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VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


RESTAURANT NEWS’s Readers’ Choice Poll Results are in And here are some of the winners! Best Overall Restaurant 2010: Trio Two European chefs, Bernhard Güth and Ulf Henriksson, have become the favorites of locals and food critics with their hearty honest food. Best Gourmet Restaurant 2010: Café des Artistes Thierry Blouet, Maitre Cuisinier de France and a member of the Culinary Academy of France, has what is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Café des Artistes.

you feel the views are yours alone. Best Asian 2010: Archie’s Wok Sip a Mai Tai Thai in a serene oriental garden as d’Rachael delights with harp, flute, and vocals while you await a feast of tropical flavors.

Best Moderate Restaurant 2010: Vitea Everyone is raving about this new oceanfront bistro and bar offering something completely different in Vallarta, classic and contemporary bistro fare in a casual European Riviera ambiance.

XX Vitea Best New Restaurant 2010: No Way, José Delicious contemporary Mexican cuisine featuring dishes such as “Sopa Montezuma,” inspired by a secret family recibe based on cactus soup, or the traditional “Chiles en Nogada” with a unique homemade touch.

Best Outdoor 2010: The River Cafe The River Café has it all: great location, ambience, food and service.

Best Wine List 2010: Blanca Blue Located within the Garza Blanca Resort facilities, Blanca Blue is a sophisticated and elegant gourmet restaurant with spectacular views of the bay, ideal for an unforgettable romantic dinner or social event.

Best Sunset Dining 2010: La Palapa Haute cuisine and friendly service blend in this beautiful setting at Los Muertos Beach that offers the perfect balance of fine dining and exceptional service in a casually elegant atmosphere with the characteristic warmth and charm of Puerto Vallarta.

Most Romantic 2010: Hacienda San Angel Dining privileges once reserved exclusively for guests of this gorgeous antique-filled luxury boutique hotel are now extended to the public, by reservation only, for lunch and dinner.

Best Mexican 2010: El Arrayán El Arrayan has become one of the hottest restaurants in town, winning “Best Mexican” by a landslide for the past three years.

XX Archie´s Wok

Best Nachos 2010: Nacho Daddy Nacho Daddy is a restaurant bar with an authentic Tex-Mex menu.

XX Hacienda San Angel Gourmet Best Family Restaurant 2010: Fajita Republic Decorated with a tropical flair, Fajita Republic not only specializes in fajitas, but also offers BBQ ribs, Mexican molcajetes and grilled shrimp. Best View Dining 2010: Vista Grill What stunning vistas of the town, bay and surrounding mountains this sleekly sophisticated mountainside venue is privy to, jutting terraces at different levels making

XX Barcelona Tapas

Best Tapas 2010: Barcelona Tapas Ideal for sharing, appetizer-sized servings of Spanish flavors are served with a bird’seye view. To see more go to


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Purists are saying the rainy season began here in earnest just this past week, with our first prolonged lightning display over the bay. And what a show it was! I wish everyone a good vantage point from which to view this phenomenon at least once! Children, and the kid in all of us, love the downpours and the nonsensical antics employed to get from here to there when nature is giving us her best. Makes for a lot of laughs - and somewhat bedraggled appearances. By the time you read this the iPad will have gone on sale in Mexico, the release date here July 23rd. And as regards the iPhone, according to “The Week” magazine of June 11, Mexicans are rushing to download a new application that helps them avoid paying off crooked cops that stop them for imagined infractions then offer to waive the ticket for a fee. It outfits drivers with an array of tools, including a directory of relevant traffic and parking regulations and a list of fines. Plus there’s a hot line to a corruption watchdog, so a driver can report a bribery attempt on the spot. The item adds that soon the app will also be available for the BlackBerry. Now, that’s a sales feature!

Did you know that some 60% of candy production in this country happens right here in Jalisco? No wonder I developed a sweet tooth! And it directly employs 25,000 workers, says If you like salsa dancing you may want to join those of us heading to the beachfront Marazul the night of August 6 for a free salsa class, two for one drinks and what is sure to be a great night. See Salsa Fusion Fridays on facebook to learn more. PVRPV’s summer bowling league is winding down, but a new league starts up October 6 at Collage in Marina Vallarta. Teams are already getting organized, so waste no time in checking out PVRPV Bowling League on facebook if you are interested. By the way, if you have an article, ideas for articles, photos or comments I can be reached on my facebook site, Vallarta Tribune. And every week, as soon as the Trib is available I download it there to make it as easy as possible for you to read us online. I am particularly interested in keeping up with birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, passings — all the things that a community cares about, so I can share these milestones with our readers.


Heather Wilson Managing Editor


As of August 25, prescriptions will be required for the sale of all antibiotics here in Mexico. Which means a trip to the doc before getting your meds. The good news for those with a penchant for self diagnosis or saving time and money? More and more pharmacies will have doctors either right on the premises or nearby.

Local TRI

VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010

Charlotte Semple —



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By Rick Hepting One might think that it would be easy to start a farmers market in Puerto Vallarta.

CONTRIBUTORS Adelaide Blomfield • Becci Burchett • Consuelo • Dave de Brooklyn • Deborah Buley • Emilio Godoy • John & Christie Forget • Josef Kandoll W • Juanita Catarina • Mary Wolde-Tsadik • Michael Zenn • Mike Green • Pamela Thompson • PASHA R • Pegeen White • Rick Hepting • Rita Millan • Sara Wise • Tommy Clarkson

DIRECTOR Manuel Calderón de la Barca

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR Rosario Guadalupe Alvarado Sanchez


SALES MANAGER Juan Paulo Mugica Prado

DESIGNERS José de Jesús Nava Montes Cynthia Estela Andrade Gutiérrez Weekly publication edited, printed and distributed by Ediciones y Publicaciones Siete Junio, SA de CV Grupo Editorial Tribuna Calle 21 de Marzo # 1174 Col. Lomas del Coapinole Delegación El Pitillal, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco México CP 48290 Tel. (322) 226-0829, 226-0800 Questions about Distribution:

Back in June 2009 a small group of local business people got together and came up with a plan to introduce the Slow Food Movement to this town. Slow food advocates strive to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and they promote the farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem; very noble ideals, to be sure. A part of this plan was the establishment of a farmers market, but movements and high ideals come and go, as did this one in late 2009. A few local restaurants held “slow food” specials but the impetus dissipated and talk of the farmers market faded. It faded except in the heart of Charlotte Semple, co-owner of the Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates and the current manager and one of the founding members of the Puerto Vallarta Farmers Market. Charlotte, along with Carole Fast, own Xocodiva on Rudolpho Gómez in Old Town. I might be doing a great disservice to the others involved in the creation of this market if I were to suggest that Charlotte was the driving force behind its inception, but I just might have to do that. As the Slow Food Movement bogged down, Charlotte continued with the farmers market idea and, in a combination of fortuitous synchronicity and blind luck, on March 12, 2010, she signed a rental agreement on a location she had been eyeing for years. Having a retail business here in Vallarta, Charlotte knew that after the Semana Santa spring holidays, tourism in Vallarta practically dies. So she decided to open the market immediately on March 27, the last Saturday before the last holiday of the tourist season. Take into consideration that the farmers market was just an idea until March 12, two weeks earlier.

At this point is where many normal people might question Charlotte’s sanity. Fortunately her friends knew her capabilities and the market was instantly born, opening to a spectacular reception. Over 20 vendors appeared, as if from thin air, and more than 800 customers walked through the gates that first Saturday morning. This story is continued each Saturday and the market gets better and better. Because Vallarta is a seasonal town, the market will close for the summer on July 31, the last Saturday in July, and reopen on November 6, the first Saturday of November . There is no simple way to describe the background of Charlotte Semple or to explain how she came to be in the position of starting a farmers market in Puerto Vallarta. Her history is intriguing enough to write a book about and no short article like this could do her justice. She was born in Alberta, Canada, raised on a ‘stick farm’ and moved on from there through two marriages and many adventures. Some might say “too many” adventures but “too many” is apparently a concept alien to her spirit. She has tended bar and owned and operated numerous restaurants, book stores and clothing shops, and even

a tanning salon. One of her greatest accomplishments was the creation, in 1991, of a very successful women’s self help organization in Victoria, BC, the Victoria Women in Need Society, WIN. The acronym is not accidental. Her chocolate passion developed gradually to the point that when she and her partner, Carole, moved to Vallarta in 2006, they drove down with a car full of chocolate making equipment and 40 kilos of chocolate. Xocodiva was conceived, first by passing out samples of chocolates from their home kitchen to local restaurant customers and then by the chance sighting of a vacant storefront as they sat having coffee at Dee’s. Charlotte is one of those rare people who have no trouble at all combining chance, opportunity and reality. There’s not much more that could be quickly written about Charlotte because complex people like her are best experienced, not read about. Come to the market. Along with running it, coincidentally, she sells chocolate there. For more information about the Puerto Vallarta Farmers Market, visit our website,


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Editor’s Note We like to hear from our readers. However, in order for us to publish your letters, contributions, photos, etc., we need your full name, address and/or telephone number. If you do not want your name published, we will respect your wishes, but we need to have the information on file for legal purposes. Letters and articles become the property of the Vallarta Tribune and may be edited and/or condensed for publication. Note: To Advertisers & Contributors and those with public interest announcements, the deadline for publication is 2 p.m. on Tuesday of the week prior to publication.

XX Vallarta’s Cassandra Shaw and Mark McCoy got married July 14 in Las Vegas. Here they pose with their best man. Much happiness, guys!

Classic Movie Series at Los Mangos Library By Pamela Thompson Looking for some cool entertainment this month? The 1944 classic movie, The Woman in the Window will be showing in the air-conditioned comfort of the Los Mangos Library on July 26 at 6:30 pm. Admission is just $15 pesos, with popcorn and soft drinks available for purchase. The Woman in the Window Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) is no criminal... at least, he wasn’t until he met “the woman in the window.” With his wife and kids out of town, the chaste professor engages in an innocent

flirtation with a chance acquaintance (Joan Bennett) and inadvertently commits a shocking and unspeakable crime. But that’s just the beginning of his problems, for as the cunning D.A. (Raymond Massey) – one of Wanley’s dearest friends – gets closer and closer to identifying the killer, Wanley finds he’s more and more willing to resort to desperate measures to avoid being caught. Masterfully directed by the legendary Fritz Lang (Metropolis), The Woman in

the Window is “a thriller with the logic and plausibility of a nightmare” (Pauline Kael) and suspense-laden, gripping entertainment! Biblioteca Los Mangos is located at Av.

Francisco Villa 1001, Col Versalles, Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 224-9966, send an email to blm(at) or visit


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


2010 Altruism Festival Funds Distributed Representatives of 24 Banderas Bay area charities and non-profit organizations, along with members of the local press gathered together at the Marriott Hotel in Puerto Vallarta on July 20th for the official granting of funds raised at the 6th Annual International Altruism Festival. Every year hundreds of Puerto Vallarta residents and visitors turn out for the Altruism Festival, which features top restaurants offering food and refreshments, live entertainment, dancing and more for one low price, with all proceeds donated to Banderas Bay area charities and non-profit organizations. The 2010 Altruism Festival, which was held in the beachfront garden at the Marriott CasaMagna Resort on May 2nd, was attended by more than 1600 members of Vallarta’s national and international community who had a great time raising $578,400 pesos. At a press conference July 20, the event’s proceeds were divided equally among the 24 participating charities non-profit organizations, with each of the following

Seasons • Frascati • Fredy’s Tucán • Ikuai • Kaiser Maximilian • La Palapa • La Leche • La Estancia-Marriott • Liverpool • Los Chatos Pastelería • Los Chilaquiles • Mariscos Tino’s • Mikado-Marriott • Nicksan • Outback Steakhouse • Ohtli SpaMarriott • Pan y Que • Peñafiel • Pincho y Ole • Pie in the Sky • Piaceres-Holiday Inn • Porto Bello • River Café & Mestizo • Sabor de Sayulita • Tequila Mama Lucia • Thierry’s Steakhouse • Tikul • Toldos Chalita • Trio • Trattoria Michel • Vitea • Vallarta Adventures • Vista Grill • Xocodiva • Winners Sound • Zagal-Fuegos Artificiales charitable organizations receiving a $24,100 peso check presented by the festival’s founder, American Consular Agent Kelly Trainor.

Occidente • Esperanza Grupo S. • SPCA PV • P.E.A.C.E • Club Internacional de la Amistad PV. • Friendship Club La Cruz • Salvation Army

• Asilo de Ancianos CAIA • Rey Nayar Library • Rehab. Sta. Barbara • Banco de Alimentos P.V. • Becas Vallarta • DIVAC • Escuela de Futbol Pumas • Down Sindrome Assoc., Torpedos • Paraiso Felino • Pitillal Busca Un Amigo • Asilo San Juan Diego • Pro Biblioteca Los Mangos • Grupo Ecologico de PV • Manos de Amor Bahia • Toys for Tots • Club Rotario PV • Sociedad Ecologica de

The attending guests shared the thank you’s and recognitions were given to the following sponsors for all their hard work and extraordinary efforts: • Bancomer • AmapaSunset • Caio Tres • Café des Artistes • Charme Repostería • Collage • Corona • Daiquiri Dicks • El Dorado • Espresso • El Coleguita • El Mero Mero • Fondants Pastelería • Four

Thanks also went out to the 1688 people who attended the 6th Annual International Festival of Altruism, whose generosity made it possible to raise much-needed funds for some of our community’s most important non-profit and charitable organizations, including those that feed the hungry, enrich children’s lives through education, cater to the medical and rehabilitation needs of people of all ages, and care for animals and the environment. Source:

Dinner to Benefit Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Outback Steakhouse has begun its festivities with a monthly dinner for each of the three associations that the popular restaurant will benefit this year: Becas Vallarta, Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo and Pasitos de Luz. Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo will be the next beneficiary in their schedule, with a fundraising dinner on July 28, at 8:00 pm. The donation for the event is $250 pesos per person, and includes an appetizer, main course, as well as a non-alcoholic drink with refill. Raffles and asilent auction will also be offered. For tickets, call Rita Millan at (322) 141-6974. Source:


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Duck for cover! The sky is falling... heavy metal lozenges and black waters arc up from the tubed underworld there is no more claiming that ‘Vallartagua’ is potable or fit for natation. This is not Karlovy Vary or Baden Baden (though sometimes it’s badenough anyway) and no one is bottling this stuff, swilling it as a curative or begging to steam in a Seapal sauna.

Dear Reader, At last. It’s tempest time in and around Banderas Bay. After many evenings of half-hour cloud dumps a storm of noticeable proportion and reasonable (2 1/2 hours) duration has made itself known all over Vallarta and its environs. Though it is the first blusterama of the season, for reasons apparent later we’ve christened it “Donald.” Just before 8 pm Saturday July 17th a flicker of electricus interruptus and a sonic boom — the type that informs which of your neighbors have alarm-equipped autos — signalled the arrival of a swiftly moving T-storm...”Donald.” Almost immediately decks were awash, streets gushing and kids squealing as they raced launched objects — soccer balls, plastic cups, and in one colonia a yellow rubber ducky — in the swift flow of gutters overspilling onto sidewalks. Each flash of lightning brought cheers and laughter. Some rushed outdoors bare chested (that would be the guys, guys) for a natural shampoo, while others hurried to whisk fast-puddling rooftops or reel in already dampened laundry. Taxis were at a sudden premium, ploughing though deeps at predictable points where surface water management is merely a concept. Headlights of neighborhood buses spat blazing tongues of gold on the choppy waters in their path, an eerie effect in the gathering gloom of mandarin-grey dusk. Pedestrians togged out in all manner of weatherproofing dashed point to point for cover in a connect-the-dots style of ambulation. “Donald” separated the planners from the blase; a peppermint parasol passed by, pursued by an adultrated, two-legged Hefty garbage bag in basic black. An elderly gent, cane clutched

firmly, tapped along in his brand new marine blue slicker; it was a “hoodie,” snugged over a matching blue-billed baseball cap. Water levels rose, forcing pedestrian decisions at every corner and sometimes in between. Young walkers tightroped the neighborhood’s main calles via the isthmi of topes. As the light diminished from sleet grey to bluster brown to almost midnight, a funnel of water began to spiral just south of hilltop restaurant Carmelita. For fully five minutes it tried to spout into something significant, then fizzled. As the storm wound down, lightning bracketed arriving cells and backlit the clouds in an iridescent nacre of blue brilliance. Intermittent chains touched down near, but not on, tall buildings that might have benefited from something more direct. Occasional wind gusts seemed hearty but in truth were on the timid end of Beaufort’s scale. Was this a “freshening breeze” or what? The wind gauge never exceeded 10 mph though a loud, inexplicable crash later proved to be a potted plant launched off its perch-on-a-ledge by a robust stray scud.

Truly the oddest noise throughout the proceedings was the post-storm quacking of a distressed duck - a dark feathered fellow who sought safe harbour in the lee of a neighbor’s laundry porch. Were it not for the report of another stormwatcher who earlier observed a “black duck” winging through a neighboring colonia, this would have been unbelievable. From what flyway did this ditsy drake make a navigational error? He — for he appeared to be a mallard — must have refused directions, obviously inter-species male behaviour. Further freaked from being inspected, he emitted a heart-rending high-decibel honk before we slammed the door shut, hoping he would not stay the night. In the morning the luster of verdant, freshly flushed hills and the delicious aroma of “new” were the storm’s beneficent gifts. Conversely, furrows of accumulated debris ribbed the libremiento, streaking downhill from the tunnel in rows magically aligned with the lane striping. Water that percolated beneath cobblestones loosened many; passing cars tumbled them into a new brew of potholes — unavoidable even when driving at slow slalom. But no manhole covers were missing — the true hallmark of an ark-floating deluge. When the weather plays tiddly winks with those

An expat has just phoned an alert for another rainstorm tonight. Apparently people without Ouija boards can tell it´s coming because their television cable has been disrupted all day. Goodness knows the possible effects on tweeting, texting, blogging and putting faces in your book (the spineless kind). More storm watching? B.I.O. Bring it on! My bath toys and I are ready for balcony bathing. And PS, if you own a black duck, would you kindly confine “Donald” to an indoor pool during rainy season? Let there be no confusion, or unwanted overtures, for my little yellow vulcanized versions of the web-footed flapper. Text an Photos: Pasha R x-pat. journalists


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010

Want to Meet New People 18-40? By Sara Wise ExPats In Vallarta is expanding their special interest groups! Their newest is ExPats In Vallarta Young Generation (EVYG) and they are inviting ExPats to join their new group. If you are a foreigner living in the Vallarta area and between the ages of 18 and 40 or close to that and would like to be part of a fun group you are invited to their Kick OFF PARTY on Tuesday July 27 at 8 pm at Pinchoe & Ole Tapas Lounge in downtown Vallarta. For more information and reservations please email Seating is limited. Expats In Vallarta is a totally social group with informal fellowship and assistance for Expat residents or visitors living, working or investing around Vallarta or considering it. There is no membership fee or requirement; pay only for what you consume or use. It is a great way to meet new “friends� and get out and enjoy Puerto Vallarta!



VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Eduardo Luna ensuring your pleasure in the soaring dining room, the lounge, or on the torch-lit terrace. Bubba Gump - «…the 26th restaurant of the world-famous chain in Mexico … entirely decorated with motifs of the famous movie, wide range of snacks, full course meals and drinks, including of course, the classic shrimp prepared according to an exquisite recipe… fun, fun, fun!»

