Human Landscapes of Mexico

Mexico is an enormous and diverse country, with approximately 120 million people living in 770,000 square miles (2 million sq km). Modern Mexicans, as well as prehistoric cultures, have been reshaping the land to their needs for centuries, much of that impact visible from aerial and satellite photography—from pyramids and canals to resorts, enormous cities, ports, farms, aquaculture, and more. Over the past week, I took a virtual tour with Google Earth, and wanted to share some of these snapshots of the human landscape in Mexico. See also, earlier tours: Human Landscapes of Canada, and the American Southwest.

1. Neighborhoods in Naucalpan, a city just northwest of Mexico City.

2. Mexcaltitan de Uribe, a man-made island-city in part of the Laguna Grande de Mexcaltitán.

3. Fields among rolling hills in El Volador, Veracruz.

4. Part of the Planta de Energía Geotérmica Cerro Prieto, near Nuevo León, Baja California.

5. Pipes, canals, and other infrastructure of the Planta de Energía Geotérmica Cerro Prieto, near Nuevo León, Baja California.

6. Delicias, Chihuahua.

7. A bend in Río Lacantún, Chiapas.

8. A shipwreck in Magdalena Bay.

9. A village near El Naranjit, Tabasco.

10. A field, clear-cut, then planted, in Michoacán.

11. New housing cuts into the forest near Cancun.

12. Bluefin tuna pens in the Pacific, near Ensenada.

13. Xicotencatl Park, at lower right, inside a dormant volcanic caldera, in Mexico City.

14. A submerged church in a reservoir near Jalapa del Marqués, Oaxaca.

15. Comalcalco Pyramids, a Mayan archaeological site in the state of Tabasco.

16. East Bus Station, Mexico City.

17. A grid of streets in Mexico City.

18. Farm fields near Zamora, Michoacán.

19. Farm fields surround a hill near Tlahuelilpan.

20. Central Mérida.

21. Farm fields near El Triunfo, Chiapas.

22. A church buried under lava (lower right), Iglesia de San Juan Parangaricutiro, near Angahuan, Michoacán.

23. Trees cut into plots for a planned development on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, in Quintana Roo.

24. Farm fields and houses in Campo Menonita, Chihuahua.

25. Farms inside a caldera near Valle de Santiago.

26. Panteón Guadalajara, a cemetery in Guadalajara.

27. Lines cut into the forest near San Miguel de Cozumel.

28. Archaeological ruins of Paquime, Casas Grandes. The site is attributed to the Mogollon culture, built around the 14th century.

29, Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas.

30. Graffiti inside a volcano, Cerro Prieto, near Michoacán de Ocampo, Baja California.