• United States!

    United States: Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Go Now!

    United States
    Explore the vast openness and wildlife found roaming in the western United States, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park (pictured) in North Dakota. Begin Your Journey!

  • Trinidad & Tobago!

    Trinidad & Tobago: Beautiful Coastline. Go Now!

    Trinidad & Tobago
    These Caribbean islands mix Indian, African, and European cultures alongside beautiful beaches. Go Now!

  • Cuba!

    Cuba: Sandy beach. Go Now!

    Cuba
    Many people fear the unknowns of Cuba, but the history, culture, food, and impressive beaches lure many visitors every year. Explore Cuba!

  • Guatemala!

    Guatemala: Colorful culture. Go Now!

    Guatemala
    Colorful Guatemala offers something for every visitor: great food, ancient Mayan ruins, and pristine beaches. Go Now!

  • Mexico!

    Mexico: Sunrise over the mountains in Puerto Vallarta. Go Now!

    Mexico
    Although many people just go for the beaches, Mexico offers impressive mountain vistas (pictured in Puerto Vallarta), great food, and historic ruins that compete with the best in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Jamaica!

    Jamaica: Pristine beach. Go Now!

    Jamaica
    Jamaican culture is about relaxation, great foods, friendly competition, and so much more. A good place to start is on the beach. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Mexico

WARNING: Much of Mexico is unsafe, please read this travel warning before going!

Behavior

The Mexicans are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of their Catholic faith. However, there is also great variety in the way the Mexicans behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to Mexico try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Mexico Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The traditional clothing of Mexico begins with the clothing the indigenous people worn prior to the arrival of the Spanish and other Europeans, then changed to more European styles. Among the most common and popular of these indigenous clothes for women are the huipil, which is a long dress-like sleeve-less cloak, a covering called a quechquemitl, which is a woven poncho, and a rebozo, which is is a simple piece of cloth often wrapped around the shoulders when it's cold, or used as a sling of sorts to carry objects, including young children. These clothes were originally fairly dark in color, but with the arrival of the Europeans new dyes arrived and today these pieces of clothing can be very bright and colorful. The men wore very little prior to European arrival, so were quick to adopt western-styled clothing when it arrived, including shirts and pants. However, the men also incorporated the sarape, which is a woolen cape and the sombrero, which is a hat.

Today many people still dress in these traditional clothes, but they are generally found in more rural places and many are indigenous people as many Mexicans today prefer to wear modern western-styled clothing. As a visitor to Mexico there are few dress restrictions. Many tourists visit Mexico solely for the beaches so scantily clad dress is commonly accepted in these areas. However, elsewhere the Mexicans tend to dress a bit more on the formal side as long-sleeved pants and shirts are common for both women and men while some women prefer long dresses. This conservative dress is especially true in business settings, as suits are the norm, and in churches the arms and legs should be covered. Although the Mexicans are fairly relaxed on dress rules, sunbathing naked is rarely permitted, even on tourist beaches so be sure to check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013