Internet Field Trip: Celebrate Mexico
This internet field trip introduces students to the cultures and history of Mexico.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
"Cinco de Mayo" — it translates literally as the "Fifth of May" — is a very important day for Mexico and Mexicans. The holiday offers an opportunity to learn about Mexico using the resources on the Web.
The significance of Cinco de Mayo lies in the mid-19th century, when the French occupied Mexico — which had been a republic since 1823 — and hoped to turn it into an empire under Napoleon III. Though poorer and ill-supplied, Mexico's army defeated the French on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo became a holiday to celebrate Mexico's unity and its desire to be free of foreign conquerors.
Start an exploration of Mexico's cultural geography at the site of the Mexican Tourism Board, where you can get an overview of the country's past through its archeological zones or learn about its cities and states today.
Mexico's diversity has roots in the indigenous peoples who settled there before European colonization, such as the Aztecs and the Toltec. Inhabiting what is now southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, the Maya were the first group of people in the New World to keep historical records. Learn more about the civilizations of ancient Mexico on The Ancient Web.
Mexico's rich culture can be understood through its painting, literature, dance, and other areas of everyday life. This culture has become part of the mosaic of the United States.