||Since the time of the first humans in Mexico twelve to thirteen thousand years ago (perhaps even earlier), the country has been home to a succession of highly developed, sophisticated societies, many of whose temples and other structures survive as majestic ruins to this very day. The Olmecs established the first great civilization ca. 1500-1400 B.C. and persisted for more than a thousand years, while the Spanish explorers arrived on the scene relatively recently in the early 1500s. In between, the Zapotecs, Mayans and Teotihuacans placed their indelible stamp on Mexican history. Today, Mexico is a vibrant blend of all of these influences, cherishing its history and traditions, yet looking optimistically to the future and welcoming visitors from around the world to meet its warm, friendly people and enjoy its stunning landscapes and historical structures.