14 Things You Might Not Have Known About Mexico

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What is Mexico famous for? Mexico is famous for cacti, tacos, mariachis and other things, but a lot of these typical Mexican things are simply misconceptions. Despite over 30 mln tourists a year visit the country every year, there are some things that you might not have known about Mexico.

Things You Might Not Have Known About Mexico

Fun Facts About Mexico


1 – Cacti don’t grow everywhere

That’s right – cacti simply don’t grow everywhere in Mexico, like for instance in the middle of the road in Mexico City. To be honest it’s kind of hard to find them in big cities, unless you visit a northern part of the country or go to a desert. However, finding a cactus (called nopal) to eat is pretty easy if you like tacos… and tasty.cactus


2 – Street food is the best

I’d compare Mexico to Asia in the sense of food. The best tacos are those that one can buy from street stalls, not a posh restaurant.DSC05491


3 – Mexicans dress very well to work

Mexican dress code is very strict, that’s why you can see men wearing suits even when they’re driving a bus. People do care how you dress, so if you’re interviewing with a Mexican company no matter how good you are you should remember to dress nicely.


4 – Phone numbers are complicated

For instance, let’s say my cell-phone number in Mexico was 55 59 89 51 56. Now, if you’re calling or texting from another cell phone you dial this exact number. If you call from a local phone you need to add (0-44) before the number. If you text from a foreign cell-phone you need to add (+52), however if you want to call from a foreign number you need to add (+52 1).


5 – Tampons are a sensitive topic

Tampons are still a novelty in Mexico, even tho a lot of people tend to argue that saying this makes Mexico look bad. A lot of people have either not heard about them at all or are scared to use them claiming they aren’t very hygienic. Obviously, there are some tampons available at the supermarket, but if you’re used to American standards they would seem awful to you. Moreover my friend and I got stopped for 30 min, because the police didn’t know what tampons are and had to check what do we use them for.
[After reading your comments I see it’s a sensitive topic. One way or another there’s nothing bad in using tampons or not, it’s just different.]


6 – You shouldn’t throw toilet paper in the toilet

Mexico isn’t different than other places in Central America in this sense, especially considering the fact that it’s not in Central but North America. You should throw toilet paper in a bin, not in a toilet bowl. Not surprisingly, many Latin Americans abroad have trouble adjusting to flushing toilet paper down the toilet. Correct me if I’m wrong, but none of the hostels I’ve stayed in around Mexico allowed me to flush down toilet paper, especially in Riviera Maya which is so close to the ocean.paper


7 – Local police pretends to check drivers

In Mexico the majority of people just drive away after a few drinks. It’s not a surprise when the police simply stops a car and asks the driver: ‘Have you been drinking?’. When you answer ‘no’, you’re free to go.


8 – Corona beer isn’t considered good

In Mexico, Corona is considered a bad beer. I’m not saying people don’t drink it at all, but it’s not a no.1 Mexican beer. It’s similar to the situation in Australia where only a few people drink Foster’s and Holland where not so many people like Heineken. If someone does order a Corona in Mexico, it definitely won’t be served with a lime on the top of the bottle.


9 – There are many words for corn

When it comes to the meaning of words that describe corn Mexico is like the North Pole and the words for snow. However the corn in general is called maiz, but there are various words for corn in different forms.
[You were asking which ones, so there we go: elotes, panizo, millo, nixtamal. Compare it to English: CORN]


10 – In 2008 the Mexican city of Torreon imposed fines for putting on make-up or shaving with an electric razor while driving

Clearly, there were too many accidents on the road.


11 – Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day

Don’t worry, kids do receive gifts, and they might even get them twice. The bigger celebration, however, is on the day of Three Kings on January 6th.


12 – You can buy colorful poultry

In Mexico you can purchase unusual, at least for foreigners, pets. I personally had a duckling (don’t worry, it wasn’t blue or pink, I had a normal cute duckling), but people often keep chickens in regular apartments. Moreover, some bigger street markets also offer colorful dyed birds – what’s not a good thing, but you can see plenty of those at different markets.pollitos


13 – Mexicans are the 2nd fattest nation in the world

A lot of Mexicans are huge – over 70% of all Mexicans are overweight, what makes the country the 2nd most obese nation. After all tacos are very tasty. [It’s a joke about tacos, don’t get offended.]


14 – Mexico City sinks 10 inches every year

I guess that’s what you get when you build city on a big lake. However, don’t take this too seriously, the city is more than just fine and there’s no need to worry.



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159 Comments

  1. Mar 3, 2014 / 2:43 pm

    Great post. The phone numbers in Argentina are also that difficult, I never really got why they do something like that…;)
    In terms of Mexico, I totally understand why Mexicans do not like Corona! It doesn’t taste any good.

    • Anna
      Aug 8, 2014 / 4:19 pm

      I actually hate beer in general, so I can’t be the judge 😉

  2. Mar 21, 2014 / 11:59 pm

    Hi, it’s really nice to read about my own country. But the poitn where you mention de presents depends in the area of Mexico. I have met people that only celebrates with gifts Jan6 (Dia de reyes) and people that prefer christmas… Or even lots of families celebrate both 😉 … yeahi double gifts.

  3. Alexa
    Mar 22, 2014 / 12:42 am

    Most of the things in this list is true but… Here in Mexico kids receive gifts on Christmas, actually not only kids, everybody, well Catholics at least receive gifts in Christmas, and also tampons are very known here, I mean very known

    • Mar 22, 2014 / 1:31 am

      I guess tampons case is a bit controversial… however maybe I should have stayed they’re less popular. I met people who haven’t heard about them and also to be fair my friend and I were kept by the police for an hour, because she had tampons in her bag and they had no idea what do they do.

      • Daniela
        Mar 24, 2014 / 8:05 am

        Where were you? Tampons are super known and we have a lot of diferent brands, also you are wrong about the christmas thing, all catholics receive gifts on christmas. About You can’t throw toilet paper in the toilet, that is absolutly not true, I´ll be doing that all my life. The last pointabout the police also depends where exactly in México you are. So I think is important to specify the place you are talking about and mention that not everywhere is like that.

      • Mar 25, 2014 / 3:39 am

        i agree with you i know people that are educated but still think they will loose their virginity with a tampon and even criticized me for showing my daughters about tampons and i am on the border with the US .

  4. Sofia Disa
    Mar 22, 2014 / 2:32 pm

    Some truths… but update: Lots of cactuses in Northern Mexico (not just nopales); Tampons are very commonly known among women of middle and upper class (the country’s sex ed is very limited unfortunately); people throw toilet paper in the toilet all the time in private rest rooms…it is different for public restrooms; Mexico is now 1st ‘fattest country’ both for adults and children (no pride in that); Corona beer is owned by one of two macro companies that monopolize the market…it is highly consumed in some regions of the country…

    • Anonymous
      Mar 23, 2014 / 3:16 pm

      Agree with all. And I would add that tampons are well known amongst women, men don’t know they exist or really want to avoid the topic.
      Corona will be avoided in the north where thSol (Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma) is from.

  5. Wayne Havens
    Mar 22, 2014 / 11:20 pm

    Corona is popular at least in Huatulco, and most beer I have been served in Mexico come with the lime, much like most of the food….

    • Anonymous
      Mar 24, 2014 / 9:10 am

      False, the lime is optional and only if you ask for it…

    • Summer
      Mar 24, 2014 / 6:33 pm

      I get funny responses when I have asked for a slice of lime for my beer here in Central Mexico. Usually I am handed a bowl of limes. In Puebla and DF I have never ever been served a beer with a lime without asking for it.

      • Anna
        Sep 8, 2014 / 11:11 pm

        My friend did it and he was being treated like a tourist 😉 Well, he actually was!

  6. Madeline
    Mar 22, 2014 / 11:56 pm

    I have lived here for 3 years. Corona with a slice of lime nearly every day. Tampons once a month. Christmas presents are in the 24th of December more (maybe) on Jan. 6th. Most Mexicans have a dog or cat or both, I have seen the dyed chickens at Easter but these don’t generally live long as ‘pets’. Every weekend sees roadside check stops for drinking and driving and the fines are hefty for Mexicans and non alike.
    Have you been to the Baja? Cactus EVERYWHERE. Include some of the worlds largest barrel cactus and some of the worlds oldest. One is well over 500 years old.
    I guess your post is cute but factually you are pretty much just wrong.

    • Mar 23, 2014 / 12:50 am

      Thank you Madeline, for setting the record straight. On the Corona thing, it’s not so often served here with the limon on top of the bottle like is the style in the US, instead there will be pieces in a little bowl on the table. The most popular beer in western Mexico seems to be Tecate and I can recall when you couldn’t even GET Corona in Mexican bars, it was all being exported to the US.

