The Mexican cuisine of today originated thousands of years ago. The ancient Olmec and Mayan civilizations domesticated maize, beans, and chili peppers and developed the flatbread cakes known as tortillas. The Aztecs expanded the Mexican diet with other meats, fruits, and vegetables. As Spanish explorers conquered and colonized Mexico, European cooks introduced new ingredients, such as rice, wheat flour, and the meat of domestic animals like pigs, chickens, and cows. They also brought previously unknown methods of preparing food, such as frying. Today, Mexican cuisine is extremely popular far beyond the borders of the nation, and in 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Mexican cuisine to be an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
For thousands of years, humans have lived and worked in the land that today is known as Mexico. This book provides an overview of Mexican history, from the origins of its ancient civilizations, such as the Olmec and Maya, to the arrival and impact of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, to the struggles for Mexico to become a stable, modern, independent state during the 19th and 20th centuries. This book also examines the present-day issues that affect Mexico, including widespread poverty and economic inequality, as well as a brutal internal conflict between government forces and powerful drug cartels.
Located in North America, the modern country of Mexico is about one-fifth the size of the United States, its neighbor to the north. Within Mexico can be found a variety of climates and terrains, from tropical beaches and lush jungles to arid deserts. The country also features many geographic features, including high rugged mountains and volcanoes, low coastal plains, and elevated plateaus. Those who travel through Mexico observe an ever-changing pattern of beauty and diversity. This book provides information about the climate, topography, natural resources, national parks, and geographic wonders of Mexico.
The more than 3,800-year-old history of the land known as Mexico is populated with great military and political leaders, inspirational artists and writers, and extraordinary women. This book provides biographical information about some of the most important figures in Mexico's history, including the Aztec emperors Itzcoatl, Montezuma, and Montezuma II; the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés; the 19th century political leaders Agustín de Iturbide, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Benito Juárez, and Porfirio Díaz; the revolutionaries Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa; and artists like Diego Rivera, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Frida Kahlo. Their biographies show how the contributions of these famous people, and others, made Mexico the nation it is today.
According to Mexico's official Secretariat of Tourism, each year more than 5,000 officially recognized fiestas, or holiday celebrations, are observed in the country. These fiestas include religious feasts like Easter in the spring, and the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe in December. They also include national and local holidays like Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo. Some Mexican festivals pay homage to the special foods and crops of the nation; other special events are held for birthdays, baptisms, weddings, and graduations. This book provides information about many of the most popular and important festivals celebrated in Mexico today.
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Over the past two decades, the Mexican government has signed free trade agreements with the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan, and many countries in Central and South America. These agreements have helped establish Mexico as a key exporter of goods to other countries, and have helped to stabilize the countrys economy. Today, according to the World Bank, Mexico has the worlds 14th-largest economy, with the countrys annual gross domestic product valued at more than $1.25 trillion. Finding a Financial Balance: The Economy of Mexico provides information about Mexico's manufacturing and industrial sectors, agriculture, natural resources, and tourist industry. It describes problems that the nation faces, such as Mexico's crumbling infrastructure and the vast economic disparity between wealthy and poor citizens, and how the Mexican government has begun to address these problems.
The land that today is known as Mexico has been inhabited for thousands of years. This book provides a historical survey of the major pre-Columbian civilizations, such as the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztecs. It examines how the population of Mexico was changed by the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and their subsequent three centuries of rule over the country. And it provides demographic and cultural information about the more than 118 million people who live in Mexico today.