Top 50 interesting facts about Mexico and Mexicans
Mexico is a huge country in the central part of North America, which has many common features with neighboring countries. But at the same time, it is a unique country with its own customs, history and culture. In our article, we have collected 50 fascinating facts about this country and its inhabitants, which will help to form a first impression and interestingly plan your vacation in Mexico.
50 most interesting facts about Mexicans and Mexico
So, let’s begin our journey through the history, traditions and sights of this amazing country.
1. The first people came to the territory of Mexico from Asia, across the Bering Bridge, about 20,000 to 25,000 years ago.
2. About 3,000 years ago, cultures with all the characteristics of advanced civilizations began to form here. They led a sedentary lifestyle, practiced agriculture, built cities, and had their own religion.
3. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Toltecs, Mayans, and Aztecs succeeded each other or existed in parallel on the territory of Mexico.
4. The first European to enter the land of Mexico was the Spaniard Francisco de Cordobo in 1517.
5. The conquest of Mexico lasted until 1520, when the capital of the Aztecs Tenochtitlan fell and the last emperor of the Indians Cuauhtémoc died.
6. Three hundred years lasted unmarred domination of Spain, until the XIX century, did not begin the rise of the liberation movement. In 1821, Mexico achieved independence from Spain.
7. In 1846 there was a war between Mexico and the United States, as a result of which the country lost a good half of its territory. Texas, California, New Mexico and a number of other lands were ceded to the states.
8. The following years were marked by frequent uprisings, revolutions, and interventions. The situation stabilized closer to the beginning of the twenty-first century.
9. Mexico is now an independent republic divided into 31 states, a member of the UN and several other international organizations.
10. Modern Mexico is the 13th largest country in the world in terms of land area, and 10th largest in terms of population.
11. The country is home to 130 million people, making Mexico the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
12. the official language of the country is Spanish. But also declared official are 68 languages of the Indian nationalities existing in the country.
13. Mexico is a multi-ethnic country, in which more than half of the population is mestizo. About 20% of the population are local Indians.
14. The capital of the country – Mexico City – is the oldest and largest city of the country and the whole America. It was founded in 1325, or maybe even earlier, by the Aztecs and was then called Tenochtitlan.
15. Mexico City is home to 9 million people, but with the surrounding urban agglomeration, 21 million. This makes Mexico City one of the most populated cities in the world.
16. The word «Mexico» itself is of Indian origin and, according to some sources, means «Land of the God of War». The country was named so in honor of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war.
17. The monetary unit of the country is the Mexican peso, but because of its proximity and great dependence on the United States, dollars are freely accepted in the republic.
18. The territory of Mexico is divided into 4 time zones. One of them is valid only in winter time. Most of the country lies in the UTC -6 time zone, which means that it is 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
19. Mexico’s main attraction should be considered the city of Teotihuacan, which contains some of the largest pyramids in the Americas, the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.
20. Another iconic landmark of the country are the Mayan cities in the jungles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Chichen Itza is considered the most famous of these.
21. You can get acquainted with the ancient history of the country in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. It has the richest collection of archaeological exhibits.
22. Chapultepec Park in Mexico City is the largest recreational area in the whole of America. It houses the governors’ palace, as well as (according to legend) the mysterious residence of the Aztec emperors.
23. In Mexico, there are many interesting and unusual museums that tourists like to visit. Among them are the museum of revolutionary Lev Trotsky and the museum of artist Frida Kahlo.
24. Las Posas Park is located near the capital on the slope of the Sierra Madre mountain. This surreal combination of concrete structures and parkland is a favorite among tourists.
25. On one of Mexico City’s canals is the spooky Island of Broken Dolls. There are thousands of dolls hanging from the trees. This is a tribute to a local legend about a drowned girl whose ghost comes ashore and demands dolls.
26. Another modern attraction of the country is an underwater museum of sculptures off the coast of Cancun on the Yucatán Peninsula. Dozens of statues are placed there underwater, to which divers dive.
