Native Americans began moving into the area today known as Chula Vista circa 3,000 B.C. Many descendants of the Kumeyaay tribe, which roamed here for centuries, are still in the San Diego area today. The year 1542 brought the Spanish to San Diego Harbor. Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo was the leader of the explorers, and the Spanish soon claimed the land they found. In 1795 the Chula Vista area became part of the Rancho del Rey Spanish land grant. When Mexico created its own government in 1831, Rancho del Rey became Rancho del la Nacion. The land was passed to John Forster in 1845, the son-in-law of the Mexican governor. Forster continued to control it after the United States claimed California following the Mexican-American War in 1847.
The Chula Vista area had ten houses under construction by 1889, and land sales were increasing. One of the residents, James D. Schulyer, suggested the name "Chula Vista" for the town. In modern times, Chula Vista has continued to expand and communities such as Eastlake, Otay Ranch and Rancho del Rey have sprung up. The city of Chula Vista continues to strive to balance "attractive neighborhoods and a strong business base," but also adheres to its strong sense of community and small town values upon which the city was founded.
In terms of education, Chula Vista residents take advantage of Chula Vista Elementary School District. The district operates 44 elementary schools, including Juarez-Lincoln Elementary School and Silver Wing Elementary School. Chula Vista also has access to Sweetwater Union High School District, which is composed of nearly 50 high schools, learning centers and charter schools. All Sweetwater District high schools have earned approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Higher education is available to residents in the form of Southwestern College, National University and the University of Phoenix, not to mention all of the excellent universities located in San Diego.
Chula Vista today is home to a diverse, strong business community. Corporations such as Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc. and LLC and Leviton Manufacturing Company are located in the city. Chula Vista's Economic Development Division aims to "develop and implement economic development strategies that promote a diversified and vibrant local economy, generate tax revenues and provide job opportunities, to ensure the City's short and long-term fiscal viability."
Chula Vista is also filled with cultural opportunities. The OnStage Playhouse, the only live community theatre in Chula Vista, produces six or more plays per year. It is a member of both the Associated Community Theatres of San Diego County and the American Association of Community Theatres. Chula Vista is also home to San Diego Junior Theatre, the oldest continuing children's theatre program in the country.
The city of Chula Vista is anything but short on recreation. Its pleasant weather and ideal location near a harbor and mountains offer endless recreational opportunities. The city has access to four golf courses, including Eastlake Country Club and San Diego Country Club. There are also two harbor marinas, numerous parks and miles of pedestrian, biking and equestrian trails. In addition to the marinas, the harbor is home to an RV park, several restaurants, the Chula Vista Yacht Club and two waterfront parks.
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