North Banderas Beat - January 3, 2015

Bike & food tour

Bici Bucerias’ bike and food tour departs from their office on Lazaro Cardenas, across from the Decameron Resort, every Wednesday at 9 a.m.  The first one was held on December 2.

The cost of the tour is 650 pesos and includes bike, helmet, guide and five local food stops along the way.  The options are coffee, pastries, agua fresca, birria, fish and shrimp tacos and more.

The tour distance covers about 11 kilometers and moves at a very leisurely pace, says Bici Bucerias owner Joel Goralski.

“It’s a great activity if you are from out-of-town or have some out of town guests,” Goralski says. “Even if you haven’t been on a bike for years, you can have a great time on this tour.”

View a map of the bike tour at www.strava.com/activities/232497793.  For more information, contact Bici Bucerias at 322-118-2201, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check their website www.BiciBucerias.com. 

Other tours are also available, from beginner to road warrior and mountain bike beast levels.

Disco fundraiser

Estelle Neubling moved to Bucerias full-time from Delaware this fall and wasted no time getting involved in community charitable activities.  

She quickly became a regular customer of Breakers Bar and Restaurant on Bucerias Restaurant Row.  One day, while chatting with Breakers owner Colin Maruk, they started brainstorming fundraising ideas.

“Colin wanted to do a 50’s party, but seriously, all the folks who grew up with that music are either dead or past the partying age,” she told this columnist. “I told him a good disco party was what we needed. The kids (and parents) of the late 70s are here and ready to boogie.”

Neubling recruited Valiene Heckard, a long-time Manos de Amor Children’s Shelter supporter, to help plan the event to benefit the shelter.

The December 19 party featured a Mexican buffet, drinks and a dance performance.

 A “disco duck” was also raffled off. The party raised 9,000 pesos,

“A giant thank you to Colin for his generosity for allowing this event to take place at Breakers,” said Neubling. “And Valiene, who stepped forward to help this newcomer, the new kid on the block, who had no idea where to turn for help.”

Amigos theater troupe

The Amigos de La Cruz Civil Association is looking for actors, crew members, costumes and costume-makers, props, back stage, front of house and many more volunteers for the new season of their murder mystery dinner theatre productions coming in March. No experience is necessary.

“There are lots of fun jobs for everyone and all for the benefit of Amigos de La Cruz,” says director Patricia Spencer. “This is such a fun way to get involved with your community.”

Casting begins in January, with dates, time and location to be announced.

Send an email if you wish to volunteer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">.

Luna Lounge Tree

This Christmas tree is the Luna Lounge Tree Team’s entry in the 2nd annual Bucerias Recycled Bottle Christmas Tree Exhibition, which took place from December 22 to 31. This year, there was a challenge between exhibitors north and south of the arroyo for the best tree design. Trees at the 14 participating businesses collected Best Tree ‘peso votes’ in their donation boxes for local charities.  The tree here was created by Tracy Bonin, Gwen Leather-Baer, Marty Lynch (in photo) and Jean Westby.

Medical fundraiser

The Amigos de La Cruz will host a fundraising benefit at Philo’s for their Medical Assistance Program (formerly called the Friendship Club). The date is Tuesday, January 13, starting at 6 p.m. The 250-peso ticket includes all-you-can-eat ribs, entertainment and raffle prizes. 

For 15 years the medical program has paid for medicines, surgeries and medical transportation for countless children and adults in the northern Banderas Bay area.  

Support ranges from meeting one-time only needs to having regular clients whom the fund has helped over a number of years.  

Currently, there is a boy, now 12 years old, who has received monthly urostomy supplies since the age of four.  Another client, now a beautiful young woman born with spina bifida, has received Amigos help on and off for ten years.

Tickets are available at Philo’s or from Amigos de La Cruz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Christmas cheer

Philo’s annual Christmas Project packed over 550 gift bags for Stanta to give to the kids of La Cruz on Christmas Day. Additional gift bags for the new mothers of La Cruz were also distributed for a total of over 600 gift bags. 

Sergio Carrillo, the fire chief at the Nayarit Proteccion Civil base in the northshore area, also started what he hopes will be an annual toy distribution. He and three volunteers from Bucerias took donated toys to children in the mountain villages of El Colomo and Coatante. Carrillo pointed out there are many poor families living in the non-tourist areas of the northshore who are not served by the Christmas programs of the coastal communities.

The John Ozzello Memorial Food Bank prepared and distributed over 250 dispensas (food packets) to needy Bucerias and Guamuchil families and senior citizens. After organizer Sandi Nystrom put out a call for volunteers to make homemade baked goods, local cooks donated enough cookies and sweets for every packet.