Mexico Essay, Research Paper
The people of Mexico are very diverse and unique. About fifty-five percent of the Mexican population is Mestizo. Roughly twenty nine percent are Native Americans, fifteen percent are Caucasian, and the remaining one percent are in the other category. According to a 1990 census, ninety one percent of the people in Mexico were reported to speak Spanish, the country s official language. Other languages include Maya, Zapotec, and other native languages. An estimated ninety three percent of the population is Roman Catholic, and the remaining seven percent are made up of mostly Jewish and Protestants Mexicans. The current population is over 92,000,000 according to a recent census, and is continuing to grow. Over half of the people of Mexico are under the age of twenty. Today the literacy rate of Mexico is eighty seven percent, and education is always an issue with the government. Most of the people between the ages of six and fourteen attend some sort of schooling program, but most do not make it to colleges and universities.
Mexico is a federal republic. It is composed of thirty-one states and a Federal District, which is Mexico City, the capital. Mexico City is also the largest city in Mexico. The country s government has a legislative, executive, and judicial branch much like the United States. There are two senators from each state and two to represent Mexico City. That is approximately one representative for every 250,000 people. Mexico s president is elected every six years and cannot be reelected to a second term. The Parotid Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) was the main political party and had not experienced a loss until this year when Vicente Fox Quesada was inaugurated on December 1st, 2000. Quesada is a member of the Partido de Accion National (PAN). In Mexico, those citizens over the age of 18 are required to vote.
Currently about twenty-five percent of the working population in Mexico is employed in agriculture, forestry, or fishing. Most are subsistence farmers that produce crops like corn, beans, and squash. Other chief products include tomatoes, wheat, sugarcane, rice, coffee, cacao, tobacco, and vanilla. Mexico also produces a large amount of manufactured goods. Two of the largest produced products are iron and steel. Some of the main industries include food processing, petroleum refining, petrochemicals, machinery, industrial vehicles, textiles, and paper and metal manufacturing. Mexico s largest trading partners are the United States, Japan, and many European nations.
Culture and Holidays
Many of the same holidays are celebrated in Mexico and the United States. Because of the largely Christian population, Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas are very important in Mexico. Other important days include Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), Constitution Day (February 5th), and Mexican Independence Day (September 16th). These are all days of great national pride among Mexicans. The Day of the Dead is another major holiday and can be compared to Halloween in the United States. Families gather to honor their dead ancestors by cleaning up graveyards and adorning graves with flowers. There are parties and, of course, a lot of food!