Lectura en inglés: Everything you never wanted to know about Arizona


Un poco de lectura en inglés hoy – vamos a ver unos hechos interesantes sobre mi estado, Arizona.

Si no me conoces para nada, soy Daniel y soy de Estados Unidos – concretamente del estado de Arizona, en el suroeste de Estados Unidos.

Es un estado fronterizo con México – casi un 20% de los habitantes habla español. Un dos por ciento habla navajo, un idioma de uno de los pueblos indígenas de la zona.

Arizona no es un sitio muy famoso, en realidad… tiene mucho desierto.

A mi me pasa muchas veces que conozco a alguien nuevo aquí en España, y digo que soy de Arizona. 10 minutos más tarde, me presentan a sus amigos como “Daniel de Texas”.

En realidad, Texas está lejos de Arizona. Es otro estado, y tenemos New Mexico en medio. (Además, nadie soporta a los tejanos.)

Arizona tiene una población de unos 7 millones de habitantes, y algo más de la mitad de la extensión geográfica de España. Así que es grande muy poco poblado.

La capital es Phoenix, y cuando era niño, vivía con mi familia en las afueras de Phoenix. Efectivamente, pasé mi juventud en el desierto.

Y cuando digo desierto, estoy siendo completamente serio.

desierto de arizona
Este tipo de paisaje más montañoso empezaba unas millas al norte de mi casa. Pero las plantas y los cactus son iguales a lo que vi fuera de mi ventana. Foto de The Real Cloud en Flickr.

Aquí tenemos un texto que he adaptado sobre Arizona – no me acuerdo exactamente la fuente original, pero creo que era para el primer centenario de Arizona como estado en 2012.

Arizona’s Geography

Arizona has 3,928 mountain peaks and summits – more mountains than any of the other Mountain States. (The mountain states are in the western US: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Arizona has 26 peaks that are more than 3000 meters in elevation.

Rising to a height of 3853m, Humphreys Peak north of Flagstaff is the state’s highest mountain. I’ve climbed it once or twice, and it’s not too difficult. The views from the top are amazing!

Arizona is the 6th largest state in the nation, covering 113,909 square miles – that’s 300,000 square kilometers, more than half the size of Spain. Out of all the states in the U.S., Arizona has the largest percentage of its land designated as Indian lands.

The Grand Canyon is more than 1.6 km deep at its deepest point. Nearly 5 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park each year.

The Grand Canyon, by the way, is definitely in Arizona. Many people are confused about this, because in Spanish it’s called It’s called “el Gran Cañón del Colorado”. Actually, in this case, Colorado refers to the Colorado River, not the state of Colorado. The river passes through Arizona before forming the border between our state and California, and finally reaching the Gulf of California in Mexico.

grand canyon arizona
El Gran Cañón está en Arizona. En España, se llama el Gran Cañón del Colorado, por el Río Colorado. Pero el cañón en sí está en Arizona. Foto de Bernard Spragg en Flickr.

Arizona in American History

Arizona became the 48th state and last of the contiguous states on February 14, 1912.

President William Howard Taft was ready to make it a state on February 12, but it was Lincoln’s birthday, which is still celebrated as a holiday.

The next day, the 13th, was considered bad luck so they waited until the following day. That’s how we became known as the “Valentine State.”

Phoenix originated in 1866 as a hay camp to supply military post Camp McDowell.

The longest remaining intact section of Route 66 can be found in Arizona and runs from Seligman to Topock, a total of 157 unbroken miles.

Arizona’s Economy

The city of Yuma is the country’s highest producer of winter vegetables, especially lettuce.

The “Five C’s” of Arizona’s economy are: Cattle, Copper, Citrus, Cotton, and Climate. More copper is mined there than all the other states combined, and the Morenci Mine is the largest copper producer in all of North America.

The amount of copper utilized to make the copper dome atop the Capitol building in Phoenix is equivalent to the amount used in 4.8 million pennies.

