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Mexican Bus System: Safe and Comfortable Travel
Tara A. Spears

I’ll admit it: I was afraid to ride a bus in Mexico. The biggest reason was that it was so unusual to me-a foreigner who had never lived anywhere that had transit buses- therefore I had driven myself everywhere since I was 15. Another reason I avoided taking a bus was because I didn’t speak the the language, I would rather be lost in my locked vehicle than embarrass myself trying to ask, “Where are we?” on a bus. I know, I know, such foolish reasons.
Once I got the nerve to take a short bus ride within Puerto Vallarta to observe how it was done, it was ok. Next I took a bus from PV to La Penita and enjoyed relaxing. Now I embrace the Mexican transit system because it is safe, comfortable, and less expensive than drivin gyour own vehicle.
It was not an easy beginning for the autobus transit system in Mexico in the 1930s. At that time there was relatively little demand for transport, the roads were dangerous, there were no terminals or repair shops. Each of the original partners starting a bus company had to serve as driver, mechanic, and administrator. Today the Mexican bus services are exceptionally efficient.
Although there are several classes of bus service in Mexico, the most popular among visitors (and those interested in traveling comfortably) are first and executive class which transport customers in comfort and safety, on high-specification, quiet, modern air-conditioned buses. Luxury buses, or autobuses de lujo, are a step above “first class,” which is pretty good anyway, and have service levels such as primera plus (first plus), diamanté (diamond) and uno.
How to purchase bus tickets: Although each town that has service has a ticket office, the easiest-and cheapest way to purchase tickets is online. I find that being able to use google translate invaluable! I’ll try to ease the way for you by explaining the key factors. The online booking is very similar to purchasing an airline ticket: choose your starting and ending points, travel date(s) and get a window that shows available bus times.


ADULTO ⇢ the regular, standard price for adults over the age of 12. To purchase these, you must choose to pay with a credit card or at the terminal. Most bus lines offer a discount for purchasing in advance and online- wonderful value and you can reserve your preferred seat at the same time. Usually there is also a discount price if you purchase a round trip ticket.
NIÑO ⇢ the price of a ticket for a child between the ages of 4 – 12. Kids 0-4 are free but they have to sit in your lap.
INAPAM ⇢ This means you’re, literally, a card-carrying member of the National Institute of the Elderly. Next week I’ll explain the steps required to get your ‘senior card’ in order to qualify for a reduced fare.

Besides choosing the different features available in the buses, something else you should be familiar with before getting into bus ticket purchasing are the different bus stations (and corresponding terminals) in most large cities. This information may seem irrelevant or trivial, but when you’re booking a mode of transportation that will be taking you, beyond your control, to another strange city in a country you’ve never been to in the first place, where the language is nothing like the one you learned in school, you want to be 110% sure you’re making the right choices. When trying to figure out where to start my bus trip, I try to look up stations on a map in order to select the terminal closest to where I want to be in that town.
While waiting to board your bus you’ll frequently see a large window with a line of people forming a quay from it. This is the counter where you check your bags. It isn’t clear from translating the signs but unlike airlines, it’s pretty much mandatory to surrender your baggage.
The reasons it’s good to check your gear: 1. The bus company is going to make you store your bags, anyway. (Seriously, I think the meaning of “optional” got lost in translation.) Anything larger than a backpack will need to go under the bus, and it doesn’t matter when your bus leaves. 2. It’s secure. The luggage room is attended and located about five feet from where the buses pull up. Your tickets are checked, your bags are tagged to match, and the guy who checked your bags is also the guy who puts the bags on the bus. When you arrive at your destination, you can’t retrieve your bag without the matching tag stub. Very secure. 3. Luggage check is free. You may see signs that say something about how checking your bags is the most secure way to travel, only $30 pesos. This fee applies only if the terminal needs to wrap your items. (such as shopping bags or other non-packaged items.) Otherwise, if all you have is luggage, just give a tip to the worker loading your stuff. As the items are placed under the bus, a numbered sticker is affixed and the bottom half given to you for when you retrieve them. 4. Checking your bags is one less thing to mess with. By letting go of the things that can slow you down, both mentally and physically, traveling in Mexico becomes so much more pleasant. Now you can enjoy the vistas from you comfy captain’s chair.

