One of the reasons I am writing this blog is to clear up myths and misconceptions about Mexico, so it’s only fitting that one of my posts is along those lines. I have lived in the United States, I’ve met many foreigners from all over the world, and I’ve noticed there are plenty of wrong ideas about my native country floating around. These are the ones that bug me the most.

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5 Myths About Mexico That Need To Die | My Heart Of Mexico

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Myth #1 – Mexican food is just tacos, burritos, and chimichangas

That could not be more wrong! Mexican cuisine is a unique mix of Native American and European ingredients, flavors, and spices, which make it one of the best cuisines in the world. Tacos are Mexican snacks, sure, but they are not made in a taco shell. As for burritos and chimichangas, they are about as Mexican as the Statue of Liberty. Sadly, the only way you can actually savor real, authentic Mexican dishes is by coming to Mexico. You could also read my posts in this blog. That comes pretty close!

Ultimate Guide To Tacos | My Heart Of Mexico

Myth #2 – Mexico is one big, hot desert

A big saguaro cactus standing in the middle of the desert is a Mexican cliché, but those are only found in the Sonoran desert, way up in the north of the country. The rest of Mexico is a patchwork of a dozen ecosystems, including pine forests, tropical rainforests, mountain glaciers, and deserts too, of course. If you are planning to visit, don’t assume the weather will always be hot, dry and sunny. You don’t want to get caught in freezing rain wearing shorts and sandals! Believe me, that happens to tourists a lot.

Safe Places To Visit In Mexico
Landscape of the Baja peninsula, in northwest Mexico

Myth #3 – Mexican people are all dark-skinned

Not all Mexicans have dark skin. In fact, Mexicans are the descendants of a mix of Native American, European, African and Asian people, so the population is actually very mixed. There are Mexicans with dark hair, skin, and eyes, and there are other Mexicans with white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. I have dark skinned relatives and blonde, blue-eyed relatives. You really can’t tell if someone is Mexican just by looking at them!

10 Myths About Mexico That Need To Die | My Heart Of Mexico
My sisters and I posing with our very white cousin. Mexicans come in all colors!

Myth #4 – Mexicans are all poor and starving

Many people assume that Mexico is so dirt poor that millions of people are dying to jump across the border. There are millions of poor people in Mexico, of course, but there are also millions of Mexicans who own homes and cars, go to universities, travel the world, shop in malls, and have jobs. I won’t lie, the gap between rich and poor is certainly wide, but the point is that not everyone in Mexico wants to sell fruit in a street corner across the border. In fact, there are now more Mexicans returning to Mexico than leaving for the US. How about that?

10 Myths About Mexico That Need To Die | My Heart Of Mexico
Mexico City is one of the world’s great cities, just like New York, London, and Tokyo.

Myth #5 – Mexico is a death trap

The media loves to tell horror stories, and you hear news of drug cartels and violence everywhere you go. However, the boring truth is that you won’t get shot at or killed the minute you set foot in the country. Really, you won’t. Millions of tourists visit Mexico everyday and return safely to their homes, and millions of Mexicans go about their daily lives without anything bad happening to them. It’s true there are dangerous places, but they are very specific and it’s almost impossible to fall into one of those on a family vacation. We’re really not living through the zombie apocalyse here.

How To Stay Safe In Mexico | My Heart Of Mexico

Do you agree or have a different view on Mexico? If so, leave a comment!

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70 thoughts on “5 Myths About Mexico That Need to Die

  1. Hi Fabiola, all the myths you wrote about are exactly the way we think about Mexico. I love this blog and your mission to set us straight. Hearing about other countries and how people live around the world is so important. I am now following bloggers in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Europe, Hawaii and I’m so pleased to add you to the list. Posts like this can only unite – thanks for starting this blog.

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  2. Thank you for writing this post! The word needs to get out there that Mexico, as a whole, is not full of violence, like the media would like to have us believe. I love Mexico and will continue to tell people the truth about my experiences there, and I will continue to go back to your beautifully diverse country.

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  3. I really like this Fabiola! I’m looking forward to learning more about our southern neighbors from you! I think its important to have an accurate understanding about our world. Your blog look and reads very friendly. Great job!!

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  4. I will admit to knowing very little about Mexico but I know that following mainstream media usually leads you wrong. I loved reading your post but I will admit to loving the American approximation of Mexican food, though I’m sure the real thing is even better. It’s good to set stereotypes straight and not always easy! Thanks!

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  5. I love going on “tours,” of foreign countries based on their cuisine. Some of my favorite Mexican dishes do indeed look more familiar on a European plate, though the flavors are deeper, richer, and more reminiscent of the richness the proximity to the equator tends to bring to food.

