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Los Cerritos Around the World

Heritage Park in Cerritos. Source: Wikimedia


For those who didn’t know it, Cerritos is all around the world, not just in California. What this means is that our award-winning, gateway city is not the only one that goes by this name of Spanish origin that stands for “little hills.” There’s a Cerritos in Venezuela, Panama, Mexico and even Colorado, so we thought about taking a look at all these enclaves to see how different — or similar — they are to our city.

It should be noted that the area where Cerritos, Calif. is now was formerly known as the Dairy Valley and Native Americans inhabited it hundreds of years ago. Later, members of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (referred to as Gabrieleños) settled here, but it wasn’t until 1967 that this area changed its name to Cerritos. Some of its more recent famous inhabitants have included record setter Johnny Chan, actress Lela Rochon and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. Some famous films were also shot here such as “She’s All That,” “Wayne’s World,” “Until Tomorrow Comes” and “A Modest Proposal” to name just a few.

The Mexican Cerritos, on the other hand, is a famous, secluded beach located in Todos Santos and amateur surfers frequent it. It is one of the prettiest beaches in that area and it hosts several accommodation options for different tastes. If you have some days off in February, you can leave Cerritos, Calif. and head to this beach location as this is the time that the Todos Santos Art Festival is celebrated with music, theater and dance performances.

As far as the Venezuelan Cerritos goes, it consists of a town in the wonderful Margarita Island in the Maneiro Municipality of the state of Nueva Esparta. This is one of the few areas in this Caribbean island that has been preserved and it hosts several natural enclaves worth visiting. With no more than 1,000 inhabitants, it is divided into an upper and lower part and its main sights include its church, a lookout point and the main plaza, which is called Los Cerritos.

Panama has a Cerritos of its own and it is a corregimiento (a subdivision of a district) found in Los Pozos in the Herrera Province. With a population like that of the town of the same name in Venezuela (1,010 inhabitants), it is a rather small location. The Californian Cerritos, however, has a population of 50,555, making it by far the largest city that goes by this name. In addition to these places that share a name with our hometown, there happen to be three sister cities connected to ours, which include Loreto in Baja California, Banqiao district in Taiwan and Itepatinga in Brazil. How these came to be linked to Cerritos, Calif. is another story that we will make sure we tell you one day. In the meantime, the Los Cerritos we haven’t mentioned yet is an unincorporated community in Conejos County in Colorado. For now, that is the list of places with this Spanish name that we know and love, but if we have failed to include any, do let us know!