Approximate pricing: Most common destinations for those staying in Jaltemba Bay are to go south to Puerto Vallarta for $616 pesos (about $33 US), or to visit the cultural center of Guadalajara in four hours for about $25. A jaunt from La Penita to Mexico City is trickier because it is necessary to go to Tepic and transfer to another bus for the last leg of the trip. 
Overall, I can’t believe how efficient, comfortable and affordable it is to travel by bus in Mexico. I find it especially stress- reducing to let someone who knows where they are going navigate- I have spent years being lost when I drive. It’s a relaxing and safe way to explore this wonderful country!


October Lineup of Exciting Events in the Riviera Nayarit

Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico – We’re in the tenth month of the year and with it come endless opportunities to enjoy the many events happening in the Riviera Nayarit in the upcoming weeks. These activities are all part of the year-round actions taken by the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) to attract more visitors to the destination.

Marc Murphy, director of the CVB and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB), mentioned these entities are constantly working on capitalizing the interest Mexico Pacific’s Treasure generates among event organizers. One of the offices’ commitments is to increase occupancy rates not only during high season, but also during the less busy months of the year.

We want you to enjoy your visit to the max – here are a few of this month’s activities:

San Pancho Pee Wee Surfing League (October 13–14)
San Pancho is ready to welcome the 2018 Pee Wee Surfing League from September 8-9, the fourth stop on the children’s circuit that began last June. The goal of the circuit is to discover the newest talent in Nayarit for this sport. The league is represented by Ramos Shapes, Sunset Bungalows and Los Rudos SurfShop, following the competition formats established by the World Championship Tour Top 33 for the World Surf League (WSL), the ISA (International Surfing Association) and Surfing Association of the State of Nayarit (ASENAY), with the support of local clubs. Visit them on Facebook.

5th Guayabitos 5K, 10K, and 3K COLOR Race (October 13–14)
Come participate in the 5th Guayabitos 5K, 10K, and 3K Color Race and the Kids Athletic Festival on October 13th and 14th: it’s a colorful fiesta for the entire family! The starting shot will be fired on Sunday, October 14th at 8 am on Rincón de Guayabitos’ main avenue. The children’s events will begin on Saturday, October 13th at 4 pm in the town’s main plaza. Runners can participate in the following categories: Youth, ages 15-19; Open, ages 20-39; Master, ages 40-49; Veterans A, ages 50-59; Veterans B, ages 60+. The race is endorsed by the State of Nayarit Athletic Association. For more details click HERE.

10th Vallarta – Nayarit Gastronómica (October 14–18)
Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica is gearing up for its most important edition with the tag line “Mexico: Thanks for so much!” Based primarily in the Riviera Nayarit, it will celebrate 10 uninterrupted years as a must-do on the world’s culinary calendar. This gourmet experience will bring together culinary professionals and gourmands for several events taking place in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit, including workshops; pairings; tastings; dinners; and special events for academia, culinary professionals, and the most demanding foodies. Chihuahua and Guanajuato will be the guest states this year, with Guadalajara as the guest city. Click HERE for details.

ABH Aquatic Marathon (October 27)
Considered one of the most relevant events in Mexico’s open water competitions, this national series brings swimmers from around the country to “Mexico’s Pacific largest swimming pool.” Participating states include Nayarit, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Puebla, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Colima, Guanajuato and the Estado de México (Mexico State). For more details (in Spanish), visit maratonacuaticoabh.com.mx.

Christ Our King Day (October 31)
The festivities honoring Christ Our King are a very special occasion in Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit. The occasion is celebrated on the last Sunday in October; a novena is held previous to the event with the participation of different neighborhoods in the area. The groups compete to present the best pilgrimage and float. The celebration is very family-oriented and is very peaceful and harmonious.

And that’s only some of the events scheduled this month in the Riviera Nayarit, where there’s always something happening that both locals and visitors will enjoy.

Original article

 


Tianguis Lo De Marcos’ 5th Season Begins November 3

Scheduled to be held every Saturday from 9 am until 2 pm throughout the season, Tianguis Lo De Marcos expects to continue its history of drawing visitors from around Banderas Bay to the Riviera Nayarit.

Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico – On Saturday, November 3, 2018, the Tianguis Lo de Marcos will reopen its doors for its fifth season, and it promises to offer Vallarta-Nayarit locals and visitors another year of shopping pleasures and loads of treasures!

