A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY, ARCHITECTURE, & ART
Mexico has many ARCHAEOLOGY sites including archaeological caves. Many archaeological sites are located on the Yucatan Peninsula including Chichen Itza and the only Mayan city known to exist on the ocean's edge. Uxmal is the largest and most famous of the Ancient Mayan cities of Yucatan's hill country. Kernels of corn over 9,000 years old have been found in caves in the south central part of Mexico. Most of the Olmec art that has survived is made from carved stone. Underwater Archaeology is being investigated.
Several eras of Mexico history can be seen in the ARCHITECTURE of the country. The Cathedral of Guadalejara has a variety of architectural types. The Mexico City Cathedral is one of the longest in the world.
Mexico is famous for its ARTS and crafts and has examples of art and architecture from its earliest civilization. Each area of the country is famous for local products including jewelry, ceramics, textiles, leather, glassware, and carved wooden masks. Talavera Pottery is famous among Mexican crafts. The country is also famous for its murals both ancient and modern.
The BEACHES in Mexico offer many activities, including water sports, scuba diving, and fishing. The beaches are divided into 3 areas, the Gulf Coast, the Maya Riviera, and the Pacific coast. Zihuatenejo has the longest beach in the country. Acapulco is the most popular beach.
Mexico has nearly 1,000 species of BIRDS including over 50 species of hummingbirds. The Hummingbird was the patron of the Mexicas and have a special place in Mexica Culture with different names depending on the region. The Crested Caracara is the National Bird of Mexico and is shown on the flag holding a snake.The Quetzal is found in the jungles of Mexico and is believed to be one of the most beautiful birds in the world. The Magnificent Frigatebird occurs over tropical and subtropical waters between northern Mexico and Ecuador on the Pacific coast. Many birds can be seen at Hacienda Chichen's Bird Refuge and Maya Jungle Reserve. There are bird watching places at The Riviera Maya and Cancun. In 2017 a new parrot species was identified in Mexico. The Audubon Society of Mexico focuses on preserving and restoring natures ecosystem for birds and other wild animals.
Mexico has many bridges including cable-stayed, international, railway, and suspension. The country also has 4 International Bridges. The Baluarte Bridge is the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world. The Zacatal Bridge is the longest bridge in the country. The Puente de Ojuela Bridge is considered one of the most terrifying bridges in the world.
One of the great natural treasures of Mexico is its huge network of CAVES including Show Caves, and archaeological caves. The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Caverns are one of the largest cave systems in the world. Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula has 82 explored and surveyed underground cave systems including Ox Bel Ha the longest cave in the world. The deepest cave, Sistema dos Oros, is a flooded cave system. Cave of Swallows is the largest known cave shaft in the world. Chev Cave is one of the deepest caves in the world. The Cave of the Crystals has some of the largest natural crystals ever found. Loltun Cave is the most extensive in the country and has paintings by the Mayans.
Mexico was first inhabited more than 10,000 years ago and the CULTURES that developed became one of the cradles of civilization. The cultures of Mexico reflects its complex history and is the result of the gradual blending of native culture with Spanish culture and other immigrant cultures. In order to unite the native cultures, the government supports indigenous folk arts and crafts as well as the European inspired classical arts. The National Museum of Anthropology and History focuses on the history of Mexican Culture.
The CURRENCY of Mexico is the peso and comes in coins and banknotes. The history of the modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish silver dollar. The Mexican peso is the 8th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded in the Americas, and the most traded currency in Latin America. The National Mint of Mexico is La Casa de Moneda de México. It is the oldest mint in the Americas. In 2009, The Bank of Mexico unveiled its Commemorative Banknotes.
The DANCES of Mexico provide a glimpse into the culture of the region and each area has its own dance style. They also display the vital colors woven into Mexican clothing and decoration and themes important to the region. The Mexican Hat Dance originated in Jalisco and in 1924 it was named the national dance of Mexico. La Danza del Venado originated in Sonora performed primarily by the Yaqui people and is a dramatization of the deer hunt.. The Ballet Folklorico was formed to preserve Mexican folk dances and is one of the best traditional dance groups in the world.
