Home North America Mexico 12 Misconceptions about Mexico

Mexico is often considered to be either a beach resort destination or a wonderland for drug lords. However, the majority of people don’t know the truth about Mexico, its culture and people. Their opinion is based on stereotypes and therefore they’re scared to go to Mexico. Below I present the answers to 12 misconceptions about Mexico – a country that I definitely recommend to both: visit and live in.

1 – Mexico’s real name is: United Mexican States
Mexico is divided into 31 states, plus the Federal District. Each state has its own law regulations and police, similar to how it works in the United States of America. When staying in a different state your phone is practically in roaming.

2 – Problems with the name of the capitalDF Angel
Right, the majority of people think that the capital of Mexico is Mexico City. However, that’s only partially true. The actual capital is Distrito Federal (DF) – Federal District. Mexico City metropolitan area, on the other hand, lies withing the whole DF and parts of the State of Mexico. Therefore, only inhabitants of DF, not the whole Mexico City can say they live in the capital.

3 – Mexican food abroad is not actually Mexican
Everyone seems to love Mexican food, that recently has been classified an irreplaceable cultural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Although… outside of Mexico people tend not to consume the real Mexican food, but Tex-Mex. In Mexico noone actually eats burritos aca Chipotle style (I know that in northern Mexico burritos are popular, however I meant burritos from the US fast food chains), moreover filled with rice. Moreover, most Mexican food is not spicy hot – it’s actually sour due to the amount of limes on everything (in Mexican simply called lemons). Spicy salsas and served on the side. 

4 – Mexicans don’t always have darker skin
When my friends look through my photos taken during my stay in Mexico very often I heard ‘he/she doesn’t look Mexican’. Assuming that all Mexicans have dark skin and black hair is a huge mistake, because not ALL Mexicans are darker. There are plenty of Mexicans that are as white as Eastern Europeans. Moreover, especially in big cities such as Mexico City exists a huge Jewish community or there are others with European heritage and therefore those people have white skin tone too. [It's not racist, it's nothing bad! It's simply a statement reffering to a fact that plenty of times foreigners were surprised seeing my Mexican friends that looked like Europeans - they simply couldn't believe that anyone from Mexico can look like this]

5 – Mexican Spanish is way different
As mentioned in my previous note on Mexican slang, Mexican Spanish is way different. Opposite to the majority of Latin American places in Mexico torta doesn’t mean a cake, it’s a sandwich. Also, sope is not a soup, but so-called ‘Mexican pizza’ (by ‘pizza’ I mean that of course it’s not a pizza, but it reminds them of the concept of pizza – dough, salsa, topping).

6Mexico is actually safer than most people think it is
According to US travel advisory: ‘Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect. See also the discussion in the section on Estado de Mexico for areas within the greater Mexico City metropolitan area.’
I agree completely. The place is actually safer than some of the big cities in America or even Europe. Of course bad things happens, like anywhere else in the world, but in Mexico most of the homicides happen between the drug mafias, not regular citizens.

7 – Mexico is not a third world country

Arcos Bosques

The term ‘third world’ was invented during the cold war as a geo-political division of countries aligned with the US (1st World), the Soviet Union (2nd World), or neither (3rd world / non-aligned). Given that the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore, Cuba considered themselves “non-aligned,” and China was revealed to have split from the Soviets long ago, the term didn’t even make sense then, so why would it make sense now. Moreover Mexico offers plenty of modern hotels, houses and exclusive restaurants. On the other hand the gap between poor and rich is quite huge – a lot of houses have a maid and driver, while other have not much money to live on.

8 – Mexico isn’t always hot
Mexico is a big country, therefore the weather varies. Some zones are indeed always hot, but in some areas it’s even snowing sometimes. Central Mexico has a high altitude therefore temperatures vary during the year.

9 – Women are privileged
Despite plenty of stereotypes that Mexican women have to be housewives and are constantly abused, women are actually quite privileged. In Mexico City there are women-only pink buses or special section for women in the subway. Maybe for some people it doesn’t seem like a privilege, but let me give an example of Turkey where women in publish transport are constantly being abused and nobody is trying to protect them  in any way – Turkish government didn’t even consider creating a special women-only section. Also, Mexicans are very caballerosos that means they always open the door for women, pick them up before the date/meeting or always pay for everything. Funnily enough according to the research conducted in Mexico City in 2013 it turned out that various women actually prefer to use a general section of the subway instead of women-one, because men would kindly give them a seat while other women wouldn’t.

10 – Cancun or Baja California don’t represent Mexico as a whole country
Tourists usually know about only two Mexican destinations: Cancun, or if they’re Americans Baja California. However, those places don’t represent the country at all if you visit them as a tourist in so-called ‘zona Hotelera‘. Both places are very ‘Americanized’ – everyone speaks English and things are expensive. However, outside of the big resorts there the place is a slump. Mexicans usually go to different beach spots, such as Acapulco, Playa del Carmen, Huatulco or many others.roma norte

11 – Mexicans don’t celebrate 5 de Mayo. Independence Day is 15 of September
Mexico declared independence on September 27th 1821, but the beginning of the independence war was Sept 16th 1810 – the day that’s celebrated now. 5 de Mayo only commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when Mexico won against the French army and it’s celebrated mostly in Puebla. Foreigners often mention 5 de Mayo to Mexican expats, while they never heard of the September celebration.

12 – (added after reading suggestions from comments) Mexico geographically lies in North America

One comment under the post reminded me that I often correct people when it comes to Mexican geographical location. People usually think since Mexico is a part of Latin America it belongs to South America or Central America. Mexico is a part of North America, along with the USA and Canada.

Check also fun facts about Mexico

* I wasn’t just a tourist in Mexico – I’ve lived in Mexico for 2 years (->you can find out what was I doing in About Me) and published a book on Mexican public policies that you can get here. My opinions might be subjective, because obviously I haven’t managed to visit or live every single place in Mexico. The post is meant to show foreigners that Mexico is worth visiting. *

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516 replies to this post
    • Have you ever talked to any Mexican women? My friend was actually conducting a research about women in public transport… women knew how to fight for their rights and got themselves plenty of them.

      • I was liking your post a lot until I read that part on women. 80% of women in Mx City suburbs is victim of domestic violence. And Mexico is overall as dangerous for women as India. Harassment, rape and murder against women are deemed as normal by Mexican lower classes, which account for at least 60% of the population.

        Women sections in public transportation are disempowering because it teaches women that they have to be kept apart to be safe.

        You have probably talked to middle-class women in Mexico, but –following your rethorics– have you ever visited any Mexican slum? I mean have you visited 80% of Mexico?

        • Yep. I actually traveled to slums a lot because of the investigation I had to conduct. Women are harassed everywhere in the world – Mexico isn’t different. What is surprising, however, is the fact that women actually prefer f.e. to stay in a general section of metro instead of going to women’s part, because they find is better (I can send you academic source for that later).

    • I´m Mexican and lived part of my life over there before moving with my wife to Denmark. If you live in an insecure area of Mexico, Zetas or any other gang will easily jump into a bus to kidnap, steal or kill somebody. they easily did that in Monterrey Mexico 3 years ago and thank God, that has stopped. The pink buses are there for two reasons, comfortability (privileges) and security which is some sort of privilege too.

      • Yep, but what I want to show the readers is that Mexico is not a country where you cannot live and enjoy without a fear that something might happen to you all the time. There are dangerous zones and safe zones…

      • Safe?!?!?! I guess sometimes and someplaces…
        I work in an organization where we give counseling to many women and children who have been rape while they travel… We hear of many kidnapping cases… I, Myself have 2 family members that were held against their will and killed for money… and 3 other family members that were held for ransom.. At different times.
        We live in a country were police is at the hand of the mafias. Sex slaves in many states!… Houses and businesses taken away by the mafias… I guess you keep on living on your pink world And yes my Mexico is beautiful and many people are good… but reality is that the ugly side is there too many times hidden from news so we don’t scare tourists.

      • Anna, as a Mexican I got to say I loved your post! Although it may contain a few misconceptions (that may vary depending on the area), on the overall I find it quite accurate.
        I’m definitely following your blog! Greets.

    • You’re absolutely right. Those buses and special sections on the subway were implemented because of the sexual harassment towards women in public transportation. In Mexico getting groped in the public transport is an every day thing, and we’re sick of it to the point of having to take these kinds of measures. Also, men in general are not chivalrous. Maybe they open doors for you in certain parts of the city or because they can obviously see that you’re a foreigner, but the reality of the day to day life in Mexico city is very different, and filled with machismo and sexist remarks

      • it depends on where are you living… if you live in coyoacan, benito juarez, cuahutemoc, there are always a safe option to reach your destination…
        there are places like “la candelaria” where the neighbors are so organized that no police is required… the organization is quite good, the DF is divided into “delegaciones” which are divided in “colonias” … and there is were you need to be informed about wich colonies are not good to go…
        every body knows that you never go to the delegacion Iztapalapa because they are very poor, so if you are not from neighbor, it’s luck not to be assaulted…

    • the special sections on the subway and the women-only pink buses were used as a political move for a woman who was on his carrer to be the major of the city…
      my friends are always alone in the public transport, and is like any other city in the world… if you are not careful then you are a easy target to anyone who wants to steal you…
      i have always lived in the city and yes… it’s safe…

  1. Hi, I’m a Mexican who was born in the capital and has lived in different parts on the country and the world (I’ve lived in about 6 other countries apart from Mexico). I wanted to comment on your points, as a Mexican reading this post entry. I apologize in advance if any of my points offend you, it’s not my intention, I’m just not that great at expressing my thoughts sometimes. Please take it as constructive criticism.

    1. I don’t think this is a big deal. A Mexican ex-president wanted to change the official name to “Mexico” to avoid confusion (and people thinking that we stole the name from the US).

    2. Not really a big deal either, most Mexicans get confused as well.

    3. There are some authentic Mexican restaurants abroad, you just have to know how to distinguish them. I’ve find authentic Mexican food from Florida to Moscow. If they are serving burritos, then yeah, it’s tex-mex. If they are serving sopes, now we’re talking!

    4. I wouldn’t use the Jewish community as a representation of the white Mexicans. I actually met very few Jewish Mexicans (most of them live in the north of Mexico City, while the south is mostly Catholic and some people from Arabic ascent who became Catholic). Most white Mexicans have white skin because of their European ancestry (in fact, Mexican genes are more European than Native Mexican. You’ll only find true Native Mexicans in very isolated areas). I’m a white Mexican, since my dad’s side is native and my mom’s side is 100% European. When I’m in Europe I don’t really look that foreign.

    5. Well, to be fair, that’s how accents work in any language.

    6. I wouldn’t call Mexico “safe”, I’d just call it “not as dangerous as the media portrays it”. Now, you’re using Mexico City as an example. That’s one of the few states where the drug war is not going on, so saying that Mexico is safe because some cities are safe is a mistake. I still wouldn’t visit places like Michoacan.

    7. It’s not a third world country, yes, since those don’t exist anymore. It’s a developing country, which is the modern equivalent of the colloquial “third world”.

    8. Yup.

    9. Kinda. Again, this is very “state-specific”. The pink buses exist only in Mexico City, which means this comment is innacurate for the other 31 states. But the thing about guys being “caballerosos” is sort of true. There are still guys who will try to grab your butt.

    10. As a kid, I used to go every year to the mayan riviera. Acapulco is horrible, it used to be a tourist trap while Cancun was still relatively unknown. Then Cancun became high profile and now no one really goes to Acapulco except drug dealers. I still love Cancun… Well, not the Zona Hotelera, of course! But the beaches near Cancun. There are still lots of magical places over there.

    11. 5 de Mayo is celebrated by quite a lot of people. It’s only an official Holiday in Puebla, but most schools in the capital give it out as a holiday (and some companies in other states too. I’ve seen companies in Guadalajara where people don’t work in the 5th of May, and it’s on the other side of the country from Puebla). So I wouldn’t say it’s not a reason to celebrate (after all, there’s a parade on the 5th of May anyway, just because it’s not a federal holiday doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. It’s just more localized. I’d say it’s even more celebrated than Martin Luther King’s day in the US).

    • Thanks for your comments, I always appreciate critique. About points 1-3: it’s not the matter of a big deal or not, but rather showing foreigners that Mexico might not always seem as it does. When it comes to food obviously Mexicans know what is Mexican and what’s Tex Mex, but a regular foreigner doesn’t, so they cannot distinguish what’s good. 4) I gave Jews as an example, but it’s one of a thousand. 6) I want to show the readers is that Mexico is not a country where you cannot live and enjoy without a fear that something might happen to you all the time. There are dangerous zones and safe zones. 9) Yeah, however guys trying to grab your butt happen everywhere – in the Middle East, Africa, or even some European places. There are perverts everywhere ;) 10) I just want to let the tourists know that going to Zona Hotelera resorts (cuz most of the time people usually hang out ONLY there) is not an objective view of Mexico, that’s all.

      • This is true, japan is considered to be one of the safest places in the world with the lowest crime rates. And one of the biggest issues there is women getting groped or abused in public transportation. And the Japanese introduced sections for women in the trains and buses before mexico. Sure, it may be a machismo thing, but the law, at least in mexico is taking many efforts to protect women from the abuse of men and that is a step in the right direction.

    • About burritos, they are actually Mexican, they originated in the northern states, Sonora and Chihuahua. I used to think burritos were tex-mex until I got a girlfriend from Chihuahua, and it seems it is a general miss consemption of the mexicans from other states (like me). Being said that, the american version of burritos is not like “real” burritos (just as taco bell is not ‘real’ tacos for us)

      • Oh, well, that I didn’t know – since I’ve been living in DF. Tho Taco Bell or Chipotle is not Mexicans, but that’s how tourists see it -that’s the main point I wanted to make.

      • As you said, American burritos aren’t really the same. The fact that they are only eaten in a handful of border states wouldn’t make them representative of national food as a whole. It’s like saying “quesadillas sin queso” are representative of Mexican food when they only exist in Mexico City.

      • Actually, there’s a lot of places that sell quesadillas sin queso, unless you specifically ask for it.
        Mexican cuisine is incredibly varied – going from one city to another in the same state you’ll find the same food made differently, or completely different food, so burritos only being in a few states in Mexico is actually very Mexican.

      • “quesadilla” is not called like that in the DF for the “Queso” on it… is a nahuatl word for that tipe of tortilla whit something on it…

      • The point being that you’re spreading lies and misconceptions. You’re obviously very young amd immature and see the world how you wish to see it. Be responsible about what you post……please.

    • I am also Mexican. Please do not take the comments of the above person as completely true. I agree with most of the author’s comments, just a few comments:

      1. The name and most of the political system, division of powers, bicameral system of congress, etc is indeed a closecopy of the US system, at least on paper. We are sometimes too proud not to accept something that is so clear.

      3. The Mexican fast food in the US is Tex-Mex, most medium to upper scale Mexican Restaurants outside of Mexico serve food very close to the actual thing. Sopes are just one very very small part of Mexican Food. That’s street food, Mexican food is extremely vast and extensive.

      4. Use whatever example you deem necessary to convey the message. Mexicans come in all sizes and colors; and sometimes in different languages. It may very well be one of the most racially diverse countries in Latin America. What I would like to point out is that Mexicans are somehow very “racially blind” we do not think of someone with dark skin as a black person, even if by all international standards they may fit the profile. Don’t get me wrong, there is an underlying sense of discrimination, subtle, not really visible unless you look for it but it is not dependent on race, it is more related to education and social status. Being that there is a historic relation between race and social status that has not been corrected yet, some people get confused. If “A Mexican Reader” doesn’t know many Jewish people is because he may not know too many people. I do, and they blend in with the rest as much as they want. Some do not and that is ok too.

      6. Today, Mexico is indeed safe in all the major cities, beaches and tour destinations. Of course all is relative. Violence and problems can erupt at any time in some areas, but usually the main attractions are under complete control. Where there is violence it is between gangs or police, not against the general population or tourists.

      7. Mexico is number 13th in world economies. All those old labels don’t fit anymore. If 13th is not good, then what is?

      10. Acapulco is one of the best destinations in Mexico. It is full of life and movement, nightlife is amazing and the views and beaches are great. There is no place in the Mayan Riviera that can compare to the views of Acapulco Bay. If you’re looking for Americanized destinations, then you should go to Disney. I find it very offensive that this person says that the only people that go to Acapulco are drug dealers, when it is the most visited beach destination in Mexico (by Mexicans). This all goes to say how credible this guy is.

      11. 5 de Mayo is a commemorative day, although not as big as people believe in the USA. I have been called by American friends that believe it is our independence day. So I get your point. The main idea is: it is a much bigger holiday in the USA. I will not go into detail as why it was historically so much more important to the US, but let’s just say it is by no mistake Americans celebrate it. It was a crucial battle to stop France from helping the South in the American Civil War, which was the French army’s main intent. And no, MLK Day is way more celebrated in the US than Cinco de Mayo is in México. I have lived in both places.

      • Being 13th in Nominal GDP means absolutely nothing when 33% of the population lives with less than 5 dollars per DAY.

        Our GDP is higher than Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway… Would you say Mexico is more developed than those countries? Nominal GDP means nothing when there’s such a big polarity in the distribution of wealth. So, no, “13th” is not good enough.

        And about Acapulco, if it was so great, then how come Cancun completely dethroned Acapulco since the 90′s? Acapulco isn’t really relevant anymore, the only people who go to Acapulco are those who can’t afford Cancun. I’ve been to lots of beaches (and trust me, I’m not a fan of beaches at all) including Cancun and Acapulco many times. But if I had to choose one, I’d go with the Mayan Riviera in a heartbeat.

        If you think Martin Luther King’s day is more celebrated in the US than 5 de mayo is in Mexico, then you’ve obviously never been to Puebla, Veracruz, Mexico City, etc. Just because it’s not celebrated in YOUR state it doesn’t mean it’s not celebrated. I’ve lived in the US too, and I never saw anyone celebrating MLK. At least in Mexico it’s an actual holiday (people don’t work/study) in many schools and companies. This all goes to show how credible you are.

      • Growing only a 1% seems to me enough to say we are a developing country. Besides that I’m very pleased with your comment.

      • Agree with everything you said except I have been to Acapulco and I think is overrated, there is amazing places like Mazatlan that is a complete city for locals and tourist, playa del Carmen and Sayulita on the later years.
        Acapulco has always have the support of powerful politicians and televisa because of special $ interest.
        Also I am in Colorado and we have some amazing upper scale restaurants with authentic Mexican food .

    • Hello!! OK with almost everything mexican reader posted.

      But commenting to what the original text says I don’t consider the mentality of people, or the men as caballerosos… I would say that the machismo (and I’m not talking only about the mentality of men but also the women) is still present in most places, even in the city… but of course like every country and every city there is a little bit of everything… specially in the city there are many guys that are caballerosos (and the women are much more free and liberal that in rural areas)… but there is also a bunch of guys that are machistas, and like mexican reader says will grab your butt or worse!!! for you to make an idea… in the last past week at least 7 men has murmured to me vulgar things as I walked next to them (in a you can say nice area of the city… imagine when you are at a worse area)… or almost any friend girl that I have has had her butt pinched, or guys having erections in their shoulders or in their asses, or even masturbating in front of them, all of these in the public transportation or in the street, reason for which the goverment has to provide women with safe transportation and special buses and sections on the subway… and I always use them, and almost every woman… even if the male section is not that full and the women section is abarrotated… which I think it’s pretty sad, because it only reflects the insecurity we feel by traveling with men.

      And to the comment of the dark and the white skin, which I think it’s not relevant because what matter if everyone of the mexicans are of darker skin (which is true… almost the 80% is), and I don’t think it’s a reason to be embaressed, or to deny it, or something. I also think this kind of mentality foments the malinchismo and the racismo that it’s also very present in the population… with comments like… marry a güero to improve the race (but anyway, continuing with the jewish with white skin…) … I also have a lighter skin tone, and many mexicans like me are the result of the mixture of races (mostly european and native)… the race more pure I would counsider is the native one (los indígenas) all the others (light and dark skin) are the result of the mestizaje, and almost every one I know light skin or dark skin is catholic or doesn’t believe in anything… there is a jewish community, but I don’t consider that almost every people with lighter skin tone are jewish… in fact i don’t think i know many jewish people at all.

      And for the rest of the points pretty much agree with what mexican reader said, and don’t missinterpretate me… I love my country and I wouldn’t change my city for any city in the world, but not everything is pink and butterflies jaja. :P and I liked the text very much because there is a lot of wrong ideas and stereotypes of what Mexico and mexicans are like, but that’s why people have to come here to figure out for themeselfs what grate place this is!! And the tourist places and stops usually are much more safe and pretty… I don’t think any tourist would easily get in to a bad neighborhood… usually you only meet the best and more secure zones of the city.

      Sorry for my really bad english! :P

  2. As a Mexican guy I thank you in behalf of my country! You describe our country in a great way, as it is. Greetings from Mexico City!

  3. 1. The white skin tone of people have absolutely nothing to do with the jews, most of the whiter skin background comes from European (notably spanish or french) or American influence. Jews in Mexico City keep pretty much to themselves, specially in Polanco. They only marry among themselves also.

    2. Not many households have driver AND maid, it’s the high class who does. I studied all my life in private establishments and I’d say less than half of my schoolmates had both and if you have one is cos its SUPER cheap. They’re not really well paid.

    3. Whereas Mexican women are privileged cos men are gentlemanly, it does follow a pattern of fear by the family of the women going out in their own, particularly at night or out of the home-town/city. The fact men pay for everything is also majorly a high class thing; middle and low class are not able to pay everything for both all the time. So they share or don’t have a gf at all.

    –> I think you clearly went out in Mx city with high class (Fresas) or wannabe Fresas. Get some friends from Condesa, Roma or Napoles and you’ll live good but more “normal” Mexican lifestyle.

    • I gave Jews as an example, but it’s one of a thousand. However, you cannot generalize that all of them they marry ONLY other Jews and hang out with ONLY themselves. I have various Jewish friends and I know that it’s not true. As every opinion mine can be subjective.
      P.S. I do hang out and have friends in Roma or Condesa. As a matter of fact I actually lived in Roma for a while ;)

      • PS: Condesa, Roma or Napoles isn’t average… Come over around Tepito or Iztapalapa. Or go out into the country, go to Oaxaca or Chiapas.

      • if you are a traveller it means that you enjoy read, listen music and try diferent types of food… then condesa, roma, Centro, napoles, del valle, narvarte, portales, del carmen coyoacan are the option to visit or live in… the concentration of the culture are there… If you are a bussines man then polanco, anzures, las lomas, santa fe, is the place for you…
        If you want to see the reality of the average poor people then you have to visit iztapalapa, tepito, and the other places that i doesn’t mentioned…

        the polarity of the country has nothing to do whit the fact that it is a great place to visit…

      • I am originally from Colonia el Reloj in Coyoacan, it’s pretty tranquil there despite it being considered a “dodgy” area, and my aunt has lived there for 40 years and she and her children have never had any problems there. And we’re all white because our family is of Spanish and French ascent.

  4. A safe place?? i disagree, i was 3 weeks in Monterey in 2010, we were told not to go outside, alone, that is, at least two and two! ( also men) and at that time, Monterey was safe in comparison, to mexico city and many other northeastern cities! today that has changed! Mexico C. is now more safe, mostly to its massive ammount of surveilance cams, an Mont. by itself, is now more unsafe! Especially in the east, you dont find such unsafe place, in comparison to Any european cities, or capitals! how do i now that? i read the news, and i now a lot of mexicans, from my stay over there! ___________If you want to see what real safety is, come to my country, Denmark, here you can have your pram, standing on the street, outside the restaurant, you are visiting, without any fear of getting the kid stolen! its not that we have no crime, most places you can walk alone, though in the nights, dont do that when drunk people is there, but thats how it is in most of the world i guess! In areas where there live a lot of muslims, (like certain streets at Norrebro in Copenhagen) people cant walk around with a davidstar or a cross in fx a neclase! ____________A thing i rearly wondered about you wrote: “Mexico is divided into 31 states, just like US” ? rearly? i hope this was just bad way of expressing youself, most travelers should know that US has 51 states lo. ;) bless

    • Please read it again – it states CLEARLY that I’m talking about Mexico City when it comes to safety.
      I meant that it’s DIVIDED just like the US, not that the US has 31 states. Sorry ;)

    • Monterrey has never really been a safe place. Especially in 2010. Mexico City has been one of the safest cities in Mexico for the last 5 or 6 years, while Monterrey was one of the worst (until 1 or 2 years ago when it became slightly safer than before).

      • You must be very young! That you don’t remember a time when Monterrey was one of the safest big cities of Mexico? It was not that long ago either, everything changed for the worse about 8 years ago, but before that it was safe and peaceful as a big city can be. To say that “is has never been a safe place” is totally inaccurate.

      • @MiYeyes

        No, I’m not very young. If Monterrey was “once upon a time one of the safest cities in Mexico”, it’s not really relevant. The past decade is relevant. You’re just arguing about semantics, really… Using the word “never” is always hyperbolic.

      • I’ve lived in Monterrey for 29 years, I have friends in law enforcement that would correctly tell you about how you are misinformed. Some of them even requested transfer over to Monterrey. I have families in both cities, and considering that my family in the DF have been victims of violence much more often than my family in monterrey which are close to zero, I’m pretty sure their statistics are pretty darn accurate.

      • Interesting, if you think that Monterrey is so safe, then how come 2 or 3 years ago, every single student that wanted to study in ITESM in Monterrey was sent to the Mexico City campus instead?

        How come the Mexican campus “magically” got flooded with students from Monterrey?

        Please… I lived in Mexico city for many years too, and nothing ever happened to me or my family. EVER. We were never victims of violence (maybe your family lives in a terrible area?).

        If you think Monterrey is somehow safer then you’re extremely delusional.

    • I have lived in Monterrey for 29 years, and even when stuff was bad 4 years ago, now I have friends in law enforcement and even they say that monterrey is a lot better off right now, not close to Sinaloa or Ciudad Juarez who have seen terrible violence and even now, they still have strict public safety measures. I can go out at night with zero problems and the police are making their rounds to ensure safety. So don’t just go talking about stuff you only saw on 1 visit. Every country, every city has their “bad neighborhoods”, if you went to somewhere like Escobedo, that’s your mistake, it’s called “Escomiedo”(a pun on fear) for a reason. And when she wrote divided into 31 states just like the US, she meant to compare the division in states. Free states, which is the case in the US too. Please use your brain a little more. Mexico city being safer? HA! you know nothing. My family who still live there have been mugged about 3 times in a single week, one of my uncles was kidnapped twice. My family in Monterrey, you ask? Perfectly safe.

      • I lived for many years in Mexico city and didn’t get mugged a single time. If your family members were mugged 3 times and then kidnapped twice, I’m PRETTY SURE they are doing something wrong.

        Me and my family have been safer in Mexico City than in any other of the states we’ve lived in. Just because your family was targeted for some reason doesn’t mean Monterrey is safer. Remember the student massacre in ITESM? Yeah, that happened in the Monterrey campus.

    • I knew Monterrey when it was a safe place to stay. Unfortunately things changed and it got awful to be there. It was a lovely city to visit :(

      I must say that not all Mexico is that unsafe, the city where I’m living now from the past three years is as far I can tell, really safe. I walk all by myself and nothing has ever happened to me, even at night. The only thing I despise is when somebody cat calls me on the street, but to be honest that happens frequently in other countries besides Mexico.

  5. Soo, i see that, then whatabout “Mexico is actually a safe place” was that meant as a misconception?, because then i agree.. btw, if you should ever get the idea to go to DK, come in the early summer, or in the spring (i love the spring), thats when nature is most vigorous, winter is boring :)

  6. Another place i can recommend, if you should b interested in old places, its Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, ( Eesti in their languish) its very safe, great food, and the special about Tallinn is, that its one of a few capitals in europe, that hasnt burned down, that means that you can see buildings all the way back to the danish period, where we had the country (1206-1346), i know people there, if y wanna meet some.. from a church close to the paliarment, the pentecostalchurch, rearly nice and sweet people.. (i had a date with a former balletdancer, who attended the church:)

  7. Chipotle is mexican, the word is from nahuatl and means smoked chilli, to make a chipotle you can use jalapeño, serrano, morita, habanero and others.

  8. 1. I don’t think anyone calls it by its official name, except maybe in courts, congress and official events. The average person in the average conversation will refer to it as México. I’ve considered federal vs state powers’ ratio to be about the same as in the US, but I’d have to study this in depth to actually affirm anything.

    4. “Don’t worry, people, mexicans aren’t necessarily all brown, there’s enough privileged white people you can talk to,” gawwwd! Yes, because our whiteness makes us better, I suppose, meanwhile, you choose to ignore not only the average mexican (who is still brown), but also indigenous people and afro-mexicans who are heavily discriminated against. In a country where “güerita” (white girl) is a “compliment,” I really, REALLY don’t feel eager to let the world know that there are white people in Mexico.

    6. When you speak about Mexico, all through this article, you seem to just be referring to the capital. The capital is relatively safe, but even by that, we’re probably just talking downtown and upper middle class neighborhoods. Where I live they killed a woman right down the street a couple weeks ago. And this is 20 minutes from downtown. My hometown is a tourist town in central Mexico, and even as a tourist town, it’s pretty unsafe. Granted, it’s not the post-apocalyptic wasteland american media makes it to be, but it’s not safe either. This pretty much depends on your location, some states like Michoacán and Edomex (Mexico State) are very unsafe, while places like Querétaro and Yucatán are much safer.

    7. The disparity is strong on this one. I’m actually glad you got your cold war terminology right and that you mentioned disparity, but it doesn’t do justice to how big this problematic really is. It should be emphasized that pretty buildings don’t mean anything when more than half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.

    9. “Caballerismo” doesn’t actually mean anything for women’s rights, I hope you know that. All it means is we accept gender roles as a moral core. It means victim blaming is norm because “ladies should behave a certain way”. Google “Yakiri Rubio Aupart”: a young lesbian girl who was in jail for three months for killing her rapist in self defense. This is recent. The prosecutor decided to make the case about how Yakiri was supposedly involved romantically with her rapist, as if that made it okay for him to rape her. She had to pay a huge fine to get out. And this happened in the capital, not in a small town. And this kind of thing happens to many women in the country. The divided busses are a safety measure that ignores the larger problematic. In Cd. Juárez, women continue to go missing. In Chiapas more and more women are being murdered. According to official statistics, about 6 women are killed everyday in the country. Mexico also has the second highest rate in murders of transexual women in the world.

    10. “Cancún or Baja California don’t represent Mexico.” You’re right, neither does Mexico DF. The average town doesn’t have the money, resources or safety the capital has..

    • #6 It clearly states I’m referring to the capital.
      #7 It’s meant to show that not EVERYTHING in Mexico is slum – because it’s not and not EVERYONE lives below the poverty line.
      #10 So then what does represent the country, because something has to…

      • 6. Then can you make such a bold statement as: “Mexico is safe”?
        7. I know an american tourist won’t hold my anti-capitalist views, but the fact that not EVERYONE lives below the poverty line, doesn’t mean much when half of the country does. I don’t care about pretty buildings because the truth is slums are far more common.
        10. Maybe the country can’t be represented as a single stereotype, maybe it’s diverse. Maybe we can see how people in cities like Cancún and Mexico City are okay while people in Oaxaca and Chiapas struggle to buy food every day.

      • I’m a law student and I was born and reside on México, I’ve been on the states and I’m in touch with very close friends who live there.

        First and second misconceptions are totaly true. If you disagree with the author you must have a very bad education or you might not be mexican. Sorry if I am rude but its true.

        We mexicans are mostly known for the dark-skin color, but that is totaly partial. In México, as in any other country, there are white people, dark-skin people, asians, jewish, natives, etc. México is one of the countries in the whole world with many different races. About jewish, yes they are very selective; there must be a lot of them who let their religion aside, but most of them because of their believes are very attatched to their own community, this doesnt mean they can get along only with the people who lives in their community, it depends on the religious believes in each family.

        México is an unsafe country. True but false. Insecurity is a matter of perception. Many communities are partialy safe, and many others unsafe due to the economical situation they live in. Drug trafficking, vandalism, smuggling, are phenomenons that developped in the past years because of poverty and necessity. The minimum wage in Mexico is less than a dollar per hour which makes invalid the argument “Mexico is number 13th in worlds economies”, yes we have great business men, if I had to name one I would say “Carlos Slim” who’s in the top richest men in the whole world but the average mexican barely affords the supplies to survive day-by-day (70% of mexican population).

        The country is represented by all those wonderfull places, cities and towns that compound the whole country. Cancun, Baja California, Acapulco or Mazatlan are a small part of what México really is. Chiapas, despite it is an unsafe place, shows another side of mexican culture, it might not be a big city or the centre of mexican economy but it really is the centre of mexican most beautiful localities such as “San Juan Chamula” where many indigenous inhabit. There are also other cities and states like Jalisco where arts are very important, I should name honorable personalities such as the famous painter “Jose Clemente Orozco”, the arquitect “Luis Barragan” and places such as the “Hospicio Cabañas”. Veracrúz, Monterrey, Oaxaca and Mexico City.; yes, all of them have incredible “endroits” to enjoy. Foreigns think that the only attraction in Mexico are the beautiful beaches we have, but there are many other magical places to visit and different types of attractions.

        I agree with most of the article. She’s right when she says “Mexican Spanish is way different” she means that when you learn it in the States they teach you a very proper way to talk that no one really uses. I also agree with her when she says men are chivalrous, yes they pay the bills, and dinner and open the door for you but all of this is also relative, it depends on the type of education you recive at home and the people you get along with. I disagree whith the 11th misconception, I think each of us celebrates the days we think are important for us; like in any other country there are a lot of dates no one realy remembers. The government decides which dates must be remembered because of the importance and relevance they have. In the States, people celebrates “Halloween”, on the other hand Mexicans celebrate “The day of the death”; but because of globalization some mexicans also celebrate halloween, just as both countries celebrate 5th may, Mexico commemorates it in some States.

        I hope this can be helpfull. To give this more credibility I took the time to investigate some reliable sources:
        http://www.visitmexico.com
        http://www.inegi.org.mx/
        http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/

    • I absolutely love it when Socialists come and start to publicly announce they are socialists… really, these people… it has been my experience that socialists have a huge misconception of what the model means. Anna is trying to get people to think of Mexico as something more than just beaches, burritos and the image of a lazy, brown drunkards with a huge sombrero, a bottle of tequila in one hand and a donkey standing near him while a cactus gives him shade.

      Rather than just try to disagree with what she’s saying, as a mexican you should encourage tourism to other parts of Mexico.

      Everyone complains about all the issues in this country, yet who among you are actually doing anything to help change that? I work very closely with lawyers and human rights defenders. And were trying to change the fact that women are abused and dish out proper justice against any who dare touch them.

      Socialism… really? Just look at all the countries with socialist governments. You get rid of the social classes, well allow me to burst your bubble, socialist countries have two social classes, the government which has all the power and control over all the collective resources of everyone in the country, and then there’s the poor. The poor is everyone not in the government. So please, you socialist mexicans who have no idea what socialism might do to this country, just sit down with a Cuban refugee, ask him or her what he thinks and maybe, maybe you’ll open your eyes and stop this crap. The only model that semi works is Capitalism, and yeah, it has it’s faults, but many countries who have shifted to a capitalist model have grown a whole fricken lot. So please, I urge you to really speak to someone who has lived in a socialist regime, speak to a chinese person that took refuge in the US, see how many of them have actually grown out of their poor status thanks to this “capitalist” model you hate so much. Get up your butt and get to work. Go into business on your own, do something to change your situation rather than just sit around complaining. I have meet so many people who are poor because they keep content to living on handouts. And these are the people who put the current president there. Mexico has the government it deserves because of it’s people refusing to stand up for what’s right and getting off their butts to actually do something productive.

      So really, a socialist party exists in Mexico because it would be great for them in power. Everything is managed by the government, all resources are centralized and “divided among the people” but really.. stop being so blind… they will keep it all and give you nothing. Why should a neurosurgeon make as much money as a janitor or viceversa? Because of equality? Give me a break. How much of his life has a successful neurosurgeon invested in his career and time to gain the knowledge that makes him earn what he earns? You’re gonna put that at the same level of a janitor? He does as much effort as the surgeon so he should have the same wages? You don’t understand half of the socialist model. You don’t understand how it would cripple us, the people, rather than help us.

      You hate on the corporation owners but in reality, it’s jelousy that drives that. Those men and women had a vision, they worked their vision until they got to where they are. Mind you, Carlos Slim sold bubblegum when he was young. Now, he’s the most powerful businessman in Mexico, he’s not number one of the richest in the world list anymore, but he was for some time. What vision do you have? What have you got to offer that is worth what a neurosurgeon makes? What do you have that makes you better than Slim?

      So because the capitalist model worked for him, since it doesn’t for you and you’re not rich, you feel content to demand that his assets be seized and you get some of his money out of pure entitlement. Wow, that’s a very comfortable view. A false Utopia. You want that, keep your socialist views. You’re part of the problem in this country.

      The capitalist model is made to reward those that go out there and DO, not those who demand to be given.

  9. As a Mexican… I really really loved and enjoyed your blog! This is amazing, Anna! Thank you for your nice opinion about our country and thank you to see it in a positive way :)

  10. Even with drug cartels in mexico is not compare to the crazy people that lives in usa not a single day goes by without the us news or local news reporting someone being killed or murder brutally in some neighborhood…
    yes there is violance in mexico but is related only to drug cartels struggle. Not single people murdering each other or kids killing other in kids in schools.

  11. I’ve seen those hard tortillas people buy in taco bell XD you’ll never find anything like that in my country. Nice article, accurate information. A lot of people just don’t know how things really are in Mexico, so, muchas gracias XD

  12. I am from Mexico City living in Sydney, Australia. And I find this article very helpful. I constantly have to answer the same questions. There is more to Mexico that what is shown on TV or how it’is descibed by unsatisfied mexicans.

  13. Hi,

    As a Mexican that has lived in Canada, USA, New Zealand and now Sydney, I can tell you that anywhere you go there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ areas, you wouldn’t be alone in an alley near the homeless crew in Vancouver or you wouldn’t go to the Western Suburbs at night for drugs in Sydney, well it is the same every city has their ups and downs, it is not as dangerous as the media portrays it that is for sure of course you need to be cautious, you need to be cautious anywhere you go! Travel a bit and see the world, just because you saw it online (bad or good media) does not mean that it is true (although I pretty much agree with this article)

    • Well I suppose if you’re looking for drugs at night there is not a safe place for that. But you are saying not to fall for what you read online or hear from other people or media, and it seems to me that you do fall for that too. The western suburbs of Sydney are not all dangerous and drug dealing places, we are trying not to fall into stereotypes here!
      The probability of being a victim of a random act of violence at night in Sydney is way higher at the city centre than anywhere else.

      • Exactly I am not trying to stereotype here but there is a higher crime rate in the western suburbs with drug related gang shootings as parts of Mexico has, every city has their share of problems. I would put it exactly how you said in a random act of violence anyone can get hurt. But in the city and suburbs near the main cities of Mexico are as safe as most cities worldwide. It is just the international media tends to focus on the bad aspects of Mexico rather than the good ones.

  14. Jee people
    Mexicans are Americans as anyone else born in the continent (who would go around saying that Germans are the only Europeans because they’re the wealthiest?) and as North American as any Canadian or US citizen… and if they were not, why then they keep under NAFTA’S shoe?

    and yes, they’re United Mexican States because when they became an independent nation (a way bigger one as it comprised the entirety of the southern states of the US) they were inspired by the form of government of the US.

    anyway, I lived there for various years while doing research on political systems as Mexico is the cradle of “Presidencialismo”, the political elite keeps in power generation after generation, ransacking the resources of the country and giving nothing to the people. Oh well, giving them brain rubbish in the shape of soap operas or “Telenovelas” that only exacerbate racism, indifference and a strange mentality of hoping that the Lady of Guadalupe will magically solve everything.

    Mexicans are among the most racist people in the world starting by segregating themselves! It’s incredible how they call “guerita” (blondie) to the shoppers strolling on the market even if the person is not blond at all but just to indicate this idea of class difference and “respect”, it is shocking that “indio” (what in other countries is called “Native” or “First Nation” person) is an insult as well as “chacha” (diminutive of muchacha, which is a way to call the domestic help). It is amazing to see how willing they’re to help foreigners but incapable of supporting their own people (the government “condones the debt of Cuba” but does NOTHING to support their own apple growers to sell their products INSIDE the country?? (leave aside exporting them since NAFTA will never allow that)…

    The country is screwed because of its corrupted government and believing that solutions are someone else’s business. It’s never been a peaceful place and it will never be until the social breech is closed and the inequality less palpitant as it is today and has historically been. Their political play is also soap-opera quality, new government for 12 years… and during these years the drug problem became the “war” they say it’s today… they’re trying to turn the country into the new Colombia sort of thing, a very sad thing to see (nothing against Colombia, I think that because of everything they suffered they taught a lesson Mexicans should know better)

    At the beginning of the 20th century the Mexican railway connected the entire country and the US as well… how can you understand that today there are no trains anymore?!? that the railroads are given to a private person who does not intend to invest on this essential infrastructure for a country? it’s rotten to the core, seriously. And what are Mexicans doing about it? Why aren’t they demanding a train? why are they paying for private roads inside the city rather than demanding a proper public infrastructure? The way Mexicans sabotage each other are unaccountable….

    Why are Mexicans still allowing the US to portray them as servile, low-living, ignorant delinquents? In all US movies the Mexicans are always looked down, they allow them to show places that resemble two centuries ago! And the country is so rich and diverse! Michoacan is beautiful, the monarch butterfly sanctuary is one of the most magical places on earth, Zacatecas is like a trip to a glorious century, Guanajuato is colorful and the tunnels of their capital are amazing, Chiapas is a poem for nature… I must reckon I didn’t like the north that much but it was mainly because the closer one gets to the US border, the sadder the picture…

    I like Mexico, and I like it a lot, as matter of facts I always entreated the thought of going back to settle there BUT I don’t want to be like these retired gringos with their upscale haciendas at San Miguel (and yes, they keep local maids) nor to be the reason of pinches every time I walk in front of a group of kids… I’m a red-haired and it turns out that there’s another superstition that if you pinch the person next to you when you see a ginger person you’ll have good luck or something like that.

    I like the people, but I really don’t like how little they respect each other. For them to be a Mexican is to sing “cielito lindo” with the mariachi, to know the national anthem and to cheer for the football team… but there’s no real solidarity with the poor, there’s not interest in making the government responsible and transparent, there’s really nothing like a definition of “Mexican” if they were to do the same as in the States (this Italian-American, Scottish-American nonsense) it would end up in the Colonial “casta” system and it’s useful for nothing more than undermining (more) other people with darker skin, Mexicans are such a multicultural soup!! From the various native groups (not all Mexicans are Aztec descendants) to all European, Asian (yes, they had trade with China way back in the 17th century) and even some African.

    and I LOVE the food, every time I go there I had to bring back at least some tortillas to freeze until I actually bought my tortilla maker and the flour for it so I can make my own tortillas at home, they’re a far cry from the real deal but still…

    White people abounds and they’re not necessarily of jewish ascendance, not even from the US or Spain. During the entire 19th century the country had invasion after invasion – the not-so famous 5 de mayo is remembered because it’s when the Mexican army defeated the French troops. What they don’t say very often is that there were already a lot of French settled there, also that the Irish sent an entire battalion to support (St. Patrick’s battalion) and most of the soldiers STAYED in the country.

    Between Spain trying to recover the lost colony, the US continuously trying to take over the country and build the canal to connect both oceans at the Tehuantepec itsmo (the “thin” stretch of land between the gulf and the Pacific Ocean), the british claiming payment of debts and trying to build the ferry, the French… the 19th century was quite intense for Europeans (men mainly) arriving to the country.

    anyway, thanks for the post Anna, as a globe-trotter as well, it’s always nice to exchange thoughts with fellow travellers, Mexico is one of these countries that I keep very close to my heart and it’s very dear to me and I truly wish there was more I could do to help them out of this sad situation.

    • Que nefasto comentario, trata de ver y agradecer lo positivo que tenemos, y si alguien hace comentarios positivos pues que padre no?, … pero no! siempre tratando de ponernos de martires y jodidos y ver lo más negativo que se puede ver… por gente como tu México no avanza, y esto es un error social que ya debe de resolverse.

  15. In Fact, the reason that the americans celebrate 5 de Mayo, is because when the french invided Mexico they have plans to get to united states of america, united states was in a civil war in that time, so they may not stop the french intervention, when mexican won the battle in puebla, the united states of america celebrate becouse the mexican stop the french and that battle change the final plans of the french army.
    :)

  16. Hey hey! im brazilian and i loved ur post… actually almost all the things u said can also be used in the case of brasil… all these stereotypes are the same people have about my country. I just desagree about the woman special public transport…. actually, a senator in brasil just proposed the same and that was considered a huge disrespect to us! It feels we are back in time, it is segregation…. anyway, just had to say it here because it can seems a good way to solve the problem at first time, but if u think about it, its insane that we have to be separated of man to dont cause something bad.. gonna read the other posts :) thank u for sharing it!

  17. Sad that so many of these articles bring up superficial information. I’d like to see a lot more about the political, social, and financial issues. What is the economy really like? Government? To what extent or how deep does the corruption go? And mostly, let’s get into immigration, illegal mostly, of course, and what are some solutions, reasons for it happening, to what extent, etc. My wife being Colombian and my mom Portuguese, I know somewhat of the Latin plight in South America. But knowing more about Central America would be interesting. What really needs to be talked about is who comes here illegally and why. Most Americans are so spoiled and clueless when it comes to illegal immigration and why it occurs. Rarely does it have anything to do with breaking laws and is ALL about survival, period!

    • The economy is extremely divided. There are some extremely powerful, rich people (like Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world), and then a huge percentage of the population is living under the poverty line. Consider the fact that an average salary can be around 600 dollars per month. Minimum salary is less than 6 dollars per DAY, not per hour.

      Mexico has some of the longest working periods in the world.

      Corruption can be seen a lot in politics. Lots of nepotism going on as well. Policemen are corrupt in most of the country, as well.

      There’s a lot of illegal immigration in Mexico: in and out. Lots of people from Central and South American countries immigrate illegally to Mexico. Some of them do it on their way to the US and just get stuck here, or some of them actually come here because, even if the situation is not ideal, it’s still better than in most South American countries.

      The main reason people immigrate to the US is very simple. As I mentioned earlier, the minimum wages here are a joke. A big part of the Mexican economy is based on the money sent by Mexicans living abroad (called “remesas” in Spanish). Basically, for a poor, uneducated Mexican, working one day in the US would earn them the same amount or more as if he worked for a full week in Mexico.

  18. I readed all, and i have to say it amazed me how well you talk about my country, by the way i’m from veracruz, one of the more important ports in the country, but that isn’t my point, yes my country has a lot of problems and missconceptions, we have an incompetent president a corrupt goberment but which country doesn’t have all of it, i hope to see more entrys like this and i ask an apology for my english need to practice it a lot regards from veracruz.

  19. I don’t get why such negativity in the comments, I actually liked your opinion a lot. I’m Mexican I live in Monterrey and I can totally relate to everything you’ve written. We always tend to have this stereotype among us, one thing I think you could also add is that americans always seem so surprised that a lot of Mexicans speak fluent english. Once a tourist told me “wow how can you speak english so well?” I think a lot of people still see us as an uncivilized third world country.

  20. You cast my home city in favorable light; thank you. However, as a guy who has lived the majority of my life in Iztapalapa (also within Distrito Federal), I can tell you are missing an important part of the experience.

    I urge you to visit Iztapalapa, Tlahuac, Xochimilco and Tepito (all within DF; just don’t do at night, please). You’ll notice three things:

    1.- Mexico city is not a “safe” place. It’s just not as damn dangerous as the foreign media portrays it.

    2.- Dark-skin mexicans (like myself) are much more common than white-skin ones.

    3.- Pretty buildings are only present in the turistic or high-class regions of the city (Centro Historico, Polanco, Roma, Condesa and along Paseo de la Reforma and Insurgentes Sur).

    I only recently moved to Coyoacan. I work in Polanco. Before that, I lived in Iztapalapa and was doing social service in Tlahuac, so I think I can provide a more “complete” opinion of the city I live in.

    As far as your other points go, I agree with most of them :) Pink buses and special sections are there more for security than privilege, though.

    Please, visit the places I mentioned to get the whole picture. Go there by bus and travel by subway at rush hour too.

    That’s it. If you are ever in Coyoacan, I would love to show you around :)

    Greetings, Anna!

