Mexico

The United Mexican States or Mexico (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos or México; regarding the use of the variant spelling Méjico, see section The name below) is a country located in North America, bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. It is the northernmost and westernmost country in Latin America, and also the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Motto: none
Anthem: Mexicanos, al grito de guerra
Capital Mexico City
19°03′ N 99°22′ W
Largest city Mexico City
Official language(s) Spanish
Government  • President Federal Republic
Vicente Fox
Independence
 • Declared
 • Recognized
From Spain
September 16, 1810
September 27, 1821
Area
 • Total
 • Water (%)
 
1,964,375 km² (13th)
2.5%
Population
 • 2005 est.
 • 2000 census

 • Density
 
106,202,903 (11th)
97,483,412

54.3/km² (117th)
GDP (PPP)
 • Total
 • Per capita
2004 estimate
$1.005 trillion (13th)
$9,666 (66th)
HDI (2003) 0.814 (53rd) – high
Currency Peso (MXN)
Time zone
 • Summer (DST)
(UTC-8 to -6)
varies (UTC)
Internet TLD .mx
Calling code +52

History

Pre-Hispanic Times

Hunter-Gatherer peoples are thought to have discovered and habitated its territory more than 28,000 years ago. Ancient Mexicans began to selectively breed corn plants around 8,000 B.C. Evidence shows the explosion of pottery works by 2300 B.C. and the beginning of intensive farming between 1800 and 1500 BC.

For more than 3,000 years, Mexico was the site of several Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztec, the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec and the Mayan.

These indigenous civilizations are credited with many inventions: pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, writing, highly-accurate calendars, fine arts, intensive agriculture, engineering, an abacus, a complex theology, and the wheel.

Archaic inscriptions on rocks and rock walls all over northern Mexico (especially in the state of Nuevo León) demonstrate an early propensity for counting in Mexico. These very early and ancient count-markings were associated with astronomical events and underscore the influence that astronomical activities had upon Mexican natives, even before they possessed civilization. In fact, the later Mexican civilizations would all carefully build their cities and ceremonial centers according to specific astronomical events.

At different points in time, three different Mexican cities were the largest cities in the world: Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, and Cholula. These cities, among several others, blossomed as centers of commerce, ideas, ceremonies, and theology. In turn, they radiated influence outwards onto neighboring cultures.

Mayan architecture at Uxmal An image of one of the pyramids in the upper level of Yaxchilán Atlantes at Tula, Hidalgo

While many city-states, kingdoms, and empires competed with one another for power and prestige, Mexico had four major, unifying civilizations: The Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, and the Aztec. These four civilizations extended their reach across Mexico and beyond like no others. They consolidated power and distributed influence in matters of trade, art, politics, technology, and theology. Other regional power players made economic and political alliances with these four civilizations over the span of 4,000 years. Many made war with them, but almost all found themselves within these four spheres of influence.

Latecomers to Mexico's central plateau, the Mexica, or Aztec, as they were sometimes called in memory of Aztlán, the starting point of their tribes wanderings, never thought of themselves as anything but heirs of the brilliant civilizations that had preceded them. For them, highly-civilized arts, sculpture, architecture, engraving, feather-mosiac work, and the invention of the calendar were due to the former inhabitants of Tula, the Toltecs, who reached the height of their civilization in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

The Mexica, one of the Aztec groups, were the first people in the world to practice mandatory education for all people, regardless of gender, rank, or station. There were two types of schools: the telpochcalli, for practical and military studies, and the calmecac, for advanced learning in writing, astronomy, statesmanship, theology, and other areas.

The Aztecs' religious beliefs were based on a fear that the universe would cease functioning without a constant offering of human sacrifice. This belief was common throughout nahuatl people. As a result, Aztec warfare was conducted with an aim to only injure the enemy, so that he could later be sacrificed, and weapons were constructed with this in mind. This penchant for human sacrifice proved to be the undoing of the Aztecs, for when they confronted the Spaniards, who fought to the death, their less effective weapons made resistance difficult. In order to acquire captives in time of peace, the Aztec resorted to ritual warfare, or flower war. Tlaxcalteca and other nahuatl nations were forced into such wars, so they joined the Spaniard forces against the Aztec. The small Spanish force was reinforced with thousands of indian allies, who were schooled on European warfare.

The Spanish Era

The arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century and their defeat of the Mexica in 1521 marked the beginning of the 300 year-long colonial period of Mexico as New Spain. After the fall of Tenochtitlan, it would take decades of continuous war to pacify Mesoamerica. Particularly fierce were the "Chichimeca wars" in the north of Mexico (1576-1606).

The colonists brought with them the Catholic faith, to which the population seemingly converted rapidly, but soon they found that the natives had adopted "the god of the heavens", as they called it, as just one of their gods. While it was an important god, because it was the god of the conquerors,they did not see why they had to abandon their old beliefs. As a result, a second wave of missionaries began a process attempting to completely erase the old beliefs, and thus wiped out many aspects of Mesoamerican culture. Hundreds of thousands of codices were destroyed, priests and teachers were persecuted, and the temples and statues of the gods were destroyed. The Mesoamerican sex education system was set aside and replaced by church education; even some foods associated with religion, like amaranto, were forbidden. Eventually, the natives were declared minors, and forbidden to read and write, so they would always need a white man in charge of them to be responsible of their indoctrination. Although officially they could not become slaves, the system, known as encomienda, came to signify the oppression and exploitation of natives, although its originators did not set out with such intent. Due to some horrifying instances of abuse against the indigenous peoples, Bishop Bartolome de las Casas suggested bringing black slaves to replace them. Bartolome later repented when he saw the treatment given to the black slaves.

Unlike the English-speaking colonists of North America, the majority of the Spanish colonists married the natives, and were even encouraged to do so by Queen Isabella during the earliest days of colonization. The first Spanish colonists were mainly only males, so they took native women, and although rarely, also black women. After the native population was decimated by epidemics and forced labor, black slaves were imported, and for a time in certain areas they even outnumbered the white populations (few modern Mexicans are aware of or acknowledge this). However, they eventually mixed with the population resulting in only a few black communities left to date (see Afro-Mexican). As a result of these unions, as well as concubinage, a vast class of people known as "Mestizos" and mulattos came into being. But even if mixes were allowed, the white population tried to keep their status. A system was created to keep each mix in a different social level: "El sistema de castas" (the caste system). Each different mix had a name and different privileges or prohibitions. There were even two different kinds of whites, those born in Spain, or "peninsulares", and in a lower level, those born in America, or "criollos". Mestizos and then mulattos were next, followed by the unmixed natives, zambos (amerindian mixed with black), and blacks, respectively. The Spanish "peninsulares" tried by all means to keep their status, even if they took native women. Those who were wealthy enough also tried to have a Spanish wife, who was sent to give birth in Spain to prevent their children from becoming criollos. Mestizos and criollos were not allowed in the upper levels of the government, and eventually they joined forces for the independence of México. With independence, the caste system and slavery were abolished.

Mestizos, while they no longer have a separate legal status from other groups, comprise approximately 60% of the population. In modern México, mestizo has became more a cultural term, since a Native American that abandons his traditional ways is considered a mestizo, also most Afromexicans prefer to be considered mestizo, since they feel more identified with this group.

During the following centuries, under Spanish rule, a new culture developed that combined the customs and traditions of the indigenous peoples with that of Catholic Spain. Numerous churches and other buildings were constructed in the Spanish style, and cities were named after various saints and objects of veneration, such as "San Luis Potosí" (after St. Louis) and "Vera Cruz" ("True Cross").

Spanish settlers brought with them smallpox, typhus, and other diseases. Most of the settlers had developed an immunity from childhood, but the indigenous peoples had not. There were three separate epidemics that decimated the population: Smallpox (1520-1521), measles ( 1545-1548) and typhus (1576-1581). Of the estimated 15 to 20 million of the original prehispanic population, less than two million survived. At the end of the 16th century, New Spain was an underpopulated country with abandoned cities, which would be the main cause of collapse of the Mesoamerican cultures.

Mexican Independence

Map of Mexico, 1847

On September 16, 1810, independence from Spain was declared by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, causing a long war that eventually led to the official recognition of independence from Spain in 1821 and the creation of the First Mexican Empire. Actually, Hidalgo declared the independence from France, as José Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother), also known in Mexico as Pepe Botella (Spanish: Bottle Joe, as he had a fame of a heavy drinker), was ruling Spain at that time. The initial intention of the movement then, was to be obtain independence from France, but still being part of Spain. Then, as the war escalated, the objective change to independece from Spain.

After independence, Spanish possessions in Central America which also proclaimed independence were all incorporated into Mexico from 1822 to 1823, with the exception of Chiapas.

Soon after achieving its independence from Spain, the Mexican government, in an effort to populate its sparsely-settled hinterlands, awarded land grants in a remote area of the northernmost state of Coahuila y Tejas to hundreds of immigrant families from the United States, on the condition that the settlers convert to Catholicism and assume Mexican citizenship. It also forbade the importation of slaves, a condition that, like the others, was largely ignored.

The Empire soon fell to rogue republican forces led by Antonio López de Santa Anna. The first Republic was formed with Guadalupe Victoria as its first president, followed in office by Santa Anna. As president, in 1834 Santa Anna abrogated the federal constitution, causing insurgencies in the southern state of Yucatán and the northernmost portion of the northern state of Coahuila y Tejas. Both areas sought independence from the Mexican government. While negotiations eventually brought Yucatán to again recognize Mexican sovereignty, Santa Anna's army turned to the northern rebellion. The inhabitants of Tejas, calling themselves Texans and led mainly by relatively recently-arrived English-speaking settlers, declared independence from Mexico at Washington-on-the-Brazos, giving birth to the Republic of Texas. Texas won its independence in 1836, further reducing the territory of the fledgling republic. In 1845, voters in Texas approved to be annexed by the United States, and was passed by Congress and signed into law by President John Tyler.

