January 24, 2010 a beautiful thing happened in Akumal and Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya this past Sunday when locals and visitors alike came together to show their support for Haitian earthquake relief. As little as a week before it all started as an idea, to put together a benefit event, complete with food, drink and live music, and donate the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders Emergency Relief Fund which ensures that medical teams can react to the Haiti emergency, and humanitarian crises all over the world. With a little luck and a lot of effort it all came together on time, complete with a raffle, t-shirts and a “mercado”, market.
Wicky’s in Playa del Carmen, and CEA in Akumal were the hosts for the events. Their staffs were wonderful helping with the last minute details. In Playa people ate on the beach listening to J.J. and The Nasty Bastards Band, Chris Bolister, Brent Parkin, Mike Grabow, Barefoot Skinny and Gary with his Gringos Perdidos! It was a windy day but people did not let the breeze interfere with their Sunday fun. In Akumal the Caribbean Soul Band, Men in Blues and Bandikoro played, and everyone danced with the moon overhead. Click the YouTube links below to see the action.
The bands started a little late in Akumal but once everything got going everyone had a good time. There was plenty of good friends, good food and drink all around. Some of the businesses who donated food & drink were: Pepsi, Turtle Bay Cafe, Lol Ha and La Buena Vida. CEA donated use of the stage and some volunteers to assist. The Akumal Council (aka. Consejo de Akumal) provided security. In Akumal there was a Mayan ceremony performed by Charlie and Maria of Tulum in honor of our Caribbean brothers and sisters. With lit candles, holding hands, the ceremony touched the souls of many of the participants, some in tears, as we all thought of the people in Haiti. An experience so special to be part of.
The benefit shows were put together by a few people, not companies, out of concern for the victims of the Haitian earthquake. Many thanks go to the volunteers who donated their time to sell tee-shirts and tickets for the raffle, food & drink, and just make things happen on time. Without them these shows would not have been possible.
Thank you to the individuals and companies who donated prizes for the raffle:
- Abyss Dive Center & Training Facility in Playa Del Carmen
- Akumal Dive Shop
- Bahia Principe Coba Spa
- Budha Gardens Spa, Akumal
- Casa Quetzal, Akumal
- Dive with the Dolphins at Xel Ha
- Hacienda Tres Rios, Playa del Carmen
- Hacienda Vista Real Spa, Playa del Carmen
- Ixchel Boutique, Akumal
- Lavanderia Mulgrew, Akumal
To everyone who attended and donated to the cause muchas gracias!
Hope for Haiti in the Riviera Maya has generated $10,724 USD so far, you can still make a direct donation.
To see a complete list of donors or make a donation yourself at http://www.firstgiving.com/hopeforhaiti (after you click scroll down for the list).