México is bordered on the north by the USA (California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas); on the west by the Pacific Ocean;
on the south by Guatemaula and Belize; and on the east by the Gulf of México and the Caribbean.
Full country name:
Estados Unidos Méxicanos
Capital city: Mexico City (22 million people)
People: Approximately 60% mestizo (mixed
European and Amerindian descent) and 30% Amerindian (indígena - including Nahua, Maya, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Totonacs, and Tarascos
Language: Spanish and 59 indigenous languages (Other languages spoken, mostly as an additional language
are: English, Mayan and Chinese (Tiawanese dialect). In resort areas, border towns and villages it is not unusual to find
many people speaking 2 languages.
Religion: 92.5% Roman Catholic, 6% Protestant, 1% Other,
Average Income: US $9,100
761,000 sq. miles-- about three times the size of
99,124,567 (2000 Census)
101.8 million (2001 Estimate)
Annual growth rate of 1.5%
Independence Day: Sept. 16, 1810
Mexico has a chief executive (president); a bicameral legislature; a judicial
system with a Supreme Court, local and federal courts; and an administrative subdivision of 31 states and one federal district.
Mexico has a rapidly developing economy and has sought economic prosperity through liberalization of its trade regime. The
climate ranges from tropical to desert, and the terrain consists of coastal lowlands, central high plateaus, and mountains
up to 18,000 feet.
Average rainfall in the south-east:
School is required but not enforced in some small very poor outlying villages, Due to overcrowding
in public schools the students are divided into 1/2 day classes in many places. School begins at age 4. Corporal punishment
is against the law especially if it is a boy. Most, but not all Universities are comparable to Jr. or Tech Colleges in the
USA. Private schools are much better at educating and usually have full day classes and teach English.
is required for males born in México to Méxicanos for 6 years after school is completed, although there seems to be exceptions.
There have been no wars in the last 100 years except for the war on drugs, border patrol, police assistance, national security
issues like elections and presidential visits and to function similar to the US National Guard in emergencies like floods,
hurricanes, land slides,... They do have branches like army, navy,...
110 Volts AC, 60 Hz - American
Style 2-3 pin plugs, although not usually grounded properly. Computers are inside Internet Cafes in Mexico, so if you are
visiting just bring your thumb drive U3 or SD card drive.
Currency and Exchange Rate:
Méxican Peso (MX). APX.$1USD=$10.25MX
(It is asumed MX unless it states USD) Figure 10 to 1 and you will always be good, especially if you use the ATM (fees are
included in Mexico but US banks chage ATM fee and some charge an international ATM fee- let your credit and debit banks know
you are visiting. If you plan on living here it is best to always have a US address with someone who you trust. I recommend
Good Sam Mail Forwarding Service if you don't. They will give you a Pensacola, FL street address and PO address starting at
$10 per month plus postage for up to 4 people who are together.
52 (outside México), there are
numerous city/area codes which are always required when calling or using a cell phone.
Included in Posted Price!
5% in villages, 10% in cities, 12-15% in Resorts and México City.
Central Standard in most of the country. (-6 GMT)
Must have vet certificates which include
rabies shots and the certificate must be less than 180 days old to return to the USA only. Current rabies tag is all that
is needed for Mexico. There are lots or stray dogs everywhere, so if you don't have one now adopt when you get here. Cats
are mostly wild here and are mostly dog food for the strays that catch them, so bring a fixed savvy cat or keep it in. Please
have your dog fixed before or very shortly after you arrive here there are too many dogs. Your dog can legally bite, if it
bites someone in your yard and has it's shots.
Other Facts of interest:
*Smoking is not prohibited in most
places, it is usually posted if prohibited. Mall stores, Walmart, Sams Club, Home Depot,...No Fumar! Most signs are pictorial
and have a RED Slash thru it if it's not allowed. eg: E with slash means NO PARKING!
*Please be advised that
drug use is illegal in México.
*As in the USA, México requires insurance on all vehicles not licensed in México and
always requires it on cars, trucks and RVs, but not a México licensed 2 or 3 wheeled Motorcycle, Scooter or an unlicensed
ATV or golf cart (check local laws for ATV and golf carts). Check our links for the cheapest, you can click, quote, buy and
print it on-line, with a US or Canadian address is the cheapest way. Remember this only keeps you out of jail and if you are
involved in a wreak exchange insurance info and leave (not illegal) because it is either your fault or no ones, it is never
the Méxicanos fault, no matter what. Remember Taxi drivers are the worst and they back each other up, no matter what. Please
watch out for the many, many scooters and bikes on the roads as well as pedestrians. They have the right away and don't always
cross when lights are red.
*Please remember that we are thought of as rich and when we do wrong we must pay with CA$H
or sit in jail until we do!
