Introduction to Mexico

Mexico is a nation with a unique and iconic culture – a country of vibrancy, history and colour.

The distinctive culture of Mexico draws influences from the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilisations which covered the same landscape, as well as Mexico’s centuries spent as a Spanish colony. Evidence of the nation’s past can be seen as much in the architecture, cuisine, language and customs of today as in the surviving ruins of years gone by.

Spain conquered the area now known as Mexico in 1521 and only relinquished control when Mexico’s independence was recognised in 1821. To this day there are still strong similarities between aspects of the two nations.

Mexico is divided into 31 states and shares borders with the US, Belize and Guatemala. It’s also heavily populated with the nation being home to the largest Spanish speaking populous in the world.

Although there are many attractive qualities to Mexico – like its diverse terrain of forests, deserts, beaches, volcanoes, ancient ruins and bustling cities – the country also faces some serious issues. Despite having a comparatively strong economy and being viewed as an emerging world power poverty is rife in parts of Mexico, and the country has experienced serious gang and drug related problems in recent years.