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Are you looking for a way to help some of the the less fortunate children of Playa del Carmen this holiday season? Kicks4Kids is once again collecting sneakers and we need your support!


Kicks4Kids 2014


Some of the children live in remote jungle villages with no access to affordable shoes. Some of the children live within the city center but are from economically disadvantaged families. Some have no family at all.

Good quality shoes are very pricy here. Good sneakers for even little children cost about 300 pesos…making them a luxury item for many families. Shoes in the discount stores or grocery stores are more affordably priced but won’t last more than a few months.

How can you help? If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen or anywhere on the Riviera Maya this holiday season, please bring us a pair of NEW sneakers from your local Payless, Target, Walmart or wherever you can find good quality shoes at good prices. They don’t have to be a fancy brand, just well-made, sturdy, new sneakers that children can run and play in! One pair will be great...if can bring more...even better!

Shoe sizes currently needed are:
Girls Sneakers MX 22 - 26 / US 4 - 8 adult
Boys Sneakers MX 22 - 28 / US 4 - 10 adult

This will be updated as the collection progresses and new children are added to the list.

Sneakers can be dropped of at any of the Amigos Network partners.
Wah Wah Beach Bar – located on the beach at Calle 2
Glamour Salon – located under Mega Supermarket on Av. 30 & Constituyentes
Don Chendo – on Av. 30 between Calles 24 and 26
BRIC Hotel - on Calle 28 between 5th and 10th

Thank you for supporting Kicks 4 Kids!

 

 

The 4th of July almost upon us and if you are anything like me, about this time you might start to feel a little homesick. It's hard to not miss the backyard family BBQs, block parties and spectacular fireworks displays that we all enjoyed during our years in the US. Every year, more and more people relocate to Playa from the United States, just as we did 10 years ago (yikes). If you are one of them and are looking for somewhere to celebrate Independence Day with like-minded gringos we have a few good options for you. While you're unlikely to find any fireworks being set off, there are a couple of great parties going on that will sure to be a big draw for expats this 4th of July.

4th of July Playa del Carmen 

Wah Wah Beach Bar will have it´s annual 4th of July beach party. Wah Wah is presenting a buffet packed with all the best All-American BBQ that you would expect to see at home with a Mexican twist. The all-you-can-eat buffet will offer Grilled Hotdogs, Hamburgers and Wah Wah's famous Chicken Wings served with all the traditional salads and sides. There will also be Chili, a Nacho Bar, Fajita Bar and so much more. The buffet will be available from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. All you can eat for just 120 mn per person! At the bar and on the beach, enjoy 2 X 1 Margartitas from 12 to 5 pm!!

Of course, World Cup fever means that all the soccer games will be showing on 4 huge flat screen TVs at the bar. Come early and watch France VS Germany at 11:00am and stick around for Brazil VS Colombia at 3:00pm. After the matches, LIVE music will begin at 7:00pm with one of Playa del Carmen´s hottest bands, RIO FUNK!

Wah Wah Beach Bar is a favorite with families and is VERY kid friendly. If you are living in Playa or just visiting the area with your family Wah Wah is the place to go to meet people and let the kids make some new friends. Wah Wah is located on the beach just south of Calle 2.


4th of July Playa del Carmen

La Casa del Agua is having a very sophisticated 4th of July celebration with a huge festival of American wines! Enjoy over 80 wines will be available to taste from some of the best producers from the United States. The event will feature wines from Rhiannon, Robert Mondavi, Greg Norman, Kendall Jackson, Ridge, Stags Leap, Gloria Ferrer and many more! The tasting will take place from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

Basic Tasting $350 pesos (day of event $400 pesos) - Includes 45 basic level wines and delicious house made canapes.
Premium Tasting $600 pesos (day of event $650 pesos) - Includes 35 premium level wines + 45 basic level wines and delicious house made canapes.

Click here to see the list of wines for both the basic and the premium tasting levels.

You can buy the bracelets at La Casa del Agua from 10:00am to 10:00pm today or after 10:00am tomorrow. You can also contact the staff at on 984 164 6700 or 984 133 9662 and they will deliver the bracelets to your home or office. How about that for service! La Casa del Agua is located on 5th Av. at Calle 2.

 

4th of July Playa del Carmen

You can always find a good party at Zenzi and this July 4th will be no exception! Zenzi will be offering and all-you-can-eat American BBQ buffet with Grilled Hamburgers, Sausage, Chicken, Ribs, traditional Baked Beans, sweet Corn on the Cob and your choice of three Salads. The buffet will be open from 4:00pm - 8:00pm and will cost $150 pesos per person. Also enjoy LIVE rock and roll entertainment from RADIO CERO! Eat! Drink! Chill!

Zenzi is located on the beach at Calle 10. For more info call 984 803 5738 or check out the Zenzi facebook page.

4th of July in Akumal 

Celebrate the 4th of July in Akumal with all your expats friends. Lol Ha will be offering a fine spread of classic American BBQ fare like Ribs, Grilled Sausages, Chicken Wings, Corn on the Cob and good old fashioned Potato Salad all for just $150 pesos per person. The drink of the day will be a Miami Vice. What could be more American than that!

Lol Ha’s famous Happy Hour will be running from 5:30-6:30pm but the All-American menu will be offered all day long! The crowd at Lol Ha is always a lot of fun, the food you know is delicious and the view can’t be beat! Where else would you rather be? Lol Ha is located on the beach on Akumal's main bay just south of the arch.


4th of July Playa del Carmen

Of course, Bad Boys Beach Bar will be hosting their own 4th of July beach bash with live music from Creizy Toy from 3:00pm - 6:30pm. Cowboy John will be cooking up delicious traditional American fare. Guests are asked to bring a favorite side dish to share, perhaps a favorite American style potato salad, coleslaw or apple pie or whatever makes your 4th of July complete! If you are just here on vacation and can't participate in the pot-luck, just $150 pesos let's you take advantage of all of Cowboy John's good old fashioned fix-ins like Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Coleslaw and Green Salad!!

The buffet will start at 3:00pm and go until the food runs out so get there early! Bad Boys is located on the beach just south of Calle 4. Just look for the pirate flag.

