Au Pair Country & Culture Highlight: Mexico

Au Pair Country & Culture Highlight: Mexico

As the most populous Spanish-speaking nation, Mexico is a country rich in culture. Mexico is also the birthplace of mariachi music and home to foods such as barbacoa, mole, tamales, avocados and the ever-important cocoa bean! The strong cultural, economic and demographic ties between the United States and Mexico make Mexican Au Pairs a favorite pick of many host families.

Let's explore Mexican skills and attributes that may be important to you as a host family:

Country Facts: Mexico has a population of 107,029,000 people and Mexico City is the nation's capital. In addition to Spanish some of the most popular languages in the country are Mayan and other indigenous languages.

English: In Mexico, public education includes compulsory English classes from primary to secondary, but the content is very basic. On the other hand, private education tends to include English starting in kindergarten. Either way, it is very common to take extracurricular English classes to improve language skills. Since Mexico is a neighboring country, they are exposed to the English language through music, movies and TV series.

Driving: A driver's license can be obtained at the age of 16. In most Mexican states, it is necessary to pass a practical and written test to get a driver's license. In Mexico it is common for each family member to have a small car, which means au pairs are normally driving every day by the age of 18 (or even before) to get to school. This might not apply to those living in big cities like Mexico City where public transportation is more efficient and practical. Au pairs from Mexico are likely to be used to much smaller vehicles and may find American cars, trucks, and SUVs to be intimidating when they first start to drive in the US.

Communication Style: Mexican au pairs tend to be family-oriented, affectionate and hardworking, and feel as if their host family is their new family. They put a high value on taking care of their host children and make education a priority.

Cooking: Mexicans work around their eating schedule. This traditional Mexican eating style can be traced back to Spain. Typically, the Mexican diet is rich in complex carbohydrates, which are provided mainly by corn and corn products (usually tortillas, present at almost every meal), beans, rice, and breads.

Portion sizes and meal times in Mexican culture are different than our usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While our hefty meal is dinner, Mexicans eat small portions during dinner time. Lunch is the biggest meal in the Mexican culture; it's a leisurely time to talk with friends and family. While Americans may be experienced with the tradition of Mexican food served in the U.S., there is a vast menu of Yucatecan cuisine that Mexico has to offer.

Highlight: Mexican culture is very diverse - they're justly renowned for their love of color and frequent fiestas but are also philosophical folk, to whom timetables are less important thansimpatía (empathy). You will rarely find Mexicans less than courteous; they're often positively charming, and they know how to please their guests.

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