Fossils of many DINOSAURS have been found in Mexico. In 2010, new species of horned dinosaur was unearthed in Mexico and has larger horns that any other species - up to 4 feet long. Thousands of dinosaur bones have been found in Northern Mexico. An archaeological dig in 2007 turned up the bones of 2 ancient elephant-like creatures and the spear points of the early Americans who hunted them at a site called El Fin del Mundos - the End of the World. In 2013, Palaeontologists discovered the fossilized remains of a 72 million year old Hadrosaur dinosaur tail in a desert in northern Mexico. In 2014, archaeologist unearthed what they believe is the largest dinosaur graveyard in the world in the state of Coahuila. In 2017, a new species of dinosaur was found there. In 2016, a 12,000-14,000 year old Mammoth skeleton was discovered near Mexico City.
Mexico has several ECOSYSTEMS including forests, grasslands, and wetlands. The country has a wide variety of aquatic ecosystems including marine, coastal, and freshwater. The Gulf of Mexico has a large marine ecosystem.
EDUCATION in Mexico is regulated by the Secretariat of Public Education. Mexican law requires all children to attend school starting at age 6. The federal government controls the curriculum and provides the textbooks for primary school. Homeschooling is becoming popular.
Mexico has a large variety of FLOWERS. The Dahlia Pinnata is the National Flower of Mexico. The pointsettia, known as the Christmas Flower, originated in Mexico. The country also has medicinal herbs and edible flowers and plants. The Dr. Alfredo Barrer Marin Botanical Garden is the largest botanical garden in Mexico. flowers and flower arranging have played an important role in Mexico from ancient times to the present. Xalapa in the state of Veracruz is called "The City of Flowers".
The FOOD timeline of Mexico dates back to ancient times. Now a large variety of food is available in Mexico and there are many Food Festivals and Events. Chile and corn are staples. Some of the most popular foods including tortillas, tamales, and pozolel (corn chowder) date from the day of the Aztec Empire. Turkey is a popular holiday dish. World Food Day is celebrated.
About 20% of Mexico is covered with FORESTS. Trees include ebony, pine, walnut, and sapodilla and provide wood for timber and pulp. The juice of the Sapodilla Tree is the raw material for chewing gum. The Mesophyllic Mountain Forests in Guadeloupe National Park have a high rainfall and vegetation is often covered by clouds. Conifers extend mainly in the main mountain ranges and have a long dry season and often have several layers of vegetation. The Maya Forest covers the southern Yucatan Peninsula and is the largest contiguous forested area in Mexico and Central America. Cloud Forests are in the high mountains of Mexico. A variety of animals live in the rainforests in Mexico.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Mexico is approximately 15 degrees south to 23 degrees north and 75 to 102 degrees west. It is bordered on the west by the North Pacific Ocean, to the North by the United States, to the North East by the Gulf of Mexico, and to the South East by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Pacific Ocean. The geography of Mexico includes mountains, plains, valleys, peninsulas, islands,and plateaus. The highest place is Mt. Orizaba and the lowest is Mexicali Valley.
Mexico is a federal republic with 3 banches of GOVERNMENT - executive, legislative, and judicial. The Constitutional Citizen President of the United Mexican States is the head of state of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the head of government and the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces. The country has 32 states including two territories and a federal district. Each State has its own capital and is self-governing. All citizens 18 or older may vote.
The HISTORY of Mexico dates back thousands of years. 300 - 900 A.D. was the ''classical period'' for the ancient Mayancivilization, Zapotecan civilization, and the Teotihuacán people. The history of the Catholic Church in Mexico dates back to 1518. From 1519 - 1521 Spanish forces arrived and conquered Mexico. From 1810 - 1821 Mexico fought for independence from Spain and won. In 1836 Texas declared its independence from Mexico and battled at the Alamo and San Jacinto. In 1848 The U.S. won the Mexican-American War and gained Mexican territory. The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 resulted in a Mexican victory which is celebrated yearly as Cinco de Mayo.. In 1910 The Mexican Revolution began when citizens rose up against oppressive rulers and a new constitution was adopted in 1917. In 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto won the presidential election. Many places in the country have visible evidence of their history and some are well known resort towns.