  21. Hello,

    I´m a mexican living abroad as well. I have been living in different places in Mexico and in different countries. I have to say that I agree in most of the things that you mention. I don´t know how long have you been living over there but at least you got a kind of idea of how things are over there. I said kind of because there are of course certain things with tyhe ones I can not agree. Number 9) I am sorry, my sister lives in Mexico city and she wouldn´t agree at all, neither her nor all the girls I´ve met living there or in any other state. And number 6) I rather say: “Is not that bad, but take care and be carefull”

    Is quite difficult to get the main idea on how things are in the country or in one place just living for a while. You can get a main idea but the fact that there might be things that you haven´t experience doesn´t mean they don´t happen. Ex. I haven´t been robbed in Mexico, but I was about robbed in Spain with a knife, and everyone told me that in Spain nothing happens.

    True that burritos are not representative, but yes, they are part of the folk food in the nord of the country. but that happens everywhere in the country. Sopes are not precisely national dish, neither tlacoyos, chileatole, tamales, or other food from different states.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your article, it could give an idea to other foreigners about Mexico, and if you have the chance or the interest you might check up more about Mexico´s folk, cultures, native languajes, food, just to mention some. Mexico offers so many things and I appreciate how you show it up. Thanks and great comments Anna :)

  22. i want to know about the cost of living in mexico city as a minimum: in other world is 12,000 pesos is enough for living in mexico city with a girldfirnd

    • It depends on many things. As Anna said: where in Mexico City?

      Will you be paying rent?

      12,000 per month is an above average salary (sadly). But it obviously depends where you’d want to live, since the cost of rent can greatly vary and that’s what’s going to be taking away most of the money in the end.

    • hahahahaha that’s insane!Only for rent in a small apartment I pay $4,000 (it’s really small) and it’s a really cheap apartment. double that + food + transportation + household expenses …

  23. Hey Anna, I am also from Mexico and been living abroad for a while, and I just want to say great job!!!, the misconceptions you just mentioned are pretty well described, I found them easy to read and with a lot of heart on them, as soon as I shared your article in facebook, lots of mexican friends living abroad started sharing it aswell so the positive impact of your text can truly cross any border, I am pretty sure you had good and bad expericnces as you were living in Mexico but I really like that people like you write positive things about Mexico or any other country, I think is always better to highlight the positive part of our travel experiences, so please dont let this positive criticism change the way you write or express!!!

  24. Good job Anna!

    I am Mexican and live abroad in NYC for business school. Traveled many times to europe. I just can say than you can ‘t fo a thereaty in few lines. But a general referece the idea is so good!

    And as all places of the World there are safe zones as well as dangerous ones.

    Who have not been ost the ir wallet at san marcos square in Venice?

    Yes our pilitics sucks, but it is another essay.

    Maybe in México City it is more segregated the color of your sin with the economic status, but in places as Chihuahua, sonora or sinaloa
    You can see in the bus stops many western Style Girls. Or in the supermarket attending in the panaderia( bakery shop) for example

    Again, a like your Research.

  25. 9 – Women are privileged

    Hi,

    I don’t really agree with your point on women being privileged. I’m a Canadian woman who’s been living in Distrito Federal for a while now and I think you are mistaken. Woman here are not privileged, the level of equality we’ve earned as Americans or Canadians is not even close to being obtained in Mexico. The reason there is such divisions here, like the metro having girl wagons, is nothing less but because it was so dangerous for woman using it alone, which it still is by the way, that they had to separate women and men, which is pretty bad if you ask me. I will agree with you, men here are gentlemen, which also has a reason why. This is a very Macho society, men do not see women as equals and therefore treat them as if they could not be independent. Mexico is an amazing place to live in and I love and enjoy it fully, but I am very careful as a woman in this country and there are many things I permit myself of doing in Canada that I cannot even think about doing here.

  26. Yo sólo no estoy de acuerdo con los puntos 3, 10. Mexicanos, conozcan su herencia: el burrito sí es mexicano y lo comemos más en el norte. También la ensalada César, la margarita, los tacos con frijoles y arroz y los nachos. Y, en todo caso, lo “Tex-Mex” también es en su mayoría mexicano, dado que la cultura e historia de Texas es predominantemente mexicana. También es cierto el punto 4 que mexicanos habemos de todos colores. Y es definitivamente cierto que México no es “tercer mundo”, desde donde se lo mire. La seguridad también, a pesar de todo, es mejor de lo que pensamos. El punto 10 creo que concuerdo a medias pero, así como Cancún o la región californiana no representan a México, tampoco lo representan el DF, Oaxaca, o ningún otro; simplemente México es diverso y habemos quienes hablamos inglés y estamos más “americanizados” y eso también es una cara del México diverso, no más ni menos mexicano que el resto, después de todo México es América y los mexicanos somos americanos, norte americanos, de hecho. Saludos y gracias por compartir.

  27. Thank you, it really means a lot when someone can actually see us the way you do, it´s amazing how the people who live in “first world countries” have better education an more stable economy think of us that way dispite of the education and more access to acknoledgments that they have. Mexico is a great country of coarse full of unwealthy people but if we refer to them that way by the messure of money, but if anyone would get the chanse to meet those people, they are the rickest pearsons you would ever get to know because of their wealthy soul, they are the most happy and shearing persons you would ever get to meet despite of ther low resourses. We are not all dark skinned, but why should the colour of the skin define us when we have such a rich culture and amazing food? It is true that Mexico is going through tough times with security and economy matters, but which country isn´t? The problem with mexicans is that we do know how to make a lot of noise, which is why parties here are a blast. And also, streets and houses as not as perfect as other countries, that should not define its people, people who fight day by day to keep what it´s theirs and show with dignity to the world who we truly are
    So again, thank you, for sharing what you know about us so we can be known to the world for who we really are, a country full of welcoming people, full of colors and music, good food and great places to know.

  28. the biggest misconception is thinking that September 15 is the celebration of Independence Day: is NOT, is the celebration of the BEGINNING of Independence. Mexico Independence Day is actually September 27, not observed as this was consummated by Agustin de Iturbide, who pushed for the formalization of an independent Mexican Empire (he became emperor) against those that wanted a Republic. Years later, at the beginning of the XX century, with Porfirio Diaz as president of the Republic, the celebration (of the beginning of independence) was formalized to be on September 15, as this was Diaz birthday.

  29. Mexico has safe and unsafe areas. I’m a proudly mexican and I live in tge uk. Here in the UK my house has been broken 3 times. In my country never ever had a criminal problem.

  30. 52.3% of Mexicans live below the poverty line, it might not fit with the classic definition of ‘third world country’ but it is certainly one that still needs to be developed a lot

  31. Hi I’m a mexican girl and I really loved your post. Despite all critics you are completely right. Mexico is a safe place, I believe that in every single country you’ll find safe places and unsafe ones. Also I agree that Mexico is not only Cancun and Baja California, there are many other beautiful places here. I love what you do, you inform a lot of people about your experiences and for some people is really helpful.

    Ps. Every woman has to know how to defend themselves here in Mexico or in any other place in the world. Pink buses were made for women to be more COMFORTABLE, not to take care of them and avoid agressive men because insecurity could be found inside a bus or outside. I KNOW Mexico supports in many different ways women.

    Loved how you spoke about Mexico. I’m glad you enyojed your stay here!

  32. Mexico is a 3 world country unfortunately, meaning 50% of the population is poor…also men don’t always pay for everything (let me make it clearer: u never heard that Britney song: u better work bitch ha)

    Cheers

  33. Anna, thanks for sharing great points about wrong ideas people abroad have about mexicans. The big problem of mexicans is that we step in to each others foot and thats why the country hasnt grown as much as it should. Reading the comments, mexicans made to ur post its a perfect example that when someone wants to put “light” in to positive aspects , there will be someone complainning or looking at the negative side WITHOUT acting in order to solve the issue they are acomplaining about.
    Anyway, I liked ur post, I have blog as well, i will recomend people urs.

    Daya

  34. You forgot to mention that Mexicans tend to think that their country is the worst in many aspects… It’s a cultural thing. I wish we stopped comparing ourselves to other countries and enjoy the beauty of this territory and its people. I chose this country as the place where I decided to raise my son. I am so happy I did. Mexico, I love you.

  35. This is an amazing post and I love the way you cheer up for Mexico, though I do believe you have some misconceptions of how living in Mexico is, and you’re getting this from someone who loves his country. Mexico is a country with great potential, amazing people and SO many resources, the problem is the way we want to explode all of them.

    As a mexican, and with no intention of being rude, I believe you crossed the border of saying to much of a country that isn’t yours; I understand you could’ve lived in Mexico City for a while, but that doesn’t mean you lived our reality talking about safety (Mexico City is dangerous as well) and the women rights.

    Anyway, your article is great but a little inaccurate. Thanks again for trying to show people around the world Mexico is way better of that told by media.

  36. Anna, thank you very much for the way you described this country. It’s just amazing. There are lots of problems that deserve to be solved immediatly: Insecurity and organised crime… the way we percieve ourselves and behave towards (against) ourselves… disparity incomes… gender equity. But you have been here and you also saw all good things this place offers to foreigners and to Mexicans.

    You know? I lived in Africa for about 6 months. It’s a short period, but the experience made me notice the advantages and disadvantages of living in this country.

    Well: congratulations for trying to overcome the stereotypes and please, keep on writing.

  37. I’m Mexican as well and I think that most of the Mexicans who had put comments on your blog are pessimist but that’s mostly because they try to compare Mexico with other countries and specially with “rich” countries and of course that’s a way huge comparison. Most of the things you’d said on your blog are true and also some of them may tend to be “not so good” for the Mexican people but as I see, you are very kind on writing about Mexico and trying to explain everybody how was your experience here. I’m so thankful with you for expressing that way on your blog it means that you really get to knew Mexico and it may be true that your didn’t get to know all of it but that’s kind of impossible. I’ve never ever met a Mexican who has known all of Mexico cause that’s impossible, it’s very huge and there are places to visit everywhere you go and for me that means that is a country with lots of culture, customes, natural resources with a great biodiversity, etc.

    And it’s so sad to see Mexicans who claim “Mexico is shit” cause that means they don’t love Mexico as most of the Mexicans do, they don’t love Mexico as I do cause is also true that there are insecurity in lots of cities here but that doesn’t mean Mexico is dangerous, there will be insecurity everywhere you go and it’s also false that the pink buses and the special sections of the subway are because the guys want to rape you! That’s because women are get power here in Mexico! So don’t be upset or sad because of the Mexicans that write on your blog bad things, there are people like me and like you that really LOVE MEXICO

    I’m very proud to love in this country! ¡Y VIVA MÉXICO!

  38. Great article and awesome blog Annalisa. I like to also consider myself as a traveler ‘mexicano’ and have lived abroad several years. Every time I try to explain these facts about Mexico is difficult to make my point to people who haven’t been here. Anyways, that’s our job as Mexican ambassadors over the world. Saludos!

  39. También puedo escribir en ingles, pero ya que estamos hablando de México, sería mejor hacerlo en nuestro idioma, espero que no les importé a mis compatriotas y a ti… En todos los puntos estoy de acuerdo contigo porque es tu experiencia, hay un dicho muy popular que dice: “cada quien habla como le va en la feria” o algo así je. Gracias por tus comentarios positivos, yo vivo en México desde hace 33 años, crecí en una familia de clase media, viviendo en una zona “popular” no condesa, Roma, etc.. Nunca me han asaltado, sigo viviendo en el DF afortunadamente en una zona mejor, como tanto tacos al pastor, sopes, quesadillas mole, comida Gourmet, sushii, McDonalds, en fin, sólo puedo comparar DF con Nueva York ya que es la otra gran ciudad que conozco y voy seguido por trabajo y lo único que puedo decir es que tenemos muchas carencias, sobre todo en transporte sin meternos a cosas de política porque no acabaría de escribir nunca, para mi, todos tus puntos son correctos, sólo que afortunadamente ya hay muchas mujeres que no se sienten agusto con que les abran las puertas o les paguen siempre la cuenta, las mujeres en la Ciudad de México cada vez son menos dependientes de los hombres y eso si es para destacarlo. Les dejo un link con fotos de estas 2 ciudades, espero les gusten https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/misfotosjuan/ saludos!

  40. One professor at the university taught us there were different “Mexicos”, regarding the symbolical universe in certain communities. Your article shows many of them. One famous Mexican historician Edmundo O’Gorman (Si eres mexicano y no conoces el trabajo de este señor o de León-Portilla, opinas sin fundamento, recuerda que también hay que leer para no caer en lo mismo que uno critica) showed that the political and geopraphical organization of Mexico had changed but very little since 1521 (Spanish Crown Conquest). These groups are still called “colonias”, the way cities are organized, for example. I really liked your article, as such as the great amount of comments it raised, at least you can say many mexicans are also passionate.

    • Si eres mexicano, el libro más importante sobre la historia que debes leer es “El Gatuperio” de Juan Miguel de Mora

  41. Im mexican, i love your comments! Some mexicans (NOT ALL) allways see the worst and criticice everything!

    Im embarrased to have people like that in my country, becuase those are the ones that dont let México grow, a big mistake and problem in our society. Negativism for pessimists… Just dont care about what they said annalisa, people will always hate, no matter if its something good or positive…

    Good Letter!

    Have an awsome day! :)

  42. Have you ever been to Baja California Sur? I grew up there and I agree that it is a bit americanised, but still it has its own Mexican charm. Of course hotels and resorts are all over the place but you can find real tacos, gorditas and sopes, not to mention the amazing tequila. I think what makes the difference is that in touristic destinations things are a little modern and not as classic if you compare it to the center of Mexico, but thats because the economy is better, it doesn’t mean this places don’t represent Mexico.
    I also think people choose to come here more often not because of the resorts and hotels, but because of the beautiful clean beaches (comparing to Acapulco or Huatulco which are crowded and dirty) and the hospitality of the people; also, we party Mexican style like we do all over the country, americans like that and they come here to make the ‘desmadre’ they are not allowed to do in their own country. Anyway, i think most of your points are right, I really like when people love Mexico as much as I do and share their good experiences and thoughts to the world.

  43. Hi Anna, my name is Ana :) and I am Mexican. I agree with some of the stuff that you wrote however there are things that are not true. Mexico City is safer than other places but it is not safe, as a woman you can’t walk late. You can’t visit areas like Tepito at any time, they are dangerous. I have visited many areas in Europe and yes there is always bad spots but Mexico City has become more dangerous in the last 20 years. Kidnapping of locals increased 35% in the last year. So I don’t take chances. Mexican men are very macho, that is a rule around the world but there are countries where men are better. Mexico is not one of them. Domestic violence is big in all levels of society. Last but not least I actually can’t agree with you about Baja and Cancun, most foreigners tell me that that is not Mexico, but it is, is tourist oriented Mexico but it is Mexico. If you think that it is not then you would say that Santa Fe is not Mexico either because it is Modern like American cities. Las Vegas and Florida are USA just like Cancun and Baja are Mexico just another type of cities that’s all.

    Thanks for your blog and to take the time to write about my country, I may not agree with all you said but it is nice to see that you have so many nice things.

    • It hasn’t been celebrated for a long time. It is remembered but it’s not considered a national holiday nor labor is suspended for it, unlike Revolution day on 20th of november.

      Source:
      Yo tambien doy mexicano, carnal

    • 5 de Mayo is not celebrated, it is remembered. It has been more than a decade that the government declared it not an obligational holiday with labor suspension. One that is celebrated is the Mexican Revolution on November 20th, it has labor suspension nationwide and banks also don’t open on that day. 5 de Mayo is business as usual for everyone with the exception that if you are a business owner you can declare it a holiday for your corporation but that’s about it.

      Souce:

      Yo tambien soy mexicano carnalito

    • Actually the big celebration to commemorate this date is in Puebla State, ’cause in one big battle the zacapoaxtlas (a comunity of inhabitants of the state), defeated the frenchmen and It’s celebrated with a huge parade.

    • I do agree dude, but She said that We think the commemoration of 5 de mayo battle is not a reason to celebrate :D, Of course when You army defeates the, considered in that time, the most powerful army in the world is something must be celebrated. what do you think? :D

      • It still doesn’t change the fact that beyond Puebla and some other states, the majority don’t celebrate it. They remember it, but it’s not a national holiday with suspension of labor.

  44. Yes but third world is not about having modern buildings or exclusive restaurants, it IS about having a wide gap between rich and poor. Brazil is definitely third world. It appears that according to this writer Mexico is indeed third world. And frankly, even the US is third world. Fix inequality and I will ditch all the other misconceptions.

  45. Thank you Anna, very educational and you write very well. As a Senior and having lived in Playa Del Carmen for eleven years, obviously I love it…..I have had a very interesting and dramatic life as in my true international love story The Red Silk Robe, in Amazon, check it out… Have also done a lot of travelling, so I will definitely be watching your site for more information and facts, if my brain can take in anymore…. I will also friend you, as would love to keep in contact…..Thank you Julia Cynthia Kent.

  46. What you write is correct, but there other facts…our “limes” are not limes…there are lemons, as the grapes and apples are green, red or yellows, so are lemons, so not only the yellow ones are lemons.

    5 de mayo is very important, that Mexican government tries to minimized for reasons out of anyone with a global understanding is out of my reach ….5 de mayo was the last war fought against an European country in our continent and the Mexican defeated the most powerful army at the time, with basically courage and a group of very upset Mexicans armed with machetes.

    • Excuse me lady but you are terribly wrong, 5 de mayo was not the last war fought against an European country in our continent, but first of all it was simply a “battle”, the war was the French Invasion and after 5 de mayo, better know in Mexico as the “Batalla de Puebla” the french came back and took over Puebla in the Second Battle of Puebla just after a some months. Then they took Mexico city and Maximiliano governed for some years for the conservative side while Benito Juarez, the liberal president was forced to run away, it was only after 5 years (1867) that the third battle of Puebla took place where General Porfirio Diaz defeated and expelled once and for all the French from Puebla, after that the French defeat was imminent and Maximiliano was caught and executed putting an end to the Liberal vs Conservative period and to the French Invasion.

    • Well the 5th of may its justo a battle as a matter of fact we did not win the war, the frenchs defeted the mexican army and went all the way through into the capital.

    • The battle of 5 de Mayo only delayed the inevitable and thinking about it, the lives lost in it were worth jack. The French still broke through to the capital and then established the second empire, so I don’t see what’s so important about that particular date. Maybe it’s because we can’t celebrate the day we put Maximiliano against the wall and shot him without the French getting upset. We brought down the second empire through guerilla warfare, we should celebrate the day the French pulled back, not the day we delayed the inevitable French descent on the capital. On the other hand the 16th of september is kind of a big deal.
      Fun fact about the 16th of september:
      The battle of Puebla the 5th of may was an attempt to drive the French off, we won the battle but lost the war and the French made Maximiliano de Habsburgo our emperor. Max was a smart man, he realised that patriotism was lacking something so he said ‘I know, I’ll make us all remember that we beat the Spanish!’ so he made the 15th and 16th of september a holiday and actually commissioned the first ‘grito’ in the city centre and all the parade and party around it. (Whether or not he chose the dates arbitrarily or those are the actual dates of Miguel Hidalgo’s call upon independence is unclear, to me at least.)

  47. A lot of these things are true, and it’s refreshing to read something that actually portraits my country a little bit better. Still, there are some facts that are also stereotypes and don’t apply to everyone in my country. I think women in general could still have better life quality and NO man don’t pay for everything, it depends on the couple, I love to treat my guy too.

  48. I agree with most of your comments, but Mexico safe? Hate to provide you with a reality check, but it’s not even close to a European country or the USA. Mexico continues to have a high suquester and crime rate in “el Districto Federal”. Would you really recommend someone to flag down a taxi from the street?

    • Actually Mexico City is very safe, the rest of the country not so much. It can’t compare to Copenhagen or Berlin but it’s as safe as London or New York, any big city faces challenges with regards to safety. In fact even the most ‘violent’ states in Mexico can be compared to certain cities in the US that have half of the density of population. I was mugged twice in New York and once in Manchester, however I’ve never been mugged or harassed in Mexico City. NEVER and I’ve lived my whole life here and taken public transport since I was twelve. And yeah, I’d recommend flagging down a taxi in the street but, like with EVERY city in the world you need to know which areas are safer than others. Besides, taxi is the unsafest means of transport, if you can just take the metro or a bus, seriously, it’s cheaper and chances are that you’ll be dropped off close to your destination.

  49. I disagree with 3, 7, and 9.
    Fact: A lot of Mexican food is spicy hot (or can be), despite the use of limes!
    Fact: A gap in equality is not the only classification of a third world country. When you look at the economy/standard of living, Mexico would not be considered a third world country.
    Fact: Women only buses does not mean that women in Mexico receive privilege

    These are really facts, but my own opinion after living for an extended amount of time in México.

      • Sorry to disappoint you again those pink buses are not everywhere, and by that i mean they almost dont exist, most cities dont have to have a pink bus, i would rather have the same bus for everyone, a pink bus just means its not safe for a woman to ride on a regular one.

        On the safety side it all depends on what city you live in, and what part of that city. Its like saying Chicago is safe city, i probably is, if you hang around the nice areas, but not everywhere.

        But you got it right on most of the other points

      • Yes, but those buses only exist on the capital and about two or three other states, it’s not a general setting when it comes to safety.

  50. Nice article in genera, but I think you got it wrong with the all female public transportation; it is but a shortsighted remedy against the abuse they suffer here when they are harassed by men.
    I also liked what you said about the third world misconception, but so-called “progress” in a country should not be measured according to how western it is. Though I think i’m being harsh, you were probably just pointing out that the country is quite modern or what ever.
    Saludos!

  51. a) Caballeroso: caballerosidad is spanish for chivalry. b) lima and limón are Spanish for lemon and lime respectively… yes, it feels as if it is backwards, but those are just facts. c) Mexico ISN´T always hot (typo? grammar? dyslexia? whatever…) d) It´s not roaming when changing states anymore, since about a year ago. e) A lot of Mexican food is served with spices, yet we understand that what is sweet for us might be HOT for others. It is a kindness we show even other Mexican strangers, just in case. f) Mexican Spanish is not to be considered different because ALL Spanish slangs are different. Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Honduras… you name it… they are all different, just like Scottish, English, American, and Australian accents. g) Cancun and Baja California do not represent Mexico… neither does burros, cacti, large sombreros (unless you´re a mariachi, the largest sombrero you´re expected to have is a cowboy hat or a ridiculous “fashion” beach hat when at the beach)… Mexico has cities richer than any average American city. Monterrey, for example, has avenues with 7 lanes, not many american cities can say that… D.F. has two-story high avenues, so, Mexico has a decent way of life.

    Anna makes a great point with this post, just felt like there needed to be something else added.
    Cheers!

  52. Hi Anna, I just love what you posted, which is totally true. Thank you for sharing this, keep doing this as many people has a huge misconception about Mexico. I am from DF and now living for almost 22 yrs in Cancun, my Job is tourism related and I may say that 80 – 85% of tourism have a big
    misunderstanding of my country. THANK YOU! May I print your post to share with my co-workers and clients?

  53. Anna, Despite that I would really love to believe that women are privileged because there are pink buses, a specific section in the metro and men open their doors, those “privileges” (at least in Mexico City) were not created because we enjoy a nice treatment but to decrease sexual harassment. It was/is the most common thing that men grab your ass (the least) while traveling by bus/ metro. Ask how many women dress with skirts or small shorts in the metro and you will find that only foreign tourists do it. Unfortunately, all the girls that I know would plan their outfits twice so they do not appear as “provocative” to men while traveling on public transport.
    If you wanna read about the story of pink buses and why they should actually do not exist, take a look at this newspaper article :)

    http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/ciudad/109075.html

  54. Anna, Despite that I would really love to believe that women are privileged because there are pink buses, a specific section in the metro and men open their doors, those “privileges” (at least in Mexico City) were not created because we enjoy a nice treatment but to decrease sexual harassment. It was/is the most common thing that men grab your ass (the least) while traveling by bus/ metro. Ask how many women dress with skirts or small shorts in the metro and you will find that only foreign tourists do it. Unfortunately, all the girls that I know would plan their outfits twice so they do not appear as “provocative” to men while traveling on public transport.
    If you wanna read about the story of pink buses and why they should actually do not exist, take a look at this newspaper article :)

    http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/ciudad/109075.html

  55. Thinking that Mexico is something that it is not won’t improve the average citizen’s quality of life. besides for the fact that no one believes that Mexico isn’t a third world country. Mexico is what it is, but that girl in the photo is HOT!

    Your Cellphones Roaming charge comes from an abusive company that screws the whole country. Yeah, Mexico is better that what is thought to be, but Mexico is also Worst than what everybody thing it is.

  56. Most of this things are true for Mexico City. Just as Cancun and Baja California, Mexico City isn’t the whole country, to really know about Mexico you need to go to other states.

