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

This beloved traditional holiday song is the inspiration for our seasonal blog series, "12 Days/12 Ways", a promotional effort of goodwill we started last year to draw attention to 12 not-for-profit groups or charitable organizations in Playa del Carmen and along the Riviera Maya. So many people from around the world travel to the Riviera Maya during the holiday season. Many reach out to us via regional message boards and Facebook looking for a way to give back to the less fortunate residents in our local communities. 12 Days/12 Ways was started to help these generous, kind-hearted visitors find legitimate and worthy charitable organizations to support, addressing their particular needs for this holiday season.

For each of the 12 days of Christmas, the BuyPlaya Blog, better known as "Life's a Beach", will spotlight a charitable organization or giving opportunity. Some may already 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 "12 Day/12 Ways" list has not yet been completed for 2011. If you have a favorite charity that you feel belongs on this list, collect all of the information you can and I will be happy to consider your group for inclusion.

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Anat Kah Puerto AventurasAnat Kah (meaning "village support" in Maya) is an emerging community foundation whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for residents of the Riviera Maya by supporting the development of a sustainable civil society, or non-profit sector, that promotes community participation and social investment. This will be accomplished through ongoing evaluation and assessment of community needs and opportunities, the strategic investment of resources to existing nonprofit programs and community projects, technical support for the development of new programs and projects, and the facilitation of community partnerships that help bridge gaps between service and community needs. Anat Kah A.C. will focus its initial efforts in the community of Puerto Aventuras. These are just a few of the initiatives currently supported by Anat Kah:

Bolsas Kah - "Community Bags"  is a community collaboration between Anat Kah and a group of talented seamstresses in the Poblado. Using donated denim jeans, shorts and skirts, the women have stitched stylish handbags, wallets, makeup cases, passport covers, and other goods to be sold in and around Puerto Aventuras. All proceeds from the sale of Bolsas Kah products support Anat Kah and our programs and grant-making activities.

Camp Corazones -  Camp Corazones is a summer day camp inspired by the work of Carrie Conn and her organization, Carrie's Heart, for children with disabilities throughout the Yucatan peninsula. It is sponsored by Carrie's Heart and Anat Kah. The camp brings together children with and without disabilities, volunteers from the local community and from the United States, and special educators, every weekday morning for two weeks in July at Colegio Puerto Aventuras. Organizers plan and supervise games and activities that are suitable for all campers, in order to fulfill the camp's mission of promoting compassion and acceptance in children.

¡Hermanitos! - ¡Hermanitos! is a mentorship program that matches high school-aged students in Puerto Aventuras with elementary school-aged youth from the Poblado. The students meet weekly in the Puerto Aventuras daycare center or the middle school to work on homework together, play games, do activities and practice English.  

A High School for Puerto Aventuras -  Approximately 150 students are enrolled in the local middle school, and forty students will graduate this July. This and future graduating classes need and deserve a local high school that can accommodate all students who want to continue their education past the ninth grade. A high school program serving 50 students operates in a small community center, where there is space to accommodate just two grades; there are three grades in Mexican high school. Community members from both sides of the highway have come together to address the population's most urgent need: the construction of one classroom, two bathrooms and a small office that will accommodate the third high school class. Community leaders, local businesses and Anat Kah have joined forces to launch "Building for the Future," a $35,000 usd fundraising campaign to construct this first phase of a complete community high school in the Poblado of Puerto Aventuras.

Anat Kah Puerto Aventuras 

How can YOU help?

Monetary Donations:

The time for giving is upon us and once again, a local anonymous donor has offered to match 2:1 any gift made to Anat Kah A.C. throughout the month of December. For every peso or dollar contributed this month, Anat Kah will receive THREE! This matching gift has become a tradition at Anat Kah over the past three years, and the generosity or Anat Kah supporters combined with the generosity of this donor has been instrumental in

This is a wonderful opportunity to triple the impact of your donation in the community of Puerto Aventuras.  Whether your gift goes towards after-school programs and summer activities for children, leadership training for youth, English classes for children and adults, community health initiatives, income opportunities for women or creativity training for teachers, every peso will count and keep Anat Kah moving forward, further and further, each year. 

Local contributors with peso accounts can easily deposit/transfer funds into the Anat Kah AC Mexican bank account using the following information:

Bank: Scotiabank Inverlat
Name: Anat Kah, A.C.
Account: 23700178527
CLABE: 044694237001785271


U.S. donors can make tax-deductible donations to Anat Kah A.C. through the Friends of the Riviera Maya Fund at the International Community Foundation. The International Community Foundation is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that works to facilitate and promote cross-border philanthropy between the United States and Mexico and around the world. If you would like your contribution to be earmarked for a particular Anat Kah program or service, please send an email to christina[at]fcrivieramaya.org with your name and donation amount so that we know to attribute your gift to the project of your choice.

Donate Medical Supplies:

Needed immediately are test strips for the One Touch Ultra 2 Glucometer and for Precision Xtra Glucometer. Approximately 100 strips are needed WEEKLY for diabetic patients in Tulum, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil! As the program grows and expands, so too will the need for supplies. Please contact Claudia Muñoz. for more details and to arrange a place to leave the supplies akumalsur[at]msn.com.

In-Kind Donations:

For youth and adult sports programs in the poblado of Puerto Aventuras:

  • Baseball and softball gloves (adult and children's sizes)
  • Baseball, softball and soccer shoes (adult and children's sizes)
  • Baseball bats

Gloves, shoes and bats can be brought to Captain Rick's Sport Fishing in the Marina of Puerto Aventuras

For Bolsas Kah :

  • Beads, beads and more beads! (glass, wood, plastic, etc.)  
  • Used clothing items
  • Fabric remnants

For ¡Hermanitos! and Camp Corazones:

  • Fabric remnants
  • Wallpaper remnants
  • Old children's magazines
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Any and all craft and art supplies - They will find a way to create art with anything that comes along!

Anat Kah Puerto Aventuras

For more information, contact Christina Alexander.

Anat Kah A.C. 
Tel.: 044-984-105-0719
Email:
christina@fcrivieramaya.org