Character and customs of Mexicans
27. Mexicans are good-natured and friendly, but very emotional people. They talk loudly and back up their words with active gesticulation.
28. Residents of the country are very fond of sports and gambling competitions that increase adrenaline. Here are common bullfighting, rodeo, cockfighting and other unusual entertainment.
29. Like many other inhabitants of southern countries, Mexicans are not particularly punctual. Being late for an important meeting is the norm for them.
30. Mexicans do not like to refuse a request, so they prefer to agree, but not always fulfill what they promised.
31. When meeting, Mexicans rarely limit themselves to the usual greeting. It is normal for them to hug and even kiss with strangers, shake hands for a long time.
32. However, Mexicans prefer to keep a distance from the interlocutor not physically, but emotionally. It is customary for them to address another person by profession and surname, and only the closest people are called by their first name.
33. Traditional elements of the costume of the Mexican are considered sombreros and ponchos. They like to decorate their clothes with embroidery and various trimmings, preferring bright, even provocative colors.
34. Family for a Mexican is sacred. The man is always considered the head of the family and his decisions are not subject to discussion. All relatives always gather for holidays, and families in Mexico are large.
35. Mexicans honor the customs of their ancestors, and even now an obligatory part of the wedding ceremony is a lasso – a cowboy harness. It is tied around the shoulders of the newlyweds to make the marriage strong.
36. Mexicans are very fond of various holidays. Among them there are many unusual, but very attractive to tourists. Of particular interest is the Day of the Dead. On this day, carnival processions are held and sweets in the form of human skulls are prepared.
37. Mariachi – folk musicians dressed in costumes with galloons and sombreros, playing guitars, violins and trumpets, have become a symbol of Mexico.
38. Mexican cuisine is one of the most popular on the planet. Its symbols are burritos and tacos – tortillas stuffed with meat and beans and topped with spicy sauce.
39. It was the Mexican Indians who discovered chocolate and were the first to grow cocoa beans. According to local legend, this tree was awarded to them by the gods.
40. Another gastronomic symbol of the country is tequila, an alcoholic drink made from the juice of blue agave.
Nature of Mexico
41. Mexico is located in the Western Hemisphere and is washed by two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic. The northern tropic divides the country into two halves.
42. The tropical location of the country endows it not only with a hot climate, but also exposes it to cyclones that come mainly from the Atlantic Ocean during the summer months.
43. Most of the territory is covered with rather high mountains. The highest point of the country is Orizaba Peak with a height of 5675 meters.
44. An important natural attraction of the country are active volcanoes. Among them is one of the most beautiful volcanoes of the planet – the famous Popocatepetl, near Mexico City.
45. Another iconic attraction of the country are its beaches. The best are on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, near the city of Veracruz and on the Caribbean coast, near Cancun.
46. The Yucatán Peninsula is known for its cenotes – sinkholes filled with water. Some of them communicate underground with the ocean, in others the Maya organized religious rituals.
47. In the Sierra Gorda Mountains is an amazingly beautiful country of waterfalls, Huasteca Potosina. In the dense jungle hide dozens of waterfalls, the most famous of which is Tamul, 105 meters high.
48. In the north-east of the country there is Tolantongo Canyon, which is famous for its thermal springs. The Aztecs called this place «The Land of Spewing Heat».
49. In the northwest is the peninsula of California, almost 1200 kilometers long. It is comparable in area to the Apennine Peninsula of Europe. It attracts tourists with its arid deserts and the opportunity to watch the migration of whales.
50. The symbol of the fauna of Mexico is the jaguar, a sacred animal for the Indians. It is a large spotted cat, which is protected by the state, a real king of the local forests.
Friends! If you know more interesting facts about Mexicans and the country itself, please share them in the comments. This country is full of amazing stories, culture and traditions, and many people would be glad to learn something new. We will be very grateful to you!