Mexico is a big tourist attraction for sun-seekers and historians alike; the former flock to Mexico's tropical beaches, while the latter find the artifacts of the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilization fascinating. Intro Tourism in Mexico is a very large industry. The most notable attractions are the Meso-American ruins, colonial cities, and the beach resorts.Mexico Tourism The nation's temperate climate and unique culture a fusion of the European and the Meso-American make Mexico an attractive destination. The peak tourism seasons in the country are during December and the mid-Summer, with brief surges during the week before Easter and Spring break, when many of the beach resort sites become popular destinations for college students from the United States. The vast majority of tourists come to Mexico from the United States and Canada. Other visitors come from Europe and Asia. A small number of tourists also come from other Latin American countries." pp. 5 There is also a burgeoning domestic tourism trade as a growing affluent middle class begins to go on holiday within their own country. While Mexico's middle/lower class usually promotes national tourism, the middle/higher class usually prefers to travel overseas. Tourism industry competitiveness In terms of the 2008 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index which is a measurement of the factors that make it attractive to developing business in the travel and tourism industry of individual countries, Mexico reached the 57th place in the world's ranking, the fifth among Latin American countries, and the ninth in the Americas. In considering simply the subindex measuring human, cultural, and natural resources, Mexico ranks in the 19th place on a worldwide level, and 25th for both the natural resources criteria and the cultural criteria. The TTCI report also notes Mexico's main weaknesses, information and communications technology infrastructure (ranked 64th), ground transport infrastructure (ranked 82nd), and safety and security (ranked 122nd). City destinations Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and is popular with tourists as an ancient Meso-American city. It is the departure point for visits to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, famous for the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Other human-made tourist zones, such as the La Zona Rosa or Shopping District and El Zócalo are here. The city is also home to the Plaza de toros México the world's largest bullring and to the Mexican National Palace, built on the site of Montezuma's palace, and the huge Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, built over the even greater Temple of Teocalli. Mexico City features also one of the finest museums in the world: The National Museum of Anthropology and History is worth a visit to Mexico in itself. Guadalajara, Jalisco, the second-largest city by population in the Republic, is home of some of Mexico's best known traditions, such as tequila, mariachi music and charros, or Mexican cowboys. Its similitude with western European countries mixed with modern architecture and infrastructure makes Guadalajara very attractive to tourists. Along with Mexico City and beach destinations (Cancun, Acapulco, etc.), Guadalajara is one of the most visited cities in Mexico. Cultural tourism is the main attraction, the city being home to a large number of museums, art galleries and theatres. The city is also the host of several internationally-renowned events, such as the Guadalajara International Book Fair which is the most important exposition of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world, and the second largest book fair in the world.http://www.fil.com.mx/ingles/i_info/i_info_int.asp The city is known as a pioneer in the underground arts scene as well as in the electronic music world, another main touristic attraction. Its diversity of European architectural styles is a focus of attraction for tourists, in particular the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Degollado Theatre and the Hospicio Cabañas which is a World Heritage Site and one of the oldest hospital complexes in Spanish America. Other tourism activities include shopping at its world class shopping malls, or plazas, taking a tour to the surrounding areas such as the Huentitan Canyon, Tonalá, Tlaquepaque, Chapala or visiting nearby towns, which are well-connected by modern highways, such as Tequila (the home of the heavenly liquid), Puerto Vallarta or Mazamitla, depending upon whether the visitor wishes to visit a colored bohemian and cultural town, a world-destination beach or stay in a cabin in the middle of the forest. Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, was founded in the late 16th century. The downtown district is the oldest section in the city, surrounded by newer neighbourhoods. The Museo de Historia Mexicana (Museum of Mexican History), MARCO (Monterrey Museum of Contemporary Art), Metropolitan Museum of Monterrey and the Museum of the Palacio de Gobierno, or State House, are some of the better known museums in the city, as well as nationally. The Santa Lucia Riverwalk is a riverwalk similar to the one in San Antonio, Texas, having a length of 2.5 km (1.6 mi) and connecting the Fundidora Park with the Macroplaza, one of the largest plazas in the world. Morelia, Michoacán is the Capital of the State of Michoacán. Its Historic Downtown Area (Centro Histórico) encompasses approximately 150 city blocks in the city centre, roughly corresponding to the actual area of the city at the end of the 18th century. The Centro Historico contains over 1,000 historical sites, including (but not limited to) the cathedral and the aqueduct. Other cities known for tourism (listed alphabetically) include: Chihuahua, Chihuahua Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato Guanajuato, Guanajuato Oaxaca, Oaxaca Puebla, Puebla San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro Zacatecas, Zacatecas Beaches Acapulco, Guerrero Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur Cancún, Quintana Roo Ensenada, Baja California Guaymas, Sonora Puerto Peñasco, Sonora Huatulco, Oaxaca Ixtapa, Guerrero Manzanillo, Colima Mazatlán, Sinaloa Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur Progreso, Yucatan The coastlines of Mexico harbor many stretches of beaches that are frequented by sun bathers and other visitors. On the Yucatán peninsula, one of the most popular beach destinations is the resort town of Cancún, especially among university students during spring break. Just offshore is the beach island of Isla Mujeres, and to the east is the Isla Holbox. To the south of Cancun is the coastal strip called Riviera Maya which includes the beach town of Playa del Carmen and the ecological parks of Xcaret and Xel-Há. A day trip to the south of Cancún is the historic port of Tulum. In addition to its beaches, the town of Tulum is notable for its cliff-side Mayan ruins. On the Pacific coast is the notable tourist destination of Acapulco. Once the destination for the rich and famous, the beaches have become crowded and the shores are now home to many multi-story hotels and vendors. Acapulco is home to renowned cliff divers: trained divers who leap from the side of a vertical cliff into the surf below. Along the coast to the south of Acapulco are the surfing beaches of Puerto Escondido, the snorkeling, harbor beach of Puerto Ángel, and the naturist beaches of Zipolite. To the north of Acapulco is the resort town of Ixtapa and the neighboring fishing town of Zihuatanejo. Further to the north are the wild and rugged surfing beaches of the Michoacán coast. Along the central and north Pacific coast, the biggest draws are beaches of Mazatlán city and the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Less frequented is the sheltered cove of Bahía de Navidad, the beach towns of Bahía Kino, and the black sands of Cuyutlán. San Carlos, home of the Playa los Algodones (Cotton Beach), is a winter draw, especially for retirees. At the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula is the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, a town noted for its beaches and marlin fishing. Further north along the Sea of Cortés is the Bahía de La Concepción, another beach town known for its sports fishing. Closer to the United States border is the weekend draw of San Felipe, Baja California. Meso-American ruins Malinalco Chichen-Itzá Tulum Monte Albán Calakmul and Edzná Palenque Xochicalco Teotihuacan The central and southern parts of Mexico was host to several pre-Hispanic civilizations, the most prominent being the Aztec, Mayan, and the Olmec. There are numerous tourist destinations where these ruins can be viewed. The Yucatán peninsula was home to the Mayan people, and many of the indigenous people still speak the language. The area also contains many sites where ruins of the Maya civilization can be visited. The richest of these are located in the eastern half of the peninsula and are collectively known as La Ruta Puuc . The largest of the Ruta Puuc sites is Uxmal, which was abandoned in the 12th century. A one hour drive to the northeast of Ruta Puuc are the surviving remains of the city of Mayapán. This settlement was controlled by Chichén Itzá to the east, now a large archaeological site with many interesting ruins. Other ruins on the peninsula include the aforementioned Tulum on the east coast, Cobá to the northwest of Tulum, Polé (now Xcaret) just south of Playa del Carmen and Calakmul in the nature reserve along the Guatemala border. However this list by no means exhausts the number of archaeological sites to be found in this area. To the west, the state of Chiapas includes the temples and ruins of Palenque, the glyphs of the city of Yaxchilán, the painted walls of nearby Bonampak, and the remains of the fortress of Toniná. In the city of Villahermosa to the north is the Parque-Museo La Venta, with a collection of Olmec sculptures. Along the gulf coast area in the state of Veracruz are more archaeological sites, with the Olmec ceremonial center of Tres Zapotes, the ruins of the large Totonac city of Zempoala, and the ruins of El Tajín with the Pyramid of the Niches. The city of Xalapa contains the Museo de Antropología, a notable museum featuring a collection of massive Olmec head sculptures. In the state of Oaxaca along the Pacific coast are the ruins of Mitla, known as the "City of Death" and of Monte Albán, the remains of the once extensive Zapotec capital and religious center. Moving to the north, the central region around Mexico City contains several archaeological sites. To the southwest are the massive ruins of Teotihuacán, including the Pyramid of the Sun and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. To the southeast near the city of Cholula is the Great Pyramid, visible from the city center. Just to the north of Cholula are the well-preserved ruins of the city of Cacaxtla. Last but not least is the Toltec capital of Tula, to the north of Mexico City. In the capital itself is the largest museum in Mexico, the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Finally, less visited than the major sites are the mysterious ruins of La Quemada, sometimes referred to as Chicomostoc, located south of Zacatecas, Zacatecas in the northern half of Mexico. Spanish colonial history Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes. Famous for its world renowned festival San Marcos Fair during which it attracts 7 million tourists. This colonial City has gained prestige and status as a national destination for its colonial beauty, and absolute cleanliness. There are many amazing squares and gardens, surrounded by numerous buildings, from baroque churches to porfirian mansions. Campeche, Campeche. The only walled city in Mexico, is a World Heritage Site. Cuernavaca, Morelos. Historic marvelous architecture, many times hidden behind tall walls, fortresses and monasteries, some UNESCO sites Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato. The most important historical city of the country where the Mexican Independence War from Spain began. Guanajuato, Guanajuato. It's a wonderful colonial treasure. This was the second most important city of the Viceroyalty of the New Spain. The whole town is a World Heritage Site. Mérida, Yucatán. Dubbed the white city, with mayan tradition has many colonial Mansions of impressive beauty. Mexico City. The City of Palaces as Alexander von Humbolt called it. It has been the capital of the country for almost 700 years. Since the foundation of the Aztec Empire until nowadays. Morelia, Michoacán. Excellent colonial architecture can be admired in this city. Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Colonial Architecture and Indigenous tradition are mixed here. Puebla, Puebla. The city of colorful tiles and Grand architecture, its historic center is a World Heritage Site Querétaro. The state capital has a beautiful baroque downtown, declared a World Heritage Site. Other popular destinations include the third tallest monolith in the world a city famous for its thermal springs in the middle of a wine and cheese making area (Tequisquiapan), and astonishing natural and cultural beauties in the biosphere reserve of Sierra Gorda. San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí. Rich in ancient times from its mines, this colonial city was the capital of Mexico twice. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. One of Mexico's oldest towns. Many historic churches and the open-air Plaza Allende. An exceptional beauty Gothic Cathedral is located here. Sombrerete, Zacatecas. Colonial town, it is famous for the historic churches and the colonial architecture. Taxco, Guerrero. Silver jewelry. A very famous baroque church is located here, its interior is the most admired since the baroque ornamentations are all covered in gold. Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala. Four centuries without change are present in this city, famous for its Arabic mudejar open air chapel, next to the cathedral. Veracruz, Veracruz. The first City Hall in the Americas was settled here. Zacatecas, Zacatecas. The city downtown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the astonishing pink facade of its cathedral, it is baroque in style, and exuberant in its ornamentation. The city is a delight for the national tourism. Natural wonders Barranca del Cobre Cascada de Texolo Durango El Nevado El Rosario in the last two months of the year, a mass migration of monarch butterflies reaches the El Rosario sanctuary near Zitácuaro, Michoacán. Isla Mujeres Pinacate Peaks La Bufadora Mazatlán Sian Ka'an Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) Parque Nacional Sierra de Organos (Sombrerete, Zacatecas) Parque Nacional Sierra San Pedro Mártir Real de Catorce Tzararecuita General tourism Monterrey, Nuevo León Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Guadalajara, Jalisco and nearby Lake Chapala Papantla, Veracruz vanilla Piedras Negras, Coahuila San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí Saltillo, Coahuila Tequila, Jalisco Tijuana, Baja California Torreón, Coahuila Puerto Vallarta festival San Sebastián del Oeste, Jalisco History The history of Mexico, a country located in the southern portion of North America, covers a period of more than two millennia. First populated more than 13,000 years ago, the country produced complex indigenous civilizations before being conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century. Since the Spanish conquest, Mexico has fused its long-established native civilizations with European culture. Perhaps nothing better represents this hybrid background than Mexico's languages: the country is both the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and home to the largest number of Native American language speakers on the continent. From 1519, the Spaniards absorbed the native peoples into Spain's vast colonial empire. For three centuries Mexico was just another kingdom of the Spanish Empire, during which time its indigenous population fell by more than half and was partially replaced by Spaniards and the now predominant Mestizos or mixture of Indigenous and Spanish populations. It was also then that the current Spanish-speaking, Catholic and Westernized Mexican culture was born. After a protracted struggle Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1810. In 1846, the Mexican American War broke out, ending two years later with Mexico ceding almost half of its territory to the United States. Later in the 19th century, France invaded Mexico (1861) and set Maximilian I on the Mexican throne, which lasted until 1867. A half-century of economic stagnation and political chaos ended as Porfirio Díaz held power and promoted order and the modernization of the society and economy. Mexico's infrastructure was modernized by a strong, stable central government. Increased tax revenues and better administration brought dramatic improvements in public safety, public health, railways, mining, industry, foreign trade, and national finances. Little had been done for the nation's poor, and they revolted in the Mexican Revolution (1910–1929). Roaming armies killed a tenth of the nation's population, but the Revolution freed the peons from the system of large haciendas that had originated with the Spanish Conquest. The center-left Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) controlled national and state politics after 1929, and nationalized the oil industry in the 1930s. The population grew rapidly even as millions moved to the United States. Mexico's economy was further integrated with the U.S. after the NAFTA agreement began lowering trade barriers in 1994. Seven decades of PRI rule ended in the year 2000 with the election of Vicente Fox of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN). In the face of extremely violent drug wars, the PRI returned to power in 2012, promising that it had reformed itself. Prehistory and pre-Columbian civilizations The pre-history of Mexico is known through the work of archaeologists and epigraphers. Accounts written by the Spanish at time of their conquest and by indigenous chroniclers of the post-conquest period constitute the principal source of information regarding Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. While relatively few parchments (or codices) of the Mixtec and Aztec cultures of the Post-Classic period survive, progress has been made in the area of Maya archaeology and epigraphy. Beginnings The presence of people in Mesoamerica was once thought to date back 40,000 years, an estimate based on what were believed to be ancient footprints discovered in the Valley of Mexico; but after further investigation using radiocarbon dating, it appears this date may not be accurate. It is currently unclear whether 21,000-year-old campfire remains found in the Valley of Mexico are the earliest human remains uncovered so far in Mexico. The first people to settle in Mexico encountered a climate far milder than the current one. In particular, the Valley of Mexico contained several large paleo-lakes surrounded by dense forest. Bison and deer roamed in large numbers. Such conditions encouraged the pursuit of a hunter-gatherer existence. Corn, squash, and beans The diet of ancient Mexico was varied, including corn squashes such as pumpkin and butternut squash, common or pinto beans, tomatoes, peppers, cassava, pineapples, chocolate, and tobacco. The Three Sisters (corn, squash, and beans) constituted the principal diet. Indigenous peoples in western Mexico began to selectively breed maize (Zea mays) plants from precursor grasses (e.g., teosinte) around 8000 BC, and intensive corn farming began between 1800 and 1500 BC. Religion The Mesoamerican had the concept of god and religion, but were very different from Abrahamic concepts. The Mesoamericans had a belief where everything, every element of the cosmos, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, which mankind inhabits, everything that forms part of nature such as animals, plants, water and mountains all represented a manifestation of the supernatural. In most cases gods and goddesses are often depicted in stone reliefs, pottery decoration, wall paintings and in the various Maya, Aztec and Mixtec codices. The spiritual pantheon was vast and extremely complex. However, many of the deities depicted are common to the various civilizations and their worship survived over long periods of time. They frequently took on different characteristics and even names in different areas, but in effect they transcended cultures and time. Great masks with gaping jaws and monstrous features in stone or stucco were often located at the entrance to temples, symbolizing a cavern or cave on the flanks of the mountains that allowed access to the depths of Mother Earth and the shadowy roads that lead to the underworld. Cults connected with the jaguar and jade especially permeated religion throughout Mesoamerica. Jade, with its translucent green color was revered along with water as a symbol of life and fertility. The jaguar, agile, powerful and fast, was especially connected with warriors and as spirit guides of shamans. Despite differences of chronology or geography, the crucial aspects of this religious pantheon were shared amongst the people of ancient Mesoamerica. Thus, this quality of acceptance of new gods to the collection of existing gods may have been one of the shaping characteristics for the success during the Christianization of Mesoamerica. New gods did not at once replace the old; they initially joined the ever growing family of deities or were merged with existing ones that seemed to share similar characteristics or responsibilities. Writing Mesoamerica is the only place in the Americas where indigenous writing systems were invented and used before European colonization. While the types of writing systems in Mesoamerica range from minimalist "picture-writing" to complex logophonetic systems capable of recording speech and literature, they all share some core features that make them visually and functionally distinct from other writing systems of the world. The great civilizations During the pre-Columbian period, many city-states, kingdoms, and empires competed with one another for power and prestige. Ancient Mexico can be said to have produced five major civilizations: the Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacan,Toltec, and Aztec. Unlike other indigenous Mexican societies, these civilizations extended their political and cultural reach across Mexico and beyond. They consolidated power and exercised influence in matters of trade, art, politics, technology, and religion. Over a span of 3,000 years, other regional powers made economic and political alliances with them; many made war on them. But almost all found themselves within their spheres of influence. The Olmec (1400–400 BC) The Olmec first appeared along the Atlantic coast in the period 1500-900 BC. The Olmecs were the first Mesoamerican culture to produce an identifiable artistic and cultural style, and may also have been the society that invented writing in Mesoamerica. By the Middle Preclassic Period (900-300 BC), Olmec artistic styles had been adopted as far away as the Valley of Mexico and Costa Rica. The Maya Mayan cultural characteristics, such as the rise of the ahau, or king, can be traced from 300 BC onwards. During the centuries preceding the classical period, Mayan kingdoms sprang up in an area stretching from the Pacific coasts of southern Mexico and Guatemala to the northern Yucatán Peninsula. The egalitarian Mayan society of pre-royal centuries gradually gave way to a society controlled by a wealthy elite that began building large ceremonial temples and complexes. The earliest known long-count date, 199 AD, heralds the classic period, during which the Mayan kingdoms supported a population numbering in the millions. Tikal, the largest of the kingdoms, alone had 500,000 inhabitants, though the average population of a kingdom was much smaller—somewhere under 50,000 people. When the Spaniards came, they brought disease, guns, and steel. With those tools they wiped out most of Mayan civilization. The Teotihuacan Teotihuacan is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas. Apart from the pyramidal structures, Teotihuacan is also known for its large residential complexes, the Avenue of the Dead, and numerous colorful, well-preserved murals. Additionally, Teotihuacan produced a thin orange pottery style that spread through Mesoamerica. The city is thought to have been established around 100 BCE and continued to be built until about 250 CE. The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. At this time it may have had more than 200,000 inhabitants, placing it among the largest cities of the world in this period. Teotihuacan was even home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate this large population. The civilization and cultural complex associated with the site is also referred to as Teotihuacan or Teotihuacano. Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented; evidence of Teotihuacano presence can be seen at numerous sites in Veracruz and the Maya region. The Aztecs may have been influenced by this city. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is also a subject of debate. Possible candidates are the Nahua, Otomi or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have also suggested that Teotihuacan was a multiethnic state. The Toltec The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo, in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology . The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tollan (Nahuatl for Tula) as the epitome of civilization, indeed in the Nahuatl language the word "Toltec" came to take on the meaning "artisan". The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec empire giving lists of rulers and their exploits. Among modern scholars it is a matter of debate whether the Aztec narratives of Toltec history should be given credence as descriptions of actual historical events. While all scholars acknowledge that there is a large mythological part of the narrative some maintain that by using a critical comparative method some level of historicity can be salvaged from the sources, whereas others maintain that continued analysis of the narratives as sources of actual history is futile and hinders access to actual knowledge of the culture of Tula, Hidalgo. Other controversy relating to the Toltecs include how best to understand reasons behind the perceived similarities in architecture and iconography between the archaeological site of Tula and the Maya site of Chichén Itzá – no consensus has emerged yet about the degree or direction of influence between the two sites. The Aztec Empire (1325–1521 AD) The Nahua peoples began to enter central Mexico in the 6th century AD. By the 12th century, they had established their center at Azcapotzalco, the city of the Tepanecs. The Mexica people arrived in the Valley of Mexico in 1248 AD. They had migrated from the deserts north of the Rio Grande over a period traditionally said to have been 100 years. They may have thought of themselves as the heirs to the prestigious civilizations that had preceded them. What the Aztec initially lacked in political power, however, they made up for with ambition and military skill. In 1325, they established the biggest city in the world at that time, Tenochtitlan. Aztec religion was based on the belief of the constant offering of human blood to continue functioning; to meet this need, the Aztec sacrificed thousands of people. This belief is thought to have been common throughout Nahuatl people. To acquire captives in times of peace, the Aztec resorted to a form of ritual warfare called flower war. The Tlaxcalteca, among other Nahuatl nations, were forced into such wars. In 1428, the Aztec led a war of liberation against their rulers from the city of Azcapotzalco, which had subjugated most of the Valley of Mexico's peoples. The revolt was successful, and the Aztecs became the rulers of central Mexico as the leaders of the Triple Alliance. The alliance was composed of the city-states of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. At their peak, 350,000 Aztec presided over a wealthy tribute-empire comprising 10 million people, almost half of Mexico's estimated population of 24 million. Their empire stretched from ocean to ocean, and extended into Central America. The westward expansion of the empire was halted by a devastating military defeat at the hands of the Purepecha (who possessed weapons made of copper). The empire relied upon a system of taxation (of goods and services), which were collected through an elaborate bureaucracy of tax collectors, courts, civil servants, and local officials who were installed as loyalists to the Triple Alliance. By 1519, the Aztec capital, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the site of modern-day Mexico City, was one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of 30,000 (estimates range as high as 60,000). The Spanish conquest Mesoamerica on the eve of the conquest The first mainland explorations were followed by a phase of inland expeditions and conquest. The Spanish crown extended the Reconquista effort, completed in Spain in 1492, to non-Catholic people in new territories. In 1502 on the coast of present day Colombia, near the Gulf of Urabá, Spanish explorers led by Vasco Núñez de Balboa explored and conquered the area near the Atrato River. The conquest was of the Chibchan speaking nations, mainly the Muisca and Tairona indigenous people that lived here. The Spanish founded San Sebastian de Uraba in 1509—abandoned within the year, and in 1510 the first permanent Spanish mainland settlement in America, Santa María la Antigua del Darién. The first Europeans to arrive in what is modern day Mexico were the survivors of a Spanish shipwreck in 1511. Only two managed to survive Gerónimo de Aguilar and Gonzalo Guerrero until further contact was made with Spanish explorers years later. On 8 February 1517 an expedition led by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba left the harbor of Santiago de Cuba to explore the shores of southern Mexico. During the course of this expedition many of Hernández' men were killed, most during a battle near the town of Champotón against a Maya army. He himself was injured, and died a few days shortly after his return to Cuba. This was the Europeans' first encounter with an advanced civilization in the Americas, with solidly built buildings and a complex social organization which they recognized as being comparable to those of the Old World. Hernán Cortés led a new expedition to Mexico landing ashore at present day Veracruz on 22 April 1519, a date which marks the beginning of 300 years of Spanish hegemony over the region. There is a difference in the 'Spanish conquest of Mexico' between the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and the Spanish conquest of Yucatán. The former is conquest of the campaign, led by Hernán Cortés from 1519–21 and his Tlaxcala and other 'indigenous peoples' allied against the Mexica/Aztec empire. The Spanish conquest of Yucatán is the much longer campaign, from 1551–1697, against the Maya peoples of the Maya civilization in the Yucatán Peninsula of present day Mexico and northern Central America. The aftermath Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs, and the Tlaxcalteca Tenochtitlan had been almost totally destroyed by fire and cannon shots. Those Aztecs who survived were forbidden to live in the city and the surrounding isles, and they went to live in Tlatelolco. Cortés imprisoned the royal families of the valley. To prevent another revolt, he personally tortured and killed Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec Emperor; Coanacoch, the King of Texcoco, and Tetlepanquetzal, King of Tlacopan. The Spanish had no intentions of turning over Tenochtitlan to the Tlaxcalteca. While Tlaxcalteca troops continued to help the Spaniards, and Tlaxcala received better treatment than other indigenous nations, the Spanish eventually disowned the treaty. Forty years after the conquest, the Tlaxcalteca had to pay the same tribute as any other indigenous community. Political. Apparently, Cortes favored maintaining the political structure of the Aztecs, subject to relatively minor changes. Religious. Cortes immediately banned human sacrifice throughout the conquered empire. Evangelization began in the mid-1520s and continued in the 1530s. Many of the evangelists learned the native languages and recorded aspects of native culture, providing a principal source for our knowledge about them. By 1560, more than 800 clergy were working to convert Indians in New Spain. By 1580, the number grew to 1,500 and by 1650, to 3,000. Economics ... . Analysis of the defeat Military Tactics. The Alliance's use of ambush during indigenous ceremonies allowed the Spanish to avoid fighting the best Aztec warriors in direct armed battle, such as during The Feast of Huitzilopochtli. Smallpox and its Toll. Smallpox began to spread in Mesoamerica immediately after the arrival of Europeans. The indigenous peoples, who had no immunity to it, eventually died in the hundreds of thousands. A third of all the natives of the Valley of Mexico succumbed to it within six months of the arrival of the Spanish. The colonial period (1521–1810) The capture of Tenochtitlan marked the beginning of a 300-year-long colonial period, during which Mexico was known as "New Spain". Period of the conquest (1521–1650) Contrary to a widespread misconception, Spain did not conquer all of the Aztec Empire when Cortes took Tenochtitlan. It required another two centuries to complete the conquest: rebellions broke out within the old Empire and wars continued with other native peoples. After the fall of Tenochtitlan, it took decades of sporadic warfare to subdue the rest of Mesoamerica. Particularly fierce was the Chichimeca War in the north. Economics. The Council of Indies and the mendicant establishments, which arose in Mesoamerica as early as 1524, labored to generate capital for the crown of Spain and convert the Indian populations to Catholicism. During this period and the following Colonial periods the sponsorship of mendicant friars and a process of religious syncretism combined the Pre-Hispanic cultures with Spanish socio-religious tradition. The resulting hodgepodge of culture was a pluriethnic State that relied on the "repartimiento", a system of peasant "Republic of Indians" labor that carried out any necessary work. Thus, the existing feudal system of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican culture was replaced by the encomienda feudal-style system of Spain, probably adapted to the pre-Hispanic tradition. This in turn was finally replaced by a debt-based inscription of labor that led to widespread revitalization movements and prompted the revolution that ended colonial New Spain. Evolution of the Race. During the three centuries of colonial rule, less than 700,000 Spaniards, most of them men, settled in Mexico. The settlers intermarried with indigenous women, fathering the mixed race (mestizo) descendents who today constitute the majority of Mexico's population. The colonial period (1650–1810) During this period, Mexico was part of the much larger Viceroyalty of New Spain, which included Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central America as far south as Costa Rica, the southwestern United States including Florida, and the Philippines. Spain during the 16th century focused its energies on areas with dense populations that had produced Pre-Columbian civilizations, since these areas could provide the settlers with a disciplined labor force and a population to catechize. Territories populated by nomadic peoples were harder to conquer, and though the Spanish did explore a good part of North America, seeking the fabled "El Dorado", they made no concerted effort to settle the northern desert regions in what is now the United States until the end of 16th century . Colonial law with Spanish roots but native originalities was introduced, creating a balance between local jurisdiction (the Cabildos) and the Crown's, whereby upper administrative offices were closed to the natives, even those of pure Spanish blood. Administration was based on the racial separation of the population between the Republics of Spaniards, Indians and Mestizos, autonomous and directly dependent on the king himself. From an economic point of view, New Spain was administered principally for the benefit of the Empire and its military and defensive efforts (Mexico provided more than half of the Empire taxes and supported the administration of all North and Central America). Competition with the metropolis was discouraged, and for instance the cultivation of grapes and olives, introduced by Cortez himself, was banned out of fear that these crops would compete with Spain's. In order to protect the country from the attacks of English, French and Dutch pirates, as well as the Crown's revenue, only two ports were open to foreign trade—Veracruz on the Atlantic and Acapulco on the Pacific. The pirates attacked, plundered and ravaged several cities like Campeche (1557), Veracruz (1568) and Alvarado (1667). Education was encouraged by the Crown from the very beginning, and Mexico boasts the first primary school (Texcoco, 1523), first university (1551) and the first printing house (1524) of the Americas. Indigenous languages were studied mainly by the religious orders during the first centuries, and became official languages in the so-called Republic of Indians, only to be outlawed and ignored after independence by the prevailing Spanish-speaking creoles. Mexico produced important cultural achievements during the colonial period, like the literature of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Ruiz de Alarcón, as well as cathedrals, civil monuments, forts and colonial cities such as Puebla, Mexico City, Querétaro, Zacatecas and others, today part of Unesco's World Heritage. The syncretism between indigenous and Spanish cultures gave way in New Spain to many of nowadays Mexican staple and world-famous cultural traits like tequila (first distilled in the 16th century), mariachi (18th), jarabe (17th), charros (17th) and the highly prized Mexican cuisine, fruit of the mixture of European and indigenous ingredients and techniques. Mexican independence and the 19th century (1807–1910) After independence, Mexican politics was chaotic, with the presidency changing hands 75 times in the next 55 years . Mexico was poorer (in per capita terms) in 1876 than it was in 1821. Some commentators explain Mexico's slow economic growth before 1876 in terms of the negative impact of Spanish rule, the concentration of landholding in the hands of a few families, and the reactionary role of the Catholic Church. Coatsworth rejects those arguments and says the chief obstacles were poor transportation and inefficient economic organization. Under the Porfiriato regime (1876–1910), economic growth was much faster. War of Independence Insurgents, inspired by the record of the American and French Revolutions, saw their opportunity in 1808 as the king abdicated in Madrid and Spain was overwhelmed by war and occupation. The rebellion began as an idealistic peasants' and miners' movement led by a local priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla who issued the "The Cry of Dolores" on 16 September 1810; the day is celebrated as Independence Day. Shouting "Independence and death to the Spaniards!" they marched on the capital with a very large, poorly organized army. It was routed by the Spanish and Hidalgo was executed. Another priest Jose Maria Morelos took over and was more successful in his quest for republicanism and independence. Spain, its reactionary monarchy restored in 1814 after Napoleon's defeat, fought back. Spain executed Morelos in 1815; the scattered insurgents formed guerrilla bands. In 1820 the creoles, led by Augustin de Iturbide, joined the rebellion. The rebels formulated the "Plan of Iguala", demanding an independent constitutional monarchy, a religious monopoly for the Catholic Church, and equality for Spaniards and creoles. On Sept. 27, 1821, Iturbide and the viceroy signed the Treaty of Cordoba whereby Spain granted the demands and withdrew. After independence (1821–1846) Empire or republic? The United Mexican States was established on 4 October 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. However, most of the population largely ignored it. When Guadalupe Victoria was followed in office by Vicente Guerrero, who won the electoral but lost the popular vote, the Conservative Party saw an opportunity to seize control and led a coup under Anastasio Bustamante, who served as president from 1830 to 1832, and again from 1837 to 1841. Political developments in the South and North Santa Anna The federalists asked Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna to overthrow Bustamante; he did, declaring General Manuel Gómez Pedraza as president. Elections were held, and Santa Anna took office in 1832. Constantly changing political beliefs, as president (he served as president 11 times), in 1834, Santa Anna abrogated the federal constitution, causing insurgencies in the southeastern state of Yucatán and the northernmost portion of the northern state of Coahuila y Tejas. Both areas sought independence from the central government. Negotiations and the presence of Santa Anna's army brought Yucatán to recognize Mexican sovereignty, Santa Anna's army turned to the northern rebellion. The inhabitants of Tejas, calling themselves Texans and led mainly by relatively recently arrived English-speaking settlers, declared independence from Mexico at Washington-on-the-Brazos on 2 March 1836, giving birth to the Republic of Texas. At the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, Texan militias defeated the Mexican army and captured General Santa Anna. In 1845, the U.S. Congress ratified Texas' petition for statehood. Comanche raids The northern states grew increasingly isolated, economically and politically, due to prolonged Comanche raids and attacks. New Mexico in particular had been gravitating toward Comancheria. In the 1820s, when the United States began to exert influence over the region, New Mexico had already begun to question its loyalty to Mexico. By the time of the Mexican-American War, the Comanches had raided and pillaged large portions of northern Mexico, resulting in sustained impoverishment, political fragmentation, and general frustration at the inability—or unwillingness—of the Mexican government to discipline the Comanches. Texas Soon after achieving independence, the Mexican government, in an effort to populate its northern territories, awarded extensive land grants in Coahuila y Tejas to thousands of families from the United States, on condition that the settlers convert to Catholicism and become Mexican citizens. The Mexican government also forbade the importation of slaves. These conditions were largely ignored. A key factor in the decision to allow Americans in was the belief that they would a) protect northern Mexico from Comanche attacks and b) buffer the northern states against U.S. westward expansion. The policy failed on both counts: the Americans tended to settle far from the Comanche raiding zones and used the Mexican government's failure to suppress the raids as a pretext for declaring independence. The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was a military conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836. However, a war at sea between Mexico and Texas would continue into the 1840s. Animosity between the Mexican government and the American settlers in Texas, as well as many Texas residents of Mexican ancestry, began with the Siete Leyes of 1835, when Mexican President and General Antonio López de Santa Anna abolished the federal Constitution of 1824 and proclaimed the more centralizing 1835 constitution in its place. War began in Texas on October 2, 1835, with the Battle of Gonzales. Early Texian Army successes at La Bahia and San Antonio were soon met with crushing defeat at the same locations a few months later. The war ended at the Battle of San Jacinto where General Sam Houston led the Texian Army to victory over a portion of the Mexican Army under Santa Anna, who was captured shortly after the battle. The conclusion of the war resulted in the creation of the Republic of Texas in 1836. The Mexican-American War (1846–1848) In response to a Mexican massacre of an American army detachment in disputed territory, the U.S. Congress declared war on May 13, 1846; Mexico followed suit on 23 May. The Mexican–American War took place in two theatres: the western and Central Mexico (aimed at capturing Mexico City) campaigns. In March 1847, U.S. President James K. Polk sent an army of 12,000 volunteer and regular soldiers under General Winfield Scott to the port of Veracruz. The 70 ships of the invading forces arrived at the city on 7 March and began a naval bombombardment. After landing his men, horses, and supplies, Scott began the Siege of Veracruz. The city (at that time still walled) was defended by Mexican General Juan Morales with 3,400 men. Veracruz replied as best it could with artillery to the bombardment from land and sea, but the city walls were reduced. After 12 days, the Mexicans surrendered. Scott marched west with 8,500 men, while Santa Anna entrenched with artillery and 12,000 troops on the main road halfway to Mexico City. At the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Santa Anna was outflanked and routed. Scott pushed on to Puebla, Mexico's second largest city, which capitulated without resistance on 1 May—the citizens were hostile to Santa Anna. After the Battle of Chapultepec (13 September 1847), Mexico City was occupied; Scott became its military governor. Many other parts of Mexico were also occupied. Some Mexican units fought with distinction. One of the justly commemorated units was a group of six young Military College cadets (now considered Mexican national heroes). These cadets fought to the death defending their college during the Battle of Chapultepec. The war ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which stipulated that a) Mexico must sell its northern territories to the United States for US $15 million; b) the United States would give full citizenship and voting rights, and protect the property rights of Mexicans living in the ceded territories; and c) the United States would assume $3.25 million in debt owed by Mexico to Americans. The war was Mexico's first encounter with a modern well-organized and well-equipped army. The primary reason for Mexico's defeat was its problematic internal situation, which led to a lack of unity and organization for a successful defense. After the war Washington discovered that a much easier railroad route to California lay slightly south of the Gila River, in Mexico. In 1853, President Santa Anna sold off the Gadsden Strip to the US for $5 million in the Gadsden Purchase. This loss of still more territory provoked considerable outrage among the Mexican populace, but Santa Anna claimed that he needed money to rebuild the army from the war. In the end, he kept or squandered most of it. The struggle for liberal reform (1855–1872) La Reforma was a period halfway through the 19th century characterized by liberal reforms and the transformation of Mexico into a nation state. Mexico had a largely rural population of eight million, half of them poorly educated Indians. The reformers, based in the cities, knew they had to reach out to the countryside. The younger generation of political leaders were shocked at the poor fight Mexico against the United States in 1848, and saw modernization as a way to strengthen the nation. Notable liberal politicians in the reform period include Benito Juárez, Juan Álvarez, Ignacio Comonfort, Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, Melchor Ocampo, José María Iglesias and Santos Degollado. Their strategy was to sharply limit the traditional privileges land holdings of the Catholic Church and thereby revitalize the market in land. However, no class of small peasants identified with the Liberal program emerged. Many merchants acquired land . Many existing landowners expanded their holdings at peasant expense, and some upwardly mobile ranch owners, often mestizos, acquired land. The Reforma began with the final overthrow of Santa Anna in the Revolution of Ayutla in 1855. The moderate Liberal Ignacio Comonfort became president. The Moderados tried to find a middle ground between the nation's liberals and conservatives. There is less consensus about the ending point of the Reforma. Common dates are 1861, after the liberal victory in the Reform War; 1867, after the republican victory over the French intervention in Mexico; and 1876 when Porfirio Díaz overthrew president Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada. Liberalism dominated Mexico as an intellectual force into the 20th century. Liberals championed reform and supported republicanism, capitalism, and individualism; they fought to reduce the Church's reactionary roles in education, land ownership and politics. The 1857 Constitution Colonel Ignacio Comonfort became president in 1855 after a revolt based in Ayutla overthrew Santa Anna. Comonfort was a moderate liberal who tried to maintain an uncertain coalition, but the moderate liberals and the radical liberals were unable to resolve their sharp differences. During his presidency, the Constitution of 1857 was drafted creating the Second Federal Republic of Mexico. The new constitution restricted some of the Catholic Church's traditional privileges, land holdings, revenues and control over education. It granted religious freedom, stating only that the Catholic Church was the favored faith. The anti-clerical radicals scored a major victory with the ratification of the constitution, because it weakened the Church and enfranchised illiterate commoners. The constitution was unacceptable to the clergy and the conservatives, and they plotted a revolt. With the "Plan of Tacubaya" in December 1857, Comonfort tried to regain the popular support from the growing conservative pro-clerical movement. The liberals failed, however, as conservative General Félix Zuloaga succeeded in a coup in the capital in January, 1858. The War of Reform The revolt led to the War of Reform which grew increasingly bloody as it progressed and polarized the nation's politics. Many Moderates, convinced that the Church's political power had to be curbed, came over to the side of the Liberals. For some time, the Liberals and Conservatives simultaneously administered separate governments, the Conservatives from Mexico City and the Liberals from Veracruz. The war ended with a Liberal victory, and liberal President Benito Juárez moved his administration to Mexico City. French intervention and the Second Mexican Empire (1861–1867) In the 1860s, the country was invaded by France, which installed Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, with support from the Church, conservative elements of the upper class, and some indigenous communities. Although the French suffered an initial defeat they eventually defeated the Mexican army and set Maximilian on the throne. The Mexican-French monarchy set up administration in Mexico City, governing from the National Palace. Maximilian's consort was Empress Carlota of Mexico. The Imperial couple chose as their home Chapultepec Castle. The Imperial couple noticed how the people of Mexico (and especially the Indians) were mal-treated, and wanted to ensure their human rights. They were interested in a Mexico for the Mexicans, and did not share the views of Napoleon III, who was more interested in exploiting the rich mines in the northwest of the country, and the possibility of growing cotton. Maximilian was a liberal: he favored the establishment of a limited monarchy, one that would share its powers with a democratically elected congress. This was too liberal to please Mexico's conservatives, while the liberals refused to accept any monarch, leaving Maximilian with few enthusiastic allies within Mexico. Meanwhile Juárez kept the federal government functioning during the French intervention. France never made a profit in Mexico and increasingly the Mexican expedition grew unpopular. Finally in the spring of 1865, with the Civil War over, the United States demanded the withdrawal of French troops from Mexico; Napoleon III quietly complied. In mid-1867, following repeated losses in battle to the Republican Army and ever decreasing support from Napoleon III, Maximilian was captured and executed. Juárez remained in office until his death in 1872. Juarez and the restoration of the republic (1867–1872) In 1867, the republic was restored and Juárez reelected; he continued to implement his reforms. In 1871, he was elected a second time, much to the dismay of his opponents within the Liberal party, who considered reelection to be somewhat undemocratic. Juárez died one year later and was succeeded by Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada. Part of Juarez's reforms included fully secularizing the country. The Catholic Church was barred from owning property aside from houses of worship and monasteries, and education and marriage were put in the hands of the state. The Porfiriato (1876–1910) The dictatorship the Porfirio Díaz was dedicated to order—which meant the rule by law and the suppression of violence—and modernization of all aspects of the society and economy. Diaz was an astute politician who built a national base of supporters; to avoid antagonizing Catholics he avoided enforcement of the anticlerical laws (but they remained on the books.) During this period, the country's infrastructure was greatly improved, thanks to increased foreign investment from Britain and the U.S., and a strong, stable central government. Increased tax revenues and better administration brought dramatic improvements in public safety, public health, railways, mining, industry, foreign trade, and national finances. He modernized the army and suppressed some banditry. After a half-century of stagnation, where per capita income was merely a tenth of the developed nations such as Britain and the U.S., the Mexican economy took off and grew at an annual rate of 2.3% (1877 to 1910), which was quite high by world standards. Mexico moved from ridicule to international pride. As traditional ways were under challenge, urban Mexicans debated national identity, the rejection of indigenous cultures, the new passion for French culture, and the challenge of creating a modern nation by means of industrialization and scientific modernization. The middle class and the rich prospered, but little was done for the peasants and workers beyond better health. Order, progress, and dictatorship In 1876, Lerdo was reelected, defeating Porfirio Díaz. Díaz rebelled against the government with the proclamation of the Plan de Tuxtepec, in which he opposed reelection, in 1876. Díaz managed to overthrow Lerdo, who fled the country, and was named president. Díaz became the new president. Thus began a period of more than 30 years during which Díaz was Mexico's strong man. He was legally elected president eight times, turning over power once, from 1880 to 1884, to a trusted ally, General Manuel Gonzailez. This period of relative prosperity and peace is known as the Porfiriato. He remained in power by rigging elections and censoring the press. Possible rivals were destroyed, and popular generals were moved to new areas so they could not build a permanent base of support. Banditry on roads leading to major cities was largely suppressed by the "Rurales", a new police force that he controlled. Banditry remained a major threat in more remote areas, for the Rurales comprised fewer than 1000 men. The Army was reduced in size from 30,000 to under 20,000 men for such a large country. However the army was modernized, well-trained, and equipped with the latest technology. It was top-heavy with 5,000 officers, many of them elderly but politically well connected veterans of the wars of the 1860s. The political skills that Diaz used so effectively before 1900 faded, as he and his closest advisors were less open to negotiations with younger leaders. His announcement in 1908 that he would retire in 1911 unleashed a widespread feeling that Diaz was on the way out, and that new coalitions had to be built. He nevertheless ran for reelection but was overthrown in 1911 and forced into exile when Army units rebelled. Population and public health Under Díaz, the population grew steadily from 11 million in 1877 to 15 million in 1910. Because of very high infant mortality the life expectancy at birth was only 25.0 years in 1900. Few immigrants arrived. Diaz gave enormous power and prestige to the Superior Health Council, which developed a consistent and assertive strategy using up-to-date international scientific standards. It took control of disease certification; required prompt reporting of disease; and launched campaigns against tropical disease such as yellow fever. Economy Fiscal stability was achieved by José Yves Limantour Secretary of the Finance of Mexico from 1893 until 1910. He was the leader of the well-educated technocrats known as Científicos, who were committed to modernity and sound finance. Limantour expanded foreign investment, supported free trade, and balanced the budget for the first time and generated a budget surplus by 1894. However, he was unable to halt the rising cost of food, which alienated the poor. The American Panic of 1907 was an economic downturn that caused a sudden drop in demand for Mexican copper, silver, gold, zinc, and other metals. Mexico in turn cut its imports of horses and mules, mining machinery, and railroad supplies. The result was an economic depression in Mexico in 1908-09 that soured optimism and raised the level of discontent with the Diaz regime, thus helping to set the stage for revolution in 1910. Mexico was vulnerable to external shocks because of its weak banking system. The banking system was controlled by a small oligarchy, which typically made long-term loans to their own directors. The banks were the financial arms of extended kinship-based business coalitions that used banks to raise additional capital to expand enterprises. Economic growth was largely based on trade with the United States. Mexico had few factories by 1880, but then industrialization took hold in the Northeast, especially in Monterrey. Factories produced machinery, textiles and beer, while smelters processed ores. Convenient rail links with the nearby U.S. gave local entrepreneurs from seven wealthy merchant families a competitive advantage over more distant cities. New federal laws in 1884 and 1887 allowed corporations to be more flexible. By the 1920s American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO), an American firm controlled by the Guggenheim family, had invested over 20 million pesos and employed nearly two thousand workers smelting copper and making wire to meet the demand for electrical wiring in the U.S. and Mexico. Modernity The modernizers insisted that schools lead the way, and that science replace superstition. They reformed elementary schools by mandating uniformity, secularization, and rationality. The followed international trends in teaching methods. There was an emphasis on punctuality and assiduity as well as the health of children in order to break the traditional peasant habits that hindered industrialization and rationalization. In 1910, the National University was opened as an elite school for the next generation of leaders. Cities were rebuilt with modernizing architects favoring the latest European styles, especially the Beaux-Arts style, to symbolize the break with the past. A highly visible exemplar was the Federal Legislative Palace, built 1897-1910. Rural unrest Tutino examines the impact of the Porfiriato in the highland basins south of Mexico City, which became the Zapatista heartland during the Revolution. Population growth, railways and concentration of land in a few families generated a commercial expansion that undercut the traditional powers of the villagers. There was anxiety and insecurity among the young men regarding the patriarchal roles they had expected to fill. The first signs came in violent crime within families and communities. However, after the defeat of Diaz in 1910 villagers expressed their rage in revolutionary assaults on local elites who had profited most from the Porfiriato. on those who presumed to rule and profit. The young men were radicalized, as they fought for their traditional roles regarding land, community, and patriarchy. The Mexican Revolution (1910–1929) The Mexican Revolution was based on popular participation. At first it was based on the peasantry: they demanded land, water, and a more sympathetic national government. Wasserman finds that: The Revolution grew increasingly broad based, radical and violent. The Revolution sought far-reaching social and economic reforms by strengthening the state and weakening the conservative forces represented by the Church, the rich landowners, and the foreign capitalist. Different strong men fought bitterly for control of regions; millions of people were uprooted; many died or fled to the United States. The United States intervened and was on the verge of war by 1917, but drew back. Finally in 1920 after many leaders were assassinated peace returned under presidents Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles (1924–28). First Phase: The Constitution of 1917 (1910–1921) The election of 1910 In 1910, the 80-year-old Díaz decided to hold an election for another term; he thought he had long since eliminated any serious opposition. However, Francisco I. Madero, an academic from a rich family, decided to run against him and quickly gathered popular support, despite his arrest and imprisonment by Díaz. When the official election results were announced, it was declared that Díaz had won reelection almost unanimously, with Madero receiving only a few hundred votes in the entire country. This fraud by the Porfiriato was too blatant for the public to swallow, and riots broke out. On November 20, 1910, Madero prepared a document known as the Plan de San Luis Potosí, in which he called the Mexican people to take up weapons and fight against the Díaz government. Madero managed to flee prison, escaping to San Antonio, Texas, where he began preparations for the overthrow of Díaz—an action today regarded as the start of the Mexican Revolution. Diaz attempted to use the army to suppress the revolts, but most of the ranking generals were old men close to his own age and they did not act swiftly or with sufficient energy to stem the chaos. Revolutionary force—led by, among others, Emiliano Zapata in the South, Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco in the North, and Venustiano Carranza—defeated the Federal Army, and Díaz resigned in 1911 for the "sake of the peace of the nation." He went into exile in France, where he died in 1915 at the age of 85. Violent disagreements (1911–1920) The revolutionary leaders had many different objectives; revolutionary figures varied from liberals such as Madero to radicals such as Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa. As a consequence, it proved impossible to reach agreement on how to organize the government that emerged from the triumphant first phase of the revolution. This standoff over political principles lead quickly to a struggle for control of the government, a violent conflict that lasted more than 20 years. Although this period is usually referred to as part of the Mexican Revolution, it might also be termed a civil war. Presidents Francisco I. Madero Venustiano Carranza (1920), and former revolutionary leaders Emiliano Zapata (1919) and Pancho Villa (1923) all were assassinated during this period. Following the resignation of Díaz and a brief reactionary intercourse, Madero was elected president in 1911, only to be ousted and killed in 1913 by Victoriano Huerta, one of Diaz' generals. This coup had the support of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Henry Lane Wilson, but not that of U.S. President-elect Woodrow Wilson. Huerta's brutality soon lost him domestic support, and the Wilson Administration actively opposed his regime, for example by the naval bombardment of Veracruz. In 1915, Huerta was overthrown by Venustiano Carranza, a former revolutionary general. Carranza promulgated a new constitution on February 5, 1917. The Mexican Constitution of 1917 still governs Mexico. On 19 January 1917, a secret message (the Zimmermann Telegram) was sent from the German foreign minister to Mexico proposing joint military action against the United States if war broke out. The offer included material aid to Mexico to assist in the reclamation of territory lost during the Mexican-American War, specifically the American states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Carranza consulted with his generals about this, and was told Mexico was certain to be defeated by its much more powerful neighbor. Zimmermann's message was intercepted and published, and outraged American opinion, leading to a declaration of war in early April. Carranza then formally rejected the offer, and the threat of war with the U.S. eased. Carranza was assassinated in 1919 during an internal feud among his former supporters over who would replace him as president. Obregon, Calles and liberalization (1921–1926) In 1920, Álvaro Obregón, one of Carranza's allies who had plotted against him, became president. His government managed to accommodate all elements of Mexican society except the most reactionary clergy and landlords. As a result, he was able to successfully catalyze social liberalization, particularly in curbing the role of the Catholic Church, improving education, and taking steps toward instituting women's civil rights. Ineligible for reelection, Obregón chose his interior minister Plutarco Elías Calles as his successor. The 1924 Calles presidential campaign was the first populist presidential campaign in the nation's history, as he called for land redistribution and promised equal justice, more education, additional labor rights, and democratic governance. Calles indeed tried to fulfill his promises during his populist phase but entered a repressive anti-Catholic phase (1926–28). The Cristero Wars of 1926–1929, erupted in reaction to the intense official anti-Catholism. Second Phase: The Cristero War (1926–1929) The Cristero War of 1926 to 1929 was a counter-revolution against the Calles regime set off by his persecution of the Catholic Church and specifically the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the expansion of further anti-clerical laws. A number of articles of the 1917 Constitution were at issue: a) Article 5 ; b) Article 24 (forbidding public worship outside of church buildings); and c) Article 27 (restricting religious organizations' rights to own property). Finally, Article 130 took away basic civil rights of the clergy: priests and religious leaders were prevented from wearing their habits, were denied the right to vote, and were not permitted to comment on public affairs in the press. The formal rebellions began early in 1927, with the rebels calling themselves Cristeros because they felt they were fighting for Jesus Christ himself. The Cristeros used terrorism, kidnapping, and murder and leaned on the "just war" concept as a rationale for assassination. The laity stepped into the vacuum created by the removal of priests, and in the long run the Church was strengthened. The Cristero War was resolved diplomatically, largely with the help of the U.S. Ambassador, Dwight Whitney Morrow. The conflict claimed about 90,000 lives: 57,000 on the federal side, 30,000 Cristeros, and civilians and Cristeros killed in anticlerical raids after the war's end. As promised in the diplomatic resolution, the laws considered offensive by the Cristeros remained on the books, but the federal government made no organized attempt to enforce them. Nonetheless, persecution of Catholic priests continued in several localities, fueled by local officials' interpretation of the law. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) (1929–2000) One-party rule In 1929, the National Mexican Party was formed by the president, General Plutarco Elías Calles. The PNM convinced most of the remaining revolutionary generals to hand over their personal armies to the Mexican Army; the party's foundation is thus considered by some the end of the Revolution. Later renamed the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), the new party ruled Mexico for the rest of the 20th century. The PRI set up a new type of system, led by a caudillo. The party is typically referred to as the three-legged stool, in reference to Mexican workers, peasants, and bureaucrats. After its establishment as the ruling party, the PRI monopolized all the political branches: it did not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989. It was not until July 2, 2000, that Vicente Fox of the opposition "Alliance for Change" coalition, headed by the National Action Party (PAN), was elected president. His victory ended the PRI's 71-year hold on the presidency. President Lázaro Cárdenas President Lázaro Cárdenas came to power in 1934 and transformed Mexico. Cárdenas managed to unite the different forces in the PRI and set the rules that allowed his party to rule unchallenged for decades to come without internal fights. He nationalized the oil industry the electricity industry, created the National Polytechnic Institute, and started land reform and the distribution of free textbooks to children. In 1936 he exiled Calles, the last general with dictatorial ambitions, thereby removing the army from power. On the eve of World War II, the Cárdenas administration (1934–1940) was just stabilizing, and consolidating control over, a Mexican nation that, for decades, had been in revolutionary flux, and Mexicans were beginning to interpret the European battle between the communists and fascists, especially the Spanish Civil War, through their unique revolutionary lens. Whether Mexico would side with the United States was unclear during Lázaro Cárdenas' rule, as he remained neutral. “Capitalists, businessmen, Catholics, and middle-class Mexicans who opposed many of the reforms implemented by the revolutionary government sided with the Spanish Falange” i.e., the fascist movement. Nazi propagandist Arthur Dietrich and his team of agents in Mexico successfully manipulated editorials and coverage of Europe by paying hefty subsidies to Mexican newspapers, including the widely-read dailies Excélsior and El Universal. The situation became even more worrisome for the Allies when major oil companies boycotted Mexican oil following Lázaro Cárdenas' nationalization of the oil industry and expropriation of all corporate oil properties in 1938, which severed Mexico's access to its traditional markets and led Mexico to sell its oil to Germany and Italy. President Manuel Ávila Camacho Manuel Ávila Camacho, Cárdenas's successor, presided over a "bridge" between the revolutionary era and the era of machine politics under PRI that lasted until 2000. Ávila, moving away from nationalistic autarchy, proposed to create a favorable climate for international investment, favored nearly two generations earlier by Madero. Ávila's regime froze wages, repressed strikes, and persecuted dissidents with a law prohibiting the "crime of social dissolution." During this period, the PRI shifted to the right and abandoned much of the radical nationalism of the early Cardenas era. Miguel Alemán Valdés, Ávila's successor, even had Article 27 amended to protect elite landowners. Mexico in World War II Mexico played a minor role militarily in World War Two, but the heavy demand for its exports created a degree of prosperity. In Mexico and throughout Latin America, Franklin Roosevelt's “Good Neighbor Policy” was necessary at such a delicate time. It led to the Douglas-Weichers Agreement in June 1941 that secured Mexican oil only for the United States, and the Global Settlement in November 1941 that ended oil company demands on generous terms for the Mexicans, an example of the U.S. putting national security concerns over the interests of American oil companies. Following losses of oil ships in the Gulf (the Potrero del Llano and Faja de Oro) to German submarines (U-564 and U-106 respectively) the Mexican government declared war on the Axis powers on 22 May 1942. Perhaps the most famous fighting unit in the Mexican military was the Escuadrón 201, also known as the Aztec Eagles. This group consisted of more than 300 volunteers, who had trained in the United States to fight against Japan. The Escuadrón 201 was the first Mexican military unit trained for overseas combat, and fought during the liberation of the Philippines, working with the U.S. Fifth Air Force in the last year of the war. Although most American countries eventually entered the war on the Allies' side, Mexico and Brazil were the only Latin American nations that sent troops to fight overseas during World War II. With so many draftees, the U.S. needed farm workers. The Bracero Program gave the opportunity for 290,000 of Mexicans to work temporarily on American farms, especially in Texas. The Mexican Economic Miracle (1930–1970) During the next four decades, Mexico experienced impressive economic growth an achievement historians call "El Milagro Mexicano", the Mexican Economic Miracle. Annual economic growth during this period averaged 3–4 percent, with a modest 3-percent annual rate of inflation. The miracle, moreover, was solidly rooted in government policy: 1) an emphasis on primary education that tripled the enrollment rate between 1929 and 1949; 2) high tariffs on imported domestic goods; and 3) public investment in agriculture, energy, and transportation infrastructure. Starting in the 1940s, immigration into the cities swelled the country's urban population. The economic growth occurred in spite of falling foreign investment during the Great Depression. The assumption of mineral rights and subsequent nationalisation of the oil industry into Pemex during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas del Río was a popular move. The economic crisis (1970–1994) Although PRI administrations achieved economic growth and relative prosperity for almost three decades after World War II, the party's management of the economy led to several crises. Political unrest grew in the late 1960s, culminating in the Tlatelolco massacre in 1968. Economic crises swept the country in 1976 and 1982, leading to the nationalization of Mexico's banks, which were blamed for the economic problems . On both occasions, the Mexican peso was devalued, and, until 2000, it was normal to expect a big devaluation and recession at the end of each presidential term. The "December Mistake" crisis threw Mexico into economic turmoil—the worst recession in over half a century. 