Life in Merida, Yucatan – As Told by Diana Vega

Photo Courtesy of: By Inri (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Merida, Yucatan is located in the southern tip of Mexico. The city inhabits almost 830,000 people. It’s located on the opposite side of Cancun. Thus, it’s easy to imagine how beautiful and breathtaking the area is.

Mapa de Mérida, Yucatán

Born and raised in Merida, Diana Vega can attest to the wonders of the city.

Currently, Diana is working on receiving her MBA in the United States. However, she explains she misses her home country dearly.

“I miss the food and the people most. Mexicans are really close to their families. It’s part of the culture,” she said.

Different parts of the country vary in food and traditions. Merida, in particular, has a unique culture.

“Where I live, we have the Mayan culture. We speak Mayan words in our daily life. Mayan traditions, culture, and even dress are still alive today,” she said.

Some of the historic landmarks created by the Maya include the Maya City of Chichen Itza and the Mayapan Ruins. Both of these landmarks are located in Yucatan. These landmarks attract tourists every day because they hold rich history that can be physically viewed.

In addition to the history, Merida is unique in the way that people sleep. Vega said that one of her biggest challenges in America is the way people sleep.

“We sleep in hammocks, not in beds. I don’t know how to sleep in a bed,” she said.

The people of Merida sleep in handmade hammocks because it’s too hot. After all, the city is located in a humid climate close to the beach. According to USA Today, Merida is tropical. For the majority of the year, the temperature is at least above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Furthermore, Merida offers a tradition that Vega really enjoys. Vega said that the majority of the people are Catholic. Therefore, the community celebrates Semana Santa every year.

Photo Courtesy of: By Inri (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Semana Santa is Easter. During the 40 days before Semana Santa, you’re not allowed to meat eat on Fridays. Vega said that there are several traditional dishes designed for that.

Overall, Merida is a safe haven for Vega. It’s a place she’s known her whole life. She has a mother, a father, and one sister. Although her support system is far away, the distance has given her a new appreciation for her home culture and home language.

“Now, I appreciate when people talk to me in Spanish,” she said.

If you’ve ever visited this city, share a favorite picture you took!


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