This year’s annual Arts for the Turtles fundraiser is set for Thursday, February 27, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Bahia del Sol Condos in Nuevo Vallarta.
A group of artists and their friends have been donating their skills and time since 2004 to help AMA Mexico, a non-profit organization which supports the Nuevo Vallarta Turtle Preserve.
The preserve, located on the beachfront of the Bahia del Sol, is dedicated to saving the lives of the sea turtles of Banderas Bay and is the largest in the state of Nayarit.
Among the gifts you will find at the fundraiser are metal arts and sculptures, acrylic and watercolor paintings, art cards, jewelry, “Tortuga” t-shirts and caps, turtle art calendars and turtle books for children.
You will also be able to enjoy gourmet foods, a bake sale, a flea market, live and silent auctions, a raffle drawing as well as a special lunch at the Sea Horse Restaurant on the beach, with proceeds benefitting the turtle preserve.
A special booth will feature current research and information on the Olive Ridley sea turtles that nest in the Nuevo Vallarta area.
In addition to meeting the artists who contribute their time and artwork, you can talk to the “Turtleheads,” who volunteer to give the nightly turtle talks at Liberation time.
Historically, the money raised from “Arts” has provided salaries for the preserve’s resident marine biologists and student interns; the purchase of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) used to collect nests from the beach between the Mayan Palace and Bucerias, gasoline; maintenance and repairs to the ATVs; construction of incubation corrals and information centers and the development and dissemination of educational materials throughout Nayarit.
Arts for the Turtles also supports research projects examining the impact of tourism on the sea turtles that nest along Nuevo Vallarta’s beaches.
The Bahía del Sol Condos is located about half a mile north of the Paradise Village Resort Complex, at Paseo Cocoteros and Retorno Cozumel in Nuevo Vallarta.
Just Desserts in La Cruz
With a “star-studded” local cast and crew, this comedic who-dun-it evening is sure to fill the audience with food, drink, laughter and intrigue.
And here’s more good news, you have four opportunities to join in the fun.
“Just Desserts” will be presented on Thursday and Friday, March 6 and 7 and on Thursday and Friday, March 13 and 14.
The dinner theater will be at Octopus’s Garden, on Calle Coral in La Cruz.
The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs garden with a dinner of soup, choice of braised chicken breast with poblano sauce or spinach quiche with salad and your choice of one red or white wine, one beer, a piña colada or a margarita.
After dinner, everyone moves to the upstairs stage area, where the real adventure begins.
Please note that those choosing the vegetarian option should check that box on the ticket stub when you purchase your ticket. That will be used to keep track of how many quiches need to be baked.
Proceeds from the play are donated to the Amigos de La Cruz to benefit their environmental programs, including street cleaning and recycling.
Rhythm N’ Ribs
You could see the smiles on their faces, hear the sighs of relief and sense the release of tension coming from the volunteers who put together the 10th annual Rhythm N’ Ribs (RNR) fundraiser on February 15.
Rhythm N’ Ribs is the main source of money to operate Bucerias’ Manos de Amor (MdA) children’s shelter each year.
“Amazing,” is how Anne Milling, a member of the steering Committee of the children’s shelter and the “Head Honcho” of RNR, described the event. “We took in over 200,000 pesos and should clear around 150,000 pesos, which is way over last year.”
The fundraiser had to be moved from its normal venue, the Bucerias plaza, due to the construction in the amphitheater area and surrounding streets, which began in mid-December of last year.
This year’s location, next to the Decameron Resort Complex, was a one-acre vacant lot about a mile south of el centro. It was donated for use by the property owner, Pepe Flores, who helped cover the expense of having a road grader come in to clear and level the area.
Over its ten-year history, attendance has grown to 2,000 or more people and this year, at the new location, was no different, much to the relief of the organizers, who didn’t know what to expect, despite extensive promotion of the event.
All of the popular RNR features were there – the food vendors, 20 or so restaurants and individuals offering a variety of food (not just ribs) for tickets purchased at the MdA table, the silent auction, the raffle and the entertainment, the band Luna Rumba, which performed from start to finish, as well as donating half the take from sales of their CDs.
Very popular were the tables and chairs provided, an improvement from the times in the plaza. Perhaps the only “hitch’ was the lighting, which left a few areas almost in the dark.
There was added expense for this RNR, because what wasn’t donated had to be rented, such as the tables, chairs and stage. The organizers feel confident, though, that those costs will be recovered by an increase in sales of raffle tickets, the silent auction and from selling out the contents of the beer tent.
According to Milling, there was a very positive response to the location this year, so the organizing committee might be considering its use in the future.
“I have had 22 email/Facebook messages from people saying that they like this venue so much better than the plaza,” said Milling. “That along with about ten people who stopped by the tent to tell us the same thing. It will be interesting to see if what we spent on rentals will be covered by what I hope we did in sales.”