Mexico, or the United Mexican States, (Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is located on the continent of North America. It is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, and The United States, Belize, and Guatemala. It has a total of 1972550 Sq. Kilometers of land area. It is slightly less than three times the size of Texas. It has roughly 9330 kilometers of coastline.
The climate varies from tropical to desert. There are high, rugged mountains, low coastal plains, high plateaus, and deserts. The lowest point in Mexico is Laguna Salada, at ten meters below sea level. The highest point is Volcan Pico De Orizaba, at 5,700 meters above sea level.
The natural resources of Mexico are petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, and natural gas. There are also a few farms, but they make up for less than one percent for the country’s total land use, the major crops being corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, and coffee. The major industries include food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum products, and tourism.
Some interesting holidays that Mexicans celebrate are Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo, and Dia de los Santos Reyes, to name a few. Dia de los Muertos is the day of the dead, a holiday that embraces death. Small loves of bread, called pan de muerto, is baked, with small figs laid in it to represent bones. Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the defeat of the French army in 1862. The independence of Mexico is celebrated in large parties. Dia de los Santos Reyes is when the Mexicans exchange Christmas gifts.
Yet not all of Mexico is about celebration, there is a government, too. The government federal is a federal republic operating under a centralized government, a mixture of US constitutional theory and civil law system. The current chief of state and head of government is President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon. The president, with the consent of the Senate appoints the cabinet. There is no vice president, so when the president cannot fulfill his duty, the senate votes on his replacement.
The official language of Mexico is Spanish, but there are also various Mayan tongues used, as well as Nathauatl, and other regional dialects. Some areas of the country do not even use the Spanish language at all, but prefer to stick to their Native American heritage of speech.
The country of Mexico has its share of problems. The environment is being damaged in irreversible ways. The freshwater resources are dwindling, and the air pollution in the urban areas is some of the worst on the planet. There are volcanoes, and hurricanes, and tsunamis along the pacific coast, all threaten human life. The only major dispute that Mexico has is that with the United States of America, and the illicit drug issue. There has been a decrease in illegal exports, however, and relations seem to be improving.
The Mexican Military has a manpower of 18,280,523 men of fighting age. The branches include; the Army, Air Force, Naval Air, and Marines. Every year, roughly 2.2 billion dollars are spent on the military.
The population of Mexico was censured in 1998 as 98,552,776. The growth rate is estimated at 1.77% per year. The birth rate is 25.5 births per 1000people. The death rate is 4.91 to every 1000 people.
The literacy rate over the age of fifteen is 89.6%. Schooling in Mexico is taken very seriously, as a student may have up to twelve classes a day. Many of the schools are parochial. There are no public schooling systems in place today, so the parents of the scholar have to pay tuition.
The Mexican people dress in much the same way that most Americans do, except when the lack of funds intercept. Americans make much more than Mexicans do, on the average. The holidays are a bit different, and the Mexican people embrace the concept of death rather than fear it. The female children of the family are dressed in the finest that their family can afford, and the sons are allowed to run free, and only dressed up on Sunday. The Mexicans have their own calendar, whose week begins with Saturday rather that Sunday, putting the Sabbath at the seventh day.
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