A map of Mexico, showing the main locations in which Latin Link members are serving, including: Mexico City, Puebla and the Highlands of Vera Cruz.

  • Population: 118 million

  • Area: 1,972,550 km2

  • Climate: Rainforests (S), volcanic central plains, and dry (N)

  • Capital: Mexico City

  • Currency: Mexican Peso

  • People: 65% Mixed Race, 19% Amerindian, 14% Euro-American, 1% Arab, 1% Other

  • Main Language: Spanish

  • Religion: 95% Christian (8% evangelical), 5% Other faiths/none

Geography and climate

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Mexico is Latin America’s third largest country and the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking nation. It has a wide range of topography and rainfall, from the arid northern plateau, across the central volcanic plateau, and down to the mountains and rain forests of the south.

Around 79 per cent of the population lives in urban centres, and 21 per cent in rural areas. Only 10 per cent of the country is arable.

Politics and economics

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Mexico has the second-largest economy in Latin America and is a major oil exporter. Tourism, agriculture and manufacture are also important. But prosperity remains a dream for many Mexicans; rural areas are often neglected and huge shanty towns ring the cities. More than half the workforce is in the informal economy.

The once dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party returned to power in 2012 with a clear win in presidential elections by Enrique Peña Nieto. Having promised major changes to the way Mexico is run, Mr Peña Nieto has pushed some ground-breaking reforms. But problems persist with gang violence, corruption and weak state authority, feeding growing public disenchantment.

High levels of violence continue to destabilise some areas. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in drug-related gang violence in the past decade. Powerful cartels control the trafficking of drugs from South America to the US. And security forces ordered to crack down on them have been accused of abusing their power and acting with impunity.

People and society

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Mexico is very varied ethnically. Overall, a large majority of Mexicans are classified as Mestizos, meaning that they identify with elements of both indigenous and Hispanic cultures.

The state recognises 62 indigenous people groups (over 14 per cent of the population). It officially grants them autonomy, and protects their cultures and languages.

Aside from Spanish colonists, many Europeans also emigrated to Mexico in the 19th and 20th centuries. During the 1970s and 1980s Mexico opened its doors to immigrants from Latin America, mainly political refugees. Nowadays the country has the world’s largest population of ex-pat American citizens and has seen increasing numbers of immigrants from Spain in the last 10 years.

Nevertheless, due to a high emigration rate, the balance of migration in Mexico is negative, with the great majority of Mexican emigrants tending to move to the USA (though this is declining).

Religion and the Church

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While official statistics suggest that 95 per cent of the Mexican population are Christians, this is somewhat misleading. Only 8 per cent are evangelical. The remainder includes a mixture of forms of Catholic and indigenous Santeria practices, or the cult of the Holy Dead.

The Catholic church and institutionalised religion are allied to political influence in a nominally secular state. Religious identity (both Catholic and animist) is often expressed as a form of political or cultural identity, rather than spiritual practice. There is a significant amount of anti-Protestant sentiment, which forms the backdrop for evangelical witness.

Latin Link’s work in Mexico

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Our current team members are based in the city of Puebla, where they are involved in theological education, working within seminaries and local churches. They teach, write materials and offer counselling. They are also working with Mexican colleagues in the creation of ETAT (Aztec Trinitarian School of Theology) to equip Christian leaders in Mexico and further afield.

Mission opportunities in Mexico

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There are openings in leadership training, as well as in ministry among students and young people. Bible translation needs exist, and there are openings in Christian media. Applicants must be willing to study and learn Spanish well.

For more information, please see the Opportunities page of our International website (this will open a new tab).

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