Set to be held every Saturday from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm in Lo De Marcos, a beautiful little coastal town on the Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta, the Tianguis is set in a lovely courtyard that offers a comfortable outdoor shopping and socializing experience with great food, live music and many unique vendors.

Stroll the grounds and browse through the vendor booths selling everything from homemade baked goods, garden fresh produce, freshly baked delicacies, salsas and spices, to hand blown glass, clothing, unique artisan items, jewelry and more, all in one place.The Tianguis is much more than shopping; it is a total community experience. Friends gather in the food court and catch up in the aisles. Each week brings new visitors and new vendors so there is always someone or something new to see! Season #5 will include some new additions, along with live music each week. The talented Alejando Chavez will “get the party started” on opening day, playing from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for your enjoyment.

“This Season will see the addition of a Holistic Healing Section,” said Armando Contreras of Galvan Real Estate and Services, the event’s organizer. “It will be located in a more quiet section of the Tianguis, so shoppers can talk to the vendors about the benefits of their individual product or service,” he explained.

“The Tianguis brings great energy to the town of Lo De Marcos and is a great way to support our residents, visitors, farmers and craftspeople. Everyone is invited to stop in, enjoy this unique local Market, and have a great time,” Contreras added.

Held each Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at Luis Echeverria #9 in the charming Pueblo of Lo de Marcos, this event is not to be missed!

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018/2019 Tianguis Season in Lo De Marcos. If you would like to be considered as a Vendor, please send an email to GalvanRealEstate4(at)gmail.com. For more information please call the Tianguis Lo de Marcos office at (327) 275-0233.


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Highway Heroes: Angels Verde        

Tara A. Spear

Driving through scenic Mexico is an enjoyable experience: beautiful vistas, charming villages to check out. It’s fun, that is, until the dash lights up indicating engine trouble. Hmm, you’re hours away from the nearest town and it’s been an hour since the last toll booth. Not to worry, in Mexico they treat their drivers right by providing reliable roadside mechanical service-FREE! There is a professional agency called Green Angels that is just a cell call away.

It’s an interesting story how this amazing organization came into existence. Nearly sixty years ago some US travelers were in the middle of the desert in Baja California when they became stranded. They were without food for several days with the car broken down. Suddenly, the Americans visualized angels in green uniforms who came to their aid and saved their lives. The travelers called the team “Green Angels” baptizing the fledging service with this name.  As its name indicates, this group of men is dedicated to service as guardians who are in charge of safeguarding the wellbeing of the people who transit the highways and toll ways of Mexico.

 

When Green Angels arrives at the scene they immediately make a diagnosis of the problem. Depending on the severity, they make calls or connections with institutions such as the Federal Police, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, ambulances, helicopters, tow trucks, etc.

 01-800-987-8224 or 078.  You can dial these numbers from any conventional or cell phone; they will direct emergency assistance to you including towing services to the nearest tollgate or mechanic in the area.                               

According to the Mexican Department of Tourism, (SECTUR) the Ángeles Verdes (Green Angels) is a fleet of tourist assistance units with a professional crew who are trained in mechanics and first aid. This road assistance was division was created in 1960. They patrol all federal and toll highways in Mexico and offer free assistance in the case of a breakdown, accident, or medical emergency and during a natural disaster. The Green Angels drivers are knowledgeable about road conditions and can provide travel information. The Green Angels are funded by Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism. They have over415 vehicles that patrol 260 Mexican highways every day and log in over 22 million kilometers each year, providing assistance to motorists.  

The toll-free 078 phone number is a 24-hour hotline that you can call for telephone assistance at any time. However, the Angeles Verdes vehicle service runs from 8 am to 6 pm every day of the year.

Remember that the Ángeles Verdes service is only offered on major highways and toll roads, so if you choose to travel on the free roads (carreteras libres), you’re on your own in the event of a breakdown. You can still contact the 078 hotline for information.

The Green Angels service can be compared to the AAA in the U.S. but offering much more. The patrolling GA trucks carry tools and spare parts, looking for motorists in trouble. The Green Angels will provide mechanical assistance, first aid, basic supplies, and towing. In addition, they also have a communication network with different government offices if needed.

Any service provided by the Green Angels is free of charge. You will need to pay for any parts, gas or oil they may use to get your car up and running, though. If you appreciate the assistance they give you, give a tip to the mechanic.   

