Today we stop in the capital of México, Ciudad de México (or México City, for English-speakers ; ) One of the largest cities in the world, it is both the oldest city in the Americas as well as one of its most important financial centers. Full of personality, this friendly destination has vibrant colors, great parties, amazing food and tons of historical sights.
One of our local friends there is Claudia Hernandez, aka Clau – a Financial Planning and Business Analyst, with a Bachelor in Actuarial Sciences. Here she tells us more about her city and the incredible experiences she’s had as a curious traveler and local expert:
at Glorieta de las cibeles, Mexico City (the city is popular known as CDMX)
1. What makes your city unique?
Once upon a time, there was a tribe called Mexicas – they were a nomad warrior tribe, and of course they offered their services to some lords in the Mesoamerica area, but their main god, the god of war (Huitzilopochtli) told the leaders that the promised place to live at would be the place where they saw an eagle defeating a snake. They then walked arround 200 years but finally they found and eagle eating a snake on a nopal plant (cactus), so the promised place finally was reached. But there was a problem: the nopal plant was in a center of a lake; so the Mexicas built a structure called chinampas on the water. In order to build the city, that place was called Tenochititlan city, with waterways as streets. That city now is called Mexico City and yes, this 20 million population city is sinking and the eagle eating the snake on a nopal plant (on a lake) is the national emblem of México. As you can see, every inch of Mexico City has a tale to tell!
So what makes Mexico City Unique? Come discover it for yourself!
2. Tell us about why you became a local friend.
In my early twenties I had the chance to participate in this amazing project with a few friends, called Integrate Mexico, where we had the chance to help exchange students and expats to discover that other part of my beautiful country, the local part by doing monthly trips within the country, museum nights, parties and also providing housing. This experience made me fall in love even more not only with Mexico City but also with the whole country, and now I want to share that feeling with as much people as possible!
View from Latin Tower (Downtown), with French friends
3. What was your most memorable experience as a local friend?
During all these year s I’ve had the chance to be a local friend for many people around the world, I even had the chance to share a flat with some of them, each one of these experiences had been memorable but I think the best one was when I had the chance to show a personal part of me by introducing them with my family life, which is a big deal in Mexico, and made them feel at home away from home.
4. If you could highlight 3 awesome sights in your city, what would they be?
– The Plaza de la Constitución, more commonly known as the “Zócalo” is a must on any visitor’s list of things to do in México City. Within just a few blocks of the Zócalo, in all directions, are some of the city’s finest examples of city history, architecture and art. The Zócalo once contained the pyramids and palaces of Moctezuma and was the exact center of the Aztec empire.
– The colonial history comes to life up at the top of Chapultepec hill where you can tour Chapultepec Castle (now a National History Museum). This castle is in the middle of the biggest park in the city, and offers a amazing view of Reforma, the business part of the city.
– The National Museum of Anthropology is one of the world’s great museums, and could easily occupy a short vacation by itself – it’s not only the biggest but it’s also the most beautiful and full with history of the city.
Teotihuacan pyramids, another big highlight of México
5. Have you traveled much yourself? What have been your favorite travel experiences?
I’ve had the chance to live abroad when I was a teenager, this experience made me want to discover my own country – that’s when I joined the project, that not only gave me the chance to travel through all the country but I also had the chance to travel to Europe for almost two months, where I visited 15 cities within 4 countries – then I had the chance to visit friends that I met in Mexico, and experienced a local point of view in some of this cities. My favorite one was without a doubt Paris, since I not only lived at my friends’ place but I felt like I was at home.
6. If you could describe your city in one word, what would it be?
Mi casa es tu casa!
Downtown (Zocalo) view from Latin Tower
Do not miss the chance to have Clau as your amazing local friend in México City: you can book her here >>