"Godmother of Wellness" Deborah Szekely Turns 100!

Deborah Szekely, Cofounder, Rancho La Puerta sitting on a bench in Tecate
Deborah Szekely, Cofounder, Rancho La Puerta
Courtesy of Rancho La Puerta

Deborah Szekely, co-founder of Rancho La Puerta and known as the "Godmother of Wellness," is celebrating her 100th birthday on May 3, 2022!

Deborah Szekely is a legendary spa and wellness pioneer, and healthful-living advocate. She cofounded Rancho La Puerta Fitness Resort and Spa in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, 82 years ago when she was just 18 years old. Szekely's gratitude and deep compassion for every guest is what has kept travelers returning to The Ranch year after year.

In celebration of her birthday, Deborah Szekely is working on a range of charitable initiatives: 

  • Our Green Umbrella Campaign: In lieu of gifts, friends of Szekely and The Ranch can donate to Our Green Umbrella, a tree-planting campaign in Tecate, via the San Diego Foundation. This will reflect  Szekely's life of philanthropy and community action. The campaign focuses on schools, churches, parks, city streets and homes in under-served neighborhoods—wherever trees are needed in the drought-stricken mountain town. "Everyone needs a tree in their life," says  Szekely, "not only for its shade and beauty, but to help cool the earth and cleanse the air." 

  • 100 Lessons From a Grasshopper:  Szekely's latest book debuts on her birthday and contains aphorisms, epigrams and humorous sayings gathered from her many talks with Rancho La Puerta guests. The title springs from her late husband Edmond's habit of telling her that she has a "grasshopper mind" that springs from one idea to the next without stopping. The book will be available on May 3, 2022, at Rancho La Puerta's online gift store. All profits will go to Our Green Umbrella in Tecate.

  • Community Celebration: On May 1, 2022, Ranch employees and friends of Szekely will gather at a city park in Tecate for a night of festivities, spotlighting local restaurants and chefs, traditional Mexican snacks and desserts, dancing and more. 

More in Industry News