The Guiding Light in Life is Her Faith
By Pat Tyson
The co-owner of Pueblo Bonito Hotels and Resorts, Letty Coppel, started that business in 1985 with her then husband, Ernesto Coppel. In 1987 they opened their first hotel in Mazatlan, gratified to see the company grow to nine properties in both Mazatlan and Los Cabos, plus the creation of a new full-time real estate division, with their flagship being Quivira.
“It is hard to put my philosophy into a few words,” says Coppel, “but we believe in hard work, reinvestment in the company, giving back to the community and having fun! But, most importantly, I believe in God – and that is the most important guiding light in my life.” She believes that Tourism is one of the greatest industries on our planet.
“I call it a Happy Industry,” she states. “Not only does it produce one of the largest sources of wealth for our country, but it also promotes many values that contribute in a positive manner to humanity.” She cites the numerous advantages.
When people travel, they learn about tradition, customs, points of view and history of the people in the place they choose to visit. This bridges many gaps among societies and provides an opportunity for families to re-engage, connect, strengthen their bonds and unity – all scarce family resources in today’s world. On a more individual level, it also provides time to relax, think, re-energize, reflect and appreciate where we are and where we are going. This has a very positive impact on the individual. Coppel describes her job – although she says she really doesn’t see it as a job!
At the Letty Coppel Foundation her primary responsibility is to ensure that those who collaborate with her have the tools to perform the tasks necessary to meet their goals. Fundraising is one of those responsibilities. As such, a fundraiser is being organized, such as “Black & White” – a fun night on May 13th, with the goal of raising the funds necessary to buy a remote cancer testing truck, to help those less privileged in the early detection of this devastating disease.
Born into a large family of eleven siblings, of which she was fourth, and raised in Monterrey, she attended the Labastida School. However, she says, her real school was Life, in the ‘school of hard knocks’ so to speak. From an early age she had to work to help with the family finances, helping her mother make ends meet because, as a single mother with eleven children, it was difficult. Later, matrimony changed her life path.
“It was in Monterrey where I met my husband and, after we married, we moved to Mazatlan, his home town,” she relates. “I lived there for many years and have many friends there who are very dear to me. Mazatlan is like a second home to me and, also, the place where we started our Pueblo Bonito adventure.” Coppel says her faith is absolutely the most important guide in her life, driving many of her beliefs, actions and decisions on a different level.
“My job at Aceptaciones, a bank owned by the Garza family in Monterrey, also played a role in shaping who I am professionally speaking,” she says. “There, I saw how you can run a business with values as a centerpiece for the organization, with positive results.” But it was her mother, Maria, who had a bigger hand in shaping her, she insists.
“She was a very strong woman who had to raise a large family all on her own,” she says admiringly. “She never complained; she was a positive, fun person who devoted herself to me and my siblings. I love her very much and think of her every day!” And what does she love most about living in Mexico?
“The people, of course,” she quickly responds. “Mexicans are some of the best people in the world; kind, loving, family-oriented, fun, hardworking. At Pueblo Bonito we firmly believe that the best part of the company is the people who work there. I love that our customers often tell us the same thing.” As for food, music and books, she has many favorites, a few of them are as follows.
“I love chicken with mole and rice, Agujas Norteñas, frijoles and guacamole.” she says. She also enjoys classical music, jazz and rock as well as having a passion for reading, naming a number of books, but first and foremost is The Bible. Her list for favorite places in Mexico is long, but especially Cabo, Mazatlan and Monterrey, because the people she loves are there. She feels fortunate, also, to have visited many great countries worldwide, but has a special affection for the United States. Coppel explains why she loves her career.
“There is nothing like giving back and having a positive influence on other people,” she states. “Having the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better is not only a wonderful opportunity but, also, a responsibility that we all have. I feel blessed to be able to do this. If you don’t have a particular foundation to support, I invite you to support the Letty Coppel Foundation. We have many initiatives that we work on; help is always needed and greatly appreciated.” Two phrases capture her beliefs:
One is: “All the gold in the world – doesn’t mean a thing – what lasts are good actions.” The second: “Those who don’t live to serve, don’t live a fulfilling life.”