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WELCOME MESSAGE Welcome to Mexico! We are really glad to welcome you to our country, which now is yours too. We hope that your experience in Mexico will have a positive impact on your life and on yourself. It is precisely in this experience where we want to collaborate. We want you to explore, discover and live Mexico, and for that you can count on us. We will strive to make it the best experience for you. We invite you to take part in our local committee’s activities, for you have now become a very important member of it. Feel free to share with us any experience you have as well as any information about your country, family, friends, etc. We want to get to know you and work with you! An internship with AIESEC is a life-changing experience and we are happy you decided to carry out yours in Mexico.

Our best regards, AIESEC Veracruz

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Volcano Pico de Orizaba, Orizaba, Veracruz.

ABOUT MEXICO Official Name: United States of Mexico Capital: Mexico City Time Zone: UTC -6 to UTC -8 & UTC -5 to UTC -7 Government: Democratic Republic President in course: Enrique Peña Nieto Population: 116 901 761 habitants (2012) Independence (from Spain): September 16th 1810 to September 27th 1821

Area: 1.972.550 km2 Religion: Roman Catholic (89%), Protestant (6%) Others (5%) Currency: Mexican Pesos (MXN) Voltage: 120V AC, 60Hz Telephone code: +521 Measuring system: metric

Borderlines •North: United States of America •South: Belize & Guatemala. •East: Atlantic Ocean. •West: Pacific Ocean.

Mexico is divided into 31 states & one Federal District, Mexico’s capital, Mexico City. Mexico is a country with very diverse weather conditions. Geographically speaking, the country is divided into two zones separated by Tropic of Cancer.. This line divides the country into two zones whose weather conditions are clearly differentiated. If not for the presence of mountains and oceans we would only have to climate conditions, tropical and temperate. The average temperature for the country is 19°C.

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Mexico city


Northern Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas) This region is known for its extreme weather conditions and characterized by its deserts, nature reserves and rugged mountain ranges. Some cities there are key industrial and business centers. Great places to visit are: La barranca del Cobre, Chihuahua; and El pinacote, Sonora.

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El Pinacate, Sonora


The BajĂ­o Region (Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, QuerĂŠtaro) Historic states in a traditional silver-mining region at first inhabited by the Chichimec. It is now one of the most prosperous zones in Latin America.

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Central Mexico (Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico State, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz) Center of the country, surrounding the capital city, it is one of the most populated areas of Mexico.

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El tajĂ­n, Papantla, Veracruz.

Pacific Coast (Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca) Tropical beaches on Mexico’s southern coast as well as cities with an old town feel. It is also home to the largest monarch butterfly reserve in the world.

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Sierra Chincua, Michoacán.

Yucatán Peninsula (Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatán) Jungle and impressive Mayan archaeological sites, along with the Caribbean coast, as well as a sub-aquatic sculpture park near the reefs in Cancun.

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Cancún, Quintana Roo.

ABOUT XALAPA (and surroundings)

Xalapa has been a culturally infamous region since pre-Hispanic times. Its privileged geographical location enclosed between the Pescados river ravine to the south, the Actopan river valley and the Cofre de Perote Mountain to the west, and the south eastern plains where the EX-Hacienda El Lencero is located, makes it a welcoming resting point between the mountains and the coastal plains. The first settlements in Xalapa were established in the foothills of the Macuiltépetl hill, meaning fifth hill or hill of Macuiltépetl in Náhuatl. According to the Mendocino Codex, Xallapan dates back to the 13th century: “place of springs in the sand”, that grouped four localities which were predominantly Teochichimeca and Totonac. These town lands still exist to date in the present day urban nomenclature: Xallitic, Techacapan, Tecuanapan and Tlalmecapan.

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Xalapa, Veracruz.

HISTORICAL SITES Governmental Palace

Located on the main street Enríquez. A neoclassical construction dating to 1855 that was constructed on what was the first parish of the Immaculate Conception, constructed in 1641. A side entrance boasts a mural painted by Mario Orozco Rivera. Preparatory College of Xalapa (Librado Basilio Library) Located in the City Centre on Juárez, between Lucío and Revolución. Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm. A neoclassic architectural construction founded in 1843 and home to one of the oldest and most complete libraries on a national level. It boasts a compilation of 17,631 titles, including original works by 16th & 17th century European authors.

