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!

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