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A Day in Mexico City
I was wrong about Mexico City.
Mexico City isn’t as dangerous as it once was. The food is tasty and the museums are excellent, so you’re an art and culture lover, you’ll have plenty to do. Mexico City is becoming a traveler’s paradise.
When I travel, I always try to meet adventurous, intellectually curious people. When I do, I ask them to take me to their favorite places. As for the food or the activities, I have no preference. I only ask for a local experience and to avoid tourist traps. I eschew plans in favor of serendipity. Then, I surrender to their recommendations and follow their lead. That’s exactly what I did in Mexico City.
After a day full of meetings and a Naked Brands workshop , Lourdes Garcia, a Mexico City native offered to show me around her hometown. A photographer, Lourdes has an eye like Zaha Hadid and a taste for contemporary art that would’ve inspired Andy Warhol.
I’ve long held a deep, deep affection for Latin America. From Chile to Costa Rica to Panama, Latin people always seems to radiate with warm hospitality. Like the rolling R’s which vibrate off Latin tongues, my pulse always beats a little faster as I venture South. My smile, a hair wider as I inch towards the equator, communicates what my Spanish cannot.
In fact, the beat of my heart in Mexico City reminded me of what I’ve always known: while the spoken language couldn’t have been more foreign, the body language couldn’t have been more familiar. No matter what our color, creed, or race, all of us are fluent in human emotion.
Loures and myself at Chapultepec Park
Mexico City Background
Mexico City is big. No, like really big. Once the capital of the Aztec Empire, Mexico City is the largest city in North America.
Mexico City is an economic powerhouse. According to a recent study, Mexico City has a GDP of $390 billion, ranking it as the eight wealthiest city in the world and the richest in Latin America. The city alone would rank as the 30th largest economy in the world. National wealth is concentrated in Mexico City.¹
Mexico City stretches for miles and miles. The outer edges extend past the limits of the eye — as wide as the eye is long — as if you’re standing at the edge of the Pacific Ocean and looking for Asia.
At almost 8,000 feet, Mexico City has a bizarre climate. On rainy summer afternoons, the clouds hug the city as if they’re leaning in to kiss the pastel-colored architecture. They swoop in for a taste of warm tortillas, fresh-off-the-comal, topped with zesty, sweat-inducing salsa. Perched atop a volcanic plateau, the summer rains arrive every evening, right at 6pm, with the precision of a Swiss train.
Creator: Fidel Gonzalez, “>CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
A Dangerous History
I had planned a visit to Mexico City three years ago during my senior year of college. We nixed the trip because our parents said that Mexico City was “too dangerous.” Deterred by the authoritarian decree of mom and dad, we visited Panama instead.
In Mexico City, every young woman I spoke with mentioned neighborhoods where they were and weren’t allowed to go. The culture of protection was consistent and their mothers check in on them repeatedly. This paranoia must stem from the danger — particularly bad for women — which has historically plagued the Mexican capitol. Company executives that I spoke with also mentioned that security is a priority for them, and as a result, they are private and secretive.
For women in particular, the statistics validate the safety concerns: Mexico City has a high documented prevalence of gender-based violence against women, ranging from 20-30% in a woman’s lifetime.
The word on the street goes like this: in Mexico City, cabs are a hot-spot for thieves and kidnappers. Tourists are relieved to step out of the taxicab and into the street. In other major Latin cities, where taxis are relatively safe, but the streets can feel like Chicago in the 1920s, the relief comes from stepping out of the street and into the taxicabs. I don’t know how true this is.
The good news is this: crime rates are falling precipitously. If cabs are danger zones, the emergence of Uber should cause crime to decline in Mexico City. All things being equal, I feel much safer in an Uber than a taxi.
Source: Paul Sableman/Flickr via C.C. 2.0
From Google Images: Taxis in Mexico City
Mexico City has terrible traffic. Pink and white four-door taxis crawl along the avenues at the speed of a turtle with a broken leg. To travel to my workshop, we drove along the Avenida de los Insurgentes . At almost 18 miles long, it is one of the longest streets in the world.
The distances are too far to walk and the roads are too crowded for bikes. I spoke with one local who lives 15 miles from the office, but due to grid-lock rush hour traffic, she commutes more than an hour each way.
Cars, not pedestrians, run the show; that and that alone is the kicker for me — I couldn’t live in Mexico City. Should the traffic subside and the commutes shorten, I’ll reconsider.
To avoid the traffic, my driver abandoned Waze in favor of local intelligence. The paint-chipped Nissan Versa zigged and zagged through quaint neighborhood after quaint neighborhood, each lined with Diego Rivera-colored buildings — blue indigo hues, deep carmine reds, and a hot pink that would only fly in the Mexican capital — an experience enhanced by the sweet, sweet song of Spanish conversation, and the night-time echoes of Reggaeton that I couldn’t help but dance to.
Unlike New York, it doesn’t seem like wealthy citizens take the subway. I’m still not sure why, but here’s what I do know: The Metro system was inaugurated in 1969, right around the time when Mexico City experienced a population boom. During a 20 year period from 1960 to 1980, the city’s population more than doubled to nearly 9 million people.
