Teaching Students About Nayarit, Mexico: A Journey Into Rich Culture and History


Nayarit, Mexico is a beautiful yet often overlooked gem located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Home to picturesque sandy beaches, lush green jungles, impressive ancient ruins, and a vibrant indigenous culture, this state offers an abundance of learning opportunities for students. In this article, we will explore how to teach students about Nayarit’s history, geography, culture, and traditions.

Geography and Climate

Begin by introducing students to the geography of Nayarit. This coastal state is found in western Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sinaloa, Durango, and Jalisco. The Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range dominates the landscape in the east, while expansive agricultural plains stretch out towards the Pacific coast.

The climate in Nayarit is tropical and offers a mix of wet and dry seasons. During the rainy season (June to September), rainfall brings lush greenery in the jungles and helps support diverse ecosystems. Students can delve into studying Nayarit’s unique flora and fauna such as jaguars, humpback whales seen off its shores during migration season.


Teaching students about Nayarit’s history entails looking into its ancient civilizations such as the Cora, Huichol, and Mexcaltitán people who thrived in this region long before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. The archaeological site of Los Toriles offers ruins displaying intricate stone carvings that provide insight into these pre-Hispanic cultures.

When discussing colonial history, emphasize on Belmar– founded in 1531–– as an important port city for Spanish trade registering numerous conquests during this period. When Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, Nayarit briefly became part of Jalisco before claiming its status as a separate state in 1917.


Exploring the cultural aspects of Nayarit starts with learning about its indigenous tribes, mainly the Huichol and Cora people. These tribes continue to maintain their distinct languages, religions, and traditions even today. Teach students about the fascinating Huichol art, which uses vivid colors and intricate designs and patterns influenced by shamanic visions.

In Nayarit, students will learn about the traditional Mexican celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) with unique local attire adorned with marigold flowers to honor their loved ones who have departed.


Nayarit’s cuisine is a delectable blend of indigenous and European influences. Students should learn about traditional dishes such as pescado zarandeado—a marinated grilled fish specialty––and aguachile de camarón (spicy shrimp ceviche). In addition, they should understand how agriculture plays a significant role in Nayarit’s economy with key crops such as rice, beans, tobacco, and sugar cane.


Teaching students about Nayarit, Mexico’s rich history, geography, culture, and traditions provide them with an in-depth understanding of the state’s significance within Mexico. Educators can engage their learners by incorporating interactive lessons that include discussions on ancient civilizations, exploring indigenous cultures and customs, and sampling delicious local cuisine. This educational journey into Nayarit exposes students to a unique side of this vibrant country that’s filled with cultural richness and natural beauty.

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