The network of toy libraries is part of an initiative that was born to prevent and mitigate the impact of violence on girls, boys, and adolescents living in highly vulnerable situations.
The Save the Children organization reactivated the children’s play centers that operate in Cancun and Playa del Carmen to support families working in the tourism sector in the process of economic reactivation in Mexico.
The toy library network is part of an initiative that was born to prevent and mitigate the impact of violence on girls, boys, and adolescents living in highly vulnerable situations in the region, explained Jamnia Monroy, Save the Children coordinator in Quintana Roo.
Two years after starting, it maintains a sustained growth rate thanks to the financing of private organizations.
During a tour of the facilities of the Colonia Colosio Toy Library in Playa del Carmen, an area with a high crime incidence, the hard work carried out with about 40 children between 6 and 14 years of age is observed.
To enter the program, each of the children must pass a rigorous process that includes supervising the correct use of masks and the application of disinfectant gel, among other sanitary measures.
The first block of activities starts in a sports area that is behind the toy library and after almost an hour they return to start academic and recreational activities.
“The toy libraries promote the development of socio-emotional skills, we have several activities throughout a weekly routine in which girls and boys learn to respect each other, to live together in harmony,” explained Jamnia Monroy.
“They learn, in addition to their rights, not only by recognizing themselves as subjects of law but by exercising these rights within the space of the toy library,” added Monroy.
In addition to the daily exercise and the practice of recreational activities in the toy libraries, minors are helped to carry out their homework so that they reach the appropriate academic level.
” It is a program aimed at girls and children of working mothers and fathers in tourist destinations that we know also have many risks, beyond temporary abandonment due to work,” added the coordinator in Quintana Roo.
The RIU hotel chain has been working with Save the Children in Quintana Roo since 2019, giving continuity to an alliance that the company has had for several years in Spain
Alma Tesillos, director of Social Responsibility in America for the RIU hotel chain, explained that they analyzed what were the main problems in these tourist destinations such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun and agreed that “Save The Children is a good ally with the toy library program ”.
In Quintana Roo, he said, the RIU chain supports other types of organizations that carry out actions in favor of the environment and community development, but stressed that childcare is a “priority.”
“There is a lot of children only during certain hours of the day, either in the morning or in the afternoon due to the general tourist activity of the destination, so by creating these safe spaces the community benefits,” he explained.
Each of the toy libraries has the capacity to receive 50 children, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the allowed capacity varies, depending on the epidemiological traffic light and the provisions of local authorities.
Karen García Rangel is the mother of a 6-year-old boy who has been attending the toy library for two months.