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It's hard to believe until you see it for yourself but if you drive a few kilometers in any direction from the center of Playa del Carmen you will find tiny pueblos tucked away in the jungle with families eking out a meager existence and living without even the most basic services. Nuevo Noh Bec is one of these remote communities. Noh Bec is located on the NW side of Playa del Carmen...beyond Guadalupana, beyond Pueblo Sac Be...down a horrible road that you can't believe would lead to anywhere. A few weeks ago, I learned about this settlement from fellow Rotarian and KKiS organizer Gayle Collins who described the living conditions and the needs of its 1500 residents. I had seen some photos on the KKiS Project website but really wanted to see it for myself.

Nuevo Noh Bec Project 

Nuevo Noh Bec

nuevo Noh Bec Project

Nuevo Noh Bec 

Kicks 4 Kids Playa del Carmen

Nuevo Noh Bec Project 

On Monday, I took the long trip out to the village with Gayle Collins and Janet Lowe from The KKIS Project. They were scheduled to deliver school supplies to the secundaria classroom and distribute the lists for this year's Christmas Dreams toy drive. We were accompanied by my friend Cesar Lagunas Garcia of El Fundador 8m and a kind gentleman named Aniceto who helped with translation and prepared us a fantastic breakfast. Hipolito, the principal of the school, greeted us and introduced us to the students in his secundaria classroom. He spoke to the students about the KKiS Project, Christmas Dreams and finally our own Kicks 4 Kids Holiday Sneaker Drive. The kids were all very sweet and graciously accepted the donated school materials. We all got our photo taken together and stood witness as a visiting mission priest blessed, the classroom, the students and all of us. 

KKiS Nuevo Noh Bec

KKiS Nuevo Noh Bec 

Kicks 4 Kids Playa del Carmen

Kicks 4 Kids

Nuevo Noh Bec

Kicks 4 Kids 

The residents have slowly carved a small town out of the jungle over the past 5 years. There are a few concrete block structures in the village. Most are made with recycled materials, palettes, plywood, tar paper, old windows...whatever can be found or salvaged. Many of the structures are incomplete, abandoned left to fall into ruin. Water is obtained from hand pumps which are scattered throughout the settlement. A few families have been able to drill their own. There is no indoor plumbing. On a piece of borrowed land in what can be considered the town center, the parents have built classrooms for students. Some are open air, a few are almost fully enclosed, others are getting knee-walls to keep out snakes, insects and rodents. The buildings lack basic services like running water and electricity however the parents are proud of what they have accomplished and seem to enjoy the life they have made for themselves. Now a permanent home for a school has been donated and fundraising has begun to build a proper school for the village's 400 kinder, primary and secondary students.

Kicks 4 Kids

Kicks 4 Kids

Kicks 4 Kids Playa del Carmen 

Nuevo Noh Bec

Kicks 4 Kids

Kicks 4 Kids 

With no textbooks or teaching materials, teachers write all information and instructions on white boards. The students are expected to copy everything into their notebooks. The new municipal government has recently provided the classrooms with whiteboards to work on and KKiS is going to be able to to help them with school supplies, but the need goes so much further. There is no health care for this community of 1500 people. Should a health issue arise, no matter how serious, the closest medical care is located 9km away, down a very badly pot-holed road. It was an uncomfortable 30 minute trip in my car. A few of the mothers confirmed that their primary health concern for their children is snake bite, insect stings and other puncture wounds which, in this climate and without access to medical supplies, often infect. I told them about our Kicks 4 Kids sneaker drive and their faces lit right up!

Nuevo Noh Bec 

Kicks 4 Kids Playa del Carmen 

From there, Hipolito took us to see the piece of land that the new school is to be built on. It is about a 10 minute walk from the center of town but accessible. The land is very rough and heavy machinery will need to be brought in to clear and grade the land before anything can be planned or constructed. Municipal President Mauricio Gongora and his wife have visited the village and committed to assist in the building of the new school. Without support from the government, this project would not be possible but it will still require a lot of work from the parents and help from charitable groups.

To finish our morning, Aniceto invited us to the home of a friend where we were treated to a fantastic breakfast. We had pan fried tostadas with eggs and beans topped with a tomato sauce with peas and hot habanero salsa all cooked over a wood fire. We were joined by a group of young missionaries who had been sent to work in the village. It was delicious and a nice time to sit and reflect on our visit.

Nuevo Noh Bec Project 

Nuevo Noh Bec Project 

Nuevo Noh Bec Project

Kicks 4 Kids Playa del Carmen 

Nuevo Noh Bec 

Cesar Lagunas Garcia 

Nuevo Noh Bec Project

Kicks 4 Kids

This is just one of many tiny pueblos that have sprung up in response to the explosive growth that Playa del Carmen has experienced over the past 15 years. The people who live in these settlements are here because of the tourism boom and the need for labor to support an industry they will never have the chance to enjoy. As business owners in Playa del Carmen who have found great success in this region, Rob and I feel compelled to give back to the community and help those less fortunate than us. The needs of Nuevo Noh Bec, Cristo Rey and communities like them are many. If we all pitch in and help in whatever way we can, the lives of these disadvantaged residents can be made exponentially better. KKiS will bring school supplies and classroom support. Christmas Dreams will make their holidays a bit brighter with presents for Three Kings Day. Rob and I will help put shoes on their feet. What can you do?


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. This is the time, every year that we reflect on everything that we have that is good and the people we love and express a special appreciation for the joy in each of our lives. It is also the time when we start to look ahead to the Holiday gift-giving season and perhaps take pause to think of those less fortunate than ourselves.

Recently, Gayle Collins from KKiS - Keeping Kids in School made us aware of a local community in need of support. The village is called Nuevo Noh Bec and it is located in the far northwest quadrant of Playa del Carmen, about 9 kilometers into the jungle. The only road into Nuevo Noh Bec is rough, requiring a 4-wheel drive vehicle to make the trip. As you can imagine many of the residents will never leave the village. There is no health care available meaning most ailments go untreated and emergency situations become grave more often than not.

