Climate: tropical on the coasts;
temperate mountain areas and deserts inland
Large schools hold two
shifts—one group of children attends in the morning, and one attends in
the afternoon. Uniforms are usually required.
The school year typically
runs from the beginning of September through the end of June.
Lotería, a game similar to bingo,
is played with picture cards and song. Jump rope and other outdoor games
are very popular.
Soccer is the top sport in
Mexico. Other favorites include baseball and jai alai, a handball
game that originated in Spain.
Many homes in Mexico
include not just parents and children but grandparents, aunts, uncles,
cousins or other family members.
Children have two last
names. Their father's last name is the first part, and their mother's
last name is the second part.
Mole, a sauce that is made with
up to two dozen ingredients; it typically includes peppers, spices such
as cinnamon and chocolate
Tamal (plural tamales), corn
dough stuffed with meat, cheese or a sweet filling, then wrapped in a
corn husk and steamed
The San Quintin kangaroo
rat, whose powerful back legs can send it more than 7 feet in a
The slow-moving vaquita,
the world's smallest cetacean (animal in the porpoise family), weighing
only about 100 pounds
Unique holiday: Guelaguetza, in the state of
Oaxaca, a fiesta that dates to pre-Columbian times;
the summer celebration includes parades, dancing and monigotes
Did you know? In Mexico today, Spanish is
the official language, but more than 60 native languages are spoken. The
top native languages are Náhuatl (about 2.5 million speakers) and Maya
(about 1.5 million speakers).
Clancy's comment: Great place, wonderful people, gorgeous kids, and a sensational destination for a photographer.