1985 earthquake On 19 September 1985, an earthquake struck Michoacán, inflicting severe damage on Mexico City. Estimates of the number of dead range from 6,500 to 30,000. Public anger at the PRI's mishandling of relief efforts combined with the ongoing economic crisis led to a substantial weakening of the PRI. As a result, for the first time since the 1930s, the PRI began to face serious electoral challenges. President Ernesto Zedillo (in office, 1994–2000) In 1995, President Ernesto Zedillo faced the "December Mistake" economic crisis, triggered by a sudden devaluation of the peso. There were public demonstrations in Mexico City and a constant military presence after the 1994 rising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Chiapas. The United States intervened rapidly to stem the economic crisis, first by buying pesos in the open market, and then by granting assistance in the form of $50 billion in loan guarantees. The peso stabilized at 6 pesos per dollar. By 1996, the economy was growing, and in 1997, Mexico repaid, ahead of schedule, all U.S. Treasury loans. Zedillo oversaw political and electoral reforms that reduced the PRI's hold on power. After the 1988 election, which was strongly disputed and arguably lost by the government, the IFE was created in the early 1990s. Run by ordinary citizens, the IFE oversees elections with the aim of ensuring that they are conducted legally and impartially. NAFTA and economic resurgence (1994–present) On 1 January 1994, Mexico became a full member of the North American Free Trade Agreement joining the United States and Canada. Mexico has a free market economy that recently entered the trillion-dollar class. It contains a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competition in sea ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution, and airports. Per capita income is one-quarter that of the United States; income distribution remains highly unequal. Trade with the United States and Canada has tripled since the implementation of NAFTA. Mexico has free-trade agreements with more than 40 countries, governing 90% of its foreign commerce. The end of the PRI's rule Accused many times of blatant fraud, the PRI held almost all public offices until the end of the 20th century. Not until the 1980s did the PRI lose its first state governorship, an event that marked the beginning of the party's loss of hegemony. Contemporary Mexico President Vicente Fox Quesada (in office, 2000–2006) Emphasizing the need to upgrade infrastructure, modernize the tax system and labor laws, integrate with the U.S. economy, and allow private investment in the energy sector, Vicente Fox Quesada, the candidate of the National Action Party (PAN), was elected the 69th president of Mexico on 2 July 2000, ending PRI's 71-year-long control of the office. Though Fox's victory was due in part to popular discontent with decades of unchallenged PRI hegemony, also, Fox's opponent, president Zedillo, conceded defeat on the night of the election—a first in Mexican history. A further sign of the quickening of Mexican democracy was the fact that PAN failed to win a majority in both chambers of Congress—a situation that prevented Fox from implementing his reform pledges. Nonetheless, the transfer of power in 2000 was quick and peaceful. President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (2006-2012) President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa took office after one of the most hotly contested elections in recent Mexican history; Calderón won by such a small margin (.56% or 233,831 votes.) that the runner-up, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) contested the results. President Enrique Peña Nieto (incumbent) On July 1, 2012, Enrique Peña Nieto was elected president of Mexico with 38% of the vote. He is a former governor of the state of Mexico and a member of the PRI. His election returned the PRI to power after 12 years of PAN rule. He was officially sworn into office on December 1, 2012. A new struggle: The War against Drugs Mexico is a major transit and drug-producing nation: an estimated 90% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States every year moves through Mexico. Fueled by the increasing demand for drugs in the United States, the country has become a major supplier of heroin, producer and distributor of ecstasy, and the largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the U.S.'s market. Major drug syndicates control the majority of drug trafficking in the country, and Mexico is a significant money-laundering center. After the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired on September 13, 2004 in the United States, the Mexican President Calderon Hinojosa decided to use brute force to combat some drug lords and in 2007 started a major escalation on the Mexican Drug War. Mexican drug lords found it easy to buy assault weapons in the United States. The result is that drug cartels have now both more gun power, and more manpower due to the high unemployment in Mexico. Drug cultivation has increased too: Cultivation of opium poppy in 2007 rose to 17050acre, yielding a potential production of 19.84 tons of pure heroin or 55.12 tons of "black tar" heroin. Black tar is the dominant form of Mexican heroin consumed in the western United States. Marijuana cultivation increased to 21992acre in 2007, yielding a potential production of 17,416.52 tons. The Mexican government conducts the largest independent illicit-crop eradication program in the world, but Mexico continues to be the primary transshipment point for U.S.-bound cocaine from South America. Eating out Mexican cuisine can be described better as a collection of various regional cuisines rather than a standard list of dishes for the whole country. Because of climate, geography and ethnic differences, we can classify Mexican cuisine broadly in 4 great categories according to the region: Nightlife Tap water is potable, but generally not recommended for drinking. Some exaggerated people even claim that tap water is not good for brushing teeth. Hotels usually give guests one bottle of drinking water per room per night. Bottled water is also readily available in supermarkets and at tourist attractions. Wildlife Cougar, Coyote, White-tailed deer, Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Bobcat, Raccoon, Jaguar, Barn Swallow, American black bear, Great Blue Heron, American Kestrel, Cattle Egret, Hawksbill sea turtle, Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Barn Owl, Common Raven, Merlin (bird), Osprey, Green sea turtle, Pelican, Hen Harrier, Loggerhead sea turtle, Wild boar, Ocelot, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Killer whale, Bighorn sheep, Great Horned Owl, Burrowing Owl, Common Tern, Gray fox, Rock Dove, Snowy Egret, Cormorant, House Sparrow, Monarch butterfly, Geoffroy's spider monkey, Humpback whale, Brown Pelican, Blue whale, Wild Turkey, Crocodile, Common Starling, Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, Northern Shoveler, Ring-tailed cat, American Robin, Great Egret, Northern Pintail, Red-winged Blackbird, Swainson's Hawk, Goldcrest, American Coot, Mule deer, Canada Goose, Common Pheasant, King Vulture, Sperm whale, Giant anteater, California sea lion, Lynx, Boa constrictor, Black-crowned Night Heron, Common Moorhen, Tundra Swan, Leatherback sea turtle, California Condor, European Herring Gull, Falcon, American White Ibis, Double-crested Cormorant, Great white shark, Tapir, Crow, Pronghorn, Fin whale, Blue-winged Teal, Cane toad, Wood Stork, Bison, Abalone, Northern Cardinal, Olive ridley sea turtle, Hare, Least weasel, Collared peccary, Pied-billed Grebe, Harpy Eagle, Eurasian Teal, Bullfrog, Gila monster, Blue Jay, Little Blue Heron, Northern Mockingbird, Virginia opossum, Cooper's Hawk, Jaguarundi, Harbor seal, American crocodile, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern cottontail, Gray whale, Song Thrush, Nine-banded armadillo, Desert tortoise, Lesser Scaup, Crotalus atrox, Long-tailed weasel, Green Heron, Savannah Sparrow, Great Northern Loon, Spider monkey, Muscovy Duck, Short-eared Owl, American Yellow Warbler, Coati, Red Knot, American White Pelican, Killdeer, Western Tanager, Sanderling, Gadwall, Ferruginous Hawk, Margay, Prairie Falcon, Common Snipe, Greater White-fronted Goose, Baird's tapir, Northern Flicker, Ruddy Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, American Wigeon, Common Merganser, Black-tailed jackrabbit, Blue-footed Booby, House Wren, Magnificent Frigatebird, Dark-eyed Junco, Mammoth, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Anhinga, Caspian Tern, American badger, Smallmouth bass, Sandwich Tern, Mantled howler, House Finch, Greater Scaup, Black-necked Grebe, Whimbrel, North American porcupine, Least Tern, West Indian manatee, Eastern Screech Owl, Great Curassow, Sei whale, Largemouth bass, Glossy Ibis, American Goldfinch, Scarlet Macaw, Harris's Hawk, Northern elephant seal, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Florida Scrub Jay, Grey Plover, Cedar Waxwing, Indigo Bunting, Lobatus gigas, White-nosed coati, Kinkajou, Howler monkey, Brown Booby, Royal Tern, White-breasted Nuthatch, Keel-billed Toucan, Brant Goose, Painted Bunting, Black-legged Kittiwake, White-crowned Sparrow, Acorn Woodpecker, Broad-winged Hawk, Red Crossbill, Dunlin, Northern Bobwhite, Greater Roadrunner, Military Macaw, Desert bighorn sheep, Roseate Spoonbill, Oryzomys couesi, Swift fox, Sora (bird), Baltimore Oriole, Axolotl, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Bobolink, Black-winged Kite, Common Goldeneye, Pectoral Sandpiper, American Bittern, American Redstart, Brown-headed Cowbird, Mosquitofish, Striated Heron, Blue-headed Vireo, Lapland Longspur, American Flamingo, Common Nighthawk, Tricolored Heron, Laughing Gull, Pacific Tree Frog, Kentish Plover, Spectacled Owl, Milk snake, Western Gull, Tree Swallow, Wood Thrush, Cottontail rabbit, Mexican free-tailed bat, Equus (genus), Bufflehead, Great Kiskadee, Common Yellowthroat, Clark's Nutcracker, Gray Catbird, Canvasback, Steller's Jay, Common Garter Snake, Long-eared Owl, Ring-billed Gull, Crotalus viridis, Blue-gray Tanager, Frigatebird, Hermit Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Hairy Woodpecker, Common vampire bat, Song Sparrow, Magnolia Warbler, White-lipped peccary, Red-footed Booby, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Skimmer, Western Meadowlark, Long-billed Curlew, Red-breasted Merganser, California Quail, Desert cottontail, Ovenbird, Southern tamandua, Feral Pigeon, Gambel's Quail, Cinnamon Teal, Domesticated turkey, Least Bittern, Redhead (bird), Willet, Black Tern, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Eurasian Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Horned Lark, Jabiru, Tayra, Swordfish, South American coati, Reddish Egret, Ara (genus), Black Oystercatcher, Hawfinch, Eastern Meadowlark, Loggerhead Shrike, Pack rat, Crotalus molossus, Common Ground Dove, American Avocet, Eastern Towhee, Brown Creeper, White-winged Dove, Eastern Bluebird, Pine Siskin, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, American Oystercatcher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Common Gull, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruddy Duck, Great-tailed Grackle, Colorado River toad, Yellow-breasted Chat, Scarlet Tanager, Hooded Warbler, Purple Martin, Blue Grosbeak, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Bananaquit, Procyon (genus), Grasshopper Sparrow, Black-footed Albatross, Ocellated Turkey, Southern Crested Caracara, Rock Wren, Prothonotary Warbler, Common side-blotched lizard, Swallow-tailed Kite, Pelagic Cormorant, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Masticophis flagellum, Northern leopard frog, Bonaparte's Gull, Common minke whale, Vermilion Flycatcher, White-throated woodrat, Mountain Bluebird, Sooty Shearwater, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pyrrhuloxia, Western fence lizard, Eastern spotted skunk, Least Sandpiper, Black-and-white Warbler, Least Grebe, False killer whale, Jamaican fruit bat, Western Bluebird, Zone-tailed Hawk, Upland Sandpiper, Sagebrush lizard, Wilson's Phalarope, Laughing Falcon, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-headed Grosbeak, Canyon Wren, Lesser Yellowlegs, Southern flying squirrel, Leach's Storm Petrel, Yellow stingray, Common collared lizard, Anna's Hummingbird, Mexican tetra, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Red brocket, Northern Parula, Lesser Goldfinch, Bluebird, Dall's porpoise, Eastern Whip-poor-will, American Dipper, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Lesser Nighthawk, Hispid cotton rat, American Cliff Swallow, Crotalus cerastes, Lark Sparrow, Green Kingfisher, Eastern Great Egret, White-tailed Hawk, Lincoln's Sparrow, Crested Guan, Sage Sparrow, Western Grebe, Clapper Rail, Northern Jacana, Big brown bat, Douglas squirrel, Lark Bunting, Marsh Wren, Spotted Towhee, Gull-billed Tern, Pygmy sperm whale, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Chipping Sparrow, Black Phoebe, Bronzed Cowbird, Emerald Toucanet, Short-beaked common dolphin, Cactus Wren, Mountain Quail, Bell's Vireo, Cozumel raccoon, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Social Flycatcher, Common House Gecko, Water Pipit, Phainopepla, Rufous Hummingbird, Peromyscus maniculatus, Virginia Rail, Short-tailed Hawk, Scaled Quail, Violet-green Swallow, Great Tinamou, Bewick's Wren, White-crowned Pigeon, Red-necked Phalarope, Parasitic Jaeger, Swainson's Thrush, Eastern Wood Pewee, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Pauraque, MacGillivray's Warbler, Red-lored Amazon, Striped dolphin, Lampropeltis getula, Ord's kangaroo rat, Crotalus scutulatus, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Neotropic Cormorant, Carolina Wren, Crotalus ruber, Roadside Hawk, Olive Warbler, Plain Chachalaca, Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Common Bush Tanager, Volcano rabbit, American Purple Gallinule, Pomarine Skua, Eastern Kingbird, Potoo, Ctenosaura similis, Ringed Kingfisher, Pallid bat, Hooded skunk, Buff-bellied Pipit, Montezuma Quail, Red-legged Honeycreeper, White-faced Ibis, Green Jay, Barred Antshrike, Little Tinamou, Mediterranean house gecko, Guatemalan black howler, Hooded Oriole, Green-breasted Mango, Common Poorwill, Golden-winged Warbler, California Gull, Bicoloured Hawk, Green Violetear, Squirrel Cuckoo, Townsend's Warbler, Mealy Amazon, Crotalus durissus, Greyish Saltator, Bay-breasted Warbler, Short-billed Dowitcher, Orchard Oriole, Palm Warbler, Pituophis melanoleucus, White-footed Mouse, Bat Falcon, Northern tamandua, Boat-billed Heron, Vaux's Swift, Marbled Godwit, White Hawk, Azure-hooded Jay, Red Phalarope, Yellow-throated Warbler, Horned Grebe, Snail Kite, Swainson's Warbler, Summer Tanager, Long-billed Dowitcher, Thicket Tinamou, Common opossum, Northern Pygmy Owl, Western Skink, Micrurus fulvius, Tropical Parula, Glaucous Gull, Lineated Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Chuck-will's-widow, Green Honeycreeper, Mountain Chickadee, Horned Guan, Curve-billed Thrasher, Merriam's kangaroo rat, Nazca Booby, Cacomistle, Vesper Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Texas horned lizard, Calliope Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Sage Thrasher, Pine Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Common Black Hawk, Guadalupe Storm Petrel, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Pinnated Bittern, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Spectral bat, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Ruddy Ground Dove, White-tipped Dove, Clay-colored Thrush, Blue-black Grassquit, Tufted Titmouse, Collared Aracari, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Tropical Kingbird, Brush rabbit, Montezuma Oropendola, Wilson's Plover, Barred Forest Falcon, Eastern red bat, Brewer's Blackbird, Painted Whitestart, Myotis vivesi, Central American river turtle, Kentucky Warbler, Solitary Sandpiper, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Iceland Gull, Surf Scoter, Elf Owl, Pacific Loon, Elegant Tern, Variable Seedeater, Striped Whipsnake, California leaf-nosed bat, White-tailed Kite, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Crotalus lepidus, Northern red-legged frog, Western Screech Owl, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Forster's Tern, Rosy barb, Worm-eating Warbler, Couch's Spadefoot Toad, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Cassin's Kingbird, American Gray Flycatcher, North American least shrew, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Grace's Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow, Sand shiner, Black Turnstone, Proboscis bat, Blue Ground Dove, Inca Dove, Great Potoo, White-eyed Vireo, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Tent-making bat, Hermit Warbler, White-fronted Amazon, Black Hawk-Eagle, Yellow-green Vireo, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Yellow-backed Oriole, Crawford's gray shrew, Chihuahuan Raven, Violaceous Trogon, Purple Finch, Costa's Hummingbird, Red-faced Warbler, Guadalupe fur seal, Sungrebe, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Amazon Kingfisher, Hypsiglena torquata, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Crotalus enyo, Least Flycatcher, Abert's Towhee, Cyprinodon, Black-headed Saltator, Gila Woodpecker, Groove-billed Ani, Gray four-eyed opossum, Pygmy Nuthatch, White-crowned Parrot, Ghost-faced bat, White-necked Jacobin, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Zebra-tailed lizard, Verdin, Altamira Oriole, Melodious Blackbird, Glossy snake, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Common Potoo, Geoffroy's tailless bat, Heermann's Gull, Varied Bunting, Streaked Flycatcher, Magnificent Hummingbird, Crissal Thrasher, Agami Heron, Veery, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Bright-rumped Attila, Crotalus tigris, Pale-vented Pigeon, Ashy Storm Petrel, Long-billed Thrasher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-crowned Ant Tanager, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Mexican fox squirrel, Long-nosed snake, Puma (genus), Antelope jackrabbit, Yellow-eyed Junco, Baird's Sandpiper, Red Shiner, Hook-billed Kite, Scott's Oriole, Southern Alligator Lizard, Leptotyphlops humilis, Say's Phoebe, Western Sandpiper, Mountain Plover, Middle American Screech Owl, Black-capped Vireo, Orange-breasted Falcon, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, White-throated Swift, Hepatic Tanager, California whipsnake, Red-throated Ant Tanager, Grey-fronted Dove, Mexican gray squirrel, Striped Cuckoo, Harris's antelope squirrel, Yellow-winged Tanager, Golden-crowned Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Red-crowned Amazon, Townsend's Solitaire, Plain Antvireo, Hatt's vesper rat, Cassin's Finch, Acadian Flycatcher, Tamaulipas Crow, Blue-throated Mountaingem, Texas cichlid, Bendire's Thrasher, Zenaida Dove, Audubon's Oriole, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Mexican long-tongued bat, Mexican mouse opossum, Elegant Trogon, Williamson's Sapsucker, Desert pocket mouse, Western Wood Pewee, Red-spotted toad, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Red-billed Pigeon, Short-billed Pigeon, Southern long-nosed bat, Derby's woolly opossum, Gray-headed Kite, Black-faced Antthrush, Black-throated Sparrow, Drymobius margaritiferus, Desert night lizard, Double-striped Thick-knee, Plumbeous Kite, Great Black Hawk, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Yucatan Amazon, Desert horned lizard, Giant Cowbird, Maroon-fronted Parrot, White-collared Manakin, Blue Mockingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Mangrove Cuckoo, Hairy-legged myotis, Yellow mud turtle, Western harvest mouse, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Parnell's mustached bat, California myotis, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-headed Siskin, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Hairy-legged vampire bat, Grey-cheeked Thrush, Mangrove Swallow, Sceloporus magister, Scaled Pigeon, Great Antshrike, White-collared Seedeater, Wrinkle-faced bat, Greater sac-winged bat, Crested Owl, Sonora mud turtle, Yellowish Flycatcher, Buff-throated Saltator, Yucatan Jay, Olive Sparrow, Guadalupe bass, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Brandt's Cormorant, Serotine bat, Greater long-nosed bat, Crane Hawk, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Collared Trogon, Black-billed Cuckoo, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Arizona Woodpecker, Striped hog-nosed skunk, Coleonyx variegatus, Whiskered Screech Owl, Olive-throated Parakeet, Tropical Mockingbird, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Kumlien's Gull, White-eared Hummingbird, Long-billed Gnatwren, Rose-throated Becard, Striped Owl, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Pheasant Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Trimorphodon biscutatus, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Piratic Flycatcher, Pink-footed Shearwater, Greater grison, Big-eared woolly bat, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Didelphis, Passerini's Tanager, Rufous-capped Warbler, Lesser Roadrunner, Crimson-collared Tanager, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Nerodia erythrogaster, Fringe-lipped Bat, Thrush-like Schiffornis, Violet Sabrewing, Couch's Kingbird, Thamnophis marcianus, Tapeti, Altamira Yellowthroat, Band-backed Wren, Mountain Trogon, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Hoary bat, Cave myotis, Crotalus aquilus, Green Parakeet, Cinnamon Becard, Greater Pewee, Le Conte's Thrasher, Purple-crowned Fairy, White-tailed antelope squirrel, Slate-throated Whitestart, Roundtail horned lizard, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper, White-whiskered Puffbird, Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker, Mexican Sheartail, Texas spotted whiptail, Masked Tityra, Double-toothed Kite, White-bellied Emerald, Splendid toadfish, Spotted bat, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Botta's pocket gopher, Tropical Pewee, Regal horned lizard, Grey Hawk, Montane Solitary Eagle, White-collared Swift, American Dusky Flycatcher, East Brazilian Pygmy Owl, Brown-backed Solitaire, Seba's short-tailed bat, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Lucifer Sheartail, Fringed myotis, Greenish Elaenia, Philadelphia Vireo, Gyalopion canum, Long-tailed shrew, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Pygmy fruit-eating bat, Hutton's Vireo, Hammond's Flycatcher, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, White-winged Becard, Anniella pulchra, Olive-backed Euphonia, Bridled Titmouse, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Gray-breasted Martin, Smilisca baudinii, Brown-hooded Parrot, Flame-colored Tanager, Woodhouse's toad, Oligoryzomys fulvescens, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Brush-finch, Plain Xenops, Oxybelis aeneus, Blue Bunting, Black-faced Grosbeak, Sceloporus grammicus, Royal Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Pallas's long-tongued bat, Mexican mole lizard, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Black-crowned Tityra, Caribbean Elaenia, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Spea hammondii, Golden-hooded Tanager, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Four-lined Skink, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Gray Vireo, Xantus's Hummingbird, Rufous Mourner, Northern Tufted Flycatcher, Berylline Hummingbird, Coast horned lizard, Orange-billed Sparrow, Gastrophryne olivacea, Collared Forest Falcon, California mountain kingsnake, Yuma myotis, Grey-breasted Wood Wren, Western hog-nosed skunk, Western terrestrial garter snake, Pinacate beetle, Dusky Antbird, Great Plains toad, Slate-coloured Solitaire, Russet Antshrike, White-winged Tanager, Yucatan squirrel, Fan-tailed Warbler (Parulidae), Black-crested Coquette, Little pocket mouse, Big free-tailed bat, Yellow-olive Flatbill, Granite spiny lizard, Green-backed Sparrow, Ruddy Crake, Caribbean Dove, Nutting's Flycatcher, Pine Flycatcher, Tody Motmot, Blue-hooded Euphonia, Cactus mouse, Chestnut-bellied Seed Finch, Banded rock lizard, Yucatan Poorwill, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Great fruit-eating bat, Scrub Euphonia, Grey-collared Becard, Silky pocket mouse, Monterrey platyfish, Silky short-tailed bat, Blackish small-eared shrew, Bailey's pocket mouse, Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer, Black-headed Trogon, Dwarf Jay, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Canivet's Emerald, Yucatan Flycatcher, Cozumel harvest mouse, Lovely Cotinga, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Middle American burrowing snake, Yucatan Woodpecker, Granite night lizard, Brush mouse, Ameiva undulata, White-bellied Wren, White-throated Thrush, Mexican hairy dwarf porcupine, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Two-striped garter snake, Pocketed free-tailed bat, Xantus Leaf-toed Gecko, Grey-headed Tanager, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush, Grey-crowned Yellowthroat, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Blue-black Grosbeak, California tree frog, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Black-and-white Owl, Mexican funnel-eared bat, Scaled Antpitta, Spotted Woodcreeper, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Sinaloan