History, Tradition And Culture, Mexico

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A country rich in history, tradition and culture, Mexico is made up of 31 states and one federal district. It is the third largest country in Latin America and has one of the largest populations—more than 100 million—making it the home of more Spanish speakers than any other nation in the world. Despite the political and social changes that have occurred over the centuries, evidence of past cultures and events are apparent everywhere in Mexico. Many of Mexico’s rural areas are still inhabited by indigenous people whose lifestyles are quite similar to those of their ancestors. In addition, many pre-Columbian ruins still exist throughout Mexico, including the ancient city of Teotihuacán and the Mayan pyramids at ChichénItzá and Tulum. Reminders of the colonial past are evident in the architecture of towns like Taxco and Querétar.
HISTORY
EARLY HISTORY
The Olmecs, Mexico’s first known society, settled on the Gulf Coast near what is now Veracruz. Remembered for the giant head sculptures they carved from native stone, the Olmecs had two main population centers: San Lorenzo, which flourished from about 1200 to 900 B.C., and La Venta in Tabasco, which lasted until about 600 B.C.
By 300 B.C., villages based on agriculture and hunting had sprung up throughout the southern half of Mexico. Monte Albán, home to the Zapotec people, had an estimated 10,000 inhabitants. Between 100 B.C. and 700 A.D., Teotihuacán, the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, was constructed near
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