Volunteer vacations are all the rage — even in the dog world. Fairmont Mayakoba now offers its pet-loving guests the chance to make a difference in an underprivileged dog’s life while enjoying a relaxing vacation. The luxury hotel, recently ranked in Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List 2013, invites visitors to participate in its Pack for a Purpose® project, aimed at helping injured and abandoned dogs, while providing the rewarding experience of giving back to the local community.
Unfortunately, countless of stray dogs can be found on the streets of Mexico. Guests of the AAA Five Diamond resort are invited to use the extra space left in their luggage to bring an in-kind donation for Playa Animal Rescue. PAR is a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter in Playa del Carmen dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating stray dogs and ultimately finding them permanent loving homes. Since opening in April 2012, PAR has rescued more than 160 dogs and placed 100 others in permanent homes in Mexico, Canada and the United States.
Before traveling, tourists can review the list of needs on Pack for a Purpose’s website, which includes animal supplies such as a blankets, grooming and food products, as well as veterinarian equipment and health supplies. Donations are collected at the hotel, then the resort’s Ecology and Social Responsibility Manager delivers them to Playa Animal Rescue. Guests looking to volunteer further can deliver the donation themselves at the shelter and give some love to these adorable four-legged friends.
“As a pet-friendly hotel, partnering with Playa Animal Rescue comes natural to us,” said Sven Richter, Hotel Manager and pet parent of Pippa, a stray he rescued from the streets of Playa del Carmen. “At Fairmont Mayakoba our goal is to raise awareness for a culture of non-violence towards animals, while offering an opportunity for guests to have a positive impact in the local community. It is also an easy way to incorporate a memorable CSR activity into any group’s program.”
Aside from rescuing strays, Playa Animal Rescue’s dream is to build a low cost clinic for the pets of local people who have fewer resources. “We want to create a lasting change in the local community by teaching the locals how to care for puppies and nurture and sterilize them to prevent future stray animals,” said Jan Northenscold, Shelter Director. The non-profit also has in place and easy process for visitors to adopt dogs and take them home.
For information on bringing a dog into the United States, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Nestled in the heart of Riviera Maya, Mexico, the 401-room Fairmont Mayakoba is set on 45 acres within a private, luxury community surrounded by a lush mangrove forest intersected by crystal clear canals.