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Mexican Heat: Popular Chilies

Tara A. Spears

Many of our favorite dishes are enhanced by the addition of some type of chili seasoning. It is believed that chili peppers were one of the first cultivated plants in the Western hemisphere and the first spice used anywhere in the world! Many of the most sought after chili are native to Mexico, including serrano, poblanero, tepin and habaneros.

By the early 1500s chili peppers were found on every continent, dramatically altering cuisines everywhere. Today, chiles are a popular ingredient in cooking. In American and Canadian supermarkets, chili are found in the produce section or in the sauces aisle, generally in jars marked as “mild,” “medium,” or “hot.” In Mexico will you can find an entire supermarket aisle with tubs of various types of fresh chili.

It‟s interesting that in 1912 an American pharmacist, William Scoville, devised a measure of spicy heat for comparing types of chili peppers.

According to the Mexican Archeology, Scoville heat units (SHU) measure the capsaicin concentration of chili. Capsaicin is a chemical contained in the pepper that produces the runny nose/ eye water/ flame on the tongue experience. This formula is still widely used but another method that uses high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a faster, more accurate means of measuring the concentration of heat-producing chemicals.

Let‟s look at four of the particular chilies that are traditionally used in Mexican cooking:

The famous habanera chili pepper packs a lot of fire. They grow mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, where they are believed to have originated, though they can usually be grown anywhere as an annual.

My neighbor introduced me to a unique chili called Tepin pepper (or sometimes called Chiltepen). Don‟t let its size fool you, these tiny bright red-orange little balls are extremely hot. Tepin is harvested from the wild in the Mexican

desert where the heat level of the fruit can vary greatly from year to year depending on the amount of natural rainfall that occurs during the time that the fruit is forming. During years of drought the potency of the heat levels can be weak but during normal rainfall years the highest heat levels are produced. My neighbor grows her own tepin peppers so it always has gets the perfect amount of water; the peppers are searing hot!

In Spanish, the heat of the chiltepin is called arrebatado (“rapid” or “violent”), because, while the heat is intense, it is not very enduring. Still, one needs a cold beer to flush the fire.

A wonderful pepper to grow in a container is the Mexican tabasco chili pepper. This chili is best known for its use in Tabasco sauce. This pepper starts out green turning orange and then red as it ripens. The initial letter of tabasco is rendered in lowercase when referring to the botanical variety, but is capitalized when referring to the Mexican state or the brand of hot sauce.

The poblano chili is one of the less fiery peppers. The poblano pepper (named after the Mexican state of Puebla) is a relatively large, mild variety of chile popular in Mexican cuisine. Combining complex sweetness and subtle heat, the poblano is amazingly versatile. When roasted, its skin softens, blistering and taking on notes of smokiness. But the pepper also retains its shape, making it a wonderful choice for stuffing and finishing in the oven.

The next time that you are visiting Mexico, check out the array of fresh chili at a tiangi (outdoor street market) or a local produce store. Just be sure to have a cold beer or other libation to accompany the test drive of the Mexican chili- some like „em hot!

3 Ways for Mexico Rental Property Owners to Pay Taxes

Paying tax on your rental income from Mexican properties is a MUST, no matter how/where the income is received. Learn how to get legal and avoid the consequences of tax evasion at RentalTaxMexico.com.
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La Paz, BCS – Expat blogs, websites and online newspapers are full of information about the growing problem of foreigners who are renting their homes or condominiums and failing to pay Mexican taxes. Not only is this a violation of Mexico’s tax law with severe penalties if discovered, but also it violates the terms of most bank trusts (Fideicomisos) and could result in cancellation of the trust.

Foreigners are obligated to pay taxes on income generated in Mexico, no matter where the income is received.

There are three ways to do this and be in full compliance with the laws:

1. Residents in Mexico can obtain their taxpayer identification number, electronic signatures and file taxes monthly using a blind deduction of 35 percent of income and paying tax on the remainder. No receipts are required for this taxpayer status. An annual declaration must be filed in addition to monthly declarations.

2. Residents in Mexico can obtain their taxpayer identification number, electronic signatures and file taxes monthly declaring all income and providing receipts for certain allowable deductions. Tax on a sliding scale is assessed on the profit. Again, an annual declaration must be filed in addition to monthly declarations.

3. Non-Residents of Mexico may appoint a Mexican company to declare and pay tax on their behalf. Tax collected on the GROSS income is declared monthly and a set percentage is charged. no RFC (taxpayer identification number) is required. No annual declaration need be filed.

The above is for compliance with the ISR tax (the tax on income) Additionally, on furnished properties, a tax of 16% IVA (added value tax) must be collected by the owner and declared and paid to tax authorities.

No Double Taxation: Mexico has tax treaties with 32 nations. Taxes paid in Mexico can be taken as credits in taxpayer’s native country.

Paying tax on your rental income from Mexican properties is a MUST, whether you live in Mexico or not. Get legal and avoid the consequences of tax evasion!

