Efren González opens his 11th annual winter show at Galeria La Manzanilla, Calle Perula Sur 83, Friday, January 12, 4-7 p.m. with a cocktail reception.
The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., (315) 351-7199.
Labour of Love
Back in the winter months of 2012, a young Mexican women returned to her home village of La Manzanilla. Accompanying her were her partner and two little angels she proudly introduced as her daughters.
Her name is Mabel Sanchez Morales. She opened a gift store/studio right beside the Helping Hands Bookstore where soon she was selling her handmade crafts, jewellery and unique line of clothing.
Mabel has a mystical, compassionate spirit and firmly believes in “giving back” to the earth and all who inhabit it. She could be seen every Saturday morning in her shop giving art classes to the more under privileged children in town. Using her own funds, she purchased some supplies, and gratefully accepted any donation of items that could be used in her classes. She structured the sessions so that the students discovered how to create beauty from discarded objects, and in doing so discover the beauty in themselves.
But she wanted to do more. She also wanted the children to develop an understanding of why it is so important to protect and nurture all that nature gives us. In 2013, she developed a plan. It began with recruiting 40 children from the classrooms of our elementary school. They would design a mosaic mural on the wall of their cafeteria, made entirely of bottle caps that they would glean from the beach and walk ways around town.
It took until January 2016 before enough caps were collected to begin the actual artistic activity. During that time not one of the 40 students quit, in fact many enlisted the help of their families and friends. They worked on the project after school hours, and on Saturdays. The mural depicts the sun, the heart, and the sea.
There are three words also incorporated into the design – alimentar (to feed and nourish), amar (to love), and cuidar (to take care of). There are vents in the wall that display the mural, and these will not be covered in the bottle caps, but will instread have a huge rainbow painted across them to always remind us of the gift we have been given.
Several volunteers came out today to help Mabel finish the mural. This amazing woman and her family will soon leave La Manzanilla to live in Monterry. While we all wish them happiness in their new home, we will miss them greatly. A light is leaving us, and the town will be a bit dimmer.
La Manzanilla Hermosa
Vicki Mercer, a founding committee member of La Manzanilla Hermosa, reports that even though the town is just coming off of the Christmas influx of visitors, there is less litter on the beach and streets than in previous years.
This is partially due to the number of volunteers who have borrowed a litter grabber and pail from the organization, but also because people are becoming more conscious of the impact of trash in our oceans and are littering less.
Several restaurants are also doing their share by not serving plastic straws or Styrofoam containers for food and drinks. Instead they use a compostable paper substitute. Shop owners are giving customers reusable shopping bags to reduce the use of plastic. The directors of our three schools have contacted the committee, saying that they would welcome individuals to speak to the students about environmental issues. Mercer has put a call out for volunteers for this “Speaking Bureau.” There are many people here in La Manzanilla that have knowledge and experience that would be of great value to share. Fluent Spanish would be great, but not necessary, as an interpreter can be provided.
The group has also started a “Public Waste Can Project. “ The plan is to place an average of two cans per block, with the first priority being cans placed near beach entrances and streets where the tour buses park. Cans will be placed wherever a business wants, as long as the business will sponsor it. The cans will be durable and dog resistant.
Anyone interested in volunteering in any way, please contact Vicki at mercer.vicki.com All are welcome.
While progress is being made, we still have a long road ahead to make Bahia de Tenacatita and La Mananilla plastic free.
Bocci Ball is up and rolling on the beach, and the team members are gearing up for the Annual Tournament to be held at Figaro’s Restaurant, February 10, 9 a.m. Tickets will be available around town in mid-January. All the proceeds from this tournament will be donated to community based programs. So grab your balls and head down for the fun!
Learn to create and enjoy new recipes in a group setting, with the guidance of Eileen’s 50 years of professional knowledge. Visit her website at www.eileenslamanzanilla.com for schedules and more information.
Anyone for tennis?
Tennis enthusiasts can enjoy a good game on the well maintained courts at Quinta Valentia’s restaurant, then enjoy a delicious breakfast on the beach.