For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit our next door neighbor Mexico. Mexico has a rich history and culture. It is famous for adapted cuisine (Tex Mex), archaelogical ruins, modern architectural marvels, and gorgeous beaches. There are many wonders in Mexico, and it is one of the more convenient locations for international travel.

There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Mexico by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • The People: "Nearly 93 percent of Mexico’s inhabitants speak only the country’s official language of Spanish. The remainder of the population speaks various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages, or a combination of these and Spanish. Mexico is the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country."
  • Names: "When first introduced to someone, and in formal and professional contexts, Mexicans use professional titles and surnames. A person is addressed by his or her professional title and first surname (or, less commonly, both surnames). If a person’s professional title is not known, he or she is addressed with the general titles Señor (Mr.), Señora (Ms./Mrs.), or Señorita (Miss), followed by the first surname (or both surnames). Mexicans use the honorifics Don (Sir) and Doña (Madam) when addressing a respected older person. These titles are used with a person’s given name, never with the surname alone."
  • Independence Day: "Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain. September 16, is a day-long fiesta in many parts of Mexico. It is the country’s biggest Fiestas Patrias (Patriotic Holiday). Houses, government and private offices are decorated with the Mexican flag. The national colors of green, white and red are displayed on cars and buildings, hats, caps pins and balloons. A military parade is accompanied by marching bands, dancers in traditional costumes, and colorfully dressed horse riders. Rodeos, bullfights, carnivals, street performers, concerts, arts and crafts booths, and numerous food stalls line the local plaza."
  • Tipping: "In Mexico, tipping is customary in restaurants, bars, hotels, and spas. Service workers are generally paid low wages and depend on tips to supplement their incomes. Because of this, nearly all service workers—including waiters, porters, valets, and bagging clerks—expect to be tipped for their service.
    The local currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso (Mex$). Stores will commonly use the dollar ($) sign in front of the peso amount. While the US dollar is used frequently in Mexico, and service workers will accept tips in the US dollar, they prefer to be tipped in the local currency."
  • Disease Risks and Prevention: "Diseases of concern in Mexico include dengue, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Vaccinations can protect you against some of these, listed under Immunizations below. For others, no vaccine exists; protective measures appear under Precautions."

    Language Learners: Spanish is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from Mexican music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Mexican recipe, try flan.

    A baked egg custard, flan is a classic Mexican dessert. Although there are many versions of flan, the most common one in Mexico uses evaporated milk.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 12
    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup (120 ml) water
    1 cup (240 ml) sugar
    12 oz (360 ml) evaporated milk
    3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
    6 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup (120 ml) sugar
    2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
    Pinch of salt
    Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
  • Combine water and 1 cup (240 ml) sugar in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until golden.
  • Divide caramel between 6 serving-sized ramekins, carefully coating the inside of each with caramel before the syrup hardens.
  • Beat remaining ingredients together just until combined.
  • Divide custard mixture between the ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in a shallow baking dish and add hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of a flan comes out clean.
  • Cool, then refrigerate until serving time, at least 3 hours.
  • To unmold, run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin, and then invert each flan onto an individual serving plate.