 

Once again, we are putting together a listing of camps and programs (cursos de verano) for children in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya for the summer of 2014. These are the programs and summer camps that we have found so far for kids living in Playa del Carmen and all across the Mayan Riviera. There are some exciting new programs this year for children of all ages, both day programs and sleep over camps. Whether your children are interested in sports, nature, the arts or even a traditional sleep-over camp experience, there are a variety of options to choose from. I have not yet heard back from all of the organizations who I have reached out and I will update the list and re-post the link to the blog on the BuyPlaya Facebook page as new offerings come in. If you know of any summer camp options that we do not have listed, please feel free to send me the info at michele@buyplaya.com.
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Summer Camp Playa del Carmen 2014

Agua Azul Camp (Sleep-away Camp)
Dates:     July 14 - July 19, 2014 - $4500 mn per camper
               July 21 - July 26, 2014 - $4500 mn per camper
Time:       Sleep-over camp
Location: Camp Agua Azul, 1 hour west of Cancun, in Nuevo Valladolid

Want your kids to experience the traditional "sleep-over" camp like you did as a child? Check out Camp Agua Azul! This summer camp is located just about 1.5 hours from Playa del Carmen near Nuevo Valladolid. Children ages 6 - 16 will spend 1 week sleeping in tents, surrounded by lush jungle and mystical cenotes. Campers will learn about the environment they live in and enjoy all sorts of games and activities including swimming in cenotes, kayak races, water zip-lines, campfires, foam wars, obstacle courses, competitions and all the fun you would expect from a true summer camp. Adult counselors and lifeguards with paramedic training will be onsite at all times. Cost includes transportation to and from Cancun, lodging, meals, accident insurance and all onsite activities. For more information visit the Agua Azul website and check out these camp videos on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnsyxsJCD1Q and http://youtu.be/c8Rz384u1yQ. To reserve, contact camp organizer Marilu Rivera at 998-120-4825 or via email campaguaazul@gmail.com. 

 

Summer Camp 2014 

Azul Maya Summer Camp (Sleep-away Camp)
Dates:     July 20 - July 26, 2014
                July 14 - Aug. 2, 2014
Time:       Sleep-over camp
Location: Camp Azul Maya, Laguna Bacalar
Cost:       $12,600 mn per camper/per week-long session

Camp Azul Maya is located just about 2 hours from Playa del Carmen on Laguna Bacalar. Children and teens, ages 8 - 16, will spend 1 week sleeping in eco-cabins on the shores of Bacalar, the lake of seven colors, surrounded by nature. Summer Camp Azul Maya combines various elements that make this an unforgettable life experience where your children will learn, live together with nature and have a great time! Activities include swimming in cenotes, SUP, kayaking, zip-lines, hiking, climbing/rappelling, visits to archeological sites, campfires and all the fun you would expect from a great summer camp experience. Onsite counselors are trained in biology, nutrition, conservation, ecology and the unique history and culture of the region. Medical/first aid care will be available 24/7. Sessions are limited to 40 campers to provide a personalized camp experience. Cost includes lodging, meals and all onsite activities. For more information and to reserve a place for your child, visit the Azul Maya webpage, the Azul Maya Facebook page or contact camp organizers at kayakcenter@raidmexico.com or lisa@raidmexico.com.

 

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen

Parque La Ceiba Curso de Verano (Day Camp)
Dates:      July 7, 2014 - August 15, 2014
Time:        8 am - 2 pm
Location:  Parque la Ceiba - Calle 1a sur and Diagonal 60, Col. Ejido
Cost:        1 day $350 mn per child
                1 week $1100 mn per child
                6 weeks $4200 mn per child

Children ages 5 - 11 are invited to spend the summer break in the jungle at Parque la Ceiba in Playa del Carmen. This summer the camp will invite your child to "Travel the 5 Continents" using their 5 senses. The goal of this program is to encourage the development of a child's sensory curiosity, imagination and creativity through artistic, cultural and recreational activities related to environmental and cultural awareness. To help our children appreciate and care for our natural environment, children will travel "Virtually" around the world sampling the cuisine and discovering the art, dance and natural habitats of countries from around the globe. Children will progress through the 6 week course participating in story-telling, art activities, music, games, dance, cooking, cine club, "Mundo Magico", environmental education activities, games of skill and training and tours related to all kinds of interesting environmental and cultural themes. Prices include all materials. Instruction will primarily be given in Spanish providing a wonderful opportunity for children new to Mexico to immerse themselves in the language in a casual and fun environment without the pressures of school. Parents are invited to come a bit early at pick-up time to see what the children have been working on! This is the 7th year that Parque la Ceiba has offered a summer camp for local children and it is very popular. For more information and to reserve a spot for your child, contact Lei de Landero at parquelaceiba@florafaunaycultura.org. 

 

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen 2014

Horseback Riding Camp (Day Camp)
Dates:      July 14, 2014 - August 15, 2014 Monday - Friday
Time:        8:00 am - 11:00 pm
Location:  Hipico Playa del Carmen, located behind Rancho Guadalupana, just south of Xcaret on 307 south.
Cost:        $1500 mn per student per week

Boys and girls, ages 7 and older, will spend their mornings at the Hipico Playa del Carmen learning all about horses; how to feed and care for the animals and their tack. Riding instruction daily for beginning and intermediate riders. Children who enroll for a month long session will be able to "Adopt a Horse" for the month! This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce your children to horses, animal care, stable maintenance and riding in a safe and fun environment under the supervision of experienced equestrian Paco Magallon. After riding class, campers can cool off in the cenote onsite! No previous experience required. Bi-lingual instruction.  For more information, visit the Hipico Playa del Carmen Facebook Page or email hipicoplayadelcarmen@gmail.com.


Tennis Camp Playa del Carmen

PLAY TENNIS Camp for Kids (Day Camp)
Dates:     July 7, 2013  - Aug. 15, 2014
Time:       8:00 am - 10:00 am or 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Hotel Ocean Maya Royal, Carratera 307 km 299
Cost:       1 week:  $900 mn  
               2 weeks: $1500 mn   
               3 weeks   $2000 mn

For several years, PLAY TENNIS ACADEMY has organized a wonderful summer tennis camp for kids ages 5 - 15. Kids of all skill levels will learn the proper technique and form for each of the strokes used in the fast paced game of tennis! Children will develop important motor skills with the racket in a manner suitable for children at all levels of play. Young and beginning players will focus on development of motor skills with the ball and racquet, learning the techniques of each stroke and fun games and learning activities to reinforce new skills. Older children and more advanced players will work on technical stroke training and tactics of the game. They will master the 5 game situations - serve, return, base-line play, attack and defense and delve into the psychology of the game of tennis. There will be a Mini-Olympics to finish the course with prizes! Fees include an official summer camp t-shirt, sports drinks and snacks for each child. For more information and to sign up contact Alvaro Flores at tenisproalvaro@gmail.com or call 984-806-4666.