The mission of the Green Angels is: “To help the tourist have a pleasant experience on their vacations and road trips.” From my personal experience, I can attest to the quality and professional assistance. The Green Angels loaded up me and my car besides driving me more than 60 kilometers to a safe place for repair. No charge! (Unbelievable) I wanted to hug the guy.  It was my first time to ride in a flatbed tow truck; quite a different view of the road than from my compact car. My grandchildren are impressed that I got to ride in such a vehicle; I am so impressed that I was rescued.

Put the Green Angels contact number in your phone before you hit the highways-and then enjoy your trip.

 ad Hinde and Jaimes

 


Enjoy the Song of the Guayabitos Flasher                            

Tara A. Spears

It’s such a pleasure to stroll around the coastal residential neighborhoods enjoying the tropic weather and admiring the lovely homes. Suddenly, a quick movement, just a glint of gold against the cobalt sky, streaks past. Hmmm, the birds that are sitting in the near trees are dark, guess I imagined it. But no, a bird takes flight, and sure enough, a brilliant yellow tail and underside. Meet the flashy Altamira Oriole, the tropic member of the North American blackbird family, the Oropendola. (‘Oro” is Spanish for gold.)

The Altama oriole’s preferred habitat is lowlands and lower foothills in open dry woods, forest edge, streamside groves, scattered trees in open country such as highway edgings; these birds usually avoid unbroken humid forest.

This big tropical oriole is common throughout most of Mexico and resides in the Jaltemba Bay area. These energetic birds have several unique features besides their vivid coloration: charming songs and weird nests of fibers and woven vines at the end of a branch that sway in the breeze are the most obvious. It is very vocal, with a wide range of songs and even mimicry-whistle a tune and they will respond with a similar tone. These gregarious birds eat large insects, seeds, grain, fruit, and nectar.

This species is part of the larger passerine family that is the scientific designation for perching songbirds. They are social and tend to gather in flocks: I have undeveloped land on three sides of my house which attracts groups of birds and provides for nests. I enjoy being flashed and serenaded each morning as I enjoy morning coffee on the patio.

Another interesting feature of these colorful tropic birds is that they have a specially adapted foot with three toes pointing forward, and one toe directed backwards to enable them to perch on vertical surfaces such as trees and cliffs.  The Altamira Orioles have pointed bills and long tails that are always at least partially bright yellow. The males are larger and a different color that the females.

According to Audubon Field guild, each colony has a dominant male, which mates with most of the females in the flock following an elaborate bowing display.  The female lays four or fewer eggs. The eggs are pale bluish white, blotched with black and lavender. The incubation behavior is poorly known but probably lasts about two weeks. Both parents feed the nestlings. The babies mature and fledge in about four weeks. The young Oriole birds are much duller in body color and bill. Outside of the breeding season, Altamira Orioles are mobile and follow some seasonal movement. They are still very active in the Jaltemba Bay area.

If you wish to get up close and personal with these flashy birds, place orange slices around your yard.  Whether you’re enjoying the sunset or just relaxing on your patio, keep a lookout for the delightful Altamira Oriole birds – great Riviera Nayarit neighbors.

 


The Ancient Traditions of the Mexican Amuzgos  

Part 2 of series 

                                                                by Tara A. Spears

Deep in the remote mountains of Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico live the Amuzgo native people. This group is believed by historians to be the original setters of this region.

The Amuzgos call themselves tsan-núa, “People of the Yarn”. They are known for their knowledge of medicinal plants and their skills in the textile arts. About 90% of the Amuzgo people are involved with some aspect of textile production, whether it’s growing and harvesting cotton or the actual spinning thread and sewing of the garments. In this day of satellites and computerized machines, adhering to their ancient hand production is astonishing.

Amuzgo weavings incorporate traditional brocade work on handspun or commercial cotton. The patterns vary as do the organic, natural dyes used. While most of what is woven is used for the making of women’s traditional huipil blouses, some new products such as bags, pillows, and other housewares have been created in the last decade due to increased international interest in the Amuzgo textiles.

The Amuzgo huipil is made using three sections of cotton that is adorned with figures that represent the cosmological symbols of their ancestors. The geometric patterns in the horizontal stripes represent heaven or the Eye of God; the zig-zag patterns represent the Plumed Serpent, the symbol of wisdom and piety. Other motifs include roses, crabs, scorpions and other creatures.  The Oaxaca town of San Pedro has become a kind of clearing house for authentic Amuzgo textiles. The shawls, rebozos, are of natural, unbleached cotton with embroidery and openwork across the length.                          

