What we like about Mexico
Many people have a very one-sided image of Mexico. Be it the idea that this country consists only of desert or that heaps of people hang from bridges here, shootings are the order of the day or the cartels – here they are called narcos – strike bloodthirsty again. Where does this belief come from? And that’s exactly what it is – a belief. It’s not knowledge. That’s why we want to try to bring Mexico’s beautiful sides closer and impart knowledge instead of spreading faith. So, what we like about Mexico .
What we like about Mexico
First of all, a few dry facts. Mexico is officially the United Mexican States – or Estados Unidos Mexicanos – and is a federal republic in North America. This country includes 32 states, 31 states and the federal capital Mexico City. With a total area of almost two million square kilometers, Mexico is the fifth largest state on the American continent. Globally, the state ranks fourteenth. Globally, Mexico ranks tenth with a population of about 129 million people and is the most populous Spanish-speaking state. Most of Mexico (88%) is assigned to the North American continent alone, while the southern part is already part of the Central American land bridge (which is also part of the North American continent). Because many people believe that Mexico is in South America, or at least call it that. To compare the area, it should be said here that Mexico is about 6 times larger than Germany. Mexico is a climatically diverse state. There are subtropical and alpine conditions as well as a desert climate.
The flag and colors of Mexico
The flag of Mexico is a tricolor in the colors green, white and red. The coat of arms in the center depicts an eagle on an opuntia holding a snake in its beak and claw. The colors green, white and red originally had the meaning of green = independence (from Spain)
White = Religion
Red = Union.
Today, the meaning of the three colors is different, namely:
Green = Hope
White = Unity
Red = Blood of Heroes.
The nature of Mexico
Mexico is home to 200,000 different species, which accounts for ten to twelve percent of all species known worldwide. With 707 known species, Mexico ranks first in reptile biodiversity, second in terms of mammals with 438 species and fourth in amphibians with 290 known species. The flora includes 26,000 different species. In addition, Mexico ranks second in the world in terms of ecosystem diversity. This high biodiversity, but above all the large number of endemic species, genera and families, makes Mexico one of the megadiversity countries of the world. About 2500 species are protected by law.
The population of Mexico
The population is made up of 60% mestizos, about 30% descendants of European settlers (mostly Spaniards) and 10% indigenous peoples (according to other data, 13% and 7% respectively: among others in the central highlands of Nahua – descendants of the Aztecs – Otomí, Purépecha, Cora, Tarahumara and Huicholen; on the northwest coast Mayo and Yaqui; on the Gulf coast Totonacs and Huaxtecs; in the southern highlands of Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Mazatecs, Mixes and many smaller ethnic groups; as well as in Yucatan and in the southernmost parts of the state, the Maya.) About one percent are of other ethnicity (mostly from Africa). In terms of population, Mexico ranks 10th in the world.
Healthcare in Mexico
The health care system in Mexico has a two-tier system, consisting of the health insurance of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) and the Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado (ISSSTE) on the one hand and various private health insurance companies on the other. The state’s medical care is very good, with exceptions in remote, rural areas. In the cities, even excellent.
Crime in Mexico
Yes, it exists. Name me a country where there is no crime. In 2019, about 35,000 people died due to the war (or indistinguishable crime). If you stick to a few simple rules, you can live very well in Mexico. For comparison, the neighboring country USA.
Speaking of dangerous in Mexico. There are signs here, so actually warning signs, you should definitely pay attention to them. Because this part here, which looks (in real life) as if it were a sculpture, is real in real life. So the cute walking crocodile leather handbag has moved. However, the little animal is not something to be found somewhere in the wilderness, but in the middle of the marina. When we were there, a Mexican told us that just last week a tourist from the northern neighboring country did not take the warning signs seriously. It is now digested.
What do we like now in Mexico?
Diversity is the greatest treasure in Mexico. The diversity of the states is as diverse as in the USA. Each state has its own character, its personality. Its advantages both in nature, in the climate and in the weather. Or in the traditional clothes. Incredible colors – bright, enlightening, delightful, cheerful.
We also like the behavior of the Mexicans. Tranquillo – they live it. What the Germans, Austrians and Swiss have lost for a long time is the fact that things can also go slower when working. The German-speaking societies believe that those who rush more, have time pressure, the work makes itself better. This is not the case. It can also be more comfortable and relaxed, as the Mexicans prove.
And respect for others is still intact here. This is already evident in everyday life. Here, words like “please”, “thank you” have a completely different meaning. Or the statement “con permiso” – with permission – the waiter in the restaurant, the gas station attendant or postman indicates that he wants to take the order, deliver the tank or the package. “Con permiso – with permission”. This has style, shows respect and has nothing to do with us as tourists. Because that’s how they talk to each other.
Street art – graffiti is worth something here
In Europe and the USA, house walls are smeared with some cryptic, meaningless scribble. This is neither art nor cultural heritage. It’s simply damage to public space. And here in Mexico – look at the photos. Street art in perfection. Beautiful, artful, integrated, colorful, abstract and respected. Senseless hyroglyphs are not simply sprayed over the works of art. The paintings are respected.
Craftsmanship in a class of its own
The craftsmanship is a stunner, especially in the state of Oaxaca. Carpets and cloths are still woven entirely by hand or on simple wooden looms. Figures and statues are painted in hours – even weeks of work. And it’s inexpensive. So if you ever come to Mexico – to the real primeval Mexico, not the tourist strongholds – then don’t haggle over the price. Such a hand-carved and hand-painted statue takes months to stand in the sales room.
Color also when eating
Europeans always think of tacos, nachos and burritos when they think of Mexico. Even what is served to us in Europe as Mexican food is far from really authentic good Mexican food. Yes, tacos can be found on every corner here – and that’s what they meant. But then there are ceviche, fish in all variations, camarones or shrimps in masses. Tlayudas – a kind of tarte flambée or pizza made from corn dough and mashed beans instead of the tomato sauce. Immensely delicious. The brave eater can also order a tlayuda with chapulines. Chapulines are small grasshoppers. Or then tostadas, empanadas, chiles en nogada (monster treats), enchiladas, mole, quesadillas, tamales, birria, chilaquiles, chile relleno, elote, guacamole, huevos and so on.
Or simply the drink Tejate. Tejate, can’t be compared to anything else you’ve ever tried. This cold drink is much finer than a hot chocolate and is made from roasted corn, fermented cocoa beans and cocoa flowers. The white pearls of the cacao flower float on top of the drink and form a bland, doughy topping that adds texture to the drink. This pre-Hispanic drink is common throughout the state.
The simplicity here is also remarkable. The European policemen would run amok with 6 or 7 people in a taxi. Three in the front, three or four in the back. Or just the truck in front of us. Note the two outer tires in the photo. The one on the right no longer exists, the one on the left will soon be running on the carcass. This is Mexico.