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Mexico at a glance
Discover a rich culture and the e-Mexico digital agenda
 
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Photo credit: AFP/Hemis.fr
Guadalajara elects Miss Mariachi every year

Mexico is located in the northern region of the American continent between the Gulf of Mexico on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It is bordered by the United States to the north and by Guatemala and Belize to the south. Mexico’s land area of 1,964,375 km2 makes it the fifth-largest country in the Americas. With an estimated population of over 111 million in July 2010, it is the 11th most populous country in the world. It is also the world’s largest Spanish-speaking country, and boasts six attractive regions, as follows:

  • Northern Mexico: Characterized by deserts, nature reserves and rugged mountain ranges, as well as extreme weather conditions, some of its cities are key industrial and business centres.

  • Central Mexico: This is the Mexican heartland with picturesque towns and cities — some of them UNESCO World Heritage sites.

  • Southern Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico: Along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, an abundance of marshes, mangrove swamps and forests are all ideal for ecotourism.

  • The Yucatán Peninsula: This is the gateway to the Mayan world, with white-sand beaches and the blue waters of the Caribbean. You can scuba dive along the world’s second largest coral reef or swim in fresh water pools in submerged caverns, known as cenotes.

  • The Pacific Coast: As well as cities and towns with rich cultural and culinary traditions, this region is renowned for some of the best beaches for surfing and fishing.

  • The Baja California Peninsula: Inhabited from time immemorial, this region now boasts worldclass golf courses. You can discover the underwater treasures of the Sea of Cortez, and witness the amazing migration of the Gray Whale.

Mexico’s many states are extremely diverse, and each one has countless destinations offering a wide array of activities.

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Photo credit: AFP
Mexican dancers in front of the Pyramid of Kukulcan, located in the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the State of Yucatán

Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco

Guadalajara is the state capital of Jalisco and the second most populated city in Mexico. Located 540 km northwest of Mexico City, Guadalajara is blessed with temperatures ranging from 11º to 26º C (52º to 79º F).

Guadalajara is home to some of Mexico’s most renowned buildings and cultural symbols. Among the most important buildings are the cathedral (easy to spot because of its emblematic towers) and the Palacio de Gobierno (the Government Palace). Other attractions include the Teatro Degollado, a monumental 19th-century building and one of the city’s main arts venues. Then there is the Instituto Cultural Cabañas (the Cabañas Cultural Institute), which houses murals by artist Jose Clemente Orozco. The Institute has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Guadalajara is also known for its beautiful parks and surrounding natural areas, such as the Parque Metropolitano and el Bosque la Primavera (the Forest of Spring), often referred to as the city’s lungs.

Guadalajara is a vibrant city, home to the hat dance and Mexican rodeos, where you can also enjoy listening to the traditional sounds of mariachi music. The neighbouring cities of Tlaquepaque and Tonala are famous for their ceramics. At Lake Chapala and Ajijic you can take long walks, go horseback riding, play golf or enjoy water sports. Heading towards the coast, be sure to visit Tapalpa and the picturesque town of Tequila, where Mexico’s most famous drink is produced.

Mexico’s national strategy for moving more rapidly towards the information and knowledge society

Within the framework of the National e-Mexico System, the Secretariat of Communication and Transport’s Office for Coordination of the Information and Knowledge Society has presented an e-Mexico digital agenda 2010–2012.

The aim of the agenda is to coordinate, integrate and guide national efforts for moving towards the information and knowledge society. To this end, the objective is to reduce the digital divide by doing away with the structural barriers currently preventing the digital inclusion of 68 million Mexicans who are without access to the Internet and hence to information and communication technologies (ICT).

The e-Mexico digital agenda is a living model based on national and state working groups. It is an instrument for concerted action agreed upon between the participating players, namely government agencies, private enterprise, academic institutions and civil society.

The values of the e-Mexico digital agenda are those of citizens’ rights, competitiveness and social equality. Its ideals are universal access, technology neutrality, and free access for individuals to information and knowledge.”

The agenda comprises three national projects focusing on:

  • Connectivity — Guaranteeing universal access for Mexicans through the establishment of social coverage networks delivering broadband Internet to schools, health centres, government offices and digital community centres.

  • Access — Facilitating access for the most disadvantaged Mexicans to content, transactions and digital services in the public domain, in the areas of education and training, the economy, government, health, employment, safety and security, culture and science. This will be achieved through the widespread implementation of community points, making facilities and connectivity available to marginalized communities and in geographically remote areas of the country.

  • Empowerment — Bringing about widespread use of the Internet by means of Vasconcelos 2.0, a national strategy of ongoing digital inclusion. This provides Mexicans with the skills they need to work with ICT, and gain access to the content, information and knowledge that will serve to enhance their development and well-being.

By 2012, the goal is to have 60 per cent of Mexicans using the Internet, and 20 per cent subscribing to broadband Internet services.

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Photo credit: AFP/NOTIMEX

 

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