 

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 2014

Palapa Suuk Cursos de Verano (Day Camp)
Dates:     June 30, 2014 - Aug. 15, 2014
Time:       10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Palapa Suuk, Av. CTM between 5th and 10th
Cost:       1 week $650 mn per child
               1 month $2300 m per child

Palapa Suuk invites children ages 6-12 to spend the day having fun, learning and developing new skills and making new friends! Children will have the chance to participate in a variety of artistic, active and educational pursuits including yoga, cooking classes, dance, arts and crafts, games, storytelling and more. For more information email talleresmaju@gmail.com or call (984) 120 3780. You can also connect with Maju on Facebook


Puerto Aventuras Sailing Camp 2014

Puerto Aventuras Sailing Camp (Day Camp)

Sailing:   July 15 - August 15, 2013
               Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location: The Marina in Puerto Aventuras
Costs:     $500 mn per month (2 classes per week)

Since its inception, the sailing club in Puerto Aventuras has attracted a great following and their sailors have had great success in national regattas. Captains in the making train on easily maneuverable Optimist sailboats, perfect for young ones. This summer the Club Deportivo de Velas in Puerto Aventuras will offer both sailing instruction for children ages 8 -12. The classes are appropriate for all levels of sailors. The only requirement is the ability to swim. Space is VERY limited so don't wait until the last minute to register. For more information and to sign up contact Director Daniele Gracis 984-127-1392 or via email atencion@colonos.org.
 

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 2014

Colegio El Papalote Cursos de Verano (Day Camp)
Dates:     June 7, 2014 - Aug. 1, 2014
Time:       8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Colegio El Papalote, Av. 25 between Calles 30 and 32
Cost:       1 day $ 250 mn per child
                1 week $ 1000 mn per child
                1 month $3500 mn per child
            
Every summer Colegio El Papalote opens its doors to all Playa del Carmen children in preschool and primary grades to spend their summer days having fun, staying active and making new friends! Children will have the chance to participate in a variety of artistic, active and educational pursuits including painting, arts and crafts, music, water games and lots of fun activities for kids of all ages. For more information call Miss Yanett at (984) 185 9485. 

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 2014

Colegio El Papalote Sports Camp (Day Camp)
Dates:     June 7, 2014 - July 24, 2014
Time:       8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Colegio El Papalote, Av. 25 between Calles 30 and 32
Cost:       1 week $600 mn per child
               3 weeks $1500 mn per child
              
This summer Colegio El Papalote will be offering a fun sports camp to keep your kids active and help them build new skills. Monday - Friday Coaches Omar and Carlos will be supervising kids ages 7 and up in a variety of sports and recreational activities such as Basketball, Soccer, Yoga and Swimming. For more information call Coach Omar at (984) 134 6189 or Coach Carlos (984) 133 6046.  

 

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 2014 

Harmon Hall English Summer Course (Day Camp)
Dates:     July 14, 2014 - Aug. 21, 2014 Monday - Friday
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Harmon Hall, Calle 6 between Ave. 25 and 30
Cost:       Call 01-800-HABLA YA for tuition information.

Harmon Hall, likely the best known English language school in Mexico, is offering a Summer Course for students ages 6 - 17. Harmon Hall Summer Course 2014 is designed for children to earn English and have fun while getting to know different cultures of the world. Each week will focus on a new country; its geography, art, cuisine and traditions. In only 6 weeks your children will achieve the same results they would get normally in 6 months!! This will be of particular interest to National families who are looking for an intensive English summer program for their school age children. Students will be grouped by age: Kids 6-10 years of age, Pre- teens 11-13 years of age, Super Intensive 14-17 years of age. 4 week program begins July 14. For program details visit  http://www.harmonhall.com/summer/#programa. Call 01-800-HABLA YA for tuition information.

Summer Camps in Playa del Carmen 2014

DanceClub Playa Summer Dance Camp 2014 (Day Camp)
Dates:     Aug. 4, 2014 - Aug. 8, 2014
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Comunidad Educativa El Papalote, Av. 25 between Calles 30 and 32
Cost:       4 Days: $1200 mn per child (Space is limited to 20 students)

DanceClub Playa Summer Dance Camp ZZZ (Overnight Camp)
Dates:     Aug. 13, 2014 - Aug. 15, 2014
Time:       Overnight Camp
Location: DanceClub Playa, Calle 24 between Av. 30 and 35
Cost:       3 Days/2 Nights: $1900 mn per child (Space is limited to 10 students)

The DanceClub Playa day camp is open to all children, boys and girls, ages 5 and up and will take place at El Papalote School. The overnight Dance Camp ZZZ welcomes children from age 10 and will be held at the DanceClub Playa campus on calle 24. Children will participate in intensive dance classes, games and fun activities! Students will learn street dance, hip hop, break dance, popping, capoeira and more. Fees include all classes and course materials, water and fresh fruit and an official DANCE CAMP t-shirt. Overnight dance campers will receive 5 healthy meals daily and a dance video at the end of the session. Discounts will apply for registration before August 1. For more information and to register your child email danceclubplaya@gmail.com or call Johanna at 984-142-4094.

 

Summer Camps Playa del Carmen 2014

Centro Caricol Marino Summer Camp (Day Camp)
Dates:     July 16, 2014 - Aug. 15, 2014 (5 weeks)
Time:       9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Centro Cultural Caricol Marino, Calle 80 between 5th and 10th
Cost:       1 day $120 mn per child
               1 week $750 mn per child
               Entire Session $2800 mn per child

Make your child's summer fun and educational! The Centro Cultural Caricol Marino invites children ages 5 - 14 to Expres-arte their summer break! Kids will spend the day learning and developing new artistic talents, having fun and making new friends! Children will have the chance to participate in a variety of artistic, active and educational pursuits. Children will be sorted according to age. Each group will participate in activities geared to their age.  Discounts may apply for families with more than one child attending. For more information email centrocaricolmarino@gmail.com or call (984) 157 2457, (984) 116 8439. You can also connect with Caricol Marino on Facebook.


Summer Camps in Playa del Carmen 2014

Explayarte Tu Verano (Day Camp)

Arts Camp - ages 8+
Dates:     July 14, 2014 - Aug. 9, 2014
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm Monday - Friday
Location: Explayarte, Arco Vial across from Centro Maya
Cost:       1 week $950 mn per child
               Complete Course $3400 mn per child

Intensive Music Camp
Dates:     July 14, 2014 - Aug. 9, 2014
Time:      11:00 am - 2:00 pm Monday - Friday
Location: Explayarte, Arco Vial across from Centro Maya
Cost:       1 week $700 mn per child
                Complete Course $2400 mn per child

Intensive Drama Camp - ages 13+
Dates:     July 14, 2014 - Aug. 9, 2014
Time:       9:00 am - 11:00 pm Monday - Friday
Location: Explayarte, Arco Vial across from Centro Maya
Cost:       1 week $700 mn per child
               Complete Course $2400 mn per child


Explayarte, Playa del Carmen's premier music and performing arts school is offering a wonderful summer program for your budding performers! Children as young as 8 are welcome to join the Summer Arts program where they will work on projects learn music skills, acting, drawing and storytelling. An Intensive Drama Camp is open to children 13+ with an interest in improving their acting skills. The goal of this course to teach young performers specific techniques and methods of acting. At the end of the course, participants will have a fully realized audition piece completed. Drama Camp participants will be able to put their hard work to practical use, performing for Explayarte staff, students and parents at the end of the summer session. The intensive Music Camp is open to musicians of all ages and abilities. Students will learn the principals of various genres of music including Jazz, Funk and Rock. They will learn to play together as an ensemble and at the end of the course they will have the opportunity to play with professional musicians.

