At Fluency Corp, Mexico has a special place in our hearts. After all, our founder, Micah Bellieu, created our unique method of language instruction based on her experiences using Spanish as she lived and worked in Mexico.
If you are relocating to Mexico or even planning a trip there, we want to share our enthusiasm for the United States’ southern neighbor. It was hard to narrow this list down, but here are 33 of the many, many reasons to love Mexico.
Mexican Television: Learn and Be Entertained
We appreciate Mexican television not just because it’s entertaining, but because we use it to help our students. How? Well, we often teach Spanish to U.S. professionals who are relocating to Mexico. And we always tell them that they will learn Spanish faster by watching Mexican TV shows.
Luckily, Netflix and other streaming services make it easier than ever to check out television from around the world.
Some of our Mexican TV favorites include “Made in Mexico,” (#1) a reality show about the elite of Mexico City; “La Reina del Sur,” (#2) a soap opera (telenovela) that has gotten RAVE reviews from Fluency Corp clients; and “Ingobernable,” (#3) which is about the first lady of Mexico finding out the truth about her late husband. Good stuff!
If you want to use these shows to speed up your Spanish learning, watch them with a notebook in hand so that you can jot down unfamiliar words and phrases. Then you can talk about them with your Spanish instructor during your next class.
One of our favorite things about life in Mexico is gathering at a bar or other local spot to watch soccer (fútbol) games (#4). The Mexican national team (#5) qualified for the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, the seventh consecutive time they have done so. If you are in Mexico and you get to go to a soccer match in person, don’t forget to brush up on fan songs and chants (#6).
Indigenous Heritage in Mexico
Before Europeans arrived, Mexico was ruled by indigenous peoples. Learning about these civilizations is fascinating. The most famous ruins of Mayan culture (#7) include the pyramid of Chichén Itzá and the walls of Tulum. Notable Aztec ruins (#8) include the Temple of the Moon and the Temple of the Sun in Teotihuacán and Templo Mayor in Mexico City. Today, most Mexicans have ancestry that includes both native groups and forebears from other continents.
Mexican Filmmakers in the Global Spotlight
If you’ve watched the Academy Awards in recent years, you’ve seen some of the extraordinary film talent coming out of Mexico. Alfonso Cuarón (#8) has directed films including “Roma.” It was based on Cuarón’s childhood in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. For “Roma,” Cuarón won the Oscar for Best Director for 2018. He had previously taken home the 2013 directing honor for “Gravity.”
The year before Cuarón’s second Best Director win, Guillermo Del Toro (#9), a native of Guadalajara, won the same award for “The Shape of Water.” That film also took home the Oscar for Best Picture.
And a little earlier in this decade, Alejandro González Iñárritu (#10), born in Mexico City, won back-to-back Oscars for Best Director. His honored films were “Birdman” (which also won Best Picture) and “The Revenant.”
In all, filmmakers from Mexico have won five of the past seven Oscars for Best Director!
Mexican Food for Every Taste
Even people who have never been to Mexico would probably cite food as one of the things they love the most about Mexico. But if you’ve only had Mexican food from chain restaurants, you don’t know the full extent of all the deliciousness that Mexico has to offer. We love street food like tacos al pastor (#11), carnitas (#12), tortas (#13), paletas (#14) and corn ice cream (#15). But Mexico is also home to globally known restaurants like Pujol (#16) and Quintonil (#17).
The Holiday Season in Mexico
The holiday season is one of the best times to be in Mexico, thanks to the country’s many beautiful and meaningful holiday traditions. If you’re one of those people who put their Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving, you’ll love how long celebrations extend in Mexico. Some of our favorite Mexican holiday traditions are Las Posadas (#18), Noche Buena (#19), buñuelos (#20), eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve (#21) and Día de Los Reyes (#22).
Mexican Festivals All Year Long
The holiday season isn’t the only time that you can find special celebrations in Mexico. Here are just a few highlighted by the travel website Lonely Planet:
JANUARY: Festival Alfonso Ortíz Tirado (#23), in Álamos is beloved by music fans. It brings in artists from around the world.
FEBRUARY: Carnaval (#24) hot spots include Veracruz, La Paz and Mazatlán.
MARCH: Festival de México (#25) celebrates the arts in venues around Mexico City and runs for two weeks.
APRIL: Feria Nacional de San Marcos (#26) is Mexico’s biggest fair. It brings visitors from around the world to Aguascalientes.
MAY: Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated in the U.S. But few people here know the story behind it. It commemorates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1962. Today, the Cinco de Mayo (#27) parade in Puebla is well known.
JUNE: It’s time for another party in Puebla — Festival del Mole Poblano (#28). And this one is for foodies. It celebrates the distinctive thick sauce known as mole poblano
JULY: Fiesta de Santa Magdalena (#29) in Xico, Veracruz, includes a running of the bulls.
AUGUST: La Morisma (#30), a mock battle in Zacatecas, draws 10,000 participants.
SEPTEMBER: Día de la Independencia (#31) brings patriotic celebrations around the country. Like U.S. Independence Day, it’s marked with parades and fireworks.
OCTOBER: Festival Internacional Cervantino (#32) is a weeks-long arts event in Guanajuato that honors “Don Quixote” author Miguel de Cervantes.
NOVEMBER: Celebrating those we have lost, Día de Muertos (#33) has become well known even in the U.S.
Whew! That’s a lot of things to love about Mexico. But it barely scratches the surface when it comes to this multifaceted country. If you’ve lived in or visited Mexico, tell us about your favorite things. We’ll include your responses the next time we do a roundup of all that Mexico has to offer.
We’d love to help you build the Spanish skills you are preparing to explore Mexico or even to make your home there. And if your company is relocating employees to Mexico, we’d love to help you with language training that will make their moves successful. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 401-3159.