. 2019 AGM - Mexico!
 
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2019 IOIA AGM - Mexico!

Start brushing up on your Spanish!

In 2019, IOIA will celebrate the annual meeting and advanced training in the lovely destination city of Huatulco, Oaxaca, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Inspectors toiling long days in the sun now are probably not yet longing for a warm destination next March, but winter will be here before we know it. Consistently, IOIA members vote for warmer locations when they weigh in preferences for the annual meetings.

Our AGM and advanced training will be held at
Isla Natura Beach Huatulco in Huatulco,
Oaxaca, Mexico (www.islanaturabeachhuatulco.com). Their website is conveniently dual language English/Spanish.
Airport to fly into is Huatulco (HUX). This location is about 5 hours' drive from Oaxaca City, which might
be helpful if you plan an extended stay. We hope you plan to join us in this extraordinary event. The hotel has two private beaches and two pools (one with children and one without). Now is a good time to start planning your trip! Simultaneous translation services will be provided.

Dates and events:

- Field trips - Feb 28
- Advanced Training Feb 28 - Mar 1
- Annual Meeting - Mar 2
- Field trips Mar - 3

Advanced training with simultaneous translation is planned on Feb 28-Mar 1, followed by the Annual Meeting on Mar 2. Discussions are underway about co-locating with cosponsor-managed Spanish language basic training.

Huatulco - specifically Santa Cruz de Huatulco – was recommended by the AGM Organizing Committee. Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca where the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains meet the Pacific Ocean approximately 500 km south of Acapulco. Huatulco is an area of 9 bays with Santa Cruz being one of the smaller and somewhat less touristy. The population is 50,000. Legends say the Toltecs and Quetzalcoatl came from this area. 

Although it is considered a tourist destination, 80% of the tourism is domestic. Until resort development began in the 1980s, Huatulco was little known except as a coffee-growing area. In 1984, a government agency dedicated to the development of tourism in Mexico, acquired 21,000 hectares of land to develop a tourism center, similar to that in Cancún.  Huatulco has been designated as Mexico’s only "Green Globe Certificate Community", a sustainability award.  Huatulco was the first sustainable tourist community in the Americas and the third worldwide to receive this award. 

To entice members to attend, the committee considered factors such as traveler safety and proximity to field trips (aromatic herbs, tropical fruits, coffee, beekeeping) and supported a beach site over a city. The city of Oaxaca can be explored as a side trip (5 hours by car). Most participants will likely fly through Mexico City and then take car, bus, or a short flight to Huatulco (1 hour). There are also direct flights to Huatulco from major airports in the US and Canada. As a trade-off for slightly higher airfares to travel internationally, hotel costs will be quite affordable (less than $100/night).  Members may want to extend their stay to visit the Parque Nacional (National Park) Huatulco to the west, a protected area since 1998. It contains 6,375 hectares of lowland jungle and 5,516 hectares of marine areas, encompassing 5 bays and the most important coral communities of the Mexican Pacific.

From Wikipedia: Sunshine can be expected about 330 days a year with the average temperature of 28 °C (82.4 °F). The dry season extends from December to May and the rainy season is from June to November.

IOIA typically meets in Latin America every 4 to 5 years and in Canada about every 3 or 4 years. This roughly corresponds to the make-up of IOIA’s inspector membership.

More details will be posted here as they are confirmed.