When was the last time you went to a New Years Eve party at a hotel that was absolutely free? That had free entertainment? That had a free dinner and free beverages? That had free party favors too? That had free chakra cleansing? (I’m not joking.)
Shambhala Resort in Zipolite, Mexico has been welcoming locals and tourists alike to their free New Years Eve party for thirty years. Unlike the “resorts” of Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, Shambhala is really more of a rustic meditation and healing retreat. No swan towels on your bed here. On New Years Eve, guests wearing all white ascend the meditation hill and receive a handmade floral headdress, along with a song book. Hundreds of people gather to participate in singing, chanting and dancing along with members of the local indigenous community. Later, everyone heads to the beach to release lanterns, gather around a bonfire and enjoy a complimentary dinner. Shambhala asks nothing of the guests who attend this party, and puts no cap on the number of attendees.
Sadly, Zipolite was recently ravaged by Hurricane Carlotta. Shambhala suffered extensive damage. A fund has been established to help rebuild the resort, so that it can continue operating and continue offering events and services to locals and visitors alike. The great thing is that any donations you make to the fund can be applied to a future visit, so if that New Years Eve party sounds like something special (it is!), you just have to save the receipt from your donation and you’ll be able to apply that towards the cost of your stay. If you’d like to donate, click here. I can’t clarify enough that this is not a business looking for a handout. This is a community center looking for a temporary loan to rebuild, and a great vacation destination for anyone looking to experience a Mexican beach free from package holiday tourists.
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