Hola a Todos,
I have seen some of the comments on the rental fee topic. Let me apologize for not communicating in a more extensive and better way, my mistake. Why is this important? Because we are a community and we need to trust and communicate with each other. First, let me clear out that we are not taking advantage of anyone, this has never been our style or way to proceed and I think that a lot of you will have examples of this fact. Our HOA fees are the lowest in the region, on average ours is around half of other comparable developments, and there is a very simple reason, we have never seen the HOA as a business, quite the contrary, we have supported and funded it from its beginning because our delinquency rate was extremely high, and we were not generating enough funds to support our day to day operations. I really appreciate that today things are getting normalized and residents in their majority are paying. Thank You!!!
1.- Tao Wellness Center
Now, the TAO Wellness Center, the fact is very simple, we have covered all the expenses for the last 5 years, we have never utilized any resources, human or economical from the HOA, there has not been a single “Peso” paid by any resident to maintain the Wellness Center or the Tao Foundation. On both we have created and offered more than 5,500 activities and events at our total cost. This has represented hundreds of thousands of USD and we invested in it gladly in order to fulfill our dream.
The idea as the majority of you know, was to build a little hotel in Tao so we can try to make sustainable the Tao Wellness center. This is still the plan but it will take a couple of years longer. In the meantime, we can not keep up covering all of the Wellness Center expenses and we are looking for options. Because what we will not do is let the Tao Wellness Center derail.
Out of the options we thought about were, increasing the HOA fee’s to help cover the Center cost, use part of the resources of the HOA and utilized them in the TWC, and set a fee for owners renting their units. We chose the last one because we estimate that around 55% of the center is used by renters and renters usually do not care at all about taking care of the equipment or facilities. The problems we are having with the machines were in its majority generated by renters. We have also seen a lot of repeat business coming through renters because they enjoy the Center activities and the community. Our choice might not be the best or a perfect solution, but it is the one we thought was the most fair. We are open to discussing it and finding a better way for everyone, if possible. At the end our objective is the same, have a great Wellness Center for the benefit of everyone, owners and renters.
2.- On the Tao Foundation
We have a similar issue on the Foundation, we need to create a way to maintain it and make it sustainable. We have been supporting it for the last 5 years with a percentage of our profits. But honestly, despite the good job Claudia has done in the Tao Foundation, the last year not a lot has been happening. We will keep on doing this but we need to create an activity that will provide the Foundation with resources so it can achieve its main objective; keep on giving back to the Mayan communities in our region. We also need and encourage the community members into taking ownership of the foundation in any way, shape, or form. We haven’t succeeded in achieving this yet, but we will keep trying and we need your help to achieve it.
We acquired a big piece of land, little less than 2,000 acres through the company money in the Petén Biosphere, around 4 hours away from Tao. We have 2 major objectives in mind;
A.- Make sure that this piece of land is never developed and always stays as it is. We see it as our little contribution to the environment in the area and in the world.
B.- To develop some profit generating activities to support the Tao Foundation. 100% of the profits will always go to the Tao Foundation! The main one of these activities will be producing Melipona honey, a highly medicinal honey only produced in this part of the world and the production of regular honey. Needless to say, the honey produced in this land reserve, (because it is untouched), will be one of the highest quality honey in the world. In the future we might create other non-impact profit generating activities to help the foundation social programs.
All of the profits generated will be dedicated to social programs in the Mayan Region, my vision is that our community will pick the programs we consider the best ones to give back.
What do we do now?
I will meet again with my team and discuss different ways to support the Tao Wellness Center. Give me a couple of weeks to come back with a different proposal that we can discuss and we can try to find the “best” but maybe not the perfect solution.
Thanks for your support and for being part of the Tao Community.