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riviera nayarit


Dec. 27, 2018 - Jan 2, 2019

Busing Banderas Bay Bruce Howells

Bruce is a retired Canadian, who along with his wife Velma, took a “mulligan” on life and escaped the cold of Canada and settled in the Vallarta area. Fulfilling a retirement dream of not driving anymore, Bruce will use public transportation to tour the bay and tell his tales here. Tips and itineraries welcome.

Gracias Rockscue Team

Life in the Slow Lane Kelly Wilson

Upon retiring in Ontario, Kelly and her husband finally arrived in Puerto Vallarta. Via a one way ticket during the summer of 2017, they now call Bucerias home. As avid adventurers, they enjoy exploring the entire Banderas Bay area. Kelly owns an on-line career coaching business, and spends time volunteering for various local organizations.

Sandrina’s celebrates Mediterranean in Bucerias


ou can feel the pride. You can taste the passion. Since 2001, Sandrina and her husband Andrew have been serving sumptuous treats at Sandrina’s Restaurant & Boutique in Bucerias. Initially an internet cafe with eight computers and a cooler, offering such delights as homemade mac and cheese and shepherd’s pie, Sandrina’s has bloomed into a sophisticated yet casual eatery with a Mediterranean flair. Andrew’s Greek ancestors have been in the restaurant business since 1918, and the menu includes many authentic family recipes created and passed on by his grandmother, “yiayia”. From western Canada, Sandrina has mastered numerous roles in the restaurant industry since she was fifteen years old. To succeed with her business here in Bucerias she worked fourteen hour-plus days preparing, stocking, cooking, serving, and managing paperwork and banking. Along with her daughter Chelsea, and her sister Roberta, whom she says are “her right hand people, and she couldn’t do it without them”, she now relies on many employees but still marvels in the day to day operations. She says she, “finds it interesting, the least boring business in the entire

world, although it can be incredibly stressful.” But the rewards are reaped when she greets repeat customers who once brought their little children and now bring their grandchildren. The courtyard, or, “back garden” was eventually designed for outdoor dining after so many requests from customers to enjoy their meal outside. “It was not very pretty at the time.” After landscaping and finishing the space, including adding an elaborate water fountain that spans the back wall, the restaurant had changed. These days the courtyard, full of lush tropical plants and

twinkling lights, draws people to it’s romantic, cozy, musical and artsy ambience. You name the occasion, wedding rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, a quiet corner for two, and Sandrina’s back garden will shine. Aside from serving as a dining area, the back garden is also the location of the Arte y Vino sessions. Although not formally trained, Sandrina patiently walks her group of students through brushing paint on canvas as they each create their personalized art. This author can attest to the fact that everyone goes home with their own masterpiece. “It’s super rewarding and I love to encourage people to paint, to find their talent”, Sandrina says, “Enjoy a nice lunch and share time together.” On top of all this, the boutique in the front area of the restaurant displays stunning art pieces, paintings, statues, colourful glassware and entire sets of hand painted pottery dishes. When asked how the boutique sales started, Sandrina explains, “Customers kept wanting to buy their glass, or inquired if they could purchase the plates they used for lunch. I ended up ordering extra dishes and it grew from there.” One of the chefs has been with them since three weeks after opening, and several other employees have worked as team members for many years. “I’m very proud of our restaurant, and it is what it is because of our staff”. Sandrina shares, “We have many long term employees, really loyal and amazing staff members working here and I love them all. Muchas gracias to all of our staff” Sandrinas is located at Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 33 Bucerías, Nayarit 329 298 0273 Open noon-10:00pm. Closed Tuesdays


eople are familiar with the story of the Grinch who stole Christmas, but only those who live or travel in the Vallarta area are privy to the goodwill and helping hands provided by Vallarta’s “Gecko Band”. The band has been in existence in one form or another for eighteen years, and Che Victor, the front-man, singer, and showman, reckons he has played with almost every musician in the bay at one time or another. The current members of the band have been together five years, but it was three years ago when a health emergency in the local music family prompted the Gecko Band to organize fundraisers at the Roxy House and Captain Don’s as well as in Bucerias at The Drunken Duck. Most of the musicians in the Bay participated and they raised 500,000 pesos. For the first time, the band realized what a powerful instrument their music and compassion could deliver. The Geckos are the official band of The John Ozzello Food Bank and Humanitarian Aid and have participated in Bucerias Children Christmas Programs and various performances for the Food Bank; Whale Watching, Woodstock Tribute, and Halloween tributes. The Geckos have performed at Los Arcos on the Malecon for a Red Cross fundraiser as well as for the 2017 Earthquake and 2018 Hurricane Willa victims. I was drawn to the band’s humanitarian effort after the Earthquake in November 2017, which affected

Mexico City and neighboring states when they were collecting supplies to deliver to the devastated areas; pitching in and doing what Mexicans do, helping each other directly. The group “Brigada de Mano en Mano (Hand to Hand Brigade)” was formed, but they prefer “The Rockscue Team” since all the help originates from playing Rock and Roll music. People from all Mexico, mostly well-known friends, have joined in helping. Their goal is bringing help “HAND TO HAND” to the people who require it. Some of the many amazing people and business that step up during a time of need: - PRIMERA Plus, a bus line who delivered medication, food, and clothes to the state of Morelos, no charge - Friends in Jeep and Motorcycle Clubs - Katie O’Grady who lined up Telemundo 20 and NBC for TV interviews - Volunteers everywhere in Mexico with availability and resources to travel anywhere - People offering homes and businesses as warehouses, collection centers, or their vehicles to transport people and supplies The Brigade assisted with the 2018 hurricane Wilma disaster, providing roughly fifty electric stoves, fifty mattresses, dozens of cases of water, fifty bags of clothes and shoes, hundreds of cans of tuna, sardine, and boxes of medicine, thousands of diapers and sanitary napkins, and dozens of sheets and blankets. All

Profile for Vallarta Tribune

Issue 1134, December 27 - January 2 , 2018  

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico The Vallarta Tribune is the longest running free English language newspaper in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We publish w...

Issue 1134, December 27 - January 2 , 2018  

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico The Vallarta Tribune is the longest running free English language newspaper in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We publish w...