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North Banderas Beat - December 30, 2017

Art complex coming

Orisia Nova is an artist who sometimes refers to herself as BAD Girl Nova because of her unwavering support for the Bucerias Art District (B.A.D.).

Nova moved to the area from New Orleans nine years ago and has worked for the community improvement organization PEACE for most of that time.

But her real love has always been art.

She is now the co-owner of the Soñé Gallery, an eclectic art gallery in the heart of the B.A.D. on Lazaro Cardenas, where her artwork is on display along with that of co-owner and designer Dana Pettem.

Nova remains passionate about art and self-expression and enjoyed teaching abstract painting, as well as other art workshops, at her recently closed studio, Hacienda de Arte, in La Cruz.

Nova has now revealed that Hacienda de Arte (HdA) shuttered because she is moving it to larger quarters on the edge of the Bucerias Art District.

She is convinced that her new art complex of the same name will spur the growth of the art district even further.

The HdA building on Lazaro Cardenas was once home to a French cooking school. Located a block from the Decameron Resort, the edifice will be remodeled into spaces for classes and creative inspiration.

Nova says she envisions an interdisciplinary art center that will “blossom” within this creative community.  “With so much talent in the growing B.A.D., this space offers almost unlimited potential for local and visiting artists.”

Nova plans to give free-form painting workshops, as well as collaborate with other local artists and talent to offer classes in cooking, yoga, photography, sculpture, printmaking, kids’ art and gardening. She also wants to hold open studio sessions and sessions in painting to live music in the rear garden.

Located behind the building is a shaded, grassy area that Nova has agreed to set aside for the first dog park in Bucerias, with “artsy” landscaping and dog agility equipment.

HdA visitors can bring their pets to play and socialize, while their owners participate in art activities or just relax on the large open porch overlooking the park.

If you are an artist who would like to be involved, or if you require more information, email 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..">.


Manos de Amor

Manos de Amor (MdA) children’s shelter in Bucerias provides a safe, loving home environment for up to 30 kids.  All of its funding is private, coming from fundraisers and donations.

There are three fundraising events scheduled for the current tourism season.

The first one, set for January 10, is the Dancing Under the Stars cocktail party at the Samba Vallarta resort in Nuevo Vallarta.  Starting at 6 p.m., patrons can enjoy appetizers, wine, beer, soda and water. Entertainment will be provided by the popular Gypsy Rumba band.  Tickets are 400 pesos per person.

On February 6, the MdA annual Hamburger Fest will take place on the andador (plaza) between Los Picos and the Corita Hotel, near Los Mangos Trailer Park.   Social hour begins at 4:30 p.m. and the burgers will be served starting at 5 p.m.   The cost is 250 pesos per person. Diners are welcome to bring their own beer or wine. Be advised, this popular event has always been a sell-out.

Bucerias area residents and visitors always anticipate the third fundraiser: the Rhythm and Ribs festival, which takes place on February 21. R&R will be in the same place it has been for the last several years: Av. Las Palmas near the Decameron Resort complex.  Gates will open at 6 p.m. to allow attendees to mingle and select seats.

The popular band, The Rhythm Roosters, will be on stage offering plenty of dance music. As usual, a great number of local restaurants and individuals will be represented, serving their signature dishes and baked goods.  Admission is just 20 pesos and food, drink and raffle tickets will be sold by roving volunteers.

For more information on any of these events or to purchase tickets for the fundraisers, call or email Karen McKenzie at (322)227-8349 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Willi Crownhart at (322)138-9417 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..


The committee formerly known as Paws and Claws has been very active recently.

First, it was decided to rename the committee SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Program) or, in Spanish, Programa de Esterilizacion Gratis de Perros y Gatos. The name change was made to better define the focus of the group.

The first activity of SNIP was to host the “Yappy Hour” at Delicias Mexicanas restaurant in Bucerias on December 3. The event offered the opportunity for dog owners and their pets to socialize and have a good time together.

Santa Claus (Ed Christoffel) was on hand to have photos taken with the pets for a small fee, collected to raise money toward future free Bucerias spay/neuter clinics Additional fundraising activities included baked goods for pets and people, donated by Margot Mckenzie. Bucerias artist Nancy Hache donated a pet portrait that was raffled off.

December 13-16 were the dates of a free four-day spay-and-neuter clinic in Bucerias sponsored by SNIP.

Said SNIP Chairperson Darlene Ell: “The clinic was a great success. One hundred and fifty cats and dogs came through the door and are now going to live a better life. Many thanks to our vets from Pets4Life, our sponsors who donated lunches and all our wonderful volunteers whether they were behind the scenes or at the recovery tables that made these days possible.”

The 33,000-peso cost of the clinic was paid by SNIP out of money raised at the Yappy Hours, the Pet Picnic held earlier in 2017 and from numerous private donors.

Currently, a “Wine Survivor Raffle” (details in the December 16 GDL Reporter) is being held to benefit SNIP.  Winners will be drawn at the next Yappy Hour at El Chivero restaurant on the beach in Bucerias on January 19.  Plans are underway for a 2018 Pet Picnic and for future clinics.

For more information, contact Ell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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..">.




Earlier in the week, Monday, December 11, the public was invited to Valle de Banderas, the “center” of the municipality, to attend the festivities celebrating the 28th anniversary of the Bahia de Banderas municipality.

A large crowd sat in front of the entertainment stage and gathered throughout the town plaza to hear speeches and witness the introduction of the seven former mayors who are still alive.  A video was shown to the appreciative crowd, highlighting the history of the youngest government entity in the State of Nayarit.

The entertainment for the evening included the municipal band, folkloric dancers and the special appearance of well-known Mexican pop singer Eugenia Leon, who performed for over two hours

The evening was capped off by a resounding 20-minute display of fireworks.

Riviera Nayarit success

Ten years since its creation, the Riviera Nayarit – “Mexico’s youngest destination” – has become a complete success and established itself as one of the top destinations domestically and internationally.

The name Riviera Nayarit was coined in 2007 with the purpose of representing and strengthening the 23 micro-destinations in the 300 kilometers that make up the coast of the state of Nayarit.

In the past decade, it has not only grown thanks to increased numbers of national and foreign tourists, but also with the arrival of world-renowned hotel chains that have created an exclusive luxury destination.

An anniversary celebration took place December 15 at the La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club, in the coastal town of San Francisco.  Invitees included tourism industry representatives and state and Bahia de Banderas municipal authorities.

The festivities paid homage to the Wixárika culture, one of Nayarit’s main ethnicities, as an example of the cultural riches of the state.

Marc Murphy, managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), welcomed attendees with a review of the destination since its inception a decade ago, when it was first presented at the Tianguis Turístico in Acapulco.

Fernando González Ortega, president of the CVB and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association, highlighted the fact that since its conceptualization the Riviera Nayarit has focused on being a high-quality, low-density destination.  He pointed to the excellent results obtained after the destination signed a joint promotional agreement with Puerto Vallarta, with the support of the Mexico Tourism Board.

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