This month’s recipient of Sayulita Life’s $5,000 donation is SayuParke. SayuParke is a park and space where our community’s children can feel safe while playing and having fun, away from the busy crowds of the plaza or Sayulita streets. Run strictly by volunteers and through the efforts of many local parents in the area, SayuParke is often in need of donations and local support in order to maintain and improve its play structures and overall site maintenance.
Sayulita Life’s $5,000 donation helped in purchasing a brand new, safe, and well-constructed slide for one of the play structures in the park, which the park desperately needed after the old one broke, and the temporary ladder rotted after some heavy rains.
I talk with Tessa Stobbe, official founder of SayuParke, about the park itself, and why it is such an important space for our local youth and families in Sayulita.
Tessa, can you give a little background about yourself and how/why you decided to create SayuParke?
My name is Tessa Stobbe, and I have lived in Sayulita for twelve years now. I have two kids, ages four and seven. Myself and a group of women “founded” the park in February of 2014 when we got the approval for the park site in the baseball field. At that time, I had a two year old, and I really wanted to have a space for him to play. I love Sayulita’s plaza, but it can often turn into a party scene. I wanted a space where all the kids of Sayulita could feel safe and have some positive, innocent fun. Thus, I made a messenger group and reached out to all the proactive moms in the area that I know. The members of the group have been constantly changing, however, everyone, no matter how much they were involved, helped to make this project possible! We had endless numbers of volunteers that were critical in keeping this park alive.
Why is the donation from Sayulita Life, and support from the community in general, so critical in keeping the park going?
SayuParke has constant maintenance issues due to the mass usage of it, daily wear and tear, as well as weather related problems. We put all of the funds we are able to gather to directly back into the park. For example, we have to pay the metal worker who fixes the shade, Yolanda who helps clean the park, Don Silvestre, who opens and closes the park daily, as well as funding projects like fixing broken fencing and/or fixing and buying new play structures.
How can others in the community who are interested help, volunteer, or become involved with the park?
Every year we do two fundraisers, and at least one community “fix-up” day, which involves members of the community and some tourists coming by and helping out with painting and repairs. Anyone is welcome to attend these events to help keep the park a safe, clean, and welcoming space. We have a great group of volunteers, and are always looking for more. Currently it is Halo, Luke, and I, spear-heading everything for the park. Sonia Avalos, another local volunteer, is also involved politically whenever that is required, as it is not always easy dealing with the baseball community and the ejidos. Sometimes there is the fear of losing our space. Octavia Jolley, another local volunteer, was an incredibly helpful member of the team since the beginning, and currently passed her torch to Halo. It actually takes a lot of work to keep things going for the park.
Why would you say SayuParke is an important space for our community of Sayulita? SayuParke is a space where kids can be kids, with no drugs and alcohol involved. It is a space where parents or care-givers can relax in the shade and watch the kids play and interact; tourists, locales, expats, everyone enjoys it! We built the park for this community. It is a space that is always open to the public. We always ask that you help us watch over this little space, and if you see anything like vandalism or unhealthy play, drinking, or drug use, to please take it upon yourself to speak up and help keep it a safe environment for the children.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
We do get a lot of requests for birthday parties at the park, so we started a schedule with formal bookings. Please call me at 322-150-7556 if you’d like to reserve your birthday party at SayuParke! We don’t allow more than one party per day, and there are specific rules at the park for a party. Please call to find out more information. Furthermore, a minimum donation of $300 pesos is required, which goes directly to the funding and maintaining the park fund. Finally, we still have spots left for murals if any local artists or families want to come and leave their mark on the park! We are also always so grateful to receive cash donations. Thank you to Sayulita Life for your donation; to the community, come on by and take a slide on our new play structure! Visit our website for more information.
*Since its founding in 2004, SayulitaLife.com has been dedicated to giving back to the community of Sayulita. In our 15th year as a company, Sayulita Life has created the “Giving Fund”, where we have pledged to donate $5,000 pesos EVERY MONTH to a local charity or cause. Read more at https://www.sayulitalife.com/giving-back.
Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri