Fast forward: three years of dating, a strong marriage, a fabulous child, and the founding and creation of Yucatan Today.
Juan Manuel and I were a team from Day One – through thick and thin. It was his idea to combine our mutual love for Yucatán with his incredible artistic talents and abilities and my love for writing.
January 15, 1988 was the official launch of Yucatan Today, the tourist guide that we envisioned as the touristic “bible” for the state of Yucatán, the resource that everyone, both locals and visitors, would want to have in their hands and in their homes.
Juan Manuel was a leader. He came from a family of leaders. He wanted our tourist magazine to be the best, so with that in mind, off we’d go on excursions to every nook and cranny in Yucatán to get up-to-date information, photos, and ideas. Our goal was for visitors to feel as if we were taking them by the hand and accompanying them on the adventures and to the places that we loved so much. We really got to know Yucatán inside out and upside down. For almost 28 years Juan Manuel ate, slept, dreamt and breathed all his passion for Yucatan Today.
With Juan Manuel’s passing on November 4th, I’ve come to learn things about him that I didn’t know, even being with him for 44 years. The condolence letters sent to our daughter Andrea, to the Yucatan Today team, and to me, are incredible. How he touched people’s lives! I knew he supported many endeavors, but the list is longer than I knew. He supported art students, people affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, an alcoholics’ shelter, an old folks home, grade school and college scholarships, and the old man who sat behind us in church in Telchac Puerto. And more.
A passionate sailor, watercolor artist, photographer, motorcycle rider, bicycle rider, husband, father, and grandfather, Juan Manuel was a HUGE force of good.
Through his leadership, he left a team at Yucatan Today that is as dedicated and in love with Yucatán as he was. We hope to fill his shoes.
– Judy Abbott de Mier y Terán
The cover photograph of our December 2015 edition of the magazine was taken by Juan Manuel at a barber shop in Izamal. If you look closely, you can see his reflection in the mirror.
Below are a few of the condolence letters received by Yucatan Today:
“Now that I am an adult, I can really grasp what an important and positive father figure Juan Manuel was for me, always encouraging me to draw, take photographs, and be artistic.”
– Nina Enríquez Dunkel
“He lives on through his family and his great body of work as a talented painter, as well as the inspirational founder and director of the best tourist magazine I have ever seen anywhere.”
– Nicole Samaha
“He was one of the good guys.”
– John and Jane Grimsrud
“Siempre lo recordaré con mucho afecto, por su espíritu de lucha y aventura…también tengo algunas de sus hermosas acuarelas de Mérida y Progreso que tanto amaba. Sus pinturas te transportan al lugar. Formó dos familias: Mier y Teran-Abbott y Yucatan Today.”
– Genny Chans Song
“Fue un verdadero caballero y un hombre que admiraba, y me dio muchos “tips” para seguir luchando en el negocio. Para mí siempre va a ser una inspiración.”
– Francisco Lara
Through his leadership, Juan Manuel left a team at Yucatan Today that is as dedicated and in love with Yucatán as he was.
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