  57. Very nice article. Question – Is there much color prejudice in Mexico? I notice you mentioned:

    “Mexicans don’t always have darker skin”

    I plan to visit Mexico one day :)

    Check out some misconceptions about Jamaica too in my link :)

  58. Oh but we eat burritos on the northern region of Mexico. We always have, and we always will. They are different from the Tex-Mex kind, that is true. The thing is, as you point out, Mexico is a big country, and the term Mexican food is rather loose, there are different regions with very different tastes. For instance I live in the Baja California-Sonora-Sinaloa region, and our traditional food is very different from Yucatan’s, or central México.

    Nice article by the way.

  59. always refers to the federal district as the epicenter, there are other large cities with many identity which in fact are culinary, musical and cultural most representative such as Jalisco and its capital, Guadalajara or Monterrey

  60. 5 de Mayo is not important in all Mexico important in the same way that in Usa with parties, in my hometown Ixtapa Gro. Just celebrate this in schools.

  61. according to a widely publicized study by the agency responsible for national statistics (INEGI, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography), Mexico suffered an estimated 105,682 kidnappings in 2012; only 1,317 were reported to the police. Police have been implicated in some of these incidents. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. Almost 90 kidnappings of U.S. citizens were reported to the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico between April and November of 2013.
    I hear of many crime cases in Mexico that people don’t report due to fear… You see sometimes it goes like this… They kidnap people then they get their information where they live etc and if they are lucky and if they let them go…) Not without first being rape or torture… ) then they warn them not to say anything to police or media cause then they have their info and will come to pick them up.
    I wish it was not like this… I wish Mexico gets better with time. Unless we get an honest government then things might improve and can have a safe Mexico again!

  62. Number nine is false, SOME men are “caballerosos” as you say. And some open doors and pay for bills. But the big picture is that a huge part of mexican men are “machos” meaning that they think that they are superior to women. There are “pink” taxis, buses and other transportations for securtity, to prevent abuses on women. There are thousands of women being beated or even killed by their husbands. So NO, women are not specially privileged in Mexico. And NO, Mexico is not even close to be first world.
    Im mexican.
    Grate article in the other points.

  63. I disagree with a lot of the things she said,but the real truth is the things that she dint say,,just about 1% of the population in mexico is white,,,it is a very poor country,most of the mexicans do live below the poverty line and yes, in mexico life is very dangers,,you could be taking at any time so your family could pay a hasty amount of money for your freedom and in most of the cases,you get kill,there is no safety in mexico,the killings there are the order of the day,the police is completely corrupted,and about the women,please,women have no rights in mexico,only on paper,,a guy can beat up a woman there to a pulp and nothing happens,,if you have an accident,God for bit weather is your fault or not,you would go to yell and the ambulance will take 200 years to get to you,the country also is very discriminative against others aliens,like people coming from guatemala,el savador,etc,,they threat them like garbage,yet they ,the mexicans,scream in the usa for a better treatment,,I can go on and on and on,but I will leave like this for now.

  64. Anna,

    Such a mexican, i would like to thank you for writing, in a very unique way, about my beautiful country… with your heart!!! Eventhough about our bed political situation, now… i’m proud to be mexican and have a lot learn about my culture!!! Thank you, señorita!! :)

  65. Kudos on your blog! I am mexican well I was born american but living a mexican live for way long already. And yes these are truly misconceptions people abroad may have about this beautiful country.

  66. Very nice post, I appreciate you taking the time to write about my country and some of its misconceptions.
    About 5 de mayo, as you said, we don’t celebrate it nearly as much as other countries think we do, why? Well, we beat the French Army on the battle of 5 de mayo, BUT, we ultimately lost that war. So, why make a big deal out of one battle?
    Another interesting thing about mexicans? we can talk trash soooo much about or own country (you can actually see it on some of the comments here: “no no, we ARE a dangerous city, or the slumps are terrible”) but if a foreigner tries to critique anything about it we will scream to defend it :)!
    I hope you have the time to visit even more places from Mexico, and get to know much more about the places we have.

  67. the complete name of mexico is Republic of the Mexcian United States (Republica de los estados unidos mexicanos) FYI

  68. Nice and informative, but just a little observation on you last point: Mexican independence from Spain was declared on August 24, 1821. What happened in September 15, 1811, was a call to arms against the ruling class, which later became the Independence War.

  69. Hi. Anna!

    As a Mexican, I agree with most of what you say. I have to say, though, that I differ on what you say about Mexican women. We get our own carriage in the metro not because we are “privileged”, but partly to avoid sexual harassment and being groped at during rush hour. So it’s not so much a privilege as it is a consequence of a prevailing sexism in our culture. And the fact that men are gentleman-y does not, in any way, relate to gender equality. The fact that men often do pay for things has to do, in my opinion, with a quite traditional take on gender roles.

    Things are getting better, but I think your examples are missing the point.

    I also agree with Yannick, by the way. Being “third world” – or a “developing country”, to use a more accurate term – does have a lot to do with that huge economic inequality that you mention.

  70. #9 – having “women only” sections on the bus isn’t about women being privileged. It’s about women being groped so much when on transportation, especially when it’s crowded. Even then, men find their way on and the women say nothing because it wouldn’t change anything.
    Women in Mexico are not privileged unless they’re born white, blonde, and with green/blue eyes and/or to wealthy parents.

    #6 – Mexico is safer than most people think it is? Which people and where are they getting their information?
    I think it’s more likely that most crimes don’t get reported, or they don’t get taken seriously. I lived there for six years, and was a victim of a major crime an average of once a year. Fraud, kidnapping, theft, vandalism, harassment, embezzlement…and of course, everyone I know there has been a victim of, or knows a victim of several of these crimes.
    My impression is that crimes go unreported because 1) it’s a frustrating and futile waste of time since nobody does anything and the victim gets blamed and, 2) people don’t consider certain incidences as “crimes”. They’re just inconveniences (getting your phone stolen, getting groped on the Metrobus, someone breaking into your car or breaking your property, bribes, animal abuse, spousal/child abuse, drunk drivers, etc.) with no formal protocols to follow up. The degree of incivility that I witnessed there is criminal, but overshadowed by much bigger battles, like government corruption, the drug war, and Juarez.

    Castilian “lima” = English “lemon”
    Castilian “limon” = English “lime”
    It’s a false cognate. A DOUBLE falsie!

  71. I agree in all the misconceptions in general, the one that drew me off is the one that you said Mexicans don’t celebrate 5 de Mayo-
    I felt offended, I am from Puebla and very proud of that battle-
    We do celebrate it and it’s a festive day-
    It is not the independence but we do celebrate it!
    Please correct that-in honor of brave -poblanos that lost their lives protecting the country-
    Thank you
    Dario

  72. I really liked your post, I’m happy that someone finally tells this kind of things about my country!
    Just two comments:

    1.- Most mexican food is in fact spicy, not because of sauces on the side, but because we use a lot of chilli and spices in the preparation of traditional food such as: chilaquiles, mole, pipián verde, pipián rojo, chiles rellenos, chiles en nogada, chanclas, chalupas, memelas, enchiladas, mixiotes, adobos, caldo de camarón, and many more dishes which are so spicy sometimes I can’t even eat them. It is actually part of its charm.

    and also

    2.- 5th of May is celebrated by us and it’s actually a very big day in Puebla; it’s an official holiday, so people don’t work or go to school and there is always a big parade in commemoration of it. It is only big in Puebla because it’s where the whole thing happened, not everywhere in Mexico like the Independence Day, obviously, but it is still very important.

    • Andrea and Dario in the post above: I think what she means is that it’s nowhere near as big in the whole country as it is in the US. It might be big in Puebla, but not in the rest of the country and whenever you’re overseas and say you’re Mexican (I live in Australia), people automatically mention 5 de Mayo… Which is a bit strange to me, because I’ve never celebrated it in DF. People even assume it’s our Independence Day because they’ve never heard of September 16th.

  73. Just because there is great wealth doesn’t mean it’s not a third world country.
    Just because some areas are considered safe doesn’t mean the situation is not delicate. Keep in mind you’re writing about a country where more than 60 thousand people have died by way of violence in recent years, where women disappear every day only to be found brutally murdered while the perpetrator(s) are left unpunished (you failed to mention that Estado de México is, in fact, the state where most of these crimes against women are commited).
    The fact that there’s white people doesn’t make the country less colonized than any other south and central american country.
    Just because there’s a (not so) special place reserved for women at the bus or subway doesn’t mean men and women are treated equally. And, as much as I wish centuries of feminist struggle could be solved as simply as having men open doors for women or picking them up before dates I’m still appalled by having read that coming from a woman.

    These generalizations you’re making would make good conversation amongst your friends who (as you make it out to be) have no access to information or have never been curious enough to know that mexicans are not a brown, 5 de mayo celebrating, spicy food eating, drug selling, tequila drinking race, but come out as offensive, to say the least, to other people

  74. If you call kidnappings and killings ‘safe’ then by all means it is. Sure, there are safe places in Mexico, but last I heard of my relatives, it is not a good place to be at the moment. Also, being chivalrous to women is not the same as women being equal to men, if anything Mexican men are very patriarchal.

  75. I don’t believe your example of number 9 is quite accurate. Being that there are pink busses and special section for women on the subway is not a priveledge. Those were implemented to try and create a safer environment for women. When it’s not even safe for women to use public transportation, you know there is a problem.

  76. Thanks, it`s great someone see other things and stuff about our country, like any other we have good and bad points. By the way, May 5th its celebrated only in Puebla, its an off day and we have a parade too, i know because i live where the battle took place. =)

  77. Well, I know plenty of people who have suffered “express kidnappings”, muggings, and violence. Two men entered my house while I was asleep. Quit saying that Mexico is a safe country. It is not. It is not a safe haven when you are eating dinner with your family and a police convoy of 50 cars rushes by with their sirens, or when you see a military tank roaming the streets.

    Not a third world country. Ok. Do you know the poverty rate in Mexico? 51% of the population live in poverty. Maybe if you only hang around Polanco or Santa Fe, and never step outside your little bubble…

    Oh yes, men are very “caballerosos”, when any woman knows for sure that if they walk down the street there will be all kinds of cat-calling. As someone else noted, the pink buses or the metros designated for women are to prevent sexual harassment. It’s horrible to be groped by men during rush hour.

    Foreigners don’t get it. They just live in a bubble and being “adventurous”.

    Source… yo y mis ojitos.

  78. Hola tienes un error en tus comentarios porque se práctica en México.
    El 16 de setiembre es sólo el inició de la guerra de independencia pero real declaración de la independencia de México el el 27 de septiembre de 1821. Esta fecha es el real nacimiento de México como nación.

  79. And what about the real name? I mean, if you translate it, that is the full name, that’s doesn’t mean it belongs to USA. And Burritos… in the north part of Mexico we do eat burritos maybe not quite chipotle style, but we do. They are Tex-MEX for a reason. Just because Texas NOW belongs to USA, it doesn’t make Mexican food from the north is less Mexican. And women privileged? Really??? Don’t even get my started on that.

  80. I’m Mexican and agree with all this true facts, specially the one of 5 de Mayo, in spite of all the comments, the true to any Mexican you can ask is that we simply take this as a holiday and nothing else, the real celebration is as you mention on 15 of september. Seem that you enjoyed Mexico, glad to know is a great place and specially with great people!

  81. 1: Mexico is divided in 31 states and one Federal District (what is considered to be the 32th state). You forgot to mention this last important information. So actually Mexico is considered to have 32 states. I don´t totally agree with your opinion about Mexican states are more independent that the US ones. Could you please explain why do you thing this? US states can have their own laws, and normally these are different if compared with the laws in other states i.e. in US gay marriage was approved first in some states before the others. Those kinds of things do not really happened in Mexico.
    2: “Mexico City” is actually synonymous of “Distrito Federal”. There is not a difference. Now, the Mexico City and some cities of the State of Mexico form the “metropolitan area”.
    3: Burritos are eaten only in some parts of the north of Mexico but they are totally different compared with the TEXMEX ones sold abroad. And I do not agree with your opinion about the taste of Mexican food. It is not either spicy or sour. Mexican food has a large variety of tastes, and it different in every state of the country. (most mexican haven´t tasted all of it). I think you cannot “classify” the taste of Mexican food only in spicy or sour or any other taste or adjective. UNESCO wouldn´t classified it as a cultural heritage of Humanity if Mexican food were so “simple”. And not every Mexican likes spicy salsas.

    I agree this the other points

    congrats for your writing :)

    • Alegrajeda, each State un México actually have their own laws. Tal king about same gender marriage, some states like Distrito Federal allow it. Abortion the same.

      • If you want to find out more about different State regulations concerning abortion rights you should wait for my book about abortion in Mexico – will be published in 2014.

    • Agree. The ZMCM (Zona Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México) is not officially Mexico City and states are no way as independent as de US states. Roaming occurs from town to town due to the abusive Cellphone companies rising the rates and overcharging for everything.
      The structure is very similar, with local congresses and federal lower and higher chamber. The funny thing is that most Americans I know had never heard of Mexican States (they have the misconception that only the US has them). And burritos are quite common in northern states, but the meaning of it is “flour tortilla taco with refried beans and whatever dish you want to add”

    • Ciudad de México is a synonymous of DF. Mexico City, the way is used in USA, isn’t. Americans refer to Mexico City as the DF plus the metro area, which is why the writer explains it isn’t the same.

    • I think you are wrong too on the fact that the states in Mexico don’t have different laws, for example it’s permitted to have gay marriage in DF and Jalisco and also in the fact of subrogated mothers only few states of Mexico permit this another example is abortion in DF and soon legalization of Marihuana, we do have different laws depending on the state

    • Me imagino que eres mexicana/o, así que te responderé en español.

      1. Sí pasa en México. De hecho, tu ejemplo de matrimonio homosexual se aplica perfectamente. En el D.F. está permitido el matrimonio entre homosexuales, mientras que en muchos otros estados no se permite todavía. Lo mismo con la legalización del aborto.

      2. El Distrito Federal no es lo mismo que la Ciudad de México. La ciudad de México incluye el D.F. y su área metropolitana, que son los municipios del Estado de México que se encuentran en la periferia del DF, y por haber crecido tanto forman parte de la misma mancha urbana, ejemplos de estos municipios son Nezahualcóyotl (o Cd. Neza), Naucalpan, Huizquilucan, Tlalnepantla, etc…

      3. Respecto a este punto sí faltaría abundar más en el artículo, pero tiene razón en decir que la comida mexicana fuera de México, no es comida mexicana. Seguramente pasa lo mismo en México con la comida china, japonesa, italiana, etc…

      • I love everything you say here! I agree in everything but the point that -Women are privileged, as others comments said, those buses are a result of sexual harassment and a deep problem of inequality we are suffering in Mexico. The same with gestures of ‘caballerosidad’, despite the fact that they may seem sweet, they are a reflect of inequality. If we are supposed to be equal, shouldn’t I pay my own meal, open my own door, stay in my seat even if I am a man or a woman? of course this is not a problem just in mexico. If we want real equality we should, as women, stop wanting just the benefits of man but asking them to pay for everything, pick us up, give us their seat, etc.

        I really love Mexico and I agree with everything else, and the way you expressed it -” is actually safer than most people think it is “. I like the way you expressed that point because we can not deny people on Mexico are suffering from kidnappings, burglars and many safety issues but some places are still kind of safe if you take some precautions. Also, as a tourist you are less expose to this problems as you are visiting specific less dangerous places.

        Its good you are spreading the voice about the misconceptions about Mexico ;)

    • Hi Algrajeda: I disagree about the Mexican State are not independent as you said, every State is Federated, and they don´t need to be part of the decision of Federation; just you can see the Expenses and public debt, every State has it debt, and is not part of the Federation, Also the Gay marriage was stablished first in the DF -, then in other states, after that in us US plays the same, but first was in Mexico. Education decision are deciced by each State.

    • ALGRAJEDA, TE LO VOY A PONER EN ESPAÑOL, ESPERO SEAS MEXICANO Y LO ENTIENDAS, PERO BÁSICAMENTE LA INFORMACIÓN EXPUESTA POR ANNA ME PARECE EXTRAORDINARIA EN ESENCIA, YA QUE ACLARA MITOS QUE TIENE LA GENTE EN RELACIÓN A NOSOTROS YA QUE NOS TIENEN ESTEREOTIPADOS POR WOLYWOOD EN QUE SOMOS FLOJOS Y VIVIMOS ACOSTADOS BAJO UN NOPAL, TE ESCRIBO DESDE JALISCO QUE ES EL CORAZÓN DE MÉXICO , SUS RAÍCES EN GENERAL Y GRAN PARTE DE LA CARA QUE TIENE EL PAÍS HACIA EL EXTERIOR, COMO EL MARIACHI, TEQUILA, ECT. TE RECUERDO QUE LOS MATRIMONIOS GAY Y LOS ABORTOS INDUCIDOS SON LEGALES EN EL D.F. Y EN NINGÚN OTRO ESTADO QUE YO SEPA HASTA HOY, POR LO QUE SI ES CIERTO QUE CADA ESTADO TIENE SUS PROPIAS LEYES , Y SI, NO TODA LA COCINA MEXICANA ES SALSA Y CHILES O BURRITOS, LA VARIEDAD ES INMENSA Y MUY RICA. OJALA QUE MAS GENTE QUE SE DEDICA A VISITAR OTROS PAÍSES TENGAN SU MENTE ABIERTA COMO ANNA PARA VER MAS ALLÁ DE LA ZONA HOTELERA. GRACIAS

      • Sus aclaraciones son inexactas. En Mexico la seguridad es un problema grave y no sucede como dice ella simplistamente, solo entre las mafias de las drogas. Esta sola falsedad da al traste con todo el articulo. Ella puede ser la causante de una desgracia con esa ligereza con que trata ese tema.

    • 1. there are indeed 31 states and 1 federal district not 32 states All the states are independent from others just like in the U.S. each state has it’s own laws, taxes are very different state to state in some it is penalizad the animal abuse in others not etc…
      2. Mexico city is not synonymous to D.F. there are two different “cities” that are more or less pasted together for the amount of people and the small space because even though D.F is the smallest of all it is the one of the most populated places in the whole country and Mexico city is part of the state of Mexico that is exactly next to D.F. so they seem as one though they’re not.
      3.Burritos aren’t only eaten in the north, like all the foods in the country they vary alot from state to state many of them even vary from city to city even if there are 1 hour away from each other.

    • Algrajeda te lo escribo en español… el Distrito Federal no cuenta como estado, es un distrito especial el cual no tiene gobernador ni municipios, pero si jefe de gobierno y delegaciones, no es considerado un estado, pero si una entidad federativa… y eso de que los estados son muy independientes, pues si, yo si creo que son tan independientes como los de EUA, en Sinaloa no cobran los mismos impuestos que en Sonora (para coches) en Quintana Roo es legal la union matrimonial gay, etc… cada estado tiene su constitucion….

  82. Anna,

    Thanks for taking the time to look at the bright side of our country. As you can read above, there is a lot of people that identified themselves with your points of view. Most of them took the opportunity to let you know how you got something wrong.

    In my opinion, Mexico is a big country full of traditions and culture which will often vary from state to state and sometimes even from municipality to municipality. The north of the country is absolutely different to the south, likewise both north and south can be just as different from the center.

    The fact that you speak about what you experienced while there, makes all of your points valid. Even though some people may think this is a conversation to have among your naive friends that haven’t taken the time to do their own research of our culture, I think this is a valid quick run through some of the most popular misconceptions of Mexico. Which in my experience this are all things people do believe about my country. Unfortunately most of the information that one can get about Mexico (often not even looking for it) it’s not necessary the most positive.

    I live in Beijing China and I hear all of this generalizations more than fairly often.

    Al fin y al cabo: “Cada quien habla de come le fue en la feria”

    Carlos Villalobos

  83. Algrajeda, te states of Mexico are autonomous and independent from each other. Each of them have their own constitution and have their own civil code and laws. The gay marriage is a good example, since it is legal only in DF and Quintana Roo, but not in the other states. And one final thing, DF is not a state since it is not autonomous and does not have its own constitution (it depends on the federation, however it has three levels of government executive (jefe de gobierno), legislative (Asamblea Legislativa del DF), judicial (poder judicial del Df and its Tribunal).

  84. Hey Anna nice thing going on here!
    The problem is that you get in usa al the poor, uneducated, rude Mexicans (in Mexican slang: nacos which is similar to your “redneck”) and I guess that’s why you guys think Mexico=gangsters, maids and gardners, etc…

    • Excuse you? Can you be any more condescending and negatively.stereotypical of a specific group? The reason why people are “poor and uneducated” is because people in Mexico are often screwed over by the government. We are also all not nacos. Income equality is very severe in Mexico.

      • I agree, being poor is NOT the same as being uneducated. I live in a small town in Zacatecas and you couldn’t wish for nicer, more honest, hardworking people. Many people did not have the opportunity to go to school and there are not many jobs anyway, so many of them to to work in the US, but they are NOT “nacos” – I hate that word, desperate is more like it.

    • Honestly this comment is completely classist… as it is the use of the word “naco”. The problem is not that people that go to the U.S.A. is the poor class. First because poor and uneducated does not mean rude. Evidently a person can be not poor and not uneducated (maybe named Bernardo) and be extremely rude and classist and call poor people dismissive and rude terms as “naco”. Second, migration is a complicated issue and of course it is related to poverty, but both are also VERY real issues… poverty is very much part of the REAL México. Now, if somebody thinks this is all there is of México then that has to do with their lack of will to see beyond that which is right in front of his/her eyes…

    • Sorry but you are generalizing I know a lot of Mexican friends and people with much greater education with masters degree working in US and working at the top of the head of a lot of companies not all Mexicans living in US are undereducated and also I have known a lot of poor people working on the US that are so responsible, educated and honest than some rich people living in Mexico that think are educated

    • And people like Rotzinger, who are ignorants and condescending, usually people that have a little money, live in the bigger cities or have just a little power will express themselves like this in Mexico, it is sad and makes me feel almost sorry for them, but what can you do, they think of themselves as “educated people” …..

    • Naco is more like Tacky (de mal gusto sin clase) bad taste, vulgar, without class, not always about the money, it´s more for education level.
      Redneck is different.
      Greetings

  85. Thanks for sharing Anna!, ut’s 100% true what you say, I work and study for the tourism area and its a shame too bee seen as the other way through the most of the worlds eyes. I had the same problems while studying in Europe, since then I’ve been trying to reverse this misconceptions to all my friends and their friends too, I’ll share your post, Its important for people to read this from other than mexicans, thanks!

  86. You should definitely fact check your article before posting. Mexican states are certainly not more independent than US states. Mexico is a federal republic meaning that each state operates according to the laws and decrees of the federal powers. So states in Mexico have less autonomy than US states. Also Mexico City is synonymous with the districto federal. Much like Washington, D.C. Is synonymous with the district of Colombia. The rest of your points I would deem as fairly correct

    • Ok, enough with the ”Mexico City is synonymous with DF”. It isn’t. There are other towns within the confines of the Federal District. Mexico City just happens to be the largest.

      • No there aren’t! It is just one city, and it is surrounded by the STATE of Mexico which has many towns. Some people refer to the Metropolitan area, which includes BOTH DF and Mexico State, but that is NOT Mexico City or DF.

  87. This is all true (i live in the d.f.). But in some cases even I am afraid of some places, like Michoacan and Monterrey. Those places are dangerous as hell thanks to the mafia, you can get assaulted simply by trying to get in. In other words we do have some problems.

    But I kinda love my country.

    Mexico city is not exactly a sinonimous o d.f. T____T

    • Arlisi por personas con tus comentarios se esta perdiendo turismo en Mexico, mismos mexicanos dejan de ir a conocer su pais, NO ES PELIGROSO ir a los estados de la republica, informate bien!!! Si es verdad hay problemas entre Narcos. pero no andan matando gente al pasar. No seas ignorante.

    • Soy de Queretaro y vivo en Monterrey hace 8 anios y a excepcion del 2010 (y a mi jamas me toco ver algo) la ciudad es todo menos insegura. Como nos dejamos llevar por la prensa. Pasan cosas como en otras grandes ciudades…pero de eso a que sea isegura como la ingada…no estoy de acuerdo

    • wey yo vivo en Sinaloa, cuando le digo a gente del centro del pais que soy Sinaloa se espantan!… pero aqui estoy, vivo! osea no veas tantas noticias, exageran, si eres mafioso te ira mal… deberias salir mas de tu burbuja, hay mucho Mexico pasando las torres de Satelite wey

  88. Hi Anna
    I appreciate your article. I am mexican living in Canada and I often hear every one of these misconceptions. Good work.
    Thanks!!

