Mexico - education
Education in Mexico was in the 1990's free and compulsory for 6-14-year-olds
and includes in addition to a one-year preschool, which is applied for by
approximately 72% (1993), a six-year primary school followed by two three-year levels,
subject to a passing entrance exam. The latter is divided into a general study
preparation and a technical-vocational line. Da kun approximately 10% of the students
participate in the technical-vocational line, it is aimed at more young people
completing a vocational education.
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Higher education of four to seven years duration takes place at the country's
many technical colleges and universities, the largest of which is the Universidad
Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, which has approximately 270,000 students in
Mexico City (1995).
Illiteracy is sought to be combated through adult education programs aimed at
adults who have not completed primary school. It is now officially stated at
approximately 9% of the population, of which most are women (2004).
OFFICIAL NAME: Mexican United States
CAPITAL CITY: Mexico City
POPULATION: 114,975,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 1,970,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Spanish, Nahuatl, Mayan language and approximately 100 other Native American
RELIGION: Catholics 90%, Protestants 5%, others 5%
CURRENCY CODE: MXN
ENGLISH NAME: Mexico
POPULATION COMPOSITION: mestizer 60%, Indians (including Aztecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs and Mayans) 30%,
whites (especially of Spanish origin) 9%, others 1%
GDP PER residents: $ 6172 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 73 years, women 78 years (2005)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.821
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 53
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .mx
Mexico, Federal Republic of North America. Mexico forms the northern part of
the Central American isthmus and is traversed from north to south by several
Mexico was home to Native American high cultures, was strongly influenced by
a long Spanish colonial era, and since independence in 1821 has been marked by a
difficult development process with major internal contradictions and a strong
dependency on its great neighbor, the United States.
Mexico has 4.7% of the world's oil reserves, and the economy is strongly
affected by world oil prices. Against the background of large borrowing in times
of crisis, the country's foreign debt is among the largest in the world.
Mexico - Constitution
The United States of Mexico is a federal state whose constitution of 1917,
with subsequent amendments, calls for a complete separation between the
legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
The legislation lies with a bicameral parliament. The Chamber of Deputies'
500 members are elected for three years by general election, 300 are elected in
single-member constituencies, and 200 are elected according to the
proportionality method to ensure a fair representation of minority parties. The
Senate has 128 members, namely four from each of the 31 states and four from the
federal district of Mexico City.
The President has the executive power and is elected for a term of six years
by direct election; he appoints and leads the government whose members he can
replace on an ongoing basis.
The states, which have independent taxation rights, have their own
constitutions and directly elected governors and chambers of deputies; however,
the governor of the federal district is appointed by the president.
Mexico - economy
Mexico's economy is Latin America's largest and has a structure similar to
that of rich countries, with only 4% of GDP generated by agriculture but 70% by
the service sector (2005). However, the country's unequal development is
illustrated by the fact that agriculture employs 18% of the economically
active. The 1970's were marked by strong economic growth, which followed in the
wake of the discovery of the Chiapas oil fields and massive borrowing
abroad. However, international interest rate rises and the skyrocketing dollar
in the early 1980's meant that Mexico, like much of the other Latin American
countries, experienced a severe debt crisis and in 1982 had to request the
International Monetary Fund., The IMF, and its creditors on financial
support. The economic downturn lasted until the late 1980's, and Mexico in those
years frequently had to renegotiate the terms of its debt.
The state had traditionally played a major role in the economy, but in 1988 a
radical shift in economic policy occurred when Carlos Salinas took over the
presidency. The Salinas government emphasized modernizing the economy and
allowing it to operate on market economy terms to a far greater extent than
before. At the same time, the government sought with great success to reduce
inflation and the budget deficit. The liberalization of the economy, which also
included the former totally government-controlled financial sector, has, among
other things, resulted in a significant drop in the number of state-owned
enterprises, a far greater commitment to infrastructure development and, above
all, to Mexico's participation in the North American Free Trade
Agreement, NAFTA, together with the United States and Canada from 1994. The
reform policy also paved the way for Mexico to be admitted to the OECD in 1995
as the first Latin American country.
The United States is by far the largest trading partner, which is why
exchange rate policy has historically been aimed at pegging the peso more or
less firmly to the dollar. After the last restrictions on the free movement of
capital were abolished in 1991, the government pegged the peso to the dollar at
the rate of 3.1 pesos per pound. dollars, although inflation in Mexico was
significantly higher than in the United States. The subsequent deterioration in
competitiveness, combined with high economic growth and easier access to foreign
goods following trade liberalization, meant that Mexico's external deficit grew
dramatically. The deficit was increasingly financed through short-term and
speculative capital, and by the end of 1994, Mexico was once again in a deep
crisis as the credibility of the fixed exchange rate policy collapsed. Investors
fled the country, and the peso had to be devalued by almost 50% against the
dollar. The debt situation became unmanageable again, and the government again
had to turn to the IMF for financial support. Together with the United
States, whose economic interests in Mexico had increased after the formation of
NAFTA, the fund then launched the largest financial rescue operation in history
to date, worth more than DKK 30 billion. dollars. The counterclaim was a tight
economic recovery policy, which resulted in a sharp fall in GDP of just over 6%
in 1995, when inflation rose dramatically to 38% from 8.5% the year
before. However, the devaluation led to strong export growth, and as early as
1996, the Mexican economy was once again growing strongly. which resulted in a
sharp fall in GDP of just over 6% in 1995, when inflation rose dramatically to
38% from 8.5% the year before. However, the devaluation led to strong export
growth, and as early as 1996, the Mexican economy was once again growing
strongly. which resulted in a sharp fall in GDP of just over 6% in 1995, when
inflation rose dramatically to 38% from 8.5% the year before. However, the
devaluation led to strong export growth, and as early as 1996, the Mexican
economy was once again growing strongly.
The country was hit by the recession in 2001, but had decent growth rates in
2004 and 2005 (4% and 3%). Unemployment in 2005 was officially as low as
approximately 3%, but there is partly large underemployment and partly a widespread
black economy. Corruption and other crime, including in the field of drugs (90%
of US cocaine imports are believed to come from Mexico), continue to be major
societal problems along with a, even by Latin American conditions, severe income
inequality. Economic growth is regionally unequally distributed, which means
that the illegal emigration of labor to the United States continues and that
there is increasing political unrest in the poorer regions of the country.
Mexico's foreign trade is quite dominated by the United States, which in
recent years has declined by approximately 80% of exports, making the Mexican economy
sensitive to economic fluctuations in the United States. On the other hand, it
is more robust in relation to the price of oil, which now only amounts to
approximately 8% of exports compared to 80% in 1982. 90% of this now consists of
finished goods, largely produced by foreign - owned industry (maquiladora),
which exploits low wages and lax environmental legislation. The trade deficit is
offset by a large tourism sector and by transfers from Mexicans working in the
In 2005, Denmark's exports to Mexico amounted to DKK 1,053 million. DKK, and
imports from there of 456 mill. kr.
Mexico - social conditions
Mexico is culturally and ethnically a strongly mixed society. 90%
of Indians belong to the half of the population living below the poverty
line; poverty is particularly concentrated in the southern part of the country
and in rural areas in general.
Since 1982, real income for over 70% of the population has more than halved,
and the income distribution has become even more skewed. In 1990, the poorest
20% had just over 4% of income, while the richest 20% accounted for
approximately 55%. After the turn of the millennium, the poorest 20% had 3% of their
income, while the richest 20% had 59% of their income. An expression of this
development is that Latin America's richest man, Carlos Slim Helú, is Mexican.
After the revolution of 1910-19, a social security system was developed, Seguro
Social, which, however, only covered employees of large and medium-sized
companies as well as public employees. The system includes medical care,
hospital, medicine supplements and convalescence. Until 1993, it also included
individual pension options, which were then replaced by a new, private pension
Housing conditions are generally poor. 66% of the population live in
overcrowded and deficient housing, approximately 20% of all households do not have
clean running water, and in rural areas more than half of the population does
not have access to clean water.
Inequalities and poverty are exacerbated by corruption. Even leading
politicians and parts of the top of the army have been exposed as highly corrupt
and with close links to the powerful Mexican drug cartels. Under Conservative
President Vicente Fox (2000-06), the government has effectively lost control of
cities and territories where drug cartels rule. The rise in drug crime is
contributing to the fact that crime in general has not only grown but also
become more violent.
