Loco Gringo Mexico

LocoGringo Mexico gives you local insights, vacation tips and stories from people who live and work in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Our host Kay Walten, will introduce you to people in Mexico who tell of their journey to the Yucatan, their local scoop on the people, the Mexico and Mayan culture, places not to miss on your next vacation, food and more. LocoGringo gives you travel info that you won’t find in a travel guidebook. Discover Mexico for your next vacation on a more intimate level than a typical tourist. As an expat, Kay has been working in vacation and tourism in Mexico since 1992. She is also co-founder of the vacation rental site
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Mar 28, 2017

My guest today has a history of assisting animals in need. As a little girl growing up in Wales, Laura Raikes would rescue and adopt cats and dogs to bring them to her family’s farm. She first came to Playa del Carmen 14 years ago on a holiday, and loved it so much she ended up staying. Her love for animals has made a big impact in the Riviera Maya community.

Laura’s Animal Welfare organization is named after a kitten she named Coco. Coco was hit by a car on the road and much to Laura’s surprise people joked about the travesty. It was then Laura decided she wanted to change the way people saw animals, and to keep them off the roads. Her first project was to trap cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then released.

As many as 7 local veterinarians started donating two surgeries a week. As the need grew, Laura hired her first vet, Edgar, who helped to spay and neuter thousands of animals. To complete the idea of animal welfare, Laura realized educating the local community about animal care would also go a long way in helping local animals.

In May of 2016, Cocos was able to build a state-of-the-art facility, which features a multipurpose room to function as a classroom for education, a training room for volunteers, and on Saturday mornings, there is even yoga with cats!


Tips for Travelers

If you are visiting the Riviera Maya, and would like to help the animals of the area:

● Make sure the animal you are trying to help isn’t already someone’s pet.

● Remember, cats here are much slimmer than cats where you may be from.

● Contact Cocos while you are still in the Riviera Maya, if you want to take the animal home with you.

● If you rescue an animal, take responsibility for the rescue. If you can’t take it home, then help it find a home here.


Volunteer Activities

● Kitten cuddling from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday’s.

● Adoption fair — 1st Saturday of every month.

● Second-hand sale to raise money for programs.

● Salsa dancing to raise funds.

● Help with surgery prep or around the center (two-week training course required).

Tepoztlán — special, magical place — the market. Playa is her favorite.


Laura’s Favorite Spots:

Tepoztlán - A special place with a magical market.

Cenote Cristalino — Beautifully clear waters.

Yal Ku Lagoon in Akumal — Unique snorkeling in the place of the turtles.

Playacar Beach - Picnic at the when the crowds are at home.

Xpu Ha Beach - A quiet beach on weekdays.

Don Chendo - The best pizza!


Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo Directory

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Email Kay:

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Cocos Animal Welfare

Cocos Animal Welfare on Facebook

Whatsapp/Phone - 984-120-0572