Nuevo Noh BecIt was surprising to learn that the #1 health issue in the village is snakebite. Many of the homes and all of the classrooms are open air or enclosed only by sticks, which allow the air to circulate through but do nothing to prevent snakes and other undesirable jungle residents from entering. Because the children do not leave the village many of them simply do not have shoes. The shoes they do have are simple plastic flip-flops or "chanclas" which provide no support or protection from sharp stones, stinging insects and snakes. It seems like such a simple thing, to buy shoes to prevent snakebites and other injuries but in a town with no resources and virtually no access to conveniences like shoe stores or even grocery stores, this is not possible.

The good news is assistance is coming! Caring people in the Playa community like Gayle Collins and Russell Granger with The Amigos Network are slowly but surely getting the word out about Nuevo Noh Bec and similar communities in need and putting them in front of individuals, business leaders and charitable organizations who can and want to help. KKiS is working to bring much needed school supplies to the children of the village and the Amigos Network is finding sponsors to build "knee-walls" to partially enclose the classrooms and collecting medicines and first aid supplies so that basic medical needs can be met in the village.

For our part, Rob and I are starting a holiday giving initiative we are calling "Kicks 4 Kids". Our mission is to provide shoes for all the children in Nuevo Noh Bec...specifically sneakers which provide adequate support for growing feet as well as protection from snake bites and other potentially dangerous puncture wounds. Some of the children are walking up to a kilometer to school everyday without proper shoes. Imagine trying to run and play a game of futbol (soccer) in bare feet or thin, flimsy flip-flops. Our goal is to collect 400 pairs of new or gently worn sneakers to deliver to the children of Nuevo Noh Bec before Christmas. Of course, shoes for growing children are an ongoing need and the collection will continue to run throughout the year with deliveries to the village every few months. We hope to make a big shipment every year just before Christmas.

Kicks 4 Kids Playa del Carmen 

How can you help? This is a simple one! If you are coming to the Riviera Maya, bring along a pair of new or gently worn sneakers and leave them in one of The Amigo Network's three convenient drop-off locations. It seems to me my children are growing out of their sneakers long before they have outlived their usefulness. Maybe you have the same situation in your household. Maybe you have a Target, Walmart or Payless Shoe Store near you running fantastic holiday sales with sneakers at bargain prices.

The shoes sizes needed are US Toddler 3 - Youth/Adult 7 and MX Child 12 - 25, Adult 4 - 7. Please consider tucking a pair or two into your luggage when you come to the Riviera Maya this holiday season and dropping them off at one of the following Amigos Network partners.

Wah Wah Beach Bar - Calle 2 on the Beach

Glamour Salon - Under the Mega Supermarket, Av. 30 & Constituyentes

The Bric Hotel - Calle 28 between Av. 5 & Av. 10

It seems like such a simple thing but you can't imagine what a new pair of sneakers will mean to these children who have so little.  Special thanks to Kim and J.J. Johnson at Wah Wah, Kristin and Marcus Roehmer at the Bric Hotel and Rosa Gonzalez at Glamour Salon for their support and assistance with this project. For more information, contact me at Michele@BuyPlaya.com . For more information about The Amigos Network and their projects, follow them on Facebook.


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


Continue your studies with accreditation in Playa del Carmen! All Distance Education, Independent Study, Online Learning Programs, and Home School Programs are welcomed.

Schools in Playa del CarmenPlaya Distance Education was created by the need to build a community for online and alternative education for students in Playa. Our goal is to provide a learning experience and classroom environment for students who are completing, or interested in completing, accredited distance education, online, or home school programs in English. Playa Distance Learning serves students from Grades 4-12, and host programs from the US, Canada, England, Australia, and France.  Students are managed by a full time teacher, Monday-Friday, and special attention is given to both students’ academic and social needs.

Students work on four major subject areas from their programs, as well as daily enrichment activities, like journals, novel study, and Spanish language and culture class. Students have an opportunity for individualized instruction from an experienced, certified bilingual teacher, as well as socialization with students from different backgrounds and countries, who share the experience of being new to Playa del Carmen.

The program is hosted at the family community center El Arbol, a unique sustainable campus located just inside the south entrance of Playacar Phase 2, behind Hospiten. Lunch and recreation occur outdoors daily, and field trips are planned bi-monthly.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, skills for the 21st century surround virtual learning. These include:

  • Global Awareness
  • Self-directed Learning
  • Technology Literacy
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Time Management
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Information and Communication

Schools in Playa del CarmenDistance and online education programs facilitate the opportunity for students to build skills for the 21st century. In addition, these programs are up to date, efficient, independent, flexible, as well as economical, and sometimes free, as more US states are providing online public education. Families with stateside addresses can qualify for tuition free online schooling, if their state participates.

Playa Distance Learning provides a place for families, who are new, transient, or considering moving to the area, to continue their accredited studies from their home country, while living in Playa del Carmen. The program can also serve students who are struggling in a bilingual program and may benefit from studying in one language, English, and learning Spanish as a foreign language. We enrich online schooling and distance education programs, and provide a solution for the educational needs of the individual student.

Objectives of Playa Distance Learning include:

  • Build a community for online and alternative education students and their families in Playa.
  • Increase social participation for students working on individual educational programs or online programs.
  • Provide a classroom environment, managed by a full time teacher working in a small group setting.
  • Facilitate Spanish foreign language classes, fitness and recreational activities, and field trips for integration.
  • Offer a place for families and students, who are new or considering moving to the area, to continue their accredited studies from their home country while living in Playa.

Education in Playa del CarmenBring us your selected educational program, Grades 4-12, to be managed and supported by a full time teacher in a classroom environment, providing curriculum enrichment.

Monday-Friday 9:00 am-2:30 pm
El Arbol Playacar
Playacar Phase 2
Inscription Fee: $500 MN
Cost: $3,500 MN monthly per student
Sibling discount: $3,000 MN monthly per student

Note: Enrollment, registration, and fees associated with a selected home school program is the responsibility of the family. Educational Programs are accredited by the USA, Canada, or the country of origin of the program. Enrollment does not offer official Mexican accreditation. An inscription fee is required for enrollment, and monthly tuition is due the first of the month.

Enjoy the benefits of a customized learning program in Playa del Carmen!

