Mexico

First inhabited over 13,000 years ago, Mexico was originally comprised of indigenous people before the Spanish conquered the country in the 16th century and infused the natives’ established civilizations with European culture. As a result,

Mexico today still reflects the influences of the ancient and modern societies, which is evident in the nation’s languages, dialects and customs.

Although the country now has the 14th largest economy in the world and draws millions of tourists each year with its beautiful beaches, festivals, natural wonders and amazing weather, almost half of Mexico’s population live in extreme poverty.

You can make a difference and assist those in need in several areas such as health care, gender equality and education.

If you’ve volunteered in Mexico we’d love to hear about your experience. Please let us know which organization you signed up with, what your trip was like and if you’d recommend the program to others.

FACTS ABOUT MEXICO

Capital: Mexico City

Population: 120,286,655
[Source: The World Factbook]

Religion: Roman Catholic 82.7%, Pentecostal 1.6%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.4%, other Evangelical Churches 5%, other 1.9%, none 4.7%, unspecified 2.7%
[Source: The World Factbook]

Language: Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%
[Source: The World Factbook]

Location: North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States
[Source: The World Factbook]

Population Below Poverty Level: 52.3%
[Source: The World Factbook]

Climate: In Mexico there are two main seasons. Although there is some variation in temperature over the year, the most obvious difference is between rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season through most of Mexico falls roughly from May through September or October. During the rest of the year there is little or no rain. Don’t be discouraged from visiting during rainy season, when you’ll see lush, green landscape, as opposed to the dry season’s parched, brown landscape – and it often only rains in the late afternoons and evenings.
[Source: About.com]

TIP: Before heading to Mexico during hurricane season (June to November), check the weather forecasts and read up about precautions you can take.

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that travelers receive Hepatitis A and Typhoid shots. They also recommend that depending on the area you’re traveling to some should also get Hepatitis B, Marilia and Rabies vaccines.
[Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention]

Currency: Peso

Fact: Mexico has 31 states and 1 federal district