*And YES México has an extradition treaty with the USA. (I hear that Panama doesn't, but
that's probably a rumor too!)
*ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: The Government of Mexico requires that all U.S. citizens present
proof of US citizenship and photo identification for entry into Mexico. In other words a passport or passport card. A
tourist Card/Paper is issued at the border that you must fill out and they will stamp, this paper is your VISA and good for
180 days (if you stay for 7 days or longer you will need to go to a bank and pay about $24USD, let them know if you plan to
return while the visa is in effect and they will give it back to you to reuse and they will just stamp your passport out at
least at the south borders. A U.S. passport or US passport Card is required for readmission into the United States.
Things are a little different for those traveling in or out by bus or plane, the airlines or bus companies usually take care
"U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within
"the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the Mexican state.
U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Mexico by air must obtain a tourist card (paper), also
known as an FM-T, available from Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points, Mexican tourism offices, airports within
the border zone and most airlines serving Mexico." The tourist card costs approximately $24.00; the fee for the tourist card
is generally included in the price of a plane ticket for travelers arriving by air. If you travel by bus, car,... stop at
a Banjercito bank branch and pay this fee by showing your tourist visa paper and paying the $24 fee if you stay 7 days or
more. 180 day visas are now given at the borders and this fee must be paid or they will send you back in to pay it and if
you are over your 180 days there could be great difficulty.
Tourists wishing to travel beyond the border zone with
their car must obtain a temporary import permit or risk having their car confiscated by Mexican customs. To acquire such a
permit, one must submit evidence of citizenship, title for the car or a car registration certificate and a driver's license
to a Banjercito branch located at a Mexican Customs office, and pay a processing fee of about $25. Mexican customs law also
requires the posting of a bond at a Banjercito office to guarantee the departure of the car from Mexico within a time period
determined at the time of the application usually 180 days outside the border zone. For this purpose, American Express, Visa
or MasterCard credit card holders will be asked to provide credit card information; others will need to make a cash deposit
of between $200 and $400, depending on the age of the car. In order to recover this bond or avoid credit card charges, travelers
must return to the Mexican Customs office immediately prior to departing Mexico. You will be given a certificate with a sticker
attached- the sticker goes on your windshield before you go any further and don't lose the certificate you will need it and
the sticker when you leave Mexico especially if you want to drive in again. For further information, U.S. citizens should
inquire with Mexican Customs offices about appropriate permits for their vehicle.
Upon arrival in Mexico, business
travelers must complete and submit a form (Form FM-N 30 days) authorizing the conduct of business, but not employment, for
a 30-day period. Travelers entering Mexico for purposes other than tourism or business or for stays of more than 180 days
require a visa from a Mexican Consulate and must carry a valid U.S. passport.
Avoid excessive speed and, if possible,
do not drive at night. Loose livestock can appear on roads at any time. Construction sites, abandoned vehicles or other obstacles
are often unmarked or poorly marked. Be prepared for sudden stops.
If you have an emergency while driving, the equivalent
of "911" in Mexico is "060", but this number is not always answered. If you are driving on a toll highway or "cuota," or any
other major highway, you may contact the "Green Angels," a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews that operate daily. The "Green
Angels" may be reached directly at (01) 55 5250-8221. If you are unable to call them, pull off the road and lift the hood
of your car; chances are they will find you.
DRIVING INFORMATION: U.S. driver's licenses are valid in Mexico. Mexican
insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles.
The Government of Mexico strictly regulates the
entry of vehicles into Mexico (Please see information on bringing your car into Mexico in "Entry Requirements". Mexican Customs
laws require that vehicles must be driven by the owner or the owner must be inside the vehicle. If not, the vehicle may be
seized by Mexican customs and will not be returned under any circumstances. If you do not follow the law concerning import
and insurance your car can be impounded and will not be returned especially if you are in an accident (even if not your fault),
and you could go to jail till someone is paid off.
Visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times, even
when in areas generally considered to be safe. Armed street crime is a serious problem in all of the major cities of extremely
large populations and resort areas after dark. Please ladies be with someone you trust and men let someone know where you
are going and returning that would be concerned after dark and in the early mornings in resorts and large cities. It is no
more or less dangerous than US cities and resorts. Just be aware of your surroundings and showing cash off. Villages are often
safe but remember you stand out as rich even if you are on a fixed income.
Motorists should be aware that within Mexico
City, vehicular traffic is restricted in order to reduce air pollution. The restriction is based on the last digit of the
vehicle license plate. This applies equally to permanent, temporary, and foreign (U.S.) plates. I of course do not recommend
Monday: No driving if license plate ends with 5 or 6.
Tuesday: No driving if license plate ends with
7 or 8.
Wednesday: No driving if license plate ends with 3 or 4.