Alicia Meno, Director
984 745 0250

The Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia; SNDIF or just DIF, is a Mexican public institution of social assistance that focuses on strengthening and developing the welfare of Mexican families. The Mexican president credited with the formation of DIF is President José López Portillo y Pacheco who was president from 1976 to 1982. His wife, Carmen Romano Nolk de Portillo, took a leading roll in the development of DIF and became its first National Director. Since that time and following her lead, the National Director of DIF has traditionally been the First Lady of Mexico. Local chapters of the DIF report to municipal presidents and governors and traditionally their spouses head up the local chapters. The mission of DIF is to improve the situation of vulnerable children, youth, seniors and persons with disabilities by driving public policies and administrating projects that promote social welfare and family integration.

DIF Playa del Carmen 

On Monday, I had an opportunity to visit DIF Playa del Carmen, tour the facilities, learn about their programs and discuss ways in which the Playa expat community can contribute to projects and initiatives in the community. I joined Russell Granger accompanied by his assistant/translator Roberto, Gayle Collins and Heather Anderson to meet with Isabel Lara, Director of Therapies at the Centro de Rehabilitación Municipal de Solidaridad (CRIM) a division of DIF. Inaugurated in 2011 under Municipal President Román Quian Alcocer, the CRIM center was created to fill the unique and varied needs of Playa del Carmen residents with disabilities of all kinds, physical, emotional and developmental. DIF works with people at all economic levels and carefully determines what people are able to pay, works with seguro popular and IMSS and helps them to get affordable or even free assistance.DIF also manages a number of social programs for the elderly, children and families.

DIF Playa del Carmen 

Recently, Playa del Carmen Rotary Club Seaside, donated a much needed boiler to the physical therapy unit to feed two hydro-therapy units which had previously stood unused for lack of hot water. With the municipal coffers virtually empty until "predials" come due at the end of this year, DIF and other governmental agencies are woefully underfunded. These units assist in therapies of adults and children recovering from injuries or suffering from physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy. It was great to see them up and running and the staff was visibly grateful for the donation. We visited the physical therapy studio which houses the hydro-therapy units as well as the rooms set up for occupational therapy and visual brain stimulation.

DIF Playa del Carmen DIF Playa del Carmen

CRIM Playa del Carmen

CRIM Playa del Carmen
Very trippy.

The next stop on our tour was to the Centro de Órtesis y Prótesis, a simple workshop which houses the only prosthetic limb fabrication center on the Riviera Maya. This small operation provides ALL of the prosthesis and anatomic braces for patients from Felipe Carillo Puerto all the way to Puerto Morelos. Raul, a modern day Geppetto, creates each piece by hand, each carefully fitted to match its new owner perfectly. Raul also provides temporary prosthetic limbs for patients to use in physical and occupational therapy sessions to prepare themselves better for life with the finished limb. While patients are required to pay for their prosthetic piece, a range of materials is available from the very high-tech to the very basic, and the labor is free. Raul then makes contact with the vendors, orders and takes delivery of the materials and constructs the piece. Raul took us through the process from beginning to end. He showed us a prosthetic leg that he was putting the final touches on an explained that this limb, which cost its owner 15,000 pesos, would cost upwards of 15,000 USD in the United States. He admitted that he has done custom pieces for people from the US and Canada who could otherwise not afford them. 



Our final stop was a sit-down with Luis Miguel Campos, Director of Operations for DIF. Russell on behalf of his Amigos Network and Gayle representing The KKiS Project and Christmas Dreams both wanted to familiarize Luis Miguel with their projects in the community and asked for the organizations support and guidance in finding areas of great need in Solidaridad. Russell has already been instrumental in connecting DIF with local community groups and helped orchestrate the donation of the hot water heater from the Seaside Rotary Club. Gayle was able to confirm the needs of a remote community called Nuevo Noh Bec and arranged for our group to visit the community together with Luis Miguel. We also introduced the Christmas Dreams project and got the thumbs up to support the children Nuevo Noh Bec this year. Luis Miguel is taking on the task of finding 200 elders in need to receive blanket and dispensas. One of our main concerns is that we might be targeting groups or communities who have already received assistance. With the help of DIF, we can be sure that our efforts are going to those who are truly needy. Luis Miguel is on the same page and it looks like a nice partnership with DIF is being formed.

DIF Playa del Carmen 

So far, without exception, everyone we have met at DIF has been welcoming and excited to work together with The Amigos Network, KKiS, Christmas Dreams, the Seaside Rotary Club and other local community groups. There is a lot of need in Solidaridad and limited funds to help everyone. Working together we can improve the lives of many more Playense.


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


On Monday, after many weeks of protests and a walkout that shuttered schools all across the country, Mexico's public school teachers returned to work and children were welcomed back to their classrooms. Teachers have been on strike since the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year in an effort to reverse President Peña Nieto's sweeping education reforms, which would institute mandatory teacher evaluations and reduce union discretion in the hiring process. This would be a shock to an antiquated educational system in which some teachers simply inherit their jobs from their parents.

In a nutshell, the President's education reform is comprised of three new laws: the General Education Law, the National Institute for Educational Evaluation (INEE) Law and the Professional Teaching Service Law.

Mexico Education Reform Bill
Photo courtesy of banderasnews.com

The national education reform bill is seen as Peña Nieto's first major legislative victory since taking office. The new constitutional amendment effectively eliminates Mexico's decades-old practice of allowing the buying and selling of teaching jobs, and replaces it with a standardized national teaching test.

Beginning in July 2014, competitive exams will be administered for admission to elementary, middle school and high school teaching positions. Within the next three months, a calendar for job "auditions" and the evaluation processes will be issued.

Peña Nieto's new standardized system of test-based hiring and promotion is expected to give the government the teeth to break teachers unions' overwhelming control of school staffing and teacher placement. That control includes the corrupt sale and inheritance of teaching jobs, and has been widely blamed for much of the poor performance of Mexican schools, which rank the lowest among all the countries in the 34-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

With these education reforms now passed into law, the teachers say they are simply trying to protect their rights and privileges as the government puts the changes into effect and reduces union control over teacher hiring and assignment. Strikes, protests and blockades disrupted daily life and commerce all across the country especially in urban capitals like Mexico DF. The main strength of this union is its tremendous ability to activate and mobilize supporters country-wide, to close schools and make life inconvenient in Mexico's economic, political and cultural centers.

The Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación(CNTE), the smaller of the country's two main teachers unions fears the new law will be used to fire or otherwise discipline teachers and permit the state to hire new teachers with less seniority, allowing the government to pay lower salaries.

Mexico Teachers Strike
Photo courtesy of popularresistance.org

CNTE, has about 250,000 members, most of them in Mexico's poor southern states. The CNTE was formed in 1979 as a movement to fight for labor democracy in the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), which was dominated by powerful union bosses who aligned themselves with Mexico's long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The principal goal of CNTE, supporters say, is to protect members' jobs, many of which are handed down generation to generation or sold outright. Critics maintain that CNTE has turned into nothing more than an extortion machine using enormous protests as a way of wresting money and privileges from terrified state governments.

CNTE and its supporters argue that the problems in Mexico's educational system are primarily due to decades of massive government underfunding. Their claim is that evaluating teachers will not reverse inequality or stimulate social mobility, particularly in the poorer states like Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, where resources are scarce and teachers would suffer most heavily from the proposed reforms. Furthermore, the new regulations fail to differentiate between professionalization and teaching evaluation. The CNTE argues that a standardized test is an unfair evaluation a teacher's entire career, and suggests that parents and student evaluations and other factors should be taken into consideration. The Peña Nieto administration counters that teachers will have multiple chances to pass the test, and says failing teachers won't be fired, but re-assigned to positions outside the classroom. The bill implies that teachers who refuse to comply with the evaluation procedures will be terminated.

It is important to note that the larger teachers union, the 1.4-million strong Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), popularly thought to be in bed with the PRI party, has publicly supported Peña Nieto's reform bill.


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


The Mexico Teachers Strike comes to a close, peacefully in Solidaridad!

Playa del Carmen - November 11, 2013 - "Today is a good day for our boys and girls, our commitment is to continue providing quality education, but above all, we have to preserve the rights in our town for the benefit of the residents "said Municipal President of Solidaridad Mauricio Gongora Escalante, referring to the agreement between the teachers' union and the state government that resulted in a return to school without incident in all educational institutions of the municipality and the state.

Teachers' Srike Ends 

Gongora acknowledged that the willingness of teachers, who through the magisterial commission and the state government led by Governor Roberto Borge arrived at agreements through dialogue and consultation, the fundamental way to build bridges that allow the school year to be recouped and move forward.

He celebrated as well the agreement to create an inter-agency committee to meet and review all legal action arising from teachers' movement, which in the future will address any discrepancy through dialogue without interrupting classes or taking actions that harm others.

"Education is a fundamental right of our children to encourage their development, is a basic tool to teach values​​, skills and knowledge, so this return to school reflects the willingness of the authorities and teachers to improve the educational level of students. "said the Mayor .

The Mayor also said that the administration, headed by the board of education and libraries, is contributing to monitoring schools to ensure that the return to school is carried out smoothly.

"My government is committed to supporting young students. I have confidence that all children of Solidaridad can make the municipality, the state and the country a better place to live." noted the Mayor.

He noted that following the policy of the Quintana Roo Governor Roberto Borge to solidify a higher quality education to students. the government of Solidaridad is working on the structure of projects which will be carried out starting next year, for the benefit of students.

"I instructed the members of the board of youth, to perform the necessary work and beginning next year, we will institute the " Allied Scholarship " which will bring benefits to all qualified students who stand out for academic excellence and also support to those who excel in sports and cultural activities." said Gongora.

He also mentioned that the two public libraries are now operating at one hundred percent to support to those who require them, and he reiterated his commitment to provide all educational institutions with a sports dome so that students can take classes in open space without being exposed to inclement weather.


Source: El Fundador 8m

Today, I had the pleasure of visiting the new organic/farmers' market organized in Coco Beach inside the Les Alizes Condominium complex. Located just of of CTM, the mercado is a lovely option for the many residents and visitors to Playa's ever-growing north end and those of us who will travel far and wide for good, locally made, healthy food. Vicki and Scott Lyall of Les Alizes Condominiums, who were instrumental in bringing this market to the north end, were also on hand to great newcomers and direct traffic as people arrived for the first time. There was quite a bit of buzz on the inter-webs about this new option for healthy home made products and over 50 curious and hungry customers showed up as well as representatives from the local press! Vendor coordinator and Baker Anja Schafer got some time in the spotlight and a chance to really get the word out about the new market, its mission and the kinds of products that people can expect to find there.

The Coco Beach Market is just gaining momentum with 6 vendors committed at this time. Anja is hoping to find organic produce growers to join the ranks and offer local, organic fruits, veggies, herbs, leafy greens and even mushrooms on a consistent basis. Today, shoppers found a very nice variety of healthy homemade treats including a variety of gluten free and vegan baked goods and pizza, Argentinean empanadas with chimichurri, organic granola, organic eggs, homemade quiches and savory tarts, a variety of sprouts and potted herbs and other plants among many other things! I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. I promise they will leave you hungry!

Healthy Playa  

Healthy Eating Playa

Healthy Eating Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Eating Playa del Carmen

Farmers Market Playa del Carmen 

Organic Playa del Carmen 

Organic Playa del Carmen 

Organic Playa del Carmen 

Organic Market Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Living Playa del Carmen 

Farmers Market Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Playa

Organic Market Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Playa

Organic Food Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Food Playa del Carmen 

Farmer's Market Playa

Organic Food Playa del Carmen

Organic Food Playa del Carmen 

Playa Farmer's Market  

Organic Market Playa del Carmen

Healthy Living Playa del Carmen 

Organic Market Playa del Carmen

Healthy Lifestyle Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Playa Living 

Farmer's Market Playa del Carmen 

Healthy Living Playa 

Organic Produce Playa del Carmen

Organic Produce Playa del Carmen

Coco Beach Market

Coco Beach Market 

Organic Market  

Playa del Carmen Farmer's Market 

Coco Beach Market 

Coco Beach Market 

Healthy Playa 

Coco Beach Market

Coco Beach Market



Throughout the past week, Dia de los Muertos and Hanal Pixan have been celebrated all over Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya with altars and other representations set up in various locations. Schools, stores and businesses all set up their own ofrendas. An exhibition of Hanal Pixan altars was erected by members of the Maya community downtown under the DIF palapa. Organized by a cultural group, the Playa del Carmen community was invited to help set up a large altar on 5 Ave. set against a backdrop of paintings from famous local artist Jaime Fiero Duran.

