Mexico

In 1934, the Salvation Army began its first work in Mexico. Mexico became a separate territory in 2001. Today there are 55 corps and 3 outpost throughout the country where 188 salvation officers and 1,788 salvation soldiers are employed. (Source: Salvation Army yearbook)

General

Capital: Mexico City

Surface area: 1.973.000 km²

Number of residents: 129.900.000

Language: Spanish

Religion: Roman Catholic

Currency: Mexican Peso

Form of government: federal republic 

Development

Mexico has a score of 0.774 on the Human Development Index (HDI). This is a composite number that includes numbers related to life expectancy, education and income per capita. This number is used to rank countries into four levels of human development. The higher these factors, the higher the index number. Mexico is number 74 of the 186 countries worldwide. (source: UNDP) 

History and Politics

Before the territory now known as Mexico was conquered by the Spaniards, the population of Mexico consisted of, among others, the Armenian, Mayan and Zapotheek civilizations. From the year 900 the Toltecs established the capital Tollan and the Aztecs conquered Central Mexico and settled in Tenochtitlan. In 1428 the triple covenant Tenochtitlan-Texcoco-Tlacopan was established as a powerful confederation. In 1517 the first Spaniards came ashore on the Yucatan peninsula. The first island they conquered was the Isla Mujeres. The Spaniards brought diseases such as typhus, smallpox and the flu which the indigenous population was not able to withstand. Between 1519 and 1599, the number of indians in Mexico dropped from 25 million to 2 million.In 1821 Mexico became independent and in 1824 Mexico became a federal republic with a new constitution. The first Mexican president was Guadalupe Victoria. On May 5, 1862 the Battle of Puebla took place and a French army was defeated. To date, this day is a national holiday in Mexico. In 1910, the liberals and guerrillas revolted against President Diaz's regime and started the Mexican Revolution. During the Second World War, Mexico fought against the Japanese. This strengthened the bond with the United States. In recent years, Mexico has faced a lot of unrest. This was mostly due to the corruption of the political party the PRI which led to demonstrations and rebellions several times. In 1994 Mexico faced an economic crisis and became a member of NAFTA. (source: landenweb)

Economy

Mexico is still seen as a developing country. The prosperity of the cities contrasts with the poverty of the countryside. Mexico has been producing oil since 1890 and in 1921 it was even the largest oil producer in the world. The oil is mainly extracted in the Gulf of Campeche. In addition to oil extraction, tourism is another important source of income in Mexico. About a third of the population works in the tourism sector. Of the 7 million tourists who visit Mexico annually, 85% come from the United States. (source: UNDP) 

Culture

More than a third of the total population in Mexico is younger than 15 years old. The original population is descendent from the Indians or the Mestizos. The rest of the population is of European, Arab and African descent. The majority of the Mexican population is Roman Catholic. Although women increasingly take up important positions in politics and business, the machismo culture is still very much alive. Also, revealing clothing on both women and men is not appreciated, especially in churches and Indian villages.