Mexico City is the Federal District (Distrito Federal), capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole. Mexico City is the country's largest city as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.
As a global city Mexico City is one of the most important financial centers in North America. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 metres (7,350 ft). The city consists of sixteen boroughs.
The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan, and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards.
In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and as of 1585 it was officially known as La Ciudad de México (Mexico City). Mexico City served as the political, administrative and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the Federal District was created in 1824..
Housing and Meals
You will stay at the Regina Hostel in the historic section of Mexico City, three blocks away from the Presidential Palace, the ruins of the Templo Mayor pryamid, and the Zocalo (main city square). A continental breakfast will be provided.
A comprehensive orientation will be provided both on the UC Berkeley campus as well as on-site. Orientation will cover various topics, including academics, local culture, health and safety, transportation, and more.