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North Banderas Beat - December 01, 2018

Cat tales

After several years at the La Cruz Sunday market offering cats and kittens for adoption, as well as selling cat-related items, Paraiso Felino, the no-kill cat shelter located in the inland town of San Juan de Abajo, is instead setting up a weekly booth in a new location.

“There were municipal permit changes, booth location moves and issues with neighboring vendors with ‘cat allergies’ that complicated our participation in the market,” said Janina Erban, Paraiso Felino’s owner and director. “We will now be at Plaza Caracol every Saturday, beginning November 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with four or five kittens for adoption.”

Erban continued: “You’ll still be able to visit with the kitties, adopt them and make donations for food. Nothing has changed but it is now a more comfortable environment. And everyone is still welcome to visit us at the cat shelter in San Juan de Abajo.”

pg30aFor information on making a donation, volunteering or adopting a cat, call Erban at 322-120-4092 (cel) or visit Paraiso Felino on Facebook.

Purr Project

The Purr Project, another no-kill cat shelter located in Bahia de Banderas, has found a new way to match felines with new families. They will soon be bringing kittens and cats for adoption to the new Puerto Vallarta location of Petco.

The schedule is not yet set, so contact Purr Project for more details.

Purr Project tours can also be arranged at the shelter, located in Porvenir, near San Jose del Valle. Details at purrproject.com.

Tours with a difference

Some people may remember a Bucerias-based organization called Investours, which offered tours of small businesses, with the goal of helping them grow through micro-financing, or small, short-term loans.

After a run of three years, Investours evolved into Human Connections (HC), shedding the micro-finance aspect, in favor of fair payments and “engagement.”

According to HC Global Fellow Marie Heim, the organization now offers two tours: the Heartland Traditions Tour and the Bucerías Cultural Tour.

The Heartland Traditions Tour takes participants on an excursion through the agricultural heartland of Banderas Bay, where they meet and engage with two families. They may visit a potter’s workshop, the home of a master tamale maker or a florist’s tropical orchard filled with exotic fruits and flowers. The trip ends with an authentic, farm-to-table meal at a family-owned ranch where guests learn about regional traditions and make their own tortillas and fresh cheese.

This ethical tour is designed to deepen one’s love of Mexico. It lasts six hours and does not require much exertion.

The Bucerías Cultural Tour explores tucked-away neighborhoods in the town, visiting and engaging with families of local artisans in their homes and workshops. Through translated conversations, participants develop deeper insights into the lives and livelihoods of these artisans, and experience the vibrant cultural diversity in Bucerías.

After trying their hand at some local trades – such as painting and weaving – participants end the tour with a family-made Mexican meal.

This tour lasts about four hours and involves walking.

HC Global Fellow Marie Heim says the organization also offers a variety of student programs, including winter/summer internships and Global Engagement Trips.

She says HC has stands at the Sunday La Cruz market, the Tuesday Riviera Farmers’ Market in Nuevo Vallarta and the Wednesday Forever Spring Market in Bucerías. Tours can be booked at these markets, as well as through the new HC website, planned for launching in a week’s time.

“We are always looking for volunteers to support us here,” she adds. “And if people want to engage with us on social media, we have an active presence on Facebook and Instagram as @humanconnections.”

MexEco Tours

pg30bFor those wanting to venture further afield, Ruth Hazelwood and Experience MexEco Tours offer some interesting options that are filling up fast.

A popular adventure and one-of-a-kind experience is a visit to the forests of Michoacán to see the natural wonder of millions of migrating Monarch butterflies.

In addition, the tour goes to Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan and Santa Clara de Cobre for some great craft shopping.

The tour dates are January 15 to 19.

Another tour is planned to take in the Carlos Santana concert at the Telmex Auditorium in Guadalajara in March 2019.

The trip also includes a tour of Guadalajara, in addition to the concert. Dates are March 21 and 22.

For more information or to sign up for MexEco Tours, visit Hazelwood at her office, Lazaro Cardenas 39, near Mark’s Restaurant in Bucerias, or 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..

Sail Ho!

The Vallarta Yacht Club is sailing full speed ahead into another busy season.

Their first event is the annual Fleet Meet & Greet on Wednesday, December 5, 3 to 6 p.m. at PV Sailing in the La Cruz Marina.

The Meet & Greet will help you find out what’s going on in the bay this season, and catch up with old and new friends. There will be food, beer and music.

The next party, The Sailor Splash, is also scheduled for La Cruz, Monday, December 10, 4 p.m. when Riviera Nayarit Tourism welcomes the returning cruising fleet back to the area.

The celebration will feature live music, drinks and appetizers at the La Cruz Marina. Promotions will include free t-shirts and hat giveaways. The Splash is free and open to the public.

The action-packed Banderas Bay Blast, beginning Wednesday, December 12, features three days of sailing fun and socializing.

On the first day, boats leave La Cruz at noon for an upwind/downwind sail along the north coast of Banderas Bay, before heading back to La Cruz for a fun evening party.

On day two, sail upwind to Punta Mita and anchor out, dress like a pirate and become a lifetime member of the Punta de Mita Yacht and Surf Club for only US$1.

On the final day, sail downwind for a noble cause on the Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run, raising money for local schools.

People without boats who would like to participate will be accommodated. There will be plenty of boats on hand to take riders on the Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run in return for a donation to the kids.

For more information about any of these events, or to learn about joining the Vallarta Yacht Club, stop by the club near Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta or call Club Manager Rudy at 322-297-2222.

La Cruz recycling news

The garbage cans mounted on posts along Calle Langosta in La Cruz are falling apart only a few years after being installed.

Lina Bureau of Amigos de La Cruz had been scratching her head trying to find a viable and affordable solution to this messy problem.

Mayra Franco (of the La Cruz Sunday Market) then introduced Bureau to Guadalajara resident and designer Carlos Galvan, who came up with a prototype of a bigger and better garbage can.  His sample container is currently on display at the Kids Club.

The idea is to put a reusable plastic bag in each container of the two-sided bin to make their removal easier. The cans are constructed out of electroplated steel and have swinging tops which can swivel outwards for easy unloading. They bolt to the ground with a clasp that can be secured with a padlock.

There is room on the top of the cans for sponsors’ names and their business information. The two sides are labeled Basura (in orange) and Plastico (in green).

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