#kayak – Jim and Maria Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking have been honoured by the Mexican government with the highest award that can be bestowed on a non Mexican, The Ohtli Award.
This special honour is awarded by the Mexican government to individuals for promoting Mexico abroad. "Ohtli" is the Aztec word for pathway. It has only ever been awarded worldwide to 250 people outside Mexico.
Last year's recipient was the music legend Paddy Moloney who, along with the Chieftains and Ry Cooder recorded the album "The St Patricios" commemorating the Irish Regiment who changed their allegience and fought with Mexico against The United States in the War of Independence.
The award was presented by the Mexican ambassador, Carlos Garcia De Albo during the Mexican Independence Day celebrations at the Clyde Court Hotel in Dublin and was witnessed by about 1000 guests of the embassy including The Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn, many ambassadors of other countries as well as family and friends of the Kennedys.
Through their business Atlntic Sea kayaking, Jim and Maria are directly responsible for hundreds of Irish people over the last 25 years having an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to Mexico, and indirectly probably thousands more through their promotional talks and video presentations over Europe.
"It's an easy sell" said Jim after he was presented with the award, "Mexico sells itself with its magnificent natural beauty, fascinating art and culture, wonderful food and more importantly, its passionate and fun loving people."
Atlantic sea kayaking, a homegrown family business founded in 1995, has grown into an International Adventure Travel enterprise. Jim is also an ambassador for Adventure Tourism and The Wild Atlantic Way with Failte Ireland.
This award means that Jim and Maria Kennedy will be lifelong ambassadors and promoters of the delights and charms of Mexico and will continue to forge new links to connect Ireland and Mexico. Their next scheduled tour in Mexico will be February 2014 to witness the Grey Whale migration from Canada.