Jaltemba News


Welcome to Sol Mexico News!

First Section of Jalisco Toll Road Open

Tara A. Spears

The first section of the long awaited bypass toll road to Puerto Vallarta opened to the motorists April 8, 2017.  The stretch from Jala to Compostela is about 54 kilometers of comparatively level, well-built highway; however, the two lane access to and from t he existing toll road (cuoto) is approximately an additional 34 kilometers. I drove the new section in April and twice more in June with the same time results-only 10 minutes less driving time even though I was driving well over the speed limit each time. Once they start charging for use, I will not take it as there are an additional two money collection booths built in this section alone.

Budget cuts and environmental issues have delayed the construction of the new Guadalajara-Puerto Vallarta highway, but the SCT asserts that the first stage, between Jala and Compostela, will provide travelers from Guadalajara, with shorter drive times and easier access to the entire Banderas Bay region. It is disappointing that I did not see any semi-trucks any of the times I used the highway; only the last trip were there tour buses. From the first that I heard about the proposed bypass interstate highway, I hoped that a shorter, straighter route would appeal to the many 18 wheelers that struggle along Highway 200 towards Vallarta, hence making auto traffic less congested on that over-burdened twisty road.

According to the Mexican Transportation Department, the goal of the new toll road is to “Reduce Travel time and cost while guaranteeing the safety of thousands of motorists traveling through that area of the state.” SCT Director, Salvador Fernandez said “this first section will save at least 25 minutes on the way to vacation areas.”  According to Spanish news, Fernandez also boasts, “The short route to Puerto Vallarta is continuing to be built… the commitment for the next stage of toll road is to complete the second phase of 31 kilometers south of Compostela to Las Varas by December, 2017.”

The third part of the work consists of 81 kilometers that go from Las Varas area to Bucerías. The work on this vital segment has not even begun because the highway department needs to obtain the property right of way and conduct environmental tests before they can even begin clearing the jungle. Once work starts on this third section, the stretch is slated to be completed in three years.  Unfortunately, since it has taken 15 years from the announcement of the project to accomplish the first 53 kilometers, it seems to be a very slow process. The actual work on the first leg of the bypass highway began in 2012 but didn’t open until April, 2017.


According to Nayaritenlinea, “Once the short route to Puerto Vallarta is completed motorists traveling from Guadalajara to the beach tourist destinations, instead of a journey of four or four and a half hours they will be able to make the journey in approximately three hours. The new toll route is designed to allow visitors from the southern Nayarit and Jalisco to reach the tourist destinations with less time and less transportation costs.” Thus far, the first segment doesn’t fulfill this goal but I can see how the completed highway all the way to Bahia Banderas will be an improvement.  This little piece isn’t enough to make a difference.

For those of us living or vacationing along the coast, this inland route is irrelevant unless it reduces the quantity of slow, overloaded trucks on Highway 200. It appears that there is not a planned access from La Penita (coastal) to the new toll highway; the most direct route is still the two lane state road. But, for those in RVs or seasonal people driving from north, the quality of the new Jala-Compostella is worth trying.

Meet the Future Leaders of Jaltemba Bay  

Tara A. Spears

It’s always exciting when a hometown kid makes good, making his community proud. Jaltemba Bay is fortunate to boast of five very talented and motivated young men that will be the leaders of tomorrow. You won’t find these guys hanging on the street corners or moping around town; they’re too ambitious to waste time. Each student works a full-time job besides being a full-time university student. Yes, because of their talent and motivation they will have a career and a middle class life when they graduate from university. But even having the dream and the talent to get it isn’t enough; these young men would not have been able to attend university without the financial assistance of the La Penita RV Park Educational Fund scholarship.


Arjona Ureuca, Emilio                   Bravo Virgin, Arturo              Gomez Flores, Ramon                

Pharmacology,                                Graphic Design                         Lisc. Public Accounting

UAN, Tepic GPA: 90/100              Vizcoya de Am, GPA 90           Univ of Guadalajara, GPA: 95




Gutierres Trujillo, Francisco               Parra Recendez, Fernando  

Lisc. Public Accounting                      Tourism

Univ of Guadalajara GPA: 94/100     U A N, GPA: 90/100

There is a widespread belief among foreign visitors that Mexican university is free- NOT TRUE. The lowest tuition fee (state university) that I’ve seen is $800 mxn a semester plus books plus fees for classes, plus housing (all universities are out of town for JB residents) plus transportation plus food. Forget about clothing or owning a car. These young people really sacrifice in order to get their education.

Even though this government subsidized tuition seems amazingly cheap to we foreigners who have spent upward of $20,000 dollars for a university education, one needs to put the situation in perspective. For a Mexican parent that is a taxi driver, clerk at flower shop, cook at a taco stand, or gardener who is lucky to earn $500 mxn per week for the entire family, the costs of university for one family member is out of reach. That’s where the generosity of the international community makes such a difference!

The only source of revenue for the La Penita RV Park Educational Fund is donations and proceeds from the weekly hamburgers and margaritas on Sunday evenings. The public is invited for food, drinks, and dancing under the stars from December until March.

