As the world reemerges from lockdowns and the global economy lurches back to life, travel and tourism finds itself down at the bottom of the list of essential activities. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth! We feel it personally and are hearing how badly people NEED to travel—from our families, friends, colleagues… everyone! Beyond the sheer enjoyment and well-being that travel and tourism bring, the industry accounts for one in ten jobs worldwide and more than 10% of global GDP. In many places in Mexico, travel and tourism account for more than 80% of jobs; in fact, it is of such essential importance that it is included in the first phase of restarting the nation’s economy in June along with strict protocols to keep everyone safe.
The widespread economic fallout from the pandemic has had far reaching impacts on those that depend on travel to put food on the table. Here in my hometown of Puerto Vallarta, news spread of dire need for food amongst the most vulnerable families that had lost their jobs in hotels, restaurants, and other tourism related businesses. Upon a visit to our local market, the reality was stark: lines of women and children asking for food. Our friends at our local fruteria, lamented that with $300.00 MXN (approximately $13.00 USD) a family of 4 could eat for a week. We adopted 10 families on the spot and went home with a heavy heart. Later that day, I related the experience to one of my industry friends, and she and her family immediately adopted 10 more families. These grassroots efforts grew with each new person who heard about it; this week we’ll feed over 300 families. While I wrote about this several weeks ago, many of those supporting the effort have encouraged me to continue to spread the word, it’s essential to help in any way we can.
So travel is indeed essential on many levels. And until travel resumes, we’ll keep on providing the essential support needed by Mexico’s most vulnerable communities. Please do get in touch in case you’d like to adopt a family, no amount is too small. As you can see below, they are grateful for our support. Coming together helps us stay positive, knowing that there is good coming out of this, a recognition that we are all connected and will only get through it together.
With strength, gratitude, and compassion,