Discover Mexico

Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; Mexico’s coat of arms (an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus) is centered in the white band; the coat of arms is derived from a legend that the wandering Aztec people were to settle at a location where they would see an eagle on a cactus eating a snake; the city they founded, Tenochtitlan, is now Mexico City.



  • Location:
    North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States.
  • Geographic coordinates
    23 00 N, 102 00 W
  • Coastline
    9,330 km
  • Climate
    Varies from tropical to desert.



The site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations – including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec – Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved independence early in the 19th century. Elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate defeated the party in government.

The global financial crisis in late 2008 caused a massive economic downturn in Mexico the following year. Growth rebounded to about 5% in 2010, but then averaged roughly half that for the rest of the decade. Mexico’s GDP contracted by 8.2% in 2020 due to pandemic-induced closures, its lowest level since the Great Depression, but Mexico’s economy rebounded in 2021 when it grew by 4.8%, driven largely by increased remittances, despite supply chain and pandemic-related challenges.

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA, or T-MEC by its Spanish acronym) entered into force on 1 July 2020 and replaced its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico amended its constitution on 1 May 2019 to facilitate the implementation of the labor components of USMCA.

Administrative Divisions

      • 32 states (estados, singular – estado); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Cuidad de Mexico, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan, Zacatecas.


        • History: several previous; latest approved 5 February 1917.


    • Executive Branch
      Chief of State: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (since 1 December 2018); note – the president is both chief of state and head of government.

    • Legislative Branch
      • Bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of:
      • Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 32 directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms).
      • Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 200 directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms).

    • Judicial Branch
      • Highest Courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (consists of the chief justice and 11 justices and organized into civil, criminal, administrative, and labor panels) and the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (organized into the superior court, with 7 judges including the court president, and 5 regional courts, each with 3 judges).
      • Judge selection and term of officeSupreme Court justices nominated by the President of the Republic and approved by two-thirds vote of the members present in the Senate; justices serve 15-year terms; Electoral Tribunal superior and regional court judges nominated by the Supreme Court and elected by two-thirds vote of members present in the Senate; superior court president elected from among its members to hold office for a 4-year term; other judges of the superior and regional courts serve staggered, 9-year terms.

Economic Overview

  • Mexico’s $2.4 trillion economy – 11th largest in the world – has become increasingly oriented toward manufacturing since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force in 1994. Per capita income is roughly one-third that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal.
  • Mexico has become the US’ second-largest export market and third-largest source of imports. In 2017, two-way trade in goods and services exceeded $623 billion. Mexico has free trade agreements with 46 countries, putting more than 90% of its trade under free trade agreements. In 2012, Mexico formed the Pacific Alliance with Peru, Colombia, and Chile.


Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

  • 2019 – Artisanal talavera of Puebla and Tlaxcala (Mexico)
  • 2018 – La Romería (the pilgrimage): ritual cycle of ‘La llevada’ (the carrying) of the Virgin of Zapopan.
  • 2016 – Charrería, equestrian tradition in Mexico.
  • 2012 – Xtaxkgakget Makgkaxtlawana: the Centre for Indigenous Arts and its contribution to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of the Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico. (Register of Good Safeguarding Practices)
  • 2011 – Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet.
  • 2010 – Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo. Pirekua, traditional song of the P’urhépecha. Traditional Mexican cuisine – ancestral, ongoing community culture, the Michoacán paradigm.
  • 2009 – Places of memory and living traditions of the Otomí-Chichimecas people of Tolimán: the Peña de Bernal, guardian of a sacred territory. Ritual ceremony of the Voladores.
  • 2008 – Indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead.




    • Mexican cuisine is known for its succulence and its great variety. Its origins date back to the pre-Hispanic period, when many dishes revolved around corn, along with other ingredients such as: chili peppers, beans, pumpkins, avocado, tomato, cocoa, nopal, rabbit meat and turkey, as well as insects and a large variety of variety of fruits such as plums and pitayas. With the arrival of the Spaniards, there was also a miscegenation in gastronomy and pre-Columbian dishes were enriched with the introduction of fruits, sugar, oil, cereals such as wheat, spices such as oregano and black pepper, cattle, sheep, chickens. , pigs, milk and rice, among others.
    • This is how the dishes that have given Mexican gastronomy world fame were born, such as: mole, chiles en nogada, lime soup, cochinita pibil, carnitas and the famous tacos. There were also drinks such as tequila, beer, fresh water made from various tropical fruits, atole, champurrado and of course chocolate. As for desserts, Mexican cuisine also has its important contributions with flan, capirotada and the great variety of traditional sweets made with milk and sugar.