The Education Fund was set up in 2010 at the wish of park resident, Fran Milski. “Fran was helping individual students personally for several years, so when Fran passed away, it seemed like a fitting tribute to her vibrant outlook on life to continue her scholarship assistance,” said Carole Thacker, administrator of the Fran Education Fund. Each scholarship commitment is for a one year period, but students may reapply. Emphasis is placed on academic performance: students must have an average of at least 8.5 of10 (b+) in order to apply. Each year there are more deserving applicants than there are available funds.

If you wish to sponsor a talented young man, donate, or just to learn more about the program, please email Carole Thacker:   carole@lapenitarvpark.com . I can personally attest that these guys are articulate, mature, and responsible- a real asset to their family and the community. By attending a hamburger night not only will you have a great time but you will be part of a talented young man’s future!


Education Among Many Reasons for Mexico to Be Proud

go to original
In 2015, Mexico was again among the top ten in tourism, with 32.1 million international tourists. And the Mexico Tourism Board recently announced a record-breaking 35 million international visitors in 2016.

Despite negative forecasts on the global political panorama and the world economy, besides the good-size challenges we have as a country in these times, a careful look at 2016 shows that Mexico has a lot of good news to talk about. Here we list forty reasons for Mexico to be proud.


1. Today the percentage of graduates in engineering and manufacturing is higher in Mexico than in Germany, Brazil, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.

2. Mexican students are acknowledged for their successful participation in international knowledge Olympiads such as the International Math Olympiad, NASA’s IASP and Mars Trekker Global Teen Summit.

3. The content platform @aprende 2.0 will be the largest in Latin America.

Health and Quality of Life

4. Mexico is the ninth global exporter of medical devices and an elite medical tourism country with over a million foreign patients seen each year.

5. According to Happy Planet Index, Mexico is the second happiest country in the world.

Infrastructure and Economics


6. Progress was made on construction of the new Mexico City International Airport, designed to handle as many as 125 million passengers a year and to become Latin America’s leading air traffic hub.7. Mexico has attracted more than $127,560 million dollars in investments from foreign companies.

8. We are the world’s 13th exporting country.

9. We have one of the most open economies in the world, with a network of free trade agreements that gives us preferential access to 46 countries.

10. Globally, the NAFTA region is the most extensive free trade zone (484 million inhabitants trade freely) with the most movement in the world; a million dollars in trading takes place per minute.

11. We are the seventh vehicle producer in the world and the fourth exporter of new cars worldwide, following Germany, South Korea and Japan.

12. Mexico is the first exporter of medium- and high-technology manufacturing in Latin America and the third in the G20. We are the world’s main exporter of flat-screen TVs.

13. In 2016, the national aeronautical sector was consolidated.

14. We are the sixth aerospace supplier to the United States, and every two minutes, an airplane manufactured in Mexico takes off somewhere in the world.

Creative Industries

15. Mexico is the largest exporter of creative goods in the Spanish language.

16. We are the sixth largest exporter of animation, video games, software and digital content, making us the most competitive destination in the Americas in these areas.

17. Mexico also has the largest video game market in Latin America.

18. We are the world’s third exporter of information technology services.

Mexican Agricultural Production


19. Today, Mexico stands out as an international power in agri-food exports, surpassing $1,596 million dollars and a commercial flow that covers over 150 destinations.20. Our current agri-food policy is headed toward the top ten worldwide.

21. Mexico is the world’s leading exporter of beer, avocado and tequila.

22. Two out of every three avocados eaten in the world is Mexican.

23. One out of every ten limes in the world is from a Mexican orchard.

24. One out of every ten chile peppers consumed on Earth is Mexican.


25. Mexico is the sixth country in terms of the number of World Heritage sites it has, and the first in Latin America.

26. We have the greatest number of Natural World Heritage Sites in Latin America.

27. Traditional Mexican cuisine is recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

28. Mexico is the third country with the most World Heritage Cities.

29. Three Mexican restaurants are on Restaurant Magazine‘s list of the 50 best.

30. Also, in November 2003, the UNESCO decided to consider our fiestas dedicated to the dead Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, for being one of Mexico’s and the world’s most significant representations of its living legacy.


31. The Guadalajara Book Fair is the largest Spanish-language publishing event in Latin America and one of the largest in the world.32. The city of Mérida was declared American Culture Capital for 2017.

33. Mexico City is the city with the most museums, not only in the whole country but in the world.


34. In 2015, Mexico was again among the top ten in tourism, with 32.1 million international tourists. We are the main tourist destination from the U.S. and the main tourist destination in Latin America.

35. We have over 450 beach destinations.

36. The New York Times named Mexico City the number one destination to visit in 2016.

37. Tulum was named destination number one to visit in 2016, by TripAdvisor.

38. In 2016, the UNESCO named the equestrian tradition of Charrería in Mexico Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the Archipiélago de Revillagigedo a Natural World Heritage Site.


39. Mexico has more than 200 research and development centers. In 2014, it ranked tenth in number of patents granted (9,819).

40. At the GE IQ center in Querétaro Mexican engineers were involved in designing the GENx turbine.

Originally published on Mexico.mx.


Paulina Noriega: The Heart behind Mapa Adventours      

Tara A. Spears

For those who want the stress taken out of their Mexican vacation or seasonal stay, the charming Paulina Noriega Araiza is at your service. Her Jaltemba Bay travel agency, Mapa Adventours, can locate and reserve housing for your time in Mexico, pick you up from the airport and take you to your doorstep, show you the type of restaurants and fun activities that suits your interests. Best of all, Paulina is sweet, low key and dedicated to making her fledging business a success. “It’s important to me to offer tours that give the visitor an opportunity to experience the wonders and culture of the Mexican Republic at very low cost,” said Paulina. “It is my goal to take you and friends for a safe, guided adventure, so that you do not miss of any of the best attractions.”

The idea for a local tourist service began about three years ago when Paulina and a couple of friends were sharing comments that they heard from international visitors to Jaltemba Bay: “Can you tell us a good restaurant? What are some interesting Mexican places to check out?” Only Paulina pursued the idea of a service business based in this area. Her dedication and hard work culminates in the professional Mapa Adventours Company with its own website and three areas of specialized services. Although the webpage is still under development, you can see a sample of options and contact information. Go to www.mapaadventours.com

Paulina’s vision for her tour company is straightforward, “For me, a vacation service should be one where the client’s expectations can be met from the moment we present our menu of options continuously throughout the activities they select. I want my clients to relax and have fun! Got a travel wish? I’ll make it happen safely and smoothly. Let’s travel together-there’s no limit to where we go. ”    

Not only does Pauline care about her clients, she is a devoted wife and mother. “I decided to open my own business for the flexibility as it is very difficult to find a job that suits the demands of my life so I accommodate work with attention to my home and family.”

Pauline said, “I love my three children, Marisol, Miguel and Daniel. They are my pride and I dedicate the success of this business venture to them. I am excited that my daughter is studying tourism at university in order to help the family business be a success.” Her husband of 17 years, Alejandro Medina, is also an enthusiastic participant in the operation of Mapa Adventour. This is a family that exemplifies the typical Mexican life: hard working, responsible, enjoyable to be around.

Pauline works from home, researching and locating the best deals for clients. “In my free time I search for new prospects to ensure a better service at the best cost.” As if her days are hectic enough, Pauline volunteers at the La Penita Centro Cultural de Capacitación center (CCC) as well as participating in fundraising events. “I choose to have my business in La peñita de Jaltemba” because I like the way of life and culture for both myself and my children; I realize that there is a need regarding the services that I can offer and that I can operate at a reasonable cost.”

What sets Mapa Adventours a head above other tourist service provider is that Paulina strives “to make our clients our friends. It is so rewarding for me to be a part of helping people create the best memories based on personalized experiences.” She is so proud of her country that her sincerity comes through- it is not a job for Paulina but a chance to share the beauty of Mexico.

Paulina is constantly reaching out to negotiate rentals throughout Jaltemba Bay area. She is very excited to represent the new, just opened, Luxury Hotel Inn located in La Penita. Gorgeous, high quality finishes with Mexican style make the spacious rooms and public areas so inviting. There is even a penthouse with private Jacuzzi for two and other deluxe touches. Long term rates available. Only a block from the beach and comfortable walking to restaurants and shopping!

Whether you need trustworthy advice and help with accommodations, airport transportation, quality dining, or exciting activities and day trips to discover unique Mexican places, my friend Paulina is the best choice.

You can contact Paulina:   Tel: 327-108-0000 or  E-mail: mapaadventours@gmail.com

2th Annual Motofiesta Roars into Rincón de Guayabitos

Every year, hundreds of motorcyclists and thousands of visitors come to the Riviera Nayarit to enjoy the Guayabitos Motofiesta, which gives motorcycle enthusiasts a place to show off their spectacular machines.

Rincón de Guayabitos, Mexico – Everybody is raring to go for the 12th edition of the Guayabitos Motofiesta. Every year, hundreds of motorcyclists and thousands of visitors come to the Riviera Nayarit to enjoy this annual event, which gives motorcycle enthusiasts a place to show off their spectacular machines and enjoy time together.

This year’s event is set to take place in Rincón de Guayabitos from June 16-18, 2017 – and it promises to be a fun ride! The festivities are scheduled to begin around noon on Friday and promises to keep everyone entertained for the entire weekend.

During the day(s), Motofiesta is family-friendly with all kinds of motorcycle games and contests, DJ music, raffles, vendor stands selling all kinds of things, from food & drink to t-shirts and souvenirs and, of course, motorcycle gear and accessories. Don’t miss the Desfile de Motos (motorcycle parade) on Saturday, as it is always a rip-roaring good time!

The party continues into the night(s) with fun adult activities including wet t-shirt and naughty “biker chick” contests, and rock concerts by some great bands, like “Joker Trio Band,” “Hijos de Panchito,” and “Chico Venganza” from Guadalajara.

Entrance to the event grounds is free, but please support the vendors by purchasing t-shirts, souvenirs, food and drinks. Also, please keep in mind that coolers, bottles, firearms, knives and other sharp object are not allowed on the premises.

Thanks to its large number of visitors, the event is sponsored by the Government of the State of Nayarit via its Tourism Secretariat; the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Groups and Events Department; and the Compostela Hotel and Motel Association.

For more information, visit MotoFiesta Guayabitos on Facebook.

Riviera Nayarit Celebrates 10 Years, Readies for Next 10

go to original

This year, ‘Mexico’s Pacific Treasure’ celebrates its 10th anniversary as a designated tourist zone. And there is much more on the way, as Riviera Nayarit expands rapidly in preparation for the next 10 years.

Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico – For years Riviera Nayarit lived in the shadow of nearby, booming Puerto Vallarta. Sharing one airport, Riviera Nayarit was considered an add-on destination, or a day trip from the more developed, cruise-ready, coastal city.

But this year, the 10th anniversary of the Riviera Nayarit’s designation as its own tourist zone, it seems the destination is doing just fine.

Designated a Virtuoso Preferred Destination, it has luxury spas, PGA golf courses, whale watching, turtle releases, zip-lining, surfing, international cuisine and local art, and accommodations ranging from top-of-the-line luxury resorts to eco-focused boutique hotels and B&Bs. And there is much more on the way, as Riviera Nayarit expands rapidly in preparation for the next 10 years.

Most recently, Riviera Nayarit debuted W Punta de Mita, which opened at the end of 2016. The resort has 119 guest villas as well as a multilevel Living Room, which makes its way down to the Living Room Bar. The Wet Deck has VIP cabanas and a DJ booth. The resort also has a 4,000-square-foot Away Spa, with five treatment rooms, outdoor therapy pools, showers, and waterfalls.

Still to come, One&Only is opening the One&Only Mandarina in Riviera Nayarit, with 145 villas as well as private residential estates, a Health Spa, and beach club. This resort is slated to open this year.

Next year, Grupo Vidanta will open a 300-acre immersive theme park in Nuevo Vallarta in conjunction with Cirque du Soleil. The experience will include a waterpark, a nature park, and an outdoor evening show for as many as 5,000 spectators.

Also coming next year will be the start of Costa Canuva, a luxury development that will sit on more than four miles of coastline with 630 acres of beach, estuary and mountains. There will be five luxury hotels, the first of which is to be a Fairmont, more than 2,500 residential units, a golf course, specialty restaurants, mountain biking trails and a marina. More than $1.8 billion is being poured into the project.

The Riviera is also becoming a premier destination in Mexico for meetings and conventions. As such, Vidanta debuted a brand-new convention center in April with four main ballrooms with more than 32,290 square feet of space and capacity for up to 2,400 people. Similarly, Bel Air Unique, in the nearby Flamingos area, will open a new convention center in June, which will host up to 3,600 people in its 33,906 square feet of indoor/convention space, making it the largest in Riviera Nayarit. This debut comes alongside the completion of the resort’s extensive renovation and expansion, increasing the number of rooms from 215 to 419, adding five pools and expanding the number or restaurants from two to six.

Riviera Nayarit stretches along 192 miles of Pacific coastline, starting just 10 minutes north of the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta. The region within the state of Nayarit includes the resort towns of Nuevo Vallarta, San Blas, Bucerias, Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta Mita, Sayulita, and San Francisco (San Pancho).

Original article

The Riviera Nayarit Has Great Events Lined Up for June

go to original

June celebrations include Navy Day, the Guayabitos Motofiesta, the commemoration of the Batalla de Santos in Mexcaltitán, the RHA Festival, and the 57th San Blas International Sport Fishing Tournament.

Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico – Travelers visiting the Riviera Nayarit next month will have an abundance of things to see and do, as the fun-filled experiences that make ‘Mexico’s Pacific Treasure’ such a highly sought-after destination continue with a variety of top-notch festivals and tournaments scheduled.

The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Groups and Events Department recently announced the list of events on the destination’s calendar for June, which will take place in different locations along the coast of the beautiful state of Nayarit.

Navy Day (June 1)
A grand military parade will take over the historic Puerto de San Blas, Rincón de Guayabitos and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle by land and by sea, in order to commemorate the armed forces that protect and serve the Mexican nation.

Guayabitos Motofiesta (June 16-18)
This event was born of the desire to give motorcycle enthusiasts a place where they can show off their spectacular machines to the general public and enjoy time together.

Batalla de Santos in Mexcaltitán (June 29)
This patron saint feast commemorating saints Peter and Paul includes one of the most iconic traditional ceremonies on the Isla de Mexcaltitán, the birthplace of Mexican heritage: a pilgrimage that emulates the Mexicas, or Aztecs, who left Aztlán to establish the great city of Tenochtitlan.

RHA Festival (June 30 – July 1)
Lovers of electronic music – particularly the house style – will surely enjoy this festival in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, which presents a stellar lineup headed by Green Velvet, Claptone, Dimitri From Paris and the Purple Disco Machine, with over a dozen additional DJs.

57th Annual San Blas International Sport Fishing Tournament (TBD)
One of the Riviera Nayarit’s signature events, the San Blas International Sport Fishing Tournament celebrates its 57th year of adrenaline-pumping moments for lovers of deep-sea fishing.

And that’s only what’s scheduled for the month of June in the Riviera Nayarit, where there are always lots of fun and exciting happenings for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Original article

Appreciating Mexican Wines           

Tara A. Spears

In recent years the production of quality Mexican wine has finally gotten the notice it deserves. Each year, the Mexican wine-growing area is expanding and the quality of wines produced in Mexico continues improving. If you haven’t sampled a Mexican wine you’re missing out on a great experience!

It’s taken centuries for the Mexican wine industry to be appreciated worldwide. The legend of how wine making got started originally is interesting. The story goes that Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés quickly depleted his wine stock when celebrating the conquest of the Aztecs in the early 1500s. One of his first acts as governor in the new land was to order thousands of grapevines planted throughout New Spain; the first vineyards took root in Puebla, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, and Coahuila states.

During this colonial period, all ships bound for the colonies carried grapevines, and eventually wine exports from Spain to the New World plummeted with the availability of home grown wine. Mexican wineries were so successful that by 1699, King Charles II issued a ban on New World wine production; this wine was supposed to be limited to use in religious ceremonies by the church. Jesuit priest Juan Ugarte planted the first vines in Baja California when he came to the Loreto mission in 1701.      

The Parras Valley is a small wine region in the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains of central northern Mexico. According to wine-searcher, “the valley plays only a small part in the modern Mexican wine industry (90% of the nation’s wine comes from Baja California 1000 miles/1600km west), but it is of great historical significance. The oldest winery in the Americas – the Casa Madera – can be found here, on the site of a Jesuit mission.”

Parras de la Fuente (which means ‘vineyards of the spring’) is the commercial center of the Parras Valley. Parras is also known casually as The Oasis of Coahuila – for many miles in every direction the landscape consists entirely of mountains and semi-desert. At an altitude of almost 5000ft (1525m), the climate here is significantly cooler than on the low lands. The few vines that were indigenous to Mexico proved less suitable for quality wines, so almost all modern Mexican wine is made from international varieties of French, Spanish and Italian descent.

 Though it produces 90 percent of Mexico’s wines today, Baja is a relative newcomer to the industry.  Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley, northeast of Ensenada, has single-handedly put the country on the wine connoisseur’s map and earned the moniker, “Mexico’s Napa Valley.” Monte Xanic, Santo Tomas and L.A. Cetto are among its best-known brands.


Another geographical region that produces excellent wine is located in Querétaro.  This is one of Mexico’s most prosperous wine growing areas where the Querétaro’s vineyards occupy altitudes around 6,500 feet. Sparkling wines make up the bulk of its output, but sauvignon blanc, St. Emilion, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir are also produced here.

Queretaro is also the home of the Spanish vintner Freixenet’s Mexican operation. Freixenet is best-known for its dry sparkling wines (vinos espumosos, or “frothy wines”) in satiny black bottles, produced by the champenoise method of fermentation discovered by Dom Perignon in the 17th century. The winery also produces still wines, mostly red blends. Cavas Freixenet de Mexico, north of Tequisquiapan, offers guided tours, classes, concerts and festivals throughout the year.

 Earlier in May, in Valladolid Spain, in one of the premier winemaking regions, Castilla y Leon, the 2017 wine completion Concours Mondial de Bruxelles was held. This year had nearly 10,000 entries from 50 countries all competing for gold and silver medals. Mexican wineries submitted 18 wines to the Brussels World Wine Competition and came home with 18 medals, six of them gold.  A panel of 320 international judges — journalists, buyers, oncologists and sommeliers — gave Mexican wines the highest number of medals, followed by France, Italy, Portugal and Chile. Congratulations to the Mexican delegation!

The next time that you visit Mexico or even if you’re just dreaming of the good times south of the border, try a change from tequila or Mexican beer (both excellent). Savoring a glass of Mexican wine at sunset is an excellent tradition.

The Macho Challenge: Riding the Bulls    

Tara A. Spears

Reader Advisory: This extreme sport -with graphic photos- may be offensive. Reader discretion is advised.

One of the oldest forms of extreme sports is bull riding competition. From the original 1500s ranch challenges among workers, bull riding has evolved into a professional profession that is revered in many countries. Events are even featured on cable TV! There is a pro bull riding circuit that travels around the country; and Saturday, 30 May, La Penita is hosting a pro bull riding event as the grand finale to its Patron Festival. What makes this Jaripeo extra special is that the promoters have contracted quality livestock for the event. Yep, the headliners are pro bulls!

Most livestock breeders and cattlemen show respect for their animals. Science and genetics is an integral part of raising bulls, especially for use in rodeo performances. As American bull rider (retired) and trainer of rodeo stock, Jerome Davis explains: “Modern cattle ranching demonstrates how integral recorded data and genetics are to breeding winning bucking cattle. The goal is to achieve an athletic bull with just the right amount of ‘heat’ or aggression.”

“We don’t want a bull that’s too mean as they wear themselves out,” explains Mr. Davis. “They can also flip over in the bucking chute and get injured. But some ‘heat’ ensures a bull’s longevity.”

“Bucking bulls can carry infusions of Brahman, Mexican fighting bull, Watusi (African cattle), Charolais and Piedmontese genes. When they are to be ridden, bulls wear a flank strap that sits over their hips. Its role is to increase the tendency to kick out. This doesn’t hinder the bull in any way and the strap is not tied tight. In Canadian and US pro rodeo, a modern self-releasing strap is used to train young bulls. The weight is electronically released after four to six seconds. This simulation of an ‘out’ reveals whether the animal has the right stuff. Those not making the grade are sold as feeder cattle at the sale barn.”

According to the North American Corriente Association, “Criollo cattle can be found throughout the Western Hemisphere and some Criollo have been developed into unique breeds, e.g., the tropically adapted Romosinuano. Other Criollo cattle were responsible for the genetics that led to the Longhorn breed. The resurgence of sport rodeo rekindled interest in Mexican cattle frequently referred to as Corriente or Mexican fighting bulls. Corriente cattle have been selected and raised primarily as sports cattle, used mainly for team roping and bulldogging.” Raising a bad bucking bull is serious business and just any cow won’t do.

Mexican style bull riding: Sometime the riders line up in the center of the ring to draw their ride. To build up anticipation and excitement, the rodeo emcee gives a description of each participating bull. Each cowboy draws a piece of paper to see which bull is his for the round. After leaving the ring, the riders prepare for the event by putting on equipment such as spurs or shin guards and often wrapping their fingers or entire hand with tape or elastic bandage for better gripping. The amount of protective gear varies but the casual participant may go just in regular clothes.

The last step of preparation is to put their hat that typically is snug. Often the competitors will stretch to warm-up as they wait their turn near the chutes. The cattlemen put the bull in the chute and the rider eases down onto the mammoth animal. Each cowboy seems to have his own good luck routine: one will stomp his legs three times before mounting; another will grab a handful of dirt before climbing the gate. The rodeo workers tense as they must be ready open the door as soon as time is called: they yank the cinch tight simultaneously with pulling open the gate. The bull comes out fast, bucks, turns, and twists to try to throw off the rider.

The band plays a rousing Mexican ballad about riding the bulls as announcer calls the next rider. Each attempt to ride a massive bull passes in a flash: most of the riders quickly get tossed. Those riders that do manage to last only need to stay on until the 8 second buzzer. While not for the faint hearted, it is an adrenaline rush to see man versus beast.

Ranker: Ten Bottles of Tequila That Are Worth a Try

go to original
Ranker asked it’s users which tequila is the fairest of them all. 10,000 people voiced their opinion, leading to a list of ten bottles of tequila that are worth a try – and maybe even worth some space in your home.

Ah, tequila… We love tequila so much that 80 percent of all tequila exports arrive in the United States. The likelihood is, you’ve had a few shots in your day, followed by salt and a lime. If not, surely there’s been a margarita or two, chasing down a Mexican meal.

A bottle of the blue agave distillate from Jalisco, Mexico is must in any home bar. But which bottle? There are hundreds of distilleries to choose from. So Ranker asked it’s users which tequila is the fairest of them all. And ten thousand people voiced their opinion on the matter, leading to a list of ten bottles of tequila worth a try – and maybe even worth some space in your home.

10. Cazadores is made with high-altitude blue agave. It’s double distilled in before being bottled as a clean Blanco. Their Reposado rests for two months in American oak giving the distillate a tinge of caramel color while retaining a clean taste. The Extra Añejo spends three years in the virgin oak giving it an oaky, caramel, cinnamon apple spice complexity.

9. Casa Noble takes blue agave from the lowland Tequila valleys of Jalisco and triple distills them into a pretty great tequila. Casa Noble’s practices are old school and exacting. They’ve won award after award for their excellent bottles. Their Single Barrel Añejo is aged for five years in French oak, imprinting the drink with sharp vanilla, coffee & cacao flavors.

8. Tres Generaciones is part of the legendary Sauza family of tequilas. Tres celebrates the family’s 100 years and three generations of distilling tequila in Jalisco. This version is triple distilled to achieve a high level of purity. The Plata is bottled right away. Reposado and Añejo are aged in charred American oak barrels for 4 and 12 months respectively. The charred barrel gives the tequila a smoky edge with plenty of sweet vanilla underneath.

7. Corralejo comes in flashy and classic skinny blue bottle. Their tequila is triple distilled as well and they like to call their Blanco variety “The Truth” because it’s the purest form of what tequila is right after distilling. Their Reposado takes an interesting journey by aging in three different American, French, and Encino oak barrels (Encino is a type of oak native to southern California). This brings a complex set of flavors that pairs vanilla with hints of lemon, honey, peppercorn, and lime.

6. Milagro was started in 1998, by two artists from Mexico City. The idea was to create a tequila that embraced the traditions of Jalisco and the modernity of Mexico city and they succeeded. They use highland blue agave, triple distill it, and then age it in American oak – which really does mellow the tequila and bring out the sweetness of the blue agave.

5. Cabo Wabo – Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo tequila is a bit of the surprise. Then again, people do love Van Halen. Cabo Wabo is a pretty standard tequila that goes through a double distillation before the Blanco is bottled. The Reposado and Añejo and aged in American oak for three to 12 months and one to five years respectively. It’s a perfectly good rock star tequila. No more, no less.

4. 1800 Tequila is the higher-end brand of the tequila from the legendary José Cuervo. The sipping tequila was conceived in the 1970s to honor the year 1800. That’s the historic date when tequila was first barrel aged. So this tequila is all about the barrel aging – even their Silver tequila sits in an oak barrel for 15 days. Their Reposado and Añejo mellows in American and French oak giving the tequila a smooth, vanilla, and oaky sweetness.

3. Herradura is a classic lowland Jalisco tequila. Their process goes back centuries and they really haven’t changed a lot over the years – ‘if it ain’t broke,’ as they say. The blue agave is double distilled. They age in American oak. And just make a really damn fine product. They’ve started experimenting recently with aging and finishing their tequilas in port and cognac casks adding a whole new dimension to their tequila that brings out a sweet spiciness.

2. Patrón’s slogan is “We didn’t invent tequila, we just perfected it.” And it’s hard to argue with a tequila this well made. Their tequila hits all the marks of harvest, distillation, and barrel aging. Where Patron wins the most is in marketing. In 2000 they hired a new CEO who used the exclusivity tactics spearheaded by brands like Grey Goose. Patron blew up on the American scene within a few short years.

1. Don Julio Tequila was conceived by a man named Don Julio Gonzalez-Frausto Estrada. He spent 40 years refining, practicing, and testing ideas in the pursuit to make a perfect tequila. Well, it seems he succeeded since his brand has landed at number one. Don Julio’s tequila is vertically integrated so they have control over every aspect of the process – the growing of the crops, harvest, mash, ferment, distillation, and aging. What makes this tequila stand out is that it’s aged in old bourbon barrels. So there’s a distinct whiskey twinge to the aged stuff.

Original article



Mariachi Institute Returns to Chacala, Nayarit in June

Just a 1-hour drive north of Puerto Vallarta, Mar de Jade resort is nestled between the tropical jungle of Nayarit and the sandy beach of Chacala, making it the perfect setting for the Chacala Mariachi Institute.

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico – The 2017 Chacala Mariachi Institute is set to take place June 11-17 at Mar de Jade Resort in Chacala, Nayarit, a relaxing fishing village 50 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The innovative structure of the Chacala Mariachi Institute curriculum provides participants both the hands-on experience performing mariachi music and the conceptual knowledge needed to teach mariachi at the highest level in American and Mexican schools.

Directed by Jeff Nevin, Ph.D, this intensive six-day course provides both the hands-on experience performing mariachi music and the training and materials necessary to become successful mariachi instructors and educators.


Jeff Nevin is a Professor of Music and the Director of Mariachi Activities at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, where he has been offering the world’s first college degree in mariachi music since 2004.

One of the most respected mariachi educators in the country, Dr. Nevin is also professional classical trumpet player, conductor of the Southwestern College Symphony Orchestra, life-long mariachi musician, composer, author and clinician.

He composed the world’s first Concerto for Mariachi and Orchestra (together with José Hernandez) for Mariachi Sol de México, a classical song cycle “Al aire libre” based on the poetry of Alberto Blanco; numerous arrangements for mariachi and orchestra for his ensemble Mariachi Champaña Nevin as well as many for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. His works have been performed by dozens of professional symphony orchestras across the US and Mexico.

The course is comprised of mariachi history, master classes on all of the traditional mariachi instruments, full-ensemble rehearsal, and an exploration of mariachi repertoire custom-tailored for education settings.

Each participant will receive one full set of “Mariachi Mastery” method books, published by Neil A. Kjos Music Company and written by Jeff Nevin (value $150) and 25 arrangements of standard mariachi songs specially selected and arranged by Jeff Nevin (value $750).

Mariachi Mastery is a comprehensive mariachi method – including nearly 100 exercises, 12 complete songs, worksheets, and a play-along CD—that teaches students to perform and read all of the essential mariachi song types in the traditional styles: Ranchera Valseada, Ranchera Polkeada, Bolero Ranchero, Jarabe, Son Jalisciense, Huapango and Son Jarocho. Together, Mariachi Mastery and these 25 songs comprise 2 full years of mariachi curriculum for any public school mariachi program.

This is the first program of the Chacala Cultural Foundation to offer college credit! 3 Units of college credit are available from Southwestern College for the course “Development of Mariachi: Style and Culture.” Class notes will be provided and discussed during the institute, and a proficiency exam to pass the course will be given at the end of the Institute. Apply to Southwestern College at swccd.edu and register for Music 202 once summer session registration is available.

Offering quality performance and cross-cultural learning opportunities, the Chacala Mariachi Institute is another excellent way in which Chacala is being put on the map as the emerging cultural capital of the Riviera Nayarit. For more information and registration, visit ChacalaMariachiInstitute.org.

Graceful Seabird Marauder: Magnificent Frigatebird

Tara A. Spears

One of the most amazing seabirds to watch at the beach is the pirate of the Pacific-the Frigatebird. In the lead photo you can see one stealing a pelican’s dinner before the pelican can swallow it. The spectacular Frigatebird is frequently seen hanging motionless in the air above Jaltemba Bay.

This distinctive seabird is easy to notice due to its unique profile: the Frigatebird’s tail is long, with extensive pointed forks. (Locals call them ‘tijeras’ Spanish for scissors.) Their legs are short, and the small, partially webbed feet are only used for perching. Frigate birds are very ungainly on the ground or in the water but airborne, they are a wonder to see.

Frigate birds typically weigh only about 3 pounds (1.5 kg) yet the spread of their long, narrow, pointed wings can exceed 6.5 feet (2 meters). Because of its aerodynamic characteristics, frigate birds are among the most skilled of all birds at flying and seemingly effortless gliding.

Frigatebirds are the ultimate gliders among birds, able to hang in the air for hours with hardly a movement of their long, angular wings. Inhabitant of warm seas, this species can be seen soaring over tropical coastlines or perched like gaunt statues on dead trees. Frigatebirds never swim, because their long wings (adapted for soaring) and tiny feet render them unable to take off from water; all their food is snatched from the surface in flight or stolen from other birds.

The tropical Magnificent Frigatebird’s preferred habitat is oceanic coasts and coastal islands with dense growth of mangroves or other trees and shrubs. Its diet consists of mostly fish including squid, jellyfish, and crustaceans. Frigatebirds also will take hatchling turtles, young terns and other birds, sometimes eggs. Opportunistic feeders, Frigatebirds will scavenge for scraps around fishing boats and docks.

Besides its ability to glide for long periods of time, Frigatebirds can hunt for food from the air, swooping close to water to take items from on or near surface, making very little contact with water. This bird never swims. Frigatebirds forage in same way over land, taking prey from beaches without landing.

Perhaps the specie’s most interesting behavior is the way that Frigatebirds feed by piracy. The sleek Frigatebird commonly swoop aggressively on pelicans, boobies, and gulls, poking them and biting the other birds’s tail and wings. This pugnacious behavior forces these birds to drop or disgorge any fish that they have recently caught and eaten, which is then consumed by the Frigatebird. This pirating food strategy is known to scientists as kleptoparasitism.

If you have gone whale watching or snorkeling at the Jaltemba Bay islands, you can see the massive breeding colonies of seabirds, including the Magnificent Frigatebird. The perched males display (often in groups) by inflating their throat pouch to huge red balloon, raising their bill high, vibrating partially spread wings, swiveling back and forth, and calling. Females flying overhead are attracted to group, choose one male as mate. The nests are built mostly by the female, with materials brought by male. The pair form a flimsy platform of sticks to lay eggs.


Throughout human history birds have been equated with the supernatural. Flight itself is seen as an icon of transcendence, as a reaching to the sky world. Watching the sleek Frigatebirds hunt, glide, and fly one can envision how primitive societies believed these creatures to be gods.

    ad Hinde and Jaimes

Extreme Surf Affects Jaltemba Bay Beaches

       Tara A. Spears

For the third consecutive year, a higher ocean level and violent surf has caused problems along the Pacific Coast communities. The impact of these wild waves range from eroding beaches to property damage as well as an increase in accidental drownings as visitors go in the ocean when there is dangerous undertow. The roiling surf is mesmerizing to watch but you must be aware of the ocean’s power and respect it.

In the years that I have lived in Jaltemba Bay, I’ve seen the shoreline move inland. The north beach of La Penita has sustained the most obvious damage. As the overall higher water level at all tides has pounded the seawalls of oceanfront homes while at the same time the bottom sand that the wall rests on has eroded from the fierce undertow. The high tides repeatedly splash over the top of the seawall, and since water always seeks the lowest return, the water pulled out on the tide has also taken the sand base. This is the natural power of water.

Ocean scientists have theorized for years that the melting ice cap would have drastic effect on the world’s oceans. Today’s highest tides become the new normal do to climate change. If you wonder what sea level will look like with ongoing climate change, go to a beach during the highest tide of the year: in Jaltemba Bay it is generally December and February. Often the highest tides are the result of the influence of the sun on the earth and the moon also has an effect that plays a crucial role as well. The graphic shows the dynamics of tides.

The highest spring tide of the year happens when the orbit and alignment of the sun and moon reinforce at their closest and furthest extremes from earth – this is what is often colloquially called a “king tide,” although it’s not a scientific term.

The word “tide” is the term used to define the alternating rise and fall in sea level with respect to the land, produced by the gravitational attraction of the moon and the sun. Each day, there are two high tides and two low tides. The ocean is constantly moving from high tide to low tide, and then back to high tide. There is about 12 hours and 25 minutes between the two high tides.

Tides are a complex interaction of the gravitation attraction and rotation of the earth, sun, and moon The complex interaction of gravitational attraction that create tides are also affected by oceanic phenomenon such as waves and currents. Local weather conditions contribute to the force of the tides.                          

Twice a month when the pull of the moon and sun on the Earth are in alignment, the ocean tides are highest – these are known as “spring tides,” in the sense of bursting forth or jumping up, and occur during the full and new moon. Spring tides are bigger than “neap” tides, which occur during the other two major phases of the month, when the moon is either in its first or third quarter.                                    

The most common cause of natural beach erosion is from the action of the wind and waves. Over long periods of time these can erode the coastline, but this process may occur faster if a significant weather event, such as a hurricane, impacts the area. It is also believed that rising sea levels may cause erosion by creating alternative tidal patterns. Coastlines with soft sediments and open stretches of beach are the most easily affected by the movement of waves and tides. To complicate the Jaltemba Bay beach problems, there are several man-made jetties installed plus natural rock outcroppings at the north end. These features greatly impact the residential beach area. As you can see in the the north beach photo of the old cemetery, another row of graves has been claimed by the sea due to rising water level and the rough surf.      


If you just have to dip into the Pacific, be mindful of the strong undertows that exist December through March in Jaltemba Bay- there is a reason the harbor master shuts down boat operation! You can still get wet and boogie board, just don’t go too deep in order to resist the undertow. As waves break on the shore, the water from the previous waves rush out beneath them.

While the rising ocean level can make it challenging to walk the beach these days, it is an amazing sight to see the wild surf in our usually calm bay. It is certainly a beautiful event!








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