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Calexico, California

City of Calexico
Old Calexico City Hall
Old Calexico City Hall
Location of Calexico, California
Location of Calexico, California
City of Calexico is located in USA
City of Calexico
City of Calexico
Location in the United States
Coordinates: [1]
Country  United States
State  California
County Imperial
Incorporated April 16, 1908[2]
 • Type Council–manager government[3]
 • Mayor Bill Hodge[3]
 • Total 8.391 sq mi (21.733 km2)
 • Land 8.391 sq mi (21.733 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[1] 3 ft (0.9 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 38,572
 • Density 4,600/sq mi (1,800/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92231–92232
Area code(s) 760/442
FIPS code 06-09710
GNIS feature IDs 1652680, 2409958
Calexico, seen from the International Space Station, is situated north of the Mexico-US border

Calexico is a city in Imperial County, California. The population was 38,572 at the 2010 census, up from 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 and Mexico, which, like that of its adjacent sister city of Mexicali, emphasizes its identity as a border city.

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.


  • Geography 1
    • Climate 1.1
  • History 2
    • 2010 earthquake 2.1
  • Government 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Politics 5
  • Education 6
    • Colleges and universities 6.1
    • Public schools 6.2
      • Elementary 6.2.1
      • Junior high schools 6.2.2
        • Grades 7-8
        • Grade 9
      • Secondary schools 6.2.3
    • Public charter school (Independent Study) 6.3
      • Adult education schools 6.3.1
    • Private schools 6.4
  • Notable people 7
  • In popular culture 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


According to the United States Census Bureau, at the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2), all 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, 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 San Diego International Airport, Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, and other points are available at Imperial County Airport (Boley Field), located 17 miles (27 km) north.


This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Calexico has a subtropical hot desert climate, abbreviated "BWh" on climate maps.[5]
Climate data for Calexico, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 90
Average high °F (°C) 70
Average low °F (°C) 41
Record low °F (°C) 18
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.51
Source: [6]


Calexico began as a tent city of the Imperial Land Company, was founded in 1899, and incorporated in 1908. The Imperial Land Company converted desert land into a fertile setting for year-round agriculture. The originally proposed names were Santo Tomas or Thomasville. The first post office in Calexico opened in 1902.[7]

Hundreds of acres are now being devoted to industrial parks, and commercial and incentives are offered to encourage industrial development. The name Calexico was coined from a combination of the words California and Mexico. Mexicali is a similarly named city directly across the international border from Calexico.

2010 earthquake

On 4 April 2010, the El Mayor earthquake caused moderate to heavy damage throughout Calexico and across the border in Mexicali. Measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, the quake was centered about 40 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border near Mexicali.[8] A state of emergency was declared and officials cordoned off First and Second streets between Paulin and Heber Avenues. Glass and debris littered the streets of downtown Calexico and two buildings partially collapsed. The Calexico water treatment plant sustained severe damage.[9]


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.[10]


The 2010 United States Census reported that Calexico had a population of 38,572. The population density was 4,596.7 people per square mile (1,774.8/km²). The racial makeup of Calexico was 23,150 (60.0%) White, 134 (0.3%) African American, 204 (0.5%) Native American, 504 (1.3%) Asian, 21 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 12,920 (33.5%) from other races, and 1,639 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37,354 persons (96.8%).

The Census reported that 38,472 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, 100 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 10,116 households, out of which 5,759 (56.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,767 (57.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,319 (22.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 595 (5.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 316 (3.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 61 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,200 households (11.9%) were made up of individuals and 675 (6.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.80. There were 8,681 families (85.8% of all households); the average family size was 4.09.

The population was spread out with 12,011 people (31.1%) under the age of 18, 4,262 people (11.0%) aged 18 to 24, 9,332 people (24.2%) aged 25 to 44, 8,559 people (22.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,408 people (11.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.8 years. For every 100 females there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

There were 10,651 housing units at an average density of 1,269.3 per square mile (490.1/km²), of which 5,430 (53.7%) were owner-occupied, and 4,686 (46.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.1%. 22,155 people (57.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 16,317 people (42.3%) lived in rental housing units.[13]


In the state legislature, Calexico is in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Hueso,[14] and the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia.[15]

Federally, Calexico is in California's 51st congressional district, represented by Democrat Juan Vargas.[16]

The current mayor is Maritza Hurtado, and the Mayor Pro Term is Bill Hodge. The other council members are: John Moreno, Luis J. Castro, and Joong S. Kim.[3]


Colleges and universities

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.

Public schools

The Calexico Unified School District serves city residents.


Grades K-6
  • 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

Junior high schools

Grades 7-8
  • Willam Moreno Jr. High - Home of the Aztecs
  • Enrique Camarena Junior High School - Home of the Firebirds
Grade 9
  • De Anza 9th Grade Academy - Home of the Bullpups (Now part of Calexico High School)

Secondary schools

Grades 10-12

Public charter school (Independent Study)

RAI Online Charter (K-12, tuition-free)

Adult education schools

  • Robert F. Morales Adult Education Center
  • Independent Studies Office

Private schools

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 Scots), Roman Catholic schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, are also in Calexico.

Notable people

In popular culture

  • Curtis Hanson's Losin' It was filmed in Calexico.
  • The band Calexico is named after the town.
  • A narcotics officer in Michael Connelly's The Black Ice is named after the town.
  • On ABC's hit show Modern Family, characters Cameron and Mitchell said to having adopted their second child, a Latino boy, from Calexico.
  • In the episode of Defiance, "The Serpent's Egg", the lawkeeper travels to Calexico.
  • 1997 film The Game starring Michael Douglas; some scenes in Mexicali were shot through the chain link fence (camera and crew in Calexico) between the US and Mexico.

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Calexico, California
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Imperial Valley Press blog
  10. ^ “Calexico Chronicle” Vol. 90, No. 21, December 24, 1992.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Calexico Chamber of Commerce
  • Calexico Unified School District
  • Camarena Memorial Library website
  • San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Campus
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