Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta: A Tale of Two Beach Cities - United Hub
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Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta: A tale of two beach cities

By Benét J. Wilson, May 19, 2017

Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are two beach cities in Mexico that are extremely popular amongst U.S. travelers for very good reason.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo, at the tip of California, flanked by the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, has great beaches, museums, art galleries, sailing, snorkeling and hiking.

For beach lovers, one of the prime spots is Médano Beach, spanning Cabo Bay. If you're feeling adventurous try water sports, or take a dip in the Sea of Cortés — this beautiful body of water is home to nearly 1,000 types of fish and more than 2,000 species of marine life.

Other top attractions are the Cabo Pulmo marine park, known as the aquarium of the world; golf courses designed by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman; and Cabo San Lucas Marina, home to the city's best restaurants, shops and nightlife.

Those seeking an adrenaline rush can sign up for off-road trips in Baja on dune buggies, four-wheel-drive Jeeps or three-wheel ATVs. Also consider zip lining — Cabo Adventures, Mexico's longest and fastest zip line, has nearly 4,000 feet of zip line and speeds of up to 60 mph.

If you're interested in exploring arts and culture, dive into this city's lively offerings. In October, attend the Los Cabos Comedy Festival, which features top comics from around the world. The following month is the Los Cabos International Film Festival, which features movies from North America. And on Thursday evenings from November through June, the city offers Art Walk, which spotlights the wares of artists in the region.

Thanks to its location, seafood is a crucial part of Cabo San Lucas experience. Regional favorites include clams grilled on beach rocks, shrimp tacos and smoked marlin. Other popular dishes include tamales fajados, filled with steamed corn and chicken, and comida de pobres, a seafood soup served with warm flour tortillas. The city is also home to Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine.

If you plan on going to Cabo San Lucas, the best times to visit are between May and June, after the winter crowds depart and temperatures are in the mid-70s, and October and November when the weather is still quite nice with temperatures in the low 80s.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico's West Coast and the Pacific Ocean, is home to great beaches, artisan markets, sailing, diving, whale watching and botanical gardens.

If you're a beach lover, Los Muertos, in the southern part of Puerto Vallarta, should make it on your itinerary. This beach was made famous by actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s, and you can enjoy the golden-sand beach or participate in activities like volleyball and banana boat rides. El Malecón is a can't-miss attraction, a promenade in the city center that is next to the sea and home to restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops. There's also the Botanical Gardens of Puerto Vallarta, which focuses on orchid conservation. It also has a collection of oak trees, cacti, wild palms and agave, the plant used to make tequila and mezcal.

Like Cabo, there's plenty to do for adventurers in Puerto Vallarta, including game fishing, diving, jet skiing, ATV riding, mountain biking, parachute jumping, paddle surfing and the Tsunami Jet Boat. The city is also home to many golf courses, including ones designed by Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf.

Off the beaten path is Marino Los Arcos Park, a group of small granite arch-shaped islands great for snorkeling and diving in the surrounding caves and tunnels. Catch an event at the Vallarta Theatre, home to dance shows, concerts and plays, or take the Viva Tequila Experience tour with a ride through the city, a tequila tasting tour and a visit to a tequila museum.

The cuisine of Puerto Vallarta takes advantage of its proximity to great fishing, featuring dishes made with the local catch. A popular dish is lime-marinated fish that's grilled on a stick over coals and served with fresh salsa. There's also birra, a spicy stew made with goat or lamb, and pozole, a hominy-based stew that is also Mexico's national dish. Puerto Vallarta's version of pozole is made with pork or chicken and served with a special popcorn garnish and lettuce or tostadas.

April and June are the best times to visit Puerto Vallarta, where it tends to be less crowded, with temperatures in the low 80s. January through March is also a good time to visit, especially if you're interested in whale watching, with temperatures in the mid-70s.

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your trip to Mexico.




Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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Spotlighting our own during Hispanic Heritage Month

By The Hub team, October 13, 2020

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 th through October 15th and take the time to recognize the important contributions of our colleagues of Hispanic descent in the United family.

This year, we hosted virtual events organized by our multicultural business resource group UNITE to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, covering topics ranging from immigration reform to Hispanic leadership. We're also taking a moment to highlight Latinx employees nominated by their peers for their contributions both at and outside of work.

These nominees have demonstrated leadership in their position and through their character. Take a moment to read their own words about how their background and heritage plays a role in the way they interact with customers, in how they support their colleagues and why it brings valuable perspective to their work.

Vania Wit – VP & Deputy Counsel

Photo of Vania Wit, VP & Deputy Counsel for United Airlines

"I am the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in the legal department. I am an attorney and have worked in the legal department for over 21 years and am currently responsible for a number of different legal areas – such as litigation, international, commercial and government contracts, labor, employment and benefits, antitrust. I have the privilege of working with a tremendous team of attorneys who are directly leading and managing these areas. One of the things I like most about my job is simply getting to know the backgrounds and personal stories that everyone has about their paths to United or their passion for the industry. Being the daughter of immigrants from South America and growing up in a family who relies heavily on air travel to connect us to our close family and friends is an integral part of my story and what drew me to this industry and this company."

Kayra Martinez – International Flight Attendant, FRA

Photo of Kayra Martinez on board an aircraft

"I love that my work as a flight attendant brings me all over the world and allows me to connect with diverse people across the globe. Because of my Spanish heritage, I've been able to use my language as a way to connect with passengers, crew members and people from every nationality. In addition, my heritage gives me a very close connection to family, creating community and using inclusion as a way to bring people together. After transferring to Europe, I was able to study German, more Spanish, Italian and Arabic. Outside of work, I'm the director and founder of a nonprofit organization that empowers refugees through art. Hundreds of children and adults fleeing war-torn countries have found healing through my art workshops. These refugees are currently displaced in Greece. Their stunning paintings are then sold in art galleries and communities around the world, raising awareness and putting income directly into the hands of refugee artists."

Adriana Carmona – Program Manager, AO Regulatory Compliance

Photo of Adriana standing in front of a plane engine

"I've been incredibly lucky to have amazing leaders during my time at United who have challenged me from day one to think outside the box, step out of my comfort zone and trusted me to own and deliver on the tasks assigned. I think this sense of ownership is largely shaped by my Latino background, which values responsibility, respect and accountability and taking full charge of what's in your control to be able to deliver accordingly."

Harry Cabrera – Assistant Manager, AO Customer Service, IAH

Photo of Harry Cabrera

"My desire to help people is what drove me to start my career in Customer Service over two decades ago. Currently I provide support to our coworkers and customers at IAH , the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. As a Colombian native celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I'm proud to see the strength that my fellow Latinos forge every day at United Airlines. Family values are a cornerstone of the Latin community; I consider my coworkers to be part of my extended family. Mentor support throughout the years gave me the opportunity to grow professionally. The desire to do better and help others succeed is part of that heritage. I collaborate with our Latin American operations and create ways to improve performance. No matter what language you speak, the passion for what you do and being approachable makes the difference in any interaction."

Juciaria Meadows – Assistant Regional Manager, Cargo Sales

Photo of Juciaria Meadows in a Cargo hold

"During my 28-year career, I've worked across the system in various frontline and leadership roles in Reservations, Customer Service and Passenger Sales in Brazil. I moved to the U.S. in 2012 to work as an Account Executive for Cargo. It did not take too long for me to learn that boxes and containers have as much a voice as a passenger sitting in our aircraft. My job is to foster relationships with shippers, freight forwarders, cosignees, etc. and build strong partnerships in fair, trustworthy and caring ways where United Cargo will be their carrier of choice. That's where my background growing up in a Latino family plays an important role in my day-to-day interactions. I've done many wonderful sales trainings provided by United and my academic background , but none of them taught me more than watching my parents running their wholesale food warehouse. Developing exceptional relationships with their customers, they always treated them with trust and respect. They were successful business people with a big heart, creative, always adding a personal touch to their business relationships and I find myself doing the same. It's a lesson that is deep in my heart."

Shanell Arevalo – Customer Service Representative, DEN

Photo of Shanell Arevalo at work

"I am Belizean and Salvadoran. At a young age my family moved to California from Belize. Although I grew up in the United States , one thing my parents taught me was to never forget the culture, values and principles I was raised on. This includes showing love, compassion, and respect to all people. We learned to put our best foot forward for any situation and always put our heart and mind into everything we do. In my position as a customer service agent, it's the difference of showing the love, compassion and respect to our passengers to show that this is not just a job but rather a passion of genuinely caring for our people. Being Latina, we are raised to always take care of our family, and the way I take care of passengers is the way I would take care of my family. If there's one way I know I can make a difference with our Spanish speaking passengers, it's being able to speak the language. The glow that comes over a passenger's face when they realize there's someone who can speak Spanish is absolutely an indescribable feeling. With that glow comes comfort and joy. The small comfort they get from knowing someone can connect with them makes all the difference in their experience."

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United Cargo responds to COVID-19 challenges, prepares for what's next

By The Hub team, September 30, 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, United Cargo has supported a variety of customers within the healthcare industry for over 10 years. Three key solutions – TempControl, LifeGuard and QuickPak – protect the integrity of vital shipments such as precision medicine, pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical equipment and vaccines. By utilizing processes like temperature monitoring, thermodynamic management, and priority boarding and handling, United Cargo gives customers the peace of mind that their shipments will be protected throughout their journey.

With the global demand for tailored pharmaceutical solutions at an all-time high, we've made investments to help ensure we provide the most reliable air cargo options for cold chain shipping. In April this year, we became the first U.S. carrier to lease temperature-controlled shipping containers manufactured by DoKaSch Temperature Solutions. We continue to partner with state-of-the-art container providers to ensure we have options that meet our customers' ever-changing needs.

"Providing safe air cargo transport for essential shipments has been a top priority since the pandemic began. While the entire air cargo industry has had its challenges, I'm proud of how United Cargo has adapted and thrived despite a significant reduction in network capacity and supply," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "We remain committed to helping our customers make it through the pandemic, as well as to doing everything we can to be prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution when the time comes."

Our entire team continues to prioritize moving critical shipments as part of our commitment to supporting the global supply chain. We've assembled a COVID readiness task team to ensure we have the right people in place and are preparing our airports as we get ready for the industry-wide effort that comes next.

In cooperation with our partners all over the world, United Cargo has helped transport nearly 145 million pounds of medical supplies to aid in the fight against COVID-19, using a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flig­hts. To date, United Cargo has operated more than 6,300 cargo-only flights and has transported more than 213 million pounds of cargo worldwide.

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