LEÓN, SHOE CAPITAL
Leon is Mexico's 5th largest city, located in Guanajuato and known as the global shoe capital.
The captivating story of how this city emerged as the renowned 'Shoe Capital of the World', adorned with a tapestry of diverse cultures, is truly intriguing.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LEON
Established in 1576 by Spanish conquistadors, Leon was crafted under the guidance of Juan Bautista de Orozco and at the command of Viceroy Martin Enriquez de Almanza. The city's initial intention was to protect the surrounding region from the ongoing danger posed by the indigenous Chichimecas tribe, a resilient people who defied the Spanish incursion.
In due time, the Spanish colonizers initiated agriculture and livestock rearing in the city of Leon. These sectors have flourished and persisted to this very moment.
The constant influx of nationals residing in this small colonial town led to a surge in the flow of goods, boosting the local economy.
FROM AN AGRICULTURAL TOWN TO A GLOBAL SHOE CAPITAL
In certain economies, the practice of cattle-raising and farming may simply be limited to that, but the inhabitants of Leon transcended those ordinary endeavors with their exceptional expertise.The rapid expansion of cattle-raising promptly prompted the townspeople to produce exquisite leather goods and construct elegant tanneries.
Since the year 1645, the art of shoemaking has seamlessly fused with the local industry, flourishing and gaining strength with each passing generation up until the present moment. The local cobblers and shoemakers passed their craftsmanship from one generation to another. Thus, each generation learned old skills and developed them to a new level. Technological advancements probably played a large role in this development as well.