 

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 2014

Centro Cultural de Playa del Carmen Curso de Verano
Dates:     July 13, 2014 - Aug.16, 2014
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm Monday - Friday
Location: Centro Cultural PDC, Cruz de Servicios at Av. 115
Cost:       1 week $700 mn per child
               Complete Course $2400 mn per child

Children 7-12 years old are invited to spend the summer break at Playa del Carmen's Centro Cultural. More info coming soon.


Summer Camp Puerto Morelos 

Casa de Cultura Puerto Morelos Curso de Verano
Dates:     July 21, 2014 - Aug. 8, 2014
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm Monday - Friday
Location: Casa de Cultura Puerto Morelos, Ninos Heroes num. 2
Cost:       Entire Session $1300 mn per child

Children ages 4 - 11. For more information contact Maestra Lorena Malo 998 150 2857.             

 

Sumer Camp Cancun

Ninos de Luz - Cursos de Verano (Day Camp)
Dates:     July 7, 2014 - Aug. 1, 2014 Monday - Friday
Time:       10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: A QI Plaza Ade Local 1, Av. Nichupte esq. Punta Piedra Mz 5 Lote 1 Smz 17
Cost:       1 week $1200 mn per child
               2 weeks $2000 mn per child
               3 weeks $2800 mn per child
               4 weeks $3500 mn per child

ArmoniaQI in Cancun invites children ages 4 - 11 to their special summer program, Ninos de Luz, Ninos Felices y Concientes . Throughout the summer, children will, through games and fun activities, learn to connect with their inner peace, manage their emotions and channel their energy.

Throughout the course children will learn to:
* Manage and focus your energy and emotions
* Hold positive thoughts and improve negative attitudes to live in harmony.
* Improve posture and learn to breathe properly
* Be more loving to themselves and others
* Meditate and calm their mind to stay in balance
* Raise awareness of their thoughts, words, actions and the consequences thereof
* Care for the environment

Activities will include:
• Yoga (warning up, postures, relaxation and meditation.)
• Meditation in motion
• Mandalas workshop
• Stories Telling (Fables)
• Reiki for Kids
• Self-esteem and values development
• Dealing with emotions
• Neuro Linguistic Programming
• Art and stimulating your imagination 

The fees include all material and lunch. For more information contact Fer Fernández or Monica Weber (998) 118 5428, (998) 842 0338 or via email info@armoniaqi.com.

 

Curso de Verano Playa del Carmen 

 
Summer Camps Playa del Carmen

Summer Camp in Playa del Carmen

Cursos de Verano Playa del Carmen

Curso de Verano Playa del Carmen 

 

 

Rob and I have been approached by a Casting Associate who is working on a new TV series about people who are living out the fantasy on a tropical beach or island. While we don't have time to participate I'll bet a few of our "Life's a Beach" readers might be interested!

The Travel Channel is looking for the ultimate stories of escape from the courageous few who checked their suit and tie at the door never to return to the daily grind. They want to a peek inside these enviable lives to see how different routines are when living life "out of the box" in paradise. This new travel documentary show will be centered around cool stories and people who are doing cool things (i.e. built their own boat and live on it, run interesting businesses, found their new life from an unexpected twist of fate, etc). The idea is to get a glimpse inside the lives of people that are "living the dream."

This is a pilot, but if it gets picked up, it will become an ongoing series, like HHI and similar shows.

If you feel like you are a good fit for the pilot, please send the information requested on the flier below.  You probably won't get famous but it could be a lot of fun!

New TV Show About Expats

 

When contemplating a destination for a family trip or even a quick getaway, one of our top considerations is cuisine/dining options. When doing my research for this year's family vacation, I found loads of fantastic restaurant recommendations for San Miguel de Allende but not so many for GTO City. Nevertheless, with a little bit of help from Google and recommendations from our property manager, Israel and other locals we met along the way, we actually found some fantastic restaurants, ate some great food and met some very fine chefs along the way. These are our top 5 restaurant picks for Guanajuato City, the places we really enjoyed and look forward to returning to next time!

La Taula - Both Rob and I absolutely loved this place located down the block from our rental, just off of the Plaza San Fernando. We ate there twice during our week-long stay in the city. We liked it so much, La Taula took the coveted "last meal" position in our schedule. The menu concept put simply is Mexican ingredients meet Spanish tapas. Our favorites offerings included the Carpaccio de Tomate y Tomatillo, Mejillones Natural, Ancas de Rana and the Camarones Aluat. The frogs legs are hands down the best I have ever had. The wine list was small but well thought-out and reasonably priced. I think we may have drank them out of Casa Madero 3V which is a favorite of ours. The sous chef came out several times to check in on us and give us little samples of things we had not tried yet and really went out of his way to make sure we had the best that La Taula had to offer. This place is a little hard to find and not directly accessible by taxi but definitely worth it! - Callejon del Potrero #2x, Guanajuato.

La Taula 

La Taula 

La Taula

La Taula

La Taula 

Los Campos - Los Campos received two visits during our stay in GTO City, once for dinner and another day for lunch. I think I might best describe the cuisine as Mediterranean Mexican. The restaurant had just recently moved into it's new location at Plaza Baratillo but it seems that its fans have followed. With plenty of vegetarian options at very affordable prices, it's not hard to see why Los Campos has such a following. In April, they did not yet have their liquor license sorted, but Mike the owner felt pretty confident that it was going to approved soon. Regardless (and thanks to an easy work-around) this was one of our favorite dining spots and one we would return to. - # 4a Calle de la Alameda Plaza Baratillo | Centro Historico, Guanajuato

Los Campos 

Los Campos 

Los Campos

Los Campos 

Los Campos 

Casa Valadez - Casa Valadez was recommended to us by our property manager and was the first meal we had upon arriving in the city. Located on the Jardin de la Union just across from the Teatro Juarez, it's hard NOT to find this landmark restaurant. We ate there several times but the price point may put this into the "special occasion" category for some travelers. I heard they have a great brunch but we only managed to make it there at dinner time and the patio dining area was the ideal spot to take in the cacophony of sites and sounds that pour through the plaza every night. Great wine list. Great selection of mescal. Great service. Don't miss the amuse bouche sampler platter. Jardin Union 3, Guanajuato

Casa Valadez

Casa Valadez

Casa Valadez

Delicia Mitsu - A real hole-in-the-wall tucked in a narrow alley behind the Plaza San Fernando, Delica Mitsu was a great find for us. If you are traveling to Guanajuato City from the US, Canada or Europe you may be thinking "Why eat Japanese food in Mexico?". Fair enough. For our family, having lived in Mexico for almost ten years, finding authentic flavors and ingredients from far away lands is sometimes a challenge and always a real treat! I recommend the "Bento Box" option which allows you to try a variety of Japanese salads and finger foods, prepared daily and displayed in the deli case. The sushi is made to order and is delicious. The veggie tempura was some of the best I have had. For an interesting and affordable lunch I highly recommend you make the effort to find this little gem. - San Fernando Plaza, Guanajuato

Delica Mitsu 

Delica Mitsu

Delica Mitsu

Delica Mitsu 

Delica Mitsu

Las Mercedes - Las Mercedes, located in a private home in the hills overlooking the city, offers delicious alta Mexicanana cuisine in an elegant setting. The wine list is extensive but pricey. We were happy to find one of our favorites, Gabriel from Adobe Guadalupe. There are only a handful of tables and plenty of staff bustling around giving fantastic service to all. The restaurant has been recognized in the New York Times and won many prestigious awards and it's not hard to see why. If you find yourself in Guanajuato and want to splurge on a fine dining experience, this is the place. You will need a taxi to bring you up from downtown. Reservations are required. - Calle de Arriba No.6 | Fraccionamiento San Javier, Guanajuato

Las Mercedes

Las Mercedes 

 

One of the hazards of traveling with me is that you are always waiting. Why? Because I am always stopping to take pictures. Most of these pictures don't make it into our trip reports because they don't specifically apply to the activities we were doing or what I happen to be writing about. These may not necessarily be the best shots but sometimes they end up being the ones that really show you what a place it like...how it feels to actually be there.

Rob and I both LOVED GTO City. It is vibrant and young and hip yet authentic and historical all at the same time. The vibe is really great! Everywhere you look there is art and music and theatre! I can't tell if the city is just on the cusp of a foreign investment/tourism boom or if it's just going to stay the way it is, sort of suspended in time. Upgrades have been made recently to the roads and underground tunnel systems to allow for increased traffic and less congestion within the downtown area. You can tell that municipal tax dollars are actually being funneled back into public works and support services to benefit residents and visitors alike. The upscale restaurant and fine dining scene is small but growing and if they could create a better artisans market, I think more people would consider the city as a destination. Maybe nearby San Miguel de Allende popped first and Guanajuato is simply getting overlooked. I can tell you for sure that both Rob and I would like to come back to this city.

So here you go. What the average day in Guanajuato looked like through my eyes and my lens.

 


 

  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty Spectacular. We'll be back!

 

 

Today, I woke up early and ran out to Oxxo (yup, they're everywhere) to grab another bag off coffee. We had a great day with Israel but everyone was pretty tired and definitely sleeping in. The next door neighbor's dog was there to greet me, as usual when I left. The streets were already bustling with activity, everyone going from church to church collecting fistfuls of camomile flowers in preparation for Good Friday. This was our last day in Guanajuato City and the plan today was to hit a few more of the cities most famous points of interest. I was pretty sure I would be on my own for the first hours so I made the Teatro de Juarez my first stop.

The Teatro Juarez is one of the iconic buildings that surrounds the Jardin Union. The theatre is a beautiful example of neo-classic design that was completed in 1903 and inaugurated by General Porfirio Diaz. Its most distinguishing exterior features are a double line of doric columns and the Greek muses which crown the facade and look out over the Plaza. The auditorium is absolutely stunning and remarkable in that it is the only theatre in Mexico that has managed to maintain all of its original decoration and furnishings. The theatre is in use year round offering all sorts of artistic activity, from theatrical performances, ballet and music to painting and photography exhibitions. The grand auditorium also functions as the main performance space for the International Cervantino Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guanajuato's Don Quijote obsession can be seen not only in its annual International Cervantes Festival but all around the city everyday. The famous Spanish literary character and his sidekick Sancho can be found everywhere. Of course,the best place to get your Quijote fix is at the Museo Iconografico del Quijote next to the San Francisco Church. Here you can find a multitude of exhibits featuring Don Quijote. Housed in a beautifully restored 18th century building, the museum exhibits include everything from murals, oil paintings, tapestries and bronze statuary to chess sets, coins, books and even postage stamps.

 


 


 

 

 

The museum was wonderful and even the kids seems to enjoy seeing all the varied depictions of the same character. At least they were able to pick out his personage when we saw it in paintings and sculptures around the city. We finished the day hanging out in Plaza del San Fernando, sipping mescal and listening to the street musicians and strolling minstrels. Then we grabbed another great tapas dinner at Taula and called it a night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Tomorrow, we bid Guanajuato goodbye and move on to San Miguel de Allende. Fingers crossed, we will make it there in time to see the processions.....

 

Today, we hired a driver to take us around to some of the outlying areas surrounding Guanajuato City so that we could see some of the important sites that are inaccessible by foot. On a regional message board, I found a recommendation for a driver/tour guide named Israel Torres who was available to take us out and around for a few hours in the afternoon. Our first stop was the Santa Rosa majolica ceramics factory high in the mountains. The factory itself was closed for the holiday but the showroom was open for business and Rob and I picked out two lovely pieces to ship back to Playa. They had a dizzying array of styles and patterns and if you are in the market for such decorative items, I would say this is the place to go. Photography is not allowed inside the showroom but we are going to assume I didn't see the clearly posted signs.

 

 

 

From there we went to see some of the mines that made Guanajuato famous and the spectacular Templo de Valenciana. This spectacular church has a rose colored facade and is a one of Mexico's best examples of Churrigueresque (Spanish Barouque) architecture. Inside there are three ornate gold altars and many fine paintings from the 19th century, all in pristine condition.

 

 

 

 


Valenciana Mine, Guanajuato

 


Mine of Guadalupe, Guanajuato

 



After a quick pit stop at the Castillo Santa Cecilia, a former 17th century mining hacienda re-purposed as a hotel, we decided to visit the gardens of Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera, another fantastic mining hacienda notable for its elegant and exquisite themed gardens. I had done a search online before we arrived in hopes of finding another great spot like the Ethno-botanical Garden in Oaxaca but all I could find were pages and reviews for El Charco in San Miguel de Allende. You can imagine my surprise when Israel brought us to this beautiful property now owned and maintained by the government of Guanajuato as a state treasure. Constructed at the end of the 17th century, this was the home of Captain Gabriel de Barrera, whose family was descended from the first Conde de Rul of Guanajuato's famous Valenciana mine. The grounds are fairly well maintained and is now open to the public and used for weddings, conferences and governmental meetings. If you have visited the vast haciendas in the Yucatan, this might be a bit disappointing. When we were there there were no tours offered in Spanish or English but we enjoyed wandering through the grounds and stopping for a cold beer in the cafe onsite.

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato

Museo Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Guanajuato 

With some time to spare before our dinner reservation at Las Mercedes, Israel drove us through some more of Guanajuato's influential neighborhoods and to see some of its most important monuments, historic buildings and places of interest like the Presa de la Olla built in 1749 to hold the city's water supply. Today it is a beautiful park-like setting where people picnic in the nearby gardens or take paddle boats out onto the reservoir. There is a restaurant on the shore which looked like a popular place to meet for lunch. It was a hot day and we saw a few people swimming to cool off.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

After our tour, Israel dropped us off at Las Mercedes, a highly renowned, reservations-only restaurant high in the hills over the city. Located in the home of the owner, Las Mercedes offers delicious alta Mexicanana cuisine in an elegant setting. The wine list is fantastic and we had no trouble finding one of our favorites, Gabriel from Adobe Guadalupe. There are only a handful of tables and plenty of staff bustling around giving fantastic service to all. At the end of our meal we met the owner, Sr. Jesús Cárdenas, who was so gracious and obviously very proud of his home, his business and the food they create. If you find yourself in Guanajuato and want to splurge on a fine dining experience, this is the place. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

This was a fantastic day and I really can't recommend Israel and his services highly enough. I think what impressed me the most was how proud he is of his state and of the state government. In Qroo we don't often here too many people complimenting, much less "showing off" the work that has been done by the government for the state and its people. Yet, that's exactly what we heard and saw all day with Israel. At every turn we saw examples of the government stepping in to preserve and maintain buildings and properties important and meaningful to the history of the region. This was such a nice change and made us even more glad we had decided to visit Guanajuato.

If you are in the area and would like to see Guanajuato with Israel Torres, he can be contacted by phone at 473-597-3953 or email IsraelT2007[at]hotmail.com. He also does tours to San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo and other destinations in this fascinating state. Let him know I sent you!

 

 

Today was the first day that everyone really felt 100%. We have all pretty much acclimated to the altitude although poor Cole is really suffering with the dryness. His poor lips are chapped and cracked despite our best efforts with lip balm. While Rob closed up some deals, the kids and I wandered around town and went in search of a  little Japanese hole-in-the-wall that had been highly praised online. Despite being only a 10 minute walk from our house, it took us 30 minutes and several sets of directions from sympathetic shop owners to get us to the tiny locale, tucked away in a narrow alley off the the Plaza de San Fernando! So glad we made the effort as it was a terrific lunch with authentic flavors, fresh ingredients and thoughtfully prepared dishes, many of which we would never see back home in Playa. These guys really know what they are doing and obviously love the food they are creating. Delica Mitsu....Highly recommended!

 

 

 

After bringing a bento box lunch back to Rob, we set out to one of our "must-see" destinations, el Museo de Momias de Guanajuato...the mummy museum! I was still catching some chaff about the awful Museo de Leyendas, so I had my fingers crossed that this would be as fun as our friends assured us it would be. There was certainly quite a line up of people when we arrived which is always a good sign. The museum is a narrated tour and only 30 people are allowed in at any time. Considering the dark and the cramped quarters, this is a brilliant idea and really allows visitors to view all the exhibits and hear everything the guide is explaining. The tour is conducted in Spanish only, which was obviously fine for us and many of the exhibits have signage in English so you won't too miss much if your language skills are rusty. A word of warning to parents visiting with children...If you are squeamish about talking to your kids about certain anatomical parts, beware. Two words "mummified genitalia". As ghoulish and creepy as it is, we all really enjoyed this museum and it really is a "must-see" if you are visiting Guanajuato. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We cabbed back down into the historic centro and made a stop at the sprawling Mercado Hidalgo. Like most things in this city, it is not really set up for tourists although there are plenty of crappy trinkets to be found in the upstairs stalls. This is a working market with butchers, fishmongers, farmers with produce, chiles and dried beans, vendors selling plastic goods and paper products and other items that small business owners need on a daily basis. There were also some very tasty looking food counters with carnitas, ceviche, chiles rellenos and all sorts of delicious lunch items. They all seemed to be doing a pretty brisk business. If you are looking for quality handcrafts, this is definitely not the place to find them although Rob did score a bottle of tasty Macademia Nut liqueur.

 

After, the market, we wandered around town looking for a place to sit and relax for awhile and maybe enjoy a few cold ones. Surprisingly, we wound our way back again to the Plaza San Fernando and found a little hole-in-the-wall bar playing great music and serving up cheep beer and mescal. This was a great spot for people watching and the plaza was filled with music coming from all sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spot I had scoped out for dinner was quaint little spot off of the Plaza el Baratillo called Los Campos. Rumor told that they had a small but thoughtful menu with some nice vegetarian options. I had also heard that they might not have a liquor license but after 5 mezcals, I wasn't too concerned about booze. We met the owner, Michael, who actually met his wife on a trip to Playa del Carmen. He regaled us with his adventures in starting a business in Mexico with all the trials and tribulations that have come to be familiar to us after 10 years. We all laughed and nodded sympathetically. He seemed undaunted by the setbacks and was definitely putting his best culinary foot forward with this place. They are still struggling to get their liquor license but a work around is in place for anyone who wants to enjoy wine with dinner. ;)  We tried several items on the menu and everything was really nicely done. I especially liked the tomatoes stuffed with corn, crema and farmers cheese. The restaurant itself is very cozy and romantic but too dark to get good food photos so I have borrowed these from their Facebook page. Los Campos - Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

Today was kind of a bust as Rob woke up to find his back out. Not exactly an unusual occurrence during a vacation and I quickly ran out to the nearby farmacia to grab some strong pain-killers and anti-inflammatories. This kids and I went to La Trattoria for a nice lunch which turned out to be some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten since we moved to Mexico. I know it may seem silly, but to get a dish of perfectly cooked and sauced pasta is actually quite a treat. Cat devoured a plate of lamb chops, Cole dug into a wood-oven fired Pizza Hawaiiana and I thoroughly enjoyed a simple yet delicious Fettuccine Alfredo and the Frito Mixto...a second order went home with us for Rob. This restaurant is upstairs on the corner of El Jardin de la Union just next to the Templo of San Diego. If you can score a table in one of the windows you will be rewarded with not only a great meal but a fantastic view.

We decided the best way to spend the remainder of the day would to try out all the new Mexican craft beers we had purchased and watch the sun go down from our rooftop terrace. Rob was feeling better, no doubt the combination of high octain beer and painkillers.....It was magical to watch the sun set slowly over the hills and see the lights of the city turn on one by one. As soon as the sun had disappeared completely, the temperature dropped and we changed for dinner at the nearby and now familiar Casa Valadez. As always, the plaza was abuzz with activity, music and merriment.

