Mexico has come a long way with so many different traditions and cultures, and it is an incredible place for exploration! The region is diverse and vibrant with a rich history worth learning about, so check out these interesting and fun facts about Mexico you and your children can learn together!
History of Mexico
Being the central Aztec capital and one of the oldest cities in Latin America, Mexico is rich in culture and history that your children would love to learn about! A few of these interesting things about Mexico include:
- The city of Mexico originally began as an Aztec settlement and was the hub of the history and culture of the Aztec civilization.
- The Aztec gave Mexico City the name Tenochtitlan.
- Mexico City was designed very cleverly during the ancient times- with mainlands connected by small roads and bridges with water underneath large enough to allow canoes to pass through. In case the city was attacked, the bridges were designed to dismantle and block all entries to the city.
- Mexico City had to be rebuilt in the 1520s to become the place that is present today. This renovation was done after Hernan Cortes destroyed the Tenochtitlan. The city’s layout remained the same, but the Spanish built over almost all the Aztec temples with Catholic Churches. This drastic change is one reason how Spanish became the primary language of the city.
- The city housed around 300,000 people earlier, having a higher population than any European city during the 14th century.
- The Chapultepec Castle located in Mexico City is the only castle used by royalty living in North America. The castle was even used as a location for the 1996 Romeo and Juliet movie, and people even mentioned sightings of ghosts in the castle.
Geography of Mexico
Mexico has fascinating geography with different cultures, people, and trends playing a huge part in it. A few interesting geography Mexico facts for kids include:
- Mexico City has the smallest volcano globally, known as the Cuexcomate, and it is only about 43 feet tall.
- Mexico also has the largest wildcat present in North America- the jaguar. These can be found in the southern jungles of Mexico and sometimes in the ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization.
- The Chapultepec Forest is over 686 hectares and is twice as large as the Central Park in New York!
- Mexico City is surrounded by a mountain range, home to the Smoking Mountain, where you can see lava and smoke come out now and then.
- The entire city of Mexico is built on top of a lake that was done during the time of the Aztec civilization. This means that the city is constantly sinking to the ground.
- Since it is built on a lake, the city is estimated to sink around a meter every year.
Culture of Mexico
Mexico has a vibrant culture with plenty of parks, museums, ceremonies, and archaeological sites. The city is also packed with many creative people that make its culture more unique and popular.
- The culture of Mexico is a fusion of other cultures, including African, European, and indigenous ones. This mix can be seen in clothing, food, music, art, and language.
- Mexico has a cuisine famous worldwide for its wide variety, rich flavors, and delicious ingredients. While each region has its cuisine, many regions share a few common ingredients like beans, tomato, maize, avocado, and chili.
- Mexico is knowns for its diverse and stunning architecture that is rich in history.
Best Places in Mexico
The country’s rich culture is best learned through experiences, and nothing beats learning than travel! Help your children learn about the following places before you visit there!
1. Cancun and the Mayan Riviera
Lying along the coastline on the Gulf of Mexico are the destinations like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, the island of Cozumel, and more. They are collectively called the Riviera Maya. Visitors will surely be mesmerized by the endless crystal clear water and all the fun activities they get to do in the area. It is also famous for the ancient Mayan ruins that are closer to the beaches.
2. Mexico City’s Historical Center
Mexico City is much more than just the country’s capital and the seat of government. It is one of the most popular destinations where visitors can view the central beauty of Mexican culture. Several of the city’s attractions are located at the Historical Centre, packed with around 1400 colonial buildings built during different important events in history.
Want to explore the culture of the country on foot? Then head to Guanajuato, a city with so many old winding lanes, colonial buildings, and narrow alleys, which you cannot miss out. The city also hosts many fascinating museums and beautiful galleries that will teach you a lot about the place’s local culture.
4. Chichen Itza: The Mayan Metropolis
One of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico is the magnificent Mayan city of Chichen Itza, where you can learn a lot about the Mayan culture. One of the first attractions you must see here is the Pyramid of Kukulkan, also called the El Castillo, the tallest structure about 30 meters high.
Another famous city that has conserved its unique mix of native Tapatios and colonial influences is the city of Guadalajara. Renowned for its old buildings with architectures that show a touch of the European styles, the sound of mariachi music from the streets, and the festivities with the accompaniment of great foods, this city helps you perfectly learn about the culture of the country.
Facts About Economy of Mexico
Mexico has a complex and strong economy with a GDP that ranks 15th globally because of its extensive petroleum and manufacturing exports. However, it is a nation of contradiction because though it has a strong economy, almost half the people living there live in poverty. A few other economic facts of Mexico include:
- The population of Mexico is over four times that of Canada, but its GDP is much smaller than Canada.
- The first source of imported cars in the United States is from Mexico.
- Mexico gets more money from international money transfers (remittances) than from oil exports.
Mexican Food Facts
Each dish in Mexico has its history and variations, and like everything else about this exciting country, these facts are worth learning!
1. Mexican Recipes
Some traditional recipes in Mexico include some exotic ingredients like Rattlesnake and Iguana. Many Mexican recipes we enjoy today have a rich history and are centuries old, some even dating back to the Mayans and the Aztecs.
Some taco recipes in Mexico even feature exotic ingredients like worms, grasshoppers, and caterpillars, depending on that region of the country.
Quesadillas in Central Mexico do not feature cheese or queso as the main ingredient. Instead, the main ingredients are pork, chicken, beef, and other kinds of meat.
4. Healthy Food
Mexican food is considered to be healthy because it contains the perfect combinations of proteins and carbs.
5. Conflicting Flavors
Some Mexican desserts even feature chili to create a beautiful blend of sweet and hot.
Other Facts About Mexico for Children
Here are more Mexico City facts and information that your children would love to learn about:
- The official name of the country is the United Mexican States.
- Mexico is a popular tourist destination, and it has over 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- The country sits on “The Ring of Fire,” one of the most dangerous earthquake zones globally, and is constantly prone to earthquakes.
- The northern part of the country is desert, and the place has a lot of scorpions, cacti, and rattlesnakes.
- About 12% of the biodiversity of the world belongs to Mexico.
There is a lot more to learn about this fascinating and beautiful country, and the best way to do it is to let Mexico be your vacation destination next time!