The US government sent troops to Texas in order to secure the territory ignoring the Mexican demands of withdrawal. Mexico saw this as an US intervention on internal affairs by supporting a rebel province. Mexican troops then attacked and captured one of the American detachments near the Rio Grande. President James K. Polk requested a declaration of war and the US Congress voted in favor on 13 May 1846. Mexico declared war on 23 May. This resulted in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. Mexico was defeated by the United States, resulting in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo, where the United States purchased the remaining disputed territories for $15 million, from which were formed the modern states of California, Nevada, and Utah, and most of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado (see Mexican-American War).

In the 1860s, the country again suffered a military occupation, this time by France, seeking to establish the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico, with support from the Roman Catholic clergy and conservative criolloss. The Second Mexican Empire was then overthrown by President Benito Juárez, with diplomatic and logistical support from the United States and the military expertise of General Porfirio Díaz. General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French Army (arguably the most powerful in the world at the time) at the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862, celebrated as Cinco de Mayo ever since. However, after his death, the city was lost in early 1863, following a renewed French attack which penetrated as far as Mexico City, forcing Juárez to organize an itinerant government.

Benito Juarez, important figure of Mexican history

Napoleon III of France, Emperor of France, returned Maximillian as Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867. In mid-1867, following repeated losses in battle to the Republican Army, Maximilian was captured and murdered by Juárez's soldiers, along with his last loyal generals, in Querétaro. From then on, Juárez remained in office until his death in 1872.

After Juárez's death, Mexico experienced economic growth under the liberal and pro-European rule of Porfirio Díaz. Foreign investment allowed the development of the oil industry and the construction of a railroad system across the country. This period of relative peace and prosperity is known as the "Porfiriato". His mandate, however, was mostly undemocratic and benefited the middle and upper classes, while the Amerindian indigenous population continued to live in precarious conditions. Growing social inequalities, restricted freedom of the press, and his insistence to be reelected for a fifth term led to massive protests. His fraudulent victory in the 1910 elections sparked the Mexican Revolution. Revolutionary forces defeated the federal army, but were left with internal struggles, leaving the country in conflict for two more decades. The creation of the National Revolutionary Party (which later became the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI), in 1929 ended the struggles, uniting all generals and combatants of the revolution.

During the next four decades, Mexico experienced impressive economic growth, and historians call this period "El Milagro Mexicano", the Mexican Miracle. This was in spite of falling foreign confidence in investment, first through the assumption of mineral rights and subsequent nationalisation of the oil industry into Pemex during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas del Río. However the management of the economy collapsed several times afterwards. Accused many times of fraud, the PRI's candidates held almost all public offices until the end of the 20th century. It was not until the 1980s that the PRI lost the first state governorship, an event that marked the beginning of the party's loss of hegemony. Through the electoral reforms started by president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and consolidated by president Ernesto Zedillo, by the mid 1990s the PRI had lost its majority in Congress. In 2000, after seventy years, the PRI lost a presidential elections to a candidate of the National Action Party (PAN), Vicente Fox.

On January 1, 1994, Mexico became a full member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, joining the United States of America and Canada in a large and prosperous economic bloc. On March 23, 2005, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America was signed by the elected leaders of those countries.

Government and politics

Vicente Fox is the current president of Mexico

Mexico’s political model has much in common with that of the United States. The 1917 Constitution provides for a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Historically, the executive is the dominant branch, with power vested in the [[President of Mexico|president who promulgates and executes the laws of the Congress. Congress has played an increasingly important role since 1997, when opposition parties first formed a majority in the legislature. The president also legislates by executive decree in certain economic and financial fields, using powers delegated from Congress. The president is elected by universal adult suffrage for a six-year term and may not hold office a second time. There is no vice-president in the republic.

After it was founded in 1929, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) monopolized all the political branches. The PRI did not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989.[1] It wasn't until July 2, 2000, that Vicente Fox of the opposition "Alliance for Change" coalition, headed by the National Action Party (PAN), was elected president. Fox began his six-year term on December 1, 2000. His victory ended the Institutional Revolutionary Party's 71-year hold on the presidency.

The three most important political parties in Mexico are the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

Political divisions

Mexico is divided into 31 states (estados) and a federal district. Each state has its own constitution and its citizens elect a governor as well as representatives to their respective state congresses.

States of Mexico (excluding the islands)


The Federal District is a special political division in Mexico, where the national capital, Mexico City, is located. It enjoys more limited local rule than the nation's "free and sovereign states": only since 1997 have its citizens been able to elect a Head of Government, whose powers are still more curtailed than those of a state governor. Much of the capital city's metropolitan area overflows the limits of the Federal District.

Major cities

The following is a list of the biggest Metropolitan Areas of Mexico in order of population:

  1. Mexico City, Distrito Federal (22.0 million)
  2. Guadalajara, Jalisco (4.7 million)
  3. Monterrey, Nuevo León (3.6 million)
  4. Puebla, Puebla (2.6 million)
  5. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (1.8 million)
  6. Tijuana, Baja California (1.5 million)
  7. León, Guanajuato (1.2 million)
  8. Toluca, México (1.2 million)
  9. Torreón, Coahuila (1.1 million)
  10. San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí (0.8 million)
  11. Mérida, Yucatán (0.8 million)
  12. Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro (0.8 million)
  13. Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes (0.7 million)
  14. Cuernavaca, Morelos (0.7 million)
  15. Chihuahua, Chihuahua (0.7 million)

Geography

Copper Canyon in the state of Chihuahua Mexico's topography

Main article: Geography of Mexico

Situated in the southwestern part of mainland North America and roughly triangular in shape, Mexico stretches more than 3000 km from northwest to southeast. Its width is varied, from more than 2000 km in the north and less than 220 km at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south.

Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. Baja California in the west is a 1,250-km peninsula and forms the Gulf of California. In the east are the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche, which is formed by Mexico's other peninsula, the Yucatán. The center of Mexico is a great, high plateau, open to the north, with mountain chains on the east and west and with ocean-front lowlands lying outside of them. (See list of mountains in Mexico). Mexico is about one-fourth the size of the United States.

The terrain and climate vary from rocky deserts in the north to tropical rain forest in the south. Mexico's major rivers include the Río Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande) and the Usumacinta on its northern and southern borders, respectively, together with the Grijalva, Balsas, Pánuco, and Yaqui in the interior.

On September 19, 1985, an earthquake measuring approximately 8.0 on the Richter scale struck Michoacán and inflicted severe damage on Mexico City. Estimates of the number of dead range from 6,500 to 30,000 (see 1985 Mexico City earthquake).

Economy

The Angel of Independence monument in the heart of Mexico City.


According to the World Bank, Mexico ranks 12th in the world in regard to GDP and has the highest per capita income in its region; and it is firmly established as an upper middle-income country. Since the economic crisis of 1994–1995 the country has made an impressive economic recovery. According to the director for Colombia and Mexico of the World Bank, the population below the poverty level has decreased from 24.2% to 17.6% in the general population and from 42% to 27.9% in rural areas from 2000-2004 [2].

Mexico has a free-market economy with a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. The number of state-owned enterprises in Mexico has fallen from more than 1,000 in 1982 to fewer than 200 in 1999. The administration of President Ernesto Zedillo (1994–2000) continued a policy of privatizing and expanding competition in sea ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural gas distribution, and airports which was initiated by his predecessors Miguel de la Madrid and Carlos Salinas.

A strong export sector helped to cushion the economy's decline in 1995 and led the recovery in 1996–1999. Private consumption became the leading driver of growth, accompanied by increased employment and higher wages. Mexico still needs to overcome many structural problems as it strives to modernize its economy and raise living standards. Income distribution is very unequal, with the top 20% of income earners accounting for 55% of income.

Following 6.9% growth in 2000, real GDP fell 0.3% in 2001, with the United States' economic slowdown appearing to be the principal cause. Positive developments in 2001 included a drop in inflation to 6.5%, a sharp fall in interest rates, and a strong peso that appreciated 5% against the U.S. dollar. Trade with the United States and Canada has tripled since NAFTA was implemented in 1994.

Mexico has opened its markets to free trade like few other countries have done, lowering its trade barriers with more than 40 countries in 12 Free Trade Agreements, including Japan and the European Union. However more than 85% of the trade is still done with the United States. Government authorities expect that by putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements with different countries Mexico will lessen its dependence on the United States. The government is seeking to sign an additional agreement with Mercosur.

