You are on page 1of 14

General History of Mexico

Mexico foundation starts in the year 900 B.C. with the migration of the Mexica from Aztlan tribe, towards the center of Mexico. When the Mexica tribe arrived, where now stands Mexico City, they found an eagle holding a serpent between its claws on a cactus. The Mexica thought this was a message from their god Huitzilopochtli (sun god) telling them that there was their sacred land. Pre-Hispanic Cultures

Before the Mexica arrived to the center of Mexico and Central America, many pre-Hispanic cultures were developed, sharing their traditions and culture. When we talk about Mesoamerica, it refers to cultures that existed before the European conquest in the territories that are now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In Mesoamerica grew and faded many cultures, some of the most important were the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya and Aztec. These cultures had their own art, architecture and religion, most of these cultures were conquered by other cultures and therefore there was a mixture developing and forming a new and enriched culture. These cultures lived on the Pre-classic, Classic and Post classic which is division in periods of the preHispanic period, some of these cultures lived for over a period, others just lived through one.

The Conquest of Mexico and the Creation of New Spain

In 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba and thought that they were in the Indies (today India). Almost thirty years later, Hernn Corts invaded and conquered the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan and for the next 300 years, Mexico was under the control of the Spanish monarchy, were the Indians and Spanish lived together and mixed, imposing their religion and making the Indians to built magnificent churches, buildings and pyramids. For this reason the Indians secretly built symbols representing their ancient gods in the Spanish churches. Today in many churches you can find these symbols representing the pre-Hispanic gods. Mexico has always been a land full of important resources such as gold and silver, resources used to build fabulous buildings and villages like San Cristobal, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende and others, during the time of the conquest by the Spanish. Today UNESCO has declared these villages World Heritage. Also, these resources were used to support the Spanish economy for almost 300 years, during which Spain became the largest empire ever. It was not until 1810 that Miguel Hidalgo started the independence movement in 1821 and finally Mexico declared its independence.

For the next 100 years, Mexico had many stability problems, suffered invasions from the U.S. and France, In addition there were many wars between liberals and conservatives. The most damaging and dramatic invasion to Mexico was in 1847 when Charles de Santa Anna was forced to give the U.S. more than half of Mexican territory that today is made up of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and much of Colorado states.

In 1861 Mexico for lack of resources, failed to pay to England, Spain and France an outstanding debt, in consequence the same year Napoleon III, Emperor of France, invaded Mexico establishing until 1867 "The Second Mexican Empire." It was not until 1867 that Benito Juarez (with financial support from United States) won the war and gains the French withdrawal. After Benito Juarez, Porfirio Diaz implemented a lasted 33 years dictatorship (1867-1910). During this period Mexico had a time of great growth, but with much inequality.

Mexico officially the United Mexican State, is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States of America; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost two million square kilometers (over 760,000 sq. mi), Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 112 million, it is the eleventh most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, the capital city.

Politics The United Mexican States are a federation whose government is representative, democratic and republican based on a presidential system according to the 1917 Constitution. The constitution establishes three levels of government: the federal Union, the state governments and the municipal governments. According to the constitution, all constituent states of the federation must have a republican form of government composed of three branches: the executive, represented by a governor and an appointed cabinet, the legislative branch constituted by a unicameral congress and the judiciary, which will include called state Supreme Court of Justice. They also have their own civil and judicial codes.

The bicameral Congress of the Union, composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, makes federal law, declares war, imposes taxes, approves the national budget and international treaties, and ratifies diplomatic appointments. Seats to federal and state legislatures are elected by a system of parallel voting that includes plurality and proportional representation. The Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union is conformed by 300 deputies elected by plurality and 200 deputies by proportional representation with closed party lists for which the country is divided into 5 electoral constituencies or circumscriptions. The Senate is conformed by a total of 128 senators: 64 senators, two for each state and two for the Federal District, elected by plurality in pairs; 32 senators assigned to the first minority or first-runner up (one for each state and one for the Federal District), and 32 are assigned by proportional representation with closed party lists for which the country conforms a single electoral constituency. The Executive, is the President of the United Mexican States, who is the head of state and government, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Mexican military forces. The President also appoints the Cabinet and other officers. The President is responsible for executing and enforcing the law, and has the authority of vetoing bills. The Judiciary branch of government is the Supreme Court of Justice, comprised by eleven judges appointed by the President with Senate approval, who interpret laws and judge cases of federal competency. Other institutions of the judiciary are the Electoral Tribunal, collegiate, unitary and district tribunals, and the Council of the Federal Judiciary. Three parties have historically been the dominant parties in Mexican politics: the National Action Party: a right-wing conservative party founded in 1939 and belonging to the Christian Democrat Organization of America; the Institutional Revolutionary Party, a center-left party and member of Socialist International that was founded in 1929 to unite all the factions of the Mexican Revolution and held an almost hegemonic power in Mexican politics since then; the Party of the Democratic Revolution: a left-wing party, founded in 1989 as the successor of the coalition of socialists and liberal parties.

