Life around Xel-Ha Park – Being Part of an Eco-Friendly Community Pays Off!

It’s no secret that Riviera Maya is the closest thing to Paradise! There’s no doubt or question of that, and there’s also no room for doubt that we, as its inhabitants are the ones with the power to change it for better or for the worse. Having said that, I am very happy to say that I am particularly aware of the nature and special environment that my family and I live in and  do my best to keep my mind and actions as eco-friendly as possible.

I’ve never disguise my preference for this park (as well as all the other parks belonging to the Experiencias Xcaret group) for different reasons. I love the fact that you can spend all day enjoying the inlet with many water activities, eat delicious food, learn about the delicate eco-system existing within the area and snorkeling in the water’s larger natural aquarium.

Xel-Ha De Oro; environmental sustainability for visitors and the community!

Last Saturday was an exceptionally special day for Xel-Ha Park as well as the Tulum and Chemuyil community.

We were invited to the press conference in which the park was being awarded with the EarthCheck Gold Certification for its environmental policies and efforts in this natural reserve.  There we we also learned about the work that they have been doing with the neighborhood community of Chemuyil.

It is necessary and worth mentioning that Xel Ha first attained the EarthCheck Silver Certification in 2009, being the first park in the world to have ever to gotten this kind of recognition.  They have steadily maintained this status for 5 years which has driven them to achieve this new level of Gold Certification.

The most valuable asset to this event was not only the scenery (which of course is to die for) but the tour around the village of Chemuyil, to the parks recycling center and the plant nursery.

In Chemuyil, the outstanding efforts include a baseball field, a library and a clean façade program in which Xel-Ha gives away the painting materials and colors, and Chemuyil’s residents make a compromise to keeping their homes clean and spotless façades.

For me, the library was one of the biggest hits because as a result of the educational efforts, all of the community residents are alphabetized. Isn’t it wonderful?!

Keeping it clean and green!

The recycling center was a revelation to everyone on the tour because basically, about a 75% of the disposable waste generated within the park is actually recyclable (they call it “Valuable Material”). The entire Xel Ha family and the Chemuyil community are involved in these programs as well. At the plant nursery, about 50,000 plants are planted every month and then transported to different places around the country.

Maintaining this beautiful place is not a business, it is a true labor of love for the beauty and nature surrounding us. There are generations of families working at the park for more than 15 years now, from fathers to sons and nieces and nephews; everyone’s involved.

Why is this so cool?

Xel-Ha Park is located between two of the most tight and eco-friendly communities in Riviera Maya, which are Akumal to the north and Tulum to the southern end. Both are strong and its residents are pretty much hands-on with environmental issues, whether is with the different sea turtle conservation programs or community wellness centers.

So, if you happen to be living in Tulum and want to watch the programs and community efforts done by Xel-Ha nearby, just do your homework and research and get in touch with any of the non-profit organizations they support or look for others within the area. Let´s keep our home as the natural wonder that it is!

-By Bea Lozano

Keeping Kids in School; Playa del Carmen’s New School Year Starts

School started YESTERDAY in most areas of Playa del Carmen!  And with the help of the KKIS Project many deserving kids will be well equipped and ready to take on the new year!
Friday was a special day for us at Top Mexico as we were invited to help the KKIS Project put a lot of smiles on the faces of kids at Pelopidas School in the Guadaulpana neighborhood of Playa del Carmen in the morning.  As we have mentioned before, the KKIS Project works hard all year making various efforts to support keeping the kids of Playa del Carmen in school.
Their main effort his summer has been to collect school supplies and search sponsorships from people to help provide filled backpacks to the children in need before the start of school at the end of August.  Yesterday we visited one of the last schools on the list.  We loaded the back packs into the trucks and gathered into a room with 58 back packs and plenty of kids and parents.
One at a time the child’s name is called and the child or parent came to accept the back pack.  It was very touching because the kids showed so much appreciation in their face.  It was also very nice that each name that was called had a couple moments of fame as their photo was taken and everybody clapped.  It just made the experience so lovely for the kids!

Afterwards the KKIS project was thanked graciously by one of the parents who were speaking on behalf of all the families.  The kids even came around and hugged and thanked each one of the volunteers.
The efforts of KKIS are now coming to a close as the final deliveries are being made.  But they will not stop!  Come October they will continue their efforts with new projects all intended to help the kids in school and enjoy learning.

If you are looking for some way to give back to the community and get involved here in Playa the KKIS Project is a sure way to do it; and they are always happy to have more help!

-by Bea Lozano

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