 

 

 

 

With just one day in town, already we could see that this is an area in Mexico that is truly flourishing. Smartly dressed business men and women and hip university students seem to make up the majority of the people we see in town, sprinkled with tourists, mostly Nationals. Guanajuato's economy has long benefited from its silver mines, which are among the richest in the world. Other treasures harvested from the surrounding mountains are tin, gold, copper, lead, mercury and opals. The state also leads the nation in the manufacture of shoes and is a major manufacturer of motor vehicles and auto parts. The day we arrived, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and French President François Hollande were here together to inaugurate a new aeronautics plant. If people are struggling here, we have yet to see it but we have not yet ventured outside of el centro.

Today, Cat and I grabbed some pastries at the nearby panaderia and brought them back for a leisurely break fast at home. We had no big plans for the day as Rob and I were adjusting to the altitude and not feeling 100%. I uploaded photos, went through email and tried to get some work done. Here are a few photos of our rental house and the neighborhood where we are staying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From our rooftop, we have a great view of the city but we really wanted to get up above it all and a visit to "El Pípila", the enormous statue that looms high over downtown seemed like the place to do it. It is possible to hike up there but we decided to take the funicula, a tram which runs up the side of the hill, leaving from behind the Teatro Juarez.

This remarkable statue celebrates the bravery of one Mexico's earliest heroes in its push toward independence, Juan José de los Reyes Martínez, or "El Pípila". He was given the nickname Pípila by his fellow miners because his pock-marked face made him vaguely resemble the egg of a species of native turkey called "pípila." In 1810, the famous revolutionary, Miguel Hidalgo, led an insurgent peasant army into the rich city of Guanajuato. The under-manned Spanish garrison was routed and the surviving soldiers and many wealth citizens barricaded themselves in the Alhóndiga (granary). Legend has it, "El Pípila" with a giant slab of stone strapped to his back to deflect bullets, crawled to the granary door with a torch and lit it on fire. The insurgent army then burst through, killing all the occupants. Hidalgo was eventually captured by the Spaniards and executed. His corpse was decapitated and his head suspended in a wire cage from one of the outside corners of the Alhóndiga. It hung there for 13 years until the fight for independence was finally won. So that's nice.

 

 

However you find your way up here, the view is magnificent and absolutely worth the trip. There are the usual trinket vendors at the top of the hill as well as a dozen or so taco carts with fantastic looking food. I was sad we had already eaten. We met a local artist and bought a small lithograph from his collection of portraits of Don Quixote. Guanajuato is absolutely obsessed with Cervantes and statues and imagery of Don Quixote can be found all over the city. The Quijote Iconographic Museum was inaugurated in his honor in 1987. Every year in October, the Festival Internacional Cervantino is held attracting visitors from all over Mexico and around the world. The origin of the Cervantino Festival dates back to the mid-20th century when short plays by Cervantes were performed in the city's plazas. The festival was officially founded and named in honor of Cervantes in 1972.

 

 

 

The state of Guanajuato is known as the land of legends due to the residents’ infatuation with supernatural tales such as the stories of El Pípila and "Kiss Alley". I thought that a visit to the Museo de Leyendas might be fun and give us a brief overview of some of Guanajuato's favorite tales. I was thinking it might be a Mexican version of the Salem Witch Museum which we all enjoyed last summer.




I don't think I can effectively depict in photos just how bad this "museum" was. Truly hokey. Not recommended unless you need a good giggle. There's 30 minutes and 60 pesos I'll never get back.

The remainder of the day and evening was spent strolling about town, wander from park to park and sitting occasionally to have a drink when the mood struck. Plaza de la Paz was particularly beautiful so we sat for a bit, enjoyed a pitcher of Clericot (sangria) in the shadow of the grand Basilica Nuestra Senora de Guanajuato and watched the world go by. Saturday must be a big day for weddings as we saw three or four wedding parties making their way through the city, taking pictures along the way. We made our way back to our now favorite spot at Casa Valadez and tried a few of their finer tequila and mezcal while the kids watched one of the many street performers, mariachi bands and musicians who call Jardin de la Union home. Everywhere you look there is art and music and culture.

 


 

  

 

 


  



 

We went for a somewhat forgettable dinner, discovered a fantastic craft beer store conveniently located across the plaza by our house and then headed home for the night. Hoping everyone feels more energetic tomorrow....

 

It's that time of year again! Time to drag my husband kicking and screaming out of Playa del Carmen in a futile attempt to get him to wind down a bit and relax! If you have been following our annual family trips over the years, you will have noticed that they have kind of devolved into actual vacations rather than opportunities for me to try to jam as much culture and "meaningful life experiences" as I can down the gullets of my reluctant children and over-worked husband. While you will never catch us lounging at the beach at some AI resort, I have at least learned to relax a bit, not plan out every single moment of the trip and just let things kind of flow. I have learned that if I let everyone sleep in, I can still run out and explore in the morning. If my husband is allowed to catch up on his emails every morning instead of rushing him out the door, he is much more apt to go along with whatever I have "planned" for the afternoon and evening. I have also learned the pleasures of sitting in one of the cafes along "el jardin", sipping mezcal and watching the world go by me. So there's going to be a lot of that on this trip. Relaxing, sipping, eating, watching, reading, chatting.....

To get here from Playa, we flew out of Cancun and into Queretaro. A fixed-rate $350 mn cab ride brought us from the airport to the centro historico where we dined on the patio at the city's famous Restaurante 1810. This had been suggested to us by a friend (thank you Diego) and online reports backed up his recommendation. We were certainly not disappointed as the food was delicious and service exemplary.

From there, we hailed a VERY small cab and, with our luggage piled high on our laps, headed for the huge bus terminal. $660 mn and 2 1/2 hours later we arrived in Guanajuato City, grabbed TWO very small cabs and followed the directions to our rental house, Casa Parra. Dylan, the property manager was here to greet us, get us settled in and point us in the right direction for a nice dinner.

As our vacation rental is located just a few minutes walk from the Jardin de la Union, that's where we went, making a beeline for Casa Valadez an elegant upscale restaurant located on the square (actually, it's a triangle) and just across from the Teatro Juarez. The area was packed with people. Some, like us where there to dine. Others strolled through the park, listened to the many musicians playing or getting ready for the walking tours of the city that leave from the Teatro Juarez nightly, showing visitors the highlights of the the centro historico. We were all pretty exhausted after dinner, so we wandered back to the house, made the obligatory Oxxo stop on the way back for morning supplies, unpacked our bags and called it a night. As we had arrived long after nightfall, it's hard to get a feeling for the place. Tomorrow, we will explore a bit further and see what this vibrant city has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Heroes of Mexico AwardsToday, The MEXICO Report, an internationally recognized blog showcasing positive news about Mexico, travel and philanthropy, announced its call for nominations for the 2014 ‘Real Heroes of Mexico' (third edition) awards. The Real Heroes of Mexico project was created in 2012 by Susie Albin-Najera, the creator and editor of The MEXICO Report, an internationally recognized blog showcasing everyday good news about Mexico The project was launched in order to showcase the true champions of Mexico, the unsung heroes in the community and those celebrating Mexican culture through their goodwill efforts, bravery, inspirational stories, sacrifices and hard work.

