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Barra de Navidad & Melaque Journal - March 26, 2016

Labour of Love

At least 18 years have passed since work began on the Church of San Felipe de Jesus in Barra’s barrio. With continuous effort by the community half of the church is complete.

Work is ongoing while regular annual fiestas, like Carnaval, are held to further fundraise to build the church. Other streams of income are sourced to finish its construction. Fishing derbies, children collecting bottles to recycle for funds, and workers donating labor as well. The price of admission for community events, such as movie night for children, is shared with the church construction coffers. The church, once completed, will be so sturdy it will serve as the neighborhood’s safety zone, able to house 500 people during hurricane, earthquake and tsunami emergencies.  Children too can participate by purchasing one five-peso brick and then feel a part of the labor of love that is the church’s construction. Padre Alberto and Padre Francisco take turns officiating at mass, ending with food stalls that contribute to the fundraising. Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. Donations of all sums to complete the church building are required and welcomed. Sara Rivera 315-107-8561 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..">.

Governor Visit

Marco Antonio R. Carrillo arrived at the Costalegre Rotary for his 66th Rotary Club visitation, one of his last in his year as governor of District #4150.  

Carrillo reminded everyone present that as of July 1, District #4150 will no longer exist. Rotary District governors  of Mexico have merged Districts #4150 and #4160. The new District #4160 will include the states of Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Guanajuato, Queretaro and Michoacan, with a total of 137 clubs and 2,113 members. 

The governor complemented Costalegre Rotary on the number of members in the local club (28). He encouraged the club to engage more local citizens to attract new members. He was gratified to hear that club committees follow Rotary International guidelines, which include: Administration & Foundation, Membership, Public Relations and Service Projects. 

The meeting ended with questions for the governor from those in attendance. Costlegre Rotary President Jess Castillo spent the afternoon with Alfonso Espinosa Estrada, regional delegate of Tourism for the Costalegre Zone. They all toured the Barra de mi Corazon pictorial gallery, made a visit to the Christ of the Cyclone Church and Cuastecomates to view the revamped beaches designed for the handicapped. 

Environmental Upgrades 

Scientists from the University of Guadalajara (UdG) are  involved with upgrading the environmental conditions of the Pacific coast. Waste water management tops the list. With the financial backing of Urelift, the university has been studying the sewer flow and contamination of these communities: Cihuatlan, Melaque, Barra, Jaluco and Aguacate/Las Brisas. 

After reams of data were gathered, the scientists recommend a proven “natural” biofiltration system that uses vegetation and materials to treat water streams.  In as little as 20 meters, the sewage can be 50 to 60 percent cleaner (including absorption of heavy metals).  

There is much experience and success with these systems in other places in Mexico and internationally. To ensure success, three entities will work together: the university, private industry (Urelift)/citizen involvement, and the local government.  

Meanwhile, land has already been donated in Aguacate for a pilot project. The UdG maintains a satellite facility in Melaque focused on improvement and development of the entire coastal zone into a sustainable entity. 

There is some indication that the UdG would assume responsibility for maintenance of the lagoon using students who must each perform a practicum. 

The old treatment plant of Melaque is no longer effective due to the cost of 70-150,000 pesos a month to maintain it.  For this reason, the new administration in Cihuatlan is looking for affordable solutions that can move the county forward as quickly as possible. The public sector, nationals and expats, are welcome to join in the effort.  

A Fond Farewell

The high tourist season is gearing down as vehicles begin to gas up to head north. Here are summaries of the 2015/16 season.

For this reporter, most days here remind her of Henry Miller’s comment in Colossus of Marousi: “Every hour I spent there [Greek isles in the Aegean Sea] was a carat being added to a diamond.” 

Here are some more observations:

Michael Linklater: “Promoting and supporting Barra and Melaque offers me uncommon satisfaction. I thank an amazingly hard-working and resilient people for allowing me to serve.” 

Jeanne McGee: “It is one of the highlights of my time in Melaque organizing our Art Walks each month. Thanks so much to all who come and support our artists.” 

Linda Bello Ruiz: “It’s hard to leave Barra each year to head north, but knowing I’m leaving behind projects complete and perhaps the community a better place, I go with a happy heart.” 

Bonnie Gibson - Tequila Taxi: “Barra/Melaque is a musical heaven.  Thank you to all the great fans for making my personal gigs at Sea Master and Time Out so much fun!”