What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Schools in Cancun


Recently I have only posted about the beach, resorts and concerts. Yes, we did do all those things, but they sure aren’t part of real, day-to-day life for Bebé and I (OK fine well maybe the beach and pool are, but only on the weekends), so I thought it was time I posted about something more, well, practical, like our experience (so far) with school in Cancun.

private schools in Cancun

If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know I have had a great experience with Bebé’s daycare. I must admit I was a little worried about him starting school. I mean, I didn’t even understand the way the grades (kindergarten, 1st grade, etc.) are organized. To be honest, I still don’t have a great grasp of that concept. I do know that children start school at age 3 and go to “Kinder” 1, 2  then 3 (Bebé stayed at daycare and skipped Kinder 1, he is 4 years old now). Then they move to “el Primero de Primaria”. (See what I mean?!) I don’t even know what these grades correspond with in the US, but since he’s 4, I figure it’s essentially preschool, although some of their activities seem pretty sophisticated for preschool.

Cancun schools

Bebé goes to a private (read: ya gotta pay) school. The general consensus in Cancun is that public schools are subpar and anyone who can afford to pay for a private school sends their child to one. Here is a basic breakdown of our experience so far…

Hours:  Kinder students go to school Monday through Friday from 8 am until 1:45 pm. Primaria kids start at 7 am (That’s gonna be fun!) and I assume they finish later.

Activities:  Bebé has started to learn how to recognize/read short words and add. They also work on the usual, letters, colors, shapes and more. The school is bilingual (Spanish and English).  I really like that he also has swimming, physical education, music, French and computer classes. They do various shows and presentations thoughout the year as well. The school is not affiliated with any religion.

elementary schools in Cancun

Homework:  I must admit I found it to be really obnoxious that they give 3-year-olds homework almost every day, which is one of the reasons I kept Bebé out of school until Kinder 2, but it turns out that it’s not so awful, and he generally completes all of his homework at daycare aka “homework club”.

Grades/Conferences: Grading is pretty straightforward with Exellent, Good, Satisfactory and Needs Improvement-type categories. I noticed that no additional comments are added. There are no official conferences but parents can request one anytime.

schools in Cancun

Teachers: Bebé has many teachers! He has two main teachers, one for Spanish and one for English, and a different teacher for each of the specialized subjects. I can tell that he really likes all of his teachers, who he calls “Miss” or “Prof”.

Vacation: Mexican kids only get 6 weeks of summer vacation! They also get two weeks at Christmas and Easter and many other one-day official holidays throughout the year. In addition the last Friday of each month is an “education day” for teachers, so kids don’t attend school.

private school in Cancun

Cost: This school is middle-of-the-road as far as cost. The cost per month is equivalent to a little over 200 usd per month, plus an inscription fee, books, uniforms and other costs for costumes and other things that come up throughout the year. The price goes up each year.

I’ve noticed that a lot of parents here move their children from school to school. There are many children in Bebé’s class who will not return his school next year and many young adults I have met have told me that they went to 2 or 3 different high schools. I’m not sure what is the cause of this phenomen but I will investigate.

The most exciting and important point here is that Bebé loves going to school. Plus, he was chosen for “flag detail” for the upcoming school year due to his academic and personal development. Stay tuned for the post about the ceremony. 🙂


  1. Congrats on such a smart cute little boy!

  2. The private school system in Mexico seems very good. I can see why parents would stretch to send their children to a private school.

  3. Im dreading going back to mexico and having to pay for private school, but we have to do whats best for our kids 🙂
    I think Kinder 1, 2, 3 is for 4, 5 & 6 yr olds.. As of 6 you go to primaria which is elementary.

    • Wow, first Germany and then Mexico. Where are you from? Sound like you get around! 😉 Thanks for commenting. You’re right, we always do what’s best for our kids.

  4. Hola. My husband and I and our 7 year old are wanting to move to Cancun. One big thing for us is his schooling. He attends a Christian private school in Canada right now, and we have the option of continuing the curriculum through home schooling, but then he would miss out on the social aspects.
    I appreciate your article and hope to find a school like the one you mention.

  5. I am moving with my two sons (2 and 4 years old) from Mexico City to Cancun and I am looking for a school with a great English level. Or maybe francophone school (I am French, my husband is Mexican raise in U.S)
    Can you recommend me one school in particular?
    Your son’s school seems nice, which one is it?
    Thank you so much for your help! 🙂

    • There are so many schools in Cancun, from very, very expensive to quite economical. You might want to look into Instituto Frances, or International American School. Leonardo Da Vinci is also very popular. I don’t feel comfortable posting the name of my sons school here but I will send it to you in an email.

  6. Hi, we are in Cancun looking for a school and afterschool sports for our 14 years old. He does not speak Spanish. Can you please advise if you know a good school for this age? Are there American families in Cancun? If yes, which areas and schools?
    Thank you

    • Hi, I’m sorry my son has always gone to the same school so I don’t know specifics about other schools. As far as I know all schools are either run completely in Spanish or half the day in English and half in Spanish. There are schools available at all different prices. You might want to check out the Cancun Expats Facebook group. There are people there that have researched various schools and posted info. I don’t personally know any American families but I’m sure there are some. As far as sports it’s pretty much soccer, American football, swimming and taekwondo. Haven’t seen much of anything else.

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