San José Church

Located on Xalapeños Ilustres. Built between the 16th century and 18th centuries in a Baroque style with strong Mudéjar architectural influences. From its atrium one of the most picturesque views of Xalapa can be appreciated.

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Callejón del Diamante (Diamond Alley)

Located between the main street of Enriquez and Juarez. One of the more popular corners of Xalapa because of its bohemian ambiance; a meeting place for local artists and crafts traders, great cafés and restaurants and a warm youthful atmosphere. Named so after an urban legend.

Barrio de Xallitic

Located in the city centre between Juárez and Lucío. Located under the Lucío Street Bridge it is one of the oldest and original town lands of Xalapa. It was formed around a natural spring which became public laundry areas in the 18th century.

El Beaterio Church

Located on Zaragoza. Dates from the 18th century but was renovated in the early 20th century by the Jesuits, who took over semi-abandoned premises and dedicated the reconstruction to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Callejón del diamante, Xalapa, Veracruz.

Metropolitan Cathedral

Located on the corner of the main street Enríquez and Revolución. Constructed in 1773 and modified during the 19th century, its architecture is a fusion of baroque and neo-gothic styles. The remains of Saint Rafael Guízar y Valencia, who provided great support to the people of Veracruz during the Revolution, are preserved within.

Jesús te Ampare Alley

Located between Xalapeños Ilustres y Zamora. A romantic cobblestone alleyway across the road from the San José Church; home to the regional offices for the National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH).

Patio Muñoz

Located on Calle Pino Suárez s/n. A typical neighborhood construction from the 19th century, which was restored as a cultural and recreational center. This ancient patio hosts traditional son jarocho music and dance workshops and performances.

El Calvario Church

Located on the corner of Revolución and Melchor Ocampo. A temple dating back to the ancient town land of Xallitic, which was renovated in Baroque style during the 18th century as a temple to commemorate the passion of Christ in Golgotha. Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

Metropolitan Cathedral, Xalapa, Veracruz.


Located in the University Area. During the 19th century, a damn construction to generate energy was sponsored by the local textile factories “La Fama Industrial” and “El Dique”. Later in the 1950s as part of the creation of the University area this damn was converted into three lakes and pedestrian paths were built all the way around them, an ideal location for cycling, jogging and walking in the city.

Parque Juárez

Located on main street Enríquez in the heart of the Historic City Centre. The city’s central garden located beside the Government Palace and home to the city’s cultural centre “Ágora de la Ciudad”. From it you can get some of the best views of the city.

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Parque Los Berros

Located on Hidalgo and Díaz Mirón. Los Berros is one of the city’s oldest parks, and was referred to by many writers such as the German explorer, Alejandro Von Humboldt (1803), who was marvelled by the vegetation. Since the 18th century this park has been a popular recreational area for local families at the weekend. Paseo los Lagos, Xalapa, Veracruz.

Parque ecológico Macuiltepetl, Xalapa, Veracruz.

Parque Ecológico Macuiltépetl

Located on the hill featured in the city’s emblem, Macuiltépetl protected a small settlement called Macuilxochitlán or “Place of the god of flowers” at the bottom of this hill. Today it is one of Xalapa’s most important forest reserves, with 40 acres dedicated to the conservation of species native to the region. The viewing point is an excellent location to observe hawks, mockingbirds, and other migratory birds that visit this park such as the osprey. On the peak of the hill a Fauna Museum is located with an excellent exhibit of species native to the area. Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

Parque Los Tecajetes

An ecological project dedicated to the conservation of flora native to the mist forest. It is located on a wide hill of the same name and intriguing forest paths lead down hill to a natural spring that emerges from inside the park, which has been skilfully harnessed to construct aqueducts, ponds and canals that tastefully meander through sculptural creations in the park.

JardĂ­n BotĂĄnico Clavijero

The botanical gardens house a scientific collection of regional fauna for research and conservation purposes. Public awareness of biological diversity is one of this centres principal tasks through educational activities and promotion. Around 6,000 examples belonging to 700 plant species are exhibited throughout 8 hectares of gardens. A formal garden section exhibits Mexican ornamental plants and an important mountain mist forest section includes exhibits of evergreens, marangolas and forest ferns.

