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Feb 07 - 13, 2014 Free Issue 879


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Friday February 7 - 13, 2014 PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Fernando Gonzalez Corona Director Victor Falcon Editor Lic. Madeline Milne Editorial Board Marcia Blondin Raymond C. Beaty Lois Ellison John & Christie Forget Landon Hollander Nancy Van Landingham Robina Oliver Sales Team SALES Ma. Yolanda Meza Rebeca Castellón Community Manager / Sales Julie Mongeau Designer Cynthia E. Andrade G.

Vallarta Tribune is an activity and entertainment guide and merely publishes information as it is provided by the advertiser or event host. We do not assume responsibility in errors or omissions other than to correct them as soon as they are made known to us regarding event schedules, locations and/or prices. In addition, we do not assume any responsibility for erroneous inclusion or exclusion of information except to take reasonable care to ensure accuracy, that permission has been obtained to use it, and to remove it as soon as is practical upon receiving your notification of error. We recommend you always confirm prior to attending or visiting an event or establishment. 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 Del. El Pitillal, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco México CP 48290 Tel. (322) 226-0829, 226-0800 * *

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit Here is some advice to make your trip a little easier and more enjoyable. TIME ZONE: The entire state of Jalisco is on Central Time, as is the southern part of the State of Nayarit starting from San Blas in the north. BUSES: A system of urban buses with different routes can bring you from one end of the bay to the other and all the spots in between. Current fare is $7.50 pesos per ticket and passengers must purchase a new ticket every time they board another bus. There are no “transfers”. TAXIS: There are set rates within defined zones of town. Do not enter a taxi without agreeing on the price with the driver first. Price is per trip not person. MONEY EXCHANGE: Although you may have to wait in line for a few minutes, banks will give you a higher rate of exchange than the exchange booths (caja de cambio). You will need your passport. Better yet, use your bank card to withdraw funds from any ATM machine. Note that ATM’s in the banks are the safest to use and generally charge lower fees. DRINKING WATER: For the 17th year in a row, Puerto Vallarta’s water has been awarded a certification of purity for human consumption. The quality of the water tested at the purification plant varies greatly from what comes out of the tap at the other end. So do be careful. If you want to be doubly sure, you can pick up bottled water just about anywhere.

EXPORTING PETS: Fall in love with the street dog outside your hotel or a puppy on the Malecon doesn’t mean they can’t come home with you. The process is fairly inexpensive and only takes a day or two. You need a certificate of health from a local vet among other things. The time of year that pets can travel in the cargo section of the plane may be your biggest challenge. For the most up-to-date information contact the Puerto Vallarta SPCA at COMMON SENSE: Just as you wouldn’t walk around your hometown drunk and beligerent, it is not acceptable to do that here. While Mexicans are a forgiving bunch, basic politeness is appreciated. For the guys, peeing in public is a major faux pas and if you are caught, can get you tossed in jail or an expensive fine. Pay attention to your surroundings. Pay your bills. Be courteous. And have fun! DRINKING AND DRIVING: First off – just don’t. The consequences are not worth it. Taxis are cheap and plentiful. Fines are as much as 10,000 pesos. You can be taken to jail and your vehicle impounded. There are many checkstops on the weekends and you will be asked to blow if they suspect you have been drinking. LEGAL SYSTEM: Not knowing the law is not an valid excuse in Mexico or anywhere. If you find yourself caught in a legal situation be aware that guilt is presumed until your innocence can be proven. This is a very difficult lesson to learn if you are visiting from the United States or Canada in particular. Immediately contact your consulate for assistance.

Calling in Mexico Calling phones in Mexico can be tricky as it is different than in the US or Canada. There are different codes you need to use depending if you are calling landlines or cellular phones and if they are local or long distance. Long-distance calls from within Mexico For national long-distance calls (within Mexico) the code is 01 plus the area code and phone number. For international long-distance calls, first dial 00, then the country code (for the U.S. and Canada the country code is 1, so you would dial 00 + 1 + area code + 7 digit number). Calling Cell Phones (from a land line) If you are calling from a landline within the area code of the Mexican cell phone number dial 044, then the 10 digit number including area code. Outside of the area code (but still within Mexico) dial 045 and then the 10 digit phone number. Cell phone to cell phone only requires the 10 digit number. Phone Cards Phone cards (“tarjetas telefonicas”) for use in pay phones can be bought at newstands and in pharmacies in denominations of 30, 50 and 100 pesos. Pay phones do not accept coins. When buying a phone card for pay phone use, specify that you would like a “tarjeta LADA,” because pre-paid cell phone cards are also sold in the same establishments. Calling Toll-Free Numbers Some toll free numbers work from Mexico to the US and Canada, but many do not. You need to dial a different prefix. To call the following toll free prefixes, dial as follows: 800 numbers Dial 001-880-then the number 866 numbers Dial 001-883-then the number 877 numbers Dial 001-882-then the number 888 numbers Dial 001-881-then the number

Emergencies: 060 Red Cross: 065 Non-Emergency Police 322.290.0507 Fire Department: 322.223.9476 Ambulance: 322.222.1533

Consulates American Consulate Nuevo Vallarta: 322.222.0069 24 hrs Guadalajara: 333.268.2145

Immigration: 322.224.7719 Consumer Protection: 01.800.468.8722 Tourism Offices Jalisco: 322.221.2676 Nayarit: 322.297.1006

Canadian Consulate 322.293.2894 24 hrs: 1.800.706.2900

Editorial 03

Editor´s Note


or the avid Tribune reader you know my mother was visiting and we had too many things to do and not enough time. We decided to kill a couple birds (not literally) with a single stone and embark on a two night trip from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara. Eager to get on our way we were faced with the usual last minute running around that seriously shortened our day, so day one consisted of a few roadside stops to hunt butterflies and a stroll through the always quaint Pueblo Magico, San Sebastian del Oeste. I’ve decided I’m moving there for the summer; partly to escape the humidity and partly because the pastries at the little French/Italian bakery are to DIE FOR. If you venture into San Sebastian you absolutely must stop at El Galletero Magico. The chef is super cute and funny and his banana foster, napoleons, cannoli, empanadas, butterfly cookies, truffles, and cream filled anything’s are crazy good. Rolling our gorged selves out of town we arrived in Mascota in time for dinner. Found a cute, affordable hotel for only $450 pesos just a couple blocks from the plaza. We went for excellent Mexican dinner at a recommended restaurant called Casa de mi Abuela (My Grandmother’s House). Our after dinner stroll around the plaza led us into the funky grocery store/ pharmacy where our lives were changed in just a blink of an eye. Once he found out we were Canadian the proprietor told us about this mystical Maple forest that is just outside Talpa. “Maples in Mexico? Really?” says my all-knowing naturalist mother, “tell me more.” We learn that it is one of only four such forests left in Mexico and it has an ecosystem that has died off MILLIONS of years ago. It’s a hectare of a subspecies of sugar maple trees, like the kind you have in Canada. Clearly, our plans changed as my mom was giddy

with the chance to see this fluke of nature. With my mother vibrating on the seat beside me, we drove to Talpa the next morning, which is a beautiful drive and the town looks like a great place to explore but we didn’t have time. Who knew how long this forest had left, what with loggers and developers lurking around every corner?! Thirty kilometers past Talpa on your way to Tomatlan you will find a poorly marked road that leads up a tiny dirt road with sheer cliffs on either side. About five kilometers up you will come to a spot in the road where you can park and from here it is just a short hike – easy for all abilities. (There is a detailed article and directions on page 14 of this week’s paper.) To be honest, it’s very pretty. The little brook running through the forest and the flitting butterflies, birds and dragonflies were very sweet. Aside from identifying the Maple trees I was out of my element but knowing that this ecosystem is so rare and should by all means have become extinct millions of years ago was a thrill. I did kinda hope the baby dinosaurs from Land Before Time would peak their heads out but alas it was mostly butterflies. If you are a botanist, a naturalist, a lover of all things Maple or just like to drive on backroads through the forests of Mexico this is a trip for you! As I write this, I’m in Guadalajara and haven’t any idea what’s on this week’s agenda but, I do know June Rosen Lopez is having

Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Around Town with Julie

E a party, we have the weekend markets, the many live performances, the whales are in the bay, there are plenty of charity events, new gallery openings and the all-you-can-eat Sunday BBQ at El Rio. Also, next Friday is Valentine’s Day – so I’d start making plans if you have a special someone. If you are looking for a romantic getaway – check out the deals at Villa Amor del Mar ( in La Cruz, excellent packages and my favourite place on the bay. Also, I like silver but gold will do in a pinch. Have a great week. Enjoy yourselves and take advantage of all the wonderful, amazing and magical things we have right here, right now. Madeline

xploring Puerto Vallarta with a young child can be somewhat challenging, unless of course you are staying at an all-inclusive resort where activities and entertainment are an arm’s length away. I recently met a single mother with a 20 month old daughter whose vacation took a bizarre turn and she was had to find an apartment in Old Town, live cheap and share common living space with me (lucky girl!). I must say it’s quite refreshing hearing a squeaky voice calling my name at the bottom of my stairs and also to hear the echo of her short footsteps in the hallway. My new friend has been quite resourceful and has found a variety of cost effective or even better, free activities that can ensure a fabulous vacation. I have asked her to share with me a few of her PV discoveries that kept her daughter amused. As she clearly underlined, that in the past few weeks the ocean has been a little angry, making a mother/daughter afternoon at the beach a little challenging. After a memorable experience she gracefully suggested, that you can indulge in a bus ride to Mismaloya Beach, where the rip tide is much calmer, the beach is intimate and dining at the beach restaurant is quite reasonable, especially when your little kid enjoys tostadas and crackers. She also suggested finding a close by hotel, with a pool. Most of them allows day guests to take advantage of their facilities, the prices range from 50pesos to 400pesos. Some hotels will credit the day pass price to your food and beverage bill, again making sure

mommy gets to enjoys some rays maybe even a little drink by the pool - nothing crazy of course! Another great way to enjoy Puerto Vallarta with a toddler is the famous Malecon. Important to emphasize that that once the sun sets many surprises await! Life, sounds, laughter and most importantly the seaside comes to life. There is a variety of free entertainment for mom and baby including; free fireworks, spontaneous clown and mime shows, balloons sculptures, the ever surprising Charro parades and of course meters of car-free running space where the little darling can get the last of her energy out and allow mom a peaceful down time. Until next week, stay young! Any cute suggestions for PV parents…. Juliemongeau@ is always ready for a challenge. Please diapers not included. Smiles Julie


