Mexico is our neighbor to the south. The United States was once part of Mexico.
The country is a place for tourism and vacations for us. For the Mexicans,
it’s home. They live different lives then us. Near the year 7000 B.C., Indians
learned to grow plants for food. In time they were able to settle in villages.
Those villages grew into towns. During the years 250 to 900 A.D. , the Indians
lived in the “Classic Period” in Mexican history. During the time, the Mayas
built huge pyramids and temples. They developed Mathematics and studied
astronomy. The Zapotecas flattened a mountain top and built a temple. They also
wrote the first written records in the region. The Aztecs built the greatest
civilization in the years 1400. They had a capital named Tenochtitlan.
Tenochtitlan is now Mexico City. The Aztecs had a powerful emperor named
Montezuma II. In February 1519, a Spaniard named Hernando Cortes founded the
city Veracruz for Spain. He then marched towards Tenochtitlan and seized
Montezuma. The Aztecs revolted and forced the Spaniards out of Tenochtitlan. Two
years later, Cortes returned to the city and conquered Tenochtitlan. Cuauhtemoc,
the last Aztec emperor, was tortured. He is now a Mexican hero. Spain now owned
Mexico. For less then 300 years Mexico was a Spanish colony. That is why the
language of Mexico is Spanish. The Indians were forced to accept the Roman
Catholic religion. They Indians mixed the Roman Catholic religion with their own
religion. In 1810, a man named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla , a priest, started a
fight for the independence of Mexico. He had many Indians and Mestizos who
fought against Spain for him. The Spanish king taxed the people of Mexico for
their revolt. Most of the people did not want independence. The Mexicans later
won their independence when there were more Mexican fighters then Spanish. In
1821, Mexico became independent. In 1824, Mexico became a republic. In the year
1846-1848, Mexico had a war with The United States. The Americans fought the war
because they wanted Mexican land. The Americans won the war and took control of
States like California and Texas. In 1917, Mexico adopted a Constitution. In the
years 1942-1945 Mexico entered World War II for the Allied Powers. In 1953,
women won the right to vote. In 1968, the Summer Olympics were in Mexico City.
In 1985, an earthquake in Mexico City killed thousands of Mexicans. One of the
most famous Mexican writers was Octavio Paz. He was a poet. In 1990 he became
the first Mexican to win a Nobel Prize in literature. He also wrote many
political essays about Mexico. Many of his works have been translated into
English and are popular among many people. His most famous piece of writing was
“El Larerinto De La Soledad”. A famous Mexican painter was Diego Rivera. He
is well known for the murals he painted in Mexico City. His murals were related
to Mexican History. He also did murals in the United States, which were about
the life of an American. Other painters who painted murals in Mexico were Jose
Orozco and David Siqueiros. The Architecture in Mexico City is very artistic
because it is full of murals and old ancient ruins. The city is a work of art to
many people. It is one of the Art Capitals of the world. Mexican music is very
unique. Some instruments used in Mexican music are flutes, marimbas, and
guitars. The music is called “Folk Dance”. “La Bamba” is a folk dance
song, which was made into a rock song by Richie Valens. Many songs of folk dance
are performed in the streets of Mexico City and other places. Songs of folk
dance are played fast. The dances are very fast too. The most popular sport in
Mexico is Soccer. Mexico has a World Cup soccer team that did very good at the
1998 World Cup in France. Jorge Campos is the most popular Mexican player in
Mexico. He is the goalie for the World Cup team. He is one of the best goalies
in the world. Another popular sport is baseball. Every year there is 1 American
Major League baseball game played in Mexico City. Many people go to this game.
Mexico might have a Major League Baseball team in Mexico City in the near
future. Bullfighting is also a popular sport in Mexico. The season for
bullfighting is in the winter. It’s a national sport. Every year, on November
2nd, Mexico celebrates “The Day of the Dead”. This is when people dress up
in costumes and decorate the graves of the dead. The also have many parties.
They have a big feast, which honors the dead. The feast is as important as the
American “Thanksgiving” feast. It is not like Halloween because they do not
“Trick Or Treat”. The foods of Mexico are very popular with Americans. But
the Americans think of Mexican food as something different then what it is.
Americans have made their own blend of American food and Mexican food. But
Mexican food is much spicier and more natural then the way we make Mexican food.
They still have tacos, enchiladas, tortillas, quesedillas, nachos, and other
meals, but they are much different. Some Mexican families make their food from
it original ingredients.