Parque Natura

An extensive park located within the protected nature reserve known as El Tejar- Garnica. It was created in an aim to offer a management plan for this important ecological reserve and protected green belt just 5 km from the city centre. The 80 hectares have cycling and pedestrian paths and viewing towers to observe epiphytes, bromeliads and orchids native to the mist forest, and a great variety of birds, including native eagles, falcons, and parrots. An ideal recreational location for educational activities, sports, cycling, walking, bird watching, and there is also a playground for small children.

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Parque los Tecajetes, Xalapa, Veracruz.

MUSEUMS, THEATRES AND GALLERIES Xalapa Museum of Anthropology (MAX)

One of Mexico’s most important anthropological museums that houses the largest collection of archaeological pieces from the Gulf of Mexico, including the Olmec, Huastec, and Totonac cultures. It boasts an archive of more than twenty five thousand pieces.

Interactive Museum of Xalapa (MIX)

Built within a privileged protected extensive green area, the museum consists of six thematic areas; a toddler play area with artistic and intellectual development orientated activities. The ecology hall and other halls which are dedicated to the Human Being, Science, Art and Communications encourage to interact with multimedia equipment and awaken an interest in various disciplines. This museum also has a planetarium and digital theatre. Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

Xalapa Museum of Anthropology, Xalapa, Veracruz.

State Theatre (Teatro del Estado)

As well as theatre, dance and other shows the state theatre houses the Xalapa Symphonic Orchestra (OSX), who perform Friday evenings most of year round. (For further information on OSX programmes: Ph: 8180834).

Carlos Fuentes Library

A modern spacious public library with a comprehensive collection which is catalogued by title, author and subject. The various halls are designated areas for consultation, reading, special collections, encyclopaedias, high school text books, computing, and journals. It also has a great roof top cafĂŠ with one of the most spectacular views of the city. Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

Pinacoteca Diego Rivera

This gallery exhibits works of art by renowned contemporary artists and houses a permanent exhibition of paintings by Diego Rivera.

State Theatre, Xalapa, Veracruz.

Ágora de la Ciudad

Ágora de la Ciudad is one of the most important cultural centres in the state that exhibits the great variety of artistic and cultural works by local Xalapeños. A modern construction with ramps for wheelchair access, an art gallery, book shop, cinema, bar and café with terraces with fabulous views of the south side of the city. Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

Los Lagos Cultural Centre

Los Lagos Cultural Centre has an art gallery, workshops and classes in painting, yoga, flamenco dancing, capoiera, circus arts, among others all year round.

Xalapa’s Recreational Centre (Centro Recreativo Xalapeño)

A popular spacious colonial style building in the heart of the city centre. Traditional folklore and tango dance classes, toast masters, exhibitions, conferences and theatre for children and adults are held all year round.

Ágora de la ciudad, Xalapa, Veracruz.

NAOLINCO Naolinco is a small village located 28kms north-east from Xalapa at 1540 meters above sea level. Its name comes from Náhuatl and means ‘’the four seasons’’. It is in a mountainous zone and has a very rich Spanish heritage that is shown in its casonas (old colonial houses) and narrow streets. Naolinco is a town of shoemakers. Many people go there to buy shoes and other leather articles such as jackets, belts, hats and trousers as well as accessories such as wallets and purses. You can enjoy a chilly afternoon walking around, looking for something to buy in this charming town. Foggy afternoons and the drizzle in Naolinco awaken nostalgia and romanticism. Visiting Naolinco is like travelling through time, for people’s lifestyle resembles an ancient colonial village. This is evidenced by the festivities it holds every year, being La Cantanda and La Danza the two most important. La Cantada is held on the night of November 1st; that night, groups of people wander around Naolinco singing chants about the dead in front of the altars Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

families prepare for their beloved ones. The chants are not sad though; their intention is to remember all those who have gone before us and to honor them. La Danza is held from September 21st to October 2nd, and it consists of dances simulating the war between Moors and Christians, another clear example of Naolinco’s Spanish heritage. For this occasion, people wear attractive costumes and masks. One of the best places Naolinco has is its viewing point in El Carretero, from where you can see the region and two beautiful waterfalls that are part of Actopan river. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to see Xalapa surrounded by the mountains Citlaltépetl (Pico de Orizaba) and Nauhcampatépetl (Cofre de Perote). Another place not to be missed is La Lomita, another viewing point from where you can see the village and part of the region from a different perspective than that from El Carretero. Naolinco’s cuisine is tasty. The two main dishes are mole and chiles rellenos; but it also offers desserts such as stuffed figs and milk sweets. Naolinco, Veracruz.