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Area organizations team up with dif for beautification projects

Jalisco and China representatives meet to discuss mutual interests

ith a goal of improving family life, the System for Family Development (DIF) of Puerto Vallarta , chaired by Magaly Fregoso Ortiz, teamed up with the American Legion to perform much needed community work in public spaces throughout town. More time and resources dedicated by these two groups have impacted areas such as the recreational park in the neighborhood of Aurora. With more than 100 volunteers participating, the results have been with merit and successful. According to Denis Rike, president of American Legion, after the rehabilitation of this recreation park, a basketball tournament was created. The American Legion, working together with the DIF, formed four teams and equipped them with uniforms, balls and coaches. These two collaborative bodies announced that they are working in the public square of the neighborhood of Caloso. In addition to painting, the repairing of recreational games was also undertaken. Rike said the goal is to install 150 American Legion

Translated by Michelle Mayer-Fulfer



Magaly Fregoso Ortiz

swings in different parks around Puerto Vallarta, Tomatlán, Cabo Corrientes and Banderas Bay. The American Legion will ensure that the material used does not pose a risk to children. Other associations that have supported the beautification efforts in Puerto Vallarta, are the Rehabilitation Clinic -Santa Barbara and Project Find a Friend in Pitillal, the latter has made large contributions particularly because they believe that their work is essential for people with disabilities.

‘Mexico may boost LatAm economy’


conomic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean is set to pick up in 2014, and growth across the region will be related to Mexico’s economic recovery, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Western Hemisphere Director Alejandro Werner said on Thursday. “We see a slightly higher growth in 2014 than in 2013 and this … is due to in part to our anticipation of Mexico recovering its growth rate from the last several years,” Werner said. The IMF raised its growth projections for the region to 3 percent from 1.2 percent several weeks ago, after a deceleration of the economy in 2013 that resulted in 2.6 percent growth. “It’s an important growth, but the 3 percent growth rate that we anticipated continues being a moderate growth rate,” Werner said, explaining that Mexico’s low growth in 2013 was due to several factors such as a reduction in public spending because of

a change in administration during the first semester. He hopes to see this completely turned around. The other factor he is waiting to see is “the recovery of the United States.” He said that in the meantime we will have to see how the structural reforms and the coming secondary regulations will affect growth in Mexico. Even though he is optimistic Latin America will grow by 3 percent this year, he said that volatility in developed and emerging markets will be an important factor in the coming months. Originally published by THE NEWS

he Governor of Jalisco, Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, met this week with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Mexico, Qiu Xiaoqi. The two officials were accompanied by a delegation of representatives of their respective countries. Among the topics covered at the meeting were the Chinese New Year celebration in Guadalajara, the Education Minister’s visit to Shanghai in 2013 and the upcoming visit by officials to the province of Suizhou. In addition, topics such as promoting 100% agave tequila in China, investment in infrastructure, tourism and partnering Jalisco with various cities in China were discussed. Present at the meeting held in Casa Jalisco were the president of

DIF Jalisco Lorena Arriaga Jassibe Sandoval who received a financial grant for $30,000 dollars from the ambassador and his wife Liu Min. This gesture was seen as one of friendship between China and Jalisco. The money will be used to aid those in need. This is the first visit of ambassador to Guadalajara. Ambassador Qiu Xiaoqi Diaz and Governor Sandoval had previously met in Puerto Vallarta during the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum held earlier last month. On behalf of the Chinese delegation, the Secretary of Political Affairs and ambassador’s wife Madame Liu Min, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Mexico Li Shu , the project manager of the company CACME Zhu Yanqi were in attendance. Representing the Government of Jalisco were the Minister of Economic Develo-

Jorge Aristóteles Sandoval

pment José Palacios Jiménez and the Director of International Affairs Guillermo González Flores. China is the world’s second largest economy and largest investor of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in developing countries’ economies. The partnership between Shanghai and Jalisco has also carried out a successful academic exchange program.

Sectur reports international tourism rising


he number of international tourists who arrived in Mexico by air grew by 9 percent last year, reaching almost 12 million visitors, the Tourism Secretariat (Sectur) reported on Sunday. In a press release, Sectur said that, according to figures released by the National Migration Institute’s (INM) Comprehensive Migration Operation System, the number of air travelers arriving in Mexico in 2013 was significantly larger than in 2012. Between January and December 2013, 11,774,000 visitors arrived in Mexico by air, an increase of 9 percent on 2012, when only 10,804,000 visitors arrived by air, the press release said. It went on to say that, specifically in Dec. 2013, the growth in the number of travelers was 7.8 percent on the same month in 2012. According to Sectur, the United States continues to be Mexico’s biggest foreign tourist market, with almost 6.5 million U.S. visitors arriving in Mexico by air in 2013. The press release said that some countries showed large increases in the number of their

citizens visiting Mexico, but that the total number of tourists from these countries nevertheless remains relatively low when compared to other markets — such as Colombia, which saw a 60.4 percent increase in number of visitors; Russia, with a 39.9

percent increase; Peru, with 39 percent; China, 26.6 percent; South Korea, 24.4 percent; Sweden, 17.1 percent; the United Kingdom, 14 percent and Japan with a 13.5 percent increase. Originally published in THE NEWS


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

New Tendencies In Psychological Help

Mexico set to become top exporter of cars to the US By Brendan Case Bloomberg News Mexico City – Thank Nafta. Japan has ranked among the top two auto exporters to the United States since the 1970s, shipping Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans more than 5,000 miles across the Pacific. The Asian nation is poised to be eclipsed this year by Mexico, which as recently as 1990 sent fewer than a quarter of a million vehicles across its northern border. Mexico’s tally will reach 1.9 million in 2015, topping Canada as the biggest exporter of cars to the world’s largest economy, consultant IHS Automotive estimated. Mexican auto exports to the U.S. more than quadrupled from 1993 to 2013 as output almost tripled, buoyed by lower tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Three plant openings in four months — by

Nissan, Honda and Mazda — will supply the final push for Mexico’s leap past Japan, which as recently as 2008 shipped almost twice as many cars to U.S. consumers. “It’s certainly a low-cost place to produce and there’s a lot of comfort with the caliber of the workforce in Mexico,” Ron Harbour, a manufacturing analyst and partner at consultant Oliver Wyman, said in a telephone interview. “In the late 80s and early 90s, what was coming in from Japan was overwhelming compared with what we thought about from Mexico back then. Obviously, things have changed.” Cranking out small cars such as the Honda Fit and Nissan Sentra, the new factories will boost Mexico’s share of the $150 billion U.S. import market for passenger vehicles and light trucks. Madein-Mexico autos sold in the U.S. will reach 1.69 million this year, topping the 1.51 million Japan-

built vehicles. By 2015, U.S. sales of autos from Mexico may climb to 1.9 million, topping Canada’s 1.87 million. “Passing Japan as a U.S. supplier has been in the works for quite some time, particularly since the Mexican plant announcements a few years back,” Guido Vildozo, an IHS Automotive analyst based in Lexington, Mass. said. “It looks like there’s a possibility Mexico may pass Canada next year.” For Mexico, the significance of growing exports goes beyond bragging rights over manufacturing prowess. Autos, trucks and parts accounted for 19 percent of Mexican exports during 2013’s first 10 months, up from 17 percent a year earlier, the Mexican Automobile Industry Association reported. The industry has grown so large that it generates more foreign exchange than oil or money sent home by Mexicans living abroad.

Hotels Reach 100% Occupancy During Holiday Weekend Doraliz Terrón Moreno Translated by: Michelle Mayer-Fulfer

Puerto Vallarta, Jal - . According to the Municipal Tourism department, a majority of hotels in Puerto Vallarta reported 100 % occupancy during this most recent holiday. Gerard Carlos Guzman, head of the agency, said that this past Friday saw an increase in arrivals of domestic and international tourists to this city. Following up with this information, a survey was performed that showed that large hotels and 5 star hotels began the long weekend at 70% capacity and by Saturday many had reached 100%. He added that the report is of

22,000 occupied rooms with an average of 2.5 tourists per room. Thus, this represents 76,000 visitors in the first long national weekend of 2014. “It’s very positive for the city. It shows that all the promotional efforts made in national and international campaigns have been successful. Upcoming February

Explore Banderas Bay


uerto Vallarta is located in the middle of Banderas Bay, one of the largest bays in Mexico at nearly 100km in length. It is bounded in the north by Punta de Mita and in the south by Cabo Corrientes. It straddles the states of

Jalisco and Nayarit, divided along the Ameca River. The bay is home to many wonderful communities and an abundance of natural wonders. In the winter and spring seasons you can witness the awe inspiring

is a good month for an influx of tourists,” he said. He noted that hotels, restaurants and shops recorded high rates of consumption in this city thanks to the national holiday. He also noted that the survey encompasses different sectors with many surpassing economic forecasts.

beauty of the humpback whales as they calve in the warm waters of the bay, in the summer you can experience the majesty of the sea turtles hatching and returning to their watery world. The fall brings renewed vigour to the mountains and rivers with the fresh rains and revived vegetation.