  89. Amazing note!! I’m mexican and I do not look like the “average” mexican and everytime I wear typical clothes everyone think’s I’m a tourist ¬¬’… Anyway, it’s amazing what you are doing, hopefully this gets spread! For the record, on #11, Mexico declared it’s independence on September 27th, 1821. We celebrate on September 15th because Porfirio Díaz, Mexican President (1876-1911, this period is also known as the Porfiriato), celebrated his birthday on September 15th, which coincides when Miguel Hidalgo called for all the people in town to gather and called upon them to revolt. :)

  90. Thank you for a nice post! But although the whole independence of the states is really not so true. What I would like to say is that, honestly, Mexican women are NOT generally privileged.

    If we go to the mayority of women in México, I am afraid that most do have rather limited life expectations outside the household and are constantly abused… the reason why there are “special” parts of public transportation is because street harrassment in México is terrible, but honestly with the amount of women-killing (feminicidios) in the country. How can you say that we are privileged?
    Sure México city government made “special” spaces in public transportation. But the woman in charge of the Secretary of Women in Guanajuato has said that women with tattoos are guilty of society’s lack of values. And despite the fact that the state of México had the highest rate of feminicidios in the country, it wasn’ty clasified as such because the governor was (and is in fact) going to be the next president. Are women worst of in other places… maybe. But I can assure you, that does not make mexican women privileged in any way.
    One last thing, being caballeroso can often be part of the machista ideology. Men who treat women as the invalid that needs the door open, can and do often think that her right place is the house. It seems very nice to have your date pay for everything, but you have to remember that economic dependance is a form of violence. One very common that makes many women stay with abussive partners because of their lack of economic chances. Of course there are very nice guys out there who do these things without being machistas. But it is also a mistake not to see how these things can be part of the problem also. And in México they are a huge part.

    We Mexicans love to hear about the México which is not so well known and is not so bad, but the bad México also exists and it does so for many people.
    Still, I am very glad you had a nice experience and I congratulate you for writting about it.

    • Se nota que nuca visitas el norte yo vivo en Nogales Sonora y tenemos temperaturas bajo 0 tanto que sí no protejes la tubería se revienta y hay nieve todos los años

    • Nope, sorry, you are wrong. I live in the desert area of Zacatecas, and it goes below 0(C) many times in December and January and kills my plants. That IS cold not hot.

  91. sorry but mexico is a third world country and full of people who take advantage of others, many of us have left that country for those reasons alone. sorry to burst your bubble

  92. sorry but no. mexico is indeed a third world country, and horrible things happen in there, from rampant corruption at EVERY level, to insecurity, to one of the worst possible political parties in the whole planet. mexico is a HORRIBLE place to live. many of us have escaped the country for that. sorry to burst your bubble

    • Otro ardido que le echa la culpa al país por su propia mediocridad y fracaso personal, que bueno que te largas a otros lugares, ojalá nunca regreses, pero a donde vayas, recuerda que el perdedor eres tu.

      • That’s actually true. Everyone complains about mexico but no one gets up their butt to do anything about it. So yeah, go run away to another country and don’t come back. We don’t need people who run when the s*** hits the fan.

    • A quien le va bien en México es debido a quee es político y/o tranza. O un mediocre lamebotas de empresas que no pagan impuestos ni derechos a sus trabajadores, siguiendo la zanahoria que nunca alcanzaran.

      • ¡Ande canallas!
        Lo que sea de cada quién, no debería de juzgarse tan duro a los que les va bien estando EN México -que de por sí está batallosísimo si no se es rico de antemano- así como tampoco condenar a los que emigran nomás por el hecho de hacerlo. Las políticas sociales y económicas del país han puesto las cosas muy duras para todos desde hace casi 30 años, así que quien la haga, pues tiene buen motivo para sentirse orgulloso, me cae…. nomás, por favor, no m4men.

        Pero cuando hay más de 50 millones de pobres y una movilidad social tan estancada, creer que tanta gente está así “porque quiere”, “porque son unos fracasados” o “porque Dios quiere”, y decirles que el país está mejor sin ellos, como que es injusto. Sería interesante ver qué le pasaría a México si de pronto todos los “mojados” dejaran de enviar “remesas”.

        En este sentido, hubo un líder de la Derecha que dijo “no puedo prohibirle a (mis conciudadanos) que se ganen la vida donde mejor les parezca”.

        — now, to the Blog Author—-

        Good on you, Anna, for spreading your own awareness about the country. Don’t worry about missing some deeper points, we can’t blame you for it since you are an outsider. But it is very pleasant to see that you try your best to show good judgement and are so open to learn more. Keep up the good work… and visiting Mexico!!

      • Y la gente como tu que estan contentos con su mediocridad porque no te levantas y haces algo al respecto? Nomas andas de envidioso de empresarios mexicanos que si se levantaron e hicieron lo que tenian que hacer.

        El modelo capitalista recompensa a quienes salen a hacer las cosas, no a los que exigen que les den.

    • Maybe you did not work enough, or you did not study to have a nice job and bunch of opportunities to live and work in this great country, Mexico is great, The US have chances to live good even for people with no preparation and low capacity like you, even homeless people live doing nothing, so I am not surprised you talk about Mexico in that way, only real people with real courage can have nice life here, and the other people use to run away to a country where feed useless people like you.

      Cheers

    • Que bueno que te fuiste! COBARDE! MEXICO IS A HORRIBLE PLACE TO LIVE…. que se siente estar de arrimado en otro pais Alberto.. y no queres tus raices? espero puedas leer este comentario.. aun sabes español? SIGUE LIMPIANDO BAÑOS!

  93. I like your article. However, I think you could have made it just 10 facts. The reason: ‘female privilege’ as you describe it is actually gender discrimination. True “Caballerosidad” is very rare. (Gentlemanliness is only defined as that if the courtesy extends not only to women but to everyone).
    The fact that specific buses or metro carts exist is not privilege, or necessarily right. It is the result of men generally believing they have the right to harass women and perpetrate other forms of gender violence.

    • Agreed! Sure, compared to Turkey, maybe things are better but that doesn’t mean they are great! I’d love to see the citation for the study you listed in number 9 of the 2013 study.

      I happened to be in Chilpancingo, Gro., on 5 de mayo, and they were celebrating there, too.

  94. I live in México and I was born here.
    I am agree with all the point this writing has but in the number 9, sadly in México all of these privileges depends on the area of the country and in the culture, across the country is really common to see violence against woman, and it seems that a lot of the young men are aiming towards this conduct mostly using them. Also in the DF theres is a huge problem with prostitution, these organizations kidnap woman and force them to serve in these places, they are sexually abused several times per day by the customers,” Así que no todos los hombres en México son caballeros, si me disculpas.” (So not all men in México are gentlemen)

  95. Hi Anna, great blog entry. Now, for the ones arguing about how independent each state can or can´t be, do not forget Mexico is a Federation of States, that means each entity gives away some part of their sovereingnty in order to allow the Federation to input sime restriction in what the States can or can´t do for themselves. Article 115 of the Mexican Constitution establish how the states can organize their political administration by dividing themselves in Municipios and how they work. Article 116 tells how the States can have their local Congress, and legislations (that´s why there are local constitutions, civil, penal and other legal codes); in matters of taxes is where the States are limited. Article 117 inputs the prohibitions the states have to legislate over certain matters. So, we can say our States are some kind of independent as long as they do not violate the uppest law. In contrast, as long as I know, in the USA some sates do have the privilege to legislate in some matters that in Mexico will not be legal, such as allowing Idaho not to teach the evolution theory, or Texas having the death penalty or Kansas becoming a tax haven.

  96. This is a very complete article. Yeah the Mexican States are really independent, they have diferent laws between each other but of course there are federal laws which are in effect in all the states but the most common state regulations are about civil unions or same sex marriage, adoption, abortion, education, car regulations, and a ton of more. Mexico is a real federation. The half plus one of the states have to approve constitutional amendments, if they don’t it doesn’t pass. DF is not a state, there are plans but to this day it is not.

  97. Point number 2 is even difficult for mexicans (even the ones that live at Mexico city). Many people believe that Mexico City = DF. That is completely incorrect. Actually, the capital for the United Mexican States it is Mexico City. The thing is, that the Federal District is actually the equivalent of a state. And as many states, the DF had some cities/towns which belong to it. A few years ago this was more evident, but as Mexico City keeps growing this surrounding cities were merged to the big city. An example of this, is the town of Tlahuac. But there are still areas in DF that are uninhabitated, mainly at the south of the DF. Even at the south there is still one town named Topilejo which it is still separated from Mexico City but it belongs to DF. On the opposite, there are some other towns which didn’t belong to Mexico city neither to DF (they belong to Mexico State), but as the city kept growing, they were merged too. An example of this is Cuautitlan. So as the city keeps growing, we started to refer to the whole city (even if they belong to DF or to Mexico State) as Metropolitan area. However, both states recognize their frontiers and thus, the limits of their laws, responsabilities, etc. It’s kind of similar as to what happened with New York and New Jersey, or Washington, DC and Maryland/Virginia.

    I hope it helps for clarification.

    Interesting the rest of the points!. Thank you!.

    • I don’t read too many opinions but you are correct about that La Capital de Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos es Ciudad de Mexico.

  98. It’s true that very few mexicans eat burritos. I myself live in the northern state where we DO eat them, and we don’t put rice or lettuce in them

  99. Anna you did great by putting all this misconceptions, and I truly apreciate that you took the time to try to break some stereotypes, the points that I like the most because maybe are huge surprises specially for U.S. citizens are the ones about not all Mexicans being Dark, the security issue and the men being caballerosos, First of all I put this in English because this is the original language of the post so I will be respectfull about it, by the way mexicans DO speak english and we do it really well specially the ones that have completed High schooll level, even though that is really probable that any Mexican with Mid-education can perfectly understand english and make him or herself to be understood in english, and is really common that the ones with a college degree know more than 2 languages. By the way I have been dealing with foreigns for years specially with people from the U.S. I have worked in call centers and deal with americans face to face so I DO KNOW how the average “American” (By American I mean a person from the U.S.) think of us, first “Americans” Are maybe the ones that treat us the worst to give you an idea Europeans,Canadians ans Asians are extremely easy going and friendly as hell, but not americans they kind of treat you like if you were their slaves, and trust me on this one this is a hugely common perception of any Mexican that deals with Americans maybe they think that by tipping a 5 dollar bill they made our day, Americans are extremely arrogant if you deal with them by telephone and they do not like what you tell them they always ask for a supervisor, or if you deal face to face with them they ask for a manager, come on!! Haven´t you ever thought that we are friends of the supervisors or managers? by the way supervisors and managers job is not to speak with you is to finish reports and maybe keep an eye around but usually if anyone will trully try to help you will be the representative or the guy that you have in front of you. in a nutshell Americans most of them don´t have any sense of respect not even humanity for Mexicans, and of course not all of them there are nice exceptions, but well maybe they just need a piece of reality like you are doing on your blog.

  100. ‘sope’ doesn’t mean soup in any other Spanish speaking country, you are confusing it with ‘sopa’, which does mean soup in Mexico and almost everywhere else.

    • You misunderstood – I explain it already in another comment. I’m talking about English here… when a gringo heard ‘sope’ they probably would think it’s a soup, because it sounds similar to them. Same applies to embarazado and embarrassed.

      • That doesn’t make it a popular misconception, though.

        “but it reminds them of the concept of pizza” – I think you meant to use the pronoun “me” or “we” here.

        It’d be more interesting to get into the concepts of English words, like nice, smoking, and table, and how they have different meanings in México. Getting a little bit natch-y here, I know….it’s the copyeditor in me.

        Congrats on your book btw!

  101. Nice post, congrats.
    I would only change one thing: in the last point, you wrote: “Mexico declared independece on Sept 16th, 1810.” This is wrong. Mexico’s independence was signed on Sept 27, 1821. We celebrate on Sept 16 the beginning of the “Independece war” (that actually is also inexact, because the purpose of the riot that happened that day had no independence purpose…)
    So you could write something like: “On Sept. 16, the mexicans celebrate the beginning of the Independence war”.

  102. Most of this facts are true, but you could mention that not only are there white and non white Mexicans, there’s a huge, generally ignored black popullation too, they’ve been here ever since the conquest, and more lately there’s been a considerable growth in the Asian-Mexican popullation, there’s a new generation of immigrant’s children who are born Mexican, and come in every color and shape.

    Women being priviledged, well I think that’s just a mask the city offers to the world, the truth is Mexican women have it really hard to get jobs as profitable, or even to get their voices heard, than in many other countries. Of course it’s not Iraq, but the idea of living to see a female president of Mexico, for instance, is quite a fantasy still.

    Try and edit the “thing happens” and “publish transport” parts.

    Great entry though.

  103. Another fact you didn’t know: We speak “Spanish” or more correctly, Castilian. NOT “MEXICAN”.

    Also, most Mexican food is not spicy hot – it’s actually sour due to the amount of limes on everything, in Mexican simply called lemons. Spicy salsas and served on the side.

  104. I know you are trying to be nice and everything, but you really need to not be so ignorant yourself before you try to “eliminate” someone else’s ignorance.

  105. Thanks for your comments. Just let me add a couple of things:
    “México”, “República Mexicana” and “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” are equally legal names of the same country.
    5 de mayo became a popular celebration in USA, because Ignacio Zaragoza, the young general that won that battle, was born in a small town near San Antonio, Texas. So it was the Tex-mex community that adopted this celebration: In Mexico, it´s of much lesser importance than Independence Day.

  106. It’s impossible not to generalize (at least a little bit) when you are talking about a country with +100 million people. I believe this is an amazing summary and I look forward to any follow ups.

    Cheers,

    P.S. My beloved friends from around the world have received an e-mail with this link already.

  107. You should extend the comment about weather, And say that central México has a high altitude and because of that temperatures are temperate must of the time, except winter. This Altiplano extends to many cities and thus conditions are great must of the time (not too hot with cool nights). Saludos linda.

  108. I am a Mexican living in Vancouver and truly appreciate posts like this. Thank you. Despite you got your facts, I have to say that Women are NOT privileged in Mexico. It is true that there has been progress but Mexican society is way behind regarding women issues. I am a woman who grew up “privileged” in Mexico City and now with 10+ years living abroad and having a better understanding of my own culture, I can see how women are still pushed down (and kind of punished) in our culture.

  109. I don’t know if you still living in Mexico but we are very glad to have you here. Thank you for your words, it seems you’re very smart and kind. You know you’re always welcome in this country.

  110. Wow.. I love you.. Would you marry me? ha ha ha.. Finally, someone wrote nothing but the truth. I will share you amazing blog.

    Greetings from Mexico City (DF)

  111. Fist of all, I really enjoyed your article, A LOT! And i think is a very good “intro” for people who do not really know things about Mexico, or simply just believe what they see on the news or the movies.

    People always speak on behalf of combination between their personal belief and experience so I hope you take all the comments prior to mine as simple opinions and don’t feel bad just because some mexicans felt that the list you made is inacurate, because in general terms, we can agree that your article its like a photo of Mexico, seen trough the eyes of a foreigner and gives us a general idea of the country in a very cool and optimistic point of view, in other words, what I am trying to say is that, Did you had a different idea of Mexico before you came to live the experience? Did it changed? I bet it did, and for good! (and this is the message you want to give other students and international visitors, just to open up enough to live it and then maybe even extend your list)

    The thing about limes vs lemons is very funny, because, as you have already mention, Lima is lemon and limón is lime. And it does feel backwards….quick quiz : Mention a national mexican dish that doesn’t include chile(salsa), lime and salt… hard, isn’t? Tacos al pastor, Pozole, Birria, Ceviche, Menudo, Elotes/esquites, etc. Of course there are some dishes who dont use the 3 ingredients together, but still, I was just trying to point out that chile, lime and salt, are very IMPORTANT and key ingredients when it comes to Mexican food, speaking of which….

    Saying that burritos, cacti and sombreros are not mexican just shows that people do not know northern Mexico well enough (and this goes for my mexican brothers who have joined the comment not you Ana).

    Ever heard of El altar Desert in Sonora? FULL of CACTI. Full??? I mean it should be named Desierto del Cactus!!!. Have you ever been to Sinaloa, Sonora or Chihuahua? Yes, people wear sombreros, not only for parties and weddings, but also while working on the fields, of course NOT ALL of them wears a sombrero, but less face it, sombreros are Mexican, just look at any picture from Mexicans at the begining of the 1900′s and people wore sombreros every day .
    “But, we are in 2014, why do you live on the past?” Well, as i pointed out before, it is not a rule, and I do not have the exact % of people who use sombreros in Mexico, I just wanted to make clear that the “sombreros are not mexican”, is wrong, FYI Do not confuse the Mariachi attire with the Charro apparel, even real mexicans get confused with this.

    Burritos are a very common food in Baja California, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Sonora (where they hand-make this huge and delicious flour tortillas from which they later make BURRITOS out of them!!!. You can find burritos in almost every corner in Tijuana, where we eat them as breakfast, lunch or even dinner (Same as tacos, the filling doesn’t really matter). Same thing happens in Sinaloa and Baja California Sur. Not to mention Chihuahua where burritos might have been invented. And yes, all of those states represent Mexico, the same as any other southern/central state does.

    “Yeah, man, but those states are americanized, so they don’t count as Mexico, and also they are just like 4 states so, its 4 vs 28 !”. WRONG.
    First of all, did you read the list of states i just mentioned? Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, Baja California y Baja California Sur. Yes, they comprise almost a third of the national territory.

    Second, us northwesterns are as Mexican as any person from Veracruz, D.F or Michoacan and our regional food, customs and general way of living, speaking and thinking are Mexican.
    Even if we are closer to the U.S.A (at least geographically speaking) and we do blend some of their customs (like Halloween), that doesn’t “americanize” us nor makes us” less mexican”. Yes, things are expensive (as the article says) , but also the minimun wage is higher in the northwest than the rest of the country, with the exception of the D.F (See the “Salario Mínimo por zonas A, B y C) and most people do speak (fluent) english (with a very southern california kind of accent). I don’t see how being polyglot makes one less mexican, (on the other hand it might make them more intelligent and I am not making this thing up, see article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html?_r=0).

  112. Anna! I am proud that you dare to write such an amazing compilation. I am a Mexican traveler, living in Montreal for 4 years now and I have a comment to point at this post: You know Mexicans the way we want to be know.

    As many things probably need deeper inside breaking out details but your 11 points are as a whole a true based on your experience.

    In my experience, point 9 is not completely what matches my experience, nonetheless I am not a woman, so I am glad you think they are privileged!

    You have my share, and my follow!

  113. Jajaja que chistoso…bueno como soy mexicano, aquí voy…

    El ex-presidente Felipe Calderón cambio el nombre de nuestro país a simplemente México. Es decir, le quito la parte de “Estados Unidos…” Mexicanos por que nadie lo conocía así, y no tenía caso alguno continuar con un nombre tan largo que nadie conocía…

    Los estados no son independientes ni tienen su propia constitución como en Estados Unidos. Lo que pasa es que aquí hay una ley de tránsito, de educación, del trabajo, etc, etc…pero sobre toda una de ellas que es la constitución dónde vienen las reglas generales respecto a todo y luego federal, y luego una municipal. Pero cada una de ellas se hace para complementar a la que está supeditada. Es decir, la de un estado no puede contradecir la constitución del país…

    Respecto al aborto y matrimonios gay lo que pasa es que cada estado lo ha interpretado de acuerdo a sus intereses ($$$) tristemente, pero esa es la realidad…por eso es que se dice que en cuestión de leyes es un caos, aunque de que están bien planeadas, si lo están, pero muy mal ejecutadas.

    Sobre todo lo demás creo que ya hay mucha información…de cualquier manera, es un gusto que se hable de nuestro país y se hagan esfuerzos por darlo a conocer.

    • Los Estados SI tienen su propia constituciòn. Su nivel jerárquico es distinto al de la COnstituciòn Nacional, pero claro que la tienen. EL DF esta buscando tener la suya porque su calidad de Distrito Federal es un tanto diversa a la de los Estados. Mira la página: ordenjurifico.com para ver todas las constituciones.

      2. Felipe Calderon NO cambió el nombre de México. Fue una iniciativa que propuso al Senado, pero los legisladores deciden eso… Hace mas de 20 años que en México el Presidente no decide las cosas así por que sí.

    • jajaja que chistoso TU comentario…. supongo que vives en el DF… aqui voy

      Jamas se le cambio el nombre a solamente Mexico, este pais se sigue llamando Estados Unidos Mexicanos, pues eso somos, 31 estados y un distrito federal unidos, ni hay un decreto en donde se le haya cambiado el nombre, segundo, los estados SON independientes, cada estado tiene su constitucion…. las leyes que me ponen aqui en Sinaloa son diferentes a las de Sonora y asi al rededor del pais, investiga bien, en Sinaloa no pago impuestos para mi coche, en Nayarit si, en Quintana Roo me pudiera casar con un hombre, aqui no…. a ! y el nombre oficial de todos los estados empieza como… Estado Libre y Soberano de….. Sinaloa, Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, porque eso somos

  114. Thank You for this post! honestly i can relate 100% with every single statement you made, i was born and raised in mexico city (el DF) but i moved to the usa 3 years ago; it was a huge move and when i got to america no one believed i was Mexican since i am blonde with blue eyes.
    I hope Americans gets to read this so they can stop with their ignorant comments, i am so tired of explaining why I don’t have dark skin; thanks again

  115. I agree with everything, but about the transportation, I’ve been living in different cities around the country and there are no gentleman, they see you when you get into the bus and none of them stand up from their seats and offer you theirs, worst, sometimes an old ladie get in and happens the same, I’m a woman and I have offered mine to those ladies instead them!!! it’s quiteeeeee anoying, but now they excuse them under the idea that we have to be treated equally

  116. we call it lemons because they are lemons. Not Lime. It is a different kind of lemon. Lime is totally a different fruit. What you call lime, we call lime as well.

  117. I just forgot to mention abour the guys here, they have become in a modern way so many of them don’t pay you, they split the bill, many of them also don’t open you the door, instead the get in the car and you have to open the door by your own, so guys in an old school education does it but not the modern ones, I don’t know about your experience maybe the did it because you are a foreing girl and I have seen they treat tourist girls like princess, but it’s not the reality for mexican ones. I’m just saying that not all the guys are gentleman, or the opposite, I think it’s half and a half

  118. Another fact: Mexico is a North American country…thus, when I read/heard some peoples from USA referring to their country as North America, they forget about Canada and Mexico.

  119. Okay so technically independence is celebrated the 15th and 16th. Because people will start celebrating the evening of the 15th and then at midnight or very early in the morning yell out to celebrate “el grito de dolores” translated is the shout of Dolores look it up on Wikipedia. Some of your facts are true… But not all. It does not sound like you visited enough areas or spent enough time in Mexico for some of your conclusions. Mexican food varies by state just like in the US. And yes some of the food actually is spicy hot. Like eggs and sausage being cooked with peppers and not simply having salsa on the side as you said sometimes the salsa gets cooked in. It varies by family and by state. Some always cook spicy…Some add a lot if lime. Some of the candy evenn has chili pepper covering the sweet inside.

  120. Hi Anna…
    Espero que leas español , porque asi deseo escribir lo siguiente. Me parece correcto parcialmente muchos de los conceptos que aclaras, sin embargo no escribo en ese sentido, si no mas bien en relacion a como tu misma e internacionalmente se conoce a E. U. ( lease Estados Unidos de Norteamerica) , asi deberia de ser y no “AMERICA”, ( el cual es todo un continente , dividido en norte , centro y sur). Osea no es solo un pais, y la costumbre de llamarlo asi se dio y se generalizo cuando los inmigrantes particularmente de Europa viajaban a AMERICA , llegando a ESTADOS UNIDOS ergo AMERICA …. Excluyendo sin intencion quiero pensar a todos los demas paises que conforman este hermoso continente tan lleno de diversidad , cultura y tradiciones. Me parece importante dado el concepto de tu Blog , que consideres esta aclaracion.
    Saludos

  121. I liked your article, but I am still wondering about the safety factor as my Mexican neighbors living in the Oc tell us that Mexico City is very dangerous and they won’t go back and advise us never to attempt to drive into Tijuana that there are random murders happening all the time. I was bummed because I love Mexico, been to Baja, Cancun, Puerta Vallarta, Ixtapa, Tijuana, and more…( sp not right i’m sure), I miss it and want to bring my daughter but they said, never attempt it, so your article has got me confused about it now.

