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Mérida Verde A.C.

Merida Verde is a multicultural, completely volunteer non-profit organization, founded in 2008 to promote greater sustainability in all aspects of life in Mérida. We have more than 1000 members.

In addition to sponsoring major day-long Earth Day events since 2009, Mérida Verde prepared and has shown shorter Spanish versions of the global warming An Incovenient Truth to around two thousand people in the Mérida Region and to fifty thousand folk film excerpts to global audiencies via YouTube.

We have also collaborated to raise public awarness about other sustainability topics through forums, school presentations, publication of materials, candlelight vigils, radio talk shows, and other medium. Work is done primarily through a dozen task forces focused on diverse topics. Our newest task force, for example, has planted almost a thousand trees while another that deals with cycling provided invitational input to the City´s three-year development plan update. Finally, we contribute sustainability enhancement perspective and assessments regarding selective local issues such as Mérida´s tunnel “project”.


Work for and with citizens of Mérida, Yucatán, to implement sustainable actions to restore, preserve, and improve our environment.


To be a credible organization committed to the community that promotes a shift towards sustainable living.


  • Increase the participation of citizens and private and governmental entities in sustainable practices.
  • Influence public policy to advance sustainability.
  • Promote the shift towards sustainable lifestyle.
  • Work locally initially, possibly expanding our sphere of influence to state, national, or even international levels at some later time.



We believe that education is the key to change.

Sensitivity and Empathy

We care for people and the environment around us.


Partnerships with other ACs, government agencies, businesses, and potentially affected citizens always create better projects and programs.


Being open to change leads to the best implementable solutions.

Justice and Respect for Cultural Diversity

All citizens have a rightful role in developing solutions for social, economic, and environmental issues that potentially affect them.


Mérida Verde´s logo was created by renowned Yucatec artist Gabriel Ramírez Aznar. The M in green represents the City of Mérida, which receives the rain needed for the growth of the tropical vegetation.


Mérida Verde has a five-member board of directors who are featured below in more detail. These members make all the key decisions for the organization, decided on a majority vote basis after extensive discussion. It is not uncommon to find them taking active roles in one or more of the Mérida Verde task forces, and participating in all organizational events.

Julie Hoover

President and Founder of Mérida Verde

Julie Hoover became an urban planner to help people. After a few years in New York’s city planning department, she joined the planning and engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB). where her activities varied greatly and evolved into positions of significant responsibility as a Senior Vice President. For the last four years of her career Julie was PB’s first Director of Sustainability, a job she convinced them to create.

Her responsibilities included persuading the professional planners, architects, and engineers of her vast international company, now 11,000 employees strong, of the importance of “going green”, working with them to develop strategies and tools, and pushing the state-of-the-art in various specialty areas like sustainable highway design and bridges. Julie also directed US government-funded research studies on sustainability-related topics, authoring over 80 publications and presentations.

Since moving to Mérida, Julie has been working and hoping that the Mérida Verde initiative will play a fundamental role in the positive evolution for an increasingly sustainable city.

Dra. Helga Geovannini

Helga’s Ph.D investigations focused on prehispanic Mayan agriculture, and the theme of how humans used, or misused natural resources to subsist continues to fascinate her. It transfers to the world she lives in and her work for Mérida Verde. Investigative projects have taken her thus far to sites such as Bonampak, Pomoná, Edzná, Calakmul and Chichén Itzá, though at the same time in her Mérida setting she dedicates herself to teaching biointensive urban agriculture with contagious enthusiasm. Helga adamantly believes that the inhabitants of Mérida are becoming more open to practicing everyday environmentally aware habits that eventually will make the city more sustainable. Consequently she sees Mérida Verde as a tool for connecting ideas, movements, and projects, and as a viable platform to make sustainability a reality.

M. en C. Luis Novelo Castro

While completing a Master in Science degree, Luis concentrated on design and sustainable development, cultivating his passion for issues of solid waste management, and all environmental themes relating to urban development and environmental education. He has worked in both the private and public sectors promoting sustainable housing development, and urging the highest standards in facing challenges presented by Mérida’s urban sprawl. At the same time he often teaches classes at both high school and university levels with emphasis on ecological and sustainable construction. Just recently his determined commitment to these issues brought him the opportunity to participate in an International Exchange Scholarship for Sustainable Urban Development and the chance to observe how this was implemented in cities across the United States.

Dra. George Ann Huck

Growing up beside the Mississippi River, in a tiny town located on the New Madrid earthquake fault, and in “tornado alley”, George Ann always knew the effect of environment on people. Coming as a young woman to study at the National University of Mexico, she became shockingly aware of the effect of people on the environment. The academic world leads her to the humanities, though her siblings and friends are biologists. But gradually her career as the Director of Central College (Pella, Iowa) in Yucatán, and the study of Mexican culture moved her to embrace the “culture of conservation” and reject the “culture of consumerism”. Always a social activist, George Ann now prioritizes the urgency of environmental action, globally, and certainly locally, cooperating with the agricultural school U Yits ka’an, in Mani, and sharing her property there with Mayan theology groups that nurture Mother Earth.

Dra. Ma. Eugenia Icaza Chávez

Maru is a physician by profession, specializing in gastroenterology. She came to live in Mérida some 10 years ago after searching, as she says, “for a place surrounded by nature”. Not surprising since her passion is trees, and her principal motive for belonging to Mérida Verde is to unite forces to reforest the city. She believes that in an effort to grow and produce, there is a tendency to forget the importance of a green, beautiful, and healthy environment. Trees are cut down for construction all around us, without a thought, and Maru works to recuperate those trees that have been lost. She gathers forces, including often her entire family, to plant and care for countless trees. Always finding time in her busy life, she staunchly practices her belief that by working together we not only improve the environment, but also gain a sense of identity and community.

Mérida Verde’s Pro Bono Services

Mérida Verde is extremely fortunate and proud to be the recipient of pro bono professional services of two of the finest professional service firms in the City, companies that are an essential part of our organization, providing continuing advice and counsel on a wide range of issues and handling all our governmental submissions and approvals in their respective areas.

If you ever have need of legal and/or accounting services, we hope you will consider these two wonderful professionals, both of whom have a deep commitment to enhacing the sustainability of our community and our planet.

Lic. Alvaro R. Baqueiro, lawyer

Street 16, #110, Col. México

Tel. (999)926 66 68.

C.P. Ermilo Echeverría, Accountant

Street 16, #116 x28 y 31, Col. México

Tel. (999) 926 0035.

We invite you to three ways to work with Mérida Verde AC