      Yes, cactus in many varieties is very common on the Baja and the huge desert of Sonora.

    • v
      Mar 23, 2014 / 9:10 pm

      Thank you. This post is factually ridiculous.

  7. Jorge
    Mar 23, 2014 / 1:10 am

    I am mexican and Everyone receives presents on christmas haha

  8. Mar 23, 2014 / 1:37 am

    It’s not the tacos that make Mexicans fat, it’s the soda.

    • Feb 28, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      That might be right, but I was joking about tacos 😉

      • Pablo
        Sep 5, 2016 / 3:29 pm

        Too much beer, and too much tacos, hahaha (I’m Mexican)

  9. Anonymous
    Mar 23, 2014 / 5:20 am

    I think you are generalizing Mexico, since you are focusing in Mexico City and the south; some of these points are not true about north Mexico.

  10. mish
    Mar 23, 2014 / 9:51 am

    Mexican kids recieve presents on both dates, 24 of december and january 6th, we actually can throw paper on the toilet and we do know what a tampón is… for the dressing code and that stuff, its veeeery true, and i love it.

  11. Jimena
    Mar 23, 2014 / 4:42 pm

    You are solving and adding myths to our country’s culture. PLEASE before you try to do what you tried to do here… Get. Your. Facts. Straight. I don’t mean to be a hater or anything… I really appreciate what you wrote about my country and my culture, really I do. But I’d very much like to clarify some points on your pieces about Mexico.
    So…
    I don’t know to what kind of supermarkets you went to… But 5 is completely untrue…. I’ve traveled to the United States and tampons are EXACTLY THE SAME oh and… EVERYONE uses them. And 11… God… Yeah you lived here and got to know lots about us but jeez… Mexicans don’t get presents on christmas? Did you bury yourself on the ground or something?
    Now… The slang…. A ‘fresa’ is a person that speaks in a specific manner (we mexicans like to say they speak ‘with a potato’ in their mouths) they usually wear expensive clothing that show off their brand and they’re people that show off their values, their manners and dont like to get their hands dirty holding a taco in the streets for example. So in other words… They are ridiculous.
    A ‘mirrrey’…. is a person you make fun of. But why? Because they are ‘juniors’… They’re kids that like to show off their money… (Even though its daddy’s money) and they’re priorities are 1. Money, 2. ‘Lobukis’ (hot girls with money that can have distracted morals) and 3. showing off the expensive places they went too.
    And not every expression that involves ‘madre’ has a negative context… Thank for trying to open foreigners eyes about our country and our culture just please correct those things.
    Almost forgot. The pets… Jesus… Dude… You fell on that idea like a tourist… Trust me… You will find people selling any kind of animals in a market as pets IN MANY OTHER COUNTRIES TOO. Mexico is not the only country where they sell dyed chickens (which in my head is a crime to dye an animal buut thats just me) I dont have a duckling or a chicken as a pet. I have many pets and it is considered unusual…As it would in any other country.
    Last but not least.
    The food…Thank you. That was awesome. But I would’ve added that the mexican adaptation of any kind of asian food IS AWESOME. Im not only saying it as a mexican… Every foreign friend I have… falls in love with mexican asian food. (Quite shocking that you didn’t mention it) Especially with mexican sushi. God. Our. Sushi. Is. Amazing….
    Thank you very much for every piece you wrote about Mexico. I
    hope I wasn’t too harsh… I truly just wanted to be helpful. Have a good one!
    Best regards,

    • CanCAN
      Mar 24, 2014 / 3:37 am

      OMG!!! Thank God somebody wrote this! I was getting kind of pissed while reading it and wanted to say your exact same words!!!!

      EVERYONE knows about tampons!!! And well, I travel a lot as well and believe me, a loooooot of counties ask you not to throw the paper in the toilet!! Its nothing out of this world!

      As kids we DO have presents in Christmas AND January 6th!

    • Edgar
      Jun 25, 2014 / 7:10 am

      Best reply ever

  12. MIss ap
    Mar 23, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    I really liked your post (and also the one about misconceptions). I’m from the northwest of México, and you can see cactus everywhere, and also we have a lot of biodiversity, almost half of the species of cactaceas in the world are in México. Some cities have really bad flush systems so you can not throw the toilet paper, and it has been even surprising for me when I travel to the center of México, but is not a generalization, as the thing about the tampons, I’ve never known anyone who doesn’t know about them, but maybe is also that is happening in the center or south. And I’ve never receive presents on January 6th, which is also more a central tradition.

  13. Anonymous
    Mar 23, 2014 / 7:00 pm

    Super interesting everything you wrote down… just remember that mexico pretty much splits into three different zones, north, central and south, and each zone is very different. We all have a total different culture and livestyle.

    • Feb 28, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      I know… it’s just hard to write a general article on Mexico..

  14. Paola
    Mar 23, 2014 / 8:15 pm

    Well I’m from Mexico and I don’t know who told you kids don’t receive gifts on Christmas, as a child I got lots of present on Christmas AND dia de Reyes on jan 6th. Oh and yes I Mexico most people do dress well but men are not wearing suits at all times and people of lower economic status (such as a bus driver) would not be wearing suits on a regular basis.

    • Paola
      Mar 23, 2014 / 8:20 pm

      Oh and I have always known about tampons, as a matter of fact it was my grandmother who introduced me to them. And I can always buy the same ones in Mexico and in the U.S. We also always throw toilet paper in the toilet in my house. It depends on the area you are in.

      • Mar 23, 2014 / 10:00 pm

        Paola, you say you’ve always known about tampons – yes. You speak English, you have regular access to internet – you’re different that for example a cleaning lady working in a supermarket or somebody’s house. Those people… usually don’t know.

        • Tampon Man
          Dec 8, 2014 / 8:39 am

          Mexican women use “toallas sanitarias” (feminine/sanitary pads), tampons are not popular here, I think they’re considered too exuberant, I mean, putting a penis-shaped thing in your vagina everyday… Not so classy.

        • Christina
          Jun 15, 2015 / 3:45 am

          I think you hit the nail on the head with this response. Many of the people commenting saying that nothing in your article is true, come from middle to upper class in Mexico. They speak English, are educated, and many have traveled. Their experience is most likely the exception to the rule.

  15. Luis Javier Gaya
    Mar 23, 2014 / 8:56 pm

    The only point where I don’t agree with you is the fact that we don’t get presents on Christmas. I was born on January 3rd so as I child, Santa Claus would get me presents on Christmas, then a week later I would get presents for my Bday and finally I would get presents from the 3 wise men on January 6th. I used to love that haha…thanks for posting about my country

  16. Mar 23, 2014 / 9:39 pm

    Gosh!
    I’m Mexican and honestly your funny facts are full of ignorance.
    1. I don’t know what you understand for cactus, but as you might know Mexico has different kind of climates, so of course at the desert areas (mostly the north) yes, you can find a lot of cactus.
    2.- Agree
    3.- Agree
    4.- Agree
    5.- I have used tampons since I had to use them, I’m 33 years old and I’ve always bought them at the supermarket and there are a lot of marks and good ones.
    6.- In mi house and mi friends houses we do trash the toilet paper in the toilet.
    7.- In deed they do not pretend to check we have a law and a program to test you, some times if the policeman cannot see or smell anything that makes him/her suspicious they don’t test, but that is not the rule.
    8.- Of course, we do have much better beers than Corona ¬¬
    9.- I just know “maiz” and “elote” which are the others?
    10.- … probably
    11.- I always got Christmas presents, and yes Santa Clause was the one bringing them. To the date i get Christmas presents. I also used to go presents for the Epiphany. Believe it or not, most of the Mexican children get presents in Christmas and then again few weeks later.
    12. Yes
    13. That is because Mexicans are adopting American way of eating. Tacos are not the problem, but Pepsi, Coke, MacDonalds, KFC and all the trash food we are being invaded with.
    14.- Yes

    • Mar 23, 2014 / 9:56 pm

      #5 I’m talking about poor Mexicans – the fact you can read this in English, have time to read an have regular access to internet signifies that you’re definitely from at least middle class… then your knowledge and access to things is broad.
      #13 The tacos comment was more like a joke 😉

      • Mar 23, 2014 / 10:53 pm

        #5 You said you had to import them. Israelis also checked my tampons.

      • CanCAN
        Mar 24, 2014 / 3:45 am

        Well, I use tampons, my mom used tampons, my grandma (who was not even middle class, in your words, she was a poor mexican) used tampons and no, they dont speak english and internet was not even there when they started using them. You make it sound like it is a very high class or only for “educated” people to use them which is WRONG!!!

