* Don’t show up early. If you’re invited to a home for a social occasion, it’s customary to arrive 30 to 60 minutes after the scheduled time.

* Keep conversation light. Polite conversation starters include Mexican scenery and landmarks, the immediate surroundings, and sports. Avoid topics such as religion, politics, the Mexican-American War, and immigration.

* Avoid romantic misunderstandings. A female inviting a male client or associate to a business meal should also invite his wife to avoid any misunderstanding as to the purpose the meeting.

* Pay servers directly. When paying at a store or restaurant in Mexico, place the money or credit card directly in the hand of the clerk or server; it’s considered rude to leave it on the table or counter.

* Don’t hide your hands. While dining, keep both hands visible, resting your wrists on the edge of the table.

* Know the meaning of colors. If making a gift of flowers, be careful which ones you choose. Yellow flowers signify death, while red flowers signify the casting of spells.

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