Monday, 14 May 2012

MEXICO -- Most Ancient History

Mexico borders in the north on the USA. In the south it borders on Guatemala and Belize. The Pacific Ocean lies along the west of the country and on the east are the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
The climate of the country is dry with its desserts in the north. In the south-east, it has a tropical jungle. Two great mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada in the west and the Rockies in the east extending from the USA into Mexico. There they are called Sierra Madre Occidental on the west and Sierra Madre Oriental on the east. It separates the hot coastal lowlands. Most of the mountains are extinct volcanoes. The highest mountains are Pico de Orizaba with 5,700m. Popocatepetl with a height of 5452m is one of the most known volcanoes.

Earthquakes are experienced often and in 1985 Mexico City had a lot of damage and it cost 20,000 lives



The capital Mexico City was built on the site of the ancient Aztec Capital Tenochtitian. The newly built capital is now the financial and industrial centre of Mexico. It lies on a plateau, 2240m high, and has a cool dry climate. The capital has a high pollution and is overcrowded which causes a lot of problems and endurance to the people. People still moving from the countryside, looking for jobs. However, the unemployment is high in the city and many have to live in shanty towns which are on the edge of the city.



The Aztecs were the last of a long line of Indian civilizations. There were the Olmecs, Mayans, Toltecs and Chicimecs which were there since 1200 BC. The people of Mexico were conquered by the Spanish conquistadors in 1521. Most Mexican People are now of mixed blood which is Indian and Spanish. However, there are still some people which are pure Indian.

In 1821, Mexico won the independence from Spain

In 1846 they lost over half of their territory, Texas, New Mexico and North California. Mexico had a war with the USA when they lost all those territories.

In 1863, Mexico could not pay their debts to foreign governments. The French decided to march into the country and seized control. After four years later the French withdrew but the bloodshed was enormous

In 1910, the peasants who had no land were called campesinos. They joined the middle-class called Reformers and the Mexican Revolution began. The reformers won but the cost was high. Two million people were killed. The new constitution was putting great improvement forward. It was a long and painful process.

                                                      MAYAN ARCHITECTURE AT UPMAL.

23 percent of Mexico is cover with forest, mainly pine and spruce. Some areas have mahogany, logwood and rosewood. Commercial forestry is on the Sierra Madra Occidental. Chicle which gives you the chewing gum is harvested in the Yucatan.
The fishing industry catches and processes over 1 million tonnes a year. They are shrimps, prawns, tunny and shark.
One third of the people live on the land which is not very mechanized. Agricultural land is either a communal holdings called ejidos where many families share the land. The large estate called haciendas are owned privately and by one owner. They grow crops like Maize, beans, coffee, wheat, cotton, sugar, vegetable, citrus fruits and tobacco. A specialty is the Agave tequilero from which the fiery national drink, tequila, is produced. The fleshy rootstock is distilled to make this special drink.
Only 13 percent of the land can be used for agricultural purposes such as crops. 39 percent is pasture and some of it of very poor quality. It had been improved by irrigation projects. The Rio Grand and Colorado rivers are very important in the north where farms are growing fruit, vegetables and cotton; it gets exported mainly to the USA. On the plateau, farmers growing maize and some wheat, sorghum and beans. In the Gulflowlands, which has wetter climate, sugar cane and fruits are grown.
A large herd of beef cattle are reared and mostly in the north of the country.
Mexico has big mineral deposits. There are zinc, sulphur, silver and manganese, huge oil deposits were found in 1970 in the Bay of Campeche. At the time the country's economy was booming. A wealth was generated from the oil. Then the oil price dropped, revenue slumped and the country faced great debts from huge loans made by foreign banks. President Salinas had to introduce harsh reforms in 1988 to keep the country from bankruptcy.
Uranium is mind in the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, Cherentator, and Nuevo Leon. 150 million tonnes of oil minded; 37,160 million cubic metres of natural gas and 9 million tonnes of coal.
In spite of all that wealth many Mexicans have a bleak future and live in poverty and are unemployed. They try to immigrate to the USA to get a better life. Great and very powerful cartels developed dealing with drugs and shootings and murders are high.
The tourist industry is very encouraged and grows rapidly. One of the main attractions is the Aztec remains near Mexico City but also the coast of Mexico is favoured by tourists. One famous area is Acapulco and the beach resorts have developed there greatly. At Yucatan with its Mayan remains have a high number of visitors. Altogether there are 5 million visitors mostly from the USA and Canada.
Mexico built 19,906 km of railway line which are the vital links for freight and passengers. They are mainly linking towns but there is also one link to the USA and one to Guatemala. 225,000 km of roads and mostly hard surface. Internal air travel has grown enormously. Of 1000 airport 18 are international.
Two thirds of the population live in urban areas with some of them living in shanty towns. About half of the people of Mexico are mixed blood of Amerindian and Spanish. One third is purely Amerindian and 9 per cent Spanish descent. They mostly speak Spanish but there are also 50 distinctive native Indian dialects still spoken.
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, second biggest city is Guadalajara and the third is Monterrey.

               ACAPULCO -- PLAYA MANZANILLO -- 
                     BEACH IN THE TOURIST AREA.

Although the glamour and glitz still exists but there is a great influx of unemployed.  They sell anything from newspaper to massage which can be irritating to tourist who wants peace and relaxation. Police are reluctant to move in because of the high unemployment.   In the late 20th century drugs gangs move in.
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