One of our favorite things about living in Playa del Carmen is how involved the community is! Locals and expats arrange wonderful charities for the region’s families in need, and visitors are always asking us how they can help out during their holiday season vacation.  This year, we’ve compiled a list of some of Playa del Carmen’s best charities so you can give back to the community through your donations.



In the small villages surrounding Playa del Carmen, thousands of children are in desperate need of shoes so they can walk, run, bike and play, often on unpaved streets. Kicks4Kids founder and owner of BuyPlaya Real Estate Michele Kinnon says, “Since we started Kicks4Kids in 2013, we have been able to put new sneakers on the feet of over a thousand underprivileged children living in very distressed conditions.” Kicks4Kids accepts donations year-round, and distributes the shoes to children in need on Christmas and Three Kings Day.

On your next trip to Playa del Carmen, save some room in your suitcase to pack a few pairs of new tennis shoes for Kicks4Kids. The sizes most needed are children’s size 3 to adult size 7.

Bring them to any of the Kicks4Kids collection centers:

  • Wah Wah Beach Bar (Calle 2 and the beach)
  • Don Chendo restaurant (Avenida 30 between Calles 24 and 26)
  • BRIC Hotel (Calle 28 between Avenidas 5 and 10)



Club Rotaract

Have any clothing or toys you no longer need or use? Club Rotaract in Playa del Carmen is accepting donations of clothing and toys (in good condition!) for Christmas season gifts for the children in the village Nuevo Noh-Bec. They will be taking the gifts to the village on December 13, so now’s the time. Contact information in the image below:




Puerto Aventuras Christmas Toy Drive

Mexi KIDS Can and Latitude 20 restaurant are co-hosting a toy drive this month for the kids at the Puerto Aventuras Community Center, which has 600 kids from Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil. Drop off toys at Latitude 20 restaurant in Puerto Aventuras (about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen). For more details and pictures, follow the toy drive’s Facebook event page.





Hekab Be Library in Akumal

Hekab Be Library provides activities and learning programs for the children of Akumal, a beach town located half an hour south of Playa del Carmen. Every year, they host a Christmas Party for the kids where Santa brings them toys, and they’ve already published the toys they need for this year’s party. Click here to see their holiday wish list for 2015.

You can also participate in the “Sponsor a Gift” program. Purchase an ornament with a child’s name on it for $20USD or $200 pesos at the Turtle Bay Café and Bakery in Akumal, and your donation will go to that child’s Christmas gift.




KKiS: Keeping Kids in School

Typically KKiS is in most need of school supplies for the kids of Playa del Carmen, but this year they're asking for special help. Their big holiday season drive is attaining financial support for 15 high school students to continue their education. The cost for each student is $200 USD which will cover their school fees, books, uniforms, school supplies and transportation. Previous donors paid for the first semester but now they need generous angels to donate for the second semester which begins in mid-January. The students attend all four public high schools in Playa del Carmen; three of them are trade schools in which students are prepared for the workforce and one is a college preparatory.

KKIS provides each student with a Spanish speaking mentor with whom they meet at least once a month to seek help and share achievements.These volunteers are young adults from the Playa community who give their time to help ensure the future of promising high school students who need a helping hand. There is a "Donate" button on the website: that will take you to PayPal to make a donation.




Whether you’re living in Playa del Carmen or visiting this December, get into the holiday spirit and spread some cheer to local families in need!