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Barra de Navidad & Melaque Journal - February 16, 2019

What’s going on

Galeria Amiga presents Many Hands – No Hands from February 11 to March 8.  This show embraces the concept of artists – in this case multiple artists – becoming one with their work. Contact Jeanne McGee at 360-647-8137 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..


Galeria Barra de Mi Corazon is now open on Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The current exhibit features paintings from artists in Tomatlan.  Contact Linda Bello Ruiz for more information.

United for Barra meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. at the Sunset Bar.  This meeting is in Spanish, but volunteers will help with translations at the end of the meeting.

Rotary meets at Cabo Blanco in Barra on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Looking forward

Cruise-In Week in Barra runs February 18-25.  Contact Linda Bello Ruiz on Facebook or 707-331-3684

Ladies Lunch hosted by Rotary takes place Thursday, February 21 at Viva Maria 1910 in Melaque.  Tickets are 400 pesos and are limited in quantity.

Oscar Night at CENAC is on Sunday, February 24, from 6-10 p.m.  Cost is 50 pesos or 150 pesos with dinner.

The Cinco de Marcho dinner and dance will take place in Barra on Tuesday, March 5 at Punto Navidad.  Tickets are 500 pesos and there will be amazing auction packages available.

The International Women’s Day 5-kilometer run in Barra de Navidad is on Sunday, March 10. The run starts at 8 a.m. and the cost is 100 pesos.  It is hosted by the Cihuatlan municipal government.  Call (315) 106-0680 or (315) 120-0090 ext. 130.

The Beccas por Barra benefit show is on Monday, March 11, 2-5 p.m. at Hotel Cabo Blanco.  The cost is 100 pesos and all money raised goes towards the scholarship program.

Getting help

This past Thursday Commander Aaron from Jalisco Civil Protection provided much needed information regarding roles, responsibilities and options during an emergency.


It is important to remember that our municipality – Cihuatlan – has very limited resources to respond to emergencies.  Between the municipal, state and volunteer services in our area, we have eight ambulances available for use but only one is fully equipped and one has a defibrillator. So, of the 34 municipal and state employees available, only ten are on call at one time and they service all emergencies. This includes vehicle accidents, fires, crocodile attacks, electrical issues and animals on the road.

Here is how the system works

Call 911 and the municipality decides if you need police or Civil Protection.  If an ambulance arrives at your house, your situation will be assessed, and you may be transferred to either the Centro de Salud in Melaque or the Regional Hospital in Cihuatlan.  If you are having a heart attack or stroke you will be taken directly to the hospital.  During your time in ambulance care, attendees are not allowed to administer medication without direct doctors’ orders.  If your situation requires a transfer to a larger hospital, Manzanillo is your next step.

For many of us, this system is strange or foreign to us.  In Canada or the United States we expect an ambulance to arrive quickly and provide us with excellent care, but this is not the expectation here.  Nonetheless, we can improve the care and quality we receive by setting a basic standard in how we communicate with emergency services.  First, always have posted in your house and carry a card with your personal information and a current photo of yourself.  Second, if you have a chronic condition please have any necessary medication with you.  For example, if you have severe allergies, always carry an EpiPen (or equivalent) or two!  Third, really consider if you need an ambulance.  Would it be better to call a taxi or a friend for a ride?  Finally, learn a few – just a few – emergency words in Spanish.  Here are a most commonly used in a medical emergency: pg31c

Allergy – reaccion alergica

Accident – Car/Moto/Electrical – accidente – carro/moto/eléctrico

Choking/Breathing – asfixia/respiración

Drowning – ahogo

Fire/burn – fuego/quemar

Heart Attack -infarto

Miscarriage – aborto espontáneo

Severe Bleeding/Amputation/Broken Bone – sangrado severo/amputación/hueso roto

Stroke – infarto cerebral

Commander Aaron pointed out that the system has improved over the past ten years, and with the support of involved governments and donations from foreigners it continues to grow.  Recently, the state has started to train police officers in CPR. The commander also reminded us that civil protection and ambulances are free of cost.

Additionally, the volunteer Red Cross is active in our area.  They have two ambulances, one of which is currently working.  This group includes 10-12 volunteers including one trained paramedic and two general doctors.  They are equipped to deal with accidents, sickness, cardiac and heart issues and bites, including snake, spider and scorpion.  The Red Cross is reliant on donations, cash and supplies, and receives a small amount of state funding.  If you use this service, you are expected to give a donation.  In case of emergency call 911 and ask for the Cruz Roja.  Alternatively, call (315) 355-2300,their direct emergency line and their number to arrange donations.