By: Delaney, Reporting from Block 4A
People have lived in Mexico City for 20,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest inhabited cites in
North America. Mexico city has history, personality, and layers of the past. The first inhabitants lived in villages surrounding lakes in a large valley high above sea level. When the Aztecs came into the valley in search of a new place to live, one of their holy men saw a living vision; an eagle on a cactus consuming a snake in its claw. A temple was built on that spot and the new city was named Tenochtitian.
At one time it was the largest city in the world, unseen by European people. It had public buildings, bridges, and marketplaces. When the Spanish arrived it fell to their domination, losing its grandeur. Today the city is still one of the worlds greatest cities, and its symbol is still the perching eagle with a snake in its claw. Mexico
City today has international airports, subways, banks, and hospitals. Buisnesses thrive, as well as hotels, shopping and resturaunts in this bustling city.
Mexico City is not without its problems, with almost 9,000,000 people living in 573 square miles. Greater Mexico City metropolitan area has a population of 21,000,000 people; making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere. With so many people living in such a small place, at such a high altitude (at 7,000 ft. above sea level) the city has a strong air pollution problem. Life expectancy has been reduced by 10 years, 250,000 people suffer from eye diseases and 100,000 children die every year from pollution. Crime is high and often unsafe for outside visitors. People live in colonias or neighborhoods that make up boroughs, some with over 1,000,000 people living in them.
Some neighborhoods have a high standard of living, while others live in rural decline, with unemployment and poverty. The spatial inequality is evident throughout the city. Urbanization is partly to blame as people have moved from rual to urban areas. Mexico city has beautiful homes in some areas, and cardbord slums in others. Rural migration caused the city to rise in population from 3,000,000 in 1950 to