By no means can I declare myself a know-it-all to prepare anyone for a trip to Mexico, BUT there are a few things I think would be good to know in advance, as general culture of where you are going to. So, from someone who grew up in Mexico, and travels frequently there, but now lives in another country, I give you:
10 things you need to know before traveling to Mexico:
1. Do bring your passport and a valid visa. Unless you are a Mexican citizen (and have a way to prove it) you will need these to get into the country. Also don't forget to bring money. It is of utmost importance when traveling.
2. The language spoken in Mexico is not called Mexican. It is called Spanish. Although there are other 62 languages spoken by indigenous people, spanish is the most common one. A few other languages are: Nahuatl, Mixtec and Zapotec. In Nahuatl, "Mexico" means "Place at the center of the moon"
3. People in Mexico are very friendly and if you get introduced to a complete stranger they would usually kiss you on the cheek. This is true for social gatherings, not so much for business meetings, since all the kissing takes a lot of time. If you come from the U.S, you will be called a gringo. You will be called a gringo if you are blond or white or look from another country even though you are not from the US. Guero is also another term. This means "blondie". Guerita means "Pretty blondie girl, I like you"
4. The full name of the country is "The United Mexican States" there are 31 States and one Federal District: Mexico City. The largest city in the world, demographically speaking.
5. It is true what they say about the water, do not drink it off the tab unless you want to get the allmighty Moctezuma's Revenge, but bottled water is ok. Watch out for ice too, it's made of water, you know.
6. You’ll find that pretty much everything is “laid back” in Mexico as compared to the United States, so be expecting it. Mexicans are not as concerned with exact times and deadlines as people in the United States, and they tend to be late on a pretty regular basis, so don't get too impatient.
7. Don't bring any traveler's checks, no one accepts them except for hotels and banks. You may want to exchange your money to pesos before getting there because even though almost everyone will accept your dollars (If you ask nicely) they won't give you a good rate, and you don't want to walk around with nothing but dollars on you, come on...
8. Independence day is September 16, and not Cinco de Mayo. Although beer runs freely on both dates. NOTE: The independence of Mexico was from Spain, not from the U.S.A, hence the spanish speaking dudes.
9. Lunch is a two hour event. Sometimes starting at 1:30 or 2 pm. It is the biggest meal of the day and dinner is a light meal, almost always very late, at 8 or 9 pm
10. There is more than one way to say "Hello", for example, to your friends you may want to greet with a "Que onda, Guey" (this translates to: "Dude! What's up?") where "Guey" (sounds like "Whey") is a word for buddy or dude but some people will take offense to it, so be careful who you use it for.
Another one can be: "Quibo?" (key-ooo-bow) this means just Hi.
If you have a chance to go to Mexico, please do it! remember that not only the beaches are pretty, but there is so much history, museums, art and pyramids to see. I am proud to be part of this rich culture!