Portal:Mexico

The Temple of Warriors at Chichen Itza, Mexico
The Temple of Warriors at Chichen Itza, Mexico

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Mexico (Spanish: México [ˈmexiko] (About this soundlisten); Nahuan languages: Mēxihco), officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos; EUM [esˈtaðos uˈniðoz mexiˈkanos] (About this soundlisten)), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico covers 1,972,550 square kilometers (761,610 sq mi) and has approximately 128,649,565 inhabitants, making it the world's 13th-largest country by area, 10th-most populous country, and most populous Spanish-speaking nation. It is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital city and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.


Pre-Columbian Mexico traces its origins to 8,000 BC and is identified as one of six cradles of civilization; it was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations, most well-known among them the Maya and the Aztecs. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its base in Mexico City, which then became known as New Spain. The Catholic Church played an important role as millions of indigenous inhabitants converted. These populations were heavily exploited to mine rich deposits of precious material, which became a major source of wealth for the Spanish. Mexico became an independent nation state after the successful Mexican War of Independence against Spain in 1821.

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Nahua man from the Florentine Codex. The speech scrolls indicate speech or song.

Nahuatl (English: /ˈnɑːhwɑːtəl/; Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈnaːwatɬ] (About this soundlisten)) is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by about 1.7 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central Mexico.

Nahuatl has been spoken in central Mexico since at least the seventh century CE. It was the language of the Aztec/Mexica/Tlaxcalans, who dominated what is now central Mexico during the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history. During the centuries preceding the Spanish & Tlaxcalan conquest of the Aztec Empire, the Aztecs had expanded to incorporate a large part of central Mexico. Their influence caused the variety of Nahuatl spoken by the residents of Tenochtitlan to become a prestige language in Mesoamerica. Read more...

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Blue agave fields near Tequila

Tequila (Spanish pronunciation: [teˈkila] (About this soundlisten)) is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the Jaliscan Highlands (Los Altos de Jalisco) of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco.

The red volcanic soils in the region of Tequila are well suited for growing the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year. Agave grows differently depending on the region. Blue agaves grown in the highlands Los Altos region are larger and sweeter in aroma and taste. Agaves harvested in the lowlands have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavor. Due to its historical and cultural importance, the region near Tequila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, the Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila. Read more...

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Adult perched in a honey mesquite tree

The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is a species of wren that is endemic to the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern and central Mexico. It is the state bird of Arizona, and the largest wren in the United States. Their coloration is brown with black and white spots as markings. They have a distinctive white eyebrow that sweeps to the nape of the neck. The chest is white, whereas the underparts are cinnamon-buff colored. Both sexes appear similar. The tail, as well as flight feathers, are barred in black and white. Their song is a loud raspy chirrup; akin—in the description of some ornithologists—to the sound of a car engine that will not start. They are well-adapted to their native desert environment, and can meet their water needs from their diet which consists chiefly of insects, but also of some plant matter. The cactus wren is a poor flier, and generally forages for food on the ground. Ornithologists generally recognize seven subspecies, with the exact taxonomy under dispute.

Their common name derives from their frequenting desert cactus plants such as the saguaro and cholla, building nests, roosting, and seeking protection from predators among them. Their bulky and globular nests are constructed of plant material and lined with feathers. They do not migrate, establishing and defending territories around their nests where they live year-round. They live as pairs, or as family groups from late spring through winter. Pairing among cactus wrens is monogamous; in each breeding season, the males chiefly build nests, the females incubate eggs, and both parents feed the young. Read more...

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Cantinflas in 1964

Fortino Mario Moreno y Reyes, known casually as Mario Moreno and professionally as Cantinflas (12 August 1911 – 20 April 1993), was a Mexican film actor, producer, and screenwriter. He is considered to have been the most accomplished Mexican comedian and is celebrated throughout Latin America and in Spain. His humor, loaded with Mexican linguistic features of intonation, vocabulary, and syntax, is beloved in all the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America and in Spain and has given rise to a range of expressions including cantinflear, cantinflada, cantinflesco, and cantinflero.

Though some of his films were translated into English and French, the word games so particular in Mexican Spanish were difficult to translate. He often portrayed impoverished farmers or a peasant of pelado origin. The character allowed Cantinflas to establish a long, successful film career that included a foray into Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin once commented that he was the best comedian alive, and Moreno has been referred to as the "Charlie Chaplin of Mexico". To audiences in most of the world, he is best remembered as co-starring with David Niven in the Academy Award winner for Best Picture film Around the World in 80 Days, for which Moreno won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Read more...

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Close up of Tostilocos with Japanese peanuts
Tostilocos (also Dorilocos) are a popular Mexican antojito (street food) that consists of Tostitos tortilla chips topped with cueritos, cucumber, jícama, lime juice, Valentina hot sauce, chamoy, Tajín chili powder, salt, and "Japanese peanuts". The dish was first conceived in the late 1990s by street vendors in Mexico. Tostilocos are now commonly sold by street vendors, stadium vendors, and at Mexican juice bars in both Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Read more...

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