Demographics

Beach in Cancún, Quintana Roo Zócalo, Oaxaca de Juárez Indigenous Mexicans on a Chiapas street

Main article: Demographics of Mexico
See also: Indigenous peoples of Mexico

With an estimated 2005 population of about 106.5 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Mexico is ethnically and culturally diverse. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 60% of the population is mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white), another 30% is Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian. Some 9% is white (of European descent), the majority being from Spain, though there are also large numbers of people of German, Italian, French, Portuguese, British, Irish, Russian (Molokans), Dutch, Greek, and Scandinavian (particularly in Nueva Escandinavia, Chihuahua) ancestry. The remaining 1% includes Afro-Mexicans, Asians, Jews, and Middle Easterners. Mexico is also home for many other Latin American groups: mostly Argentines, but also Brazilians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians and Venezuelans. The PRI governments in power for most of the 20th century had a policy of granting asylum to fellow Latin Americans fleeing political persecution in their home countries. Mexico has a sizeable population of Asians numbering around 200,000, many of them Chinese and Japanese, the majority of which reside in Mexicali, Baja California. There are also a few Lebanese and Arabs. In Mexico the biggest foreign colonies are:

  1. Spanish
  2. German, Italian and French
  3. Argentinean
  4. American and Canadian
  5. East Asian
  6. Jewish
  7. Central American and South American
  8. Arab and Lebanese
  9. British, Irish, Dutch and Russian
  10. African

According to the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas ("The National Council for the Development of Indigenous People") the Amerindian population in Mexico is approximately 12.7 million. However, the Mexican government does not collect racial information during censuses. In 2004, the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatic had estimated this figure to be 12,089,094 (~11.4% of Mexico's population) of indigenous people of which, more than one million do not speak Spanish and almost five million are bilingual (INEGI, 2004).

Judging by the proportion of people speaking indigenous languages, the states with the highest proportion of indigenous people are Yucatán (37.3%), Oaxaca (37.1%), Chiapas (24.6%) and Quintana Roo (23%). The states of Aguascalientes (0.2%), Coahuila (0.2%), Zacatecas (0.2%) and Nuevo León (0.5%) have the lowest proportion of speakers of indigenous languages ([INEGI, 2004]).

Mexico is the country where the greatest number of U.S citizens live outside the United States. This may be due to the growing economic and business interdependence of the two countries under NAFTA, and also that Mexico is considered an excellent choice for retirees. A clear example of the latter phenomenon is provided by San Miguel de Allende and many towns along the Baja California peninsula and around Guadalajara, Jalisco. The official figures for foreign-born citizens in Mexico are 493,000 (since 2004), with a majority (86.9%) of these born in the United States (with the exception of Chiapas, where the majority of immigrants are from Central America). The five states with more immigrants are Baja California (12.1% of total immigrants), Federal District (11.4%), Jalisco (9.9%), Chihuahua (9%) and Tamaulipas (7.3%). More than 54.6% of the immigrant population are 15 years old or younger, while 9% are 50 or older. 4.2% of male immigrants and 3.8% of female immigrants did not have formal education while 20.2% of male immigrants and 17.7% of female immigrants had a college degree [INEGI, 2004.

Life expectancy in Mexico increased from 34.7 for men and 33 years for women in 1930 to 72.1 for men and 77.1 years for women in 2002. The states with the highest life expectancy are Baja California (75.9 years) and Nuevo Leon (75.6 years). The Federal District has a life expectancy of the same level as Baja California. The lowest levels are found in Chiapas (72.9), Oaxaca (73.2) and Guerrero (73.2 years), although the first two have had the highest increase (19.9 and 22.3% respectively).

The mortality rate in 1970 was 9.7/1000 people and by 2001 the rate had dropped to 4.9/1000 for men and 3.8/1000 for women. The most common reasons for death in 2001 were heart problems (14.6% for men 17.6% for women) and Cancer (11% for men and 15.8% for women).

Religion

Basílica de la Soledad, Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Mexico is predominantly Roman Catholic (about 89% of the population). It is the second nation with the largest Catholic population, behind Brazil and before the United States. Also, 6% of the population adheres to various Protestant faiths (mostly Pentecostal), and the remaining 5% of the population adhering to other religions or professing no religion. Some of the country's Catholics (notably those of indigenous background) syncretize Catholicism with various elements of Aztec or Mayan religions. The Virgin of Guadalupe has long been a symbol enshrining the major aspirations of Mexican society. According to anthropologist Eric R. Wolf, the Guadalupe symbol links family, politics, and religion; the colonial past and the independent present; and the Indian and the Mexican. [3]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has a growing presence in the major border cities of northeastern Mexico, and over 205,000 members nationwide[1]. Judaism has been practiced in Mexico for centuries, and there are estimated to be more than 45,000 Jews in Mexico today[2]. Islam is mainly practiced by members of the Arab, Turkish, and other expatriate communities, though there is a very small number of the indigenous population in Chiapas state that practice Islam.

Languages

Main article: Languages of Mexico

A stucco relief in the Palenque museum, Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico

Spanish is the official language of Mexico and is spoken by the majority of the population. About 7% of the population speak an Amerindian language. The government officially recognizes 62 Amerindian languages. Of these Nahuatl, and Maya are each spoken by 1.5 million, while others, such as Lacandon, are spoken by fewer than 100. The Mexican government has promoted and established bilingual education programs in indigenous rural communities.

Although Spanish is the official language of Mexico, English is widely used in business. As a result, English language skills are much in demand and can lead to an increase in the salary offered by a company. It is also spoken along the U.S. border, in big cities, and in beach resorts. Also, the majority of private schools in Mexico offer what they like to describe as "bilingual" education, both in Spanish and English. English is the main language spoken in U.S. expatriate communities such as those along the coast of Baja California and the town of San Miguel de Allende. There are also Mennonite colonies in Chihuahua where education is delivered in English.

With respect to other European languages brought by immigrants, the case of Chipilo, in the state of Puebla, is unique, and has been documented by several linguists like Carolyn McKay. The immigrants that founded the city of Chipilo in 1882 came from the Veneto region in northern Italy, and thus spoke a northern variant of the Venetian dialect. While other European immigrants assimilated into the Mexican culture, the people of Chipilo retained their language. Nowadays, most of the people who live in the city of Chipilo (and many of those who have migrated to other cities) still speak the unaltered Veneto dialect spoken by their great-grandparents making the Veneto dialect an unrecognized minority language in the city of Puebla. In Huatusco and Colonia Gonzalez, Veracruz, Veneto is still heard too. A similar case is that of the Plautdietsch language, spoken by the descendants of German and Dutch Mennonite immigrants in the states of Chihuahua and Durango. Other German communities lie in Puebla, Mexico City, Sinaloa and Chiapas, with the largest German school outside of Germany being in Mexico City (Alexander von Humboldt school), these represent the large German populations where they still try to preserve the German culture and language. Other strong German communities lie in Sinaloa (Mazatlan), Nuevo Leon, Chiapas (Tapachula) and other parts of Puebla (Nueva Necaxa) where the german culture and language have been preserved to different extents. French is also heard in Veracruz, Jicaltepec, San Rafael and Mentideros, where the architecture and food is also very French. These French immigrants came from Haute-Saône département in France, especially from Champittle and Borgonge. Another important French group were the "Barcelonettes" from the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département, whom interestingly the whole town and surrounding towns immigrated specifically to Mexico to find jobs and work in merchendising, they are very notorious in Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz. Another important French village in Mexico is Santa Rosalía in Baja California Sur, where French language and culture/architecture are still found. Scandinavian languages and traditions can also be heard in Chihuahua, like Swedish and Norwegian in Nueva Escandinavia and other Scandinavian colonies in the north of the country.

Education

Mexico has made impressive improvements in education in the last two decades. In 2004, the literacy rate was at 92%, and the youth literacy rate (ages 15-24) was 96%. Primary and secondary education (9 years) is free and mandatory. Even though different bilingual education programs have existed since the 1960s for the indigenous communities, after a constitution reform in the late 1990s, these programs have had a new thrust, and free text books are produced in more than a dozen indigenous languages.

In the 1970's, Mexico became the first country to establish a system of "distance-learning" satellite secondary education, aimed for the little towns and rural communities. In 2005 this system included 30,000 connected schools, 3 million students and 300,000 teachers, who use televised lectures and education science programs, pre-recorded and transmitted through "EduSat", via satellite. Schools that use this system are known as telesecundarias in Mexico. The Mexican distance learning secondary education is also transmitted to some Central American countries and to Colombia, and it is used in some southern regions of the United States as a method of bilingual education.

The name

Mexico is named after its capital city, whose name comes from the Aztec city Mexico-Tenochtitlan that preceded it. The Mexi part of the name is from Mexitli, the war god, whose name was derived from metztli (the moon) and xictli (navel) and thus meant "navel (probably implying 'child') of the moon". So, Mexico is the home of the people of Mexitli (the Mexicas), co meaning "place" and ca meaning "people".

When the Spaniards encountered this people and transcribed their language, they naturally did so according to the spelling rules of the Castilian language of the time. The Nahuatl language had a /ʃ/ sound (like English "shop"), and this sound was written x in Spanish (e.g. Ximénez); consequently, the letter x was used to write down words like Mexitli. Meanwhile, the letter j (or, rather, the letter i when used as a consonant, since j had not been invented yet) was used for the /ʒ/ sound (as in "vision"), as was g before e or i. These old pronunciations of j and x are still found in Portuguese and Ladino.

Over the centuries, the pronunciation of Spanish changed. Words like Ximénez, exercicio, xabón and perplexo started to be pronounced with a /x/ (this phonetic symbol represents the sound in the word "loch"). The /ʒ/ sound also started to be pronounced this way. The coalescence of the two phonemes into a single new one encouraged scholars to use the same letter for the sound, regardless of its origin (Spanish scholars have always tried to keep the orthography of their language faithful to the spoken tongue). It was j/g that was chosen. So, modern Spanish has ejercicio, ejército, jabón, perplejo, etc. (Another example is the old spelling of Don Quixote which is now Don Quijote. The old pronunciation is maintained in French "Quichotte", and the English word "quixotic" maintains the spelling while pronouncing it with its English value.)

Proper nouns and their derivatives are optionally allowed to break this rule. Thus, although xabón is now incorrect and archaic, alongside many millions of people called "Jiménez", there also are plenty called "Giménez" or "Ximénez" — a matter of personal choice and tradition.

In Mexico, it has become almost a matter of national pride to maintain the otherwise archaic x spelling in the name of the country. It is regarded as more authentic and less jarring to the reader's eye. Mexicans have tended to demand that other Spanish-speakers use this spelling, rather than following the general rule, and the demand has largely been respected. The Real Academia Española states that both spellings are correct, and most dictionaries and guides recommend México first, and present Méjico as a variant. Today, even outside of the country, México is preferred over Méjico by ratios ranging from 10-to-1 (in Spain) to about 280-to-1 (in Costa Rica). Also, in the placenames "Oaxaca" and "Xalapa", the x is pronounced as /x/; in "Xochimilco", however, it sounds as a /ʃ/.

A cultural side-effect of the fact that Mexicans use México /'mexiko/ and Spaniards sometimes use Méjico is the occasional boiling-over of negative sentiment towards the old colonial oppressor. The mere act of using the j spelling is interpreted by some as a form of colonial aggression. On the other hand, some Peninsular scholars (such as Ramón Menéndez Pidal) prefer to apply the general spelling rule, arguing that the spelling with an x could encourage non-Mexicans to mispronounce México as /'meksiko/ (as is generally the case in the English-speaking world). Méjico on the other hand could easily be mispronounced as well, because the letter j stands for /ʒ/, /dʒ/ or /j/ in other languages.

In the Nahuatl language, from which the name originally derived, the name for Mexico is Mēxihco (International Phonetic Alphabet /meː.ɕiʔ.ko/).

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News stories from Wikinews. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms used by other players beforehand. In the Nahuatl language, from which the name originally derived, the name for Mexico is Mēxihco (International Phonetic Alphabet /meː.ɕiʔ.ko/). Every paintball field has its own lingo for various obstacles, bunkers, and landmarks that are unique to the site. Méjico on the other hand could easily be mispronounced as well, because the letter j stands for /ʒ/, /dʒ/ or /j/ in other languages. "Mercy" - This is yelled by the shooter if s/he holds an upper hand on an opponent within a close range; this is done to give the enemy a chance to surrender without being shot. On the other hand, some Peninsular scholars (such as Ramón Menéndez Pidal) prefer to apply the general spelling rule, arguing that the spelling with an x could encourage non-Mexicans to mispronounce México as /'meksiko/ (as is generally the case in the English-speaking world). "tricked out" - A term used to describe a gun that has numerous upgrades and enhancements, oftentimes providing dubious or non-existent performance benefits.

The mere act of using the j spelling is interpreted by some as a form of colonial aggression. The snake is a unique setup because it allows a player to advance a considerable distance while still being protected from being hit from most locations on the field. A cultural side-effect of the fact that Mexicans use México /'mexiko/ and Spaniards sometimes use Méjico is the occasional boiling-over of negative sentiment towards the old colonial oppressor. "Snake" (n)- In hyperball, speedball, and airball a snake is a long, low structure (less then 1 meter/3 feet high) usually located either in the middle or to one or both sides of a field. Also, in the placenames "Oaxaca" and "Xalapa", the x is pronounced as /x/; in "Xochimilco", however, it sounds as a /ʃ/. This allows referees with sound-activated timers to monitor rate of fire during games. Today, even outside of the country, México is preferred over Méjico by ratios ranging from 10-to-1 (in Spain) to about 280-to-1 (in Costa Rica). In response to the popularity of ramping (and the difficulty of catching violators), some organizations have abandoned a strict semi-auto-only policy and adopted a 15 ball-per-second cap in its place.

The Real Academia Española states that both spellings are correct, and most dictionaries and guides recommend México first, and present Méjico as a variant. Many "ramp boards" also incorporate elaborate schemes to conceal this feature from tournament referees, including a simple "panic button" trigger press sequence to turn ramping off before a marker can be confiscated and tested, and randomized rate of fire to mask the fact that the trigger activity doesn't match the actual firing of paintballs. Mexicans have tended to demand that other Spanish-speakers use this spelling, rather than following the general rule, and the demand has largely been respected. "Ramping" (v)- A feature enabled in many aftermarket electronic marker 'mod boards' that functions as de-facto full-auto; while in ramping mode, pulling the trigger faster than a preset lower limit (typically 5 or more times a second) causes the marker to "ramp" to its maximum preset rate of fire, which can exceed 20 balls per second, or to fire as quickly as the hopper can supply balls to the breech. It is regarded as more authentic and less jarring to the reader's eye. "Maxed" (n)(v)- In tournament play, a team successfully eliminating all opposing players, losing none of their own players and successfully hanging the opponent's flag within the allotted game time is said to have "maxed" the other team (that is, they have achieved the maximum points possible in the game). In Mexico, it has become almost a matter of national pride to maintain the otherwise archaic x spelling in the name of the country. It can also be used to describe a situation in which an individual or team excercised a great advantage to defeat the other player or team.

Thus, although xabón is now incorrect and archaic, alongside many millions of people called "Jiménez", there also are plenty called "Giménez" or "Ximénez" — a matter of personal choice and tradition. It is often used to describe someone who has been marked several times. Proper nouns and their derivatives are optionally allowed to break this rule. "Lit up" - An expression connotating overwhelming victory. The old pronunciation is maintained in French "Quichotte", and the English word "quixotic" maintains the spelling while pronouncing it with its English value.). These electronic laser systems help prevent chopping in markers and help markers reach higher rates of fire consistently. (Another example is the old spelling of Don Quixote which is now Don Quijote. If a ball enters the breech, the laser will be reflected back into the eye, indicating that a ball is ready to be fired.

So, modern Spanish has ejercicio, ejército, jabón, perplejo, etc. Reflective sends a laser across the breech from one eye. It was j/g that was chosen. When a ball enters the breech of the marker, it breaks the laser, telling the marker that a ball is ready to be fired. The coalescence of the two phonemes into a single new one encouraged scholars to use the same letter for the sound, regardless of its origin (Spanish scholars have always tried to keep the orthography of their language faithful to the spoken tongue). Breakbeam incorporates two eyes which send a laser across the breech to one another. The /ʒ/ sound also started to be pronounced this way. There are two types; breakbeam and reflective.

Words like Ximénez, exercicio, xabón and perplexo started to be pronounced with a /x/ (this phonetic symbol represents the sound in the word "loch"). "eye/eyes/ACE" (n) - A laser detection system installed on electronic markers. Over the centuries, the pronunciation of Spanish changed. "chop a snake" - A process in which one player will fire over the head of an opponent located behind a snake, pinning him down, while another will advance along the lengh of the snake eliminating the opponent. These old pronunciations of j and x are still found in Portuguese and Ladino. Many markers have special technology to prevent them from firing before a paintball has fed completely or to reduce the speed of the bolt so that it can't break a partially fed paintball. Meanwhile, the letter j (or, rather, the letter i when used as a consonant, since j had not been invented yet) was used for the /ʒ/ sound (as in "vision"), as was g before e or i. Chops are usually caused by a marker shooting too fast for the speed at which the loader can feed it, or sometimes by misshapen paint that does not feed properly or low pressure or mechanical failure that causes the bolt to actuate more than once in quick succession.

Ximénez); consequently, the letter x was used to write down words like Mexitli. The force of the bolt of the marker moving forward will then cut the paintball in half inside the marker's chamber, creating a rather unpleasant mess that will prevent the marker from shooting accurately until cleaned. The Nahuatl language had a /ʃ/ sound (like English "shop"), and this sound was written x in Spanish (e.g. "chop" - Sometimes a marker may fire when a paintball has only fed partially into the breech. When the Spaniards encountered this people and transcribed their language, they naturally did so according to the spelling rules of the Castilian language of the time. Necessary because hits on hard equipment may not be noticed by the player, and hits that do not leave a mark do not count, so a player may need another person to check to see if a hit broke when it is on an area of the body the player cannot readily see. So, Mexico is the home of the people of Mexitli (the Mexicas), co meaning "place" and ca meaning "people". "paint check" (v) - When an official or another player inspects a player for hits.

The Mexi part of the name is from Mexitli, the war god, whose name was derived from metztli (the moon) and xictli (navel) and thus meant "navel (probably implying 'child') of the moon". If the teammates are looking the wrong way, or there are no teammates left, an opposing player can often run straight up to the player's bunker without the player seeing him and "bunker" the player by shooting directly over or around the side of the cover. Mexico is named after its capital city, whose name comes from the Aztec city Mexico-Tenochtitlan that preceded it. "bunker" (v) - When a player is behind a bunker, the bunker blocks that player's view of the field in front of him, forcing the player to occasionally look out from behind the bunker (and risk being hit) or rely on teammates to prevent opposing players from advancing through that area. The Mexican distance learning secondary education is also transmitted to some Central American countries and to Colombia, and it is used in some southern regions of the United States as a method of bilingual education. In speedball, vrtually all objects placed on an otherwise empty grass field are "bunkers", and in most modern speedball tournaments, bunkers are inflatable vinyl obstacles (like river rafts with more basic and varied shapes). Schools that use this system are known as telesecundarias in Mexico. In wooded play, a bunker may be a large fallen log, a collection of wood, a constucted obstacle of wood, barrels, or other material, or even a dug-out depression in the ground.

