MERIDA, YUC. — About 90 of Mexico’s most prominent landowners — owners of historic haciendas from various regions — are gathered in Merida this week for a conference aimed at helping to generate income from their properties.
The three-day Convention of Mexican Hacienda Owners concluded today Tuesday Nov. 28 at Hacienda Misné in Merida with participants’ visiting many of Yucatan’s other restored haciendas for familiarization and networking.
That the meeting of these prominent property owners would be held at a Merida hacienda highlights the recent emergence of the White City as a center of high-level national meetings and conventions.
It also shines a spotlight on the importance of preserving and developing Yucatan’s own hacienda resources — especially those located in rural areas — as a means of promoting Yucatan’s tourism economy, generating jobs and prospering.
At one panel discussion Monday, hacienda owners heard about how to use destination weddings to develop the profitability of their properties.
Dr. Roberto Chavez Ruiz Velasco, owner of Hacienda La Magdalena in Zapopan, Jalisco, described how he and his family have used destination weddings to rescue the property that has been owned by his family for 135 years.
“All haciendas have the potential to host weddings,” Chavez told about 40 convention participants gathered for his talk. “You can even host simultaneous weddings. And a wedding brings people to your hacienda for several days, since the event typically involves at least three days of activities, including preparations, rehearsal dinner, the ceremony itself and after-parties,” Chavez said.
The other three panel discussions Monday dealt with the themes of haciendas as cultural patriomony, financing for haciendas and rural tourism, and legal aspects of real properties encompassed by haciendas.
The meeting, organized by Merida-based K-Group, concludes today with tours of Hacienda Dzibikak, Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, Hacienda San Pedro Ochil, Hacienda Temozón, Hacienda Chablé, Hacienda X’canatún, Hacienda Noc ac, and Hacienda Yaxcopoil.
Story and photos by Robert Adams for SMT