Kids from Mexico

  • Continent: North America
  • Climate: tropical on the coasts; temperate mountain areas and deserts inland
  • School:
    • Large schools hold two shifts—one group of children attends in the morning, and one attends in the afternoon. Uniforms are usually required.
    • The school year typically runs from the beginning of September through the end of June.
    Play:
    • Lotería, a game similar to bingo, is played with picture cards and song. Jump rope and other outdoor games are very popular.
    • Soccer is the top sport in Mexico. Other favorites include baseball and jai alai, a handball game that originated in Spain.
    Family:
    • Many homes in Mexico include not just parents and children but grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or other family members.
    • Children have two last names. Their father's last name is the first part, and their mother's last name is the second part.
    Signature foods:
    • Mole, a sauce that is made with up to two dozen ingredients; it typically includes peppers, spices such as cinnamon and chocolate
    • Tamal (plural tamales), corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese or a sweet filling, then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed
    Interesting animals:
    • The San Quintin kangaroo rat, whose powerful back legs can send it more than 7 feet in a single hop
    • The slow-moving vaquita, the world's smallest cetacean (animal in the porpoise family), weighing only about 100 pounds
  • Unique holiday: Guelaguetza, in the state of Oaxaca, a fiesta that dates to pre-Columbian times; the summer celebration includes parades, dancing and monigotes (giant puppets).
  • Did you know? In Mexico today, Spanish is the official language, but more than 60 native languages are spoken. The top native languages are Náhuatl (about 2.5 million speakers) and Maya (about 1.5 million speakers).

For more information, go to the Fact Monster page about Mexico.


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