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Malecón de Mazatlán

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#1 Boutique Hotel in Mazatlan, Mexico

Spotlight: When Did Mazatlan Become So French?

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Your Official Travel Guide of Things to do in Mazatlan.

Spotlight: When Did Mazatlan Become So French?

Sophia Boccard

flowers in mazatlan

Most people who know of and think about traveling to Mazatlán do so because the city has a reputation of being an affordable, resort-friendly destination with beaches, a handful of outdoor water activities, and eating an average meal at your all-inclusive resort. We personally see Mazatlan as so much more than just a stop-over for a cruise heading towards the ports of Puerta Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.


We love our beautiful city, and we are proud of our home. We are locals who can trace our ancestry here for over a century, and we are proud to call ourselves Mazatlecos. What most people don’t realize is that Mazatlan has an incredibly rich history with the French that traces back to the 1864 Capture of Mazatlan.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

During the period of French intervention in Mexico between 1862 and 1867, the Republic of Mexico was invaded by the army of the Second French Empire, of which a Second Mexican Empire was established and ruled by Napoleon’s puppet, Maximilian I of Mexico. The French flagship La Cordelière encroached upon Olas Altas Bay and, with their war flags raised up high, began the battle of which the Mexicans ultimately won.

Directly after admitting their defeat, many of the French soldiers defected and escaped along the coastline of Sinaloa to begin their assimilation to the communities. New identities were created, families formed, gastronomy was influenced and traditions continued.

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán

Take a walk around town and you’ll find yourself conversing with the families Loubet, Roux, Leclair or Dupont, all of which can trace their lineage to a soldier on La Cordelière. You’ll see many individuals who continue to eat panquekis (in Mazatlan, panquekis means crepes, not to be confused with the translation of pancakes everywhere else in Mexico), bolillos, a bread similar to the baquettes, and cheese. Lots of it!