Agave Grill - «…authentic, traditional and original Mexican «Gran Comida» (Grand Meal) …like having myriad flavours simultaneously tickle your tongue… the very best wines from Baja California… You won’t find anything more Mexican anywhere … a «must» for all of Puerto Vallarta’s visitors. That way, they can return home with the knowledge that they have truly «been to Mexico». (A.R.) Blanca Blue - Everyone is raving about this elegant oceanfront restaurant boasting unsurpassed views, a comprehensive wine cellar, and truly novel contemporary plates. Chef Francisco Ruano’s exquisite creations emphasize the purity of ultra-fresh seafood and organic produce, bilingual Maitre D’

Casa Isabel – The restaurant’s panoramic view gives you a virtual map of Vallarta from above. Best time is of course near sunset, though the restaurant serves all three meals. Three large liquid TV screens keep you on top of sports all day. Chef Hector Reginald’s new menu has whipped up a variety of fish dinners and Mexican fare. Drinks and food are truly reasonably priced. Ecole Le Forte – Much more than a great dinner out, this is like being invited to the home of a friend who cooks very well indeed – in front of you! Wine, paté, recipes, laughter and conversation followed by a three course meal, and the most exquisite digestifs on the market. El Arrayan – «An atmosphere reminiscent of yesteryear, with scents, aromas and flavors we recognize without trying... for people who want to try authentically Mexican dishes... with that touch of family warmth ... unique recipes, traditional dishes...

El Barracuda - «…like a little hidden piece of paradise… novel recipes… different types of ceviches… Service is excellent and prices are most reasonable, even though they do not include the spectacular sunsets for which you have front row seats...» Hacienda Alemana’s open air beer garden -with separate, enclosed air-conditioned sections- is located at 378 Basilio Badillo. Tel.: 222-2071. For more info, prices, menus, etc., please visit Kaiser Maximilian - «One of the first to take the tables out to the sidewalk... combines the Viennese charm of a turn-of-the-century café with that of Vallartan architecture...

lovely feeling of refined elegance, intimate and sober... waiters are always composed, genteel and professional... a spirit of days gone by... everything can be recommended – at lunchtime and dinner!» (A.R.) The Cheeky Monkey deserves its name, this restaurant’s lively ambiance and variety of food and drinks make it a bold trip all the way from lunch to dinner. On the Malecon overlooking the bay, there are a variety of fabulous two dollar drinks, and bottled beer and margaritas are always one dollar. Try the fried zucchini sticks or creamy spinach dip for starters. Classic pastas, thin crust New York style pizzas and fresh salads are on the menu. Of course there is the key lime pie and Mexican churros...


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010



This week, I looked inside myself and found fear and anxiety. That is not supposed to happen when you are in the midst of toasted bagels and reading, two of my favorite addictions -- food and OPL, Other People’s Lives -- or any other addictions to what have you.

friend in Tucson and my son are both having serious medical issues -- that I am ok, a medium size, and a lovely new swimsuit awaits me in her store, made all the difference. Made me feel that my life is fixable. And that I can handle it, I can stand it. I am handling it, and I am standing it.

The addictions work on a simple tension/ release. You feel the tension rising within, in my case, worry about where I am going to live and wonder if I am without a boyfriend for the plain reason that nobody wants me -- and then you indulge yourself, dive into pure, soothing, ahhhh -- maybe it is a strawberry gelato from the gelato place on Basillo Badillo and you feel better.

I mailed a bright green and orange jungle painting with red parrots to my son. And I painted a yellow wallpaper painting with cantaloupe and starfish and a million things, flamingos, a view of the mountains in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, which is one of my friend’s favorite places in the whole wide world. When it is dry, I will send it to her. The name of the painting is, “It matters to this one.”

This time, I managed to gain five pounds but the release did not accompany the indulgence. Because the anxiety about where I am going to live is a problem to be solved and the boyfriend worries are imaginary until such time as I meet someone. So it isn’t right to anesthetize these uncomfortable feelings.

You probably all know the story of the starfish. A little boy and his dad are walking along a beach, when they come upon hundreds of starfish stranded on the beach in a receding tide. The little boy starts throwing them back. His father says, “Stop. It doesn’t matter, it is impossible to save all these starfish.” His boy said, “It matters to this one.”

Geneen Roth was on the Oprah show Monday, promoting her book, “Women, Food and God.” Clarece, who does hair and nails on Venustiano Carranza, just up from Constitucion, about two doors from the Sofa Cafe, is going to loan me the book. When I feel lonesome and disconnected, I often walk down into the neighborhood to see Clarece, who is both wise and funny. “Women, Food and God” is about getting what you really want instead of reaching for that bagel, toasting that bagel, slathering that bagel with butter and serrano ham. It is very difficult for a food junkie to believe that the bagel is not the answer. In the meantime, while I am waiting to read the book, which kind of tells you what the answer is in the title, I spent three days making collages. Art is a pretty good line of defense against the blues. But not completely. When you throw making art at the problem, you are trying to raise your level of consciousness, because, as everyone knows, you cannot solve a problem from the same level that created it. Einstein said that, I think. Well, he thought and I quote. The divine intervention to my wreckage of self is what I admit and accept. I realize that just because I CAN do it all by myself, just because I am a pretty good gingerbread man, I don’t want to be all

alone on this journey, and I don’t have to be. God put other people on the planet for a reason. So we can be there for each other. My neighbor, Laurie, has volunteered to drive me around looking at places. My best friend took me to the new Walmart in Pitillal, so I could comfort myself with apples. It must be apple season somewhere in the world, probably China, because these apples were huge red delicious and when I got them home, thinking to paint them into my new still life set up, I ate them instead. Crunchy red apples that tasted like I remember apples tasted once upon a time when we piled in the family station wagon and went out to the Obermayer’s orchard to pick apples. And then, the miracle happened. Out of the blue, as all good miracles do come,

unexpected, just what you want and need, and totally magical, because the thing that happens is not anything you could have or would have thought up yourself in a thousand years. Should I live so long. Robina Oliver, owner of Curvas Peligrosas at 178 Juarez, about a block from the beach, read my sad story about the awful five dollar swimsuit I bought at the dime store and e-mailed me to come in and pick out a swimsuit, on her dime. Oh my God. I told her the size I guess I might be, and she said, “That is a medium here. In real life, for most women, that is a medium.” To be a medium, or even think myself so, to have a swimsuit expert, who stocks sizes 8 to 16 and 18 to 40, reassure my sad and frightened self -- it isn’t just my own stuff that is making me feel bad, my best

So, for whatever life has in store, I have the cutest new bathing suit, turquoise and purple, of course! It fits in a stratospheric size. Ok. This morning, I get up, I make my tea, I put lemon and honey in it, and I clear the bad things from my freezer, Dr. Phil style. His idea about weight loss is to take your bad food out of the kitchen. The bagels and serrano ham and some really nice sharp cheddar are all going to my slender and beautiful friend, Siclally, whose name in Spanish means something like falling stars. Think nice thoughts. Consuelo is a Santa Fe painter who spends most of her time in Puerto Vallarta. You may view her paintings on her website:


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Local Children Create Memories at PEACE’s Fifth Annual Summer Camp By Becci Burchett Summer camp has been a U.S. tradition for over 150 years and continues to create childhood memories for over ten million American children and youth who attend summer camp annually. Local non-profit, PEACE Mexico, has created the same experience for disadvantaged children and young adults throughout the Bay of Banderas in their fifth annual summer camp. “My experience at camp Eberhart shaped the person I am today,” said Molly Fisher, Founder and Director of PEACE. “We’re trying to create similar lifelong memories for kids here who often grow up too fast, and in most cases have never been on an athletic team, gone to art class or participated in any kind of organized activity. Our camps not only give them that experience, but allow them to just be kids!” PEACE has rallied over 150 six to sixteenyear-old campers from La Cruz, Sayulita, Corral del Risco and Emiliano Zapata. Local teachers and PEACE interns, from both the United States and Mexico, created innovative curriculums for various age groups to be taught in the camps. The lesson plans focus on entrepreneurial development, recycled art and ecology. The entrepreneurial workshops, designed for older campers, encourage young minds to dream about what they can do

and who they can be while providing them with competitive skills, insightful advice from business owners and creative business plans of their own. PEACE supports the young entrepreneurs by assisting them in getting their businesses off the ground. Last year, one team in Sayulita started a business selling calendars created from their own photography. They sold over 700 copies, contributing proceeds to improvements in their school. Young students learn about the environment and participate in sports, arts and crafts, and other outdoor games. “Many students participate in the camp on their own initiative,” said Nikhol Esterás Roberts, one of the camp directors. “They are so enthusiastic and are absorbing so much. It’s really inspiring to see so much motivation and team work on behalf of both the students and the teachers.” Although the cost is much higher, campers pay ten pesos or 79 cents per day. However, campers who can’t afford the fee are still invited to participate and grants are available to those in need of financial support. Sponsors can send a child to camp for three weeks, covering all costs, for $75 USD. To volunteer or donate to a PEACE camp, contact becci(at)

Friendship : For Norma Sleep is more elusive with age, Yet the late night journey of the moon As it slips silver over the bay More than compensates. There are fragments, faded photos, letters And books in broken boxes, old clothes That will never fit but are saved For a change of weather, a change of place. Memories multiply and old friends Suddenly appear like wisps of smoke, One face blending to another, one body, One gender, immediate in their presence I think now of those I have lost, Those still here and those in abeyance. Knowing as well as I once knew the sky, How slowly I move from past to future. –Adelaide Blomfield