For additional information on paying tax on rental property in Mexico under any of these three options, send an email to info(at)settlement-co.com, or rentaltaxmexico(at)settlement-co.com.

Related article: Vallarta to Begin Collecting Property Rental Income Tax

John Glaab is Director, International Marketing at The Settlement Company, Mexico’s oldest title and escrow company. A Certified International Property Specialist, he is a founding member of AMPI Los Cabos and the new Global Mexico Real Estate Institute. In 2012, John was named the International Real Estate Member of the Year by NAR. For further information, contact John at John.Glaab(at)settlement-co.com.

Viva Mexico! September Holidays

Tara A. Spears

September is a time of celebration and tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Mexican people. Flags, parades, and music festivals pay homage to the historical events and heroes that led to the formation of modern Mexico. The month begins with the President’s annual State of the Union address from Mexico City, followed by the commemoration of two significant 19th century political events that typically enable families to have a mini- vacation.


The Federal holiday observance of Los Ninos Heroes, Wedneday, September 13, is paired with Mexican Independence Day on Saturday, September 16. Banks, schools, government offices and many businesses are closed for the week. Communities, schools, and families alike are preparing for spirited fiestas with colorful costumes, traditional dishes, and lots of fireworks and music!

Los Ninos Heroes, six teenage military cadets who died defending Mexico in the 1847. This battle outside Mexico City contains all the dramatic elements that inspire: beleaguered and outnumbered common people, an exotic setting in an elegant castle, violence and bloodshed. In 1847 the Mexican-American war had reached

deep into the country, with North American Marines laying siege to the nation’s capital. Chapultepec Castle was a remnant from the hated Spanish rule and was used as a military academy. Although the young soldiers-in-training had been ordered to retreat, with the invincible conviction of youth they choose to stay in the castle and fight for their belief in Mexican independence.

Battling against professional soldiers, these six teens sacrificed their lives defending their country. One of the young heroes,

Juan Escutia, who was born in Tepic, Nayarit, is especially revered for his extraordinary bravery. Although Juan had only been admitted to the Academy days before the siege, he courageously chose to protect and honor his country’s flag by wrapping himself in it and leaping from the roof to prevent the flag from falling into enemy hands. The Chapultepec castle is presently a national museum in a park: both are open to the public daily.

El Grito de Dolores/The Cry of Dolores: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811) is considered the foremost patriot of Mexican independence. Described as an intellectual, charismatic, priest, and rebel leader Hidalgo helped initiate the Mexican revolt from Spanish rule. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811) is considered the foremost patriot of Mexican independence.

Hidalgo often hosted gatherings at his home where he would talk about whether it was the duty of the people to obey or overthrow an unjust tyrant. Hidalgo believed the Spanish crown was a tyrant: it was paying the royal tax that ruined the finances of the Hidalgo family, and he saw injustice daily in his work with the poor.

There was a conspiracy for independence in Querétaro at the time: the rebel conspiracy felt that they needed someone with moral authority, a relationship with the lower classes and good connections. Hidalgo was recruited and joined without reservation. Originally promoting the interests of the wealthy Creoles in Guanajunto, his native state, Hidalgo expanded his appeals to include the Indios and castes, thus garnering a large militant fighting army.

Hidalgo was in Dolores on September 15, 1810, with other leaders of the conspiracy including military commander Ignacio Allende when word came to them that the conspiracy had been found out. Needing to move immediately, Hidalgo rang the church bells on the morning of the sixteenth, calling in all of the locals who happened to be in the market on that day. From the pulpit, he announced his

intention to strike for independence and pleaded with the people of Dolores to join him. Most did: Hidalgo had an army of some 600 men within minutes. In his impassioned speech Hidalgo invoked the Virgin of Guadalupe as patroness, which inspired all classes to revolt against the Spanish overseers.

Hidalgo’s platform of social change -he advocated the end of slavery, social classes, and to return the land to the Indians- caused a separation from his original Creole

supporters. Allende was furious with Hidalgo and placed him under arrest: Hidalgo went north as a prisoner. Hidalgo and other rebel leaders were captured north of Saltillo after they were betrayed by local insurrection leader Ignacio Elizondo.

Hidalgo and Allende were given to the Spanish authorities and sent to the city of Chihuahua to stand trial. All of the rebel leaders were found guilty and sentenced to death. As a sign of dishonour all the rebel leaders-including Hidalgo- were shot in the back and decapitated: their heads were hung from the four corners of the granary of Guanajuato as a warning to those who would think to follow in their footsteps. It wasn’t until years later that

Hidalgo’s efforts were recognized and he was recognized as a patriotic hero.

Modern Mexico celebrates the date of his revolutionary speech as Mexican Independence Day, September 16 each year. Hidalgo’s remains lie in a Mexico City monument known as “the Angel of Independence” along with other Revolutionary heroes.