In 2005 this system included 30,000 connected schools, 3 million students and 300,000 teachers, who use televised lectures and education science programs, pre-recorded and transmitted through "EduSat", via satellite. "bunker" (n) - A non-natural obstacle on the field of play suitable for use as cover. In the 1970's, Mexico became the first country to establish a system of "distance-learning" satellite secondary education, aimed for the little towns and rural communities. Sometimes refered to as "Extra Love". Even though different bilingual education programs have existed since the 1960s for the indigenous communities, after a constitution reform in the late 1990s, these programs have had a new thrust, and free text books are produced in more than a dozen indigenous languages. A player may receive bonus balls due to the increasingly fast rate of fire of markers in tournament play, walking through a spot another player is shooting, or occasionally by being intentionally shot by an opponent. Primary and secondary education (9 years) is free and mandatory. "bonus ball" (v)- Hits a player receives after being eliminated, usually while leaving the field of play.

In 2004, the literacy rate was at 92%, and the youth literacy rate (ages 15-24) was 96%. Paintball is ranked ahead of snowboarding by a large margin. Mexico has made impressive improvements in education in the last two decades. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association International's (SGMA) 2005 stats, paintball is the third most popular 'extreme sport' in the world, following skateboarding and inline skating. Scandinavian languages and traditions can also be heard in Chihuahua, like Swedish and Norwegian in Nueva Escandinavia and other Scandinavian colonies in the north of the country. Growing Popularity. Another important French village in Mexico is Santa Rosalía in Baja California Sur, where French language and culture/architecture are still found. Good equipment does lend a competitive edge, but it is possible to get good results with relatively inexpensive equipment, and skill trumps gear quality.

Another important French group were the "Barcelonettes" from the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département, whom interestingly the whole town and surrounding towns immigrated specifically to Mexico to find jobs and work in merchendising, they are very notorious in Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz. Many players believe that more expensive and higher quality equipment determines how well a person plays. These French immigrants came from Haute-Saône département in France, especially from Champittle and Borgonge. Quality of Equipment. French is also heard in Veracruz, Jicaltepec, San Rafael and Mentideros, where the architecture and food is also very French. Many fields forbid the use of full-auto markers, which are illegal in many countries (for example the UK). Other strong German communities lie in Sinaloa (Mazatlan), Nuevo Leon, Chiapas (Tapachula) and other parts of Puebla (Nueva Necaxa) where the german culture and language have been preserved to different extents. Paintball fields require anyone near the field to wear a face mask, and that markers shoot at a velocity of less than 300 feet per second.

Other German communities lie in Puebla, Mexico City, Sinaloa and Chiapas, with the largest German school outside of Germany being in Mexico City (Alexander von Humboldt school), these represent the large German populations where they still try to preserve the German culture and language. As long as the players follow the rules, paintball is an entirely safe sport. A similar case is that of the Plautdietsch language, spoken by the descendants of German and Dutch Mennonite immigrants in the states of Chihuahua and Durango. Recent statistics from various insurance companies have proven that paintball is actually safer than traditional sports, such as football. In Huatusco and Colonia Gonzalez, Veracruz, Veneto is still heard too. Another common misconception of paintball is that it is dangerous. Nowadays, most of the people who live in the city of Chipilo (and many of those who have migrated to other cities) still speak the unaltered Veneto dialect spoken by their great-grandparents making the Veneto dialect an unrecognized minority language in the city of Puebla. Injury and Danger.

While other European immigrants assimilated into the Mexican culture, the people of Chipilo retained their language. Tournaments include aspects of traditional sports: players wear bright colors as fans watch the action behind safety netting and film crews record nearly all top competitive events for DVD or TV. The immigrants that founded the city of Chipilo in 1882 came from the Veneto region in northern Italy, and thus spoke a northern variant of the Venetian dialect. And "scenario" paintball games seek to re-enact historic wars and battles, not to encourage violence. With respect to other European languages brought by immigrants, the case of Chipilo, in the state of Puebla, is unique, and has been documented by several linguists like Carolyn McKay. Today's markers are generally not designed to mimic firearms. There are also Mennonite colonies in Chihuahua where education is delivered in English. Paintball fields do not tolerate physical violence (contact with an opponent is usually forbidden) nor even verbal abuse.

expatriate communities such as those along the coast of Baja California and the town of San Miguel de Allende. The paintball community generally works to dispel this image, increasing the public's exposure to paintball is seen as crucial to breaking down stereotypes. English is the main language spoken in U.S. Additionally, paintball has been used for close combat training by both law enforcement agencies and terrorist groups. Also, the majority of private schools in Mexico offer what they like to describe as "bilingual" education, both in Spanish and English. One common misconception is that paintball simulates war and encourages violence, thanks largely to vandalism, and the small, but noticeable resemblance of markers to firearms and the donning of camouflage for woodsball. border, in big cities, and in beach resorts. War and Violence.

It is also spoken along the U.S. Various misconceptions are held by players as well as people who have never seen a paintball marker. As a result, English language skills are much in demand and can lead to an increase in the salary offered by a company. Paintball has proved to be an extremely safe sport and its good record comes from the uncompromising emphasis on safety. Although Spanish is the official language of Mexico, English is widely used in business. Chronographs or "Chronos" can be found from $60-250 and can greatly help the safety of everyone playing. The Mexican government has promoted and established bilingual education programs in indigenous rural communities. It is recommended that everyone playing outlaw games, get their guns "chronoed" or speed check before playing.

Of these Nahuatl, and Maya are each spoken by 1.5 million, while others, such as Lacandon, are spoken by fewer than 100. Many players involved in outlaw games will tend to have their guns firing "hot" or above this speed. The government officially recognizes 62 Amerindian languages. The allowed speeds usually range from around 250 Feet Per Second to the highest allowed speed of 300 FPS. About 7% of the population speak an Amerindian language. This reduces the possibility of mask failure, and will leave less of an injury when you are hit. Spanish is the official language of Mexico and is spoken by the majority of the population. Besides mandatory use of masks, fields require that markers don't fire above certain speeds.

Main article: Languages of Mexico. Do not be surprised if you are pushed down or otherwise covered by players and/or refs. Islam is mainly practiced by members of the Arab, Turkish, and other expatriate communities, though there is a very small number of the indigenous population in Chiapas state that practice Islam. Players or refs will come running to help. Judaism has been practiced in Mexico for centuries, and there are estimated to be more than 45,000 Jews in Mexico today[2]. If your mask falls off during a game, drop to your knees and cover your eyes with your arm or hands while yelling for assistance and/or a ceasefire repeatedly. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has a growing presence in the major border cities of northeastern Mexico, and over 205,000 members nationwide[1]. A ref or another player will lead you to a safe area.

[3]. If you find your mask is covered with paint, sweat, or dirt, and you cannot see well enough to safely get off the field, stand with both hands in the air and yell (usually "Fogged!") for assistance. Wolf, the Guadalupe symbol links family, politics, and religion; the colonial past and the independent present; and the Indian and the Mexican. Under no circumstances should eye protection ever be removed on a live field. According to anthropologist Eric R. This means players must wear only paintball-specific goggles and facemasks at all times while playing, even if they are out. The Virgin of Guadalupe has long been a symbol enshrining the major aspirations of Mexican society. Safety is paramount while playing paintball and is strictly enforced.

Some of the country's Catholics (notably those of indigenous background) syncretize Catholicism with various elements of Aztec or Mayan religions. If you think you may have been hit the ref of the current game will run over and complete a "paint check" to evaluate whether you have been marked or not. Also, 6% of the population adheres to various Protestant faiths (mostly Pentecostal), and the remaining 5% of the population adhering to other religions or professing no religion. The idea is to get as close to the opponent as possible, as fast as you can, so that you can catch the other player off guard, giving them little to no time to react, and giving you little to no chance to miss due to the close range. It is the second nation with the largest Catholic population, behind Brazil and before the United States. This refers to running/charging up to the bunker or barricade that an opposing player is behind and tagging them at very close range. Mexico is predominantly Roman Catholic (about 89% of the population). Another popular move is "bunkering".

The most common reasons for death in 2001 were heart problems (14.6% for men 17.6% for women) and Cancer (11% for men and 15.8% for women). Moves such as a 'run through', where a player sprints down the field shooting as many of the opposing team as he can, have developed over time and are now very important plays. The mortality rate in 1970 was 9.7/1000 people and by 2001 the rate had dropped to 4.9/1000 for men and 3.8/1000 for women. If you catch an opponent off guard, you are free to fire at him. The lowest levels are found in Chiapas (72.9), Oaxaca (73.2) and Guerrero (73.2 years), although the first two have had the highest increase (19.9 and 22.3% respectively). In almost all tournament play, there is no surrender rule. The Federal District has a life expectancy of the same level as Baja California. Keep in mind that while waiting for a response you can still be hit by other opponents.

The states with the highest life expectancy are Baja California (75.9 years) and Nuevo Leon (75.6 years). However, if they refuse and attempt any hostile action (such as turning to fire at you), you may fire upon them. Life expectancy in Mexico increased from 34.7 for men and 33 years for women in 1930 to 72.1 for men and 77.1 years for women in 2002. If your opponent complies (verbally, see above or by raising their hand or marker), they are considered marked and are out of the match. 4.2% of male immigrants and 3.8% of female immigrants did not have formal education while 20.2% of male immigrants and 17.7% of female immigrants had a college degree [INEGI, 2004. Some fields require that if you are within a certain distance of an unaware opponent, you must demand their surrender (by yelling "Surrender!") before you may open fire. More than 54.6% of the immigrant population are 15 years old or younger, while 9% are 50 or older. This is you and one other teammate are eliminated from the current round for cheating.

