Cozumel History – Medal for Tourism Achievement to be awarded on September 27 Honoring Don Gaston Cantarell 

by Irma Portilla de Cantarell

Upon the one year anniversary of  Gaston Cantarell´s death, a very important prize will be awarded bearing his name, the medal for tourism achievement.  Cozumel history in the making.

Gaston Cantarell, or as he was called, Don Gastòn, arrived in Cozumel 50 years ago. He opened Hotel Cantarell in 1967, being the third hotel on the island. It started with 60 rooms, which was probably big for that era. A lot of business owners on the island used to work there, such as Victor, owner of Shampoo, or Doña Ines, famous for her cakes.

Don Gaston helped the hotel owners make the hotel association, and headed it for 30 years. This was a
Voluntary post for him, however he did it passionately. During this time he brought tour operators from Canada and the United States, and made many of the arrangements for flights that we still have to
Cozumel, being his last the one from Miami.

He also made posible events such as the Ironman, which is a very important legacy. When Hotel Cantarell closed down, he organized a group of investors and continued building hotels, he was a partner of Reef Club hotel for many years. He will be deeply missed, by his fellow hoteliers, and mostly by his family.

A comitee was formed to chose this year´s award winner, which includes his two sons, Gerardo
and Juan Carlos,  and will be given on september 27,  to Celebrate tourism day.

Irma Portilla de Cantarell, is the daughter in law of Don Gaston Cantarell. Way back in 2012 Irma was kind enough to share her How I came to call Cozumel homestory. She is also the owner of the AXA Insurance located on Av. 30 and 11.

For more great Cozumel Information

This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island!  Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!

Laura Wilkinson

Author at Cozumel 4 You
An ex-Connecticut Yankee who has called Cozumel home for over 18 years, Laura ran away to the Caribbean years ago, bumped around the islands teaching SCUBA diving, lost some time in Jamaica, and finally stopped in Cozumel for a 2 week vacation that hasn’t ended yet. With a degree in Journalism from a fancy private college she convinced her parents to pay for, Laura writes, edits, and creates the weeklyCozumel 4 You news,social media, and promotional articles about the island, as well as moderates the Cozumel 4 You Facebook group, which currently has over 25,000 members. Her long suffering husband, Fabian, has long since resigned himself to having zero private life, as he’s been involved in her various schemes and plots since his arrival. Proud parents to a variety of rescue dogs and cats, Laura continues to be the bane of her traditional Mexican mother-in-law’s existence, as she muses her way through life in the Mexican Caribbean.
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Una ex yanqui de Connecticut quien llama hogar a Cozumel desde hace más de 15 años. Laura escapó al Caribe hace años, desplazándose de una isla a otra dando clases de BUCEO. Se dedicó a perder el tiempo en Jamaica y finalmente se detuvo en Cozumel para pasar unas vacaciones de 2 semanas que aún no terminan. Convenciendo a sus padres que pagaran una elegante universidad privada, obtuvo su título en Periodismo y Laura crea semanalmente Cozumel 4You, medios sociales y artículos promocionales sobre la Isla y también es moderadora en el grupo Cozumel 4 You en Facebook que actualmente cuenta con 25,000 miembros. Fabián, s umuy tolerante marido, desde hace mucho tiempo se resignó a no tener vida privada, pues se ha visto implicado en los diversos proyectos y planes que urde Laura. Son orgullosos padres de diversos perros y gatos rescatados. Mientras contempla su paso a través de la vida en el Caribe mexicano,Laura continúa siendo la pesadilla en la existencia de su muy tradicional suegra mexicana.

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