Around the bay

VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010



New business? New neighbors? Upcoming event? News to share? Please email us at WhatsUp@BuceriasNews. com or call us at 329-298-6011. If all else fails, chat about the weather! It is summertime and all is as it should be. We have the hot sun, the humidity and the cooling rains! Really, if you have never been here at this time of the year, give it a try. It is beautiful, green and hot…what more can you ask for? Yo-Yo Mo’s and Pie in the Sky have special promotions available this summer for the locals. Come to Bucerias, do some shopping at the market and have lunch here…you won’t regret it! This Saturday we were at Mega to collect donations for the food bank. Thank you to all who donated! We will be getting out the information as to where the food bank donations can be dropped off and

we will be at Mega in Bucerias once a month to collect donations also. Thank you for your continuing support. Community Support Needed! Join PEACE in their mission to develop education, entrepreneurship, ecology, animal well-being, and community engagement programs throughout the Punta de Mita region of Mexico! You can be a part of this far reaching organization by donating today with a one-time donation, a monthly donation or a multi-year commitment. Spay or neuter an animal for $25 USD, sponsor a beach cleanup for $50 USD, send a child to camp for three weeks for $75, support a group of women to attend English classes for one month for $100 USD, or sponsor the entire PEACE Community center for one month for $500. Donations are tax deductible in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Visit

to make your donation or contact Becci@ for more information. Interested in volunteering? We have something that fits your valuable expertise and desire to make a difference! Contact Nicole at Nicole@peacemexico. org for more information! Thank you for being a part of positive change! Don’t forget! Manos de Amor has a facebook page and they want you to become their friend. For those of you who are already on facebook, you can find them by typing in their email address, or type in Manos de Amor. You will then see their logo and familiar faces. Nicole Dunphy will be managing the facebook page, nicole. La Fuente is holding a very special event on July 31st. Starting at 6 pm, they will have a wedding ceremony open to

anyone who would like to get married in the church. If you would like more information on these or any other events at La Fuente, check out their website at Please send your 1, 2, 5, or even 100 favorite things you have done...or want to do. Maybe it is enjoying a book with a cup of coffee at a special cafe, watching the sunset from your favorite oceanfront restaurant, or how about a special romantic spot...just for two! Visit our Facebook page by searching for “Things to do in Bucerias”. Have a warm and sunny week! John and Christie Forget, with their four teenage children, have lived in Bucerias since 2003. They are very active in the community. Learn more at

Make A Wish Foundation ® is the largest organization in the world that grants wishes to children with life threatening diseases. The mission of Make A Wish ® México is to create hope and happiness for children in Mexico. By granting MÉXICO their wishes  we provide a moment of joy in their lives.  On this occasion, Make A Wish® México granted the wish of Luis Ernesto, 11, who suffers from chronic renal failure. Luis Ernesto’s wish was to have a laptop. With the help of Merici College this was achieved. At a special celebration with gifts and music, Luis Ernesto discovered his new laptop with an emotion that affected us all.

If you would like to adopt a wish, refer a child or make a donation please contact us at Tel (322) 222-9111 or at 01800 3373671 or visit our


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


RODNEY L. SANDERS Text by Pegeen White Photos by Mary Wolde-Tsadik Rod Sanders passed away quietly in his sleep on Monday, July 19 in his home in the El Coloso neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta. Rod, who moved here from San Francisco, California a couple of years ago, was loved by many friends in Puerto Vallarta. Known for his kindness, generosity and sharp wit, he was always willing to do a favor for a friend. He was one of the folks in the informal group of dog lovers that meets every morning on Los Muertos beach to exercise their dogs. He was always willing to do a dog a favor, too.

Rod was born July 5, 1963 and grew up in Sacramento, California. Retired from his very successful trucking business in San Francisco, he embraced the Mexican way of life and the Mexican people. He was a strong critic of U.S. immigration policies and poor treatment of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. He was a strong advocate for gay rights and individual freedoms. His favorite quotation was: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

XX Rod Sanders with his light brown rescue dog, Sadie, and friends.

Rod will be interred with his deceased partner, James A. Gianelli, in the Columbarium in San Francisco, California. A memorial service will be held in Puerto Vallarta; date and time to be announced.


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010












SUMMER MENU TO CHOOSE: An Excellent Opening:

Tortilla soup With pasilla chiles, plum tomatoes, avocado, Fresh cheese, sour cream and corn tortillas OR

Organic mixed green salad

Whit cucumber, tomato and red onion served whit choice of Dressing maple-balsamic or citrus vinaigrette OR

Caesar salad

Romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan and herb baked croutons Served with a classic Caesar dressing


Chipotle-cinnamon Rubbed strip loin Thintly sliced, served with a crispy potato haystack, Banana ketchup and chipotle aioli OR

Coconut Crusted Shrimp lightly fried, served with a fresh tropical fruit salsa OR

Chicken Breast Mole Style Roasted, mole style, with roasted peanuts, chiles and Bittersweet chocolate (we make aur mole sauce from scratch) Great FĂ­nale Kye lime pay, Chocolate bread pudĂ­n or vanilla ice cream $189.00 pesos per person drinks and service are not included

LOLA IS LOST! R E W A R D Blanket Coverage. Perhaps private protection is going soft? Wherever he goes, this gentle agent carries his plush pink “security blanket.�— PASHA R

She is a Westhighland Terrier, lost in Fluvial, calle Rio Nilo and Lago Superior. Contact 322 118 3314, 311 164 6303 and 311 847 8584 or Nextel: 62*13*22048


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010



Mountain Magic at Sierra Lago R E S O R T & S PA JuanacatlĂĄn, Mascota, Jalisco, MĂŠxico.


By Deborah Buley

he road sign says another 18 kilometers but we can already sense the magic of Sierra Lago and smell the fresh blend of mountain aromas. It has only taken us two hours to get to Mascota and hot on the trail of Lake JuanacatlĂĄn, one of -DOLVFRÂśVPRVWHQFKDQWLQJMHZHOVKLGGHQ within thick verdant forest. Impressed E\KRZVWUDLJKWIRUZDUGWKHMRXUQH\KDV been from Puerto Vallarta, navigating the winding slopes of the Sierra Madre, we follow the well-placed road signs through the quaint town of Mascota, which dates back to the 16th century. We make a mental note to stop on the way home and have already penciled in a return pit stop in San Sebastian del Oeste, only 40 kilometers away. /HDYLQJ0DVFRWDZHDUHMRLQHGE\D VPDOOKHUGRIZHOOIHGFRZVJHHÂśG RU UDWKHUDQGDOHÂśG DORQJE\WKHLUPDVWHURQ KRUVHEDFNZKRÂśVGRQQHGLQIXOOFRZER\ garb and escorted by a couple of effervescent dogs. As the sun catches their coats of honey, it is easy to see why these humble animals are revered in India. A few of the cows turn to see what all the IXVVLVDERXWDQGVHHPGLVDSSRLQWHG LI WKDWLVSRVVLEOH WRQRWHMXVWDQRWKHUFDU with a couple of gringos, before taking a swift left turn into a grassy field. The flat plains very soon begin to steep as we keep to the stoned-paved track that leads us towards our magical destination.

Within a short time the sun becomes hidden by arching trees that shadow our path and leave mottled-green patterns dancing on the road. Like entering the VHWRIÂł$0LGVXPPHUÂśV1LJKWÂśV'UHDP´ WKHIRUHVWEHJLQVWRPRYHDQGMRVWOHLQ WKHEUHH]HDVWKRXJKMRLQLQJXVLQRXU excitement and expectation. Higher and Still reeling from the overwhelming higher we climb, winding to the shape of sight and unable to articulate the intense the mountains until we chance to see the splendor before us, we move towards the first glimpse of the paradise that would restaurant that looks to be in the sumbe our resting place for the weekend: merhouse in the distance. Our path is Sierra Lago. dotted with charming sculptures, ranging Eager to arrive and see for ourselves from neo-classical to contemporary, all what so many have described as an idyllic gracefully placed and congruous with heaven, we pick up pace and descend their immediate surroundings. We half carefully towards the reception area expect the figurines to come alive; such where we are greeted with the sight of is the magical atmosphere at Sierra Lago. an inviting and charming guesthouse. It Catching sight of the peddlelos and kayGRHVQÂśWWDNHXVORQJWRJHWFKHFNHGLQDQG DNVE\WKHZDWHUÂśVHGJH shown to our cabin that is we start to plan tomordecked out in traditional Eager to arrive and URZÂśVDFWLYLWLHVDOWKRXJK dĂŠcor and overlooks the see for ourselves the thought of doing lake; in fact, Claudia on anything else but relax what so many have reception assured us that and absorb the stunning described as an all of the cabins boast an natural surroundings amazing view of the lake. idyllic heaven, we pick seems sacrilegious. The bathroom also has up pace and descend After a delicious lunch that oldy-worldy feel with carefully towards the in the lakeside restaurant a stand-alone enamel bath that is also open to the reception area where EHVLGHVVORZHUILWWLQJV  general public we take we are greeted with the and wooden furnisha short walk to visit the ings peppered with fresh sight of an inviting stables found on the far flower petals. Already we and charming side of the football pitch. feel ripe to relax and let The horses are kept in guesthouse our weekend simply flow. immaculate condition Claudia reminds us that and are available for lunch is also included in horse riding on request or the all-inclusive package indeed to pull a carriage in the event of and directs us to the restaurant by the a wedding or special event. However, it lakeside. We decline the offer of a golf seems that today it is chance for another cart in favor of walking and follow the DQLPDOWRVWHDOWKHVKRZăODPDV6LHUUD path to towards the lake that rests within /DJRÂśVDGRUDEOHSDLURIODPDVPD\QRWEH the lush crater of an extinct volcano. TXLWH'RFWRU'RROLWWOHÂśV3XVKPL3XOO\X The crisp mountain air coupled by the but they are certainly full of character. spectacular views of Lake JuanacatlĂĄn We decide to take a long leisurely walk leave us breathless and stationary in awe. to the far side of the legendary bottomWe take a moment to drink in the crystal OHVVODNH VFLHQWLVWVDQGJHRORJLVWVDUH water and forested green reflection that VWLOOXQDEOHWRFDOFXODWHKRZGHHSLWLV  emanates from the mirrored surface of We head towards what seems to be a set the magical lake. As one in the presence of picturesque ruins catching the light of of exceptional beauty we are humbled the sun and casting a perfect mirror imand dazed by the scenery. Waterhouse age in the cool waters. They are actually would have surely found solace here! the outdoor chapel where weddings and