    • Anonymous
      Mar 24, 2014 / 3:05 am

      Totally agree!!!!

    • Armando
      Mar 24, 2014 / 7:43 am

      You said her facts were ignorant, but you’re also displaying ignorance.
      1. We have different types of cactus (yes, nopal is a type of cactus), and she meant we don’t have the stereotypical looking cactus like movies do.
      5. I agree with her comment. Poor Mexicans tend to not understand the concept of a tampon. A lot of women I know still use pads; doesn’t matter what age they are.
      6. Again, many people still throw their toilet paper away in the trash can. A) The drainage system in some parts cannot handle that type of waste. B) That’s why we still have a sanitary disposal day in big cities such as Guadalajara.
      7. I think she’s mostly right. The so-called “torito” is mainly used in big cities, but in some others, you can do exactly what she said.
      9. Nixtamal, panizo, millo… Just to name a few.
      11. I agree with you. We do get Christmas presents, however, I’m pretty sure she meant in Mexico City, where Reyes is bigger than Christmas.
      13. As she said, the taco remark was more of a joke. The reality is that even poor people with no access to McDonalds or KFC are still obese. This is due to lack of exercise, overeating, a high carbohydrate based diet, and (as you said) the ridiculous amount of soda we consume.

      Her article is addressing a non-mexican audience. Her “facts” are generalizations for an ignorant foreign audience, and I’m sure that if she were to write to Mexicans about Mexico, she would be a lot more specific, as each of her remarks have some sort of counter argument or exception, such as the tampon thing, where some Mexicans know about them and some Mexicans don’t. As I stated before, they are generalizations for an ignorant audience.

      And yes, I am Mexican.

      • Abraham
        Mar 24, 2014 / 7:58 pm

        Totally agree with you pal.

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 7:55 pm

      Then they are not full of ignorance… that is quite… hard. Some of those facts are incomplete in my opinion. About the toilet, not in my house, or public bathrooms is not recommended. You can get the toilet blocked.

  17. Estefanía Flores
    Mar 23, 2014 / 11:42 pm

    11 – Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day.
    Don’t worry, kids do receive gifts. They get them on January 6th. ???

    What?? we DO receive gifts on christmas, on the 6th the Reyes come and that depends on the state because in mexico city reyes are very big but christmas is more big in guadalajara for example.

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:00 pm

      Yes we do! but if I remember correctly, it was more because some catholic tradition than Santa Claus… Santa is not that celebrated in the center or south of Mexico… is more like a north thing (I lived for 2 years in Mty) Still, I know some people that celebrate him in my hometown.

      • Alma
        Mar 25, 2014 / 1:22 am

        I´m from the south and we DO get presents from Santa, and from Reyes

  18. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2014 / 4:02 am

    Tampons are everywhere and even my male friends unos what they are. I guess the policemen were messing with you.

  19. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2014 / 4:02 am

    Fun facts. What’s the fun thing about being the “second fattest nation”? I don’t see joy in people dying from cardiac diseases and diabetes secondary to obesity. Moreover, for a person who travels a lot I’d say you’ve learnt that the term “fat” (and calling someone huge) is not totally accepted throughout the world, especially if you’re going to talk about sensitive data such as health statistics. Apart from that, and from seeing a lot of generalizations, it’s a good post.

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:04 pm

      We do love to get fun from our own disgrace… even create jokes about disasters that have happened, for example the “sopa de coditos” when the hurricane hit the north (tamaulipas and nuevo leon) especifically talking about people in Monterrey, or the floods in Tabasco. It sucks to be the 1st now (I think we just won to US, yay! >.>)… but we are really used to make a joke about those things.

  20. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2014 / 4:59 am

    Hi! I liked your post a lot, its nice to see a foreigner perspective on my country. However, #5 is definatelly not true… Tampons are definatelly part of mexicans hygene. Moreover, #11 depends on the area of the country you are in. Some people do receive presents only on Jan 6th (dia de reyes), but many people do receive presents on Christmas Day, some people on both days!

  21. Hooligans
    Mar 24, 2014 / 6:12 am

    Most of your facts are Mexico City’s costumes. In other cities things are different, for example the drivers with suits, and in most of the country children do recieve presents on the 25th of december. One last thing, Corona is very popular; not the best but you can find it anywhere.

    • Mar 24, 2014 / 8:55 am

      Of course Corona is popular… like Heineken in Holland, however nobody wants to drink it when there are other beers to choose from.

  22. Leilani
    Mar 24, 2014 / 5:32 am

    Hi! I don’t know in which part of Mexico you were but let me tell you, at least in Mexico City, we do know tampons, they are not as common as pads, but we still have them; and children receive Christmas presents, Santa Claus is a big tradition in here, but is not from us.

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:06 pm

      I think we adopted santa, but we don’t celebrate him (well at least catholic don’t), is about christ birth.

      • Abraham
        Mar 24, 2014 / 8:09 pm

        I didn’t meant to sound too catholic lol… after I re-read my comment… but since like 80-90% in Mexico is catholic, that is why is celebrated. We adopted the three and decorations but at least where I come from, they usually go to the church and stuff before the dinner in christmas.

  23. Juan
    Mar 24, 2014 / 5:34 am

    I live in Monterrey, northern Mexico is very americanized, my sister lives in Mexico City Ive been there several times I can tell you its a multicultural city you can see chinese, european people in the streets. Yes Street tacos are the best

  24. Paola
    Mar 24, 2014 / 5:36 am

    I’m mexican and you are not right in every aspect! Just wondering if you were in a small community or town? Everyone knows abot tampons, at leat women do…. Sorry you ran into such ignorant policemen.

    Of course we get christmas presents, and in some families on january 6th kids get candy…

    Street food is good but not always the best.

    Not all mexicans dress very well… Depends on the city’s weather… In yucatan is very hot and there are only very little people who wear suits (specially for work)

    And if the police “stops to check drivers” they usually ask for money… Our police is very dirty… And more than once crimes have been commited by them (where i live a cop who did rounds around certain area broke into a house and ended up killing the wife… The husband is the one doing time… Not the cop who shot the gun)

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:21 pm

      are those every aspect? You only mentioned some of those facts. Street food (I’m pretty sure she’s talking about “antojitos and tacos”) it is the best, not the healties by far, but it is pretty amazing in taste. Police when “alcoholimetro” is on, they do stop to check the driver and if the driver is drunk they accept money, they usually don’t ask for money, which is different, and this is because they ticket is very expensive, however I have had one case when he literally asked and I refused, but all the times they just talk about how much is going to cost you so you could just give them something (which people do, not me).

  25. Natalia
    Mar 24, 2014 / 5:59 am

    First: WE USE TAMPONS, if u went to a place where ppl don’t know them maybe y were in a really small area.. we all know them girl. Come on.. its not a novelty! And second: we love Corona beer, is actually one of the best. Third: we get presents for Christmas! Most of children get Christmas presents. And last one! We are not the 2nd fattest in the world. U should travel more around this country.. then u can post anything you want.

    • Summer
      Mar 24, 2014 / 6:25 pm

      Youre right.. mexico isnt second in obesity – theyre first!

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:22 pm

      indio > corona :D… I actually don’t like it :S…. I usually drink corona if the only other option I get is “sol” hehe.

  26. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2014 / 7:12 am

    Hi! I’m a mexican from DF. I agree with most of the replies, actually I had the opposite problem in the States. I lived in Wisconsin for a couple of months and only had a Pick & Sale close to home and it only sells one brand of sanitary napkins, I hated them and had to travel 30 minutes by buss to get another one. In Mexico, you’ll find different kinds of tampons at any corner store. I also got presents on both dates, but my sister lives in Spain, where that’s true. And the obesity thing, also true, but there are statistical medical analyses that can link it to the entrance and substitution by american junk food. I did like the misconception post though. Thank you

  27. Pablo
    Mar 24, 2014 / 10:16 am

    I don’t know why people get so irritated about some of the points that you write about, that are probably not entirely correct but still true, and I think that you have probably traveled around small towns with less privileged people and that’s where you get some of your points. I am from Mexico city born and raised, Lived 9 years in Chihuahua, 2 years in Juarez, 6 years in the U.S. Dallas, El Paso TX and Florida, and recently Milan Italy, so I also get an idea of how foreigners think of my country. My family is all over Mexico many with means and others struggling to cross the gap of poverty, they are in: Guanajuato, Michoacan, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon and Durango. And after all this I know I cannot finish to get to know so many traditions and differences in Mexico not only geographical but social. I know for a fact that many people do not get Christmas presents from Santa Clause but ONE little present from the “niño Dios” and may not know tampons and many other products, this, simply because they do not have that exposure to international products as soon as in other places or appeal to other celebrations.

