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Sr. Josefino T. Larena ,CPS,CPE,MPA
Officially known as the
United Mexican States,
Mexico is the fifth largest
country in the Americas.
It covers almost 2million
square kilometers, with
an estimated population
of 111 million people. It
is comprised of 31 states
and a “Federal District” –
the capital city.
Because of the Spanish
control, Spanish is the
official language in
Mexico. There are as
many as 100 Native
spoken in Mexico, but
80% of those people who
languages also speak
Although Mexico has no official religion, Mexico has
the world’s second largest number of Catholics. 83%
of the population are Roman Catholics and 97% of
that population attend church services weekly, one of
the highest attendance percentages in the world.
Futbol, also known as soccer, is
the most popular sport in Mexico
today. When the team wins a
world cup, the whole country is
in an uproar of celebration.
In 1968 Mexico
City was the first
to host the
Mexico’s Latin roots and Spanish Colonial
heritage made the country inherit the
traditional sport of bull fighting as one of the
favorite past times of its inhabitants. The crowds
cheer on matadors as they engage the animals
in the sporting arenas called bullrings. As in
Spain, bull fighting has become an indispensable
part of Mexican culture and tradition among
later day sports.
The popular genres of music in Mexico varies depending
on the people. The Corridos are long ballads that narrate
the political and popular issues of the time as well as
celebrate great deeds and heroic feats. Today the
corridos reflect the experience of migrant workers, the
immigrant experience, and those involved in drug trade.
The Polka was a major influence on
the music played by northern bands.
They mixed the mariachi and
ranchera styles with the polka to
become the unique norteno genre.
Another interesting style of music is the Banda. Banda are
big-band brass ensembles with heavy emphasis on
percussion. It originates from the Mexican state of Sinaloa
and incorporates many of the popular Mexican genres.
The Mexican Hat Dance, or Jarabe Tapatio, is the most well-
known traditions in Mexico. The dance is centered around a
sombrero that is placed on the ground. At the end, the
dancers shout “Ole” which is the Spanish victory exclamation.
The Mexican Folk Dance is the most culturally
rich dance expression in Mexico. It is a display
of the colorful heritage of the country and
showcases the unique mix of the cultural
influences on the indigenous cultures of Mexico.
Flamenco dance is another type of
indigenous dance that originated in
Andalusia Spain. It serves to recapture the
pride and history of both Spain and Mexico.
Mexican food is not exactly like the “Mexican
food” American restaurants serve. Typical dishes
are not burritos and tacos, instead they include:
– Ceviche – which is raw fish marinated in lime juice in chopped salad
– Chiles Renellos – large Poblano chilies stuffed with cheese or spicy
– Poc Chuc – a Yucatecan specialty where pork fillet is cooked with
tomatoes, onions and spices
– Pollo Pibil – only found in Mexico is a Yucatecan specialty of chicken
marinated in orange and spices then barbecued in banana leaves.
These are just a few of the well known dishes of
The Aztecs are a tribe from Aztlan, that was located in the north
of modern Mexico. They lived in about the 12th century AD. They
called themselves Mexica, which is where the terms Mexico City
and Mexico derive from. The Aztecs finally settled within the area
now covered by Mexico City after two centuries of migration and
warfare, they called their settlement Tenochtitlan.