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  6. You cut straight to the heart of it! The media prsents us with one view but as you say, so many people go about their daily lives without encountering danger there. My dad hitchhiked to Mexico way back in the day, I think it sounds fascinating and I love reading about it.

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  7. This was a great read! I love Mexican culture and Mexico is an amazing country. My step-father’s family comes from Mexico, and, when I was a child, we often took trips there. It’s an amazing place.

    Thank you for sharing with us!

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  8. You really knew what you were doing with this blog! I am so impressed that you just started and gathered such a following. Great titles!! Here I was doing it all on my own and I am so glad I decided to network with bloggers. Such a learning experience. Media is very dramatic and in the US we forget how big Mexico is – diverse in all aspects.

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  9. I think part of the problem is that in the USA we only hear the negative stories about Mexico on the news (and a lot of other countries for that matter). So then we get this negative perception of the country. But every place has good AND bad. I enjoy reading all the great things about Mexico through your blog! Also, I have only been to Cozumel and Costa Maya, but I hope to one day visit Mexico City.

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  10. This post is AWESOME!! I’m really happy you decided to put this out there! Every point you made is seriously something some people have started to think! My family is a melting pot so it’s very interesting to see what people believe about different cultures that couldn’t be far from true!

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  11. Buenas!
    I am a fellow blogger passionate about Latin America. I rather like your pieces and ideals. I would love to visit Mexico, I’ve been always been fascinated by your country. I’ve written similar articles on Honduras.
    Continue blogging!
    Orale compañera!

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  12. I don’t live in Mexico, but I am Mexican. Here’s another myth: not all of us are fluent in Spanish. Due to some family dynamics, I actually don’t know much Spanish (anymore). Never judge a book, right? Thanks for clearing up some common misconceptions.

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    1. Yes, I’ve heard that’s pet peeve for many Mexican Americans – people thinking you’re all fluent in Spanish. I know some of my nieces and nephews who were born there can hardly speak a word of Spanish! lol! You’re right. People should never make any assumptions.

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  13. One thing that surprised me about Mexico was when we were flying into Cancun, we flew over a very heavy jungle. I had no idea that there were jungles in Mexico. I thought it was all desert. My travel experiences to Mexico have all been positive.

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    1. lol 🙂 that’s exactly what I’m talking about! Cancun is in the Yucatan, and there’s plenty of jungle there, as well as in other parts of Mexico. I live in central Mexico, and there’s some pretty amazing pine forests here, where there’s even snow in the winter! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed yourself in Mexico and I hope you come back soon 🙂

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  14. I have never been to Mexico. But have to the border where one could cross over In Texas. I noticed people tend to walk or ride a bike most places they go. Instead of driving a car. The day spend shopping will be walking place to place. As the shops are real close together. It was hard to find any restroom. Most things I found to be cheaper. I know a couple of people who travel to buy cheap and sell the items at higher prices up north.

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    1. I have to say the border is a unique area, quite different from the rest of Mexico and the USA. In the border, people cross back and forth to shop, work, or go to school, and people often speak a mix of English and Spanish. I’ve been to border cities several times in my life, and it always strikes me how different it seems from Mexico City, where I live, or from other American cities I’ve visited.

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      1. It is an experience I will never forget. I am happy to have a wonderful group of Mexican and Spanish friends to help me learn that things are not always what they seem in neighboring countries.

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  15. You made me want to visit! My daughter spent a few weeks in Mexico to take a college class (a few years back) and learn to speak Spanish. She lived with a family there and loved it.

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  16. You are so right that most Americans have a visual in mind with Mexican people, I have worked with many so I know it is far from true. I have learned alot about Mexican culture because my daughter in law is Mexican from Mexico and I love the traditions like New Year’s in particular.

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    1. Yes, it’s very true there’s a stereotype concerning Mexicans. Although, to be fair, in Mexico there’s also a stereotype concerning Americans. In my opinion, we really need to get to know each other better. Now more than ever, perhaps.

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  17. This post couldn’t be truer!! There are scary places all over the U.S., doesn’t make us all jump up and move or refuse to visit those states or places!! I would love you to share some “real Mexican” recipes, my family would absolutely LOVE it!!

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  18. Love this article! My husband is from Mexico and the assumptions people make are simply ridiculous! We have a house there so I may be living there one day and I think it will be great!

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  19. My daughters and I went on a cruise a couple of years ago and Mexico was one port of call, Cozamel. To be honest I wasn’t expecting the best surroundings but to my welcome surprise it was really nice, clean, and we had a great time. I never felt in danger. I would gladly return there. I agree with your post. I’m from the USA.

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    1. Glad to know you had a great time in Cozumel. The Yucatan -Cozumel, Cancun, Playa del Carmen- is one of the best places in Mexico to visit. You should go back there soon and visit a few other places 🙂

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