Culture / Travel

Rosewood Mayakoba Aims to be More Than a Luxurious Mexico Resort With K’iin Beh School — A New Model For Giving Back?

When the People of Your Paradise Vacation Land Need Help

BY // 05.27.22

In the open air lobby of Mexico’s Rosewood Mayakoba, overlooking sparkling green lagoon water, I hear a perky gentleman shuffling a few hotel guests into a vehicle. The charming man is Daniel Scott, regional vice president and managing director of the acclaimed beachfront resort known for its impeccable service, spacious waterfront suites and ultra luxury experiences. 

The vehicle is heading to K’iin Beh, a nonprofit school built to support underprivileged children in the small nearby community of Cristo Rey. The school strives to provide quality education and a community haven for local kids who are often forgotten in an area surrounded by luxury resorts and buzzing tourists. The K’iin Beh name, which means “towards the sun” in Mayan, reflects the school’s mission to bring light and growth to its students.

When Scott arrives at the school, the passion is palpable throughout its hallways. He beams with pride as he pops his head into the classrooms of kids ranging in age from kindergartners to 8th graders. All the children seem excited to practice their English with him.

After moving to Mayakoba, from Cabo’s Rosewood resort Las Ventanas al Paraíso and taking the helm as Rosewood’s managing director, Scott saw the dire need for quality education in the area.

While it started as a hand-built palapa housing 20 students, the school now boasts more than 330 students, many from families that are well below the poverty line.  

The school, with mostly scholarship-based enrollment, focuses on “giving students a bilingual education while equipping each child with the tools and the self-esteem they need to grow into successful human beings and leaders in their community.” Scott tells PaperCity.

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While not exclusively created for those affiliated with Rosewood Mayakoba, 20 percent of the students are children of resort employees.

“It’s one thing to take care of who we work with, offering benefits, refined culture, etc, but if we’re able to provide quality education and really assist the children of the people we work with, to be the next leaders, then we’re bringing it full circle,” Scott says.

Rosewood Mayakoba
Rosewood Mayakoba’s luxury paradise also supports K’iin Beh school. 

Many of the discerning travelers who return each year to delight in the unique Mexican retreat have fallen in love with not only the resort, but the mission to help the surrounding community with this under-the-radar school project. Some notable donor names that grace the entryway to the school include longtime visitors to the Rosewood Mayakoba resort like PGA Tour player Matt Kuchar and Peloton instructor Ally Love and her husband Andrew Haynes. 

Thirty five of Rosewood Mayakoba’s employees serve as “Padrinos” and sponsor the cost of a child’s tuition to attend K’iin Beh each year, often with a long-term commitment to sponsor the kid through their university years. 

Scott has big dreams for this mission and it doesn’t stop in the little community of Cristo Rey. Construction of a new high school is already underway to extend the school’s campus. The team is working to build another K’iin Beh school in Cancun where there is also a dire need for quality education options. A program is also in the works that will support graduates by providing access to college or trade schools after they leave  K’iin Beh schools.

“It is important that we are humble enough to understand that each community has different needs and we show that nuance and respect to its people, “ Scott says.

Scott believes the possibilities for growth for these K’iin Beh schools are endless. Rosewood is set to debut its newest resort in Mandarina in 2025 and Scott is already thinking ahead of the needs the small community near Puerto Vallarta may have, whether it be education, health care or something else.

Rosewood’s Passion Project

The school is not some do-good charity box that needs to be checked by a luxury hotel brand, but instead a passion project from a close knit group of colleagues. While it is common for resorts to take part in philanthropic efforts, it is rare for hotel employees to independently support a charitable endeavor like these schools.

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Thirty five of Rosewood Mayakoba’s employees serve as “Padrinos” and sponsor the cost of a child’s tuition to attend K’iin Beh each year, often with a long term commitment.

Scott leads the resort with the same mindset. The hotel prides itself on “humble luxury” trying to create more of a symbiotic relationship between the guests and the employees.

“We take care of you all day, but then we share a drink with you at the end of the day,” Scott says. This is exemplified through the resort’s weekly Ceiba Dinner, family style meals in the hotel’s garden where many of the staffers are scattered around the tables, eating with resort guests.

“It’s about making choices to do well for yourself and for others, starting by making small positive differences in the community,” Scott says. “That Alegria (Spanish for happiness) is going to naturally transcend to the guest experience.”

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