Photos: Meg Collins / FoodFunTravel

After month of careful preparation and planning, Fundacíon BAI raised 300,000 pesos in one elegant evening of food and wine.

The annual Taste of Mérida event moved from the Centro to Hacienda Santa Cruz south of the Periférico, in a new pavilion that comfortably accommodated hundreds of attendees.

Four Mérida restaurant tastings — tostadas, fish, pork and a sweet dessert — were portioned close to a full dinner course and were each paired with a different fine wine.

“We raised enough funds to continue our much needed programs for another six months!” exclaimed Dr. Carlos Cabrera, head of the nonprofit organization.

Fundacíon BAI provides AIDS/HIV education and testing, as well as programs to combat teen pregnancy, and relies solely on donations. The Showcase of Homes and Taste of Mérida are their tent-pole fundraisers. Yucatán Expat Life is among its Platinum sponsors.

Both the food-and-wine event and its silent auction sold out, Cabrera said. The auction sold dozens of art pieces, handicrafts, travel/spa packages and other luxuries that were donated from supporters throughout the community.

Fundacíon BAI’s mission continues as they work with other civil society groups to create a city committee for the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS in Mérida.