By Jean Martin

Internet Psychology


ave you ever felt that after a few sessions of therapy you want to dismiss it because you realize your not really that interested after all? Sometimes this happens because the next step is difficult and involves a change that you might not be ready to take, in this case you should take a step back and do some soul searching. Another possibility is that you have come to the realization that you are doing fine. You have come to the conclusion that your life is back on track and you don’t really need it anymore. Then closure is in order, talking to your therapist and ending the process. You don’t have to be in therapy all your life, only when you feel the need to express yourself and unburden many of your problems you have locked up. Friends may help, but they will be biased and side with you even if they think you are wrong. Some friends on the other hand can be very realistic and down to earth in their answers, yet this might make matters even worse when we start to find “hidden reasons” for the way they have responded, which can take a toll on the best of friendships. Professional help is very different, listening without judging. Therapy only helps you make your own decisions. Many times we blame ourselves for everything, sometimes everyone else, yet

there is a balance in responsibility and a therapist just might help you see the light. Another reason you might not want to consider psychological help is distance. In many cases you may start your psychological process somewhere and then decide to migrate, as so many “snowbirds” do, only to feel stuck in the middle. However in this day and age when technology has helped us in so many ways we may want to turn to it one more time. Internet therapy is an easy way to communicate and have a session with someone anywhere in the world. This doesn’t mean person-toperson is not better; it’s just different and offers another alternative. You may decide to start here and continue back in your country or start there and continue here. There are so many options and so many fields that working online may be just for you. There is Skype, face time and even connections that enable us to have group therapy. The possibilities are endless. Trust your inner capacity to know whether online is good for you. There is always something new under the sun and this may just be the answer you are searching for.

Jean Martin Bilingual Guestalt Psychotherapist specializes in areas such as Body/Movement therapy Regressions, Family Constellations and Emotional Development Profile Mobile: 322 1416731 Skype: Jeannefly1705

No matter when you visit, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit will share their wonders with you. Here is a selection of some of the many things you can do while visiting us.


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

PV Sea Dive

Paradise and Parenting By Leza Warkentin

By Sue Keevil

I am glad to see the back of January

The Getaway



his is the month that sees some very noticeable changes in the bay, but this past January was bizarre to say the least. Historically, January brings in the cold currents and the water turns a dark shade of green. It also has some of the largest swells and waves of the year which are caused by the strong January moons. As we approached the second week of January, the water temperature plummeted from 84° to 77° in two days, which is totally normal for the bay. However, instead of the temperature continuing to drop, it went back up to 83° in one day and the south side of the bay turned blue and I was beginning to think this was the shortest winter ever. It stayed like this for two days and then reversed. This is all well and good, but when we are telling our guests about the 83° blue water that we dived in the day before, they feel slightly cheated when we arrive at the dive site to find it is back to 77° and is green and cloudy! Thankfully, I can show them photos so they don´t think I am making it all up. So, we get used to the water getting colder and low and behold, six days later it turns warm, blue and clear again! Now, this is really starting to tease us and make us look like we have no idea what we are talking about. We also have no idea what thickness of wetsuits to pack for our guests, so we just pack them all!

Don´t get me wrong, I loved the little treats of diving in clear warm water in January and wished it would stay like this all year round. But then again, there would be 30 other dive shops in town and very few whales to watch as they need the cooler waters. I was happy with these conditions, but then the big swells started to come in, day after day after day. The far sites were not an option for diving, which left us the dive sites from Majahuitas to Los Arcos to choose from. Majahuitas is always a certainty as it is sheltered and is my go to dive spot when Mother Nature is having a tantrum. This was a good thing over the past two weeks as Los Arcos has been out of the question with the ocean spray hitting the top of the rocks and 20 foot swells. The problem with this is not when you are on the surface, but when you are underwater. Let’s say I am diving along at 60 foot and a 20 foot swell goes over my head. The atmospheric pressure change my body is being put under is dangerous to say the least. When we ascend from a scuba dive, the rate should never exceed one foot per second. Consider this wave is going over my head in less than five seconds and you can see that I am exceeding this limit. The ocean has calmed down again and I doubt it will get warmer until April, but really, what do I know?

others can be some of the most egotistical people. They plan a night away from home with their husbands, and of course they immediately begin feeling guilty because they imagine that their children will cease to function the moment they leave, even if grandparents graciously offer to babysit. Thus, they are strongly inclined to stay home to foist this guilt upon their children for being unable to survive without them. At least that’s what I’ve heard. However, it was becoming glaringly apparent that I needed a night away, because of the following: 1) I began referring to my husband and children as “you three”. 2) I had to pull over to the side of the road on my way to an evening meeting to try to remember if I had left five minutes before or five minutes after the babysitter arrived (Naturally, it was after. We even had a conversation. The fact that I needed at least 15

seconds to recall it is reason to include it on this list). 3) My son told me that he loved me nearly as much as he loved his dog Max and I almost cried. I managed to smile in spite of the fact that Max has never once had to take an hour -long roundtrip bus ride to pick up a stuffed animal named “Beavie” from a preschool cubby at 9pm. 4) We were beginning each day with a search for our remaining set of car keys and every day they turned up in a place more random than the one before. Conveniently (I mean, romantically), it was also our wedding anniversary. Some people would find the prospect of an anniversary getaway to be exciting. In my case, I gnawed my fingernails down to nubs, worrying over what will possibly go wrong to cause us to cancel and lose our deposit, sending me to some type of expensive therapy instead. I also worried about whether my kids would miss me, or not miss me, or try to convince their grandparents that they always roast

marshmallows on the gas stove. Regardless, I packed a bag of things people need when they don’t travel with children. In other words, I was lost after I packed the toothbrush that I was pretty sure was mine. We hauled the nearly empty suitcase to the door and said our goodbyes. My parents told me the usual things people say to guilt-ridden mothers such as “It will be fine” and “Don’t worry” and “If you don’t leave now we will cut you out of your inheritance”. We left and drove to a gorgeous little hotel in Sayulita. We had margaritas. We danced. We ordered food for ourselves for the first time in months. We talked (about the children). And, best of all, we slept past 6:30am with not one person asking what their Minecraft password is again. My cup was full. And then, at 12pm the next day we checked out, headed to the shops and picked out some things to buy (for the children). We went home to discover that our kids were not only very much alive, but combed, fed and (sniffle) very happy. Guess they can actually survive a day without me. Wonderful discovery, that. And you know, with all the sleep, good food, and carefree time with my husband, I feel once again that I may be able to keep track of the car keys. Ha ha, no, not really. But, perhaps more importantly, I did start calling my husband by his first name again.

local 07

Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Say “I love you” in Spanish: I

f you think Spanish is a romantic language, you’re right! If you’d like to tell your special someone how you feel about them in Spanish, you may find it a bit more challenging than just learning the words. Saying I love you in Spanish can be a bit more complicated than in English because there are two different ways to say it. “Te quiero” is said freely among friends and family members but “te amo” is used to denote a stronger feeling. The Battle Between “Te Quiero” and “Te Amo” Te quiero - Te quiero is simple. It literally translates to ‘I want you’ but is translated to ‘I love you.’ It can be used towards your family, friends, and spouse/girlfriend/ boyfriend. This is the safest way to say ‘I love you’ to anyone you want to express your love towards. Te amo - Te amo means ‘I love you’ as well but it cannot be used when in reference to your family and friends. This term is rarely used in general but when it is, it

is reserved for your lover/true love. You might see ‘Te amo’ in classic Spanish literature and poems too. Love 1) Te quiero (mucho).- I love you (a lot / very much). 2) Te amo (mucho).- I love you (a lot / very much). – More serious 3) Eres mi todo. – You are my everything. 4) Eres el amor de mi vida.- You are the love of my life.


5) Te quiero con todo mi alma.- I love you with all of my soul. 6) Cada dia te quiero mas. – Each day I love you more. 7) Estoy enamorado(a) de ti. – I’m in love with you. 8) Soy feliz de compartir cada

instante de mi vida a tu lado. – I’m happy to share each moment of my life by your side. 9) Besarte es como ver las estrellas. – To kiss you is like seeing stars. 10) Tu amor vale mas que millones

de estrellas. – Your love is worth more than a million stars. Romantic 1) He estado pensando en ti. – I’ve been thinking about you. 2) Pienso en ti todo el tiempo. – I think about you all the time. 3) Solo puedo pensar en ti. – I can only think of you. 4) Me vuelves loco(a). – You drive me crazy. 5) Estoy loco(a) por ti. – I’m crazy for you. 6) Te adoro. – I adore you. 7) Te deseo. – I want / desire you. 8) Tienes una sonrisa muy hermosa. – You have a very beautiful / lovely smile. 9) Eres la persona mas maravillosa del mundo. – You are the most wonderful person in the world. 10) No puedo esperar a verte. – I can’t wait to see you.


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

My Life In Vallarta

This is Paradise...

