Rotary InternationalIt is inarguable that Playa del Carmen is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Thousands of people move here every year from other parts of Mexico, from the United Sates, Canada and countries across the globe. Their reasons for moving to the Riviera Maya are as varied and unique as the people themselves. Some are relocated here by their employers. Some move here hoping for a simpler life. Many come to retire and live out their golden years in the comfort afforded by this warm climate. Others, seeing opportunity in this growing, vibrant economy, come to work and open businesses and raise their families here. What many of them have in common is a desire to participate in their new community and find meaningful ways to get involved with other civic-minded people. I know this because I get emails about this almost daily from expats who have settled in Playa del Carmen and are looking for community organizations which match their particular interest and skill set.

Now, Rotary Club International has chartered a new club right here in Playa del Carmen, a chapter specifically for English speakers. Rotary International (RI) is a worldwide network of clubs dedicated to making positive change in local communities and globally through "Service Above Self". Rotary Club has had chapters in Playa del Carmen for over 20 years carrying out Rotary's mission and doing good works to support the community. I have had the honor of being a guest at their meeting during the planning stages for Taste of Playa. Their meetings are conducted in Spanish, a stumbling block to inclusion for Playa's rapidly growing English speaking population whose Spanish language skills are a constant work in progress.

Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary ClubThis new Rotary chapter, Playa del Carmen Seaside, called their first meeting to order in April 2012 with just a handful of eager residents and just 4 months later was granted their official charter by RI. It was presented to the group by the District Governor just this month at the Charter Dinner, an exciting milestone for this new club. Today, the club has 32 members and welcomes more community-minded English speaking Playa del Carmen residents to apply for membership.

Rotary promotes the commitment to "Service Above Self" and this motto conveys the humanitarian spirit of the organization’s more than 1.2 million members. In the more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, members volunteer in communities at home and abroad to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

Rotary has been in existence for over 100 years and its service is targeted on the following six areas:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development

In its very short existence the Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary Club has already contributed to several local charitable organizations.

  • Casa Yoliguani, a home which provides shelter, counseling and support to pregnant girls and at risk unwed mothers.
  • KKiS Keeping Kids in School, a program that offers underprivileged children the ability to stay in school longer by providing school supplies and uniforms. Volunteers from the Seaside Rotary Club also come into the classrooms to read to the children in English every week.
  • Christmas Dreams, a local initiative to bring Christmas gifts to special needs children and non-perishable food items and warm blankets to needy elders in the community.

So, today I throw my hat into the ring. I have officially petitioned to be a member of the Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary Club! I have found a willing sponsor...thank you Bob...and am following the process to become a member as detailed in the constitutional documents of Rotary International. I am attending my second meeting today where among other things I will fill out an official application. My application is then presented to the Board of Directors on Feb. 4 and then posted for the consideration of the group for the next two week. Barring any objections, I should be Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary Club's 33rd member within the month!

Aside from the excellent commitment to community support and outreach, which is what attracted me to the organization in the first place, I was particularly taken with the Rotary "Four Way Test" with which Rotary members are asked to self-govern their thoughts, words and actions in keeping with Rotary vision. As we go about our daily lives..... in all we think, say and do.......the "Four Way Test" asks us to take pause and ask ourselves:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

 Seems like a pretty good thing for us all to keep in mind, doesn't it?

If you are interested in joining the Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotary Club or if you are just looking for more information about the group and its activities, contact acting President Bob Hyde via email at The best way to get to know Rotary is to attend a meeting. Guests are welcome, especially visiting Rotarians from around the world. The Playa del Carmen Seaside Chapter meets every Tuesday from 12:30pm - 2:00pm at Origenes Restaurant in the Pueblito Escondido building on calle 38 near the beach. Lunch is 120 mn and includes a choice of 2 entrees and an unlimited iced tea and lemonade. The Rotary fellowship is free.

Rotary Club Playa del Carmen Seaside 
Doesn't this look like a fun group!