Our Story

Mar de Jade was created in 1982 in the spirit of active community service and respect for the natural environment. Watch the video to learn more.

In 1982, Mar de Jade’s founder, Dr. Laura del Valle, and two of her siblings, packed their belongings into an old school bus and moved from bustling Mexico City to Chacala- a small and remote fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. They settled into a simple and rustic life, building and living in mud adobe huts with thatched roofs, using kerosene lighting and hauling water from a nearby creek.

Dr. Laura began offering free medical care to local families and soon set up a non-profit clinic in the larger nearby farming town of Las Varas. Over the 25 years she operated the clinic, it provided free services to over 14,000 families. Dr. del Valle became an associate professor abroad at UCSF and created a volunteer program for medical professionals and students, who earned international rotation credits. The volunteers stayed at Mar de Jade in a community atmosphere- helping with chores, forming friendships and learning Spanish.

As a long time Zen practitioner, Laura began hosting small meditation retreats at Mar de Jade with her teacher, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, in 1990.  A couple of years later a Sufi group came to lead a retreat, and they are still coming yearly! Mar de Jade grew slowly, organically, over many years; welcoming an increasing number of meditation and yoga retreats, vacationing families and volunteers. The spirit of service, spiritual awakening and cultivation of genuine friendships has been the driving force in the evolution of Mar de Jade.

A portion of proceeds from guests’ stays at Mar de Jade support its non-profit programs, operated by MDJ Community Projects, which currently include: El Jardín, a Montessori – Waldorf inspired K – 6 school in Chacala; La Aldea, a trade school for youth who have dropped out of secondary school because of economic hardship; and El Rancho, an Organic Farm that supplies many of the products for Mar de Jade’s delicious meals.

  • Our Story
  • Our Story
  • Our Story
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  • Our Story
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Mar de Jade hosts the Best Retreats in Mexico. Choose from a wide variety of Yoga Retreats, Meditation Retreats, Workshops and many other Programs.