Mexico is noted for its extensive and rich geological, orographic, and environmental variation, and is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. In addition, this area was the site of the settlement and development of numerous indigenous groups, many of whom are still present and represent the main cultural wealth of the country. The development of this cultural wealth in a mega-diverse landscape also led to the heterogeneous use of local resources, leading to the generation of at least 100 crop species, many of which exist today in various national and global areas. Chief among these are maize, cacao, papaya, nopal, tomato, tobacco, vanilla, cotton, maguey, beans and tomatillo, among others.
In the case of maize, Mexico is where the largest amount of botanical and archaeological evidence regarding its use and knowledge has been found, confirming that maize originated in this territory. The wild relatives of maize are thought to have been domesticated through the intervention of the ancient inhabitants of Mexico. These plants are known as teocintes and, like the genus Tripsacum, another group of relatives of the maize, they have their center of origin and diversity in Mexico.