As you see yourself, I once saw myself; as you see me now, you will be seen.
      Mexican Proverb


México is the most populous Spanish-
speaking country in the world. According to the latest statistics, México's total population is over 99 million. Mestizos, of Indian and Spanish blood), make up 60% of the population, followed by indigenous peoples  (30%), whites (9%), and other ethnic minorities  (1%).

Carnaval in Mazatlan

Visitors and locals scream, sing, shout and dance amid confetti and ribbons. Bands of all kinds play the infectious rhythms of the State of Sinaloa. And the food–oh, the food–camarones (shrimp) prepared in every way possible, washed down with ice cold Pacifico beer, for it’s Carnaval Time, Mazatlán’s biggest pachanga (fiesta). 
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March 12, 2006


Check out this FAQs page for the answers to some of the most asked questions about Mexico. 

Have a question about Mexico? Click on CONTACT to the left and send it along.

What is the official name of México? 
The United Mexican States

What is its capital and where is it located?
The capital of México is México City, also known as Distrito Federal (the Federal District), corresponding to Washington, D.C. in the U.S.. It annually vies with Tokyo, Japan, as the world's largest city. The exact population of the city, itself is 9.3 million, according to the 2000 census. But that of the metropolitan area is somewhere around 26 million. The city is divided into 16 delegaciones (similar to the boroughs of New York City) are governed by elected delegados who are responsible for garbage collection, patching potholes, etc. But the city also has various colonias, or  neighborhoods. It stands in the Valley of México at an altitude of 7,500 feet, surrounded by active and inactive volcanoes.

How many states make up México? The country is divided into 31 states plus the Distrito Federal--Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz-Llave, Yucatan, and Zacatecas.

What kind of legal system does México use? México obtained its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810, approving its latest Constitution on February 5, 1917. México's legal system is a mixture of U.S. constitutional theory and Napoleonic civil law with judicial review of legislative acts. The Constitution provides for a federal republic operating under a centralized government.

Where did México get the design for its flag? The Mexican flag has three equal vertical bands of green, white, and red. The coat of arms--an eagle perched on a cactus, devouring a snake--is taken from the an Aztec legend.

What is México's national currency? The Mexican currency is the Peso Mexicano (Mexican peso) or plural pesos. Approximately 11 pesos equal one U.S. dollar.

Where is México located? México is located in Mesoamerica (Middle America), bordering the Caribbean Sea , the Gulf of México and the Pacific Ocean, between Belize and Guatemala and the US.

México has a total area of nearly two million square km (slightly less than three times the size of Texas). Its diverse landscape features high, rugged mountains, low coastal plains, high plateaus, and desert. The highest elevation is the volcano Pico de Orizaba (5,700 m). But it's true wealth comes from its natural resources, including petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, and timber.

What is the climate like in México? México enjoys just about every type of climatic condition, from the dry, clear air of deserts and semi-arid high plateaus, to the rain-forest-like humidity in the State of Chiapas to the south. Its complicated terrain, varied altitudes (nearly half of the country is above 5,000 feet ), and the influence of adjacent seas and oceans makes for diverse climatic conditions.

Most of the country is exceptionally dry, particularly in the northern regions and the Baja Peninsula. Southern México and the Yucatan Peninsula experience pronounced rainfall, with areas of the State of Chiapas tallying some 200 inches of annual precipitation. As in most tropical regions, México has two weather seasons: rainy and dry. Generally rains fall and temperatures rise from June through October, leaving November through May as the more temperate, drier season.

How many people live in México? México is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. According to the latest statistics, México's total population is close to 99 million and it is growing at a rate of 1.77 percent per year. Mestizos (those of Indian and Spanish blood) makes up 60 percent of the population, followed by indigenous peoples (30 percent), whites (9 percent), and other ethnic minorities (1 percent).

About 70 percent of Mexicans live in urban areas. Many emigrate from rural areas that lack job opportunities, such as the underdeveloped southern states and the crowded central plateau, to the industrialized urban centers--México City, Guadalajara, Puebla, and Monterrey--and the developing areas along the U.S._México border--Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. According to some estimates, the population of the area around México City is close to 26 million, putting it in competition with Tokyo as the most populated city in the world.

What is the most prominent religion of Mexicans? At least 89 percent of Mexicans are Roman Catholic, while 6 percent is Protestant. A growing number are Pentecostal.

Is Spanish the only language spoken in México? Although Spanish is the most widely spoken language in México, there are over 60 indigenous languages and dialects, including Mayan (the ancient language of the Maya) and Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs), spoken as the every day language in many places in México.
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