• Galeria Amiga presents artist Julian Portilla from Ecuador through April 5. Next exhibit – de Manos Mexicanos – runs April 11 to May 30 and features artists from Colima, Melaque and Barra de Navidad.
•on Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in Barra hosts an art exhibit on loan from the University of Guadalajara. Opening April 8. Contact Linda Bello Ruiz for more information.
• United for Barra meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. at the Sunset Bar. This meeting is in Spanish, but volunteers will help with translations at the end of the meeting.
• Rotary meets at Cabo Blanco in Barra on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Only a few more meetings left this season so please stop by and learn about the amazing projects Rotary has completed this year and is continuing.
Spring has arrived
The flowers and trees are starting to bloom and the song birds have returned; Spring is here! We are at the calm part of the year that exists only between March 17 and Semana Santa (Easter) and it is fabulous. The sun is shining most of the day and the temperature is a nice 27 degrees with a breeze blowing off the ocean. The water is warmer in Cuastecomates than in Melaque but both are refreshing. The days are growing longer with the sun rising before 7 a.m. and setting after 7 p.m., which means we have more time to enjoy the beaches before heading north.
During this time the final fundraisers and big events have taken place and we are all ready for a few calmer weeks before we head north or settle into the heat.
Last weekend, the Annual Cisco’s Amigos Spay and Neuter clinic took place in Barra with 97 dogs and 130 cats receiving surgery. This is an increase of six animals over last year.
The local schools and municipality hosted Fiestas de Primavera – Spring festivals. For the schools, this is the largest family-based fundraiser of the year. Each class nominates a king and queen and they compete against the other classes to win the crown for the school. To win, the candidates must raise the most money which is normally raised by kids, families and other supporters selling candies or asking for change.
The festivals are a grand display of regal clothing – there’s something adorable about little kids in suits and party dresses, poetry, drama and songs sung by children dressed as animals and flowers. The municipality held their festivities on March 21 and ended the celebration under the full moon with a beautiful fireworks demonstration.
Our communities have come together for a wonderful winter. Some of the festival highlights for me have been the Day of the Dead celebrations and St. Patrick’s festivities in Melaque, and the Yoga and Wellness Festival and Carnival Art and Culture in Barra. Each of these demonstrated the deep-rooted and diverse culture of Jalisco. Additionally, the Spring Festival is special to me as my son won and is currently “king” of his school.
I am grateful for this community – extranjeros and locals – for welcoming my family here. We started our journey in Barra, spent four months traveling and camping across Mexico, the beaches and mountains of Belize, the highlands and rivers of Guatemala, the misty mountains and lakes of Honduras and returned here last April. We have spent the last year living in Barra but will return to Canada soon – an end to our 17 months of living abroad.
I encourage you to explore the local area including the beaches, rivers, orchards and farms. Get out of your comfort zone and go out for a late dinner or midnight tacos, dance to the live music or join in at a birthday party held on the street. If you are really bold, climb a volcano in Colima, visit the monarch butterflies in Michoacán, ride horses on the beach or shop in the streets of Tonala. Mexico is a huge country with varying landscapes, traditions and food but one thing remains the same everywhere – the people are welcoming, gracious and beautiful.
Thank you and hasta luego!