mastiff bat, Eye-ringed Flatbill, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Cave Swallow, Black Catbird, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Scincella gemmingeri, Pinyon mouse, Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Grey-chested Dove, Spiny pocket mouse, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Grey Silky-flycatcher, Rusty Sparrow, Toltec fruit-eating bat, Tomes's sword-nosed bat, Rufous Piha, Green Shrike-Vireo, Little yellow-shouldered bat, Boucard's Wren, Hyla eximia, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Lesser dog-like bat, Spotted Wren, White-throated Flycatcher, Coleonyx elegans, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Rufous-capped Brush Finch, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Black-throated Shrike-Tanager, Aztec fruit-eating bat, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Yellow-faced horseshoe bat, Long-legged myotis, Striped hairy-nosed bat, Orange Oriole, Chestnut-naped Forktail, Grey-throated Chat, Amethyst-throated Mountaingem, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Rio Grande darter, Long-eared myotis, Mangrove Vireo, Mexican small-eared shrew, Southern yellow bat, Wagner's mustached bat, Mexican deer mouse, Leptotyphlops goudotii, Campostoma anomalum, Western patch-nosed snake, Craveri's Murrelet, Guadalupe Junco, Long-tailed Hermit, Western ground snake, Baja California rat snake, Desert kangaroo rat, Zacatecan deer mouse, Crotalus triseriatus, Black-vented Shearwater, Totoaba, Black Storm Petrel, Worthen's Sparrow, Tres Marias raccoon, Buff-collared Nightjar, Little Hermit, Speckled Chub, Desert woodrat, Rock pocket mouse, White-breasted Wood Wren, Spotted Wood Quail, Unicolored Jay, Yellow-billed Cacique, Little yellow bat, Dot-winged Antwren, Ruddy Woodcreeper, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Tres Marias island mouse, Abronia taeniata, Tamaulipas Shiner, Blackish deermouse, Notophthalmus meridionalis, Guianan Puffbird, Waterhouse's leaf-nosed bat, Nimble-footed mouse, Lesser Greenlet, Deppe's squirrel, Tamaulipas Pygmy Owl, Strickland's Woodpecker, Agile kangaroo rat, Brown-capped Vireo, Transvolcanic Jay, Aztec mouse, Slaty Antwren, Tabasco mud turtle, Chionactis palarostris, Mexican woodrat, Yucatan Bobwhite, Hispaniolan Oriole, Golden-browed Warbler, Davy's naked-backed bat, Canyon mouse, Rana montezumae, Creaser's mud turtle, Short-tailed Nighthawk, Pine toad, Allen's squirrel, Singing Quail, Southern grasshopper mouse, Peters's squirrel, Big-eared climbing rat, Gaumer's spiny pocket mouse, Whiskered Myiobius, Southern pygmy mouse, Yucatan deer mouse, Gray Thrasher, Rose-throated Tanager, Black-vented Oriole, Northern yellow bat, Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Sceloporus variabilis, Northern pygmy mouse, Sonoran green toad, White-naped Brush Finch, Bearded Wood Partridge, Mexican harvest mouse, Senticolis, Allen's big-eared bat, Long-tailed pocket mouse, Mexican vole, Broad-eared bat, Arizona pocket mouse, Sumichrast's harvest mouse, Jalapan pine vole, Slender harvest mouse, Goldman's woodrat, Mesquite mouse, Channel Islands slender salamander, White-ankled mouse, Slaty-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Tamaulipan woodrat, Fulvous harvest mouse, Southern pocket gopher, Argentine brown bat, Switak's banded gecko, San Diego pocket mouse, Dwarf killer whale, Eva's desert mouse, Golden bat, Yucatan Vireo, Bigfoot splayfoot salamander, Northern Bentbill, White-eared cotton rat, Toothy splayfoot salamander, White-vented Euphonia, Desmarest's spiny pocket mouse, Gristle-headed splayfoot salamander, El Carrizo deer mouse, Plateau mouse, Osgood's mouse, Hooded Yellowthroat, Rana-chirrionera Orejona, Little desert pocket mouse, Black Thrush, Pseudoeurycea cephalica, Little big-eared bat, Pseudoeurycea bellii, Gray long-tongued bat, Highland yellow-shouldered bat, Black bonneted bat, Schmidts's big-eared bat, Hispid pocket gopher, Black-winged little yellow bat, Green-throated Mountaingem, Pseudoeurycea scandens, Hairy big-eyed bat, Texas Shiner, Band-tailed Pigeon, Black rat, House mouse Festivals Day of the Dead, Carnival in Mexico, Vive Latino, Expresión en Corto International Film Festival, Festival Internacional Cervantino, Guelaguetza, Christmas in Mexico, Chinelos, Guadalajara International Film Festival, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Charro Days, Sombrero Festival, Grito de Dolores, Black Nazarene, Las Posadas, Alfeñique fair, Mexico City Alebrije Parade, Niños Héroes, Night of the Radishes, Teletón, Guadalajara International Book Fair, Monterrey Metal Fest, Oaxaca International Literary Competition, Puerto Vallarta festival, North American Leaders' Summit, Baja Prog, Fiestas Patrias, Acafest, Feria Nacional de San Marcos, Pantalla de Cristal Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival, Pérdidas Film Festival, Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, Mexico City International Film Festival, Flag Day in Mexico, Guadalajara Gay Pride, Revolution Day, Monkey Day, Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon, El Modelo México, Aztec New Year, El Buen Fin Safety Mexico's emergency number is 066, call this number for any emergency service: such as police, medical, fire, etc. In most of the cities, location is very important as security changes from place to place. Areas close to downtown are safer to walk at night, especially on the "Plaza", "Zocalo" or "Jardin" (main square) and areas nearby. Stay in populated areas, avoid poor neighborhoods, especially at night, and don't walk there at any time if you are alone. Vicious beatings have been reported at resorts by people who have travelled alone, so stay alert for any suspicious-looking individual. Since 2006 violence related to drug cartels has become an issue; see Drug Traffic Issues below. Political violence in Chiapas and Oaxaca has abated in recent years, and is far less of a threat than drug related crime. However, keep in mind that Mexican authorities do not look approvingly on foreigners who participate in demonstrations (even peaceful ones) or voice support for groups such as the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional and its leader, Subcomandante Marcos, even if their images and slogans are commonly sold on t-shirts and caps in markets. As in any city, do not wave cash or credit cards around. Use them discreetly and put them away as quickly as possible. The Mexican legal system was until recently under Napoleonic code, but if you ever find yourself in trouble with the law in Mexico, the punishments are a lot more severe than in many other countries. Beggars are not usually a threat, but you will find lots in urban areas. Avoid being surrounded by them as some can pickpocket your goods. Giving away two pesos quickly can get you out of such troubles (but may also attract other beggars). Most poor and homeless Mexicans prefer to sell trinkets, gum, sing, or provide some meager service than beg outright. In other cities, such as Guadalajara and Mexico City, are safer than most places in Mexico. However, caution is still recommended. Drug Traffic Issues Understand that the country is going through a transitionary period. Since the current president Felipe Calderon came to power in 2006, he has waged war on the drug cartels, and they have waged war in turn against the government . If you are going into Mexico, avoid bringing up this issue with your hosts or Mexican friends. They are quite aware of their country's numerous problems and do not need a foreigner to remind them. Some Mexican northern and border cities such as Tijuana, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Chihuahua, Culiacán, Durango, and Juárez can be dangerous if you are not familiar with them, especially at night. Most crime in the northern cities is related to the drug trade and/or police corruption. However, since law enforcement figures are so overwhelmed or involved in the drug business themselves, many northern border towns that were previously somewhat dangerous to begin with are now a hotbed for criminals to act with impunity. Ciudad Juárez, in particular, bears the brunt of this violence, with nearly a fourth of Mexico's overall murders, and travel there should be undertaken only for very important reasons and with extreme caution. Away from the northern states, cartel-related violence is centered in specific areas, including the Pacific Coast states of Michoacán and Guerrero. However, exercise caution in any major city, especially at night or in high crime areas. Note that for the most part tourists and travelers are of no interest to the drug cartels. Many popular tourist destinations like Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Los Cabos, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, Mérida and Guadalajara are largely unaffected by this, simply because there are no borders there. Ciudad Juárez is currently a primary battleground in the drug war, and while foreign travelers are not often targeted here, the presence of two warring cartels, many small opportunistic gangs, and armed police and soldiers has created a chaotic situation to say the least. Although rarely surprising, the drug violence's new victim is Monterrey. The city at one point was crowned the safest city in Latin America, and the hard-working environment and entrepreneurial spirit was what defined the city for most Mexicans. Today, it has been the latest city to fall into the hands of the drug gangs, and deadly shootouts exist even in broad daylight. People have been kidnapped even in broad daylight in high-profile upscale hotels, and while the city is still not as awful as Ciudad Juarez, it is rapidly catching up. Strangely, Mexico City is the safest city in regard to drug-related violence, and people go there to seek refuge from the border violence because many politicians and the military are there. Consumption of drugs is not recommended while you are in Mexico because although possession of small amounts of all major narcotics has been decriminalized, consumption in public areas will get you a fine and will most likely get you in trouble with the police. The army also sets up random checkpoints throughout all major highways in search of narcotics and weapons. Drug consumption is also frowned upon by a large percentage of the population. Since the current drug war began in 2006, there has been occasional wild speculation in the North American English-language media about the risk that Mexico could become a "failed state" controlled directly by one or more drug cartels, with the obvious corollary that U.S. citizens would have to be evacuated with U.S. military assistance (as actually occurred in Liberia in 1990, Sierra Leone in 1992, Albania in 1997, Lebanon in 2006, and Haiti in 2010). However, apart from the notorious exception of a single elite military unit that changed sides and became the Los Zetas cartel, the vast majority of Mexican military and police units continue to demonstrate their loyalty to the democratically elected government in Mexico City. As of 2012, only three state governments (out of 31 states) are thought to have been compromised by the cartels (according to the Los Angeles Times). Thus, the actual probability of an unexpected regime change occurring during your visit is extremely low and should not discourage you from visiting Mexico. It is important to keep things in perspective. Tourists from certain developed nations may be frightened by the sight of heavily armed soldiers and police officers randomly searching vehicles on major boulevards, even in safe areas like Los Cabos and Cancun. But that is actually a common sight in most countries around the world, not just Mexico. Advice for the Beach Jellyfish stings: vinegar or mustard on the skin, take some to the beach with you. Stingray stings: water as hot as you can bear - the heat deactivates the poison. Sunburns: Bring sunscreen if going to beaches because you might not find it available in some areas. Riptides: Very dangerous, particularly during and after storms. Try to swim parallel to the beach even as you are being dragged out; eventually the tide will let go of you and then you can swim back to shore. Do not tire yourself out by trying to swim to shore as the tide is pulling you out, as you will not have the energy to swim back to shore after the tide has let go of you. Public transportation When in major cities – especially Mexico City – is better to play it safe with taxis. The best options are to phone a taxi company, request that your hotel or restaurant call a taxi for you or pick up a Taxi from an established post . Also taxis can be stopped in the middle of the street, which is OK for most of the country, but particularly unsafe in Mexico City. As chaotic as it might be sometimes, the subway (Metro) is the best way to move around in Mexico City: it's cheap (3 pesos for a ticket as of October, 2012), safe, has a large network covering almost anywhere you'd want to go in the city and it's extremely fast, compared to any on-street transportation, since it doesn't have to bear with the constant traffic jams. If you've never been in a crowded subway, avoid peak hours (usually from 6-9AM and 5-8PM) and do your homework: check first what line (linea) and station (estacion) you want to go to and the address of the place you're trying to reach. Your hotel can give you this information, and maps of the subway system are available on the internet and at the stations. Most stations also have maps of the vicinity. Avoid taking the subway at late hours of the night, but during the day many stations are patrolled by police officers and the subway is safer than taking the public bus, your major concern in the subway are pickpockets; so keep your important belongings and wallets in a safe place. If your are travelling by bus do not put your valuables in your big bag in the storage room of the bus. If the police or the military controls the luggage they might take out what they need. Especially in Night Buses when passengers are most likely asleep. The use of a money belt (worn underneath the clothes and out of sight) is highly recommended. Health Some parts of Mexico are known for traveler's diarrhea that it is often called "Montezuma's Revenge" . The reason for this is not so much the spicy food but the contamination of the water supply in some of the poorer zones in Mexico. In most of the small towns that are less industrialized, only the poorest Mexicans will drink tap water. The best policy is to only drink bottled or purified water, both of which are readily available. Be sure to specify bottled water in restaurants and avoid ice (which is often not made from purified water). Just like in the USA, in most major Mexican cities the water is purified at the cities' water company. In most restaurants in these poor zones, the only water served comes from large jugs of purified water. If you get sick, visit your local clinic as soon as possible. There is medicine available that will counter the bacteria. Medicine in urban areas is highly developed, public hospitals are just as good as public hospitals in US, and just as the American public hospitals, they are always full. It's recommended going to private hospitals for faster service. Before traveling to rural areas of Mexico, it might be a good idea to obtain anti-malarial medications from your health care provider. It is strongly advised that the traveler be sure that any meats they are consuming have been thoroughly cooked due to an increasing rate of roundworm infections, particularly in the Acapulco area. Along with the risk for malaria, mosquitoes have also been known to carry the West Nile virus. Be sure to bring an effective insect repellent, preferably one that contains the ingredient DEET. The rate of AIDS/HIV infection in Mexico is lower than in the US, France and most Latin American nations. However, if you plan on having sex, be sure that you use a latex condom to reduce your risk of contracting or spreading the virus. As with any western location, cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome have been reported throughout Mexico. This is an acute, rare (but often fatal) illness for which there is no known cure. The virus is believed to be present in animal feces, particularly feces from members of the rodent family. Therefore, do not wander into animal dens and be especially careful when entering enclosed spaces that are not well ventilated and lack sunlight. Vaccination against Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid fever is recommended. If you are bitten by an animal, assume that the animal was carrying rabies and seek medical attention immediately for treatment. In remote areas, carry a first aid kit, aspirin, and other related items are sold without medical prescription. Work Working may require a work visa, which is difficult to get if you just want to freelance for a short time. Many important headquarters are located throughout the main cities of Mexico. Mexican top corporations like Televisa, Bimbo, Cemex, Telmex, Vitro, are often willing to hire professionals who speak English as their native language as most of the business scene is developed with North American corporations. Native English speakers can pick up work, as English teachers. The upside is that English speakers with no knowledge of Spanish are sought after, because they will force their students to practice English. The downside is that salaries are somewhat low. Transport Travelling in Mexico is most practical by bus, car, or air. Passenger transport by train is almost nonexistent. Except the Chihuahua del Pacifico rail line which pull out every morning at both ends of the line, one from Los Mochis on the Pacific coast, across from Baja California, and the other from Chihuahua in the east . They cross each other roughly midways at Divisadero and Barrancas Copper Canyon stations at an altitude of 2100 m (7000 ft). By car Due to a government scheme in the early 1990s to create infrastructure, the best roads are toll roads. Toll roads can be relatively costly but are much faster and better maintained. First-class buses generally travel by toll roads (and the toll is obviously included in the ticket price). US vehicle insurance is not valid in Mexico, and while Mexican auto insurance is not required, it is highly recommended, as any minor accident could land you in jail without it. MexiPass and AAA offer Mexican auto insurance. When traveling on Mexican roads, especially near the borders with the United States and Guatemala, one will probably encounter several checkpoints operated by the Mexican Army searching for illegal weapons and drugs. If you are coming from the United States, you may not be used to this, and it can be intimidating. However, these are rarely a problem for honest people. Simply do what the soldiers tell you to do, and treat them with respect. The best way to show respect when entering a checkpoint is to turn your music down, lift sunglasses from your face, and be prepared to roll your window down. They should treat you with respect as well, and they usually do. If you are asked to unpack any part of your vehicle, do so without complaint. It is their right to make you completely unload in order for them to inspect your cargo. Tourists are often warned about traveling on roads at night. Although bandidos are rare in more metropolitan areas, err on the side of caution in more rural areas. The best bet is to drive during only daylight hours. Cattle, dogs, and other animals also can appear on the roadway unexpectedly, so if you do have to drive at night, be very cautious. If possible, follow a bus or truck that seems to be driving safely. The Secretariat of Communication and Transport recently set up a new mapping tool similar to those in the U.S. like Mapquest, its name is Traza Tu Ruta and is very helpful to find how to get to your destination using Mexico's roads. It is in Spanish but can be used with basic knowledge of the language. Foreign drivers' licenses are recognized and recommended. Speeding tickets are common, and to ensure your presence at the hearing, the officer may choose to keep your license. He is within his rights to do so. Beware though, police officers are known to keep driver's licenses until they are given a bribe. At petrol (gas) stations, make sure the pump is zeroed out before the attendant begins pumping your gas so that you don't end up paying more than you should. There is only one brand of gas station (Pemex) and prices are generally the same regardless of location, so don't bother shopping around. Good maps are invaluable and the Mexico maps included in "North American Road Atlas" books are worse than useless. The Guia Roji maps are particularly good. See also: Driving in Mexico By plane Mexico is a large country and the low-cost revolution that started in 2005 means that fares are often ridiculously cheap if you book in advance. Note that now with the increases in fuel charges the bargain days are mostly gone and the airlines have had to raise prices to survive the recent recession. But, there are bargains to be found and you can keep abreast by signing on to a reliable notification service such al Kayak.com. The main full-service airlines, in addition to the major US carriers, are Aeromar, AeroMexico and AeroMexico Connect . The rapidly changing palette of low-cost carriers includes InterJet, Volaris, Viva Aerobus and NOTE: Mexicana Airlines filed for backruptcy this fall (2010) and other carriers are in the process of picking up Mexicana's former routes. Always check the individual carrier's website to see just where they fly at this point. Things are changing somewhat rapidly now. By bus If traveling by bus, be sure to take the express buses, if available . Other buses often stop at many smaller stations along the way, making the trip a lot longer. If you have experience with Greyhound buses in the US, you're in for a pleasant surprise. First class buses are usually direct routes and are the best option for most. These buses are comfortable, have washrooms and will generally show movies, which may or may not be English with Spanish subtitles. Second class buses may be very similar to 1st class just making more stops or in rural areas they may be essentially chicken buses (polleros). Executive and Luxury lines cost about 60% more than first class, may be faster, usually have larger seats, and they have less frequent departures; they are really only a good option for elderly or business travelers. With the advent of NAFTA, some bus companies are now offering service from US cities. The major bus companies offering these kind of services are Grupo Ado, Estekka de Ori (Estrella de Oro), Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales, White Star Group (Estrella Blanca), Red Star, and Primera Plus . Travellers heading east (more or less) from Mexico City (TAPO bus terminal) can find ticket information on TicketBus . Other destinations can be found on individual companies' websites. The north of Mexico, for instance, is service by Omnibuses de Mexico or ETN . On the other hand if traveling within a city, you won't find a pleasant surprise. You will find one of the most chaotic public transport systems full of the popular "peseros". "Peseros" are small buses with varying color codes depending on the city you are. Usually the route taken is written on cardboard attached to the windshield. Unlike in many countries, bus stops are uncommon and you are expect to signal the bus to pick you up and drop you off wherever you want. You will rarely find a stop button in a pesero; just shout the word "baja" for it to stop. Fares are cheap and vary from 2 to 7 pesos approximately. By train Passenger trains are very limited in Mexico with only a few lines in operation in places like the Copper Canyon in the northern state of Chihuahua, that line is also known as the Chihuahua Pacific Railway since its final destination is the Pacific coastal city of Tobolobampo in the state of Sinaloa. In the state of Jalisco there is also a line which travels from the state capital city Guadalajara to its final destination in the small town of Tequila, this is why this line is called the Tequila Express . In the Yucatan Peninsula there is a line of passenger trains which runs from Villahermosa through Campeche, Merida, Playa del Carmen and its final destination being the city of Cancun, this train also runs through a few Mayan ruins including Chichen-Itza and this gives it its name of the Expreso Maya which is Spanish for Mayan Express. Mexico City and Monterrey have subway service, and it might be possible to hop aboard freight cars in some parts of the country . By thumb One upside of the high petroleum prices is that hitching is beginning to be more common in Mexico again, particularly the rural areas. In areas near big cities, hitching should be more difficult, and is not really advisable due to security reasons. However, in village areas, this will be really possible and most likely a nice experience. Since villagers have always had a hard time affording gas, and nowadays many are turning to picking up