  

In order to safeguard their ancient traditions, the Amuzgo have cooperative groups of weavers, embroiderers, spinners, and growers of cotton. By gathering together to produce textiles, the traditional techniques are passed down through the generations. With the availability of satellite communications in their remote villages, the young Amazugos are pushing to sell the tribal products outside of their native region. The young people seek to honor their origins by re-imagining an age-old practice— an ideal example of how craftsmanship can be traditional and contemporary at the same time.

What is interesting about the fabric is “that the same historical and symbolic meaning hidden among the yarns is being used with a new color palette, while the artisan’s signature remains untouchable,” said Arlene from the PI group that markets indigenous folk art products. (P.I. stands for “Intangible Heritage” in Spanish.)

This southern Mexico region is hot with rugged terrain with tropical forest whose leaves drop during the dry season. The Amuzgo practice subsistence agriculture based on corn, beans and chili peppers with some other cash crops such as sesame seed and tropical fruits. There are other native people in the area that have previously dominated this group and made them pay taxes, but the Amuzgos have retained their distinct culture and beliefs. 

 Within the Amuzgo tribe gender roles are traditional and have not changed for generations. Although there is some modernizing influence as there is increasing economic and social contact with non-Amuzgos. Boys follow their fathers into the fields when they are small and have most of the agricultural knowledge they need by the time they are twelve. Girls stay at home and learn the domestic work of their mothers, including weaving. Men generally have the economic and social power in communities, including the right to make most of the familial decisions. Men sell the agricultural products and in the past, sold women’s textiles, but this has slowly changed. Most children attend school at least to the primary level, which is grade 6. The instruction is in Amuzgo with Spanish as a second language.

Currently there remain about 35,000 speakers of the Amuzgo language. Although many Amuzgo have been following the dominant religions such as Catholic or Protestant, they retain their ancient belief in good and evil spirits that can cause or cure disease; they believe that the spirits are behind rain or drought.

The center of the Amuzgo culture and economy is weaving and textile production. Although weaving is painstaking and time-consuming, most Amuzgo women do it along with farming and household chores because it brings in money to the household. The tradition of using 100% cotton has to do with spirituality rather than cost factors, as I had previously thought. The Amuzgo highly value cotton cloth because they believe cotton is in harmony with the human body besides being soft to the touch.

The following photos summarize the traditional production methods of the Amuzgo women. Each piece is unique; the hand sewn embroidery is stunning!  After ruining my first Amazgo blouse, I couldn’t bear to discard the lovely flowers so I cut out the border and framed it.  You’ll notice that the women are working on dirt floors.  It takes months to sew each garment.

      

The next time you see the traditional clothing at the outdoor market, look closely at the embroidered designs. This utilitarian garment is more than a blouse; it is a symbol of the heart and spirit of a people who have retained their culture for centuries. 


Worry-free Airport Conveyance: Jaltemba Transport

Tara A. Spears

For many international visitors coming to small town La Penita the biggest hurdle is getting from the Puerto Vallarta airport to the village. Worry no more because a hometown family provides stress-free, professional driving service. Gilberto and Vivian Hernandez have operated a personalized taxi business since 2002.

Jaltemba Transport is known for their prompt, reliable and personalized customer service. “We offer round-trip transportation to and from the Puerto Vallarta airport, as well as private and group tours to anywhere you’d like to go in the Jaltemba Bay/Nayarit area, “ said Gilberto in perfect English. “Our drivers are certified, licensed and insured. Please contact us in advance to schedule an airport pickup or drop-off.” In addition, Jaltemba Transport is pet friendly and can provide child car seats upon request. While Jaltemba Transport vehicles are smoke-free for travelers’ comfort, Gilberto says that he will make stops for smokers to have a puff outside.

“At first we started driving people that were friends, or friends of friends of ours,” explained Gilberto. “I enjoyed meeting new people so much that I decided to make the transportation a family business.” It must be in his genes because his father was a taxi driver in Guayabitos for thirty years. Because of this, Gilberto knew what steps to take to start a professional service.

What people need to understand is that the fare for making the trip is not just a number that is pulled out of the air; those who are professional drivers have rigid expenses that go with this business. As a person with a car, I know what regular vehicle expenses are involved: tires, insurance, mechanic, car plates and of course, gas. Currently, gasoline is a whopping 19.9 pesos per liter! What the professional drivers must pay over and above the individual costs are that he must have a special license, special passenger insurance, special government fee for transporting, in addition to the individual person’s operating expenses. This is what drives the the amount of the fare.

“My satisfaction is seeing people so excited as they arrive to Mexico,” said Gilberto. “I feel good that I get to help them get to their lodging safely. Besides, I love to talk about my beautiful country!” Because over the years, international visitors have asked Gilberto to take them to places in the area, he added day trips to his service. Enjoy seeing the hot springs, Chacala beach or get a different view of the Pacific Ocean in San Blas-Gilberto will make the trip safe and fun.

The biggest tribute to Jaltemba Transport is that they have so many repeat customers. As the following photos show, Gilberto and his wife of 21 years, Vivian, become more than employees; they become true friends!

Gilberto stands out because he has worked hard to provide a service that is needed in this coastal area. He chose to return to Jaltemba Bay area after working in the USA for five years to raise his two children in this community and to be close to his extended family. “It’s important to me to have time with my wife and family,” said Gilberto. “ I enjoy working in my little garden where I grow fruit for my family when I have some free time.”

As you finalize travel plans to come to Mexico, now you can take it a step farther by booking personalized pick up at the airport! You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the ride to our piece of paradise. Let Gilberto and Vivian be your guide.

Email: [email protected]      FB page: Jaltemba Transport

Cell (from outside the country) 011 521 322 190 1386


Jaltemba Bay Non-Profit Groups Welcome Volunteers; Scheduled Winter Season Events

                                                                       Tara A. Spears

       As details finalize, more will be announced in the weekly solmexiconews and Facebook.

 

Cancer de Mama Clinic. This group is one of the original service organizations in the area. They hold a clinic the first weekend of each February at the La Penita Senior Citizen Center (Jardin de Illusions). A meeting to sign up for volunteering is held around the second week of January. Their mission is to help breast cancer survivors with comfort and dignity.

Contactto volunteer, donate, transport items from NOTB: Gerri Drysburgh and FB page

‘Cancer de Mama Clinic’;   Email: [email protected]

Fundraising Event:  Saturday January 19, 2019

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Jaltemba Walk Against Cancer (Cancer Walk) This group is a spinoff of the CdM clinic: after learning that local women do not have easy access to mammograms, volunteers started a ‘pink parade’ to raise funds for mammograms. Cancer Walk provides free transportation and diagnostic testing. If patients do have cancer, they are referred to the CdM group.

Meetings: weekly in January

Contact to volunteer, donate: Julie McKay or Patty Huesto on facebook;   Fundraising Event:always second Monday February. February 11, 2019

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Cultural de Capacitacion (CCC) Located in central La Penita, the CCC offers after school activities for children as well as adult education classes. Supported by the Los Amigos de Jaltemba group, the CCC is open six days a week.                    

Contact to volunteer, donate: Viky Robelo Rodriguez FB or cell 322 231 7866        Fundraising events: Taqui Tooris Party February 6, 2019 and Garage sale end of March

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Club Rotario de Bahia de Jaltemba A.C
.   Rotary is a service minded group that develops Projects to help improve the community of Jaltemba Bay. Recent projects include setting up computer labs in schools and adding bathrooms to schools.

Meetingevery Wednesday: 7:30 a.m.  La Piña Colada Restaurant

Contactto volunteer, donate: Eddie Dominguez   or FB page: Club Rotario de Bahia de Jaltemba

Fundraising events:  annual, September and January 27, 2019

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Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) Caring seasonal visitors began helping street dogs and cats in 2002. This group advocates humane and healthy practices for animals in the Jaltemba area of Mexico, by promoting health, education, sterilization, adoptions, foster care and positive relationships with animals and their owners. Provides two sterilization clinics, November and April of each year. Contact to volunteer or donate: Lin Chimes email: [email protected] or FB page

Fundraising activities: weekly Breakfast at Panoramic B and B; others TBA

 

GEMA/Grupo Especial de Mujeres Aprendiendo. New volunteer group began in 2017. Their goal is to provide safe housing and a variety of self-help classes for women experiencing domestic violence. Contactto volunteer, donate: Kathy Gueldner Traub and FB page

Fundraising activities:  Weekly bingo games at senior center; dinner/dance TBA

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Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)was established in December 2012. The Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) will operate in partnership with Hilltop Refugio to:  protect, rehabilitate and adopt out abused and neglected horses, dogs and cats. 