    Some of the people that cannot stand those points is because they live in the bubble of the modern Mexico which is growing thankfully but it is still not too big percentage of Mexicans in actual prosperity. But I think that if they would talk to more of the marginalized people of the country in other communities which represent a large percentage of Mexico’s people they would find that your points might not be 100% correct they make perfect sense and it is fair to say that yes, many don’t get presents and many don’t know other products.

    And yes tacos are damn good, and “manteca” and oil are used to fry them, when in combination with coca-cola and all the groceries with corn syrup from imported american companies can only lead to obesity. But I think more than anything, is the beverages and processed foods, because here in Italy I eat so many carbs, and cheese and prosciutto, and still haven’t gained weight because the E.U. doesn’t allow GMO’s. Good job on your writings of your travels, you can’t never get to know a society or country 100% but you do the effort to be objective and I appreciate your objectiveness towards my country.

  28. jisbargomez
    Mar 24, 2014 / 12:26 pm

    Well based on the comments here, you can see that even between Mexican people can be many differences and misconceptions about the truths and facts of our beautiful country.

    I’m from the north of Mexico, where Santa is the one bringing presents every single Xmas, we celebrate Halloween and it’s better known than the day of the death (November 2nd), we do have snow every winter, we DO eat burritos and they are pretty common as a breakfast option, though they differ a lot from the TEX-MEX restaurants all around the world, Corona is not the best beer in Mexico, and tampons have been widely known and used since I can recall. (I’m 30 now).

    Speaking about our country either as a foreigner or as a Mexican takes a lot of risks. Even though we all, from north to south, are proudly Mexicans, our experience can differ from one to another. Someone from the south will tell you cacti doesn’t exist in Mexico, while I could tell you that I have no idea what’s “La Guelaguetza” or what a sope is (I actually do, but in the north is NOT a traditional dish).

    1 – There are almost no cactai
    You really have to pay a visit to Baja California Sur, you will be amazed with the landscapes full of beautiful and tall cacti. And those differ a lot from the nopales you’d had in a salad.

    2 – Street food is the best
    I agree, but also you will find corn tortilla tacos in central and south of Mexico while in the north mostly will be flour tortilla based.

    3 – Mexicans dress very well
    I agree sometimes it’s too much, but also depends what city you are in.

    4 – Phone numbers are complicated
    The one who dials 044 is the one paying for the call, I will let you research more on that (TELCEL)

    5 – Tampons are unknown
    …[“Moreover my friend and I got stopped for 30 min, because the police didn’t know what tampons are and had to check what do we have in our bags.”]
    I’m pretty sure this was either a small town or someone trying to get some money out of you (it’s sad but happens sometimes…).

    8 – Corona beer is not very popular and considered good
    Corona is very popular in the south of Mexico. However, we have many different brands and tastes. My favorite ones are “Indio” and “Negra modelo”.

    9 – There are many words for corn
    …[You were asking which ones, so there we go: maiz, elote, panizo, millo, nixtamal. Compare it to English: CORN]

    All these words you used to describe “corn” are used in different processes and states of the corn.
    Elote: is the cob with the grains.
    Maíz: Can refer to either the elote or just the grains of the corn
    Panizo and millo: I have no idea…
    Nixtamal: It’s called this way when the corn (or maiz) is boiled and then grounded to create a flour that is used for tortillas and tamales.

    11 – Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day (CHANGED)
    …[The celebration of the Three Kings on January 6th is simply bigger].

    You are stating a fact that may not be right at all, the Celebration is indeed big mostly in Central and South of Mexico. A large percentage of Mexicans (if not everyone) across the country though, celebrate Xmas and kids receive gifts from both Santa and the Kings.

    13 – Mexicans are the 2nd fattest nation in the world
    Now we are now number 1 [yeeeiiiii… sarcasm intended here!] Not proud either, but this is another topic.

    14 – Mexico City sinks 10 inches every year
    Did you see the Cathedral in Mexico City? That’s just awesome and scary…

    Your posts are really interesting and I actually posted one of them on Facebook, so my expat friends can learn a bit more about Mexico. What I would ask you is not to generalize or state 100% “facts” based on just random experiences, which will differ a lot depending what part of the country you were at and people you talked to.

    Keep up on your work, I’ll be reading more from you.

  29. Jennifer Fernández
    Mar 24, 2014 / 5:25 am

    Fun facts but some of them really surprised me, especially the (controversial) one about tampons. I guess people are reacting to it so much because you’re accidentally perpetuating stereotypes about ignorance – every educated Mexican (male or female) would know what a tampon is. You’re probably right, poor people might not know about them, but they also don’t know about birth control and plenty of other subjects. We need to improve our country’s education system, but here you’re making it sound like NOBODY knows or uses tampons and I can assure you the supermarkets are stacked with them (a lot of the same brands as the USA). And yes, I’m a Mexican who can speak English and uses the internet, but so is a very large segment of the population. And the colourful chickens as pets, what? I believe you, some people might have them (for a couple of days before the poor things probably die), but I’ve personally never met anyone who keeps colourful chickens.

    That said, I really enjoyed your other posts and it’s great that you’re trying to dispel common misconceptions about Mexico 🙂

  30. Fernanda Salazar
    Mar 24, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    1 – Cactus is a type of plant, not all of them are called nopales. Nopales are the ones we mainly eat. We cook them in traditional food and you can easily find them on supermarkets.
    I’m from the north east and you can see cactus very often on the street. Were I’ve seen the most is on north west highways.

    2 – the best tacos are from street “carretones” agree

    3 – Mexicans dress very well – Agree, middle and upper class is very consumist and we are influenced mostly by northamerican artists and movies.
    – Urban busdrivers don’t wear suits. Travel agencies bus drivers do.

    4 – Phone numbers are complicated – Agree

    5 – Tampons are unknown – totally disagree. I’ve been using tampons since forever, the same brands I find in the U.S. And even my maid uses Tampax
    Yes, A lot of people are scared to use them, I always encourage people to try them…—-Obviously, there are some tampons available at the supermarket, but trust me, they are awful. —- it might have been a bad supermarket. And the last thing: all my male friends know about their existance.

    6 – You can’t throw toilet paper in the toilet —- in some places, it depends where you are

    7 – Local police doesn’t check drivers– In Monterrey they do.

    8 – Corona beer is not very popular and considered bad beer — true

    9 – There are many words for corn —- i just found out ( I’m from the north-east) i guess that’s in the Center of Mexico. Also we have different types of corn and different color tortillas. Corn has been the most important food in our culture since ancient times. In fact, in “popol vuh” (the sacred book of ancient mexicans that explains the creation of the world) it says that we mexicans are the people of corn, we were made of corn…. Random fact

    10 – I do makeup when i drive… Sometimes hahahah

    11 – I received Loooots of presents from Santa Claus and none on “día de reyes” what i do is “partir la rosca” on january 7th (which is a big oval bread filled with some little plastic babies that are supposed to be baby Jesus. — I won’t explain more. Google it) Also now that I’m a grown up and every one in my family is too, we make a christmas present exchange on the 24rth dinner. And we bake a turkey.

    12 – I think dyied chicken are animal cruelty. When i was little there were men selling them outside school. I had a few that lasted a few weeks. One of them died because I bathed it and it was cold so i put it inside a can and closed it. I forgot about it. My dad asked me for the chicken a few days later and he did’nt even mind to open the can. A few years later i bought another one that my mother gave to the maid. She took it to a ranch… Where i guess it ended up fried… And I’ve heard tons of similar stories like that.. Y jose poor little dyied chickens. I had a lot of pets when i was a kid and that was not common at all. My mother hated it: hamsters, cat, dogs, fish, a parrot at the same time. I used to pick up injured animals from the street like doves and cats, then released them. I wanted to be a vet ( after my child trauma of killing a chicken at 5)

    13 – not proud. It’s the soda.

    14 – true

  31. Fernanda Salazar
    Mar 24, 2014 / 2:12 pm

    Oh and just one last thing… Every part of México has different typical food, slangs, traditions and costumes that i keep discovering and looove.

    Un the North have more U.S. Influence than the center and south as I’ve seen.

    What I can tell is that in México there’s always some new place, food plate, animal reserve, festivity, or amazing view to discover!! I love my country and my warm and chatty people.