paying hitchhikers as a way to afford the next trip into town. Baja, the Sierra Tarahumara and Oaxaca and Chiapas all have good possibilities for the hitchhiker. Hitchhiking possibilities vary according to region. Mexican culture is often accepting of hitchhiking and it's a common practice among Mexican youngsters going to the beach in Easter vacations, though in some cases a money contribution is expected for gas because of its relatively high prices. You should make it clear that you have no money to offer before accepting the ride, if this is the case. If you're willing to pay, trucks will often provide lifts for about half the price of a bus ticket. Of course you may be able to negotiate a better deal. Hitchhiking is considered fairly safe and easy in the Yucatan Peninsula. Culture The culture of Mexico has changed rapidly during the 19th and 20th centuries. In many ways, contemporary life in its cities has become similar to that in neighboring United States and Europe. Most Mexican villagers follow the older way of life more than the city people do. More than 45% of the people in Mexico live in cities of over 50,000 inhabitants. Large metropolitan areas include Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla-Tlaxcala, while rural areas include small areas throughout Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Yucatán, Aguascalientes, Michoacán, and many more. Language Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. The overwhelming majority of Mexicans today speak Spanish, however, the government recognizes 62 indigenous Amerindian languages as national languages. Some Spanish vocabulary in Mexico has roots in the country's indigenous languages, which are spoken by approximately 6% of the population. Some indigenous Mexican words have even become common in other languages, such as the English language. For instance, the words tomato, chocolate, coyote, and avocado are Nahuatl in origin. Religion The Spanish arrival and colonization brought Roman Catholicism to the country, which became the main religion of Mexico, however, Mexico has "no official" religion, and the Constitution of 1917 and the anti-clerical laws imposed limitations on the church and sometimes codified state intrusion into church matters. The government does not provide any financial contributions to the church, and the church does not participate in public education. The last census reported, by self-ascription, that 76.5% of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics are 89% of the total population, 47% percent of whom attend church services weekly. In absolute terms, Mexico has the world's second largest number of Catholics after Brazil. According to the Government's 2000 census, approximately 87 percent of respondents identified themselves as at least nominally Roman Catholic. Other religious groups for which the 2000 census provided estimates included evangelicals, with 1.71 percent of the population; other Protestant evangelical groups, 2.79 percent; members of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1.25 percent; "historical" Protestants, 0.71 percent; Seventh-day Adventists, 0.58 percent; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 0.25 percent; Jews, 0.05 percent; and other religions, 0.31 percent. Approximately 3.52 percent of respondents indicated "no religion", and 0.86 percent did not specify a religion. Art Mexico is known for its folk art traditions, mostly derived from the indigenous and Spanish crafts. Pre-Columbian art thrived over a wide timescale, from 1800 BC to AD 1500. Certain artistic characteristics were repeated throughout the region, namely a preference for angular, linear patterns, and three-dimensional ceramics. Notable handicrafts include clay pottery from the valley of Oaxaca and the village of Tonala. Colorfully embroidered cotton garments, cotton or wool shawls and outer garments, and colorful baskets and rugs are seen everywhere. Mexico is also known for its pre-Columbian architecture, especially for public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures. Between the Spanish colonial era and the early 20th century, Mexican fine arts were largely influenced by European traditions. After the Mexican Revolution, a new generation of Mexican artists led a vibrant national movement that incorporated political, historic, and folk themes in their work. The painters Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros became world famous for their grand murals, often displaying clear social messages. Rufino Tamayo and Frida Kahlo produced more personal works with abstract elements. Mexican art photography largely fostered by the work of Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Architecture With thirty-one sites, Mexico has more sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list than any other country in the Americas, most of which pertain to the country's architectural history. Mesoamerican architecture in Mexico is best known for its public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures, several of which are the largest monuments in the world. Mesoamerican architecture is divided into three eras, Pre-Classic, Classic, and Post-Classic. The Spanish Colonial Style dominated in early colonial Mexico. During the late 17th century to 1750, one of Mexico's most popular architectural styles was Mexican Churrigueresque, which combined Amerindian and Moorish decorative influences. The Academy of San Carlos, founded in 1788, was the first major art academy in the Americas. The academy promoted Neoclassicism, focusing on Greek and Roman art and architecture. From 1864 to 1867, during the Second Mexican Empire, Maximilian I installed emperor of Mexico. This intervention, financed largely by France, was brief, but it began a period of French influence in architecture and culture which lasted well into the 20th century. After the Mexican Revolution in 1917, idealization of the indigenous and the traditional symbolized attempts to reach into the past and retrieve what had been lost in the race toward modernization. Functionalism, expressionism, and other schools left their imprint on a large number of works in which Mexican stylistic elements have been combined with European and North American techniques, most notably the work of Pritzker Prize winner Luis Barragán. Enrique Norten, the founder of TEN Arquitectors, has been awarded several honors for his work in modern architecture. His work express a modernity that reinforces the government's desire to present a new image of Mexico as an industrialized country with a global presence. Other notable and emerging contemporary architects include Mario Schjetnan, Michel Rojkind, Tatiana Bilbao, Isaac Broid Zajman and Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta, Luis Vicente Flores, Alberto Kalach, Daniel Alvarez, and José Antonio Aldrete-Haas. Literature The literature of Mexico has its antecedents in the literatures of the indigenous settlements of Mesoamerica. The most well known prehispanic poet is Netzahualcoyotl. Modern Mexican literature was influenced by the concepts of the Spanish colonialization of Mesoamerica. Outstanding colonial writers and poets include Juan Ruiz de Alarcón and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Other writers include Alfonso Reyes, José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Maruxa Vilalta, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz Renato Leduc, Jaime Labastida, Mariano Azuela ("Los de abajo") and Juan Rulfo ("Pedro Páramo"). Bruno Traven, from German origin, assimilated into the Mexican culture and wrote "Canasta de cuentos mexicanos", "El tesoro de la Sierra Madre." Cinema The history of Mexican cinema dates to the beginning of the 20th century, when several enthusiasts of the new medium documented historical events – most particularly the Mexican Revolution. The Golden Age of Mexican cinema is the name given to the period between 1935 and 1959 where the quality and economic success of the cinema of Mexico reached its peak. Some of the present-day film makers include, Alejandro González Iñárritu Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), Carlos Reygadas (Stellet Licht), screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and owners Guillermo Navarro and Emmanuel Lubezki. National holidays Mexicans celebrate their independence from Spain on September 15, and other holidays with colorful festivals known as "Fiestas". Many Mexican cities, towns and villages hold a yearly festival to commemorate their local patron saints. During these festivities, the people pray and burn candles to honor their saints in churches decorated with flowers and colorful utensils. They also hold large parades, fireworks, dance competitions, beauty pageant contest, party and buy refreshments in the market places and public squares. In the smaller towns and villages, soccer, and boxing are also celebrated during the festivities. Other festivities include Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Las Posadas ("The Shelters", celebrated on December 16 to December 24), Noche Buena ("Holy Night", celebrated on December 24), Navidad ("Christmas", celebrated on December 25) and Año Nuevo ("New Years Day", celebrated on December 31 to January 1). "Guadalupe Day" is regarded by many Mexicans as the most important religious holiday of their country. It honours the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, which is celebrated on December 12. In the last decade, all the celebrations happening from mid December to the beginning of January have been linked together in what has been called the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon. Piñatas are unique to Mexican celebrations. A pinata is made from papier-mache. It is created to look like popular people, animals, or fictional characters. Once made it is painted with bright colors and filled with candy or small toys. It is then hung from the ceiling. The children are blind folded and take turns hitting the piñata until it breaks open and the candy and small toys fall out. The children then gather the candy and small toys. Cuisine Mexican cuisine is known for its blending of Indigenous and Spanish cultures. Popular dishes include tacos, enchiladas, mole sauce, atole, tamales, and pozole. Traditionally the main Mexican ingredients consisted of maize, beans, meat, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chili peppers, habenero peppers, onions, nuts, avocados and guavas. Popular beverages include water flavored with a variety of fruit juices, and cinnamon-flavored hot chocolate prepared with milk or water and blended until it becomes frothed using a traditional wooden tool called a molinillo. Alcoholic beverages native to Mexico include mescal, pulque, and tequila. Mexican beer is also popular in Mexico and are exported. There are international award-winning Mexican wineries that produce and export wine. The most important and frequently used spices in Mexican cuisine are chili powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro, epazote, cinnamon, and cocoa. Chipotle, a smoked-dried jalapeño pepper, is also common in Mexican cuisine. Many Mexican dishes also contain onions and garlic, which are also some of Mexico's staple foods. Next to corn, rice is the most common grain in Mexican cuisine. According to food writer Karen Hursh Graber, the initial introduction of rice to Spain from North Africa in the 14th century led to the Spanish introduction of rice to Mexico at the port of Veracruz in the 1520s. This, Graber says, created one of the earliest instances of the world's greatest Fusion cuisine's. On the other hand, in Southeastern Mexico, especially in the Yucátan, is known for their spicy vegetable and meat dishes. The cuisine of Southeastern Mexico has quite a bit of Caribbean influence, given its geographical location. Seafood is commonly prepared in the states that border the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, the latter having a famous reputation for its fish dishes, à la veracruzana. In modern times, other cuisines of the world have become very popular in Mexico, thus adopting a Mexican fusion. For example, sushi in Mexico is often made by using a variety of sauces based on mango and tamarind, and very often served with serrano-chili blended soy sauce, or complemented with vinegar, habenero peppers and chipotle peppers. Chocolate originated in Mexico and was prized by the Aztecs. It remains an important ingredient in Mexican cookery. Music The foundation of Mexican music comes from its indigenous sounds and heritage. The original inhabitants of the land, used drums, flutes, maracas, sea shells and voices to make music and dances. This ancient music is still played in some parts of Mexico. However, much of the traditional contemporary music of Mexico was written during and after the Spanish colonial period, using many European instruments. Some instruments whose predecessors were brought from Europe, such as the vihuela used in Mariachi music, are now very Mexican. Mexican society enjoys a vast array of music genres, showing the diversity of Mexican culture. Traditional music includes Mariachi, Banda, Norteño, Ranchera and Corridos. Mexicans also listen to contemporary music such as pop and Mexican rock. Mexico has the largest media industry in Latin America, producing Mexican artists who are famous in Central and South America and parts of Europe. Folk songs called corridos have been popular in the country since the 16th century. It may tell the story about the Mexican Revolution, pride, Mestizo, romance, poverty, politics or crime. Today, musical groups known as Mariachis perform along streets, festivals and restaurants. A Mariachi group includes singers, guitar, trumpets, violin and marimba players. The most prominent Mariachi group is Vargas de Tecalitlán, which was originally formed in 1897. Other styles of traditional regional music in México: Son Jarocho (Veracruz, with guitars and harp), Huapango or Son Huasteco (Huasteca, northeastern regions, violin and two guitars known as quinta huapanguera and jarana), Tambora (Sinaloa, mainly brass instruments) Duranguense, Jarana (most of the Yucatán peninsula) and Norteña (North style, redoba and accordion). Folk dances are a feature of Mexican culture. Significant in dance tradition is the "Jarabe Tapatío", known as "Mexican hat dance". Traditional dancers perform a sequence of hopping steps, heel and toe tapping movements. Among the most known "classical" composers: Manuel M. Ponce ("Estrellita"), Revueltas, Jordá (Elodia), Ricardo Castro, Juventino Rosas ("Sobre las olas"), Carrillo (Sonido 13), Ibarra, Pablo Moncayo (Huapango) and Carlos Chávez. Popular composers includes: Agustín Lara, Consuelo Velázquez ("Bésame mucho"), "Guty" Cárdenas, José Alfredo Jiménez, Armando Manzanero, Luis Arcaraz, Álvaro Carrillo, Joaquín Pardavé and Alfonso Ortiz Tirado. Traditional Mexican music has influenced the evolution of the Mexican pop and Mexican rock genre. Some well-known Mexican pop singers are Luis Miguel and Alejandro Fernández. Latin rock musicians such as Carlos Santana, Café Tacuba and Caifanes have incorporated Mexican folk tunes into their music. Traditional Mexican music is still alive in the voices of artists such as Eugenia León and Lila Downs. Sport The traditional national sport of Mexico is Charreria, which consists of a series of equestrian events. The national horse of Mexico, used in Charreria, is the Azteca. Bullfighting, a tradition brought from Spain, is also popular. Mexico has the largest venue for bullfighting in the world - The Plaza de toros in Mexico City which seats 48,000 people. Football is the most popular team sport in Mexico. Most states have their own representative football teams. Among the country's significant teams include Chivas de Guadalajara, Club América, Cruz Azul, and Pumas de la UNAM. Notable players include Hugo Sánchez, Claudio Suárez, Luis Hernández, Francisco Palencia, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Memo Ochoa, Jared Borgetti, Rafael Márquez, Pável Pardo, Ramón Ramírez, Jorge Campos, Javier Hernandez, and Oswaldo Sánchez. Mexico is also known for its boxing tradition, having produced world champions such as Julio César Chávez, Salvador Sánchez, José Nápoles, Ricardo Lopez, Rubén Olivares, Carlos Zarate, Érik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Sugar Ramos, and Juan Manuel Márquez. Other popular recreational activities include lucha libre (Mexican professional wrestling), baseball, fishing, scuba diving, Jai alai, and basketball. The country hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1968 and the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986, and was the first country to host the FIFA World Cup twice. Food Nachos, Quesadilla, Enchilada, Burrito, Carne asada, Menudo, Sope, Rice pudding, Gordita, Vanilla, Mexican cuisine, Taco, Queso flameado, Cocoa bean, Taquito, Tostada, Croquette, Chilaquiles, Adobo, Frijoles negros, Beer in Mexico, Refried beans, Chalupa, Caesar salad, Machaca, Marzipan, Offal, Liver, Picadillo, Agave nectar, Pepita, Tortilla, Nopal, Nixtamalization, Chili con carne, Barbacoa, San Francisco burrito, Carnitas, Tripe, Aztec cuisine, Huevos rancheros, Pozole, Chorizo, Tortilla chip, Drunken chicken, Cuisine of Chiapas, Tlayuda, Fried ice cream, Oaxacan cuisine, Michelada, Hallaca, Birria, Cochinita pibil, Chile relleno, Cuisine of Veracruz, Tex-Mex, New Mexican cuisine, Mexican street food, Pozol, Black pudding, Panela, Paleta, Cajeta, Tlacoyo, Chapulines, Paste, Kogi Korean BBQ, Pulled pork, Flank steak, Jalapeño, Mexican tea culture, Molcajete, Entomatada, Tomato juice, Elote, Spanish rice, Capirotada, Frito pie, Huevos motuleños, Torta, Duros, Pambazo, Anaheim pepper, Santa Maria Style BBQ, Tres leches cake, Frog legs, Natillas, Hominy, Calabaza, Torta ahogada, Iguana meat, Esquites, Mixiote, Machacado con huevo, Chili con queso, Guacamole, Panocha, Taco rice, Empalme, Adobada, Chicken feet, Memela, Chamoy, Green sauce, Dried and salted cod, Manjar blanco, Stuffed peppers, Bolillo, Qurabiya, Chicharrón, Axayacatl, Mole, Huevos divorciados, Humita, Migas, Horse meat, Suadero, Guajolota, Beef brain, Piki, Gringas, Polvorón, Discada, Cabeza, Tesgüino, Caldo de pollo, Cocadas, Papadzules, Bistek, Beef tongue, Frijoles charros, Moronga, Carne de chango, Serrano pepper, Oxtail soup, Milanesa, Escamol, Topote, Churro, Chiles en nogada, Huarache, Chilorio, Rosca de reyes, Mezcal worm, Coyotas, Mexican pizza, Guajillo chili, Recado rojo, Molinillo, Cascabel chili, Chahuis, Caldo de siete mares, Escabeche, Seven layer dip, Tripas, Nopalito, Chongos, Stuffed zucchinis, Cabrito, Mulato pepper, Al pastor, Comal, Guasanas, Rosca, Tejate, Tortilla warmer, Jumiles, Corunda, Queso Chihuahua, Saladitos, Queso panela, Pejelagarto, Empanada, Salpicon, Escuela de Gastronomía Mexicana, Nicuatole, Pork rind, Carne seca, Romeritos, Mancha manteles, Rajas con crema, Pinole, Tascalate, Cahuamanta, Longaniza, Güirila, Buñuelo, Mollete, Cemita, Vitrolero, Pollo motuleños, Tortilla de rescoldo, Curtido, Tajín Art Aztec calendar stone, Stone of Tizoc, ¿Olvida usted algo? – ¡Ojalá! Architecture For Mexican architecture means that existing in what is now the Mexican territory and made by Mexican architects in other countries, whose influence is very marked and conspicuous reference to the buildings of ancient Mexico, colonial and modern. For the artistic relevance of many of Mexico's architectural structures, including entire sections of prehispanic and colonial cities, have been designated World Heritage. The country has the first place in number of sites declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the Americas. Prehispanic Period The presence of man in the Mexican territory has left important archaeological finds of great importance for the explanation of the habitat of early man and modern man. Mesoamerican civilizations have achieved great stylistic development and proportion in human and urban scale, the form evolved from simplicity to complexity aesthetic; in the north it manifests architecture of adobe and stone, the multifamily housing as it see in Paquimé, and the cave dwelling in caves of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Monte Albán was for long the seat of the dominant power in the region of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, from the decline of San José Mogote until the sundown of the city, occurred around the 9th century. The old name of this city founded by the Zapotecs in late Preclassic is the subject of discussion. According to some sources, the original name was Dani Baá. It is known, however, that the Mixtec known the city as Yuku kúi . Like most of the great Mesoamerican cities, Monte Albán was a city with a multiethnic population. Throughout its history, the city maintained strong ties to other major peoples in Mesoamerica, especially with the Teotihuacans during the Early Classic. The city was abandoned by the elite and much of its population at the end of Phase Xoo. However, the ceremonial enclosure that constitute the complex of archeological site of Monte Albán was reused for the Mixtec during the Postclassic period. By this time, the Zapotec people's political power was divided among various city-states, as Zaachila, Yagul, Lambityeco and Tehuantepec. It is believed that the Maya founded Lakam Ha during the Formative period (2500 B.C. - 300 A.D.), about 100 B.C., predominantly as a farmer village, and favored by numerous springs and streams in the region. The population grew during the Early Classic period (200-600), to be a city, becoming the capital of the region of B'akaal (bone), comprised in the area of Chiapas and Tabasco, in the Late Classic period (600-900). The oldest of the structures that have been discovered was built around the year 600. B'akaal was an important center of Mayan civilization between the 5th and 9th centuries, during which alternated times of glory and disaster, alliances and wars. On more than one occasion made alliances with Tikal, the other great Mayan city of the time, especially to contain the spread of militant Calakmul, also called "Kingdom of the Serpent". Calakmul was victorious twice, in 599 and 611. B'akaal rulers claimed that the origin of their lineage came from the distant past, some even boasting come from prehistoric times, leading to the creation of the world, which in Mayan mythology, was in the year 3114 B.C. Modern archaeological theories speculate that the first dynasty of their rulers was probably Olmec. During the Phase Tollan, the city had reached its greatest extent and population. Some authors estimate urban surface Tollan-Xicocotitlan between 5 and 16 km² for the time, with a population of between 16,000 and 55,000 peoples. During this phase should consolidate monumental space that constitutes the current archaeological zone of Tula, consistent into two pyramidal bases, two courts for the ballgame and several palaces that could be occupied by the Toltec elite. By this time, Tollan-Xicocotitlan became not only the heart of the Mesoamerican commercial networks. Also hosted a military-theocratic elite who imposed their dominance in various parts of Mesoamerica, were by military conquest, or political alliance or by establishing colonies in strategic places. Teotihuacan was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987. Despite what might be assumed given the large number of monuments, the Teotihuacan archaeological excavations continue to this day, and have resulted in a gradual increase in the quality and quantity of knowledge it have about this city, which, incidentally, are unknown issues as important as its original name and the ethnic affiliation of its founders. It is known, however, that was a cosmopolitan place, by the documented presence of groups from the Gulf Coast or the Central Valleys of Oaxaca. Located in the town of Tzintzuntzan in the municipality of the same name. The settlement is located on the Yahuarato hillside, where it became an esplanade, the location allowed have visual domain of Lake Pátzcuaro, in addition to providing protection. The zone is formed by 5 pyramids called "Yácatas" that having rectangular shape and semicircle since its staggered basis, besides other architectural. The yácatas were the main ceremonial center. The site was the last capital of the Purepecha empire. It has a small archaeological museum. Puuc style The buildings of Chichen Itza show a large number of architectural and iconographic elements that some historians have wanted to call Mexicanized. The truth is that it is visible the influence of cultures from central Mexico, and mixing with the Puuc style, from the upper peninsula, of Classic Maya architecture. The presence of these elements from the cultures of the plateau were conceived several years ago as a result of a mass migration or conquest of the Maya city by Toltec groups. However, recent studies suggest that may have been the cultural expression of a prestigious and widespread political system during the Early Postclassic in Mesoamerica. Oasisoamericano style Oasisomericanos peoples had great contact with the peoples of Mesoamerica and the