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Mexican vs. Puerto Rican: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 20, 2024
Mexican pertains to Mexico, a sovereign nation in North America, while Puerto Rican relates to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean.

Key Differences

National Identity: Mexicans are citizens or descendants of Mexico, a country with a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations like the Aztecs. Puerto Ricans are citizens or descendants of Puerto Rico, an island with a unique blend of Spanish, African, and indigenous Taino cultures.
Language: In Mexico, Spanish is the predominant language, influenced by indigenous languages. Puerto Rican Spanish also has influences from African and English languages, reflecting its diverse history and U.S. association.
Cuisine: Mexican cuisine is known for dishes like tacos, mole, and chiles en nogada, featuring a blend of indigenous and Spanish flavors. Puerto Rican cuisine, or "cocina criolla," includes dishes like mofongo, arroz con gandules, and lechón, showcasing a fusion of Spanish, African, and Taino influences.
Cultural Traditions: Mexican culture celebrates traditions like Dia de los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo with vibrant festivities. Puerto Rican culture is known for its lively music like salsa and reggaeton, and traditions like the Fiesta de San Juan.
Political Status: Mexico is an independent, sovereign nation with a long history of pre-Columbian civilizations, colonialism, and revolution. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, with debates ongoing about its future status, including statehood or independence.

Comparison Chart


Pertains to Mexico
Relates to Puerto Rico


Spanish with indigenous influences
Spanish with African and English influences


Indigenous and Spanish influences
Spanish, African, and Taino influences

Cultural Traditions

Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo
Salsa music, Fiesta de San Juan

Political Status

Sovereign nation
U.S. territory

Mexican and Puerto Rican Definitions


A Mexican athlete won the marathon.

Puerto Rican

The Puerto Rican diaspora is significant in the U.S.


Mexican cuisine is famous for its spicy flavors.

Puerto Rican

Puerto Rican food, like mofongo, is rich in flavor.


Mexican Spanish has unique regional dialects.

Puerto Rican

Puerto Rican music, especially salsa, is globally popular.


The Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos is widely celebrated.

Puerto Rican

The Puerto Rican artist exhibited in New York.


She is proud of her Mexican heritage.

Puerto Rican

He identifies strongly with his Puerto Rican roots.


A native or inhabitant of Mexico.


A person of Mexican ancestry.


Of or relating to Mexico or its people, language, or culture.


Of or pertaining to Mexico or its people.


A native of inhabitant of Mexico


Of or relating to Mexico or its inhabitants;
Mexican food is hot


What is a Mexican?

A person from Mexico or of Mexican descent.

What language is spoken in Mexico?

Primarily Spanish, with numerous indigenous languages.

What defines a Puerto Rican?

Someone from Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican heritage.

Are Mexicans and Puerto Ricans both Hispanic?

Yes, both are considered part of the Hispanic community.

Is English widely spoken in Puerto Rico?

Yes, alongside Spanish, due to its U.S. connection.

What is Mexico's political status?

An independent and sovereign country.

Can you name a Puerto Rican dish?

Mofongo and arroz con gandules are popular.

What are typical Mexican foods?

Tacos, enchiladas, and guacamole are iconic.

What is a famous Mexican celebration?

Dia de los Muertos, a vibrant commemoration of the dead.

What cultural influences are in Puerto Rico?

A blend of Spanish, African, and Taino cultures.

Do Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Yes, but it's more widely celebrated in the U.S.

What music is Puerto Rico known for?

Salsa and reggaeton are integral to its culture.

Is Puerto Rico a country?

No, it's a U.S. territory with debates on its future status.

What are the main industries in Mexico?

Manufacturing, oil, and agriculture are key.

Can Puerto Ricans vote in U.S. elections?

They can vote in primaries but not in presidential elections unless they reside in a U.S. state.

How diverse is Mexico's population?

Highly diverse, with indigenous, European, and mixed heritages.

What's the economic situation in Puerto Rico?

Challenging, with discussions on how to improve it.

What's a unique aspect of Puerto Rican culture?

Its vibrant music and dynamic festivals.

How is Mexican Spanish distinct?

It incorporates indigenous linguistic elements.

Does Puerto Rico have its own sports teams?

Yes, in many international competitions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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