Conversing with Célida López Cárdenas

By Jose Carlos de Santiago

The Secretary of Tourism of the Mexican state of Sonora, Celida Lopez Cardenas attended the Tianguis Turístico de México 2022 in Acapulco, a very special tianguis because it is the post-pandemic event. Secretary López Cárdenas agreed to speak exclusively with the President of the Excelencias Group, José Carlos de Santiago.

Mexico has experienced a special condition, there have not been the restrictions that other countries have had and that is why it has managed to be one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. According to what the Secretary of Tourism Miguel Torruco told us, the second most important destination in the world. Let’s talk about Sonora, where is it located within Mexico and how can we get there?

To get to Sonora you have to think about the North. Sonora is the second largest state in Mexico. We are next to Chihuahua and right next to Baja California Norte. Not only is it one of the largest states but it is also one of the richest in biodiversity. We have within Sonora the Great Altar Desert or the Great Sonoran Desert, which is also shared by the border state of Arizona in the United States. Within this desert we have the possibility of receiving this recognition from UNESCO that gives Sonora the honor of having this distinction as a World Heritage Site: the El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve. For people who like ecotourism, camping inside this volcanic jungle is impressive. 20 minutes away is a wonderful beach that is Puerto Peñasco.

People who live in Phoenix, Arizona only drive 3 hours and they are already at the border. It really is a very close destination. There is a large community of paisanos, of Hispanics who live in Arizona and are a very important market for Puerto Peñasco. We have a lot of tourist infrastructure, hotels, restaurants.

Puerto Peñasco is now connected to Tijuana. People traveling to Tijuana can connect with this flight and arrive in Puerto Peñasco. There we have a hotel and we have the possibility that those companies, tour operators that want to fly charter, one of the best airports in terms of infrastructure, is in Puerto Peñasco.

A very important detail, tell me about the gastronomy that is not only that of the restaurant, the gastronomy of the town, that of kilometer zero. The one you have and it’s so special.

We in Puerto Peñasco have the possibility of receiving people who have a great demand for well-prepared seafood. There is a culture of carts, where in different points of Puerto Peñasco you can find the possibility of eating cocktails, seafood, toast, aguachiles but if you go into this culture of Mexican Sonoran food, you will find some wonderful places, flour tortillas, the roast beef The best carne asada taquerias are in Sonora, with the guacamole, the refried beans, the cheese broth. It really is one of the things that we have to boast the most about Sonora, our gastronomy

Apart from those volcanoes and that desert, those tiny little animals that we often don’t talk about, but which are those delicious insects that you have over there, what more authentic cuisine can you propose to us, that is not only the sea but that ancestral cuisine that you Do you have what dishes would you recommend?

We have many dishes from our original peoples, broths prepared by the Yaqui community, the original people, the Seris also prepare very special foods. The most important thing is that here you can talk about a cuisine that is even an international cuisine. When you talk about Sonoran cuisine, people immediately think of the broth, the painted chicken, the pozoles, in these casseroles that are prepared in the original towns.

I am very proud to be able to invite you to visit us soon, we also want to participate in FITUR, we are going to do it, we want to be there in the next edition, participating as Sonorans. San Carlos is a wonderful destination. We are with a great Magdalena promotion. We were in Barcelona at the Tianguis de Pueblos Mágicos and we are going to continue working so that Sonora is known throughout the world.

Regarding the international and national promotion of Sonora. The Ibero-American Congress of Tourist Guides that you are going to hold will only be national, but do you intend to make it international?

Yes, of course. We are making an effort with the Association of Tourist Guides of Mexico, so that this Ibero-American Congress is really a congress that receives a significant number of tourist guides from many Latin American countries but also Spanish-speaking ones.

Thanks to the vision of Governor Alfonso Durazo, we are going to partially support the organization of the Ibero-American Congress. On November 14, all tourist guides in the country can have a 50-hour certification to endorse their certification as tourist guides.

Célida López Cárdenas has a Law Degree (UNISON) with a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences specializing in Institutions and Political Processes (PUC), and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (IPADE). She was National Champion of Political Debate, National Champion of Public Speaking and State Youth Award. She how she would function she publicly she has served as coordinator of Public Relations of the Baja California Ministry of Health and, in Sonora, as president of the State Board of Social Participation of Sonora and Undersecretary of Citizen Participation.