With 12 lines and 195 stations, Mexico City’s metro system is the largest in Latin America. The 8th busiest metro system in the world, the Sistema de Transporte Colectivo (public transportation system) transports 4.4 million people every day. The subway is heavily subsidized. Each trip costs $5 pesos — the equivalent of $0.27 US dollars. These low fares likely influence the demographics of subway ridership. By comparison, the New York City metro is much more expensive: it will set you back $2.75 per ride. When I return to Mexico City, I will travel by subway and do some more investigating!
The local government is making deliberate, yet still insufficient efforts to ease traffic congestion. The city has extended its public transportation efforts with a rapid bus transit line. Running along the aforementioned Avenida de los Insurgentes , the Metrobús stops at the kind of raised stations traditionally built for trolley cars. As of late 2016, the Metrobús transported an average of 1.1 million passengers every day.
As the wave of bicycle and scooter sharing takes wave around the world, I expect Mexico City to follow suit.
The Condesa Neighborhood is Beautiful
The Art-Deco crescent-balconies in Condesa made my mouth water. Living in New York, I have a soft spot for Aztec-inspired Art-Deco architecture; especially the zigzags, chevrons, speed lines, and streamlined curves. If Art Deco set the standard in the 1930s, contemporary designs are raising it in 2018 — Condesa has excellent contemporary architecture.
Mexico City has more police than any city I’ve ever been to, with the notable exceptions of Jerusalem and Washington D.C.
I enjoyed seeing the police eat with the locals at small, street-side food stands. But in other places, the police influence was over-bearing. The 1984-inspired, uni-directional police towers (pictured below) will play a central role in my upcoming dystopian science fiction novel.
Snapped on the highway back to the Airport
Chapultepec Parks is like Central Park in New York City with more food stands. We meandered through the park in search of sweets, spices and fruits that would surprise me.
First, we enjoyed sun-bright yellow mangos that tasted like appetizers at the gates of heaven. Then, Sour, deep red, gummy bears — my weakness! — caught my eye and I insited on stopping. Within seconds, I was craving those gummies. Unfortunately, we had spent all our small Peso bills at other food stands in the park, so we couldn’t pay for them.
Sensing our enthusiasm, a mother of two perfectly-behaved, cheery young girls, handed us $20 pesos with a sincerity that would have made the Dalai Lama proud. The mother, 5 feet, 2 inches, 35 years old if I had to guess, looked us in the eye and with a smile wider than the Grand Canyon said something in Spanish that I couldn’t understand. Humbled, I replied “Gracias.”
A magical moment.
The bliss, however visceral, lasted no more than three seconds. I looked down to my right and saw hundreds and hundreds of dead grasshoppers, jam-packed like a school of sardines.
Lourdes said: “You have to try them!” I wasn’t going to say no. To procrastinate the pain of eating grasshoppers for the first time, I stuffed my mouth with gummies, motioned to the man behind the food stand and extended my index finger towards the grasshoppers: “Esos por favor.”
The verdict: These grasshoppers were surprisingly salty—too salty for me. Moreover, I wasn’t particularly fond of the hot sauce. With that said, I could see myself eating grasshoppers in the future. With a hard, textured crunch, grasshoppers are an easy, enjoyable snack and an efficient source of protein.
The Ritual of the Voladores de Papantla
On our way to the Museum of Anthropology, Lourdes directed me to something she said would “surprise me.” And indeed it did.
The ritual of the Voladores de Papantla is jaw-dropping. It is as elegant as it is suspenseful, and audiences are amazed as they are terrified. The ritual goes like this: it begins when one of the men (the voladores) plays music with a flute and a small drum. As the music begins, five men (the voladores) climb an 150 foot pole towards a rotating platform at the top.
During their descent, the voladores — dressed in a white shirt, black leather boots, and red pants trimmed in vibrant colors and a yellow fringe — circle round-and-around-and-around like an infinite carsousel, suspended by nothing but a butter-colored rope wrapped around their waist.
Like magicians soaring through the summer sky, “Los Valadores” descend upside down. It’s as if they’re defying the laws of gravity. Their feet suspend in mid-air as they bang their drums and whistle their flutes in pitch-perfect harmony.
Like many other traditional Mesoamerican rituals, the Voladores de Papantla contains earthly symbolism. According to the Totonac myth, the ritual originated to appease the Gods, end severe drought, and put an end to food scarcity.
During their descent, each volador circles the middle pole 13 times. Combined, the four voladores circle the pole a total of 52 times, one for each year in the Mesoamerican calendar cycle. The four voladores represent the cardinal directions and honor the four elements: sun, wind, earth, and water. As they perform, they honor the earth, the passage of time, and their place in the universe.
Note: Here are some photos of the ceremony. Since we only had our phone cameras and I want to help you see the ritual, the last three are from Google Images. At the bottom, you’ll find a YouTube video.
A big thank you to Lourdes for being an incredible tour guide. I look spending more time in Mexico City in the future.
