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Mexico

Mexico is a large, diverse North American country bordered by the USA, Guatemala, and Belize. Spanish and over 60 native languages are spoken, and the population is largely Mestizo and Amerindian with significant immigrant groups, especially Europeans who came around the turn of the 20th century. There is actually a significant German-speaking Mennonite community, like the Amish concentrated in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio. Mexico's geography includes coastal lowlands, mountains like the Sierra Madre, mangroves, tropical forests, and deserts. The country, termed megadiverse, is second in the world for its number of ecosystems and fourth for overall species. Two species of kangaroo rat are endemic, and the axolotl, the Mexican walking fish, is an aquatic salamander that has a fascinating ability to regenerate most of its body parts. In the Yucatan, see Mayan ruins at Chich├®n Itz├í and Tulum, where they're right on the beach. Canc├║n has a hectic party atmosphere and is quite Americanized, but it serves as a convenient transportation hub with varied culinary and entertainment options. You can stay at a hostel with trees growing in the middle of it. Mexico is accessible to the budget traveller, and second-class busses are an excellent option for those not in a great rush. The capital, known just as M├®xico in Spanish, is chockful of great museums: the Anthropology Museum with its impressive collection of pre-colonial artifacts and the Museo Frida Kahlo are two, and the Palacio Nacional in the Z├│calo has panoramic murals by Diego Rivera. Also check out Chapultepec Park (great fun for kids of all ages), and markets like La Merced and Central de Abasto where you can procure foodstuffs and other interesting items. Mexican cooking blends Mesoamerican and European ingredients and styles. Being a large country with widely varying regions, the food tends to also vary widely from place to place. Because of regional specialties and variations on dishes like mole, and their connection to social structure, Mexican cuisine was put on the UNESCO list of the worldÔÇÖs intangible cultural heritage. Corn, beans, pumpkin, and rice are important starches. Popular vegetables include jicama, avocados, peppers, garlic, and onions. Pork, beef, chicken, cheese, and seafood are also frequently eaten. Try esmedregal, a type of fish fried and served with a spicy salsa based on the x'catic pepper. Another specialty of the Yucatan region are papadzules, egg tacos seasoned in a pumpkin seed gravy. Pozole is a simple but tasty stew made from the corn product hominy. The version from Tonal├í, Jalisco was said to be originally made from human flesh. If you're tired of tequila, try smoky mezcal, honey-flavored xtabentun, or some pulque, the sour-tasting fermented sap of the agave plant with flavorings like tomato or pineapple added. ┬íSalud, dinero, y amor!

Quintana Roo

Cancun | Playa del Carmen

Federal District

Mexico City

Jalisco

El Tuito

Tabasco

Nuevo Leon

| Monterrey

Oaxaca

Totontepec Villa de Morelos

Distrito Federal

Ciudad de M├®xico

Yucatan

Merida

Baja California Sur

Cabo San Lucas | San Jos├® del Cabo

Baja California

Rosarito

Michoacán

Morelia