Discover Mexico A-to-Z
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¿No tiene cambio? (haven’t you got change?) is an expression you will soon get used to hearing whether it’s in offering up a 50-peso note for a 30-peso cab ride, or a 100-peso note for a 20-peso coffee. And it’s not only at street stalls, outdoor markets, or in taxis..
Mexperience: No Hay Cambio
See Also: Mexican Peso
Malinchista is a term some Mexicans use to describe other Mexicans who show a preference for foreign things, speak gushingly of the order and tidiness to be found abroad, or are critical of Mexico and Mexican ways vis-à-vis their foreign counterparts.
See Also: Society & Culture
The port town of Manzanillo is situated on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and has two parts: the resort area on the Santiago Peninsula, and the busy commercial area downtown and to the south. Although Manzanillo is a busy and important port town on Mexico’s west coast, it still retains a tranquil, laid back, feel and authentic Mexican atmosphere.
See Also: Beaches
MAPS OF MEXICO
In the days before the Internet, maps of Mexico were relatively expensive. Guia Roji virtually controlled the Mexican retail market for map books and driving atlases. When Google began to map the world, it wasn’t long before Mexico’s terrain became digitized, too. Today, with the advent of Map-Apps and GPS, paper maps have been effectively consigned to history.
Mexperience: Mexico Maps
See Also: Driving
MARKETS AND SHOPPING
Since Aztec times, Mexico has been a thriving center of commerce. Today, markets and trade continue to be an intrinsic part of everyday Mexican culture—something you can witness in every town and city of the country with the abundance of choice and variety of markets and shopping experiences.
Mexperience: Markets & Shopping
Mexico is a popular destination for American and Canadians to get married. If you want to get married in Mexico, there is nothing legal or technical stopping you from doing so and your marriage certificate will be valid in any country that recognizes legal civil marriages; but you will need to plan and get a few documents together, fill-in some forms, and pay a few fees. Marrying a Mexican national involves additional steps. The guides and articles on Mexperience will help you navigate the requirements.
See Also: Divorce
MAYA (PEOPLE AND CIVILIZATION)
The Maya civilization developed in an area that today are the modern-day countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, as well as parts of Honduras and El Salvador. The Maya developed a sophisticated writing system, used advanced mathematics, devised a calendar, and cultivated their skills in art, architecture, and astronomy.
Online: Maya Civilization (Wikipedia)
See Also: Yucatan, Archaeology
Mazatlán is the northern-most of the main resorts on Mexican Riviera, and is also one of the busiest commercial shipping ports on the Pacific. The port city is the ‘shrimp capital of the world’ with over 40,000 tons of shrimp processed and shipped from here every year. The coastal resort attracts increasing numbers visitors to its shores every year, as word-of-mouth spreads about its charms and attractions. People are coming here with their families, and other vacationers looking for good value. Mazatlán is also being discovered by foreign residents seeking warm ocean-side living combined with an authentic Mexican lifestyle in a city with considerable colonial charm.
See Also: Beaches
Mexico offers an abundance of news and information resources across a wide spectrum of traditional and modern media. Mexico has quite a lot of newspapers, both national dailies and regional papers. Free broadcast television is dominated by two companies – Televisa and TV Azteca – with small local broadcasters making little impression on the market. Pay TV and Internet services are ubiquitous services across the country and there is strong competition in the market for radio, especially in Mexico City.
Mexperience: Media in Mexico
MENNONITES IN MEXICO
Although the Mennonites who first settled in Mexico in the 1920s were primarily of German and Dutch nationality, their ancestry stretches back to Russia. Of the c.100,000 Mennonites living in Mexico today, the majority are settled in the northern States of Chihuahua and Durango. They are known for their famous cheese, Queso Menonita or Queso Chihuahua, which they produce and sell.
