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OUR HISTORY

We emerged as a link in the vision of a group of Mexican entrepreneurs committed with the sustainable development of the country and the Yucatán Peninsula specifically.

In the early 90s, we were the first in the region to take the step by creating The Haciendas, a business project consisting of a group of boutique hotels operated by "Starwood Hotels and Resorts" (www.thehaciendas.com), carefully restored sisal-producing haciendas with a clear vision in mind to set them up in a Sustainable Tourism Model –which would bring a socio-economic boost of micro-regional impact.

An interdisciplinary team including professional architects was formed and its task consisted in designing a project based on the analysis of the remaining ruins. The architectural project involved working with materials that can be naturally found in the area; the attributes of the materials were explained by the locals who also familiarized the team with their own style of work. We prioritized the participation of local labor in order to promote the creation of professions. Thereafter, waiters, cooks, maids, gardeners, etc., were provided with committed hospitality training. We partnered to achieve excellence without losing the principles and values of Mayan culture.

The next step was creating Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya, A.C. in 2002 to generate opportunities for socio-economic development with the local inhabitants participating as promoters of their own welfare projects. Our vision was to improve the quality and living conditions of the Mayan communities to which we were committed, while respecting and protecting the local culture and natural environment.

After these first two steps, a tour operator, Catherwood Travels (www.catherwoodtravels.com) and Alianza Baktun (www.alianzabaktun.org.mx)were launched.

Our guiding principle is a vision of Sustainable Tourism, working as an engine to achieve community development, as well as a need for collaboration in promoting projects which create opportunities for sustainable development. How? By transforming each institution into an independent, successful and sustainable entity formed by a team of professionals who, being especially respectful of the ecosystem, help the communities to develop in a way that promotes their cultural and natural heritage, always with the Mayan people identity in mind. The mission is to find new ground so that the heirs of the Mayan culture can express themselves and grow in rural communities of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Since then, Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya has broadened its activity, now reaching to territories that extend beyond The Haciendas. We work in the states of Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo. We apply a holistic model with an interdisciplinary approach based on our Integral Community Development Program. The Program includes 6 strategic areas: Human Development, Natural Resources, Housing and Infrastructure, Social Enterprises, Education, and Health.

 

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