Homelessness is a big problem in Mexico
About 113 million people lived in Mexico in 2011. Of these, around 60% were mestizo, around 30% indigenous and around 9% white. The overwhelming part of the population of Mexico thus emerged from a merger of the indigenous indigenous people, Spaniards and African slaves. The number of indigenous peoples has been greatly decimated since the 16th century as a result of military campaigns and imported diseases. However, there are still so many Indian peoples in no other country in the world. 52 of them were officially recognized by the state. Their heritage is proudly portrayed on the outside, but in reality in Mexico they live on the fringes of society, both economically and socially.
The role of the indigenous peoples in Mexico
The indigenous peoples of Mexico are often among the poorest of the Mexican population and are treated disparagingly. More and more of them carry an identity conflict in which they deny their roots and that only in order not to be discriminated against. In doing so, they would like to identify with their origins. The National Indigenous Institute is therefore increasingly fighting for the integration of the indigenous peoples into the Mexican population.
The consequences of the “rural exodus” of Mexican residents
About 75% of all Mexicans live in cities. About a quarter of the total population of Mexico lives in Mexico City. Due to the enormous growth of the cities, more and more people are being drawn from the countryside to the metropolises, which has led to a threatening rural exodus in Mexico. However, they are often not much better off with the decision - around two thirds of the city's population live on the poverty line, work as day laborers or unskilled workers and even let their children work hard. These residents live in the so-called “ciudades perdides” (also: “colonias populares”, people's quarters), the lost cities or slum areas of the metropolises.
Unemployment among the population of Mexico is high. Many move to industrial cities or tourist areas - places where traditions are lost and the environment is sometimes severely damaged. There is a strong social gradient in Mexico. Instead of a broad middle class, there is a big gap between rich and poor. Only a small elite benefit politically and economically. Almost half of the Mexican population still lives in poverty. In addition, the illiteracy rate is still 10%, despite compulsory schooling, and sometimes even higher among indigenous groups.
Everyday life - of extended families, machos and the love of fiesta
Despite numerous changes and modernizations over the past few centuries, the family still comes first in Mexico. The extended family continues to maintain its position as a pillar of society. In contrast to European society, where just under 50% live in a family, in Mexico it is almost 90%. Mexicans love to be with their relatives. In general, the child rate has decreased, but they are still considered the “kings” of the family. The family is therefore also seen as a security and lifelong support. Nowadays, however, this picture is changing more and more, especially in the cities.
The Mexican culture is particularly strongly influenced by "machismo". In Mexico, the “macho” is respected in the male world and an ideal image. The position of women has only improved in the past few decades, although women have always been revered as mothers within the family.
Mexicans are also very proud of their country. Most of the population of Mexico is extremely polite and very hospitable. In order not to offend Mexicans, there are a few simple behaviors to watch out for. If you visit one of the numerous fiestas in Mexico, you will without question be able to enjoy the passion, joy of celebrations, openness and good mood of the people of Mexico to the fullest. In art, but also in the music of Mexico, one can often find everyday joys and worries.
Religions of the Mexicans
Around 90% of Mexicans still belong to the Roman Catholic faith and thus form the second largest nation in the world of this religion. After that, however, more and more Protestants, Jews, Muslims and Mennonites follow. More and more church sects from the USA, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, are trying to proselytize the population in southern Mexico in particular. With the territorial conquest of the country it came at the same time to the spiritual conquest of the native Indian population. Fortunately, many of the indigenous people have been able to keep some of their ancient customs and rites secret.
Thus, in the last 500 years, a colorful mixture of magical, medical and religious practices from pre-Hispanic customs, medieval witchcraft, teachings of the medicine men of African slaves, mixed with Catholic or, for example, Jewish elements of faith. Especially at the countless festivals and fiestas in Mexico you can let this colorful mixture of beliefs affect you. For centuries, the Church in Mexico was strictly separated from the state. With the constitutional amendment of 1992, however, the relationship relaxed increasingly.
Experience the people of Mexico up close on a great cultural and nature tour through Mexico!
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