Online: Mennonites in Mexico (Wikipedia), Queso Chihuahua (Wikipedia)
See Also: Chihuahua
Mérida is known as the “white city”, derived from the white stone mansions along Paseo de Montejo in the city. It’s also the capital city of the state of Yucatán, famous for its rich Mayan history as well as some of Mexico’s most important archaeological sites. As the state’s capital, Mérida is a hub of activity and extremely well connected by land and air to other parts of the region and the country. The city has a considerable charm and buzz about it: Mérida is cosmopolitan and quaint; Mexican, but with a strong Maya influence.
See Also: Colonial Cities
Spirits and beers have been part of Mexico’s history for centuries. Today, Mexico is producer and exporter of fine tequilas, the best of which are distilled from the Blue Agave plant which grows so well here; and Mexican beers are exported to markets world-wide. The Mexican Bar pages on Mexperience introduce you to some Mexican beverages and share recipes for Mexican drinks and cocktails.
Mexperience: Mexican Bar
See Also: Tequila, Mezcal, Beers, Kahlua
A notable aspect about Mexico is the great variety of foods and dishes that can be easily identified with the country. Most of the traditional foods are available year-round, although certain dates and holidays are associated with specific dishes. Due to its climate and diverse topography, fresh produce that is grown locally is readily available in Mexico. The fresh produce, mixed with spices, chiles, and other condiments are blended to give Mexican food its distinct character and flavors.
Mexperience: Mexican Food
Mexico’s currency is the Mexican Peso. There are one hundred Mexican cents (centavos) to every peso. The symbol for the Mexican Peso is $. To distinguish this from the Dollar, you sometimes see it presented as MX$ or the value with the letters “MN” after it, e.g. $100 MN. The MN stands for Moneda Nacional, meaning National Currency. Mexican banknotes are printed in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos. The most commonly seen and used are the 50, 100 and 200 peso notes. The Mexican Peso is a “free floating” currency in foreign exchange markets and, like other similar currencies, its value fluctuates daily.
Mexperience: Guide to Money in Mexico, Mexican Peso, Currency Calculator
See Also: Banking Services, Exchange
Mexico’s capital city is often referred to as just “Mexico” by people living in the country, historically it was termed El DF, referring to “Mexico, Distrito Federal“—Federal District—although since January 2016 the capital dropped its iconic “DF” status and is now officially referred to as La Ciudad de México and more often as an acronym of its initials, CDMX. The metropolitan area of Mexico’s capital is one of the world’s most densely-populated urban expanses with an estimated 22 million inhabitants living inside an area of 750 square kilometers (290 square miles).
Mexperience: Mexico City
MEXICO, STATE OF
The State of Mexico (not to be confused with The United States of Mexico, referring to the official title of the nation-state) is located in south-central Mexico, adjacent to and west of the capital, Mexico City. Its capital city is Toluca. Although the official name of the State is simply ‘Mexico’, it is referred to as Estado de Mexico to differentiate it from the country’s name.
Online: State of Mexico (Wikipedia)
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic in North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the southeast by Guatemala and Belize. With a population of c.120 million, it is the world’s eleventh most populous country—and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. Mexican is the gentilic which describes the people of Mexico. The country’s official language is Spanish.
Mexperience: People and Place Names in Mexico, Mexico Facts and Figures
Online: Mexico (Wikipedia)
See Also: History, Language
Mezcal is an ancient alcoholic beverage made from the heart of the Agave plant: the center is roasted, pressed, fermented and distilled. The result is a unique beverage with a strong, smoky flavor that is something of an acquired taste and takes some first-timers by surprise. It is taken neat, sipped slowly from a shot glass, and without ice, as the beverage does not mix well with any cocktail. The drink is currently undergoing a renaissance in popularity.
Mexperience: Mezcal, The Difference Between Tequila, Mezcal and Pulque
See Also: Mexican Bar
The Mexican State of Michoacán is situated in the mountains of west-central Mexico. Its capital city, Morelia, was renamed from its colonial name, Valladolid, to honor José María Morelos, one of the heroes of the Mexican Independence Movement. In addition to a picturesque capital city, the State is also home to the highland town of Pátzcuaro as well as being the principal State where the Monarch Butterflies overwinter in Mexico.