Mexico celebrates many public and religious HOLIDAYS. Many holidays and have roots in old Indian customs. Fiestas are a big part of Mexican life. The most important religious celebration is Guadalupe Day. October 12 is de la Raza - Race Day and September 16 is Independence Day.
Many species of INSECTS can be found in Mexico. The Monarch butterfly migrates between the United States, Canada, Mexico. The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Central Mexico is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the exception of the Black Widow, most spiders in Mexico are harmles. Mexico has more edible insects than any other country
There are many ISLANDS off the coasts of Mexico. Cozumel is the largest island in the country. There are nearly 100 desert islands off the east coast. Mexico is part of Laguana Madre - the longest barrier island in the world and habitat for migratory water fowl. Over 2,000 years ago the Aztec built a series of little floating man-man islands on a lake in the area of Xochimilco. Today small vessels carry visitors, groups of musicians, and refreshments along the many canals.
Two kinds of JUNGLES are located in the tropical zones of Mexico - tropical, and sub-tropical. The Yucatan Peninsula is a vast, flat, jungle and includes 3 Mexican states, Belize, and part of northern Guatamala. The Lacandon Jungle is home to jaguars and rare parrots and is rich in natural resources including hundreds of species of hardwood trees.
Many aspects of life in Mexico focus on KIDS. The country has many attractions and activities for kids. Mexico City has many fun things to do with kids. Children's day is celebrated on April 30 and is known as "El Día Del Niño".
Mexico has many LAKES. Lake Chapala is the largest lake in the country. Lake Pátzcuaro and Lake Cuitzceo are known for their scenic settings. There are over 500 species of freshwater fish and fishing is a popular sport.
LIGHTHOUSES are located off the
West Coast of Mexico and off the
East Coast. One of the oldest lighthouses in North America might be El Castillo in
Tulum that probably dates from the 13th century. Other ancient Mayan lighthouse sites have been identified on
Many LIGHTHOUSES are located off the West Coast of Mexico and off the East Coast. One of the oldest lighthouses in North America might be El Castillo in Tulum that probably dates from the 13th century. Other ancient Mayan lighthouse sites have been identified on Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.
Many MUSEUMS are located throughout Mexico. The National Historical Museum is located in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. The National Anthropology History Museum is the largest and most visited museum in the country. The Papalote Children's Museum educates and entertains kids.
Mexico several types of MUSIC. The Ballet Folklorico is known world-wide. The country has several major symphony orchestras. Mariachi music is heard throughout the world and has come to symbolize Mexico. It usually includes violinists, guitarist, and horn players.
Mexico has 67 federally recognized NATIONAL PARKS and 17 Nature Reserves. Pulmo National Park is a National Marine Park and home to the oldest of only 3 coral reefs on the west coast of North America. Two volcanoes, Popocatepetl (smoking mountain) and Iztacchual (sleeping lady), form part of a National Park near Mexico City.
MEXICO is located in NORTH AMERICA. To the north it is connected to the United States, to the North East the Gulf of Mexico, and to the South East the Caribbean Sea. Guatemala and Belize connect it to the continent of South America. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Pacific Ocean.
Mexico is bordered to the west and south by the Pacific OCEAN, to the east by the Gulf of Mexico, and to the southeast by the Caribbean Sea. There have been shipwrecks off the pacific coast and off the coast of Eastern Mexico. NOAA has information about why the ocean is salty
OIL is one of the largest industries and most valuable commodity in Mexico. The state of Chiapas produces 1/3 of the crude oil found in Mexico. Both petroleum and palm oil are produced. Other industries include natural gas, mining, food & beverages, aluminium, vehicles, textiles, pottery, chemicals.
Mexico belongs to many International ORGANIZATIONS. including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Health Organization , and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico is one of the 51 founding members of the UNITED NATIONS and was admitted into the organization in 1945. It is a full member of all the UN agencies and participates actively within the organization and has diplomatic relations with most member states.
