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Spanish is the official language of Mexico. Mexico is home to descendants from indigenous groups and European immigrants. Southern and central regions are home to several indigenous languages, such as Nahuatl and Yukatek Maya. Many Mexican towns and cities have patron saints, who are celebrated with annual feasts. Both Spanish and indigenous influences can be seen in Mexican art, architecture, and music. Mariachi performing groups (bands using singers, guitars, trumpets, and other instruments) regularly perform at festivals and restaurants. Many folk dances and traditional music are still practiced in Mexico today. Rock, pop, and other musical styles such as norteña and ranchera are popular. Soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico, though baseball is also popular. Lucha libre wrestling and bullfighting are also crowd favorites.
Mexico is home to the largest body of members of the Church outside the United States. The México City México Temple was the first LDS Church temple in Mexico; it was dedicated in 1983 and was rededicated after renovation in 2008. As of January 1, 2012, there were 1,273,199 members, 222 stakes, 36 districts, 1,543 wards, and 457 branches, 24 missions, and 12 temples in Mexico.
Mexican cuisine is based on the staples of corn, beans, and chili peppers, often used with meat, cheese, and other herbs and spices. Traditionally, the main meal is eaten during the afternoon. A soup is served first, followed by a meat dish with sauce and salsa, along with tortillas and beans. Street vendors sell tacos, quesadillas, tortas, roasted chicken, and other dishes such as bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Cuisine varies from region to region, with flour tortillas, burritos, cheese, and beef being more popular in the north, while tropical fruits and tamales are more commonly used in the southern parts. Seafood, morisqueta (a sausage and rice meal), and carnitas (deep-fried pork) are more commonly eaten in western Mexico. Mexico City offers a vast array of culinary experiences. Restaurants specializing in the regional cuisines of Mexico’s 31 states are available in the city. Also available are restaurants representing a very broad spectrum of international cuisines. Mexico City is known to sell some of the freshest fish and seafood in the land, which is, for the most part delivered to restaurants on the day of the catch.
Mexico City is navigated by the Sistema de Transporte Colectivo Metro, a 225.9 km (140 mi) metro system – the largest in Latin America. The metro transports approximately 4.5 million people every day. It is heavily subsidized, and has the lowest fares in the world, each trip costing 3.00 pesos and taking each passenger to almost any place in the mega city from 5:00 in the morning to midnight. The city government also operates a network of large buses with fares barely exceeding that of the metro. Other options for electric transport can be found in the Mexico City trolleybus routes and the Xochimilco Light Rail line. The local government has also increased incentives for making Mexico City a bicycle-friendly city.
Wait until invited before using first names. If you are invited to a home, arrive 30 minutes late in most places (check with other missionaries to see if you should arrive later than that in your specific area). Always keep your hands visible when eating. Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the table. Do not sit down until you are invited to and told where to sit.
Avenida 510 #90
Col. San Juan de Aragon
Delegacion Gustavo A. Madero
CP 07950 México, Distrito Federal
Straight from the Mexico Mexico City East Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“River Mosquitos eggs :-/”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The awesome way to drive in a ginormous city like Mexico City.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Mexico Mexico City East Mission?
“Be ready to love and serve the people, roll up your sleeves and go to work, don’t judge anybody enjoy each day because it will never come back, follow the prompting of the Spirit, and be worthy of Him all the time, and the most important work hard so when you get home you won’t have regrets.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I had known the impact of this two years in my temporal and eternal life.”
“My mission is so important to me in my life, the I would go and do it all over again, Would you???”
**Did you serve in the Mexico Mexico City East Mission? If so we could love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org**