Mérida, Yucatán — The school year is its the final stretch.
Students and teachers at 2,118 elementary schools, which are on a 185-day calendar, have personal calendars with a big red X on Friday, June 29.
The remaining 30 percent of elementary schools in the state’s public system, which are on the 195-day schedule, will remain in class until Friday, July 13.
Schools can choose between two schedules, and most choose the one with longer but fewer class days. Longer days means a longer summer break: eight weeks instead of six.
Once school is out for everybody, the difference is evident when the Centro and shopping malls become more crowded during the day.
Mérida’s thousands of school children appear drawn to the downtown shopping district. Expect traffic jams and sharp elbows on the sidewalks as youngsters relish their new-found freedom by roaming the Centro. Kids are often welcomed with summer sales.
The epicenter of chaos is often 65 between 54 and 56, on “la calle de las piñatas.”