If you’re looking for a tour guide, I recommend contacting Dany Noguez. His email is [email protected] and his phone number is +5215513663060. He speaks perfect English, has a wealth of knowledge about Mexican history, and will pick you up from wherever you are staying.
Thank you for Devon Zuegel for inspiring this piece. If you have some time, I recommend her post on Bangalore .
A lot of this information is from Wikipedia. I apologize for any informational errors in advance.
¹ Since the city is so big, this statistic is a bit misleading. It reflects the entire economic pie of Mexico City. Compared to cities with a similar total GDP, the average citizen of Mexico City is not very wealthy.
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Read Your Way Through Mexico City
Leah Rachel von Essen
By day, Leah Rachel von Essen is the editor-in-chief of Chicago Booth Magazine at the University of Chicago. By night, she reviews genre-bending fiction for Booklist , and writes regularly as a senior contributor at Book Riot. Her blog While Reading and Walking has over 10,000 dedicated followers over several social media outlets, including Instagram . She writes passionately about books in translation, chronic illness and bias in healthcare, queer books, twisty SFF, and magical realism and folklore. She was one of a select few bookstagrammers named to NewCity’s Chicago Lit50 in 2022. She is an avid traveler, a passionate fan of women’s basketball and soccer, and a lifelong learner. Twitter: @reading_while
View All posts by Leah Rachel von Essen
Late in January, I visited Mexico City. I escaped the frigid temperatures of the Midwest and dove into the world of sunlight and open-air bookstores, agave plants and early-morning tamales. But as I left, I had an important question: What should I bring to read? What books about Mexico City would best occupy me while I saw and explored the real thing?
I prefer to read books set in the place I’m visiting, and by authors who are from the country I’m in. I think that it both feels more legit that way—you’re connected to the place you’re visiting both when you’re in and out of your book—but also that it helps me find authors I haven’t read before, or pull me to classics that I should have read but haven’t yet, especially by authors of color. There are so many Mexican and Mexican-American authors that I should have read way earlier! And so much about Mexican history that I didn’t and should have known.
After my own digging for recommendations, here are my tips on what read if you’re visiting Mexico City, or if you just want to read more by some great Mexican or Mexican-American authors. As I visited the best bookish places in Mexico City , I dug into some of this fiction, and looked for these books on the shelves.
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
This is what I read throughout nearly my entire trip, and it was a sheer joy. Cisneros’s writing is full of humor, joy, vivid descriptions, snappy dialogue, and fun. It’s about Lala Reyes. Her family is visiting Mexico City from Chicago to stay with the Awful Grandmother. As the story unspools both backward and forward—into Lala’s coming of age and also back into the life story of the Awful Grandmother—you get this vivid picture of the Reyes family and its women, and their complex identities. It’s a gorgeous, fun book and was my perfect companion—I carried it up the pyramids, propped it up on the train ride to Coyoacán, and finished it in a quiet place in Chapultepec Park.
View this post on Instagram "Once in the land of los nopales, before all the dogs were named after Woodrow Wilson, during that epoch when people still danced el chotís, el cancán, and el vals to a violín, violoncelo, and salterio, at the nose of a hill where a goddess appeared to an Indian, in that city founded when a serpent-devouring eagle perched on a cactus, beyond the twin volcanoes that were once prince and princess, under the sky and on the earth lived the woman Soledad and the man Narciso."—CARAMELO by Sandra Cisneros ✨ #caramelo #sandracisneros #bookquotes #mexicocity #mexicanliterature #booksaboutmexico #goodbooks #bookrecommendation #booksandflowers A post shared by Leah Rachel von Essen (@whilereadingandwalking) on Jan 30, 2019 at 8:42am PST
Malinche by Laura Esquivel, translated by ernesto mestre-reed
I would have read this one in Mexico City if I could have found it on the shelves of my local bookstore in time. The author of Like Water for Chocolate writes about Malinalli, a member of a tribe conquered by Aztec warriors who was the interpreter for and then lover of Hernán Cortés when he first arrived. Esquivel writes the story of one of the most controversial figures in Mexico City—she has been painted as a traitor, a victim, and more. Esquivel tries to give her a voice in this novel.
The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated by christina Macsweeney
This one is high on my to-read list. The main character is an older world traveler, auctioneer, and collector of famous people’s teeth. Luiselli’s book was named one of the best books of 2015 by a ton of different outlets (including NPR, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and The New York Times ), and it’s all set in the industrial suburbs of Mexico City. Like Malinche , this was one of the three novels I set up as an option for my main book to take with me to Mexico City, as it’s supposed to be absolutely superb.
The labyrinth of solitude by octavio paz.
This one is for the philosophers or non-fiction lovers. It’s for people who aren’t afraid to dig deep even in their vacation reading. 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Octavio Paz digs in this essay collection into Mexico’s quest for identity, seeking in poetic and intellectual prose to examine Mexico’s people and their character and culture, defining a country hidden behind a “mask,” a solitude. I bought this book at a bookstore in the city, and have been slowly working through it since. It’s fascinating and beautiful, and I’m enjoying Paz’s interpretations so far.
