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La Manzanilla Memo – April 1, 2016

A Dream Come True

Walt Disney once said that “Any dream can come true if you have the courage to pursue it.” Well Mr. Disney, our pueblo just proved you were right!

Once upon a time, a group of La Manzanilla’s citizens had a dream.  They envisioned a community recreation park in their town, where families could gather to picnic, children could play, or sweethearts could walk holding hands on winding pathways through luscious gardens of native flora and fauna.  These folks were not just dreamers, they were doers, and never-give-uppers.  For over a dozen years, they overcame each challenge of so grand a project.  Through countless meetings with both private and government resources for funding, several changes in design, and two hurricanes, their dream has become a reality.

Situated just on ,the other side of the arroyo, near the soccer field, is 6,000 square meters of donated ejido land that has been turned into the stunningly beautiful Parque Recreativo Deportivo de La Manzanilla.  Along with the impressive gardens and fountain, this park boasts of a children’s playground with swings and teeter totters, volleyball court, three fitness locations with state of the art weight machines and stationary bicycles.   Benches are tucked in for those folks who just want to relax with a good book, or browse the internet via the free wi-fi service available in the park area.

According to the onsite foreman, the park will be completed in two weeks, and a dedication ceremony will be held shortly thereafter with La Huerta’s mayor in attendance.   The park will then be open to all residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Dog Rescue Center

La Manzanilla has its own “Dog Whisperer” in the person known simply around town as Valentin.  For years this quiet gentle man has rescued all manner of abandoned dogs.  From picking puppies out of dumpsters to fostering adult street dogs, he cares for these abandoned, often sick or dying animals.  He not only feeds them, but also sees that they get the medical treatment they need – all out of his meager income from his small vivero (garden nursery) and donations from his friends.  Valentin trains and re-homes as many of the dogs as possible.  Even the most frightened ones become calm and gentle under his care.  At the moment these dogs live in his house.  Valentin is asking for donations to build a fence around the perimeter of the property and some basic kennels for the sick and injured dogs.  Donation cans for this endeavor are located at La Manzanilla Home Realty, Café du Calcetin and Artisanik Studio.  Any donations of labor to help build the facility would also be greatly appreciated.

 As The Curtain Falls

With the exodus of Semana Santa crowds, and the northward “flight of the snow birds,” the permanent residents of La Manzanilla are settling back into a slower, more tranquil pace of life.  But there will still be things to do during the next few months.  

For the art lovers, La Galeria de La Manzanilla will remain open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until the end of April.  At that time, owner Abigal Ramos will post the summer schedule in the Guadalajara Reporter.   Hidie’s Art Supply Store will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  If any of the artists in the area need to visit the shop on another day, just call her on her cell phone – 315-100-1077 and Hidie will gladly come and open the store for your convenience.  Need a good read over the summer?  Helping Hands Bookstore will also remain open during the summer months.  Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday to Friday.  Pamper yourself with a massage or pedicure at Il Bel Mondo. Too hot to cook, no worries, Pedro’s By the Sea, “home of the best fish tacos in the universe,” will be open all summer long, closed only on Tuesdays.                    

Spring Forward

Mexico finally switches to Daylight Savings Time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, April 3.  Yes, that’s this weekend. Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed, so that you will be on time for however you spend your Sunday.  

While I tend to grumble a great deal about this theft of “my hour,” the change to DST puts us back in sync with friends and family in Canada and the United States who made the leap back on March 13.  

Adios y Gracias

I just want to say how much I have appreciated this opportunity to write the La Manzanilla Memos this season.  I truly believe that there is something magical about this little town that I call my home, and delight in telling people about it.  I hope that you have enjoyed reading them.   I just want to wish everyone a safe and happy summer where ever you are spending it.   “God willing and the creek don’t rise” we will all be back in Mexico next fall.

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