When you say Mexico, almost by default, imaginings of mariachi musicians wearing big sombreros (and big moustaches!), tacos soaked in chili sauce or guacamole dip, day of the dead, white sandy beaches and the oh so notorious tequila shots spring to your mind.

Legitimately belonging to North-America, many parts of the country have more in common with neighboring Central American countries. A country so extremely rich in history and culture, yet so diverse and full of contrasts.

It boast one of the largest metropolises in the world, Mexico City with its bustling 20 – 30 million ‘chilangos’ (depending on which statistic to believe), and at the same time some of the most quaint and picturesque ‘pueblitos’, such  as Todos Santos, home to the Eagles’ Hotel California, where time has stood still since long ago.

Country Spotlight: México, si señor!

The stark differences of the dry desert regions of the northern states of Chihuahua and Sonora with the jungle trotted southern states of Chiapas and Tabasco make them simply worlds apart. All 31 states of Mexico offer its visitors unique traditions, unrivalled handicrafts, climates, fascinating flora and fauna and of course, its flamboyant gastronomy.

Who hasn’t heard of tamales, tortillas, burritos and enchiladas?  Unlike it’s Tex-Mex variants, real Mexican food plays a tribute to its ancient Mayan and Aztec ancestors who were the first ones cultivating chocolate, maize, tomatoes, chili peppers and vanilla.

With so much diversity it is only logical that it also faces its challenges. Due to its close proximity to the United States, issues of migration and the ever present gap between rich and poor leave many rural areas underdeveloped and in dire need of support.

Luckily, these areas are also known to host some of the most beautiful and spectacular environments in the world. Here, Volunteer Work Latin America is contributing to several community and proper ecotourism initiatives in order to boost local economies. 

Country Spotlight: México, si señor!

They offer you the opportunity to assist in a sustainable development training center in the state of Oaxaca, where the local population is given demonstrations of how to be self-sufficient with water and food, how to build ecological homes, as well as technologies for economic and human development.

A lot of work is to be done here. When you are ready to make a difference, I suggest getting in touch with Volunteer Work Latin America to organize your own unforgettable Mexican adventure. More info about this ecological project can be read here.

They can also arrange for Spanish classes. Being in the world’s biggest speaking Spanish country, you owe it to yourself to invest some time improving your language skills. You will reap the rewards when engaging in some small chat or when ordering your cold Corona and lime! 

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