View this post on Instagram I purchased El Diario de Frida Kahlo at Centro Cultural Elena Garro in Mexico City. I thought it was a good book to struggle through in Spanish—it felt right to read Kahlo's entries in her original language. And I had just become entranced with her at Casa Azul, the Frida Kahlo museum, so I was ready to learn more. It's now on my to-read stack. ✨ #eldiariodefridakahlo #mexicocity #centroculturalelenagarro #spanishbooks #booksintranslation #fridakahlo #casaazul #literarytravel #coyoacán #thediaryoffridakahlo A post shared by Leah Rachel von Essen (@whilereadingandwalking) on Jan 29, 2019 at 12:15pm PST
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait
One of the best stops on my Mexico City trip was Casa Azul, the house where Frida Kahlo grew up, learned to paint, and later lived with Diego Rivera. It’s a stunning museum, and her diary, which I bought in Spanish, is gorgeous and an intimate look into her life, her wonderings, and her pain, that serves as excellent accompaniment to the museum and its revelations. It’s a heavier hardcover, so maybe this is one to read before or after your trip; that said, having it to dig into just after I’d visited the museum was really wonderful, and the museum even references the diary at one point while showing her color palette.
Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs by Michael D. Coe and Rex Koontz
I recommend catching up on Mexican history in advance as much as possible. A lot of the museums I went to, from the Museum of Anthropology to the ruins themselves at Teotihuacán, understandably did not have substantiative captions or descriptions in English. I did much of my reading online, but I think it would be a good idea to read up on history both about the ancients…
Fire & Blood: A History of Mexico by T.R. Fehrenbach
…and even more importantly about modern Mexican history. I learned from talking to fellow tourists at Chapultepec Castle that so few people know much of anything about Mexican history after Cortés arrived! I don’t have a personal recommendation here because I just read as much as I could online, but I really encourage you to read up in advance, on the revolution, the viceroys, on Díaz, and more. This book covers up to the mid-1990s.
View this post on Instagram My decongestants buried my sinuses in a dry heap of sand today, so I'm distracting myself from the cold outside, and from my headache, by burying myself in my plans for Mexico City instead. Only two weeks now to wait! ✨ #mexicocity #bookishtravel #literarytravel #travelbooks #downanddeliriousinmexicocity #danielhernandez #lonelyplanet #atlasobscura #travellove #wintergetaway A post shared by Leah Rachel von Essen (@whilereadingandwalking) on Jan 5, 2019 at 12:18pm PST
Down & Delirious in Mexico City: The Aztec Metropolis in the 21st Century by Daniel Hernandez
I read this book as I prepared my trip to Mexico City. Hernandez, a Mexican-American, visits the City and finds himself unable to leave. He writes about subcultures and religious or spiritual cults in Mexico City in the early 2000s, using immersive journalism and interviews to report in a very personal way about groups—from the punk culture in the city and how it had to go underground for a long time, to the fashion and party culture and the ways it can go wrong. I loved this book. For me, it was a way to learn more about the sides of Mexico City I was unlikely to see or read about on my trip, and I appreciate the way it filled in some of the blank spaces.
What other recommendations do you have for me about Mexico City? Let me know in the comments!
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Writing help, paraphrasing tool, essay about tourism in mexico.
- Aztecs , Diego Rivera , Frida Kahlo , Mexico , Tourism
How it works
Mexico is filled with history in everything you see and everywhere you step foot into, from monuments to pyramids. The Plaza de la Constitution, more known as the Zocalo, is Mexico City’s main square. It is one of the largest public squares in the world at 830 x 500 feet (Barbezat, 2019). The big square space is decorated with a single standing Mexican flag right in the middle, which means the heart of the city. The flag is usually raised up at 8 every morning by the Mexican army soldiers and brought down at 6 in the night, so if you want to catch it with time one must take note of the time. This plaza is located on top of what many known as the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlan. Here is where events, festivals and protests happen to make a more powerful statement of what they are trying to accomplish. The Catedral Metropolitana, which is located on the north side of the Zocalo was built over a period of 250 years and has a mixture of architectural styles (Barbezat, 2019). It is the largest and oldest cathedral in Mexico and therefore is very precious and cared for from Mexicans.
Palacio Nacional is the government building that takes up the east of the Zocalo. In this building, the federal treasury and national archives are kept. Most people that come to this historical building is to see Diego Rivera’s murals depicting thousands of years of Mexican history. This is a very famous place to visit because you are able to see the roots of Mexican culture as well all the hardships that people went through. In many cases that I know of parents like to take their children to teach them that nothing comes easy if you want something. Palacio de Bellas Artes is a concert hall and arts center that contains murals by some of the most famous artists in Mexico history. Artists like Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo. Art pieces that are very significant to Mexico and Mexican culture are found in this very building. Art pieces like the symbolic depictions showing the creation of ‘mestizos’ called Nacimiento de la Nacionalidad or Birth of Nationality. Or like the depiction called La Katharsis (Catharsis), which depicts the conflict between humankind’s social and natural aspects (‘Palacio de Bellas Artes’, 2019). Not to mention that in Palacio de Bellas Artes there is also a theatre that includes seasonal opera, symphony performances, and the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. El Museo Nacional de Antropologia located in Chapultepec Park and here one is able to admire collections of Mesoamerican artifacts.
