon; Rock Island, Illinois; Tucumcari, New Mexico; St. Louis, Missouri; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Within city limits is Calexico International Airport, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection check-point for private passenger and air-cargo flights entering the U.S. from Mexico. Private charter services are also available there.
General aviation facilities and scheduled passenger and air-cargo service to Los Angeles International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and other points are available at Imperial County Airport (Boley Field), located 17 miles (27 km) north.
Home to Wiseman Theater Group
Calexico began as a tent city of the Imperial Land Company and has grown into a large, thriving city on the U.S.-Mexico border. Calexico was founded in 1899 and incorporated in 1908. The Imperial Land Company converted bone-dry desert land into a fertile setting for year-round agriculture that provides an economic base. The originally proposed names were Santo Tomas or Thomasville.
The first settlers were Mexicans, since Calexico lies on the Mexican border. After the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s, thousands of Mexican refugees settled in the Imperial Valley on the U.S. side. Today, Calexico is said to hold the highest percentage of Latino residents of any city in the U.S. (about 90%). However, only 49% are of Mexican descent and 35% are born in Mexico, followed by those born in Central America totals at 16%.
Although it gained a reputation for a while as a typical U.S.-Mexico bordertown with all the tawdry aspects usually associated with such places, the modern city of Calexico is a far cry from what it was back in those early days. Hundreds of acres are now being devoted to industrial parks, and commercial and retail incentives are being offered to encourage industrial development.
Since Calexico represents the mixing of two cultures and areas and because of its proximity to the Mexican border, the name Calexico was coined from a combination of the words California and Mexico. (See also Mexicali, a similarly-named city directly across the International Border from Calexico.)
The first post office in Calexico opened in 1902.
The City of Calexico operates under a City Council/City Manager form of government. The City Council consists of five Council Members, elected to overlapping four-year term. The Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem are chosen from among the five council members and rotate on an annual basis.
The Mayor presides at council meetings, where all official policies and laws of the City are enacted. The members of the Calexico City Council set policy and appoint commissions and committees that study the present and future needs of Calexico.
The other two elected officials in the City of Calexico are the City Clerk and City Treasurer. Each of them is elected directly by the voters and serves a four year term.
The Calexico branch of the Imperial County Superior Court system was officially renamed on Saturday, December 19, 1992 in honor of Legaspi family members Henry, Victor and Luis Legaspi as the Legaspi Municipal Court Complex.
As of the census of 2000, there were 27,109 people, 6,814 households, and 5,982 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,353.4 people per square mile (1,680.1/km²). There were 6,983 housing units at an average density of 1,121.4/sq mi (432.8/km²).
The racial makeup of the city was 46.56 percent White, 0.49 percent Black or African American, 0.67 percent Native American, 1.81 percent Asian, 0.02 percent Pacific Islander, 46.99 percent from other races, and 3.45 percent from two or more races. With 95.29 percent of the population Hispanic or Latino (of any race), Calexico has one of the highest Hispanic/Latino percentages of any California city.
There were 6,814 households out of which 53.4 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2 percent were married couples living together, 22.0 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.2 percent were non-families. 10.4 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.96 and the average family size was 4.21.
In the city the population was spread out with 34.9 percent under the age of 18, 9.9 percent from 18 to 24, 27.1 percent from 25 to 44, 17.6 percent from 45 to 64, and 10.4 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males. The rate of teen pregnancy in the city is ranked third in the nation with 17.3 percent of females between the ages of 14 and 18 being pregnant.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,929, and the median income for a family was $30,277. Males had a median income of $27,712 versus $18,857 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,981. About 22.6 percent of families and 25.7 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.8 percent of those under age 18 and 16.2 percent of those age 65 or over. The poverty rate in Calexico as a border city is above-average in the US, while in contrast Mexicali is considered prosperous by Mexican standards.
In the state legislature Calexico is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Manuel Perez. Federally, Calexico is located in California's 51st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +7 and is represented by Democrat Bob Filner.
Post-secondary education is available at the San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus of San Diego State University, and at Imperial Valley College. In addition, there are more than 20 local agencies and programs providing vocational training which can be tailored to the specific needs of potential employers.
The Calexico Unified School District serves city residents.
Kennedy Gardens Elementary-Home of the Eagles
Allen and Helen Mains Elementary-Home of the Trojans
Rockwood Elementary-Home of the Rockets
Blanche Charles Elementary-Home of the Dolphins
Jefferson Elementary-Home Of the Tigers
Dool Elementary-Home of the Cougars
Cesar Chavez Elementary-Home of the Lobos
Willam Moreno Jr. High-Home of the Aztecs
De Anza Jr. High-Home of the Bullpups
Enrique Camarena Junior High School-Home of the Firebirds
Calexico High School- Home of the Bulldogs
Aurora High School-Home of the Eagles
Robert F. Morales Adult Education Center
Independent Studies Office
Calexico Mission School, a Seventh-day Adventist Academy operated by the Southeastern California Conference in Riverside, CA provides private religious education in Calexico from K-12.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy (Home to the Bees), and Vincent Memorial Catholic High School (Home to the Scott's), Roman Catholic schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, are also in Calexico.