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Spotlight on Culture

People that call this area Home

Latin American Countries

 Immigrants from other areas of the Americas


Estados Unidos Mexicanos,

from the Nauatl Mēxihco

Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States), or Mexico as it is widely called, is a country in North America bordered by the Unites States on the north, to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico covers 1,972,550 km2 (761,610 square miles), making it the world's 14th-largest country by area, and the 5th-largest country in the Americas. It has a population of almost 130 million people, making it the 11th-most-populous country in the world. It also has the most Spanish speakers.

Mexico is a federal republic comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a Federal District that is their capital.

Mexico was the site of several culturally advanced Amerindian civilizations that include the Olmec, Toltec, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec (Mexica).

In the early 16th century, Mexico was conquered and colonized by the Spanish. They used it as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, and achieved independence early in the 19th century. The pre-Hispanic heritage of this country, combined with the vice-royal period and the different eras of independent Mexico, results in the great cultural and archaeological legacy. It ranks 5th in the world and 1st in the Americas by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 35, and has 187 archaeological zones of the different cultures that inhabit the area preserved to this day.

The country is a place that combines beautiful natural settings, cities with pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern heritage, a wide variety of exquisite delicacies that delight palates, with a fascinating folklore, traditions, culture, and history.


Official Name: Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States).

Capital: Mexico City.

Population: (2023 est.) 130,980,000.

Form Of Government: federal republic with two legislative houses (Senate [128]; Chamber of Deputies [500])

Official Language: Mexico has no official language. Due to colonization, Spanish is used as the de facto national language, because it is spoken by over 99% of the population. The government also recognizes 68 indigenous languages that are still spoken in their communities, including Nahuatl (1,650,000 speakers), Yucatec Maya (775,000 speakers), Tzeltal (589,000 speakers), Tzotzil (550,000 speakers), Mixtec (527,000 speakers), Zapotec (491,000 speakers), Otomí (299,000 speakers), Totonac (256,000 speakers), Mixe (140,000 speakers), and Zoque (74,000 speakers). Around 220 other languages are not recognized, despite being indigenous to Mexico and having speakers today. Spanish in Mexico has been influenced by these native languages, specially by adopting sounds and words from the Nahuatl- including chocolātl (‘chocolate’) and tomatl (‘tomate’).

Total Area: (Sq Km) 1,964,375 / (Sq Mi) 758,450.

Monetary Unit: Mexican peso (Mex$) (1 USD equals 17.548 Mexican peso).

Location: North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States. Geographic coordinates, 23 00 N, 102 00 W.

Climate: varies from tropical to desert.

Terrain: high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert. Highest point: Volcano Pico de Orizaba (5,636 m); lowest point: Laguna Salada (-10 m); mean elevation: 1,111 m.

Natural Resources: petroleum, silver, antimony, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.

Land Use: (2018 estimate) agricultural land: 54.9%, arable land: 11.8%, permanent crops: 1.4%, permanent pasture: 41.7%, forest: 33.3%, other: 11.8%.

Biggest lakes: fresh water: Laguna de Chapala - 1,140 sq km; salt water: Laguna de Terminos - 1,550 sq km.

Longest Rivers: Rio Grande river mouth (shared with US [s])- 3,057 km; Colorado river mouth (shared with US [s])- 2,333 km. Note – [s] indicates river source; [m] indicates river mouth.

Population Distribution: most of the population is found in the middle of the country between the states of Jalisco and Veracruz, and approximately a quarter of the population lives in and around Mexico City.

Natural Hazards: Mexico is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire. There is volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country, and the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (3,850 m) erupted in 2010, it is Mexico's most active volcano and responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villages; it has been named a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study because of its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (5,426 m) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana.

Religion: Roman Catholic 78%, Protestant/evangelical Christian 11.2%, other 0.002%, unaffiliated (includes atheism) 10.6% (2020 est.).

For more facts, visit this page. For information on US relations with Mexico, visit this page.

This video presents a lot fun facts and general info about Mexico and its culture:

Stay tuned for more information on Mexico's rich history, culture, its people and the arts in future posts. Our area is blessed to be called home by many people of many cultures, and they deserve to be acknowledged.


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