  32. Arturo
    Mar 24, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    About number 6, I’ve never thrown away toilet paper in a bin. The sign you posted asks people to flush the toilet paper because in some rural areas there is no sewage system and people have to throw it in a trash can. But I haven’t been in urban areas where you cannot flush toilet paper.

    • Anna
      Aug 8, 2014 / 4:21 pm

      You can always flush… just that it might be the last time you flush anything down this toilet 😉

  33. Mar 24, 2014 / 3:38 pm

    1.- True
    2.- True
    3.- True
    4.- True
    5.- True
    6.- True
    7.- True
    8.- True
    9.- True
    10.- True
    11.- True
    12.- True
    13.- True
    14.- True

    I’ve been readig all the crap left in your comments, everyone is trying to be a smart ass, so:

    15.- All Mexicans have an important and relevant opinion .

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:32 pm

      we do! 😀

      • Abraham
        Mar 24, 2014 / 8:34 pm

        well.. somebody else stated that this post is more oriented to let people that are not mexican to understand some fun facts, obviously if you are one, you will find some inconsistencies but still most of the fact are true :D.

  34. Chente MarRos
    Mar 24, 2014 / 5:58 pm

    9. you left behind: olote, the cob without the grains, and cacahuazintle, and every other kind of corn

    And guys, c’mon, here in Mexico, we’re like a federation of different countries, for example, in my hometown in Veracruz, a lot of my friends didn’t get presents in Christmas, so #11 was true in my childhood; #8, just the last weekende we have a party in my parents house and we drank 12 “cartones” (boxes) of Corona beer, so #11 (last weekend) false… my point is that this is a nice post with some singularities and could be true or false depending on context!

    Congrats Anna!!

    PS. #12 I didn’t know about colorful poultry ’till I start living in Mexico City… for college ¬¬

  35. Alejandra
    Mar 24, 2014 / 6:08 pm

    I am Mexican and let me tell you that Mexican cardboard applicator Tampax are way better than US ones (I live in USA and have tried both). Mexican ones have a rounded applicator, more gentle than the one od US tampons. Besides that, many people like me were educated to throw the paper in the toilet and not in a bin (that I find disgusting).

  36. Nenis
    Mar 24, 2014 / 6:11 pm

    Hi!
    I’m reading this and the other articles about Mexico.. I like them.. I agree with you and with most of the comments left here. The only thing bothering me it’s that I can’t find where you write about where have you been. Maybe if you tells us, we (Mexicans) would understand better where your facts are coming from. Again, you’re not wrong, but not totally right for the BIG country that we have.
    I am a new reader of your blog.. thanks for taking the time to let other people know about our country.. and come visit Sinaloa, you will love it 🙂

    • Anna
      Aug 12, 2014 / 4:03 pm

      Hey Nenis,
      I’ve lived mostly in Mexico City 🙂

  37. Summer
    Mar 24, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    I have been in ex-pat in Mexico for eight years. You are right about tampons. I have lived in a few different cities. It is easier to find tampons now than it was eight yeqrs ago.. but it is still a challenge. For example, they are not sold in Oxxos and the largest box you can find at the supermarket is an 8 pack which means you always have to buy them as opposed to my practice at home of buying large 100 packs to last me a while. I still buy multipacks at home before traveling back to Mexico. I also have many Mexican friends who know what they are but refuse to use them – wealthy families from Puebla, DF, Guadalajara, and Queretaro mostly.

    • jisbargomez
      Mar 26, 2014 / 6:08 pm

      You really gotta pay a visit to either Sam’s or Costco, maybe you’ll find your 100 tampon packs there… anyways, u also gotta understand that in the south of Mexico is not very common to buy BIG packs of anything as they do in the states, well Beer sometimes…

      Pay a visit to the northern states, you will be amazed of the cultural differences there.

  38. Summer
    Mar 24, 2014 / 6:35 pm

    You absolutely can buy colorful poultry and I had never seen that in another country before arriving in Mexico. That, along with people selling puppies at toll booths on the highway.

    • Abraham
      Mar 24, 2014 / 8:37 pm

      yeah that is kinda sad (about the puppies) ;S… The worst if that sometimes if they are not sold as puppies they are just left on the streets :S…

      • Abraham
        Mar 24, 2014 / 8:37 pm

        the worst is**.

  39. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2014 / 9:23 pm

    You can’t make fun facts like that only visiting Mexico City! its a bit of offensive and also it makes you look like you were an ignorant person. 😉 You should write those curiosities differently.

    By the way, NIXTAMAL is not corn. Look for it on the internet ;). The tampones point, ridiculous…

  40. Alejandro Osorno Cisneros
    Mar 24, 2014 / 9:45 pm

    Completely loved your comments about Mexico. I really appreciate foreign people speaking respectfully about my country (because I do so when I travel) because shows us an objective view. Congratulations! 🙂 @alejandrosorno

    • Aug 8, 2015 / 10:28 pm

      I love Mexico, so I only speak the truth 🙂

  41. Emanuel Esquivel-Morales
    Mar 24, 2014 / 11:14 pm

    AWESOME, this note is as good as the “11 Misconceptions about Mexico” 🙂 these notes are worth to share with everybody!

  42. aliosha
    Mar 24, 2014 / 11:31 pm

    I am from Mexico City and the fact that people don’t flush the paper blows my mind… I have no clue why ppl do this!!!!

    • Maria
      Mar 25, 2014 / 3:38 am

      en algunos lugares la presión del agua no es suficiente para llevarse el papel y los desechos al mismo tiempo, por eso se tira en un bote, para no tapar el baño D:

  43. Lucy Perez
    Mar 25, 2014 / 1:41 am

    OH LORD…Where to start? I’ll just point out the worst ones…
    -Tampons: No wonder why the world thinks people in Mexico travel in “burros” (donkeys). Lady, I’ve been using tampons since I was eleven. Me and all my Mexican burro-traveling friends. I must tell you that I’m past 40 now. And why would you even import them??? Even in the smallest “tiendita de la esquina” (if you are familiar with Mexico you should know what these are) you will find the newest kind of tampons. And I know this for a fact because I worked for an international company that indeed produces THE Tampax, and I also monitored sales in these small tienditas. So please!!!
    -Gifts in Christmas: I knew who Santa Claus was before I knew who Niño Dios was. And the Three Wise Men? I didn’t know about those until I was about 10. I loved Santa Claus because he brought me toys, toys and more toys. The Three Wise Men? Not really. Every other year they would remember to bring me underwear or something totally boring.
    -Mexicans are HUGE: I agree, Mexico is 2nd place in fat. But only because there are a lot of people who are just in that fine line between fat and obese. You don’t usually find HUGE people like in the U.S. If you took an average of the fat people in Mexico vs. the fat people in the U.S. you would see that really in Mexico people are just borderline obese.
    -Toilet Paper: What are you even talking about? I have no idea. You can put toilet paper anywhere because most places don’t have a septic tank but sewer. Pffff.
    -Best food in the streets: Only tacos. If you want the best chile en nogada, which is very Mexican, you won’t find it in the street. Best mole? Neither. So yes, generally, only tacos. But of course, if tacos is only Mexican food you know, then yes. And I would encourage you to try other Mexican food.
    So fun facts not too fun, huh? Please if you’re going to make a blog entry about my country, please try to get your facts straight.

    • Mar 25, 2014 / 8:24 am

      Read other comments please. Especially about tampons and toilet paper… I answered some comments like this million times.

  44. Ericka
    Mar 25, 2014 / 1:41 am

    Hi, we do flush toilet paper, people who doesn’t do it, is because they lack education and they think toilet paper is going to jam the toilet, you can flush paper like everywhere else.

  45. Veronica
    Mar 25, 2014 / 8:49 am

    OMG!!! The more I read, the more I get kinda pissed. Because of ignorant people ike you, Mexico, and we mexicans have That image to the world. Seriously girl! You really gotta stop writing about stuff you clearly don’t know about (but you think you do, witch is actually funny). I have no more words, everything else I had to said, has Been said by someone else in other comments! Lol.

  46. Mar 25, 2014 / 9:23 am

    No mamen, ya quisieran hacer un post en un blog de otro pinche país y que estuviera la mitad de bien, francamente la mayoría de las cosas puestas están bien. OBVIAMENTE que varían algunas según el estado.
    Honestamente agradezco que alguien se tome la molestia de entender a nuestra cultura cuando muchos extranjeros simplemente se pasan de largo, y no solo eso; agradezco aún más que se comparta con la finalidad de acabar con la gran ignorancia que existe de fuera hacia nuestro país.
    He tenido la oportunidad de viajar y es complicadísimo entender bien del todo la cultura y modo de vida de una ciudad extranjera, incluso conociendo el lenguaje.
    Muchísimo más hacer lo mismo con un país entero, sobre todo tan diverso como el nuestro.
    He leído las notas de este blog acerca de México y todas, evidentemente con detalles que podrían pasarsele a cualquiera que no sea mexicano, son bastante ciertas y bien escritas.
    Felicitaciones

    • Nenis
      Mar 25, 2014 / 5:32 pm

      Estoy totalmente de acuerdo contigo! Es obvio que no puede tener todos los ‘facts’ bien para un país tan grande..
      Saludos! 🙂

  47. Mar 25, 2014 / 5:30 pm

    This is awsome!!! but I guess you only met Mexico City, in the rest of mexico is kindof different, The christmas and the food…
    And the tampons: Once opon a time I was with my family in a resort in Vallarta but I had my period and my mom, who is from a small town in jalisco told me in whispers, well you can use this things call tompones, is like a small penis! I laugh so hard … I love my mom.

  48. Mar 25, 2014 / 6:26 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m mexican living in Guadalajara 🙂 and I love all the fun things you found about Mexico! I just have to say that the obese fact is true for kids, we are the 2nd country with most obese infancy. Not overall. Did you get to visit Tlaquepaque? or any of the pyramids in Mexico City or Cancun?? Mexico has lots and lots of colorful places!!

    Also have you seen this video of some of the most breath taking places in Mexico??? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2wGeMw-NEs 🙂 hope you like it!!

  49. Anonymous
    Mar 25, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    Love it….. glad to have you in Mexico anytime!!

  50. Alejandro Mendizábal Cruz
    Mar 25, 2014 / 8:38 pm

    Hey Anna.
    I am Mexican, born and raised. I think it is great that someone actually takes the time to document their stay in other countries; even more to have the audacity to publish it and be on the lookout for idiotic comments like some i have read.
    Your article is great to read, most interesting and, well, although there is people here who -i dont know why- seem to have an urge to crucifix you because you got your facts wrong, i would say that the essence of the article remains intact. Who cares if you order a f**cking Corona with or without lime, as far as i know you can get it like that if you ask for it, and sure there are places where they serve it that way… done, no big diference; truth is, in mexico city, Corona is not a very appreciated beer, i dont know elsewhere in mexico, maybe up north they like it better, i dont care really.
    It is very refreshing to read someone´s feedback on our country. On the tampons subject, it seems they dont read enough; like you said, there is (wether mexicans like it or not) another bigger and larger part of society that doesnt know tampons, they are actually the larger part of people to populate our lands, but they dont get it. Every mexican that lives in DF thinks that the rest of the country is the same, and there is no other way it could be, so dont pay attention. If they use tampons “how could someone from a diferent country come here and blog about my country and say so much shit when we obviously know tampons” i swear i can hear them; growing in DF for 24 years i´ve ran into so many persons who think that way.
    Same goes for toilet paper.
    In the end i just want to congratulate you for an interesting view on our country. It is great to read about it, and i think that you did a hell of a job.
    Keep it up dude.

    • Anonymous
      Mar 26, 2014 / 4:59 am

      Hi! Another mexican to reply. I liked your post. As you already know, Mexico is a big country and it changes a lot in each state so of course what can be true in one city might not be in another. For example I love Corona.
      Just saying you’re not wrong, we mexicans get too sensitive when foreigners talk about mexican steriotyipes.
      Keep writing, your brog is easy reading and interesting 🙂

  51. Mar 26, 2014 / 12:28 am

    Hi Anna! Your posts are very interesting. It is amazing how well you know our country! Definitely most of the points are true! I am not quite sure about the toilet paper though. Of course, it depends on the places you’ve been. I know some people still throw it to the bin. However, most of the people I know would consider it a bit unhygienic. Thank you very much for taking the time to write your experience in Mexico and show the rest out there that we are way to far from stereotypes…. Although… They are also part of this rich culture!! PS Ignore the haters! 🙂

  52. Miguel
    Mar 26, 2014 / 5:55 am

    Well about that toilet paper stuff.. We do flush them!! In fact most people hate the ones that doesn’t.. But the truth is that is very common tu use the bin in areas where the pipes are very old or when is needed because of the method used in the construction (old parts of the cities or in “pueblos”).. Other than feel free to flush the paper down the toilet!

    • Anonymous
      Apr 2, 2014 / 11:15 pm

      Well, not in my ranch. In the southern part of Mexico we still put soiled paper in the trash can. Other wise it will clog!!!

      • Miguel
        Apr 3, 2014 / 6:27 pm

        Yeah like i said, it depends on many things, here in Guadalajara is very safe to flush the paper down in 90% of the hotels and restaurants within the city, but if you go to Chapala, Tequila or Mazamitla which are pretty close to Guadalajara that may not be the case

  53. Andrew
    Mar 26, 2014 / 7:23 am

    You may have heard about the fate of those poor little “colorfoul pets” in developed nations. They are simply treated as a byproduct of the food industry, discarded and eventually hackd off in farms by metalblades. The sole idea grosses me out.
    It seems like mexicans handle these guys in an (arguably) more humane way.

    • Mar 26, 2014 / 9:44 am

      I know about it – that’s unfortunate 🙁

  54. Isa
    Mar 26, 2014 / 10:03 am

    Hi Anna, I’m Mexican and Christmas is the most celebrated date here, but in Mexico we do a Christmas Eve party on the 24th of december, and at 12 am of the 25th, children (and adults) open their gifts. So after opening the gifts, there’s not much else to do on the 25 so we keep living life normally, all the party happens on Christmas Eve :).

    • Estefi
      Mar 29, 2014 / 7:05 am

      Yeah, that’s true! Children, though, usually receive presents both days, the 24th AND the 25th, since on Christmas Eve the gifts are from their family and on Christmas Day they’re from Santa Claus :). At least, that’s how it works for many people in Mexico City. 😉

  55. Jose Manuel
    Mar 26, 2014 / 4:11 pm

    Hello!

    I just want to mention, that mainly the facts that you give, refer to Mexico City… Just remember Mexico is a huge country with many diferent ways of living… I live in Guadalajara and we dont celebrate at all the 3 kings in january.. we celebrate christmas! and some other things that you generalized… Best Regards

    • Nadya
      Apr 3, 2014 / 11:20 pm

      Thats is also true for northern cities, Three Kings festivity in January is more a central Mexico tradition.

  56. edgar villlarreal
    Mar 26, 2014 / 7:17 pm

    I´m from Torreón, and I did not know that traffic rule. This is a very interesting blog. Congratulations!

  57. denisse
    Mar 26, 2014 / 7:54 pm

    About the christmast presents, it tends to be different in every state of the country. Generaly, the ones who recieve presents on jan 6 are the people who live in the south. I live in the northwest (Sonora) and children Recieve presents from santa on dec 25.

    • Joe B
      Mar 27, 2014 / 4:41 am

      Actually the northern part of Mexico has a lot more things in common with the American culture due that they are very close to the US. Jan 6 was a tradition that was brought from Spain. Nowadays is a mixture, is not actually a celebration itself, but the presents for the kids became a strong Mexican custom.

  58. denisse
    Mar 26, 2014 / 7:57 pm

    I’m not really sure but I belive that the only ones who celebrate the tradition of the 3 kings are the ones who lives in Mexico City (D.F.)

  59. Jose Trevino
    Mar 27, 2014 / 4:13 am

    Ana, just a few comments…

    Number 5 is mistaken, women do know about tampons but the products in Mexico are manufactured for the Mexican market and thus might be different to the ones in the US.

    Number 6 is also not right: it depends where you are, Mexico city has drainage problems, but the rest of the country is fine.

    Number 11 is also mistaken, that is only in the center of the country, the north celebrates Christmas and parents give the presents on that day, we don’t care about the Three Kings celebration other than eating “Rosca”.

    • Michael Burlison
      Jun 29, 2014 / 7:06 pm

      With respect; I disagree. My wife is from a small ranchito in Durango. (San Jose de Reyes, not far from Juan Aladama, Zac.) I’m no world traveler or expert on Mexico, but indeed, in many places I’ve been, the flushing of toilet paper is discouraged. (Even some places in the States, i.e., San Antonio hotel I was in recently). Unfortunately, there is not always a bin, either, so the floor becomes unsightly pretty quick. That said, there are many places in Mexico where the paper is flushed just fine. Tip: If you are traveling by bus or auto – take your own toilet paper. I had a long night many years ago…… LOL It’s hard to generalize any place – Mexico, to my finding, is one of those places you need to take ‘as it is’, and forget the thinking about ‘they should do this or that’. Oh, I agree w/ the point about Corona – though I think that it is a regional thing. On the dress code – agree that one could probably get away with wearing (or not wearing) about anything – but it is always safer and more respectful to be somewhat conservative…. after all, there is nothing to prove. Have fun everyone !

  60. Mar 27, 2014 / 7:48 am

    Thanks for your post. Tons of these things are quite often asked. The points you make here are asked or sometimes just assumed.
    … we are definitely just another beautifully perfectly imperfect country, part of a beautiful world sadly being sometimes attempted to “be set free from the horrors of uniqueness. “

  61. Dulce
    Mar 27, 2014 / 9:41 am

    The corn its call maíz. The other words are used for diferent thinks or a diferent way to eat the corn. So please, changed that part. You need to be well inform, because that point its a hugh mistake

    • Rosa
      Mar 31, 2014 / 1:00 pm

      Corn, Mealies, Maiz, evidently more than one name for the same thing in English.
      In México we call it Maíz, the rest is stuff that is in different form or added as in the case of the nixtamal, which is added to the flour to make tortillas.

      Yes, México has become rather fat, this development has happened in more recent years, and, no, it has nothing to do with tacos although they are fantastically tasty. The problem stems from US companies like Cocacola, McDonalds and the rest of the famous fast food being sold advertised and combined with some ignorance and very good advertising they have managed to get our people eating junk with no nutritional value what so ever. = FAT

  62. Teresa Lopez
    Mar 27, 2014 / 11:07 pm

    I am sure your posts are well meaning, but a lot of the information is just wrong. There are a lot of cacti all over Mexico. Have you even been to the Pyramids in Teotihuacan? Cactus everywhere. The whole state of Oaxaca is covered with cactus. Take a bus from Mexico City north to, say, Zacatecas and look out the window. In cities, no, but outside of cities they are everywhere. Also, the thing about toilet paper might have been true 20 years ago, but it is not anymore, not when most toilet paper is biodegradable. And the thing about tampons is also very funny. Go to Chedrahui there are all kinds, some come from the US. Also, WalMart and Bodega Aurrera import lots of things from the US. I live in a town of 12,000 and we have Tampax and Kotex tampons HERE, so I am sure you can find them in Mexico City. As much as you think you like Mexico and understand Mexico, your posts still make it look like you think Mexico is backwards in a lot of ways. And words for corm…..where did you find that one??

  63. Mar 28, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    Don’t mean to understate your information but Mexico City on average sinks 10 centimeters, not inches, though the amount varies from 2 to 40 centimeters in some places within the metropolitan area. Also, some more popular names for “corn” are “esquite” and “maiz”. PS, I enjoyed reading your reviews.

    • Anna
      Aug 10, 2014 / 5:26 pm

      I wasn’t aware of this Thanks for the heads up!

  64. Bernal Manzanilla
    Mar 29, 2014 / 7:38 am

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for your thoughts and even though indeed we might not even have an accurate picture of such a complex thing as a country… your posts are a good way to convey what your experience in the country was and many of them happily can say fit the reality…despite some insecurity shown by some people (specifically the toilet paper thing… which still is done in many places).
    Thanks for allowing us to see through your eyes our country and your keen and sincere interest on it. We are despite the best efforts to set us free from the “threats of uniqueness” a unique country as the rest of the others.
    Bernal

    • Aug 8, 2015 / 10:30 pm

      It seems that the toilet paper indeed caused a lot of arguments… didn’t suspect that!

  65. Anonymous
    Mar 29, 2014 / 9:35 am

    Hi Anna! I haven’t read the other people comments and I don’t really know if what I’m going to say somebody else has commented it yet… Anyways, I’m going to say it: Children don’t receive Christmas presents in Dec 25th but only in the CAPITAL, while in the North of Mexico it is REALLY common to receive presents from “Santa Claus” in the morning of December 25th 🙂 Actually we (people from the north) are not used to celebrate “Día de Reyes” (January 6yh)… Also in Guadalajara “Santa” doesn’t exists, “El niño Dios” (Jesus) is the one that brings the presents in Dec 25th.

    Anyways, it’s pretty cool to see what you’ve mentioned about our country… We love foreigns and we love to see what you think about us. Thanks for changing the way of view about Mexico of many people on Internet 🙂 I hope you had a great time here!

    Greetings from Monterrey, Mx! Hugs 🙂

  66. john zimmer
    Mar 29, 2014 / 5:14 pm

    I enjoyed your blog very much and will probably follow you but i have to protest the contention that 70% of Mexicans are obese.Obese is generally defined as grossly overweight.I have lived here for over 4 years and i find most Mexicans are maybe 10 to 20 lbs overweight if at all.While most Americans that i see are in the 50 to 100 lb overweight range.When i depart from the Mexico City most people look healthy.When i arrive at any US airport it looks like a Jenny Craig convention in compaison

  67. Anonymous
    Apr 2, 2014 / 11:22 pm

    Yes, el Dia de Reyes is a good celebration for us, at least in Chiapas. There is a special bread, la rosca de reyes, that is cut that day and whoever get the little toy that is hidden inside the bread will need to throw a party with tamales ….so the party keeps going! Sorry, I forgot the date for that party. I left my town long ago and my memory is bad sometimes.

  68. Apr 4, 2014 / 1:58 am

    “Los Tamales” are for February the 2ND, “Dia de la Candelaria” or the presentation of Jesus at the temple.

  69. Apr 18, 2014 / 5:50 pm

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  70. Apr 18, 2014 / 6:08 pm

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  71. Teresa Lopez
    Apr 23, 2014 / 9:28 pm

    By the way, poor Mexicans are about as likely to speak English as middle class – many work in the tourist industries – as taxi drivers, tour guides, etc, or have lived in the US, so your comments in that are are somewhat ignorant, like saying people who are “poor” whatever that means are ignorant. Second, cacti are EVERYWHERE, no, not in cities, but in most of the country outside of cities, they are NOT rare. Third, Mexico is NOT in Central America. You had good intentions with your comments, but they are not based on reality, and living in a country – in ONE city – especially one as different from the rest of the country as Mexico City is, does NOT make you an expert and, in fact, you just reinforced some misconceptions.

  72. Angela
    Jul 20, 2014 / 9:59 pm

    Even with your update, number #5 is not only untrue, but stupid.
    On #9 it is false corn has got those synonyms you mentioned. They represented different preparations of corn or mixes that have corn as one of their elements (nixtamal, for example).
    Even though your intentions, I’m sure, were good, you definitely fail to depict my country/city right.
    It takes quite a lot to understand Mexican culture, traditions and, even when you are Mexican, you continue to learn new facts day in day out.
    My recommendation: try to avoid generalizing and pretending to be an expert after a year living here.
    People like you help spread tons of misunderstandings and misconceptions about Mexico.
    Thank you very much.
    P.S. I was reading some of your comments and, dude, your sources are less trustworthy than Wikipedia…my God.

    • Elizabeth
      Mar 22, 2016 / 4:20 am

      I agree

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  75. Sebas
    Dec 21, 2014 / 2:19 pm

    Number 6 is completely wrong. Just the uneducated and poor people throw toilet paper in a trash. I guess you were not staying at crown plaza or sheraton, it is very low class asking you to throw toilet paper out of toilet(and against sanitary regulations).

    • Dec 21, 2014 / 3:16 pm

      Obviously in hotels you don’t do it, but at people’s houses they say it clogs the toilet. So it does in the US actually 😉

    • Pedro Rosales Castillo
      Jan 26, 2015 / 4:45 pm

      Yeah I’d agree with Anna on this one. As far as I know everyone uses the trash can for TP, maybe you live in a very isolated or sheltered environment?

  76. Dec 28, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    Good to hear that the street food was the best. After the Philippines I’m kinda scared of eating in the street (if you know what I mean:)).

    • Dec 29, 2014 / 9:54 am

      In Mexico you can the best food on the street – one day I should show you around Mexico 🙂

  77. Pedro Rosales Castillo
    Jan 26, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    Well, I’d say a lot of those are misconceptions. Allow me to elaborate:

    3 – Mexicans dress very well to work
    I would say this is a misconception, yes I’d say the majority of people working office jobs dress semi-formally, but that is more a cultural thing than a strict dress code, unless you’re working in a law firm, real state or such. Moreover, the majority of the population are not skilled workers typing and clicking away at an 8-hour desk job, so this is an oversimplified generalization and is therefore just wrong.

