Giving back to the local community

Playa del Carmen is a wonderful vacation destination with stunning beaches, friendly people and fantastic restaurants. It’s no wonder many of our guests return year after year to experience the magic of this vibrant Caribbean town.

For those guests who would like to deepen their experience of Playa del Carmen by volunteering their time or resources to help the local community, there are several not-for-profit organizations who are doing some great work.

KKIS Project Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

The KKIS Project (Keeping Kids In School)

What started as a small gathering of ex-pats who bought basic supplies for local schools has now grown into a thriving non-profit organization.

The KKIS project aims to ‘Keep Kids In School’ by assisting hundreds of needy families with their school supplies every year. In 2013, the project delivered over 300 brand new backpacks filled with high quality supplies, from pencils and rulers to dictionaries and calculators.

The project also co-ordinates volunteer English classes in several schools around Playa del Carmen. Donating your time and energy once a week for one hour is a great way to connect with the community in a valuable way.

KKIS Project Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

The project accepts donations of money, supplies and time, in whatever way you can help. From leading a small group of children in an English-based activity once per week, packing backpacks with supplies, delivering supplies to the local area or making a donation, every little bit is appreciated.

The KKIS project’s long-term goal is to provide a better education for Playa del Carmen’s youngest residents, resulting in increased opportunities for the future.

The Amigos Network

The Amigos Network is another group of Playa del Carmen ex-patriots doings some great work in the community. Led by Russell Granger and Michele Kinnon, this group of local business owners raises money for developing communities on the outskirts town.

They recently installed ceiling fans in a tiny, make-shift school in a small village south of Playa, co-ordinated the ‘Kicks 4 Kids’ shoe drive for needy children in rural villages and delivered blankets and clothing to the elderly people of the Puerto Aventuras community.

Kicks 4 Kids Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

They are open to donations and welcome volunteers who would like to make a difference to the community’s most needy residents.

Christmas Dreams Playa

Christmas Dreams Playa is a project which gathers donations of children’s gifts. Every year in early January, coinciding with ‘Three Kings Day’, they deliver the donated goods to children in needy communities.

This year, with the help of the two other organizations above, they hosted a party with food, drink and even a Santa Claus appearance in the village of Nuevo Noh Bec. The smiles on the faces of the local children is proof of the generous work they do.

Christmas Dreams Playa Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

If you would like to donate a small gift for next year’s event, contact Christmas Dreams Playa via Facebook.

Coco’s Cat Rescue

Of course the four legged members of the community also need some TLC. Coco’s has been offering free neutering and spaying services in Playa del Carmen for several years, in order to decrease the stray cat population and increase the quality of life for those who are born to the streets.

They offer many other valuable services, and even host a ‘kitten cuddling’ session every week at their premises.

Coco’s welcomes donations and volunteers who care about the well being of Playa’s furry friends.

If you are looking for a way to say ‘thank you’ to the local community of Playa del Carmen, getting involved in these wonderful programs not only helps those in need, but will provide you with some unique and special memories.

 

Giving Back to Playa del Carmen’s Kids

Playa del Carmen is a vacation destination people return to year after year. Its Caribbean location, world-class restaurants and cosmopolitan, laid back vibe draws visitors from all over the globe. For those of us who now consider Playa a ‘home away from home’, sometimes it’s nice to connect with the community in a more meaningful way, to give something back to the local people who have shared their home so graciously with us.

Kids in Playa del Carmen

There is a special relationship between locals and visitors in Playa del Carmen. The town is primarily a tourist destination, and therefore visitors are welcomed with open arms from every corner of the globe. It’s a relatively new town and has seen exponential growth over the last 15 years, thriving on the tourism industry it created.

Children growing up in Playa del Carmen today will most likely find employment in the tourism industry, so learning English has become increasingly important for them.

That’s where the KKIS Project Comes in. The small, local charity organization run by a group of dedicated Playa del Carmen expats runs a volunteer English teaching program at a local primary school north of town and also provides much needed school supplies to underprivileged students, ensuring they have the best chance at a bright future.

Playa del Carmen Kids

I have recently become involved in the volunteer program, and have found it to be a fulfilling and rewarding experience that has enriched my experience of Playa del Carmen.

Every Wednesday afternoon, a group of about ten volunteers give an hour of their time to a group of very enthusiastic grade two and three kids at a local school, helping them to improve their English skills.

Games, reading, comprehension, drawing and story telling are just some of the activities program coordinator Janet employs to keep the kids entertained and engaged while they learn valuable language skills.

playa del carmen kids

On my first day volunteering with the program, I was touched by the warm welcome we received by both the kids and teachers. We were assigned to a table of about six students to carry out the activities and they participated enthusiastically with lots of smiles all round.

An hour flew by and I was amazed by the politeness and eagerness of my group. I have since returned week after week, enjoying the interaction with the other volunteers as well as the students. It has become one of the highlights of my week here in Playa and has given me a greater feeling of connection with this town I love so much.

It feels good to be able to give something back to the community whilst seeing a different side of Playa del Carmen that many tourists don’t get to experience.

*For more information, to sign up for the volunteer program, or to make a donation to the school supplies fund, email kkisproject@gmail.com.