Mexico has a rich and storied history. Its first inhabitants lived there over 13,000 years ago and some of its first ancient civilizations include the Maya and the Aztec people. They lived on the land, with diets consisting of fresh vegetables like corn, squash, beans, tomatoes, and even grew tobacco and made chocolate. In ancient times, Mexico was rich with dense forests, so there were plenty of animals to hunt and eat. It was a land with many different climates perfect for plants that allowed people to flourish and thrive.
There have been numerous archaeological discoveries of temples and pyramids built in ancient Mexican civilization. The Castillo in Chichen Itza, Mexico, is a testament to the amazing Mayans who built this historical structure. It was designed to be a temple for the Gods, and some claim it also served as a giant calendar. Another impressive area called Teotihuacan was established around 100 BCE and is one of the largest cities developed for its time. There were estimated to be over 200,000 residents there with buildings and underground homes or apartment-like areas. Between the Aztecs, Mayans, and other indigenous people, there are many amazing ancient structures to explore throughout Mexico.
In the late 1400’s, the Spanish discovered Mexico on their quest to find new territories. Over the next few decades, many Spanish captains and crew came to the shores of Mexico. Their goal was to take over the land and defeat the original inhabitants in a territorial war. One of the longest battles was entitled the Spanish conquest of Yucatan, which lasted from 1551 all the way until 1697. The Spanish battled the Mayan people and destroyed many of the structures of Teotihuacan with cannon fire and also from manmade fires.
Once the Spanish and other Europeans took over these areas of Mexico, things began to change rapidly. Diseases like smallpox began to affect people, as well as other afflictions, killing approximately one-third of the native inhabitants. Those who survived were forced into labor, and the word of Christianity began to spread. Human sacrifices were banned. A new, colonial period began in Mexico, and soon new more modern structures were built. Throughout the next century, the nation dealt with sporadic wars and other atrocities.
Since Mexico shares its border with America, there has also been a history between the two countries. In 1994, Mexico became an official member of NAFTA. Prior to this, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had established a Good Neighbor Policy with Mexico during World War II, meaning that the two nations would agree to be friends and allies. For many decades, there has been an ongoing problem with drugs travelling from Mexico into the United States, along with a large number of illegal immigrants coming across the border. Today, the US is still working closely with the Mexican government to help end the drug war and to find a way to legally and peacefully allow some citizens to live in America.
Today, Mexico has become a popular vacation destination. It currently operates as a federation with a democratic representation and an acting President and congress. The nation brings in money from things like science and technology, communication, transportation, and tourism. Cities like Acapulco, Cabo san Lucas, and Cancun are full of resort hotels where tourists come to visit year-round. These areas have beautiful scenic beaches, lovely sunset views, and plenty of activities like fishing and water sports. Tourism is one of Mexico’s biggest sources of revenue today, with many hotels and vacation rentals remaining booked almost all year long. The country has the largest income from tourism in all of Latin America, and ranks twenty-third in the world.