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North Banderas Beat - December 31, 2016

Christmas Program

The 24th annual Bucerias Children’s Program took place Christmas Eve, with local children lining up for Santa Claus two hours before the 11 a.m. start time. 

Santa and his elves did not disappoint them, distributing gifts and cookies to around 1,400 children and their moms.

The gifts were purchased with funds from an annual fundraiser held the previous year.

Food Bank

Speaking of cookies, volunteer home bakers in Bucerias answered a call from the Bucerias Food Bank to provide homemade ones to local recipients of food despensas (parcels).

Food Bank coordinator Sandi Nystrom put out the word and enough cookies were baked to provide 696 packs, which were packaged by more volunteers at YoYoMo’s restaurant and distributed in small towns, some as far away as Mascota.

Hurricane Patricia caused much damage to the area surrounding the Jalisco town of Mascota last year. The Food Bank communicated with officials in the region and were directed to the village of Tecuani. Basic assistance was provided at that time – bottled water, clothing, blankets, and food. Food Bank volunteers later decided to provide a Christmas party for the village, an experience they enjoyed so much it was repeated this year, led by Maureen and Dave Leslie of Bucerias. 

In another project, Nystrom saw the idea of a “reverse Advent basket” on Facebook and decided to try it out in Bucerias.

This simple idea involves collecting one item for each day of Advent, and then presenting a basket load of items to one of the many senior citizens in Bucerias who survive on slender resources. 

Project organizer Sheila Ellis promoted the concept on Facebook. “Before you knew it, we had dozens of people wanting to do baskets,” she says.  “I didn’t want any particular contents, since each person making a basket has different ideas and budgets. I just left it to them to make a basket which contained at least 24 items.”

A total of 122 baskets of all shapes and sizes were delivered to two senior citizen groups in Bucerias just before Christmas. 

Talent show auditions 

Calling all musicians, singers, dancers and variety acts of all ages. It’s time to show off your talent and help your community at the same time. 

The Amigos de la Cruz variety show is a fundraiser for the medical needs of the community.  Auditions are on Sunday, January 8, 6 p.m., upstairs in Octopus’s Garden Restaurant at Coral 66.  Come prepared to perform for under five minutes. 

The judges will decide who gets to perform in the show.  The Talent Show is Monday, January 23, 6 p.m., at Octopus’s Garden. Sign up at Octopus’s Garden or call/email Patricia Spencer, at (322) 190-9369 or (329) 295-5417 and 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..

Tickets for the show are available now online at www.amigosdelacruz.org.

Bomberos Christmas

A local hotel provided Christmas dinners for the firefighters and paramedics who had to work the Christmas Eve shift.

On a sad note, however, due to municipal budget cuts, the bomberos did not receive their year-end aguinaldos (Christmas bonuses). 

Their Christmas was made a little brighter by a group of Bucerias expats providing pizzas on Christmas Eve.  The Red Cross, Bahia de Banderas and State of Nayarit crews all got pizza from the “secret Santas,” to thank them for their service.

Spay/neuter clinic

A second free spay/neuter clinic takes place January 11-14 at Calle 16 Septiembre 48, near the intersection with Calle Matamoros in Bucerias.  The clinic is being organized by a group of expat residents that include Rachel Meza of Bahia Fitness, Margo McKenzie and Guadalajara Reporter columnists Sue Fornoff and Harold Sokolove.

The veterinary team of Pets4Life specializes in conducting clinics throughout the Puerto Vallarta and Northshore areas.

Although the clinic is free to people bringing pets for neutering, there is a cost to stage it. Donations are welcome to help fund this and future clinics.

Last year more than 150 surgeries were performed during the three-and-half day clinic.

For more information about the clinic, making a donation or volunteering, contact Fornoff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 322-151-1233 or Meza at Bahia Fitness in Bucerias.

Dancing in the New Year

Manos de Amor Children’s Shelter in Bucerias is hosting its first fund-raising event of the year on Wednesday, January 11. 

Dancing under the Stars takes place at the Samba Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, beginning 6 p.m.  Tickets cost 350 pesos and include appetizers, beer, wine, soft drinks and dancing to the music of the Rhythm Roosters band.

Manos de Amor houses around 25 children at a time, providing food, shelter, education and love. The shelter receives no government funding, relying totally on private donations.

For ticket information, contact Veronica Gomes at (322) 121-7400 or Anne Milling 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..

Rocking in La Cruz

The brand new Let’s Rock Country Bar in La Cruz opened in early December with the band Remedio performing to a large crowd.

Owner Norma Ruiz took the mic during at intermission on opening night to welcome her customers and to announce that famous country singer Willie Nelson will perform live for one show at Let’s Rock on Monday, January 23.

Ruiz said she and Nelson have been friends for 30 years and that he is coming to La Cruz as a favor to her to help establish her new enterprise.

“He will sing a few songs, then mingle with the audience, sing a few more songs and mingle again throughout the evening,” Ruiz said.

The cost of the show includes a steak dinner, which was Nelson’s suggestion.

Tickets cost US$125 and only 100 will be sold. For ticket information, call Ruiz at 322-193-1252.

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