Paulina Balbontin Durón is an Oceanographer from the Autonomous University of Baja, California, Mexico, and has a European Joint Master’s Degree in Water and Coastal Management from the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. She has over 15 years of experience in sustainability and coastal management projects.

Today Paulina Balbontin Durón, CEO at Acuario Michin, leads a team of an international class aquarium based in Mexico, focused on the mission to promote and inspire marine conservation. She is responsible for the daily operation and strategic planning as budget, investment, sponsorships, human resources of 140+ employees, sales, and customer services.

Which are the most critical questions for Acuario Michin at the moment?

“Are we inspiring people? Are we a model of non-formal education and entertainment? Are we contributing to society and conservation?”

How important is your work as an ambassador bringing business events to Guadalajara?

“Thanks to our excellent teamwork, we have brought the World Whale Conference, World Cetacean Alliance Congress 2023, to Mexico. And Acuario Michin will host the International Aquarium Congress 2024 here in Guadalajara for the first time in Latin America, giving us international recognition as an aquarium. As for me, as a city ambassador in the environment, topics are great to contribute as Jalisco is such a biodiverse city in nature and culture.”

What would you like to do regarding business events at Acuario Michin?

“Our only restriction is the space, we have had so many offers for big events, and our capacity is limited; as for the experience, I believe it is unique; it is a perfect place for icebreakers, to interact and not just host a dinner but an unusual experience.”

How important is the development of business events in Guadalajara for Acuario Michin as an organisation and at your city’s universities?

“Of course, it makes a difference to have cosmopolitan visitors that attend our facility. Many come for events and congresses and search for recreation and learning.”

Do the universities realise that they are the drivers of business events? Maybe, even the essential knowledge drivers to create more meetings in Guadalajara?

“Yes, there are people for every topic. Guadalajara is such a diverse city; it is modern and historic. As for Acuario Michin, we offer education and knowledge about marine biodiversity and our prehispanic cultures. People search for new things.”

Do politicians generally see the potential for your state’s developments regarding business events? Are there any differences between local and regional politicians compared to the Government?

“Yes, I have found that government and private sectors work together in many different subjects, especially for leisure and tourism, which are key for events in the state. All the publicity that both sectors make is what has Jalisco going top as a State and as a Guadalajara City.”

What kind of initiatives can you, as the leader of Acuario Michin, take regarding sustainability and business events?

“Sustainability is a big pillar in our values and mission; most of our events are carried out with recycled materials. We have sustainable policies for event planners that host events in our facility. Responsible use of resources and recycled materials are the future of events.”

What are your most significant challenges?

“Our big challenge is to continue enlightening our visitors, continue educating by being fun, and to change people’s habits to sustainability.”

What will happen regarding business events in Acuario Michin and Guadalajara?

“I visualise Guadalajara growing as it is making very good things, choosing the right direction, making worldwide people like it, so I believe it is a great event destination. Acuario Michin is part of this city and its community, so our future is positive if we continue working together.

“Events need talented and proactive people to make a great experience, and I believe we can offer this in Guadalajara, Jalisco.”