Huatulco Life was inspired by people with a passion for Huatulco and the Mexican lifestyle. It is a place to find out more information about the region and enjoy the beauty of the Oaxacan coastline through the photo gallery. From time to time, other interesting tidbits about Mexico make their way into the pages of this blog. Enjoy!

View The Paradise of Huatulco Video

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

10 Interesting Facts about Mexico

I always love little known facts.  When someone barks out a statistic I can't help but think of Cliff Claven from Cheers.  Here are some Clavenesque facts about Mexico you may not know.

1) The first printing press in North America was used in Mexico City in 1539.

2) The National University of Mexico was founded in 1551 by Charles V of Spain and is the oldest university in North America.

3) Millions of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico every year from the U.S. and Canada

4) The border between Mexico and the United States is the second largest border in the world (only the U.S.- Canadian border is longer).

5) The red poinsettia (which the Aztecs called cuetlaxochitl) originated in Mexico and is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico (in the 1820s).

6) Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day. They receive gifts on January 6, the day on which Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men.

7) Mexico City is built over the ruins of a great Aztec city, Tenochtitlán. Because it is built on a lake, Mexico is sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches a year as pumps draw water out for the city’s growing population.

8) Mexico’s flag is made up three vertical stripes. The left green stripe stand for hope, the middle white stripe represents purity, and the right red stripe represents the blood of the Mexican people. The picture of an eagle eating a snake is based on an Aztec legend.

9) The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named for a Mexican state.

10) The Zapotec civilization (600 B.C.-A.D. 800) established great cities along southern Mexico and developed the first writing system in the Americas.

Number ten is particularly important for those of us who are living in the state of Oaxaca as it is the Zapotec civilization that was the  pre-Columbian indigenous civilization that flourished and re-sided in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica.  There is much archaeological evidence suggesting that their civilization goes back 2500 years.  There have been numerous artifacts discovered at the ancient city of Monte Alban, which also includes buildings, ball courts, tombs, and extravagant gold jewelery.  Monte Alban was one of the first major cities of Mesoamerica and the focus of a Zapotec state that ruled over what is now Oaxaca state.

1 comment:

  1. I'm like you, I love facts. It's really nice when there's an opportunity to show them off. I got the chance at christmas when we were playing a board game and a question came up on mexico. I looked really intelligent!

    Anyway, I love the facts on mexico. I knew a few of them, especially the one about the border. It's huge!