Mexico has many PORTS along its coasts. Some ports are deep water and some are shallow water. Cruise ships stop at many of the ports. The most popular Mexico cruise destinations include Cancun and Cozumel on the Atlantic coast and Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo san Lucas, Ensenada, and Acapulco on the Pacific coast.
Mexico has many PYRAMIDS. In 2007 Chichen Itza was chosen as one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. The pyramids of Teotihucan outside Mexico City is the oldest known urban center on the American continent. The pyramid in Cholula is the ancient world's largest man-made structure.
Mexico is home to the highest reptile and amphib diversity in the world with 700 species of REPTILES and amphibians including turtles, iguanas, and lizards. Hundreds of the reptiles are native to the country. The sea turtles that inhabit the Baja California waters are considered endangered. The snakes in Mexico range from small, harmless garden snakes to large Boa Constrictors. These types of snakes are found in varying habitats across the country, but the types that reside in the jungles are some of the most interesting (and dangerous) creatures in the world. Mexico has Crododiles and they are considered endangerered. The Ctenosaura is a lizard commonly known as spinytail iguanas is native to Mexico
Mexico has several RIVERS. To the north the Rio Grande River extends along the Mexican- United States border. The Usumacinta River in the south is a river highway navigable for 300 miles inland and forms part of the border between Mexico and Guatamala. Much of it is lined with great Mayan ceremonial centers such as Piedras Negras and Yaxchilan. A network of 14 major rivers drain the uplands of the La Sepultura and El Treinufo Biosphere Reserves into coastal wetlands. The country has several underground rivers.
Many SPORTS are played in Mexico including Jai alai which is probably one of the fastest games in the world. Soccer is the most popular team sport with baseball second. Golf is popular and Mexico has many public golf courses. The country has rodeos which are called charreadas. Bullfighting has been a popular sport for the last 400 years and the bullring in Mexico City is the largest such stadium in the world. A game unique to Mexico is fronton. Mexico first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900 and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since 1924. The country has has also participated in several Winter Olympic Games since 1928.
Mexico has all forms of TRANSPORTATION. The country has both international and national airport service. airports. Railroads are found throughout the country. The first railroad in Mexico was built in 1850 from Veracruz to El Molmo. There are also main highways and toll highways. With improved connections with the mainland, many old Mayan centers have become accessible including Chichen Itza, Dzibilchaltun, and Uxmal.
Mexico has many VOLCANOES some of which are active, and the country is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. A series of volcanoes along the central plateau of Mexico make up the trans-volcanic ridge. Pico de Orizaba volcano is the third tallest peak in North America. New volcanoes can appear at any time. Paricutin is the newest large volcano in Mexico. In the Pacific Ocean South of Baja California and west of mainland Mexico there is a small group of 4 volcanic islands, the Islas Revillagigedo. Popocatatl erupted in 2016. The most recent eruption in the country was in February 2017 when Mount Colima erupted.
The WEATHER in Mexico ranges from desert to tropical and is influenced by the Tropic of Cancer which divides the country in half. The central plateau is temperate with rain in the summer. The tropical lowlands are hot and humid with rain all year. The Pacific coast is subtropical with wet and dry seasons. In the north the summer is dry and very hot and the winter is very cold. The country has 2 seasons - rainy from January to October and dry from November to May. The country experiences hurricanes and the hurricane in 1959 is the deadliest eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record.
Mexico has many species of WILDLIFE. Large animals include the tapir, jaguar, cougar, wild sheep, pronghorn, deer, and bear. Small animals include monkeys, rodents, armadillos, opposums, and anteaters. Many animals live in the rainforest on the Yucatan Peninsula and some, including the jaguar, are considered endangered species. The Sonoran Desert includes 60 mammal species, 350 bird species, 20 amphibian species, 100+ reptile species, 30 native fish species, over 1,000 native bee species. The smallest dog in the world - the chihuhua - originated in Mexico.
Mexico has several ZOOS. The Guadalajara Zoo is one of the most complete Zoological Gardens in Mexico and Latin America. The Miguel Alavarez Toro Zoo in Chiapas is the only zoo in Latin America that shows regional wildlife living in their natural habitat.