How Does Playa Animal Rescue Work?

Over the past week, we’ve seen a couple of videos about Playa Animal Rescue and its founder, Jan Northenscold.  But when we hear about an animal shelter, or pretty much any other charity, we’re often left with a bunch of questions:

  • How does it work?
  • Where do the animals come from?
  • How can people take one into their home?
  • How do you teach a street dog to be a family dog?
  • Can I volunteer?
  • What would I get to do?

Jan has taken some time to answer these and similar questions for us:



Again, it’s wonderful to see the work that Jan, Playa Animal Rescue and so many volunteers do!  150 dogs rescued each year and put into nice homes!


-by Bea Lozano
My real estate - Mexico real estate buyers tools

Video: The Founder of Playa Animal Rescue Shares Her Story!

The beaches of Playa del Carmen are among the most beautiful in the world, and no doubt that life on these beaches is a central part of being an expat.  Yet, being an expat is much more than just relaxation on the beaches.

As we’ve seen with the stories about the Keep Kids in School program (KKIS) over the past week, many expats contribute to the community through volunteer and charity work.

We’ve also posted about the Playa Animal Rescue program.  Here’s another video about this program – this time an interview from the expat woman who founded it last year:



This is such a wonderful story! She came to Playa, saw the need and did what she needed to open this shelter.  I’ve been there, and these dogs are simply adorable creatures!

By the way, if anyone is looking for a dog, this is an excellent way to find a wonderful companion; as she notes in the video, the dogs are healthy and clean.  It is also very possible to take the dogs back to the U.S. or Canada.


-by Bea Lozano

Mexico Insurance Kit

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

Mexico Condo Hotel Kit

KKIS Project working hard to Keep Kids in School!

We have been pretty focused, these days, on what is going on in the community of Playa del Carmen; and have already touched upon a few ways to contribute while living or spending a considerable amount of time here.  But today I want to talk about a specific organization that is making great strides to help out the kids here in Playa del Carmen.


Keeping Kids in School

A group of expats have set up and organization called the Keeping Kids in School Project (KKIS) and is geared towards helping the kids of Playa del Carmen to be prepared and stay in school.  Among their many efforts throughout the year, the team of KKIS is now focused on packing backpacks full of school supplies for children who come from low income families.  This effort started out with just a few neighborhoods and has spread throughout Playa del Carmen.


How does the KKIS Backpacks for Kids project operate?

The families are asked to fill out a form with basic information about the family, their income and about the children.  In this case, the organization is working to help low income families who may not be able to afford all the necessary supplies which is why income is considered. The families are asked to list the supplies that are required for the upcoming school year for their children.

Based on age and grade level, the needed items may be different. Some examples of supplies that are being gathered are lined spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, calculators, dictionaries, geometry sets, colored paper, colored pencils, scissors, pencil cases, and of course backpacks! The group works in an extremely organized fashion and this is thanks to a number of volunteers that show up in a local garage ever week, where the items are stored.  They usually spend a couple of hours at a time and can accomplish a great deal within that time!


Giving a Hand

We are proud to have joined KKIS by volunteering our time to help pull all this together.  With about six people we each have a station.  There is one bag or each child or in some cases family.  The bag with the correct name is pulled and ready to be stuffed. Janet pulls the applications one by one and reads off exactly what needs to go inside to the team.  The person designated to that station pulls the supplies and puts them into the bag. This is truly a perfect example of a team effort!

Once the bag is stuffed it is put to the side in its appropriate spot and next to any others who are in the same family. The second step in the process is to then transfer the items in each bag to a designated backpack for each child.  And finally the backpacks are delivered weekly to a different neighborhood.

This will continue to be an ongoing weekly effort from now until school starts with backpacks being delivered to different families every weekend!  We are thrilled to see such a meaningful effort being handled by our fellow friends and expats here in Playa del Carmen.


The Experience

The families of the children are deeply appreciative with the efforts of KKIS. I would like to share with you a short email that was sent to me by Janet Lowe who is helping to direct this operation. This will surely put a smile on your face!

“Yesterday was our first delivery. It went to the El Peten neighborhood, north and west of Playa del Carmen, a working class area. We met the families that had filed applications with us last January. Three cars of volunteers arrived at the park where some families were waiting for us. Marilou processed the paperwork, the rest of us found the correct backpack for each child, talked with the families and took photos. It was 3:00 pm and very hot. Soon a bicycle cart appeared at the curb and water ices were served to us all. When I went to thank the man he explained that this is the family business and thanked us for helping his three children. He asked if we would be in the park again today and when I said yes, he promised to be there also. I love Mexico!”

– Janet Lowe


How Can You Help?

If you would like to contribute to this organization either by volunteering your time or helping to donate school supplies please contact find the KKIS project on Facebook at and send them a message.  There you will also find many other projects and efforts that they are working on to help the kids in the community!


-by Bea Lozano
Mexico Real Estate Testimonials

Video: Americans and Canadians Volunteer at Playa del Carmen Animal Rescue

Americans and Canadians living in Playa del Carmen enjoy life on the beach.  They enjoy relaxing in the sun, sipping martinis at nice bars, etc.


But many expats also spend some time giving back to their community, helping out, making it a better place for expats and Mexicans alike.


One such activity is animal shelters.  The Playa Animal Rescue program rescues mostly dogs off the street, takes care of them and finds them homes.  Americans and Canadians come, walk the dogs, play with them, bathing cute puppies and generally have great time; you’ll see in this video that this is not only responsible living, but a great way to enjoy life:


(if you can’t see the video, click here)

Life in Playa del Carmen is about relaxation on the beach, and enjoying an affordable life in a beautiful, warm place.  Yet, there’s a lot that expats can do to add to that.


-by Bea Lozano