Isabelle Kenis a RoamRight Blog Author

5 Things You May Not Know About Mexico

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When people mention Mexico we immediately have images of laid-back living, beautiful beaches and the historic Mayan culture. But here are a few things you might not know about Mexico.

1. Mexico introduced chocolate to the world

The history of chocolate goes back all the way to the Mokaya and other pre-Olmec people, the first major civilizations in Mexico. Chocolate played an important role in both Mayan and Aztec religious events as well, thanks to the mythology surrounding this delicious drink. According to legend, the god Quetzalcoati, god of cacao, brought a cacao tree to earth and taught the people to make a paste out of it that could be dissolved in water. It was believed it would bring universal wisdom and knowledge to those who consumed it. This drink was the early precursor of hot chocolate, a beverage we still know and love.

2. World's Smallest Dog

The world's smallest dog is the Chihuahua and it is named after the eponymous Mexican state. The theory goes that the Chihuahua descends from the Techichi, a companion dog of the Toltec civilization in Mexico. It was also a revered dog, as archeologicalrecords show. Experts have found dog toys and Chihuahua burial pots dating back more than 3,000 years. Today the breed is commonly found around the world, but this feisty little pup had his start in Mexico.

3. Tequila

One of Mexico's most popular exports, authentic tequila, is only made in Mexico from the blue agave plant. Distilling this powerful spirit began in the 1500s and has been used in a variety of ways since then, including as a way to protect againstthe flu pandemic in 1918. While some of us may have less than favorable memories of tequila experiences, be sure to attend a tequila tasting class when you visit Mexico. Experts lead guests through the various kinds of tequila and by the end you may findyourself appreciating this oft-maligned drink.

Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.

4. Mexico is sinking

Well, Mexico City is at least! Every year the city drops between 0.2 and 1.3 feet because of high demand for water. Seventy percent of the cities' water comes from groundwater beneath the city and can't be replaced fast enough by nature. You can see the effects everywhere in the city, like at the Angel of Independence statue. Originally this monument was nine steps to the base, but today thanks to the sinking four more steps have actually been added. Don’t worry though; you can still visit without fear of falling into the earth.

5. Oldest University in North America

Located in Mexico City, the National University of Mexico was founded in 1551, making it the oldest university in North America. It would have been the oldest in the Americas, except that the university in Lima, Peru was founded earlier in the same year.The institution has undergone a lot of changes over the years, but has always managed to graduate notable alumni including many heads of state and Noble Prize winners.

What's your favorite fact about Mexico?

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About the Author

Isabelle Kenis

Isabelle Kenis, a RoamRight Blog Author There's nothing more Isabelle loves than traveling the world, camera in hand, experiencing new adventures and discovering new destinations. She aims to be an inspiration and help others in their ventures to explore the world. Follow Isabelle at Isabelle's Travel Guide, on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

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