Geography Mexico is located between latitudes 14 and 33N, longitudes 86 and 119W in the southern portion of North America. and

Almost all of Mexico lies in the North American Plate, with small parts of the Baja California peninsula on the Pacific and Cocos Plates. Geophysical, some geographers include the territory east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec within Central America, Geopolitically; however, Mexico is entirely considered part of North America, along with Canada and the United States. Mexico's total area is 1,972,550 km2, making it the world's 14th largest country by total area, and includes approximately 6,000 km2, of islands in the Pacific

Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Gulf of California. From its farthest land points, Mexico is a little over 3,219 km in length. On its north, Mexico shares a 3,141 km border with the United States. The meandering Ro Bravo del Norte (known as the Rio Grande in the United States) defines the border from Ciudad Jurez east to the Gulf of Mexico. A series of natural and artificial markers delineate the United States-Mexican border west from Ciudad Jurez to the Pacific Ocean. On its south, Mexico shares an 871 km, border with Guatemala and a 251 km, border with Belize. Mexico is crossed from north to south by two mountain ranges known as Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental, which are the extension of the Rocky Mountains from northern North America. From east to west at the center, the country is crossed by the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt also known as the Sierra Nevada. A fourth mountain range, the Sierra Madre del Sur, runs from Michoacn to Oaxaca. As such, the majority of the Mexican central and northern territories are located at high altitudes, and the highest elevations are found at the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt: Pico de Orizaba (5,700 m, 18,701 ft), Popocatepetl (5,462 m, 17,920 ft) and Iztaccihuatl (5,286 m, 17,343 ft) and the Nevada de Toluca (4,577 m, 15,016 ft). Three major urban agglomerations are located in the valleys between these four elevations: Toluca, Greater Mexico City and Puebla.

Tourism Mexico is the twenty-third highest tourism spender in the world, and the highest in Latin America. The vast majority of tourists come to Mexico from the United States and Canada. Many other visitors come from Europe and Asia. A small number of tourists also come from other Latin American countries. In the 2008 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, fifth among Latin American countries, and the ninth in the Americas. Mexico City is most popular with tourists as an ancient Mesoamerican city and the site of many popular tourist attractions such as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. The city is also home to the Plaza Mxico and to the Mexican National Palace, built on the site of Montezuma's palace, and the huge Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, built over the even greater Temple of Teocalli. Guadalajara, Jalisco, the second-largest city by population in the Republic, is home of some of Mexico's best-known traditions, such as tequila, mariachi music and charros, or Mexican cowboys. Its similitude with western European countries mixed with modern architecture and infrastructure makes Guadalajara very attractive to tourists. Along with Mexico City and beach destinations (Cancun, Acapulco, etc.), Guadalajara is one of the most visited cities in Mexico. Cultural tourism is the main attraction, the city being home to a large number of museums, art galleries and theatres. Monterrey was founded in the late 16th century. The downtown district is the oldest section in the city, surrounded by newer neighborhoods. El museo de

Historia Mexicana (Museum of Mexican History), MARCO (Monterrey Museum of Contemporary Art), Metropolitan Museum of Monterrey and the Museum of the Palacio de Gobierno, or State House, are some of the better known museums in the city, as well as nationally. The Santa Luca Riverwalk is a popular tourist site, connecting the Fundidora Park with the Macro plaza, one of the largest plazas in the world.

Crime According to a 2012 OECD study 15% of Mexicans report having been a victim of crime in the past year, a figure that among OECD countries is only higher in South Africa. As of 2009 Mexico's homicide rate varied from 10~14 per 100,000 inhabitants; the world average is 10.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. Drugtraffic and narco-related activities are a major concern in Mexico. Current president Felipe Calderon made abating drug-trafficking one of the top priorities of his administration deploying military personnel to cities where drug cartels operate. The opposition parties and the National Human Rights Commission for escalating the violence have criticized this move, but its effects have been positively evaluated by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs as having obtained "unprecedented results..." with "many important successes". Since President Felipe Caldern launched a crackdown against cartels in 2006 more than 28,000 alleged criminals have been killed. Of the total drug-related violence 4% are innocent people, mostly by-passers and people trapped in between shootings; 90% accounts for criminals and 6% for military personnel and police officers. In October 2007, the president Caldern and US president George W. Bush announced the Mrida Initiative a plan of law enforcement cooperation between the two countries.

Traditions Article 74 of Mexico's federal labor law (Ley Federal de Trabajo) governs public holidays in Mexico. In 2006 the law was changed to modify the dates of certain holidays, which are now celebrated on the closest Monday. The following dates are obligatory days of rest for schools, banks, post offices and government offices:

January 1 - New Year February 6, 2012 - Constitution Day observed first Monday in February, originally February 5. March 19, 2012 - Benito Juarez' Birthday observed third Monday in March, originally March 21. April 5, 2012 - Maundy Thursday Holy Week in Mexico April 6, 2012 - Good Friday. Holy Week in Mexico May 1 - Labor Day May 5 - Battle of Puebla September 16 - Independence Day

November 19, 2012 - Revolution Day observed third Monday in November, originally November 20. November 2 - Day of the Dead December 12 - Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe December 25 - Christmas Day In 2012, federal elections will be held on July 1st, and the new president will be sworn in on December 1.

Drug traffic

Drug traffic in Mexico is an illegal activity that has damaged the Government, but mainly to the society, this phenomenon began since the early 1900s, when the Chinese arrive in our country bringing with them opium, a normal plant for them. They saw that the conditions in Sinaloa were favorable to the plant so it was planted in large quantity beginning with this the drug traffic. As time pass by there were appearing very large and powerful drug dealers and families that are dedicated to the cultivation, distribution and illegal sale of all kinds of drugs, not only in the country, worldwide distribution and because of this they have been serious consequences such as the insecurity of the country and Mexican cartels are in war with the Government, fighting bloody battles in which dies innocent people, drug traffickers, the army and Mexican police.

Drug traffic (the root narco - comes from the Greek nrke) is a global illegal industry, which consists of the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of illegal drugs. The drug trade operates in underground markets. Several drug cartels specialize in processes separated along the supply chain, often focused to maximize its efficiency. Depending on the profitability of each part of the process, the cartels vary in size, consistency, and organization. The chain goes low range street dealers, who sometimes are drug users themselves, the drugs are transported by intermediaries who can assimilate to contractors to multinational empires that rival in size the national Governments. Drug trafficking in Mexico has been one of the issues of greatest importance in the country in recent decades, most investigations take place, since it began in this places, to the present day in the Mexican territory, but with greater emphasis on States such as Sinaloa, Baja California, Michoacn, Tamaulipas Chihuahua and part of Veracruz because these are the places where the phenomenon has developed really fast and its where the most powerful country's drug cartels operate. Some of them are: Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, family Cartel, Cartel of the Arellano Flix and Cartel de Jurez which have been responsible for several deaths both in the States where they operate as throughout the country and all this is strengthened thanks to the corruption of public officials leaving society in the insecurity.

There was a decrease in violence during the end of the 1990s, but since 2000 year in which Vicente Fox Quesada takes the position, on a controversial elections, the violence has get worst consistently and Government mismanagement, which for many is the reason of inaction against organized crime and that was the trigger for the current situation in the country. After the attacks of September 11, 2001 the transfer of drugs towards the United States by Mexican cartels gets difficult, because of the American government seals, strengthens and controls its borders, to any attempt from criminals, drug traffic and hunt for terrorists to their country.

This situation made that part of the drugs produced in Mexico or brought from South America, stop reaching the United States, forcing and trying to distributed and sold it on Mexican territory, transforming Mexico from a traditionally country of passage for drugs, into a consumer country. Before this happen, an identified minority was consuming, while youth is currently the main objective to make them addicts, offering free doses so that captive once in its consumption, they have assured the market. On the other hand, part of the youth that no studies or works, by the social and economic conditions of the country, they are tempted monetarily and they are major reserves for recruitment and hired as assassins, informants, and distributors of drugs in the country. In 2005, there was an increase of violence, because an attempt to establish a new cartel in the Mexican State of Michoacn. It has been reported that weapons used by cartels are high-powered machine gun, even fragmentation grenades and bazookas. Both US authorities and Mexican recognize that Mexico is the main route for cocaine and other drugs with destination to United States. The Michoacana family is a criminal organization dedicated to drug traffic and illicit activities, with base of operations in the same state, have leaders by the name of Servando Gmez Martnez La Tuta, along with Nazario Moreno Gonzlez, who was killed on December 9, 2010 by federal forces, Leaving as the cartel leader Jesus Mendez Vargas alias chango, who was arrested in the State of Aguascalientes on June 21, 2011. With this arrest Federal Police officially says that the family group is out of operations. However specialists of the UN, claim that the real leaders of the cartel are entrepreneurs and high-level politicians. The Jurez cartel is a Mexican criminal organization dedicated to the illegal traffic of drugs and illicit activities, with base of operation in Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua. At the end of 2004, the control of the cartel was assumed by Ricardo Garcia Urquiza until his arrest in the city of Mexico in November 2005; being replaced by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes alias the Viceroy. The Tijuana cartel, also known as the Arellano Flix cartel (CAF), is a Mexican criminal organization dedicated to illegal drug traffic. Established in Tijuana, Baja California, its operations are centered in the northwestern of Mexico

The Tijuana cartel has been described as one of the largest and most violent cartels operating in Mexico. The Sinaloa cartel is a Mexican criminal organization dedicated to illegal drug traffic. Established mainly in Culiacn, Sinaloa, operations are focused on the part of States to the West of Mexico, Joaqun Guzmn Loera who years ago had been arrested and then escaped from jail, currently leads it. The Gulf cartel is a Mexican gang that operates in Tamaulipas and northern Veracruz, which was started by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s started as smugglers. In 2008, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano alias "El Lazca", "The executioner" or "the Z-3" was identified as the new head of the Gulf cartel. After the extradition of Oziel Crdenas, Los Zetas group ceased to be the armed wing of the Gulf cartel to agree with the Beltrn Leyva brothers in his betrayal to the Sinaloa cartel.

The issue of the legalization of drugs (marijuana and cocaine) by far, but less and less on the horizon, the legalization of cocaine appears as the only solution for Mexico and other Latin American countries, currently suffering the consequences of drug traffic. Indeed the critical level of violence caused by the Latin American narcviolence has got the old debate on the legalization of drugs for the first time on the agenda of Presidents active. The President of Guatemala and El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia has been called to discuss the option of regulating the trade in drug traffic and consolidate the first critical Government front with the policy of prohibition all-out commanded by United States. The initial appeal had been in November of 2011 when the Colombia President, Juan Manuel Santos had declared surprising the world showing supporter of legalizing marijuana and cocaine if its allowed "it will put an end to the violence by the narc".

Most analysts agree on point that the presidential elections in 2012 either marked a change in direction with respect to the problem of drug trafficking or will serve to confirm to the plague of drugs, specifically cocaine, (almost 50,000 dead since 2006)

Global Economic Crisis Over time, there have been different types of problems that are affecting worldwide economy and Mexico is being damaged in the same way and even larger in some areas of society. Some other problems that Mexico have to deal are the unemployment and immigration, corruption and of course the economic crisis, which is of utmost importance to many; These problems have been affecting Mexico in economy, democracy, industry, jobs, freedom, etc.

These problems have been always, but they increase since 2008, because in that year there were more unemployed, and as a result, the immigration of our Mexican towards our neighbor to the North, United States searching for the "American dream" getting a good and better life quality for their loved ones working there than working in Mexico;

It all started in 2008 and in 2009 continues the phenomenon known as "Global economic Crisis"; originated in the United States of America. Among the major factors of the crisis would be: High prices of raw materials and the over valuated of the product. The world food crisis. The threat of a recession around the world, as well as a crisis loan, mortgage and confidence in the markets. From the point of view of authors, which are many, consider that it is not a true crisis, rather it is an opportunity to grow and have new ideas because this little word that starts with "c" and ends with "risis" ("crisis") lacks a meaning defined and precise, although many people are linking the word with a deep recession, this is not the case, in turn, is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline. The 2000s witnessed the increase in prices of raw materials after its cheaper in the period 1980-2000. But in 2008, the increase in the prices of these raw materials, particularly rise in the price of oil and food, increased so much that it began to cause genuine economic damage, threatening to hunger in the third world, stagflation and the stagnation of globalization. In January 2008, the price of oil surpassed the US$ 100/barrel for the first time in its history, and reached the US$ 147/barrel in July due to speculative phenomena of high volatility that led to a sharp decline during the month of August. This food crisis was growing more and more in the year of 2007, this because increasing in global food prices, leaving without food in the poorest regions of the world, as well as political instability and unrest in several countries. Also, the continuous increase in the price of oil has increased the costs of fertilizers and the cost of transport of the products. This affected both as to developing and developed countries, in the same way that the increase in prices became the main concern of the working classes. The sub-prime crisis subprime is a financial crisis that extends by the financial markets, primarily, from 2007, although its origins go back to the previous years. Generally, shutter and part of the crisis is considered financier and the 2008 economic. The mortgage crisis, so far has led to numerous crashes, Bank nationalizations, constant interventions by central banks in major developed economies, deep declines in stock prices and a deterioration of the real global economy, which has resulted in the entry into recession of some of the most industrialized economies.

The crisis in Mexico was caused by the economy of the United States, and in that time was not quite good foreign trade with the U.S. and the fall in remittances from migrants (which is the second foreign exchange earner of the country stronger after oil) that resulted from the slowing U.S. economy, and of course, Mexico is not slow to feel the effects of an economic crisis in the neighboring country, the domino effect it had on all sectors of the Mexican economy soon few months to become present. Open unemployment in Mexico rose to 4.06% in January of that year, with comparatively higher rate of previous year that was in 3.96%, and only in January 2009, 336,000 people were unemployed in Mexico. The structural weakness of the Mexican government's finances are highly dependent on oil prices and the continued fall in the production of this resource had a budgetary impact which forced to raise taxes like value added tax, the income tax and institute new taxes telecommunications, unfortunately these revenues are not intended to productive new investments or projects, but to maintain ineffective bureaucracy that consumes 80% of the budget, this poses new crisis scenarios in the medium term.

The year 2009 was particularly difficult for the Mexican economy. At the beginning of the year official expectations predicted a meager growth over 2009. However, over the months taking paths expectations were more pessimistic, at times contradictory, for example, between forecasts of the Ministry of Economy and the Bank of Mexico. After the epidemic of influenza A (H1N1), began to talk of an involvement in economic activity in the country, especially in the tourism industry is the third foreign exchange earner for the country. The owner of the SECTUR noted in May 2009 that the occupation of the hotels in major tourist destinations ranging from 10 to 30% which added to the increasingly frequent cancellation of flights. Given this situation, the Secretary Rodolfo Elizondo Torres predicted a loss of more than 100 thousand jobs in the sector. Furthermore, since 2008 the Mexican peso went into a series of devaluations against the U.S. dollar that led him to lose about 25% of its value by 2009. If in 2006 (starting year of the government of Felipe Caldern) the dollar bought 10.77 MXN in, in January 2009 was bought over the counter bank at a price of 13.48 pesos per dollar. Among the measures taken to contain the peso devaluation was implemented auction of part of the international currency reserves, which led the country to spend more than 20 billion U.S. dollars without achieving the expected results. The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) said in its annual report that Mexico would be the country most affected by the economic crisis in the region to provide a 7% contraction in gross domestic product (GDP).

