I started out looking for a good hotel on the beach and ended up finding out how to make the world a better place. Not bad for a weekend aimed at escaping from work!
The beach I chose was the little Bay of Chacala in the state of Nayarit, located a relatively short three-hour drive from Guadalajara.
The hotel is called Mar de Jade – Sea of Jade – known for its yoga and meditation classes, as well as healthy food.
That’s from the point of view of their clients. Their neighbors see Mar de Jade in quite a different light: a source of jobs and training that has given great numbers of them a new lease on life.
Among the hotel’s projects are a Waldorf-Montessori school for the Chacala village kids and vocational programs at Tao de Jade, their organic farm and training center. The view on sustainability at the hotel has been to make rather than buy everything the establishment needs.
Their staff teaches youth everything from organic agriculture, maintenance and beekeeping to industrial cooking, sewing and carpentry.
The founder of both Mar de Jade and Tao de Jade is Dr. Laura del Valle, M.D., of Mexico City, who now runs both projects with her daughter Angélica.