Contactto volunteer, donate: Melanie Blair  FB page : Jaltemba Equine Education Project – Proyecto de Educación Equina

Fundraising Event:  annual, January 23, 2019

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Women to Women Fashion Show (Mujeres a Mujeres) This is the oldest active volunteer group in Jaltemba Bay.  Huge annual gala party funds 21 university scholarships, provides free breakfast to 44 middle school children, and other initiatives.  Contactto volunteer, donate: Linda Comeau email: [email protected] or webpage: mujeresamujeres.com

 

Fundraising event: Wednesday January 30, 2019

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The Colorful Heritage of Mexico-

Part 1 of Series Tara A. Spears

Part of the allure of visiting Mexico is its vibrant colors, steamy climate, and exotic flora. Mexico is a country proud of its heritage and proud of the perseverance and contributions of its indigenous people. This series will introduce one of the unique groups each month, showcasing its distinctive textiles and clothing. Ever since I first learned that each Mexican state has not only its own flag, but a particular color and style of clothing that proudly identifies that area, I’ve been fascinated with the idea. The Mexican minority groups stand tall by continuing with centuries of tradition by wearing their unique clothing.
The huipil is a typical dress of the Triqui Indians that are centered throughout Oaxaca. (There are some splinter groups throughout the country, even in the mountains ring Jaltemba Bay.) The huipil is long garment that starts at the neck and covers the whole body until it reaches the ankles. The huipil represents an identity symbol for Triqui women who proudly wear the huipil for their daily activities. Huipils are mainly made of different shades of red that is interwoven with bright and striking colors. It is only made only by women and used only by members of that community. The Triqui women weave the huipil using a waist loom. The time it takes to make a huipil depends on its size which depends on the height of the woman who will wear it. For example, a huipil for an adult woman takes from four to six months to create. Of course, due to the labor intensive nature, the going price for an adult huipil is around $4,800 pesos. Each one is hand made.

There are two types of huipil: one is made with woolen yarn and the other is made with silk thread. Yarn is generally use to protect against the cold since it is a thicker weave. On the other hand, silk is lighter and is used for warmer season. The silk huipil is more expensive due to its costly thread and greater weaving time. Sometimes the silk huipil is favored by the young population and the more affluent; the silk huipil might be considered elitist.ad Hinde and Jaimes

The huipil is formed by three strips: the right, the left and the central part. Each part is woven separately and subsequently joined by special embroidery to form the complete huipil. The right and left side of the huipil is not as time consuming to weave as the central part because these two parts are less broad than the central part. The center is more difficult to weave and requires more time because it is the one that carries the decorative pattern and figures . The huipil has red strips and white strips that symbolize nature: the red is the caterpillar and the figures that are in the red strip are the butterflies.
Weaving of the huipil is a cultural activity of the Triqui women because it’s their daily dress. Every Triqui woman and child needs at least three huipils that are used for different occasions. One type huipil is used for domestic activities, one type for when they go outside of their communities and a huipil for special events within the cultural practices of the community.
Currently, the weaving of the huipil is also an economic activity for the Triqui women. Apart from weaving to make their own clothing, the women weave to sell huipils within their community and, in recent years, sale of huipils has spread to non-Triqui people. Outsiders want to acquire the huipil for their beauty and authenticity as an indigenous garment. Just think how easy it is to bring home in a suitcase!

Previous Triqui generations took nature as the basis for the huipil design. Weaving is a complicated activity that takes many years of practice to acquire the knowledge about the huipil fabric designs. Young women will often learn the weaving basics then add her own design element, such as, incorporating lighter or darker colors and new figures.
Every aspect of a huipil has meaning; each figure, color, shape signifies something important to the group. A very dominant figure is a butterfly but other figures might be: inclined figure, pines, birds, soldiers, corn tortilla or jug. To make the figures the weaver has to count how many threads are left and how many have to be taken or removed so that the figure comes out well and carries a sequence both along and across the huipil. Otherwise the remaining figures may become distorted.


