México, beyond tacos and tequila

One of the few friends from my Erasmus times is Mexican. As I managed to get to know a lot of interesting things about his country due to his stories, I invited him to present you México from a local perspective.

Muchas gracias, Arturo!

Dear reader, enjoy!

What is the first thought that comes into your mind when you hear the word “Mexico”?

Drug-traffic? Organized crime? People eating burritos, wearing sombreros and riding donkeys? I am sorry to disappoint you, but we do not eat burritos, wear sombreros nor ride donkeys!

And what about violence? Yes, there are some problems concerning this aspect, but sometimes media tends to overdramatize. So, why did Mexico receive more than 23 million visitors last year? I will tell you some reasons, but you have to discover the rest. 😉

Pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations such as the Aztec, Maya, Olmec or Teotihuacan left a stamp upon modern Mexican science, culture, architecture, cuisine and language.

Nowadays it is possible to visit countless archeological sites (Teotihuacan, Tula, Tulum, La Venta, Paquime, Palenque, Edzna, Chichen-Itza) which can be found in the desert, jungle and near the ocean. From these ruins, one learns about the Gods they worshiped, the structure of their society and way of perceiving life.

Teotihuacan :: Copyright Arturo CN

Teotihuacan :: Copyright Arturo CN

Mexico is not only about ruins, but about the people who currently live in different regions of the country. Each state with typical dishes, colorful dresses and special traditions.

For instance, on November 1st & 2nd we celebrate “Día de Muertos” (Day of the Dead) and a lot of tourists come these days to see this singular festivity. We build an “ofrenda” with photos, flowers, food and drinks in order to remember those who have died. For Mexicans, death is part of life; therefore we celebrate it as well.

Día de Muertos :: Copyright Arturo CN

Día de Muertos :: Copyright Arturo CN

Mexican food is known for its tacos and guacamole, but our gastronomy goes beyond that. Textures, aromas and tastes vary from place to place. Mole, tlayudas, cochinita pibil, chiles en nogada, chapulines (grasshoppers), tamales, atoll are just some examples of the gastronomical diversity.

Do you know famous Mexicans? What about Frida Kahlo, Amado Nervo, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Carlos Fuentes or Ocatvio Paz? Take a look to some of their work and you will be impressed.

I would say Mexico is the outcome of an interesting history, amazing culture, enviable geography and warm people. If I had to describe Mexico in three words, I would choose: diversity, colors and hospitality.

Guanajuato :: Copyright Arturo CN

Guanajuato :: Copyright Arturo CN

Come to Mexico and discover a magical land, you will not regret it! 🙂

Some interesting facts about Mexico:

Mexico is the biggest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Besides Spanish, Mexico´s government recognizes 68 indigenous languages as national languages.

Mexico has 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (6th in the world!) and some of the World Heritage Cities in Mexico are Campeche, Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Mexico City…

Mexico is the world´s largest silver producer.

Mexico City hosted the XIX Olympic Games (1968) and the FIFA World Cup twice (1970 and 1986).

In the XIX century Mexico lost half of its national territory to the USA. In 1835, the states of Texas, California, Nevada and Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico were part of Mexico. :/

Arturo CN

If you have a comment or question, for sure Arturo would be happy to reply to you 😉


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