March 12, 2013
CULTURE: Most Mexican villagers follow the older way of life more than the city people do. More than 45% of the people in Mexico live in cities of over 50,000 inhabitants. The huipil is a common form of traditional clothing for women from these areas. Huipils are blouses made from cotton or wool and are decorated with brilliant colors and complex designs. Many of the designs found on these garments date from pre-Hispanic times and have religious significance.
The Day of the Dead: It is a way that people show respect for the dead. Some people believe that the dead come for food during The Day of the Dead, so at night they set out food. This celebration is three days long. On the first the living relatives go to the cemetery and show their respect. On the second day, they have celebrations at his/her house serving the dead's favorite food. On the third day, there are parades with floats, bands, and even little fake coffins with fake skeletons in them.
ECONOMY: Mexico is the world's ninth largest producer of oil, exporting nearly three million barrels per day. In fact, foreign trade is a larger percentage of Mexico's economy than any other large country. For years, Mexico's economy under-performed Brazil's, but last year it grew faster. Many Americans are worried about immigration, but Mexico is actually gaining immigrants itself, and its birth rate is trending down and may soon be below the U.S. The economy faces several challenges, including the need to: * Privatize the oil industry. This must happen before foreign investors will help extract more oil. However, it will deprive the Mexican government of much of its revenue. * Upgrade schools, roads and health care services. * Modernize the tax system and labor laws.
EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM: The Mexican educational system consists of three levels: primary, secondary, and higher education. Formal basic education encompasses preschool, elementary, and lower secondary. Basic education accounts for approximately 81 percent of the total number of students receiving school services. Federal, state, and local governments provide 93 percent of basic education, while private schools provide about 7 percent. The grading system is based on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the highest and 6 the minimum passing grade. Education in Mexico is regulated by the Secretariat of Public Education (Spanish: Secretaría de Educación Pública). Education standards are set by this Ministry at all levels except in "autonomous" universities chartered by the government. Accreditation of private schools is accomplished by a mandatory approval and registration with this institution.
RELIGION: The Catholic Church is the dominant religion in Mexico, with about 82.7% of the population as of 2010. According to the 2000 census, about 88% of the Mexican population is at least nominally affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and about 6% are Protestant. Christian denominations represented include Presbyterians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, and Anglicans. There are small Greek and Russian Orthodox communities. There are also small numbers of Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims. While professing the Roman Catholic faith, a number of indigenous people include strong pre-Hispanic Mayan elements in their religion. Protestants make up the majority of the remaining religious groups, along with some Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists. Even though Catholicism is the dominant religion, religious life is complex, and is reflective of Mexico’s religious and historical past.
GOVERNMENT: The Politics of Mexico take place in a framework of a federal presidential representative democratic republic whose government is based on a congressional system. The executive power is exercised by the executive branch, which is headed by the President, advised by a cabinet of secretaries that are independent