    • Hi! According to your doubt about the security theme in Mexico I can tell you that ME as a mexican that has lived in different countries… Mexico city is just as any other HUGE city.. lots of people, venues, cars, etc… and that involves a big amount of issues and benefits… but that doesn’t mean that DF is a dangerous place.. i’ve been living here for more than 25 years and luckily i’ve never been attacked by drug dealers lol or burglars.. it is about WHERE you go and which zones do you visit… and of course as in any other city in the world, if you take out your wallet and wave your money out in the wind lol you may be noticed by burglars and stuff but it is just as any other biiiiiig city… of course if you base in statistics.. you are going to find a high number of assaults but that is because we are 21 million people living in just ONE city… one of the biggest cities in the world so you do the math… it is all about proportions. According to your neighbors i know lots of mexicans that leave Mexico because unfortunately they experienced a bad situation such as kidnaps or similar situations and of course want to leave the country because they get very frustrated and angry and i dont blame them… but… unfortunately these is not only a mexican problem… it is a global problem… and according to this article there are a few things i would like to say, all the facts mentioned in this article are a 100 percent true, however the author of the article must have had visited friends that do not belong to the mayority… with that i mean that the author’s friends belong to the high class society… jews in Mexico are all rich.. they only live in the exclusive zones in Mexico and loooooove to stand out and will always spend money as crazy people… when young of course. .. at least the new generations of jews in Mexico love to spend daddy’s money and even more to impress guests… i know that because i have lots of jew friends here in Mexico… so it is really risky to say that mexican men like to pay for every thing. .. cause not all of them… that is more likely in the high class sphere and thats it… but not because they are gentlemen… lol but because they like to compete within tjemselves and prove women they are good catches.. but believe me… they are NOT gentlemen… lol… visit Mexico!!! It is a country full of culture and good people!!!

      • Its wrong for you to try to make a point saying not all mexicans are the same way, when moments after you talk about Jewish people as if all where the same. And just remember, this applies in the whole world, when somebody spends “daddy’s money” it only means their family worked their ass off for them to be able to spend what they earned any way they want, thats what every human being works for.

      • Actually this is inaccurate. I am a Mexican, born and bred in Querétaro. I have lived here all my life and plan to continue doing so.

        The author of this article probably does know some “high class” people, but from your commentary I can deduce that you know none.

        Most of the men I know (Mexicans, also born and raised here) do not treat women like conquests, nor are they chivalrous to compete amongst themselves. Chivalry is a very old tradition here that is even included in some parts of the law (Off the top of my head I can think of the Internal Rules for the School of Army Engineers, which as every other guideline pertaining to the Army is of Federal observance, and it states verbatim as obligatory conduct for the students the following: ” Protect the School’s Prestige, proving it through acts of chivalry, composure, honour, patriotism, and respect to laws and society…”). To state the opposite, and even more so, to adduce a racial slur as cause for this is not only damaging and offensive, but categorically untrue.

        And to anyone who would give this person’s opinion a second thought, please know that most Mexicans are not racist, since most of us have faced at least one form of racism against us when travelling abroad.

    • The safety in Mexico City has changed over the years. I usually go by what the locals feel so if I’m walking down a street behind someone and they step aside because they don’t feel comfortable having me behind them then there’s a crime problem..

      When I started going to Mexico City people would go into the ATM room one at a time and huddle over their money while someone kept an eye out. About 5 years later the person keeping an eye out was no longer necessary but people were still careful. Five years after that it was almost “normal” and I just went down again this year and people on the street acted no different than people in any other city I’d been too. Nobody was concerned. I’d say Mexico City has grown up (there’s negatives to that too though, I miss the chaos in the streets sometimes).

    • HI! My name is Rodrigo and Im Originally from México city (distrito federal. Many mexicans are afraid of the situation around the States they live in because some SMAll Towns are undercontrol of criminals, some States have Extreme poverty and this drug lords take over the state and put people into bad life standards. However turistic places and bigger States live a regular life just like any other person on the globe quiet peacefully and happy. It is true that things happen in México, just like it does in any other country. Im going to give you an example: let’s say that Minessota has 10 people living there, then 8 has good jobs and money 2 of them are poor , one of those poor guys works alot anyways and the other becomes a thief, therefore in a town of 10 people you might see one bad person, so calculate this on the scale of 180 million people then you will find your answer. Also ask your friends what kind of life they had here, many mexicans with a good economy refuse to use the subway NOT because its dangerous but because it lowers theyr lifestandard, as well rich mexicans are NOT well educated in many subjects such as culture, geography or civil rrights, everything they now its the TV news they hear and they dont take the time to find the truth. I WILL ENCOURAGE you to bring your daughter to México and visit our country now more than ever we need all the good reputation we could have! :)

    • “never to attempt to drive into Tijuana that there are random murders happening all the time”
      hahahahahaha, sorry, so not true. Americans cross the border everyday because of the cousine renassaince in Tijuana, a lot of places to eat, and stuff to do. If you don’t plan to buy/sell narcotics you will be really totally safe.

      I’ll be happy to give you some pointers if you decide to cross the border

    • Man, as the blog said, Mexico is something else than Tijuana, Los Cabos (Baja California is a state), Puerto Vallarta or Ixtapa. Yes, there are security problems, just as there are in LA, NYC or Paris. If you go to the ghetto, for a fact you are going to be in danger.
      Give yourself a chance a know the real Mexico, explore it and give you your time, you will find plenty of places that you cannot find in anyother place in the world.
      Just to mention, the History Museum’s collection at Mexico City is by far bigger than the one that is at the Smithsoninan at DC.
      Try and you won’t regret it.

    • I think the danger zone is along the border. Nuevo Laredo has been terrible for years. My dad used to cross the bridge daily for work, and he’d tell us about the roadblocks set up because of grenades and crossfire. He also visited Juarez and said it was just about the worst place you’d want to be in. My uncle actually lives in Nvo Laredo, so we hear his tales of terror all the time. Then there was a family, friends if my own family, who were murdered in their own house — shot at and burned alive when the assassins set the house on fire. It appears the cartels got the wrong house, though. Hours later, they killed the family they’d originally intended to kill. So police force is shit as well. But I’ve been even further south into San Luis, and it’s relatively peaceful there.

    • I totally agree with my fellow Anonymous on everything he said about México’s security and how daddy’s boys like to show off their money and everything. however, going back to what you neighbor told you about things that happen in México; almost the majority of Mexicans living in the US are illegal immigrants looking for a better life, or they ran (as Anonymous said) because something bad happened to their family or someone threatened them or any other situation so, the majority of the commentaries about México you’re going to hear probably are going to be bad.

      Changing the topic, theres something i just wanted to say about society classes. As Anonymous said most “gentlemen” are not “gentlemen” with women, often they’re just showing off their money or trying to impress someone, and if you don’t notice that you are probably going to say: “ooh what a nice person, i like how all mexicans are very friendly”. Not all mexicans are very friendly and the don’t need to have a lot of money to be friendly, but im sure you already know that. Often, the most friendly people are the middle class, and of course there are the middle-high or even high class sometimes, but they are humble and know that they are just simple humans and they are grateful for what they have and don’t have, and they aren’t just assholes.

      Come to México, it’s very pretty. Nevertheless, make sure to investigate which zones of which cities are safer for you and your family; danger is everywhere in every country, just try to avoid it the most.

    • I´m mexican, and I can tell you that Mexico City is one of the safest places of the country. The only places in which you should be careful are the ones in the border, like Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and Chihuahua, because most of the cities in these states are really dangerous, like Reynosa.

      Also, keep in mind that, like in every country, there will probably be someone who wants to trick foreigners. You just need to act smart and keep your eyes opened.

    • Hi DM, I have been to Tijuana many times, I have stayed there on vacation on occasion, hope my answer helps. Nothing has ever happend to me when I’ve been there, and I stayed at “Lomas” which is a very modest, low class street. I have family that have lived all their life there and they have never been assaulted let alone kidnapped (that’s extremely rare to happen to someone you know). However, Tijuana was very dangerous 5-6 years ago, there was a time that Tijuana was out of control because a lot of criminals ran away from prison at one time, I don’t remember what happened very well but they had problems with the prison management there, so a lot of crime happened in the streets. That got resolved now, and i wouldn’t go as far to say that Tijuana is a very safe place, I would say that crime there is moderate, you have to have precautions if you go there, a woman can’t walk alone down the streets at night for example, you can’t leave your house or car unlocked, if you are driving at night you should have your windows rolled up. Having said that, it’s likely that nothing will happen to you if you go, unless you go to the “ghetto” or something. Also, in Mexico people aren’t as crazy as people in the US, in the US you hear about a lot of average middle class people who have mental problems and become horrible murderers. Mexico isn’t like that, people who commit crimes here are most likely because of necessity.

    • dont be afraid of visitin tijuana i lived there for almost 36 years and im still alive, ive benn never been mugged or anything like it, its a safe place, but if you are a gang member, or a drug dealer, you will be in problems, if youre not ine of those things,,your safe man,,,,

    • Well you have to consider that many Mexicans left Mexico because they didn’t want to live there, otherwise they would come back in any moment. So they might not be the best promoters of the country.

    • Hey DM! Im Diana, im from Puebla and I live in DF (Mexico City). I have lived here for the last 10 years, i’m 26yrs old, and this is a very safe city! i go out to bars and parties (almost everyday haha!) in the night, and nothing bad has come never! i has never seen something like the “drugs war” o “narcos” having fights in the streets or something like that!.. so.. don´t believe everything people say.. ;) come to México! I’m happy to live here!

    • Hi, I’m mexican, and I can tell you that driving through the frontier right now isn’t the best idea. Flying on the other hand is perfectly fine, because what is dangerous is precisely the frontier. Usually all the beaches are safe because it’s a tourist zone and the government wants tourism. The city is also a very nice place to visit, and one of the safest places in the whole country.

  122. Just as a fact, the independence of Mexico was declared on September 27th 1821. What we actually celebrate is the begining of the independence war on September 16th 1810. That is something that even some mexicans ignore.

  123. Hi! According to your doubt about the security theme in Mexico I can tell you that ME as a mexican that has lived in different countries… Mexico city is just as any other HUGE city.. lots of people, venues, cars, etc… and that involves a big amount of issues and benefits… but that doesn’t mean that DF is a dangerous place.. i’ve been living here for more than 25 years and luckily i’ve never been attacked by drug dealers lol or burglars.. it is about WHERE you go and which zones do you visit… and of course as in any other city in the world, if you take out your wallet and wave your money out in the wind lol you may be noticed by burglars and stuff but it is just as any other biiiiiig city… of course if you base in statistics.. you are going to find a high number of assaults but that is because we are 21 million people living in just ONE city… one of the biggest cities in the world so you do the math… it is all about proportions. According to your neighbors i know lots of mexicans that leave Mexico because unfortunately they experienced a bad situation such as kidnaps or similar situations and of course want to leave the country because they get very frustrated and angry and i dont blame them… but… unfortunately these is not only a mexican problem… it is a global problem… and according to this article there are a few things i would like to say, all the facts mentioned in this article are a 100 percent true, however the author of the article must have had visited friends that do not belong to the mayority… with that i mean that the author’s friends belong to the high class society… jews in Mexico are all rich.. they only live in the exclusive zones in Mexico and loooooove to stand out and will always spend money as crazy people… when young of course. .. at least the new generations of jews in Mexico love to spend daddy’s money and even more to impress guests… i know that because i have lots of jew friends here in Mexico… so it is really risky to say that mexican men like to pay for every thing. .. cause not all of them… that is more likely in the high class sphere and thats it… but not because they are gentlemen… lol but because they like to compete within tjemselves and prove women they are good catches.. but believe me… they are NOT gentlemen… lol… visit Mexico!!! It is a country full of culture and good people!!!!!!

    • I do not agree. Men DO pay and it is not a matter of competition. They do it to woo the woman they are dating. Many of them continue to do so for years. It is actually part of the men’s pride to be the home provider. Yes, we, Mexican women are privileged. Of course there are “patanes” (jerks) who would not mind to be kept men.

      • And they are mostly either virgin haha just kidding but yes like I said previously real man will always show respect to every single woman and they will pay or at least try to no matter if they have high or low income and its just like nature(but ofcourse if you were not inform of that while you were growing up someone still needs to keep going to school to practice respect and manners so you can marry a nice good lady :P ) lets put it that way but I always try to keep it 50/50 , I guess everyone thinks diferently Im just happy I married on of those gentlemen in Mexico (my dad is from the US and my Mom is from Mexico) and we are really happy :)

    • Actually I do think most of the men I have met in Mexico are gentlemen if you are not one that means the facts provided by this lady on the article prove your just not a gentlemen at all or you just do not think a woman should get all that atention from a man, the facts about the history of Mexico are also completly right and the big diference between man in Mexico from man in the US is that in the US I never met so many gentlemen that open doors, give you a space in a restaurant or anything like that but I will say this, they are not as open minded as man in the US ( my Dad its from the US and my mom its from Mexico) and they dont quite understand a womans POV wen trying to correct something or a woman that speaks so sure of what she says only a low porcentaje of them do , the place is as secure as anywere else ,just as any other city you just need to know the places or streets were you are not suppost to go to, any Country or city close to the border will have expensive prices for turist always not only Baja California and to finish my coment I think the porcentaje or happy people its exactly the same but the economy it diferent in the US you could be in a very low income and still have internet , phone and drink coffee everyday here in Mexico if you have low income you dont get any of that but anyway, I like the article of Anna :)

  124. Can you let me know what European cities are more dangerous that Mexico City/Dsitrito Federal?…I doubt that more than 3.
    About women are priviliged….I must say that is not very correct. If women have those kind of “priviledges” as you say is because they suffer from the aggresion of men. And it is not a valid point to say look at Turksish women or Afganistan….WTF!
    I guess you have not living to much time in Mexico and you are providing a general view of a one week tourist. Anyway, Mexico and Mexicans are great, very friendly people.

    • I was born and raised in Mexico City; in all my life (many, many years) the only time I was robbed and felt really threatened was last year . . . in Paris, in daylight

    • I am French and I’ve been living in Mexico for 4 years now. I can give you three french cities that are more dangerous than DF, an I love those cities: Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier. DF is the safest city I have lived in, of course there are parts of the city i have never been to but I’ve seen a lot of it and never felt scared. Speaking spanish helps, and generally asking mexicans if it is ok for you to go somewhere you don’t know is a good reflex. Mexico is amazing, I am happy here and I don’t plan to leave any time soon.

    • Lets put three scenarios in Mexico City:
      -A good looking woman walking back home in the street at 11pm
      -Someone using there apple macbook in the Metro or in the bus
      -Parking your car for a whole night in the street.
      These are things that in many countries of Europe is possible to do, but not in DF. But of course is not a thing that if you go there go are going to be kidnapped. But if you live quite a long time you might get once your wallet stolen, or your car stereo, or your phone, your TV, your computer… but it’s OK, these are just material things.

  125. Hello, just one comment, as you mentioned in the 3rd point “In Mexico noone actually eats burritos” Burritos is actually a dish from Cd. Juarez in the north of Mexico, I’m from Chihuahua and yes we eat a lot of burritos in many different ways and they are delicious, you will not find them on the center or south of Mexico indeed. That’s why people from those parts of Mexico maybe will tell you that burritos aren’t Mexican’s, but they are!

      • Nice article, really nice indeed, just some clarifications:

        You said no one in Mexico eats them :P, i am from Baja California (wich many ignore is not the same state as BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR thats where LOS CABOS is located, some call it BAJA CALIFORNIA NORTE but that is not the official name) here we also eat burritos, most northwest parts of Mexico do eat burritos and chilpotle. just not TACO BELL style food with cheddar and ground beef (YIACK)

        Also it is spanish , not MEXICAN “(in Mexican simply called lemons)” or maybe you meant Mexico?

  126. HOLA ASI QUE SABES MUCHO YA SABES ESPAÑOL???
    QUE BUENO ME DA MUCHO GUSTO QUE ME PUEDES PLATICAR EN ESPAÑOL SOBRE MÉXICO???
    GRACIAS…

    • Que pedo con tu redaccion?
      “Hola, asi que sabes mucho? Ya sabes espanol? Que bueno, me daria mucho gusto que me pudieras platicar en espanol sobre Mexico.” (tengo teclado extranjero asi que no hay acentos y singnos de interrogacion)
      Eso es lo que he entendido de tu comentario, pero esta muy mal escrito. O sea, querias reclamarle a la autora del Post escribiendo un comentario con pesimo espanol?

  127. Hi Anna, nice blog!….Im from Mexico and also travel around several countries due my work, and this is actually a big topic during my conversations with people from another countries…Mexico is not Cancun or Tijuana….and mexican food is quite different that the one you get in US.

    Thanks for sharing this and safe travels!

  128. Great article! Thanks for sharing the truth about my homeland. Just one thing you may want to correct, the independence day is the 16th not the 15th. Again, thanks for this article. Its awesome!

  129. Claro que si todavia existen Caballeros en Mexico, habemos muchos aun que conservamos o fuimos educados tradicionalmente, y siempre cedemos el lugar a las mujeres y mas aun si se encuentran embarazadas, hasta se pelean por cederle el asiento, y también abrimos la puerta a las mujeres antes de entrar a un lugar, Siempre pagamos la cuenta cuando invitamos a una mujer al cine o a cenar, y cuando la mujer se ofrece a pagar o a dividir la cuenta, quiere decir que la mujer no esta interesada o te ve como un simple amiga, ( no como en USA, que ahi se dividen todo), y ya para terminar..

    La verdad no puedo entender como hay gente mexicana que se va a vivir a otro lado.. CUANDO AQUI EN TU PAIS ERES LIBRE.., puedes hacer lo que quieras, no como en USA, que ahi eres un esclavo del Gob, (pero los americanos no lo saben), piensan que viven en el mejor pais del mundo.. Yo tengo muchos amigos canadienses y americanos, que se arrepienten de no haber venido a vivir a México antes.. por eso y mas.

    Viva Mexico Cabrones!!

  130. Very true about the food, 5 de mayo, and pretty much all you mentioned! :) It is always nice to read/hear of someone who is giving Mexico a try and enjoying it!

    I personally disagree with seeing the women-only public transport as a privilege, because like someone above said, if it exists it is because women mixing with men in public transport is threatening and the goal should not be to separate us but I kind of get it as a way the government provides to try to stay away from the danger of having your boobs and butts grazed.

    I have to say that I’ve been on the subway twice in Mexico City, in mixed wagons and haven’t been robbed or touched by anyone. I’ve been walking on the street in Holland during Queen’s Day and a guy (probably not a Dutch one) pinched my ass, it was awful and something I thought could never happen there, where I always felt safe. But like someone said, big cities have its pros and cons.

    I like that you provide a disclaimer and explain how you got your perception of the country and Mexico City! Can’t see why some people are being harsh saying that what you say is wrong or misleading, travelers are always allowed their take on anything, that’s why we travel, to discover and tear down some walls :)

    That said, I agree with you, Mexico is a beautiful country, absolutely worth visitng and us Mexican are very hospitable and caring :) haha

    Keep enjoying!

  131. what i find fun as hell (and also kinda pisses me off) is when someone asks you if you know somewhere from Mexico that they met once they went there :S

    I mean havent they seen a map in their entire life? Mexico is huge! even the state i live in is bigger than many many countries lol.

  132. It’s great to found more and more people who understand what Mexico is… I’m mexican but work with foreign all the time and all of them are like; this is not how I pictured mexico… it’s frustating because the stereotypes, at the beginning is funny but then is annoying.
    Mexico is a big country, and Baja California is very different that Jalisco or Monterrey, and the DF is a big big city with a cool stuff like chocolate museum or tatto museum, art, theatre, and other unique things.
    I can talk much about all we have in DF and in the real Mexico, but only if you stop belive the american movies and visitit other parts of mexico that is not the hotel resort, you realize how awsome it is.

  133. im a mexican living in cancun i grew up in los angeles and i can tell you thaht mexico i much safer al countrys have problems the art of living in mexico is staying out of trouble mos incidents involving foreners are due to alcohol or drugs mesing whith the wrong people i would say thaht by nature us mexicans will give there shirts of their backs for others its just the way we are then there is thaht other 30 percent of ignorant uneducated idiots thaht give us a bad name .sorry for my
    spelling

  134. Bravo Anna, your blog describes on every word a descrition of Mexico for a foreigner that gave a chance on the conuntry, specially about DF.
    I dated an american for almost 5 years and you expressed her feeling with every word you wrote.

  135. Hey Anna! I’m Mexican and I think that your article is pretty good except for a few things that “didn’t ring the bell” to me:

    1. The toilet part that says “Mexicans don’t flush toilet paper” only applies to small towns or very old town sections that don’t have modern infrastructure. I’ve traveled along the entire country and seldom found a john where you had to use a trash can for that purpose.

    The main difference between Mexicans is the level of culture between one another just like in any other country I’ve been to. Rural people that visit or move to an urban city often do things like that [toilet thing] but that’s normally criticized by the city people. I’d hate to find a used tissue in my bathroom’s waste basket!

    * Fair to add that Mexicans are culturally a very clean society, generally speaking. You can notice daily baths and personal hygiene is the standard even for people whom working situations don’t let them have direct water access such as construction workers, street vendors, drivers…

    2. Mexican food is hardly “spicy” at all. I’s just tasty hot because we love to use chilly peppers [of so many types and flavors] in most everything we prepare. Indian food is spicy because Indians [and Pakistanis] normally cook with lots of different SPICES. Mexicans use the typical things everybody uses to cook: garlic, onions, pepper, cumin seeds, oregano… That’s another popular misconception!

    ** Stupid comments like “don’t drink the water” really makes my country sound like a bad option to travel and have a great time. Water infrastructure is quite good in most places here.

    3. I would add to your point that “Mexican” defines a citizenship and not a race. People may look oriental, black, scandinavian or whatever and be Mexican at the same time just like any other citizenship.

    4. Mexican Spanish is different depending on where your are just like any other country where this or any other language is spoken. Northern Mexican Spanish [and specially accent] is totally different from Central or Southern Mexican Spanish. Mexican Spanish is as local as Peruvian Spanish or Argentinian Spanish. It’s not a Mexican difference or as you put it “opposite to the majority of Latin American countries”. For example, the word “arrecho” has a total different meaning in Colombia that it has in Guatemala. In Colombia, it means “horny” while in Guatemala, it means “hard working”.

    5. The way Mexican men treat women depends on the level of culture each person has as well as the intentions or level of compromise he has, just like in any other country. Curiously this has nothing to do with economic level. Just yesterday, I saw a young low income teenager with Down Syndrome riding on a public bus and he was just the most perfect gentleman I’ve ever seen, helping the older ladies take a sit, carrying their baskets, wow!

    Anna, thank you very much for liking my country and communicating so many good things about it. As somebody above said, we need more good comments because we need more tourists to come and enjoy our beautiful premises, smiley people, great culture(s) and history, arts and crafts, delicious dishes and snacks, camping, sports, etc, etc… Abrazos, Carlos.

  136. Anna,

    I am a Mexican born and raised in Mexico City and I want to thank you for thoughts about Mexico.

    Your number 4 thought, kind of unveils an interesting fact about Mexican culture: it is a very unique mixture of pre-hispanic, European and “American” customs.

    Pre Columbian heritage is in the food, the language and in the way of seeing life (for good and for bad)
    European, specially Spanish influence, is of course in the language, but also in the food, architecture and Religion; bur there are also French, Italian and even German influences; specially in some particular regions (Jalisco-French, Michoacán even has a region called little Italy and there is an Amish type of settlement in the northern state of Chihuahua of German origin: The “Menonitas”)

    Also, as you mention, a big deal of the contemporaneous cultural life is being populated by members of the Jew and Lebanese communities; also, in escaping from the civil war about 80 years ago, there were a lot of Spanish (“Republicans”) refugees, that became teachers, writers, philosophers, painters, book editors, dancers, movie stars, entrepreneurs and the like, that contributed a lot to shape the economic and cultural life of Mexico during many decades of the past century.

    And of course, being neighbor to the U.S.A. and having so many Mexicans living there for so many years and a lot of tourist from there visiting us, has naturally influenced many aspects of our day to day way of living, from dressing, to musical taste and the way of doing business. But it is a mixed feelings kind of relationship, because, there is also a lot of resistance to being culturally overtaken by the “American” (Stereotyped) culture.

    Finally, I completely agree with you in that the term “Third World” is totally outdated.

    Mexico is not a developed country (yet), but neither is as undeveloped as some sub Saharian countries, for example

    Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Mexico.