By Lois Ellison

By Marcia Blondin


ots of comings and goings happening this week and next at the Paradise Community Center. For one thing the fabulous Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars will be lighting up our Paradise stage this coming Friday night (7th) at 8 pm but they are taking Valentine’s Day off, which is NEXT Friday the 14th so if you and your hot date were planning to come and listen to one of the finest amalgamations of professional musicians in Mexico then you had best be here this week! And the 21st, too. The guys want to spend time with their wives which is lovely but, we will miss them. Also friends and fellow Saturday Market vendors, Bill Kelly and Alejandro, will now be in their new home in Ajiic. We send them along on their new journey with love and big hugs. Tuesday Movie Night is in its fourth year at the PCC and starting the end of the third week of February the Democrats Abroad will be ADDING all the movies that are nominated for Academy Awards culminating in a Gala Oscar Night event complete with red carpet. It’ll be a blast and if anyone has some extra time please see Joy and volunteer to help with the myriad of details. The Blonde Gypsies will be performing next Wednesday the 19th on the Paradise stage. They are so delightful to hear and watch how they celebrate their loves of each other, their music and their lives; still nomads after all these years! Someone new is coming! She is Canadian (we like her already!), from Vancouver, B.C. and will be in concert on the Paradise stage Sunday, February 9th at 5 pm. Her last recording was done in Nashville. Her name is Jeannette Petkau, contemporary Christian singer and songwriter. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Compassionet Children’s Home I wrote about last week. It takes a help us please and enjoy Jeannette’s inspira-

Dancing with Whales

I tional music. Make sure if you just got HERE from THERE to drop by the Saturday Co-op Market and say hi to me and all the rest of the gang who have been holding down the fort while you’ve been shoveling snow. Ha Ha! Oops, sorry. Seriously, we really look forward to returning Snowbirds - we are like a family at Market and it’s so good to have more pieces to fill in our puzzle called Vallarta. Only two more chances to see Bedazzled Broadway! This Saturday night the 8th and the final curtain will be February 15th. I will truly miss seeing and hearing everyone in the superb cast. Another GREAT thing coming up on February 27th! The Garden Club is throwing a BIG party in a BIG house named Casa Chickie. I swear you can see Japan the view is so incredible from this villa! The cocktail party is to raise money for our upcoming INTERNATIONAL Bugambilia Festival this May 9, 10 and 11. Tickets are only $400 pesos and you can buy them from me. Get involved in making Vallarta even more beautiful by supporting the Garden Club and do come to our next meeting here at the PCC on Thursday Feb 20th at 11 am. Help a tourist out today and every day they are here enjoying our city. We need them to leave yearning to return. Ciao. The Paradise Community Center, Pulpito 127, between Olas Altas and Amapas Streets in Old Town Puerto Vallarta smack in the middle of the Romantic Zone (aka The Theatre District... repeat after me...)

don’t know about you, but we often find ourselves postponing going places or doing things that are close to home. We know they will always be there and somehow time passes and we keep procrastinating. Nothing breaks that cycle quite like having guests arrive from out of town. Some close friends of ours just visited. Although they’d been here several times in the past, ten years had gone by since their last visit, and my how things have changed. They were interested in seeing some of the surrounding countryside so we rented a car and spent a few days going places they’d never been. An overnighter to San Sebastian and Mascota, and then a day trip to San Pancho. While we rested up, (who but visitors can keep up such a pace), they explored on their own, and then with only one full day left, we all went whale watching. Now if this is something you’ve never tried, believe me it is a fantastic experience and one you won’t soon forget. We arrive promptly at Pier Los Peines where we join eight other adventurers and watch the colorful iguanas sun themselves while we wait for our guide. She arrives and gives us an enthusiastic and informative overview of whale behavior. You never know from day to day what you will see but she tells us that if we are lucky, we may see a mother and baby pair, a female being courted by two males and/or a mother baby pair with an escort. The whales may show us their flukes (did you know these are like fingerprints: no two are alike?) or wave with their flippers. We could even hit the jackpot and see a breach. Chattering excitedly, we board the boat and don our lifejackets, described by the guide as “airplane style”. Now begins the leisurely motoring out of the channel into the main waters of the bay. As our Captain accelerates, the boat suddenly begins rising and falling in the

extremely choppy waters. This is January, when waves are high, even in the normally tranquil bay. The waves slap against the hull tossing our tiny vessel, the wind rushes by and I’m thinking, “Wow, she forgot to tell us how to inflate these vests”. Less than 20 minutes out, someone shouts “Whale on the right!” Sure enough, there’s a tiny fin and a small arching back breaking the water. A baby! Almost immediately, the mother surfaces, placing herself between the boat and her baby for protection. I’ve already forgotten about the waves and the life vest. Mother and baby submerge and reappear about three minutes later. We follow along for several sightings. Our Captain spots several “blows” some distance away. He speeds up until we reach what turns out to be a group of three: a female and two males. Text book! Time seems suspended as they submerge for several minutes and then reappear. The pattern repeats and they remain always in graceful motion, arching their backs and flaunting their amazing flukes. With an uncanny sixth sense our captain anticipates their every move and locks into a dance with these marvelous mammals. The males’ antics reach a feverish pace and just before we move on to new territory, they treat us to some flipper slaps and a partial breach. Our final encounter is with a mother, baby and male escort. Once again we follow along,

almost as if we are part of their group. They submerge and seem to disappear then suddenly, there they are; mother and baby on the left of the bow and the escort on the right, so close you can see his scars from battles of previous years. A collective “wow” escapes all of us and we marvel at the timelessness of these rituals. Just before we wave goodbye to these noble creatures the male emits one final blow and the sun’s late afternoon rays produce a rainbow just above his back. My clothes are wet, my glasses coated with salt, but my spirit soars as the dance ends and we head back to the dock. Soon these mighty creatures will begin their long trek north to feed over the summer months. When they return next year, I’ll be watching for them. Will you?

local 09

Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

June’s having a party and you are invited By Madeline Milne


By Erin Staley

Impress Cupid this Valentine’s Day with the OTFM-TC


alentine’s Day—that day when you find yourself contemplating your gift-giving skills. You want to show your special someone that he or she makes your heart skip a beat, but you need the perfect gift. Well, fret no more. Our 80+ “make it, bake it, grow it” vendors will help you make this holiday extra special, no matter your gift-giving style. The Traditionalist – Eder Flores Arte Floral will design a bouquet of tropical flowers and Greeting Cards by Helen will help you express your sentiments. And be sure to stock up on the sweetness of Puerto Vallarta Peanuts’ peanut brittle and Xocodiva’s chocolate-dipped bananas. The Romantic – Spoil your beloved with the soothing sounds of prehispanic musical instruments by Néstor de Jesús Villaseñor García. Luxuriate in Velas Ivix designer candlelight and Banderas SoapBlends’ all-natural bar soaps, lotions and body butter.

The Artist – Show your affection with Color Pod’s coconut pods, Flores del Mar’s seashell flowers, Adriana Coss Vitrofusión-Reciclado’s recycled art and Tellografias’s creative drawings on veiled photographic paper. The Chef – If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the belly, then wow him or her with a dinner made from just-picked produce, artisan breads and appetizers made with our specialty salsas, dips, and spreads. Dessert is served from any one of our specialty bakers, and top it all off with a sip of Dorwart Whiskey. The Designer – Spoil your Valentine with customizable swimwear from TY Bikinis. Then visit Begoña Sandalias for matching sandals and Caroline DelMar Collective for the perfect all-in-one skirt cover up. Laura Lopez Labra Designs will outfit you in white cotton apparel for him and her. And for the “icing,” we have a wide assortment of jewelry and handbags. Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content, treat yourself to a healing chiropractic treatment

(Bahia Chiropractic) or massage (Golden Hands Massage). Then be sure to visit the information booth and complete a customer feedback survey. Earn a chance to win a raffle basket (1000 peso value) overflowing with “make it, bake it, grow it” products donated by our OTFM-TC vendors. Impassioned by responsible food production, entrepreneurial development and the “buy local” movement, our OTFM-TC is a North American style market celebrating the tradition of Mexico’s tianguis markets. Located in Lazaro Cárdenas Park, the OTFM-TC is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2 pm from the first Saturday in November to the last Saturday in May. Visit us on www. or Facebook.

ewelry designer June Rosen Lopez’s boutique and home are just up the street from the new pier; a charming neighborhood that lends itself to festive parties and funky jewelry. June had a boutique for a number of years but eventually moved the shop into her home which also houses her workshop. For those who are familiar with June you know she opens her home each December for a holiday party that has friends and clients talking. This year the party lasted three days - now that’s a party! February in Puerto Vallarta is the busiest month. It’s when the snowbirds are settled and those here for only a week or two arrive in droves to escape the frigid north. So, in light of that and to share her home with those who missed out on the Christmas festivities, June is once again opening her home and shop up to the public for a two day Valentine’s Day party. There will be plenty to

drink and decadent goodies from local bakeries and sweet shops. This is a great event to meet one of Vallarta’s finest jewelers, locals with good taste and make some new friends. A resident in Paradise for almost 35 years, June has been enjoying Mexico long before she moved to Puerto Vallarta. Since she was a teenager, June has been studying and living in her adopted country. Originally from New York, June studied silversmithing in Taxco, the prestigious silver capital of Latin America. Her pieces are primarily made of silver and use precious and semi-precious gems stones. A diverse collection of work, June’s pieces range from chunky to delicate, funky to conservative. This February 12 and 13th from 2-8pm each day, join June and her friends in a glass or two of wine while you ohhh and ahhh over the Valentine’s gift you rightly deserve. Francisca Rodriguez # 200 corner of Pino Suarez, one block up from Olas Altas Tel. 322 222 5049 Cell 322 779 6491

Visit these excellent locations and more at Plaza Caracol Plaza Caracol is the most established shopping centre in Puerto Vallarta with over 25 years in the community. At Plaza Caracol you will find more services, shops and events than any other shopping centre in the city.


ith businesses to serve all your needs including a major grocery store, media and design, gym, dental care, healthcare, beauty, fashion, first run English and Spanish movies, arcades for the young at heart, and international and Mexican cuisine, plus the services you need like cable, internet and telephone. It is truly a one-stop shopping centre. Plaza Caracol holds regular community oriented events including musical presentations, pet rescue, art shows and holiday festivities. There is always something exciting going on here! Visit Plaza Caracol today to experience the warmth and hospitality of a truly Vallartense destination. We welcome you to Plaza Caracol. Optical Alvarez: is the top vision care provider serving Puerto Vallarta since 1990. We give your eyes the best care possible using advanced equipment. Same day on-site service for most eyeglass and contact lenses. Dr. Carlos Diaz-Medical Spa is a health and beauty medical center that offers: anti-aging treatments, Botox, facial fillers, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), micro-peels, facial rejuvenation, mesotherapy, massage, laser hair removal, vein removal, diminished sun and age spots and homeopathic medical services.

Located across the street from Canto del Sol and the Cornerstone Hospital, Plaza Caracol is centrally located in Puerto Vallarta’s Versalles neighbourhood, Only minutes from downtown, Fluvial and the hotel zone.


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

What’s a Pirates Favourite Letter? By Madeline Milne


very time I have friends come to town, we head to downtown to enjoy the sunset usually with a couple of cocktails. And every time around 9pm the sky lights up with fireworks and I say, “Oh, I ordered these special for you.” And we all laugh, because even though it’s not the funniest joke I tell, we don’t care because we’re on the beach, drinking cocktails, watching fireworks. In truth, the fireworks are the victory shots from the pirate war that is waged three nights a week in the Bay of Banderas aboard the Marigalante galleon, one of Puerto Vallarta’s most popular attractions. The Marigalante is an exact replica of Columbus’ Santa Maria. She was built in Veracruz, Mexico to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the voyage to America. Today she sails the Bay of Banderas twice a day, thrilling children and adults alike with her swashbuckling activities.

Daytime for the Family Leaving the Puerto Vallarta Maritime terminal at 9:30am, the all-day activities begin right away with a light breakfast, games, contests, music and more. Beach activities at the famous Majahuitas Beach south of Puerto Vallarta include volley ball, banana boat rides, kayaking, snorkeling and buried treasure hunts. Activities really focus on bringing delight to the children and young at heart. A three course lunch is served and then everyone enjoys the exciting pirate show. Designed to engage the audience, this show has visitors returning year after year. Once back aboard the boat you return to Vallarta by 4:30-5pm. Running everyday but Sundays, the tour is $84 usd for adults and $42 usd for children under 12. “Great Experience! In the last 10 years we’ve been on this trip 6 times and it is definitely a great trip

for the whole Family! We’ve been on this trip in a group of at least 15 or more and everyone has had a great experience. We definitely recommend this trip to everyone looking to have a good time!” Rita P. Bakersfield California

Nighttime is for the Adults In the evening things are little more intimate. This sunset cruise around the bay includes a delicious menu of beef medallions or cordon blue, served in the below deck dining room. Free-flowing drinks and personal attentive service y your own pirate add a festive touch to the evening. There is the exciting pirate show, contests with hilarious audience participation and the aforementioned fireworks. A great event for groups or couples, the energy of the audience is as much a part of the cruise as anything. Service is regularly applauded on sites such as Trip Advisor. Be It is a four hour cruise that leaves just before sunset at 7pm from the same Puerto Vallarta Maritime terminal on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Be sure to arrive early to get the best seat. Everyone is invited. The cost is $84 usd for adults and $42 usd for children under 12. “We recently went on an evening excursion, and we had a fabulous time! From my experience, the evening shows are definitely “adults only” … Our personal pirate was great, very attentive, never went without a drink in our hands. All of the staff

on board were excellent. The food was really good, and cruising around the bay at night while firing canons, letting off fireworks, dancing and singing was incredible! What a great experience, I suggest it to anyone visiting and interested in a tour. Bravo!!” – Lisa E. Nanaimo, BC You can book tickets online at or through your hotel concierge or any of the many tour operators around town.

Sites Marina

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Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Talpa’s unique maple forest: A two-million-year-old success story By John Pint Originally published at index.html


n the late 1990’s, Fernando Aragón Cruz, acting as a guide for bird researchers from the University of Albuquerque, collected a sample of a kind of Sugar Maple from somewhere around Talpa de Allende, which is located 50 kilometers southeast of Puerto Vallarta. As native maples had only been found in one other part of Jalisco (Manantlán Nature Reserve), Mexican botanists were surprised. They were even more surprised when they went out to look at the site. Driving up to a hill at 1764 meters altitude called La Cumbre, in a hiddenaway arroyo called El Refugio, they were amazed to see not just one maple tree but a whole woods full of them, incorporated into an ancient fir-maple-conifer cloud forest, incomparably rich in diverse species of trees and plants. But the botanists were puzzled: the flora in the forest included species going back at least to the Pleistocene and possibly all the way back to the Tertiary era. How, they asked, did this system of ecological sophistication and integration survive for millions of years? Botanist José Antonio Vázquez stated that in his 20 years of experience in the field, he had never seen a forest “of such richness, structural exuberance and composition, which may have come together just after the melting of the glaciers which covered North America.” For years, we had heard rumors of a maple forest near Talpa but had never found anyone who could tell us exactly where it was located. Recently, however, I got a phone call from Miguel Cházaro, Jalisco’s leading botanist. “John, I’ve located a new hot spring in the Río Verde— want to go?” “Gracias, Miguel, but your last hot-spring trek took ten times longer than you predicted, got half the group lost and nearly required a helicopter rescue for one pooped-out hiker. Will this new place be as memorable as the other one?” “Well, it does require a couple hours of walking— maybe you’d like to visit the

Talpa maple forest instead.” “Now you’re talking, Miguel… sign us up!” Well, it took several weeks to get things organized and then we set off for Talpa in the company of agronomist Raul López and French Paleontologist JeanPierre Brunet, who has recently become a film-maker and wanted to shoot a documentary on the ancient cloud forest. Thanks to the great improvements on the highway between Guadalajara and Ameca, we reached Talpa in only three hours. The streets were filled with pilgrims who had walked from Autlán, Ayutla and other towns to be on hand for the feast of St. Joseph (March 19). We were surprised to see so many pilgrims already milling about, a full two weeks in advance of their big feast day. Ah, but the forest we walked into was something wondrous! The maple trees began to appear after only a few minutes, incredibly tall and perfectly straight, not at all like those I knew as a youngster in Wisconsin. These, we were told, are Acer skutchii, a subspecies of Acer saccharum, the Sugar Maple. “Coming upon a grove of maple trees is no big deal,” commented Miguel Cházaro, “if you happen to be in Canada or someplace around 40° latitude north, with extremely cold winters. Finding sugar maples in a Jalisco cloud forest is another story.” Cházaro explained to us that cloud forests are home to the richest flora in Mexico even though they occur in only two percent of the country. This we discovered to be true with every step we took deeper into the woods, which is located in a gently sloping ravine through which a small stream

flows. ..“That’s a walnut tree over there,” said our companions and next to it is a Guatemalan fir and over there a Podocarpus reichei, a kind of pine tree…” But suddenly our friends became nearly ecstatic. “Look at this! It’s a tree fern. This is Cyathea costaricensis, not exactly what you’d expect to be growing among maple trees.”... In fact, it turned out there were at least eleven threatened or endangered species all around us in this woods, along with an extraordinary number of lichens and Spanish Moss, which we quickly learned is neither Spanish nor a moss, but an epiphyte, a flowering plant which lives in happy symbiosis with its host. Our botanist friends tried their best to explain to us that what made this place unique was its perfect balance. Plants and trees usually found in diverse climates had somehow learned to live together not just harmoniously, but so successfully that this forest had operated as a self-contained, self-sustaining unit since the Pleistocene age (or earlier). What looked like just another woods to us was, to our friends, the botanical equivalent of a symphony orchestra. Unfortunately, this unique forest is unprotected at the moment and like all the woods in the Talpa area, is threatened by loggers, pot growers, pine-resin extractors, arsonists, wandering cattle, the Comision Federal de Electricidad and the huge

number of pilgrims who swarm the area every March (yes, the last two are formally listed as threats). With enemies like that, the harmonious forest’s extraordinarily long life may soon come to an end, so if you’d like to see it before it’s gone, better head for Talpa as quick as you can!

How to get there From Guadalajara, take highway 15 towards Nogales and, just before the toll road appears, bear left, following the signs for Ameca. Highway 70 takes you past Ameca and west toward Mascota. Take the turnoff to Talpa, drive southwest through the town and get on the paved road to

Tomatlán. Drive south 27 kilometers and turn left at a barely visible sign (at N20.22673 W104.77538) saying “Bosque de Maple.” Follow this dirt road upwards for five kilometers until you come to the unmarked “trailhead” at N20.21194 W104.75874. This takes you northeast into the ancient forest, on foot of course. The handy parking/camping spot is located 72 meters southwest of this spot, uphill, at the end of a short cul-de-sac. You can also get to the maple forest from Puerto Vallarta, via Mascota. Either way, it’s a one-way drive of about four hours.


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

A Good Night Sleep For All: Noise Control Comes to Sayulita Originally published on


ust as Puerto Vallarta did decades ago, all growing towns have had to solve the problem of balancing a healthy nightlife with the community’s need for peace and a good night’s sleep. It is now Sayulita’s turn. Earlier in the month a coalition of community stakeholders came together to meet with State and Municipal officials to address this critical issue. While Mexico has clear rules governing live and amplified music coming from bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, the problem for our community has been a lack of enforcement. That is about to change. Working with the Municipality of Valle de Barderas, the Nayarit Department of Alcohol, the Nayarit Department of Tourism, and various police agencies, Sayulita now has local inspectors most weekday evenings and always on weekends when the problem is greatest. They have the ability to force establishments to lower or turn off the music, to issue fines,

and to close bars, all of which has happened over the last two weeks. However, the system will rely on community members making complaints when they are troubled by the noise. The authorities won’t know what is acceptable to the community unless they hear from local home and business owners.

Here’s what to do:

If the noise from any establishment is unacceptable: Call the Policia Turistica Sayulita: 329.291.3890. The Tourism Police are coordinating with the municipal and state inspectors

Banderas Bay Butterfies

and have the authority to enforce compliance on noise levels in Sayulita. Tell them which establishment is too loud and kindly ask them to investigate. The Policia Turisticia is led by Commadante Carlos, new to this position in Sayulita and eager to help on this issue. If you have any difficulty getting through on the phone (officers are often out on their beat) you can visit during the following day and ask to speak with him and explain which establishment is causing problems. They are located on the right hand side of the main road exiting town,

by Moralea Milne

Clench’s Greenstreak (Cyanophrys miserabilis)


his small (2.2 cm - 3 cm or 7/8 -1 1/8 in), emerald green member of the Hairstreak family was photographed near the river at Mismaloya, nectaring on the small native marigolds that are ubiquitous in the area. Hairstreaks have evolved rather interesting antennae-like projections from the base of their hindwings. Many species will continually twitch these false antennas and at first glance, the hindwing area can be confused with the head.

