An Organic Market In Playa del Carmen From Humble Beginnings

Organic Market in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Organic Market in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

For those of us who are used to the organic options available to us back home, the lush tropics of Playa del Carmen can seem like a desert.  Most major grocery outlets do not carry organic products beyond in-the-box items like nuts, dairy, or cookies.  That’s why what Anja Schafer, Vicki Lyall, and Scott Lyall are doing at the Coco Beach Market is so important.

Started by Vicki Lyall and Anja Shafer as a means for locals to showcase their organic products between each other and to the public, The Coco Beach Market has grown over the last few months to include 6 regular vendors.  “We don’t want to be 100% organic, just because,” Schafer says.  “The philosophy is that food should be as natural or as organic as possible, it should be locally made, and we want to avoid repeating  products without making it ridiculously expensive.  Produce should be organic, of course, and actually we are spending a hard time to find those, but we don’t give up!”

The market isn’t only about food, either.  Several vendors offer handmade products such as jewelry, children’s toys, and soap.  Prices are fair and the quality is great.  Shafer and the Lyall’s efforts to maintain variety really pays off, too, as all products for sale are unique and within a separate niche.

The Coco Beach Market is open every Friday, from 9 am – 11 am, at the Los Alizes Condominium Complex.

Summer Time


Summer in the Riviera Maya tends to be more relaxed with fewer tourists most of us locals tend to reclaim Playa del Carmen as our own. However what most visitors don’t know is that summer is one of the best times of the year to visit the Riviera Maya. A friend of mine voiced his concern the other day, “but what about the hurricanes? To which I can only answer, what hurricanes? In the last 42 years since Cancun and the Riviera Maya were established (1970), there have only been 3 hurricanes that have made landfall: Gilbert in September 1988, Roxanne in October 1993 and Wilma in October 2005. Of course we have had many tropical storm/depressions and hurricane warnings, but in the past few years there have been more hurricanes to make landfall in the state of Florida than in the Riviera Maya. Generally if you visit the Rivera Maya during hurricane season you will not encounter any difficulties, the weather will be fine, and although it may rain a little more, meaning that there is a quick drencher once or twice a day, normally in the late afternoon, and the rest of the time the sun will be shining. Not visiting the Riviera Maya during the summer because you’re scared of a hurricane hitting is like not going to Japan because you’re scared of a tsunami, it happens, just not that often. Another concern I have heard voiced is the heat, again I ask, what heat? I remember that last July the North-Eastern United States was suffering through one of the hottest heat waves on record, according to the Washington Post, Washington DC reached a total 119 degrees Fahrenheit on July 22, 2011, and in Playa, you might ask yourself? Well here the average high during summer is 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with the heat index accounted for, not to mention the proximity of the Caribbean ocean, which is steps away, creating a nice cooling breeze. As much as I love the Smithsonian Museum, I would much rather be enjoying a cool breeze while soaking up the sun than melting on the street with a sweaty bottle of water.

What most people don’t understand, my friends included, is that summer time in the Riviera Maya means more beach space, vacation rentals for a bit cheaper, cheaper day- tours and less people in eco-parks. Better deals are to be had and more fun, it’s experiencing the Riviera Maya de local way. With whale shark season falling during summer months as well as turtle nesting season, there are more activities to enjoy as well. I invite you to come experience the Riviera Maya this summer, and I am almost certain you will not be disappointed.

Greeting from the tropical waters of the Caribbean!

Camila Pittman

Moskito Riviera Maya