Mexico Facts and Trivia
The country of Mexico, known officially as the United Mexican States, was once home to a succession of vast and powerful ancient empires. Today, it is a modern nation, a federal republic of 31 united states. It is also an extremely popular tourist destination. If you travel to Mexico, you’ll find imposing mountain ranges, sprawling desert landscapes, and native people who share a rich history and a vibrant culture.
How much do you already know about Mexico? The following links lead to a collection of quizzes and trivia games that are fun for people of all ages! You can use them to test your knowledge of the country. Find out how much you really know about Mexico with these quizzes and games:
There’s so much to learn about Mexico! With its tall mountains, rushing rivers, hot deserts, and steamy rainforests, its geography is truly diverse. The country has a fascinating history, full of hard-fought battles and struggles for political power. Today, Mexico is home to rich traditions and delicious cuisine.
Mexico’s history begins before the arrival of the Spanish, with the rise and fall of many impressive ancient empires. When Spanish explorers came to Mexico, they clashed with the Aztec, leading to the fall of the Aztec empire. Over the years, Mexico has fought many wars over land, independence, and political power. Today, the country is a federal republic with a democratically elected president.
- Mexico was once home to the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec civilizations.
- The Aztecs made chocolate and considered it the “drink of the gods.”
- In the 1500s, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés and his troops conquered the Aztecs, claiming Mexico for Spain.
- Spaniards demolished the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlán, and built Mexico City in its place.
- In the 1800s, Mexico gained independence from Spain.
- Later that same century, in the Mexican-American War, Mexico and America waged war over the land in Texas. The Americans won.
- Following the Mexican-American War, Mexico lost parts of modern-day California, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado to the United States.
- After running for president and losing, Porfirio Díaz seized power in 1876 and became dictator.
- In 1910, the Mexican people revolted against their dictator, Porfirio Díaz, who eventually resigned after 33 years in power.
- The 1968 Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City.
Mexico has a colorful culture that represents a mix of ideas from Spain and native civilizations. The Mexican people observe many holidays that are observed elsewhere in the world, like Christmas, but they have their own special traditions. They also celebrate many holidays that are uniquely Mexican. Some of these holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo, have started to spread to other countries like the United States.
- Spanish is the most commonly-spoken language in modern Mexico.
- Mexicans don’t celebrate Halloween; instead, they celebrate El Día de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, in early November.
- When Mexican girls turn 15, they typically celebrate a Quinceañera, which symbolizes their transition into adulthood.
- Roman Catholicism is the most practiced religion in Mexico.
- Mexican children receive presents on January 6th, El Día de Los Reyes, rather than on Christmas Day.
- On May 5th, Mexicans observe Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates a military victory in a battle with the French in 1862.
- Mariachi is a popular form of folk music from Mexico; members of a mariachi band typically play violins, trumpets, and guitars.
- The most popular sport in Mexico is fútbol, which is called soccer in America.
- The three vertical stripes on Mexico’s flag each represent something different; the green stripe represents hope, the white stripe represents unity, and the red stripe represents the blood of fallen heroes.
- The Spanish introduced bullfighting to Mexico and it remains a popular sport in the country.
Mexican cuisine has become very popular in the United States. Authentic Mexican food, however, is a little different from its American counterpart. In fact, some of the foods most Americans think of as “Mexican food” were actually invented in the States and not in Mexico. Some say that real Mexican food is a lot healthier than the American version!
- Some traditional Mexican recipes can be traced back to the Aztec and Mayan cultures. The modern tamale was inspired by an Aztec dish.
- Chilies are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
- Tomatoes, which feature prominently in Italian cuisine, are originally from Mexico.
- Authentic Mexican food typically features less meat than the version of Mexican food commonly found in America.
- The word “salsa” is Spanish for sauce.
- On El Día de Los Muertos, Mexicans bake pan de muerto, which is Spanish for bread of the dead.
- Guacamole is made from mashed avocados and other ingredients like tomatoes, onions, chilies, cilantro, and salt.
- Unlike in the American version of Mexican food, cheese is not a common ingredient in authentic Mexican cuisine.
- Fajitas, nachos, and chimichangas were actually created in America, not in Mexico.
- In Mexico, tacos are typically served on corn tortillas.
Mexico’s history is full of incredible people! Mexico has seen its fair share of emperors, conquistadors, military leaders, banditos, dictators, and presidents. The country has also produced a number of talented artists who are known around the world. Mexico would not be the country it is today were it not for each and every one of these important individuals.
- Cuauhtémoc was the Aztec emperor when Hernán Cortés and his troops came to Spain.
- Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a well-liked priest who called for a revolution against Spanish rule in 1810.
- Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was a military leader who is known for losing large parts of the southwestern United States to America.
- Benito Juarez was a member of the Zapotec tribe who served five terms as Mexican president in the late 1800s.
- Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula, nicknamed Pancho Villa, was a military general known for his exploits during the Mexican Revolution. He is sometimes associated with the character Robin Hood, because he seized land from the rich to give to the poor.
- Emiliano Zapata was a military leader who commanded the Liberation Army of the South during the Mexican Revolution.
- Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist known for her self-portraits who married fellow artist Diego Rivera.
- Carlos Santana is a famous guitarist who was born in Mexico.
- Famous actress Salma Hayek was born in Mexico; she also portrayed Frida Kahlo in a film.
- Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón is known for directing films like Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Gravity.
Those who travel to Mexico will find a country with a landscape that’s as varied as the many people who live there. There are tall, rocky mountains and long, winding rivers. There are dry, hot deserts in the north and wet, tropical rainforests in the south. This huge country has just about everything!
- Mexico shares borders with the Unites States in the north and Guatemala and Belize in the south.
- Mexico is almost three times the size of Texas.
- Mexico’s capital city is built on an island in Lake Texcoco. The city is actually sinking and sinks more and more as the people pump water from the aquifers below.
- Mexico has two large peninsulas. They are called Baja California and the Yucatán Peninsula.
- Mexico is home to both dry desserts and tropical rainforests.
- Mexico is one of the most seismologically active areas in the world. That means Mexico experiences a lot of earthquakes!
- The longest river that flows through Mexico is the Rio Grande, sometimes called Río Bravo del Norte or Río Bravo.
- Towering 18,491 feet above sea level, Pico de Orizaba is the highest peak in Mexico.
- Mexico has a dry and a rainy season.
- Mexico is the eleventh largest country in the world by population.
If you’d like to learn more about the incredible country of Mexico, see some of the resources listed below: