Interesting Mexico Facts for Kids
Here are some interesting Mexico Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
- Population: 129 million people live in Mexico (2022)
- Capital: Mexico City with 22 million inhabitants is the country's biggest city.
- Name: United Mexican States (in Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos)
- Government: Democracy, Republic
- Language: Spanish
- Literacy: More than 95% of the population over the age of 15 years can read and write
- Religion: Christians, mainly Roman Catholics (78%)
- Currency: 1 peso = 100 centavos
- Flag colors: green, white and red
- National Symbols: golden eagle and national colours green, white and red
- History: Mexico was conquered and colonised by the Spanish from the 16th century. The president of Mexico is Andrés Manuel López Obrador (since 2018, the next elections will be held in July 2024)
Mexico Facts | National Symbols
The flag is shows three bands in green, white and red. The emblem on the white ground shows an eagle standing on a cactus with a snake in the beak.
What do the colours in the flag stand for? The colours of the Mexican flag stand for independence, unity and religion. The legend describes, that the Aztec settled and built their capital city which they named Tenochtitlan, which is today Mexico City, on the place where they saw and eagle sitting on a cactus, eating a snake.
More about the meaning of colours in flags
Mexico Map and Geography
Mexico is located on the North American continent and shares borders with the USA in the North and Belize and Guatemala in the South.
The border between Mexico and the USA is the second longest border in the world and is about 3,155 km/ 2,000 miles long.
Below you can see a map of Mexico, click on the map to zoom in to see more cities and detailed information.
Mexico has mountains in the eastern and northern parts of the country, rainforests in the southern and eastern parts and deserts in the West.
Most of the bigger cities are located in the southern parts of the country. There are low coastal plains, high-rugged mountains and a high tableau in the centre of the country.
The climate varies from tropical climate to desert climate.
Mexico has four time zones!
Mexico City, the country's capital city
Mexico is situated on the ‘Ring of Fire’, the world’s most prominent volcano and earthquake region. However, the volcanos on Mexico's Baja California, a popular tourist destination, are mostly dormant.
The peninsula to the west of mainland Mexico is called Baja California. Over 120 species of cactus are growing there!
Cactus valley in Baja California
Mexico Facts | Geo Superlatives
- Mexico has the world's largest Spanish speaking population and Mexico is also the second most populous country in North America - after the USA.
- The highest peak in Mexico is a volcano. It is called 'Pico de Orizaba' or 'Volcan Citlaltepetl' and is 5,636 m/ 18,491 ft high. This is also the third largest volcano in Northern America.
- The longest river in Mexico is the Río Bravo del Norte (also referred to as Rio Grande). This river begins in the southwestern USA and flows into Mexico.
- The largest lake in Mexico is Lake Chapala near Guadalajara.
- The "cardon cactus" is the world's biggest cactus! The Mexican giant cactus measures up to 21 metres/ 70 feet in height and can be seen in the deserts of Baja California. These cacti can live up to 300 years.
Landmarks and Attractions in Mexico
Mexico is one of the world's top travel destinations and for US travellers, Mexico is the top destination. And Mexico houses 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites! So much to explore in this North American country.
Mexicans love children, so families are always welcome everywhere! There are some great attractions for kids, among the most popular with families are:
- Chichen Itza: built by the Maya people is a World Heritage Site and visited by more than one million people every year.
- Acapulco: The bay on the Pacific Ocean is home to Mexico's most popular beach city with golden sandy beaches, lots of holiday resorts and known by families for it's magnificent water sports park. Mexico's busiest port is quite a sight too.
Acapulco - image by Daniel Elizalde S./shutterstock
- Oaxaca: Visit the archaeological site of the Monte Alban ruins, shop at the city's colourful market or marvel at the famous rock formations and bubbling waters at Hierve el Agua which means 'bubbling of the water'.
Hierve el agua
- Mérida: The city's Mayan cultural heritage is displayed in the fascinating Mayan World Museum (Gran Museum del Mundo Maya), the Dzibilchaltún ruins and archeological site, as well as a rich colonial heritage as seen on the city’s Plaza Grande and the main boulevard Paseo de Montejo or the Catedral de Merida.
- Agave landscape at the foothills of the Tequila volcano: The blue agave plant is used to produce the famous tequila spirit. Agave plantations and tequila distilleries are dotted all over the region.
Riding through the agave fields in Mexico
- Mexico City: the capital city is built on the site of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. Make sure to also visit the ruins of the ancient Aztec pyramids at nearby Teotihuacan.
