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La Manzanilla Memo - March 01, 2020

Bocce Ball Tournament

A few weeks after hosting an elegant dinner dance in late January, the Bocce Ball Committee and aficionados of the sport donned shorts and t-shirts to face off in the 6th annual Bocce Ball Tournament on February 15.

Thirty-two teams of two players each competed on the sand in front of the Bahia Azul restaurant, which offered breakfast and lunch specials to participants and spectators alike.

pg29aAt the end of a long day of play by 64 men and women, Paul Jewitt and Bill Pastorek held aloft the 2020 Bocce Ball Tournament victors’ statues, which were contributed by Dave and Deb Kasprick. All proceeds from the annual dance and tournament are donated to community-based projects.

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A Night Under the Stars

Perhaps the biggest event of the high season is the La Catalina Foundation’s “A Night Under the Stars,” which is always held on the third weekend in February in La Manzanilla’s main square. This year’s 16th annual fundraiser took place from 6 to 10 p.m. on February 22 against a backdrop of the setting sun and tropical breezes, as hundreds of people eagerly sampled a Mexican dinner and enjoyed a variety of performances by nationally acclaimed dance troupes (the Los Angeles Locos, Energia Extrema and Ballet Folklorico de La Huerta) as well as local students. A silent auction offered hotel, restaurant and spa packages along with paintings and sporting and household items. In addition to increasing the support of educational opportunities and scholarship programs in the community, the foundation shares a portion of the funds raised with local public schools.

Art Show & Garden Party

Thanks to the excellent translation skills of Maria Chavarin, this year’s program at the La Catalina Scholarship Students’ Teen Art Show & Garden Party allowed a number of expat artists to present techniques to LCF’s scholarship students in several mediums. Ron Stock taught 3-D mixed art; Jody Jenkins taught drawing; Rennie Holley taught printmaking; Annie Olson taught watercolors; and Katherine McCollough and Martha Meredith assisted. All of these classes culminated in the Teen Art Show & Garden Party the evening of February 25 at the LCF Complex where a large, supportive crowd was served refreshments and light beverages while collecting 78 pieces of teen fine art, including all 18 clown sculptures at a total value of over 16,400 pesos. The students received 80 percent of the proceeds (more than 13,120 pesos); the La Catalina Foundation and the Dave Sullins Memorial Art Fund each received 10 percent –1,640 pesos.

pg29bSecond Chance

The community came out to support the Second Chance Dog Rescue Center, a labor of love operated solely by Valentin Fernandez, in two different ways in February. First, on Valentine’s Day, Otra Vez – the town’s secondhand store –donated its record-breaking sales of 3,495 pesos to Valentin, who also collected 4,000 pesos in his jar. Then, on the evening of February 26, accompanied by live music, Ricardo Montes and Deni Landry of Muy Rico Kitchen served a delicious 12-dish traditional Mexican buffet at the La Chora Bar to 56 people, raising an additional 5,000 pesos for the cause. Valentin rescues, houses, and trains up to 15 dogs at a time; when the dogs are ready for their forever homes, they are offered for adoption.

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Art Crawl

La Manzanilla, a small fishing village that attracts artists from many countries due to its beautiful coastal area and many artistic activities, was long known for its annual Art Walk on the last Sunday in January. In an effort to have ongoing exhibits, the Art Walk has now been replaced by the Art Crawl, a cooperative late afternoon series of art shows that are held on the first Tuesday of the month from December through March. Six local galleries open their doors from 4 to 8 p.m., offering a variety of sculpture, jewelry, clothing, paintings, drawings, found items, and works made of fiber and glass: Galeria La Manzanilla, Galeria #10, Estudio Marmaya, The Lab, The Art House and Figura. This monthly event gives artists from the local region and greater Mexico the opportunity to exhibit their work and connect with residents and tourists.

The final show of the season, held on March 3, included a unique exchange between two galleries in La Manzanilla and nearby Melaque; artwork from each gallery was exhibited at the other. The March 3 show was also the last for Figura, a gallery of art clothing whose proprietor, Bonnie Griffith, creates unique pieces of elegant and casual cotton jersey clothing. Although Figura will be closing its doors after six years at the end of March, Bonnie – a multi-media artist who began her career as an abstract oil painter – will still be available for workshops and custom-made clothing for several more months. Contact her by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment.

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