As part of the “Show me Around your Neighborhood” series, where several multicultural families around the world are sharing pictures of their communities- I am sharing Merida, Mexico, where we spent our summer. It is so fun to see where everyone lives, goes to school, plays at the park, buys their food, etc! Check out the main list and view neighborhoods such as Curitiba, Brazil, Rural Zambia, and Nagoya, Japan among many others. I encourage you to show your children the photos, and talk about the similarities and differences. Kids love to learn about schools, homes, and even bedrooms of other kids around the world!
In Mérida, the climate is tropical and hot. In the summer it is too hot to play in the middle of the day- but at night, the plazas are packed with people as families and kids play and enjoy the evening. Watch some videos of playing in the plaza at night here. Every evening and weekend the plazas have folkloric dancing and shows for kids (such as the princesses below). There are also parks where kids can climb trees, play soccer, or pay a small fee to drive around little cars or jump in trampolines.
When we were in Mérida, we mainly walked or used public buses or taxis to get from one place to another. One unique form of transportation around the Yucatán are the mototaxis or bicitaxis- these were my kids’ favorites ways to get around, especially on unpaved roads! Ricky says he would like to build one to drive when he’s a grown-up. Mototaxis are connected to the front of a motorcycle, and bicitaxis are man-powered, on a bike.
Here is the house we rented (the blue one). Also, there are some beautiful old houses from the days of the henequén plantations in the centro histórico. Finally below you can see some of the typical Mayan houses, whitewashed and with a straw roof.
When Mérida was founded in the 1500′s, many people did not know how to read. In order to organize the city, picture signs were hung on prominent street corners so everyone would know where they were. Here are a couple of the signs that are still hanging up, and a view of a street near our house.
Families can choose for their children to go to a local public school, which would be free and run by the government, or a private school. When we were in Mérida this summer, we hired a teacher to come to our house, and also to take us on field trips- we saw a lot of summer school groups visiting museums, cultural houses, and churches. Here we are doing our lessons in one of the many museums, and then a visit to the nearby zoo (only a short walk from our house!).
Finally, we get to the market. In México there are huge supermarkets, small corner grocery stores, and tons of markets that sell everything under the sun. We prefer the markets because the produce is so fresh, we can buy fresh cheese and meat, and the environment is colorful and vibrant with live music and lots of food stands for snacks. Here are some pictures of markets in Mexico:
We hope you enjoyed our neighborhood in Mérida, Mexico! We had so much fun gathering the pictures. Please check out the other neighborhoods featured in the series here.