Embrace the Future with Costa Canuva Hotels and Resort
Building on the old Boca Naranja Beach
Terri A. Spears
The future of Jaltemba Bay is looking good, thanks to our new neighbor, Costa Canuva, which is located on the old Boca Naranja beach. As soon as the project was announced six years ago, the small town gossip started. But, I was fortunate to meet with the Project Director, Francisco Mendez, to learn the facts concerning the plan of this international development company to integrate with the neighboring villages. Just being selected by this respected international development group, Mota-Engil Turismo and the equally respected hospitality group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, probably will be the best thing that ever happens to this rural community.
The guiding initiative of Costa Canuva is to “embrace an enduring connection to the land and
communities where we do business. As a leading travel provider, Fairmont is reliant on the sustained health of the destination; therefore Fairmont is committed to preserving the places where our guests and colleagues work, live and play. Our company is absolutely aware of the business impacts associated with the environment and we take proactive steps,” said Paco. “We are your neighbors!”
This massive long-term project, slated to take 15 years to completion, is composed of three construction phases. “We presently have three biologists evaluating and preparing the designated sanctuary areas,” Paco explained. “For example, we are relocating the rattlesnakes rather than killing them.” It is this respect and intelligent management that elevates Costa Canuva community above most just-for profit-developments. In addition, the Costa Canuva project is providing its own infrastructure of roads, water, and sewer. This is huge! No matter how many hotel rooms or condos there are, it will not affect the existing system. In fact, due to the company’s political clout, the electric and telephone utilities are pressured to upgrade service to our area. This is an immediate win/win situation for both adjacent residents and the resort community.
Another huge benefit to the Jaltemba Bay community is the influence Costa Canuva group has on improving access to the coast. The much needed Jala-Puerta Vallarta bypass highway was begun in 2015 and is progressing at a snails’ pace. In February, 2017, the developers of the Costa Canuva project, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract, took over the construction on the next section of the highway from 77km to proposed exit south of Las Varas. This is the portion of the bypass highway that directly impacts La Penita and Guayabitos.
Imagine the large expense involved to funding a four lane highway and access ramps; this investment definitely demonstrates Costa Canuva’s commitment to be a good neighbor. With private industry managing the highway construction of this next leg, it will probably be completed according to their 2018 timeline.
The development of the Costa Canuva village represents a $1.8 billion USD investment in the region’s economy and is expected to create 6,000 direct jobs and 18,000 thousand indirect jobs locally. The project is being spearheaded by Portugal’s Mota-Engil, one of the largest construction and infrastructure management companies in Europe and the only Portuguese company in the World’s Top 100 Construction Companies, according to Engineering News- Record.
“We are thrilled that Fairmont has joined us in this exciting journey to share the paradise of Costa Canuva with the rest of the world,” said Rafael Lang, CEO of Mota-Engil Tourism. “Our goal is to create a true community, integrating our beachfront village with residential neighborhoods, golf course and lagoons. Not only do we look forward to welcoming international visitors to this wonderful region, but we are excited to create new opportunities for domestic tourists and the local people of the Riviera Nayarit.”
Another benefit of Costa Canuva coming to our area is education. Mr. Mendez and associate Margo Flaherty, have already been in contact with the area vocational high school, Conalep. Margo stated that Costa Canuva would like to see a work-study partnership set up for the tourism, chef, air conditioning, and business students. “We envision the students gaining hands on experience while earning academic credit and wages.” Paco added that he has immediate need for people with biology, natural resources, ecology experience. He was excited to learn that the area has so many university students because of future needs. Costa Canuva has standards for its hiring practices. Presently the company is building a website that in the future will list employment opportunities and requirements. Paco has had meetings with the local union and other sources of labor to explain the type of workers they need. “We
have met with the Instituto Estatal para la Educación de Adultos (State Institute for Adult Education) (IEEA) in Tepic requesting (and funding) relevant training to be provided in Riviera Nayarit starting in 2018,” said Paco.The immediate and long term benefits to Jaltemba Bay area from welcoming the mega development of Costa Canuva are many: sustaining the wonderful natural environment of Riviera Nayarit; creating jobs for local citizens; purchasing construction and operational materials locally; enhancing infrastructure for residents by building new highway, sewer and water supply; encouraging education.
Accolades go to Mota-Engil Turismo and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for having the business acumen, vision, and standards to lead the way to the future for a better quality of life for the entire community for generations to come. Greetings, neighbor!

Traditional September Events in The Riviera Nayarit

Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico – The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau is a firm supporter of events – over 80 each year – that not only attract thousands of visitors and shine an international spotlight on the destination, but also represent an important revenue stream for the community.

Tourism promotion of the Riviera Nayarit continues throughout September with a series of activities backed by the Groups and Events office. Even though Mexican traditions and culture dominate this very patriotic month, there’s also plenty of room for sports.

San Pancho Pee Wee Surfing League (September 9)
It’s San Pancho’s turn to welcome the iterant surfing tournament, which travels through the coastal villages of Nayarit in search of new talent for this extreme sport. The league is presented by Ramos Shapes, Sunset Bungalows and Los Rudos SurfShop, using the competition formats established by the World Championship Tour Top 33 from the World Surf League (WSL), the ISA (International Surfing Association) and the Nayarit State Surfing Association (AENAY by its acronym in Spanish), with the support of the local surfing clubs from the different host towns and the Riviera Nayarit CVB.

Independence Day Festivities (September 15-16)
The celebration of the Independence Day Festivities is one of our most treasured traditions, and the Riviera Nayarit makes the Grito, or yell, a very special occasion. The festivities begin on the evening of the 15th with the Grito de Independencia, a ceremony that’s replicated in nearly every plaza in nearly every coastal town, along with fireworks and fairs. The celebration continues on the 16th with a military and sports parade to commemorate another year of Mexico’s Independence.

San Francisco Patron Saint Feasts (September 26 to October 4)
Fairs, dances and jamborees with a special twist are a specialty of the Riviera Nayarit’s Cultural Capital. These festivities honor San Francisco, also known as San Pancho, and are a very Mexican tradition.

5th Flamingos 3K and 7K Race (September 30)
This recreational race will be held for the 4th consecutive year with the slogan “Running for Our Health.” Its main purpose is to encourage sports, but it also gives the runners a great excuse to vacation in the Riviera Nayarit. The host hotel is the Samba Vallarta by Emporio Hotels & Suites by Grupo Diestra, located in Flamingos.

San Pancho Pee Wee Surfing League (September 30)
San Pancho once again hosts this itinerant tournament for kids between the ages of 4 and 12. It seeks to promote surfing as well as attract family tourism to the different coastal villages that host the competition.

And that’s only what’s scheduled for the month of September in the Riviera Nayarit, where there are always lots of fun and exciting happenings for locals and visitors to enjoy. Click HERE to see what’s happening in October and beyond.

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Keep Mosquitos Away from Your Mexican Home

Of course, using a DEET repellant is the most preventative measure against getting bitten, but better yet is to limit the number of mosquitos around your Puerto Vallarta property – before they have a chance to bite.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Mosquitos: those little creatures that can be a big annoyance and even a danger to your health. With Puerto Vallarta’s rainy season, these pests come out in their largest numbers and while we do not have a problem with Zika virus in our region, mosquitos can certainly cause you a sleepless night as they buzz about your room.

Of course, using a DEET repellant is the most preventative measure against getting bitten, but better yet is to limit the number of mosquitos around your Puerto Vallarta property. We have some quick tips to prevent mosquitos in the rainy season.

• Remove standing water from around your home at least once per week. Check places and items that can hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flower pot saucers, and trash containers. These items should be should be emptied and scrubbed, turned over, covered, or, if no longer in use, recycled.

• Be a community organizer and get your neighbors involved in checking and clearing your neighborhood of standing water.

• Watch for city officials who will be paying visits to homes to treat fountains, septic tanks, and pool covers that hold water with safe larvicides, free of charge.

• Be sure to always utilize your screen doors and windows. Though mosquitos are most plentiful in the early morning and early evening, they can find their way into your Puerto Vallarta home at any time of the day.

• If need be, visit Home Depot or other home supply stores for chemical solutions to lessen adult mosquito populations.

Though there are many organic options to assist with mosquito control (citronella, beeswax and soy candles, planting marigolds in your garden and neem oil, to name a few), the best way to combat mosquitos is preventing them from laying larvae in the first place. With an ounce of prevention, you can say a pound of aggravation this summer in Vallarta.

Click HERE for more living in Puerto Vallarta tips from Tropicasa Realty.

Since 1997, Wayne Franklin and his team at Tropicasa Realty have been a trusted name in Puerto Vallarta real estate. Tropicasa Realty is the region’s representative for “The Leading Agents of the World” and with over 100 years of combined experience in real estate, all agents of the company are affiliated with AMPI. Wayne Franklin or any member of his knowledgeable team can be contacted in-person at their Romantic Zone Office – Pulpito 145-A at Olas Altas. While in PV they can be reached at (322) 222-6505 or by calling 866-978-5539 (Toll-Free) from the U.S.

Click HERE to learn more about Tropicasa Realty, or visit tropicasa.com.


la penita rv

Restaurant team: Owner Hector, Alejandro, Daniela, Alberto, Oscar and children

El Rincon de Jaltemba Steak House Opens to Rave Reviews

Tara A. Spears

The best steak south of the border is now available in Guayabitos! Add dining at El Rincon de Jaltemba Steak House to the top of your bucket list for when you’re visiting beautiful Jaltemba Bay. Not only is the building brand new, but developing the menu, outfitting the kitchens, hiring the staff, and selecting food suppliers has taken over a year to accomplish. The results speak for themselves: Jaltemba Steak House offers top quality food, service, decor. The restaurant is located on the west side of the main Avenida Sol Nuevo in south Guayabitos, almost to Decameron hotel. Spacious and charming, the venue is perfect for romantic dinners or can be reserved for large group parties.

Meet the owner, Hector Daniel Sahagun Flores. This young entrepreneur has put his heart and soul into creating a successful business. “I was working in Tepic after graduating university as a Civil Engineer,” explained Hector. “After a couple of years I realized that this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” Having grown up in La Penita and with his extended family still living in the area, Hector decided he wanted to return to his hometown. Recently married and expecting his first child, Hector felt that since Jaltemba Bay has such a strong tourist base, that operating restaurant would be a viable business to support his young family. “Since I love a good steak-prepared Mexican style- it seemed a natural choice for a specialty restaurant. I researched various dishes and my family each selected a favorite dish. Once I had my menu determined, I advertised and began interviewing chefs. I am very particular about how the food is prepared!”

None of the available buildings in Guayabitos fit Hector’s vision for his restaurant; he decided to build new to attain the quality he wanted. The venue is designed for maximum air flow- very important in this hot, high humidity climate. Every detail- from the placement of the large screen TVs to the kitchen floor plan to the table arrangements- is the result of Hector’s training and planning. “I have worked since December 2016 to open August 2017,” he said.

Before adding more description of the restaurant, it is interesting to note the Mexican grading system for beef. In pre-Hispanic times, the indigenous people only had limited animal husbandry that included just turkey, xoloitzcuintle (Mexican hairless dog), cochineal insects for making dye and some beekeeping. It wasn’t until the colonial period after the conquistadors brought horses and cattle from Spain that beef and ranching was introduced to this country.

Mexican consumer tastes and preferences for different types of meat are changing. The expanding middle class prefers the texture of grain fed beef compared to the traditionally grass-fed, tougher beef that was the Mexican norm 20 years ago, causing the ranching industry to adopt the international methods of raising cattle.

Sonora, Hermosillo, Chihuahua states have the largest share of Mexican top quality beef production. Cattle from these Mexican states are among the better quality beef in Mexico due to the high percentage of English breeds (e.g. Angus) produced and finished by being fed grains to reach market weight.

The Mexican meat grading system is analogous to the U.S. system, but with different grade definitions. The four grades are: Select (Selecto); Good (Bueno); Standard (Estandard), and Commercial (Comercial). This beef grading criteria is based on the cattle’s age, meat lean color, fat coverage, and marbling. Hector said, “I use only the Selecto quality Sonora Angus for our dinners.”

Chef Cuauhtémoc Rodriguez Peña has varied experience specializing in international cuisine. He beat out other chef applicants in the audition with his version of Hector’s signature chimichurri agrentino dishes! This style of cooking is pure, authentic Argentina. The garlicky sauce famous to the Land of Silver is traditionally drizzled over meats that are asado (barbecue) and it is sometimes used as a marinade.   Chimichurri comes in a green version (chimichurri verde) and a red version (chimichurri rojo). Of course every chef has his own version but typically chimichurri is made of finely-chopped herbs, vegetable oil, and white vinegar. It’s not piquant but very flavorful. Another specialty of Cuauhtmoc is pastries: wait until you see the temping dessert selections.

Besides the excellent steak and asada choices, there is a nice selection of appetizers, salads, desserts, and beverages.   The menu is available in Spanish or English form as well as bilinugual waiters during the winter season. Hector also speaks English.

Hector’s greatest satisfaction occurs when guests rave about their food and enjoy dining at Jaltemba Steak House. I can say that the house speciality, Discada ‘Don Geno’ is outstanding: subtle spices with melt-in-your mouth tender steak in a fresh tortilla with a variety of sides. Yes, there are several selections of steaks: porterhous, prime rib, and more but the arranchera is going to be the biggest demand for all age groups. The bar has 10 different beers, from lager to Amstel; several good vines, only mixed drinks are pina colada and margueritta- who needs more with steak?

El Rincon de Jaltemba Steak House has live music every Friday and Saturday night beginning at 8:00 pm. You can make reservations by telephone. *Accepts Visa and Master card! El Rincon d Jaltemba is the first restaurant (that the author knows of) that accepts credit cards. This is great news for international travelers.

Hector is striving to provide quality food and service, besides an enjoyable dining experience. Five years from now he hopes the steak house is so popular that he can open other restaurants in other towns to share his menu.

Whatever suits your mood, you can dress up and dine in, reserve for group parties, or order your meal for pick up; Jaltemba Steak House offers you service. One dinner and you’ll be back!

Open daily (except on Wednesdays) from 1:00 until 11:00 pm.

For reservations: Contact cell: 322 265 7428               rincondejaltemba@gmail.com



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Nayarit reports more cases of Zika than any other state

According to the deputy director of epidemiology of the Nayarit Health Services, Jorge Barrera Castellano, of the 129 cases in the state, 102 are women and 27 are men. 40 of the 102 infected women are pregnant, representing 22% of all Nayarit cases.

The municipalities of Nayarit with the most cases are Santiago Ixcuintla (86), Tepic, San Blas (11 each), Tuxpan (9) and Rosamorada (7).

In total, 450 people in Mexico have been diagnosed with Zika. 83 percent of the total occurs in women, of whom 185 are pregnant.

Morelos ranks second in incidence of the virus with 63 cases, while Oaxaca is in the last position, with only four cases.

In Nayarit, according to Barrera Castellano, the zika virus displaced the chikungunya, of which there have been no cases in 2017 in the state.

Viva Tequila! Via Mexico!

Tara A. Spears

Tequila is more than a party, it’s an important part of Mexican tradition. Long a source of national pride, the path of tequila is intrinsically intertwined in Mexican culture, economics, and history. The second largest employer in Mexico, the health and growth of the tequila industry affects many lives. From the lowly field worker to the manager of the distillery to the truck drivers and distributors, and all of the subsidiary businesses, the world consumption of tequila provides a living for many Mexicans.

In the past the jimadores had owned their own family agave farms but by the 21st century growing tequila plants is largely the domain of big agro-businesses. A jimador is a type of Mexican farmer who harvests agave plants, which have been traditionally harvested primarily for the production of mezcal and tequila. Twenty five years ago, before the expansion of global tequila sales, the Mexican government reported that more than 50,000 families (just the day laborers and farmers) are directly dependent on the agave-tequila production chain in the official tequila territory.

Since the first bottle was brewed, tequila has been one of the most Important and dynamic industries in Mexico. As the national government changed from foreign rule to independence, hacienda estates to private family farms, tequila production has evolved through the centuries. The tequila industry is proud of its importance in the national economy, but even more proud of being an entirely Mexican industry. This pride is reflected in the choice of bottle style and unique labels.

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The traditional Mexican market for tequila has achieved a great expansion within recent years due to globalization. Currently the tequila industry generates more than 5 billion dollars a year to become the country’s second largest export. This huge expansion is not without pain as the tequila producers struggle to revise their theoretical and methodological framework to increase production. The smaller independent tequila families had to change the most in order to modernize. In the Agri-Food industry it seems to be a permanent disagreement between the farmers and the industrialists.

The land owners and field workers adhere to century’s old rural culture and those production traditions; whereas the global businesses are more concerned about the bottom line and rapid production. It’s obvious that a clash between the two segments occurs to meet globalization demands. The larger land holders are typically the first to implement new farming methods because they have the financial ability to obtain new equipment. This puts pressure on the smaller farmer to be competitive in marketing his harvest and in the case of tequila, production. In the last 50 years, the most radical changes have occurred in the smaller family tequila farms. Given the strong demand of the tequila market, the former family businesses are becoming corporate structures by switching to a constant production in their onsite distillery plants.

It’s not surprising that this revered national drink, tequila, is heavily regulated and controlled by the Mexican government. There is entire division of government to oversee tequila production! There are federal laws governing the farming, harvesting, distilling, distribution, and sale of tequila, with harsh fines and imprisonment for violators. First of all, it is specified where tequila can be grown: You can only grow agave for tequila within the territory protected by the designation of origin “Tequila” as indicated on the official government map. The official growing areas comprise 125 municipalities in the state of Jalisco, eight from Nayarit, seven from Guanajuato, 30 from Michoacán and 11 from Tamaulipas. I’m sure that a couple of agave plants in a home garden won’t bring the federales to your door; but planting a couple of acres without a license might.

Secondly, the government defines what makes tequila: According to the official Regulatory Council of Tequila, Consejo Regulador del Tequila, as defined in Mexican standard 006-Csfi- 2005, “tequila is obtained from the distillation of Mescal or blue agave sugars; the final product can contain 100% of this raw material or a proportion of not more than 49% of other sugars.” Each bottle is classified by the characteristics of its distillation and rectification process. Tequila is labeled as “blanco (white), joven u oro (young or gold), reposado (rested); añejo (aged); and extra-old (extraañejo).” The sales price reflects the type of processing and age. By 2006 Mexican tequila was being imported to 105 countries! That’s a huge reach from rural Nayarit.

History: a long history of tequila featured in ancient myths and legends that rooted it as a Mexican drink. The ancient codas describe drinking mescal. When the explorers arrived and were treated to this Mexican fire water, the conquistadores wanted more. Tequila was one of the main products Of Nueva Galicia since colonial times, and during the in the nineteenth century the gold rush in California favored this Mexican export brew.

But it was after the end of the Mexican Revolution when the government began to foster economic growth of this beverage industry by promoting tequila as National identity. The government encouraged including tequila in the arts- that literature, painting and especially the film industry show the ranch lifestyle of Jalisco (which is the main producer of tequila) as the representation of pre-modern Mexico. Since the 1940s Mexican films, songs and telenovelas, promote the tequila mystic through associating tequila with a good time. Another industry strategy is to develop tourism projects such as the tourist train Tequila Express from Guadalajara to the town of Tequila.

The Second World War was another determining factor in the increase of the demand for tequila. Many countries were faced with the scarcity of whiskey so the Mexicans provided tequila. In addition, in the 1950s in the United States, the tequila cocktail margarita became very popular: doubling the demand for tequila. Export growth increased yet again in 1994 with Mexico signing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Although many sized economic units are part of the tequila industry, the explosion of demand for tequila caused the industry to be dominated by larger agricultural organizations. The production of tequila is dominated by four Mexican family owned agri businesses: Cuervo, Sauza, Herradura, and Cazadores.

While many small businesses still exist in this field, the small individual agave farms are likely to disappear if adverse conditions affect production or the global market decreases.

For centuries this weird looking plant has been a part of ordinary life in Mexico. Tequila is an attitude, tequila makes quiet people bold, best of all, tequila is Mexican. “Take life with a grain of salt and a slice of lemon and a shot of tequila.”

My son is transgender and I’m proud,’ reads the sign.

Nayarit: Transgender People Can Change Birth Records

go to original

Nayarit last week became the third state in Mexico to allow modifications to birth certificates for gender identity reasons, acknowledging the right to legal equality for transgender people.

The modification to the state’s civil code was supported by 23 members of the local Congress; one voted against it and five abstained.

The reform will allow transgender people to request a change to a birth certificate at civil registry and municipal offices. The new law also stipulates that no civil registry judge will be able to deny requests for reasons of conscience.

“…the request for gender identity change becomes an administrative procedure… bypassing procedures that questioned the identity of trans people and violated their human rights,” said the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), one of the proponents of the legal reform.

That party’s national secretary for sexual diversity remarked that the modified law represents significant progress for a sector of the population that has been historically discriminated against and excluded from benefits granted by the Mexican state to the rest of society.

Michoacán approved a similar set of modifications to its civil code earlier this month, making it the second state to do so. Mexico City made the changes three years ago. Since then, close to 2,000 birth certificates have been modified.

“We’re not only talking about an acknowledgement under civil law, we’re talking about the opportunity to simplify their lives in order to obtain job and educational opportunities with nothing standing in the way of completing a legal procedure,” said Manuel Granados Covarrubias, legal advisor to the Mexico City government.

The procedure is available to all Mexican citizens and not just those who live in the capital, he said.

Over the last three years, for example, 150 requests were filed by citizens from Estado de México, 130 from Veracruz and 70 from Jalisco.

Original article




    ad Hinde and Jaimes



Am I Covered? Car Insurance in Mexico

– When many people buy a house or condo in Puerto Vallarta and are ready to move, either full-time or part-time, to their new home in Mexico, they will bring their vehicle with them. However, many are surprised to learn, or don’t realize until it is too late, that although their Canadian or U.S.A. auto insurance policy may be comprehensive, it will not fully cover you in Mexico.

This is because Mexican law stipulates that for auto insurance in Mexico to be legally recognized and accepted, it must be issued by an insurance company that is licensed in Mexico. So, while your foreign policy may be very comprehensive, it cannot legally provide liability coverage in Mexico. Essentially, in the case of an accident, while your policy may cover your own damage, your foreign insurance policy will not cover your liability to others while driving in Mexico.

Not only is this a serious concern that could end up costing you a great deal of money in restitution and legal fees, drivers involved in serious accidents in Mexico are usually arrested pending investigation if they are not able to produce proper, legal insurance.

There are numerous reputable car insurance agencies in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit. Be sure to shop around to find one that is fully licensed and able to provide liability, legal council and bail-bond (in the off-chance that you should ever need it).

Having good car insurance in Mexico means one less thing to worry about, so you can get back to the business of enjoying the incredible Puerto Vallarta lifestyle in your tropical dream home.

 Click here to get your quote

martinIf your property or pool needs maintenance while you’re gone, don’t worry, let

Martin’s Property Management assist you!

Telephone: 327 274 2723, cell: 322 146 1666

Email: martintorrespaga@yahoo.com.mx

 English Spoken

Martin’s Upholstery Shop

Calle Bahia de Jaltemba #16a, Los Ayalas

Open every day but Sunday



bell2 lot

la penita rv


ad consdos carey



ad Hinde and Jaimes




la penita rvhttp://quote.mexpro.com/quote/?aff_id=9804&agtdst=&office_code=


ad consdos carey


 martinIf your property or pool needs maintenance while you’re gone, don’t worry, let

Martin’s Property Management assist you!

Telephone: 327 274 2723, cell: 322 146 1666

Email: martintorrespaga@yahoo.com.mx

 English Spoken

Martin’s Upholstery Shop

Calle Bahia de Jaltemba #16a, Los Ayalas

Open every day but Sunday


  ad consdos carey


ad Hinde and Jaimes

             bell2 lot



la penita rv


 martinIf your property or pool needs maintenance while you’re gone, don’t worry, let

Martin’s Property Management assist you!

Telephone: 327 274 2723, cell: 322 146 1666

Email: martintorrespaga@yahoo.com.mx

 English Spoken

Martin’s Upholstery Shop

Calle Bahia de Jaltemba #16a, Los Ayalas

Open every day but Sunday





ad Raphy


Just a reminder to our Readers that we sell great quality auto and RV insurance for your travels in Mexico. You help support our various Mexico sites when you purchase your insurance from us. Click here for a no obligation quote. https://sb.iigins.com/quote/?aff_id=9804
If you want some company on the way we also have a Facebook age that is called Travel Buddies On The Road In Mexico. This is a bulletin board of sorts, where you tell prospective travelers where you are going and when so that together you can enjoy this remarkable country. Go here for Travel Buddies.
We also want to remind you that On the Road In Mexico (www.ontheroadin.com) has lots of valuable information for your travel. Some of the great info is what you need for documents, what the road signs mean, to “How to Cook Dorado” and everything else in between. We list every campsite that we have been to and give you a picture or two, directions and write-up. We have over 150 articles that are just waiting to inform or amuse. It’s got something for everyone!
We also link to Mexico Archaeology which is a site about pyramids, ancient cultures and exploring the various incredible ruins. Go here for Mexico Archaeology! http://www.mexicoarcheology.com/
And if that isn’t enough, Sol Mexico News (www.solmexiconews.com) brings it all together in a weekly online news magazine. Make sure to subscribe and be on top of News in Mexico as well as other current topics of interest. Subscribe here.

Thanks for being part of our Facebook Group. We are having a blast and hope you are too!
Safe travel,
Dot and Bill Bell


Mexico Auto Insurance

What you need to know
The following is taken from Mexperience.com

You need Mexico car insurance because it’s required and US /Canadian insurance coverage stops at the Mexican border. Every year Mexico implements stricter laws for uninsured motorists, meaning not having it can cost you money due to damage/loss to your vehicle, fines and more
When you drive your car to Mexico, travel with complete peace of mind, by being properly insured. Your U.S. or Canadian insurance policy, however comprehensive, won’t cover you in Mexico, but affordable insurance is available…


Mexican Auto insurance You Can Trust if you ever get into an accident in Mexico

Insuring Your Car in Mexico
Although your U.S./Canadian car insurance policy may be comprehensive, and might also extend some limited damage coverage in Mexico, you will still need to purchase policy that is legally valid in Mexico.
U.S. and Canadian auto insurance policies, however comprehensive, hold no legal jurisdiction in Mexico. This means that you must buy separate insurance cover for your car while you’re driving in Mexico if you want to travel with complete peace of mind.

If you are driving your car improperly insured in Mexico and you become involved in an accident it will, at best, cost you a lot of money and, at worst, leave you imprisoned in a Mexican jail house. Presenting a U.S. or Canadian auto insurance policy will be of no use because these documents have no legal or actual force in Mexico, and the companies backing them will not settle any claim arising when you or your car are situated south of the border.
Drivers who are involved in serious accidents in Mexico are usually arrested pending investigation. If you are not properly insured in Mexico and become involved in a serious accident—even if it’s not your fault—these procedures will likely place a great deal of stress and financial burden upon you.
This guide explains how insurance works in Mexico and how to go about buying the additional insurance protection you need to ensure that you, your passengers, and your vehicle are properly insured when driving on Mexican soil and that, in the event of a serious accident, you are properly covered by a legally-valid and adequate insurance policy.
Mexican Auto Insurance
Mexican Law stipulates that only insurance companies which are licensed in Mexico can provide the type of auto insurance coverage that is recognized and accepted by Mexico’s legal system.
A few U.S.-based insurance companies will extend physical damage coverage on cars and RVs while they are situated in Mexico, but they cannot and do not provide Mexican liability insurance. So, although these policies may cover your damage, they will not cover your liability to others in Mexico. This is why a special insurance policy is absolutely necessary to be properly insured in Mexico.
Mexican Insurance Companies
Mexican Law also stipulates that liability insurance must be purchased from a licensed Mexican company, so your auto insurance policy necessarily needs to be issued by one of Mexico’s insurance companies, or through a broker in the U.S./Canada working in conjuction with a Mexican insurance company.
Who’s Insuring You?
Buyers purchasing insurance for their car in Mexico are often times misled by believing that they can rely on the broker, rather than the Mexican Insurance Company, to properly handle any claim that may arise during their stay in Mexico.
The insurance company underwriting your policy is much more important than the Broker that sells you the policy.
As all insurance policies are sold through brokers, it’s important to know which insurance company (or companies) are underwriting the policies being sold to you by the broker. Click here to read more