Cancun Area culture
Mexicans regard relationships and friendships as the most important thing in life next to religion, and they're not afraid to show their emotions. A visitor who becomes friends with a Mexican will invariably be made to feel part of their family.
Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. Casual sportswear is acceptable for daytime dress throughout the country. At beach resorts, dress is very informal for men and women - there aren't really any venues where the former are men expected to wear ties. Only in Mexico City does the dress code tend to be smart in elegant restaurants and hotel dining rooms. Smoking is unrestricted, except where notified.
89% are Roman Catholics, with 5% per cent Protestant and 6% other denominations.
For almost three thousand years, Mexico was the site of advanced Amerindian civilizations such as the Olmec, the Maya and the Aztecs. Then the Spanish conquistador defeated the Aztecs 1521, marking the beginning of the three hundred year-long colonial period of Mexico as New Spain.
Independence from Spain was finally achieved in 1821, and the First Mexican Empire was created. When Texas declared its independence in 1836, its annexation by the United States triggered the border dispute that began the Mexican-American War. This resulted in Mexico losing one third of its territory to the USA in 1848. Porfirio D'az assumed power in 1876, and the period of his rule is known as the Porfiriato - characterised by remarkable economic achievements as well as brutal oppression. The latter spurred the Mexican Revolution in 1910, initially led by Francisco I. Madero. Madero was overthrown and murdered in 1913 by the reactionary general Victoriano Huerta.
With an estimated population of about 106.5 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. As the official language, Spanish is spoken by more than 90% of the people, but English is also widely understood. 8% speak indigenous languages, of which Nahuati is most commonly used.
Racially and ethnically, Mexico is diverse. Its three main ethnic groups are mestizos (mixed European and Amerindian), Amerindians and Europeans. European Mexicans are mainly Spanish; the remaining minorities largely comprise Afro-Mexican, Middle Eastern and East Asian people. Mexico is also home to the greatest number of U.S. citizens living outside U.S. territory.