Every year, more than 500,000 Mexicans - from poor farmers to well-educated
academics - emigrate legally and illegally to the United States, where up to
8-10 million people live. illegal mexican immigrants.
Mexico - health conditions
Life expectancy in 2009 was 79 years for women and 73 years for men, which
represents a significant increase from, respectively. 64 and 60 years in 1970.
The mortality rate in the first year of life was 18 per. 1000 live births in
2009 against 72 in 1970. In 2009, fertility was estimated at 2.3 children
The most common causes of death are cardiovascular disease, homicide and
accidents as well as cancer. Malaria is widespread in parts of the
country. approximately 20,000 new cases of tuberculosis per year. In 2007,
approximately 200,000 cases of AIDS with 11,000 deaths. In rural areas,
gastrointestinal infections pose a significant problem. Many of these are
waterborne, although approximately 80% of the country's homes have running water, and
67% have sewage drainage (1994). Air pollution in Mexico City poses a
significant health problem.
The health service is best developed in urban areas. Pr. 1000 residents had
landed in 1991 0.54 doctors, 0.8 nurses and 1.3 hospital beds. It is stated that
approximately 55% of the population in 1991 was covered by a social security
system. In 1995, Mexico spent 3.2% of GDP on health care; approximately 50% came from
Mexico - military
The armed forces are (2006) at 192,770, of which approximately 60,000 are
conscripts with 12 months of service. The Army (Ejército Mexicano) is
144,000, including all conscripts, the Navy (Armada de México) 37,000
and the Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Mexicana) 11,770. The reserve is
300,000. The army is spread over 44 garrisons in the country's 12 military
regions. The central strength includes four mixed brigades and an
airborne battalion. The army is lightly equipped, with its primary tasks being
to support the country's internal security. The fleet has 11 larger and 109
light combat units, 3 landing craft and a navyof 8700 men. The Air Force has 107
light fighter jets and has 18 air bases in 4 air military regions. The security
forces include 11,000 in the federal police.
The main opponents of the armed forces are various internal groupings. In
1994, the Zapatista Liberation Army, EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación
Nacional), revolted in the province of Chiapas. On a daily basis, the
army is deployed against the lucrative transit of cocaine from Colombia to the
Mexico - mass media
The first printing press in Mexico was established in 1536, and in 1539 the
first newsletter was published. The first monthly newspaper was published in
1722. After a few short-lived attempts, the Gaceta de México was
published 1784-1823; it became a government body in 1810. The first daily
newspaper became grdl. in 1805, and the following year the first magazine was
published outside the capital. During the independence struggle, the parties
realized the importance of the press, and the first opposition newspaper was
published in 1810. During and after the revolution of 1910-19, several of the
country's most important dailies became grdl. After World War II, radio and
especially television were the dominant news and entertainment media.
The press was - apart from an interlude in 1812 - subject to censorship,
which was first repealed by the Constitution of 1917, but governments have also
since exercised close control over the media, especially through the issuance of
broadcasting licenses for radio and television and something close to a monopoly
on newsprint. Since the 1970's, an independent and critical press has emerged,
but Mexico is at the same time a dangerous country to work in as a
journalist; in 1997, for example, four were murdered.
The government runs the largest news agency, Notimex. Private media ownership
is concentrated in quite a few large companies. The media giant Televista is the
largest in the Spanish-speaking world, but is returning to Mexico due to
competition from TV Azteca, which since 1992 has been built on the privatized
state television, Imevisión.
Among other things. Due to the country's size and its relatively strong
economy, Mexico's mass media has Latin America's largest exports of especially
television programs and specialty and weekly magazines. Mexico is also one of
the world's largest producers of comics. Newspapers, on the other hand, are
published in small editions, the largest in perhaps 300,000-400,000 copies.
