MEXICOGeography Officially known as the United Mexican States, Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas. It covers almost 2million square kilometers, with an estimated population of 111 million people. It is comprised of 31 states and a “Federal District” – the capital city.
MEXICOLanguage Because of the Spanish control, Spanish is the official language in Mexico. There are as many as 100 Native American languages spoken in Mexico, but 80% of those people who speak indigenous languages also speak Spanish.
MEXICOReligion Although Mexico has no official religion, Mexico has the world’s second largest number of Catholics. 83% of the population are Roman Catholics and 97% of that population attend church services weekly, one of the highest attendance percentages in the world.
MEXICOSports In 1968 Mexico City was the first Developing World to host the Summer Olympics. Mexico’s Latin roots and Spanish Colonial heritage made the country inherit the traditional sport of bull fighting as one of the favorite past times of its inhabitants. The crowds cheer on matadors as they engage the animals in the sporting arenas called bullrings. As in Spain, bull fighting has become an indispensable part of Mexican culture and tradition among later day sports. Futbol, also known as soccer, is the most popular sport in Mexico today. When the team wins a world cup, the whole country is in an uproar of celebration.
MEXICOMusic The popular genres of music in Mexico varies depending on the people. The Corridos are long ballads that narrate the political and popular issues of the time as well as celebrate great deeds and heroic feats. Today the corridos reflect the experience of migrant workers, the immigrant experience, and those involved in drug trade. The Polka was a major influence on the music played by northern bands. They mixed the mariachi and ranchera styles with the polka to become the unique norteno genre. Another interesting style of music is the Banda. Banda are big-band brass ensembles with heavy emphasis on percussion. It originates from the Mexican state of Sinaloa and incorporates many of the popular Mexican genres.
MEXICODance The Mexican Hat Dance, or JarabeTapatio, is the most well-known traditions in Mexico. The dance is centered around a sombrero that is placed on the ground. At the end, the dancers shout “Ole” which is the Spanish victory exclamation. The Mexican Folk Dance is the most culturally rich dance expression in Mexico. It is a display of the colorful heritage of the country and showcases the unique mix of the cultural influences on the indigenous cultures of Mexico. Flamenco dance is another type of indigenous dance that originated in Andalusia Spain. It serves to recapture the pride and history of both Spain and Mexico.
MEXICOFood Mexican food is not exactly like the “Mexican food” American restaurants serve. Typical dishes are not burritos and tacos, instead they include: Ceviche – which is raw fish marinated in lime juice in chopped salad Chiles Renellos – large Poblano chilies stuffed with cheese or spicy meat (picadillo) PocChuc – a Yucatecan specialty where pork fillet is cooked with tomatoes, onions and spices PolloPibil – only found in Mexico is a Yucatecan specialty of chicken marinated in orange and spices then barbecued in banana leaves. These are just a few of the well known dishes of Mexico
MEXICOAztec History The Aztecs are a tribe from Aztlan, that was located in the north of modern Mexico. They lived in about the 12th century AD. They called themselves Mexica, which is where the terms Mexico City and Mexico derive from. The Aztecs finally settled within the area now covered by Mexico City after two centuries of migration and warfare, they called their settlement Tenochtitlan.