Mexperience: Morelia, Patzcuaro
Online: Michoacan (Wikipedia)
See Also: Monarch Butterflies, Morelos
MILITARY, MILITARY CHECKPOINTS
Mexico’s Military is made up of Army, Air Force, and Navy Corps. If you are passing-by one of Mexico’s military installations, you should avoid loitering and avoid taking photographs or video footage. If you are traveling by road on Mexico’s highways, you are likely to encounter, at some point, a military check-point and you may also see military patrols driving on the highways too.
Mexperience: Military in Mexico
See Also: Society & Culture
Southeast of Oaxaca City, you’ll find the ruins of Mitla, just outside the town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla. Mitla was a religious center, run almost entirely by priests who undertook human sacrifices; often by removing a live heart from the person being sacrificed, and depositing it in a pit of fire as an offering to the gods.
See Also: Archaeology
Every autumn, one of the most spectacular natural phenomena can be observed in the forested mountains west of Mexico City: wintering Monarch Butterflies. By around mid-November each year, the Monarch butterflies will begin arriving in Mexico. They settle in the Oyamel fir tree forests which are situated in the eastern perimeter of the Mexican State of Michoacán, also bordering the State of Mexico, west of Mexico City.
Mexperience: Monarch Butterflies
See Also: Outdoors Activities
Near the colonial city of Oaxaca, perched between two lush valleys and set atop a mountain plateau, is Monte Albán (meaning ‘White Mountain’). The top of the mountain was leveled to build a great city, the ruins of which you can see today. The views from this archaeological site are magnificent.
Mexperience: Monte Alban
See Also: Archaeology
Less than an hour’s drive from Comitán, on the border with Guatemala, are the Lagos de Montebello (Lakes of Montebello). There are over fifty lakes here, one of which is half inside Mexican territory and half inside Guatemalan territory. Around eight of the lakes are easily accessible via some roads and vehicle tracks that run through the forests surrounding the lakes.
Mexperience: Montebello Lakes
See Also: Chiapas, Outdoors Activities
Monterrey—Mexico’s third largest city and capital city of the state of Nuevo León—is set in the spectacular Sierra Madre mountain region of north-west Mexico. Monterrey is Mexico’s modern-day commercial and industrial powerhouse.
See Also: Nuevo Leon
Morelia is the capital of the state of Michoacán and one of the country’s most historical colonial cities, renamed to Morelia after Mexico’s independence to honor one of the country’s heroes: José María Morelos. The city is filled with elegant Spanish colonial architecture featuring pink stone and baroque styles.
See Also: Colonial Cities
The Mexican State of Morelos is situated in south-central Mexico, one of the States bordering the capital Mexico City. Originally part of the State of Mexico, its territory was separated in 1869 and named in honor of José María Morelos, one of the key protagonists of the Mexican Independence Movement. Most of the state enjoys a year-round temperately-warm spring-like climate which has attracted visitors and residents since Aztec times. Its capital city Cuernavaca, and nearby there Tepoztlán, are popular get-away destinations for people living in Mexico City.
Mexperience: Cuernavaca, Tepoztlan
Online: Morelos State (Wikipedia)
See Also: History
Mother’s Day — Día de las Madres — is celebrated on May 10th in Mexico. Mother’s Day is an important cultural date here, as the country has a strong matriarchal culture. Families traditionally take their mothers and grandmothers out to lunch. Restaurants are very busy on this date, and although it’s not a public holiday, many mothers are given time off work if the date falls on a weekday.
Mexperience: Mother’s Day
See Also: Public Holidays
Movie-going in Mexico is as popular as ever, despite the country being among those where there is the most video piracy. Big box-office movies bring hoards to the theaters, and decent seats at the most convenient times are hard to come by for the first week or so after their initial release.
Mexperience: Movies in Mexico
See Also: Media
MOVING TO MEXICO