Conoce a Tus Anfitriones

Beyond our Core Principals, Social and Environmental Impact, the Turtles, the Beach, etc., what realmente makes the difference for guests at Playa Viva is our team. We are lucky to have the greatest team of people—folks from the local communities of Juluchuca, Rancho Nuevo and smaller villages up the watershed. We are proud that most all employees are local and that we are woman-run organization.


Playa Viva fue la visión de Sandra Kahn as executed by her ex-husband David Leventhal. Both have a background in social and environmental impact. Sandra and David were founders of Rainforest2Reef a non-profit which supported the creation of corridors for species protection in the Yucatan Peninsula and Calakmul area. R2R created one of the largest and most successful private reserves between local Ejido farmers who joined a conservation easement supported by global conservation NGOs. Key learning was that environmental protection involves providing solutions to the people who have demands on the resources in that environment. This work lead to a more whole systems approach and to the development of Playa Viva using Regenerative Design techniques under partnership with Regenesis Group. Regeneration principles have guided much of their work including the founding of Regenerative Travel and Regenerative Resorts to support similar independent hotel owners around the world doing great work in their local ecosystems promoting travel “Where Your Vacation Meets Your Values.”

Equipo Directivo

Julia Garcia, our General Manager, was born in Juluchuca. Her father was a peanut farmer. After getting her education, the only place to get a good job was in the “big” city, so she was off to Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. After working for 20 years with Club Med all over the world by opening and operating many destinations, she finally came home to Juluchuca and Playa Viva.

Amanda Harris es nuestra Gerente de Permacultura. Ella es responsable de los 200 acres de nuestro paisaje, lo que incluye todo, desde supervisar la salud del suelo, garantizar que tengamos un suministro saludable de verduras frescas, introducir animales de granja (cabras, pollos y más), gestionar la reforestación de los bosques costeros y los manglares, construyendo un bosque alimentario y manteniendo carreteras y lagunas. Es un trabajo formidable bien administrado por una mujer increíble cuyo trabajo la lleva más allá de las fronteras de nuestros 200 acres y hacia la comunidad local. Desde liderar el cargo por construir Banana Circles hasta trabajar con granjeros y rancheros locales más arriba en la cuenca, Amanda se está convirtiendo en un elemento clave de la comunidad local de Juluchuca.

Johnny Adventures

Juan Carlos Solis, or Johnny as he is so affectionately known, is also from Juluchuca. Like so many of his contemporaries, he moved to the US for economic opportunity and ended up in Portland, OR, holding down 3 or 4 jobs at a time while trying to raise a family. When his father became ill, Johnny and his family came home to Juluchuca to help tend his farm.

Equipo de Cocina

The kitchen team is lead by Chef Daniel Ramirez, who pasa más tiempo explorando la cuenca local para construir relaciones con los agricultores y ganaderos locales a fin de mejorar el abastecimiento local de alimentos. He leads the kitchen team, which includes Olga and Ines who are both famous for their mole and other local Mexican favorites. If you enjoy cooking, please feel free to ask to join in the kitchen to help out during your stay or for a cooking class. Due to the popularity of the many dishes emerging from the Playa Viva kitchen, we have published “Comida Viva: The Playa Viva Cookbook.” Playa Viva cooking is based on farm-to-table, healthy Mexican food with an international flair. We cater to a wide variety of dietary needs from vegan to omnivore adjusting for sugar or gluten free to really any allergies.

El Equipo

While the rest of the Playa Viva team is not as visible, each individual plays a key role in making sure your stay meets the standards of eco and luxury. This includes housekeeping, permaculture, security and our drivers. The Playa Viva team always includes Holistic Hosts who are in charge of Yoga, Massage and Hosting you during your stay. We are lucky to have Anjuli Mahendra and Alok Rockwater coordinating this role and bringing in great practitioners to be your gateway to the Playa Viva experience. If you are interested in becoming a Host, please click here to see job description and online application.


Our team isn’t complete without Volunteers. Playa Viva hosts up to six volunteers at a time who work on the farm, support ecological restoration and engage in community development. We provide room and board in exchange for volunteer labor. As a guest at Playa Viva, please connect with the Volunteers to explore the landscape and the community and ask them to share their experiences with you. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please complete the formulario de solicitud de voluntario..


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