Getting in touch with a friend before my second season led to an invitation to join a gathering the very evening I was arriving. InterNations, I was told. Try to get your spellchecker to allow that! Had not heard of it. But having many hours to kill in the Charlotte airport along the way, I looked it up and saw that it's an international organization based in Germany, with local chapters around the world - including Cancun. You can ask to join for free, though there are some additional benefits offered to those who pay. So I applied, and tried to learn more about the dinner that evening.
To my surprise, when I checked into my hotel and got online, I found email confirming my acceptance as a member. I was able to find the starting time for the evening's event: 8 pm. And I had to laugh at the membership suggestion: I'd registered my home address by Virginia's coast, so they suggested I join the chapter in Cincinnati. Hmm. Well, it is right down Interstate 64 from me, just some 580 miles / 933 kilometers ... 9.5 hours, says Google maps. So I changed my profile to say I live in Cancun. All set.
Probably about three dozen people came during the time I stayed at the event. A friendly group, mixed ages, origins and professions. Made plans to get together with some of the people I met that night. Nice start to the season!
Unfortunately, such groups depend largely upon volunteer organizers, and in the year before the pandemic halted everything, it seemed the only InterNations activities were in Playa del Carmen, and were restricted to those with paid memberships. Quite a change. Will have to see if it offers anything in the future.