Nearly every aspect of Mexican culture, from its languages, clothing, arts, dances, foods, laws, calendar and even its flag, reflects its vibrant and turbulent history. With each conquest, war of independence and revolution, Mexico’s culture has changed, and today this vibrant country boasts a fascinating and eclectic mix of traditions. While the majority of Mexico’s visitors come to enjoy the country’s unparalleled beaches, sumptuous all-inclusive resorts and unmatched water activities, Mexico’s cultural heritage should be explored. It will not disappoint.
Mexico’s first complex civilizations, the Olmec, Maya, Tolpec and Aztec, among others, thrived for thousands of years, and ruins and artifacts from these indigenous peoples are still scattered throughout the country today. For the modern vacationer, they offer an intriguing glimpse into an ancient land and the people who inhabited it, raising families and building lives, long before European settlers arrived.
The Spanish Conquest in 1519-1521, led by Hernán Cortés, forever closed that long chapter in Mexico’s history. As Spanish and Moorish influences mingled with the indigenous cultures, a new people and a new way of life were created. Throughout Spain’s 300-year long rule of Mexico, numerous interesting characters, from revolutionaries to priests, left their indelible imprint on Mexico. Their voices still whisper to us in the silver cities, the Colonial towns and the mission churches.
With the Mexican declaration of its independence from Spain in 1821, modern Mexico, a rich tapestry of languages, traditions and people, began to emerge. Today, Mexico is a reflection of its past heroes and villains. As each new chapter has opened and closed, and as each new influence has made its mark, an intricate layer has been added to the Mexican culture, creating the colorful mosaic that is Mexican life today. Compelling and exciting, it should not be missed.