The five states with more immigrants are Baja California (12.1% of total immigrants), Federal District (11.4%), Jalisco (9.9%), Chihuahua (9%) and Tamaulipas (7.3%). In most instances a penalty of 1 for 1 will be called. The official figures for foreign-born citizens in Mexico are 493,000 (since 2004), with a majority (86.9%) of these born in the United States (with the exception of Chiapas, where the majority of immigrants are from Central America). This is cheating in its lowest form and could get you banned from the field. A clear example of the latter phenomenon is provided by San Miguel de Allende and many towns along the Baja California peninsula and around Guadalajara, Jalisco. Some people, when hit, will wipe off the paint and continue playing. This may be due to the growing economic and business interdependence of the two countries under NAFTA, and also that Mexico is considered an excellent choice for retirees. If you believe that you have tagged another player, but they are not calling themeselves out, you can always shout for a paint check on that person.

Mexico is the country where the greatest number of U.S citizens live outside the United States. If you are lucky, a paintball will simply bounce off of you, and will not count as a hit. The states of Aguascalientes (0.2%), Coahuila (0.2%), Zacatecas (0.2%) and Nuevo León (0.5%) have the lowest proportion of speakers of indigenous languages ([INEGI, 2004]). You should always check to see if a paintball that has hit you has indeed broken. Judging by the proportion of people speaking indigenous languages, the states with the highest proportion of indigenous people are Yucatán (37.3%), Oaxaca (37.1%), Chiapas (24.6%) and Quintana Roo (23%). Remember that even if you are not marked, exclaiming "I'm hit" will eliminate you from the game. In 2004, the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatic had estimated this figure to be 12,089,094 (~11.4% of Mexico's population) of indigenous people of which, more than one million do not speak Spanish and almost five million are bilingual (INEGI, 2004). In some cases, depending on the field's rules, being checked by a referee does not make you invulnerable.

However, the Mexican government does not collect racial information during censuses. Usually, if there is any spot that isn't clearly a hit or larger than a quarter, it will not be considered a hit. According to the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas ("The National Council for the Development of Indigenous People") the Amerindian population in Mexico is approximately 12.7 million. A referee will come over and make a judgment call. In Mexico the biggest foreign colonies are:. If you believe the paintball broke before impact, or if you cannot see the area to confirm a hit, then you should call for a paint check (by yelling "paint check"). There are also a few Lebanese and Arabs. Generally if you are marked (hit) anywhere on your body, or on anything you are carrying (marker, hopper, pods) and the paintball broke upon impact, you have been marked.

Mexico has a sizeable population of Asians numbering around 200,000, many of them Chinese and Japanese, the majority of which reside in Mexicali, Baja California.
. The PRI governments in power for most of the 20th century had a policy of granting asylum to fellow Latin Americans fleeing political persecution in their home countries. For information on tactics, see paintball strategy. Mexico is also home for many other Latin American groups: mostly Argentines, but also Brazilians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians and Venezuelans. These are the most common regulations, and do not include tips for playing. The remaining 1% includes Afro-Mexicans, Asians, Jews, and Middle Easterners. Variations of the following rules are in effect at most fields.

Some 9% is white (of European descent), the majority being from Spain, though there are also large numbers of people of German, Italian, French, Portuguese, British, Irish, Russian (Molokans), Dutch, Greek, and Scandinavian (particularly in Nueva Escandinavia, Chihuahua) ancestry. When playing at a field for the first time, be sure to check up on the field rules. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 60% of the population is mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white), another 30% is Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian. Major scenario and tournament events may sometimes occur at other locations like fairgrounds, military bases, or stadiums, essentially creating a temporary paintball park, including the trained staff and insurance found at permanent commercial paintball parks. Mexico is ethnically and culturally diverse. Private landowners may also be liable for injuries sustained on their property, especially if there are any fees for play. With an estimated 2005 population of about 106.5 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. While less expensive, and often less structured than play at a commerical facility, due to the lack of standards, instruction, and oversight, the vast majority of injuries incured by paintball players occur in a "renegade" setting.

Main article: Demographics of Mexico
See also: Indigenous peoples of Mexico. Some players play on private land, often refered to as "renegade" play. The government is seeking to sign an additional agreement with Mercosur. Commercial fields adhere to specific safety and insurance standards and have employed staff (often called referees) whose job is to make sure players are instructed in proper play and play in a manner that insures all participants' safety. Government authorities expect that by putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements with different countries Mexico will lessen its dependence on the United States. Additionally, some commercial fields offer fast-paced indoor game play, often with multiple rooms. However more than 85% of the trade is still done with the United States. A paintball park may be an area of woods, a complex of speedball fields, or a combination.

Mexico has opened its markets to free trade like few other countries have done, lowering its trade barriers with more than 40 countries in 12 Free Trade Agreements, including Japan and the European Union. Most players play, and most scenario games and tournaments occur, at commercial, insured paintball parks. Trade with the United States and Canada has tripled since NAFTA was implemented in 1994. While these two groups differ in style of play and appearance, the most devoted members of both groups may spend thousands of dollars per year not only on paintball equipment, but also on travel to paintball events. dollar. These frequent participants can generally be divided into two groups: Scenario players and tournament players. Positive developments in 2001 included a drop in inflation to 6.5%, a sharp fall in interest rates, and a strong peso that appreciated 5% against the U.S. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturer's Association, of the approximately 10 million people who participate in paintball annually, only about 15% (1.5 million) of them play 15 or more times per year.

Following 6.9% growth in 2000, real GDP fell 0.3% in 2001, with the United States' economic slowdown appearing to be the principal cause. Recreational players may play at commercial, insured paintball parks, or on private land (often referred to as "renegade"). Income distribution is very unequal, with the top 20% of income earners accounting for 55% of income. The recreational class of player encompasses a range of levels of involvement in the sport, from occasional players like members of church groups or people attending birthday or bachelor parties, through more regular players who may own their own entry-level equipment, but do not play in tournaments. Mexico still needs to overcome many structural problems as it strives to modernize its economy and raise living standards. Players usually fall into three categories: recreational, scenario or big game, and tournament. Private consumption became the leading driver of growth, accompanied by increased employment and higher wages. The leagues consist of a whole circuit of paintball tournaments, but smaller regional and locally-sponsored tournaments are very common.

A strong export sector helped to cushion the economy's decline in 1995 and led the recovery in 1996–1999. The major leagues are National Professional Paintball League (NPPL), Paintball Sports Promotions™ (PSP), and Millennium Series. The administration of President Ernesto Zedillo (1994–2000) continued a policy of privatizing and expanding competition in sea ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural gas distribution, and airports which was initiated by his predecessors Miguel de la Madrid and Carlos Salinas. Due to the competitive nature, most tournament players use high-end markers capable of higher rates of fire. The number of state-owned enterprises in Mexico has fallen from more than 1,000 in 1982 to fewer than 200 in 1999. There is a set number of people on each team (commonly three, five or seven), and modern tournament play is primarily speedball. Mexico has a free-market economy with a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Tournament paintball is played by the same rules as normal paintball, but in a more competitive environment.

According to the director for Colombia and Mexico of the World Bank, the population below the poverty level has decreased from 24.2% to 17.6% in the general population and from 42% to 27.9% in rural areas from 2000-2004 [2]. The Millennium Series, the Nordic Series, the former European X-Ball League, the Centurio Circuit, the XSPL, the Paintball Association in the UK and many more leagues exist and draw large numbers of teams and fans. Since the economic crisis of 1994–1995 the country has made an impressive economic recovery. These aren't the only leagues, however, as most regions both inside and outside the USA have leagues. According to the World Bank, Mexico ranks 12th in the world in regard to GDP and has the highest per capita income in its region; and it is firmly established as an upper middle-income country. Current professional and semi-professional leagues, such as the NXL (National X-Ball League), NPPL (National Professional Paintball League), NCPA (National Collegiate Paintball Association), CFOA (Carolina Field Owners Association) the NEPL (New England Paintball League),the WPL (World Paintball League) and the SPPL (Scenario Paintball Players League), regularly hold high-class, well-organized events.
. Some paintball parks have added dedicated reball fields.

Estimates of the number of dead range from 6,500 to 30,000 (see 1985 Mexico City earthquake). A reball is more expensive than a paintball, but since they can be reused, they are cheaper over the long term. On September 19, 1985, an earthquake measuring approximately 8.0 on the Richter scale struck Michoacán and inflicted severe damage on Mexico City. While they do not break open to leave a paint mark on players, the lack of filling makes them useful for indoor locations where accumulation of paint from broken paintballs would be a problem. Mexico's major rivers include the Río Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande) and the Usumacinta on its northern and southern borders, respectively, together with the Grijalva, Balsas, Pánuco, and Yaqui in the interior. Reballs are approximately the same size and weight of a paintball, but do not contain a paint filling. The terrain and climate vary from rocky deserts in the north to tropical rain forest in the south. A "reball" is a solid, dense-foam substitute for a paintball.

Mexico is about one-fourth the size of the United States. The first team to reach a set point total (commonly 5 or 7 points), or the team with the highest point total after game time has elapsed, wins the match. (See list of mountains in Mexico). The X-Ball Light variant has one period, typically 15 minutes long. The center of Mexico is a great, high plateau, open to the north, with mountain chains on the east and west and with ocean-front lowlands lying outside of them. X-Ball has taken root at the national level, although variations are found in regional and local competition. In the east are the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche, which is formed by Mexico's other peninsula, the Yucatán. Players who receive penalties are not permanently removed from the game, but placed in a hockey-like penalty box for several minutes.

Baja California in the west is a 1,250-km peninsula and forms the Gulf of California. Unlike most tournament formats that forbid players to communicate with people on the sidelines, X-Ball allows a coach to advise players on the field. Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. Teams of up to 18 players field five players at a time. Its width is varied, from more than 2000 km in the north and less than 220 km at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south. The winner is the team with the most victories after two 16- to 20-minute halves. Situated in the southwestern part of mainland North America and roughly triangular in shape, Mexico stretches more than 3000 km from northwest to southeast. A newer tournament format, X-Ball pits two teams against each other in multiple rounds of Center Flag played one after another until time runs out.

Main article: Geography of Mexico. Popular non-Xball center-flag formats include:. The following is a list of the biggest Metropolitan Areas of Mexico in order of population:. Teams play several other teams, accumulating points in each game for acts such as being the first to get the flag, bringing the flag to the goal, eliminating opposing players, and having uneliminated players left at the end of the game. Much of the capital city's metropolitan area overflows the limits of the Federal District. The most common tournament formats pit two teams of three, five, or seven players against each other. It enjoys more limited local rule than the nation's "free and sovereign states": only since 1997 have its citizens been able to elect a Head of Government, whose powers are still more curtailed than those of a state governor. Woodsball tournaments, the original and once the most popular format, have largely given way to speedball fields, whose inflatable bunkers can be moved between matches or tournament stages.


The Federal District is a special political division in Mexico, where the national capital, Mexico City, is located. Modern tournament paintball has developed in earnest since roughly 1990. Each state has its own constitution and its citizens elect a governor as well as representatives to their respective state congresses. The largest is probably "Oklahoma D-Day" which drew more than 3,500 in 2005, plays across 700 acres of land and includes some 15 "paintball tanks" and pontoon-built landing craft. Mexico is divided into 31 states (estados) and a federal district. Skirmish Paintball in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania holds several every year, including The Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Normandy, which drew more than 3,000 attendees in 2005. The three most important political parties in Mexico are the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Scenario games can last hours or even days, and bigger games often have player re-insertions at set intervals.

His victory ended the Institutional Revolutionary Party's 71-year hold on the presidency. Scenario paintball games are often larger-scale re-enactments of historical battles involving hundreds of people, such as the Battle of Normandy, or modern scenarios such as storming a building and rescuing hostages. Fox began his six-year term on December 1, 2000. Most national and local tournaments and leagues are built around speedball. The PRI did not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989.[1] It wasn't until July 2, 2000, that Vicente Fox of the opposition "Alliance for Change" coalition, headed by the National Action Party (PAN), was elected president. The close quarters foster a lot of movement and "bunkering", or running up to an opposing player's bunker and eliminating them from close range. After it was founded in 1929, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) monopolized all the political branches. Artificial barriers (bunkers), often inflatable, are placed throughout the field for players to move between and hide behind.

There is no vice-president in the republic. Speedball is a faster, closer-quarters game than woodsball and is played on a field about the size of a basketball court or two. The president is elected by universal adult suffrage for a six-year term and may not hold office a second time. Woodsball games generally take more time than speedball games. The president also legislates by executive decree in certain economic and financial fields, using powers delegated from Congress. Woodsball, paintball's original format, is generally played in a wooded area large enough to hold dozens of players. Congress has played an increasingly important role since 1997, when opposition parties first formed a majority in the legislature. The team that eliminates all of the players on the other team wins.

Historically, the executive is the dominant branch, with power vested in the [[President of Mexico|president who promulgates and executes the laws of the Congress. The winner is the team that brings the flag to the opponent's end of the field. The 1917 Constitution provides for a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Similar to Capture the Flag, the game starts with a single flag at the center of the field instead of one at each end. Mexico’s political model has much in common with that of the United States. Victory is achieved by being the first team to hang the opponents' flag on the designated location at or near their own starting location. On March 23, 2005, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America was signed by the elected leaders of those countries. Teams start on opposing sides and attempt to acquire the opponents' flag while protecting their own.

On January 1, 1994, Mexico became a full member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, joining the United States of America and Canada in a large and prosperous economic bloc. The classic schoolyard game, with a paintball twist. In 2000, after seventy years, the PRI lost a presidential elections to a candidate of the National Action Party (PAN), Vicente Fox. . Through the electoral reforms started by president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and consolidated by president Ernesto Zedillo, by the mid 1990s the PRI had lost its majority in Congress. The first tournament with a cash prize was held in 1983. It was not until the 1980s that the PRI lost the first state governorship, an event that marked the beginning of the party's loss of hegemony. The first paintball game was played in New Hampshire in 1981 by Bob Gurnsey, Hayes Noel, Charles Gaines, and nine others, who used markers built to tag cattle or trees.

Accused many times of fraud, the PRI's candidates held almost all public offices until the end of the 20th century. Once marked by a paintball, a player is eliminated from the game. However the management of the economy collapsed several times afterwards. Paintball is a sport whose participants use markers to shoot paintballs (roughly marble-sized, .68 caliber, gelatin capsules filled with colored polyethylene glycol) at other players. This was in spite of falling foreign confidence in investment, first through the assumption of mineral rights and subsequent nationalisation of the oil industry into Pemex during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas del Río. 90% of paintball players are 12-24 years old. During the next four decades, Mexico experienced impressive economic growth, and historians call this period "El Milagro Mexicano", the Mexican Miracle. 85% of paintball players are male.

The creation of the National Revolutionary Party (which later became the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI), in 1929 ended the struggles, uniting all generals and combatants of the revolution. Baseball — 9.7 million participants (just 1.01% more than paintball). Revolutionary forces defeated the federal army, but were left with internal struggles, leaving the country in conflict for two more decades. Tackle Football — 5.4 million participants. His fraudulent victory in the 1910 elections sparked the Mexican Revolution. Paintball had approximately 9.6 million participants in 2004

    . Growing social inequalities, restricted freedom of the press, and his insistence to be reelected for a fifth term led to massive protests. V ammo Cheap Alternative.

    His mandate, however, was mostly undemocratic and benefited the middle and upper classes, while the Amerindian indigenous population continued to live in precarious conditions. Nerf is a hobby/sport similar to paintball in that many of the game types are the same, however instead of using marker it uses modified Nerf toys. This period of relative peace and prosperity is known as the "Porfiriato". Lasertag. Foreign investment allowed the development of the oil industry and the construction of a railroad system across the country. Airsoft. After Juárez's death, Mexico experienced economic growth under the liberal and pro-European rule of Porfirio Díaz. In the 2002 movie 8 Mile starring Eminem, a scene was shot which depicted a drive by with a paintball gun.

    From then on, Juárez remained in office until his death in 1872. The game, Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball, was released in 2004, and a sequel of the game, Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX'D, was released in 2005. In mid-1867, following repeated losses in battle to the Republican Army, Maximilian was captured and murdered by Juárez's soldiers, along with his last loyal generals, in Querétaro. A simulation of the sport of paintball, using NPPL-like tournament play, and featuring actual professional paintball players and licensed-equipment from actual paintball manufacturers, was created by game developer The Whole Experience. Napoleon III of France, Emperor of France, returned Maximillian as Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867. In 2005, rapper B-Real (of Cypress Hill), wrote the song Play it for Real about the sport of paintball. However, after his death, the city was lost in early 1863, following a renewed French attack which penetrated as far as Mexico City, forcing Juárez to organize an itinerant government. 10-man: Defunct format discontinued on the PSP in 2004.

    General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French Army (arguably the most powerful in the world at the time) at the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862, celebrated as Cinco de Mayo ever since. attention in 2000 and is played on the NPPL Super 7 and Millenium Series. The Second Mexican Empire was then overthrown by President Benito Juárez, with diplomatic and logistical support from the United States and the military expertise of General Porfirio Díaz. 7-man: Popular in Europe, it gained much U.S. In the 1860s, the country again suffered a military occupation, this time by France, seeking to establish the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico, with support from the Roman Catholic clergy and conservative criolloss. 5-man: Played on the PSP and CFOA circuits. Mexico was defeated by the United States, resulting in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo, where the United States purchased the remaining disputed territories for $15 million, from which were formed the modern states of California, Nevada, and Utah, and most of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado (see Mexican-American War). Point scoring system.

    This resulted in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. First to eliminate the opposing team and hang the flag in the middle on the other sides break point. Mexico declared war on 23 May. 3-man: 3 Man paintball games. Polk requested a declaration of war and the US Congress voted in favor on 13 May 1846. President James K.

    Mexican troops then attacked and captured one of the American detachments near the Rio Grande. Mexico saw this as an US intervention on internal affairs by supporting a rebel province. The US government sent troops to Texas in order to secure the territory ignoring the Mexican demands of withdrawal. In 1845, voters in Texas approved to be annexed by the United States, and was passed by Congress and signed into law by President John Tyler.

    Texas won its independence in 1836, further reducing the territory of the fledgling republic. The inhabitants of Tejas, calling themselves Texans and led mainly by relatively recently-arrived English-speaking settlers, declared independence from Mexico at Washington-on-the-Brazos, giving birth to the Republic of Texas. While negotiations eventually brought Yucatán to again recognize Mexican sovereignty, Santa Anna's army turned to the northern rebellion. Both areas sought independence from the Mexican government.

    As president, in 1834 Santa Anna abrogated the federal constitution, causing insurgencies in the southern state of Yucatán and the northernmost portion of the northern state of Coahuila y Tejas. The first Republic was formed with Guadalupe Victoria as its first president, followed in office by Santa Anna. The Empire soon fell to rogue republican forces led by Antonio López de Santa Anna. It also forbade the importation of slaves, a condition that, like the others, was largely ignored.