private gatherings can be organized. Like the ruins of an ancient banquet hall, the open-air chapel is completely open at one end and surrounded by three huge walls, lined with full-size fireplaces and an area for an altar. The thought of renewing our vows suddenly becomes very appealing surrounded by this idyllic setting. We sit for a while and soak up the tranquility of this serene location. As the afternoon draws to a close, the crisp sunshine takes refuge behind a cotton-cloud. We watch as the mist magically rolls in atop of the magnificent forested mountains that embrace the lake. We calculate we have about an hour before nightfall and start making our way EDFNWRWKHFDELQWRHQMR\DGLSLQWKH lakeside outdoor Jacuzzi before dinner. As we pass the games room and tennis courts we notice the dancing of fireflies as they gradually flicker to life with the setting of the sun. Sierra Lago certainly emits a fantastical dream-like quality. 'LQQHULVDQRWKHUGHOLJKWIXOFXOLQDU\ WUHDWWKLVWLPHVHUYHG DVLVEUHDNIDVW  in the main guesthouse where we get chance to meet other guests and share the experiences of our first day. The general consensus is that Sierra Lago is a unique and spectacularly enchanting place, like stepping out of time amongst nature. As the night draws on and the board games come to a close, it is clear that the mountain air and red wine has had a soporific effect on us all. We stumble to our cabins, weary yet paradoxically invigorated by the beauty that awaits us at dawn. The day may be over but the fantasy continues: waking up in Sierra Lago is like waking up into a dream.

Around the bay

VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Enjoying Riviera Nayarit´s World-Class Golf Courses

XX Carlos Velazquez, editor of Excelsior’s travel supplement, Bon Voyage, traveled to Riviera Nayarit last weekend to enjoy world-class golf courses

While Velázquez practiced his swing, Laura Rodriguez, a journalist specializing in Spas and spa treatments, sought out each and every reason that Riviera Nayarit is the ideal location to unwind and release the spirit. These two journalists, whose columns, reports and radio shows have nationwide coverage, were invited by Riviera Nayarit’s Convention and Visitors Bureau to unwind from the hectic lifestyle of Mexico City, and to get up to speed on the news of this travel destination. Carlos Velazquez decided to make his personal golf tour, and three out of the six golf courses in our destination were chosen for this objective. They constitute an important part of the touristic offer in Riviera Nayarit, which not only has variety, but also the highest quality PGA golf courses and high-end hotels. Laura Rodriguez chose to explore both specialized Spa treatments with novel

techniques, as well as the more traditional therapies based on ancient knowledge from the indigenous Mexican cultures. The outcome of their visit will be great public relations and publicity. Both journalists have already devoted their weekly nationwide radio shows on Grupo Imagen to Riviera Nayarit, and they will certainly publish more articles covering Riviera Nayarit in the future. The promotional work being done by Riviera Nayarit’s CVB includes, amongst other strategies, tours for opinion leaders so that they get acquainted with the destination. This is possible because of the vision of the State Governor Ney Gonzalez Sanchez, who has set the direction that the touristic industry must follow through the State Development Plan, placing tourism as the main drive in the State’s economy. The visit of journalists as important as Carlos Velazquez and Laura Rodriguez, who had the chance to get to know the high-level touristic offer that Riviera Nayarit has to offer, contributes to the positioning of Riviera Nayarit’s brand, according to the plan established by this State’s Administration.

By Josef Kandoll W

Carlos Velazquez, editor of Excelsior’s travel supplement Bon Voyage made his own personal golf tour through Riviera Nayarit last weekend, looking for the hot leads that make this world-class tourist destination an essential one for travelers in 2010.

XX Birthday girl Pam Thompson, who celebrated her big day with 70 or so friends at Dee`s Coffee last week, shown here with daughter-in-law Monica Thompson-Barrera, son Joe Thompson, and grandkids Brianda and Nicholas Thompson-Barrera. Many many more, Pam, and thanks for all you do for our community!

Around the bay

VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010




Vista Vallarta Circuito Universidad No. 653, Puerto Vallarta, Jal. (322) 29 000 30 Jack Nicklaus 18 Hoyos / Holes Marina Vallarta Paseo de la Marina s/n Puerto Vallarta, Jal. (322) 22 100 73 Joe Finger 18 Hoyos / Holes

The Bay of Banderas community boasts seven championship golf courses with four more under construction, and two more located a few hours south of Puerto Vallarta. So in the very near future, our region will have no less than 13 topnotch courses for golf lovers to choose from. We would like to give you a little insight into some of them in this issue. Marina Vallarta Golf Club is PV golf at its finest, replete with jungle foliage, lagoons, iguanas and tropical birds. The strong golf course was designed by famed American golf course architect Joe Finger, founder of Finger Dye Spann, Inc., a company with over 40 years in the practice of golf course architecture, with more than 20 “Best” rankings by various golf publications. Opened in 1989, the course is located in the heart of Marina Vallarta, in walking

distance from member hotels and easily accessible to all. This year-round, challenging 18-hole, 6,500-yard par 71 layout features lush vegetation, natural lagoons alive with herons, sea geese, iguanas, alligators, and the scenic shores of Banderas Bay. Today it is owned by ClubCorp, a Dallasbased company that owns or operates more than 220 golf courses, country clubs, private business clubs and resorts throughout the world. Its magnificent view of the Bay of Banderas and its natural obstacles such as waterfalls, palms and natural lagoons, along with its abundant wildlife, have made it increasingly popular in the last few years. It has twice been the site of the Governor’s Cup Pro/Am Tournament as well as other important golfing events. The facilities include a driving range and chipping putting green, golf shop and a full-service clubhouse. The golf course is a part of the luxurious Marina Vallarta hotel and condominium complex, and is only a short walk from such hotels as the Westin Regina Resort, the Melía, Velas Vallarta and the Marriott, among others. Marina Vallarta Golf Club is unique among resort golf courses in Mexico because it has integrated the

El Tigre Av. Paraíso Km. 800, Casa Club, Nuevo Vallarta, Nay. C. P. 63732 area’s beautiful natural landscape with a (322) 2970 717 layout designed to test golfing skill. Robert Von Hagge anda Fragrant tropical plants and an unequaled Rick Baril view of the Pacific coastline often defy 18 Hoyos / Holes golfers’ perceptions of distances and their ability to concentrate on the game achallenge for all levels of golfers from the advanced player to the casual player. The course has been called challenging, but not so difficult that most people wouldn’t enjoy it.

Mayan Resorts Golf Vallarta Av. Paseo de las Moras s/n Fracc. Náutico Turístico, Nvo. Vallarta, Nay. Playing the course is like a trip through (322) 29 718 30 paradise, as it winds through the local Jim Lipe vegetation. Picture perfect obstacles include 18 Hoyos / Holes waterfalls at green sites, a peninsula dotted with coconut with wildlife. White herons, iguanas, multicolored ducks, Mexican sand cranes and 16-foot alligators all call Marina Vallarta home, so watch that slice! If you are looking for American quality, service and operation, Marina Vallarta is the place.

Flamingos Carretera a Tepic – Vallarta No. 145, Bucerías, Nay. México. C.P. 63730 The clubhouse offers all the luxurious (322) 29 650 06 accommodations to make every guest feel Percy J. Clifford at home and the Pro Shop is fully stocked 18 Hoyos / Holes with the latest in golf merchandise, accommodating all needs from top of the line rental clubs to rental shoes. There is a complete practice facility available from the driving range to the chipping and putting green.

Four Seasons Punta Mita, Bahía de Banderas, Nay (329) 29 160 00 Jack Nicklaus 18 Hoyos / Holes


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


International Monetary Fund Raises Growth Forecast for Mexico By Michael Zenn

Perhaps the hottest spot in the Mexican economy is the coastal real estate market, expected to grow faster than any segment in the Americas and Internationally. For example, Playa del Carmen, located in the heart of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, was recently named the fastest growing area in the world by Guinness Book of World Records and the town of Tulum, just to the south, is poised to grow exponentially faster.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the powerful organization that oversees the global financial system, significantly raised its economic forecast for Mexico this month and in fact, warned that the economy South of the Border may be in danger of “overheating”. Latin America’s second largest economy is racing out of the recession at a 4.5% growth rate, faster than the U.S. and a full three points higher than previous IMF predictions. International capital is now flowing faster into Mexico as this emerging market is accelerating. Lower debt and sound economic fundamentals are getting the attention of individual and institutional investors alike. International investors are now seeing the

Mexican economy improving month by month, week by week. Mexican currency is up 2.4% this year against the dollar, the best performance of 16 of the most traded currencies, save the Yen. Mexico has the

lowest tax index of any modern country and is experiencing double-digit growth in its bank lending sector, right in the middle of a world-wide recession.

