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Puerto Vallarta Bulletin - November 14, 2015

House Beautiful

The International Friendship Club (IFC) begins its fabulous Home Tours on Tuesday, November 17. They will run every Tuesday and Wednesday through mid-March. 

Each tour is hosted by a knowledgeable volunteer. Everyone boards a bus and enjoys a guided visit to four different homes. 

Each of the houses is architecturally unique, has wonderful interior decor and is located in an interesting and sometimes spectacularly beautiful part of Puerto Vallarta. 

The International Friendship Club (IFC) Home Tours visit stunning area residences.

 

The buses depart from the Sea Monkey Restaurant, Olas Altas 299 at 10:30 a.m. and return to the downtown area around 1 p.m. The cost is 500 pesos per person. The profits from the Home Tours are used to pay for the IFC’s cleft palate program.

For almost 30 years the IFC has worked with a dedicated team of physicians, nurses and volunteers to correct cleft palates that seem to occur in babies in this region of Mexico at a rate far above the national average. The IFC teams work with the beneficiaries through their childhoods to adolescence and adulthood. They bring happiness to dozens of children each year and do so at no cost to the patients or their families.

Culinary High Life

Chefs from all over the world will descend on Banderas Bay for the 21st Annual Festival Gourmet from November 16-22. The festival will feature 46 chefs, 22 restaurants and hotels and seven theme nights.

Among Puerto Vallarta restaurants participating are Café de Artistes, La Leche, La Palapa and Kaiser Maximilian.

Kaiser Maximilian owner Andreas Rupprechter has taken part in  the festival since its inception in 1994. This year he hosts Daniel Eardley and pastry chef Tara Glick, both from American Cut in New York City. They will share their favorite dishes.

The guest chefs work with the local restaurant’s team and teach them how to create their recipes. Everyone wins because there is a new influence in the kitchen and guests like the diversity of food choices. Plus the guest chefs take back great recipes and experiences to their restaurants. 

Puerto Vallarta is known worldwide as a culinary destination and this event only cements its reputation. For more information visit www.festivalgourmet.com.

Island Improvement

Join the cleaning gang on Isla Cuale every Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. This informal group will be pruning, weeding and collecting trash. 

The Isla Cuale is a small sliver of an island that divides downtown Vallarta to the north and the Romantic Zone to the south. It is on one of the seven rivers originating in the Sierra Madre mountains that tumble down into Banderas Bay.  The island features two bridges for cars, one northbound on Insurgentes and the other southbound on Ignacio Vallarta. There are two swinging footbridges for pedestrians. 

The Isla Cuale

 

The municipal government is reviewing plans for improving, beautifying and revitalizing this tiny island of cool, green space. Meanwhile, the volunteers will continue doing their work.

The island is also a favorite dumping place for kittens and cats. Locals assume correctly that the felines will have water to drink and food to eat. But while they help keep the rat population down, they can harm the ecosystem. 

Many of the cats and kittens are very tame, sterilized and have had their ears notched. These cats need homes. Consider taking a stroll on the island with a kennel and taking a cat home. 

Language Skills

Brush up on your Spanish with classes three days a week at the International Friendship Club (IFC), Libertad 105 in Old Town Puerto Vallarta.

The classes take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Intermediate 1 class runs from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., Intermediate 2 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and the Advanced class from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 

The Tourist Spanish class, an excellent choice for short-term vacationers and beginners, is from 1 to 2 p.m. Single classes cost 65 pesos for IFC members or 80 pesos for non members. There are packages available for a group of classes. 

Not only is this a great way to learn Spanish with other novices, but it also serves as a way to make new friends. 

Hops a risin’

Craft beer producers in Mexico are getting ready to draw suds at the RisingHop beef fest November 20-21. Five pavilions will offer up beer tasters, food, art, entertainment and activities for all ages. Some ten microbrewers from Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and one beer importer will set up shop as well. Animal lovers will enjoy the exhibits by Pet Friends of Puerto Vallarta Animals and the Purr Project. Little tikes can enjoy the ludoteca Pitayo stand where they can participate in workshops to stimulate their creative energies. The fun takes place at Parque Parota, inside Hotel Puerto de Luna, Blvd. Fco. Medina Ascencio 2294 in the Zona Hotelera Norte. The entrance cost of 100 pesos includes a glass for tasting or a full pint and two free tastings.

Vallarta in London

If the denizens of London didn’t known anything about Puerto Vallarta, they might do now.   Mexico had a major presence at the World Travel Market tourism expo held in the British capital last week.  The Mexican Tourism Department lent its support with a massive ad campaign that highlighted this country’s top resorts, including Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit.