North Banderas Beat - March 21, 2014

The north shore of Banderas Bay is once again hosting the Mexico Cup Regatta.

Some 2,000 participants and 400 boats are competing in the international sailing tournament, which began March 16 and will run until March 30.

There are three main host locations for the competitions: the Ocean Class, J24, and Windsurf is taking place at the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle; the Laser Class, Optimist, and Club 420 are at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta; the Kiteboard Class is in Bucerías.

Stellar participants present include world kitesurf champion Sean Farley; as well as Demita Vega and David Mier y Terán, silver and bronze medal winners in their respective windsurf categories during the 2011 Pan American Games.

Mexico’s Navy Secretary will participate with 120 sailors distributed among different categories.

This tournament not only displays a high level of competition and sportsmanship but also helps promote the Riviera Nayarit and create income for the area, as hotel occupancy is expected to exceed 90 percent during those days.

Go to  for contact information, schedules, results, and all other information.

Fire departments compete

A training and skills competition was held recently involving the state of Nayarit fire department and local resort hotel fire brigades. The team from the Mayan Palace won the competition.

Language program

The Bucerias Bilingual Community Center is partnering with the Programa Nacional de Ingles para Todos en Mexico.  Professor Ruben Ramirez Molina, the Bahia de Banderas coordinator for this program, will establish an office and classrooms in the center. In the past, the center has offered English classes using volunteer teachers.

The classes require a minimum of 30 students to attend three hours per week and they are 15 weeks long.  

This language program is designed for all ages and teaches English with the active ALFA HILT System of learning that is recognized, assessed and certified to international markets by public and private institutions throughout the world, such as Cambridge University. 

Orchestra concert

The popular Puerto Vallarta Chamber Orchestra is performing an all-Latin-themed concert at the Paradise Village Community Center  in Nuevo Vallarta on Monday, March 24, starting at 8 p.m.

Tickets can be had for a 150-peso donation that will be requested at the door.  Students and children can get in for a 50-peso donation. They are available at Harkness Institute beside the center on Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The Paradise Village Community Center is located between the Casino and Paradise Village Resort in Nuevo Vallarta,  across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel.  There is a parking lot next door to the event hall. 

Street lights back on

Thanks to a joint effort of Amigos de Bucerias buying the materials and the municipality of Bahia de Banderas providing labor and a truck, many street lights are once again working.

Bye-bye snowbirds

The Bucerias Tercera Edad committee of Amigos de Bucerias has a farewell gala event coming up. The “Adios to the Birds That Can’t Fly” night features a traditional Mexican meal, live music, dancing and a cash bar.

The gala event is on Wednesday, March 26, starting at 5 p.m., ending “when the last partier leaves,” say organizers.

Held at the Tercera Edad center, across from the Lienzo Charro in Bucerias, the admission price is 150 pesos per person. Organizers invite guests to come early to build up an appetite and thirst over a game of horseshoes or ring toss.

Call Marilyn and Jim at (329)-298-6441 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information or tickets.

Money raised in La Cruz

A fundraiser benefit for the La Cruz Senior Center held at Philo’s Bar and Restaurant featuring all-you-eat ribs, music, entertainment and raffle prizes was a huge success, reports Philo Hayward.  The restaurant served 126 rib dinners and raised 19,490 pesos.  Proceeds from the event will be used to support La Cruz Senior Center’s annual operating budget. 

The play “Just Desserts” recently performed at Octopus’s Garden and raised over 21,000 pesos for Amigos de La Cruz to fund their environmental programs, including street cleaning and recycling.  Amigos thank Bub and Ladonna for bringing this event to the town.  

Annual altruism festival

The 10th Annual International Festival of Altruism is set for Sunday, May 4, at the Marriot Casa Magna Resort in Marina Vallarta. Food and beverages from many of the bay area’s finest restaurants will be served to festival goers, beginning at 6 p.m.

Many acts will be performing throughout the evening to entertain the large crowd expected.

All the money raised will be distributed equally to the 20 pre-chosen charitable groups, which will have representatives on hand to answer questions, distribute information and offer volunteer opportunities.

Three north shore charities, Biblioteca Rey Nayar (the Children’s Library), Manos de Amor Children’s Shelter and Paraiso Felino cat shelter, have been invited to participate and are selling tickets.  The cost is 350 pesos per person in advance or 450 pesos at the door.  To buy tickets, contact the library at 298-0376, Paraiso Felino at (322) 120-4092 or Manos de Amor at 329-298-3680.

Children’s Shelter

Veronica Gomez Garcia, Manos de Amor’s greatly over worked long-time director, now has an assistant. Bertha Velasco, or “Veronica” as everyone knows her, has been director/house mother since the shelter became a Mexican non-profit organization about ten years ago.

Velasco is bilingual, a former teacher, mother of two older teens and “has a charming personality,” according to  Anne Milling, a shelter steering committee member.  

Velasco will be working at Manos de Amor Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  If you want to visit with the kids, make a donation or ask a question about the facility and its needs, send Velasco an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   If you want to volunteer, you can also contact Karen McKenzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other important news is that the shelter’s Canadian and U.S. donors can now make tax-deductible contributions.

Canadian donors who wish to make a contribution and receive a Canada Revenue Agency tax deductible receipt should send their checks to Manos de Amor, c/o Walter & Geri Vink, RR#1, Site 4, Box 12,  Lacombe Alberta T4L 2N1.  They must indicate on the check that it is for “Manos de Amor” Mexico and make it payable to “Woodynook C.R.C.”

US donors wishing to make a donation and receive an IRS tax deductible receipt should send checks to Orphans Lifeline International, P.O. Box 1100, Kalispell, Montana, 59901, They must indicate on the check that it is for “Manos de Amor” Mexico and make it payable to “Orphans Lifeline International.”

Those using a credit card should go to the Orphans Lifeline website at, click on the  “Donate Now” button and fill in the necessary payment information.   They must note in the “How did you hear about us” section that the donation should go to “Manos de Amor” Mexico.

Donations can also be made through Pay Pal, if no tax-deductible receipt is required, by going to

For questions call or email James Thoman, 480-460-4344 or 480-460-4344 (Arizona), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jeff Timmons, 406-257-0868 or 406-257-0868 (Montana), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..