SayuParke- Sayulita's kid's playground

It all started with an email circulating around to various active moms in the community- Lets make a playground! This was back in the Fall of 2013, and as soon as I saw the group forming, I felt an impulsive need to participate and make it happen. 

The park committee started out with morning meets out at Villa Amor, with coffee and little breakfasts overlooking our sparkling bay. We felt giddy with possibilities, dreaming up designs and imagined what equipment would work for the space. There were about 8 moms at first, representing local Mexican ladies to those of us who have built our new home here, to Barbara, an older lady who just wanted to help. Since there had previously been a basic playground in the largest public open space in Sayulita- the baseball field- that is where we set our sights on to host this new bigger and better playground project. We invited the various factions that claimed ownership of the this piece of land, not really caring to get involved in their political dramas, but more so to get everyone on board with the project. We hosted the baseball association, the local "mayor" at the time, and then went on to tackle the more challenging Ejido, of which there were two competing groups claiming they were the official representatives of the Ejido. It was an interesting process, but ultimately we won over every group's approval. 

Next we came up with fundraising strategies. We started with giant bakesales in the main plaza, selling cookies, cakes and soliciting donations. While some on our committee thought this was going to be just pocket change, our first bakesale earned 12,000 pesos which got the ball rolling. With other cash donations from community members, our park was underway. 

It became a life force of its own. Once the old wall was knocked down to create a more secure fence which defined the park space, the game was on. Two of us became the lead on the project, with back up support of many others throughout the construction and maintenance and through thick and thin, we carried on. As the planting, installation and decoration of the park began to happen through the next 3 months, the park gained respect and attention from the community at large. We created the name SayuPark with a cute logo of a child swinging on a wave. 

Hosting various community workdays was key to getting everyone to take ownership of this park. Ultimately it is for the kids, and we wanted to make sure that local people especially felt comfortable using the space. At first many were suspicious, thinking they had to pay to get in. Quickly everyone realized that the park was meant for the kids, to encourage play in a safe and secure area. On a given afternoon, there are dozens of kids running, swinging and sliding- it is definitely well used. 

The SayuPark project is one that I hold dear to my heart and I am proud to be part of. It was a project of overcoming what many felt was impossible to achieve, and that it lives on with solely private donations is a testament that the community values its presence.

School groups use the park during the day. My own kids go there with their teachers, climb on a swing with a book and are actively engaged in learning in an outdoor setting.  My proudest moments are when we are passing the park with visitors, and my son Lucca shouts out- There is the park my mom built!

We did it for them.