Friday, June 21, 2024

Acapulco needs us: A personal story from our CEO

Acapulco is a truly magical place.  Anyone who has ever been there can tell you stories of that magic.

I first heard of Acapulco as a child. I remember stories of how my uncle Norm, who was a private airplane pilot, would take executives from major U.S. corporations there in the 1970s for a few days of rest and relaxation. The way he described it was fascinating – truly a playground for the rich and famous and the jet set vacation hot spot for many years.

My first direct experience with Acapulco came from a college friend of mine, Pilar, whom I met while studying at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Pilar was from downtown Acapulco, just a few blocks off the main beach. She was a true “costeña” – loved to smile, have fun, enjoy life, and dance the night away. Imagine how that Acapulco girl suffered in Wisconsin winters!

I visited Pilar’s family in Acapulco multiple times over the years when she would be back for the holidays. I remember her mother helping me wash my clothes once by hand on their rooftop. Her mother is a beautiful, wonderful, strong woman – imagine raising your daughter and telling her that success meant that she would never come back again to live in Acapulco. Her father is a local doctor helping the community from a clinic near their home.

Today Pilar lives near Vienna. Her brother lives in Germany. Their parents still both live in that same home just a few blocks from the beach – and as of my writing this, Pilar has still been unable to communicate with them.

Another friend of mine, Angelica, a colleague from my first job, also has an Acapulco connection. Her family had a home there. One time, my wife and I and two friends were visiting Acapulco, and Angelica, though she wasn’t there, insisted that we spend the day on a boat with her family. It was one of those unforgettable days – filled with laughter, swimming, dancing, an amazing sunset, and lots of tequila.

Acapulco is a place where it is impossible to not make incredible memories. A few more of my own include – late nights at “Disco Beach”, seeing the sunrise on back to back mornings after all-night clubbing, seeing the famous Acapulco cliff divers, having New Year’s Eve dinner one year with Pilar’s family, and attending Pilar’s wedding at a mountaintop location with a stunning view of the entire bay. I could go on and on as I guarantee you anyone who has been to Acapulco could.

The port of Acapulco has many centuries of history, and the people of Acapulco have endured tough times. Recent years have not been kind to the area due to drug violence. This devastating hurricane only adds to the pain and suffering that too many families have endured. It will be too easy to forget about this magic of this special place. We can’t do that.

The people and the place that have brought so much joy to so many people need us now more than ever.

Here we provide information on how to make a cash or in-kind donation to help victims of Hurricane Otis.

Travis Bembenek is the CEO of Mexico News Daily and has been living, working or playing in Mexico for over 27 years.

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