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Barra de Navidad & Melaque Journal - December 31, 2016

Navidad in Navidad

Christmas in Barra de Navidad brought together the spirit and efforts of many, both Mexican and expats, making this a most memorable Christmas celebration for the hundreds in attendance.

Culminating in the Jardin, the center of the community, volunteers from all walks of life, church groups, actors, dancers and choirs created an evening filled with the laughter of children, the magic of music, and the wonder of giving. 

A parade began on Nueva España, where colorful floats, horses and riders and revelers wound their way into the cheering town, introducing the “great one” and his wife … Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. The elves were waving, laughing and handing out gifts and treats to wide-eyed children along the route. With bells ringing and people singing and chanting, Santa’s whimsical entourage brought joy to many. 

Jardin celebrations began with a welcome from Barra de Navidad Delegado Leonardo Cardona Cortez, followed by live entertainment provided by Baile de Niñas del Templo Divina Misericordia, the San Felipe Church choir, the Extranjero Choir, and very well received play, La Pastorela. The evening’s events were elegantly hosted by Hotel Cabo Blanco’s Grecia Salas Gutierrez.

The parade

The community parade featured many who give all season. 

Barrachos and Barrachas: Not a formal organization, this close knit group of expats in Costalegre make a tremendous charitable impact throughout the year. They topped off 2016 with many bags of toys that were distributed at the Jardin after the parade.

The Costalegre Rotary Club contributed and collected hundreds of toys and “surprizes.”  The club meets year round on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. in the restaurant at Hotel Cabo Blanco. Travelling Rotarians and any interested parties are encouraged to join in. Members bring potential projects forward, priorities are discussed and assessed, then Rotarians get into high gear.  Not only do they raise funds, they often contribute much needed expertise and labor. Every peso raised goes directly to the Costalegre community. (Over a million pesos have been raised since their inception in 2008.)  Upcoming events include an annual golf tournament and a bottle auction.  There is also an opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket for round trip tickets for two, anywhere Westjet flies.  

Pro Animal Melaque was represented with two floats this year. This established animal rescue group focuses on street animals with urgent medical needs. They assist lower income residents with pet sterilization through ongoing spay and neuter clinics – more than 800 animals in 2016.  The service is free but Pro Animal requests that you pre-register. Donations of towels and blankets, pet food, collars, leashes, pesos and volunteer time are greatly appreciated. If you would like to get involved, message the organization on facebook, 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.. 

A shout out to area residents and businesses who are always quick to step up to the plate for the Christmas Parade:

Linda Bello Ruiz initiated and coordinated the presentation at the Jardin, solicited and organized parade participants and was the general overseer of this event from her home in Barra and from California.

Chynna Glee from Backstage Bar/Blue Wave Café never misses a beat when it comes to local events. She was instrumental in liaising with town officials, collecting gifts and donations and organizing floats. Chynna and her group worked into the wee hours wrapping presents and decorating the floats.

Jimmy Hamilton and partner Ruthy filled the shoes of Santa and Mrs. Claus with a jolly love for the children. They sat in full costume during the two-hour festivities and ended the evening personally handing out donated gifts to the eager niños and niñas waiting patiently in line.

Muchas, muchas gracias also to Crazy Cactus, Marlena’s Restaurant, Mokeke’s, MLS Realty, Hotel Cabo Blanco, In House Productions, and the many volunteers too numerous to mention.

Other Barra News

Brenda Ramos and a core group of expats from Mano Amiga Melaque have a vision. They are determined to build a much-needed shelter in the Barra/Melaque area for animals awaiting medical care and adoption. Gracie is one of their success stories. In just three weeks, this little dog’s health has turned around and her disposition has become even sweeter. 

Mano Amiga’s two recent fundraisers have been a dinner and show at Huachinango Restaurant, and an online auction. Both have supported the sterilization, health care and re-homing of many once abandoned strays in the area. Ramos’ passion is unparalled. She takes in dogs and cats of any age and in any condition. The need is great and all assistance is welcomed. For more information and/or to donate or adopt, send an email to 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..