Getting involved in the Playa del Carmen community is a great way to get off the ‘tourist trail’ and connect with the local residents of the town while serving those in need. Here are some reputable projects who are always happy for supporters:
The KKIS (Keeping Kids In School) project
The KKIS project is a local charity organization which provides school supplies and English tutoring to local school students in Playa del Carmen.
I volunteered as an English tutor for some of my time in Playa del Carmen, and it was a great experience. Over the summer break I also assisted with the packing of hundreds of school backpacks with school supplies and delivering them to families all over town.
There are many ways to support the project, either by volunteering as a tutor, offering a hand to pack backpacks and deliver supplies, or making a donation. KKIS also hold a large auction in February each year to raise money for school supplies.
If you are traveling from the states or Canada and would like to bring some supplies down with you, contact Janet or Marg at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Amigos Network
The Amigos Network is a not-for-profit group of Playa del Carmen ex-pats who give back to the community through a range of projects.
Co-ordinated by Russell Granger and Michelle Kinnon, the group runs programs such as ‘Kicks for Kids’ (providing footwear to children in outlying villages), as well as a range of educational and medical projects around Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.
Contact them via their facebook page if you would like to get involved by making a donation or volunteering your time, or pop into Russell’s restaurant Don Chendos on Avenida 30, where you will find him most evenings.
The Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen meets weekly and participates in a range of social and community events around town.
Email Bob at email@example.com for more details.
Cocos Cat Rescue
Cocos does fantastic work in the community to provide free spaying/neutering for all cats in Playa del Carmen, in an attempt to reduce the cat population and improve conditions for them.
They are always looking for volunteers to assist them in their mission, as well as prospective homes for their foster/adoption program.
They also have ‘kitten cuddling’ on Tuesday afternoons!
Playa Animal Rescue
The Playa Animal Rescue focuses on providing care to stray, abandoned or mis-treated dogs through a range of care programs. They are always looking for support and donations of dog food, money and time.
They have a ‘Spa and Play’ on Saturdays where volunteers can wash and play with rescued dogs.
The following community-based websites are a great resource for staying in touch with local events, programs and organizations, as well as meeting new people:
In the Roo
A directory for the state of Quintana Roo with lots of information on local events and activities.
An online guide to Playa del Carmen with discussion forums, written by locals.
‘Life’s a beach’ blog by Michelle and Rob Kinnon:
A great blog written by an ex-pat couple with lots of information and updates on local news and events.
The Playa Times
A free English language newspaper focused on local news and events. Available at many outlets around town such as Ah Cacao and Oxxo.