There is a hall dedicated to each of the cultural regions of Mesoamerica as well as rooms that have ethnological exhibits (Barbezat, 2019). The most seen exhibit would be the Aztec exhibit in which the Sun Stone or the “Aztec Calendar” is found. What sounds the most interesting for me would be Museo Frida Kahlo. It is known as Casa Azul and it was the family home of Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera. Frida and Diego lived here during the last 14 years of her life. People that come and visit can admire Mexican arts and crafts and there are able to see how these important Mexican artists lived their life. This is the most unique place for me because Frida Kahlo is known and remembered for her work she did in Mexico. Lastly, we have Mexico City’s Angel of Independence. This monument is a symbol of Mexico’s capital, many claims that being able to understand the angel is being able to understand the city. This statue was finished being built in 1910 in time to celebrate the 100 years of independence from Spain. The figure of the statue is Victoria, known as the ancient Roman goddess of victory. In one hand she is holding a crown, which she would place on the heads of victorious revolutionaries, and in the other hand, she is holding a broken three-link chain, which symbolizes the rule of Spain over Mexico for three centuries (Carey, 2017).
Popular Vacation Spots
Most people that decide to vacation in Mexico prefer a location where beaches are nearby to enjoy the view and a few swims. Cancun is the most famous vacation destination that Mexico acquires. It’s said that it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country as to the world; not to mention that it is also one of the most affordable vacation destinations. Even though it is affordable it does not take away from the number of things you are able to enjoy and do while staying there. Although Cancun is mostly known for their jet skiing and parasailing, this beach takes possession of beautiful coral reefs which make it perfect for tourists to scuba dive and snorkel. Cancun Beach can be compared to the Las Vegas because of all the entertainment options, resorts and high-end hotels (‘15 Best Beaches in…’, 2019). So, one might say that if you like going to Las Vegas you will certainly like vacationing here. Acapulco is a very popular vacation spot in Mexico for it has been mention a lot in movies, shows, and ‘novelas’ or soap operas. Although Acapulco is a lot more than what is shown on television, for it is a place where families come to relax and enjoy more than just lying on the beach.
No vacation is complete until you have been able to eat at the most visited and popular restaurants from the country you have been touring, in this case, I am talking about the most popular restaurants in Mexico. Starting off by the most known restaurant in Mexico and one can say also around the world called Pujol. The head chef in this restaurant is Enrique Olvera, the first chef to ever include food that you would normally find in the streets into his refine menu. In 2013, Restaurant magazine named Pujol the 17th best restaurant in the world (Bronner, 2018). Having said this being able to eat in this restaurant will take you to make a reservation month in advance of when you are venturing in your vacation to Mexico. When it comes to wanting to eat authentic Mexican food that your abuelita and mom would make, La Casa De Tono is the restaurant for you. Here you able to enjoy homemade pozole made with pork or made with vegetables, you take your pick. This restaurant also serves tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas that will remind you of your roots. People visiting cannot leave without trying their famous ‘flan de la abuela’ which is known to be the best in the city.
When I think of Mexico I can’t help myself from thinking of tacos and mole. That brings me to the next restaurant called Yuban which is located in Oaxaca, Mexico (the king of mole). Here you are able to try all types of mole sauces that at one point you will question you ever knew so many existed. But this restaurant is also known for its chapulin tacos which is Spanish for cricket tacos. Just as mole, crickets are a specialty from the Oaxaca region and one cannot leave Mexico without trying their saucy and crunchy delicacies. Lastly, we have a restaurant called Nico’s. A restaurant that is on the list of San Pellegrino top 50 restaurants in Latin America (Bronner, 2018). This restaurant is very popular because their dishes are not serving traditional for one person but instead, they are served family style. This is because this restaurant wants families to reconnect and enjoys meals as what they are families. All the dishes they serve come with rich sauces and you cannot forget about the hot and homemade tortillas.
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How To Write An Essay About Mexico And Its Culture
Have you been assigned to write an essay on Mexico and its culture? Not sure how to go about it? If yes, you’re at the right place at the right time. We’ve put together a few steps to help you create an impressive piece.
Choose a relevant topic.
First thing first, choose a topic for your Mexican essay. Assignmentguru can help with that. Then, decide what is it about Mexico that you would like to discuss. For instance:
- Is it a Mexican friend?
- Is it a trip to Mexico?
- Is it something about that country that inspires you?
- Is it about its people in general?
- Is it about the cultural characteristics of Mexico?
- Is it about Mexican movies?
- Is it about the food?
You could choose any topic for your assignment that allows you to be creative. If you feel stuck and cannot decide on a topic, you can look for interesting argumentative topics online. These topics may not be related to Mexico, but you can alter them accordingly. All in all, you will have to spend some time researching. When you decide on a topic, jot down your ideas and research them. If the topic seems too difficult or boring to write about, it’s time to choose another one. So, never start writing right away when you come up with a topic. Some initial research and brainstorming are a must. Doing so will help you craft a well-structured essay that leaves an impression. It will also help you use authentic evidence that makes a write-up credible. Hence, never underestimate this first step.
