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North Banderas Beat - March 25, 2017

A neighbor in need

Claudia Reyes, a young mother and daughter of local drummer Julio Reyes, has been fighting cancer for over a year. She is now in need of a bone marrow transplant. 

A match was recently found and the transplant she requires is scheduled for April. 

The cost of this transplant, however, is 800,000 pesos, an unreachable amount of money for any working family to come up with. 

Sandi Nystrom and the Bucerias Food Bank have jumped in to help with a campaign they are calling Bone Marrow 4 Claudia. 

They have been told that the hospital is willing to go ahead with the surgery if 50 percent of the cost is paid now and the rest in installments.

Nystrom and the Food Bank will be holding 50/50 draws at The Drunken Duck on Wednesdays and El Chivero on Saturdays, while the Gecko Band – featuring Dad Julio Reyes – is playing. 

“Stop in to purchase your tickets and help out this family,” Nystrom urges locals.

She also has started a 200-peso challenge, in which she is encouraging everyone she knows to donate 200 pesos each. 

Bone Marrow 4 Claudia is also sponsoring a raffle, with a prize of a 24-inch Samsung TV.  A ticket costs 100 pesos, with all money raised going toward the fund.  The draw date is April 12, 6 p.m. at the Drunken Duck.  To purchase tickets, email Gwen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Sandi 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..

In addition, musicians from Bucerias are planning their own “Live Aid” concert Monday, April 3, at the Drunken Duck, beginning 3 p.m.  Admission is 200 pesos per person.  A big line-up is promised, including The Gecko Band, Que Tal, The Roxy house band, Cheko Ruiz, The Joker Trio band and others. The event will go on through midnight.

Fund-raising for Reyes began on March 4 and to date 127,510 pesos has been raised.  

To make a donation online, go to https://gogetfunding.com/bone-marrow-4-claudia.

Every little bit will help reach the goal and save a young mother’s life.

Bow-wow pow-wow

The annual Bucerias Pet Picnic held at the Abuelitos de Bucerias Tercera Edad Center attracted around 70 patrons, reports event spokesperson Darlene Ell.

“We had a great turnout of people and their dogs,” she says.  “When all was added up, we raised enough money to be able to sponsor the next spay/neuter clinic for 100 animals.”

There were contests for dogs and their owners, such as best dressed, musical mats (like musical chairs) and fastest tail wagger. 


Chula, a Xoloitzcuintli dog belonging to Darlene Ell, dazzles the Pet Picnic crowd with her Best Dressed outfit. She was also named “Sweetheart of the Picnic.”


The contest judges were local veterinarian Dr. Eduardo Ramirez, Amigos de Bucerias Secretary Pierre Perodin and local animal activist Jesus Villavicencio. 

“Thank you to all who came … dogs, pet owners, judges and volunteers for making this such a great event,” says Ell. 

Pictures of the event are posted on the Facebook page: BuceriasSpayNeuterFunds.

Medical donations

Valle Dorado business owner Peter Hardy recently had to make a trip to the nearest Centro de Salud medical clinic for emergency treatment and made several startling discoveries.

When he arrived, he learned there were no medical personnel there. His next move was to go to the Bucerias Centro de Salud clinic, not too far up the highway.

He quickly learned from the doctor on duty there, Jimena Ayala, that the clinic was lacking common medical supplies to handle his injury, which was going to require stitches.

So he had to go shopping at the nearest farmacia (drugstore) to buy gauze, tape and disposable gloves.

Later, while conversing with the young doctor, he learned they were lacking many supplies normally found in a medical clinic.

Hardy then contacted friends living in Bucerias, who he knew received medical supply donations for distribution to Proteccion Civil paramedics from a friend who is a critical care nurse at a hospital in Calgary, Canada.

Hardy asked the doctor to prepare a list of needs and texted it to them, so they could see what was currently “in stock.” 


The much-needed medical supplies were later handed over to Ayala by Hardy and his Bucerias friends to convey 

She was thrilled to see the contents of the bags and thanked the group for being so generous.

Hardy also promised that he would return with even more supplies once he had the opportunity to do some shopping.

For more information about donating medical supplies, contact Harold Sokolove 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..

Firefighter fundraiser

Firefighters Crossing Borders is sponsoring a fundraiser in Bucerias to raise money for fire and rescue services in the Vallarta/Northshore area. 

Zoe Wood, a local composer and singer, will be performing on Wednesday, March 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Pizzanteria in Bucerias Centro, Av. Mexico and Hidalgo.

Firefighters Crossing Borders is a U.S. based non-profit organization founded by Firefighters for Firefighters.  Their members are active and retired firefighters from the United States, Canada and Mexico who work to assist their fellow firefighters in Mexico.

The group’s goal is to bring advanced training, equipment and vehicles to fire departments in Mexico that lack basic equipment.

Baja California, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco are their primary mission states, although they are also now associated with other groups that are working in other parts of the globe, including the Caribbean, South America and Europe.

In addition to the live music, there will be a raffle, 50/50 drawing and the opportunity to meet some local bomberos, who will be modeling the attire they use in the line of duty.  

Tickets for the concert cost 200 pesos. For more information, contact Zoe Wood, 322-160-2969 or 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..

Open Water

The Aguas Abiertos Riviera Nayarit 2017 open water swimming race is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, 7:30 a.m. at the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz. The race begins and ends at the beach adjacent to the Marina. 

There will be two options in the categories of 13 years and older. They will be able to swim in either the short 1.25k  event, or the longer 3.75k race.

A participation medal will be given in all categories (children and adults) to whoever finishes the event in the agreed time limit. For the short mode there will be no prizes. 

Medals and cash prizes in the professional category will only be awarded to competitors who swim under the time limit.

The cost to enter the event is 800 pesos.  

Competitors will each receive an official event shirt, a swim cap, participation medal, a competitor’s backpack and refreshments at the end of the competition.

Registration will be closed on March 28 or once the limit of 700 swimmers is reached.

Online registration is available at aguasabiertasnadoseguro.com or asdeporte.com.

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