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Verena Gerber

Photo: With the governor

Spotlight on Colibri winner Verena Gerber

Planeta.com Presents 2010 Colibri Ecolodge Award to Verena Gerber in honor of World Environment Day

Verena opened Hotel Xixim (first named EcoParaiso) in 1996. Located on one of the most fascinating Mexican biological reserves, nestled on a 3-mile virgin beach, the luxury hotel is located on the edge of the Celestún Biosphere Reserve in the Yucatán Peninsula.

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@HotelXixim

Xixim is eco chic, providing impeccable comfort and service in tranquil, natural surroundings. It offers a magical experience in a pristine environment, while providing a warm ecological oriented ambiance with wellness facilities and healthy activities for the guests well-while in intimate contact with nature. Highlights include a yoga center, juice therapy, pools and massage cubicles.

“We’ve persevered 15 years,” Verena said. “The work has been titanic in scope — changing the way beach resorts have been developed and promoted. It wasn’t easy at the beginning and it’s not easy now, but it’s a challenge we’ve accepted. Every day the tourists are becoming more savvy in terms of what they’re seeking and it’s my belief that we will thrive in the changing tourism environment.”

Verena sees her role as a representative of private industry as a way of changing an attitude that seeks partnerships. “It’s important to work together so that we can all benefit. Private industry invests in tourism and we’re betting not just on tourism but on ecotourism”. On top of Verena’s wishlist — deeper support and better promotion of ecotourism from Mexico’s tourism officials.

Testimonials
Pasan crisis y huracanes pero el ecoparaiso de Verena Gerber en Celestún, Yucatán, sigue ahí. Ahora, además con posibilidades de ofrecer retiros de Yoga. No se que otra señal espero para ir y saludar una vez más a Verena.
Fernando Garcia Aguinaco, Ganador Colibri

Verena Gerber has created Xixim as refreshingly different from most of the Yucatan Peninsula resorts and beach hotels, blending into the surroundings and is respected in the neighbouring community of Celestun, a first impression confirmed through my regular contact with Xixim’s main ecotourism guide, a community member of Celestun, while spending time in the town myself.
Gerhard Buttner, Colibri Winner

Verena Gerber is the personification of dynamism and energy. Her contributions to the conservation of the dunes in front of the resort and the creative implementation of measures to protect bird species especially the endemic ones are countless. I have seen her work many hours consulting with the experts to do the correct thing in order to preserve nature be it sewage treatment or keeping the natural vegetation untouched. I have a great respect for such a human being. I hope we had more Verena Gerbers in the world. She has been an remarkable example of work ethics and perseverance to me.
– Alfonso Escobedo, Ecoturismo Yucatán

Muy merecido el premio Colibrí por tus esfuerzos y perseberancia, se necesitan factores ideologicos muy especiales para continuar en esta lucha contra la destruccion del medio ambiente, me siento parte de ella y por tanto te brindo mi apoyo incondicional, FELICIDADES a todo el equipo de Xixim.
– Elena Gottdiener

Congratulations to Verena Gerber for winning the 2010 Colibri Ecolodge Award. The work to develop sustainable tourism seems endless, but it pays off in the end. Verena is a hard worker and has a commitment to conservation and protection which is so important to our Yucatan!
– Linda A. Schramm, AmigoYucatan

Yo también me pongo de pie y aplaudo al bello Xixim. Sra. Verena, muchas gracias por su enseñanza en el cuidado de la naturaleza y el medio ambiente. A la fecha sigo sus recomendaciones de separación de basura y protección a la naturaleza. Es Usted todo un ejemplo a seguir y me da tanta alegría y emoción que se reconozca la gran labor que se hace en Xixim.
– Luz María Núñez

Muy merecido premio! Ejemplos como Eco paraíso son los que tenemos que estar fomentando en nuestro país, gracias por tener la energía y la perseverancia de creer en que hay una mejor forma de hacer las cosas.
– Gael Almeida, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza

Te felicito es un reconocimiento que te mereces. Ya sabes que tus amigos de Fondo Mexicano que además pudimos vivir el concepto de Eco Paraíso te admiramos y desearíamos que hubiese más mexicanas y mas seres humanos como Verena.
– Eugenio Clariond Reyes, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza

¡Muchísimas felicitaciones! Mereces este reconocimiento y muchos más, por tu tesón, tu visión, tu amor por la naturaleza y tu sacrificio personal durante tantos años. Y por lo mucho que has enseñado a otros. Es un privilegio y un honor ser colega tuyo en el FMCN.
– Steve Knaebel, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza

Photos
En la vida, no importa tanto donde vas tanto como a quien encuentras en el camino @marehrenberg @HotelXixim #colibri

Elsewhere on the Web
ecoparaiso.com

Artwork
2010 Colibri Ecolodge Award Winner Verena Gerber

Planeta.com

Colibri Ecotourism Award

México

Yucatán

Celestún Biosphere Reserve

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