Despite media headlines of raging drug wars, in the face of such strong, irrefutable macroeconomics, the perception of Mexico as a risk economically is quickly fading, leaving even its most outspoken detractors a little speechless. Some critics who are talking say Mexico is “overheating,” while others just simply say, “It’s Hot!” Source:

World Bank to Lend 800 Million to Mexico The World Bank will lend 800 million dollars to Mexico to help transform public transport to reduce emissions, and other programs, the bank’s President Robert Zoellick said. The loans include 450 million dollars for social, water and infrastructure programs, said Mexican Treasury Secretary Ernesto Cordero during a joint news conference in Mexico City on July 21st. Another 350 dollars, including 200 million from the Clean Technology Fund,

a climate investment fund, would support the modernization of public transport across Mexico to reduce emissions and expand services, Cordero said. Zoellick pointed to Mexico City’s widelylauded Metrobus system of rapid buses on dedicated lanes as an example of efforts already being made toward improving the environment here. “I think that climate change is too important to wait for one formal accord,” Zoellick said, ahead of the December UN climate summit in Cancun, which follows

last year’s Copenhagen meeting seen by many as a failure. “I prefer to look at this (climate change) as an area where we need to try to make progress where we can, when we can.” Zoellick, who earlier took part in a Central American summit in El Salvador, also praised economic recovery in Mexico, where growth is predicted to rebound to 4.5 percent this year, after the economy shrunk 6.6 percent in 2009. He repeated his message from Central

America about the importance of involving the private sector in efforts to boost growth. “If you reduce the costs of doing business, if you make it easier to start a business, if you make it easier for people to get credit, you can also create the basis for growth,” Zoellick said. The World Bank chief was due to meet with university students in Mexico City on July 22nd. Source:

Mexico launches media blitz After months without an advertising campaign in the U.S. and during one of the most difficult periods for Mexico’s tourism industry, the Mexico Tourism Board has launched TV and print ads in the U.S. and Canada. The TV spots, designed by JWT, carry a new MTB message and tagline “Mexico, The Place You Thought You Knew” and emphasize new Tourism Minister Gloria Guevara’s initiative to show cultural and natural destinations in Mexico that are unfamiliar to many Americans, while also displaying the sun-and-sand spots that many American travelers already know and love.

Print and TV ads will run through November in magazines and on cable TV channels. One print ad features a view of a hilltop church in Cholula, in the central Mexican state of Puebla, with copy that reads, “The biggest pyramid in the world? With a church on top?” Another includes a close-up view of a monarch butterfly in the central Mexican state of Michoacan with text that reads, “A place so magical they fly 3,000 miles just to get there. Each year.” The TV ads portray Mexico vacations as enhancing relationships with friends and family and rejuvenating travelers. One spot depicts a group of friends visiting cultural and natural attractions in and

near the Mexican colonial town of San Luis Potosi.

as open to exploring new and different travel experiences.

The MTB did not release spending figures but said its investment in its North American campaign is 30% above what it spent in 2008, its baseline year. The aim is to target 50% of the North American population, with the goal of generating more than three impressions per person.

In preparing the campaign, focus groups were conducted in four cities in the U.S. and three in Canada.

The MTB said its research found Mexico’s best traveler prospects to be individuals ages 35 to 65 years old with annual incomes above $75,000 and who see vacations as a way to bond with family and friends. They describe themselves

“We know that people’s lives are incredibly hectic, and vacations are an increasingly important way for them to physically and spiritually rejuvenate,” said Guevara, in a statement. “We feel this campaign will do a spectacular job of communicating the lesser-known ways travelers can explore Mexico, and then return home a different person than when they left.”

Around the bay

VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


ANGLICAN/EPISCOPALIAN Christ Church by the Sea Located across from airport next to Thrifty car rental. Cell phone: 044 322 229 1129 Services: 10 am Sundays November - May

CATHOLIC Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (Parroquia de Guadalupe) Hildago # 370, El Centro, Tel: 222-1326 Bilingual Mass 10 am Sundays English Mass 5 pm Saturday Sacred Cross Parish (Parroquia de la Santa Cruz) Lazaro Cardenas # 395 at Aquacate, Tel: 222-0969 Mass with parts in English 11 am Sundays INTERDENOMINATIONAL Christian Community Church Meeting at First Baptist Chuch Argentina 181 at Parque Hidalgo Services 9:45 am on Sundays

MORMON Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Ixtapa Ward Carretera a las Palmas #371, Tel: 2090592 Spanish services 8 am and 12 noon with translators available, followed by English Sunday School Class 1 pm JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES English Congregation Milan 271, Col. Versalles Sunday Meeting at 7 pm NON - DENOMINATIONAL Calvary Chapel Pablo Picasso #105 near entrance to Hotel Las Palmas Tel:293-5455 Services 10:30 am and 6:30 pm Sunday Bible Study 7:30 pm Wednesday Worship in Paradise meeting at Paradise Community Center Pulpito 127 Old Town Sundays 10 am

New Dawn Center (Centro Nuevo Amanecer) Ave. Las Palmas Tel: 222-3330 Services: 10 am Sundays in Spanish with English translation Assembly of God Dulci Refugio (Sweet Refuge) 1 de Junio #333 “El Jardin” Col: El Calvario , Pitillal 044(322)4163743 Service Sunday 10:30 Spanish with English translation At Paradise Village Resort Nuevo Vallarta English Service 10:30 am Sundays Everyone welcome! COMMUNITY CHR ISTI AN CHURCH First Baptist Church Argentina 181 Col. 5 de Diciembre Next to Parque Hidalgo services: Sunday: 09:45 am Biblical Study: Saturday 10:00 am

12 STEP MEETINGS Most meetings in English are held at Basilio Badillo 329 in the South Side unless otherwise indicated. The current schedule is posted on the door), or call 222-3906, 222-2521, 209-0746 evenings • AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) Open Meetings: Daily 9am & 6:30pm, Sun. 11 am • AA Women: Thurs. 10:30am • AA Men Closed, 8 p.m. Thursday

• English speaking meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are now being held Monday to Friday at both 8 am and 8 pm at 1712 Francisco Medina Ascencio in the Hotel Zone. We are across the street from Mega Commercial and the Sheraton hotel, right next to (south of) the main TelCel customer service office on the second floor next to the University English Teachers Institute. • CODA Step Sisters: Tuesday 6:30 pm • Nic. Anonymous: Monday 9 am • ARTS (a 12 step program for creative people): Tues. 8pm (Bill 222-5711)

USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS GREEN ANGELS: 078 - (322) 221 26 80 FIRE DEPARTMENT: 060 -- (322) 223 94 76 and 78 TOURISM (322) 222 0242 or 01 800 446 3942 HARBOR MASTER: (322) 224 1000, 224 0427 ENVIROMENTAL EMERGENCY CENTER (COETEA) 01 800 710 49 43 FEDERAL COMMISSION ELECTRICITY (CFE) 071 – (322) 225 5555 CANADIAN CONSULATE (322) 293 00 98 and 99 AMERICAN CONSULATE (322) 222 0069 and (33) 3268 21 45 RED CROSS 060 EMERGENCY 060 and 066 IMMIGRATION (322) 221 13 80 FEDERAL POLICE (322) 290 0658 and 64 BUCERIAS POLICE (329) 298 1020 PROFECO 01 800 468 8722 MUNICIPAL CIVIL PROTECTION (322) 224 77 01 PUBLIC SECURITY 066 & (322) 290 0507 SEAPAL VALLARTA (322) 226 9191 RADIO TAXI 299 37 06 INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OF PVR (322) 221 1298 (322) 221-1325 (322) 221-1537


• Al-ANON: Mon. and Fri 6:30 pm. Step Study Sat. 9 am. All 12 step people welcome! • NA/Narcotics Anonymous: Daily 5 pm


XX Sayulita • OA/Over Eaters Anonymous: Tuesday, 5 pm Other locations IN PV: • AA Meeting Wednesday 5 pm Oro Verde Café, 726 Juarez OUTLYING AREAS : • NUEVO VALLARTA, Mon. Wed. Fri. 6 p.m. Vallarta time In Paradise Plaza upper level follow signage to US Consul, to ´door with notice ´Friends of Bill W¨. Contact Adriana (322) 297-0064 • LO DE MARCOS: AA, 10 am, Emiliano Zapata 37, contact Judy (327)-275-0328

• RINCON DE GUAYBITOS: AA, Monday and Friday, 4 pm Peñamar Hotel upstairs • SAN PANCHO: (San Francisco) AA, Friday 6:30 pm, Alanon, 5 pm Monday, CODA, Wednesday, 5 pm At Museum next to San Pancho Café ; contact Glenda (311) 258-4488 • SAYULITA: AA meetings (in English) - 6:30pm on Tues., Thurs. & Sat. Alanon Thurs. 5pm Calle Primavera 11. Ala-non Thurs. 5pm same location. There are signs at Choco Banana & Rollies Restaurant) • YELAPA: Generic 12-Step Meetings on Sun. At 4pm at Hotel Lagunitas.

Aeromexico (322) 2242777 and (322) 2211204 Aerotron (322) 2211921 Air Canada (322) 2211212 Alaska Airlines (322) 2211350 and (322) 2211352 American Airlines (322) 2211799 (322) 2211927 (322) 2211799 Continental Airlines (322) 2211025 (322) 2211025 (322) 2211096 Frontier Airlines Mexicana Airlines (322) 2211040

Note: We will be adding to this list over the next few weeks.

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VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010

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VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010

Risk of Exotic Pets Morphing into Invasive Pests By Emilio Godoy Turtles, frogs, toads and many kinds of birds are imported into Mexico as pets by the thousands every year, but they constitute an environmental and economic threat when they are invasive exotic species.

Invasive species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by human beings into alien habitats, where they establish themselves and spread causing damage. Typically they have great powers of adaptation and reproduction. Since the mid-1990s, when markets were opened to foreign trade, Mexico has become a big importer of birds, amphibians and reptiles. Between 2005 and 2010, import permits were granted to bring in some 960,000 wild birds. In 2009 alone, over 239,000 birds were imported from abroad.

Mexico is well aware of what can happen when invasive species enter it and proliferate. In 2006, the nopal moth (Cactoblastis cactorum), an insect native to South America, was found on the islands of Mujeres and Contoy, more than 1,000 kilometres southeast of the Mexican capital. The larva of the nopal moth feeds on the nopal plant, destroying it in the process.

The government took action against this threat with a campaign to eradicate the pest, and declared the moth eliminated from the area in 2009.