Northern Hemisphere, this leads to a unique style of construction in the Americas, their influence is marked primarily by commercial activities between the north and south. The archaeology is a bit compared to the construction of Chan Chan in northern Peru. Paquimé was a prehistoric settlement that influenced in the northwest of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the most of western Chihuahua and some areas of the states of Sonora, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Researchers estimate that the population probably grew to about 3,500 inhabitants, but is unaware of their linguistic and ethnic affiliation. The site is famous for its adobe buildings and "T" form doors. Of its total length is only a fraction fenced and a less excavated. Its buildings have traits of Oasisamerica culture and demonstrates the skill of the prehispanic architects of the region making adobe multifamily houses up to four levels high with wooden, reed, stone and adobe. Colonial Period With the arrival of the Spanish were introduced architectural theories of classical order and Arabic formalities, to build the first churches and monasteries monastic; it projected models uniques in its kind that were the basis for the evangelization of indigenous peoples marking their ideology within Architectural style called tequitqui years later the baroque and mannerism are imposed in great cathedrals and civic buildings, while in rural areas are built haciendas or manor farms with Mozarabic trends. The mendicant monasteries were one of the architectural solutions devised by the friars of the mendicant orders in the 16th century for Evangelization in New Spain, designed for a huge number of indigenous non-Catholics. Were based on European monastic model, but added innovative elements in New Spain as atrial cross and the open chapel, also characterized by hold different trends decorative and sturdy appearance as military fortresses. The religious function of these buildings was thought for a huge number of Indians to evangelize, but early in the policy of reductions the set became the training center of its communities and ways of western civilians, the Castilian, various arts and trades, health, and even funerals. Within these buildings, spread across the center of the current Mexico and mastery superb examples of architecture and decor, is possible to find an art originated both in stone carving and decoration painting: art tequitqui or indo-Christian, a kind of style made by Indians who built the buildings based on European standards and directed by the friars. The first cathedrals were built since 1521 when it was founded the New Spain, from that time have built ever more elaborate than the last as the Cathedral of Yucatán which is considered the second cathedral of Mexico with a Renaissance style. The New Spanish Baroque The combination of Indian and Arabic decorative influences, with an extremely expressive interpretation of the churrigueresque, could explain the variety and intensity of the Baroque in New Spain. Even more than its Spanish counterpart, the American Baroque developed as a style of stucco decoration. Twin towers facades of many American cathedrals of the 17th century have medieval roots. To the north, the richest province of the 18th century, New Spain, the current Mexico, was an architecture fantastically extravagant and visually frenetic that is Mexican churrigueresque. This ultrabaroque style culminates in the works of Lorenzo Rodríguez, whose masterpiece is the Sagrario Metropolitano in Mexico City . Other notable examples are in remote mining towns. For example the sanctuary of Ocotlán (begun in 1745) is a first-Baroque cathedral, whose surface is covered with bright red tiles, which contrast with a plethora of compressed ornament applied generously on the front and sides of the towers. The true capital of Mexican Baroque is Puebla, where the abundance of hand painted tiles and local gray stone led to a very personal and localized evolution of style, with a pronounced Indian flavor. The New Spanish Baroque is an artistic movement that appeared in what is now Mexico in the late 16th century, approximately, which was preserved until the mid-18th century. From the Portuguese word barrueco meaning unclean, mottled, flamboyant, daring, the most striking example of New Spanish Baroque art is in religious architecture, where indigenous artisans gave it a unique character. Highlights include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City with his Altar of the Kings, the church of Santa María Tonantzintla in the Puebla State, the Jesuit convent of Tepotzotlán in the State of Mexico, the Chapel of the Rosary in the church of Santo Domingo of the city of Puebla, the convent and the church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Oaxaca, and the church of Santa Prisca in Taxco, Guerrero State. The ethos baroque shook in Mexico the forms and classic proportions to help and forge a Mexican identity. The New Spanish Baroque is the rediscovery and re-founding of the Spanish heritage, from the 17th century. The Baroque style is an experience of cultural survival by indigenous, enriching and transforming. Mexico and the Baroque share its history with the arrival of the Iberian-European civilization and cultural mix. The marginal population of the New Spanish cities, overwhelmingly indigenous and romani, undertook, by the 17th century, the construction of a new identity (at the failure of the attempt to impose simply European culture through evangelism). Were mostly indigenous people resident in cities, taking advantage of its otherness, were able to reconstruct the forms came from Europe. The Indians had seen their world crumbling ancestral and were forced to change their identity, adopting the forms and techniques of the conquerors but with a proper content. As a result, also transformed the way of see the world of New Spanish Criollos and Mestizos, forgers all of the current Mexican society. New Spanish great works The cathedrals of New Spain are good examples of madera style. During the 15th century began to build great cathedrals with predominant of Plateresque style and late Gothic. In the culminating point of the Spanish Baroque was expressed the Churrigueresque, the Herrerian style and New Spanish Baroque with indigenous polychrome elements. Undoubtedly the Cathedral of Puebla has the highest mix of architectural styles, and that makes it unique in the world as a good example of viceroyal architecture. The Biblioteca Palafoxiana is considered the first public library in the Americas. Founded by Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza in 1646. Located in the historic center of Puebla, this library is pride of Baroque and Monument in Mexico since 1981. Bishop Palafox donated his personal library, composed of five thousand volumes before the notary Nicolás de Valdivia on September 5, 1646, to be consulted by all those who wish to study, because its main condition was that it was open to the public and not just to ecclesiastics and seminarians. The creation of this library was approved by royal charter in December 1647 and reconfirmed by Pope Innocent X in 1648. For over 360 years, the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, has been sitting in the Formae College of San Juan in the seminary founded by Palafox y Mendoza. While the construction of the dome, as found today was made in 1773, by Bishop Francisco de Fabián y Fuero, who ordered the construction of the first two floors of the shelf, which is a fine work of New Spanish cabinetmakers who worked harmoniously the ayacahuite, cedar and wild sunflower woods. From this period dates the delicate altarpiece which houses the effigy of the Madonna of Trapani, oil that was presumably made modeled the sculpture by Nino Pisano made of the Virgin in the 14th century. Later, in the 19th century, was placed a third level because they had increased the number of volumes that were in the library. Religious missions After Mexico's independence in 1821, the mission of Nuestra Señora de Loreto went into decline, the Pious Fund of the Californias instituted in favor of the Jesuits by the Marquis of Villapuente de la Peña and his wife the Marchioness of las Torres de Rada to support the evangelization of the Californias disappeared with his expulsion, the natives of the region disappeared by the diseases brought by the Europeans to the peninsula, the Franciscans to march to the Alta California place ceded to the Dominicans that not brought the substance of the first missionaries, however the mission yet survived abandonment, unlike many other missions founded in Baja California peninsula by Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans were left to disappear completely. Today the Mission of Nuestra Señora de Loreto is the jewel of the missions founded in the peninsula. The revival of the economy and communications infrastructure construction in Baja California Sur from the last century has been of benefit to the mission, gone are the days of deprivation. In 1992, the town of Loreto, the ancient capital of Las Californias reached the rank of capital of the municipality. The mission was founded in 1699 by Jesuit missionary Eusebio Kino, who often visited and preached in the area. The original mission church, approximately 3 kilometers away, was vulnerable to Apache attacks who finally destroyed by the year 1770. Charles III of Spain banned all Jesuits from Spanish lands in America in 1767 because of his distrust of the Jesuits. At this time, the Mission San Xavier del Bac was conducted by the Franciscans more flexible "and reliable." The current building was constructed under the direction of Franciscan Fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz mainly with native labor, which did the work in the period 1783-1797, with a loan of 7,000 pesos and is mainly used by the Christian community of the District of Tohono O'odham. Unlike the other Spanish missions in Arizona, San Xavier continuously active and run by Franciscans; also continues to serve the native community for which it was built. The Mission of San Xavier and Indian converts were protected by the Royal Presidio of San Agustín del Tucsón, established an Indian convert and were protected from Apache raids by the presidio of Tucson, established in 1775. Outside, the Mission, white, has a Moorish-inspired design, elegant and simple, with an ornately decorated entrance. There are no files for architects, builders, and craftsmen responsible for creating it and decorate it. Most of the work was provided by the local Indians, and believed that they provided artisan creativity. Guests entering the gates carved mesquite wood, struck by the freshness of the interior, and the dazzling colors of the paintings, carving, frescoes and statues. The interior is richly decorated with ornaments showing a mixture of New Spain and indigenous artistic embellishments. The plan of the church represents the classic Latin cross. The main hall is separated from the sanctuary by the transept, with chapels to one or the other end. The dome above the transept is 16 m high and is supported by arches and esquinches. At least three different artists painted the artwork inside the church. The Mission is considered the finest Spanish architecture in the United States. The fortifications and presidios By the year of 1535 began the construction of the fortress mainly with coral stone place, in order to protect the boats mooring by bad weather, but mostly and along with the system of walls and ramparts of the city of Veracruz, protect this important port of pirate attacks and filibusters. Over time, San Juan de Ulúa became the most formidable fortress of its time in this part of the hemisphere. The September 23, 1568, its walls witnessed the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa, in which a fleet of bodyguards of the Spanish Armada, led by General Francisco Luján beat a fleet of British pirates under the command of Francis Drake and John Hawkins. Already by the early 19th century and to be consummated Mexican independence from domain of Spain in 1821, the fort and island became the last stronghold of the metropolis to regain its former dominance. The fort surrendered on November 18, 1825. Those involved in the work were the master Juan de Dios Trinidad Pérez and Francisco Ortiz de Castro. Was completed on 7 November 1809. Its main purpose was grain storage, however this feature was short lived as a few months, in September 1810, the city was taken by separatist insurgents. The presidio was an instrument of peace and territorial defense, defending in its early routes and roads, thereby populating the northern Mexico. This presidial system emerges as a strategy of settlement by the Spanish during the Viceroyalty consisting of a building to defend to soldiers and serve as temporary shelter against the attacks, which was dismantled after the area was pacified. Each presidio was built at a safe distance to allow other mutual support. Being dismantled the presidio was forgotten and later became a population took every other abandoned building to make their homes, barns and forming the main square that was once the central space of the presidio. It consisted of a Chief and 45 men divided into three sections of 15 men each, which took turns to stand guard. Republican Period Neoclassicism In neoclassical have been rebuilt several temples modifying the original structure as the Cathedral of Toluca and most of the temples including that style. Finally some cathedrals are recent constructions with modern architecture and are equally interesting. In the 19th century the neoclassical movement is a response to the objectives of the republican nation, one of its examples are the Hospicio Cabañas where strict plastic of the classic orders are represented in architectural elements also arise new religious, civil and military buildings demonstrating the presence of neoclassicism. During the Porfiriato, appeared a group of intellectuals and scholars, scientists, who thought that the Porfirio Díaz´s dictatorship could be useful to achieve the modernization of Mexico. So the Porfiriato was characterized by a strange mixture of liberalism and conservatism. Díaz was elected president seven times. Its main allies were the Church and the great landowners. During his dictatorship, Mexico achieved significant economic progress, supported by the growth of the country's population. The latifundia also increased (at the expense of the lands of indigenous communities, mainly). The export of agricultural products increased dramatically. Thus, Mexico received significant amounts of money from abroad, with the state funded its development program. In it were very important railway track construction and exploitation of the silver mines. Is reflected in the architecture of its time covered, since the end of the "romance" to "modernism". Mexico City to be the capital of the Republic will manifest more clearly the process, trends and conditions within which it developed the unique architecture of this period and reflects the contradictions of Porfirian society. Eclecticism, retention schedules and tastes of academics from the European School of Fine Arts, which influenced both during the Neoclassical, the need and desire for a good part of society for the "revival", while interest modernity to integrate into the "nouveau", along with the "nationalist" desire, based on the interpretation and the "rebirth" of the pre-Hispanic, clearly portray the development and evolution of a society that willingly, in exchange for "progress" was subjected to a dictatorship. 19th and early 20th Century Architecture Townscapes changed little during the first half of the 19th century in Mexico, until the French occupation during the Second Mexican Empire in the 1860s. Emperor Maximilian I brought a new set of urban design ideas to Mexico. Drawing from the mid-century Parisian revelopment plan of Baron Haussmann, Maximillain administered the building of a broad new diagonal avenue- Paseo de la Reforma. This elegant boulevard ran for miles from the downtown National Palace to the lush Chapultepec Park where the Austrian ruler lived in the Chapultepec Castle. Along the Reforma, double rows of eucalyptus trees were planted, gas lamps installed, and the first mule-drawn streetcars were introduced. The development was the catalyst for a new phase of growth from downtown Mexico City to the west, a direction that would define the city's structure for the next half century. During President Porfirio Diaz's reign patrons and practitioners of architecture manifested two impulses: to create an architecture that would indicate Mexico's participation in modernity and the emphasize Mexico's difference from other countries through the incorporation of local characteristics into the architecture. The first goal took precedence over the second during most of the 19th century. A modern, sophisticated Mexico City was the goal of President Diaz. Cast iron technology from Europe and the United States allowed for new building designs. Italian marble, European granite, bronzes and stained glass could now be imported. Diaz was determined to transform the landscape of the nation's capital into one reminiscent of Paris or London. It is not surprising that the most important architectural commissions of the Porfiriato were given to foreigners. Italian architect Adamo Boari designed the Postal Palace built by Gonzalo Garita (1902) and the National Theatre of Mexico (1904). The French architect Emile Benard, who worked on the Legislative Palace in 1903, founded an architectural studio where he took Mexican students. Silvio Contri was responsible for the Secretariat of Communications and Public Works (1902–11). Neo-Gothic designs incorporated into the monumental public buildings of the early 20th century. The two best examples were the Central post office and the Palacio de Bellas Artes, designed by Italian architect Adamo Boari. President Diaz had enacted a decree in 1877 that called for the placement of a series of political statues of Mexican heroes along the Paseo de la Reforma. Classical designs were used to build structures such as the Angel of Independence monument, the monument to Cuauhtemoc, the monument to Benito Juárez, and the Columbus Statue. Diaz's conviction about the importance of public monuments in the urban landscape started a tradition that has become permanent in Mexico: public monuments in the 20th century landscape. In the 19th century, Neo-Indigenist architecture played an active part of the representation of national identity as constructed by the Porfirian regime. The representation of the local in Mexican architecture was achieved mainly through themes and decorative motifs inspired by pre-Hispanic antiquity. These representations were essential to the construction of a common heritage by which the nation might be unified. The first building based on the ancient Mexican motifs built in the 19th century was the monument to Cuauhtemoc executed by engineer Francisco Jimenez and the sculptor Miguel Norena. Other 19th-century buildings incorporating pre-Hispanic decorative motifs include the monument to Benito Juarez in Paseo Juarez, Oaxaca (1889). At the beginning of the 20th century, Luis Zalazar enthusiastically encouraged architects to create a national style of architecture based on the study of pre-Hispanic ruins. His writings would be influential for the nationalistic tendencies in Mexican architecture which developed during the second and third decade of the 20th century. After the Mexican Revolution, successive Mexican regimes would use the pre-Hispanic past to represent the nation. Later architects also took inspiration from the architecture of the colonial period and regional architecture as the creation of a genuinely Mexican architecture became a pressing issue during the 20th century. Modern and Contemporary Architecture Fifteen years after the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1917, government endorsements for federal housing, educational, and health care building programs began. While the development of modern architecture in Mexico bears some noteworthy parallels to its North American and European counterparts, its trajectory highlights several unique characteristics, which challenged existing definitions modern architecture. During the post-Revolutionary period, idealization of the indigenous and the traditional symbolized attempts to reach into the past and retrieve what had been lost in the race toward modernization. Functionalism, expressionism, and other schools have left their imprint on a large number of works in which Mexican stylistic elements have been combined with European and North American techniques. The Institute of Hygiene in Popotla, Mexico, by José Villagrán García, was one of the first examples of this new national architecture. The studio designed by Juan O'Gorman in San Angel, Mexico City, for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (1931–32) is a fine example of vanguard architecture built in Mexico. Mexico's first project of high-density, low-cost housing was the Centro Urbano Alemán (1947–49), Mexico City, by Mario Pani. Perhaps the most ambitious project of modern architecture was the construction, begun in 1950, Ciudad Universitaria outside Mexico City, a complex of buildings and grounds housing the National Autonomous University of Mexico. A cooperative venture, the project was directed by Carlos Lazo, Enrique Del Moral, and Pani. In the new campus the art of the Mexican muralists was incorporated into the architecture, beginning with Rivera's relief in the new Estadio Olímpico Universitario (1952), by Augusto Pérez Palacios, Jorge Bravo, and Raúl Salinas. The Rectory (1952), by Pani, del Moral, and Salvador Ortega Flores, includes murals by David Alfaro Siqueiros. Perhaps the best integration of mural art with the new architecture is seen in the University Library, by O’Gorman, Gustavo Saavedra, and Juan Martínez de Velasco, which features a monumental mosaic design on the facade by O’Gorman. Another architect of note is Felix Candela (Spanish), who designed the expressionistic church Nuestra Señora de los Milagros. This was a period of diverse experimentation and even structural innovation, as seen in the thin-shell concrete structures by the Spanish architect Felix Candela, such as his Church of the Miraculous Virgin (1953) in Mexico City and the Cosmic Ray Pavilion (1952) on the university campus. The integration of art and architecture became a constant in Mexican modern architecture, which can be seen in the courtyard of the Anthropology Museum (c. 1963–65) in Mexico City, by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez. Another side of Mexican modern architecture is represented in the work of Luis Barragán. The houses that he designed in the 1950s and ’60s explored a way to reconcile the lessons of Le Corbusier with the Spanish colonial tradition. This new synthesis created a completely original Modernist architecture that is uniquely adapted to its environment. Ricardo Legorreta's Camino Real Hotel (1968) in Mexico City is a composition of courtyards and roof terraces within the walls of one downtown block. This work is indebted to the work of Barragán, applying his methods on a larger public scale. In Mexico the Brutalism of Teodoro González de León's Music Conservatory (1994) and the Neo-Barragánesque library (1994) by Legorreta coexist in the new National Centre of the Arts with the work of a younger generation of architects who are influenced by contemporary architecture in Europe and North America. The School of Theatre (1994), by TEN Arquitectos, and the School of Dance (1994), by Luis Vicente Flores, express a modernity that reinforces the government's desire to present a new image of Mexico as an industrialized country with a global presence. Enrique Norten, the founder of TEN Arquitectors, was presented with the "Legacy Award" by the Smithsonian Institution for his contributions to the US arts and culture through his work. In 2005 he received the "Leonardo da Vinci" World Award of Arts by the World Cultural Council and was the first Mies van der Rohe Award recipient for Latin American Architecture. The refined work of Alberto Kalach and Daniel Alvarez stands out both in their numerous residences as well as in the San Juan de Letrán Station (1994) in Mexico City. The residential work of José Antonio Aldrete-Haas in Mexico City shows both the influence of the attenuated Modernism of the great Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza and a continuity with the lessons of Barragán. Other notable and emerging contemporary architects include Mario Schjetnan, Michel Rojkind, Tatiana Bilbao, Isaac Broid and Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta, with award winning works in Mexico, USA and Europe.Amazon.com: Houses by the Sea: Mexicos Pacific Coast (9789709241075): Mauricio Martinez: Books Music The music of Mexico is very diverse and features a wide range of musical genres and performance styles. It has been influenced by a variety of cultures, most notably indigenous Mexican and