Welcome to Mexico, home to sprawling beaches, Aztec ruins, and colorful cultural traditions.
Mexico is known for its exotic vacation sites such as Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Alcapulco as well as famous Aztec ruins and the archaeological sites of Teotihuacan, Tula and the Templo Mayor in Mexico City. Mexico has also been the birthplace of several world famous authors and artists including Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo.
Mexico is a presidential republic, where the president is both Head of State and Head of Government. The official language is Spanish, though regional and indigenous dialects are spoken throughout the expansive country.
The family is at the center of the social structure. Outside of the major cosmopolitan cities, families are still generally large. The extended family is as important as the nuclear family since it provides a sense of stability.
People tend to be comfortable standing closer together, with more physical contact when talking.
Mexico possesses an extensive and sophisticated culinary culture, with a great variety of regional dishes. Three products constitute the heart of most Mexican dishes: corn, hot peppers (chiles), and beans. Corn is eaten in all possible forms: as a cooked or roasted corncob (elote), cooked grain of corn, porridge (atole), as wrapped and steamed dough with filling (tamale), but most importantly as a tortilla.
There are 3 levels of education in Mexico: basic, secondary, and higher education. After two years of kindergarten, children are required to go to primary school for six years. Primary schooling is compulsory and free.
In public and private schools students must wear uniforms. Public schools tend to stress civic values and lay education, while the majority of private schools tend to place more emphasis on religious values.
At age 15, girls make the transition from childhood to adulthood, which is typically celebrated with a large party, or fiesta de quince años. Students may go out salsa dancing together or to discos and parties.
Soccer is a very popular sport in Mexico. Mexican teenagers generally dress casually when not in their school uniforms.