Lydia first traveled to the Maya Riviera in December of 1998 on a family vacation. While there she mixed pleasure with work and did some research on dolphins for a project she was exploring with Deena Hoagland of Island Dolphin Care. She visited Xel-Ha and got to meet their new dolphins before they were introduced to the public and spent an entire day with the trainers. She was so intrigued by all she saw and the people she met while in the Maya Riviera that she returned a year later to explore what others stories there were to be told.
In 1999 Just Imagine took a crew down to shoot a pilot for a story about a cartographer. Like many pilots and treatments it never came to fruition. Determined not to be discouraged Just Imagine returned a year later in 2000 to film another pilot. During these filming trips Just Imagine interviewed the people at Centro Ecologico Akumal, CEA and formed a strong and long lasting relationship.
Lydia Pontius returned in 2001 with her husband Mike Pontius and they started work on the original CEA Website. In 2002, Lydia and CEA applied for a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation which they received, allowing her to make 3 trips in 2002 to film the Akumal School Banos Project. This project was completed in 2003. Since then Just Imagine, Inc has done a number of Internet Projects from content development, to design and marketing and management for several local businesses and organization in the Riviera Maya.
In addition, to doing CEA's Website and video projects, Lydia has organized special events and fund raising projects in Akumal for CEA. She has also assisted both VIDAS and SPAY with their clinics including helping with their travel plans and logistical planning.
Just Imagine Vacations, which started doing group tours in the spring of 2006, was a logical spin-off from Just Imagine, Inc. Group travel is a perfect fit because trip planning and itineraries are a major part of a producer's job and it keeps Lydia in touch with what is new and exciting in the Riviera Maya - so she can better support her Internet clients there.
Lydia and Mike, her husband and partner also own and publish Sac-be International, Inc Website - sac-be.com. Visit this site to learn more about the Yucatan and areas Just Imagine Vacations, Inc travels. You can also enjoy many of Lydia's articles and reviews there.
When Lydia isn't traveling or publishing she is in the water teaching.
Other Credits and Projects
Just Imagine's President, Lydia Linton Pontius' career experiences and achievements include:
Award-Winning, Video Producer, Writer, Narrator, Interviewer
Amateur Videographer and Editor
Various Television and Video Crew positions
Special Events Planner
Director of Marketing, Sales and Advertising
Various positions at Photography and Talent Agencies
Assistant Recording Engineer
Director of Non-profit Center for Women
Counseling and Foster Care
Webmaster and Media Producer for Centro Ecológico Akumal, VIDAS, Veterinary Relief International and Just Imagine.
Grants and Awards:
1994 - Bravo/CVI Merit Award, SC Film and Video Award
1994 - Silver Award, WorldFest - Charleston, International Film Festival
1995 - Silver Award, International CINDY Competition, Film/Video
1996 - Bronze Apple, National Educators Media Network, Film Festival
1996 - Silver Award, WorldFest - Charleston, International Film Festival
1996 - South Carolina Arts Commission Grant, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts
1998 - Aegis Award, Documentary
2001 - Puffin Foundation Grant
2002 - National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant