Local traditions and culture in Mexico

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Mexico

  • susiemargare's Profile Photo

    keep lots of small change in pesos with you

    by susiemargare Updated Jul 8, 2014

    keep lots of small change in pesos for tips, bus rides, etc. most bus drivers and many shopkeepers do not have sufficient money with them to give change for what would be twenty american dollars.

    be sure that you use coins in pesos only. coins from the USA are worthless in mexico, so, for instance, tipping someone with american coins doesn't help them at all.

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    butter that tastes weird

    by susiemargare Written Jun 24, 2014

    it took me a couple of trips to mexico before i figured out why the butter tastes weird, at least to someone from the USA. it is unsalted ("sin sal")! once i realized this, i looked everywhere for salted butter ("con sal") but could not find any. so if you like salt in your butter, you'll have to sprinkle some on it.

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    bringing home food and drink, imports vs. exports

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    in terms of buying food and drink to bring home, items from the united states that are imported into mexico are VERY expensive (hard liquor, etc.). however, items that are made in mexico or (i think) other latin-american countries, such as coffee, are pretty cheap. this is the time to stock up!

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    best materials for a quickie guide to mexico

    by susiemargare Updated Jun 10, 2014

    unquestionably, the best contemporary guide to mexico is THE PEOPLE'S GUIDE TO MEXICO, by carl franz (see his website also, at "http://thepeoplesguidetomexico.com"). he covers both rural and urban travel and has millions of good cultural tips, along with hilarious anecdotes about him, his wife/girlfriend, and their best friend steve on car trips through mexico. if you look at only one source of information about mexico before you go, this should be the one!

    an excellent general history (and not boring) of mexico is DISTANT NEIGHBORS by alan riding.

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    avoiding sexual harassment

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    i have rarely been sexually harassed by a mexican man, but perhaps that is due to my age (they think i am a grandmother). on the few occasions when it has happened, i usually act as if we are all teasing each other, and i say something like "que pillo!" (kay PEE-yo, "what a rascal!").

    women can forestall a lot of this by smiling (not flirtatiously) and saying "hi" when a mexican man makes eye contact with them, AND by making eye contact FIRST and then saying "hi" in a friendly manner.

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    babies and children

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    mexicans love babies and children, and most of their babies and children are very well behaved compared to those in the united states. telling a parent how beautiful ("bonita," bone-EE-ta) or handsome ("guapo," GWA-po) their child is acts as a terrific icebreaker on buses. so does asking how many children a person has; this is not considered rude, and taxi drivers (who are all men) will respond to it too.

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    tipping the hotel maids

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    tip the hotel maids GENEROUSLY; they make in one day about what the minimum wage for one HOUR would be in the united states. i aim for at least two american dollars PER DAY.

    in addition, i leave the tip BY the day rather than for a week at once, because that way each maid gets a tip for the day she worked in your room, in case there are several different maids throughout the week.

    i also leave a note with the tip that says "para la camarista" ("for the chambermaid") so that there is no confusion about whether the money is for the maid or whether you just forgot to take it with you.

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    show respect during church services

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    do not go into churches during services unless you are dressed fairly conservatively. for women, this means arms covered. for men, it means no tank tops. for both, it means no beach wear, no short shorts, and no bare feet. do not take photos or carry on conversations during services.

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    be prepared to shake hands a lot

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    most mexicans are very friendly. the women are more shy than the men. mexican men especially will want to shake hands with you when they meet you or if they talk with you for very long. there is A LOT of handshaking, both hello and goodbye.

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    take a spanish/english dictionary

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    whether your only spanish is "muchas gracias" or you can speak fluently, take a spanish/english dictionary with you. it will be tremendously helpful, because you can look up spanish words that you see on signs and menus and, even better, you can look up english words to find their spanish equivalent.

    i have been using the OXFORD SPANISH MINIDICTIONARY for years (4-1/2 inches tall, 3 inches wide, 1-1/2 inches deep) and recommend it highly, but there are many other small spanish/english dictionaries available as well.

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    even a little bit of spanish opens many doors

    by susiemargare Written Jun 10, 2014

    try to speak spanish, even if rudimentary; the people do appreciate it, tho many mexicans speak english. be extremely polite, and SMILE A LOT. people from the USA should refer to themselves as "norteamericanos," not simply "americanos."

    to say, "my name is X," say "me llamo X" (may YAHM-oh).

    greet people with "hola" (oh-lah, with just the barest more emphasis on the second syllable, this is the equivalent of "hi"), "buenos dias" (bway-nohs DEE-ahs) in the morning, "buenas tardes" (bway-nahs TAR-dezz) from noon to slightly before sundown, and "buenas noches" (bway-nahs NO-chezz) after dark.

    if you ask people to speak spanish VERY SLOWLY ("muy lentamente" -- mooey len-ta-men-tay), they will do so. practically all waiters, shopkeepers, etc., are happy to teach you individual words or phrases. a berlitz book on latin-american spanish (not spain) is helpful, because it has phonetic pronunciation, latin-american slang, and phrases that you are likely to want to know (thank you, i'm sorry, my spanish is not good, where is the bus stop?, etc.).

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    Traditional dance

    by shavy Updated Feb 23, 2014

    Ever heard of Mariachi and Corrido. In the time of ancient Mexican civilizations was making music is very important during festivities, ceremonies and other religious events

    Musical instruments were usually kept in a secret place. Songs were also a good way to pass knowledge from generation to generation or to tell in the form of ballads

    The famous Mayan mural of Bonampak shows a group of musicians playing instruments seen during a ceremony such as peel mushrooms shield, flutes, shells and tom-tom drums

    During the colonial period, the Spanish missionaries realized how important music and dance were in pre-Hispanic cultures, this could be used to convey the original inhabitants
    Spanish language and traditions

    Prehespanic traditional dance
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    The Peso Sign Looks Like The Dollar Sign

    by briantravelman Written Dec 24, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I'm not sure if all the resort towns do this, but I know that Cabo San Lucas, has all prices listed in USD. Well, the dollar sign and the peso sign look almost identical. The only difference is, that the peso sign has one line going through it instead of two.
    $=Peso

    It's almost impossible to tell the difference, so look really close at the symbol, so you don't end up over paying, or under paying. If you still can't tell, just ask the vendor or restaurant worker, if the price is in pesos or dollars.

    I read about this in my Mexico guidebook, and it is a common mistake that tourists made, so I thought it would be good to mention.

    It turns out that the dollar symbol, is often incorrectly written with one dash. I just noticed on my keyboard, that it has only one dash, so the $ sign on the keyboard, is actually the peso sign.

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    local area great for agriculture and aquaculture

    by gwened Written Oct 7, 2012

    aquaculture is great big here shrimp big ones probably the ones you enjoy the most in your local favorite restaurant comes from here.

    Great folks hard work,and lovely results,enjoy Mexican shrimps wherever you are. The visits can be arrange in groups with the local folks and the tourist office. Especially welcome are those in veterinary and aquaculture areas.

    shrimp farming to the bay pools of shrimp farming entrance to farm or granja
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    Maya's

    by Twan Updated Jul 27, 2012

    The Maya (Maya Yucateeks: maaya'ob, Spanish: mayas) are a people of southern Mexico and northern Central America. The term is used as an umbrella term for 29 indigenous people from the same region, the same cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

    Today there are about 8 to 9 million Mayas, the vast majority living in Guatemala and southern Mexico (Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Chiapas and Tabasco), with smaller communities in Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. In the United States and northern Mexico live relatively large emigrant communities.

    Maya's Maya's Maya's Maya's Maya's
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