Ancient Mexico and Central America were home to some of the earliest
and most advanced civilizations in the western hemisphere.
This region is known historically as Mesoamerica, a term that refers
to the geographic area and cultural traditions of the pre-Columbian
civilizations of Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Evidence indicates that hunting and gathering peoples populated
Mesoamerica more than 15,000 years ago and that crop cultivation
began around 8000 BC.
Mexicans place a high value on family and traditional values. Although
women make up an increasingly large portion of the labor force.
Mexico is characterized by sharp class and social divisions.
A small upper class controls much of the country's property and
wealth while the majority of Mexicans live in poverty.