European, since the Late Middle Ages. Many traditional Mexican songs are well-known worldwide, including Bésame Mucho La Bamba (The Bamba), Solamente una vez (English version "You Belong to My Heart"), La Bikina (The Bikina), Cielito Lindo (Beautiful Sweetheart), Somos Novios (We Are Lovers; English version "It's Impossible"), El Rey (The King), María Bonita (Pretty María), México Lindo y Querido (Beautiful, Beloved Mexico). La Cucaracha (The Cockroach), although popularized during the Mexican Revolution, is a Mexican corrido. Traditional folk Mexican traditional folk music can be classified in two aspects: By types of musical forms and styles: corrido, canción Ranchera, Son Huasteco, Son jarocho, Mexican Danzón, Mexican Bolero, Son istmeño, Son Jaliscience, Chilena, Son Calentano, Son Planeco, and Canto cardenche. By types of ensembles: banda, conjunto calentano, conjunto huasteco, conjunto jarocho, mariachi, and marimba. By types of musical forms Son Its formal structure is based on the alternation of instrumental sections and the singing of short poetic units called coplas. The mode is usually major, with harmonic vocabulary mostly limited to progressions drawing from I, IV, II7, V and V5. Triple meter predominates, with many exceptions in duple meter. Son is performed most often by small ensembles in which string instruments predominate, with notable region-specific exceptions like marimba ensembles and wind ensembles. Mexican Son music was developed from the mixture of Spanish music with indigenous music from different regions, hence the music exhibited lots of variation from differents places, both in rhythm and instrumentation. Mariachi can be considered one type of Mexican son. Mexican son also includes various miscellaneous styles. The guitar is universally present in nearly all Mexican son sub-genres. Other instruments may include trumpets, violins, and accordions. Abajeño music from Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacán. Indigenous communities have produced their own variants of Mexican son, which is otherwise a primarily mestizo genre. The Purépecha (from Michoacán) are known for the sones abajeños, which are often played alongside pirekaus, a form of native love song. Famous bands include Atardecer and Erandi. Chilena from the Costa chica region in Guerrero and Oaxaca. Istmeños originates from the Zapotecs of Oaxaca and is known for love songs, and the people's sones istmeños, which are sung in both Zapotec and Spanish. The music has been popularized, primarily by pop stars from outside the area, including Lila Downs. Son Calentano is a Melodically complex violin music from the Balsas River Basin of southern Mexico. Juan Reynoso is especially popular, and has won the National Prize for Arts and Sciences. Sones de arpa grande developed in an arid, hot area of western Mexico. It is dominated by a harp, accompanied by violins and guitars. Originally confined to poor rural areas and urban brothels, sones de arpa grande is now popular among the suburban and urban middle- and upper-class audiences. Juan Pérez Morfín and Beto Pineda are the best-known performers. Son Huasteco music, from the Huasteca territory, this music is played in the states of Hidalgo, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas and the fiddle is accompanied with jarana huasteca and huapanguera. Two guitarists sing in a falsetto with accompaniment by a violin. Improvisation is common. Los Camperos de Valle, Harmonia Huasteca, Los Hermanos Calderon and Trio Tamazunchale are especially influential performers. Son Jarocho music comes from the Veracruz area, and is distinguished by a strong African influence. International acclaim has been limited, including the major hit La Bamba. The most legendary performer is Graciana Silva, whose releases on Discos Corason made inroads in Europe. Southern Veracruz is home to a distinct style of Jarochos that is characteristically lacking a harp, is played exclusively by requinto or jarana guitars, and is exemplified by the popular modern band Mono Blanco. Son jaliscience is from Jalisco and Colima and has both instrumental and versed songs in this form, mostly in major keys. Most performers consider this in 3/4, some will say alternating 3/4 and 6/8. Ranchera Ranchera is a genre of the traditional Mexican music originally sung by only one performer with a guitar. It dates to the years of the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century. It later became closely associated with the mariachi groups which evolved in Jalisco. Ranchera today is also played by norteño or banda. Drawing on rural traditional folk music, ranchera developed as a symbol of a new national consciousness in reaction to the aristocratic tastes of the period. Traditional rancheras are about love, patriotism or nature. Rhythms can be in 3/4, 2/4 or 4/4, reflecting the tempo of, respectively, the waltz, the polka, and the bolero. The most popular ranchera composers include Lucha Reyes, Cuco Sánchez, Antonio Aguilar, Vicente Fernandez and José Alfredo Jiménez, who composed many of the best-known rancheras, with compositions totaling more than 1000 songs, making him one of the most prolific songwriters in the history of western music. The word ranchera was derived from the word rancho because the songs originated on the ranches and in the countryside of rural Mexico. Rancheras that have been adapted by conjuntos, or norteño bands from northern Mo and the southwestern US, are sometimes called norteños, from the Spanish word for northern. The most relevant performers are Lola Beltrán, Chavela Vargas, María de Lourdes, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Javier Solís, Lucha Villa, Vicente Fernández and Alejandro Fernández. Corrido Corrido music is a popular narrative song of poetry form, a ballad. Various themes are featured in Mexican corridos, and corrido lyrics are often old legends and ballads about a famed criminal or hero in the rural frontier areas of Mexico. Some corridos may also be love stories. Also, there are corridos about women (La Venganza de Maria, Laurita Garza, La tragedia de Rosita and la adelita) and couples, not just about men. Some even talk about fiction or a made up story by the composer. Contemporary corridos written within the past few decades feature more modern themes such as drug trafficking (narcocorridos), immigration, migrant labor and even the Chupacabra. A common example is "la Cucaracha" which is derived from an Arabic sailors song from the Moores prior the Reconquista. The corrido has a rhythm similar to that of the European waltz; corridos, like rancheras, have introductory instrumental music and adornos interrupting the stanzas of the lyrics. However, unlike rancheras, the rhythm of a corrido remains fairly consistent, rancheras can be played at a variety of rhythms. Corridos often tell stories, while rancheras are for dancing. By types of ensembles Mariachi Mariachi is an ensemble that consists of guitarrón, vihuela, guitar, violins and trumpets. This folk ensemble performs ranchera, son de mariachi, huapango de mariachi, polka, corrido, and other musical forms. It originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco during the 19th century. The city of Guadalajara in Jalisco is known as the "Capital of Mariachi". The style is now popular throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States, and is considered representative of Mexican music and culture. This style of music is played by a group consisting of five or more musicians that wear charro suits. The golden age of mariachi was in the 1950s, when the ranchera style was common in movies. Mariachi Vargas played for many of these soundtracks, and the long-lived band's long career and popular acclaim has made it one of the best-known mariachi. These movies became very popular in Latin America and mariachi's became very popular in places such as Colombia and Peru until this date. There are different theories as to the provenance of the word mariachi. Some say it comes from the French word because it was the type of music often played at weddings. However, mariachi originates from a part of Mexico that the French never visited and, even it they had, it began before their arrival in 1864. Another theory is that the word comes from the indigenous name of the Pilla or Cirimo tree, whose wood is used to make guitars. It has also been said that the name comes from a festival in honor of a virgin known as Maria H. that musicians played for and that over time they were given this name. The traditional mariachi band consists of the violin, the vihuela, guitar, a guitarrón and a trumpet. Other instruments may also be seen in a mariachi band, such as the flute, French horn, accordion, or organ are used. These instruments are used for specific arrangements. Mexican music was popularized in the United States in the late 1970s as part of a revival of mariachi music led by performers like Linda Ronstadt. Other famous mariachi performers include Pedro Infante, Vicente Fernández, Pepe Aguilar, Pedro Fernández, Alejandro Fernández, Antonio Aguilar, and Miguel Aceves Mejia. Some of the best-known examples of Mexican music in the United States is "La Cucaracha" and the Jarabe tapatío (referred to as the Mexican Hat Dance in the United States). Conjunto norteño Ensemble specialized in norteño music. It consists of diatonic accordion, bajo sexto, double bass and drums. Another important music style is musica norteña, from northern Mexico, which has been the basis for such sub-genres as musica de banda. Musica Norteña, like musica Tejana, arose in the 1830s and 40s in the Rio Grande region, in the southern Texas. Influenced by both Bohemian music and immigrant miners, its rhythm was derived from European polkas, which were popular during the 1800s. This type of Mexican music has derived from singers like Ramon Ayala, Los Tigres del Norte, and many more. Banda Banda music was made with the imitation of military bands that were imported during the Second Mexican Empire, headed by emperor Maximillian I of Mexico in the 1860s. Banda sounds very similar to polka music. Polish immigrants established themselves in the state of Sinaloa. It was further popularized during the Mexican Revolution when local authorities and states formed their own bands to play in the town squares. Revolutionary leaders like Pancho Villa, also took wind bands with them wherever they went. Banda has to this day remained popular throughout the central and northern states. It has, however, diversified into different styles due to regions, instruments and modernization. Today people associate banda with Sinaloense. This originated in the 1940s when the media distributed Banda el Recodo repertoire as exclusively from Sinaloa when it was actually regional music from all over Mexico. Although banda music is played by many bands from different parts of Mexico, its original roots are in Sinaloa, made popular by bands such as Banda el Recodo from Sinaloa. Banda Sinaloense experienced international popularity in the 1990s. The most prominent band was Banda el Recodo which is renowned as "the mother of all bands". Unlike tamborazo Zacatecano, Sinaloense's essential instrument is the tuba. Sometimes an accordion is also included. Some well-known artists are Banda El Recodo, La Arrolladora Banda El Limón de René Camacho, Banda Los Recoditos, Banda Cuisillos, Joan Sebastian, Chalino Sánchez, El Chapo de Sinaloa and Banda Machos. Tamborazo Zacatecano Tamborazo Zacatecano originated in the state of Zacatecas and translates to drum-beat from Zacatecas. This banda style is traditionally composed of 2 trumpets, 2 saxophones, a trombone and the essential bass drum. La Marcha de Zacatecas by Genaro Codina is a perfect example of this type of music. La Marcha de Zacatecas is a Mexican patriotic song, the anthem of the State of Zacatecas and considered the 2nd national anthem of Mexico. Conjunto jarocho Ensemble specialized in Son jarocho. It consists of jarana jarocha, requinto jarocho, arpa, pandero. Conjunto huasteco Ensemble specialized in Son huasteco. It consists of guitarra huapanguera, jarana huasteca, violin. Conjunto de marimba Ensemble specialized in folk music of traditional marimba. It consists of marimba, double bass and drums. Modern Jazz Some major exponents are Leo Acosta, Tino Contreras, Juan García Esquivel, Luis Ocadiz, J.J. Calatayud, Leo Acosta, Arturo Castro, Chilo Morán, Popo Sánchez, and Eugenio Toussaint. Antonio Sánchez is also a very well known jazz drummer from Mexico City. Latin alternative An ecletic range of influences is at the heart of Latin alternative, a music created by young players who have been raised not only on their parents' music but also on rock, hip-hop and electronica. It represents a sonic shift away from regionalism and points to a new global Latin identity. The name "Latin alternative" was coined in the late 1990s by American record company executives as a way to sell music that was -literally—all over the map. It was marketed as an alternative to the slick, highly produced Latin pop that dominated commercial Spanish-language radio, such as Ricky Martin or Paulina Rubio. Artists within the genre, such as Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio, Nortec Collective and Café Tacuba, have set out to defy traditional expectations of Latin music. Mexican ska Ska entered Mexico in the 1960s, when both small bands like Los Matemáticos and big orchestras like Orquestra de Pablo Beltrán Ruíz recorded both original ska tunes and covers of Jaimacan hits. After early new wave bands of the early eighties like Dangerous Rhythm and Kenny and the Electrics incorporated Ska into their post-punk sound, a more punk influenced brand of Ska started being produced in Mexico City in the late eighties, and the genre enjoyed its highest popularity during the early 2000s, even though it is still very popular today. Mexican Ska groups include Panteon Rococo La Maldita Vecindad (Mexico City), Mama Pulpa (Mexico City) and Tijuana No! (Tijuana, Baja California; originally named Radio Chantaje). Rock The Mexican rock movement began in the late 1950s and early 1960s, rapidly becoming popular, and peaking in the 1980s and 1990s with real authentic sounds and styles. One of the early Mexican Rock bands came out of the predominantly Mexican barrio community of East Los Angeles, "Los Nómadas" (The Nomads). They were one of the first racially integrated bands of the 1950s, consisting of 3 Mexican boys, Chico Vasquez, Jose 'J.D.' Moreno, Abel Padilla, and a Caucasian boy Billy Mayorga Aken. The adopted son of classical guitarist Francisco Mayorga and Mexican movie actress Lupe Mayorga, Aken was mentored by family friend, jazz guitarist Ray Pohlman and would later become rocker Zane Ashton, but his association with the boys would be a lifelong one. Mexican Rock combined the traditional instruments and stories of Mexico in its songs. Mexican and Latin American Rock en Español, remain very popular in Mexico, surpassing other cultural interpretations of Rock and Roll, including British Rock. In the 60s and 70s, during the PRI government, most rock bands were forced to appear underground, that was the time after Avándaro (a Woodstock-style Mexican festival) in which groups like El Tri, Enigma, The Dugs Dugs, Javier Batiz and many others arose. During that time Mexican Carlos Santana became famous after performing at Woodstock. During the 80s and 90s many Mexican bands went to the surface and popular rock bands like Café Tacuba, Caifanes, Control Machete, Fobia, Los de Abajo, Molotov, Maná, Ely Guerra, Julieta Venegas and Maldita Vecindad achieved a large international following. The latter are "grandfathers" to the Latin ska movement. Mexico City has also a considerable movement of bands playing surf rock inspired in their outfits by local show-sport lucha libre. In the late 90's, Mexico had a new wave "resurgence" of rock music with bands like Jumbo, Zoé, Porter, etc., as well as instrumentalists Rodrigo y Gabriela. Extreme metal has been popular for a long time in Mexico, with bands such as Dilemma, The Chasm, Xiuhtecuhtli, Disgorge, Brujeria, Transmetal, Hacavitz, Sargatanas, Mictlayotl, Yaoyotl, Ereshkigal and Calvarium Funestus. The Mexican metal fanbase is credited with being amongst one of the most lively and intense, and favorites for European metal bands to perform for. Pop The Mexican music market serves as a launching pad to stardom for a lot of non-Mexican artists who are interested extending the market-range of their music. Such was the case with Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Chayanne, Alejandro Sanz, Juanes, Mecano, Miguel Bosé, Daddy Yankee, Wisin & Yandel, and Ricky Martin, among many others. For the last thirty years, Mexican pop music has been led by teen pop bands and their former members. Specially seminal teen pop bands of the last decades have been Timbiriche, OV7 and RBD. Unlike teen pop bands elsewhere, the Mexican audience tends to prefer mixed gender combos over boys or girls bands. The best known Mexican pop singers nowadays are: Luis Miguel, Alejandro Fernández, Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Alejandra Guzmán, Gloria Trevi and Yuri. Electronic Some of the best Mexican composers for electronic and electroacoustic media are Javier Torres Maldonado, Murcof and Manuel Rocha Iturbide, the later conducting festivals and workshops of experimental music and art, in Mexico City and Paris. Some exponents are Nortec Collective, Wakal, Kobol, Murcof, Hocico and Mexican Institute of Sound. Other music of Latin-american roots Other popular forms of music found in various parts of Mexico mostly with origins in other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America include rumba, mambo, bolero, and cumbia. Rumba came from the black Mexican slaves in Veracruz, Mexico City, and Yucatán. The style began in Cuba and later became famous in the black community of Mexico. From the beginning of the 20th century, bolero arrived to Yucatán, and Danzón to Veracruz. Both styles became very popular all over the country, and a Mexican style of both rhythms was developed. In the 1940s, the Cubans Perez Prado, Benny More emigrated to Mexico, they brought with them the mambo, which became extremely popular specially in Mexico City, later on mambo developed into Cha cha chá which was also very popular. Bolero The Cuban bolero has traveled to Mexico and the rest of Latin America after its conception, where it became part of their repertoires. Some of the bolero's leading composers have come from nearby countries, most especially the prolific Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández; another example is Mexico's Agustín Lara. Some Cuban composers of the bolero are listed under Trova. Some successful Mexican bolero composers are Maria Grever, Gonzalo Curiel Barba, Gabriel Ruiz, and Consuelo Velazquez. Another composer Armando Manzanero widely considered the premier Mexican romantic composer of the postwar era and one of the most successful composers of Latin America has composed more than four hundred songs, fifty of which have given him international fame. His most famous songs include Voy a apagar la luz Contigo Aprendí ( With you I Learnt... ), Adoro (Adore), No sé tú (I don't know if you...), Por Debajo de la Mesa (Under the Table) Esta Tarde Vi Llover (English version "Yesterday I Heard the Rain"), Somos Novios (English version "It's Impossible"), Felicidad (Happiness) and Nada Personal (Nothing Personal). Some renowned trios románticos were Trio Los Panchos, Los Tres Ases, Los Tres Diamantes and Los Dandys. Trio Bolero, a unique ensemble of two guitars and one cello. Cumbia The history of Cumbia in Mexico is almost as old as Cumbia in Colombia. In the 1940s Colombian singers emigrated to Mexico, where they worked with the Mexican orquestra director Rafael de Paz. In the 50s they recorded what many people consider to be the first cumbia recorded outside of Colombia, La Cumbia Cienaguera. He recorded other hits like Mi gallo tuerto, Caprichito, and Nochebuena . This is when Cumbia began to be popularized in Mexico with Tony Camargo as one of the first exponents of Mexican Cumbia. Cumbia had made its mark in Mexico D.F where mostly the people dance to it are called "Chilangos" which were people that were born in the main district. The dances have transformed throughtime by the style and with its new moderation. In the 70s Aniceto Molina also emigrated to Mexico, where he joined the group from Guerrero, La Luz Roja de San Marcos, and recorded many popular tropical cumbias like El Gallo Mojado, El Peluquero, and La Mariscada. Also in the 70s Rigo Tovar became very popular with his fusion of Cumbia with ballad and Rock. Today Cumbia is played in many different ways, and has slight variations depending on the geographical area like Cumbia sonidera, Cumbia andina mexicana, Cumbia Norteña, Tecno-cumbia. Popular Mexican Cumbia composers and interpreters include Rigo Tovar y su Costa Azul, Celso Piña, Los Caminantes, Grupo Bronco, and Selena. Classical Mexico has a long tradition of classical music, as far back as the 16th century, when it was a Spanish colony. Music of New Spain, especially that of Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla and Hernando Franco, is increasingly recognized as a significant contribution to New World culture. Puebla was a significant center of music composition in the 17th century, as the city had considerable wealth and for a time was presided over by Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, who was an enthusiastic patron of music. Composers during this period included Bernardo de Peralta Escudero and also Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, who was the most famous composer of the 17th century in Mexico. The construction of the cathedral in Puebla made the composition and performance of polychoral music possible, especially compositions in the Venetian polychoral style. Late in the century, Miguel Matheo de Dallo y Lana set the verse of poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. In the 18th century, Manuel de Sumaya, maestro de capilla at the cathedral in Mexico City, wrote many cantadas and villancicos, and he was the first Mexican to compose an opera, La Partenope (1711). After him, Ignacio Jerusalem, an Italian-born composer, brought some of the latest operatic styles as well as early classical (galant) styles to Mexico. His best-known composition is probably the Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe (1764). Jerusalem was maestro de capilla at the cathedral in Mexico City after Sumaya, from 1749 until his death in 1769. In the 19th century the waltzes of Juventino Rosas achieved world recognition. Manuel M. Ponce is recognized as an important composer for the Spanish classical guitar, responsible for widening the repertoire for this instrument. Ponce also wrote a rich repertoire for solo piano, piano and ensembles, and piano and orchestra, developing the first period of modernistic nationalism, using Native American and European resources, but merging them into a new, original style. In the 20th century, Carlos Chavez, is a notable composer who wrote symphonies, ballets, and a wide catalog of chamber music, within varied esthetic orientations. Another recognized composer is Silvestre Revueltas who wrote such pieces as The night of the mayas, Homenaje a García Lorca, Sensemayá based on a poem by Nicolas Guillen, and orchestral suites like Janitzio and Redes originally written for motion pictures. Jose Pablo Moncayo with compositions such as Huapango, and Blas Galindo with Sones de Mariachi, are also recognized as adapters of Mexican sons into symphonic music. A later contributor to this tradition, Arturo Márquez is also internationally known by his orchestral mastery and melodic vivacity. In 1922, Julián Carrillo (violinist, composer, conductor, theoretician and inventor), created the first microtonal system in the history of classical music. During subsequent years, he also developed and constructed harps and pianos able to play music in fragments of tone, like fourths, sixths, eighths and sixteenths. His pianos are still manufactured in Germany and are used to play Carrillo's music, mainly in Europe and Mexico. Another contemporary Mexican composer was Conlon Nancarrow (of American birth), who created a system to play pianola music, using and developing theories of politempo and polimetrics. Some avant-garde composers leading Mexican music during the second half of the 20th century were Alicia Urreta, Manuel Enríquez, Mario Lavista and Julio Estrada. Some of them also contributed to the academic development of music teaching in American universities, a work also enriched by Daniel Catán, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Guillermo Galindo, Carlos Sandoval, Ignacio Baca-Lobera, Hebert Vázquez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon and Samuel Zyman. In the other side of the Atlantic the composers of a new generation, Javier Álvarez, Ana Lara, Víctor Rasgado, Juan Trigos, Hilda Paredes, Javier Torres Maldonado, Gabriel Pareyon, and Georgina Derbez, also have contributed to the academic and artistic life.