Playa del Carmen got its name from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patron saint of Cancun. The first visitors Playa del Carmen rested on its beautiful beaches on their way to Cozumel. These early travelers would ready their canoes while in this heavenly place. Playa del Carmen then developed into a center for Mayan trade and religion.
Today, Catholicism is the dominant religion in Playa del Carmen, with numerous churches in the city offering a daily service. As is the case with many countries in Latin American, the people of Mexico are overwhelmingly Catholic. In Playa del Carmen, religious meanings and symbolisms play an important role in the people’s daily lives, especially in the rural areas. In all of Mexico, you will see the uniquely and ever-pervasive Mexican image of the Virgin of Guadalupe almost as often as you will see the Coca-Cola or McDonald’s logo.
You can find Catholic iconography everywhere in Playa del Carmen, from restaurants and street corners, hotels and taxi cabs, to parks and business establishments. You may find displays of pious devotion that many foreigners deem too extreme – such some religiously devoted people in the city approach the church altar on their knees, while others perform activities that involve flagellation.
Most religious denominations can find a worship venue in Playa del Carmen. Christians and Jews are well catered to, as evidenced by the construction of Catholic and Protestant churches and synagogues in the city. However, some groups complain about the lack of services to its Muslim residents.
It is really important to know the value of religion for many people in Playa del Carmen and to respect their traditions and customs as an important part of their heritage and culture.