After much anticipation, the grand opening of the Akumal Childrens Playground took place yesterday afternoon in the pueblo of Akumal. This playground has been a labor of love for the Akumal community on both sides of the caraterra. It has been built with generous donations from individuals and business owners in Akumal and Akumal Sur as well as funds raised by the children of the Akumal Primaria and proceeds from the 2012 Akumal Comedy Festival. In total, nearly $14,000 usd was raised throughout the past year to pay for this playground.
Gabriela Herbert of South Akumal organized donations from 14 Akumal Sur residents, bringing a total of $8,000 usd to make this project happen. “The equipment is the highest quality we could find. It is constructed of top quality materials and baked on paint, as you can see.” explained Herbert “We hope that many children will enjoy this park for many years to come.”
The inauguration ceremony was well attended by members of the local community including 80 excited children, Akumal Delgado, Don Melchor, and the wife of the Municipal President who cut the ribbon officially opening the beautiful new facility. “This is a wonderful project because we didn’t have a park for children to play in, we are very thankful to all of the collaborators who made this possible.” explained Delgado Melchor (translated from Spanish) “The people of Akumal who helped make this possible and the organizers of this project think about the town’s future and well-being and the whole town of Akumal is thankful for them and their vision.”
The playground was purchased from and installed by a company in Cuernavaca called Swings and Slides and consists of a play structure called the “Camion Ecologico” as well as a swing set. The installers had been busily working since Saturday morning making sure everything was perfect for the children and the inaugural festivities.
It is so important that the children of the pueblo have a safe place to play, and thanks to the generosity of Akumal home owners, visitors and business leaders, this beautiful, safe recreational space has been created. There are many people to recognize for making this park possible but a very special mention must go out to Akumal Sur resident Gabriella Herbert and Akumal Comedy Festival organizer Marieke Brown. Both women have dedicated an enormous amount of personal time and energy to this project, and have been relentless in making this park a reality. DIF President, Cristina Beatriz Bracamonte de Cobos, said it best. “God will bless the people that made this possible, their generosity will be returned to them in countless blessings.”
Future plans in the Akumal pueblo include raising the fence around the basketball/fast soccer field to keep errant balls from injuring children enjoying the new playground. There are also plans for another park area and soccer pitch especially for smaller children. The Mayor has permissions and plans drawn up for this park which will be very close to the new playground. The project is on hold until donations and funding are received. Another project in the works looks to level the current soccer field/fair grounds to build standardized baseball and soccer fields. This is also a privately funded project and dependent on support from the community.
For more information about the playground project and other ways you can help the local Akumal community, contact Marieke Brown via email firstname.lastname@example.org.