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Mexico Travel & Vacations
Mexico Vacations, Cruises Mexico, Cruises to Mexico, Cheap Mexico Vacations, Discount Mexico Vacations, etc.

Mexico is a country in North America, lying between the United States of America to the north, Belize to the southeast and Guatemala to the southwest, it has both a Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico coast to the east and a North Pacific Ocean coast to the west.

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. About

Education is one of the Government of Mexico's highest priorities. The education budget has increased significantly in recent years; funding in real terms for education has increased by almost 25% over the last decade. Education in Mexico also is being decentralized from federal to state authority in order to improve accountability. Although educational levels in Mexico have improved substantially in recent decades, the country still faces daunting problems. Education is mandatory from ages 6 through 18. In addition, the Mexican Congress voted in December of 2001 to make one year of preschool mandatory, which went into effect in 2004. The increase in school enrollments during the past two decades has been dramatic. By 1999, 94% of the population between the ages of 6 and 14 were enrolled in school. Primary, including preschool, enrollment totaled 17.2 million in 2000. Enrollment at the secondary public school level rose from 1.4 million in 1972 to 5.4 million in 2000. A rapid rise also occurred in higher education. Between 1959-2000 college enrollments rose from 62,000 to more than 2.0 million.

Highly developed cultures, including those of the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, and Aztecs existed in Mexico long before the Spanish conquest. Hernando Cortes conquered Mexico during the period 1519-21 and founded a Spanish colony that lasted nearly 300 years.

Independence from Spain was proclaimed by Father Miguel Hidalgo on September 16, 1810. Father Hidalgo's declaration of national independence, known in Mexico as the "Grito de Dolores", launched a decade long struggle for independence from Spain. Prominent figures in Mexico's war for independence were Father Jose Maria Morelos; Gen. Augustin de Iturbide, who defeated the Spaniards and ruled as Mexican emperor from 1822-23; and Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, who went on to control Mexican politics from 1833 to 1855. An 1821 treaty recognized Mexican independence from Spain and called for a constitutional monarchy. The planned monarchy failed; a republic was proclaimed in December 1822 and established in 1824.

Throughout the rest of the 19th century, Mexico's government and economy were shaped by contentious debates among liberals and conservatives, republicans and monarchists, federalists and those who favored centralized government. During the two presidential terms of Benito Juarez (1858-71), Mexico experimented with modern democratic and economic reforms. President Juarez' terms, and Mexico's early experience with democracy were interrupted by the Habsburg monarchy's rule of Mexico (1864-67), and by the authoritarian government of Gen. Porfirio Diaz, who was president during most of the period between 1877 and 1911.

Mexico's severe social and economic problems erupted in a revolution that lasted from 1910-20 and gave rise to the 1917 constitution. Prominent leaders in this period--some of whom were rivals for power--were Francisco I. Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Pancho Villa, Alvaro Obregon, Victoriano Huerta, and Emiliano Zapata. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), formed in 1929 under a different name, emerged as a coalition of interests after the chaos of the revolution as a vehicle for keeping political competition in peaceful channels.

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