Quick Info

Name:
Mexico
Population:
130 million
Capital:
Ciudad de México
Language:
Spanish
Currency:
Mexican Peso (MXN)
Time zone:
GMT - 6

More about Mexico

Country Information

Mexico is a land of extremes, with high mountains and deep canyons in the centre, sweeping deserts in the north, and dense rain forests in the south and east. Officially known as the “United Mexican States,” it is the world’s eleventh most densely populated country, with over 130 million inhabitants.  It is a country located between the United States and Central America, with landscapes that include vast mountains, long and harsh deserts, and some of the world’s largest jungles, which are home to mayan ruins and other ancient archaeological sites. Much of Mexico is covered by mountains. Small mountain ranges on the Central Plateau lie between the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range in the east and the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in the west. These areas are abundant in valuable metals such as silver and copper.

The Yucatán Peninsula, located on Mexico’s southeastern tip, juts into the Gulf of Mexico. It was once home to the Maya civilization, an ancient culture whose incredible structures can still be seen today.

Climate

The climate of Mexico varies greatly depending on where you are geographically and the time of year. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with rain falling mostly in the late afternoons and evenings. Outside of these months, the land can become parched and temperatures can reach the mid-thirties. In general, temperatures in Mexico City are forgiving, with highs of 26°C (79°F) in the summer and lows of 6°C (43°F) in the winter. However, the same cannot be said for the rest of Mexico. For instance, the hottest desert in Mexico, the Sonoran Desert, can reach temperatures of 50°C (122°F) or more. With this in mind, it is strongly advised that anyone planning a trip to Mexico understand and consider the weather and climate.

Culture

The dominant language in Mexico is Spanish, which is spoken by over 92% of the locals and 480 million people worldwide. The Mexican government also recognizes 62 other indigenous native languages spoken by approximately 6% of the population throughout the country. The Day of the Dead (El Da de Los Muertos) is a relatively new tradition in which family and friends remember loved ones.  Other notable celebrations and cultural events include Mexican Independence Day, which is held every September 16th and commemorates the country’s independence from Spanish rule. The Day of the Holy Cross (Da de la Santa Cruz) is another long-standing Mexican tradition. Flowers were used to decorate crosses, which were then mounted on buildings or carried through the streets.

Mexico is the result of a rich Native American heritage, three centuries of Spanish rule, and a shared border with the richest country on the planet, the United States.  Many Mexicans today are mestizos, which means they have Native American and Spanish ancestors.

Mexico has produced many great artists throughout its history.  Maya and other Native Americans created stunning murals, sculptures, and jewelry. Great painters, photographers, sculptors, and muralists are among today’s Mexican artists.

Mexicans take sports seriously. In ancient times, the losers of a ritual ball game were once put to death. In some dangerous sports, like bullfighting and rodeo (which were invented in Mexico), competitors still put their lives on the line.

Gastronomy

Food seems to have a very important place in the lives of Mexicans. In fact, their meal frequency is multiplied when compared to other countries around the world. This tradition becomes even more apparent when traveling through the country and interacting with the locals. During your stay in this beautiful country, do not miss its delicious cuisine.

In Mexico, it is customary to have breakfast twice during the day. Early in the morning, you will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh fruit accompanied, as usual, with tea or coffee and some pastries. A little later in the day, you will have a more substantial breakfast. Eggs, frijoles, and tortillas will fill your plates.

Lunch comes a few hours later. The lunch hour is about the same as anywhere in the world, around noon. Around 6 p.m., you will have a break with “antojitos”, a kind of snack sold in the streets and fast food restaurants. The dinner, usually very light, is only served after 8 p.m. In short, Mexicans usually eat five times a day.

Enchiladas, guacamole, and tacos are perhaps the most iconic traditional Mexican foods that come to mind. Many Mexican foods use ingredients such as cumin, oregano, chili powder, onions,and garlic to bring out the aromatic flavors of Mexican dishes. Lately, Mexican cuisine has fused with other cultural dishes by blending its own flavors with famous national foods.