Create an outline
No matter what your topic is, make sure you outline your draft. Outlining the draft helps you organize your ideas and develop a cohesive piece. An outline serves as a roadmap for your essay. It enables you to stay on track while writing. If you do not have an outline, you may lose track of your ideas and thoughts while you write. Also, you may not be able to connect your ideas appropriately. Therefore, always create an outline. The outline of your essays about Mexico may include:
- Introduction: Background statement and thesis;
- Body: Key arguments/ideas about Mexican culture and your experience or personal story. And evidence that you’d be using;
- Conclusion: Concluding statement.
This outline will allow you to be clear about what and how to write. So, don’t forget to create an outline for your essay. Also, you can do your research and create an outline side by side. Doing so will help keep track of the ideas and evidence.
Add a personal touch.
To craft an impressive Mexican culture essay, try adding a personal touch. Are you wondering what that means? Well, if you’re writing about a Mexican movie, also mention the feelings and emotions you had while watching it. What impression did you have about Mexico while watching a Mexican character or movie? Or, if you’re writing about a friend, do they have typical Mexican characteristics? Do you like to celebrate their cultural events such as Semana Santa or Day of the Dead? If you love traditional Mexican food, write what it is about that makes you love the food. Tell the reader about its taste and where do you eat it. You can also add a backstory about that food or festival. Whatever you write, don’t forget to add your personal opinion, feelings, or emotions attached to the experience or story. Personalizing your essay makes it sound real and more interesting. But, make sure you make the best use of the language. Choose words that help you show the reader what you’re writing. Your vocabulary and sentence structure mean a lot when crafting a compelling piece. If you can’t develop appropriate ideas and words, you can find online essays for sale at Essayzoo.org. The website has a wide range of essays written by professional writers. So, say goodbye to your stress and anxiety, and choose to take online help if that’s an option.
Make sure your essay is well-structured
Once you’re done writing your draft following your outline, ensure the structure is right. Don’t know how to structure an essay? A standard essay structure has three parts:
Your sections do not have these subheadings. But, the way you structure your paragraphs makes these sections obvious. A well-structured essay is easy to read and understand. And, it has a great chance of impressing the reader.
So, try to develop some good ways to start an essay. For instance:
- A catchy or interesting opening statement;
- A controversy;
- A fun fact.
Also, don’t forget to include a thesis statement in your introduction. This statement contains the central idea of your write-up.
After the introductory paragraph, divide your body into logical sections. Use each idea or argument in a separate paragraph with evidence to back it. For example, if you have three key ideas or arguments, discuss each of them in a separate paragraph. It makes your body of three sections. If you’re writing about a Mexican friend, Netflix series, food, or trip, use three different aspects of it. Discuss each aspect in a separate paragraph and use evidence to support your ideas or thoughts.
Lastly, summarize your key points and finish it off with a food for thought concluding sentence.
Proofread and edit
Once you’re done writing, make sure you read it at least three times. Reading it repeatedly will help you eliminate errors that are easily overlooked. Make sure your draft does not have spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Also, ascertain that your paragraphs are well-connected; there is cohesion and cohesiveness. You can only do it if you read your piece line by line carefully several times. Remove any detail that sounds irrelevant or boring. Add anything that you think you have missed. You can also ask a family member or a friend to proofread it for you for better feedback. Their feedback is sure to make your piece better and more impressive. So, alter your draft according to their feedback. It will surely help you get the grades you deserve.
Overall, writing about Mexico and its culture is not that challenging. You need some time for your brainstorming and research session to develop interesting ideas. Once you’re done with that, use those ideas logically. And remember to follow the right structure to craft a well-written piece.
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A tale of two cities: a month after Hurricane Otis, Acapulco exposes gaps in disaster response
Tourist areas in the Mexican resort city are slowly coming back to life but in poorer neighbourhoods many people lack food and power, and face the threat of disease
I n Los Flamingos Hotel, a one-time Hollywood hangout in Acapulco, Mexico , the pink paint and a few framed photos of the stars are all that escaped Hurricane Otis unscathed. Miguel Ángel, the manager, has been patching it up in the hope of reopening – at least partly – before Christmas. The high season should have been in full swing by now. “If the tourists don’t come, I don’t know what we’ll do,” he says, his optimism faltering for a moment.
During the early hours of 25 October, Otis hit Acapulco as the strongest hurricane ever to land on Mexico’s Pacific coast . It had intensified exceptionally quickly , meaning that few of Acapulco’s 850,000 people were able to evacuate. Most hunkered down in their homes and hotels as 165mph winds lashed the city. Eighty people were reported dead or missing. Preliminary estimates of damages and losses range up to £12.8bn .
“In the first few days after, there was no authority. All basic services were offline,” says Naxhelli Ruiz, an expert in disaster response at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “What we saw was catastrophic – like Japan in 2011 or Indonesia in 2004.”