Thursday: No driving if license plate ends with 1
Friday: No driving if license plate ends with 9 or 0.
Saturday and Sunday: All vehicles may be driven.
with license plates with letters only may not drive on Fridays.
For additional information concerning Mexican driver's
permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, mandatory insurance, etc., please contact the Mexican Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR)
at telephone 1-800-44-MEXICO (639-426), or its web site at http://mexico-travel.com. Travelers are advised to consult with
the Mexican Embassy or the nearest Mexican consulate in the United States for additional, detailed information prior to entering
DHL (at least 2 days, usually more), Estafeta, FedEx (in some areas), Western
Union, cell phone service (Telcel GSM uses a sim card like AT&T and T-Mobile cell phones which you can unlock to use in
México or use AT&T sevice via Telcel, but it is expensive), very slow snail-mail, ATM Machines accept Cirrus and PLUS
(these charge more in Airports). Please make sure your bank knows your in México and some banks charge 1% service charge for
international debit withdraws (paypal debit Mastercard doesn't); Dial-up, 3G, DSL and Satellite internet services (bring your
satellite activated and pay online if you can it's cheaper to purchase and pay in the US and Canada), TV is in Spanish unless
you bring a Dish Network Reciever with you, activated and buy a larger dish unless you stay in Northern México, DirecTV pulled
out of México and only works in Northern México with a US setup, or buy a FTA Satellite Dish and Reciever here for English
TV; Hollywood Movies are mostly shown in English with Spanish Subtitles (Closed Caption) in large cities only and Newspapers
are mostly in Spanish.
For other facts or questions that you can not find in this website, please feel free to e-mail
For now I will concentrate mostly, but not exclusively on Southeast México which is comprised of the Yucatan Penisula.
(States (Estados) of Quintana Roo and Yucatan.)
The Capital of Quintana Roo. The name "Chetumal"
comes from the Mayan "Chatemal". The town has undergone cultural and economic transformation over the past 4000 years. It
was originally founded by Mayans in 18??.
Old Chetumal consisted of wooden colonial structures organized into a town.
Then on September 27th, 1955 Hurricane Janet hit Chetumal. Though tragic, it also created an opportunity for rebuilding a
modern city with modern electricity, water, sewage, cement homes and many modern hospitals. We also have the Méxicano Navy
to patrol the Bay and the Rio Hondo (the Hondo River which seperates México from Belize and belongs to México), complete with
Navy Barraks, Base, Marina and Hospital.
Mennonites from México and Belize are frequently seen shopping in Chetumal.
They are successful farmers who choose to farm without the assistance of modern technology.
Belizians are frequently
seen on the weekends shopping at the new market, Sam's Club, the Mall (Plaza de Americas), Walmart's Bodega and enjoying the
resturants, bay and beach. The BELIZE FREE ZONE is for Méxicanos and is a source of income for Corozal's Belizians it is a
source for US toys, clothes, linens,... which may be hard to come by in Belize and México. It also has 3 Gambling Casinos/Hotels
(kind of Vegas Style- No Shows)
A major village in the north. Today, the village lives with the
constant growth from Chetumal, the beach (playa) front on a beautiful bay (bahia) with a Blvd., numerous seafood resturants
and a growing foreign population. The village is still run by the Mayan Elders Counsel (check pics) and the elijdo (Indian)
land can be leased with their approval- beach front and ranches mostly. Other land is available for sale with your corporation
or a bank holding the property for you. Please check that the Méxicano selling the property actually owns it and has the taxes
paid to date (the bank can check this for you), there should be a legal size folder that a Notaria has prepared with all the
papers included in that persons name (minors can't sell land till they are 18!)
Mexican National Holidays in 2009:
There are also more religious (Catholic, Jewish,...), locally native (mayan,...), and expat (American, Canadian,...) celebrated
1st- New Years Day/Año Nuevo
6th- Three Kings Day/Los Santos Reyes
2nd- La Candelaria Prom. de la Constitucion
24th- Dia de la Bandera Martes de Carnaval
16th- Nat, de Benito Juarez
5th- Domingo de Ramos/Cambio de Horario (Palm Sunday).
9th thru 12th- Jueves Santo, Viernes Santo, Sabado Santo, Domingo de Pascua (Good Friday and Easter Sunday).
1st- Dia del Trabajo (Labor Day)
5th- Aniversario de la Bat. de Puebla
10th- Dia de las Madres (Mother´s Day).
21st- Dia del Padre (Father´s Day).
16th- Dia de Independencia (Independence Day)
Mexico, Belize and Guatemala also celebrate a international Independence week in September.
12th- Dia de la Raza
1st- Todos los Santos (All Saints Day)
2nd- Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)
16th- Revolucion Mexicana
12th- Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
25th- Navidad (Christmas)