When many think of Mexico they think of the negative and not necessarily the positive. Mexico is full of rich history, religion, myths and culture; all thosethings come into account when you visit a diverse country like Mexico.
In the beginning..It was said that some of the earliest Mexicans could have been of the stone-age hunter- gatherers from the north. Not much is known, but by around 10,000 B.C Mexico had already become populated.
The Olmec Olmec Head By around 1500 B.C.- A.D. 300 a civilization called the Olmec settled in Tabasco and Veracruz coasts. They were regarded by anthropologists as "Mesoamericans mother culture because they established a pattern for later civilizations, developing basic calendar, writing and numbering systems" (Delsol 18). They had an affinity with were jaguar believing that they and in the past a woman born children of a jaguar.Olmec Altar, La Venta, with half human-jaguar babies
Rise of Civilizations Following the Olmec, the Maya, Teotihuacan, Monte Alban and Palenque became the center civilizations in Mexico. The city of Teotihuacan was inhabited by 200,000 people, it was built near present-day Mexico city and is now the most visited archaeological site in Mexico. The city of Teotihuacan today. In the cities of Monte Alban, the elite reigned. During thePost-Classic period the Toltecs rose to power in the capital of Tula. The Toltects had a lot of violent influence and contributed to a lot of warfare. They had large military classes, with numbers as large as 40,000 people. But by the 13th Century their power had diminished, mostly due to civil wars and rivalary.
Religion Before the 15th century, most of the population in Mexico had universal beliefs: a belief of forces in nature, respect of the calendar, and human sacrifice. But once the Spaniards arrived they successfully converted the population to Catholicism. Today, Catholicism is thedominant religion in Mexico, followed by Protestants,Muslims, Mennonites, and Jews. One of the most famousand second-most visisted Roman Catholic holy sites in the world is the Basilica de Nuestra Señora deGuadalupe. Between 1974 and 1976 the modern church of Basilica was built. It has seating space for 10,000 people. The new and old Basilica side by side.
Dia de los Muertos Mexicans have forms of staying true to ancient traditions. The holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), still hold similiar traditions to those of the Atzec byoffering food and valuables to the dead. It is celebrated on November 1st & 2nd.Catrinas, one of the most popular figures ofthe Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico.
geography Mexico also has many geological features. It is home to the Copper Canyon, which is larger and sometimes deeper than the Grand Canyon. There are two deserts, 150 rivers, five of the rivers hold more than half of the water in allPopocatépetl Volcano the rivers combined and four of these are located in the southern part of the country. Mexico also has active volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Volcan de Fuego de Colima. Because Mexico is on top of three tectonic plates, it is one of the most seismologically activeCopper Canyon places on Earth.
Wildlife Mexico is known for being one of the most naturally diversed places in the world. “Mexico also places first in reptile biodiversity, with more than 740 known species; second in mammals, at 526; fourth in amphibians, at 290; and 10th in birds, at 1,150” (Delsol 49). Mexicos salvas (jungles) are also home to various fauna, such as howler monkeys, jaguars,numerous species of birds and coatimundis.The Mesoamerican Reef which is located off the Yucatan Peninsula is the second- largest reef in the world. There are 380 types of freshwater fish, 1,300 ocean species, the most endangered porpoise, the vaquita, blue whale, seven of the eight species of sea turtles and manatees are all located in the waters of Mexico.
Dangers When visiting Mexico it is important to know that, although it is a beautiful country it can also be dangerous. Mexico is known for drug trafficking and thecartel is known to become very violent but travelers are the least of their worries,but it is still advised to be safe and not lurk in any suspicious areas that are not familiar to you.
Many people travel to Mexico to enjoy the resorts in Alcapulco or Cancun, butMexico has so much more than that. From archaeological sites like Teotihuacan, which stills has the Pyrimads built hundreds of years ago, to the RuggedCopper Canyon and sea turtle nesting sites. Travel in November and witness the culture tradition of Dia de los Muertos, or view the stunning artwork of Miguel Cabrera or Frida Khalo and the intricate interior of the Santa Prisca y San Sebastian Church. No matter what you do in Mexico, remember that everything there has rich history,strong culture and exuberant people.