Busting Myths about Mexico
Most countries of the world are surrounded by stereotypes, and Mexico is no exception. Myths originate from the news, TV shows, and movies, but have you ever wondered if at least one citizen of Mexico was consulted in the production process? More often than not, we rely on biased views and misconceptions perpetuated in popular culture. How many of them are actually true? Let’s bust a couple of myths and see Mexico the way it is: proud and beautiful.
🙅 Mexicans don’t speak English
That’s a total misconception! In major cities and smaller towns, English is taught in both primary and secondary schools; university students also study it intensively. There are areas where studying English is not a high priority, and still, some locals will know enough English to tell you the way or just engage in small talk.
🍷 Mexicans drink too much
Another misconception. The people of Mexico are hard-working, respectable members of their local communities. Besides, there is hardly a country in the world where you will not find a person who enjoys wetting their whistle.
👒 Mexicans wear sombreros and bright ponchos on a daily basis
This kind of clothing is totally Mexican, but you will only see it at a costumed parade or a folk performance.
🎸 The only music one can hear in Mexico is mariachi or norteño
Wrong again! There is a multitude of styles that constitute Mexican music:
- Son, etc.
🌯 Mexicans only eat burritos, enchiladas, and tacos
The foods that are considered ‘authentic Mexican’ in the U.S. include greasy tacos and quesadillas, nachos, burritos bursting with filling and all sorts of refried beans. However, this assortment of dishes has little in common with real Mexican cuisine. Like in most countries, it is regional in Mexico, too, and includes several major cuisines:
- Oaxaca cuisine dates back to the indigenous Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. It includes chocolates, cheeses, and various moles.
- Veracruz cuisine shaped under the influence of Afro-Cuban and Creole cultures, the cuisines of Spain and the Caribbean region. Seafood dominates the Veracruz menu.
- Yucatan cuisine has been influenced by the cuisine of the Caribbean region, Mayan culture, and European culinary traditions, and an indigenous touch has been added by local tropical fruit. Seafood is a local specialty, as well as Cochinita Pibil, which is a grand dish of pit-cooked pork.
- Mexico City stands apart, as it is currently developing as one of the Food Capitals of the world. The city’s numerous restaurants blend regional produce and recipes with cutting-edge cooking techniques and trends from around the world.
Moreover, while chili peppers are a popular ingredient, not all Mexican dishes are fiery hot; many are very mild and easy on your stomach.
🤢 It’s impossible to avoid intestinal infection in Mexico
Nonsense! Any tourist knows that there are basic safety precautions one should take to avoid getting sick on a journey to any country:
- Only drink water from sealed bottles,
- Eat out at clean establishments,
- Avoid street vendors,
- Eat the foods that have just been cooked
- Avoid pre-cut fruit and vegetables, unless you are eating at a high-class restaurant,
- Use purified ice.
In fact, the same rules work perfectly fine in your native country. You just don’t seem to notice that you follow them because they are woven into your daily routine.
🏭 Mexican cities are all polluted
Well, they are, but just like any other big city in the world, say, Istanbul or Beijing. A couple of days in Mexico City will not do you any harm.
🏡 Smaller Mexican towns are dirty and poor
Quite the opposite, smaller towns in Mexico are very clean; their inhabitants are not especially rich, but they are very, very friendly.
☠️ Mexico is a dangerous tourist destination
Sure, there are unsafe areas in Mexico that you’d better not visit, especially near the US border, but, just as we have already said, in any country of the world there are unsafe areas. However, with Mexico being a popular tourist destination, pickpocketing is on the rise in popular cities and towns, so stay on the lookout for petty thieves and take basic precautions:
- Don’t walk alone at night,
- Leave valuables at home or keep them where you are aware of their presence at all times.
Don’t judge Mexico by myths and misconceptions – come see the country with your own eyes and spread the word of the real Mexico!