Grupo Vidanta is one of the largest and most popular travels and leisure conglomerates in Latin America. Its real estate assets include seven luxury resorts with championship courses, a private construction company, the Mar de Cortés or Puerto Peñasco International Airport, and the only resident Cirque du Soleil show in Mexico. The Vidanta resorts, stretching from the Baja Peninsula to the Yucatán Peninsula, comprise some of the hottest beachfront locations in Mexico. The perks of joining Grupo Vidanta’s private destination club, Vida Vacations, include AAA Five Diamond-rated accommodations, Cristal- and RCI-certified amenities and service, and showstopping entertainment by the likes of Cirque du Soleil, Hakkasan Group, and others. Grupo Vidanta takes great pride in providing world-class travel services for its clientele, but it also believes in giving back via its philanthropic branch, the Vidanta Foundation.
The Vidanta Foundation’s mission is to promote democratic values and the social sciences throughout Latin America. It does so by instilling civic responsibility in the general population and supporting original projects, initiatives, and best practices to reduce poverty and inequality and support environmental sustainability, via the annual Vidanta Foundation Award and the Vidanta Foundation Fellowship.
The Award is a collaboration between the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the Organization of American States (OAS), in cooperation with the overarching principles and oversight of the Vidanta Foundation. The Award is designed to recognize and support original, outstanding projects carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean that reduce poverty, inequality, and discrimination and take on the following initiatives: develop greater knowledge and capacity in the field, influence public policy decision-making, create greater awareness and mobilize public opinion on key issues, promote humanitarian values and solidarity in the general population, and encourage philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. A prestigious panel of judges critiques the participants on their projects’ level of innovation and success, its measurable results or impact, its capacity to be continued and replicated, and its environmental sustainability. The 2019 Award will tackle “Contributions to the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The five participants with the best projects will receive awards of $25,000, $35,000, $50,000, $75,000, and $100,000 USD. The awards will be determined in September 2019 and delivered in October 2019.
Like the Vidanta Foundation Award, the Vidanta Foundation Fellowship promotes democratic values and the welfare of those living in Latin America and the Caribbean, with an emphasis on sustainable tourism. The winner of the Fellowship will spend four to six months at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., researching an aspect of sustainable tourism on the Latin American economy. The Fellowship includes roundtrip airfare to and from the US, as well as a monthly stipend and access to research facilities. The winner’s research will facilitate Mexico’s rise as an international travel destination that combines first-class service and amenities with the warmth and hospitality of a home away from home.
Grupo Vidanta practices what its Foundation preaches in the day-to-day operations of its resorts. Its commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in energy-saving electrical devices, water-conserving faucets and showerheads, automatic lights that conserve power, and building layouts that make the most of natural sunlight. Another example is the Cirque du Soleil Theater at Vidanta Riviera Maya, which houses a culinary-meets-circus masterpiece, JOYÀ. The theater was made from local wood and eco-friendly, biodegradable materials out of respect for the surrounding environment. These measures have the distinction of being approved by EarthCheck, the Rainforest Alliance, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Grupo Vidanta hopes that its commitment to environmental sustainability will encourage other companies to establish responsible travel and leisure initiatives that will have a positive impact on the local population and environment, as well as the travelers who love to visit Latin America.