Mexico was under the dominion of the Spanish crown for about 300 years, during which time its laws were followed and a process of dominance, exploitation and acculturation of indigenous peoples was carried out. In 1810 the Independence of our country in the state of Guanajuato began, the priest Miguel Hidalgo was in charge of orchestrating the early morning of September 16 with the famous cry of Dolores and the tinkling of the bell in the parish of the town.

After 11 years of fervent battle, where tireless insurgents fought to make our Mexico a country where justice would rule, on September 27, 1821 it is considered the consummation of the struggle for independence.

On September 15 of this year, the 209 anniversary of the independence of Mexico was celebrated, and with it the traditional parade was held in La Peñita de Jaltemba, where high school and high school students simulated the struggle that gave us freedom.

This parade started at approximately 9:15 p.m. Along the main avenue that culminates in the town square, where there was typical Mexican food, desserts, drinks and live music, awards were granted by local authorities to local talents, who with their effort and discipline have Put our bay on top. With the money raised from the sale of food, the almost 70 palm trees of the avenue and plaza will begin to be maintained, the remainder will be used for the payment of the cleaning staff of the same town.




Community culture event “Jolgorio”



Guayabitos Festivities 2019



“Por Amor al Arte”




Easter week

(Rincon of Guayabitos)

The last days of Thursday 18, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 of April, Holy Week was celebrated in Mexico, where our beaches were filled with tourists from different places, willing to enjoy the sea with the family. There was quite chaotic traffic, and going out to do the daily shopping was crazy.
The traffic still exists but in a more fluid way.

We have compiled some images of different lenses authors about this Holy Week in the corner of guayabitos.





Photographs by: Radio Guayami, Alfonso Mayorquin, Fernando Rodriguez and our friends Ken & Bea Rauch

What I found was an almost unimaginable amount of dirt and rock that has to be moved from hills and mountains to valleys on a raised roadbed allowing rivers, streams, and farm-to-market access below the highway’s surface.

Glance through the photos and you will notice the northbound lane(s) are being completed first. The southbound lane is gradually being graded to allow construction crews and equipment to access various segments.

story by: Gary W. Wietgrefe


We love sports!


Photography by LICAYCIM

Thank you for this great bochera party.


Thus began the inauguration of the state fair, which is an event in which the government hires artists and bands for free to spectators.



There was a great participation, not only of the La Peñita schools, but also of the local companies, where they assumed the task of bringing allegorical cars with the main theme “The Carnival”, sharing their best steps with cheerful dances, sweets and shirts .

Later in the main square there were some musical groups, where the municipal authorities concluded this event.
IT WAS ALL A SHOW, thanks to all the collaborators.


This Sunday there were several schools in the community of “La Peñita de Jaltemba” to parade in honor of our national symbol. It was a parade of escorts and bands of war that ended with honors to the flag in the main square of the peñita.

Avenue La Peñita



volleyball in Rincon de Guayabitos


The 5th V Beach and Juvenile Beach Volleyball Cup was a success.
The tourist destination is already preparing to receive the regional stage of the National Olympiad in the last days of March, with selections from Colima, Michoacán, Nayarit and Jalisco.
With a total of 106 pairs from more than 15 states of the Mexican Republic, the fifth edition of the Rincón de Guayabitos Beach Volleyball Children’s and Youth Cup was held for the 2019 National Olympiad.
The sporting event that took place on January 19 and 20 was organized by the Hotel Association of the Municipality of Compostela with the support of the Tourist Promotion Trust of Nayarit.

Rotary Club Event

Last Sunday, January 27, the charity event of the Rotary Club was held. It was a success, it was full of live music, delicious food and the best, the coexistence among all the attendees.

We are very grateful to the people who participated in the contest of the best image for a delicious pizza, it has been a very difficult decision since they were all images of experts, our final decision was based on the great meaning and importance that activity in the bay, It is one of the main sources of income and a very difficult act to perform. Thank you very much everyone, they have done a great job!


Great New Year’s Event

Last Monday, December 31, 2018, the end of the year event took place in the main plaza of Rincon de guayabitos, which began at 9:00 a.m. with a totally family atmosphere accompanied by live music and sound, being 11:50 Pm. on the verge of receiving the new year, we moved to the beach to enjoy the show of the pyrotechnic games which were launched from the high seas and some on land.
There was a lot of tourism, both at the beach and on the beach, where hundreds of launching of cantoya balloons that illuminated our night, a great recognition for the organizers, Happy New Year 2019!

Christmas Parade

On December 20, 2018 took place on the main avenue of the town of La Peñita de Jaltemba, the commemorative navieño parade, which culminated in the main square with music and shows for children.

The parade involved vehicles from the town hall, firefighters, municipal police and without forgetting businesses such as “Fruteria Varillas”, “Comex” and Alica de Occidente (“Coca Cola”), sharing sweets, balls, shirts and, of course, much joy After the tour and the music so enjoyable, the night ended with the lighting of the Christmas tree, we thank the people who organized this event being a success.


December 12, 2018

As usual in our community, a tribute is made within the Catholic religion (religion that predominates mainly in Mexico) which is known as the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, said event takes place on the night of December 11 in the homes of the believers or in the churches of the localities, where they perform dances, pilgrimages, fireworks and a dinner is offered to the faithful believers (such as the typical tamales of several stews, atole, champurrado, a traditional posole, among others) and On December 12, most of the establishments are managed as a non-work day.

In Mexico City, it is the largest celebration in the Basilica of Guadalupe, where every year thousands of pilgrims leave from different parts of the country and walk to the place as a form of gratitude or to make or fulfill a promise.

Thus we live in the celebration of the Catholic religion in our town.





Today being Sunday, and that is the best day to traverse the new highway because there are no workers, I ventured out to the highway project to see what progress had been made since Jim and I went snooping last year.

Being overly optimistic, I started by driving up the Alta Vista road to see how the two roads were going to meet.(Overpass-Underpass?) Not one sign of the new highway there! So I decided to go to the El Capomo road to see how far past that highway it had had gotten since Jim and I were there.  Sorry to say, there was no apparent  progress to the south on that front either.

There is a rather large pile of boulders, near the El Capomo road crossing, that my be used for landscaping.

The next step of my investigation required my traversing the new road from El Capomo to the north. It took some finagling to get onto the road surface. I needed to circumvent some concrete highway blockades, climb some scary trails, meant only for road building equipment and then head on to the north. Fortunately, it being Sunday, there were no guards nor workers visible anywhere and my trusty all-wheel drive came in very handy.

The road itself is as smooth as any I have driven on. I had to dodge a few big rocks sitting in the middle of the road, probably put there to deter the crazy snoopy people like me, but all in all a very nice drive. I drove about 15 – 20 km before I came to an area that had some construction equipment sitting around, un-attended and lonely. This was about where Jim and I were stopped the last time we were on this road. Then, over the crest of the hill, I spotted a huge tunnel being dug. I walked down into it and found that the tunnel was only about 75 yards deep, before coming to a seemly insurmountable rock wall.

My curiosity was piqued again, so I found a single lane construction trail leading to the other side of the tunnel. Thank God for my all wheel drive, I needed it. The result of my search was anti-climatic, to say the least. The tunnel was not going to be much deeper than what I had already seen from the other end. Perhaps 250 feet long(less than 100 meters). A very short tunnel. Why didn’t they just avoid the costs of constructing a tunnel and simply use earth moving equipment to dredge out a small valley. Not being a highway engineer, I will refrain from speculating any further. My honest thought is it was done this way to allow wildlife to traverse from one side of the highway to the other.

There being no visible escape route from that point heading north, I returned to where I started on the southern end of the unfinished highway, at the El Capomo road.

The part of this story I really want to tell is as follows:   The first dozen or so times you use this new highway, after it is finished, you will be spellbound by the beauty it beholds. The vistas are some of the most spectacular I have ever seen. If you do not fall in love with what you are viewing, you need to clean your glasses. As you can tell, I was truly taken back by the beauty.

The photos included herein do not do the scenic beauty justice. You will have to wait until you have your chance to possibly sneak in for a look.  I was able stop and look for as long as I wished. No one to bother me and no one to be seen. And my cerveza was ice-cold.



A bridge to nowhere and from nowhere. Maybe for the animals to cross.???





Un-anticipated rock slide. That small chunk in the middle of the photo is about 5 meters long. And the one above it to the right is about the size of a small school bus.




The other end of the tunnel.






More of the beauty.






From inside the new tunnel.






A smooth and wide open highway, just not finished yet.





A quick observation… I did not try to look any further to the south towards Puerto Vallarta. I have been watching and have seen no signs of new access roads. I hesitate to make any predictions on a completion date.  2020 maybe!  It is hard to tell. The worst or most difficult part, through those treacherous mountains, is mostly over. They have done a remarkable job so far.  When finished, it will be something for all of us to be proud of.

If anyone has some photos they would like to share, send them to me and I will add them to this blog entry. Or perhaps start a new one.


They Volkswagens weren’t here for long but they certainly were here. A fine group of folks that simply love their cars.  And their beer, I might add.

They also know how to party as testified by the remains from their evening.

Here are a few photos taken by numerous folks that also love volks:

As you can see by that photo, there was a lot of beer ready for these folks.



Investments in the installation of solar systems in homes and small businesses have been slowed by the shelter filed by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) a year ago, generating uncertainty in the sector, says the National Association of Solar Energy.

“What could not be done is that small users can offer or sell energy to the CFE Basic Supply. That is the point that has not been achieved, and we believe that it is holding back investment, “said the secretary general of this organization, Héctor Hernández.

The national electricity company filed an injunction against the regulations issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) on the methodology for calculating the rates that the CFE would pay when a user generated its own electricity with solar panels, and sold the surplus to CFE, or when the entire generation was sold directly. The first method is known as net billing and the second as a total sale.

“There has been a bureaucratic halt in the two segments that have to do with the issues of protection, net billing and total sale,” said Hernández.

These modalities have not taken off due to the legal conflict with the CFE, and although the industry has grown at rates of 110% for years, it can actually reach 200% if investors were certain about the payment they can receive from the Commission, he added. . “He is no longer just a domestic user, but investors who want to do business, and do not feel comfortable seeing the existence of the amparo.”

The Association hopes that it can advance in the resolution of the amparo that for now is in one of the courts specialized in economic competition.

The installation of this type of solar technologies -known as distributed generation, because electricity is consumed in the same place where it is produced- went from 130 MW to 270 MW between 2016 and 2017, but these producers were interconnected to the CFE network. through the scheme known as net metering .

In this system, households or companies consume as much electricity as they generate in their panels, such as the CFE, and only a subtraction is made to discount the generation of the final invoice, without generating payments in favor as in net billing.

Thank you to EXPANSION for this article.


Isla Isabel, a natural sanctuary

March 15, 2018


Isla Isabel is a nature sanctuary in Nayarit located in the municipality of Santiago Ixcuintla about 70 kilometers off the coast of San Blas in the Riviera Nayarit. Its subaquatic volcanic origin was believed to have taken place some three thousand years ago. Today it is a Biosphere Reserve as well as a National Park with mountains and cliffs that offer panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

For travelers that value close contact with nature, Isla Isabel is a paradise with spectacular underwater landscapes and a fantastic diversity of marine species and birds extending across some two thousand square kilometers.

This is home to the Blue-Footed Booby and the Yellow-Footed Brown Booty, although occasionally a Red-Footed Booby can also be sighted. The most numerous, however, are the common frigate birds (Fragata magnificens). Many bird species depend on the island as their only nesting ground, which is why this place has become a refuge for these endemic species.

The underwater life just as amazing: manta rays, humpback whales, the unique whale shark, and beautiful coral can be found here, as well as 79 species of fish—all awaiting recreational and professional divers. And there aren’t very many coral reefs in this part of the world, so this island a priceless treasure.

National Park and Protected Area
Isla Isabel was declared a National Park in 1980, a Protected Natural Area in the year 2000, and a Ramsar Site (a wetland of international importance) in 2003. The first man ever recorded to have set foot on the island was French sea captain Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars (August 3, 1793 – March 16, 1864) back in 1863. The story of his visit can be found in his memoir titled Voyage Around the World Aboard the Frigate Venus.

What to do
If you’ve already decided on visiting this Natural Protected Area, it’s important to know that because of its delicate natural balance visitors are limited to very short stays and only with a special permit, normally for only a day or two so as not to disturb the ecosystem. These permits are most frequently granted to birdwatching groups. Those who wish to overnight on the island must be prepared to use sleeping tents, but without disturbing the environment.

Tours from San Blas to the island are operated by adventure companies such as Pipilas Tours or Experiencias Ecoturísticas Mata (Ecomata), which offers itineraries and supplies to facilitate this experience. It’s highly recommended you follow all the rules and regulations for the protection and care of the area.

Among the top activities to be enjoyed are whale and dolphin watching, swimming with the whale sharks, hiking, birdwatching, sport fishing, snorkeling, star gazing, camping, and more.

Swim with a whale shark
One of the most sought-after activities for thrill-seekers is a swim with a whale shark, considered the largest fish on the planet (some can reach up to 15 meters in length and weigh up to 13 tons). Even though their size is imposing they are completely harmless, since they feed solely on plankton. Swimming with these sharks is very safe and can be done from November through March.

Isla Isabel is located 61 km northwest of the Islas Marías archipelago and 70 km northwest of the Port of San Blas by seas. The closest point to the reserve is the beach at Boca de Camichín in Santiago Ixcuintla.

Of Doctors and Computers

Scottish Wife and I have been in Guayabitos for three weeks now. Rincon, as it’s also known, lies about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta and considerably further south of the fog bound Comox Valley. Please don’t think I’m being smug here: smug is a term more properly applied to our fellow hotel guests who hail from Winnipeg and all points east and who have swapped -40 degree wind chill temperatures for +28. Those guys are positively brimming with smugness.

Leaving the balmy weather aside (along with the white sandy beaches, the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the 12 peso beers), I don’t want to give the impression that life is a bed of roses here. There’s always something to complain about. In my case it’s the internet access, or lack of, here at the otherwise impeccable Hotel Loma Linda. I don’t want to say I’m an obsessive, but it’s very hard for me to go through an entire day without an update from the world of sport. Whether it’s the latest news from the hockey pool (encouraging), Southampton FC (mixed) or the England cricket team’s tour of Australia (disappointing verging on humiliating) I need to know how things stand so I can enjoy the rest of my day. To put it kindly, however, our internet access thus far has been somewhat patchy.

And talking of patchy, yesterday I woke up with what seemed like a bunch of mosquito bites on my back. All part of the rich tapestry of life in Mexico, I thought, and headed off to the beach. There we bumped into our friend Kathy, who immediately said ” I don’t think those are mosquito bites, Dave. I think you’ve got shingles.” Like many males I have blind faith that medical ailments will tend to sort themselves out if just left well alone, but as soon as we got back to the hotel Scottish Wife went to look up the symptoms of shingles on the computer.

Sure enough, the internet was down again. By now, however, SW was in full Dr Julie mode and sent me off down the street in search of a doctor. I quickly found a shingle (a sign! a sign!) above an alleyway next to a restaurant saying “Dr Vladimir Muñoz Valles, Médico”. I looked high and low, but for the life of me I could not see any sign of a doctor’s office. After a few minutes, a waiter from the restaurant came out to ask if I needed help. He said the doctor was away in Guadalajara but would be back later tonight. I was somewhat surprised that he knew so much about the doctor’s comings and goings, but wrote a note on a piece of paper he gave me, asking the doctor to phone our hotel and, if possible, give me an appointment on Monday.

Back at the Loma Linda, there was still no luck with the internet, but we were assured that it would be sorted out soon and that a technician would come round to each room if necessary to enter the new hotel code. And so, at 8.00 this morning (Sunday) I wasn’t totally surprised when there was a knock at the door and a young man in a green tee shirt presented himself. “Ah, gracias, gracias,” I said, and pointed to the computer on the table. He seemed a little confused, so I said helpfully ” Computadora?” “Ah, no,” came the reply. “Soy doctor”.

Five minutes later the diagnosis was confirmed – shingles (or ‘herpes’, as it is somewhat embarrassingly called in Spanish) – his call out charge (400 pesos, about $35) had been paid and  I had a prescription for the necessary meds. That’s not quite the end of the story, however. An hour later, having picked up the meds from the nearest pharmacy, I found myself walking past the restaurant by the doctor’s sign again. And who should I see behind the restaurant counter? Dr Muñoz himself, still in the same green tee shirt, and smiling at me as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a doctor to be making a home call to a patient one minute and then serving breakfast in the family restaurant the next.

When I got back to the hotel the receptionist wanted to know how I was (it’s apparently an unwritten rule at the Loma Linda that everybody who works there knows absolutely everything about your personal life). “Bien, bien”, I said, and told her how impressed I was that a doctor would make a house call to a stranger at 8.00 on a Sunday morning, charge only $35 and then go back to his other job, serving omelettes and huevos rancheros. “I can’t imagine that happening in Canada,” I said. “Ah, señor David,” said Maira with a smile. “En Méjico, todo es posible! In Mexico, everything is possible!”

Que les vaya bien, amigos!

Dave Brooker

NOTE:   “Dave loves his visits to Mexico, but he usually blogs about golf – as a rules official, former caddie or member of Glacier Greens Golf Club in the Comox Valley.”

Amarillo’s Story

It was in the winter of 2006 when he first came into our lives. Some folks from Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue had approached us to foster a dog for two weeks as he recovered from his operation at the spay and neuter clinic. They needed someone to care for him before they sent him off to Canada where they were hoping to find him a forever home.

Twelve wonderful and fulfilling years later, we lost a big part of our family last week, when Amarillo passed away.

The morning will be forever etched in our memory. We were walking home from downtown, loaded
with groceries and as we turned the corner they were waiting at our door. Three women from JABR. And we recognized the little dog — he was skin and bones, dirty, his eyes glazed over and his legs wobbly– as he stood at their side in the middle of the street at the end of a yellow rope.
Anne had been feeding and, perhaps even more importantly, providing water to a number of local street dogs and the little yellow part lab (with probably half a dozen other breeds mixed in there somewhere) had been a regular dinner guest. We could see the recognition in his eyes as his tail began to wag. And,  after assurances that he was free of the fleas and ticks that are the scourge of most poor homeless animals, we agreed to let him into our home. It was the last time he lived on the street.

We like to pretend that we adopted him, but the truth is, in reality, quite the reverse. A few weeks
before the spay and neuter clinic we had gone to dinner in Guayabitos with some friends one night and watched in horror out the back window of the collectivo as he chased us down busy Highway 200, dodging motorcycles and beer trucks and pick-ups, until his little legs gave out. As I look back, when we returned home that night and found him sleeping soundly on the dusty street in front of the apartment, the die was likely cast: he had decided then and there that we were parents that were worth adopting.

We called him Amarillo: Amarillo Casa, in full since we thought he came the yellow house, although it turned out they had just been feeding him before they moved out. The name, of course, caused much confusion for our Mexican neighbours, since he was white. Like most street dogs, he had many names. The locals called him ‘Narrone’. Our friends Chris and Val, who claim that he saved them from drowning in the estuary one night called him ‘Blanco’. The twins around the corner who had fed him all winter the year before called him ‘Buddy’ and the folks at the spay and neuter clinic refer to him as ‘Caesar’

Amarillo was, in fact, a large part of the reason why we left the wonderful community of Jaltemba Bay. We were flying back and forth between Canada and Mexico in those days and, on one occasion, we had to change planes in Atlanta. And Delta Airlines lost our dog. It was 4:00 am when they found him – in Toronto, the airline having put him on the wrong flight. Having assured everyone that we would keep him in his kennel until we got out of customs the next day, it was with a mixture of relief and trepidation that we entered the baggage area early the next morning. But, there he was. In his glory. Spread out n a Delta blanket. He was surrounded by six Delta Stewardesses feeding him Ritz crackers. His skills had not deserted him. The much- practiced look was working its charms.

We drove to Mexico from that trip on but after making the long journey three times, we decided to winter in Florida instead. We were fortunate to have been able to give Amarillo the full life he so richly deserved. He got to travel throughout Canada and the United States wondering, I am sure, how we were able to afford so many homes even if some of them had a big red roof and were only composed of one room. He won the Mutt Madness Fido Idol Contest with a stirring rendition of the Steve Miller classic – ‘The Joker’; he was rewarded with a comfortable, orthopedic bed, which he usually ignored to sleep on the floor, presumably because it reminded him of the hard streets of La Peñita where he slept as a puppy.

He was featured in two books and achieved a certain celebrity status in Jaltemba Bay, occasionally been pointed out to newcomers as “the famous dog from the book.” And soon he will be immortalized on the ‘Doggie Wall’ in Dunedin, Florida – or Dogedin as it is sometimes referred to – where a local artist paints portraits of the town’s four-legged citizens to raise money for animal rescue.

Yet, as much as we were able to give him, he gave us so much more. When we lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick several years ago, our newspaper carrier had the perfect dog. He would follow along faithfully, no leash required, and would wait patiently on the sidewalk as each paper was delivered. Local dogs would bark and growl as he passed but he paid them no mind, focusing instead on his owner.

We always wondered what it would be like to own a perfect dog like him. Who knew that we would find one ourselves on the streets of a small town in Mexico.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Lin Chimes and all the wonderful folks who work with and contribute to Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue for their help in making Amarillo such a wonderful addition to our family. And if you are at all thinking about adopting one of their rescued animals, we can assure you that if your experiences are anything like ours – and we are sure that they will be – the love and attention that you shower on your new friend will be returned to you many times over.

Anne and Dave Easby

Chili Cook-off in Lo de Marcos – Saturday February 24th, 2018

It has long been a desire of the team at Galvan Real Estate and Services to organize and host a Chili Cook off with the proceeds to benefit the Church in Lo de Marcos.

This year, our dream will become a reality!

On Saturday February 24th, from 4:00 until 7:00 pm, Lo de Marcos will heat up and get spicy!

Event Tickets are available in advance in the Galvan Real Estate offices in Los Ayala and Lo de Marcos for just 50 pesos or at the door for 80 pesos.  Children under 5 are free.

Bring your taste buds, and prepare to cast your vote for the BEST CHILI in town.

This event will be a fun – first for Lo de Marcos with the proceeds benefiting the local church in town.

Come on out and enjoy chili, live music, children’s entertainment and some other planned surprises as we come together for a fun filled afternoon in Lo de Marcos.

For more information on attending or to apply as Chili Cook-off Participating Chef, please stop into our offices, call us at 327 275 0233 or send us an email to

Capital Gains Tax on the Sale of Homes in Mexico

If you are selling your home in Mexico it is of the utmost importance to know, before you sign an agreement or offer to sell, how much you are going to pay in Capital Gains Tax (ISR) because this amount is going to be deducted from the price of sale. Before signing a private sales contact or offer, make sure you have a WRITTEN calculation of the Capital Gains Tax from your tax consultant or your notary. Make sure you review the calculation and confirm with your consultant that there are no other ways to reduce the amount of Capital Gains Tax. In many cases, we have seen that with good tax consultant and a little knowledge of how the Capital Gains Tax is calculated (and a little pressure) the amount of tax can be significantly reduced.

Do not wait until the closing day to review the calculation of the Capital Gains Tax with the Notary because it will probably be to provide information to make changes and because in the agreement/offer that you already signed you already agreed to use the notary to handle the closing (and for this, the notary tax calculation). From the moment that you agree to put your home up for sale, you should be very clear how much of your asking price is going to be going to pay the Capital Gains Tax and the options you have to reduce this tax to the minimum legal amount.

This article is a summary of how Capital Gains Tax is calculated on the sale of a home if you are:

  1. A Mexican tax resident, or
  2. A Foreign Tax Resident (person or entity)

We hope this article is of use to you and helps you better understand how Capital Gains Tax on the sale of a home is calculated, as well as the options that are at your disposal to reduce this tax to the minimum legally allowed.

First, to understand why Capital Gains Tax is different for a Mexican tax resident and a foreigner (foreign tax resident), as well as to understand what the Mexican tax authority understands as a “sale”, we must go over some definitions:

“Sale”: For tax purposes, the sale of a property occurs when:


  • A transfer of ownership, even when the selling party hold back delivery of title.
  • A transfer of beneficial trust rights when the property is held in trust.

“Fiscal Residence”: You are considered a tax resident in Mexico when you set up your home in Mexico. However, when you have a home in another country, you´re considered a tax resident in Mexico if Mexico is where your “center of vital interests” is.


“Center of vital interests”: You are considered to have your “center of vital interests” in Mexico when more than 50% of your total income comes from Mexico, or when you have established Mexico as your “main center of professional activities”.

You are not considered to have a fiscal residence in Mexico when you only temporarily use a home for tourist purposes and your “center of vital interest” is not in Mexico.

Sale of a home by a Mexican Tax Resident

How is the Capital Gains Tax calculated?

The formula is: Income – Cost – Deductions = Capital Gains

a) Income. – The income is the amount of the sale. If a value is not given, an authorized tax appraiser will determine the amount.

b) Cost. – The cost of the home is the cost properly documented purchase, adjusted for inflation and. The cost of construction includes any properly documented improvements. Notes and Special Rules of construction cost includes:

    • When your deed of purchase (escritura) does not mention the value of the construction, you can use 80% of the value of the deed or the proportion used in the appraisal that was given at the time of purchase.
    • Construction costs depreciated 3% annually and cannot be 20% below the initial cost. The resulting cost will be adjusted for inflation.
    • Improvements in the property will be subject to the same depreciation rules as set above and must have the proper supporting documents (facturas).
    • Maintenance is not a deductible cost.
    • If for some reason the seller cannot verify the cost of construction or improvements made after the purchase, the seller can use 80% of the value of an appraisal of such improvements provided that such appraisal is properly registered and allowed by the notary. The registry of this appraisal must conform to municipal registry requirements.
    • Your Cost is always calculated in “pesos” per Mexican law. Even though many properties in Mexico are listed with dollars sales values, all calculation of taxes are based on the conversion of dollars into pesos. Recently this has had some major impacts on what a seller “thinks” his cost is and what it really is. The follow example will shed clarification on this:

Bob purchased a condo for $ 300,000 dollars in June of 2006. At that time the peso was at 11 to the dollar and therefore Bob’s deed shows a purchase value of $ 3,300,000 pesos ($ 300,000 dollars x 11). This was at the height of the real estate market in most tourist destinations and Bob paid top dollar for his condo. Bob has enjoyed his condo for many years but now wants to sell it and just recuperate his initial investment, so he signs an agreement to sell it for $ 300,000 dollars thinking that “I will not have to pay tax because there is no gain”. Unfortunately for Bob, the peso today is at 20 and a $ 300,000 dollars sales value is now equal to $ 6,000,000 pesos. Without figuring in inflation, Bob is now showing a capital gain of $ 2,700,000 pesos ($ 6,000,000 pesos sales price less $ 3,300,000 purchase price) and is being asked to pay a capital gain tax of 35% or $ 945,000 pesos ($ 47,250 dollars). Since Bob cannot close this deal unless the notary withholds this amount, he ends up selling for a significant loss. If Bob would have known before he signed a sales agreement that this was the capital gain he was looking at having to pay, he probably would have adjusted his price up to compensate for the tax withholding.

There are some other rules that apply to determine the cost of construction and we recommend that you check with a consultant on which may apply to your case.

a) Deductions.- Deductions include:


  • Expenses and fees of the notary paid for the purchase and sale.
  • Local tax on sale of property, paid by the seller.
  • Payments made on the appraisal of the property.
  • Commissions paid on the purchase or sale of the property.

The above deductions must have the appropriate supporting documentation (factura) and should be adjusted for inflation.


a)Capital Gains.- Once you have subtracted the Costs and Deductions from the Income, you will have what is considered as your Capital Gain. Over that amount you will apply a tax rate of between m 1.92% to 35% depending on the amount of the Capital Gain. As a general rule, 35% begins to apply to amount of Capital Gain above $ 250,000 pesos (About $ 13,000 dollars), so as a rule of thumb just use 35%.

As mentioned above, on the sale of a home by a Mexican Tax Resident (physical person), as well as for Foreign Tax Residents, the notary public that handles the sale is responsible for calculating and withholding this tax. Before you agree to use a notary for a sale, make sure you know what he or she will be withholding, and make sure that you have check that calculation with a tax advisor.

Exemptions on Capital Gains Tax on the sale of a home given to Mexican Tax Residents (Not Foreign Tax Residents)

Physical persons that are Mexican Tax Residents can exempt the first 700,000 thousand “UDIS” (in October 2016 amounts to approximately $190,000 dollars) of the Capital Gain on the sale. To understand how this is calculated, take a look at the following example:

Case 1: When the amount of the sale does not exceed 700,000 “UDIS” (approximately $190,000 dollars for October 2016), the sale is fully exempt from Capital Gains Tax.

Case 2: If the sale exceeds the above amount, you must pay tax on the amount exceeding that amount ($ 190,000), determining deductions “in proportion to the amount obtained by dividing the excess of the total amount of the sale.” How? Here is an example:

For purposes of simplifying, the calculations are made taking the US dollar currency, but it is desirable to emphasize that all calculations will be made in pesos.

Original purchase price: $300,000 USD

Sale price: $1,000,000 USD

Capital Gain. Which is equal to $810.000USD as a result of reducing the allowable exempt income of $190,000USD ($1,000,000USD less $ 190,000 USD). In this case, 81% of your income will be taxed ($810.000USD between $1,000,000USD). For your acquisition, you can apply for the cost $243,000USD or 81% of your purchase price ($300,000USD).

Gain of capital.- At $810,000 (Capital Gain) is subtracted $243,000USD (cost) is giving a profit of $567,000USD for an amount on which the tax will be calculated.

Exemptions notes:

  • The exemptions contained herein only can be used once every 3 years.
  • Another important consideration is that the Mexican Tax Resident must report the sale on his or her annual tax return even though no tax is paid; otherwise the partial or total exemption of income would be lost, with the inevitable consequence of having to pay an additional tax.
  • In addition, you should consider the notaries/commercial notary must issues digital tax receipt (CFDI) which serves as the proper document to prove the purchase price paid (cost) so that it can be deducted from a future sale. The deed alone now is not enough to prove your cost basis in the property and you must have a CDFI on any purchase after December 31st, 2013.
  • To prove “tax residence” you must provide the Public Notary with any of the following documents:
  1. Voter Identification (INE)
  2.  Electrical or phone receipt.
  3. Bank statement of any recognized bank or an investment fund.

Note: The documentation must be in the name of the taxpayer, spouse, mother, father or child of taxpayer.

Sale of a Home in Mexico by a Foreign Tax Resident

If you are not a Tax Resident in Mexico and you are selling your home in Mexico, you have 2 options for the Capital Gains Tax, these being:

Option 1  General rule: You can pay 25% of the total amount of the sale (without subtracting from the Income any Costs or Deducitons). We have seen 1 case in the last 20 years where someone opted to do this, so it is not really used; or

Option 2. Apply 35% to the Capital Gain, using the same formal we saw for the Mexican Tax Resident above; this being Income – Cost – Deductions = Capital Gain.

It is worth noting:

  1. Foreign Tax Residents cannot apply for the benefit of the exemption rules.
  2. Option 2 only applies when: a) The seller has a legal representative in Mexico, or b) the transaction is formalized through a public deed (before a notary).
  3. The requirement also applies for the notaries to give a digital tax receipt (CFDI), which will serve as an appropriate document to prove what the purchase cost was when it comes time to sell.

Impact of not having a CFDI for the buyer

Buyers that have purchased property after December 31st 2013 must not only have the deed to prove what the Cost of their property was, they now also must have the CDFI that shows such costs. If you have bought property after December 31st, 2013 and do not have the CDFI to prove what you paid for it, the notary handling the sale will be able to deduct your purchase price (Cost) from the sales income, which will dramatically increase the Capital Gains Tax you will pay at the time of sale. The bottom line is if you buy property the closing documents must include the CDFI that properly states the value of your purchase.

If you are a Foreign Tax Resident and do not have a tax ID in Mexico (called an “RFC”), which is required to generate a CDFI, the notary can create what is called a “generic RFC” for you. Please note that some notaries do not agree on this point and will not generate a CDFI for a Foreign Tax Residents that does not have an RFC (which can take months to get some times). If the notary does not agree with issuing a CDFI to Foreign Tax Resident with a “generic RFC”, we suggest that you look at finding one that will.

Before you commit to selling your home by signing an agreement or offer, make sure you know what you are going to be paying in Capital Gains Tax. Also make sure you that the notary you will be using to close the sale has given you a tax calculation and that you have revised the tax calculation before agreeing to use the notary to withhold the Capital Gain amount from your sales price.

A big thank you to MLS Vallarta for this article.

JBAR’s November Free  Spay and Neuter Clinic had a record breaking 365 cats and dogs plus two rabbits arrive at the clinic site in La Colonia.  In total 336 animals were sterilized including 138 cats and 198  along with 17 consultations, 4 surgeries and  19 adoptions.  It was a very successful clinic due to our wonderful volunteers and our medical team of Dr. Malcolm Macartney, Dr. Laura Graveling, Dr. Donna Spracklin, all from Canada and the ‘Pets for Live’ Mexican medical team of Dr. Anthony Garcia Carrillo, Dr. Poly Lopez Dr. Jesus Pacheco Ponce and tech Leslie Caratachea.

Many thanks to Fredy and Chely from Popin and Coca Cola for donating their canopies to keep the sweltering sun off both our volunteers and our patients.

Special thanks to Marielena Lozano and Salvador Aguilar van Dyck for opening their hearts as well as  their lovely home and inviting in 365 cats, dogs, and rabbits along with 75 volunteers.

Already, we are tentatively planning our next clinic for March 21st to 24th.  We always need donations!  Animal food, old towels, sheets, collars, leashes and $$$ are always welcome.

Check out our FB page:  Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue or our website:

A big thanks to Melanie and Lin for these photos.






15th Anniversary Fashion Show by Women to Women / Mujeres a Mujeres

The theme this year is Las Vegas, “The Stage is Set for the Best Show Yet”.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018, Doors open at 11:00 am at the Guayabitos Town Plaza.
Tickets are $400 pesos and include the fashion show, luncheon/open bar and silent auction (cash only); tickets are being sold at the Thursday La Penita tianguis, from 9am – Noon at our Women to Women table located at La Avenida Restaurant.

Tickets are also available on-line for $30 USD via our website, .
Scholarship sponsorships from $1,000 thru $10,000 pesos are still available; Silent auction donations would be appreciated.

Funds are primarily used as Educational Grants to assist local young women in attending college.  We also support various causes for women and children in the community.

The following is the Google translation of an article recently published by Realidades, Tepic.

Local residents are no longer allowed to use the Playa Canalan in El Monteon.

Tourist developers privatize another beach in Nayarit, they do not want the “rabble, metiches or onlookers”(Local residents) to disturb the guests, under the pretext that visitors require privacy and security during their stay in the paradise place .

Arbitrarily closed the two windows to the sea with a cyclonic mesh where dozens of local merchants earn honestly the bread for their families. With this, they closed the only free access to the beach Canalán, prohibiting the locals and visitors of the paradisaical place.

The Rasalan tourist emporium consists of 145 luxurious villas and residential mansions located on 265 hectares and four kilometers overlooking the sea, known as One and Only Mandarina “whose investment amounts to $870 million dollars.

Inhabitants of the town El Monteón, municipality of Compostela request the intervention of the local Congress to recover the tourist zone and to be able to enter freely to this space.

The president of the Commission Pro Playas Libres Canalán, María Ignacia Rodríguez Cruz, explained that long ago, these investors acquired the lands to the ejidatarios but not the access road to the beaches. Already with the complex built, they closed the beaches completely and there is security to prevent the passage to the locals.

The juridical of the company, when talking with the people, the only thing that indicates is that there will be 8 thousand jobs for the villagers “but we do not want that, we want access to the beach”. 

Meanwhile, Octaviano Figueroa Salazar, Auxiliary Judge in Playa Guayabitos, reported that they have maintained dialogue with the tourist company Rasalán but without any results.

“They know that it is not theirs, what they argue is that because of the type of hotels they bring, they require privacy and security, if not, they do not have such investments. While people are left without access to the sea ”

But the worst thing is that the people who live in El Monteón, depends on the economy that represents the tourist view to the beach and Canalán private, causes closure of restaurants and small businesses that were on the main avenue of access the beach.

Octaviano Figueroa, stressed that the people refuse to go from being the owners of the beach to simple employees of an international consortium.

“It is not viable a tourist development of super luxury that marginalizes to the settlers of the region and that brings poverty instead of benefits for the people”.

In Playa Canalán, in 2009 the inhabitants of El Monteón were beaten and sprayed with tear gas by state police commanded by the karateka Julio César Betancourt when they tried to remove another cyclonic mesh that had been placed.

Both defenders of the place, indicated that they will not rest until the windows to the sea open again to the town in general.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – According to the North Coast Regional Director of Tourism, José Ludwig Estrada Virgen, the Secretary of Communication and Transport (SCT) has announced that the first stretch of the Jala-Compostela highway, in the state of Nayarit, will open in time for the Semana Santa holidays.streaming Despicable Me 3 film

Budget cuts and environmental issues have delayed the construction of the new Guadalajara-Puerto Vallarta highway, but the SCT asserts that the first stage, a 67.9 kilometer stretch between Jala and phentermine Compostela, will provide travelers, especially those coming from Guadalajara, with shorter drive times and easier access to the entire Banderas Bay region during the two-week Easter vacation period.

The trip from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta usually takes a total of four hours, and sometimes more, but the opening of this section will reduce travel time, in addition to improving coastal road traffic.

“This road from Jala was to be completed last year, in fact the year before… in December 2015. They are now working on the junctions, so let’s hope they are completed before the holidays,” he said.

Thanks to Banderas News for the above photo and article.

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOUR  (Tongue in Cheek)

The beautiful SWEAT BEE or as I prefer to call them: SWEET BEE

I’d wager you’ve seen them around you or others, thought perhaps they were a colourful fly. While reports claim they are “shy” I find my personal Sweet bee to be quite social. In fact she will hover in front of my face while I talk sweet nothings to her, telling her how beautiful she is.

Her intention of course is not to hear my voice but to find one of the holes in our wrought iron outside chairs to deposit her pollen. I would never try and dissuade her.

The Sweat Bees are known as Agapostemon, and are native to North and South America. Not as cute a name as Sweet Bee, but you call them whatever you’d like. Loving flowers, such as daisies and dandelions are their favourites. Most species are solitary ground-dwellers. In some species several females will share a common tunnel entrance and post a single guard outside, but inside the burrow, each female builds and maintains her own nest. It is said that when they have their one baby, and if it’s a female it will remain with the momma bee for 3 years. The males, however, fly off to find a partner.

The next time you see one of these magnificent creatures take a moment to gaze at them in amazement. I do. I have had, I believe, (who could really know) the same one for 4 years. She knows me, and where to go to deposit her pollen and so far I haven’t seen any evidence of an off-spring. I shall keep looking however. One of the magics of Mexico.

Ellaine Spivak

We want to thank Mexperience for this informative article…

We occasionally receive questions from people asking about the current situation regarding safety and security in Mexico.  To provide some perspective, listed here are six reasons which demonstrate how Mexico’s drug-related issues, which remain a body of work to address, do not make Mexico wholly unsafe.

Visitor numbers keep rising: The Bank of Mexico is responsible for collating and publishing foreign visitor statistics. The latest figures reveal that over 35 million foreign tourists arrived in Mexico in 2016, up 9% on the year before, continuing the rising trend over the last several years. Mexico is one of the world’s top-ten most visited nations in the world.  Despite some of the negative news-flow, and especially that around the drug-related violence, people keep coming to Mexico.  Statistics from foreign consulate records consistently show that the overwhelming majority of visits to Mexico are trouble-free.

Mexico is evolving into one of the world’s most important economies. Years of sound economic governance, a welcoming economy with policies that encourage free trade and partnership (Mexico has tariff-free trade agreements with 46 countries around the world), coupled with shrewd investment, and relatively low debt (public and private) have created an attractive environment for investors and foreign companies. Mexico is today one of the world’s few ‘trillion-dollar’ economies, and mature nations are keen to work with Mexico.

No foreign resident exodus. In decades now long-past, when Mexico’s economy was less open and less stable, foreign residents would often flee home in the event of a peso crisis.  Today, even with the drug-related flare-ups, no such exodus is taking place and, furthermore, we are seeing interest in relocation to Mexico rising substantially.  Mexico’s government is expecting its expat communities to grow over the coming decade and beyond, and offers choices in facilitation of this, as welcoming foreign residents—who bring their energy and capital to Mexico—creates significant mutual benefits.  If Mexico is a wholly dangerous place to be, why are existing foreign residents staying put and inquiries for relocation to Mexico growing?

The violence is mostly confined to drug-gangs. The research data show that the surge of homicides in Mexico over the last few years has come about through drug-gang members killing other drug-gang members. Tourists, business visitors, and foreign residents are not being targeted by the drug-gangs, and statistics from foreign consulates show that the overwhelming majority of visits to Mexico pass by trouble-free.

Mexico matters: Mexico is a good neighbor to the U.S. and is also one of the world’s most important nations—poised to play important roles in world affairs during this 21st century.  Mexico and the U.S. share a very broad range of common interests and both nations work together on issues concerning trade and security in efforts to bring prosperity and well-being to the continent.

Mexico’s underlying story is strong and getting stronger. Notwithstanding the drug-related issues, the country’s macro-economics are in good shape; Mexico has substantial oil and gas reserves as well as considerable mineral and precious metal wealth; it’s also enacting structural reforms across key sectors with the intention to transition the country’s economy from being heavily dependent on oil and manufacturing into a multi-faceted, diverse and sustainable economic environment; foreign visitors keep coming back despite the negative news-flow; Mexico’s free trade agreements are bridges which cultivate understanding, trade and prosperity between the signatories of these accords.

Every day, tourists arrive in Mexico to rest themselves and enjoy its rich culture and heritage; business visitors arrive to trade and cultivate new friendships, and foreign residents living here are going about their lives normally, contributing positively in the Mexican communities they call home.  These activities don’t make headlines, but they are indeed the real-life experiences of people visiting and living safely in Mexico.

We are very proud to announce that the beaches of Rincon de Guayabitos have been awarded the Certification of Clean Beaches by the State of Nayarit. Certification was presented on March 7, 2017 at the Costa Canuva celebration by Governor Roberto Sandoval.

This was indeed a great day for not only Rincon de Guayabitos, La Peñita and the Bay of Jaltemba, but also for the entire state of Nayarit. The Governor proudly announced that the new development, Costa Canuva, is the single largest tourism development in the country. The Portuguese consortium, Mota-Engil has committed to invest $1.8 billion dollars to develop this project.

Artist depiction of Puente Vasco de Gama

The governor arrived by helicopter to announce the Costa Canuva project, to make the presentations to the Hotel Association, plus others and to place the first corner-stone as the beginning of the Costa Canuva Urbanization project. The Governor also noted that Costa Canuva as an eco-participatory community, will support the development of local communities. It was a great day for Nayarit and for our communities.

Some of the officials on hand were:
Governor Roberto Sandoval
Lic.Miguel Alonso Reyes, General Director of FONATUR
Eng. Rafael Lang, General Manager Mota-Engil Turismo
Ing. Francisco Mendez, Director Costa Canuva
C. Alcicia Monroy Lizola, Municiple President of Compostela
Lic. Norma Fernandez, Secretary of Tourism, State of Nayarit
Mr. Franco Carreño, Director of Development of FONATUR
Plus many others…
A very Proud Dr. Alejandro Chavez accepts the award:

I had the pleasure of interviewing Elaine Smith and Janet Wortendyke, who shared stories and the old photos featured here. They said, “Children and dogs ran all over the town. Everyone got along famously, and everyone was happy. Albeit this south sea paradise had a lot more ants, at that time. It was truly the good old days!”

Top photo: Bungalows Los Ayala at the corner of Madre Perla and Avenida Coral. The bungalows and the grocery store are still in business today.

Los Ayala Beach

In the early 1980s, the property lines on Los Ayala beach were defined by the row of palm trees that lined the beach and a fence made of rocks and chicken wire. Hurricane Gilma (1994) knocked down many of the palm trees along Los Ayala beach when it passed the coast of Jaltemba Bay. Hurricane Kenna (2002) also destroyed many of the palm trees that lined our beach.

South end of Los Ayala beach.

View of the north end of the beach.

Central Los Ayala beach.

The First Homes on Los Ayala Beach (early 1980s)

The first homes built along the beach in Los Ayala were located on the south end. The construction consisted of bricks, wooden shutters and roofs made of tejas.

One of the first houses on the beach, built in 1955. Photo from the early 1970s.

Old Timer House with a palapa roof on the south end of Los Ayala beach. The walls were built of sticks, which was common in Los Ayala during the early years.

Home of Julian Ponce. It is located at the end of Avenida del Estero, right beside the mountainous hillside which marks the south end of Los Ayala. The first house on the south end of Los Ayala Beach. (There is no photo of the second house on the beach.)

Home of Old Doc Flanigan. Doc Flanigan discovered Los Ayala beach in the early 1980s as he used to fly the mail from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta. He talked everyone into coming to Los Ayala and arranged for the first property owners on the south end of Los Ayala beach to purchase their properties. Doc Flanigan is now living in Coos Bay, Oregon, and is 95 years of age (January 2012). He delivered several of the babies in Los Ayala, including the Vasquez boys. They say he tied the navel cord of the new born babies with a shoe string, which was all that was available at the time. Dr. McDonald owns this property now.

The third house on Los Ayala beach was bought by Jack Wortendyke. Today, it is the home of Janette (Jack Wortendyke’s widow) who has since remarried. The house today is “exactly” as it was when it was first built in 1980s.

Originally the home of Merv Smith and Joe Kaiser, this home was purchased by Lin Chimes and Jim Stewart and today is known as Casa Contenta. The original home has been renovated and enlarged, but the living room of Casa Contenta today reflects the original house construction retaining its full character and beauty.

Home of Elaine and Morris Smith, founders of the Los Ayala’s Learning Center. They purchased the home (which was renovated and enlarged in 1987 by the previous owners) in 1995. This home’s original construction was also retained during the renovations.

Home of Juan Vasquez and his wife Antonia. Juan was the caretaker of all of these properties for about 30 years. Juan lived in a traditional stick house with a palapa roof until Dr. Flanigan built a brick home for Juan and his family. The house was torn down, but was located where John Cole’s house is now. Juan’s wife, Antonio, is still alive and living in La Peñita.

Local Folks

Huichol child at the market in La Peñita de Jaltemba (left). Rosario, a beautiful Los Ayala local (right).

The teacher of Los Ayala’s Elementary School serving breakfast or possibly preparing for a party circa 1998 (left). Huichol mother at the market in La Peñita de Jaltemba (right).

A local gathering coconuts, which is still a common sight in Los Ayala today (left). Jack Wortendyke, one of the first home owners on Los Ayala beach, who has since passed (right).

Los Ayala’s Learning Center

Fabian, one of the Learning Center’s first students, walking in downtown Los Ayala.

The photos below feature children at the Learning Center from 1996-1997…

Los Ayala’s Elementary School

In the 1980s, the students of Los Ayala’s elementary school received only the very basic education in reading, and math. The students of today’s generation are completely different. They read and write, and their math skills are strong. They also have a good knowledge of their country and background, and many speak some English. The older generation interviewed for this page, say that it has been extremely gratifying to see it all happen.

Los Ayala’s original elementary school from approximately 1995. The male teacher lived with the Mayor and stayed and worked with the children in the afternoons. The female teacher rode the bus home every day to Tepic. They were a very devoted group of teachers.

A building located on the Los Ayala’s Elementary school property where the children were served a daily breakfast consisting of tacos and milk. In the early 1980s, the school was an 8 x 10 concrete block with a chicken wire fence and nine handmade desks.

Students of Los Ayala’s Elementary school in class.

Julian Ponce, Elaine Smith, Maggie Ponce, Jack Wortendyke (deceased), Lindy Worten Dyke (deceased).

Points to Ponder about Life in Los Ayala in the Early Years

  • The beach homes described were purchased in 1980 and it took the owners 16 years to obtain title.
  • The homeowners of these properties today describe Los Ayala as a south sea paradise. They subsisted on fish, vegetables and fresh fruit, and enjoyed plenty of potable water from gravity fed spring located on the hillside on the south end of Los Ayala.
  • The only road into Los Ayala at that time was a make shift road carved through the jungle coming over the mountain on the south side of Los Ayala.
  • There was only one small grocery store in Jaltemba Bay which was located in Rincón de Guayabitos, so property owners stocked up on convenience groceries in Tepic.
  • The only telephone in the Jaltemba Bay area was located in Rincón de Guayabitos.
  • Children and dogs ran all over the town. Everyone got along famously, and everyone was happy. Albeit this south sea paradise had a lot more ants at that time.
  • Supplies were delivered by boat, including the bricks that were used to build the homes. The mortar was made from beach sand which was washed to remove the salt.
  • Local folks enjoyed a simple life and fondly remember the days when they did not have to pay federal or state property tax, or a bank trust.

Photos courtesy of Elaine Smith, founder of Los Ayala’s Learning Center. Beach and home photos courtesy of Janette Wortendyke.

This article was originally published in March 2012 on Magical Los Ayala.

The 2015 Food and Travel Reader Awards highlight the best of Mexico’s Gastronomy and Tourism. The nominations have begun and the Riviera Nayarit is in the running for “Best Destination” in Mexico and we need your vote to make it happen. There are also another seven candidates from the Destination seeking a top spot among the country’s best.

The nominees are chosen by votes, which can be cast online at Once there, all you have to do is register your information, answer a few simple tourism-related questions and vote for the Riviera Nayarit and its candidates.

You’re invited to participate in the internet’s largest touristic and gastronomic survey and compete for an all-expenses paid trip; use the hashtag #RivieraNayaritMeAsombra to invite your friends.

Once you’re registered on the page, you’re automatically entered to win an all-expenses paid trip on behalf of Food and Travel. The deadline for voting is July 31, 2015, and the nominees will be announced on August 14th.

Use the hashtag #RivieraNayaritMeAsombra on Facebook and Twitter to invite your friends to vote and participate in the drawing for the trip.

Below are our candidates:Spider-Man: Homecoming live streaming movie

  • Best Destination in Mexico – Riviera Nayarit
  • Best Chef – Chef Betty Vázquez, San Blas
  • Best new restaurant in Mexico – Restaurante Azur, Grand Luxxe Nuevo Vallarta
  • Best gourmet business in Mexico – Plaza Gourmet, Grand Luxxe Nuevo Vallarta
  • Best urban hotel in the interior of the country – Imanta Resorts Punta de Mita
  • Best beach hotel in Mexico – Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
  • Best eco-hotel in Mexico – Haramara Holistic Retreat, Sayulita
  • Best restaurant in the interior of the country – Restaurante Carolina, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Approximately one million hatchlings are released every season in the 13 different turtle camps located all along the five coastal towns of the Riviera Nayarit. 

The Riviera Nayarit is a Sea Turtle Sanctuary with turtle camps located in Nuevo Vallarta, Carreyeros, Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, Punta Raza, El Naranjo, Boca de Chila, Platanitos, San Blas, Los Corchos, El Sesteo and La Puntilla Banderas Bay along the coast that stretches from Banderas Bay to Tecuala passing through Compostela, San Blas and Santiago Ixcuintla.

The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau checked in with the civil associations and the federal authorities that operate the camps to register the number of nests they receive, concluding there have been approximately one million sea turtle hatchlings released in the destination during the nesting season (June through February).

The Nuevo Vallarta Turtle Camp is where most of the region’s turtles are liberated, registering an average of 5,500 registered nests that translates into over 400 thousand released turtles. This camp is followed by the one in Platanitos, which receives an average of 3,000 nests equal to approximately 250 thousand released hatchlings.

The camps that make up the Nayarit Turtle Network are adding an average of 250 thousand hatchlings per season. San Blas releases another 50 thousand and the three camps in the northern region release an additional 70 thousand turtles.

The Olive Ridley Turtle is the most common in the region. These animals nest three times a year dropping about 100 eggs per nest, 80% of which survive with only one out of a thousand returning to reproduce.

In the case of the Hawksbill Turtle there has been one nest found with young hatchlings that will eventually return to nest more frequently. The critically endangered Leatherback and the Black turtles are seen less frequently.

The good news is there are several camps that reported an increase in nests year over year, especially of Olive Ridleys, which is a result of the protection and conservation efforts in place.

3rd Sea Turtle Festival in Playa Platanitos


The general public is invited to the 3rd Sea Turtle Festival in Playa Platanitos this weekend July 18-19, 2015, which has been generating interest with its slogan “Ecología + Diversión = Únete a la Protección” (Ecology + Fun = Join in the Conservation!)

The Playa Platanitos Ecológico group is organizing the event with support from the government of the State of Nayarit and other sponsors including the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The goal is to enjoy a couple of days of family fun while spreading important information about this endangered species that is key to the health of the Riviera Nayarit’s beaches.

festival tortuga 2015

The inauguration is on Saturday, July 18 at 10:30 in the morning, followed by a series of musical presentations including the Mariachi Tradicional Cora, Batucada Ahualulco, folkloric singer Rigo Rivera and the Ballet Santa Cruz.

The contests will soon follow, starting with a runway walk for the Festival Queen contestants followed by dancing and singing to give the judges time to pick the lucky winner. At nightfall there will be a dance for all attendees.

On Sunday, July 19, the nature trails open up at 10 a.m. with information stations through Cerro Punta Custodio, complete with guides who will talk about the conservation and protection of the sea turtle.

At the end of the walks there will be activities that include a paddleboard exhibition, a recycled-materials kite flying contest, a swimming contest, a mechanical bull and a presentation by a group of local children.

An intervention by a group of ecologists is scheduled for the afternoon; they will interact with the public to raise awareness about the sea turtle. Once they’re done, the stage is set for concerts and the closing ceremony, followed by dancing on the beach.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Poster Movie Pitch Perfect 2 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) HD

Director : Elizabeth Banks.
Writer : Kay Cannon.
Producer : Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman, Paul Brooks.
Release : May 7, 2015
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Universal Pictures, Gold Circle Films, Brownstone Productions.
Language : English.
Runtime : 115 min
Genre : Comedy, Music.

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Release : October 10, 2014
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Production Company : Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions, Right of Way Films.
Language : English.
Runtime : 105
Genre : Music, Drama.

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It all began 7 months ago when two groups put their words into action and created the Beach Cleanup Network, which went on to become a magnet for other groups that have been cleaning up the beaches of the Riviera Nayarit every month.

The 15 groups and communities coordinated and backed by the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) have picked up over 4,000 black trash bags in 2014, minimizing the environmental impact of this detritus on the beaches and the sea, as well as cleaning up their image.

The idea was encouraged from the very beginning by the CVB, in large part due to the many benefits that easily align with the different environmental entities that are working in the region, including Blue Flag and EarthCheck.

The next cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, December 13th and will be the seventh and final for 2014. On this occasion, the Hard Rock Hotel will clean the beach at Boca de Tomates, located on the border between Nayarit and Jalisco.

The CVB extends its congratulations to the local businesses involved such as the Hard Rock Hotel, Surf Mexico, Dolphin Discovery and the Harkness Institute, as well as civil associations including Amigos de Bucerías, Vecinos de Playas de Bucerías, Manos a la Obra, Granito de Arena (in La Peñita), Entre Amigos, Playa Platanitos Ecológico, the Compostela Hotel and Motel Association and the Fundación Punta de Mita. 

Then there is the community of Mexcatitán, which doesn’t belong to any group and simply cares enough to volunteer to help clean up the area beaches. There are great expectations for 2015, as it appears more and more groups will join this praiseworthy effort.

For more information and comments, if you’re interested in more details about the project including the hours and meeting places or would like to propose your community join the Riviera Nayarit Beach Cleanup Network, please call 297-2516 ext. 108, and someone from the Riviera Nayarit CVB will be happy to help you.

Editor’s Note: In past months, the cleanup in La Peñita began at 6pm along the malecón (boardwalk). For anyone interested in participating, the Asociación Grano de Arena contact number is (322) 116-9440.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

We’re just one month out from the Vallarta-Nayarit Classic Rock Fest and already some of the top bands that will be part of this iconic affair on the world stage of rock n’ roll are confirmed. Even more classic rock stars are expected to be added to this list shortly.

Everything is all set up to buy your tickets to these concerts on the beach, which run from December 12-14: $95 USD gets you a day pass, $250 USD gets you in for all three days, plus 10% added for DIF donations. You can purchase them at

Confirmed bands include the BoDeansThe Fabulous Thunderbirds, rockabilly gods Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats, country rockers PocoPure Prairie League and Firefall, plus icons of classic rock such as Jefferson StarshipKansasCheap Trick, Foghat and Spencer Davis Group.

Soloists ready to hit the stage include Dave Mason (Traffic); Gary Wright (known for his hit “Dreamweaver”); Craig Fuller (lead vocalist for Little Feat and Little River Band); Steve Augeri, ex lead vocalist for Journey; Micky Dolenz, lead vocalist of the Monkees; Mark Farner, ex lead vocalist from Grand Funk Railroad; plus blues legend Sam Moore (Sam and Dave).

All will be accompanied by a House Band with luminaries such as Jeffrey ‘Skunk’ Baxter, ex lead guitar for the Doobie Brothers and Steely DanFleetwood Mac y rockabilly guitar legend Billy Burnette; The Cars guitarist, Elliot Easton; base players Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band and Kenny Gradneyfrom Little Feat; drummers Curly Smith (Boston) and Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, John Mellencamp); and piano Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis, who’s played with various artists including Carole King and Guns ‘n Roses.

“This is the first and only festival in the world that celebrates classic rock, so fans can expect three days of some of the greatest musicians of the era. If you like roots rock, blues, soft rock or hard rock, you’ll have a blast!” said John Zaring, event creator and founder.

There will be an official welcome party for the bands on December 11th, as well as a rock star golf tournament. There will be after parties at Bar Xtine, La Santa and Bar Morelos after each concert day is done.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB
























It was a late summer morning while sitting at our Powell Lake cabin sipping my morning coffee staring out the window watching the rain pelting off the front deck’s surface and listening to the gentle lake waves lapping against the shoreline that my thought reflected upon our two night March excursion to Amatlan de Cañas in Mexico. There was a bit of guilt included with my reflections as we’d planned to document our Mexican trip as soon as we arrived home in early April. However, it wasn’t long before we were absorbed with our spring gardening tasks, our struggling to obtain a permit to construct a workshop in our backyard and our rushing up the lake to energize our cabin for summer usage. Needless to say we were busy and focused on local activities and the writing and sharing of our late season Mexican trip slipped in a rather rapid manner to the “back burner!” Our wonderful spring and summer season was upon us and either we are getting slower at task completion or we include too many. We’d like to think it’s the latter! As April and May slipped away it wasn’t long before July was in the rear view mirror and the grandkids, bless their souls, chewed up August. September slumber was quickly upon us and the lake boat traffic stilled to a slow ebb. Now was the final opportunity to either write and submit this article or chuck the story idea and move on to next season’s Mexican trips. As the old cliché goes, “Better late than never!” So here is the reporting of our last season’s travel experience completed just before packing and departing for our home away from home – Los Ayala, Nayarit, Mexico.


An early departure saw us tossing our bags into the Xterra’s rear compartment, and as usual our first stop was the nearest Pemex station to top up the gas tank. On the road again it wasn’t long before we pulled into Las Varas for our second stop at Angelina’s Restaurant, one of our favourite, to enjoy a hearty breakfast consisting of huevos rancheros and a Mexican omelette complete with hot cups of coffee. Finally, with both fuel tanks topped up, the vehicles and ours, I anticipated driving directly to our final destination- Amatlan de Cañas. But, as we reached the outskirts of Mesillas, Doreen suggested we stop to visit our young friends, Mario and Elizabeth, at their roadside coffee shop. They’re a young family we met years ago to visit their coffee plantation and to scramble over rocks to view stone carved cliff petroglyphs. We usually visit once or twice a year sharing pie and coffee, and purchasing a couple of bags of their scrumptious coffee. After a warm visit and another cup of coffee we were back on Highway 200 heading towards Compostela. Today the highway was not busy, making the twisting turning drive to the Compostela junction pleasant not having to deal with impatient drivers passing blindly or being stuck behind a slow truck.

You can view “Compostela: The Overlooked City” published May 14, 2014 on Jaltemba Bay


At the intersection near Compostela, we drifted to the right and took the cuota highway 68D toward Guadalajara then switched to the libre road stopping at Ahuacatlan for lunch. We wandered the town’s picturesque plaza stretching our legs and taking pictures while checking out the street taco stands for our lunch. We employed one of our golden travel rules and selected the busiest stand to enjoy chicken tacos and juice. All the people eating there can’t be wrong!

After our lunch we drove through Ahuacatlan picking up Highway 4 proceeding towards Amatlan de Cañas. While the highway is a secondary road it was in good condition climbing over the mountain range. Although one must be alert watching for loose rock on the road or on-coming vehicles cutting corners on the curvy road.

John Berg Amatlan de Cañas P1160693

We arrived at our destination mid-afternoon providing for an early hotel check in, or one would think, but I’d forgotten our road atlas and hotel information on our bungalow table in Los Ayala. At this point I wasn’t a popular individual! Thus it was with a bit of luck that we found our hotel. Following a one-way street in the wrong direction we passed a hotel entrance and Doreen recalled the posted name as our destination hotel. Fortunately, this let me off the hook!


Being mid-week and after a holiday weekend, Bungalows Los Pavos Reales (the peacocks) was empty. The owner, Alfonso Ron, gave us an opportunity to select the room of our choice. We settled on a comfortable second story room providing a splendid view of the hotel’s beautifully manicured and appointed lawn and pool area. Alfonso was extremely helpful lending us a cooler for our food and beverages plus advising on the best local restaurant for dining. While relaxing on the balcony playing cards, four peacocks joined us for an extensive photo opportunity which brought closure to our day. We certainly did not realize that these relatively large birds could fly as well as they demonstrated, safely soaring from our balcony to the lawn.

As dusk descended we took Alfonso’s advice and walked to the nearby Toucan Restaurant. The restaurant was a local favourite for special occasions featuring a fish and steak menu. Since we often purchase fresh locally caught fish on the coast, we opted for hamburgers and fries. Our meal was adequate but certainly not inspiring. We’re spoiled with our varied excellent restaurants located in the coastal towns of La Peñita and Rincón de Guayabitos.


Early next morning found us in the town’s plaza desperately searching for our morning coffee! We must remember on our next trip to include a coffee percolator to enjoy our early coffees in the comfort of our room! At busy Sandorval Restaurant, we enjoyed huevos rancheros and a Mexican omelette washed down with, you guessed it, more hot coffee. Next, we wandered the plaza visiting Templo de Jesús de Nazereno and the Templo de Roasario. We unsuccessfully searched for a museum, but were eventually led to a small room containing local photographs.


Returning to our hotel, we collected our swim gear and headed for the hot pools. The drive was a short distance to the Balnearias Aguas Termales (hot waters). We paid our $50 peso fee and set about soaking in a few pools and swam in the larger pool before settling on a smaller comfortable pool with a favourable temperature. Just like Goldilocks, “Not too hot, not too cool, just right!”


Balnearios Agua Termales is a vast concrete structure complete with numerous levels with many pools of varying sizes and temperatures. There are numerous table and bench combinations where family groups would arrive and stake out their area unloading coolers of food and drink to spend the day soaking and socializing. I don’t think one would desire to be there on a busy weekend with the sea of people that apparently arrive during holiday periods. Or if you enjoy crowds it might be a huge amount of fun interacting and observing the Mexican families at play.


After our soak, we returned to our room and relaxed before preparing to again dine at the Toucan Restaurant. Having had our “burger” experience we both selected a fish dish from the menu and enjoyed our respective meals, retiring early to our bungalow.


Amatlan de Cañas, surrounded by La Sierra de Pajaritos and Sierra Madre de Sur mountain ranges, is a pleasant prosperous town depending on agriculture and ranching plus serving the small surrounding towns. The pace appeared rather casual with local produce being sold in the plaza from pickup truck beds, resident farmers attending to business and others occupying the park benches.

After a breakfast in the plaza we left Amatlan de Cañas to return to Los Ayala, our home away from home. We retraced our path following Highway 4 back to Ahuacatlan passing the turnoff to El Manto Water Park. Another man’s dream of constructing a recreational complex to visit and swim in one of the many cooling pools. If you haven’t visited this amazing canyon water park, do so and it’s guaranteed you’ll marvel at the amount of construction and excavating done to carve a small canyon stream into a beautiful attraction ( This time we continued past the El Manto turnoff not stopping for a brief swim.

On the way home we stopped at Santa Isabel to browse a couple of the many roadside pottery shops. Great place to purchase family gifts. We were searching for the number “1” to complete our lakeshore cabin address, but had no luck. Surprise, surprise, not all was lost! Doreen discovered a set of three beautifully painted butterflies. Now at our cabin, these gorgeous butterflies adorn the wall above our front door. You can’t miss them as they further enhance our cabin’s Mexican theme.

After paying the $35 peso toll on the cuota road (toll road) we again joined Highway 200 at the Compostela intersection. We drove directly to Las Varas, which became our lunch stop. For a change of restaurant venue, we stopped at Rosita Restaurant located beside the highway and close to the town’s northern entrance. We enjoyed a fantastic meal consisting of carne asada with papas fritas on the side, plus a decadent dessert, helado de nuez (walnut ice cream).

We arrived at our bungalow mid-afternoon to a rather quiet courtyard as most Canadians by now had returned to Canada while the locals were busy preparing for the upcoming Semana Santa celebration.


We experienced a successful excursion to enjoy the area’s interior and gain a brief glimpse and flavour of the true Mexican pulse. For us, our trips are a way to escape the more touristy tone of the coastal towns and experience in a small way another aspect of Mexican culture.

In just a few short weeks we’ll be returning to the Riviera Nayarit area again to bask on the beach, renew friendships and check out the changes. Life is good!

Author’s Note: One might alter the return route driving to Ixtlan del Rio to visit Los Toriles Archaelogical site. Visit our article “The Golden Age Backpackers: Los Toriles Archaelogical Site” dated February 20, 2013. Well worth a half day visit as the temple of Quetzalcoatl is considered top notch in architectural circles.

by John and Doreen Berg

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

The civil groups from the different communities along the Riviera Nayarit continue to strengthen the Beach Cleanup Network, which now boasts 13 groups coming together on the second Saturday of every month; the next cleanup will be tomorrow, October 11th.

This time around, students are joining in with the cleanup teams along the beaches of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. San Pancho and Bucerías are also receiving reinforcements.

Four more non-profits joined the beach cleanup efforts during this fifth round, including La Cruz de Huanacaxtle with reinforcements heading to Bucerías and San Pancho; there are now 9 communities on the receiving end of their labors. 

In La Cruz de Huanacaxtle the group Manos a la Obra, comprised of 50 students from the Bahía de Banderas Instituto Tecnológico (ITBB), will begin cleaning Manzanilla beach; the Vecinos de Huanacaxtle group will have two sessions, one meeting at 9 a.m. at the boardwalk in Bucerías and the other at 6 p.m. in La Cruz.

Bucerías is also being helped by the Culture Club, a group organized by the staff members of the Hard Rock Hotel, who will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Agustín Melgar street. This area is receiving strong reinforcements in the shape of 15 students who will be joining in alongside the Amigos de Bucerías, the group that began this particular local cleanup effort.

Last month the Grano de Arena group, who is in charge of La Peñita de Jaltemba, created a spinoff to clean in San Pancho, where the EntreAmigos group is also working.

The rest of the cleanup teams include the following groups: Platanitos Ecológico at Playa Platanitos, the Compostela Hotel and Motel Association in Los Ayala and Guayabitos, the Mexcaltitán Women’s Group on their island and the Punta de Mita Foundation in Punta de Mita.

It’s important to note that the Punta de Mita Foundation, for example, has picked up to 230 bags of trash per cleanup. They not only clean the beaches, but also the gullies, where the trash tends to pile up and eventually gets washed out to sea.

For more information and comments, if you’re interested in more details about the project including the hours and meeting places or would like to propose your community join the Riviera Nayarit Beach Cleanup Network, please call 297-2516 ext. 108, and someone from the Riviera Nayarit CVB will be happy to help you.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Ya son 13 grupos en la Red de Limpieza de Playas de Riviera Nayarit

Cuatro agrupaciones civiles más se unen a la limpieza de playas en esta quinta edición, donde ya aparece La Cruz de Huanacaxtle y se refuerzan Bucerías y San Pancho; suman 9 comunidades beneficiadas.  

Los grupos civiles de las distintas comunidades a lo largo de la Riviera Nayarit, siguen incrementando su adherencia a la Red de Limpieza de Playas de Riviera Nayarit, la cual ya llegó a 13 equipos que estarán operando el segundo sábado de cada mes, siendo el próximo 11 de octubre, la fecha en turno.

Cabe destacar que comienzan a unirse alumnos de planteles educativos para esta edición, que ya tendrá presencia en las playas de La Cruz de Huacaxtle. Se reforzaron también San Pancho y Bucerías.

En la Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Manos a la Obra, un grupo de 50 jóvenes del Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas (ITBB), comienzan a limpiar la Playa de la Manzanilla; por su parte Vecinos de Playas de Huanacaxtle, ingresan al movimiento con dos limpiezas, una a las 9:00am en el Malecón de Bucerías y otra a las 6:00pm en La Cruz.

Bucerías, también recibe el apoyo de Culture Club, un grupo organizado por personal del Hard Rock Hotel, que se ubicará en calle Agustín Melgar a las 8:30am. Esta zona se reforzó fuertemente, porque se suman 15 alumnos del Instituto Harkness para apoyar, además de Amigos de Bucerías, quienes comenzaron con la limpieza de esa zona.

El mes pasado el grupo Grano de Arena, quienes se encargan de La Peñita de Jaltemba, crearon una sección para limpiar San Pancho, quienes ahora cuentan también con el apoyo de Entre Amigos.

Los demás grupos que ya estaban trabajando son: Platanitos Ecológico en Playa Platanitos, la Asociación de Hoteles y Moteles de Compostela en Los Ayala y Guayabitos, Grupo de Mujeres de Mexcaltitán en su isla y Fundación Punta de Mita en Punta de Mita.

Es de resaltar que por ejemplo, Fundación Punta de Mita, levanta hasta 230 bolsas de basura por limpieza, ya que además de limpiar la playa, limpia las cañadas, zona donde se concentran desechos que tarde o temprano llegarían al mar.

Para más información, comentarios o si estás interesado en conocer el proyecto más a fondo, horarios, puntos de encuentro o quieres proponer a tu comunidad para integrarse a la Red de Limpieza de Playas de Riviera Nayarit, comunícate al 2 97 25 16 ext. 108, con gusto el personal de OVC Riviera Nayarit te atenderá.

The author and Vicky Flores, who is a nurse at a local hospital and also his partner in the small bed and breakfast, “Mi Casa es Su Casa,” and Jeep trips to the BACK ROADS OF NAYARIT, are going on another discovery trip.

Today we found a true gem. Many years ago a Guadalajara family purchased a parcel of land that included a beach (and what a beach). At that time the family was not so small. There were the grandparents and eight children. No road existed, only a small trail through several miles of jungle. Now a road (rough in spots) goes to the property and there is a sign that prohibits entry. After talking to one of the owners (the family and in-laws now number over 100, although most rarely visit) we were given permission to come in and stay for the day and we could come back any time with a few guests but we had to promise not to disclose the directions on the internet.

So, off we go. It is 10 a.m. and the day is bright and sunny. Our vehicle is a 1985 jeep CJ7. It has only got a little over 18,000 miles on it. I was lucky enough to buy it from a neighbor who seldom used it. One thing I like about it is that there are no computers. If it ever breaks down in a remote area, my mechanic will go there and repair it. Try that with a new jeep.

Editor’s Note: “Back Roads of Nayarit” is a series of essays written by Bob Howell, a long-time resident of Jaltemba Bay. This series details his day trips and adventures between 2001-2007. We are sharing his stories in an effort to preserve Bob’s memory – and to help Bob’s partner and traveling companion, Vicky Flores Ramirez, who still lives in La Peñita and quietly carries on the work that she and Bob so loved. You can learn more below.

Leaving Rincón de Guayabitos, we go along the coastal highway, passing by the many mango groves, planted fields of pineapple, bananas, tobacco, beans, papayas, etc. We pass several villages and finally come to a turn off that we had been meaning to try for several years. The road is dirt and some gravel. It goes through a large canyon, almost a valley. The forest is light at first and then gives way to groves of mangoes, papayas and bananas.

01 - We turn on to a dirt road
We turn on to a dirt road: We had been meaning to check out this road for years and now that Vicky is on vacation, we decide it is time.

We pass a few scattered homes. These are simply coconut palm slab siding with palapa roofs. It is a poor area. We have food and clothing for them aboard and we will stop on the way out and give out what we have. We see a neat little palapa hut to our right. No siding (this probable means few mosquitoes). A man is asleep in a hammock. What a life. Do we really need our fast pace. Payments, a permanent job, responsibilities, a proper place in society. Maybe we are not so smart. Maybe this fellow is way ahead of us. A couple of hectares. No house payments. He doesn’t need a car. His little garden produces year around. There is always tropical fruit and the sea is near for seafood. Wow! Now I have gotten myself off track. I picture a small jungle hut, a bottle of tequila. The beach nearby. Roberto, what are you doing in front of this computer!

We travel on, passing through hilly country and the green country side. How lucky we are to be doing what we want to do. Soon we top a rise and there in front of us is the blue Pacific. Now we descend through the jungle. The road is getting rougher and very steep. What a place for brake failure. There is much evidence of the hurricane. Many trees are down, yet it is still a jungle.

02 - There is the blue pacific
There is the blue pacific: We travel through groves of mangoes, bananas other tropical fruits. We climb hills and go through valleys. At last we see the blue Pacific.

Overhanging palms, the foliage almost closes around us; it is almost like a tunnel. We pass a very small settlement of raised palapas and a few goats.

03 - Sometimes the road is like a tunnel
Sometimes the road is like a tunnel: The foliage is very green and sometimes shades the whole road.

04 - Down through the jungle
Down through the jungle: Not too many tourists travel this road. We see better and worse on our back road trips, but our tourists are never disappointed.

05 - A palapa in the jungle
A palapa in the jungle: Here and there we see a small house in the jungle with a palapa (a palm leaf) roof and palm tree slabs for siding. They are cool and can be made comfortable. They all have dirt floors and the occupants have to watch for scorpions and other critters.

There is a well that is giving off water and a road junction going somewhere.

Soon we reach the bottom. What a place. A white beach with many coconut palms. There is a little cove off to the right. It is an old lava flow. It must be loaded with shell fish.

06 - There is the beach
There is the beach?? We have asked a couple of people we saw along the road. They all said the road led to a beach. We can just see it through the palms.

There are a few buildings below the coconut trees. Some have well manicured lawns. There is a sign that says private property and no entry without authorization. We park and talk to a lady who is a family member. Vicky chats with her for awhile and she tells us that we can come back for daily visits whenever we want; even bring a few guests but we must promise not to put the location on the internet. A few people o.k., but not a lot. We walk down along the beach and talk to a caretaker. He tells us the swimming is safe and the fishing is good. Returning to the jeep and vowing to return for the day and a picnic, we set off to see what is down that road junction near the well. It is almost noontime.

07 - Vicky and a family member
Vicky and a family member: The sign said it was prohibited to enter but this lady said we could, and that we could come back anytime with a couple of guests but she made us promise not to tell where it is on the internet.

08 - Nice beach
Nice beach: Mild surf and blue water. My kind of beach. A lava flow on either end. Shell fishing must be great.

09 - Vicky checks out the beach
Vicky checks out the beach: This is on the first beach we visited.

10 - A mild surf
A mild surf: There is a small cove at the end. A good place to swim.

We travel uphill and through the jungle. The road is narrow and dusty. Soon we top a rise and there is another beautiful cove below us. We park and walk down a steep path. The beach is about a third of a mile long. Easy swimming I would think. Lots of room to sunbath and it is clean. Lava flows on both sides. We snap a few photos and return to the jeep.

11 - The second beach
The second beach: We left the first beach and went up through the jungle and over a hill and came to another beach. Almost as nice as the first.

12 - Emerald green water
Emerald green water: Looking down between the beaches we see emerald green water and fish.

13 - Looking past beach number 2
Looking past beach number 2: You can just see the mountains on the other side of Puerto Vallarta.

On the way we notice a palapa on the hill above us. There is a path so, never ones to pass a new possible area to explore, up we go. On top of the hill, which is actually a cliff above the sea, sits this open sided palapa. There is a very friendly fellow. He has a couple of dogs and chickens. There are two hammocks, although he says he lives alone. What a view. The whole coast can be seen. The air is clear. We can see almost to San Blas in one direction and past Puerto Vallarta in the other. We visit awhile. He tells of his life here. Do I feel a little envious?

14 - A palapa overlooking both beaches
A palapa overlooking both beaches: This man lives along with his dogs and chickens. He has a view that money can’t buy.

Back to the jeep and we have a tail gate lunch. The usual: Turkey ham and cheese sandwiches with lettuce and tomato. Potato chips, home made pickles, chiles, wine coolers and topped off with our local mountain grown, fresh roasted and ground this morning – coffee. What a bore. Just think, if we were in the frozen north, we could be eating at McDonalds or ? (Are you kidding!)

Off we go. The road is steep going up the mountain and I have to put it in 4 wheel drive. No problem getting down with 2 wheel, but don’t plan on returning. We make stops at several very poor palapas, giving out food and clothing. At one palapa we found the mother had just given birth to twins. Beautiful babies. I take photos. I hope they come out because it is dark.

15 - Giving clothing and food to the poor
Giving clothing and food to the poor: This mother and her children receive some rice, beans, sugar, canned goods and clothing.

16 - Home is where the heart is
Home is where the heart is: This home is simple and clean. A family of five lives in one room.

17 - New twins
New twins: We had baby clothes aboard and this lady received those and some food. Six people lived in a two room palapa. / (top photo) They have electric but are still needy: The home still shows signs of the hurricane, but the single room houses the mother and two children.

19 - A boy and his horse
A boy and his horse: When I took this photo and then showed it to him you should have seen the surprise on his face.

20 - More help
More help: More smiling faces. We try and explain the English instructions on the cans of food and hope they are remembered.

Then back home we go. We find one other beach but it is not remarkable. A nice swimming hole but a lot of trash and a stopping place for too many people.

21 - Another beach
Another beach: The sea was beautiful but the beach had lots of trash. This beach will not be on our tourist route.

22 - A long uninhabited shoreline
A long uninhabited shoreline: No body lives here. There is a large estuary behind. Another kayak adventure?

23 - An old lava flow that ends in the sea
An old lava flow that ends in the sea: The lava flows are a haven for shell fish and have many tide pools. Neat.

24 - A small natural swimming hole
A small natural swimming hole: A very safe swimming hole right off of the beach. No wonder this is a popular spot for the locals.

25 - The estuary starts here
The estuary starts here: A good place to start off in a kayak. Many birds, animals and probably crocodiles live here.

We call it a day on the BACK ROADS OF NAYARIT and home we go.

by Bob Howell
Originally published April 29, 2003 on La Peñita Folk

Back Roads of Nayarit” is a series of essays written by Bob Howell, a long-time resident of Jaltemba Bay. The series details his day trips and adventures between 2001-2007. We are sharing these stories in an effort to preserve Bob’s memory – and to help Bob’s partner and traveling companion, Vicky Flores Ramirez, who still lives in La Peñita and quietly carries on the work that she and Bob so loved. Sometimes her bodega is packed full of donated clothing, school supplies, toys and medicine; sometimes it is bare. If you enjoy reading these articles, please consider making a donation so the McKibben Foundation (Nurse Vicky’s Dispensary) can continue helping schools, seniors and needy families in the Jaltemba Bay area. And if you have copies of any of Bob’s old stories or photos, please contact us.

If you haven’t already done so, read Tom Plattenberger’s personal dedication entitled “In Memory of Bob Howell,” which serves as an introduction to this series.

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Part 1 – We are dedicated, both as a hobby, and in an effort to find new places to show tourists, to explore all of the BACK ROADS OF NAYARIT that we can. Our vehicle is a 1985 Jeep CJ7. Modified with a jump seat in front, and with extra cushions in the back, we can carry 6 persons comfortably. Late models cannot. On this trip, in addition to myself, and my traveling companion, and licensed tour guide, Vicky Flores, we have along our good friends Terry and Lenor Coomber. We have packed the ice chests with sandwiches, soft drinks and snacks. We also have a thermos of freshly made coffee. The green beans from our nearby mountains were roasted and ground this morning.

Home is Rincón de Guayabitos, a small community about an hour North of Puerto Vallarta. It is about 8:30 A.M. and we are loaded up and heading North on highway 200. We pass through the green country side with bananas, tropical fruit and tobacco fields on either side. Very beautiful. About 20 minutes later, we are fueling up in Las Varas, a farm town, which also has a few fisherman and the only hospital for some distance in either direction. This is also the intersection for travel to the North coast and San Blas.

Editor’s Note: “Back Roads of Nayarit” is a series of essays written by Bob Howell, a long-time resident of Jaltemba Bay. We are sharing his stories in an effort to preserve Bob’s memory – and to help Bob’s partner and traveling companion, Vicky Flores Ramirez, who still lives in La Peñita and quietly carries on the work that she and Bob so loved. You can learn more below.

A quick check to see if we have everything buttoned down and we are off and headed in the direction of Compostela. We pass by La Cuata, the road going to the hotsprings of Jamurca and then to coffee country. We are starting to climb into the mountains. The road is well paved, but as usual no shoulders. If you break down here, there is no place to go. Pull outs are few and far between. Soon we pass the road going to the Volcano El Molote and more hot springs (a great swimming hole near the village). The country is dry at first but then becomes green. We fly past Las Mesillas, then the shrine, where may be seen a lot of candles and where the local folks, and travelers stop to give a prayer. This road has many curves, and many accidents, which Vicky can attest to. She is a nurse at the hospital at Las Varas, where she works at night. She has seen the results of these accidents more than she would like to remember. Don’t travel this road at night.

Before we know it, we have dipped down into the beautiful valley, where lies the pueblo of Compostela. We come to a well marked intersection and go in the direction of Guadalajara. We soon stop at a “Casa de Cobre” (toll booth) and pay $28 pesos. This road is well paved and is wide enough to pull off if necessary. Emergency phones are located all along. I remember over a year ago when the car developed a problem. Vicky walked to the nearest phone, just a few minutes away. Before she returned to the car a tow truck arrived. They were very courteous and took us and our car back to a garage in Compostela. No charge and they refused a tip. Try that in the states. Big bucks.

It is 9:45 and we again charge ahead on this adventure. The road is easy and we have a great view of the valley and the mountains. We begin to see agave plants here and there. Agave needs 8 to 12 years to age. It is the main ingredient of Tequila, the demand for which is beginning to outpace the supply. Agave may be grown anywhere, but can only be distilled in the state of Jalisco. Good Tequila will state 100% agave on the bottle, and if it is aged it will say “reposado.”  If it does not so state, then it is only 51% tequila and could have been distilled yesterday. Enough of this lecture. However, there will be more later because I intend to check out the Tequila Train this summer.

Off to our right we see the Volcano San Pedro de Lagunillas. Then, to the left we see the lakes, or lagoons of Lagunillas. It is very scenic, and the Pueblo, which is larger than you would think, is a very typical Mexican town. The larger lake, of course, has a resident monster, according to the locals, and it is on the list for future investigation. Maybe we will overnight in a canoe and light candles, or something like that.

A bit further on we pull into a rest stop, which overlooks a very secret place for us. There is a small village that has a great swimming hole. I know you won’t believe this, but not only is the water crystal clear but it is cold in the summer and warm in the winter! And no, I haven’t been drinking. The name of this village is to be revealed at my wake. After a refreshing cup of our great Nayarit Arabica coffee, we are off again.

On down the road it is 10:40 A.M. and we pull into a PEMEX to top off the tank. One disadvantage of my jeep is that it is 6 cyl. and I never pass a gas station.  After refueling and a comfort stop, we proceed. We pass the Pueblo of El Torreon, where Vicky’s daughter Brenda used to teach school. It is a poor pueblo, which has seen better times. Most of the able bodied have gone to the cities or North of the border. There is not much work here.  Shortly we reach our first goal. Santa Isabel. It is a small Pueblo, which is mostly known for farming, honey and pottery. You can see and buy in the various stands alongside of the road.

Reaching the last stand, which today is empty, we turn to the right and head down through farms and sugar cane fields. After a couple of kilometros, we reach our point and stop. From the jeep we can only see fields and hills. We get out and walk a few steps and what do we see. A beautiful jungle canyon. There is a river flowing below. Before this we see clear pools surrounded by ferns. There are a number of waterfalls. No one is in sight. We have it all to ourselves. An untouristed spot. Down we go. The locals have built steps, and it is an easy descent. Dropping all but our bathing suits we climb in the lower pool. Wow! Cold. We paddle across and let the waterfall splash over us. This is dreamy. We chat, laugh, have a Caribe cooler and climb rocks. Vicky climbs down to a lower fall and pool near the river. Terry and Lenor paddle around and enjoy. It is hard to leave this wonderful place, but finally we must.

It is 11:30 and we reluctantly bid a fond farewell to the cascadas de Santa Isabel. Off we go, continuing down the free road and in the direction to Guadalajara. Soon we see a sign that says Tetitlan. We turn right and almost immediately enter that Pueblo. Here we are going to see a very old hacienda. Much of which is still standing. This hacienda stood off attacks by bandidos, Indians and for some time against the revolution. When last we visited, one of the village elders pointed to the towers and walls that defended until the last. Finally overwhelmed, many of the defenders were stood against the walls and executed. You can still see the bullet holes to this day.

In the second part we will tell of the ancient caves we found. These have to date far beyond the later civilizations of the Aztecs, Olmecs and Toltecs. These were cavemen (cavewomen also).

Then we will tell of the only intact old hacienda that we have ever found. And, it is for sale too!

Part 2 – In part 1, we told of our trip past Compostela, the lakes of Lagunillas and the great little Eden and swimming holes of Santa Isabel. Finally ending as we entered the Pueblo of Tetitlan.

The street we enter on is Avenida Independencia. This is a nice little place with narrow cobblestone streets. We follow the street past a little restaurant and a bull ring (actually, a place where the charros, or cowboys practice their roping and other skills with all classes of livestock as well as bulls).

We pull under a large shade tree in front of part of the old hacienda. There are a couple of saddlehorses tied in front and some locals deep in conversation. The hacienda is quite large and there are still small waterways serving their intended purposes. I prepare coffee and snacks while Vicky takes our friends on a tour. The buildings, corrals, storage sheds and various shops are in various stages of disrepair. Vicky shows them where they once lived, worshiped, worked, fought off Indians, bandidos and later revolutionarios, and where many died. A canal came from the river, far above, and entered by a circular flume from the high ceiling with force enough to drive the wheel, which in turn drove the equipment. Much of this hacienda was planted to cotton, which not only were used in looms of the ranch, but exported to Tepic, which had a number of textile mills. Mostly owned by Englishmen. Those ruins may be seen today. One of which is still intact. After the revolution and land redistribution, most of the surviving hacienda owners left.

After coffee and refreshments we hop aboard our jeep and continue on. A short distance down the road we come to the Pueblo of Valle Verde. A lively little place with several small cafes and tiendas (stores). At the railroad crossing there is a large train station, still intact. For the benefit of at least one of our readers, we take a full front photo. This was a passenger stop a few years ago. Now, trains only stop for cargo. There is still a station master. He tells us that passenger service may resume next year. I would really like to make the trip from Tepic to Guadalajara. I remember a number of Mexican train trips of years back. Of traveling 3rd class with the chickens. One of the cars usually had a plank bar. Beer was in buckets of ice. No window coverings. Usually someone had a guitar. I remember one time, we were in the middle of the Sonora desert, and I had boarded at a whistle stop by the name of El Coyote. I had been on board  long enough to be settled down with the chickens and a small pig or two, and sufficiently fortified with a few cervezas when all of a sudden… ah, but I am losing sight of the story at hand. Such is the plight of the aged.

We cross the tracks and continue on down a cobblestone road until we come to a balneario – another spring fed swimming spa. It soon appears that we are on the wrong road, so we return to the village, ask directions and off we go again. We are passing through rolling hills and we get glimpses of the railroad now and then. Soon we come to a sign that says Agua Tibia (warm water). This looks interesting, and the road is on our map. It says “Las Cuevas” (the caves). We end up in a few false roads, but finally come to a stream in a little valley and there are three caves on a cliff side. One is very large. They are elevated above the valley floor, and seem to have some kind of construction at the cave edges and made of small slate rock. Were these shelters, small living quarters, graves? It looks similar to that of the cave dwellings found in Arizona and New Mexico. The very high ceilings are blackened. Quite likely by fires over the centuries. The floor is almost powdered soil. I have the urge to dig down and see what is under here, but some things are better left alone. Vicky, who is almost pure Totonaka Indian, is suffering from bad vibes and says the spirits do not want us here. She refuses to enter the caves. We look around a bit and then continue on up the valley. There is a lake just beyond. We would like to picnic here, but the mosquitoes are attacking us.

We reverse our course and go on some distance away from the mosquitoes, stopping under a tree for a shady tailgate lunch. We break out our ham and cheese sandwiches, complete with home made bread and butter pickles and our local mountain grown coffee, roasted and ground fresh this morning. There is also beer, Caribe coolers and soft drinks.

Part 3 – After lunch, on to Amado Nervo, named  after a famous Mexican poet, who’s home is now a museum in the state capital of Tepic. A must to see. The cobblestone road is really rough here. You have to go very slow or fly over the top.  It is shaking us up. We are still in rolling hills and it is beautiful. There is a large valley over to the side. I don’t see anything in the valley except a couple of cows. A canopy of greenery, almost covering the road, soon appears. Vicky notices a tree bearing some kind of strange fruit and we stop and gather a few. Vicky says it is used to cure some disease. It is interesting to listen to Vicky when we are traveling or hiking. She misses nothing. Always pointing to plants and explaining the many natural remedies. She knows the names of nearly ever plant, tree and bird. A bus passes. It is loaded with people, so I assume it is the local transportation. It is difficult to see any paint under the corrosion and it is dented and battered beyond belief. Is this the final run before the wrecking yard?

Terry and Lenor Coomber, Bob Howell in the courtyard of the hacienda in El Conte. / Top photo: Exploring the ruins of an old barn and stable at El Conte.