 "We are thrilled to launch another year of this program as it has made an important impact on the image of Mexico," says creator Susie Albin-Najera. "With this concept, we present current, real, humanitarian efforts taking place throughout Mexico and are able to bring their stories to life, and showcase their valuable efforts."

The Real Heroes of Mexico 2014From fundraising and creating healthy eating programs to education and healing the sick in rural communities, this one-of-a-kind effort showcases acts of kindness, achievements, dedication and the inspirational stories taking place in Mexico today.

This year, the program will launch with five key ambassadors who have their eye on Mexico. The ambassadors will be instrumental in helping to identify heroes throughout Mexico, however, the nominations are open to everybody.

Lydia Gregory, a fully bilingual editor, writer, translator, public relations guru and contributor to Mexico Premiere.  @MexicoPremiere

Lynne Bairstow, a bilingual and bi-cultural conduit for U.S. and Mexico business and government and is managing partner of Mita Institute and Tech Accelerator (MITA) based in Punta Mita. @lynnerae

Keph Senett, a world-traveler, creative nonfiction writer and editor, human rights champion and activist soccer player. @kephsenett

Lisa Coleman, an award-winning travel writer and co-creator of the popular Mexico news site, Mexico Premiere. @MexicoPremiere

Greg McKinney, a retired, Mexico expat living in San Felipe, with a true love for Mexico travel, beauty and the graciousness of the culture.

If you would like to become a 2014 Real Heroes of Mexico Ambassador, please email themexicoreport at yahoo.com.

The Real Heroes of Mexico awards were created to showcase the profiles of those making a difference in Mexico and in order to highlight the unsung heroes in the communities. Nominations close May 12. The nomination form for the 2014 Real Heroes of Mexico can be found here.

Previous editions of The Real Heroes of Mexico can be found here:

2012 Real Heroes of Mexico

2013 Real Heroes of Mexico

For more information and updates, follow The Mexico Report on Twitter @themexicoreport and #realheroesofmexico.

The Municipal President of Solidaridad, Mauricio Gongora Escalante, announced the official 2014 Carnaval celebrations will be held from February 27th through March 4, 2014. He presented the program of activities for Carnaval 2014 in Playa del Carmen and this year's theme, "With a New Heart".

This year's Carnaval festival will be full of surprises and novelties for those who come to enjoy this multicultural festival involving all sectors of the population. The objectives of this festival are to preserve the foundation and the multicultural richness of the city and awaken the "playense" pride in the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

Carnaval 2014 Playa del Carmen

The honorary President of DIF Solidaridad, Cinthya Osorio de Góngora, ensured that the Carnaval 2014 will have an excellent organization and she publically thanked the Standing Committee of Traditional Celebrations for their dedication and participation in planning this much-anticipated event.

Sra. Gongora also emphasized that in keeping with the this Municipal leader's policy of an inclusive Government, this edition of the Carnaval will for the first time include the coronation of a Carnaval King and Queen with special needs.

With the exception of the parades, all of the special Carnaval events will be presented in the Plaza 28 de Julio in front of the Palacio Municipal on Av. 20.

Thursday, February 27 the presentation of the candidates for Carnaval Royal Court and their parades will take place.

The judging of the Carnaval floats and krew along with the coronation of all of the categories of Kings and Queens of Carnival will follow on Friday, February 28.

Saturday, March 1 marks the first gala parade of Carnaval.  Lasting an hour and a half, the parade will leave from the Parque Fundadores and travel the length of 5th Avenue to Constituyentes Avenue. The parade can also be viewed on Constituyentes from La Quinta to Av. 30, along Avenue 30 to calle 8 and from there, all the way to the final destination at the Plaza 28 Julio.

Carnaval 2014 Playa del Carmen 

 

For the third year in a row, The KKiS Project is holding a fundraising auction to raise money to buy school supplies that will be distributed to low income families and children in the Riviera Maya. The live auction will be held at 11 am on February 20, 2014 at Wah Wah Beach Bar located at Calle 2 and the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Condo vacation stays, a washer and dryer, a beer tasting, gourmet dinners and many more items will be available for bid. Tickets for the LIVE auction are $250 MX or $20 US and include lunch and a great time! 

This year for the first time, in addition to the live auction, an online auction is also being held. For those who are unable to attend the live auction, or for those who want to participate online and in person, there are a variety of goods and services being auctioned off via silent auction Feb. 3 - Feb. 18. Restaurant gift certificates, jewelry and snorkel and diving trips are a few of the valuable items that are available. Bidders will need to register at the top right hand corner of this auction page. It's quick and easy and no financial or credit card information will be collected. If you're a lucky winner, you may remit payment at the live auction or be billed via PayPal.

You can access the on-line auction here at:  KKiS Online Charity Auction

KKiS Online Charity Auction

The online auction will close at 11am on Tuesday, Feb. 18th. You do not need to register to view the items in the auction, but you will need to register before you place your first bid. Each item listed has a minimum bid and bid increments posted. You can pay for your online auction purchases at the live auction by credit card or be billed via Paypal. If you are bidding but live somewhere outside of Playa del Carmen, please make arrangements with someone to pick up your items at the live Auction on Feb. 20th. Gift Certificates to donors bidding from the US will be mailed to you.

Since 2011 KKiS (Keeping Kids in School) has worked to provide school supplies like backpacks, notebooks, colored pencils, glue sticks, pencil cases and English/Spanish dictionaries. In 2013 KKiS was able to provide supplies for more than 550 children who otherwise may not have had the items necessary to attend school. KKiS has set aggressive goals for 2014 to help even more children in the area but can only do so with a successful auction, your support is critical so please bid on items online and join KKiS organizers and supporters on February 20th for an awesome event. This is the only fundraiser that KKIS has each year! They depend on support from the local and global community to raise money to provide backpacks of school supplies to 600 children, curriculum materials for our English classes, and advocacy for children in the public schools. Please help make this a banner year for fundraising!

Tickets for the Live Auction are available at Wah Wah starting Feb 8th or you may purchase tickets by sending an email to auction@kkisproject.org. Tickets will available at the door but for planning purposes, please purchase your tickets early.

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