Springtime is usually beautiful in Mexico City. As the weather warms, the purple jacaranda trees that line boulevards and dot neighborhoods are in full bloom. Everything is prettier, says Fernando Padilla, a driver taking a break in a park.
“It’s my favorite time of the year,” he says.
But this spring, his eyes are watering, his throat hurts and one day a week he’s not allowed to use his car on the road, which means he’s poorer too.
Julieta Mejia Cabrera, 10, isn’t happy either. Today she got to go to the park, but since the anti-smog plan has gone into effect, she says everyone at her school has to eat lunch inside their classrooms.
“We can’t play with our friends,” she says. “It’s so boring. It’s like being at home.”