Continuing on we pass a small ranchita, the first sign of civilization in some time. I don’t know what they grow or what they do. We see a lake down in the valley to our left. It is fair size. I would like to visit it, but I don’t see any way to get down there. Soon we enter Amado Nervo. We stop at the main plaza. This town was formerly named El Conte (The Count), after the hacienda of that name, the remainder of which is located just the other side of the Plaza. The home itself is the only intact hacienda that we have seen. The out buildings are huge, but in disrepair. The more than 30 foot ceilings are giving away in spots. We enter the hacienda home itself. The many pillared patio in front is huge. As we enter through the large wooden front doors we notice an old crank telephone on the wall.

In the adjoining reception room there are pictures on the wall of the count and countess,who were of some European royalty. The pictures are of a handsome young man and a lovely young lady. For some reason I am drawn to them like a magnet. I must learn more about them and this hacienda. The room is very long and has a huge bath. Maybe this was where the Count and Countess slept. On the opposite side of the entry way there is another reception room still partially furnished with the old furniture. These ceilings must be 20 feet high. There is a large wall safe. The caretaker says there is no key. Who knows what secrets lie within! This enters into a bedroom. Many old things are on the walls and scattered around. A lot of old reading material. Entering the hacienda proper we see a very large courtyard. There is a swimming pool size fountain in the center. The courtyard is bordered by patios with many large pillars. Walking around to the right, we come to bedroom after bedroom. The last time we were here, most were locked up and no one lived here. We see all of the rooms are open and there is a new caretaker. Now it seems to have limited use. There are five bedrooms, most very large, some with living or sitting rooms. There is one very large bath. Next is a large bar room, complete with tables, leather chairs, pool table and bar. I think this could be my favorite room. There is a kitchen, a living room with old wood stoves, and then the dining room. More bedrooms, a library with very old typewriters, printed material and antiques. We see more bedrooms one of which has a small bath. I think we have seen about a dozen bedrooms and maybe 4 baths. Some changes would have to be made to meet modern times. Although, in those days, most homes had no toilet facilities, so this place was very modern by most standards.

The caretaker informs us that the owner (he called her La Contesa) would like to sell. He did not know the price, nor was he able to tell us how much land was included. A lot of work here. But what a masterpiece if you could do it. What could be done with it. A retreat? A weight reduction spa – once checked in there would be no escape except through the castle size front doors. Lots of room for the 10 most wanted. The IRS would never find you. Your ex! Vicky took a lot of nice photos, I only wish you could see them.

Anyway, the caretaker shows us through the outbuildings, interior shops, corrals, stalls for livestock and passage ways. Many are in almost hopeless disrepair. We climb to the top of the granary and it gives us a spectacular view of the area. We note a large group of buildings on the edge of town. The caretaker tells us that this was a winery. It is interesting to note that very old wineries are nonexistent. The Spanish, in order to prevent competition, prohibited the making of wine, with the exception of the churches, and that wine to be used only for religious purposes. I would have liked to visit the winery, but it is getting late and we have a long way to go.

As we are leaving, the caretaker points to his saddled horse and offers to trade straight across for my jeep. Maybe I passed up a good deal, but I felt four of us would have been a bit much for the horse. Anyway, all aboard the jeep and off we go.

We are going to try and find the old train station. It is listed on the map as Estacion Conde. It even shows a building. Going up to the track and taking a side road we locate the signs, one on each side of the track, and they both say Conde, however a foot search on either side fails to show any evidence of a station. On the opposite side, and some distance away  we see some old ruined buildings, but they don`t look like they would have been a  station.

We decide to try a different road, which seems to go straight across to Lagunillas. Passing through rolling hills, and through many areas planted to agave, we have an easy half hour trip and reach the highway near Lagunillas. We are about an hour and a half from home.

by Bob Howell
Originally published June 29, 2002 on La Peñita Folk

Back Roads of Nayarit” is a series of essays written by Bob Howell, a long-time resident of Jaltemba Bay. The series details his day trips and adventures between 2001-2007. We are sharing these stories in an effort to preserve Bob’s memory – and to help Bob’s partner and traveling companion, Vicky Flores Ramirez, who still lives in La Peñita and quietly carries on the work that she and Bob so loved. Sometimes her bodega is packed full of donated clothing, school supplies, toys and medicine; sometimes it is bare. If you enjoy reading these articles, please consider making a donation so the McKibben Foundation (Nurse Vicky’s Dispensary) can continue helping schools, seniors and needy families in the Jaltemba Bay area. And if you have copies of any of Bob’s old stories or photos, please contact us.

Click here to read Tom Plattenberger’s personal dedication entitled “In Memory of Bob Howell” which serves as an introduction to this series.

So far removed from what we call “home” during the winter months, we often wonder what natural wonders you folks that live there in Mexico year round have the good fortune to enjoy during the rainy season. Surely someone must have some photographs to share!

This week here in Cobourg, Ontario, we photographed the Ebony Jewelwing. On our 45 minute circuit walk, we happened to see these fascinating insects, and at first we thought they were black butterflies. This was a new species for us, and we were just at the right place at the right time. The lighting was perfect. We identified them as Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies.

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Damselflies are closely related to dragonflies. The easiest way to tell dragonflies and damselflies apart is to look at the wings. Dragonfly wings stick out straight from the body when it is resting (see photo below taken last December in the courtyard in La Peñita, Mexico).

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Damselfly wings usually fold back against the body.

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The male Ebony damselfly is about two inches long. They are larger than the female and have a black head, an iridescent blue body and black wings. The females have a lighter coloured brownish body and have white spots on their wings.

The Ebony Jewelwings are found wherever there are shady forest streams. After mating, the female lays eggs inside the soft stems of water plants. When the eggs hatch, the larvae eat aquatic insects. When they are fully grown, they crawl out of the water and moult, leaving their old skin behind. And the cycle of life continues.

To date, we have only seen one Monarch Butterfly in our garden in Cobourg which has lots of Purple Coneflowers and Milkweed. We did manage to photograph this Painted Lady today.

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That’s the picture from here – looking to see something from there.

by Bea Rauch

This article was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

Click here to view more Photos of the Week

The monthly beach cleanup of the destination’s beach communities will take place this Saturday, August 9th, with the full support of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

Platanitos and the Playa Platanitos Ecológico association will join Punta de Mita, Bucerías and La Peñita de Jaltemba in maintaining the beaches to benefit all of the people of Nayarit.

The Riviera Nayarit CVB provides the groups integrated by this civil society with the necessary cleaning materials like gloves, bags, t-shirts and water.

First contact has also been made with the San Pancho and Sayulita communities, and collaboration has begun with Rincón de Guayabitos and San Blas; all have responded positively to the invitation to become part of the group. The objective is for all the picturesque towns of the Riviera Nayarit to be a part of this movement.

If you are with of a group that wishes to join in our community cleanups or are interested in putting together a group of volunteers in your community, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 297-2516 ext. 108.

Times and meeting points:

Punta de Mita – Crews will gather at the Punta de Mita Sports Center at 7 a.m. The contact is the Punta de Mita Foundation at (329) 291-5053 or (322) 779-2906.

Bucerias – There are two meeting points with 8 a.m. schedules, as the Volunteer and Friends of Bucerías Group has joined in as well. The first group will meet on Allende street in front of Decameron and the second will be on Benito Juarez street in front of Karen’s place. The contact number is (322) 140-6881.

Platanitos – The crew will meet at 9 a.m. at the Fiesta del Mar restaurant right at the entrance to the beach. The contact is Lulú Santana from the Playa Platanitos Ecológico association at (327) 105-6947.

La Peñita – The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the malecón (boardwalk) with the Asociación Grano de Arena, contact number (322) 116-9440.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Se adhieren más grupos a las limpiezas de playas

Para este sábado 9 de agosto, Platanitos se une a Punta de Mita, La Peñita de Jaltemba y Bucerías; ya hay un primer contacto con San Blas y Guayabitos, quienes también estarán ingresando a la limpieza eventualmente.

Este sábado 9 de agosto, en coordinación con la Oficina de Visitantes y Convenciones de la Riviera Nayarit (OVC), se llevarán a cabo la limpieza mensual de playas en las comunidades costeras del destino.

A Punta de Mita, Bucerías y La Peñita de Jaltemba se une Platanitos, localidad en la que Playa Platanitos Ecológico A.C. se adhiere a los trabajos de mantenimiento de playas para beneficio de los nayaritas.

La OVC Riviera Nayarit proporciona a los grupos integrados por la sociedad civil, materiales de limpieza como guantes, bolsas, camisetas, gorras y agua.

Además de los primeros contactos con San Pancho y Sayulita, ya se iniciaron las labores de colaboración con Guayabitos y San Blas, todos han dado una primera respuesta positiva para integrarse. El objetivo es que todos Los Pueblos Pintorescos de Riviera Nayarit pertenezcan a este movimiento.

Si formas parte de una agrupación que guste de participar en la limpieza de nuestras comunidades o te interesa generar un grupo de voluntarios en tu comunidad, no dudes en contactarnos al 2 97 25 16 ext. 108.

Horarios y puntos de encuentro.

En Punta de Mita a partir de las 7:00 horas en el estacionamiento del Centro Deportivo Punta de Mita. El contacto es la Fundación Punta de Mita: 329 291 50 53 o 322 779 29 06.

En Bucerías son dos puntos de encuentro a las 8:00 horas, ya que también se unió el Grupo de Voluntarios con los Amigos de Bucerías. El primer grupo se reúne en calle Allende frente a Decameron y el segundo en calle Benito Juárez frente a Karen’s Place. Contacto al 322 140 68 81.

A las 9:00 horas comenzarán a reunirse en Platanitos en el restaurante Fiesta del Mar, justo en la entrada a la playa. El contacto es Lulú Santana de Playa Platanitos Ecológico A.C., al 327 105 69 47.

Finalmente en La Peñita de Jaltemba a las 18:00 horas en el Malecón, con la Asociación Grano de Arena. Contacto al número 322 116 94 40.


It’s hard to believe that the Malecón in La Peñita unofficially opened to the public one year ago.

During the past year, the new malecón has become a popular gathering place and well-used destination for both locals and tourists alike. Many events have already taken place here – including art shows, the staging area for a women’s beach volleyball tournament, weight lifting contests, a biathlon and even kite flying demonstrations – and many more events are on the drawing board.

Sunsets are a particularly busy time when you will find at least 100 folks enjoying our beautiful malecón.

La Peñita Malecón Timeline

While it may have felt like the malecón project took an eternity, it was actually only a few years from concept to completion. Like any community project of this magnitude, there were also political and social considerations that needed to be addressed before the first concrete footing could be poured.

Even though building anything in Mexico is far less complicated than almost anywhere NOTB, typical bureaucratic and environmental hoops still needed to be jumped through. Also, there were multiple resource centers that needed to be tapped into in order for this project to even get to the drawing board. Costs were ultimately shared by the federal and municipal governments, as well as tax money taken in by local hotels. As you can imagine, not an easy process.

Various related projects were necessary before construction could be started. These included the removal of numerous structures on the beach itself, creating accommodations for storm water runoff, installing new sewer water and fresh water lines and the underground routing of power lines.

The adjacent and adjoining streets were torn up to accommodate these utilities and were rebuilt using stamped concrete. All of this was done while accommodating vehicular and foot traffic to the nearby businesses.

Here is a brief overview…

September 2011 – Environmental studies, surveying and planning began.

August 2012 – The removal of beach structures began (below).

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November 2012 – Initial street demolition and reconstruction.

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January-February 2013 – Digging and pouring of the malecón footings. This work was hampered by high tides.

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April 2013 – Finish work on the streets was going fast, aided by a couple of local comedians (Tom doing the screeding and Tiki supervising).

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June to mid-July 2013 – Most of June and July was consumed by pouring walls, the concrete deck, the exposed aggregate top coat and installation of the stainless steel railings.

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The photo below shows how the power lines used to look (minus most of the pelicans and frigate birds).

End of July to August 2013 – The finishing touches were being completed… decorative street lamps, stainless steel railings, palm trees, beautiful park benches and finally colorful decals on the walls depicting the official colors of Nayarit.

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Malecon La Penita 1397

Drawings of the project were initially circulated back in June 2012 and portrayed a longer boardwalk, one of 300 meters in length, as well as a fishing pier extending out into the ocean to allow for a promenade as well as some boat dockage. However, after the reconstruction of the streets and related costs were taken into account, the extended pier idea had to be scrapped. What we ended up with is a beautiful and user-friendly 217 meter long, palm tree lined boardwalk.

malecon 5

by David Thompson
Photos by Tom Plattenburger, Tiki and David – Muchimas Gracias!

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This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

Try saying that one five times! Welcome to La Peñita de Jaltemba, a small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico, an hour north of Puerto Vallarta.

We arrived on a rainy day. The clouds hung thick in the sky like sodden laundry and the streets, made from mud and stone, disappeared into giant potholes underneath our tires.

“Uh ooooohhhh…” my internal dialogue began. I mean, they said it was local, but this is really local, I thought as we began the steep climb up the hill to our adopted abode.

“That whole thing cannot all be ours,” I said as we laid eyes on the big ‘yellow house on the hill’ we had been solicited to take care of. Surely it was two or three homes in one complex and we would be residing in one.


But no, it was all ours, complete with two resident cats to keep us in line, two iguanas who live on the roof and scare the bejeezus out of me on a regular basis and a gazillion different bugs of every imaginable size and color which we fish out of the pool and examine every day.


I’m becoming the David Attenborough of bugs and can definitely see why people study them.


The King and Queen of the house are Chica and Matu (who have their own throne). They have stolen my heart and I pour love over them every day, much to their disdain. To them I am the giver of tuna and occasionally strawberry yoghurt (yes) and that is about it. I like to think they are testing how far my love reaches and whether I can make the distance. I tell you, I can and I will MAKE THEM LOVE ME!!!


The star of the house though is definitely the view. Or, should I say, views. A panoramic, 360 degree beauty-fest of the Pacific ocean and rolling jungle clad mountains. I seriously don’t know where to look. It causes me great anxiety that when I am looking one way, I miss the other way, so I have devised a viewing system of facing the mountains in the morning while I do yoga, then the ocean in the afternoon.


Because, THIS.

I mean, seriously??!!! My eyeballs cannot handle this much beauty. I get very overwhelmed, hence the obscene amount of facebook updates made lately because I just can’t take it all in and need help to process this display of nature’s glory every evening.

The fact that I get to witness 90 of these makes me giddy with gratitude.


Oh yeah, then there’s the sunrise. If we’re up early enough, we get to catch it rising over the mountains and staining the sky the color of the mangoes hanging from the tree next door.


Which brings me to my next point – the mangoes. And the pineapples and the coconuts and the bananas which are bursting forth from the trees right now. It is seriously hard (and sad) to believe there is a food shortage in the world when you are in the lush ‘Riviera Nayarit’ of Mexico.

Devouring a mango over the sink while it spills down your chin must surely be one of life’s great pleasures.

The town of La Peñita, it turns out, is absolutely wonderful. A small yet busy epicenter of industry and commerce which services the nearby resort town of Guayabitos. We have found our ‘seafood place’, our ‘local eats’ place and our cafe which roasts local coffee beans and does a mean frappacino – perfect for these humid days.


From the seafood place we watch local families escape the heat of their homes in exchange for a sea breeze and dripping helados. They gather on the newly built malecon every evening, a pedestrian promenade which was built a little over a year ago after a decade of planning.

Life in La Peñita is lazy and languid. Every day we wave to our neighbour down the road who hangs in his hammock under the shade of a tree, just… chilling. If there is something Mexicans do well (except cook and laugh and eat and drink) it’s relax. The heat here during the summer is enough to slow even the zestiest of folk down to a crawl, but in this little town that no-one has really heard of except the lucky ones who live here, life, just, goes, slow.

Until you get onto the highway leading south to San Pancho, Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta which becomes the stage for a testosterone fueled, four-wheeled machismo fest of overtaking on blind corners at high speeds. Go figure.


A five minute drive from ‘our house’ sits the charming beach resort of Guayabitos. A jumble of colourful buildings, striped umbrellas and beach hawkers selling everything from ceviche to sunglasses.


A local resort popular with the residents of Guadalajara and Mexico City, Guayabitos is like stepping back in time. Families gather on patches of sand which spill down into the water, enjoying the simple pleasures of sun and sea, set to the soundtrack of a local musical act.

Bowls of fresh fruit and skewers of plump prawns are passed between niños and abuelas while touts tempt tourists onto boats heading across to the island or neighbouring bays.


We love it here. Tyrhone has clocked two flights over a long, empty stretch of beach north of town, improving his skills and increasing his confidence.

I have been attempting to be present with all this natural beauty around, and have been feeling very blessed to wake up to such gifts every day. I’m definitely experiencing the beauty of my imperfect journey at the moment and am falling in love with a new part of this rich and varied country which has come to feel like home.

by Sarah Chamberlain

Editor’s Note: Sarah is an Australian traveller, writer and dreamer who happens to be house-sitting at the beautiful El Panorama Villa Hotel B&B in La Peñita this summer. Thanks to Sarah for allowing us to share her article, originally published July 13, 2014 on her blog, Sarah Somewhere.

If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

The construction of the Jala-Bahía de Banderas Highway has advanced 33%, however, it will not be finished until 2017, informed the delegate of the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) in Jalisco, Bernardo Gutiérrez Navarro.

“The stretch from Jala to Bucerias is 166 kilometers and is 33% complete, including sections finished with four lanes. It will allow drivers to get from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta in two and a half hours because the total kilometers will be 266. It’s a road that has an estimated budget of 13 billion pesos, it involves the construction of about 50 structures, three tunnels, it is a stretch that is in its advanced stage; the section from Jala to the junction in Compostela is done. We are advancing to Las Varas, La Peñita de Jaltemba and finally Bucerías; those are the four parts where there will be junctions,” he explained in an interview.

This work is expected to reduce transferring from Guadalajara to Vallarta to only two hours and a half.

In due time, the road would connect with the macro-bypass project.

Translated by Edgar Castellon for Jaltemba Bay Life

Vía Corta PV-GDL Hasta 2017

by Carolina Gómez Aguiñaga
August 1, 2014

La construcción de la carretera Jala-Bahía de Banderas lleva un avance del 33 por ciento; no obstante no será terminada hasta 2017, adelantó el delegado de la Secretaría de Comunicación y Transportes (SCT) en Jalisco, Bernardo Gutiérrez Navarro.

Read the entire article in Spanish on

The Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas), located off the coast of Nayarit in Banderas Bay, are an archipelago composed of two small islands and two islets of volcanic origin. They are uninhabited and are only 8 km from Punta de Mita, the most exclusive destination not only on the Riviera Nayarit, but also in all of Mexico.

These Pacific islands are a protected area and have been designated as a National Park since 2005 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2008.

Thousands of migratory and resident birds (both land-based and marine) use these islands as migration stops, refuges and reproduction areas, including the famous Blue-Footed Booby. The Marietas Islands also harbor an amazing variety of coral species and are home to the most diverse population of reef fish in the Banderas Bay. The biodiversity is such that it includes dolphins, manta rays, octopi, multi-colored fish and an endless variety of flora and fauna, making each visit an unforgettable experience.

The area also plays an important role in the reproductive cycle of endangered species such as the humpback whale and the olive Ridley sea turtle.

The most famous spot on the Marietas Islands is Playa Escondida, or the Hidden Beach. This is a beach that’s literally hidden in the interior of the island – the only way in is swimming using a snorkel or free stroke when the tide is low. Once you’re inside you’ll find yourself in an enormous perfect circle right in the middle of the islet.

Some of the activities you can enjoy in the area include snorkeling, paddling and kayaking. You can’t set foot on any of the islands, except by entering the hidden beach by water and enjoying that exceptional wonder of nature.

Authorized tours are available for hire in the different micro destinations of the Riviera Nayarit.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

For more information or to find a tour guide to the beautiful Las Islas Marietas, visit our Activities & Tours page.

You may not automatically think of Jaltemba Bay Life when you think of pet travel, but perhaps you should. We have relationships with several government offices, pet rescue organizations and local vets – and we update our Pet Travel Tips & Regulations page on a regular basis.

Regardless of whether you cross the border by land, air or sea, you are required to follow the same basic guidelines when bringing pets into Mexico. Our Pet Travel Tips includes the current regulations for Mexico, the United States and Canada. We highly recommend that you read through the regulations for the country you are traveling to (and from) to make sure you comply with both. We also suggest that you contact your personal vet and your airline, as each state and airline can establish their own rules.

Our Pet Travel Tips page includes:

  • Important Air Travel Tips  (and list of Airlines that fly to/from Mexico)
  • Mexican Pet Travel Regulations
  • US Pet Travel Regulations
  • Canadian Pet Travel Regulations
  • Helpful Pet Travel Links
  • Adopting a Pet from Mexico

Check out our Pet Travel Tips before you plan your next trip with your pet!

by Allyson Williams

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

As a result of the FAM trip the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) coordinated with Pauline Frommer, daughter of Arthur Frommer, the travel maven published an article called “Mexico’s Next Big Thing: The Riviera Nayarit.”

Having already received the seal of approval from Mr. Frommer during his “Top 14 Destinations to Visit in 2014,” this time the focus was the top ten attractions Pauline highlighted as reasons to visit Mexico’s Pacific Treasure.

Among them were the destination’s vast beaches, birdwatching, idyllic colonial towns, exquisite folk art, the Marietas Islands, the relaxing all-inclusive resorts, water sports, its romantic ruins, its coastal surfing villages and its exclusivity and privacy for the rich and famous.

“…a lot of the reason to head here has to do with golden sands, tubuler [sic] waves and seafood so fresh it bounces on your plate (well, almost). But dig deeper and you’ll find that this area has some pretty wonderful, and unique attractions, making it a good choice for travelers of all stripes,” wrote Pauline Frommer.

The articles on the portal serve as a tourist guide with a global reach, and they’re systematically sent to different media as well as to interested tourism markets.

The site itself has slightly less than 500 thousand unique visitors each month, which means it will give the destination very important exposure, particularly around the European and American continents.

A radio show is in the works produced by the same editorial group. It will go into further detail regarding all of the destination’s wonderful attractions as yet to be recommended. Pauline herself was awe-struck at what she experienced in the destination as far as tourism is concerned, and she has committed herself to give the Riviera Nayarit the promotion it deserves.

Click here to read the article in its entirety:

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Art is the most holistic way to accomplish the science of communication: it’s informative, entertaining and educational. In the Riviera Nayarit, art and environmental education are coming together as local entities reach out to children.

On June 28th, the El Naranjo Turtle Camp held its 2nd Marine Turtle Drawing Contest organized by the Nayarit Ecologists Group. The group secretary, Ricardo Villaseñor, commented they received 1,100 drawings this year, 200 more than last year. The El Naranjo Turtle Camp is located on the beach just north of La Peñita de Jaltemba.

Some 20 elementary schools participated this time, spanning from Tepic all the way through the Riviera Nayarit to Puerto Vallarta. They designated two categories: from 1st grade through 3rd was denominated “lower elementary,” and 4th through 6th “upper elementary.” There were 18 awards handed out in each category.

