Quintana Roo is a state of Mexico, on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. It borders the Mexican states of Yucatán and Campeche to the north and west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the nation of Belize to the south.
The capital of Quintana Roo is the city of Chetumal. Quintana Roo also contains the resort city of Cancún, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, the towns of Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Juárez, Akumal, and Puerto Morelos, as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Chakanbakán, Chamax, Coba, Dzibanché, El Meco, Ichpaatán, Kohunlich, Muyil, Oxtankah, Tankah, Tulum, Tupak, Xel-Há, and Xcaret. The Sian Ka'an national park is also in Quintana Roo.
The state covers an area of 50,350 km², and the 2000 census reported a population of some 874,000. The statewide population is currently expanding at a rapid rate due to the construction of hotels and the demand for workers. Many immigrants to the state come from Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Veracruz.
The area that makes up modern Quintana Roo was long part of Yucatán, sharing its history. With the War of the Castes starting in the 1840s, all Ladinos were driven from the region and the independent Maya nation of Chan Santa Cruz was centered on what is now the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. The region was for a time dominated by the religion of the "Talking Cross": in a church was a cross guarded by Maya priests that was said to speak and give them orders. The Mexican government continued to have very little control over this region until the early decades of the 20th century.
Quintana Roo was made a territory of Mexico by decree of President Porfirio Díaz on November 24, 1902. It was named after an early patriot of the Mexican Republic, Andrés Quintana Roo. The Mexican army succeeded in defeating most of the Maya population of the region during the 1910s, and in 1915 the area was again declared to legally be part of the state of Yucatán. In 1931 the territory of Quintana Roo was again separated from Yucatán.
Quintana Roo was granted statehood within the United Mexican States on October 8, 1974. It is the Mexican Republic's youngest state.
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