Mexico - architecture
From 250 BC up to 900-t. dominated the Mayan culture, the last pre-Columbian
culture in Mexico, in Chiapas, Campeche and on the Yucatán peninsula. The ruins
of Palenque, Piedras Negras, Uxmal, Chichén Itzá, Tulum and Bonampak show the
characteristics of Mayan architecture: terrace-built pyramids, use of the false
arch, characters on carved facades and colorful frescoes. The later Aztec
Empire (1400's and 1500's) can be seen in the excavations of the Templo Mayor in
the center of Mexico City.
Colonial architecture was characterized by cathedrals, churches, and
monasteries of the Catholic Church; the country's oldest churches are San
Francisco (1525) and the abbey church of San Juan Bautista (1538). Among the
profane buildings can be highlighted the Palacio Nacional (started 1523) in
Mexico City with mural by Diego Rivera (done 1930-35). In the 1500's. the
cathedrals of Mexico City and Puebla were dominated by the strict Spanish
Renaissance initiated by Juan de Herrera, but through the 1700's. Baroque gained
a foothold, a style that became widespread in Mexico, not least the Late Baroque
in the form of the ornamental Churriguere style (after José Benito Churriguera); a
masterpiece is the Altar de los Reyes in the Cathedral of Mexico City. The style
is characterized by richly carved volcanic stone facades, eg on the church
of El Sagrario Metropolitano, built in 1749 by Lorenzo Rodríguez (1704-74).
The Cathedral of Mexico City, Latin America's largest church building, was
begun in 1525, but not until the 1800's. it got its current classicist
design. Manuel Tolsá (1757-1816) designed the dome of the cathedral, and
together with Francisco Tresguerras (1745-1833) he introduced French
neoclassicism in the time around independence. In 1977, a newer pilgrimage
church was inaugurated, where the image of the saint La Morena is
Among the modern Mexican buildings, the University City (UNAM) should be
mentioned, built 1949-53, by Mario Pani (1911-93) and Enrique Moral, and the
Olympic Stadium, expanded by the Spanish-born Felix Candela 1966-68 with a
copper roof supported by a steel structure with a dome height of 43 m.
Mexico - visual art
The oldest important finds from the pictorial art of the early Native
American peoples are giant stone heads in Veracruz and Tabasco, carved by
the Olmecs (from the la Venta culture) around 800 BC.
Religious frescoes by the first Spanish painter of colonial times, Rodrigo
Cifuentes (1493-1560), decorated churches and monasteries. During the Baroque
period, the painting was in intimate harmony with the decorative interiors.
With the founding of Latin America's first Academy of Arts in 1785, the San
Carlos Academy in Mexico City, the influences of European art and architecture
became all the more apparent despite the country's independence in the early
1800's; neoclassicism was represented by Manuel Tolsá (1757-1816) with the
country's first equestrian statue (by Carlos IV, 1803), while José Maria
Velasco became a pioneer in Mexican landscape painting.
The symbolist artist Julio Ruelas (1870-1907), the graphic artist José
Guadalupe Posada and especially the impressionist Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Alt,
1875-1964) gained great importance for the breakthrough of modern Mexican visual
art. The period after the Mexican Revolution in 1910-19 was marked by el
muralismo, the political commitment of the muralists, their expressive
style with features taken from the Native American and popular culture. Most
prominent were Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alforo
Siqueiros. Rivera performed one of the most important murals, based on the
history of Mexico (1930-35, Palacio Nacional).
Mexican modernism has a prominent place on the continent; Rufino
Tamayo represents a Cubist style, Frida Kahlo, Agustín Lazo (1896-1971) and
Antonio Ruiz (1865-1964) profile Mexican surrealism. José Luis Cuevas' (b. 1934)
expressionism and Carlos Mérida's constructive abstract style are just examples
of the scope of Mexican art.
The German-born sculptor Mathias Goeritz, whose collaboration with the
architect Luis Barragán (1902-88) has been of great importance for the
integration of architecture and visual art, executed in 1979 the sculpture park
in the project Espácio Escultórico in the University City of Mexico City.
Today's many acclaimed visual artists include Alberto Castro Leñero (b.
1951), German Venegas (b. 1959) and Javier Marín (b. 1962).
Mexico - literature
In colonial times, Mexican literature produced largely anemic imitations of
Spanish models. A notable exception is the female lyricist and playwright Sor
Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651? -95), who attracted contemporary attention with her
acumen and refined metaphor and still stands as one of the finest in
Spanish-language baroque poetry.
