READER QUESTION: Great site! Good advice! I would like to move to Playa del Carmen. I speak Spanish and my family will learn quickly. In Nashville, where we live, the rule is to choose a neighborhood according to the best schools. (And price.) School is very important for us. We drive 30 minutes (23 miles) to take them to a private school. When moving to Playa, do we keep the same rule or the drive is short to all schools?
One of the most common questions we get (several a week) is about private schools in Playa Del Carmen, (or questions about schools in general). Aside from the popular list that we've compiled, we like to answer questions from our followers.
As for schools, there are so many great international schools in Playa and there really aren't any problems with "bad" schools in that area. It's not like the US, where you might have a gang-infested school in one part of town, while the "rich" part of town has something very different. I couldn't imagine commuting 20 miles anywhere in Mexico in order to attend a specific school. In Playa, there are tons of options and you would not have to do that.
That being said, public schools in Mexico do have some issues with underfunding, so those who CAN afford to send their kids to private schools usually do. Private schooling costs around $400 a month per student, but it can vary. That's just a ballpark, and you can expect to pay more in a tourist area like Playa Del Carmen or Cancun.
A lot of expats also choose to home-school and/or use an online school, which was not an option 10-15 years ago. You have to decide what you want to do and it's a very personal decision, I suggest going down for an extended vacation and doing the research "on the ground" so to speak. There's really no other way to do it.
However, you can certainly get your research started before you go, because most of these schools have websites and Facebook pages where you can learn more about them and contact them directly.
Below, you see an image and link to a popular international school, AK LU'UM.
Going to the website, you can see their mission statement, a PDF handbook for parents, and details about what they offer in terms of education. This is just one of MANY schools in the area. You have to do your own research and find out which school is the best for you and your kids.
Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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