(United Mexican States, Méjico, Estados Unidos Mexicanos)
The jaguar, a native mammal of the country,
• Location: North America
• Capital: Mexico City
• Language(s): Spanish, numerous indigenous languages
• Population: 112,564,464
• Total Area: 1,972,550 sq km
• Currency: Peso
• Curious Alcohol Fact: Tequila is produced in just one state and some other restricted areas in other states.
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 8.42 liters
• Most Popular Drink: Tequila
Mexico is a federal republic in North America. Officially known as the United Mexican States, the country is bordered on the north by its prosperous and attractive neighbor, the United States and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. To the south and west of the country is the Pacific Ocean and on the southeast of the country are the enchanting Caribbean Sea and the nations of Belize and Guatemala. The country is made up of thirty-one states and like the United States, a federal district where the capital city of Mexico City is located. The country is one of the largest in the country –in area and population. One thing that you will love a lot about Mexico is the sense of history. The nation was the site of the legendary Aztec Empire before meeting defeat in the hands of the zealous Spanish conquistadores. The Aztecs left us some of the most impressive ancient monuments and temples, which are still centers of tourist attraction even in the 21st century. As a matter of fact, the name of the country was derived from a Nahuatl word depicting the Aztec Empire and its people, who were referred to as the Mexica.
Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, Mexico was populated mainly by the Native Americans. With time, the two ethnic groups mingled and thus came about a new generation now referred to as the mestizos. Although once in the minority, mestizos now form about 60% of the population in the country while other ethnic groups in the country include those with European, Amerindian and African roots. By far, the largest religion in the country is Christianity and the country has one of the largest populations of Catholics in the world.
Eating in Mexico
As long as the matter is on good food, very few countries in the world can surpass Mexico. And what else do you expect from a civilization that has lasted for thousands of years, evolving and being influenced over time? Highly-flavored, spicy and palatable, Mexican dishes are some of the very best you will ever taste anywhere in the world. The most important ingredients of Mexican food are corn and beans, and this has being the case for millennia right from the time of the Aztecs. You will also come across peppers quite often. Talking of beans, I will always remember the plate of frijoles negros (fried beans) that I took in Durango. Corn is used in the preparation of popular dishes such as tortillas and tamales. In some of the other states, you will notice the distinct Spanish flavors of many of the meals.
Drinking in Mexico
Right from the time I started planning to go to Mexico, I had only one thing on my mind –to get a shot of the real tequila, which is made in certain Mexican states. This legendary alcoholic drink, made from the blue agave plant, is the most popular drink in the country and tourists always try to get a shot –or two.
Sports in Mexico
For a country that hosted the first Latin America Olympics, Mexico is an amazing place for sports. Soccer is by far the most popular sport and it is also interesting to know that the country has hosted the FIFA World Cup a couple of times. Other sports include golf, baseball and boxing. Interestingly, bullfighting is also popular and for a country that has the world’s largest number of Spanish-speaking people, that should not come as any surprise.
Interesting Facts About Mexico
- Chocolate originated from Mexico.
- The country has more Spanish-speaking people than any other nation on earth.
- The exact meaning of the word ‘Mexico’ is not known.
- Some of the most impressive pyramidal structures in the world are found in Mexico.
- Spanish colonists led by Cortes decimated the native population as they unknowingly introduced diseases like small pox against which the locals had no immunity.
- The country’s national symbol is the golden eagle.
Most tourists streaming into the country on an annual basis ensure that they visit the capital, Mexico City where they can visit amazing places like the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, some of the most impressive structures of Mesoamerica. There are also celestial beach cities like Cancun and Acapulco where you can enjoy all that is truly Mexico.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).