Turquoise is the official state gemstone. The blue-green stone has a somewhat waxy surface and can be found throughout the state.

Fun Facts about Arizona

Here are a few fun facts about the state of Arizona.

Pioneer filmmaker, Cecil B. DeMille originally traveled to Flagstaff to make his first film but he arrived there in the middle of a storm and decided to move operations further west, to Hollywood, California. His film, The Squaw Man (released in 1914), went on to be wildly successful… So successful, in fact, that it’s credited, with launching the movie industry and making Hollywood it’s capital.

When England’s famous London Bridge was replaced in the 1960s, the original was purchased, dismantled, shipped stone by stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, where it still stands today.

Billy the Kid killed his first man, Windy Cahill, in a town called Bonita. Wyatt Earp was neither the town marshal nor the sheriff in Tombstone at the time of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. His brother Virgil was the town marshal.

Native Americans in Arizona


Montezuma never visited Montezuma National Monument—he was born 100 years after the prehistoric dwelling was abandoned. The monument was misnamed for the Aztec emperor when it was rediscovered in the 1860’s.

Oraibi, a Hopi village located in Navajo County, dates back to before A.D. 1200 and is reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in America.

The negotiations for Geronimo’s final surrender took place in Skeleton Canyon, near present day Douglas, in 1886. Geronimo was chief of the Apaches, shown in the photo on the left from 1905.

Plants and Animals of the Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert is the most biologically diverse desert in North America.

Roadrunners are not just in cartoons! In my home town, you’ll see them running across the streets at up to 17-mph away from their enemies. They’re much smaller than you probably imagine.

The Saguaro cactus is the largest cactus found in the U.S. It can grow as high as a five- story building and is native to the Sonoran Desert, which stretches across southern Arizona. If you cut down a protected species of cactus, you could spend more than a year in prison. A saguaro cactus can store up to nine tons of water.

The Palo Verde is the official state tree. Its name means “green stick” and it blooms a brilliant yellow-gold in April or May.

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Picacho, Arizona is the largest privately-owned ostrich ranch in the world outside South Africa.

Thirteen species of rattlesnakes live in Arizona, more species than in any other state.

Camels were imported to Arizona by the military just before the Civil War. There were wild camel populations in the desert for decades afterwards.

Spanish History in Arizona

Spanish Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza was the first European to explore Arizona. He entered the area in 1539 in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold.

Francisco Coronado (originally from Salamanca) was another Spaniard who explored Arizona in 1540, looking for a city made of gold.

Between the years 1692 and 1711 Spanish missionary Father Eusebio Kino did more than just found missions, he also taught many tribes the basics of agriculture and supplied them with cattle and seed grain.

The State of Arizona Today

Today, Arizona has nearly 7 million people. About 20% of people in the state speak Spanish, and a bit more than 1% speak Navajo.

Arizona is famous for golf courses, sports teams like the Phoenix Suns and large universities: Arizona State and University of Arizona.

Phoenix is kind of far away from a lot of things. Los Angeles is several hours’ drive to the west, Las Vegas is in the north, and the Mexican border is a couple of hours to the south.

The end.

¿Quieres aprender más inglés?

En mi otra página web, tengo varios textos adaptados en inglés que son más fáciles de leer.

Y si quieres, mi ebook Inglés Básico 3 tiene unos 20 textos más con listenings y explicaciones de vocabulario: Inglés Básico 3: Textos y Audios.

Disfruta, y buen aprendizaje,


P.D. Otro dato interesante. Puede ser que el nombre del estado viene del euskera: Harit Zonak. Parece que había un rancho por ahí hace siglos, con unos vaqueros vascos, donde se descubrió unos depósitos de plata. Así mucha gente quería ir, y la zona entera se convirtió en Arizona. Eso por lo menos es la teoría más creíble.

About the author 

Daniel Welsch

Autor, bloguero y profesor de inglés. Aprende más inglés en mis páginas web, mi YouTube, etc.

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