    PS: We like to consider ourselves as north Americans, since Mexico is in the America continent and a large part of it sits above the Tropic of Cancer line

    PS 2: This blog is becoming increasingly popular among Mexico facebook users…Congrats

  137. I am very happy to hear that from a foreigner living in Mexico! Thank you Ana! I hope that it becomes a habit for more and more people visiting Mexico and becomes a very Positive Epidemia!

    I´ve lived in Europe (Spain, France, Netherlands) for over ten years and people here get those ideas from the media or ignorance (lack of interest to investigate) and……. sometimes it´s the truth, I have to admit.

    It´s hard to explain that where you come from is safe, beautiful and you can actually live a better life than in Europe (if you have the right assets, just like in Europe!) due to the weather conditions in most of the country; as an example, Cuernavaca area has one of the best weather conditions in the world, not too hot or too cold, just perfect or like Acapulco area, where it is never cold, ever…
    The housing is very cheap compared to Europe, you can buy a beautiful house in a very nice area in any part of Mexico for the same price of a 2 bedroom apartment in an average area in Madrid or Paris, so, you can live better or spend less money on housing…
    Cars and gas are way cheaper than in Europe, so, you can spend less money on that or option 2, buy a better car!
    So, as a result, you can save more money or live better, in any case, both of these options are great!

    Lots of people have normal lifes, just as in the occidental world. Very rich, rich, poor and very poor people, (gap is bigger) just like in almost any country, you see people on the street asking for money and when you go to practically most cities in Europe, you SEE the same… It is true that there is a lot to do to become a Better country, improve on many things like education, infrastructure and communications, we are on the way…

    There are beautiful and safe cities to visit besides Cancún or Cabos, like Guanajuato, San MIguel, Queretaro, Guadalajara, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Veracruz and lots more. Beautiful cities or villages. Did you know that the city with more museums in the World is actually Mexico City! And there are beautiful ones… That we have a desert, green forests, pine trees, great lakes, a great canyon, beautiful mountains, snow (not for skiing though) and many more things than just beach and crime…

    About Mexican Food… I will make it easy for you, if you take 32 states + DF and you count how many special regional/traditional dishes they´ve created (perhaps 50 per state) and count them all, probably Mexico is one of the world´s most diversified culinary places. Tex mex, tacos, burritos it´s just a thin peak of a HUGE Iceberg…

    Mexican language (it´s a personal term) is much easier to understand than Spanish from Spain, according to Europeans, our accent and slang seems to be the difference…

    Conclusion: Visit/Live first, Talk After ;-) Good luck!

  138. Hi Ana thanks for talking sake of my country, Mexico is a very beautiful country, working people, rich culture and delicious food (pozole, mole, tacos, etc..), A month ago my daughter who is 14 years old traveled to the Huasteca Potosi it is located in the state of San Luis Potosi and marveled at the experience back, sure that if I had considered it was unsafe not let go, we are a lot more good than bad, Mexico is more of Baja California and Quintana Roo (Cancun).

  139. Well, actually the Metropolitan area is still very very dangerous, with Estado de México with the record of most female murders, the Mexico City is safe, in some ways even more advanced than a lot of cities in the world, and great with women but some other places are very dangerous, great post, I agree with most of it but about the safety it is a problem yet

  140. Mexico is not just Mexico City.. I am a Dutch woman living in Guadalajara for 7 years. I agree on some points of your article, however I believe your point of view is focused on DF. Also women aren´t really privileged. Many women do have lower salaries at work, or get fired when they are pregnant. Guadalajara doesn’t have any pink busses either. Most men probably do stand up for a women in a bus if they consider them “pretty” if not they don´t even think about it.

  141. Hey Anna, nice read!
    You forgot to mention that Burritos are actually eaten in Northern Mexico! Especially here in Sonora, where I´m from. Though our burritos are waaay different from the ones of places like Taco Bell and such. They can be made of several types of meat (asada, chorizo, al pastor, etc etc) and often include tomato, avocado, beans, and obvioulsy lemon, salsa and cream. They´re huge, and wrapped in a “tortilla sobaquera” (a big flour tortilla, locally made).

  142. Mexico currently holds number 1 in extortion and kidnappings, it’s dangerous, violent and corrupt. While the land itself may be beautiful, it’s deadly. don’t visit.

    • ahahahhaha you believe in numbers? I live in Mexico, and I’ve lived in Mexico for my 21 years of life. Have I ever been kidnapped? Nope. Have I heard about it? Yes, but just as much as I’ve heard of other countries. Yes, there’s a lot of danger in here but there’s a lot of danger in all the world. Mexico is not deadly and if you think so it’s your loss because Mexico is one of the most beautiful places you’ll find and people here is very welcoming to anyone. We love our country and we are a very celebrating kind. So don’t talk about my country if you don’t have experience about it.

  143. Hola Ana thx for your article
    I wish people would focus on what you are trying to say here: VISIT Mexico for the great country and people it has and less on the details of the bad reputation it has gotten in the past 10 years. To your point I’m a euro/Mexican and one of those that constantly get reminded of it in the US and everywhere else I travel with a “you don’t look Mexican” I wish I could just buy them all a ticket and send them not to hell…but MEXICO instead to see many more “me” out there. I was never high society as one commenter points out but rather middle class with two hard working (veterinarian) parents so… Hardly came from money…but I did have friends in all social strata and I also agree that Mexican men are gentlemen and offer to pay (it’s just culture and I surely welcome it) and NO they don’t beat you up after they paid your dinner! For the past 10 years I have been working and living in various places in the world but I make sure to return to Mexico for 1-2 months every year with my now 4yr old and 6 yr old sometimes actually driving all 26 hrs of it from TX to Morelia and you know what I hear from my Friends before I do so? A classic warning of: how can you risk your lives like that?!! Well let me tell you I was NEVER in my life once attacked in Mexico blond green eyed and lean as I am but I surely got mugged, harassed and almost knifed by Turkish a..holes not once, but separate times while living in Germany and later it was Algerians in Paris on one lovely New Year’s Eve…then Rome (car broken into by who knows) then in the US talk about respect!! Do I hate Arab nationals, Europeans, US ?? NO there are bad people every where!!!
    So when I drive back to the US I get to hear from my Mexican friends: “how can you send your kids to school there (in the US) with their psycho gun wearing classmates they might end up shot one day!”
    All this to say: Mexico has the bad image thanks to the media and its economy, especially the tourism one, is badly suffering from it which makes me sad because I see places like Ixtapa badly needing that money. But the US also gets its bad rep from the same source- the Media! Do you think people are happy here in Italy (where we live half the time) to hear that we come from Texas?… Boom boom cowboys dessert and Guns Yeeee ha! And of course George W. Bush who made Americans become very unpopular and hated in no time – I remember a fellow backpacker I met thru my solo euro trips after college who introduced herself as Canadian!!! Instead of American and heck she probably still does.
    So the moral of the story: turn off your TV and explore the world you may have bad experiences here and there if you flash your money or are not careful which area of town you venture into (slums in Chicago? NY? Anyone?) but you will surely miss out on the most amazing experiences you could be having because you decided to stay at home instead… Happy and safe travels to all.

  144. Thank you Ann ¡¡ , i really enjoy your article, i really do, like the indigena i am , is nice to read a foreign who see a little more as the rest of the common tourists, (who seen us, like gardeners or drug dealers, but not like equals), and yes , mexico has a universe of new experiences to offer for the person who has the interest in live and see the world in a different way. (i think this is the true goal of traveling).

    My advice for any person, If you want to travel to Mexico, Please do it, i personally guarantee that you and your family will be o.k ¡¡ ,but first, you have to understand, that you will only know a part of what mexico it really is. like other countries in the world, mexico is divided by regions, and every region have their way to see the reality and as a consequence of this, we have diverse behaviors, values and perceptions.

    So, what i try to explain is , yes mexico as a country, has a lot of problems but not everywhere because these are result of the idiosyncrasies of the peoples, perhaps the exception about this, are the social issues about the perception of security, the true is. we feeling more fear about our authorities like nothing on this planet.
    But don’t worry, like Americans or whatever you’re, you have more rights than the rest of us, for example the case of Florence Cassez. if you do something really really wrong, you only need 10 euros or 15 dollars (maybe more, even in Mexico, killing people is a crime, keep that in mind) to avoid the problem. So whats the point of discuss it? you will be safe, feel free to everything you want and enjoy what Mexico has to offer.

  145. I was actually enjoying your article a lot, thinking “wow, someone is actually on the right track for once!” But when I got to the line “(in Mexican simply called lemons)” you completely lost my attention… in Mexican, really?? Isn’t the language SPANISH?? There’s not “mexican” language, ugh…

  146. Women are privileged. I’m a citizen of Mexico City and the situation varies a lot between cities and regions but in the Distrito Federal I would have to agree. True there is domestic abuse and other forms of violence (as in many places), but the law is very progressive in favor of women. It doesn’t matter if you’re not married, couples acquire privileges as if they were married (social security benefits, child support, etc.). It has a very liberal law regarding interruption of pregnancy. It also has a strong anti-discrimination law (favoring women and banning all sorts of discrimination). It also has a very progressive divorce law that makes it very easy to get a divorce even if both parts do not agree. You can also marry with separate states (which in many countries you can’t). I work in a big company where the CEO is a women and half the board of directors are women. I’m a 40 yo male and I love it here.

  147. Hi, Anna

    I read your interesting blog on Mexico, my homeland. I would like to share some information with you so can improve your knowledge on Mexico City.

    Mexico City is indeed the nation’s capital, whereas the DF (Federal District) is the land in which the capital is founded. It is actually the same thing as in the U.S. with Washington and D.C. (Washington is the nation’s capital and not DC). Mexico City was found by the Aztecs in 1325; and the DF was created after the first Constitution of independent Mexico, in 1824, almost 500 years later. Mexico City has been growing amazingly, specially in the last 70 years, and the urbanized area has finally surpassed the limits of the DF. The metropolitan area of Mexico City includes many municipalities of the State of Mexico, such as Huixquilucan, Naucalpan, Tlalnepantla, etc., but they are not part of Mexico City.

    Nowadays, most people consider Mexico City and the DF close to synonims, although several decades ago, Mexico City was basically the urbanized area of the DF. Back in the middle XX Century, The DF (which has kept the same size for over one century now) was integrated by urban areas, such as Mexico City itself, as well as by many other smaller towns, such as Tlalpan, Xochimilco, Magdalena Contreras, etc., which were not as urbanized as Mexico City at the time. There even was a non urbanized gap of agricultural land in between Mexico City and those towns; which has disappeared in most cases and that is why now many people tend to misunderstand Mexico City as the same thing as the DF.

    In conclusion: Mexico City is the nation’s capital, and is located within the limits of the DF. Today, although not 100% of the área of the DF has been urbanized (you can still see forest lands in the Ajusco or Sierra Nevada) political reasons and interests tend to call every corner of the DF as part of Mexico City; which is actually a mistake.

    I hope you find this information useful.

    Ciao!

  148. I’m actually from Mexico and everything you’ve written is so true I live in England and EVERYONE ask me why I don’t ‘look’ Mexico, or why I don’t ‘sound’ Mexico, or why I don’t eat ‘burritos’ or ‘chimichangas’ when in fact I never heard about ‘chimichangas’ most of my friends got shocked and also got shocked when they saw pictures of my friends and they ALL said ‘oh they don’t look Mexican either’ (Even though I am quite tanned) lol

    Ivam xx

  149. Holly mother of Jesus lady. I am glad you try to settle some misconceptions about my country, but some of your conclusions (without mentioning grammar) need some serious revision. Mexico of course is not a third world country, but that is based on geographical terms of demographic transitions and other geographical models like GDP, that give a country the status of either 1st or 3rd world countries, (2nd world countries don’t exist). This terminology was set aside for the now more used developed/developing country.
    Sopes are nowhere near a Pizza, I know you clarified this, but even comparing them slightly would be a huge mistake.
    Mexico white skin heritage is not because of a Jewish community, but because of hundreds of years of immigrants from all over the globe.
    I think you heart is in the right place though, Mexico is beautiful and extremely safe. Having lived most of my life in the city I can account for it. There are nearly 30 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The murders per 1000 inhabitants in the city is nowhere near Manhattans’.
    Thank you for shedding some light on the ignorance surrounding Mexico as a whole.

  150. Joseph Barnes , I live and work in Puerto Vallarta. I feel safer there, then in Atlanta, Ga, or Orlando Fl. I am (was) a gun owner, and am still an avid 2nd amendment advocate. I am selling all my guns and ammo in Orlando, Fla, as I write this. I feel more free in Mexico than in the U.S.! The U.S. Is not free anymore! No GMO’S in Mexico! Eat your Monsanto food, it’s called population control! Stay in America, We expats. Want you to fix the U.S.A, before you mess up Mexico! Keep chasing the illusion of the American dream. I will be back in Mexico next month to live, until I die!!!

  151. Must add: Mexico is NOT part of southamerica, Mexico is part of northamerica… Most of people doesn’t know this… I guess they all failed geography…

  152. I liked your post. As my fellow citizens may be thinking, you were quite right in the whole text or a vast majority of it.

    I’m glad you like it :D

  153. Hi! I do not know if anyone told you already (you have a lot of comments here) but the capital of the United Mexican States is actually Mexico City. The metropolitan area it is not the same as Mexico City much of it are part of the Estado de Mexico, the state nearby but it is called Mexico City’s metropolitan area because they are so close to the city that you can think they are part of it but they are not.

    I hope I was clear, I have a very poor English. I like your posts very much :)

  154. Anna,
    Your name reminds me of my deceased mother who was from Durango. I agree with somethings in your blog but I respectfully disagree with most. I have worked in law enforcement all my adult life and traveled to many parts of the world. While there are certainly many other dangerous cities in the world; Mexico city is highly dangerous. I wish I could visit Mexico with my children, but I would never risk them in such a way. The reason the US does not add Mexico City to the “No Travel list” is merely political and by you stating that Mexico City is safe you are doing a disservice to all Mexicans who have left their country due to the lawlessness and poverty that now exists. Even politicians and the wealthy live outside of Mexico; the only ones who stay are those who cannot afford to leave.
    Instead of extolling Mexico City you should demand they make it a safer city where we can all visit and enjoy the beauties of that awesome country. Please–al pan pan y al vino vino.

    • I live in ciudad Juárez. And yes years ago alot of my friend went to live to El Paso tx. But most of them have double citizen. I can afford to leave. But I love my country and my city so I keep loving here. And that says alot. Because some year ago this was the most dangerous city in the world. But nothin ever happpend to me or my family thank God. I walk free and I fell free an safe.
      The politician you mentioned are mostly the corrupt ones that knew that they where in danger because they where working with narcos.

    • You would’t risk your children by visiting mexico city, that’s just nonsense. And by the way neither the politicians nor the wealthy live outside mexico. If they do it’s only because their work is somwhere else. I think your mother would be very dissapointed of you being such a wuss and not letting your children visit because of your childish fears. Be a man for god’s sake! You’re like an old lady from a barn!

  155. Thank you! All the points you make here are very true. I actually find it amusing how Hollywood movies portray mexicans, it’s so stereotyped that it’s actually more funny than offensive, I always wonder if that’s how they really see us or if it’s just for entertainment purposes.

    I agree on everything you said, especially about mexican people’s physical appearance, there is a huge diversity of skin, hair and eye colors, mostly where I live, Baja California. In my family for example, my brother is blonde with green eyes, my sister is blonde too, I’m a brunette but have light skin and light eyes, my uncle and my cousin have red hair and freckles. Also, there’s people with different heritage that are mexican born and raised, I’ve met people of german and russian heritage.

    It’s also true that most men are real gentlemen’s, and not only if they’re dating you even if you are a stranger, boy or a girl, they will open doors for you and help you if you car breaks down in the middle of the road, will stand up on the bus and give you their seat if you are a girl, most people are extremely polite.

    And THE FOOD… my god, it’s extremely delicious. I always laugh when I go to the states and eat a taco at Jack in the box, they actually taste pretty good but it has nothing to do with a real taco, at all.

    The only thing that I don’t agree so much is about the safety, it is true that most crimes that happen in Mexico are because of the “carteles”, and it’s not likely that someone will kidnap you or assault you if you go visiting, but I do know at least 5 people that have been assaulted or they had their house robbed.

  156. Hi, In reference to your item about the “colour” of Mexican people: besides being multi-cultural from immigration, Mexico is so different from the US or Canada, in the make up of their heritage of the average Mexican citizen. Genetic studies have shown ~93% of the Mexican population is of mixed indigenous / European heritage! There are still some class issues but I think this melting pot works to bring the Mexicans together.

  157. Mexico IS part of Latin America! It might or might not be part of North America, depending on how that’s defined, but it is INDEED part of Latin America.
    And regarding “third world,” though clearly an stereotype, I think we can all agree that Mexico is neither “second world” or “first world”. So, if it’s not “third world,” just as the rest of Lat Am, the Caribbean, most of Africa and many countries in Asia (including highly industrialized countries like India, China and Brazil) are (or aren’t, by your definition,) then neither of these terms should be used at all. But if your idea is to place Mexico at the same level of the so-called first world countries, either in terms of industrialization or human development, I will have to highly disagree with you.
    Also, regarding safety, I am with most here.

    Now, having said all that, yes, the image that the world has of Mexico, mostly thanks to Hollywood, is rather incomplete and askewed, to say the least.

  158. Hi Anna, great post! A few things that I wanted to point out. About that in Mexico people don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet. I’ve seen that in some public bathrooms, but in my case and in many others that isn’t the case. I’ve always thrown the toilet paper where it belongs, in the toilet. Regarding to children not receiving gifts on Christmas Day, that is not so true, or at least middle and wealthy class children do receive gifts from Santa Claus. But as you pointed out, the tradition is on the 6th of January the Three Wise King’s Day. In that sense Mexican kids are very lucky to receive more gifts in less then a month. And one last point. It’s true Mexico is the fattest country in the world, but not necessary because of Mexican food, actually is very healthy, the only thing is to prepared it with less oil. The regular diet of a Mexican is mostly based on industrialized foods and a lots and lots of sodas. Mexico ranks #1 of soda consumption in the world. In this country its consumed 163.3 liters per person in a year, 40% more than the U.S.A.

  159. You did great job writing about misconceptions and serotypes.
    Top 5 lies about Tijuana: Mythbusters!
    Separating infamous border town fact from fiction

    Inspired by the Mythbusters, the famous Discovery channel TV show, that takes myths like “Is Miami more shallow than Los Angeles?” and hast to state whether the myth is wrong (busted), is right (confirmed), or it could possibly happen (plausible).

    Trying to find the right myth to debunk was an easy task, apparently the news that scenes of the movie “Hangover 3” will not be filmed in Tijuana, but in a fake one, received mixed reactions from fans in blogs and social networks.

    Many people complain against having once again, this border town portrait in a bad light. Some comments evoked French singer, Manu Chao’s famous lyrics, “welcome to Tijuana, Tequila, sexo y marijuana.”

    On the matter, in the blog imgur.com you are able to read comments like; “they are not filming in Tijuana because the city they want to portrait in the movie doesn’t look like the modern Tijuana that is now.” Clearly opposite to other comments like; “Tijuana, where tourist make several or their biggest mistakes.”

    So here you have 5 myths about Tijuana:

    Myth #1: Is the Caesar’s salad an Italian invention?

    Well, not at all. Most historians believe that Caesar’s salad was invented in Tijuana by Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated a restaurant and hotel in Tijuana`s Avenida Revolucion, And just to bust up the stereotypes a little more, what about the anchovies?

    According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “the original Caesar’s salad recipe did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad.”

    Myth #2: They are going to rob you, kidnap you, or kill you if you go to Tijuana.

    Although Mexico in recent years has had a lot of high profile violence, lately that have occurred more in other parts of the country, in which Tijuana and Baja California overall, are no longer “hot spots”.

    Historically tourist are not the targets of many crimes, but at the same time you must always be aware of your surroundings like in any other city, by using just your common sense you should be ok. But because mainstream media keeps hammering with the subject, let’s say it again…Only parts of Mexico are violent, Baja California is safe.

    Myth #3: Drugs are easy to buy in Tijuana.

    Truth is drugs are extremely illegal in Mexico, they are a federal offense, and if you mess around with the wrong people, you put at risk not only your freedom but also your own life. So the image of a drive through drug store, just leave it to the Hollywood films.

    Myth #4: Is Tijuana the land of the super fakes?

    Not exactly, most of good looking counterfeit merchandise is made in China and is imported either to the US or Mexico illegally. Most unregulated goods are sold in swap meets, but be very careful since you’ll be breaking the law if you try to enter to the US with them. There are more and easy to finds knock-offs in San Francisco’s Chinatown, than what you might find all over downtown Tijuana.

    Myth #5: Don’t drink the water.

    Well again, not exactly. The fact of the matter is there is no way to compare the US water treatment system with Tijuana`s own because you can’t compare Mexico, who is still going through social and infrastructural changes, to the largest economy in the world.

    If you are still in doubt, you can always choose from a wide selection of local beers and wines that could lead you to discover one of your new favorite things that you never expect to find in Baja. Something you can go back on Monday and talk about at the water cooler.

  160. You are wrong on number 12, México IS part of LATINAMERICA, latin america refers to the language and culture as well as the iberic descendence. Not to a geographical location, in geographical location it is actually part of northamerica as you stated.

  161. Hello I am a Regio (people from Monterrey, Mx) which is in the North of the country very close to Texas, and this place has awarded as one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico, due to continuous crime among drug dealers, in fact that was true but today March 2014, the rate has decreased and not much happening between dealaers and civil people, that represents a HUGE impact, making our beautiful city a worth place to visit, and that translates into better and new foreign investors coming to town, so therefore things are changing… truth is that ppl who think like you mention in your article are those who have never left their homeland and see Mexico as though it was still in 1800´s… HILL BILLIES!!!

  162. Your article is simplistic, stereotypical and DANGEROUS! Mexico City is quite safe, and a lot safer than most states. Insecurity in Mexico is blatant, and once you’re faced with it the justice system is obsolete. So you have to be honest with your readers, they could be exposed to crime because of your misguidance. Crime doesn’t occur only to people involved in drugs, etc it’s HORRIBLE your saying that as I’ve been a victim and I am probably more decent and law-abiding than yourself… including the color fact implies it matters and it shouldn’t. And there’s more misinformation in your article, believe me, living for 2 years in a place under protective circumstances doesn’t make you an expert…

  163. ¡Hola Annalisa! Soy mexicana y he tenido la fortuna de conocer Ámsterdam y algunas otras ciudades europeas, me da gusto leer tu artículo ya que, efectivamente, hay muchos estereotipos sobre mi país como también los hay sobre todos los países del mundo…en lo personal, estoy de acuerdo con lo que comentas ya que es algo que también he experimentado cuando conozco personas de otros países que no conocen mucho sobre México. Siempre he creído que antes de juzgar alguna cultura/país/idiosincrasia hay que tomarse la molestia de conocer acerca de ello.
    Creo que es lo mismo cuando las personas creen que en los Países Bajos y en Ámsterdam todos fuman marihuana cuando realmente son más los turistas los que lo hacen. O cuando piensan que los asiáticos-orientales o los latinoamericanos son todos iguales.
    En fin, gracias por contribuir a dar a conocer desde tu punto de vista tu experiencia en mi país, ¡saludos!

  164. México IS Latin America. It´s just not part of either Central or South America. Saludos from a non-Mexican.

      • Not really. Latin America is big place with many cultures. It makes me crazy to hear broad terms like that, and in the US, the Hispanic community, as if all Hispanics are the same. It is tooo much over generalization and shows a lack of understanding of different cultures. Even within Mexico there are widely varying cultures, so I don’t think you can even define Mexican culture. I am from Jalisco, but have lived in DF and now live in Zacatecas and they are all very different, not only in customs, food, what is considered polite, way of life, etc.

    • Latin America is not even a Place, latin America is something to distinguish the countries that their leguage is based on Latin. And Mexico it is part of North America, or maybe central america, but not from South America.

      • Mexico is not part Central America is part of North America and its official name is “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” (United States of Mexico). Prior to 1821 part of central america used to belong to the mexican territory or New Spain (name given prior to mexican independence)…

  165. limones in Spanish, not lemons (at least in Jalisco where I stay) …enjoyed your blog. Thanks. The comments, many with wildly divergent opinions, also good….Ultimately, one really ought to experience Mexico in order to find out how wonderful it is. Of course, caution and awareness must be practised, as in any country one is visiting.

  166. Hi! Thank you so much for this!! I am Mexican and so much about what you said is true I only can say one thing to the readers …. YOU´LL NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU GET OUT OF YOUR BUBLE, AND START WATCHING THE WORLD WITH YOUR OWN EYES.

