Mexico

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. 

Capital City:

Mexico City

Currency:

Mexican Peso

Total population:

128.9 million (2020)

Languages spoken:

Spanish + 68 indigenous languages

Cultural dos:

Be respectful to all people, especially parents or older people.

Cultural don’ts

Don’t pay for services in US Dollars. It causes more problems than convenience.

Continent:

South America

Three foods you need to try in this country:

  • Tacos (tortilla chips stuffed with meat and vegetables),
  • Chilaquiles (breakfast made of tortilla corn chips covered with meat, sauce, cheese and a egg),
  • Tamales (steamed dough made from corn stuffed with with mole, shredded chicken or pork and wrapped in corn or banana leaves)

Bonus

  • Tequila – best margaritas
  • Caldo Azteca/Aztec Soup (tortilla soup with chicken broth, tomato, pepper, garlic and onion with epazote and coriander)

What the country is known for :

  • Mayan Temple Ruins, 
  • Culinary offerings
  • Pristine Beaches 
  • Stunning Cenotes
  • Renowned artist Frida Kahlo

More About Mexico

Mexico is a country that had been on my travel bucket list forever, mostly because of the street markets, which are a food lover’s dream. I finally had the opportunity to visit in 2022. The country definitely lived up to the hype and then some. I visited Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Mexico City, with a couple of day tours to other towns. Turns out Mexico is one of the few countries where the food has actually been classified as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. The food culture is so rich and varied as you go round different parts of the country. The four pillars of Mayan cooking are achiote, citrus, habaneros and smoke. Therefore, when you ask for more spicy when having Mexican food, be mindful as they can deliver to the highest level. The street food culture is expansive, so many rich flavours made from fresh ingredients. There is also a wave of experimentation with modernising some of the traditional foods in Mexico, which are definitely also worth trying. I would recommend you find where locals frequent, and not just the tourist spots, to get more authentic flavours of Mexico.

The country has a very rich culture and history which is influenced strongly by the Aztecs and the Spanish. The people are generally friendly and open to sharing stories about their culture and country as well as interested in learning about other cultures. Mexicans have gone through tremendous efforts to document a lot about their history and their creative journeys which can be widely explored in their museums and galleries. If lucky you enough to come across some locals who can share, ask about some of the myths and legends that were passed on orally from previous generations and listen attentively. The Aztecs or other civilisations that have lived in Mexico have also left a myriad of messaging through cave art and other forms of writing. I recommend a visit to some of of the ancient temples/ruins such as Chichen Itza or Teotihuacan which provides an opportunity to see and experience some of the artwork and science used by the older civilisations.

The mariachi bands are delightful, usually consisting of four members, each playing a string instrument dressed in charro suit costumes. Their unique storytelling adds to an already jovial atmosphere. Also, don’t forget to say ‘al centro’ when you have a shot of tequila (wishes health to everyone participating in the toast). I generally do not drink tequila because it burns my throat, however after a few tequila tastings in the tourist strips, I learned that there are some really smooth tequilas out there. Tequila is like whisky, with many distillation processes which land to different levels of smoothness and variations of tastes.

The ‘dia de los muertos’ holiday is a celebration of the dead in Mexico. This celebration is when friends and family gather to pay respects and remember their loved ones who have died. This is more of a joyful celebration rather than mourning as people share anecdotes and stories about the people who have died. People also honour the deceased with marigold flowers and create altars or visit their graves with their favourite foods and beverages. The celebration also includes exchanges of gifts to friends such as candy sugar skulls and locals write verses dedicated to friends and acquaintances.

Mexico’s biodiversity, ranks it in the top 5 in the world. One of the things I learnt, which kinda blew my mind was that there are over 150 different varieties of cacti found in Mexico. Some of it is commonly eaten as a vegetable while some is used to make tequila and mezcal. The country has such a varied landscape from lush greens, to deserted lands, cenotes and waterfalls that take your breath away and beaches that go on for miles. Another amazing thing about Mexico is that the water is actually quite warm. Be mindful of sea weed at specific times of the year as this may affect the swimmability of some of the sea waters. If western movies were ever of interest to you, I recommend looking out to experience a Mexican ranch or Mexican cowboy lifestyle – this is still practised today, albeit not to the same scale. 

English

Spanish

Hello

Hola

Goodbye

Adios

Please

Por favor

Thank you

Gracious

How much?

Cuanta/Cuanto?

Do you speak English?

Habla usted ingles?

Where is the toilet?

Donde esta el inodoro

May I please have some water?

Puedo por favour tomar un poco de agua?

I would like some food please

Quisiera algo de comida por favour?

Where can I get a taxi?

Donde puedo conseguir un taxi?

Places visited

Destination Gallery

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