With Christmas rapidly approaching it is interesting to see how the two cultures here in La Manzanilla have intertwined over the past few years.
For the Mexican residents, the season is not limited to only two days. It starts early in December with the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe continuing through January 6 with the Feast of the Three Kings Day. There are processions, parades, fireworks, feasts, piñatas and gifts throughout the season.
In recent years, there has been an increase in homes decorated with Christmas lights, and many of the nativity sculptures are now nestled beside a fully decorated Christmas tree. Carols are being sung in the restaurants and on the streets by young and old. Even Santa Claus makes his appearance, much to the delight of the children in town. It is a magical time for everyone.
The final Holiday fiesta
Many different charities benefited from this event over the years. This year’s recipient was Activos Gym. The proceeds will help to maintain the equipment and keep membership costs low so that everyone in La Manzanilla can enjoy the activities there. However, there was a bit of sadness in the air this year as this was to be the final fiesta. This past Friday, the annual Christmas Tree/Holiday Fiesta was held. This longstanding event was first introduced to the town 13 years ago by Chef Alex Mayberry and her wonderful parents. The residents of the town joined in by creating and donating unique Christmas trees, wreaths and ornaments, which then were auctioned off to the attendees of the events. The guests also enjoyed the delicious appetizers and desserts prepared by Chef Alex, while bidding furiously on the donated items.
Thank you so much, Alex, Mary and Dennis for all the hard work you did to put this event on for so many years. Your efforts and generosity will not be forgotten.
Jeep Wrangler auction
The specs of the jeep are as follows: 2005 Jeep Wrangler, 77,000 km, SE414, new battery, air-conditioning, 2.4 Cil, 16-valve, manual transmission, winch, Hi Lift jack, cargo carriers, all-terrain tires and cover. The jeep is currently licensed in the state of Jalisco.
Bowl healing meditation
On Saturday, December 7, Nansee New of Casa Luz introduced two charming ladies who are well versed in the ancient practice of Tibetan healing bowl meditations to a group of over 20 attendees, myself included. Lorenza Garcia is a gifted channel and multidisciplinary professional artist, who has been interpreting Therapeutic Tarot and Oracles with a certified background since 1993. Her partner, Lara Galardo, discovered the magical sound healing language in 2016. She is a music lover, performer, spiritual world traveller and producer for creative sensorial experiences. Together these two women used their unique talents in providing us with over an hour of relaxing chimes to bring a sense of peacefulness and balance to our minds. It is said that the sound of the bowls can help to balance the chakras in the body and help soothe the spirit. I don’t know how balanced my chakras are, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and was feeling quite refreshed at the end of the session. The ladies will be returning to La Manzanilla during the season, and I look forward to attending again.
• Writers Group Open Mic Night, Monday, January 6, 20/20 to be held at Casa Luz from 7-9 p.m. All are welcome. Donation at the door.
• Cisco’s Amigos Doggy Bingo, Thursday, January 9, 20/20 to be held at Palapa Joe’s. The funds raised at the Doggy Bingo will be used to enable Cisco’s Amigos to once again sustain the Spay & Neuter Clinic in La Manzanilla. Please come, play bingo, bid on your favourite auction items and have a great time knowing that you are helping our furry friends live a long and healthier life. The fun starts at 1 p.m.
• The Bocce Ball Dinner and Dance, Tuesday, January 21, to be held at Bahia Azul. Courtyard Bar opens at 6 p.m.
• Activos Gym Fun Run, Sunday, February 2, 8 to 11 a.m. Cost: 35 pesos for kids and 40 pesos for adults. Sign-up for the family fun run/walk and get a fun morning of exercise as you walk or run through the neighborhoods of La Manzanilla, a cool t-shirt, and a chance to win some prizes. There will be no 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-place prizes and no categories. Prizes will be based purely on raffle tickets which participants can pick up at the water stations at each kilometer marker. So, for example, if you go five kilometers, you will pick up five tickets, and if you go two kilometers, you will pick up two tickets. Every ticket has an equal chance of being drawn but there is an incentive to do the full 5-km route and increase the chances of winning a prize.