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When This is Over, Who Will We be?

By Sophia Perlstein
May 6, 2020

I’ve called Tulum home for almost five years. With each high season that comes and goes, I reassure myself that it's my last and that this Caribbean paradise is a temporary layover on my path to the next-best-thing. But what I’ve come to uncover in this tight-knit beachside town is the undeniable bond that links us all together; a realization that has only grown stronger as the seasons pass. 

While it may be hard to put into words, all you really need is to see it in action. Now more than ever, we’re seeing communities come together all around the world; that intangible feeling of connection manifesting in the physical realm. It humbles and inspires you in the same breath. 

For those of us who are transplants, our responsibility to care for each other and our home is tenfold. We must honor the people and environments who were here before us; in small daily actions and as part of a larger whole. There are so many initiatives and so many ways in which we can lend a hand through these changing tides. 

Papaya Playa Project, in collaboration with Habitas and Mayan Warrior, has streamlined their fundraising efforts to provide on-going relief to those most affected. With the indispensable help of local organizations on-the-ground, their program offers three main areas of support: food relief, neighborhood heroes and Mayan communities. Volunteers have been delivering food packages to under-resourced communities, setting up communal kitchens and supplying water to those in need.

Now in their second round of fundraising, their efforts are expanding with the help of Red Solidaria, Unidos Tulum and Movida Maya. I’ve watched these initiatives, and many others, come to life first hand; without hesitation or doubt, only action. There is a community here unlike any other, one that teaches us the value of spirit and perseverance in the face of adversity. I no longer see Tulum as a temporary home - it’s too late for that. She’s got me in her grasp. 

If you’d like to consider participating in these efforts, or the numerous programs that are actively providing relief, learn more here.