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The culture of Mexico is extremely interesting. As one of the last major countries on earth to be established, it is remarkable that so much of the culture of this country is so recent. Before the Revolucion of 1810 Mexico was just a large territory, and did not even have a constitution.
The history of today's Mexico is also unique. For more information visit the MEXICO HISTORY section of Mexico Expo.
A good book to read to gain more depth on Mexican culture is James Michner's "Mexico". This wonderful book takes the reader into the many facets of past and present day Mexico in a way that is very interesting every step of the way.
For additional information on the culture of Mexico drop by the Mexico Expo Market link on the left side of this page and check out some of the books on Mexico.
Mexico travelers interested in culture and archeology might want to visit the MEXICO WORLD HERITAGE SITES section of Mexico Expo.
For additional information on colonial buildings in the country visit the EXPLORING COLONIAL MEXICO web site.
More information on Mexico's colonial towns can be reviewed at MEXICO'S COLONIAL TOWNS.
The people of Mexico are generally a warm and gracious population. Most Mexicans today are descendants from the original Indians that inhabited the area, or a combination of Indian and Spanish lines from the Europeans that settled in the area after the 16th century. In some areas of southern Mexico the pure Indian blood is still very dominant, and these cultures have changed little over the centuries. Chiapas is a southern state that still has decendents that run directly from the earlier Mayan civilization.
The influence of Old Spain is prevalent in many parts of today's Mexico. In addition to Spanish race being a dominant character in the looks and heritage of the people, the Spanish language is the national language of Mexico. Christianity was brought to the local people in the 16th century by the Spanish, and dominates the religious signature of the country today. Even the basic design of most of Mexico's towns, with a central plaza and adjacent church, came from the design of many of the older cities in Spain.
Although many people think of Mexico as a third world country, Mexico has made significant strides towards becoming an industrialized nation over the last 25 years. This direction was given an additional boost by the election of Vincent Fox of the PAN government party in 2001. Clearly the people of Mexico are ready for a significant change in the status quo.
The Mexican people are proud of their country and it's history, which has been quite tumultuous, to say the least. However they are a hard working people of strong character, and hold a high value for children, elders and the family unit. This may seem inconsistent with the "macho" image sometimes portrayed of Mexican men, but the macho image is set on a foundation of high respect for family, friends and other human beings.
Mexican women do not receive the same rights enjoyed by women in the United States, although their role has improved considerably over the last 100 years. They are strong willed and hard working (probably out of necessity) and have been largely responsible for keeping the family unit and much of Mexican society together. They will very likely play in increasingly important role in Mexico's future.
The Mexican population as a whole is generally young, with the majority of the people in the country under 40 years old. Economically they are not wealthy, and in some states they are actually quite poor. They are slowly evolving from a government system that was dominantly socialistic and lacking in opportunity for many years, and are currently working their way towards a more democratic society as they enter the new millennium.
Mexico is working hard to increase the educational opportunities for it's young people. Schools are an increasingly important focus in most cities in Mexico, and help to offer hope that the Mexicans of tomorrow will be able to enjoy a more prosperous lifestyle.
Most Mexicans are not dedicated to creating wealth at the expense of loosing an agreeable daily lifestyle, as is the case with some western cultures. They finesse the traditions of 'siestas' and 'manana' into a reasonable quest for the good life, and this system has worked well for them. What else would you expect from the people who invented the Fiesta!
Visitors to Mexico usually notice how friendly and personable the local people are to tourists. Even though tourism is indeed a key element in Mexico's economy, the friendly attitude of the people is more of a reflection of their genuine love of people and life in general. The people of the United States are very lucky to have these fine people as neighbors.
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