In 2007 a vision was made a reality by then, 9 year old Felix Finkbeiner in Germany after studying the effects of global warming on the planet at his school.  Felix immediately was interested in the subject and brainstormed with his friends on how they could help and make a difference. Inspired by Wangari Maathai, who was responsible for the planting of 30 million trees in Africa, Felix presented his peers the idea of Plant for the Planet, where kids could plant one million trees in each country of the world to create a CO2 balance worldwide. 

Presently, around 100,000 kids all over the world have jumped on board to pursue this goal, including the students of Escuela Comunitaria Cristo Rey, who gathered on Saturday with recently-elected municipal President Mauricio Gongora Escalente, to join in the cause and start planting on Playa del Carmen's Avenida Constituyentes. 


Hundreds of Playenses gathered on Saturday to support the cause and catch a glimpse of President Gongora in action with the community's children.  I had the priveledge of meeting founder Felix's father, Frithjof Finkbeiner, of the Foundation Council of Plant for the Planet.  His pride for the cause that his son created was obvious and he too has committed his time to helping his son carry out his dream while school is in session and he is unable to travel to each location.

He gave me a copy of the book that Felix and his friends wrote, Tree By Tree, that describes how the goal started and their vision for the future and how to carry out their plan to save the environment. Copies of the book can be purchased online in seven different languages on the Plant for the Planet website.

One student of Cristo Rey opened the event by welcoming President Gongora and showing his support of the cause with the now gone-viral, world-renowned slogan, "Stop talking. Start planting."


For more information about Plant for the Planet or how you or your organization can get involved or donate to the cause, please visit their website or email


Erin Eller, language teacher- turned Expat from Texas, moved to Playa del Carmen in 2010 to pursue her goal of studying abroad and immersion of another culture.  Now she works in social media and marketing for Buy Playa and spends her free time on the boat with her husband and their local fishing and snorkeling charter Pezcaribe Ocean Adventure Tours.  Along with her beloved adopted canine, Benji, she also writes about her experiences and adventures as an Expat in Playa del Carmen in her blog, Chronicles of a Street Dog.