Conference venue

The conference will be held in the hotel Villa del Conquistador, Lomas de Cortés, Cuernavaca, Mexico.

This five star hotel is built in a typically Mexican style and surrounded by a large garden. Facilities include internet/WLAN access and currency exchange.

Location map  

Cuernavaca is the capital and largest city of the state of Morelos in Mexico. It is known as the city of eternal spring because of its consistent 27°C weather year round. It is located about 85 km south of Mexico City, sitting in the heart of central Mexico and surrounded by some of the most beautiful and culturally rich regions of the country. The city's name comes from Nahuatl Cuauhnāhuac, place near trees.

Cuernavaca has arquitectonic examples of ancient Aztec and Tlahuica cultures (such as at Teopanzolco) as well as colonial buildings. The Spanish emperor Charles V gave Cuernavaca to Hernán Cortés as a fief, and in 1532 the conquistador built the Palacio de Cortés, now the Historical Museum of Cuauhnahuac. The museum features a mural by Diego Rivera depicting the conquest of Mexico, mammoth remains, and items from contemporary Indigenous cultures. Cuernavaca's downtown cathedral dates from 1552.

East and southeast of Cuernavaca are the two volcanoes Ixtaccihuatl, the Sleeping Woman, and Popocatépetl the Smoking Mountain, which is still active.

About Mexico

The United Mexican States is a federal constitutional republic. Covering almost 2 106 km2, Mexico is the 14th largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of 109 106, it is the 11th most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Mexico is crossed from north to south by two mountain ranges known as Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental, which are the extension of the Rocky Mountains from northern North America. From east to west at the center, the country is crossed by the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt also known as the Sierra Nevada, where the highest elevations are found. A fourth mountain range, the Sierra Madre del Sur.


Mexico is one of the 18 megadiverse countries of the world. With over 200000 different species, Mexico is home of 10–12% of the world's biodiversity. It is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and fourth in overall species.

In Mexico, 170000 square kilometres are considered Protected Natural Areas. These include 34 reserve biospheres, 64 national parks and 4 natural monuments. Some of Mexico's native ingredients include chocolate, tomato, maize, vanilla or avocado.

A brief history of Mexico

American native civilizations and Spanish conquest:

  • 1800-200 BC: First settlements of the Olmecs in the coastal region of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 250-900 AD: The Maya civilization flourishes in southern Mexico and northern Central America.
  • 1325: The Aztecs found Tenochtitlan on the site of present-day Mexico City and, since then, dominate much of the centre and south of the country.
  • 1511: Jerónimo de Aguilar, first Spaniard on Mexican soil, is captured by the Maya in Yucatán and later becomes interpreter for Cortés.
  • 1519: Hernán Cortés' expedition landed on the coast of Mexico in their quest for gold.
  • 1521: The Aztec Empire is conquered by a coalition army of Spanish conquistadors and Tlaxcalan warriors, led by Hernán Cortés, after a long siege of the capital, Tenochtitlan, where much of the population dies from hunger and smallpox.
  • 1535-1821: The New Spain viceroyalty stretches across a large part of North America.
  • 1553: Inauguration of the Real y Pontificia Universidad de Mexico (Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico), the first university in America.
  • 1697: Final downfall of the Maya state based at Tayasal.
  • 1767: Expulsion of the Jesuits.

Independence and Republic/Empire alternation:

  • 16 Sept 1810: Father Miguel Hidalgo issues the Grito de Dolores, a cry for Mexico's independence from Spain.
  • 1813: José María Morelos convokes the first Mexican Congress, which formally declares Mexican independence.
  • 1821: On February 24th, Agustín de Iturbide proclaims the Plan de Iguala, the Mexican Declaration of Independence to free Mexico from Spain, and on September 28th, Mexico becomes an independent nation.
  • 1822: Iturbide is crowned emperor under the name of Agustín I, whose empire extends from Oregon to Central America, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, parts of Wyoming and most of Central America.
  • 1833: Antonio López de Santa Anna becomes president of the Republic of Mexico.
  • 1836: Texas declares independence from Mexico.
  • 1846: The U.S. Congress declares war on Mexico following a bloody skirmish between U.S. and Mexican troops on the frontier with Texas. Mexico cedes nearly half of its national territory to the United States.
  • 1858–1861: War of Reform won by anticlerical Liberals.
  • 1864: The French Army and Mexican Conservatives establish the Second Mexican Empire, crowning the Austrian archduke Maximilian von Hapsburg emperor of Mexico.
  • 1867: The Liberal armies defeat the Empire. Maximilian is executed. The Mexican republic is restored with Benito Juárez as president.
  • 1876-1911: Porfirio Diaz leads a revolt against the government and establishes his dictatorship (el Porfiriato).

XXth Century:

  • 1901: First year of oil production.
  • 1910-1920: Epic Revolution, triggered by unrest amongst peasants and urban workers, who are led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. Díaz is overthrown by Francisco Madero who is murdered two years later.
  • 5 Feb 1917: A new constitution guarantees a minimum wage and the right to strike, limits power of Church and reserves minerals and subsoil rights for the nation.
  • 1926–1929: Cristero rebellion led by militant Catholic priests.
  • 1929: National Revolutionary Party (later PRI) is formed. They win the presidential election and enjoy uninterrupted national rule for the next seven decades.
  • 1934: President Lázaro Cárdenas begins a programme of oil nationalisation, land reform and industrial expansion which enshrines him as the most beloved Mexican president of the 20th century.
  • 1939: National Action Party (PAN) is formed from an alliance between business owners and the Catholic Church.
  • 1940: Leon Trotsky is murdered in Mexico.
  • 1968: Student demonstration in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, during the Olympic Games is fired upon by Mexican security forces. Hundreds of protestors are killed or wounded.
  • 1982: Mexico suspends its international debt payments after the falling of oil prices. The debt crisis leads to currency devaluations and hyperinflation that devastate the economy for most of the decade.
  • 1985: Earthquake in Mexico City. Official death toll 7000 but aid groups say that as many as 30000 people lost their lives. Economic cost estimated at $425 million.
  • 1993: Mexican parliament ratifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with the US and Canada. The agreement will erase most trading barriers between the three countries by 2009.
  • 1994: The government devalues the peso (the so-called December Mistake) and foreign investment flees the country, triggering one of the worst economic crises in Mexican history.
  • 1994–1995: Indian rebellion erupts in Chiapas. The rebels, known as the Zapatistas, oppose Nafta and want greater recognition for Indian rights. The rebellion is brutally suppressed by army.

XXIst Century:

  • 2000: PAN wins presidency and elections and President Vicente Fox takes office.
  • 2001: Zapatista guerrillas, led by Subcomandante Marcos, stage their Zapatour, a march from Chiapas to Mexico City to highlight their demands.
  • 2006: A federal post is created to tackle violent crime against women. Mexico had been criticised by the UN and rights groups over the unsolved murders of more than 300 women over 12 years in the border city of Ciudad Juárez.
  • 2006: Conservative candidate from the PAN, Felipe Calderón wins the presidential elections (for one six-year term).
  • 2006: George W Bush signs legislation to build 1125km of fencing along the US-Mexico border. Mexico condemns plans for the barrier, which is intended to curb illegal immigration.
  • Aug 2008: Marches throughout Mexico to protest against continuing wave of killings and kidnappings. At least 2700 people have been killed and 300 kidnapped so far this year, mostly in drugs-related violence.

Animation of the evolution of Mexican territory