    5 – Tampons are a sensitive topic
    Here, I guess you’re generalizing again but I think in this case it is acceptable, because although many Mexicans – especially middle and upper class (which police usually aren’t) know what tampons are and what they are used for, but most women don’t use them. So, indeed there isn’t a huge market for them, no real competition between tampon brands and naturally no reason (from a capitalist standpoint) to modernize tampons in Mexico.

    7 – Local police pretends to check drivers
    I would say you went the polite route here, police do check drivers and it is true that there is sadly a drunk driving culture in Mexico – which the government is trying to change by imposing harsher punishment for DIU’s and increasing checks – that said, police most often check people just as an excuse to get a “mordida” (bribe) as corruption is rampant.

    8 – Corona beer isn’t very popular and considered good
    Now this is a complete false generalization. I would say in Mexico (and I really am trying not to appear sexist here) the beer market is mostly determined by the preferences of male customers, since it seems like most female party-goers are either not beer drinkers or would randomly choose any cheap lager available. Now, this patriarchal beer market is dominated by two large beer companies who share total market domination and exert monopolistic practices, each operating several major facilities, head-quartered in different parts of the country and agreeing on influence zones and pricing to perpetuate their status quo, with sharply different popularity levels across the nation — which is mostly due to their practices and brand recognition/regionalism but also commonly (and probably mythically) attributed to differences in ingredients and production methods in different facilities, and shipping/logistics practices when distributing the beer around the country. Even this long explanation is barely scratching the surface of what’s behind beer consumption habits in Mexico. As a beer drinker from Guadalajara I can attest most of the people I know enjoy Corona – but not particularly, while most people despise Sol whilst paradoxically enjoying Estrella which pretty much tastes just as bad as Sol – so what I am saying is our beer tastes in Mexico are usually irrational; however, I am aware as most people are, these beers are either very popular or completely unpopular in other parts of the country, which is where all the guessing and urban myth starts playing a part. Either way, if you are not a beer fan I’d suggest you try the exotic beers being offered lately by the booming microbrew market in Mexico, you might be surprised! Cheers!

    9 – There are many words for corn
    While this is true, some of the stuff you mention would be described in English using more words than just “corn”, for example nixtamal is corn meal destined for tortilla production, not just another name for corn. Olote is corn core, usually ground and mixed into corn flour to increase volume (which is frowned upon as corn cores are traditionally for livestock consumption and the usage of olote in tortilla making makes the tortillas brittle and less tasty), you also mentioned a word for corn flour, and last but not least there is no word for “corn on the cob” at least in Guadalajara, although it is a dish often consumed. Millo and panizo – I’ve never heard those words in my entire life, but I did some research and it seems they are used in parts of Spain? No idea if they are used at all in any part of Mexico. You missed maiz pozolero also called maiz blanco or cacahuazintle, and huitlacoche which although isn’t corn, is an essential corn byproduct/derivative that is highly popular, especially in the Mexico valley and south-east Mexico.

    11 – Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day
    Huge misconception as this really varies from place to place. I have relatives in several parts of the country and as far as I know everyone gets presents on Christmas Day, early in the morning. In the states of Jalisco and Michoacán, and surrounding states I presume, kids get either really lame presents on Reyes Magos (like clothes or candy) or nothing at all. The Reyes thing is a more central Mexico Valley or south-estern Mexico thing.

    13 – Mexicans are the 2nd fattest nation in the world
    Also, we used to hold the first place a few years back! Too bad the US took our spot.

    – Pedro

  78. Mar 7, 2015 / 6:29 am

    I saw a few images and even a movie on Facebook these days with the colored chickens.
    It is made in the same place?
    I never visited Mexico yet, but I have plans for this summer.

    • Mar 9, 2015 / 1:09 am

      It might be – I saw these at El Mercado de Sonora, but they’re all over Mexico – unfortunately :/

  79. Xavier
    Mar 10, 2015 / 2:44 am

    Hello Anna
    The issue here is that sadly you generalized what the mexican behavior and culture are and if you had the opportunity to live in Mexico for 2 years as you wrote it down, then you must have discovered that there are many realities in the same mexican cities, in the same country, different ethnics: whites, mestizos, indians, arabian, with education, values or lack of them, for instance you can find an important mexican scientist who contribute to improve our country having a taco in the street, a teacher walking way to school and a few steps from them a guy who was raised with any values buying the painted chicken, then do you think is right to state an idea closes to “mexican do animal abuse, look at that painted chickens ha ha”, it is like if I said all blondie americans acts like hunny boo boo or white trash with farts and all that disgusting attitude, and about your story about tampax the thing here is that you generalized and Mexico is a very complex country, we are just tired about your superficial value judgments. About the police shame on them, they were missing with you, any mexican knows what a tampax is, and I dont know with which purpose they stopped you for that half an hour, we know Mexico have several problems like corruption and lack of education in many citizens but this does not make we would be all equal, to round up, as I said we are a country with many realities and lot of us live in a right way, polite, educated and full of values. It is a shame you do not really knew the Mexico I told you about and instead tells stories about your poor rurals trips. Why do not talk about the mexico of education, museums, culture, arquitecture or very fancy places where you did not have access?. How many lower middle class americans you know that really speaks fluency an other language? you take for granted that mexicans who write in your blogg are middle or upper class but it is not, it is an effort, and I would like we would have the same OPPORTUNITIES as you american do but I doubt we would criticize your country without real research.

  80. Eve
    Mar 30, 2015 / 1:21 pm

    @all abouve:
    Please, these are fun facts!
    Can’t you take them as fun?
    Of course they don’t are correct for every single Mexican in this entire world.
    I am German and I am not wearing Dindl, but I sill can laugh about the fact, that all Germans drink beer and live in Bavaria.
    Gosh, where is the humour in your world and don’t you have other thinks to do then writing such comments?

  81. Yair
    May 24, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Mexico may be the second fattest but it is the first hardest working country

  82. Jorge
    Jul 29, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Corn has two words in English, corn (obviously) and maize

  83. Astor
    Aug 18, 2015 / 5:50 am

    The fact of the christmas day is not correct. I’m a mexican child and I used to get presents on christmas day.

  84. Erika
    Sep 5, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    Yes, tampons are known, but not very well known since they’re a taboo. I live in the north of Mexico, and in my experience specially many women above 40 years old have a bad opinion about them, I’ve been using them for 17 years, and I remember when my older sister found out I was trying to use them for the first time she acted as if I were loosing my virginity! It’s like good girls don’t use them. But of course there are a lot of women who doesn’t think that way.
    BTW the Three kings day gift thing is only in Mexico City and its surroundings.

  85. Nov 18, 2015 / 1:59 am

    Ok, I’ve read most of the comments here and Come on people where is your sense of humor??, she is just sharing her point of view on what she got to see, experience about our country and that’s OK, we as Mexican also tend to generalize ( and don’t say no I don’t) about a certain tradition from a certain country, so.. That being said, hope you had a great time in Mexico and yes Mexican street food is the best.

  86. Sara
    Dec 16, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    I moved to Mexico City three years ago and I agree with almost everything. The first time I looked for tampons it was very difficult to find a good quality brand. I looked at a couple pharmacy’s around my house and corner stores but I didn’t find the brand I needed until I went to Walmart. Even there they only had a couple options of tampons next to a sea of pads in all different shapes and sizes … They even have pads for thongs… Also to my surprise Corona is not so popular here even NY husbands family all said that they don’t like that beer here in Mexico as much as they do in America. Corona is a big brand and they also make Modelo and Corona Familiar which is the dark version of the Corona and the familiar is very popular. Corn is very different here because of its name and taste. It’s not yellow or sweet. They even have blue corn. Where I live they celebrate both Christmas and Three days king. I believe Three days king is more popular they have a fair and kids that pictures with the kids and send letters to Kings with a balloon …

    Of coarse everyplace is different and everyone has had a different experience …

    I feel like a lot of the things she points out are very true because I experienced a lot of it when I first moved to Mexico.

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  88. Dr. David Ellsworth
    Jul 16, 2016 / 12:40 am

    Mexico is not in Central America.

  89. David
    Nov 2, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    The reason we Mexicans are second fattest is because all that American fat is seeping through the border… haha, just kidding. The real reason is because we drink a lot of sugary drinks, from Mexican Coca-Colas to Aguas Frescas. Sugar is what fattens you up, no fats.

  90. brb
    Mar 18, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Wait what?
    At least in Mexico City we all know what tampons are and how to use them, many college students actually prefeer them over pads.
    Mexican kids do receive presents on Christmas and on “Día de Reyes” Mexico is a Catholic country therefore Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations.
    As for Corona beer it is actually one of Mexico’s favorites. Whenever you go to a party or something similar there is always Corona.

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