JALCOMULCO Jalcomulco is a municipality in Veracruz, Mexico, founded in 1825. It is located in central zone of the State of Veracruz, about 29 km (18 mi), from State Capital, XalapaIts name stems from Nahuatl language: Xalkomolko (Xalli, sand; Komol, Casserole or hole; and ko, in. (In the corner of the sand). The agriculture in the region produces principally: Maize, coffee, sugarcane, and mango. It also produces cattle and poultry. In the congregation of St. Mary Tatetla white clay is used for making handicrafts; in Tacotalpa palm is used to make fans and mats; and in Jalcomulco straw is used to make chiquihuite de otate. During May Jalcomulco holds a celebration in honor of San Juan Bautista, Patron saint of the town. Jalcomulco’s cuisine is well known for its “acamaya” (giant river prawn, which is prepared in green sauce or enchipotlado), other recommended dishes to try are crucetas, an elongated cactus softer consistency that nopal, these cacti are prepared in dry chili or in a stew with egg; as well as izote blossom tamales, characteristic of this region. Since early 1990s ecotourism has been an important part of the economy of the region, with more than a dozen of hotels and professional dealers of adventure travel. Its varied topography has made this place ideal place for river tubing or “rafting” for climbing and “rappelling” because it has many hills and interesting canyons like, the Tuzamapan Canyon, Chicabaxtla and Mount Pizaltepec, where you can find thearchaeological remains of “Cotlamani”, “El cerro de la mesa de Olvera”, Mount Boludo, Acapan Glen, etc. One of the best whitewater rivers in all of Mexico, the Rio Antigua, flows through the town and is commercially rafted. Other activities to practice in town are: Rappel, climbing, hiking, tyrolean crossing, mountain biking, landscape photography, temazcal, Etc. There is a hill in the middle of the mountain that can only be accessed on foot known as “Acuamali”. It’s a popular tourist site as the trek to it is filled with natural wonders and glimpses of local flora and fauna.

Jalcomulco, Veracruz.

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XICO Xico is a city located in the central part of the state of Veracruz. It produces coffee, tropical fruit, wine, handicrafts, and other products. Its name comes from the Nahuatl words Xicotl, Xicochimalco (Nest of jicotes). It is 25 km from state capital Xalapa. The fair begins July 22nd celebrations start early in the month, carrying out various activities, such as the “Bringing of the Flowers”, “The carpet”, “The Xiqueñada” etc.. On July 19, the entire main street is covered with a carpet made from colored sawdust, for each block, the designs change. At twelve o’clock, the lights that have been placed in advance, light the place and St. Mary Magdalene Curch. On July 22nd the road is mostly fenced in, while bulls are released that can weigh up to 500 kg, to the delight of the audience, you can enter to “torearlos”. Iconic cuisine in the area includes “Mole Xiqueño”, a sauce prepared with many different ingredients with a sweet taste, and “Xonequei” a bean soup with corn dough balls and flavored with a special heart-shaped leaf herb.

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Xico, Veracruz.

COATEPEC A trip where history, architecture, nature, cuisine and coffeescented blend together. Coatepec, a beautiful colonial city, located just 8 kms from Xalapa, with weather ideal to grow coffee. Its name comes from Náhuatl coatl (snake) and tépetl (hill): Hill of snakes. Since August 17 2006, Coatepec became Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town). A PM is a town that has several symbolic characteristics, legends, history, important facts and other aspects that give it MAGIC, which is present in each one of its socio-cultural manfestations and that are a great opportunity for tourism nowadays. Coatepec is part of the group of over 30 Mexican towns that hold charm and mysticism. Coatepec has the privilege of being located in one of the four Mexican states with the richest biodiversity. Besides its generous vegetation, its varied topography offers spectacular glens, caves, rivers and waterfalls ideal for practicing trekking, mountain biking, mountain walks, camping, rappel, zip lining and horse riding. Coatepec’s downtown invites us to walk through its streets, admiring its architecture, characterized by high tiled roofs, wide eaves, central courtyards and wrought iron windows, and of course its famous orchid greenhouses. The wide variety of fragrances that parades along the streets demonstrates the rich cuisine of the City of Coffee. When the fog reaches the floor, several scents such as that of roasted coffee, banana and bread baked in wood-fire oven emerge. Powered by: AIESEC in Veracruz

Coatepec, Veracruz.

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Booklet xalapa