The Panamanian School Year and School Breaks

Macaracas, Panama
7.729041900000, -80.549400700000
Journal Entry:

I know that many of you are currently enjoying your spring breaks or returning from your spring breaks. I remember that during my spring breaks in high school and college, I had a great time going on trips, enjoying the extra free time or working to earn a bit of extra money. However, although all of you are just coming back from a short week-long break, here in Panama, the school year has just begun. I’ve had to get accustomed to this very different school calendar while living and working in Panama. But what does a typical school year exactly look like here in Panama?

Instead of following a semester calendar system like the one in the United States, the schools in Panama follow a trimester calendar system. Two week-long breaks, or los recesos escolares, break up the first and second trimesters and then the second and third trimesters, with summer break and graduation occurring after the third trimester. The beginning of the school year typically occurs in early March, with the end of the school year and graduation taking place in the middle or end of December. This calendar matches the seasons that happen here in Panama, since summer goes from December to April, and winter goes from May until November.