“Several people have asked me what do I gain by putting together these contests. The answer is always “environmental education.” It’s our most important work, because if a child does not know the marine turtle, he or she can’t protect it,” Villaseñor pointed out.

“I learned that we must care for and respect the turtles, that we mustn’t hunt them or poach the eggs. This is a great contest,” enthused the winner of the first place in the upper elementary category, Fernanda Narváez, an 11-year-old student at Puerto Vallarta’s Alfred Novel School.

Yael Peña Soltero, a 9-year-old student at Banderas Bay’s Benito Juárez School, was the winner in the lower elementary category. He said he “learned to draw the marine turtle. They’re endangered and that’s why we must care for them by not throwing trash in the sea and not stealing their eggs.”

This event marked the start of the marine turtle season, which will conclude on November 30th.

Call for Entries for the Illustration Contest

The Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas (ITBB by its Spanish acronym), the Grupo de Investigación de Mamíferos Marinos (GRIMMA by its Spanish acronym) and Vaitiare began their call for entries for a contest to illustrate a storybook on environmental conservation aimed at children 6-10 years of age,

Mexican illustrators from all over the Republic are welcome to participate. The award ceremony will take place during National Conservation Week, celebrated from October 25-31 at the ITBB. The winner will take home $3,000 Mexican pesos. For rules and regulations visit

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Mitch and Vicki Schilling’s dream to create a library and community center in the town of Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico was born about a year ago. With high season coming to an end, and lots of free time on his hands, Mitch began actively searching for a location. He signed a 3-year lease on May 5th, and he and his team immediately began transforming the vacant building.

They have received an outpouring of community support and volunteers are stepping forward. Williams, a local electrician and plumber, has begun working on the electrical upgrades for a reduced fee; Pedro has volunteered to paint the building’s exterior using donated paint; Alonso, a local DJ and builder, is in the process of remodeling the kitchen counters free of charge; Martin, a local welder, will secure the windows and build handrails for the front steps without charging labor; Eric, the owner of TecnoCom in La Peñita, has offered technical assistance and support for the computer lab at a reduced rate; and Mitch and Victor Carrillo Contreras are working with Selena Cardenas, the lead librarian of the Universidad Tecnológica de Bahía de Banderas, to organize the library and stock the shelves.

El Centro de La Gente is well on its way to becoming a reality.

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Entrance and reception area

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Computer lab

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Library, reading room and kitchen

The interior work should be completed in a few weeks and they hope to open the doors to El Centro on July 15th, however, Mitch admits “that may be a little optimistic.”

Mitch and Vicky have relied on a team of consultants to bounce their ideas off, including David and Jacque Graff, Community Outreach Committee Chair for Amigos de Lo de Marcos. They have also garnered support from the board of directors and members of Amigos de Lo de Marcos; Memo at Galvan Real Estate who offered to manage the El Centro Facebook page; Jane Maroni who volunteered her time to beautify the street-side planters and the backyard garden area; and Victor Carrillo Contreras, who has been invaluable with translations, book donations, facilitating visits with government officials and more.

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The first donations of books for the library!

About El Centro de La Gente

El Centro de La Gente is a new community center that will offer a variety of activities and services to the children and adults of Lo de Marcos, including:

  • Lending library filled with books in Spanish
  • Computer lab with 8 computers so teenagers can do their homework, study and research using the internet
  • Designated reading space where parents can read to younger children and where volunteers can teach those who do not know how to read
  • Space allocated for an English book exchange
  • Play area stocked with educational toys
  • Backyard with African keyhole garden with organic vegetables
  • Seed bank where local farmers and plant lovers can exchange seeds

The building is located at Avenida Emiliano Zapata #37, one block southwest of main street between Calle Naranjo and Calle Adama (view Map of Lo de Marcos). They plan to be open from 10am-8pm, six days a week. El Centro will be staffed by a full-time paid director and staff. The interviewing process will begin soon, so if anyone is interested or knows of a qualified candidate, please contact Mitch immediately. They are also looking for volunteers and people who are willing to share their ideas.

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Newly painted exterior

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Planters filled with a variety of flowers and herbs near the entrance

How YOU Can Help

1) Financial Support – A monetary gift is the easiest way to give. Donations of money will be used to pay rent and to furnish the facility, as well as pay the wages of the contract people who will work at the center. Donations may be made via mail, direct deposit, email money transfer, in person or PayPal.

2) Donate Time and Items – We need Spanish language books for children, teenager and adults, as well as new or gently used desktop and laptop computers for the computer lab, bookshelves for the library and other furniture to furnish El Centro.

3) Volunteer – We are always looking for volunteers and people who are willing to share their ideas.

4) Follow El Centro de La Gente – You can watch our progress on the El Centro de La Gente community webpage on Jaltemba Bay Life and via our Facebook page.

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Back side of building

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Shaded area for reading and playing games

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The backyard will be transformed into an African keyhole garden and seed bank

by Allyson Williams

About El Centro de La Gente: El Centro de La Gente is a new community center that will offer a variety of activities and services to the children and adults of Lo de Marcos, including a lending library with Spanish books, computer lab, designated reading space, play area stocked with educational toys, backyard with African keyhole garden with organic vegetables, seed bank where local farmers and plant lovers can exchange seeds. To learn more or to make a donation, visit El Centro de La Gente.

Up until last week, I had only heard rumors about the infamous Lluvia de Oro tree. While driving from La Peñita to Rincón de Guayabitos, I noticed three bright yellow trees on the west side of the highway. Knowing that the Primavera trees were finished blooming, I suspected I might be in luck.

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Lluvia de Oro, also known as the Golden Shower tree, Amaltas and Cassia Fistula, is a small to medium-size tree which can reach 30-40 feet tall. Its shiny green leaves drop in April, and by late spring the entire tree turns into a show stopping burst of lemon-yellow. When in full bloom (May-June or early July), the trees are covered with long grape-like clusters of countless delicate yellow flowers – it almost appears as if they have yellow lace dripping from their branches. The leaves begin to return as the flowering progresses, with foliage totally restored by July.

Editor’s Note: You can also learn more about the gorgeous reddish-orange flowers of the Tabachín tree shown on the right side of the photo.

Lluvia de Oro DSC09648

Lluvia de Oro trees attract bees, butterflies and birds and are widely grown in tropical and subtropical areas around the world for their ornamental and medicinal properties.

The flowers are followed by 2-foot-long, round, slender and woody bean pods which contain several seeds. The fruit/pods emerge green, but mature to black, and can remain on the tree until the following year.

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Lluvia de Oro DSC09664

These three trees are located on the lateral between Calle Tukan and Calle Colibri in Rincón de Guayabitos. Sra. Marta, the property owner, kindly gave me a few cuttings so I could photograph the flowers up close.

Lluvia de Oro DSC09585
Lluvia de Oro DSC09557

by Allyson Williams

View more plants in bloom under the Flora & Fauna: Plants & Trees category.

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

I have been living in Mexico for a year and a half. In two short weeks we leave to make our way to the Marshall Islands to set up our next base camp. I have valuable insight. Life in Mexico can be amazing. If you approach it the right way. Here is a survival guide on how to make the most of living in Mexico, or at least… HOW TO SURVIVE.

Whatever the reason for you living in Mexico, or thinking about living in Mexico, this guide will work for you. Teenager, retiree, diver, surfer, mommy, twenty-something, hippy, construction worker, European, family of a deportee. If you follow these steps to make the most of your experience, it will be one of the most amazing things you ever did for yourself.

I am a cultural anthropologist. A writer. A world traveler. A mommy. A teacher. A professor. A dreamer. A happiness-finder and outdoor adventurer and respectful human being. And this is how I survived.

How I Survived Living in Mexico

1. I Abandoned my Materialistic Philosophy. Had to. Upon moving here, one of my goals was this exact thing. And the second my foot stepped off the plane, I made a vow to abandon this idea that things and people are judged by materialism and to try to erase it from my mind. This was the launch of a beginning to see the world in a whole new light and not clouded by a materialistic philosophy. Mexico will never provide the comforts and luxuries that we are used to in the US. And the beautiful thing is that it doesn’t claim to, or necessarily ever want to. So do yourself a favor and leave your materialism behind because it will get you nowhere here. And if it does happen to get you somewhere, that will not be a place of truth for really ‘living’ here.

2. I Kept an Open Mind. No judgment. Of anything. Even when required.There is lots of weird shit to see and do here. And it’s pretty easy to race to a judgment about how those things are crazy, unsafe, unsanitary, or stupid. But do yourself a favor and don’t. Because it’s not fair. And because for every unrefrigerated chicken, there is a life lesson to be learned. For every hot dog slice on a pizza and family on a moped, there is a lesson. Spend more time trying to figure out that life lesson than judging like an ignorant American. Keep an open mind.

Living in Mexico Crystal Blue 6

3. I Embraced Everything. I tried every food, talked to every person, and embraced the hell out of this opportunity. I never once took it for granted and said ‘I hate Mexico’, ‘if only they had…,’ no. If you wish it was different then go home. If you accept it for what it is and seek out the beauty and freedom and embrace these unique opportunities, then you will survive and thrive farther than you can even dream.

4. I Worked with Mexicans. I taught at a school as a full-time faculty member. Just like everyone else there. Except I was the only white person. With blonde hair. Sticking out like a sore thumb. But I did it. I challenged myself to learn, grow, adapt, and excel teaching at a spanish Mexican school. This is immersion to the fullest. I mingled everyday and had professional expectations, conferences, and was responsible for rearing future generation Mexicans. A heavy weight for a blonde American. And walking home from school everyday through town, I was stared into the ground by tourists not believing I was lucky enough to live here. I mean… who lives here? It’s for vacation. And same with the locals. Not believing that I lived and worked here. The uniform shirt was a dead giveaway and I think it gave me respectable status.

Living in Mexico Crystal Blue 2

5. I Adventured Everyday. Every damn day. My daughter and I got up at the crack to go conquer some new world, fulfill another dream, and live out another adventure. My adventure bag has been packed since we got here. It never gets a chance to get unpacked. I have it down to a science. Sunscreen, snorkels, masks, water shoes, water bottles, camera, sunglasses. Ready for anything. Climbing ancient ruins, jumping and swimming in new cenotes, free diving, snorkeling turtle pathways, kayaking, horseback riding, scuba diving, beach-combing, camping, boating, biking, dreamcatcher shopping, or just plain happy hour drinking. On the beach. While having a sandcastle contest with local policia who should be manning the taxi stand, but are instead loving life too much to be bothered and enjoy a face-off with a 6 year old in a mermaid sandcastle contest. Every day is an adventure. Everyday the sun is shining. And when it’s not, you are thankful for the clouds and rain. Everyday a new adventure awaits, a new country, new people, new places, new food, new random conditions and amazing paradise adventures await. Don’t sit around on wifi. Don’t lay around and get high all day or mope about missing McDonalds. Get off your ass and go adventure Mexico.

6. I Ate Street Tacos. I hear many people are scared of these things. What a shame. Because herein lies the heartbeat of Mexico. Like in America, it’s Chevy, a damn car. Heartbeat of America. Here, it’s the food. Tortillas, empanadas, burritos, enchiladas. It’s all the same thing. Tortillas in various form. All greasy and delicious. All local. And all better than the fancy steakhouses lit up brightly for the tourists too scared to venture onto the side-street. Do yourself a favor and eat the street tacos. To fulfill a physical need. But also a psychological one. Eating street tacos is the rite of passage to becoming a legit Mexican traveler and more open-minded human being. And they are an immense part of Mexican culture. Go ahead, see what they’re all about. I promise they won’t kill you.

7. I Made Mexican Friends. Yes. Mainly from work. And then all of my daughter’s friends. And my best friend here too. They showed us a different way of life. Different culture, activities, and perspective on the world. I got the inside scoop. If you don’t do this, you don’t really live in Mexico. Because the people are the life. Open your mind. Open your heart. Open your tortilla. And fill it all with some amazing Mexican friends who will turn your value system upside down and show you a different life that exists a country away.

8. I Took Advantage of the Freedom. Mexico offers a level of freedom that hardly even exists in the US, even behind the scenes. I wear flip flops and a bikini everyday. Never a bra. Never heels or makeup. I can walk down the street with a beer. I can ride public transportation barefoot. I can grocery shop in a bikini and I can even swim at the beach naked if I so choose. I could ride an ATV down the street with traffic, sleep on the side of the road, and bring drinks from the gas station into a restaurant with me. Everything is chill. Mexicans choose their battles. And does it really matter? It’s deeper than just rules. It’s the beauty of self-regulation. And right choices. The freedom to think, and believe, and do, and achieve, whatever you want, without being herded and molded and restricted, that is so liberating. DO yourself a favor and feel this freedom too. Lick it, love it. It empowers the mind, body, and soul. And you will never forget that time you lived actually how you wanted. Walking through town barefoot, with a beer, no bra, no makeup, and no one to tell you that you are wrong. But with everyone to tell you that you are beautiful.

Living in Mexico Crystal Blue 11

9. I Learned the Language. Not fluently. Not even great. Or perfect like my 6 year old daughter (jealous…)! But I was open to learning what I could and ended up being able to communicate with everyone. I didn’t hold up a wall to learning and adapting to the ways of life here. And when you understand the concepts of the local language, you thereby understand so much more about the culture. And you earn respect as well. Even if the product isn’t great. But for caring, respecting, and trying. If you’re living in Mexico, you need to speak Spanish.

10. I Stayed Positive. Through all the trials and tribulations, which there were. I always stayed positive. My horchata was always half full.

11. I Stayed Strong. Similar to #10 yet different. I not only stayed strong in Mexico, but I grew strong here. This place takes strong to a whole new level. And I survived. I sort of feel that I have stood the test of time with this one. Sometimes I was not sure I would make it out of the pen, but I always did. And as an offset, things in my life here have been more amazing than I ever could have imagined. It’s not all glory. Some guts. But looking back, I am proud of those guts I suffered to get to this Mexican glory. This is an amazing place that has the ability to humble you to the basement and watch how you crawl, all with the mastermind plan that the process will place gratitude and humility into your heart like never before, where it will stay for the rest of your life. The hard is hard, but the lessons and the good is far beyond excellent.

Living in Mexico Crystal Blue 3

12. I Sought Out Life Lessons. Everyday I made sure to live consciously in order to gain the necessary life lessons that I was supposed to learn that day. Every good, every bad. Every challenge, every palm leaf, bike-ride, bead of sweat, cockroach, magical cenote, beach cabana, coconut, sun ray, raindrop, grain of sand, sunrise, sunset, new friendship, and old memory. It all happened for a reason. Every day was a life lesson. Which I wrote about and shared. Thankful to be out on this road living this life having these lessons so that I can send them all home. And maybe change your home, or neighborhood, or town, or family too. Because life lessons aren’t just found in Mexico. Sometimes it takes Mexico to show us that lessons lie in everyday life. In the beauty of flowers and children and tears. But, even though they exist, most of us don’t tap into these lessons because we are too busy, or too tired, or just don’t care. Well this year and a half I cared. And I came to live these lessons and see for myself. And if you have been reading along with me, thank you, and I hope you have learned something alongside me.

So when I use the word ‘survive’ I actually mean ‘how did I survive before Mexico?’ Because living here for this year and a half has been the best gift I ever gave myself. I not only survived, but I thrived and thrived and thrived. If you follow all of these steps, I promise you will survive Mexico just fine too. It’s not that bad really. It’s amazing. And I will miss it terribly. Thank you, Mexico.

by Crystal Blue

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Crystal for allowing us to republish this article. Crystal traveled through Cozumel, Tulum and the Mayan Riviera. You can follow her next adventure to the Marshall Islands via her Facebook page: The Blonde Mexican Project.

If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

TV Azteca’s domestic campaign, “Limpiemos Nuestro México” (Let’s Clean Up Our Mexico), celebrated its sixth year on Sunday, May 25th. The Nayarit Ecologists Group requested to be part of this project, and thus participate with the cleanup of Nayarit. This civic association is dedicated exclusively to the operation of the El Naranjo Turtle Camp, which is located on the beach just north of La Peñita de Jaltemba and is part of the Costa Capomo development.

Ricardo Villaseñor, president of the association and the person in charge of the camp, worked together with his team to unite over 50 locals to take part in the cleanup of seven kilometers of virgin beach. “It’s important to begin the beach cleanup in June, because the sea turtles will arrive soon. We also put together three more cleanups besides this one during the course of the year, basically one every two months once the rainy season starts,” he explained. The rainy season brings in the most trash as the rivers flow to the sea, taking with them all the waste, which washes back up onshore. It then creates an obstacle course for the turtles.

Francisco Mendez, regional delegate for the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (FONATUR), was present at the event, participating in the cleanup with his family alongside the rest of the locals. Families from Tepic, Compostela, Bahía de Banderas and Puerto Vallarta all came together for this cleanup. Afterwards, they all enjoyed a family day at the camp’s beach facilities.

“Limpiemos Nuestro México” is an annual domestic campaign inviting citizens to participate in the biggest cleanup in the history of the country, raising awareness along the way for people to put trash where it belongs. The Riviera Nayarit was part of this important environmental consciousness movement, which brought together over 85 million volunteers who cleaned up 42 thousand tons of trash on the aforementioned date.

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Hundreds of bikers from all over Mexico and abroad will flock to Rincón de Guayabitos for the 8th Annual Motofiesta. This year, the event will take place on June 5-8 and it promises to be a fun-filled weekend. Approximately 500 bikers and thousands of fans participated in last year’s motorcycle parade, contests and concerts.

Motofiesta Guayabitos 2014
Date: Thursday, June 5 to Sunday, June 8
Place: Rincón de Guayabitos

Here is the full schedule (right-click to view larger format)…

Motofiesta Jueves 2014  Motofiesta Viernes 2014
Motofiesta Sabado 2014  Motofiesta Domingo 2014

The final qualifying round of the World Championship Cadets and Juniors WAKO (Kickboxing) is also coming to Guayabitos. The event is scheduled for June 14 and will include Full Contact, Low Kick (Kickboxing), K1, Kick Light and Light Contact Continuous Fight for beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced and black belt levels. Awards will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the Combat, Katas, Self Defense and Black Belt categories.

Open Martial Arts: Costa del Pacifico 2014
Saturday, June 14
Place: Hotel Casablanca Resort, Rincón de Guayabitos

For more information or to register to participate, visit

Martial Arts Poster 2014
Wako Poster 2014

The 54th Annual San Blas/Riviera Nayarit Fishing Tournament will take place on May 28th through June 1st at the Marina Fonatur in the historic Port of San Blas, according to a press conference held by the Organizing Committee together with Nayarit’s Secretary of Tourism, Raúl Rodrigo Pérez.

The bounty for the winners totals more than four million Mexican pesos and includes nine new cars, boat motors and professional fishing equipment. Those who can beat the current record of 70kg for a sailfish will win a car, and another one will be raffled among all of the other participants that didn’t already win one.

“This year we’re expecting to surpass the 63-boat registration record we established last year, and thus keep our status as the best fishing tournament in the Mexican Pacific,” said Francisco Navarrete Buhaya, General Manager of the Riviera Nayarit Fishing Tournament.

The Riviera Nayarit is considered one of the top sport-fishing destinations in the world thanks to its exceptional climate, marine conditions and species diversity. “There are older tournaments than that of San Blas, however, since 2010 it has gained notoriety as the best, thanks to its capture records, the amount of registered vessels, and of course, the prize money and awards we give out,” commented Buhaya.

There are three categories: sailfish, marlin and dorado. Every year, the top winner in each category is entered into the “Hall of Fame.” This year they’ll be welcoming anglers from Nayarit, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Guanajuato and Veracruz among other states, as well as sportsmen from the United States and Canada.

“The Board we have in place today has teamed up perfectly with the State Government and the Riviera Nayarit CVB. All the promotions the event has received thus far has brought in great sponsors, and every year their support grows,” acknowledged Francisco Navarrete.

Besides the San Blas event, the 3rd International Fishing Tournament in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle will also be held later this year on October 15-19.

Those who are interested in participating in these tournaments are invited to visit the official page of the Tepic Sport Fishing Club at

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB

Rincón de Guayabitos was inundated with Volkswagens, music and lots of good energy during this year’s Guayafest. This, the 15th Annual Reunion de Amigos del Volkswagen, appeared to attract about the same number of vehicles, but far fewer people. The exhibit began to wind down late afternoon, but the streets were still filled with cars and there was no traffic flowing in either direction during the event.

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As usual, there were some hot rods.

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And my personal favorite – I can think of a much better use for a keg, than as a gas tank!

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Avenida del Sol Nuevo (main street) was blocked off and patrolled near the entrance to town and both lanes were closed to traffic.

Parking was definitely at a premium in and around the entire plaza…

Guayafest 2014 1
Guayafest 2014 8
Guayafest 2014 2
Guayafest 2014 3
Guayafest 2014 10

by David Thompson

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This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

May is a month of intense activity in the Riviera Nayarit, and the town of Rincón de Guayabitos is front and center with an invitation to its 15th annual Guayafest, held on the 17th and 18th of the month. This yearly encounter of Volkswagen vehicles – most of them classics – awaits approximately 400 participants from all over the Mexican Republic and some from the United States. The founder of the TPC Bugs Club, Eduardo Zermeño, said that because there are so many participants, they will only be holding an exhibit this year.

“Because it’s our 15th year, we’re going to have a ‘bug’ party, basically just an exhibition,” said Zemeño. “We usually qualify the vehicles, but because we’re expecting so many cars this year, we’re going to turn it into a party.”

The event starts on Saturday, May 17 with a parade at 5pm through the town of Guayabitos, that will end at the main plaza with free music and drinks. Registration opens on Sunday, May 18 at 8am, and the exhibit kicks off at 11am with a 4-hour concert offered by Nayarit’s Señor Mezcalito.

This event showcases modified automobiles and seeks to conserve the Volkswagen brand and its originality, not to mention the fact that it’s a great excuse to spend a few days on the beaches of the Riviera Nayarit. “This is a family-oriented event, and from what we’ve seen in the Guayabitos hotel occupancy, we can assume that it’s above 80% so far,” added the founder.

All of the registered participants will be given a commemorative trophy celebrating the 15th anniversary of the event, so they will be motivated to continue the tradition.

“The truth is we’ve had a lot of support from the State Tourism department, the Riviera Nayarit CVB and the Municipal Tourism Office during the past 15 years, as well as help from the hotel association. We’re trying to increase tourism to our beautiful state of Nayarit,” concluded Eduardo Zermeño.

Guayafest 2014 Poster

Guayafest 2014: 15th Annual Reunion de Amigos
del Volkswagen

Dates: Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18
Place: Plaza in Rincón de Guayabitos
Cost: Free

Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB



Some friends invited my dad and I to join them on a quad ride a few weeks ago. Their plan was to visit a coffee plantation near the town of El Capomo, Nayarit, Mexico. We packed a small cooler, lubed up with suntan lotion, grabbed our sunglasses and cameras and we were ready for our afternoon adventure. George and Donna Steensma arrived in their quads promptly at 9:30am. We buckled up and drove to the La Peñita Trailer Park to meet up with Bob and Shirley Lewis. Within a few minutes, we were all heading north on the highway.

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We pulled off at the entrance to El Tonino. From there, we left the smooth blacktop roads and cobblestone streets and endured winding trails and rugged terrain for the next 5 hours.

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We arrived at a small coffee roasting plant seemingly in the middle of nowhere. There were two separate drying areas; one for fresh picked fruit called coffee cherries (above) and another for hulled beans (below). I lost track of time, but if I had to guess, it took us about 2 hours to get here from La Peñita.

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Porfidio, the owner, explained the cleaning, hulling and drying process he uses. During the harvesting season, he hires 12-15 people to help him pick the cherries, and while he did sell a small bag of ground coffee to someone in our group, my understanding was that the majority of the coffee was grown for his own consumption (which is improbable unless he drinks 100 cups a day).

Williams Quad Ride March 2014_0868W

He uses this mechanical huller/pulper machine to remove the husks from the cherries. Once dried, the beans are roasted.

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I did my best to translate all this information to the crew.

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The small adobe buildings dotting the property were charming.

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We thanked Porfidio, hopped back on the quads and away we went.

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Into the jungle…

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Through a babbling creek…

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And right by these little piggies’ makeshift home.

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The trails, vegetation and scenery changed in a blink of an eye.

About an hour later, Bob spotted some coffee plants lining the trail. We stopped to take a closer look and to eat lunch. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a pickup truck piled high with coffee bags drove by. A few minutes later, the driver returned and asked if we wanted to see his ranch. Of course we did; we were on an adventure!

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Enrique showed us his small processing plant where he and his family pick, hull, ferment, sun dry and bag their coffee. He takes his bagged beans to Tepic, where it is exported and sold in the United States.

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Enrique’s family didn’t seem to mind the fact that we interrupted their Sunday afternoon routine. I’m guessing they don’t get too many visitors here in this very remote ranch in the jungle.

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It was getting late, so we headed back home.

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Another friendly family along the way.

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Making the boys eat a little dust!

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We returned to Rincón de Guayabitos around 3pm, a few pounds heavier from all the sweat, dust and dirt we accumulated along the ride – and oh-so-ready for a long, hot shower and a cold beer. Thank you George, Donna, Bob and Shirley for letting us tag along.

P.S. A special thank you to George who enthusiastically agreed to attach my awesome newly-found steer head to the top of his quad (see photo #4) so it could hitch hike home!

Williams Quad Ride March 2014_0932W

If you ever get an opportunity to go quadding, say yes! Just be prepared to get really, really dirty. My dad joked that he had never seen his daughter so dirty; and while that may be true, I am glad that we documented this memorable Mexican moment!

If you enjoy Nayarit coffee, you can learn more in an article entitled Tour of Coffee Plantation in Mesillas.

by Allyson Williams
photos by Roger Williams

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

Puerto Vallarta-based music enthusiast Paco Ojeda has accepted an invitation to present his very successful music appreciation lecture, “Ten Great Songs and Their Stories,” at EntreAmigos on Thursday, April 10, 6-8pm. The one-time event will be offered in English.

“This will be a different kind of journey,” commented Ojeda, who is known as Managing Editor for the Vallarta Lifestyles Publishing Group. “The number of truly remarkable songs out there is unimaginable. I’ve selected ten songs that I’ve come across that truly shine, because of the fascinating stories behind them, or the ones told by their lyrics. There are great composers and lyricists out there, and some of the choices will be familiar, while others will be brand-new discoveries for some.”

Ojeda is quick to admit he uses the word “lecture” with hesitation. “At home, my friends and I gather frequently to hang out, listen to music and talk about what we like about specific pieces,” he explains. “So the philosophy behind these musical encounters has more to do with sharing and inspiring, rather than with teaching.” Prior to this event, Ojeda has offered free introductory lectures to many of the operas broadcast live from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, presented at Teatro Vallarta. He has also been a guest lecturer at Puerto Vallarta’s Youth Orchestra Pitillal campus.

Some of the composers featured in “Ten Great Songs and Their Stories” include Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, and music theater composer/lyricist Adam Gwon, who has provided Ojeda with personal insights about his song chosen for the lecture. Hailed as “a promising newcomer to out talent-hungry musical theater” by The New York Times, Gwon has penned several musicals produced at the Roundabout Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, South Coast Repertory, and many other theaters around the globe, including in London’s West End. A song from his musical Ordinary Days will be showcased during the lecture.

The audience will learn about each song’s unique background through specially-produced videos with lyrics that will projected, providing distraction-free understanding of their meaning in each song.

“Ten Great Songs and Their Stories” will be presented at EntreAmigos on Thursday, April 10, at 6pm. Tickets are $100 pesos per person, available at EntreAmigos. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to EntreAmigos by the presenter. “This project has been dear to my heart for many years. It is a pleasure to find creative ways to contribute to it even more,” he commented.

Ten Great Songs and Their Stories

A 90-minute Entertaining Music Appreciation Lecture by Paco Ojeda

Date: Thursday, April 10
6-8 pm
Place: EntreAmigos, Avenida Tercer Mundo #12, San Pancho (website)
Price: $100 pesos per person

Paco Ojeda-mid

Celebrate the unique talent of one-of-a-kind composers and lyricists through video performances of their songs.

Paco Ojeda is Managing Editor at Vallarta Lifestyles Publishing Group. He received a degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, and lectures about classical and popular music locally.

Praise for Paco Ojeda’s Music Appreciation Lectures

“I was extremely humbled, honored and more appreciative than I thought possible for your lecture on our Acústico CD.”

– Kim Kuzma, singer/songwriter

“A great musician and presenter. A brilliant idea and addition to the booming music and theater scene in Puerto Vallarta”

– Sharon Baughman, singer and vocal coach

“I love learning more about what we already love!”

– Julie Guerrero, owner, No Way José!

For more information, feel free to contact Paco Ojeda directly at

I am a fish taco junky. For me, they are the quintessential hand-held Mexican comfort food. I am especially fond of the traditional baja-style tacos… you know, those beer battered, deep fried morsels of goodness wrapped in warm corn tortillas, topped with crisp cabbage and served with a mayo-based sauce. With that said, I am certainly not opposed to thinking outside the baja-style taco box and ordering grilled or sauteed tacos or those topped with mango, peach, pineapple and other fruit salsas. In my humble opinion, all fish tacos, no matter the style, should be required to have either a spicy chipotle or chile de arbol salsa available for drizzling, dipping or dunking.

I recruited my hubby and a few willing friends to join me in my quest to find “the best” fish tacos in our area. We visited several popular establishments known for their fish and shrimp tacos.

Here are our very flavorable findings…

Hinde y Jaime’s, La Peñita

For anyone who has ever visited the Jaltemba Bay area, chances are you’ve stopped by Hinde y Jaime’s Restaurant in La Peñita for their famous fish and shrimp tacos. They are pretty much the epitome of the perfect baja-style taco. They start with warm corn tortillas spread with just the right amount of mayo, then wrap them around deliciously moist lightly battered and fried pieces of mahi-mahi or shrimp topped with shredded cabbage, carrots and pickled onions… and serve them with a side of Hinde’s tomatillo salsa. Their tacos are served a la carte, and at only $10 pesos a piece you can afford to try at least one of each.

My usual “dos y dos” (two fish tacos and two shrimp tacos).

Hinde y Jaime’s casual atmosphere and friendly service attracts locals and expats alike. Often times, you’ll find Jaime sitting at the bar chatting with the regulars, Hinde working her magic in the kitchen and Patty (their daughter),  Javier and Jorge behind the bar making margaritas, daiquiris and other popular tropical drinks. They also offer a full menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner items that are worth trying as well. Go my friends and try these tacos. I’d be willing to bet that they’ll make their way into your day dreams!

Visit Hinde y Jaime’s Bar & Restaurant webpage to view their full menu, hours, location and more.

Baja Takeria, San Pancho

Baja Takeria offers a wide variety of tacos, burritos and salads, along with ceviche, burgers and such. The tacos come a la carte and are served with a side of their garlic pico de gallo and three salsas: spicy chile de arbol, creamy chipotle and crema (instead of the traditional mayo). We ordered the Pescado Baja Taco (Baja-style fish taco), Camaron Mezteño Taco (sauteed shrimp taco in garlic and chipotle sauce with cheese, which is more like a quesadilla than a taco) and the Marlin Conquistador Taco (smoked marlin taco with cheese). All three tacos were darn tasty, and while I am admittedly a baja-style taco fan, our vote was unanimously tied between the Mezteño and Conquistador. I also recommend washing your tacos down with one of their Micheladas, which they happen to serve without Clamato.

(top) Pescado Baja and Camaron Mezteño. (bottom) Baja Takeria’s Michelada and their creative taco menu.

The bistro-like atmosphere at Baja Takeria is charming, the food is fresh and the staff is friendly, attentive and they have a sense of humor… on nearly every page of their menu, it says “Relax, you’re on vacation! Each dish is prepared at the moment you order, we appreciate your patience.”

P.S. Learning about Baja Takeria online last season actually inspired me to write this story. Right then and there, I started thinking about how much fun I’d have writing it – and dreaming about how many fish tacos I’d have to consume to research it.

Stay tuned! You’ll find our findings on more local taco joints in an upcoming issue of our newsletter as we continue our quest for the best fish tacos in and around Jaltemba Bay. If you have other favorite fish taco places, please email them to or post a comment below and we will gladly put them to the test!

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This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

Some of you will know either me or Charlie, others won’t, but that doesn’t matter. What is important is the amazing, crazy journey that we had. Now if you do know Charlie, you will understand; otherwise, you may want to meet this crazy guy.

Well it all started out as innocent dinner conversation. Friends of ours were discussing going to the waterfalls by San Blas. Most of us hadn’t been there, but Charlie had. He proceeded to describe the story of a tunnel built by the nationals on one of the routes to the falls. This was exciting and interesting information, so we decided to all go to the falls together.

Well as things happen in Mexico, we couldn’t all get together on the same day to do the trip, so a few of us went early and the rest of us went the following week. So far, sounds like no biggie right! Our friends go and report they had a great time. The road was a little rough, but not too bad. So the plan starts for our trip, going by the other road so we can go through the man-made tunnel with Charlie.

We meet bright and early at 9 in the morning at the north Pemex. Everyone is a chatter, excited and prepared for this adventure. We head north to Las Varas, but the day starts off with a small glitch. Someone who was driving, me, was too busy talking (big surprise) and missed taking the lateral at the entrance to Las Varas. Now I knew where we were headed, and I knew that I was suppose to exit, but oh well, no biggie, we continue on through a few sets of lights until we can exit to the lateral. Ok, so now we are roaming around the back streets of Las Varas wondering where Charlie is and wondering if he is waiting for us. A short phone conversation later and we are back together.

Now I am no slow babe when it comes to driving, those who know me can attest to that; but, I must say, I can’t compete with Charlie. It was already a wild ride on the road to San Blas, dodging topes, potholes, passing on bridges and curves…

Brakes slam on up ahead of me as I round a curve and Charlie pulls across the highway into a parking lot and he jumps out. He says, look at the great view. Wow, it was great, crashing waves, large rocks and blue as far as the eye can see. We take a breath, hop back into the vehicles and the chase is on… not too much further down the highway Charlie signals and pulls off to the right onto a dusty dirt road. After a little jockeying to get around the bend we are on the road to the falls. Ahhhhh lovely isn’t it. Around the first bend in the road we encounter a backhoe digging. Hmmm not so good, so here we are flagged past, we have to drive up on the bank tipped all most over on our side to get by, but no worries. Now that was exciting. Ok so now my Check Engine light is on; but that is nothing it has been flickering on and off for the past few days.

Not a 4X4

The road is a little rough, but we are in the jungle; traveling past pastures and a few animals at a fast rate of speed, maybe 10 kms an hour… but who cares we are here for the day. Soon a few ruts appear, we dodge a few rocks, ride over a tree root, up the shoulder and stop at a Y in the road. Whew the road has to get better, right!

Poor Car

Everyone gets out, ok so our bones are broke, I am not going to stop the car in case it doesn’t start again… just walk off the pain everyone – have a look! We all have a pow wow and decide not to go through the plantation and stick to the road. It has to get better right!

Up the hill, around a curve, dodge more rocks (bigger now), through a few ruts and up across a hill and we turn left. By now I am hanging back a little, just waiting to see where Charlie drives and what he hits with his car before I make a commitment on which way to go. We are now going to take a sharp left, Charlie’s car heads off up a steep embankment and gravity gives way and he lands down about 4 feet on the trail heading left. After seeing this, I slow down to save some undercarriage for another trip – just as I am about to give a little gas to take off over the embankment, my car grounds to a halt. Here I am, high centered, stuck on the trail… we are no longer calling this a road… and trail may be a bit too optimistic. So everyone gets out of the car again. The road must get better right?

Ok, I have 4 wheel drive, right… no I have winter and power drive. What! I thought that was 4 wheel drive. Not so. Anyway, they push, they pull, I reverse, I go forward, ok so now the tow rope comes out. Charlie backs up and we attach the tow rope and give my poor little deceitful car (not a 4 wheel drive ) a tug. Ok, that is great over the hump. Hmmm now my gas tank says ¼ full. Can’t be we just filled up… but the good news is my Check Engine light is now off. We are now also on the trail headed left. Everyone huddles around, beautiful view, great time, wow bumps are hard on the back, ow my neck hurts and Charlie’s wife, who has a bad back, isn’t speaking anymore just omitting the occasional moan… Ok back in the car and Charlie hollers, “the road has to get better right!”

Next stop a few minutes later to view a creek… hmmm should we go around, go through or give up. I declare that I am just going to leave my car, walk out and say it is stolen. Everyone laughs out loud… but I wasn’t really kidding, just testing. The road has to get better right!

I follow Charlie through the creek, at a safe distance. Splash. Wheee everyone having fun bumping around… well not so much, it is awfully quiet in the back seat except for the occasional ouch when my friends hit the roll bar with their heads.

Ok, around the bend and I catch up to Charlie – he is stopped. There is the tunnel he declares, as he is getting out of the Suburban. Wow, we all agree. This is cool. We are not driving through that someone asks… yup. It’s filled with water and mud, fairly long and dark. There is only room for one car and you probably couldn’t get your door open if you stopped in the middle. The road will get better right!

Bats! The Tunnel

We all walk through the tunnel, the bats take offense and take off skimming over the top of our heads to the delight of all… well maybe not all. Cool, ahhh wow, this was really worth it, right? This is a trip for a horse or a mule someone declares.

“Ok back in the cars,” Charlie hollers again. He takes off through the tunnel, looks easy. Most walk the tunnel and wait on the other side. I drive through the tunnel thinking that I can climb out the back of my car, out the back seat if I get stuck. Sure, like that will happen. Anyway, out through the tunnel I emerge. Lots of photos later we all take off again. “Just one mire creek and we are getting close to the waterfalls,” Charlie declares. Oh right, we are going to the waterfalls, we almost forgot. They had better be good. Sure wish we had brought beer.

We are all enthusiastic, yeah right! Through the creek and up a steep hill Charlie goes. I am just heading across the creek, water splashing into my car yelling “yeehaw” when I see Charlie skidding going up the steep hill. And here it stops, no really, his car skids back and forth, no amount of effort is going to move it. He backs up and tries again. Nope we are stuck. I still sigh that we should walk out and say our cars were stolen. My friends wonder idly how a tow truck would get here. Hmmm no AMA here I am sure.

We look up at the top of the hill and there is a pickup truck just parked there. Wow, just our luck. Charlie goes up and asks him for a tow and he agrees. A few tries and a few pesos later, Charlie is heading up the hill (top photo). The truck driver is waiting up at the top to see if I make it; or if he will make more money today.

Ok, so here is the chance for my non-4X4 to prove itself. My friend hops in the back seat for weight, suggests I don’t hit the rocks (no really) and I step on the gas. Now I have to avoid where Charlie was spinning out and the rocks are polished and slippery – so off I go. Not too fast or I will skid, not to slow or I will end up stuck and slipping back down the hill… just right. Up, up, up, to everyone’s amazement, I make it up the embankment. We all thank our new friend, donate more pesos and take a breath. “We are really close now,” Charlie declares. Oh right the waterfall! The road has to get better right!

Yellow Brick Road

So we continue up the hill, then we reach the top of the trail and head right. At the very top of the hill we emerge from the valley and jungle onto a cobble stone road with paved sidewalks and yellow no parking markers. Really, I kid you not. It was so surreal that we all had to take photos. Not sure why or what, but it was just so crazy after the ride we had been on to come upon this in the middle of nowhere.

Trail to WaterfallWaterfall 2What Sea Monster

From here it was a short ride to a small palapa where we parked and headed off walking to the falls. The falls were amazing, the walk down the steps and the jungle trail to the falls was a little rough, but after that trip there was no way we were not going to finish this. My friend takes a cool dip and we take a rest and some photos. Of course, this is the perfect time to mention that this is how all of the horror movies start – a lady is swimming in a beautiful pool, in the jungle with a waterfall in the background and then all hell breaks loose. I happened to mention this theory to my friend swimming in the pool. We all laughed, then she got out. Ok, so back to the palapa for a quick breather and home.

So here is the rest of the story. From the palapa we drive a few minutes on a cobblestone road to a little town. Charlie knows a little store that sells beer and water. We all stand around on the step laughing and talking, and rubbing our sore bodies. Then back home on a good paved road… really we couldn’t have done that from the start? Nope we would have missed the tunnel.

Just to provide a little perspective, Charlie figures that we drove 10 km through the jungle by the tunnel road and it took us almost 3 hours.

On Friday, we are heading off to visit somewhere that the hot water bubbles up through the gravel and we can boil eggs for lunch. The road has to be better right!

by Rhonda Viau-Caron, Calgary

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The half dozen fishermen, conversing and patiently waiting for customers, suddenly were out of their seats at our arrival at the Cooperativo de Pescadores (Fishermen’s Cooperative) in Punta Mita. The closest one to me asked, “Quiere pescar o tour de Las Islas?” (Do you want to fish or a tour of The Islands). I noticed a look of disappointment on his face when I responded, “Buscamos a Rudi; tenemos reservacion con el” (We are looking for Rudi; we have a reservation with him).

The eight of us had come to Punta Mita to catch a boat to Las Islas Marietas, two islands formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago, now a nationally protected bird sanctuary. Our 20 minute trip to The Islands was lengthened somewhat by the appearance of a family of four humpback whales. Rudi slowed the boat, approaching as closely as possible, so we could see this marvel of nature.

Holly Trujillo Las Islas Marietas 202 Holly Trujillo Las Islas Marietas 203

There are 92 species of aquatic birds here, most notably the blue-footed boobie, only found in Las Islas Marietas and the Galapagos. The Islands are located just three miles off Punta Mita, about a 45 minute drive from our home in Los Ayala to the north, and 45 minutes to Puerto Vallarta to the south. After touring around The Islands, we spent the last 45 minutes snorkeling its reefs, which contain numerous species of coral and fish.

Holly Trujillo Las Islas Marietas 0053 Holly Trujillo Las Islas Marietas 1527

Time has flown by, and over half of our time here in Mexico is over. Our time has been divided between volunteering for Community Organizations, socializing with our North American and Mexican friends, and exploring new areas. As you know, I work with our annual breast cancer clinic, and Jeff and I are on the Steering Committee of our area’s community cultural center. In February, the Center sponsored a 50’s/60’s sock-hop, a fundraiser to benefit its operating costs. I “laughed till I cried” when Jeff’s outfit won “Best Dressed”. The prize should have been for “most dorky” dressed instead. (P.S. That is not me in the photo… I didn’t dress quite as dorky as Jeff; we were a sight to see). Five hours of dancing to the Oldies; it was so much fun.

Tomorrow we’ll be heading to the Interior of Mexico, south of Mexico City to the cities of Toluca (where President Obama, the Canadian Prime Minister and Mexican President recently met), Cuernavaca and Puebla. This area of Mexico is new for Jeff, a trip in celebration of another year of life for me also. There is so much to see in Mexico; we think we need another lifetime to cover it all.

by Holly Trujillo

For more information about booking a tour to the beautiful Las Islas Marietas, visit Eco-Aventours webpage.

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Spending an afternoon with Jane Maroni and Chris Nielsen at their Organic Design Studio in Lo de Marcos is an awe-inspiring experience. Their “eco-motion sculptures” are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They are a combination of art, engineering and design, and they will either draw you in or you won’t understand them at all. Part of Jane’s goal is to encourage all potential and current clients (as well as lovers and naysayers of their work) to sit under a palapa, sip a cocktail and watch the movement of their sculptures… and let them mentally and physically relax you. She says, “it takes the edge off for her, and that is priceless.”

These fabulous mobiles are made from things found in nature and repurposed. The organic shapes, gentle and fluid rotation and the way these sculptures somehow remain perfectly balanced in mid-air is absolutely mesmerizing. Each sculpture is an engineering marvel and trust me, you will want one in your home, office or business.

Solar” (above) showing off her beautiful dance

Jane Maroni 5

Jane is a true artist – eclectic, bold, brutally honest, a little wacky and utterly passionate about her craft. Chris on the other hand is laid back, soft-spoken and the logical thinker/engineer who brings Jane’s designs to life. They moved to Mexico to get away from the bustle and politics in the US. Originally, her plan was to make jewelry and let Chris fish, but she admits that “artists don’t always think their plan through.” They ended up settling in Lo de Marcos because they wanted to live in an authentic Mexican town, without a strong American, Canadian and European influence. They live simply here – they recycle, reuse and reduce their carbon footprint – but more importantly, Jane feels inspired here. One day, she hopes to write a book, and her true passion is jewelry… but that’s another story.

They both recall their first sculpture, a small piece made of twigs and shark teeth they found on the beach and strung together with dental floss. Jane says it is her “all-time favorite piece,” while Chris describes it as “pathetic.” Their organic art form grew from there, and they decided to open their outdoor studio in December 2012, which is still a work in progress.

Jane Maroni 6
“Hour Glass”

Each piece is a one-of-a-kind design. Their sculptures average 2-10 feet in size, although custom orders have been as large as 30 feet.

For more information, visit Jane Maroni’s “Eco-Motion Sculptures”

Jane Maroni DSC08088-500

by Allyson Williams

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San Pancho has announced their annual 3-day Music Festival will be held Friday, February 28th through Sunday, March 2nd in San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico. The Music Festival is celebrating its 14th year, and as always there will be no charge to the public due to the gracious contributions of the performing artists.

The Music Festival will feature performing artists from the region of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, as well as musicians from the United States and Latin America. The event will begin at 5pm each day, with performances up until 11pm each night. A schedule of performing artists and show times will soon be published on the Festival website as details emerge. Those interested can now subscribe to the latest news and updates as planning progresses.

