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Our Story

The story of LADLE is magical and unexpected. In the year 2016, our founders Jaime Kohen and Francisco Rocha, came to live to Tulum, Q. Roo searching for a new adventure while creating a new personal business after they had both left their 10 year long professions. Their first business attempt did not work, leading to a crisis and a great challenge since they had no idea what to do.

After some months, in February 2017, they came across a great opportunity to buy a pice of land in a corer in Tulum. They decided to go for it. This is how it all started:

We wondered if it had been a mistake to leave it all, and come to Tulum. It was a tough time. Our plan was to build apartments for rent and have a restaurant  in the lower level. They hired architects and began with ideas and plans. While the project was developing, they began cleaning the space. The kids around the corner were curious and constantly approached them offering help to restore the place, painting, cleaning and arranging things. In the beginning there were three kids, then ten, then twenty, until suddenly there were 30 kids in La Esquina (the corner).

With everyone's effort, the place was transformed and renovated, turning it into a social space of the neighborhood. Jaime and Francisco became so fond of every single child that they initiated casual activities to utilize the space while the construction began.

I remember the first activity was "movies under the stars", we had pop corn, blankets, and a full house
Francisco

What they didn't know, is that a much larger movement was being established. On a very lucky day, Claudia, Vicky and Selene came in to perform some activities and fell in love with the space and the kids. Since they had previous experience with other A.C.'s they proposed to form a committee to give shape to this movement.

Each week, they got together to talk and share, while all kinds of activities and workshops kept on going. They defined that the main target would be children, since they were the ones that first approached La Esquina, in addition to the belief that they are the bridge between past and future, the seeds of the present that have the potential to generate impact throughout several generations.

Since La Esquina is an open space,  a lot of people walked by and approached us. Soon, people from all over the world started volunteering workshops of all kinds. It was like opening a faucet, and from there everything flowed naturally.  
JAIME

The children's families also approached supporting in everything; Susana, Tony, Betty, Amalia, to name some of them, it started feeling like a big family. The time to start building came, which meant that this project either found a new space or it would come to an end. Again, we had a hard time making a decision since on one hand LADLE was flourishing and on the other, the arquitectural project which we had been working on for months, was finally ready.

Finally, after contemplating and observing, both Jaime and Fran decided that this corner would remain for LADLE to continue flourishing and growing. Hence the name “Los Amigos de la Esquina” (LADLE) which means The Friends from the Corner and officially became a civil association on August 2017.

This headquarter is very special for us since it represents the origin of LADLE. We trust that just as the project had its own energy to be born, it will grow in the way it must and keep fulfilling us with surprising adventures. It would be incredible if in some years we look back and see LADLE venues all around our country.

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