XX monk parakeet These wild parrots make communal nests in the angles of house roofs or on electricity cables in streets. After reproducing in great numbers, they wreak havoc on maize and sorghum plantations or fruit tree orchards. Environmentalists have documented their presence in the wild in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. In Mexico, approximately 10 million reptiles and amphibians, most of them turtles, are purchased abroad every year for the pet market. There is a risk they may carry diseases harmful to human health, or to that of local wildlife, according to ecologists.

“It’s an alarming phenomenon. Mexico has become an importer of exotic wildlife species. The growth of imports has been absolutely exponential. Prices are accessible, and wider distribution has enlarged the market,” Juan Carlos Cantú, head of Mexico programmes for Defenders of Wildlife, a Washingtonbased NGO, told IPS.

Experts have noted a fungus in pet frogs and toads which causes chytridiomycosis, an infection of the skin in amphibians that is transmitted through water.

The state National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) has identified at least 800 invasive species in the country, including more than 600 plant species. The rest are fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Quite frequently, pet owners tire of them and release them in streets, parks, fields or watercourses, where the animals settle, reproduce and may become dominant.

One of the environmental organisations’ concerns is the monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), a native of southern South America, which is regarded as highly invasive and an agricultural pest. Between 2005 and 2010, some 126,260 of these parakeets were imported.

species have,” Cantú emphasised.

Mexico has 38 native species of nopal or prickly pear, a cactus plant that has become a major national symbol. The nopal is a food source with a thousandand-one uses, and a staple of the Mexican diet. As such, it is widely cultivated on some three million hectares, and provides a livelihood to thousands of farmers.

Since April a reform of the General Law on Wildlife has prohibited imports of such species, but in practice Mexico continues to allow these animals to enter the country. Pet shops rely on them for their lucrative trade. “The only way to combat invasive species is to effectively ban their sale, because eradication would cost millions of dollars,” María Elena Sánchez, head of the environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO) Teyeliz, told IPS. “This kind of import ban works very well. And it is necessary for national security and food security.”


This fungus has spread from the United States to Costa Rica; and to the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche and Oaxaca.

will publish the ‘National Strategy on Invasive Species in Mexico: Prevention, control and eradication.’ It held public consultations on a draft version of this document in the first quarter of this year. During the consultation process it became clear that there was a lack of knowledge about the impact of invasive species, a lack of institutional coordination, no systems for monitoring and early detection, gaps and inconsistencies in the regulations, and shortcomings in import controls and in the control of the expansion of these species. “One of the most common problems is exotic species that reach a body of fresh water, like the suckermouth catfish (Hypostomus plecostomus), varieties of tilapia (Oreochromis), bigmouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and even brown trout (Salmo trutta fario),” said Sánchez. “Once permission is given, the authorities do not monitor the effects that these alien

Article 8h of the Convention on Biological Diversity - an international legallybinding treaty which came into force in 1993 and has been ratified by Mexico says that states party shall “prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.” In a few weeks’ time, the government

XX gilthead sea bream

Another example is that of the gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), a native of the Mediterranean Sea and a highly prized dish, which was accidentally released in 2008 into the waters of the Gulf of California, northwest of the Mexican capital. Some of these exotic fish escaped from cages at an Israeli fish farm, and have since proliferated. It is feared that, as a predatory alien species, it may decimate populations of local fish that only reproduce in this particular gulf. Monitoring of sea bream catches in the area is under way. Among the goals for 2020 proposed by the government in the strategy document that was circulated for consultation, are the enforcement of laws regulating the introduction and management of invasive species, and identification and surveillance of entry points and diffusion routes for species posing the highest risks. The executive branch also wishes to create standardised mechanisms and protocols to reduce the risk of entry, establishment and dissemination of invasive species, and to replace them with native species, or those entailing lower risks. Source:


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010

Random Thoughts... By Dave de Brooklyn “If you allow your apartment to get hot enough (and stay out of it), it may substantially shorten the lives of your bed bugs.” - (Letter to NYT) Moscow: As always, sex toys are a tough sell in Russia. “We have to try to enlighten the customers,” said Ms. Borisova, an owner of Erotic Fantasy, a supplier of German-made intimate equipment in Russia. “ No one knows what, why and how: what lubricant is, why a dildo is needed, how to use vaginal balls.” Though such topics are less provocative these days, the annual X-Show, which is in its ninth year, might still be a bit edgy, even if largely subdued by the standards of such events in the West. Beyond the caged strippers — and the coterie of men drooling over them — were models decked out in the latest latex fashions demonstrating proper whipping techniques. - Michael Schwirtz (NYT) Lake Forest, CA: A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of beating and duct-taping his wife during an argument inside their home. Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called to the couple’s home after the wife’s friend found her beaten and bound in duct tape inside a bathroom. Alireza Sazegari turned himself in to authorities and was booked on charges of witness intimidation, spousal abuse, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, according to sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino. The 30-year-old wife told authorities her husband became angry when he saw her speaking to another man. He also frequently beat her and didn’t let her leave the house unless he was with her or she went to work. Authorities say Sazegari had installed 20 plus surveillance cameras throughout the home which he monitored when away via his iphone. She was reportedly limited to specific rooms in the house. He was being held on $150,000 bail. (KTLA) Arizona in New York City?: The officers stop people they think might be carrying guns; they stop and question people who merely enter the public housing project buildings without a key; they ask for identification from, and run warrant checks on, young people halted for riding bicycles on the sidewalk. One night, 20 officers surrounded a man outside the Brownsville Houses after he would not let an officer smell the contents of his orange juice container. Between January 2006 and March 2010, the police made nearly 52,000 stops on these blocks and in these buildings. In the more than 50,000 stops, the police have recovered 25 guns. - Ray Rivera, Al Baker and Janet Roberts (NYT)

In front of vacant Southern California strip malls that once held furniture showrooms and mortgage offices, people in gorilla suits wave signs at passing cars, advertising the lone growth industry: CASH FOR GOLD. In Phoenix, freeway billboards advertise BANKRUPTCY BY PHONE, the expunging of debt apparently as unexceptional as ordering a pizza. In Cape Coral, Fla., where irrepressible marketing aimed to turn hundreds of miles of canals into a modern-day Venice on the Gulf of Mexico, a sign updated the story: PRICELESS REALTY, FORECLOSURES. In some communities, the downturn has torn at the social fabric, heightening divisions. At a job center in Orange County, Calif., six people gathered early this year to discuss the looming expiration of their unemployment benefits. Most had worked in the white-collar world. One had been a stockbroker with a $250,000 annual income. Another had earned $60,000 a year as an executive assistant at a Jaguar dealership. Several were homeowners. Nearly everyone agreed that illegal immigrants deserved much of the blame for their failure to land another job. - Peter S. Goodman (NYT) Personal note: Check out that last line again..unbelievable. Conservatives love to whine about big government and its intrusion in their lives,but when it comes to the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage, they are fine with that. When I hear my high school students voicing their support for gay rights and their disdain for those who live in the past, I have hope for aur country and the future. - Anthony Romano, Marblehead, MA (Letter to Boston Globe) In the fall of 1999, the drug giant SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a

competing pill, Actos, made by Takeda. Avandia’s success was crucial to SmithKline, whose labs were otherwise all but barren of new products. But the study’s results, completed that same year, were disastrous. Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart. But instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up, according to documents recently obtained by The New York Times. - Gardiner Harris (NYT) I sweat. I sweat in T-shirts, I sweat in shorts, I sweat in the shower. It is not a certain dampness. It is not a masculine bit of moist. Sweat spurts out the top of my head like I’m a lawn sprinkler. Summertime, when the living’s theoretically easy, is three long months of hell. The cold is easy — there’s no limit to the clothing you can put on. You can layer yourself so thick that your arms stick out and you can’t bend your legs at the knees. But heat — once you’re naked, there’s nowhere left to go. I wear black. Black holds more heat than white but it shows damp patches less, the universe’s twisted sartorial/thermodynamic joke. I dress like an undertaker on Casual Friday: black T-shirt, black khakis and a pocket full of paper towels that will not suffice when the levee of my hairline eventually breaks. As the solstice approaches, my mood darkens like the collar of a red button-down. I stare at the men on the subway in three-piece suits, each one dry as a bone. Something’s going on. Someone’s not telling me something. I try to figure it out. Is it something I’m eating? Something I’m drinking? Am I drinking too much — or not enough? I drop caffeine. I eat less salt. I eat more salt. August. Misery now. I spend my time trying to figure out a way to earn a living without leaving the pool. I watch reports of global warming with evil glee: Soon you will know how I feel. Soon you will


all know. - Shalom Auslander (NYT) Congressman Ron Paul raised $35 million for his failed 2008 Presidential bid, 99 percent of it from more than 160,000 individual donors. Yet a lot of his money went to enterprises controlled by Paul, his family or political buddies and failed to produce a single primary win. So where did all the money go? A few examples:The Paul campaign paid $120,000 for MPrinting Graphics, a firm controlled by Paul’s Congressional campaign manager and $994,339 to Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc., a firm created just before the money was paid to them. The company has a post office box in Virginia but their web site does not list a single client. Paul shelled out $860,000 to political consultants — most long-time cronies; $3 million in salaries, including friends and relatives; $5.7 million for direct mail, much of it to enterprises he controls. he campaign’s FEC reports list $10.6 million for “broadcast media,” but little of that ever resulted in ads on the air. An analysis by OpenSecrets.Org, a web site that tracks campaign fundraising and expenditures, shows that 14.3 percent of Paul’s campaign spending — about $2 million — was not disclosed. - Doug Thompson (Capital Hill Blue) Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD): The Trident submarines provide “the nation’s most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability,” as stated by the Navy. Their mission is to launch a massive and final lethal blow in the event that the worst has happened: “nuclear combat toe-to-toe with the Ruskies,” in the memorable drawl of Major T. J. “King” Kong, the Slim Pickens character in “Dr. Strangelove.” (MAD) makes less sense at a time when the enemies of civilization are cave-dwelling religious fanatics who target cartoonists and kill innocent children at soccer telecasts and think, if they die in nuclear Armageddon, a sexual reward awaits them in heaven. Timothy Egan (NYT) For three decades we have witnessed the shift of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. This class warfare began with the Reagan administration and continues today, yet we never hear any discussion of rolling back the Reagan tax cuts. We also never hear any discussion of reducing the bloated Pentagon budget. And we never hear any discussion of ending the elective wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Nor do we hear any discussion of correcting the ridiculously low rate of tax on profits brought into this country from corporate off-shore headquarters. Instead we only hear about new ways to correct the excesses of the fiscally challenged on the backs of the average American. - Will Forman, Hamilton, MA (Letter to Boston Globe) Dave de Brooklyn is a former stockbroker and reporter.

