A first-class success!
Last Sunday’s Fiesta de Arte was exactly that. Our jardin in the town center was turned into a diverse showcase of color, music, aromas and good vibrations.
There was something for everyone. From fine art, handmade crafts and jewelry to local and international foods. There were more Mexican artists displaying their work than in previous years and many more Mexican visitors as well. The students of the La Catalina Foundation Art Work proudly displayed their talents and chatted eagerly with the visitors. While most of the exhibits centered in the jardin, there were also eight Art Studios and Galeria de Arte open for the public to view their displays. Several non-profit organizations, such as the Youth Organic Garden Program, and La Manzanilla Hermosa were set up to provide information on their organizations. Everyone, whether participant or guest, commented on what a fun day it was. Congratulations to the wonderful team of volunteers who over the past year worked together to make it so. This was the first year, but will definitely not be the last.
Another success story
The first-ever Swim for the Elderly held last Saturday, figuratively “blew everyone out of the water!” This superbly organized event rallied together the entire town. Almost 100 residents, from both the local community and expats, young and old, collected pledges to swim or walk to raise funds for five elderly folks in La Manzanilla who are in need of financial aid to improve their quality of life. Restaurant and store owners graciously donated prizes for the participants who raised the most funds, and also for a silent auction.
When all the monies were totalled, the sum was staggering. More than 92,000 pesos, roughly US$5,000, had been collected.
Cheers and tears flowed freely, and the promise of “wait until next year” was shouted out. So again, huge congratulations and thank you to Lettie Hernandez, Conrado Marinez Serrano, Arthur Richter who had the vision and determination, to Lora Loka for hosting the event, and to all the volunteers who donated time and effort. Also thank you to all who signed a pledge sheet or donated a prize and of course to all the participants.
Charreria weekend is definitely a must-see event, especially for the Mexican townsfolk, although we gringos happily plunk on a sombrero, dust off the cowboy boots and partake of the festivities as well. We pale in comparison to the charros, and probably look ridiculous to our local friends, but they humor us.
The Plaza de Torres is filled to the rim for each of the three days of bull riding, bronco busting, lasso twirling, and equestrian dance. Not to worry if you’re throat gets dry and dusty, there is always a cold cerveza available. Bands from as far as Guadalajara play each evening, first at the bull ring, then they and the crowds move to the casino where the dancing and merriment continues until the wee hours of the morning.
Spoken Word Series
The next literary event in this series will be “Write On” featuring works from the local Writers Group. This will take place Thursday, February 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Casa Luz, located at Boca del Rio 75. Upcoming, on Monday, February 19, there will be an Invitational Reading from 7:30-9:30 p.m., again, held at Casa Luz. This reading will include compositions from Melody Sayre, Judy Dykstra Brown, Denise Brown, Ron Stock, Anne Wheeler and Alice Walker. If you plan to attend, it is advised you go early as tickets are limited.
Lots more coming …
Find fresh, organic food, straight from the Garden at Eco Fest La Manzanilla, to be held in El Huerto Escolar (the student garden) Saturday, February 10, 4-8 p.m. Tickets at 320 pesos are available for purchase at the garden’s stand at the Friday markets. Your ticket includes a gourmet meal provided by Muy Rico Catering (using of course the fresh produce grown by our youth gardeners), one beer or cocktail, and the freedom to fill your re-usable bag with produce from the garden. From 4-6 p.m. there will be ecology exhibitions featuring regional fauna, guided tours with gardeners, and sea turtle, indigenous insects and animal exhibits from area universities. Dinner and live music will be provided from 6-8 p.m. There will also be a donation bar with fine tequila, cocktails and beer available.
Bocce Ball Tournament at Figaro’s Restaurant, Saturday, February 10 beginning at 9 a.m. Whether you play or just watch, you will be entertained by this “somewhat” serious completion. All the proceeds of this tournament will be donated back to the community.
Artist reception at the Galeria de Arte, located at Calle Perula 83, Friday, February, 16, 4-7 p.m. Meet artist Ernesto de la Peña Folch and enjoy his creations at the gallery’s last reception for the season. This is the first showing for De la Peña Folch in La Manzanilla.
Open Mic Night at Palapa Joe’s on Saturday, February 17. Always wanted to be onstage? Here’s your chance! No matter what your talent – musician, singer, magician or stand- up comic – just sign up, show up and strut your stuff.
Efren Gonzalez painting demonstration at the Galeria de Arte, Sunday, March 4. Starting promptly at 5 p.m., Gonzalez will complete a painting while he chats and explains his technique and passion for art.