Mexico Geography

Mexico is part of North America, but, due to its historical, human and economic characteristics, it is considered a Latin American country.

The natural framework

Relief and geology

According to RELATIONSHIPSPLUS, Mexico has almost 2 million km² of territorial extension. Where it is cut by the Tropic of Cancer, it is about 920 km long, and to the south it is narrower, 200 km wide.

As an extension of the Rocky Mountains of the United States , we find the Sierra Madre Oriental, and the extension of the Sierra Nevada is called, in Mexico, the Sierra Madre Occidental.

In the southern portion of Mexico City, the Madres mountains merge. It is an area susceptible to earthquakes and active volcanism (Popocatépetl). Among the Madres mountains, occupying about 30% of the country, the high plateaus stand out. In these areas, the Mexican population is concentrated.

In the areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico, coastal plains appear, where sediment of marine origin, during the long geological period, formed oil deposits. On the Yucatan peninsula, the plains are wider.


The country’s hydrography is made up of short rivers that are divided into endoreic rivers, which flow into lakes in the interior of the country and exorreicos, which flow into the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, the most important being: the Grande , which makes the border between Mexico and the USA, flowing into the Gulf, and Colorado , flowing into the Baja California region.

Climate and vegetation

The great territorial extension, the atmospheric circulation and the altitude explain the diverse climatic types of Mexico.

In regions of lower altitudes, the tropical climate predominates ; in areas between 1,300 and 1,900 meters, the climate is temperate . The Yucatan peninsula region has the highest rainfall in the country. In the most humid and warm areas, tropical agricultural products stand out.

The orographic barriers and the presence of the California cold current are responsible for the low rainfall in the north and northwest portions of the country, originating desert areas .

Like the climate, the vegetation is also diverse: in the hot and humid areas, tropical forests are found; in the areas of higher altitude, the temperate forests and in the inland plateaus, the steppes.

History of Mexico

The colonization process in Mexico was marked by a clash of cultures, when the Spaniards, led by Hernan Cortez, found very complex civilizations, such as the Mayan and the Aztec.

Europeans sought to exploit the region’s natural wealth and the local population, subjecting it to military, economic and cultural pressure. An example today, Mexico is the second largest country in number of adherents to Catholicism in the world, behind Brazil.

The context of colonial exploitation lasted until 1820, when the liberal revolt that took place in Spain provoked waves of independence in the colonies. In Mexico, there was a period of two years of internal conflicts that culminated in the adoption of an empire in which Augustin I ascended the throne in 1822, but this period was short-lived, in 1824, the Constituent Congress disputes the emperor’s power and overthrows it , proclaiming the Republic of Mexico.

In 1840, the Republicans went to war with the USA, disputing the territories to the north, the outcome of the conflict was the loss of the territories that today are the North American states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the Mexican economic and social structure was focused on the interests of the Creoles, children of Spaniards born in America, to the detriment of the indigenous and mestizo population that consisted of the majority of the population.

This context of segregation provoked the Mexican Revolution in 1910, when Porfírio Dias was reelected, causing a period of political instability, when the Mexican government passed by several presidents.

The leading exponents of this revolution were Emiliano Zapatta and Francisco (Pancho) Villa. They sought to improve the distribution of land in the country, being considered until today the agrarian reform program that had the most visible results in the world, when in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, around 55% of the Mexican territory became collective properties , known as Éjidos.

Mexico Geography