Banyan Tree Mayakoba Carbon Weddings

Banyan tree

Riviera Maya, Mexico- Weddings are a celebration of life, representing a commitment to the future. Taking a step further, couples may also commit to the earth’s future as well as their own when tying the knot. Likewise, environmentally responsible meetings are not only good for the Earth, they are great for business. Planning or supplying a green meeting gives companies the competitive edge, and can even save time and money in the process when they are professionally organised at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

Banyan Tree Mayokaba, located in a carefully preserved ecological site, is the first resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, to offer event and wedding planners the option to hold their events in a carbon responsible manner. The carbon responsible programme comes at no additional cost to the organisers. By choosing Banyan Tree Mayakoba as the venue for their events, these companies will be playing their part to support the reforestation of areas of Mexico and provide employment to the local indigenous population, even as the resort absorbs the cost of carbon offset. This triple bottom line approach is in keeping with the Banyan Tree corporate belief that there is no need to sacrifice the environment in order to deliver a sublime experience.

Carbon responsible wedding and customised event packages have been available since April 2010. The organisers will receive an event verification certificate provided by Reforestamos Mexico. Each guest receives a wooden artefact crafted by a local workshop based in the Buenavista community, which salvages wood from trees felled by natural causes and crafts them into forms that represent the beauty of Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba uses the internationally accredited EarthCheck Program to carefully manage and measure the amount of energy and water consumed as a result of the individual guest’s stay. A symbolic carbon measure is then offset locally through Reforestamos Mexico, a certified organisation which in turn links to the Scolel Te project. This forestry carbon sequestration initiative involves the indigenous communities of Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Choles and Lacandones in Chiapas, and the Chinanteca communities in Oaxaca. The project is based on the Plan Vivo System, using a guiding methodology for land-use based carbon project development that permits participation from cooperative farms and communities in carbon capture, biodiversity preservation, endangered species protection and the environmental services market.

About Banyan Tree Mayakoba Banyan Tree Mayakoba is located in picturesque Riviera Maya, Mexico’s premier beach destination fronting the Caribbean Sea. The resort is 40 minutes’ drive from Cancun International Airport and 10 minutes from the cosmopolitan town of Playa del Carmen. A total of 107 pool villas are discreetly built into the carefully conserved landscape, which preserves four ecosystems in balance – the mangroves, dunes, low forests, and coral reefs. Banyan Tree Mayakoba is the ideal setting for honeymoons, holidays, wedding parties, meeting groups, and other gatherings. A range of unique wedding packages are available, such as the Just for Two package, priced at US$2,200++ which includes an in-villa Mayan ceremony presided by a local Shaman, surrounded by ceremonial decorations and Mayan musicians for the occasion. Meeting events are specially customised for organisers, and cost varies depending on requirements.

For further information, please contact Romance Director Ms. Josefina de Luna at josefina.luna@banyantree.com or Manager, Group Sales, Ms. Cinthya Cabrera at cinthya.cabrera@banyantree.com. Guests may also call the resort directly at +52 984 877 3688 +52 984 877 3688 +52 984 877 3688 +52 984 877 3688 email mayakoba@banyantree.com for reservations and enquiries.

President Urges State Governments to Promote Security Reform

Calderon reform

Mexico City.- During the inauguration of the Second Political Forum: Security and Justice, President Felipe Calderón urged state governments to redouble efforts and implement the Reform of the Penal Justice System, “So that as soon as possible, all Mexicans will have access to a transparent, expeditious system of justice.”
“Local authorities must redouble their efforts to ensure that oral trials come into effect and are implemented as soon as possible and to prevent the risks associated with faulty implementation, such as the phenomenon of revolving force. In this situation, the criminal takes longer to reach the door than to leave through it precisely because of the shortcomings or faulty implementations of the reform,” he explained.

He said that the Board of Coordination for the Implementation of Penal Justice provides advice as well as study programs for government officials responsible for implementing the reform at the local level.

“At the same time, we are also strengthening and professionalizing our own security and justice institutions. To this end, we are evaluating, training and providing better equipment for the Federal Police and helping local authorities to make the same effort within the sphere of their competence,” he added.

In the cupola of the Archivo General de la Nación, the President stressed that security and justice are matters that involve not only Federal Government but all Mexicans, which is why the implementation of this reform requires the surveillance, proposal and demands of citizens to make it successful.

“Although a quality government requires quality institutions, it also requires citizens that participate, think, organize and demand and express themselves through the channels established by the law and the Constitution.

I am convinced that institutions only improve when citizens appropriate and make them their own,” he added.
Accompanied by the Security Cabinet, the President explained that the reform will be useless unless the corps responsible for securing and administering it are transformed. If corruption continues to exist in prosecution, police or judicial corps, it will be pointless to change the justice system, because, “Justice will be continue to be provided for the highest bidder, as happens in many cases.”

President Calderón urged Congress to pass the penal reform bills he will submit to to classify the crimes that have been commented on and have yet to be properly configured.

“We want to close the legal loopholes that permit impunity in order to prevent dangerous criminals from walking out of prisons because of the shortcomings in penal typology,” he explained.

Lastly, he made it quite clear that Federal Government will not cease its struggle against organized crime, since the aim is to restore the security and tranquility of Mexican families. That is why, he said, we must work together, because everyone’s future is at stake.

“And I do not have the slightest doubt that it should be done. We must continue because this fight is worth it because it is naive to assume that if Federal Government withdraws, criminals will desist from their aim of taking over communities and the lives of every citizen, meaning that we must do so.

And we must do so increasingly accurately and intensely. But we must do so and not cross our arms in this long-term struggle for Mexicans’ safety.

Are You Headed To Rocky Point For The Weekend? And Other Topics

By Lola

I live in Arizona. You know, where I will soon apparently need to keep my passport in my glove box, just in case. I thought about strapping it to my back for quick access–so they’d see it in their search for “wetbacks”—until I remembered that just happens when the illegals cross the Río Grande. Here, they’re more like “charred-backs” and it’s bound to get worse as the temperatures rise.

Those who know me will say I sound like a broken record, but if these illegal immigrants weren’t employed by Arizonans in search of (very) cheap labor, they wouldn’t have a reason to cross over. Unless they were on their way to sell drugs to Americans who are eager to buy them. Oh, wait, no one on this side of the border is at fault. My bad…

But I digress. The main topic of the day was going to be Rocky Point. Apparently some overly patriotic mexicanos decided it would be a good idea to set up fake road blocks and harass the gringos for papers (reports are still unconfirmed, but it’s nonetheless on the Travel Alerts). Smart idea, pendejos. Now you’re in the same league with the bunch of zealots that live on this side. Seriously: don’t you think that’s a case of cutting off your nariz to spite your cara? Did it occur to you that these blanquitos are on their way to spend a lot of dinero in your restaurants, marketplaces and bars (especially bars)? So they’re a nuisance, but they pay cash.

Which, by the way, should be something Arizonans need to keep in mind as well: Mexicans spend A LOT OF MONEY IN ARIZONA. According to a U of A study sponsored by the AZ tourism office, at least 23,400 jobs in Arizona depend on the more than $7.35 million that Mexican visitors spend every day in stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses.

Really? So money flows both ways? Not just OUT?

I know I’m probably naive and getting all kinds of people living at the very opposite ends of the spectrum all riled up. But we need to start somewhere: don’t hire that gardener unless he has papers, stop doing drugs, and for Pete’s sake, stop foaming at the mouth.

The government (yes, I voted for you, Obama, please live up to all the love we gave you) seems to be severely handicapping its own bad self (Dems hate Reps, Reps hate Dems, everybody else gets screwed) so we, the people, can and should do something at a grass roots level.

So how ’bout it? Start with yourself and watch the ripples spread…

Complimentary Father’s Day Spa Ritual – A $470 Value – Relaxes Dads in June At Los Cabos’ “Hotel With a Heart”

3-hour Spa Treatment Included in Father’s Day Package at Marquis Los Cabos Resort

Father's Day At MarquisLos Cabos, Mexico (May, 2010) – Dads who visit Marquis Los Cabos during the month of June will be treated to a lavish complimentary spa ritual in honor of Father’s Day when they book a 3-night stay in a Casita at the 237-suite beachfront resort. The three-hour Father’s Day spa ritual consists of an ion detox, body exfoliation, algae and mud wrap, deep facial cleansing, and relaxing massage, all of which are specially designed for a man’s skin and muscles.  The main ingredients used in the ritual are essential oils known to achieve high levels of masculine energy, such as patchouli, cedar, and cardamom.  The complimentary Father’s Day amenities during the month of June 2010 are available only for guests who book a minimum of three nights in the Casita suite category.  Casita rates begin at $825 per night. The Father’s Day Ritual is valued at $470 for guests that stay in other suite categories. Tax and service charge are additional.  For reservations, please call 1-(877) 238-9399 or visit the website at www.marquisloscabos.com.

Featured in National Geographic Traveler’s “Hotels with a Heart,” the Marquis Los Cabos donates five percent of the hotel’s annual revenue for the staff’s education and healthcare in its Marquis University.  Since 2003, the resort has helped on average 20 employees a year obtain primary schooling and bachelor degrees.

About Marquis Los Cabos

The 237 all-suite beachfront Marquis Los Cabos Resort is located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California península, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, and is minutes from the authentic Old World village of San Jose del Cabo as well as the lively town of Cabo San Lucas.  The resort features a 15,000 square foot holistic spa and fitness center, an exclusive gourmet restaurant where a Michelin-pedigreed chef prepares a nightly prix fixe menu and an extensive collection of Latin American sculpture and painting on display in public areas and guest suites.  Since its 2003 opening, Marquis Los Cabos has earned the travel industry’s most coveted awards including “World’s Best” (Travel + Leisure); “Gold List” (Conde Nast Traveler); “Best Value” (Conde Nast Traveler); the AAA Four Diamond, and the Five Star Diamond for its Canto del Mar restaurant.  Marquis Los Cabos is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World and the only member of Leading Spas of the World in Los Cabos.

For a Limited Time, Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE at the All-new, All-inclusive Barceló Los Cabos Palace Deluxe

Los Cabos, Mexico – Barceló Hotels & Resorts announces its latest promotion for families, just in time for the busy summer travel season:  free meals and a free stay for kids 12 and under at the all-new, all-inclusive Barceló Los Cabos Palace Deluxe.  This limited-time offer is available now through December 23, 2010, and includes free nightly rates and daily meals for up to two children staying with two adults.

Barceló all-inclusive properties provide a variety of complimentary, child-friendly entertainment offerings and kids’ clubs as well as adult-friendly activities and nightlife, ensuring that both parents and kids will be satisfied on their all-inclusive getaway.  The all-new Barceló Los Cabos Palace Deluxe, which opened its doors in December 2009, even features a kids-only, on-site water playground, complete with water cannons and other watery fun.  And for parents, the resort offers a secluded, adults-only pool and world-class spa for the ultimate experience in relaxation.  Total family time can include any of the many on-site activities, including tennis, basketball and beach volleyball, plus dining opportunities at a total of seven casual buffets and gourmet, a la carte restaurants. From Spanish, French and Italian specialties to Japanese and international cuisine, even the pickiest eaters will find something to suit their palates.

“In today’s economy, families are finding it difficult to budget for an exotic, comprehensive getaway, especially one that everyone will enjoy,” said Claudio Zboznovits, vice president of sales and marketing in the U.S. and Canada. “With our latest promotion, guests can receive a whole family vacation for the cost of a couple’s retreat, and with our wealth of kid- and parent-friendly activities, everyone is sure to have a good time.”

Nestled on one of the widest stretches of beach in the destination at 650 feet wide and half of a mile in length, this five-star, all-inclusive, all-suite resort on the Sea of Cortez and nearby to picturesque San José del Cabo, Mexico, offers 619 well-appointed suites, including 34 swim-up suites, the first and only swim-up suites for both the hotelier and the destination. Designed in the California hacienda style, blended with stylish, modern luxuries, the resort features only the finest in-suite amenities, including 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, rain dance-style showers, jetted bathtubs and the latest in in-room technology, including dual CPUs for guest interface with smart TV, controlling room climate, room service requests, opening/closing draperies, Internet access and direct phone. Family suites are also available, providing families with the safety and convenience of gathering under one roof.

