A number of individuals across the globe have heard several issues regarding Mexico.Â Most of these individuals have a negative perspective of this particular country as the media has come to portray it as one ridden with drug cartels and gangs which the law enforcement can no longer bring under control. Mexico has also been on numerous occasions associated with the issue of illegal immigrants to the United States and other surrounding American countries (Foster, 2009). It is rather unfortunate that the media rarely brings out anything positive regarding Mexico and this has led to the decrease in tourism industry in the country following the fear created in the majority of foreigners.Â
If people around the world could be well informed, they would realize that Mexico is actually one of the best cities on the globe and, despite some of the issues, it still can be considered a safe haven for tourists (Kernecker, 2005).Â It is thus important to learn or rather access more information regarding Mexico together with Mexican culture that is the customs, values and beliefs that Mexicans tend to hold on to.
Mexico is a country having its location on the southern tip of North American bordering three countries: the United States, Guatemala and Belize (Canclini, 1993). The country is also surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean as well as the Caribbean Sea. Mexico is considered to have a high plateau at the centre with mountain chains on the east and west (Kernecker, 2005).Â Mexico is said to have gotten its name from Tenochtitlan which was an Aztec city preceding it. The â€˜Mexi’ part of Mexico is one derived from the war god, Mexitli.Â Despite the fact that Mexico has earned a rather negative reputation from the rest of the world due to what is portrayed by the media, it is considered the 7th most popular tourist destination in the world (Foster, 2009). Those who tour the country boast of the diverse weather systems that it has where there are cooler temperatures during winter months and warmer temperatures during summer. The country is generally characterized by consistent temperatures annually which tend to vary as per elevation (Kernecker, 2005).Â
Mexico is one of the most populous nations in the world holdingÂ the 11th Â place according to the number of citizens. It also has the most populous Spanish-speaking individuals worldwide. The country surprisingly is a home to the largest number of American citizens living abroad where 75% of Mexico’s total population resides in urban centers (Kernecker, 2005).Â Even though Mexico is viewed as boasting of its cultural values and traditions, the country is also considered ethnically diverse having different cultures. It is interesting that indigenous individuals tend to make up an estimated 30% of the total Mexican population where whites comprise the highest percentage (Canclini, 1993). As earlier mentioned, Mexico boasts of its cultural values and traditions where the country’s culture is a reflection of its complex history which blends with pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican civilizations together with the Spanish culture (Foster, 2009). Mexicans tend to make numerous cultural subdivisions within the country.Â Mexico has traditionally been observed to possess firm cultural identities both provincial and local where the majority of individuals are closely identified with their individual state (Kernecker, 2005). In the Mexican culture, the family is viewed as the center of social structure where unlike other American cultures, the extended family is considered to be as important as the nuclear family thus providing a sense of stability.Â
Most of Mexicans’ sense of responsibility lies in their duty towards their family members, and the father is generally the head or authority figure. In this day and age, where equality has taken effect especially in gender roles, Mexicans still believe that women’s roles are secondary to that of men’s thus the majority of women in Mexico tend to be housewives rather than career mothers (Kernecker, 2005). Mexicans value respect and it is important in their culture. This is particularly exhibited in their greetings, for instance, women are not allowed to shake hands in social meetings but rather pat each other on the shoulder. They also tend to address each other using their first names (Foster, 2009). However, in instances where it is a foreigner addressing a Mexican, it is polite and respectful to wait until he is invited to their homes or social events for them to address a Mexican with his first name. When it comes to religion, Mexico is considered extremely religious with the most dominant religion being Catholicism (Kernecker, 2005).Â This is especially evident in the majority of the Mexican soap operas that are currently popular with most households around the world,Â especially in African countries. The country’s religious patron is the Virgin of Guadalupe who is believed to have appeared to the Indian Juan Diego over 40 decades ago. The Virgin of Guadalupe is considered the Mexican version of the Virgin Mary where her image has been used to represent the struggle for the nation’s independence and has developed a special sense of uniqueness (Stacy, 2000).Â Tourists wishing to view the nation’s saint can have the privilege to visite her shrine in the city near the hill of Tepeyac as this is the location she is believed to have first appeared in the year 1513 (Canclini, 1993).Â
Mexicans are considered very kind and polite individuals who are welcoming to tourists or foreigners seeking to settle in the country. Keeping in mind their rich traditions and culture in addition to their kindness, Mexico has recently become one of the most visited countries globally where it is also the prior destination of choice amongst many tourists (Kernecker, 2005). Mexican culture is viewed as one of the most fascinating of cultures possessing a strong mixture of art, native legends and Spanish culture characteristics that make the general culture distinct and unique. Those visiting the country, are sure to enjoy not only sophisticated but extensive culinary culture whose products include hot peppers, beans, and corn which is surprisingly consumed in all possible forms (Foster, 2009).
It is only recently that people around the world have realized that Mexico is not only one of the greatest tourist destinations, but also a safe haven given its consistent favorable temperatures and amazing destinations with lots of tourist attractions. Just like Central and South America, Mexico was not only colonized by the Spanish, but has also managed to maintain its cultural values, traditions, and beliefs. The country has been able to embrace globalization and utilized part of the Western culture. Cities considered colonial are now major industrial and urban centers in Mexico. Additionally, there is a grown appreciation and much focus towards Mexico’s diversity and cultural differences. Foreigners looking to settle in the country as well as tourists wishing to visit it should thus be encouraged to sample the Mexican culture and learn more about Mexican citizens instead of relying on what the media says regarding the country.