Frequently the completed huipil is adorned with ribbon embroidery around the neck that symbolizes the sun and the moon due to the round shape they have. The ribbons symbolize the cheerful color of the rainbow that marks the beginning and end of the rainy season.
Each huipil is more than just a garment; it is more than an impressive Mexican handicraft. The Triqui huipil is symbolic of the heritage, pride, and traditions of a special people.


 


 

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Mexican Coffee Culture                          

by Tara A. Spears – Editor Nayarit Edition

The poets have called it “the black nectar of dreams”. As a drink or as a grain, coffee has witnessed the great events of modern Mexican history. It doesn’t matter what your economic status, most people could not face the day without their cup (or two) of steaming coffee.

 Ever since the shepherds threw some beans in hot water to stay warm, the energizing properties of coffee have appealed to soldiers, students, workers, anyone wanting to stay awake. While the history of coffee goes back to antiquity, coffee did not arrive in Mexico until the late 1700s. But ever since coffee’s introduction, there has developed an entire culture around the coffee production industry. Coffee production has an enormous importance for the Mexican rural worker and in the national economy.     

 A couple of decades passed from when coffee was first available in Mexico before coffee became popular nationally because chocolate was more  rooted in the Mexican consumer habits. But once the Mexicans acquired the taste for this drink, coffee went straight to the hearts of all consumers. To tap this demand for the beverage, the first coffee shops began to emerge in Mexico City.  Since then, coffee shops have popped up in every small town and every urban area. Jaltemba Bay even has its very own production company, Occidental. You can watch them made a special blend to your specifications.                                                              

According to Carlos Sanchez, “The coffee cafes in Mexico were, from their beginning, meeting places to talk political conspiracies, read newspapers and discuss literature. The political turmoil that was experienced in Mexico at the same time that drinking coffee was trending, created a special setting in the coffee cafes of the city where all classes met to discuss the viceroyalty events and the emergence of the first ideas of independence.” You could see revolutionaries sharing a table with campestinos and shop keepers, businessmen and taxi drivers. Many a cause was formulated with a pot of Mexican coffee.

In the late 1980’s Mexican coffee growers decided to develop organic coffee, which apart from maintaining the ecological balance of the soil, is free of chemicals and contaminants, and the use of agricultural waste through recycling and composting. It was at this time that the Mexican coffee plantations began growing coffee under shade to help conserve the natural environment, to avoid rust infection on plants without using chemicals, and to protect the aquifers.  Mexican organic coffee is sold in the most demanding markets of the world: United States, Canada and Europe.

       

Records show that Mexico first exported coffee in 1802. Since then, Mexican coffee production is ranked fifth in the world market.  The most favorable climate for coffee cultivation is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The coffee plantations that are within this strip provide the best qualities and those that are outside are marginal for the crop. Within the strip, suitable areas for cultivation are determined by climate, soil, and altitude. The coffee tree needs favorable temperatures on average of 20 ° C. and rainfall of 2500 mm.

In Mexico coffee is grown in 12 states: Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi, Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco, Queretaro, Tabasco. The coffee harvesting season starts in September and ends in March of the following year. Mexico has the highest quality grains, called high altitude coffee, which is the coffee grown above 900 meters above sea level. High altitude coffee is one of the most sought after types of this beverage.

Coffee occupies the first place as a Mexican agricultural product generating foreign exchange and jobs in rural areas. Due to the characteristics of the crop, coffee plantations use women, men and children that make up the whole family for the tasks of cleaning, harvesting and benefiting from the grain. 

       

According to Carlos Sanchez, “From their inception, coffee cafes in Mexico became the meeting place to talk about political conspiracies, read newspapers or to discuss literature. The political turmoil that was happening in Mexico at that time found a special arena in the cafes of the city, where all classes met to discuss the viceroyalty events. It was in the public coffee shops that the first ideas of independence emerged.”

The coffee tradition within Mexico has grown over the years. Today Mexican coffee shops offer the purest and most excellent specialty beans, utilizing the newest brewing techniques, designer blends, and fancy whipped concoctions that elevate coffee drinking to a new sensory experience. But, above the flavor and tradition, coffee is by itself a historical event contained in a cup.

 


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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…

http://quote.mexpro.com/quote/?aff_id=9804&agtdst=&office_code=

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