This has no doubt saved many a hairstreak life as a predator grabs a mouthful of wing instead of the succulent head. Like many of the butterflies of Mexico, I have not been able to find much information about this particular species except that the caterpillars apparently prefer Parkinsonia aculeata, also known as Mexican Palo Verde, a small tree in the pea family. Clench’s Greenstreak can be found along both coasts but seems to be absent from Central Mexico.

just before the gym; right next to where the fire trucks are parked. Follow-up:If your community is continually troubled by a particular establishment, you can make a petition and deliver to the Reglamentos Municipal and Alcoholes Estatal. Authorities in Mexico typically take petitions quite seriously.

What to Expect There are very strict rules regulating live and amplified music in bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, which give the authorities a lot of leeway in controlling noise levels and hours of operation. However, the authorities need to know what is acceptable to our community so that they can tailor their enforcement to community sentiment. This is why making a complaint is so important: they need this input from us. In our

meeting with municipal and state authorities, we were told that in general these bars should not play their music at such a level as to constitute a public nuisance. By midnight, all establishments should significantly reduce their music levels for “ambient purposes only.” (In other words, the sound should not disturb you.) And all establishments are to close at 2 a.m. We believe that a healthy nightlife is a good thing for Sayulita, and our bars and restaurants with music are important contributors to what makes Sayulita special. But everyone benefits from maintaining Sayulita’s reputation as a place where you can safely sleep at night. And for those who live, work, and go to school here, it promises good night’s sleep for all


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Living on a Golf Course in Puerto Vallarta By Miguel Fernandez


uerto Vallarta offers a lot of unique golf course residence options with gorgeous vistas of rolling green lawns, the lush Sierra Madres and the Bay of Banderas. Many a golfer dreams of living right on the fairway, just steps away from a satisfying game of golf. Some of the local options include: Marina Vallarta Golf Course, Puerto Vallarta El Tigre, Nuevo Vallarta Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta Mayan Palace, Nuevo Vallarta The Four Seasons, Punta de Mita Litibu, on the highway between Punta Mita and Sayulita Things too keep in mind when choosing a property adjacent to a golf course: Think about the lawn maintenance schedule. Assume that the lawns are cut in the morning before people start heading out to play, often before sunrise. Considering that everything grows quickly in this balmy climate, and that they will definitely be cutting daily, you might awaken to the sound of mowers. If this is an issue for you, and if you like to sleep in late, look for a property that has your bedroom farther away from the greens that require more maintenance. A lot of people now also like to use white noise machines and earplugs to block out some of the sound. Where are the cart paths? If they are nearby your property of choice, you may be looking at a privacy issue, especially if the carts are quite visible from your home. Many golf course properties are built in a strategic way, with high hedges, bamboo, decks and fountains, to block the view of golf carts going to and fro. Potentially expect to pay a little more the farther you go from the cart paths. Where are the tee boxes and greens? Pay attention to this when hunting around, as you are guaranteed to have more action and noise in these areas. You might want to spend some time adjacent to a property to see

Flower of the Week

Mexican Orchid of the Month Oncidium cebolleta This lovely orchid can be found naturally in the forests in and around the Vallarta Botanical Gardens… and far beyond. It is the most widespread species of the Oncidumgenus. Pre-Columbian Indians in central America used it as a type of hallucinogen. It blooms in the late winter and spring, so be on the lookout for its first blooms during your next hike along the forest trails of the Gardens. (Photo Credit: T.J. Hartung)

what the noise and traffic level is like. You may also consider that all golfers are not professionals and some balls may veer way off the course—like your back yard—if you are in direct line from the tee box or where the average landing area is in relation to your home. A hooked or sliced ball may be a common visitor in your yard. These errant balls may also lead to a broken window from time to time. Home Owners Association. Check the rules and regulations carefully to see what type of modification and maintenance is restricted. The owners probably want to keep the look and feel of a golf course, so you may not be able to make certain additions and changes. This includes the color that you paint your house, and other outdoor accessories. There may even be landscaping restrictions, such as the type of flora that you plant, and how you are keeping up with your gardening maintenance. If you golf, you probably already know that many non-golfing activities, such as walking, jogging and a pickup game of soccer are restricted on golf courses. Keep this in mind, if any of the non-golfers in your family are looking for alternate recreation. Tee up! If you have questions, and are looking for golf course and other properties, my staff and I are always happy to help you out. Contac us at 322-209-0832.

by Sandra Cesca

VALLARTA SHOPPING DIRECTORY The only complete guide for Vallarta´s best galleries, boutiques, spas, restaurants and more.

Faith Colectiva is Full of Heart


n the States so many of us are in our heads. People are concerned with what college you went to, how smart you are and how quick you are. When you drop into the heart everything changes. Faith Colectiva presents to you the largest selection of heart accessories, adornments and decorations in Puerto Vallarta, in an effort to remind us how important it is to be aware of the heart! In the wake of an inspirational meditation retreat, held annually in Puerto Vallarta by Bart Smit, founder Katie Coleman felt moved to start her own company dedicated to producing designs that remind us to settle into our hearts. Prayer beads known as malas or mala beads, meaningful jewelry and accessories have become the well-loved products that make up the exclusive line in Katie’s company Lady Faith. Mala beads consist of 108

beads with a tassel or larger gemstone called the guru bead. In the Hindu and Buddhist traditions these beads are used to help keep track of mantra recitation or prayer, without having to “think” about it as you go. When worn daily, the mala reminds the wearer of their intentions and prayers. Malas are the heart of the

Faith Colectiva store, where you will find a beautiful selection of heart-shaped, round and faceted gemstones and seed malas. Perhaps the most special part of the Lady Faith line, offered at Faith Colectiva is that an incredible collective of happy women makes it locally! They come with smiles ready to work and make

anything from necklaces, malas and wrap bracelets to the very popular angel Milagros offered at the shop. You can feel their energy in each and every piece. Faith Colectiva is located at 314 Basilio Badillo in Old Town. Please stop by and share in the journey. If you’d like to find out more about malas and the significance of the number 108 or to buy online please visit

Free shipping online. If you’d like more information on the meditation retreat that began our journey please go to

Basilio Badillo 269 A Puerto Vallarta, Jal Mon - Sat 4-11 pm (322) 223 3734 From USA or Canada 1-269-282-9550

287 Basilio Badillo in old town 322 223 0838


Nacho Daddy Mexico is the place in Puerto Vallarta where American, Canadian and European ex-pats and tourists across the globe gather to drink, eat, dance, listen to great music,watch football and having a rip-roaring good time.


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Non-Profit and Charitable Organizations For visitors to Puerto Vallarta who wish to support the less privileged in our paradise, this is a list of some of the many organizations that could benefit from such kind gestures. If you would like your organization recognized here, please email details to


Acción En La Cruz: aid residents of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle by providing provisions in exchange for community services performed. accionenlacruz

Clinica de Rehabilitación Santa Barbara - Rehabilitation of the handicapped. Contact: Laura Lopez Portillo Rodriguez at 224-2754.

Alcoholics Anonymous: In English Puerto Vallarta Alanon Club - Basilio Badillo 329 American Legion Post 14: raises resources and manpower to improve facilities needing building maintenance Asilo San Juan Diego Home for the Elderly - Contact: Lupita Sanchez Covarrubias 222-1257 or or\asilosanjuandiego.htm Asociación Down - Assistance to persons with Down’s Syndrome – Contact: Ana Catalina Eisenring at 224-9577. Banderas Bay Women’s Shelter - Safe shelter for women & children victims of domestic violence. www. Becas Vallarta, A.C. – Provides scholarships to high school and university students. Tax-deductible in Mexico and USA. Polly Vicars at (322) 223-1371 or Buri Gray at (322) 221-5285. Bucerias Bilingual Community Center: Supporting families, seniors in Bucerias. Casa Hogar - A shelter for orphaned, abandoned, disadvantaged or vulnerable children. Luz Aurora Arredondo at 221-1908, Rita Millan (322)

Centro Comunitario SETACGLBT – Services the GLBT community, including treatment and referrals, education, English classes, HIV testing and counseling. Paco Arjona 224-1974 or

COLINA Spay and Neuter Clinic - Free and by-donation sterilization clinic in Old Town. Only open Sundays, arrive by 8am, no reservations are taken. Contact: cez@rogers. com or 322-104-6609 CompassionNet Impact – Transforming the lives of people living in chronic poverty. Job creation, education, emergency food, medicine & clothing. Tax-deductible. Cell: (322) 133-7263 or Cruz Roja (Red Cross) Handles hospital and emergency service in Vallarta. It is the only facility that is authorized to offer assistance to injured people on the street. Contact: 222-1533, 222-4973 Desayunos para los Niños de Vallarta A.C. Feeding programs, education programs, day care centers for single mothers. 22 343 11 or 22 225 72 FB/ desayunosninosvallarta Discapacitados de Vallarta, A.C. (DIVAC) association of handicapped individuals dedicated to helping one another. Ivan Applegate at 221-5153. Families At The Dump: Supporting families living in the landfill or garbage dump thru education and sustainable opportunities. www. or 297-7425 Grupo Ecológico de Puerto Vallarta: Arq. Luz del Carmen Pérez Alvarez cayro_13@hotmail. com

Friends of PV Animals Volunteers working to enhance the lives of shelter animals. For info and donations visit Horizonte de Paz: Shelter for men of all ages who are troubled with alcohol & drug addiction. Donato Schimizzi: 322 199 9523 or Roberto: 281 0644 La Brigada de la Basur:a A weekly meeting of neighborhood children to clean Vallarta Streets. Contact Que?Pasa 223-4006 Navy League - assists in the transportation of donated medical supplies from the U.S., organizes work groups to paint and repair facilities, and operates the local Toys for Tots program. New Life Mexico - Challenging Child Poverty with health and education programs. Philippa Vernon Paraíso Felino AC Refuge and Adoption Centre for cats and kittens in the Bay of Banderas. Luis Donaldo Cel. (322) 120-4092 Pasitos de Luz - substitute home for low income children with any type of handicap, offers rehabilitation services and special support to their

families. 299-4146. PEACEAnimals - Free mobile spay/neuter clinic operating 48 weeks a year, primarily in Puerto Vallarta. Tax-deductible. Pro Biblioteca de Vallarta Raises funds for Los Mangos Public Library. Tax-deductible Ricardo Murrieta at 224-9966 or Jimmie Ellis at 222-1478. Proyecto Pitillal, “Busca un Amigo” - Association created by underprivileged mothers of paralyzed children. Contact: 299-4495. Puerto Vallarta Garden Club: Beautify and protecting the environment. PuRR Project - A no-kill cat shelter, a natural un-caged environment. Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza- Shelter for Children. Tax-deductible. Madre Mari at 222-7857 or Sudy Coy at 222-5765. Roma’s Kids - Educate the children of the Volcanes and surrounding area: Math, English and computer programs a priority. 100% goes to the kids.

The International Friendship Club (IFC) - Supports the Cleft Palate Surgery Program & families in need. 322-2225466. Toys for Tots Vallarta - Distributes toys and constructs playgrounds for less-advantaged kids in the Puerto Vallarta area during the Christmas holiday period. Jerry Lafferty 322 221 6156 or Lourdes Bizarro Vallarta Saludable (Healthy) – Healthy living through organics, stevias, cooking workshops, serums reversing dialysis and reality show. Suzy Chaffee Mexico Ministries & Mission, Inc. is a Calif. 501.C.3 nonprofit corporation that raises funds to help feed and clothe the poor in Vallarta, as well as provide school supplies, a prison ministry, and baby blankets for the newborns at the Regional Hospital. It is affiliated with Christ Church by the Sea, an Anglican church in Vallarta. Contact Fr. Jack+ 044 322 229-1129 Fundacion Punta de Mita LDG. Ana Lilia Medina Varas de Valdés. Tel. (329) 291 5053

sports / EVENTS 20

Random thoughts from the Tribune Sports desk By Joel Hansen Mission Accomplished. But this time its true. Unlike Dubya standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, looking ridiculous, decked out in a Top Gun-style flight suit, back on May 1, 2003, this time the mission really is accomplished. The best team won the Super Bowl, the best defense beat the best offence and the best left-handed, English speaking sports writer who grew up on a little farm in southwestern Ontario and moved to Puerto Vallarta and now writes for the Vallarta Tribune beat the spread one last time and successfully picked the winner of the Super Bowl, and exorcised the ghost of Super Bowl XL.

Your Seattle Seahawks are the Super Bowl Champions. -Not sure where this leaves Peyton Manning’s legacy, he looked terrible and missed on some throws I could have completed. And as miserable as Peyton’s day was his brother Eli sitting in the stands looked even more unhappy. Although I suppose he could always drown out the boos by sticking the two rings he has into his ears. -Big thanks to the gang at Bang-On for making our custom Seahawk t-shirts before the game. Me and my boy were super happy

with them, but I am not sure how the guy who spent 2000 pesos right before me on Denver Broncos shirts for his staff is feeling about his purchase today. No word on if he has contacted Bang-On about their return policy. -With this win I am looking forward to all the knock-off sports memorabilia that will be popping up around Puerto Vallarta in the next few weeks. The Seahawk ponchos, luchador masks and helmets made from coconuts will be in high demand and I assume will cost a few extra pesos this month. -Great to see Pete Carroll win the title, he was bounced from the NY Jets after only one season

and was the guy who coached the Patriots between two guys named Parcells and Billichek. And it was said that he couldn’t coach in the NFL. However after dominating college, he returned and in four short years has transformed Seattle into a winning franchise. He did it with positive energy and hard work and was voted the coach most players in the NFL want to play for. -Staying with Pete Carroll for a second, he is already back at work looking towards the draft and working on keeping one of the youngest teams in the NFL together. Looks like there could be a dynasty in the making. -Wes Welker. O-3 in Super Bowls. Ouch. -When Manny Ramirez airmailed the opening snap of the game over Peyton’s head and the result ending up as a safety he effectively blew up about half of my prop bets on the opening play. Then, when Percy Harvin ran back the kick off to start the second half, the only reason to keep watching the game was to make sure my parlay ticket of the Seahawks +4.5 and the over was going to be a winner. I also needed to see what color the Gatorade they dumped on Pete was going to be. I took water, not the favorite orange. So if you need me this week look for me down at El Torito. I will be near the sports book cashing my winning tickets, and spending my pesos on ribs and Pacifico and telling anyone that will listen about the greatest defense that a Super Bowl winning team has ever had. After all they did beat two sure fire hall of fame quarterbacks (Manning and Brees) and the best team in the playoffs not from Seattle (The 49’ers).

You should be able to find the paper at these locations. If you’ve missed this week’s paper you can always

Hotel Zone Villa del Palmar - Vallarta Bucerias DeCameron Resort Global Real Estate

Yo-Yo Mo’s Sports Bar

Page in the Sun

Marina RE/MAX Marina Café Cup Casa Velas Weekend Markets Old Town Farmers Market Saturday Co-Op Market La Cruz Farmers Market

Tourist Offices: • Rio Cuale • Main Plaza • Lazaro Cardenas Park American Consulate Canadian Consulate

Old Town & Centro Paradise Community Centre Fredy Tucan Restaurant Timothy Real Estate

4th Annual Every Tuesday Night Film Series Costa Banderas Chapter of Democrats Abroad February 11th Films are shown at the Paradise Community Center 127 Pulpito. Gates open at 6:00 pm and all films begin at 7:00 pm. Advance tickets are available for a donation of 60 pesos at the Paradise Community Center. 70 pesos at the door.


KEY DISTRIBUTION POINTS download the current copy at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Oso’s Restaurant Philos Realty Ikuai Restaurant

Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Nuevo Vallarta Paradise Village La Estancia Vallarta Adventures

Quality affordable chiropractic care at your: Home, Office, Resort or Spa by appointment only Mon-Wed-Fri 10am to 6pm

Call Now! 322 182 5045 Vonage (404) 719 4744


Friday February 7 - 13, 2014


UROLOGIST Dr. Pedro López Cueto Tel. (322) 22 5 11 83

Emergency Phone Numbers Havre No.111 Col. Versalles Fluent Englis Spoken

The police station or the fire department is 060. For Non-Emergency calls, dial (322) 290-0507 for the Police Dep & (322) 224-7701 for the Fire Department.

Ambulance Services Red Cross Ambulance: 222-1533 Global Ambulance: 226-1014

Hospitals Ameri-Med Hospital: 226-2080 Cornerstone Hospital: 224-9400 San Javier Hospital: 226-1010 Medasist Hospital: 223-0444 C.M.Q. Hospital: 223-1919 I.M.S.S. Hospital: 224-3838 Regional Hospital: 224-4000

Other Important Phone Numbers American Consulate: (322)222-0069 or 01-333-268-2145 Canadian Consulate: (322) 293-0098 Motor Vehicle Dept: 224-8484 Consumer Protection (PROFECO): 225-0000 Immigration Office: 221-1380 National Telegraph: 224-7970 Electric Company (CFE): 071 Water Company (SEAPAL): 223-1516 Municipal Services: 223-2500 Tourist Protection: 223-2500 Ministerio Publico: 222-1762 Animal Protection: 221-0078 Wake-Up Service: 031

LIVE MUSIC VENUES Please be sure to contact the venue to confirm all events. Café Roma Encino 287 Centro Mon-Sun 10:pm -3:00 am Beboteros Diaz Ordaz 565 Malecon 322.113.0099 Benito’s Paninoteca Bar Nima Bay, Local 12, “Marina Vallarta” 322.209.0287 El Dorado Pulpito # 102, Playa los Muertos” 322.222.4124

La Bodeguita Del Medio Paseo Diaz Ordaz 858, Malecon” 322.223.1583 Tu-Sun 9:30-2:00 am Paradise Stage Concerts Pulpito 127 at Olas Altas 322.133.7263 La Palapa Pulpito#103, Playa los Muertos” 322.222.5225

Dial 066 from any standard land line. Dial 080 from Mexican cell phones. To report suspicious activity in Sayulita, please dial 045-322-141-5994.

Las Adelitas Av. Fluvial Vallarta 234 322.293.7778 Murphy’s Irish Pub Morelos 484 Altos 1, Centro 322.113.0373

El Patio de mi Casa Guerrero 311 esq. Matamoros 322.222.0743

Nacho Daddy

El Rio BBQ Bar 322.222.2510

Philo’s Delfin15, La Cruz de Huanacaxle”329.295.5068 Thu-Sat 8:30 pm

Encore Lazaro Cardenas51, Bucerias 329.298.0140

Emergency Phone for Sayulita

Emergency Numbers for Bucerias & La Cruz

287 Basilio Badillo

Paradise Stage Paradise Community Center Pulpito 127 322-133-7263

Que? Pasa Aquiles Serdan 625, Col Emiliano Zapata 322.223.4006 The River Café Isla del Rio Cuale Local4

Centro 322.223.0788 Vitea Libertad Edificio Malecon 2, Centro” 322.222.8703

Numbers for the Police Department in case of emergency are 291-0049 and 291-0666. Emergency number: 066 Police, Bucerias & La Cruz: 298-1020 Civil Protection (Fire, Ambulance): 291-0295 Ambulance, Santa Rosa Clinic: 298-0157


VALLARTA WEEKLY EVENT GUIDE powered by FRIDAY, February 7 7:00 pm - Ellen Langer (BT) 7:30 pm - The Judy Show (RR) 7:30 pm - Forever Elvis Tribute (TP) 8:00 pm - Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars (PC) 9:30 pm - Dirty Diva (TP) 10:00 pm - Nightlife (RR) SATURDAY, February 8 5:00 pm - The Rat Pack (TP) 6:00 pm - Milagros (TB) 7:30 pm - Coco Peru (TP) 7:30 pm - The Judy Show (RR) 8:00 pm - BeDazzled Broadway (PC) 8:00 pm - Frida: The Stage Show (MS) 9:30 pm - Dirty Diva (TP) 10:00 pm - Dueling Drag Divas (RR) SUNDAY, February 9 7:30 pm - Acustico w/ Kim Kuzma (RR) 7:30 pm - Coco Peru (TP) 8:00 pm - The Voice of Vallarta (MS) 8:00 pm - Albert Mejia in Concert (TB) 9:30 pm - The Sexy Mariachi Show (TP) MONDAY, February 10 7:00 pm - Joseph and Dreamcoat (BT) 7:30 pm - Best of Broadway (RR) 7:30 pm - Jorge & Beata (TP) 9:30 pm - Dirty Diva (TP) 10:00 pm - Simply the Best! (RR) TUESDAY, February 11 10:30 am - Home Tour (IFC) 7:00 pm - Shades of the Blues - S 2 (BT) 7:30 pm - American’s Tops (RR)

7:30 pm - Coco Peru (RR) 9:30 pm - Forever Elvis Tribute (TP) 10:00 pm - Hollywood Legends (RR) WEDNESDAY, February 12 10:30 am - Home Tour (IFC) 7:00 pm - New York Radio Show (BT) 7:30 pm - America’s Tops (RR) 7:30 pm - BohemiaViva (TP) 8:00 pm - Katmandu (MS) 9:30 pm - Dirty Diva (TP) 10:00 pm - Dueling Drag Divas (RR) THURSDAY, February 13 10:00 am - Botanical Gardens (IFC) 7:00 pm - From the Heart (BT) 7:30 pm - America’s Tops (RR) 7:30 pm - Coco Peru (TP) 8:00 pm - A Billion Years Too Soon (MS) 8:00 pm - Luna Rumba (PC) 9:30 pm - Dirty Diva (TP) 10:00 pm - Simply the Best! (RR) FRIDAY, February 14 7:00 pm - From the Heart (BT) 7:30 pm - ROMANTICA (RR) 9:30 pm - BohemiaViva (TP) 10:00 pm - Nightlife (RR) BT=The Boutique Theatre • TP=The Palm Cabaret • RR=The Red Room - Act II • MS=Main Stage - Act II • PC=Paradise Stage & Community Center For TICKETS and event information, please call: 222-4198, or visit http://VallartaTickets. com or or Skype: vallartatickets

Voices of Vallarta Track Nine by Marcia Blondin


M G!!!!! The most exciting week yet at Act II’s Main Stage to find The Voice of Vallarta. It has been two weeks since the contestants were together - all of them obviously practicing like mad to learn new songs given to them by the judges. The first half of this show had everyone sing their choice of songs; during the second half however, all the contestants sang what they were assigned to learn. Two truly incredible performances happened: the first was when Abelardo -in the middle of singing a song about watching his parents grow old - made his father get up and stand with him while he finished singing all the while holding his papa. Neither of them cried (I am always in the front row and they were two feet away) - but nearly the whole front row was moved to tears. Abelardo was eliminated at the end of the show, but he most certainly made a lasting impression. The other truly amazing performance was Juan Jose, doing a song from Les Miserables. Head judge, Alain Perrault,

had given him the song and told him to sing it either in English or Spanish. Juan Jose came on stage dressed like a French-Revolutionary, got on his knees to pray and commenced “Bring Him Home”... in French! When he was done everyone thundered to their feet - including the judges. Besides a handful of French Canadians in the audience, Alain (who had NO IDEA that Juan Jose would sing in French!) was among the few who understood every word and pronounced Juan Jose’s interpretation and inflection to be perfect. Scores from the judges were 10’s across the board except for Alain...he gave him a 10.5! An extraordinary, star-quality “Fight For Your Life” show-stopper. And now, they are ten from the original 24. Every week the bar is raised higher and every one of the ten finalists is being pushed to do better, to try harder; they are ALL out of their “comfort zone” and each one of them is shining. Ten bright stars for whom the real battle to become The Voice of Vallarta has just begun. Nine will fall; the next few weeks should not be missed. Be there Sunday at 8 pm.

Friday February 7 - 13, 2014

Hollywood Royalty Performing in Vallarta


ou need to save the dates now, because in addition to being an accomplished recording artist, Lorna Luft is a celebrated actress and theatrical star, a best-selling author, and an Emmy-nominated producer.

Ms. Luft also happens to be the daughter of legendary entertainer, Judy Garland (making her a sister to Liza Minnelli.) Lorna Luft performs nightly (with special guests) March 12th to 15th at the Stages center,

Luna Rumba Time

by Marcia Blondin


his trio will have its third concert at the Paradise Stage on Thursday February 13th. They have a following outside Vallarta and their fan base grows every time they perform. They have not been together for a long time (just a good time) and time is what creates superstars. The thing is Luna Rumba has good bones. Two thirds of

the group have already been Internationally applauded for their songwriting abilities. Only TIME can tell if the applause becomes louder and longer and spreads. It should. “World Music” is a curious statement if you think about it. However, it is a genre and, after 25 years, the Gipsy Kings have a Grammy to prove it. Luna Rumba combines ethnicity with western styles as they allow their audiences to wander with them through

corner of Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes in the Zona Romantica. Tickets go on sale at 9:00 am on February 15th only at and the Paradise Saturday Market at 127 Pulpito. Call 222-4198 for details.

parts of Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and Mexico. Covers a lot of the World from basically “homegrown” boys. TIME will add more flesh and flash and they may very well have enough material for another year or so. Join me in applauding and dancing to this superb trio, Luna Rumba, Thursday, February 13th at 8 pm. Get tickets early - word is spreading and they should sell out.

The new tax system, abject poverty for millions more By Thomas Swanson


very sad thing is happening here in Mexico. This time it doesn’t have anything to do with drug gangs, or violence, or the gringo influence on society. It has to do with what the social pundits like to call “marginalization”, more or less, sweeping an entire culture under the corporate rug. As I have routinely done for years, this morning I swung by the little “Deposito”, or warehouse, run by a local family, where I buy beer. It’s just a small room off to the side of the modest home they live in, equipped with an inadequate but convenient cooler, and a stack of beer cases, both empty and full. Most people here trade in their empties for full ones in these small establishments, and they are a huge part of the neighborhood social scene, the place to run into friends and neighbors, to keep up on what’s going on. In nearly every block of every city and village in Mexico, people sell basic commodities out of their homes. The small signs read Abarrotes (groceries), Frutas y Semillas (fruits and grains) and, of course, Cerveza (needs no translation). This morning the proprietress was visibly upset. She had just heard about the wonderful new tax code for people like herself. Her tiny business, which eeks by, will now require a fulltime accountant, monthly reports and the requirement of official receipts, known as “facturas”, to show that she legally purchased her beer and paid tax on it before selling it and pay those taxes

to the “Hacienda” after selling it. She says she will have to close, she could never pay for all of this. She doesn’t know how she will keep her house even. Her brother helps by weaving fishing nets and they have a few fruit and avocado trees – not enough. And there are hundreds of thousands of stories just like this unfolding in Mexico today. Our accountant says we may have to close our artesanias gallery, that we’ve had for 15 years. We will now be required to submit these facturas, these official receipts, for the artesanias we purchase. Facturas are an arcane stab from the Napoleonic past, when the rich kept the poor poor, in other words, serfdom. Even writing these receipts is complicated. They have to be on professionally printed forms. You can’t misspell a word, your accounting can’t be off by even a centavo, or they are rejected. I can just see the Indigenous families we buy many of our folk art pieces from, who don’t speak any better Spanish than I do, writing us a formal factura for our purchase from their home...a home with dirt floors and no glass in the windows. It’s not going to happen. From now on they will be selling only to foreigners whose tax codes aren’t so draconian and vicious as those that now exist in Mexico...if the foreigners can find them. They may well be picking strawberries for Del Monte by this time next year. Could the fabulous artesanias of Mexico, a timeless cultural inheritance, be the collateral damage of a government policy that would see a Walmart in every town and an OXXO

on every corner? The powers that be seem to favor this scenario. So what’s changed? Many people, including ourselves, used to use a tax regimen called Contribuyente Piqueña, or small contributor. Under this system, a small business would simply keep sales receipts, declare the gross sales amount, and pay a flat tax. No one cared where they got the stuff they sold. Simple, effective, but now no more. Most people registered in this regimen are lower middle class to poor, but they were paying taxes, primarily because they are required to register any store front with the local government to obtain a sales permit. Part of the requirements for that registration is showing proof of paying State and Federal taxes. This now becomes impossible for most of these people, the cost is simply too high. At the beginning of this century, government statistics showed an alarming 40% of the economy as already being “informal”, literally working on the streets, no taxes, no protection, no benefits, no future. By last year this figure had risen to 64%, as the base tax rate for small contributors went from 2% to around 7% over the same time period, forcing more and more people onto the streets. This new tax system will exacerbate the problem and we may well see even more people forced to sell their wares on the street to feed their families. I hope not. Can this government be this callous? As they say in the USA, if there is a tax law, there is a way around it. But then, even in the USA, that only works for the rich...


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Issue 879, Feb 7 - 13, 2014  

Vallarta Tribune - Puerto Vallarta's longest publishing English language paper

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