    Soon after achieving its independence from Spain, the Mexican government, in an effort to populate its sparsely-settled hinterlands, awarded land grants in a remote area of the northernmost state of Coahuila y Tejas to hundreds of immigrant families from the United States, on the condition that the settlers convert to Catholicism and assume Mexican citizenship. After independence, Spanish possessions in Central America which also proclaimed independence were all incorporated into Mexico from 1822 to 1823, with the exception of Chiapas. Then, as the war escalated, the objective change to independece from Spain. The initial intention of the movement then, was to be obtain independence from France, but still being part of Spain.

    Actually, Hidalgo declared the independence from France, as José Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother), also known in Mexico as Pepe Botella (Spanish: Bottle Joe, as he had a fame of a heavy drinker), was ruling Spain at that time. On September 16, 1810, independence from Spain was declared by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, causing a long war that eventually led to the official recognition of independence from Spain in 1821 and the creation of the First Mexican Empire. At the end of the 16th century, New Spain was an underpopulated country with abandoned cities, which would be the main cause of collapse of the Mesoamerican cultures. Of the estimated 15 to 20 million of the original prehispanic population, less than two million survived.

    There were three separate epidemics that decimated the population: Smallpox (1520-1521), measles ( 1545-1548) and typhus (1576-1581). Most of the settlers had developed an immunity from childhood, but the indigenous peoples had not. Spanish settlers brought with them smallpox, typhus, and other diseases. Louis) and "Vera Cruz" ("True Cross").

    Numerous churches and other buildings were constructed in the Spanish style, and cities were named after various saints and objects of veneration, such as "San Luis Potosí" (after St. During the following centuries, under Spanish rule, a new culture developed that combined the customs and traditions of the indigenous peoples with that of Catholic Spain. In modern México, mestizo has became more a cultural term, since a Native American that abandons his traditional ways is considered a mestizo, also most Afromexicans prefer to be considered mestizo, since they feel more identified with this group. Mestizos, while they no longer have a separate legal status from other groups, comprise approximately 60% of the population.

    With independence, the caste system and slavery were abolished. Mestizos and criollos were not allowed in the upper levels of the government, and eventually they joined forces for the independence of México. Those who were wealthy enough also tried to have a Spanish wife, who was sent to give birth in Spain to prevent their children from becoming criollos. The Spanish "peninsulares" tried by all means to keep their status, even if they took native women.

    Mestizos and then mulattos were next, followed by the unmixed natives, zambos (amerindian mixed with black), and blacks, respectively. There were even two different kinds of whites, those born in Spain, or "peninsulares", and in a lower level, those born in America, or "criollos". Each different mix had a name and different privileges or prohibitions. A system was created to keep each mix in a different social level: "El sistema de castas" (the caste system).

    But even if mixes were allowed, the white population tried to keep their status. As a result of these unions, as well as concubinage, a vast class of people known as "Mestizos" and mulattos came into being. However, they eventually mixed with the population resulting in only a few black communities left to date (see Afro-Mexican). After the native population was decimated by epidemics and forced labor, black slaves were imported, and for a time in certain areas they even outnumbered the white populations (few modern Mexicans are aware of or acknowledge this).

    The first Spanish colonists were mainly only males, so they took native women, and although rarely, also black women. Unlike the English-speaking colonists of North America, the majority of the Spanish colonists married the natives, and were even encouraged to do so by Queen Isabella during the earliest days of colonization. Bartolome later repented when he saw the treatment given to the black slaves. Due to some horrifying instances of abuse against the indigenous peoples, Bishop Bartolome de las Casas suggested bringing black slaves to replace them.

    Although officially they could not become slaves, the system, known as encomienda, came to signify the oppression and exploitation of natives, although its originators did not set out with such intent. Eventually, the natives were declared minors, and forbidden to read and write, so they would always need a white man in charge of them to be responsible of their indoctrination. The Mesoamerican sex education system was set aside and replaced by church education; even some foods associated with religion, like amaranto, were forbidden. Hundreds of thousands of codices were destroyed, priests and teachers were persecuted, and the temples and statues of the gods were destroyed.

    As a result, a second wave of missionaries began a process attempting to completely erase the old beliefs, and thus wiped out many aspects of Mesoamerican culture. While it was an important god, because it was the god of the conquerors,they did not see why they had to abandon their old beliefs. The colonists brought with them the Catholic faith, to which the population seemingly converted rapidly, but soon they found that the natives had adopted "the god of the heavens", as they called it, as just one of their gods. Particularly fierce were the "Chichimeca wars" in the north of Mexico (1576-1606).

    After the fall of Tenochtitlan, it would take decades of continuous war to pacify Mesoamerica. The arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century and their defeat of the Mexica in 1521 marked the beginning of the 300 year-long colonial period of Mexico as New Spain. The small Spanish force was reinforced with thousands of indian allies, who were schooled on European warfare. Tlaxcalteca and other nahuatl nations were forced into such wars, so they joined the Spaniard forces against the Aztec.

    In order to acquire captives in time of peace, the Aztec resorted to ritual warfare, or flower war. This penchant for human sacrifice proved to be the undoing of the Aztecs, for when they confronted the Spaniards, who fought to the death, their less effective weapons made resistance difficult. As a result, Aztec warfare was conducted with an aim to only injure the enemy, so that he could later be sacrificed, and weapons were constructed with this in mind. This belief was common throughout nahuatl people.

    The Aztecs' religious beliefs were based on a fear that the universe would cease functioning without a constant offering of human sacrifice. There were two types of schools: the telpochcalli, for practical and military studies, and the calmecac, for advanced learning in writing, astronomy, statesmanship, theology, and other areas. The Mexica, one of the Aztec groups, were the first people in the world to practice mandatory education for all people, regardless of gender, rank, or station. For them, highly-civilized arts, sculpture, architecture, engraving, feather-mosiac work, and the invention of the calendar were due to the former inhabitants of Tula, the Toltecs, who reached the height of their civilization in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

    Latecomers to Mexico's central plateau, the Mexica, or Aztec, as they were sometimes called in memory of Aztlán, the starting point of their tribes wanderings, never thought of themselves as anything but heirs of the brilliant civilizations that had preceded them. Many made war with them, but almost all found themselves within these four spheres of influence. Other regional power players made economic and political alliances with these four civilizations over the span of 4,000 years. They consolidated power and distributed influence in matters of trade, art, politics, technology, and theology.

    These four civilizations extended their reach across Mexico and beyond like no others. While many city-states, kingdoms, and empires competed with one another for power and prestige, Mexico had four major, unifying civilizations: The Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, and the Aztec. In turn, they radiated influence outwards onto neighboring cultures. These cities, among several others, blossomed as centers of commerce, ideas, ceremonies, and theology.

    At different points in time, three different Mexican cities were the largest cities in the world: Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, and Cholula. In fact, the later Mexican civilizations would all carefully build their cities and ceremonial centers according to specific astronomical events. These very early and ancient count-markings were associated with astronomical events and underscore the influence that astronomical activities had upon Mexican natives, even before they possessed civilization. Archaic inscriptions on rocks and rock walls all over northern Mexico (especially in the state of Nuevo León) demonstrate an early propensity for counting in Mexico.

    These indigenous civilizations are credited with many inventions: pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, writing, highly-accurate calendars, fine arts, intensive agriculture, engineering, an abacus, a complex theology, and the wheel. For more than 3,000 years, Mexico was the site of several Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztec, the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec and the Mayan. and the beginning of intensive farming between 1800 and 1500 BC. Evidence shows the explosion of pottery works by 2300 B.C.

    Ancient Mexicans began to selectively breed corn plants around 8,000 B.C. Hunter-Gatherer peoples are thought to have discovered and habitated its territory more than 28,000 years ago. . It is the northernmost and westernmost country in Latin America, and also the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

    The United Mexican States or Mexico (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos or México; regarding the use of the variant spelling Méjico, see section The name below) is a country located in North America, bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. ISBN 0844227838. "When in Mexico, Do as the Mexicans Do." In depth information about life in Mexico, including culture, history, economy, language and more in 176 comprehensive pages. Kernecker, Herbert.

    Beezley, editors, The Oxford History of Mexico, 736 pages, Oxford University Press 2000, ISBN 0195112288 – 20 essays, also covers cultural history. Meyer, William H. Michael C. Maciel, Mexico's Cinema: A Century of Film and Filmmakers, SR Books 1999, ISBN 0842026827 – comprehensive survey.

    Joanne Hershfield, David R. Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon, Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004, hardcover, 608 pages, ISBN 0374226687 – recent history since the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968 told by two journalists. A history of Modern Mexico 1810-1996, 896 pages – Perennial 1998, ISBN 0060929170 - standard work by a renowned Mexican author. Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power.

    Cockcroft, Mexico's Hope: An Encounter with Politics and History, 320 pages, Monthly Review Press 1999, ISBN 0853459258 – leftist view of Mexican history. James D. Most information summarized from articles in Introduction to Comparative Politics, as part of an AP outline (sorry if some of the sources below have been removed). African.

    British, Irish, Dutch and Russian. Arab and Lebanese. Central American and South American. Jewish.

    East Asian. American and Canadian. Argentinean. German, Italian and French.

    Spanish. Chihuahua, Chihuahua (0.7 million). Cuernavaca, Morelos (0.7 million). Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes (0.7 million).

    Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro (0.8 million). Mérida, Yucatán (0.8 million). San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí (0.8 million). Torreón, Coahuila (1.1 million).

    Toluca, México (1.2 million). León, Guanajuato (1.2 million). Tijuana, Baja California (1.5 million). Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (1.8 million).

    Puebla, Puebla (2.6 million). Monterrey, Nuevo León (3.6 million). Guadalajara, Jalisco (4.7 million). Mexico City, Distrito Federal (22.0 million).

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