For more information or reservations, call 1-800-BARCELÓ, visit www.barceloloscabos.comor contact your travel agent or preferred tour operator.  

About Barceló Hotels & Resorts

Barceló Hotels & Resorts is among the world’s top 25 largest hospitality and travel companies.  Barceló was established in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in 1931, first as a transportation provider and then as a hotel and travel company.  The family-owned, privately held company has been world-renowned for more than 75 years for its excellence in service and its innovation within the tourism industry.  

The hotel company owns or manages more than 180 properties in 17 countries. Barceló’s hotels and resorts are found in key destinations and cities throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company offers a large variety of hotels and resort types to accommodate all travelers, from budget-minded to upscale guests seeking luxurious accommodations.  Barceló specializes in all-inclusive resorts that make vacation planning both convenient and affordable, offering one upfront, all-encompassing price.  For more information or reservations, visit www.barcelo.com.

Respect = Respeto

By Lola
I was just browsing through some interesting Chicano pages and sites. The extremism that colors so much of the current opinion in the US is very evident there, too, albeit in the other direction. Here is an excerpt from one of the sites that struck me as, well, extremist, when referring to the difference between a Chicano and a Mexican-American (or Hispanic):

“The Mexican-American (Hispanic) is a person who lacks respect for his/her cultural and ethnic heritage. Unsure of her/himself, she/he seeks assimilation as a way out of her/his “degraded” social status.”

That sent shivers up and down my spine. What does that make me? A mongrel with a spine made of gelatina? I consider myself Hispanic, Latina, a wonderful mix of Mexico and Puerto Rico, a woman, a mom, a daughter, a friend… Not necessarily Hispanic-American, because hyphenates give me hives, but grateful to live in this country (with all the good, the bad and the ugly) that allows me to provide for my little familia with the metaphorical sweat of my brow. I consider myself all kinds of things. But certainly not seeking “assimilation as a way out of her/his ‘degraded’ social status”. Santo cielo.

I’ve always believed you have to give respect in order to get respect. Both sides of what has become a nasty war seem to have totally lost sight of what the word means, all the while raging and foaming at the mouth about “respect”.

I also read this in a post in Facebook about Professor Soto’s speech at the University of Arizona’s graduation today:

” Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” Albert Einstein

“Truly inspiring, may we all heed her words to create the space to dialogue without blame and prejudice.”

There’s a difference between expressing “opinions courageously and honestly” and lobbing Molotov cocktails spiked with Agent Orange at each other.

“A space to dialogue without blame and prejudice.”

From her mouth to God’s ears.

Calderon’s Comments

by David Simmonds

Well it seems as if Mexican President Calderon has stirred the immigration pot a bit with his recent comments on the White House lawn during his meeting with President Obama. A list of the usual suspects cried out in indignant harmony that Calderon should mind the business of his own country and not his northern neighbors’. So what exactly did he say that caused the controversy? According to the official transcript, it was either this:

“We can do so with a community that will promote a dignified life and an orderly way for both our countries, who are, some of them, still living here in the shadows with such laws as the Arizona law that is placing our people to face discrimination.”

Or, because of a “translator problem”, the official statement was listed as:

“I know that we share the interest in promoting dignified, legal and orderly living conditions to all migrant workers. Many of them, despite their significant contribution to the economy and to the society of the United States, still live in the shadows and, occasionally, as in Arizona, they even face discrimination.”

So that’ it? That’s what got Limbaugh, Beck, Senator McCain, Senator Hatch and apparently millions of others so outraged?

Here’s my take on this. The U.S. never refrains from opining in public on the domestic policies of other countries. Hell, we have historically even sent in troops, rigged foreign elections, and otherwise done whatever is necessary in the “best interest” of our country. Sometimes it works out well for us, other times not so much. Given that, surely we can handle another country’s leader stating a fairly innocuous statement on behalf of the people he represents. I won’t even take a position of the Arizona law here – that’s not my point. I just think that if we are going to be a country who meddles in other countries affairs, we should not be surprised or offended when the tables are so slightly turned. Dish it out – and be able to take it. We need to remember some of our school yard lessons.