- Teotihuacan: The ancient city ruins of Aztec monuments such as the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl are stunning. This was once the most most powerful centre in the Americas - only 50 km/ 31 miles north east of the capital Mexico City
Mexican People and Languages
Most people in Mexico speak Spanish. Mexico is the country with the most Spanish speakers in the world.
More people speak Spanish here than in Spain, because many more people live in Mexico and the country is also more than three times bigger.
Most Mexicans (80%) are Christians as Roman Catholicism was introduced by the Spanish colonists. La Virgen de Guadalupe (Virgin of Guadalupe) is considered the Patron saint of Mexico.
Fiesta de la Virgen - Festivities in Mexico
Mexicans are known as very friendly and welcoming foreigners, they are really fond of kids. Mariachi are the popular musicians who play folk music. They mainly use string instruments, but also trumpets are sometimes played. The groups are often invited to play at birthday parties, weddings and other family celebrations.
On 1 and 2 November the Mexicans celebrate the Dia del los Muertos, a special festival to remember the deceased members of the family. The family gathers around the homes and in the graveyards and there are many decorations to remember the family members that have passed on.
Dia de los Muertos
Famous Mexican are among many others: the actress Selma Hayek, the guitarist Carlos Santana and the soccer players Javier Hernandez and Guillermo Ochoa.
Mexico Facts | Mexico Animals
Mexico is one of the most bio-diverse countries on earth. The country has the most reptile species in the world housing over 700 reptile species and also has the second most (over 430) mammal species in the world.
In Mexico, there are jaguars, pumas and huge iguanas. Whales, manta rays and manatees are common in the oceans and can sometimes by spotted of the Yucatan coast. In the jungles of southern Mexico, one can encounter various types of lizards, monkeys and colourful birds, such as parrots.
More Mexico Facts:
Mexico's main trading partners are the USA, which is the most important parter for exports and China and Japan who also sell many products to the Mexicans and thus are Mexico's biggest import partners.
The main exports from Mexico are corn (maize), oil, fruits and vegetables, silver, coffee, cotton.
Oranges are the most popular and most consumed fruit in Mexico (2021)
Mexico's largest cities are:
- Mexico City: more than 22 million inhabitants
- Guadalajara: about 4 million inhabitants
- Monterrey: about 4 million inhabitants
- Tijuana: about 2 million inhabitants
Did you know that Mexico is the second largest city in the western hemisphere? Only Sao Paolo in Brazil is bigger!
Chocolate, chilies and corn come originally from Mexico.
The main staple food is corn and rice, fruits and vegetables, chicken, pork, beef, lamb and along the coastal regions also seafood. Chilli peppers are usually among the main ingredients in many Mexican dishes.
Mexican style 'Chili con Carne'
One dish many of you will think of is 'chilli con carne', a dish with spicy mince meat and kidney beans but this is not really a Mexican dish, but only a Mexican-style dish!
Instead enchiladas, tortillas and tacos are typical Mexican dishes and very popular in Mexico!
Other typical Mexican food:
- guacamole: avocado dip made with mashed avocados, salt and lime or lemon juice, often also with chilli peppers
- tortilla: Mexican corn or wheat flour flatbread is eaten with almost every dish. A tortilla is usually filled with meat, cheese, potato or vegetables
- tostada: crunchy tortilla that has been fried in oil
- enchilada: stuffed tortilla that has been baked in chilli sauce
- nachos: tortilla chips often served hot with melted cheese or spicy mince sauce, usually eaten as a snack
- tamales: stuffed and steamed dough pockets wrapped in banana leaf or corn husks
Tamales for a typical Mexican Breakfast
- pan de muerto: sweet bread roll baked for the 'Day of the Dead' which is celebrated on 1 and 2 of November
- chile verde: stew cooked with lots of spicy green chilli
- elote: the Mexican version of 'corn on a cob', a popular street food
Did you know that…?
Hot chocolate was considered the sacred drink by the Aztecs!
Mexican Hot Chocolate and Pan de Muerto
Mexico Facts | Resources
- Central Intelligence Agency. "Mexico." WorldFactBook. Last updated 24 October 2022. Last accessed 29 October 2022
- The Associated Press. "Mexico Population Rises to 126M." APNews. 25 January 2021. Last accessed 29 October 2022
- Embassy of Mexico in the UK. "Symbols of Mexico." Embamex. Last accessed 29 October 2022
- FactZoo: "Mexican animals in pictures." Last accessed 29 October 2022
Picture credits on Mexico Facts: own or shutterstock.com
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