The independence of Spain in 1821 did not immediately lead to favorable
conditions for the growth of a national literature of importance in the
subsequent chaotic decades in which the country experienced war against the
United States, the French Empire and dictatorship. It was the 1910-19 revolution
with its political and intellectual ideals that became the starting point for
the subsequent prolific development that characterizes 1900's Mexican
literature. Furthermore, the revolution became a recurring theme, especially in
novel, short story and drama.
Mariano Azuelas Los de abajo (1915, Them From Below), one of the
first in the chain of so-called revolutionary novels, is a documentary
depiction based on the author's experiences during the revolution. Several later
writers reflect the disappointed expectations of posterity under the PRI, the
Institutional Revolutionary Party, which in the late 1900's. is still in
power. Juan Rulfo's laconic realism in the short story collection El llano
en llamas (1953, da. Sletten brænder, 1988), Carlos Fuentes
' existentialist problematizing novel La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962,
da. Artemio Cruz' death, 1966) and Juan José Arreola's absurdist tales
inConfabulario from 1952 are examples of the insistent circle of
revolution as a project and failure in vastly different aesthetic terms.
A theme that occupies a large number of authors, and which is also often
addressed in connection with the theme of revolution, is contradictions and
coexistence, socially and culturally, in racially mixed Mexico. Thus, in his
novel Balún Canán (1957, Da. The Nine Guardians,
1990), Rosario Castellanos depicts a child's schism between the parents'
European-oriented and nanny's Native American culture, while Nobel
laureate Octavio Paz critically reflects on Mexican identity and cultural
self-understanding. essay collection El laberinto de la soledad (1950,
da. Ensomhedens labyrint, 1986).
Ever since the formation of the avant-garde-oriented Contemporáneos group in
the 1920's, poetry has been predominantly characterized by metaphysical and
metal-literary issues, such as seen at Paz. But other trends also apply, as in
today's central poet José Emilio Pacheco, where a sharp-sighted, illusion-free
commitment to the outside world takes on surprisingly lyrical expressions.
The drama of the 1900's. and the beginning of 2000-t. includes several
generations of highly productive writers. The themes relate, for example, to
Mexican history or are of a universal existential nature, and the form can be
realistic, absurd, Brecht-inspired, etc. A special type of Mexican drama, the
so-called Chicano theater, is written in the southwestern US states, where it
has great impact. It shows, often bitingly ironic or humorous, social
inequalities and cultural clashes between North Americans and Mexican
Mexico - music
Mexican music is the result of centuries of cultural mixing between Native
American and European cultures, especially Spanish, with a pinch of African. The
"national" music is ranchera, a hybrid music developed by music from
western and central Mexico after the revolution in step with the immigration to
the cities, the mixing of the people and the spread of radio and
television. These are usually sentimental songs accompanied by mariachi,
originally a 3-7 man troubadour group from western Mexico consisting of violins,
guitars and harp; the harp has since been replaced by the trumpet.
In northern Mexico and among the Mexicans in the southwestern United States, norteño music
(known abroad as tex mex), played by groups of 3-5 men, dominates,
with bass, 12-string guitar and diatonic button accordion as a base, often
supplemented by alto saxophone and a small marching drum. The accordion and
dance music (polka, mazurka, scottish) come from Central European immigrants in
Texas in the 1800's. Son is traditional dance music in a myriad of
regional forms. Son huasteco in northeastern Mexico is characterized by
the falsetto song accompanied by violin and guitars. Son jarocho is the
virtuoso dance music from the Gulf Coast around Veracruz, played with harp and
various guitar variants; the bambais a son jarocho. To the west,
mariachi music has its roots, to the south, violin, guitar and drums
dominate. Further south and southeast are the gentle, Chilean-influenced chilena and
the African-inspired dances for marimba orchestra in Oaxaca and Chiapas. On the
Yucatán, there is a strong Cuban (bolero) and Colombian (bambuco)
influence. Corrido is an ancient ballad form with roots in the Middle
Ages, which became popular during the revolution with stories about the exploits
of the revolutionary heroes. Most new corridors are tribute stories about drug
The Native American influence in music is greatest in west-central and
southern Mexico. It is still sung in the country's numerous Native American
languages. In the cities in particular, Afro-Caribbean music (salsa, merengue, cumbia)
has taken root. In addition, rock is an important part of the youth culture of
Mexico City and along the border. It is a more aggressive rock than the one we
know in Western Europe, based on an alternative culture that has been pursued by
the authorities for several years.
