Connie was born in Hidalgo and raised on her parents’ ranch. Her father’s love of the land has always been her inspiration. He always told her, “go outside, Connie, and look at the birds.” Her mother always took her to swim and play in the stream. No wonder Connie’s destiny, and her choice, was to convert the love and respect she has for nature into a company which offers sustainable travel.
After travelling to many places, including Vancouver and Victoria, Canada, where she studied English and learned about ecotourism first-hand, Connie saw the need for a tour company that would offer truly sustainable tours in Yucatán. She was determined to offer quality trips and a personal touch that would create unforgettable experiences for her clients. There have even been some who extended their stay in Yucatán so that they could go on more of her tours!
Mayan Ecotours, born in 2006, is an agency dedicated to the planning, development and operation of touristic alternative trips, with the commitment of causing minimum impact to the visited places. She offers specialized tours with guides who are experts in speleology, diving, cave diving, snorkeling, kayak, rappel, and more.
“There is so much of the artificial and so much technology in our world today, that sometimes nature seems strange,” explains Connie. “Yucatán has many things to offer, and most people know about the archaeological sites and the colonial cities. We want to show them more, and we want to inspire them to do no harm when they travel. We try to provide knowledge and food-for-thought. As the saying goes, ‘take only pictures and leave only footprints.’ We are happy when our guests tell us that they learned to love the Maya people and the places we show them.”
Connie’s vision for her company is to support sustainable development by promoting the active participation of the local Maya villagers in the decision-making process on planning and in the distribution of the benefits. A meal in a Maya home, a vist to a hammock-maker; these human interactions are just some of the ways the local people share in the benefits of the tours. Connie also works hard to inspire the local people to conserve, to value, and to keep their surroundings clean. When setting up the tour at the Cenote Peba, for example, she put together a team of divers and local people to clean the cenote above and below the surface.
Mayan Ecotours not only offers well-planned tours for small groups, they can also design custom made tours to suit you. They also offer rental of agro-ecological cabañas, where you select your own freshly grown and locally raised food, removing any doubts you ever had that an alternative lifestyle is not only possible but healthy.
You can see some of their tours in video at www.mayanecotours.com
By Juanita Stein
– Face to Face: Paula Sievert
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– Face to Face: Mathieu & Stephanie Bress
– Face to Face: Monique Duval
– Face to Face: Dr. Carlos Cabrera
– Face to Face: Ralf Hollmann
– Face to Face: Connie Leal Delgado
– Face to Face: Wayne Trotter
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