Both Cultures

Even though 500 years of Spanish culture has had a major impact on the native traditions of Mexico, Mexican customs still maintain a unique cultural identity. The term Spanish is often confused as reference to all Spanish speakers as the same cultural group, however Spanish customs are distinct from Mexican customs, and there are many ways to identify the difference between the two Listen for language differences. In Spain a classic Spanish is spoken, utilizing the 'vosotros' form in addition to the 'ustedes' form used in Mexico. There are lower literacy rates in Mexico, which lead to a less academic form of Spanish that includes more slang. Mexico's close vicinity to the US has resulted in the use of more English words in Mexico than in Spain. Watch for subtle cultural differences. Spanish customs are highly influenced by Western society and the culture enjoys a higher economic status than Mexico, which affects customs such as education, dress and attitude. Mexico has suffered a long history of government corruption and has maintained many aspects of its pre-colonial, indigenous heritage, which has created many unique customs and a revolutionary energy. Recognize the differences in family values. Family is the basic social structure in both Spanish and Mexican Culture, however an emphasis in university education in Spain has resulted in different customs; smaller family sizes, fewer family members sharing a household and fewer family run businesses than in Mexico. Be aware of machismo, or male dominance, which is an old, traditional Spanish custom that was transferred to Mexico. Modernization and the effects of the feminist movement have drastically lowered the affects of machismo in Spain, but male dominance is still evident in Mexico. Identify differences in religious customs. Roman Catholicism was brought to Mexico by the Spanish, but the strong influence of indigenous spirituality has mixed with Christianity throughout the country. Generally, religious icons, such as the Virgin of Guadalupe, will include references to Pachamama, or 'Mother Earth,' who is an important icon to Mexico's indigenous culture; while Spain has remained a predominantly traditionally Catholic nation. The two cultures, shared some similarities in their flat citizens. The Spanish city was design in such a way that the fortification was based around the Zocalo, in case there where attacks. In Mexico due to the Spanish invasion they adopted almost all of its traditions, even saving some of the previous culture. Some of the biggest differences is

the cuisine, on the other hand the similarities are language, numeric methods etc

The ethnic make up of Mexico is predominantly of mestizo (60%) and Amerindian people (30%) while Spaniards are a mixture of Mediterranean and Nordic types. Mexico is a federal presidential republic of 31 independent states and one federal district while Spain has a constitutional monarchy with 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities. Finally, Spain is regarded as an industrialized country, ranking as the 12th largest economy in the world, while Mexico is an emerging market which ranks as the 11th largest economy. Mexico is a country of mestizos, and its culture is a mix between Native American and Spanish elements. Mexico's north is more affluent than the south, and it has also got fewer indigenous communities. In states like Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacn, Chiapas and Yucatn, large parts of the population are Indian or at least part Indian (Native American). The indgenas are often bilingual, Spanish being their second language, but in some places you will even be able to meet people who do not speak any Spanish at all. Even Mexican Catholicism is different from Spanish Catholicism, and some indigenous communities have simply added the Christian God to their own pantheon. Rumors have it that in Mexico's Aztec heartland, you'll be able to find small statues of the rain god Tlaloc hidden beneath church altars. Mexico's colonial architecture is overwhelmingly Spanish but the mentality of its people is definitely a mix between the two cultures. Mexican Spanish contains many loan words from Nhuatl, Maya and other native languages. Once I tried to read a novel which was set in Mexico's northern state of Sonora but it was a very tough read because of all the sonorismos (mostly derived from the local Yaqui language). One of Mexico's main problems is the huge difference between rich and poor, which is often a difference between white and brown, literate and illiterate, north and south, etc. Mexico has got some excellent universities and some areas are quite well-developed - especially in the north. Lots of places in Mexico are clean, attractive, and safe to visit. The colonial city of Oaxaca is just like one of its Spanish counterparts - only the faces of the people are different. Like in Spain, anybody will be able to find something of interest here, be it natural beauty, historical cities, good food, beaches, archeological sites, or outdoor adventures. On the other hand, even in some of Mexico's northernmost cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Jurez you will find abject poverty and widespread social chaos. Ciudad Jurez's huge shantytowns - the colonias - can be seen from miles away on the other side of the border. Unlike Spain, Mexico is still a country of social, economical and cultural extremes.

Finally, some statistics:

Population: Mexico 111,211,789 Spain 40,525,002 (both July 2010 est.) Land area: Mexico 1,972,550 sq km (761,606 sq mi) Spain 505,992 sq km (195,365 sq mi) Gross Domestic Product: Mexico USD$1,465 billion Spain USD$1,464 billion. GDP Per Capita: Mexico USD$13,200 Spain USD$33,600 Median Age: Mexico 27.3 years Spain 40.1 years

Crumpler, Prothrow-Stith, Pruitt, Salud Destrezas para el bienestar, Prentice Hall. No Jacobo Faz Gobea, Temas selectos de Derecho compendio de lecturas (2005), UniversidadAutnoma del Estado de Mxico. Antonio San Juan Daz (2009), Psicologa Libro de texto, Universidad Autnoma del Estado de Mxico. http://www.ehow.com/how_2073888_distinguish-between-mexican-spanishcustoms.html