The Xochitla Award was created in 2014, in light of Xochitla Foundation 25th anniversary, to recognize and celebrate the efforts of that academic or research institution, government agency or non-governmental organization for the preservation of the environment and to the development of sustainability education.
The award consists of a sculpture of a dove known as “Paloma” which is signed by late prominent Mexican painter from Jalisco, Juan Soriano. The “Paloma” was donated by the Juan Soriano and Merek Keller Foundation to become the heart of and award that recognizes environmental contributions for the betterment of our country.
The award also includes the naming of one of the ahuehuetes or cypress trees found in the park after the name of the organization or agency that receives this yearly honor.
Xochitla Foundation has long been committed to the environmental cause in Mexico, with the conception, operation, and preservation of Xochitla Ecological Park, a 172-acre oasis encircled by one of State of Mexico’s main industrial parks located northwest of Mexico City.
“Xochitla is the product of the vision of its founder, Manuel Arango. Our mission has been to develop and preserve this space, as a green and urban area for the benefit of the present and future generations.”, says vice-president of Xochitla Foundation, José Manuel Muradás in an interview for EL UNIVERSAL.
Xochitla Ecological Park has lived on for 28 years not without facing lesser challenges, as the transformation of its vicinities into industrial parks, but with a spirit of constant reinvention that has placed it as vital space in the ecological and recreational scenario of State of Mexico, as explained by vice-president Muradás:
“It is essential to display the versatility of (ecological) projects to adapt to the changes around us. Back in the 80’s we were surrounded by other green areas; over 1235 acres destined to the preservation of green areas, a “green belt” outside Mexico City intended to have a positive impact on the existing urban landscape. As a result of this change, we had to rethink Xochitla’s original project and to understand our project as a park surrounded by industrial and urban areas. “
Muradás feels this challenge only adds to the significance of Xochitla Ecological Park: “We feel that this makes our project more relevant. We want people to identify Xochitla as a paradise in the middle of urban areas.”
Government recognition has also been received by the Xochitla Foundation, when in 2010 the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) awarded Xochitla Foundation with the Ecological Merit Prize for its efforts in the promotion of sustainability education.
Former recipients of the Xochitla Award include the Mario Molina Center for Strategic Studies on Energy and Environment, Pronatura México Civil Organization, and the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO).
This year’s Xochitla Award recognizes the work of the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA).
Read more about Xochitla Foundation here: http://www.fundacionxochitla.org.mx