    • De acuerdo mucho. Vivimos en Queretaro, una ciudad muy bonita. Y la nos encanta mucho. (Desculpa mi español. )

  167. Is a very good article and i just can say that it seems that you loved your time in México very much.. we’re kind people that like to treat our guest as family and as a person that travels a lot i love that! is really nice to read this kind of articles and make me miss my country more.

  168. I don´t know about the mobile roaming thing. We aren´t like USA state system, México is more centralized (politician votes, social security medicine, or like bar exams like I know in US you have to take different state license to practice medicine or law in each state)… By the way, a silly fact: The most popular mexican communications company is Telcel and its owner is one of the richest man on Earth (mexican, lebanese family).

    I think you should mention one of the things that makes me proud to be mexican and that is family union, respect for our parents especially for the father. I don´t remember where I read that the best country is the one that keeps smaller communities (units) living in harmony. In the USA there is hardly no family union and by the age of 18 most of them leave and never check with their parents again.

    We also have respect for other countries and warmth in our character (like most latins). Yes, some people say its insecure because like all countries, we see opportunity in taking advantage of foreigners by charging them more , etc. there is a lot to correct, starting our politics that help drug commercialization but I´m positive that it will change.

    México is a land of opportunity, that´s why many europeans and americans go to my country and make a LOT of money and have a really pleasant life. It´s the mexican dream once you get the hang of it.

    I have lived in México for 32 years and I just moved to London (yesterday) because my husband has the opportunity (provided by the mexican government) to study and work in Cancer Therapy (stem cell research). He plans to give feedback to our country in the subject.

    I know I will like Europe and I will love to have family here but I know I will always cherish my mexican culture.

    I get it if many only talk about the tourism and beach resorts in México. THEY ARE GREAT !!! There is nothing like mexican beaches !! Missing Cancún already =(

    • Sofía me ha gustado lo que has añadido sobre la unión familiar por lo tanto me gustaria ofrecerte mi amistad, soy mexicana también vivo no muy lejos de londres y tengo un grupo latino y podriamos darte contactos de mas mecicanas para que no te sea muy difícil establecerte.

    • greetings from Cancun; Sofia, I know they will get good results on the “stem cell research” if you have kid´s with a British Passport, he or she is going to have an excellent “head – start” as a traveller or traveller’s. So, don´t agonize much when they leave the nest.
      I do Cardio must days early in the morning at playa “las perlas”, and next time I´ll go, will be thinking of you at Piccadilly Circus in London!

  169. I loved your post! I’m mexican living in Australia and all of what I read in your blog is what I keep telling to my aussie friends… It is great to read an open minded foreign perspective. Cheers!

  170. Thank you for your Blog and the obvious thought and research you have done about Mexico. I have travelled quite extensively in Mexico over the past 12 years – in particular, Baja California. You have indicated that Cancun, which is a tourist city on the Yucatan Peninsula, and Baja California are not indicative of Mexico. When you talk about tourist drop on Baja you should be indicating Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the peninsula. The rest of Baja is most definitely Mexican – still in the old Frontera manner. I have been into the mountains and visited the perceived “poor” people – they are far from that! I have been into the far desert and seen the rancho’s and the families who work them. All the children go to school. Have you visited Baja?

    Vanda Monkman

  171. Nice Post! However, point four might sound a little politically incorrect the way is put together. Instead of saying “not all mexicans have darker skin” why not stating that “Mexican is not a race, is a nationality, hence, there are white mexicans, afro-mexicans, asian-mexicans…” and so on. Cheers and keep on bloggin’!

  172. Hey! Thank you for talking so well about my country. Let me tell you: the capital of Mexico Is, INDEED, Mexico City. Distrito Federal is just the state, such as DC. We thank so much about the people that tell good things about us. Regards

  173. I’m sorry to say that while I’m sure this is an honest attempt to dispel certain misconceptions about Mexico, you’ve actually reinforced and instilled several others, as well as slighted numerous important discourses. I spent a few months living in the jungle in Southern Mexico, and while I agree with you that Mexico is most definitely worth visiting, it sounds to me like you have spent all of your time either in D.F. or in Cancun. So, let’s get this started. “Sope” doesn’t mean “soup” anywhere. That’s “sopa”, and it’s actually not uncommon for sopa to mean something other than “soup” – in Paraguay, it means cornbread. As for “women are privileged” that statement is so outrageous I think you need to check yourself on multiple levels. Perhaps women in D.F. may be somehow more “privileged” than women in the campo (that’s countryside, since you obviously speak no Spanish), but that statement disregards a huge issue of women’s rights throughout the country. Women in indigenous groups in some areas still cannot own property, and can be married off as young as 8 or 9 at their father’s behest. Lastly, the next time you start to say something like “in Mexican they just call them lemons” check yourself, again. “Mexican” is not a language, or a dialect. Spanish is a language, and Mexican Spanish is also a language. Simply calling it “Mexican” makes you sound like a white, racist American. There are so many other things wrong with this article, but those are the main points. I seriously doubt you ever spent any real time in Mexico outside of some English speaking enclaves. There is so much more to this country than what you have chosen to reveal here.

    • Yeah, I was so upset about the “women are privileged” statement that I have stayed away from answering it. But now that you have brought it up with some excellent points, I want to add to it. I live in a small town, and there are actually jobs advertised that specific if they are for men or women. Women are not allowed to enter lots of places, like some bars and rooster fights. Not that I want to go into either of these places, but if a woman DOES go, knowing it is a man only place she will be treated like a whore. Even when I lived in DF I was refused jobs and told it was because I was a woman, and you will also still see jobs advertised asking for young attractive women, or women between certain ages. You rarely see that for jobs for men, unless it is something that perhaps requires a lot of physical strength. I do not feel privileged and for you to say women are privileged because of separate cars in the Metro is ludicrous – it is protect women because they are NOT privileged. As Anita said, your general statements about Mexico as a country are just more of the same stereotyping, well meaning perhaps, but still ignorant to a certain extent.

      • I agree, saying that women are privileged is 100% wrong. Separating man and women in metro or metrobus was only to avoid the constant sexual agressions commited every day, at every hour in all public transportation. If you think about it is actually sad that you have to separate man and women to avoid this things happening, like “oh well, men won’t ever be able to restrain themselves from being sexual abusers, lets separate them”, but so far is probably the onlhy thing to do. So, no, it is not a privilege to live in a country so machista that you even have to set physical barriers to avoid abuses.

    • Yes, I agree that there are some communities like you say in the southern Mexican jungle where women don’t have equal rights to men, but that situation happens in some communities in almost all the world countries, even in the USA there are communities like the Mormons where the men can “marry” several women each one. It very hard to cover all aspects of a country, I understand that Anna missed some aspect of mexican culture, places and way of living, not even me as a Mexican (or almost all Mexicans) know everything about my country. As Anna missed some not so preatty things of Mexico like you say about not equal rights for women in some places, also missed that Mexico is a very industrialized country, even more than some countries considered 1st world. We are the 4th world exporter of cars and their parts, and about to be the 2nd exporter of those products in 3 or 4 years due not to lower labor cost but because very qualified people to do the work, like technicias, engineers, and other professionals. I can talk about this because I’m in ths car industry environment.

    • Though I do agree with a lot of what is said, I lean toward the spirit in which it was said – and the fact that the author has corrected much if what was originally written. The post was written, I believe, with a genuine love of the country.

      México IS complex, it IS moving fast and it IS in a state of flux. Which is exactly why I have chosen to live there. ¡Viva México!

  174. Hi, Anna. I just want to thank you for share this information about my beloved México. We’re not only drugs and immigrants. We’re a lot of people working for a better world to live in. You and all the people in the world, are always welcome to our beautiful and friendly country.

  175. I like your comments, however my town is not a “slum”. For an article/blog comment trying to clear the Mexican stereotypes you are pretty much doing it yourself. Its clear you only went to Mexico city (maybe its surrounding citys) and did not do your research in regards to other states. If you had you would know about how Baja California is the trend setter for new Mexican cuisine and sustainable farming and living. About our world renowned wines having more flavour than any wine from Napa valley. Please read more and inform yourself better, Mexico is Not only DF like they would have you believe, every State has its own beauty and is unique.

  176. Gracias por hablar bien de México ante el mundo. Me encantó donde comentas que celebramos el día de la Independencia el 16 de Septiembre y NO el 5 de Mayo. Un gran abrazo desde México.

  177. somos hispanos no por cultura generalisada si no por la herencia de los espanoles por eso somos hipano parlantes y la meztizacion entre espanoles y nativos pero culturalmente somos diferentes por zona geografica y las tradiciones son diferentes de acuerdo a la locacion

  178. Hello. Since you went to Universidad Iberoamericana, and you have a picture at Arcos Bosques and you have ‘white’ friends from DF, I’m assuming those were the areas where you got your information and experience. Hence, you don’t see the problems that women in Mexico face, for example the fact that I’m quite sure your friends have domestic workers, that wear uniforms and take care of the house, obviously you forgot to mention that Arcos Bosques is full of the minority rich people in DF. And don’t get me started we, as Mexican women “are not privilege than”…that statement of comparison harms and obscures the adversity we Mexican women go through. Also, to my fellow friends from Mexico, mestizo is not a race. (an fyi for you) Cheers.

  179. The sad part here is the fact that you have to explain these things that are so obvious, we are a country with 120 million inhabitants and 1,964,375 km ² of territory. There is everything in this country. I can assure you it’s pretty quiet and safe, just be careful where you are going, but that happens in any country, there are ghettos in here too. Remind to keep your mind open; thanks for the article it’s quite good.

  180. The facts that you state are an eye opener for people who live on sterotypes. I’ve been here in Mexico for the last 5 years and what I am about to write is also meant to be an eye opener as to what foreigners experience when they come to work in this country. It will most likely get its share of criticising too, given that not everything is a bed of roses.

    Mexico is a naturally beautiful yet very messed up country. They have all the natural resources, climate, historic and archeological heritage to be a successful nation, yet it is a corrupt, informal, unefficient and at times violent place. Sorry.

    Amongst the other positive things are the weather which in incredible in most of the country and Mexicans are very easygoing people.

    When you start having to work with them though, it turns into a nightmare: constantly late, don’t respect their engagements, take years to complete the job (if they even do), try to cheat you. It’s as if all the good minds had left abroad for better opportunities where their discipline can be put to use. Very few here are straight honest people, especially in the sense that they feel it is not OK to say no, so they prefer to say yes and then let you down when the time has come to comply or deliver.
    I hope that in one or two generations they manage to “fix” the way things are going. That day Mexico will become a first class country for its people, its tourists and foreign investors.

    • Have you ever heard of cultural differences? One thing I see a LOT of Americans do is to expect Mexico and Mexicans to act like Americans. And to say everyone is lazy and dishonest, what a slap in the face. Too bad that is your experience, you really might be happier not living in Mexico if that is what you expect from everyone. I am not saying those problems, don’t exist, they do, but not to the extent you are saying. Also, have you ever lived in a smaller town?? Most of Mexico is smaller towns NOT Mexico City, and it is a whole other Mexico. Where most people are honest and expect others to be honest. You might want to try it. In a lot of ways, Mexico City in an anomaly and not at all representative of the rest of the country.

    • GB, I don’t know what kind of people you attract but dishonesty is not a constant in Mexico. Dishonest are politicians along with corporations, foteign investors and others who expect to get the most out of paying the least for Mexican hand labor and even for professional services. When you go back home, you’ll miss all the privileges you take for granted now and still have to deal with plenty of dishonesty.

  181. Actually, women are treated like shit down here. Really really bad. They even had to implement “women only” buses because of the amount of abuse, sexism and rape that goes around. Outside the capital, a lot of people kill their daughters because they don’t want women. If they keep them, some of them *instead of caring for them as they should* abuse them, marry them off and treat them horribly. Sexism is still at large. Women get paid 50% less than men, they get turned down for job opportunities, and get whistled at, yelled, groped and discriminated on the street.

    Also, we are a third world country. Just because we might have fancy rich places like Arcos bosques, doesn’t mean that we are a first world. The area you were in was part of Bosques. A small area of Upper Middle and Rich class, like Sta Fe, Interlomas, and a few others. The majority of the country is lower middle and a bunch are dirt poor.

    You made a pretty good analisis about our country, no doubt. But you don’t live here and you can’t make certain assumptions just because you dug in a bit. I’m not actually Mexican per se. I’m Irish and I live half my life between USA and Mexico *But I work and live in mexico*, and I get a clear comparison between both, and I gotta tell you, it’s a HUGE difference. Enormous.

    I liked your blog, it’s well written, and does debunk a lot of ideas foreigners have of us. I enjoyed the read, so kudos! :)

  182. Hola, son muy claro y analíticos tus comentarios, gracias por tomarte el tiempo de escribir la cara diferente de este país que le ha aportado tanto a sus habitantes y al mundo en diferentes aspectos.
    Saludos afectuosos

  183. These misconceptions are great. I hear them all the time. I think I’ll just refer people to your blog to explain them.

    As for safety, I now just tell those that are afraid to go to Mexico to just go somewhere else. Why go somewhere you feel uncomfortable (and that leaves more room for me – he, he ).

    We’re moving to Mexico before long (Xalapa) and friends and family think we’ll be kidnapped or murdered within the year.

    Que voy hacer

  184. There is something you could’ve talked about too: It is very common for americans to confuse the spanish culture with the mexican culture. for example they think mexicans dance flamenco or that the spanish people wear the traditional mexican hats…

  185. Excellent article. Thanks!
    Just two comments:
    1. Mexico recently changed its name. It is now Mexico, not Estados Unidos Mexicanos anymore.
    2. Mexico does not distinguish between North America and South America. For Mexicans, it’s only one continent: America. This explains why Mexicans are not happy that USA calls itself America and its ppl Americans.

    • An update for Carlos:
      1. In the last year of Calderon´s term. The name “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” was eliminated as a result of historical evidence showing that that term was copied from the US definition at that time, and does not apply to the present features of our country.
      2. Mexico IS part of America (the continent) and of North America (based on economical convenience, and of Central and South America (Based on cultural aspects, although many middle class wannabes might be more confortabkle with the North american side).
      3. Tere are more intelligent ways to show disagreement, besides insults.

      and to Anna:
      Great contribution to a much needed campaign to improve our image, but I agree that some changes to your comments must be made in consideration of the valuable opinions within this blog. specifically on the women´s situation. I also agree that a deeper look at all the diversity of aspects (good and bad) of our country is your next step. I am sure you ate ready to explore further.
      ¡Felicidades y gracias!

  186. I really love your article because it is so true that people from other countries have many of these misconceptions about Mexico. I lived in USA for 10 years and no one there believed I am Mexican because I am white and tall. They also think Mexicans are lazy without knowing that our law force us to work 48 hours a week, while people work 40 hours a week in countries like USA. I also appreciate what you mentioned about Mexico being considered a 3rd world country… the stereotypes make people believe we only drive old cars, that we have dirt roads instead of regular streets and that Mexicans look scary, which only proves ignorance about my country.

  187. Hi Anna,
    First I have to say that I like your article a lot. Being a Mexican living in Canada I am constantly hearing the silliest stereotypes about my country. Second, I want to apologize for all my fellow Mexicans that are attacking your article for the most stupid things when you are actually just trying to clarify a couple of misleading facts.
    Another thing about Mexico is that is full of people that looooves arguing just for the sake of it.
    Thank you for writing about our culture!

    • Hello Rosario.
      I’m sorry, but talking about the inequality that women face in Mexico City, is not “arguing just for the sake of it” Sorry to burst your bubble. There are some people, including myself that work or try to make Mexico a better places, since I love the place where I was born and raised, I need to be critical of the current situations we all face.

  188. Te felicito Anna, muy buen artículo. Saludos desde Cancún de una mexicana trabajando para el turismo, muy orgullosa de todo su país.

  189. Hey, Anna. I totally agree with this text, except for the part of women being privileged. It’s a loooong story to write it here, but me -as a part of a group of actresses that works for women rights) can tell you that mexican women all over the country have big violence issues; in Federal District is a little different just ’cause is the capital, but if you take the subway, there are guys always making you feel unconfortable, and sometimes women are accused of provoking men so they can abuse them (if you ae curious look for some of the “Yakiri Rubio” story). In the other hand, I’m glad someone really speaks the truth about the things I live everyday. Greeting from D.F. =)

  190. Hello Anna, I do agree with you in most things, however I have to disagree in number 9. Yes, mexican guys may come off as “caballerosos” and gallant, but most of the times it’s only a facade, and sometimes there’s even a purpose behind it. When you’te in public transport, very likely some one will offer you their seat, but at the same time, if you’re wearing shorts, it’s very likely too that you’ll get stared at. There are many instances of inequality in Mexico that can’t be camouflaged with chivalry: less job opportunities and a lower economical income even in the same possition as men, higher chances of going through a life-endangering risk situation (rape), gender aggression, and sexual repression, just to name a few. It is nice to be treated with nice behaviors of chivalry, but it doesn’t make women “priviledged” nor does it make up for the lack of equality and awareness. I hope you give this some thought and consider the things I mentioned. Aside from that, this was a great article! Congratulations and I hope you had enjoyed your stay in Mexico :)

  191. As a Spanish teacher/major I would definitely consider Mexico to be part of “Latin America” as it is a country on the American super continent whose language and culture have clear roots in “Latin” via Spain. This does not mean it is not a part of North America anymore than Peru would not be a part of South America for being part of Latin America. By the same token The US, Canada, Jamaica, Belize and Guyana are all parts of “Anglo-America” regardless of their locations in the North, Central or South America (or the Caribbean). In fact, Mexico was for centuries the undisputed capital of “Spanish America” (which combined with “Portuguese America” i.e. Brasil, forms “Latin America”) as the “Viceroy”, literally the vice-royal or king serving as head of state in Spanish America. The duty was eventually split between Mexico and Peru with Lima serving as the seat of a second Viceroy to rule South America while Mexico was where its present self, Central America and the Caribbean answered to. Point being, under the Spanish colonial system EVERYTHING went through the Viceroy, if not through Spain itself. You want to trade with another city in the colony? You must send that product first to Mexico City and then onward to Cuba, Guadalajara, Guatemala, etc. You need something from Spain? Well it must come first to Mexico City and then to you from there. The influence of Mexican culture on Latin American culture as a whole through this process is astounding. Even in the Phillipines there was arguably more Mexican than Spanish influence when it was controlled by Spain for this very reason. Mexico does not define Latin America but to say that it is not a part of it would be like saying that New England is not a part of the United States.

  192. Latin America are the countries in America where you can find either one of these languages: spanish, portuguese, or French. We belong to North America also. Another misconception is that we wear a big sombrero all the time or move around in horses or donkeys.

  193. It´s a shame that United States of America nationals are too ignorant, they have a terrible lack of culture, they don´t even know that Mexico (country) and Argentina, or Colombia, or Brazil, or all Latin American Countries are away from each other…I just don´t find a reasonable excuse for that. 90 % or a higher percentage of the USA people are cultural very, very ignorants…And the reasos for that, is that they do not know geography at all, they do not speak but “gringo” language, Mexicans are educated people, we know not only the United States by Capital cities, locations of each one of the fifty states…and we do speak english, as well as many other languages.

  194. I love the D.F! Like any great metropolis, it has its plusses and minusses, but there’s just so much for all the senses. Of course, I’m biased, but I’ve spent most of my time in Coyoácan, Ciudad Universitaria, and Tlalpan. I want to go back to Zocalo, back to Coyoacan, back to the C.U., have more late-night tacos. And now, thinking about this, I want to go back to the “Day-Effay.” Thanks to this post, I’m now following your blog! :)

  195. Anna,

    Felicidades por el éxito del post, veo que has tenido muchos comentarios de todos los colores, y me alegro porque sin importar si son positivos o no, implican que no ha pasado desapercibido.
    A mí en lo personal me agradó porque puedo entender tu punto de vista que es respetable basado en las experiencias propias que nadie te puede desmentir.

    Por eso voy a poner mis “two cents” como dicen en USA sobre los temas en los que creo que tengo algo que aportar.

    El primero es en cuanto al subcontinente al que realmente México pertenece. En términos políticos o de geografía política, efectivamente México es parte de America del norte. Pero en términos puramente geográficos la parte sur del país está en Centroamérica y del centro hasta el norte en Norteamérica. Te dejo una referencia de la enciclopedia Encarta sobre ésto al final.

    En cuanto a lo de la confusión sobre la celebración de la independencia entre el 16 de septiembre y el 5 de Mayo, esto se debe a que curiosamente USA celebra mucho el 5 de mayo, e incluso se hace una recepción en la casa blanca con personalidades mexicanas y así. Las razones históricas de ésto vienen de que ellos no deseaban que las potencias europeas tuvieran poder en su zona de influencia, así que inventaron la frase, “América para los americanos”. Entonces para ellos fue muy importante la derrota final de Francia, que por cierto no ocurrió tras la batalla sino mucho tiempo y recursos después.

    Recibe un cordial saludo

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090129014642/http://es.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761574502/Centroam%C3%A9rica.html

  196. Having a separate bus to avoid sexual assaults and harassment is not a privilege. We learned from U.S. Civil Rights history separate is not equal. There has to be a better solution than women-only buses, but with no death penalty for the countless murderers, the criminals are just running amok. I disagree with a lot of this article. Mexico is not safe, many American large cities are also not safe, especially for women, and saying it’s not as bad as those places is a terrible analogy. I won’t ever visit Mexico again. The U.S. should go ahead and buy it, we could run it better.

  197. Muy bien Ana, muy buenas observaciones. Ojalá muchos compatriotas tuyos pudieran apreciar lo que tu has visto antes de formarse prejuicios. La cultura mexicana es inmensamente rica y pese que ha habido episodios muy duros en nuestra historia, hemos prevalecido ante la adversidad. Te felicito por tu investigación.

  198. just want to know what the huge jews community in mexico has to do with the different color between the mexican people ,and why women in Turkey what a bad example.why dont you keep writing about the same subject ?

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  209. Objection. No 9: Women are not sexually abused to the point at which government has to sit down and figure out alternative solutions to the problem in public transports in Turkey; apparently in Mexico they were. B.s. example.

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  211. Hi. I am Mexican woman, in Mexico women live free, there are women that are abused but their couples like in any other country, they live like that because they want, Mexico have laws against the abuse for women, there are some áreas where the indígenas live, in the cierra, i know there the women are submissive, but Organization fight for their rights. In the rest of Mexico women live free, we can be single, live alone, live with a man , married or not, divorced, we can work, go outside with friends etc, like in the United States. Mexico is a safe place in most part of the country. There are dangerous places like in any other country. I love my country , I am divorced , i live by myself, i do not have any problema to not be married, i work , i have a master and my friends are like me,, about the “machistas” yes, there are some stuped men like that hahaha, but intelligent women ignore . I them hahaha. I do not like the polítical of my country, but i think in any country that is a problema.

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  218. I am an american born, raised and living in México, thanks for writing about my country but when you say americans are you refering to the inhabitants of all the continent or just to USA americans? because as you well know the continent’s name is America and everybody born in the continent is an american. America is not a country, american is an adjective that must be used for everything related to America, the continent. surely there must be a gentilic in english that can be used to refer to U.S. citizens exclusively.

  219. Good points all round but your off quite a bit. The buses are there to protect women from getting hit on, on any popular map in school dating back has mexico listed as mexico so you would have to expect people that aren’t from mexico will refer to the country as mexico, large parts of mexico as well as mexico city are extremely dangerous and just as bad as the middle east. I went to the real Cancun on the bus and regretted going there and was lucky I made it back. I wouldn’t recommend anyone feeling the need to get the real sense of mexican culture by going to the slums as the cartels control the area and the cops don’t go in there.

    Things I learned from your article. The are Jews in Mexico (there are jews everywhere but jews usually don’t try to create mix breed with the local population and water down themselves the majority of white mexicans aren’t jews) and the french fought a war with mexico.

    Things I already knew. Mexico is currently a part of North America and wants to be known as part of North America and most Canadians don’t know that. Not sure why but there are many advantages for all 3 countries being a part of North America when it comes to trade
    (NFTA) and defense of the pacific coast line. There are benefits for mexico not being a part of central America as central america is the 3rd world and as your stated in your article mexico is past being a 3rd world nation.

    Things I didn’t know about Mexico that I learned going down there. It snows in Mexico city. There are over 26 provinces and mexico has provinces. Mexico is made up of more then 2 native and foreign cultures and there is more then 1 language spoke in mexico. Taco Bell and all the other fast food chain crap is a disgrace to the Mexican food, Mexican people and to the country.

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