What Is Mexico Known For by Its Locals?

What Is Mexico Known For by Its Locals?

It is hard to say what I like most about living in Mexico. This country has been my home my whole life and I only started noticing what I love about it when I started traveling abroad. But what is Mexico known for?

Manners Matter

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom always taught me to say hello to everyone in a room when we arrive at any event such as family gatherings. I never really understood why I had to, especially when I barely knew them. Eventually, I started to understand why this custom is so important. 

Interacting with people you either know, or don’t, helps you to be polite, empathic, and friendly. Those characteristics are key in describing Mexicans. The biggest demonstration of this was in 2017 after the earthquake that struck Mexico City. It impacted the city in a way I have never felt before, tearing buildings down.  I was so proud of how helpful my people were,  going wherever they could to lend a hand without waiting for the government to show up.

I love how polite Mexicans are in their everyday life. They will always wish you an enjoyable meal in a restaurant and use please and thank you for directions. Politeness should be taken a step ahead so it can turn into help for the person in your company. 

Food Reigns Supreme

A topic that I could not leave behind is food. Meals are of extreme importance in our culture, and are arguably what Mexico is known for by many. We boast a wide variety of dishes and they always start at home with your mom.  

When we ate street food, we would always “spice it up”. Tacos were always our first choice. My mother’s family is from a state named Oaxaca. We visited them every year during our winter vacation and would eat all the local Oaxacan food. That included hot chocolate, seafood, mole (a traditional Mexican sauce served with chicken), and even local bread.  Eventually, we started visiting other states. We always asked what the traditional dishes were so we could try them, as they were uncommon where we lived.  I learned then that when you go to a new place, you have to try the local food that would be hard or impossible to find where you live. 

This belief has given me the opportunity to sample tasty food not only from my country, but from others too. I always try to do some research in advance, so I know what I want to order as soon as I get to a new place. In addition, I always ask locals what they believe is the best food to try and get some recommendations for the best places to eat. Our cuisine is vast and people have their own favorite dishes. To me, tacos are always the way to go. I highly recommend visiting any taquería in downtown Mexico City.

I have not been able to try most of the Mexican food, as I mentioned before, because I have not had the chance to travel to most states in my country. It is one of my dreams to do it, plus, it would mean that I would be able to try new food from a lot of places. I believe that even if I do that. I would never be able to try everything this country has to offer.

Difficult Topics

Last but not least, I know that Mexico has had a lot of bad press recently and this makes me sad and angry. I know we live in a country that has a reputation for violence and this is the first thing that makes it onto the news. 

Migration is also highlighted on the news. This topic is particularly difficult for me to talk about. I have had the privilege to go to university and that has given me the chance to travel, study, and even question things in my life. I also know that this is not possible for every young person that lives here. Others have to start working at an early age for their survival. My job and dream as a teacher are to help those who can stay here and make this country better from time to time. I wish I could see the results at some point in my life.

If reading this article has whetted your appetite for Mexican culture, check out Stephanie’s earlier piece about Día de Muertos. The Day of the Dead is a colorful celebration of the loved ones who have lost their lives. This ensures they are never forgotten.

by Stephanie Vargas

21 thoughts on “What Is Mexico Known For by Its Locals?

  1. I genuinely look forward to new Dreams Abroad articles. This is especially so when they were written by resident experts such as Stephanie Vargas. It’s fascinating to find out about a part of the world I haven’t visited yet. I can’t wait to go to Mexico.

  2. I really loved reading about Mexico for a local point of view. I’m so glad you touched on the immigration at the end of this post. I’ve really been ashamed at how our country has handled that over the past several years.

  3. I love Mexico because it somehow reminds me of my country. If I’d get the chance to go there, I’d definitely taste as much local food as I can.

  4. I love Mexican food! I don’t know how close to the authentic Mexican food what I have tried from where I am at, but they are still so good! I do agree that Mexico is getting bad press lately. But one must open their eyes that they have to experience the place for what it is as a big picture, not just from the perspective of some of its parts.

  5. It’s great there are so many different dishes to choose from. I tried to sample as many as I could when I visited Mexico on my honeymoon.

  6. I haven’t been to Mexico and will definitely plan a trip there. At least to have a taste of some of the meals . I hear it’s so tasty

  7. I love street food so much, and it’s one of the huge reasons I want to go for Mexico! I think this has nudged Mexico up the list of places to visit…

  8. I love the people, culture, and food of Mexico. There is just so much variety depending on which area and region you are visiting. I need to go back!

  9. I would love to be able to visit Mexico some time. My colleague visited (before Covid) and had such a great time. I especially would love to see the cenotes.

  10. Wow, I didn’t know about that “salud” thing about Mexicans, it’s really nice to know.

  11. Such an amazing and honest review for this stunning place. Mexico is definitely on my bucket list and dream of visiting in the near future. Hope it will materialize after this pandemic.

  12. We visit Mexico twice a year,mostly to Cabo San Lucas. We travel from there to go north or East. We love your country.

  13. I’ve heard so many beautiful things about Mexico. But it’s always interesting to know more about places you want to visit!

  14. Great post about Mexico. I have traveled to Mexico twice and always enjoyed my time there and thought the people were very nice.

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