WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: MEXICO
Disguised as a Mayan ruin in the jungles of Chiapas, the Mexican School for Enriched Magical Studies is a sturdy moss-covered structure blanketed by lush greenery. The students are no strangers to muggle tourists ambling about, and will often pose as fellow tourists or locals and interact with them, making them one of the most outgoing, lively, and tolerant communities in the wizarding world. For festivals, students like to don vibrant headdresses, and the school becomes a kaleidoscope of colour as girls twirl around like tops, their skirts lifting up into the air, filling empty space with colour and painting the school with embellished splendour. The campus often reverberates with music from the school’s ghost mariachi band who plays cheerfully day and night; although it tends to get annoying at times, the constant activity makes the school feel like home.
The Mexican School for Enriched Magical Studies is also world renowned for the number of highly regarded Magical Historians, given the number of ghosts that reside on campus. This serves a number of purposes as the students are given several lectures a year by past rulers of the ancient kingdoms of Chichen Itza and Tulum, making sure the students of the school never forget their roots as they move into the future. These lectures also serve as a theory of investigation, teaching specified techniques of delving into ancient history that are unavailable anywhere else in the world.
A side benefit of an abundance of ghosts on campus is the extravagance of the celebration of Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead”. The entire campus is covered in brightly decorated sugar skulls, elaborate paper cutouts and candles that shift in colour. While all students decorate their faces in skull fashion, rumours say that the makeup of the older students sparkle during the day and glow in the dark at night (one particular story involves the Transfiguration teacher who, it is said, made his skin transparent for the day and actually changed the colour of his skull). The festival is said to last the entire day with dancing, music and celebrating the cycle of life in their own unique, cultural way. The climax of the celebration is said to occur at night when the entire student body is apparated to the kingdom of Chichen Itza and watches as the ghosts compete in a game of Ollamaliztli. Betting is strictly forbidden, but, perhaps not by coincidence, there are always a number of disappointed faces on the journey home.