Real Estate

VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


ASK A REALTOR BY MICHAEL GREEN Q: I just bought a condo in Nuevo Vallarta and the seller says we need to go to a Notary public. Why is this? We already have a signed contract of sale; does this have to be notarized? John R. New York A: There are profound differences between a Notary public in the US and the Notario Publico in Mexico. In the US, the public Notary might be a bank clerk, secretary at the office, or practice any other occupation. In Mexico, the Notario Publico must have a law degree, verifiable experience, pass a rigorous exam and is appointed for a lifetime term by the governor of the state. Typically there is a Notario Publico for approximately every 30,000 in population. In Mexico,

all legal documents, such as deeds, wills, powers of attorney, constitution of corporations, establishment of trusts and other legal transactions must be made before a notary public in order to be valid. If the document is not notarized by a Mexican notary public it is not legal! You should think of the Notario Publico here along the same lines as a Judge in the United States. As part of the closing process, the Notario Publico will verify the following official documents, which are required by law for any transfer: A no-lien certificate from the public property registry, based on a complete title search; A statement from the treasury or municipality regarding property assessments, water bills and

other pertinent taxes that might be due; An appraisal of the property for tax purposes. The Notario Publico is also authorized to calculate and collect any Capital Gains taxes generated by the sale. The Notario Publico also is in charge of registering your new deed with the public registry, and issuing a preventative notice of the sale with the Registry. Customarily, the Notario fee is paid by the buyer of a property as part of their closing costs. It is important to remember that the Notario Publico is an independent third party to your transaction. He will not be able to advise you on details in your contract such as: price, location, financing, and terms of sale. For that reason, I hope you have

already sought the advice and counsel of an AMPI Realtor, who can act as your advocate. Many AMPI Realtors have formed strategic alliances with a Notario Publico liaison. These bilingual attorneys can assist with many of the above tasks at no additional expense to the buyer. Best of all, they live or die by the concept of “Customer Service�, making them an invaluable part of your closing process! Thanks to Jessica Riedesser at Riedesser y Asociados for help with this answer. Do you have a question about Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta? Just ask! Michael Green moved here in 1997 to take advantage of the unsurpassed lifestyle PV offers. Mike can be reached by e mail:


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Insider Puerto Vallarta… ...Insider Tips for an Insider Experience Juanita Catrina

I am passionate about Puerto Vallarta! When friends back home in Ohio ask me what I like best I am always stumped because there are soooo many reasons I can’t decide what to name first. Should I say the weather? I guess that is obvious. How can you not love going somewhere when the sun shines almost every day, at least during the winter months?

Mexican flair! And if you decide to cook, the produce is fresh, plentiful and cheap. I can buy 3 or 4 avocados in PV for what I pay for just one at home! Of course I might well say watching the sun sink into the ocean over Banderas Bay, arguably my favorite thing about Vallarta if the hundreds of sunset pictures I take each year are any indication. To me there is nothing quite like it. Or possibly walking on the Malecon in the evening alongside the local families, laughing at the clowns, listening to the pounding waves, or watching the rock guy. Maybe stopping to watch the Tolnatecos Voladores as they climb the impossibly high pole then fall off backwards, swinging around and around to the delight of the crowd. Vallartans are also able to enjoy some of the finest traditional Mexican dancing and authentic costumes by their own widely traveled and highly acclaimed, Xuitla dance company. These performances are always free of charge and usually performed Friday and Sunday evenings in delightful outdoor ampitheaters. And not to forget the nightly fireworks display over the bay from the authentic looking pirate ships, the Marigalante and the Perla Negro or Black Pearl as they stage their nightly battle.

Or should I say that the city is so charming?! This is not the Epcot version of Mexico, folks, this is the real thing, holes in the pavement and all. But oh, so beautiful with whitewashed buildings with red tile roofs, gorgeous public art, kind and friendly people and the ocean everywhere you look, unless you are looking at the backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains framing the bay. It all takes your breath away! Hearing the lyrical Spanish language, whether or not you understand it, is also part of the charm. Or, how about the exchange rate? Why go to Florida when you can get a 25% premium on your hard earned dollars in Mexico? And now and then it has gone as high as 15 pesos to the dollar in the past couple of years. We have a friend who goes to the Cayman Islands and LOSES 20% in the exchange. That is a swing of over 40%. We just scratch our heads….. What about the fact that PV is like a small town where you can walk just about everywhere and run into someone you know on every block? This hasn’t happened since we were kids. The exercise we get is amazing! We don’t use a car in PV and when we do need transportation, cabs and buses are plentiful and cheap.

Maybe I should say the food. There are literally hundreds of restaurants to choose from in all price ranges, with every type of cuisine and in almost every case you can eat outside without being too hot or too cold. When we were recently back in Ohio every time we ate inside we were

freezing in the cold air conditioning – in PV everything is open air and so this rarely ever happens! A variety of chefs from all over the world have settled in Puerto Vallarta so it is common to find French, German, Swiss, Italian and even Asian cuisine offered, usually with a little

I might mention Art Walk every Wednesday evening where the galleries have an ever changing display of beautiful works by talented artists along with a glass or two of wine. And every day is an art walk when you walk the Malecon and view massive works of public sculpture on display for all to see, and in some cases climb on, and be photographed with. Oh, my, did I mention the beach vendors?! I could go on and on…. So, you can see that I am in love with Vallarta. Friends and relatives are always asking me to give them ideas on where to stay, where to eat and what to do. A little insider information. For that reason I decided to start a blog called Insider Puerto Vallarta. I encourage you to read my blog and become a follower. You can find me online at I encourage you to comment or send suggestions and blog ideas. Juanita Catrina can be reached at juanita@ or on her blog at www.insiderpv. com. Look for her also on Facebook as Juanita Catrina and Insider Puerto Vallarta.


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010


Planting Roots in México By Tommy Clarkson

Flame Tree Delonix regia Family: Leguminosae or Fabaceae Sub-family: Caesalpinioideae (Also known as: Flamboyant Tree, Royal Poinciana or peacock flower.) Metaphorically speaking, if you’d like to light a fire of bright color in your garden, this might be the tree for you! There are a dozen or so different trees called the Flame Tree but all of them are stunningly beautiful. The one’s most seen here in Mexico, is the Delonix regia which requires ample space and full sun to reach its umbrella-shaped (often wider than its height) mature stature of 18 meters. This spectacular, tropical shade tree has a smooth, gray colored bark. Its feathery, fern-like leaves are evergreen if watered year around but will drop off if the tree becomes parched during the dry season. Appearing with its new leaves are masses of brilliantly vivid, five-petaled flowers that range from red/vermilion/orange/ yellow to a pale apricot in color. One of the most colorful trees in the world, the Flame Tree puts on a riotous floral show during a protracted spring and summer timeframe. These flowers are large, with four, spoon-shaped, solid colored, scarlet-red or orange-red petals

up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and is spotted with yellow and/ or white. This tree flowers best in areas that have two distinct seasons. Following its blooms come long, flattened, leathery dark brown/black seed pods, 60 cm long and 5 cm wide. These seed pods are used in the Caribbean as a percussion instrument known as the “shak-shak” or maraca. Those noise making, individual seeds inside these pods are small, weighing around 0.4 gram. Beyond noise, in these islands the pods are also, sometimes, used as fuel for fires. The compound, doubly pinnate leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green. Each leaf is 30-50 cm long and has 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnae on it, with each of these further divided into 1020 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules. A malleable sort, this tree can tolerate aggressive pruning and be kept rather small. Native to Madagascar, it is now widely grown throughout the Caribbean (where the locals simply call the tree “flamboyant”), Africa, the Canary Islands, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong

XX Its flowers are large, with four, spoon-shaped, solid colored, scarlet-red or orange-red petals and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and is spotted with yellow and/or white

XX Well named, the riot of brilliant red flowers of the Flame Tree are a delight to see and in Southern China. Because of the flower’s brilliance, and so many growing naturally in the area, the Puerto Rican town of Penuelas has been nicknamed “The Valley of the Flames”; in Vietnam, this tree is called “Phurong vy”, or phoenix’s tail; and in Miami there is an annual festival to celebrate the flowering of the Flame Tree. It is a fast growing at about 1 ½ meters (5 ft) per year, is tolerant of a wide range of well drained soils, likes full sun and tolerates salty conditions. But it is best to provide protection from strong winds and would not like living on an openly exposed beach.

A few negatives are that as a result of its shallow, wide-spreading roots, underplantings generally do not work; its roots can cause problems for building foundations, walls and sidewalks; its large woody pods and brittle branches can get broken off in the wind; and the seedlings that come up around the tree base can be a bit of a nuisance – but I still like ‘em! So, in summation, if you’ve the space, this could be a bright addition for your gardens! Tommy Clarkson loves to root in the dirt! Retired in Mexico, he raises exotic palms, plants and flora.   For advice/information contact: . More at

XX Seed pods and flowers alike can be seen on this specimen overlooking the Bay of Banderos


VALLARTA TRIBUNE 694 July 25 - 31, 2010