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The Temple of Warriors at Chichen Itza, Mexico
The Temple of Warriors at Chichen Itza, Mexico

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Mexico (Spanish: México ['mexiko] ; Nahuan languages: M?xihco), officially the United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos; EUM [es'taðos u'niðoz mexi'kanos] ), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico covers 1,972,550 square kilometers (761,610 sq mi), making it the world's 13th-largest country by area; with approximately 126,014,024 inhabitants, it is 10th-most-populous country and most Spanish-speakers. Mexico is organized as a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.

Pre-Columbian Mexico traces its origins to 8,000 BC and is identified as one of six cradles of civilization; it was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations, most notably the Maya and the Aztecs. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the region from its base in Mexico City, establishing the colony of New Spain. The Catholic Church played an important role in spreading Christianity and the Spanish language, while also preserving some indigenous cultures. Native populations were heavily exploited to mine rich deposits of precious metals, which contributed to Spain's status as a major world power for the next three centuries. Over time, a distinct Mexican identity formed, based on a fusion of indigenous and Europeans customs; this contributed to the successful Mexican War of Independence against Spain in 1821. (Full article...)

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Amarte Es un Placer (transl.Loving You Is a Pleasure) is the thirteenth studio album by Mexican singer Luis Miguel. It was released by WEA Latina on 13 September 1999. Produced by Miguel, it is a pop album with R&B and jazz influences. Miguel was more involved with the songwriting on this record than on earlier albums and was assisted by composers including Arturo Pérez, Armando Manzanero, and Juan Carlos Calderón. Despite the popularity of his contemporaries Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias who crossed over to the English-language market, Miguel preferred to sing and record in Spanish at the time.

Four singles were released to promote the album: "Sol, Arena y Mar", "O Tú o Ninguna", "Dormir Contigo", and the title track "Amarte Es un Placer". Miguel embarked on a world tour which lasted from September 1999 into May 2000. He performed in Spain, South America, Mexico, and the United States. It became the highest-grossing tour by a Spanish-speaking recording artist. (Full article...)

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Top:Convert Church of San Frandisco, Estrella de Puebla, Ejecutiva JV III Tower (Torre Ejecutiva JV III) Second:Municipal Hall of Puebla, Puebla Government Palace, Third:Puebla Cathedral, View of La Malinche Volcano (upper right), from Barrio de Santiago, Alfeñique Regional Museum House (Museo Regional Casa de Alfeñique), Bottom:View of downtown Barrio de Santiago area, all item of left to right

Puebla (Spanish pronunciation: ['pwe?la]; Nahuatl languages: Cuetlaxcoapan), also known in Spanish as Puebla de Zaragoza, formally Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza and in colonial times as Puebla de los Ángeles, is the seat of Puebla Municipality, the capital and largest city of the state of Puebla, and the second largest in colonial Mexico and the richest Catholic diocese. A colonial era planned city, it is located in (southern) Central Mexico on the main route between the capital, Mexico City, and Mexico's main Atlantic port, Veracruz--about 100 km (62 mi) east southeast of Mexico City and about 220 km (140 mi) west of Veracruz.

The city was founded in 1531 in an area called Cuetlaxcoapan, which means "where serpents change their skin", in between of two of the main indigenous settlements at the time, Tlaxcala and Cholula. This valley was not populated in the 16th century, as in the pre-Hispanic period this area was primarily used for the "flower wars" between a number of populations. Due to its history and architectural styles ranging from Renaissance to Mexican Baroque, the city was named a World Heritage Site in 1987. The city is also famous for mole poblano, chiles en nogada and Talavera pottery. However, most of its economy is based on industry. (Full article...)

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Cristales cueva de Naica.JPG
Naica Mine
image credit: Alexander Van Driessche


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Hotelito Desconocido (Spanish: [ote'lito ðeskono'siðo], "Little Unknown Hotel") was a Mexican boutique hotel and ecotourism resort in the municipality of Tomatlán, Jalisco. Formed in 1995 by an Italian architect, Hotelito Desconocido used an architectural style of that combined both rustic and luxurious designs. It was built on an UNESCO-designated natural reserve that was home to a number of endangered bird and turtle species. The hotel won international and domestic awards for its unique architecture and sustainable energy model, and it was a famous getaway spot for international tourists and celebrities. Its construction, however, created tensions with a local group of fishermen that protested against the alleged ecological violations caused by Hotelito Desconocido's construction and expansions.

In 2007, Hotelito Desconocido was acquired by W&G Arquitectos, a company headed by Wendy Dalaithy Amaral Arévalo. She is the wife of Gerardo González Valencia, a former suspected drug lord of Los Cuinis and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, two allied criminal groups based in Jalisco. After years of resistance from the local fishermen, three members of their group went missing in Guadalajara, Jalisco in 2011 after attending an ecological preservation meeting. They had reportedly previously received death threats from the hotel's management and local farmers who were also opposed to their protests. (Full article...)

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Pancho Villa on horseback (undated photo, between 1908 and 1919)

Francisco "Pancho" Villa (, ; Spanish: ['bi?a]; born José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, 5 June 1878 - 20 July 1923) was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.

As commander of the División del Norte, 'Division of the North', in the Constitutionalist Army, he was a military-landowner (caudillo) of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. The area's size and mineral wealth provided him with extensive resources. Villa was provisional governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914, and can be credited with decisive military victories leading to the ousting of Victoriano Huerta from the presidency in July 1914. Following Huerta's ouster Villa fought the forces of his own erstwhile leader, "First Chief" of the Constitutionalists Venustiano Carranza; in so doing he was in alliance with southern revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who remained fighting in his own region of Morelos. The two revolutionary generals briefly came together to take Mexico City after Carranza's forces retreated from it. Later, Villa's hitherto undefeated División del Norte engaged the military forces of Carranza under Carrancista general Álvaro Obregón and was defeated in the 1915 Battle of Celaya. Villa again was defeated by Carranza on 1 November 1915 at the Second Battle of Agua Prieta, after which Villa's army collapsed as a significant military force. (Full article...)

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Three varieties of taco (clockwise from left): carnitas, carne asada and al pastor. As is traditional, they are each garnished simply with cilantro and chopped onion, and served with lime on the side for seasoning to the taste of the consumer.

A taco (, , ['tako]) is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a small hand-sized corn or wheat tortilla topped with a filling. The tortilla is then folded around the filling and eaten by hand. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, beans, vegetables, and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety. They are often garnished with various condiments, such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream, and vegetables, such as lettuce, onion, tomatoes, and chiles. Tacos are a common form of antojitos, or Mexican street food, which have spread around the world.

Tacos can be contrasted with similar foods such as burritos, which are often much larger and rolled rather than folded; taquitos, which are rolled and fried; or chalupas/tostadas, in which the tortilla is fried before filling. (Full article...)

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