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Barra de Navidad & Melaque Journal - January 30, 2016

Carnaval

Carnaval (carnival) has been celebrated worldwide dating back before Christianity.

In Latin America it begins after the feasts for the Epiphany, Dia de Los Reyes Magos, leading up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, 47 days before Easter. Carnaval Costalegre 2016 starts on Thursday, February 4 with a parade in Barra. Rey Momo, King of Carnaval, is presented a key to the town which opens the doors for all celebrations. 

The foreign community will sponsor a day of festivities on Friday February 5, beginning with a competition for the prestigious status of foreign Rey Momo and his Reina Extranjera. 

On Tuesday, February 9, the grand finale parade winds through Jaluco and Melaque/San Patricio, returning to Barra for a public dance. All organizing and entertainment is done by volunteers and through fundraising. 

To volunteer or to nominate candidates, contact Manuel Cilio at 315-355-8549 or Sra. Kukis at 314-120-8754. See Chynna Chilton’s Backstage Bar Facebook page to follow events and ask questions.

Cultural Awareness

Cultural awareness classes are held each Thursday at the Costalegre Community Church.   Jupiter Rivera, an historian and tourist guide from Comala’s Admire Mexico Tours, will speak about haciendas on February 4, 5 p.m.  For information, see www.costalegrecommunitychurch.com.

Art Walks

Jeanne McGee is looking for artists and artisans to display at two upcoming art walks: the Valentine’s Day Art Walk on February 14 in Villa Obregon/Melaque and the Leap Year Art Walk on February 29 in Barra de Navidad. 

The now popular art walks draw from 75 to 100 people. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. 

Art and Soul

Live mariachi music, local actors dressed in historical costumes and Luis E. Davila, Cihuatlan’s historian and key member of the ecological Grupo Ecobana, were among the highlights of the recent cocktail party marking the reopening of La Barra de Mi Corazon art gallery. 

The gallery suffered extensive damage from last year’s Hurricane Patricia. Luckily, its historic photographs had been removed before the storm.  

The gallery has a new acquisition. Last year, the Philippine government commissioned a painting by famed artist Manuel Baldemor to mark the 450th anniversary of the epic expedition of local sailors to the Philippines. Presented as a gift to Barra de Navidad, it now hangs in a place of honor in the gallery. 

Another masterpiece painting by R. Jauregui, completed in 1956, is a true survivor, as it graced the bar of the old Hotel Tropical before the 1995 earthquake.

La Barra de Mi Corazon Gallery is located in the old Tropical Hotel, Calle Legazpi, near the malecon. United for Barra Association, which helped create the photo gallery, is accepting donations to help cover hurricane re-construction costs. Call 315-100-1000 for details.

Music at Cabo Blanco

From Bach to Roll Over Beethoven, the keyboard talents of Adrian King can be enjoyed at Cabo Blanco Hotel on Thursdays, from 1:30 p.m.

King only learned in 2009 that he had suffered from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, for his entire life, thus explaining why he had to memorize 1,100 melodies and lyrics. 

Before King’s mother died when he was nine, she recalled how he used to conduct music he heard on the radio while being potty trained. 

“My father asked our local pub if I could play piano there to keep my mind occupied. I got paid 25 cents each night plus all the orange juice I could drink.” 

At 16, King joined Dynatones, an English rhythm and blues band that in 1963 opened for the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other British music legends. He later led a trio on the early voyages of the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth II.  In 1978, King played for the Queen at a Commonwealth Games reception. 

A job offer in Texas led him to play for George W. and Laura Bush at their first public appearance after leaving the White House.  

Brenda Dawson, King’s life partner and ally, promotes him. Call 315-113-8643 for more information.   

United for Barra 

Calle Michoacan, the “maleconcito” beach access whose landmark includes the taxi stand, is now under construction. Those who participated in United for Barra’s February 2015 Tastes and Sounds fundraiser to improve this access will soon see their names on the wall in appreciation for their 1,000+ peso donation. 

United for Barra is still receiving donations. Their next Tastes and Sounds of Barra festival is scheduled for February 27. Contact Linda Bello Ruiz at 315-355-8405 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">.

Tourist Plans

Alfonso Espinoza Estrada, regional delegate for the Costalegre tourism zone, recently updated the Costalegre Rotary Club on tourism promotion developments in the area.   After providing members with tourist guide booklets, Estrada talked about Cuastecomate, where an all-inclusive destination for the physically handicapped is under construction.