Main Idea 1: Government has traditionally played a large role in Mexico’s economy. Mexico is a democracy, but the same party ruled for 71 years. A different political party came to power in 2000 when Vicente Fox was elected president. Mexico’s government controlled most economic activity for many years, but today that has changed.
As a developing country, Mexico has challenges. – Debt to foreign banks – Unemployment – Inflation, a rise in prices that occurs when currency loses buying power Mexico’s economy has been growing since 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made trade with the U.S. and Canada easier. Main Idea 1
Mexico’s Economy Agriculture Farms have long been a part of Mexican economy. Only 12 percent of the land can be farmed. Farmers practice slash- and-burn agriculture, burning forests to clear land for planting. Farmers grow cash crops, crops that farmers can sell for a profit.
Mexico’s Economy Industry Major industries include oil, mining, and manufacturing. Many foreign companies have built factories along the U.S. border because labor is cheaper. Some Mexican workers come to the U.S. to look for jobs.
Mexico’s Economy Tourism Tourists visit old colonial cities and Maya and Aztec monuments. Coastal cities are popular with tourists.
Main Idea 2: Mexico has four distinct culture regions. All Mexicans share cultural characteristics. Yet, four regions differ in culture, population, resources, and climate: – Greater Mexico City – Central Mexico – Northern Mexico – Southern Mexico
Mexico’s Culture Regions Greater Mexico City Includes the capital and 50 smaller cities Has a population of more than 19 million Second largest city in world Huge, dense population causes problems. – Smog, a mixture of smoke, chemicals, and fog, created by factories and cars – Poverty
Mexico’s Culture Regions, continued Central Mexico North of Mexico City Many cities established for ranching or mining during the colonial period Colonial heritage: church near main central square, or plaza Small family farms that grow vegetables, corn and wheat Mining centers New industries leading to rapid growth of cities
Mexico’s Culture Regions, continued Northern Mexico One of the country’s wealthiest and most modern regions Trade with U.S. helping growth of economy Has many maquiladoras, U.S. and foreign-owned factories Influenced by American television, music, and culture Residents crossing into the U.S. to shop, work, or live United States tries to prevent illegal crossing
Mexico’s Culture Regions, continued Southern Mexico Least populated and industrialized region Many Indian language speakers Subsistence farming and slash-and-burn agriculture Two major export crops: sugarcane and coffee Increased oil production along the Gulf coast Yucatán Peninsula: tourism to Maya ruins and beaches Tiny fishing towns transformed to booming tourist centers