Mexico - film
With 50-100 films annually, Mexico is the country in Latin America that
produces the most films. From approximately In 1910 there was a large production of
revolutionary reports, which were replaced by the first fiction films about
the revolution, such as El automóvil gris (1919, The Gray Car)
by Enrique Rosas (1877-1920) and Sergej Eisenstein's never completed Que
Viva México! (1933, Viva Mexico).
The sound film exploited the country's musical-folkloristic traditions in a
number of melodramas and westerns. In 1942, a state film support scheme was
Mexican movie stars of the 1940's include Dolores del Rio (1904-83), singer
Jorge Negrete (1911-53) and comedian Mario "Cantinflas" Moreno (1911-93). The
actor and director Emilio "El Indio" Fernández (1904-86) and the film
photographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907-97), who also worked with Luis Buñuel, for
example in Los Olvidados (1950, Lost Youth), created classics
such as María Candelaría (1943) and La Perla (1946, The
In the 1960's a new generation came into being; Arturo Ripstein (b. 1943) made
his debut in 1965 with the García Márquez film adaptation Tiempo de Morir (Time
to Die), Felipe Cazals (b. 1937) became best known for the
historical-political Canoa (1975), and Paul Leduc (b. 1942) for Reed
- México Insurgente (1970, Reed) and Frida (1984).
Notable works in recent Mexican films include Alfonso Araus' (b. 1932) Como
agua para chocolate (1991, Hearts in Chile), a comedy mixed with
the characteristic Latin American magical realism.
A major breakthrough for recent Mexican film was Alejandro González
Iñárritus complex told Amores perros (2000, Love Is a Bitch)
about fates in the big city and also the road film Y tu mamá también (2001, ...
And your mother!) By Alfonso Cuarón (f 1961) as well as Carlos Carreras
(b. 1962) El crimen del padre Amaro (2002, Pater Amaros crime)
has attracted attention; all three the latter with Gael García Bernal, who has
gained international idol status in Spanish-language film.
Mexico - Kitchen
The Mexican cuisine is a distinct and varied mixed cuisine composed of the
traditional Native American cuisines and the Spanish, in the 1800's. added French
and Austrian influence. Since then, Italian influence has also been important,
and pasta has become a regular part of the kitchen. The main ingredients are
corn, brown, red, yellow and black beans, chili, rice, tomatoes, avocado, garlic
as well as a variety of local vegetables such as squash and squash
flowers. Chili is the central and most distinctive part of Mexican
gastronomy; there are over 100 known varieties in the country. They are used in
the Mexican specialty mole, which is often served as a sauce (molli'sauce'),
but which can also be independent dishes. Moles are traditionally made by
2-5 kinds of chili, tomatoes, onions, almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and
chocolate. A common accompaniment to many dishes is guacamole.
An indispensable part of the diet is the pancake-like tortilla,
usually made from corn. The tortilla is used as bread for most dishes, from the
simple tacos and enchiladas to chilaquiles, a kind
of (strong) Mexican lasagna. Another common corn dish is tamales, a
corn dough with filling, wrapped in corn or banana leaves and steamed.
Other specialties are pozole, a mixture of soup and cooked dish
with large corn kernels as the central as well as the indispensable chili, the
refined chili in nut sauce, chiles en nogada, as well as the black
parasitic mushroom huitlacoche, which grows on corn cobs and is cooked
in supper. In addition, different cactus varieties are used in some
areas. On the Pacific coast, the raw marinated fish seviche is very
popular. Mexico's most famous beverage is the spirits tequila.
In some areas, Native American traditions dominate gastronomy, and here, for
example, many insects are considered delicacies. Among the most famous Native
American dishes are cochinita pibil, prepared from pork in red sauce,
juice from sour oranges and salt.