One month on, much basic infrastructure has been restored. But the government’s response has been slow – hindered by recent institutional changes – and uneven, focusing on Acapulco’s coastal tourist area but not on poorer neighbourhoods, and still less on communities outside the city.
The messaging from the government has minimised the scale of the disaster, declaring an end to the emergency after just two weeks.
“Catastrophes are always complicated. There will always be criticisms and there will always be political costs,” says Ruiz. “But from my point of view, the responses to previous disasters were without doubt better.”
Walking along Acapulco’s coastal boulevard, there are signs of normality returning. Most of the debris has been cleared, and traffic flows steadily. Pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, banks and petrol stations are doing business again.
A few high-rise hotels remain boarded up, but others are alive with activity as crews work to clean the rooms. The exteriors still bear the mark of Hurricane Otis; some look as if they have been raked by giant claws, with windows shattered, panelling stripped and air-conditioning units hanging out like entrails.
On a Sunday lunchtime, the beach was busy with people playing music and enjoying drinks. One group played tennis on a court surrounded by piles of debris as another group jogged along the seafront, training for a marathon in the northern city of Monterrey.
The picture was very different in Zapata, a working-class neighbourhood separated from the beach by a 3km tunnel. Piles of debris lined the streets, some of which were still flooded after the canal burst its banks.
Lubia Bernal and José Luís Palacios, both teachers, pointed to the mark the water had left on the wall of their house – reaching well above their heads.
Electricity was restored after nine days but power was still sporadic, they said. Officials had come to note the damage, but it was unclear what help they would get and when. Their neighbours had hired machinery to clear their own street, moving the debris to the canal’s bank, which was clogged with mud and waste.
“Before, the canal was a few metres below the wall,” says Palacios. “Now you could just walk across it.”
José, their 18-year-old son, led the way to the local state school, where a sticker on the gate indicated officials had visited to assess the damage. However, some parents insisted the authorities had been of little help. The ground was still covered in mud, branches and broken glass. Inside the classrooms, desks were scattered. José said students who had missed a whole year of classes during the pandemic were now expecting to miss more.
Outside the city, in the coastal town of Barra Vieja, the schools were also closed, but people seemed more preoccupied with the economy and their health. The hurricane had pulled the roofs off their houses and destroyed the beach restaurants they depend on. Queues of people snaked out of a basketball court repurposed as a triage centre.
Nicolás González Morales, a community leader, said it had taken a week for any supplies to be delivered after the hurricane and 18 days for electricity to be restored.
“In those first weeks, we had to sleep outside because of the heat, battling mosquitoes.” González gestured towards the queues. “You can see how much help we still need. There are lots of people with diarrhoea, fever, dengue.”
The hurricane destroyed many health centres in rural communities and others are closed due to a lack of staff and supplies. NGOs like Medical Impact have stepped in. Gabriel Hernández, its medical manager, said people were losing control of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, catching stomach infections from bad water and food, and that mosquitoes were flourishing in the water-filled streets. In one room at the makeshift clinic, a doctor performed an ultrasound on a heavily pregnant woman.
“More people are going to die from illness in the coming weeks and months than died during the hurricane,” says Hernández. “We need to highlight what’s happening in these communities, where no one has insurance or a plan B. If something isn’t done to help them, they’ll live with the damage for a long time.”
According to Naxhelli Ruiz, the lack of speed and coordination in the government’s response is in part down to two recent policy changes.
The first came at the end of 2018, with institutional changes in who would lead disaster response . Until then, the national civil protection system and its state-level branches had coordinated such responses, calling on the armed forces for manpower. By contrast, the armed forces hold the leadership role – even though they have neither the specific training nor the local knowledge to carry it out.
“We used to have a decentralised, multi-actor system,” says Ruiz. “Now we have a centralised and militarised response.”
The second change came in 2021, when Fonden, the disaster fund, was dissolved . President Andrés Manuel López Obrador justified this, citing problems with corruption. Ruiz says those criticisms were founded – but the answer was not to get rid of the fund but to reform it.
The fund had made more money available to respond to disasters quickly and over the long term. Without it, there are still resources to respond to smaller, annual disasters, such as tropical cyclones, landslides and flooding – but not a category 5 hurricane.
Otis was the first such event since those changes were introduced. “Events like this are not unexpected,” says Ruiz. “And the government’s response to this catastrophe was to be expected, too, given these changes.”
López Obrador has promised to get Acapulco “ back on its feet ” in time for Christmas. A £2.7bn aid plan was published in early November, which includes payments for damaged homes, loans for small businesses and free electricity for several months, as well as weekly food packages and replacement household appliances. The focus was money and security, with no mention of health or education.
“Some of these could help,” says Sebastián Rodríguez, who manages Oxfam México’s team in Acapulco. “But it’s not really clear how this plan is going to be developed. They need to ensure help gets to those that need it most.”
Ruiz also highlighted the lack of mechanisms to ensure transparency and concerns that relief and reconstruction efforts could be twisted to political ends. “I think it’s extremely worrying that the 2024 budget does not contain a particular fund or sum dedicated to this,” says Ruiz.
The fact that the government’s efforts have focused on the coastal area of Acapulco reflects the priority: to revive tourism and, therefore, the economy. Acapulco has long been one of Mexico’s top beach destinations. In its heyday, it was a playground for the international elite. Recently, tourism in Acapulco has been predominantly national. Meanwhile, the city has become a hub for illicit activities . It is often ranked among the world’s most violent , and the municipality has more people in extreme poverty than any other in Mexico .
In this complex context, experts point out a risk of funds for a multibillion-dollar reconstruction being diverted through organised crime, corruption and conflict of interest. On 23 November, a special commission was established to monitor the rebuilding of Acapulco, including senator Félix Salgado Macedonio, father of the current governor of Guerrero . Neither the state nor federal government responded to requests for interviews.
Another question is whether the goal of reconstruction should be to return Acapulco to what it was – or whether this should be taken as a chance to change the social and economic structure of the city.
“Guerrero is one of the states with the greatest inequalities in Mexico, including extreme poverty and lack of social services,” says Blanca Meza, from Oxfam México. “We need to recognise that. Otherwise, the inequalities will simply be reproduced.”
Many fear that Acapulco will simply return to its original form, without dealing with its structural problems. “I hope I’m wrong, but I think we will see many people displaced because there won’t be an economic base that offers work,” says Ruiz. “I think we will see a big exodus from the city.”
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Mexico City Natural Resource
You may want to move to Mexico City because of the natural resource. Mexico produces silver more than any other nations in the world. Also, Mexico is one of the top producers of oil in the world. The oil is drilled from wells under the Gulf of Mexico, along the Gulf coast, high elevation in the south. Mexico also has natural gas in some of the areas that produce oil. Mexico has yet to fully use this resource. Because of themountains, poor soils, and dry climates, only about one-fifth of Mexico’s land can be used for farming.
Less than that is actually farmed major crops, corn, wheat, beans, sugar, cane, and many fruits and vegetable. For several centuries, relatively few people owned a large amount of land in Mexico. The majority of people worked the land for these privileged few. In the 1900s, the government passed laws to break up these large estates and give land to the poor. Now though, many families have such small holdings that they can only grow enough to feed their families.
You may want to move to Mexico City because of a job opportunity, environment, culture, natural resource, education, and the weather. But the natural resources can affect Mexican people where they live/and how they live. Like some poor farmers in the south cut down and burn trees to open new land farming. Because of the heavy rains there it washes the nutrients out of the soil the lands there can only produce crops for only a few years.
Then the farmers move on and cut down trees in a new area. Harvesting of these trees also contributes to the rapid destruction of Mexico’s forest. Some farmers need to irrigate or bring water to the land, in drier areas. Because of irrigation and overgrazing, some of Mexico’s fragile land is becoming deserts. Also, air pollution is also a serious problem in Mexico City, where clouds of unhealthy air can hang above the cities for days. The natural resources of Mexico have affected where people choose to settle and how they choose to live and work.
The population of Mexico grow and slowed in recent years but Mexico’s population is still growing faster than the world average. About one-sixth of the nation’s electricity comes from hydroelectric power, or power generated by water running through channels in dams. These dams have been built along fast-running rivers on the edges of the central plateau and in high southern elevations. Much of Mexico’s energy industry is along the Gulf coast, where the oil is located. Refineries near Veracruz and in northeastern Mexico turn the oil into various products. In the past, manufacturing plants were clustered in Mexico City. The government has tried to reduce crowding by encouraging more manufacturing in the north. So those are some reason why I think natural resources can affect where people live and how they live.
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Mexico City is the capital city of Mexico. Mexico City is very well known for being the longest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere, and it is also the largest. The population of Mexico City is growing very quickly. At a population of 21 million people, about one-fifth of the country's inhabitants, it is one of the most greatly populated cities in the world, and it is the worlds largest capital city. These circumstances force much of the population to live and deal with poverty, pollution, poor housing, inadequate sanitation, and uncertain water supplies. Mexico City is located in the south central part of the country. Over 95% of the population speaks Spanish, which is the official language. There is no official religion in Mexico City, but 92% of the population practices Roman Catholicism. Mexico City leads the nation in decision-making for the universities, magazines, newspapers, museums, and performing arts centers since the majority of these places are located within the capital. There is a major condition separating the city: wealth. The capital city has districts social distinctions. One can travel for miles in the rich southern and western parts of the city without becoming aware that they are in an underdeveloped nation. There is a sharp contrast when one travels to the poorer areas located towards the center of Mexico City. They will find that housing is limited, access to utilities and services is limited. In these areas, the standard of living is well below the poverty level. The former name of Mexico City is Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital city. It was built on a one-square mile island in an enormous shallow lake. In the early 1500's Tenochtitlan was a very large city in the world. It was a crowded metropolitan area with broad streets, and grand temples and buildings. Tenochtitlan was even more advanced than Venice, its equivalent. But with the arri ...
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