Mexico is located in the south of North America. It shares the second-longest border in the world with the U.S.A.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 most interesting facts about Mexico.
1. Mexico is the largest silver producer in the world.
In 2018, Mexico was the highest silver producer in the world for the 8th time running with no sign of it losing its stronghold, a fun fact about Mexico. It extracted almost 200 million ounces of silver that year. Taxco is the city most associated with silver jewelry and objects. The Mexican Mint also produces Libertad coins, which are silver and gold bullion coins, of differing sizes without face value. The Bank of Mexico guarantees the coin’s value based on the market value of their gold and silver.
2. The Chihuahua dog is Mexican.
Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog, and they are named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Archeological findings prove they really do have their origins in Mexico. Most likely they are the descendants of the tiny Techichi dogs that are depicted in Mayan, Aztec and Toltec artifacts. The Toltecs, who conquered the Mayans, were probably the first to domesticate Techichi, and also believed they were sacred. It is thought that Techichi interbred with a canine species brought from Europe by explorers, resulting in what we know as Chihuahuas today.
3. Hot chocolate originally had chili in it.
The Mayans of Mexico were drinking chocolate as early as 500BC, but they served it cold and made it from ground-up cocoa seeds, spices, water, cornmeal, and chili peppers. It was so special that people would be buried with their chocolate equipment, a fun Mexico fact. In the 1500s, Hernan Cortés took the drink back to Spain, where the Spanish upper classes adopted it. They served the drink heated and sweetened, and without the chili peppers. In the 1700s, London chocolate houses were as ubiquitous as coffee shops are today, even though chocolate was very expensive.
4. Spain ruled Mexico for nearly three centuries.
In 1519, the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortés arrived in Mexico. According to legend, the native Aztecs believed him to be their god Quetzalcoatl, returning from exile. The Spanish were oppressive rulers who treated native Mexicans as second-class citizens. In 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo, a Catholic Priest in the city of Dolores, ordered the Spanish authorities to be arrested. He would later be shot, but his initiative started the decade-long war of independence that ended in 1821 when Spain formally recognized Mexico’s independence.
5. The oldest university in North America is Mexican.
In 1551, Charles V of Spain founded the National University of Mexico. It was the first university in North America. The university’s main campus in Mexico City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains murals by Diego Rivera.
6. There are 68 official languages in Mexico.
Mexicans are comprised of a mixture of ancient civilizations like the Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Maya, Aztec, and Inca, and more recently, African, French, and Spanish. Today the majority of Mexicans speak Spanish, but there are 68 official languages recognized by the Mexican government, an interesting Mexico fact. Sixty-three of these are indigenous, and a lot of those are endangered due to declining indigenous populations or marginalization.
7. The Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid on earth.
In terms of volume, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, is the largest on earth, a fun fact about Mexico. It is 177ft tall with a base 1,480 by 1,480ft. It was built in stages from 3BC to 9AD to pay homage to the god Quetzalcoatl. Vegetation has obscured the pyramid making it look like an ordinary hill and prompting its alternative name of Tlachihualtepetl (Nahuatl for “artificial mountain.”) The Spanish built a church on top of the “hill,” further disguising it. Until the extent of Cholula was finally fully explored in 1931, it was believed that the Khufu Pyramid in Egypt was the biggest pyramid in the world.
8. Mexico City is sinking.
In the 1300s, the Aztecs built Mexico City in the middle of Lake Texcoco because it made it easy to defend. As the city grew, islands, channels, and connectors were constructed. When the Spanish seized power, they drained the lake to extend the city further. With a population over 21 million, the city’s water, extracted from the aquifers beneath the city, exceeds what gets naturally replenished. The result is that Mexico City has sunk 32ft in the last 60 years. Many of the city’s buildings are obviously leaning, sidewalks are cracked, and plumbing infrastructure has been rendered defunct in many areas.
Tequila is a spirit distilled from fermented blue agave, which grows in the area around the city of Tequila, near Guadalajara. More than 300 million plants are harvested annually, and the taste varies according to soil conditions. It has protected designation of origin status in over 40 countries, meaning that anything sold as Tequila in those countries must be made in Mexico. Within Mexico, the production of Tequila is strenuously controlled. America is the biggest importer of Tequila (80%) and has also negotiated bottling rights. However, China is fast acquiring a taste for the spirit and could become a contender in the future.
10. Mexican artist Frieda Kahlo, is one of the highest-priced female artists.
In 2016, one of Frieda Kahlo’s paintings sold for $8 million, making her one of the highest-priced female artists ever, and the highest Latin American. Kahlo was born in Mexico City in 1907 and was known for her affinity for Mexican culture. She suffered from polio as a child, then was in a terrible bus accident as a teenager that left her in pain for the rest of her life. Her marriage to fellow artist, political activist, and womanizer, Diego Rivera, was tumultuous. Her art is described as surrealistic, although she maintained that she painted her own reality.
Mexico may be America’s poor cousin, but its civilization dates back to ancient times. I hope that this article on Mexico facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!