When you think of summer in Mexico, you probably picture warm weather and sunshine. But the truth is that’s not what the summer looks like all over Mexico.
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Summer is the season when most tourists come to Mexico. Of course, most of them go to visit sunny beaches like Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta.
For those of us who actually live in Mexico, the summer isn’t such an enjoyable season. In fact, it’s my least favorite season.
I don’t usually get the chance to go on a nice beach vacation during the summer, so I just stay at home in good old Mexico City.
But this is just the worst time to be in Mexico City because it’s the rainy season. And by rainy I mean there’s soggy, drenching, soaking, pouring rain.
By rainy, I mean the sun hardly comes out a few hours a day. And mushrooms grown randomly in lawns. And the city gets flooded. And then it rains some more.
So for me, the summer brings rain. Every. Single. Day.
This is what the summer looks like in Mexico City
Centuries ago, the Aztecs built a city on an island in the middle of a huge inland lake. It was called Tenochtitlan.
The Aztecs grew powerful and prosperous, and so did their city. It grew so large it was larger than the largest European city of the time.
In order for the city to grow, the Aztecs developed a technique for building more land on the lake. They also devised a system of dams, aqueducts, canals, and bridges to control the lake waters and to get around the city.
In the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadores destroyed the Aztec city and built a new city on top of the old one. And on top of the lake.
Of course, without the old Aztec system of dams and canals, the new city was flooded every time the rainy season arrived so the lake was drained.
It didn’t work. Today, Mexico City still sits on top of the old lake bed. The rivers have been harnessed, but it still gets flooded every year during the rainy season.
These are the same rains that used to fill up a huge inland lake, only the lake is long gone. But the water has to go somewhere, right?
This is what Mexico City residents must endure every single summer.
Trying to take the subway home when there’s a storm during rush hour.
Try driving in this. Like Mexico City drivers weren’t crazy enough!
You’d better not get caught beneath the overpass when it starts raining.
Sometimes, a new river pops up right at your front door.
Going shopping in the rain is a whole new adventure.
Fortunately, even rainy days have their charm. When the rain isn’t a downpour but a drizzle, my little girl and I like to go out on walks.
The ancient Aztecs believed the rainy season was a gift from the rain god, Tlaloc, to water their crops and bring a plentiful harvest. They celebrated the start of the rainy season with a feast day in a sacred mountain.
Nowadays, the modern residents of Mexico City may not be able to see any blessing in the daily rain, but it is. Without the rain that feeds aquifers and reservoirs, the megalopolis wouldn’t be able to survive. Although the rain can turn the streets into rivers, it is truly a blessing in disguise.