One of the more whimsical expositions is the "Calaveras de Paseo" on display in the Centro Maya Mall. Calavera is a Spanish word meaning skull, and can refer to a number of cultural phenomena associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead and the Roman Catholic holiday, All Souls Day. It can refer to any artistic representations of skulls or poems that are written for the Day of the Dead but intended to humorously criticize the living. For the past few years, cultural and civic groups, local businesses and other organizations have decorated giant "calaveras" which are then set up for display in the corridors of the mall. This year, the skulls are all gathered in the circular formation at the east end of the mall, near Italianis Restaurant. The colorful calaveras will be on display for the rest of the week at least. Stop by and see them!

Exhibition Calaveras 

Playa del Carmen Festivals

Calaveras Dia de los Muertos 

Calaveras Centro Maya

Playa del Carmen Festivals 

Day of the Dead Playa del Carmen 

Dia de los Muertos Playa 

Playa del Carmen Calaveras 

Halloween in Plya del Carmen 

Playa del Carmen Halloween 


Calaveras in Playa del Carmen 

Calaveras for Day of the Dead 


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


In celebration of Taste of Playa's 5th anniversary event, The Taste of Playa Executive Committee names the month of November ‘Taste of Playa Month.'

Taste of Playa 2013

Just shy of three (3) weeks, the main event will take place on November 24, 2013 at Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The event is open to the public and boasts forty (40) participants, consisting of restaurants, bars and caterers.  The day-long festival celebrates the creativity and cultural influences of Chefs throughout the Riviera Maya, all of who have helped make this destination one of the top travel spots in the world.  For a list of this year's participants please visit http://www.tasteofplaya.com/restaurants/2013.html

Taste of Playa 2013Taste of Playa is excited to announce two (2) additional pre-event celebrations to jump-start their 5th Year Anniversary. Taste of Playa invites everyone to attend the "Taste of Playa Kick-off Beach Party," which will take place on Saturday, November 16 from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Wah Wah Beach Bar, located at 2nd Street and the beach. For only $500 pesos, this event includes open bar (National drinks) and snacks, plus live music performances.  Tickets are available for purchase on the day of the event or online at http://www.tasteofplaya.com/ticket-sales.html. Tickets purchased online for this event automatically enter guests to win two (2) VIP Passes for the day of the event.

Taste of Playa will also host a second pre-event, the ‘Taste of Playa 5th Anniversary Food Tasting and Wine Pairing Dinner', to be celebrated on November 20 at 8:00 pm at La Casa del Agua on 2nd Street and 5th Avenue. There are only 75 seats available for this exclusive dinner. Reservations can be made on line http://www.tasteofplaya.com/ticket-sales.html or via email: info@tasteofplaya.com. Space is limited and will sell out fast.

Last but not least, Taste of Playa is proud to announce the first "Taste of Playa 2013" cookbook, featuring more than 85 recipes submitted by many of the 2012 Taste of Playa restaurant, bar and catering participants.


This week, KKiS - Keeping Kids in School started up their regular in-class English reading and mentoring program at the Pelopidas School in Guadalupana. This year, volunteers will be in the 4th and 5th grade classrooms every Wednesday at 1:00 pm. Organizer Gayle Collins provides the curriculum and course materials needed each week based on what the children are already studying. In each classroom, there will be 6 volunteers working with small groups of students. For now, 12 volunteers are needed weekly. No Spanish skills are required. Just bring your smile and a sense of having fun with the kids. Also, please bring a bottle of water for yourself and dress appropriately for the classroom.

KKiS Playa del Carmen

This year, KKiS be using a new website designed to facilitate volunteer signups. Volunteers will receive a weekly email to respond to to sign up and indicate if you can drive. The website will then send a reminder out a few days before. Past volunteers and KKiS supporters should already be on the distribution list. If you would like to participate, send your contact information to Volunteer Coordinator Marge Tancre at gypsygringa1[at]gmail.com. You can unsubscribe at anytime to stop receiving notifications and reminders.

You can also keep updated with KKiS projects on their Facebook page and on their new website.

A list of drivers and pick up spots for the carpool will need to be established as the weeks go on. If you are able to drive, please let Gayle or Marge know.

Keeping Kids in Schools

Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


First Annual Seaside Rotary Golf Classic Raises Much Needed Funds for the Riviera Maya's Needy Children and Families

Playa del Carmen Charity Golf TournamentOn Saturday October 26, Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside hosted their first annual Charity Golf Tournament, the Seaside Rotary Golf Classic, at the Grand Coral Golf Course. Despite the inclement weather, some of the Riviera Maya's best golfers came out to take part in this inaugural tournament and show their support for Playa del Carmen's newest Rotary Chapter and its ongoing programs and charitable initiatives in the local community. Participating golfers took home a number of impressive honors and a variety of prizes all donated by local businesses.

The foursome of Seaside Rotarian J.J. Johnston, Marcus Roehmer, Dan Palka and Isaac DeAnda took home first place in the tournament with a 9 under par score of 62, a one shot win over second place finishers Andres Balladares, Francisco Llinas, Juan Diego Diaz and Nicolas Tsakolas.

The tournament's Longest Drive was contested on the 18th hole and won by Francisco Llinas, with a heroic tee shot that, despite the day's wind and heavy air, carried beyond the 300-yard marker.  Llimas won a weekend for four - two adults and two children - at the RIU Peninsula Cancun Resort.

All golfers were challenged to Beat The Pro, top ranked, Junior golfer, Alejandro Dallava, on Grand Coral's beautiful par 3 fifth hole. Four players succeeded, Seaside Rotarian Bill Sinclair, Pedro Gomez, Andres Balladares and Francisco Llimas, each winning a prize of $400mn for their efforts.

