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North Banderas Beat - January 28, 2023

Fisherman and boaters were blessed by a priest on the beach in Bucerias on January 24. This is a longstanding annual tradition treasured  by those who make their living on the sea.

This year, other boats, including hobie cats, sailboats and motorboats, were out on the bay for the blessing by the priest. Why not? One can never have too many blessings, right?

Many folks commence each new year with health and exercise goals on the forefront of their minds.  I start planning and creating intentions at the beginning of each year. Easing into 2023, I know I want to dance more, do more yoga, add hiking and beach walks to my exercise plan and attend more cultural events in the area. My research proved there are many opportunities.


Callie moved to Bucerias with her husband a year ago, both trusting their choice would bring them more of what they desired in life.


“I’m immensely grateful to be in a place where my work and mission have evolved and shifted,” Callie says. “I am so glad to have a tribe of people on the same path. We all hustle for something that empowers ourselves and others while radically impacting lives.”

Teaching yoga since 2014 with a background in mental health and mindset work, Callie has found her niche, working with small groups or one on one. You won’t find her in a studio, she comes to you! Classes are custom tailored to the client’s goals and needs. Using sound therapy, aromatherapy, meditation, movement and breath work, you’ll leave your session feeling restored and grounded. In addition, Callie is also an ordained minister and functional health coach. Her personal passions of wellbeing collided into this wondrous trifecta.

Connect with Callie at Yogabycallie.com.


Multi-talented Lilly Alcántara is a dancer, musician and anthropologist. Many people know her because she and her husband, former boxer Christian Valverde, used to have a gym in Bucerías called Quilombo. Now they’ve relocated their new gym to Sayulita, where Christian offers functional training, and mixed martial art classes for all levels.

Lilly arrived in the area in 2012, adding value to all those who want to learn to dance and so much more! She offers African Dance and Cuban Salsa Workshops in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and in Bucerías.

pg21bHaving visited both Guinea-Conakry (West Africa) and Cuba, Lilly says: “I always like to share cultural information about the dances and rhythms we are learning. I love teaching dance because it’s healthy for the mind and body. My students learn something new and exercise while socializing with friends and having fun!”

The classes are at Octopus’s Garden in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Beginners Salsa on Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; and intermediate/advanced on the same days from 8 to 9:30 p.m. African dance classes are Saturdays, 9 a.m. She teaches all levels of Salsa Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at Carbón y Leña restaurant on the plaza in Bucerías.

Lilly also teaches at the Kids Club in La Cruz and they’re having fun there with a program called “Ukes4Utes” (Ukuleles for the Youth). Lilly’s place in the program is teaching the kids how to play their ukuleles.

If you’d like to become a part of this worthwhile cause, Lilly’s husband Chris is enrolling artsy volunteers to paint and decorate the instruments. “Nice people will get together, remove the strings from a few of the ukuleles and decorate them with an original design,” he says. “Our hope is that designs will reflect the richness of one of Mexico’s many colorful cultures!”

After being painted, the ukes will be reassembled and folks will get together at the Kids Club to vote on which one is the coolest looking. The winner gets a prize—maybe a nice ukulele? The big prize as a result of this program is that local kids have the opportunity to become awesome musicians and bring joy to the world.

This has been successfully accomplished in La Cruz, where expat Russell taught three young men how to play the guitar. They are now professional musicians making their livings from music. Their band is called Tatewari, and they also play in other bands around the bay.


pg21cThea Telford teaches various styles of yoga in La Cruz and is currently giving group classes at the Octopus Garden. Her other classes are private. Thea moved to La Cruz to have a quieter, less hectic lifestyle and be closer to nature. Her love of yoga intensified through her beginnings in England, during her travels to India and Spain,  and teaching in all those countries, as well as in Sayulita and other areas around the bay. Her practices include Meridian Yoga, Gentle flow, Vinyasa, Pranayama and a deeply relaxing Savasana. Thea’s restorative/Yin practice is a slow relaxing class she teaches in the evenings with candles, incense and relaxing music.


Expat Charity Palmatier, a La Cruz resident, is the membership director of the Vallarta Yacht Club. Her passion is photographing anything that happens on the water, whether it be boat, whale or yacht club related.

“It’s exciting to be a photographer in this area as there are so many things happening, moment by moment. All I must do is step outside my door to find them,” she says.

Another passion Charity discovered a few years ago is the International Charro Championships. She immediately fell in love with the skill of the charros and the female riders called escaramuzas, the beauty of the horses and the general drama and excitement that accompanies each day of the international event.

Hacienda Serena announced they will hold another edition of their traditional charro event, the  “Gran Premio Internacional Charro,” from January 31 to February 5, at the Lienzo Charro Arena Vallarta. This event will feature some of the best charro teams in Mexico. Every year, this event becomes more popular among residents and visitors.

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