San Pancho’s Music Festival is a vibrant, eclectic expression of performing art traditionally held annually for 3 days during the last weekend of February. It began informally in 2001 as a backyard venue of a local resident, and by 2006 included some 116 performers. It has progressively grown ever since, attracting some of the most colorful musicians from around the world. The Festival has become a cultural tradition in San Pancho.

Traditionally there is no fee to attend, and performers are not paid. The Festival is entirely supported by the gracious contributions of local musicians and international recording artists, and by the local residents of San Pancho. Artists come to play because they enjoy performing in the intimate venue and magical surroundings of San Pancho. It is a truly wonderful balance of amateurs and professional performers coming together for 3 days to share an unforgettable and enriching musical experience in one of the most beautiful regions of Mexico. Donations are encouraged, but there is no intent for the Festival to profit from the performances. Additionally, proceeds from sales of music and video CDs go directly to the performing artists.

San Pancho Music Festival 2014-3
San Pancho Music Festival 2014-4San Pancho Music Festival 2014-5

This year the Music Festival welcomes back some of the crowd favorites from our prior years, including:

  • Tatewari
  • Jeff Oster
  • Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars
  • Steve O’Connor
  • Olivia de la Cruz
  • Dos Bertos y Las Musa
  • and others

For the latest updates to the performance schedule, or for further details on the event’s history and directions to Plaza del Sol, please visit the San Pancho Music Festival website.

To be automatically informed of Festival news and latest changes, take advantage of the Festival’s email subscription service on the website.

by Chris Parsons

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Announcing “Bessie and Her Mark Twain,” a sweet and nostalgic story about one of American’s true heroes told by the woman closest to him. This one-woman play portrays 13 important characters of this period, sharing the story of humanitarian and poet Mark Twain/Samuel Clements. This is a benefit performance for the new performances space and cultural project in San Pancho called “La Bodega Teatro San Pancho.”

Date: Friday, February 21, 2014
Time: 7pm Curtain Call
Place: Avenida Tercer Mundo #21, San Pancho

Tickets: Reserve at before Friday to receive advance purchase price $200 pesos. $250 pesos at the door.

The Patio/Bar opens at 6pm with Curtain Call at  7pm. Show ends approximately 8:30pm, perfect for a nice dinner in San Pancho!

For more information, call (322) 779 1519 cell

Bessie and Mark Twain San Pancho

by Glades Castro Perreras

Watch the Jaltemba Bay Life community calendar and newsletter for upcoming performances.

This story was submitted by one of our readers. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

Tepic artist, Francisco Javier Carrillo Núñez, is helping local students express themselves through art and is uncovering exceptional talent. He currently teaches children and adults via his Grupo IMPULSARTE program. Classes are held at public schools in Tepic, Las Varas and La Peñita. Some of the children have intellectual disabilities, autism, down syndrome and other special needs, and being able to participate in this workshop can help them express their feelings. The quality of the students’ work is a testament to Sr. Carrillo’s teaching methods.

Javier Carrillo Feature

Each class costs $30 pesos per student which covers the time, instruction and materials to paint a small piece. There are many children who cannot afford this fee, however, so contributions and donations are needed to ensure that every child will have the opportunity to develop their artistic talents. You might also consider purchasing a piece as I did (see below), which helps the students directly. Either way, you will make it possible for the children in our community to learn how to be “real artists” with the guidance of this dedicated and talented teacher.

You are invited to come observe a class and learn more about Sr. Carrillo’s work:

  • Tuesdays and Fridays:
    Escuela Amado Nervo in Compostela
    (corner of Aldama & Leandro)
  • Wednesdays:
    Escuela Francisco Villa in Las Varas from noon-2pm
    (Av. Revolucion (carretera a Zacualpan) & Calle Tlaxcala)
    Escuela Hombres Ilustres Nayaritas in La Peñita from 3:30-5:30pm
    (Calle Golfo de Mexico & Vasco de Gama)
  • Thursdays:
    Escuela Primaria 16 de Septiembre in Las Varas
    (across from the main square).

For more information, contact Javier Carrillo at (311) 174-3256.

Javier Carrillo Impulsarte 1559804_624137504316435_1230786992_n-001Grupo IMPULSARTE Andrea Tucan 2 DSC07950

Mark Your Calendars!
Grupo IMPULSARTE will once again display their artwork during the Malecón Art Walk in La Peñita on Wednesday March 12 beginning at 5pm – and in Chacala on Thursday, February 27 from 4-7pm.

Sr. Carrillo and his students were invited to display their work during the first Malecón Art Walk in La Peñita back in January. When I witnessed this group of exceptional students presenting their work along the malecón that evening, I knew there was something truly magical happening here.

While perusing the students’ work, I was drawn to a painting of a Toucan (above). When I asked the artist, 8-year-old Andrea from Las Varas, how much she wanted for the piece, it was a bit more than I expected… but when she explained that she was going to use the money to “pay for more classes and necessary materials,” I was sold.

These kids are really talented, and the fact that these classes are available in our area makes it even more exciting!

More About Javier Carrillo and Grupo IMPULSARTE

by Francisco Javier Carrillo Núñez
Tepic Nayarit, January 17, 2014

For some time, I have had the desire to promote the development of the arts among the Nayarit youth. This is in response to the limited opportunities, workshops and courses available and the lack of financial help within the arts community.

From my experience teaching in elementary schools and as a result of the workshops I have participated in, I discovered a large number of youth and children with talent. Because there is no state funding for arts programs, this has motivated me to take workshops, trips and visit galleries and museums to view the work of prominent painters, mostly Mexican, to increase my knowledge, heritage and background and to offer painting workshops that will enrich these developing young talents.

Desde hace algún  tiempo he tenido la inquietud de poder fomentar el desarrollo de las artes plásticas entre la juventud nayarita, esto en respuesta a la falta de oportunidades para el desarrollo de tal actividad, son pocas las ofertas de talleres y cursos y en muchos de los casos inaccesibles para las posibilidades económicas de nuestra sociedad.

Por la experiencia recibida en mis incursiones en las escuelas de nivel básico y en resultado de los talleres que en ellas he compartido he podido constatar el gran número de jóvenes y niños con talento que hay en la población escolar mismos que siguen en estado inactivo al no tener una oportunidad real de desarrollo, razón que me ha motivado a buscar una constante capacitación mediante viajes y visitas a talleres, galerías y museos donde se crea, ofrece o muestra la obra de otros destacados pintores en su mayoría mexicanos, esto con el objeto de acrecentar mis conocimientos, mi acervo, mi formación, consolidar mi experiencia en el medio para poder enriquecer estos talleres que desarrollo con las jóvenes promesas de la pintura.

Javier Carrillo 6Javier Carrillo 1

There is no shortage of high quality talent here, and I realize that I have a lot of work to do and that I need to continue doing research, but I know that I can carry out this task and that children and young adults will continue to participate in workshops. Seeing the results from the many children who have taken my workshops never ceases to amaze me. It rejuvenates my spirit and drives me to pursue better quality programs and improved training methods.

I have the commitment, the idea and the conviction to continue with this task, and it is a pleasure to do so. In past years, I have been able to bring this program to the following schools: Primaria Miguel Hidalgo T.M., Primaria Miguel Hidalgo T.V. de la colonia San Jose, Escuela Primaria Estado de Nayarit de la colonia Los Sauces, Escuela Primaria Paises del Tercer Mundo de la colonia Menchaca, Escuela Primaria Francisco Gonzales Bocanegra de la colonia INFONAVIT Los Fresnos, Escuela Primaria Jose Vasconcelos T.V. de la colonia Gobernadores, Escuela Primaria Leona Vicario T.V. all in the city of Tepic Nayarit; and the Escuela Telesecundaria Miguel Hidalgo, Escuela Primaria Ultimo Emperador Azteca T.M. and Escuela Primaria Amado Nervo T.M., Escuela Juan Escutia T.M., and Escuela Primaria Profr. Duran T.M. in the city of Compostela, Nayarit; and the Escuela Primaria Hombres Ilustres Nayaritas in the community of La Peñita de Jaltemba.

I am currently working on offering advanced workshops with children and adults in primary and secondary schools in Compostela, the Escuela Primaria Francisco Villa y 16 de Septiembre in Las Varas, as well as the Escuela Primaria Hombres Ilustres Nayaritas in La Peñita de Jaltemba. I am also working with some adults and children from other primary schools and colleges in the region.

The program is successful thanks to financial support from the parents of some of the children participating in the group Impulsarte, which translates to “expanding minds,” and also in part to contributions from others. I should note that this is a personal project and I get no support from any businesses, institutions, foundations or agencies of any kind. In addition, I do not conduct it for profit, but rather to bring attention to children with talent.

There is certainly much to be done, but I have a great conviction and will continue to seek ways to promote the development of these talented young people. I will keep looking for ways and means to achieve this goal, be it with media, tools, materials, financial means and to obtain contributions of supplies, tools as well as financial support so that we can reach the greatest number of young people as possible.

Es sin duda innumerable la cantidad de talentos de gran calidad, mucho el trabajo por hacer, muchos talleres  galerías o museos que visitar para poder continuar mi investigación, pero el saber que podré llevar a cabo mi tarea con mejores argumentos y que los niños y jóvenes que participarán en mis talleres se verán beneficiados con ello es algo que me da la fuerza suficiente para seguir con el mismo objetivo, ya son varias las escuelas públicas visitadas, varios los niños que han participado en mis talleres y los resultados aun no dejan de sorprenderme, lo cual me hace redoblar esfuerzos y seguir en la búsqueda de una mejor calidad en mi programa y hacer  eficiente y mejorar en todo lo posible dicha formación.

Tengo bien puesto el compromiso, la idea y la convicción de continuar con esta tarea, es muy grato hacerlo, los resultados hablan por sus hechos, en años anteriores he podido llevar este programa a las escuelas  PRIMARIA MIGUEL HIDALGO T.M. ,PRIMARIA  MIGUEL HIDALGO T.V. de la colonia SAN JOSE, ESCUELA PRIMARIA ESTADO DE NAYARIT, de la colonia LOS SAUCES,  ESCUELA PRIMARIA PAISES DEL TERCER MUNDO, de la colonia MENCHACA,  ESCUELA PRIMARIA FRANCISCO GONZALES BOCANEGRA, de la colonia INFONAVIT LOS FRESNOS,  ESCUELA PRIMARIA  JOSE VASCONCELOS T.V., de la colonia  GOBERNADORES,, ESCUELA PRIMARIA LEONA VICARIO T.V. todas ellas de la ciudad de Tepic Nayarit, así como a las ESCUELA TELESECUNDARIA MIGUEL HIDALGO, ESCUELA PRIMARIA ULTIMO EMPERADOR AZTECA T.M. Y ESCUELA PRIMARIA AMADO NERVO T.M., ESCUELA JUAN ESCUTIA T.M., Y ESCUELA PRIMARIA PROFR. DURAN T.M., de la ciudad de Compostela Nayarit. Y en la escuela primaria HOMBRES ILUSTRES NAYARITAS de la comunidad de la peñita de jaltemba.

Actualmente estoy trabajando en los talleres ya avanzados con niños y adultos de las escuelas primarias y secundarias de la cabecera municipal, Cd de Compostela, así como con las escuelas PRIMARIA FRANCISCO VILLA Y 16 DE SEPTIEMBRE de la comunidad de LAS VARAS, así como en la escuela primaria HOMBRES ILUSTRES NAYARITAS, de la Peñita de Jaltemba misma a la cual se integran algunos adultos y niños de otras escuelas primarias y colegios de la región.

El programa funciona con la cooperación económica de los padres de familia de algunos de los niños participantes en el grupo IMPULSARTE “ expandiendo mentes” y en algunas ocasiones con aportaciones desinteresadas de algunas personas, cabe destacar que este programa es de carácter social civil, que no cuenta con apoyo de ninguna empresa, institución, fundación ni dependencia de ningún tipo , y que además no tiene objetivos de lucro, sino mas bien la apertura de espacios culturales y la atención a niños con talento.

Es sin duda mucho lo que queda por hacer, pero también muy grande la convicción de seguir en la búsqueda de fomentar el desarrollo de talentos y de esa manera seguiré buscando las instancias y medios necesarios para lograr este objetivo, conozco las carencias en todos sus aspectos, llámese medios, implementos, materiales, difusión, medios económicos, por tanto seguiré buscando las mecánicas y formulas necesarias para lograr desarrollar y apoyar a la mayor cantidad posible de jóvenes en ese aspecto.

Javier Carrillo 8Javier Carrillo 2

I am inspired to undertake this project due to the current situation in our state and the general social situation in our society – opportunities to develop specific skills are often very limited, ineffective, and in many cases, totally invalid. The influences that generate negative events are common in our society, like the obvious influence of the drug culture, the lack of occupational therapy and development for our young people. In order to implement alternative training and witness the greatest possibilities, we need to go into the schools and detect and support the viable prospects of this program. I have the ability to examine each student and determine which of them are able and willing to participate in training and artistic development, fostering in them important values ??such as excellence, honesty, respect for their general environment , self-esteem, etc.

Las razones que me han inspirado para llevar a cabo este proyecto son las que se derivan de la actual situación que vivimos en nuestro estado, y en general la situación social que prevalece en nuestra sociedad actual, las oportunidades de desarrollo de habilidades especificas en algunos casos son muy pobres ineficaces y en muchos casos totalmente nulas, la influencia que generan los hechos negativos que todos los días se ven en nuestra sociedad, la influencia clara de la narco cultura, la falta de terapias ocupacionales y de desarrollo para nuestros jóvenes hacen que adopte esta actitud y estas ganas de llevar adelante este proyecto,  así que en aras de implementar alternativas de formación de talentos veo la gran posibilidad de hacerlo yendo a los centros educativos y detectar en ellos a los prospectos viables para apoyarlos con este programa, tengo la capacidad para examinar a cada uno de los alumnos y determinar cuáles de ellos son sujetos capaces de ser apoyados en su formación y desarrollo artístico, fomentando en ellos valores importantes como la superación, la honestidad, el respeto a su entorno general, autoestima, etc.

Javier Carrillo 3

Seeing the results generated in the workshops held in the schools listed earlier, I know for sure that there is ample potential to continue with this training, to develop more sophisticated techniques from my training, to increase my knowledge of techniques and processes and to initiate new projects for both local artists and adjacent states. This will certainly generate a need for additional resources to conduct research, to travel to see the work of other artists, to learn about other materials necessary and to increase my knowledge. In turn, this will enrich each step of the program. It is certainly a daunting task and a lot of responsibility, but personally, I like to take challenges and achieve goals.

Unfortunately, not all students are supported by their parents in promoting their skills and others simply cannot help with financial support. If something isn’t done, these talented children will be unable to evolve due to lack of resources. We need to pay special attention and look for alternatives so these young talents are not put aside.

Al ver los resultados generados en los talleres efectuados en las escuelas mencionadas en la página anterior sé con certeza que existe un amplio potencial en ellos para poder seguir con su formación, desarrollando técnicas más sofisticadas, lo cual requiere de parte mía mas capacitación, mayor conocimiento de técnicas y procesos, conocer nuevas propuestas de otros artistas tanto locales como de otros estados circunvecinos, lo cual sin duda genera una necesidad de recursos para efectuar las investigaciones, viajes para conocer la obra de otros artistas y los materiales necesarios para la obtención de amplios y buenos resultados en mi experiencia, para poder tener a su vez mayores conocimientos y hacer que el programa se enriquezca mas a cada paso, es sin duda una tarea ardua, de mucha responsabilidad, pero en lo personal me gusta adoptar retos y lograr las metas.

Desafortunadamente no todos son apoyados por sus padres en el seguimiento de sus habilidades y algunos otros en el apoyo económico, esto si es algo doloroso pues son talentos que dejan de evolucionar por falta de recursos, aquí hay que poner especial atención y buscar las alternativas para no dejar a un lado a estas jóvenes promesas.

Javier Carrillo 4


My goals include having a broader knowledge of the techniques, styles and forms, as well as studying the work of other artists in order to share it with the young people who participate in this project in these schools.

I hope that the young people in this program can develop their talents and skills, and that they themselves feel the need to further refine their own skills, with very specific goals, and the continued capacity to create art, and along the way become optimistic and positive community members that instill the path of creativity. This will build a promising young art culture in Nayarit, and in turn, they will have a chance to channel their creativity and occupational abilities thereby developing in the field of education. An art lover is a lover of education and growth – and as a group, they will certainly build a better future for our state.

In order for this to happen, children need to be allowed to grow and pursue their artistic knowledge, by visiting workshops of colleagues in other cities and thereby reaching a stage of maturity – we will be able to continue the proper study of the arts for these young prospects, which in turn, leads to the better community welfare promoted by this program.


Sin duda alguna los objetivos son el poder tener un conocimiento más amplio, sobre las técnicas, estilos y formas, así como de la obra de otros artistas con el objetivo de poder tener un conocimiento fuerte, amplio y generoso para compartir con los jóvenes que abrigaran el proyecto en las escuelas de las comunidades anteriormente mencionadas.

Que los jóvenes incluidos en este programa puedan desarrollar con aptitud su talento así como el que ellos mismos sientan la necesidad de seguir puliendo ese aspecto con un objetivo muy especifico y que es sin duda el que tengan alternativas propias y a su alcance para que a su vez tengan la capacidad suficiente para crear arte y en su camino se hagan de alternativas optimistas y positivas que los encaminen por la senda de la creatividad, esto hará de ellos jóvenes promesas del arte en Nayarit y tendrán a su vez una oportunidad de canalizar su creatividad y con ello una terapia ocupacional que los haga desarrollarse de manera más optima en el campo de la educación, un amante del arte es un amante de la educación y el crecimiento, ellos sin duda serán jóvenes que construyan un futuro mejor para nuestro estado.

Para ello es necesario que su servidor pueda desarrollar en si un crecimiento optimo en la búsqueda de los conocimientos esto se logrará al visitar los talleres de colegas en otras ciudades para alcanzar esa etapa de maduración así como el poder tener mejores argumentos para formar y llevar por el camino de un estudio adecuado del arte a los jóvenes prospectos, esto a su vez redundara en un mejor bienestar de las comunidades que estarán incluidas en este programa.

Javier Carrillo 9


Support young talent for the purpose of awareness, friendliness and a high level competition which will affect our society in a positive manner.

Generate a refined taste for the arts in all representations, shaping better lives with better education and values. Showing art in cultural spaces, participate in exhibitions to influence others and support the arts in general.

Awakening the artistic spirit in the hopes to contribute and promote the arts of our state to provide a better future, supporting young talent and occupational therapy to discourage negative situations and develop positivity and creativity.






Participate in the community, specifically in the public schools, developing screening programs and training of young talent in drawing and painting with a goal of 15 students within each school, developing the required technical skills.

Also include groups of children with special needs, who are looking for direction and skills detection and development, specifically through painting. In my experience, special needs children show surprising results and it is wonderful to share this knowledge with them and those who doubt them.




por Francisco Javier Carrillo Núñez
Tepic Nayarit, enero 17 de 2014

Crocodiles are not only native to Mexico, they are prolific along the Nayarit coast including the fishing villages of Rincon de Guayabitos, La Peñita and La Colonia. Here, crocodiles thrive in the warm and balmy climate eating the tropical plants and sea-life that inhabit the fresh or salt water marshes along the inland waterways. According to the 2012 study, there are around 170 crocodiles living in the Bay of Jaltemba, most of them at the north end of Boca de Naranjo beach. As a species, crocodiles are reputed to have outlasted dinosaurs, dating back in time some 200 million years.

These prehistoric creatures have made this coastal region their home for a very long time, and most certainly before humans set foot. As long as we do not interfere with the crocodiles’ natural habitat, we can both exist without incident. However, recent development has and will continue to force crocodiles to go searching for new habitats and alternative food sources… don’t be surprised to discover one wandering into your open living-area or eyeing your pet for dinner. They prefer “dining” in the evening, and sleeping most of the day away (this is Mexico after all).

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Today, crocodiles are protected as a result of over-killing for their skin, once a popular boot leather. This means you can’t just “get rid” of a crocodile, even if it is threatening your space, your welfare or your pet. Instead, you must report a crocodile to the authorities, who will then remove it IF it is a nuisance. If this crocodile is a lucky one, it may be transported to a new home at Cocodrilos del Nayar, just north of La Colonia. If not deemed a threat, you can go back to sharing planet earth, together.

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Three years ago, Vicente Peña, a conservationist and wildlife educator, began work on a new project to care for nuisance crocodiles, propagate the sea turtles, protect indigenous plant life and showcase birds native to the region. With the help of his family, he purchased 40 acres of land north of La Colonia, where he is creating an eco-sphere to preserve and display species that humans are encroaching on. He started with crocodiles, constructing 8 different holding areas for these protected reptiles, ranging from babies who weigh just a few pounds to one that is a hefty 500 pounds that took eight men to lift out of the truck and into his newly constructed near-natural “home.”

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450-pound Poseidon enjoying lunch

For only $15 pesos, you can get an up-close look at these incredible prehistoric creatures and learn a little more about the delicate balance between animal and human existence. You will be able to safely see their tough leathery skin/scales, observe their ferocious incisors that are visible even with closed mouths, watch the crocodile keepers feed them almost by hand, count their five fingered web feet and discover how they digest their food using complex membranes that also allow them to reduce their body temperatures to 65 degrees so they can stay underwater for two or more hours.

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One of four young crocs currently being cared for at the cocodrilario

It’s worth the trip… for you will see crocodiles like you have never seen them before… close up. For more information about our native crocodiles, sea turtles, native flora and fauna… visit “Cocodrilos del Nayar” soon.

Cocodrilos del Nayar

“Cocodrilos del Nayar” is a temporary home for crocs that have entered people’s homes, been seen in ocean swimming areas during the day, been rescued from people (the Acutus crocodile is still protected worldwide) or hatched in a farmer’s land in Zacualpan. This project is run by a non-government organization on private land, but the tanks were built with a government grant. While this project began 3 years ago, it acquired its first crocodiles 9 months ago and just opened to the public 3 months ago. We have little crocs (400 grams) to Poseidon (4 meters and close to 450 pounds).

The entry fee of $15 pesos per person helps maintain and feed the crocodiles and the 3 full-time employees, in addition to the 3 dogs, 2 rabbits and soon, we will have a couple White-tailed deer which will be relocated to our facility from a Tepic zoo that is closing.

Location: Carretera Tepic-Puerto Vallarta at km 78 (12km north of La Peñita and 5km south of Las Varas). Watch for signs to guide you to the “Cocodrilario” and follow the road approximately 200 meters off the highway.

Hours: 8:30am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday (Closed Mondays)

Entrance Fee: $15 peso donation per person

For more information, contact Vicente Peña:
email: or cell: (311) 119-2118

by Karla A. Williams, just a gringo experiencing paradise
photos by Allyson Williams

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