Historians have found evidence of humans in the medical tourism hub of Mexico, going back more than 40,000 years. The first known society of ancient Mexico, however, was the Olmec civilization which was mainly settled in modern-day San Lorenzo and La Venta.Â The Mayans, considered by many to be the most accomplished of all pre-Columbine American civilizations, thrived here between 250 and 900 AD.Â They were responsible for the development of the calendar and a writing system.Â At the height of their power, the Mayans built magnificent cities surrounded by temples and palaces.Â Historians believe that overpopulation and ecological destruction brought about the decline of this great civilization.Â
Towards the last days of the Mayas, the Toltec civilization began to settle in central Mexico.Â They built the city of Tula, which is estimated to have been home to at least 40,000 inhabitants.Â The Aztecs were the last of the pre-Columbine civilizations, and they gained prominence around 1427 by forging alliances with the Toltec and the Mayans.Â Soon, the Aztecs were a civilization of more than 5 million people.Â The capital city they built, Tenochtitlan, at the time the most populated city in the world, is located underneath modern-day Mexico City.Â
Spain arrived in Mexico with HernÃ¡n CortÃ©s leading the colonial charge in the 1520s.Â It was renamed Nuevo Espana, and the native tribes were enslaved by the Spanish.Â Catholicism also arrived through missionaries who went about converting the natives to Christianity.Â Â
In 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Spain, and this weakened the position of the Spanish empire.Â Taking advantage of this, a parish priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla declared Mexicoâ€™s independence from Spain in 1810, and this started the Mexican War of Independence.Â Although independence was declared that year, it wouldnâ€™t really come until 1821, when the Treaty of Cordoba was signed. Â
Independent Mexico had a string of strongmen and dictators ruling at various times, which resulted in the instability that marked much of 19th century Mexican history. In 1846, border conflicts with the US brought war, which resulted in large tracts of land (including much of modern-day Arizona and New Mexico), being sold and/or given to the US. Â
By 1910, the Mexicans had become tired of the unequal distribution of wealth in their country, and this dissatisfaction triggered the Mexican Revolution.Â In 1935, President Lazaro Cardenas executed several land reforms, including a communal sharing system of the farmland. This move was of great benefit to the citizens as well as the countryâ€™s economy, and development increased at a rapid pace.Â
Today, Mexico is a rising economic power, and one of the most visited medical tourism destinations in this part of the Americas.Â Its native and alternative native healing therapies have long attracted American medical tourism patients from across the border.Â Mexico has also established a reputation as a major cosmetic surgery hub.