In the tournament's signature event, the Tequila Barrel Closest-To-The-Pin Shootout, Marcus Santa Cruz, Oscar Lloyd Andrade, Juan Diego Diaz and Antonio Zumora kept spectators on the edge of their seats until, on the last shot of the third round, Andrade fired a beautiful 8 iron, landing his ball about 16 feet away from the pin, and locking up the win taking home a much coveted, week-long pass for two at the upcoming OHL Mayakoba Classic and a cash prize of $5,000mn.

Following game play, golfers joined Playa del Carmen Seaside Rotarians and friends for an awards luncheon and raffle in Grand Coral's elegant clubhouse. Throughout the luncheon, guests were treated to live music courtesy of Explayarte School of Music. In his welcoming remarks, Rotary Club President Doug Morgan thanked Grand Coral Golf Director Glenn Doyle and staff members Emma Quinones and Fabiola Uribe for their help in making the first time venture a success. Also credited were the many local business owners who sponsored the tournament or donated prizes. Major corporate sponsors included Bric Vacation Rentals, BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors, Calderon y Asociados, Costa Realty and The Playa Times. President Morgan stressed that 100% of the tournament's net proceeds will go toward Seaside Rotary charitable endeavors that support the tournament motto, "For Playa's Kids".

For more information about the event, visit the official website www.seasiderotarygolfclassic.com. Images from the tournament can be found on the Rotary Playa del Carmen Seaside Facebook page.

Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside is Playa del Carmen's newest Rotary Club and welcomes both men and women. Chartered by Rotary International in September 2012, "Seaside" is an English-speaking Club with 34 members representing North and South America, each dedicated to upholding the Rotary ideal of "Service Over Self". Rotary International is the world's oldest and largest non-profit service organization, with 34,000 Rotary Clubs and 1,200,000 Rotarians in over 220 countries. The Rotary Foundation supports grass roots level community projects sponsored by local clubs around the world and, since 1985, has led the effort to eradicate Polio. To date, there are less than 200 newly diagnosed cases in only 3 endemic counties worldwide.


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


It's that time of year again! Halloween and Dia de los Muertos parties are starting to be announced! Just a few years ago, there was only one place to be on Halloween in Playa del Carmen and virtually no options for children hoping for a chance to dress up and "trick or treat"! Now there are all kinds of festivities and fun to be had for ghosts and ghouls of all ages.

Are you looking for a more authentically Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead or the Mayan Hanal Pixan? We'll have those spacial event listings posted as well!

This will be a running list of the events that will be updated as they are posted. Click on each image for event information.

Festival de Vida y Muerte Xcaret 2013

October 31 - November 2 - 8th Annual Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret

Halloween Party at Fusion 

October 31 - Halloween Monsters Ball at Fusion - Live music, Fire Show, Belly Dancing, drink specials and more!

Fantasy Halloween at Luna Blue 2013 

October 31 starting at 7pm - What's your fantasy? Find out at Luna Blue's famous Halloween Fantasy Party! The kids may want to skip this stop on the party tour but it's a must for adventurous adults!

La Buena Vida Halloween Party 2013 

November 2 starting at 8pm - Annual Halloween Party and Costume Contest at La Buena Vida in Akumal

Paamul Halloween Party and Trick or Treating 

October 31 starting at 5pm - Halloween Bash, Costume Contest, Haunted House and Trick or Treating for Kids in Paamul.

Halloween at La Rana 2013

October 31 - The most anticipated party of the year...the Halloween Costume Party at La Ranita on Calle 10 between 5th and 10th. For the over 18 crowd, this is NOT to be missed!

Halloween Party at Lucky Luciano

October 31 starting at 7pm - Live music, costume contest and drink specials at Lucky Luciano on 5th Ave.

Dia de los Muertos Altar 

November 1 beginning at 4pm - Come help build a community Dia de los Muertos Altar and celebrate the arts and culture in Playa del Carmen!

Dia de los Muertos Le Lotus Rouge 

Nov. 1 - Le Lotus Rouge invites you to come and help build a mural made of seeds to celebrate the festival of life and death.

Halloween Party at Diablito 2013

October 31 starting at 9pm - Halloween party and costume contest at Diablito Cha Cha Cha

Halloween Playa del Carmen Bara Bara 

November 2  - Terrifying Costume Party and Contest at Bara Bara in Puerto Morelos

Halloween Playa del Carmen Sala Rosa

October 31 - Celebrate Halloween with the girls at Sala Rosa! Costome contest, drink specials and more!

Halloween Playa del Carmen Santanera

October 31 - La Santanera is the place to be for late night Halloween fun. Over 18 only.

Kids Halloween Party at Coco Maya 

October 31 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm kids and parents will enjoy and evening of fun at Coco Maya Beach Club!

Halloween at Coco Maya Beach Club 

October 31 starting at 10pm - Once the kids have gone home, Coco Maya is left to the over 18 crowd! Anyone in costume receives FREE open bar from 10pm until 11pm.! There will also be a costume contest with prizes!

halloween Party Puerto Aventuras 

October 31 from 7:00pm - 10:00pm come join the fun at Latitude 20 in Puerto Aventuras!

Halloween Le Lotus Rouge 2013 

October 31 beginning at 8:30pm Le Lotus Rouge welcomes you to celebrate Halloween at their first annual costume party!

Halloween Playa del Carmen Dirty Martini

October 31 - Spend Halloween with Greco and Karen and the cast of crazy characters at The Dirty Martini Lounge!

Halloween Playa del Carmen Reina Roja

October 27 starting at 4pm - Start your Halloween festivities early at Reina Roja...if you dare! Ladies Drink FREE!

Halloween Playa del Carmen Zenzi

October 31 beginning at 9pm - Celebrate Halloween on the beach at Zenzi. Costume contest, drink specials and more!

Halloween Playa del Carmen Ruffino

Halloween in Akumal

Friday November 1 at 7:00pm - Frighteningly funny stand up comedy at La Buena Vida Akumal!

Dia de los Muertos Playa del Carmen 

November 5 starting at 7:00pm celebrate Dia de los Muertos with art, dance and music at La Casa de Cultura in Playa del Carmen!

