Etiquette in Mexico

There are over 114 million people who live in Mexico.  The capital of Mexico is Mexico City and over 8 million people reside there.

Spanish is the number one language spoken, but there are over 50 indigenous languages.  Mexicans do have knowledge of English, but it is in the best interest business travelers to learn the key phrases in Spanish, as it will help you establish rapport.

The United Mexican States are a federation of 31 free and sovereign states, which form a union that exercises a degree of jurisdiction over the Federal District and other territories. Each state has its own constitution, congress, and a judiciary branch, and its citizens directly vote for a governor for a six-year term, and representatives to their respective unicameral state congresses for three-year terms.

Over 90 percent of Mexicans  are Roman Catholics and religion plays a huge role in their every day lives. About 6 percent of the population practice Protestantism and the remainder follow beliefs from Indian cultures.

The currency used is the peso.

Greetings Etiquette

Mexican men will shake hands when greeting each other, but women will pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder. If they are close, they may hug or kiss each other on the cheek. Be prepared for hug by the second or third meeting.

As you enter the room at a party, give a slight bow, greet, and shake hands with each individual. It is also expected that you will shake hands again as you leave.

As titles are important, be sure to address a person using their title only. People without titles can be addressed simply as Mr., Mrs., or Miss.

Conversations in Mexico take place at a much closer physical distance than in the United States and pulling away from your conversation partner may be regarded as unfriendly or rude.

Do not be surprised if someone tries to catch your attention with a “psst psst” sound, as this is common and not considered rude.