Moving to Mexico: What you need to know
Mexico, also known as the United States of Mexico, is the 5th largest country in the Americas and the largest Spanish-speaking country, and as such it is one of the most popular places for people from all over the world to live and work in. In fact, it has become the world’s 8th most visited country. Whether you have just started to think about moving to Mexico or you have already bought your tickets, this blog can help you with everything from organising your trip to helping you to settle in.
Mexico is situated in North America and is bordered on the north by the United States, on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, the east by the Gulf of Mexico and the southeast by Guatemala, Belize and the Caribbean Sea. The country is divided into 31 states and the Capital region which is a Federal District, however it is also divided into 6 main regions: Baja California, Northern Mexico, The Bajio, Central Mexico, Pacific Coast and the Yucatan Peninsula.
While most major cities are around the central part of Mexico, there are many places of interest to both tourists and travellers spread throughout the country.
For more information about Mexico’s different regions please visit (http://www.visitmexico.com/#).
Mexico’s vast area means that the climate varies widely across its many regions. The Baja Peninsula for example has a Mediterranean climate in the north that becomes progressively more arid towards the south, with a tropical desert climate in Cabo and La Paz. Mexico’s mainland, on the other hand is mountainous and cool in the north, and has a tropical climate in the south.
Wherever you go, it is essential that you take the necessary precautions and that you wear sun protection in all parts of Mexico as the sun is particularly strong in this part of the world.
Mexico’s culture is very diverse and influenced by many different cultures, from the indigenous communities that originally populated the area to the European colonisers and modern western culture. The country is famous for its deep history and has an amazing amount of World Heritage Sites left from the Aztec and Mayan empires. Living in most of Mexico’s main cities is similar in many ways to any other city in the United States or Europe, and it is the smaller towns and communities that follow the traditional way of life. Due to the vast number of different indigenous communities that are present in Mexico, the culture varies from region to region, though almost half of the country’s population lives in larger cities.
The large cities like Mexico City, Acapulco, Guadalajara and Monterrey have large international communities and are hubs for business and culture.
Mexico is a country that has 68 official languages, though Spanish is the main one. All the other languages are indigenous and spoken by very small indigenous communities. Although there might be bilingual signs in English and Spanish in Mexico City and some of the most popular tourist resorts, English is not widely spoken in Mexico, used primarily by business people and some young Mexicans.
Most larger cities also offer both short and long-term courses in Spanish and some even organise a stay with a Mexican family so that you will be able to practice your language skills. You can find more detailed information about immersive language programmes in Mexico on this website (http://www.spanishschoolsmexico.com/).
The Food & Drink
Mexico’s traditional dishes are famous worldwide and enjoyed in almost every other country in the world. You need to be aware that most dishes in Mexico are very spicy so before you order, ask if it is spicy (Es picante? Esto tiene chile?). The more well known Mexican dishes include enchiladas, tacos and quesadillas, but there are many other traditional dishes influenced by the different parts of the country like mole (a mild to medium chilli based sauce with cocoa and peanuts, usually served over chicken or turkey) and Pozole (chicken or pork broth with corn, chicken, pork, lettuce, lemon juice, chilli and radish and is sometimes served with tostadas).
The tap water in Mexico is generally considered safe to use but not recommended for drinking, however, bottled water is readily available everywhere. Mexico is also internationally known for Tequila, which is distilled from a specific type of cactus, but there are also other less known alcoholic drinks available like Mezcal (similar to tequila but distilled from maguey), Tepache (made from pineapple) and Tuba (made from coconut palm tree).