Day of the Dead Playa del Carmen 

November 2 from 2pm - 6pm Wah Wah Beach Bar is having a fantastic Day of the Dead Party and Costume Contest!

Halloween in Playa del Carmen

November 2 starting at 4pm Hipico Playa del Carmen welcomes you to a Halloween Pot-Luck Parillada and Costume Contest.

Halloween in Playa del Carmen Segafredo

October 31 from 8:30pm - 3:00am - Segafredo invites you to a Halloween party and costume contest. DJ, drink specials and more!

Playa del Carmen Halloween Parties

October 31 from 9:00pm to 1:00am The San Pedro Plaza merchants will be hosting a Halloween block party and costume contest! San Pedro Plaza is located on 5th Ave. Between calle 34 and 38.

Halloween on Cozumel

October 31 7pm to midnight - Food and fun for Halloween at Woody's on Cozumel!!




Learn Spanish in 3 Days!

Learn Spanish in 3 Days in a fun and easy way with frequency modulation rapid learning techniques
This course is based on the teachings of Dr. Georgi Lozanov and is not about memorization.
Don't miss the next Puerto Aventuras Class - November 21 - 23 2013.

The course is regularly priced at $699/person $899/couple but Suzanne and Shawn are extending a special invitation to locals at the reduced rate of just $299/person or $499/couple!

A few recent "Spanish in 3 Days" Testimonials:

  • It didn't really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the Bandick's made it happen in a very supportive learning environment. I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn "practical Spanish". The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class. Maggie Strom
  • If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it! By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken. It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter. You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned. Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it! Gracias! Nadine Damian
  • This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning. The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing. I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply. Starting with conversation is way more fun. How quickly you can learn! It was a great group, great instructors and great stories. Twila Pattyson
  • Buenos Dias, Suzanne. Muchas Gracias! I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons. I know: Repetition......reinforcement.....thinking in the new language....it's all part of it. I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends. Who knows....I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras.....Quien sabe? Saludos a su familia. Brigitte
  • I would highly recommend this course. The amount covered in 3 days is amazing! All with no stress. The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish. I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools. Marie Soulsby
  • The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants. It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere. The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable. It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective. Gary Strom

About Your Instructors - Suzanne and Shawn Bandick

Suzanne and Shawn BandickIn 2001 on a quest for adventure and a change of culture we packed up our two kids, and moved from Vernon, B.C. to Mexico. Our children, now young adults and in search of their own adventure and careers have moved back to Kelowna but we keep a home base in Puerto Aventuras on the Caribbean coast of Mexico just south of Cancun.

In Canada, we built and trained sales and marketing teams for companies. We traveled extensively for business and with our children for pleasure. Then came the question, why do we work so hard just so we can go travel? Why don't we just go and live abroad? Two years later we were liquidated down to what would fit in our Toyota 4 runner and headed south. Once in Mexico, Shawn opened a real estate office which was another fun adventure making tons of new friends and helping them live their dreams. Suzanne became a writer and a life coach.

Special Discounted New Year's Resolution Rate: $299/person or $499/couple
Date:  November 21 - 23 2013
Time: 9AM - 5PM each day    
Place: Puerto Aventuras
What to Bring: A pen, a sweater in case the room is cool for you and an open mind. (Please no computer or cellular phones on during classes)
What is included: The complete class lesson book to take home, the lesson recordings and relaxation exercises (bring a memory stick if possible). Coffee, tea and water at break times. Lunch on your own will be 2 hours each day. There are many restaurants close by to choose from.

For full details visit http://www.spanishin3days.weebly.com or email Suzanne - sswinbiz@hotmail.com.


It seems more and more people are finding their way to our Riviera Maya Events Calendar since we first rolled it out on our website in October of 2011. While getting off to a slow start, traffic to the calendar has quadrupled in the past year and we are getting really good feedback from people....lots of nice compliments and some good constructive criticism, which I am hoping to address with this update.

Riviera Maya Events

As the calendar has gotten more well-known, more and more organizations and businesses have contacted us to place their events on our schedule. For the past two years we posted them all.  As you can imagine, trying to keep up with and post the schedule for every yoga-zumba-salsa-fitness class from every studio and gym without prejudice was quite a feat. Ultimately trying to include everything made the calendar a little overwhelming and hard to read for the user.

In order to keep the calendar easy to read, we have decided to more clearly define the parameters of the calendar and define the kinds of events we will post. To make the submission process clearer, we have created a guideline for events that we will be able to publish which you can find below.

  • Music Events - Music Festivals, Concerts, Live Bands, DJ's, Music Festivals
  • Food/Wine Events - Food Festivals, Wine Tastings, Wine Pairing Dinners, Ladies Night, All-You-Can-Eat BBQs, Restaurant/Bar Openings
  • Gardening/Agriculture - Gardening Workshops, Homesteading,
  • Markets/Bazaars - Farmers Markets, Organic Markets, Tianguis, Tag Sales, Eco-Fairs
  • Art/Theatre/Dance Events - Live Theatre, Opera, Dance and other Live Performances, Art Exhibitions, Photography Contests, FREE Art Classes, FREE Dance Classes, Community Zumba Classes, Auditions, Special Workshops or Master Classes,
  • Sports/Yoga - Marathons, 5K Races, Triathlons, Cycling, Golf Tournaments, Tennis Tournaments, Rugby, Soccer, Polo and other Equestrian Events, Televised Sporting Events, Yoga Retreats, Teacher Training, Special Master Classes, Wellness Retreats, SUP Yoga, Meditation
  • Fundraisers/Charitable Events - All kinds welcome
  • Holidays - Official Holidays, Religious and Cultural Festivals
  • Misc. - Church Services, AA Meetings, Rotary Meetings, Misc. Events and Classes

Even after removing all the recurring classes from the calendar, we were still left with quite a few events to display and limited space on the webpage on which they need to appear. Using the default "Month View" can still be a little overwhelming and, as you can see on the screenshot above, not every event is visible on each day

You now have the option to view the calendar in a 5 or 7-day "Week View"

Riviera Maya Events 

Or, try the view I prefer... the 7-day "Day View".

