Cathedral Mazatlan
Emiliano Zapata 
Revolutionary Hero
Grandes Cordilleras
Nuevo Leon
Chapultepec Castle
Mexico City

It is said that Mexico is a country no one ever leaves. Every year, millions of tourists arrive, and Mexicans joke that a part of them will remain behind forever. Most visitors are vacationers who wind up on the famed beaches of Cancun, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. The beaches are fabulous, but those who venture inland experience the true soul of Mexico.

And it is a big soul. The United Mexican States is a vast federal constitutional republic, comprising nearly two million square kilometres of coastline, desert, rain forest, mountains, and plains. It is the 14th largest independent nation in the world, and with an estimated population of 109 million (2007), the 11th most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. As the 12th largest economy in the world, Mexico is considered an industrialized country.  Arable land in Mexico covers only 12% of the total land area.

Humans have existed in current-day Mexico for tens of thousands of years. At least three great civilizations—the Mayas, the Olmecs, and later the Toltecs—preceded the wealthy Aztec empire. These civilizations built cities with enduring architecture, advanced education, and sophisicated military forces.
The first Spanish invasion in 1519 ended the growth of the native civilizations.  Mexico became the first and largest provider of resources for the Spanish Empire.  From the declaration of independence in 1810 until the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920, the country was wracked by civil wars, foreign invasions and revolutions.  Since the 1920’s the country has had a relatively peaceful evolution.  Between 1940 and 1980, Mexico experienced substantial economic growth called "El Milagro Mexicano", the Mexican Miracle.

The annual population growth in Mexico has declined sharply from 3.5% in 1965 to 1% in 2008.  The median age in the country is 26 years with 30% of the population under 14 years, and only 6% over 65.  The Mexican population is increasingly urban, with close to 75% living in cities.