Playa Del Carmen and Tulum Mexico Real Estate | 12 Days/12 Ways 2019

Laura Nazimiec laura-nazimiec-1 16 December 2019 0
12 Days/12 Ways 2019

12 Days/12 Ways 2019

"On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...."

This beloved traditional holiday song is the inspiration for "12 Days/12 Ways", a promotional effort of goodwill to draw attention to 12 not-for-profit groups or charitable organizations in our area. If you've been looking for a way to give back this holiday season, here are 12 legitimate and worthy charitable organizations in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya that need your support, not only during the 12 days of Christmas, but all throughout the year.

The organizations are listed in no particular order. Some may be familiar to locals and frequent travelers to this area. Others, perhaps those most in need of recognition and support, may be new to our readers. It is our hope to do this every year, with updated information and wish lists.

The KKIS Project (Keeping Kids in School)

The KKIS Project provides school supplies, scholarships, and English conversation classes to public schools in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. KKIS envisions a future where every student graduates from high school and where educational challenge is inspiring and fun. KKIS works to motivate and assist public school administrators, teachers, students and parents through five programs that provide financial assistance, connections, and support. The five KKIS programs are School Supplies, School Advocacy, Conversation Clubs, Scholarships and Mentors, and Connections.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate! Make a monetary donation to help keep kids in school!
  • Fundraise! Raise money to help the children of KKIS achieve their dreams!
  • Volunteer! Teach conversational English or mentor a scholarship student.
  • Donate school supplies for the kids! View the wish list.

For further information:

The KKIS Project on Facebook

Coco’s Animal Welfare

Coco’s Animal Welfare is a non-profit organization dedicated to humanely reducing and controlling cat and dog populations in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya through their permanent clinic facility and mobile spay and neuter clinics throughout the region. Low cost or free sterilization is provided for pets, street dogs and cats, and animals rescued by local rescue groups.

Since the organization was founded in 2009, Coco’s has spayed and neutered over 23,000 animals, helping to greatly reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya. Some of their programs include regular spay/neuter clinics, kitten support, cat cafes at hotels and resorts, rescue and adoption programs, and community outreach.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate! Cash donations are needed to fund the spay and neuter program, adoption program, and to care for rescued cats and kittens.
  • Volunteer! There are many ways you can help, from fostering, driving, and assisting with trap, spay/neuter, and return.
  • Contribute items from the wish list! Your in-kind donations are graciously accepted.
  • Adopt or foster a kitty! There are many kittens looking for a forever home.

For further information:

Coco’s Animal Welfare on Facebook

Hekab Be Library in Akumal

Since 1995, Hekab Be Library has been helping improve people’s language and literacy skills, while promoting cultural preservation and understanding. The library acquaints young children with books, provides learning resources for school children, offers literacy and writing classes in English, Spanish and Maya. In addition, the library offers after-school activities and tutoring, reading and math programs, arts & crafts workshops, and yoga classes for children.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate an activity or day trip for the kids! View the activity wish list.
  • Make a monetary donation! Help support the library's programs and operating expenses.
  • Donate books or library supplies! Your in-kind donations are graciously accepted.
  • Donate a Christmas gift for the children! View the wish list.

For further information:

Hekab Be on Facebook

Centro Ecologico Akumal

Centro Ecológico Akumal is a non-governmental organization that focuses on sustainability-related issues and improving ecosystem management in and around Akumal. CEA was formed in 1993 to provide environmental initiatives for the protection of Akumal’s coastal and marine ecosystems and biodiversity. It focuses on three main areas—research, education, and outreach. CEA has a number of ongoing ecosystem management programs, including Coastal Ecosystems, Coastal Management, Environmental Education, Sea Turtle Protection, and Water Quality Management.

How can YOU help?

  • Volunteer! Each of the CEA programs is dependent on volunteers for its success.
  • Adopt a Turtle! You can sponsor your very own Akumal turtle!
  • Make a donation! Your donation directly supports CEA's conservation efforts.

For further information:

Centro Ecologico Akumal on Facebook

Playa Animal Rescue

Playa Animal Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating injured and abandoned dogs, and to finding permanent, loving homes for each of them. PAR promotes responsible pet ownership through community outreach and education, as well as the spaying and neutering of pets, and works in coordination with other local and international animal rescue organizations to ensure that all current and future PAR animals are sterilized and vaccinated.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate! Make a monetary donation or donate items from the wish list.
  • Foster a dog! Local fosters are always needed!
  • Volunteer! Volunteers are needed at the Charm School, for training and exercise, at fundraising events, for airport runs, or as escorts to help get dogs to their forever homes.
  • Adopt! PAR is actively seeking loving forever homes.

For further information:

Playa Animal Rescue on Facebook

Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary Club

Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary Club is a diverse group of English-speaking professionals dedicated to helping to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth and families in Playa del Carmen, Mexico through fundraising and volunteer support for local charitable organizations. The club strives to provide assistance to community-based, non-profit, volunteer, public service, or charitable organizations with programs that benefit children and youth through family support, education, improvement of infrastructure, and access to health benefits.

How can YOU help?

  • Volunteer! All events and projects are staffed 100% with volunteers.
  • Become a sponsor! It’s good for business and our local community!
  • Become a member! Join Seaside Rotary at their weekly meeting.
  • Donate! Help support Seaside Rotary’s mission!

For further information:

Rotary Playa del Carmen Seaside on Facebook

Na'atik Language and Culture Institute

Na'atik Language and Culture Institute is a non-profit language school in Felipe Carrillo Puerto. The school provides high-quality immersion classes in English, Spanish, and Maya and promotes cultural exchange and understanding. Through affordable, encouraging English language classes, Na'atik aims to help students in the local Maya community develop the skills and confidence to visualize and achieve their dreams. English classes help students access well-paid jobs, go on to study for careers like medicine, engineering and education, and travel the world.

How can YOU help?

  • Learn Spanish or Mayan! Na'atik’s Study Abroad program for visitors helps support the local Maya community by keeping English classes affordable.
  • Make a monetary donation! Provide scholarships to bright, deserving students in the community.
  • Donate supplies! Your in-kind donations are graciously accepted.

For further information:

Na'atik language and Culture Institute on Facebook

MexiCAN Compassion Project

MexiCAN Compassion Project is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping street dogs and under privileged children in the Riviera Maya. MexiCAN Compassion Project organizes a Christmas toy drive for needy children and provides spaying and neutering programs for dogs and cats in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. MexiCAN also organizes regular fundraising events, like Yoga for a Cause and Cocktails for a Cause, and helps support other important causes in our community.

How can YOU help?

  • Volunteer! Help out at fundraising events or join a spay and neuter campaign.
  • Donate! Attend a local fundraising event or donate via PayPal (check the FB page for the link).
  • Donate a toy for the Christmas toy drive!

For further information:

MexiCAN Compassion Project on Facebook

Riviera Rescue

Riviera Rescue is a non-profit organization that works to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome abused dogs in the Riviera Maya. Riviera Rescue helps dogs that were mistreated or that come from diseases or cases of extreme urgency—dogs that would often be candidates for euthanasia—by providing comprehensive medical care along with physical, psychological, and emotional training and proper socialization of the dogs as they progress through the different stages of rehabilitation.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate! Cash donations are needed to care for the dogs.
  • Volunteer! Help walk, bathe and care for the dogs.
  • Adopt! Riviera Rescue is actively seeking loving forever homes.

For further information:

Riviera Rescue on Facebook

Cause4Paws Puerto Morelos

Cause4Paws is a small non-profit in Puerto Morelos that assists disadvantaged pet owners with food, vaccines, deparasiting, education, and health needs in general. Cause4Paws also helps animals who need rescue and shelter, health care, and other issues. The organization is informal and requests and receives help from the Puerto Morelos community from time to time.

How can YOU help?

  • Make a monetary donation! Cash donations are needed for food, medicine, and supplies.
  • Donate food and supplies! Your in-kind donations are graciously accepted.
  • Volunteer! Volunteers are always needed to care for the dogs and cats!
  • Foster a dog or cat! Local fosters are always needed!
  • Adopt! Cause4Paws is actively seeking loving forever homes.

For further information:

Cause4Paws on Facebook

SOS El Arca

SOS el Arca is a non-profit dog shelter in Playa del Carmen that is completely privately funded, with no government financial support. The shelter rescues and rehabilitates dogs from the street and local dog pound, where they catch and kill dogs in three days. SOS el Arca’s mission is to help and save as many dogs as possible from abuse, abandonment, hunger, etc., by rehabilitating and taking care of them as long as necessary until a loving permanent home can be found.

How can YOU help?

  • Make a monetary donation! Cash donations are needed to fund the shelter.
  • Sponsor a dog! Help care for a dog until a forever home is found.
  • Donate in-kind! Food, medicines, and supplies are always needed!
  • Volunteer! Help out at the shelter with dog walking, bathing and maintenance.
  • Adopt! SOS el Arca is actively seeking loving forever homes.

For further information:

SOS el Arca on Facebook

Planned Pethood International Mexico

Planned Pethood International is a non-profit that works to reduce pet overpopulation and suffering of companion animals by offering affordable common sense veterinary medicine to everyone. They provide low cost spay/neuter clinics throughout North America, veterinarian training and adoptable rescued animals. The Puerto Morelos PPI clinic has introduced a permanent low cost spay/neuter clinic and routinely hosts spay/neuter clinics throughout the Riviera Maya.

How can YOU help?

  • Donate! Cash donations are needed to fund the spay/neuter clinics.
  • Volunteer! Help out at one of the spay/neuter clinics.
  • Adopt! Riviera Rescue is actively seeking loving forever homes.

For further information:

Planned Pethood International Mexico on Facebook

If you have a favorite charity that you feel belongs on this list, please leave a note in the comments section below and we'll be happy to consider it for inclusion next year.

Laura Nazimiec laura-nazimiec-1

Laura Nazimiec moved to Cancun from Philadelphia. A two-week language and culture immersion program in Guatemala led to a year of backpacking in Latin America and ultimately the decision to live abroad. After moving to Mexico, Laura turned her passion for travel into her career as a blogger and social media manager for BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors. In her free time, she enjoys running and yoga, and she also runs the website You can follow her on Twitter @FitCancun