Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - "One day at the beginning of the year, I woke up with the idea of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas in my head," said Mariel Hawley, an open water swimmer, who at the end of October (between the 22nd and 26th) will attempt to set a record swimming between the north and south ends of this bay.
Mariel is part of a select group of swimmers. She is the 15th person in the world to complete the Seven Seas challenge (swimming long distances on five continents). The challenge she will take on in October, swimming the 42 kilometers from Punta Mita, Nayarit to Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, is for a good cause as this feat will also raise funds for the Corazón de Niña children's shelter in Puerto Vallarta.
The Mexican swimmer is a national champion of masters swimming in open water. At the press conference, she clarified that she was inspired by this region of Mexico, and left open the possibility of continuing to swim long distances in the Mexican Pacific Ocean.
Something that identifies Mariel, in addition to her sporting feats, is that she channels her athletic energies into helping others. She often swims for altruistic causes, mainly for the various non-profit associations in Mexico that provide surgeries to low-income children with cleft palate, and/or oncological treatments for children with cancer.
While in Puerto Vallarta, she will also give a lecture, entitled "In the middle of the storm, your heart in peace," at the Marriott Hotel. All proceeds will go to the "Corazón de Niña" association that will provide support to girls with cancer in this region.
For his part, Luis Villaseñor, director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Promotion Trust, congratulated the swimmer for her achievements and for having chosen Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay as the inspiration for her next altruistic feat. "We welcome all our visitors with preventive measures in place and with our hearts in hand; and in this case, even more so, we wish Mariel much success in these warm waters of the Pacific that thousands of visitors a year enjoy."
Last year, Mariel added the World Open Water Swimming Association's 2019 Woman of the Year Award to her long list of recognitions.
"Life has taken me through various seas and in each of them I have found what defines me today: I am a mother, writer, motivational speaker, lawyer and open water swimmer, but above all, I am indefatigable," she declared.
In the professional field, she is a lawyer who graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and currently directs Queremos Mexicanos Activos, A.C., "the latter, a challenge that has led me to raise my voice in different forums, private and public, promotes physical activity as an essential part of health and integral development, both physical and emotional," she said.
Source: Puerto Vallarta Tourism Promotion Trust press release translated and edited by María Francesca for BanderasNews.com.