As a country it draws on a diverse cultural heritage. From the 16th-century conquistador, to the modern world which has seen its capital city grow and expand into one of the biggest urban sprawls in the world.
For an insight into what gets Mexicans excited and reaching for the tequila and tacos, the Barbican Centre presents Hecho en Mexico (Made In Mexico) on 6 and 7 September - a festival of Mexican music and arts sponsored by Old El Paso.
The weekend promises something for all tastes and ages. On each day from 12.30pm to 7.15pm there will be a programme of free stage performances and activities throughout the centre, including Mexican bands, DJs, children's activities, workshops and dances, culminating in a carnival procession around the Barbican on Sunday afternoon. Mexican food will be available throughout the festival weekend at Old El Paso stalls in the foyer.
Headline concerts take place in the Barbican Hall on 6 and 7 Sept: Astrid Hadad y su Tarzanes and Dinastia Hidalguense, 6 Sept at 7.30 pm, will give British audiences a chance to see Astrid Hadad, Mexico's very own queen of kitsch perform in a night dedicated to rancheras - Mexico's songs of love and longing.
Son de Mexico on 7 Sept at 8pm is a unique encounter between three groups of the finest son musicians and dancers ("La Bamba" is a son track, for the unititiated). We have five pairs of tickets for the concert, which will be staged in a traditional style as a series of no-chords-barred improvised musical challenges between musicians such as La Negra Graciana and Guillermo Velazquez.
Cinema of Mexico will screen four of the most popular and recent Mexican productions: Two Crimes; Love in the Time of Hysteria; No Return Address and Like Water for Chocolate. We have tickets to be won for all of the above film screenings.
But without doubt the best way to experience Mexico is to go there. And now's your chance. We have a first prize on offer of a two-week holiday for two in the traditional Mexican fishing village of Puerto Moreles, 15 minutes' drive from either Cancun or Playa del Carmen. The winners will also receive a pair of tickets to Son de Mexico on 7 Sept and an Old El Paso goody bag containing a selection of OEP sauces, salsa tortillas, and nachips to help get them in the Mexican mood.
Four runners-up will each receive a pair of tickets to Son de Mexico on 7 Sept, and an Old El Paso goody bag. Sixteen pairs of tickets are also on offer for Cinema of Mexico (four pairs of tickets for each film).
To enter the prize draw, answer this question: What is the capital of Mexico?
Send your answers, on a postcard, along with your address and a daytime phone number, to: Eye/Hecho en Mexico Offer, Marketing Department, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS.
The winner of the holiday, Son de Mexico tickets and Old El Paso goody bag will be the first correct entry drawn from the post-bag from all correct entries received by 4 September. The next four correct entries picked out will each win a pair of tickets to Son de Mexico and an Old El Paso goody bag. The next 16 entries picked out from the postbag will each win a pair of tickets to see one of the four films in the Cinema of Mexico programme (four pairs of tickets per film) and an Old El Paso goody bag.
Usual Newspaper Publishing Rules Apply. Entrants must be UK residents and aged 18 or over. The holiday is provided by the Barbican Centre and Affinity Travel, Twickenham (0181-894 5787).The holiday package includes return flights for two people from Gatwick airport and two weeks' accommodation in a two-bedroom apartment in Puerto Moreles (self-catering). Insurance and internal connections within the UK and Mexico are not provided. The holiday is valid until 30 June 1998. Booking is subject to availability. All winners will be notified on Thursday 4 September.