Mexico’s First Ecological School to Host Eco-Challenge 2010; Contest Draws Attention of Local and International Environmental Leaders

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The MEXICO Report
“The GOOD News About Mexico”

Playa del Carmen, Mexico – December 1, 2010 – With just a few days remaining before the 1st Annual Eco-Challenge, a one of a kind contest for families to design and build the most ecologically friendly toy, teachers, administrators and parents of Ak Lu’um International School are preparing the jungle campus to welcome environmental leaders and local government officials as well as families from all over the Riviera Maya who will present their unique creations to a select panel of judges. The contest and eco-fair will take place on December 5, 2010 from noon until 2:30 pm on the school grounds in Playa del Carmen.


Ak Lu'um Nursery


The contest, which is free of charge, invites local families to design and build a unique toy or game that encourages play without doing harm to the environment. Each submission must be constructed using organic materials, materials that come from sustainable sources and/or recycled objects and will be judged in several categories: most original, most ecological, most durable and most beautiful.

Confirmed on the panel of judges are delegates from the COP16 Climate Change Summit taking place now in Cancun, environmental leaders from the Municipality of Solidaridad and representatives from Flora, Fauna y Cultura. Local businesses have generously supported this exciting event with donations of prizes for the winners in each of the four criteria.

Among the prizes are family passes for Xcaret, a family snorkel excursion with Abyss Dive Center, a boat trip for up to five people donated by Bauer Compressors, a swim with dolphins experience at Dolphinaris, a weekend stay in Tulum at Villas Geminis and an electric scooter donated by Carpe Diem Communications. The grand prize, awarded to the family whose toy best meets all four criteria, will be a year of free tuition at Ak Lu’um International School. This scholarship is valued at over $43,000 mn and is transferable.

Event organizers have invited local organizations and businesses to participate in this one of a kind event. There will be a marketplace pavilion where local retailers will offer eco, natural or organic products and/or food services. Registration is still open for both the contest and the marketplace although the space is limited. For more information including directions to the school campus contact

Ak Lu’um International School is a Waldorf Initiative founded in 2006 in the jungle close to Playa del Carmen. The main aims are to promote sustainability, develop ecological awareness and teach children from 2 to 12 to reconnect with our earth. Students at Ak Lu’um learn with their minds, hearts and hands. The curriculum is academically challenging and meaningful with many opportunities for hands-on learning and artistic development. Ak Lu’um also welcomes children with special needs and seeks to integrate them fully, giving all children an opportunity to better know, understand and love fellow human beings. The community at Ak Lu’um International School is bilingual (English-Spanish) and culturally rich with over 10 nationalities represented by staff and pupils.


Susie Albin-Najera
Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The Mexico Report, an award winning travel blog showcasing news, deals and resources for the modern traveler. Najera is a writer, author, travel blogger, marketing and public relations specialist and producer. Najera serves on the host committee for Maestro Cares, founded by singer Marc Anthony and producer Henry Cardenas; and on the advisory board for Corazon de Vida, providing aid to children in Mexico. She is also the creator of 'The Real Heroes of Mexico' showcasing community heroes in Mexico and producer of Latino Thought Makers. Najera has been recognized by the Mexican Consulate and Mexico Tourism Board for fostering positive relations between countries and her dedication to showcasing Mexico as a premiere destination. She can be reached at

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