Tulum Spotlight: Los Amigos De La Esquina, a Non-Profit Organization that Created a Space for Kids where the Activities and Workshops are Focused on Art, Wellbeing, and the Environment
By: Cathy Holling
Photos by Deike Alexa
I recently spent a lovely evening sitting down and talking with Claudia Ruiz, the Co-founder, and CEO from the Non-Profit Los Amigos De La Esquina (LADLE) located in Centro Tulum. As we talked in the corner garden, the neighborhood children played all around us, with parents dropping off kids to join with the others. As we sat and talked over the next hour, I was quickly amazed about the difference this relatively new organization in Tulum was making in the lives of the local people.
Francisco, who originally owned the lot that LADLE now occupies, never planned on starting an NGO. He had bought the land in 2017 to build rental condos. But what Francisco did not know then, life can get in the way of your original dream. Especially here in Mexico. As soon as Francisco started to clean up the lot, the neighborhood kids were eager to help. What started with one kid, Yovani, quickly grew as Francisco engaged more and more with the kids while he was on the property bringing paper and colors to have them draw during the day, and then he started to cook chicken, sharing meals with the neighborhood kids. He began spending more time participating with the kids than working to create his dream apartments. To help entertain the kids, he brought in some of his friends in Tulum. An artist that worked with the kids to help paint murals and bottles of glass, a musician who came and sang songs with everyone, an African dancer, and yoga teacher also got involved. Organically, this charity grew and the corner garden became a magical and valuable place in the community.
The activities and workshops are focused on Art, Wellbeing, and the Environment. One important area of focus is keeping the Mayan traditions and culture alive for this young generation. LADLE works together with other organizations and local experts to broaden the kids' exposure. The activities are focused on empowering the kids, giving them a safe place, and providing role models outside the home.
How can you help?
Volunteer time OR Donate.
Volunteer info at: www.ladlemx.org
How to Donate to LADLE
Bancomer: Los Amigos de la Esquina A.C.
The LADLE team; Fransico Rocha – Co-Founder, Jamie Kohen – Co-Founder, Claudia Marginiz – Co-Founder, CEO, Victoria Fornieltes – Arts/Crafts, Selene Ruiz – Arts/Crafts, Ana Solis – Wellbeing Activities, Emiliano Zarazva – Environmental Activities, Carolina Marquez – Arts/Crafts, Fabian Gonzalez – Soccer, Alan Wein – Yoga, and Irena Stanisir – Social Media, Paulina Alanedo – Arts/Crafts.
Tulum Eats Magazine is published 12 times a year, unless we decide to go on prolonged vacations. You can find the print magazine at select locations throughout the Riviera Maya, and in some East Coast establishments, where we will randomly place, during selective times. The website will be updated monthly, with selected materials that may or may not be the same as the print version. Look for us soon, in other states of Mexico.