by Marieke Brown (July 2013)
I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who came along to support the opening of the Akumal Children's Playground on Thursday evening. It was a massive success and we were humbled by the fabulous response from the community!
As per my last email, this is the playground that has been built with the money fund-raised by the community of Akumal, the community of South Akumal, the children of the Akumal Primaria Francisco Sarabia, and the Akumal Comedy Festival 2012.
The playground has been purchased from, and installed by, a company called Swings and Slides and we purchased the Camion Ecologico. We also included a swing set in the order.
The idea for the playground initiated with local families having to drive to Puerto Maya in order to find a decent park where their young children could play safely. This is not realistic for the majority of the families in the pueblo of Akumal as, even if they took the colectivo to get to Puerto Aventuras, the Puerto Maya playground is a long walk from the highway entrance—too far for little ones. Even the parks in Chemuyil are not particularly easy for local mothers with young children to get to. As far as I am aware, the pueblo of Akumal has never had a safe public play facility for its small children. We decided that it was time to change this.
The Akumal Children's Playground Project was the chosen local cause for the 1st Akumal Comedy Festival (2012) where 18 professional comedians, the Akumal Jarana Dancers, the music group Arpason, the Akumal drummers, and the children of the Akumal Primaria Francisco Sarabia all performed for free to promote and fund-raise for this project. Over the year, the combined efforts of the Akumal Comedy Festival, its sponsors, and private donations from many big-hearted members of the communities of Akumal and South Akumal helped us to raise almost US$14,000.
The park was officially opened by the President of DIF Tulum, Cristina Beatriz Bracamonte de Cobos, who is the wife of the Municipal President Martín Cobos Villalobos. Project organizers Gabriela Herbert, Marieke Brown and the Akumal delegado Don Melchor were present to hand the park over to the children of the Akumal Pueblo. It was a very proud day for us all. This park has become a reality as the result of the efforts of a large group of people, both resident in Akumal and overseas. I would like to thank each and every person who contributed to this project. This has been a true community effort, and I am incredibly proud to be part of a group who takes such good care of each other. :o)
Photos by Scott Brown