Playa del Carmen Events

One of the biggest improvements is the new "Suggest an Event" button giving you, as an event organizer, the option for submitting your own events! Just click the button, fill in your event and contact information and submit. Your event will automatically be published to the calendar!

Playa del Carmen Events

Of course, you can always submit an event via email and I will be happy to publish it myself! If you have a one-time or recurring event that you would like us to include on the events calendar or if you have any comments or suggestions to make the calendar better, feel free to send me a message at Michele[at]BuyPlaya.com.


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.


Places to Do Zumba in Playa del Carmen

About a week ago, a newcomer to the area inquired on the Ask BuyPlaya Facebook Page where one might try Zumba in Playa del Carmen. In my research, I found quite a few excellent options.

Zumba in Playa del Carmen 

Zumba Fitness is a fitness program that mixes different rhythms from all over the world; latin music such as reggaeton, salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia, quebradita and others as well as international rhythms like socca, calypso, bollywood bhangra, tango, flamenco, samba and more.

Most Zumba Fitness classes last for 60 minutes. During this hour, you can burn up to 500-1000 calories. You are burning fat, toning your muscles, getting a great cardio workout, improving your flexibility and boosting your self-esteem. Zumba enthusiasts say they feel happier and confident about their bodies and their souls at the same time.

Over the past 2 years, there has been an increasing interest in Zumba in Playa del Carmen. Zumba classes can be found not only in the local gyms and fitness studios but also in several of the public parks and recreational facilities around Playa. Priced at about 30 pesos or less per class, these sessions are a great value and make Zumba accessible to those who could never afford a gym membership. These community-based classes bring together people of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life and are often the gateway fitness program for those who are nervous about beginning an exercise regime.

There are lots of Zumba options out there. Some are taught by certified Zumba instructors. Others are not. When possible, I have noted the certified teachers on the following list. The list will be an ongoing project. As I learn more about the instructors, the locations and the prices, I will add them to the list. If anyone has information to share about Playa del Carmen Zumba classes, please feel free to share it with me!

Playa del Carmen Zumba 

Evolve Gym - Calle 24 between 5th and 10th
Classes with Certified Zumba Instructor Margarita Garcia Loaiza
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 8:00 pm.
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 am.
100 pesos per class for Evolve members
150 pesos per class for non-members

Curves - Condo-Hotel Pueblito Escondido calle 38 at Shangri La Beach 
Classes Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 am at 7:00 pm.
FREE for Curves members
50 pesos per class for non-members or $8 usd for an All-Inclusive Day Pass

Center 8 Studio - Calle 42 between Av. Cozumel and Av. 1ra Nte.
Classes with Certified Zumba Instructor Kerry Anne Karlsson
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00 pm.

Playa Fitness Center Diagonal 65 Nte. between calles 66 B Nte. and 68 A Nte. in Bosque Real
Monday and Wednesday 7:00 am
Monday and Friday 8:00 am
500 pesos per month Full Gym Access
Please inquire for daily/drop-in rates.

Playa Fitness Center Av. Xelha between Cerrada Erizo & Cerrada Caracoles in Playa del Sol
Classes with Certified Zumba Instructor Norma Calderon
Monday - Thursday 8:00 pm
500 pesos per month Full Gym Access
Please inquire for daily/drop-in rates.

Montwono Dance Studio  Av. 115 esq. 14 norte (diagonally across from Quintanarooense)
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 am & 10:00 am
350 pesos per month - 3 hours per week
Whatsapp 984-184-8062 for more info.

*NEW* Beginning Feb. 17, 2013
Yoga by the Sea - Soho Hotel Sky Loft, Av. 10 esq. Calle 24
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 am - 12:15 pm with Certified Instructor Kerry Anne Karlsson
Saturday 10:30 am - 11:30 am with Certified Instructor Rita Campbell
Visitors: 1 Class: $15 USD - 3 Classes: $40 USD - 8 Class Pass: $95 USD
Full-Time Playa Residents: - 1 Class: $120 pesos
8 Classes: $800 pesos (to be used within the month of purchase)
*Yoga By The Sea monthly pass holders (yoga classes) receive a discounted drop-in rate of $100 pesos per class
984-876-2653 arielle@morethanyoga.com

Playa del Carmen Zumba

Community Classes

Zumba con Cindy - Domo de Casa Ejidal - Av. 80 Diagonal con calle 8 (Beginning in October - Date TBA)
Classes with Certified Zumba Instructor Cindy Albers Buchinski
Monday - Friday - 8:00 pm 
10 pesos - Suggested Donation

Zumba con Cindy - Parque at Av. 75 Diagonal and calle 10
Classes with Certified Zumba Instructor Cindy Albers Buchinski
Monday - Friday - 7:00 pm  
10 pesos - Suggested Donation

Zumba Fitness del Caribe Mexicano - Parque Forjadores Av. 100 and calle 15 in the Ejido
Classes with Certified Instructor Margarita Garcia Loaiza
Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 pm.
10 pesos per class

Bailando en tu Colonia - Domo de Zazil Ha Corner of Av. 25 and CTM
Classes with Mari Balam
Monday - Friday 8:30 - 10:00 am.
Saturday 7:00 - 9:00 am
10 pesos  - Suggested Donation

Muevete con Franklin - Parque Villamar I - In the Ejido off of Av. 115
Classes with Franklin
Monday - Friday at 7:00 pm

Playa del Carmen Zumba Classes

In my research, I have been in direct contact with several of the instructors and they all share one thing in common: they are absolutely PASSIONATE about Zumba and committed to spreading their love of Zumba and the Zumba community to all points on the globe.

If you are interested in Zumba or are already involved and wish to find out about more class options, special pop-up events and Zumba-thons, you should join the local Zumba Facebook Group "Zumba in the Roo". I am uncertain about the "exact" location of some of the community classes, so it will be helpful to join the group to get confirmation and directions.

A huge thanks to all the Zumba instructors who took the time to help me with this list. If anyone in the Zumba community hears of any classes or are able to provide more information about Zumba in Playa del Carmen, please let me know!


Michele Kinnon
Michele Kinnon
and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and FurnitureMEX, both based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya's largest and longest running culinary festival. She also blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004. Follow her updates on Google+.