“Young people need to dream.” Playa del Carmen business leader Marc Pujol is a force of inspiration, and it shows in his commitment to mentoring others.
He made a difference in the lives of 35 promising young high school students here in Playa del Carmen. His real estate company, Gama Master Broker GMB, provided the means for these students to complete high school through Keep Kids in School (KKIS) scholarships.
At a private graduation ceremony in June 2021, those students crowded around Pujol. Their gratitude was palpable in their smiles and the way they pumped his hand as they thanked him for his company’s support.
Pujol says, “Those students will go on to create their own companies, start new projects, and inspire those around them.” Pujol says, “ The first time he met with the students, they were 10th graders. He encouraged them to visualize what they wanted for their future.
“I encouraged the students to create vision boards. By using magazine pictures to create a vision of your future, you can inspire yourself.” He says, “I recommend the young people in my company do this too because sometimes we don’t think about what we want in life. Life drives you if you let it. A vision board helps you focus. Once you achieve it, do another one. Your vision can change 3, 5, 10 times.”
With a vision for the future firmly in their grasp, the students have something to work toward.
Why Are High School Scholarships Needed in Playa del Carmen?
Unlike other areas of Mexico, high school education isn’t free in the state of Quintana Roo. That means families must absorb the costs of entrance exams, uniforms, books, school supplies, and transportation for 10, 11, and 12th grades. These costs add up to about $600 USD/student/year making it a significant financial hardship for some families.
The KKIS program aims to change this by helping promising young people complete their high school education. Through KKIS, 23 students can go on to university.
Community Leaders Have an Opportunity
Pujol says, “We can change the future of the Riviera Maya. It has so many opportunities, but those opportunities aren’t open to everyone because they don’t have the same advantages of resources.” By helping motivated students complete their high school education, he hopes these students will dream of a better future for themselves and find opportunities to contribute to the growth of the Riviera Maya.
A native of Spain, Pujol first came to the Riviera Maya in 2006 for a bank’s commercial director. “When I came to Playa del Carmen, it was a little seaside town. I frequently traveled to Miami and was in contact with many developers. I saw an opportunity to put the developers in contact with the buyers here in Playa del Carmen like they were doing in Miami. I started GMB as a sales and marketing agency to bring together developers and clients in 2012.
Nine years later, GMB is one of the largest developers in the Riviera Maya, with multiple brands in their portfolio. Pujol’s wife, Paulina Lizárraga, is an architect. This combination makes for a natural partnership in real estate. He says between 2014 and 2018, GMB became partners in some of the development projects.
“We were able to grow very fast. Everything came together to make it happen.”
One project he’s proud of is the concept of the condo/hotel. “It has the service of a boutique hotel but with condominiums. Buyers can make their condo available for rent and make money when they’re not using it.” The IT building on 1st avenue is one of those condo/hotel blends.
GMB also includes the following properties:
- Paramar Viva
- Hacienda Tuk
- Tuk Tulum
- It beach
In addition to being CEO of GMB, Pujol is also the president of the Riviera Maya chapter of COPARMEX. COPARMEX is the biggest business association in Mexico. He’s also Vice President of the ADIRM (Association of Real Estate Developments of the Riviera Maya) and an Associate of the AMPI (Mexican Association of Professional Realtors.)
“As business people, we have the opportunity to go into the universities and high schools and meet with young people. Many times young people don’t know what to do in life. Meeting successful people can inspire the students to keep growing and keep studying.”
Pujol hopes to inspire future generations of Playense. “You have to give back to the place that gave you everything.”
How You Can Help Future KKIS Scholars
If you’d like to support future scholars in the Riviera Maya, you can do so through a donation here. For $25 USD a month, you can help a child realize their dreams.