Home / Various and Sundry / Living in Mexico / I think that I may need a snorkel to breath

I think that I may need a snorkel to breath

Normally, May is the worse month for humidity. this year it was not so bad.  Declaring that it’s climate change, where the rest of the world is getting warmer and Yucatan cooler is a bit premature. June is humid but by mid June the rains have started bringing a promise of cooler afternoons. People ask about the heat, my response is always “Once the temperatures reach 100` F who cares? “. We’ve adapted in many ways, most importantly we are used to a higher temperature, 70`F is uncomfortably cool.

Our daily routines reflect where we live. Shopping and other chores happen as early as possible. An afternoon dip and a siesta make the warmest part of the day bearable. Evenings are spent outside. I cook as much as possible in the morning, or put things in the slow cooker. We eat a lot of salad type things. Occasionally, I do find myself out and about during the heat of the day. Feeling myself overheat, I’ve learned to duck into an air conditioned  restaurant or store to cool off. The humidity feels brutal afterwards, but my core temperature has gone down. I have a uneasy truce with a/c. I prefer other methods such as jumping in the pool to cool my body because those don’t dry the air.

I like a bit of humidity. Waking up in the morning at my parent’s high desert house always means a sinus headache. My skin feels papery and dry when the humidity is less than 30%. Seventy five percent is getting into the muggy range, while the nineties provides conversational fodder, like “It’s really humid today isn’t it?” You can always talk about the weather in Merida.

While shopping with BK downtown on Monday we experienced a torrential downpour. It probably lasted ten minutes, after which the humidity rose. They have a word for that experience here, bochorno, like the Eskimos have many words for snow, we have words for hot weather. Bochorno isn’t pleasant, it’s what happens when it’s hot and not enough rain falls. It’s enough rain to raise the humidity but not enough to cool down the concrete. You learn to endure it. Monday, I turned to BK and said “I am having problems breathing”. It felt like I was trying to breath steam. 

Telling Husband about my experience he offered me the use of his salbuturol inhaler which I declined. Ironically, since Husband takes prophylactic inhalers daily, the humidity didn’t affect him at all. Wednesday, I had the same experience, and I accepted the use of the inhaler. If this continues a trip to the doctor is in store and you all know how I am about seeking medical help. However, I did hear that there is a grippa going around and it could just be that I have that. Either way, it’s the first time in almost eight years of living here that the climate has affected me this way.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Steve, wise words indeed. Nothing in the Mexican constitution prohibits discussion of the weather.


  2. We are still waiting for the rainy season to start on this coast. But the days are really quite pleasant. It almost feels as if we are back in April.

    The nice thing a bout discussing the weather is that it keeps conversation from turning to politics.

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