Akumal Ambulance: Need and Funding

From Marieke Brown, guiding light of the Akumal Ambulance project —Akumal-ambulance-2016-2_crop

The need for an ambulance in Akumal is simple: The geographic location of Akumal in relation to the nearest Red Cross delegations means that in the event of an emergency it takes the Red Cross at least 30 mins to reach us (45 mins if you are in North Akumal), assuming the ambulance is available at the time of call.  In a medical emergency the chances of survival drop significantly if the patient can not be transported to a hospital within 1 hour of the incident.  Prior to having the ambulance in Akumal it was impossible to get a patient to the hospital in time.  We have seen wait times last year in Akumal of 1.5 hours or more as even the private ambulances in the area were not available to attend a call.

The Red Cross Ambulance stationed 24 hours per day in Akumal has been serving our community since Dec 10, 2014.  During this time, the ambulance has attended over 220 people, and through speed of response, has literally saved many lives.  In order to sustain the ambulance in Akumal, the Red Cross needs to raise just over $65,000 pesos each month and is asking for the support of the Akumal Community to achieve this. As mentioned before, the Cruz Roja Mexicana receives no regular financial help from the Government, nor from Red Cross International.  It operates exclusively through the generosity and support of the local communities, and through fundraising.

If we aren’t able to help the Red Cross raise enough money, they will remove the ambulance from Akumal and will have no choice but to operate just one ambulance in the Tulum Municipality, which covers an enormous area from Akumal to Cobá to Punta Allen, to just north of Carrillo Puerto.

What does it cost to run the ambulance in Akumal each month?

  • ·      Gasoline – 7,000 pesos
  • ·      Medical equipment – 5000 pesos
  • ·      Portable oxygen tanks – 2000 pesos
  • ·      Meals for paramedics – 12,600 pesos
  • ·      Drinking water – 330 pesos
  • ·      Ambulance maintenance – average 800 pesos
  • ·      Ambulance depreciation – 6,585.41 pesos (316,100/48)
  • ·      Ambulance insurance – 1,166.66 (14,000/12)
  • ·      Paramedic insurance – 175.00 (700×3=2100/12)
  • ·      Paramedic Salaries – 25,500.00 for 3 paramedics
  • ·      Annual set of tires – 773.33 (9280/12 = 773.33)
  • ·      Administrative support team (20% share) – 4234.40

TOTAL $ 65,164.80 pesos

How are we paying for it?

 We have been able to reduce this number with thanks to some of our local hotels.

Secrets Akumal donates

  • ·      Accommodation for paramedics
  • ·      Meals for paramedics
  • ·      Basic maintenance of the ambulance

Hotel Akumal Caribe and Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort donates

  • ·      One set of replacement tires per year

This reduces the monthly expenditure to $49,991.47 pesos


We are currently receiving a total of $24,840 pesos in regular monthly donations (or $298,080 pesos per year) from the following 11 contributors:

  • ·      Secrets Akumal
  • ·      Edventures
  • ·      Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort
  • ·      Hotel Akumal Caribe
  • ·      Playa Caribe Condos
  • ·      Villa de Valhalla
  • ·      La Iguana Condos
  • ·      Sherwood and Bob Anders
  • ·      Caribbean Fantasy
  • ·      Scott and Marieke Brown
  • ·      Phyllis Johnson


In the last 12 months, we have also received a total of $240,233 pesos in one-time donations from Turtle Bay Café, La Buena Vida, Akumal Dive Center, Akumal Dive Shop, the community of South Akumal, Nancy Schiffer, La Tortuga #10, Yool Caanal #3, Villa de Valhalla, Quickie Romero, Paul Sanchez Navarro.


We basically need an additional $25,000 pesos or conservatively US$1500 each month in regular donations to ensure that the ambulance can pay its basic costs.

The fundraisers are a huge help and inject a short-term boost into the finances.  At the moment, the Akumal Ambulance has been running in the red again, and so the fundraiser dinner at Turtle Bay has helped to cover expenses for the next 8 weeks or so.

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗  If you are able to help and would like to make a regular donation, you can do so through this online link.  Just check the recurring payment boxhttps://akumalnow.com/akumal-ambulance/

Even a small amount each month makes a huge difference to this life saving emergency resource. The Red Cross can also accept wire transfer donations and offers a tax deductible receipt for those who would like one.  Please contact Alejandra at [email protected]

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Akumal Ambulance fundraiser dinner!  We have managed to keep our ambulance on the road for almost 2 years now, and we have collectively made a huge difference to all of the people (visitors and locals) whom it has helped, from those with relatively minor injuries to those whose lives have been saved and who have been able to go home and see their families again.  

Lets keep this going, Akumal!  We can do this!  😀

PS: Please make sure that you have the following numbers in your cell phone:  Tulum Red Cross HQ – 984 802 5521  Akumal Ambulance Direct Cell – 984 129 9471

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