Christmastime in Mexico's spectacular Riviera Maya means sunshine, endless events and hours spent on the beach. While the Riviera Maya region is mostly known for its breathtaking vacation destinations like Playa del Carmen and Akumal, it's also home to a large population of locals who often struggle to get by. This year, you can turn your Christmas beach vacation into a socially conscious travel experience by giving back to the community. Find out how you can help create a memorable Christmas for the kids of the Riviera Maya thanks to the area's amazing and dedicated local charities.




The city of Playa del Carmen offers gorgeous white sand beaches and beautiful boutique hotels, but even this eye-catching travel destination has kids in need of basic clothing items. Many of the local children only own flip flops and can't afford proper shoes, which can lead to all kinds of injuries including insect bites, snake bites and stubbed toes. If you're traveling to Playa del Carmen this Christmas season, you can easily donate shoes to the kids of the Riviera Maya with the Kicks4Kids program. All you have to do is bring new children's shoes in US sizes Child 3 - Adult 7 to any of the drop points for the Amigos Network:

  • Glamour Salon (located downstairs at the Mega supermarket on Avenida 30)
  • Wah Wah Beach Bar (on the beach at Calle 2)
  • Don Chendo Italian Restaurant (Avenida 30 between Calle 24 and 26)



Hekab Be Library

Travelers who frequent the sleepy beach town of Akumal may already be familiar with the lovely Hekab Be Library. This organization hosts unique and productive activities for the kids of the Akumal community, including games, crafts and even swim classes in Akumal Bay!

Every year they host a special holiday event for the kids, and the 2014 Hekab Be Christmas Party will be held on Saturday, December 20. Anyone is invited to attend for a fun day of piñatas, kids activities, presents and a visit from Santa, so feel free to stop by if you're in the area.

Hekab Be has already reached its goal of $6000 USD raised for the Christmas season, but you can still donate to this colorful and fun-loving organization through their website.


Keeping Kids in School (KKiS)

KKiS is an entirely volunteer organization dedicated to teaching English and providing school supplies to kids in Playa del Carmen. You can help with this wonderful project this Christmas (or any time of year!) in the following ways:

1. Make a donation through the organization's website.

2. Donate a backpack filled with school supplies. (Find a list of specific items here.)


Drop off your backpack and supplies for KKiS at any of these easy-to-reach Playa del Carmen locations:

  • The Snorkel Shop (on Calle 28 between 1st Avenue and the beach, in the Aldea Thai building)
  • BRIC Hotel (on Calle 28 between 5th and 10th Avenue)
  • Wah Wah Beach Bar (on the beach at Calle 2)
  • Glamour Salon (downstairs at the Mega supermarket on Avenida 30)


This holiday season, make your Christmas vacation count by helping the Riviera Maya community. They create memorable vacations for us, so let's give back!