Mexico might be our neighbor to the south, but even if you've spent time vacationing here, we are guessing you didn't know these 10 things about this country.
Mexico is more than you think it is — yep, it does have some pretty amazing beaches and arguably the best food around, but there is definitely more than meets the eye. You really have it all in Mexico.
Want to really experience this country? Come volunteer abroad here for a semester! Make Mexico a part of your gap year and really experience the culture.
To give you a tiny taste of what you're missing out on, here's a list of 10 surprising things about Mexico:
- When you think of pyramids, does Egypt come to mind? What about Mexico? According the Guinness Book of Records, the world's largest pyramid and the largest monument ever constructed is the Great Pyramid of Cholula located in Puebla, Mexico.
When you're volunteering in Mexico, feel free to spend a weekend in Puebla and check it out!
- There is a Mexican tamale that is three feet long and weighs around 150 pounds, called the Zacahuil ... we dare you to add it to your list of foods to eat in Mexico!
- Americans celebrate Cinco De Mayo more than their southern neighbors. It is actually just a minor holiday in Mexico, to highlight the Mexican army’s underdog victory over French troops at the Battle of Puebla. Who knew?
- Mexico is home to a very rare rabbit called a "volcano". Any guesses on what this creature lives? If you guessed near one of Mexico's volcanoes then you're correct!
- Every town has a zocola, or an awesome main square. This is often where you can find the best restaurants and shopping (and other adventures).
- The oldest University in North America is The National University of Mexico and is located in Mexico City. It was founded by Charles V of Spain in 1551.
- Even though Mexico's national language is Spanish and it is the most populated Spanish-speaking country in the world, there are over 60 native tongues still spoken in rural parts of the country.
- Mexico City has the world's largest taxi fleet at 100,000 taxis running every day.
- In Mexico, artists can pay their taxes with art work.
Pretty surprising, right? Think about all the things you'd learn by spending a whole semester abroad in Mexico — ILP volunteers (volunteering with International Language Programs) can do just that!
Spend part of your day teaching English (no experience necessary), the rest of your day exploring your city, then have every weekend off plus vacation days to visit other cities in Mexico. You'll get the chance to vacation in Tulum, hike ancient ruins, zipline through the jungle, all while making a difference.
It's time to stop overlooking Mexico and dive right in: