Bring an appetite and a towel so you’ll be prepared to have a great time at the Fun Day at the Pool, Saturday, January 27, 1-6 p.m.
Guadaloupe Dipp is hosting the event at her Los Arroyos Verdes resort. Enjoy music, swimming, walks through the gardens and a gourmet meal. There will also be silent and live auctions.
The cost is 400 pesos. All proceeds to go to the fund to build an assisted living home for needy Mexican seniors.
Food Bank change
Nine years ago, Randy and Sandi Nystrom began the task of making a Bucerias food bank a successful community service.
Now named after the former president of Amigos de Bucerias, the John Ozzello Memorial Food Bank and Humanitarian Aid recently became an official Mexican non-profit (Asociacion Civil).
However, Randy and Sandi have decided it is time to pass the torch to new leaders.
Three women previously involved in Food Bank activities – Gloria Tellez, Gwen Leather-Baer, and Gillian Jones – will continue the work of the Nystroms, who will remain involved and be available for the transition.
The Food Bank provides despensas (food baskets) to 430 families each month, except in December, when the total reaches 750.
The baskets consist of rice, beans, maseca, oil, fideo and tomato puree. Purchased bulk food is distributed to La Fuente church, Tercera Edad and Abuelos de Bucerias; Agape Mezcales; Agape Punta de Mita; and groups in Ixtapa and San Ignacio, where volunteers make their own baskets.
In addition to monthly distributions, the Food Bank provides emergency relief. In 2015, 700 extra despensas were provided to people adversely affected by flooding from heavy rains and Hurricane Patricia,
The Bucerias Christmas for Children Program was added as an additional project of the group in 2017.
Numerous fund-raising projects were developed by the Nystroms and their friends. Funding comes from events such as whale watching, the Beatles Tribute, the Sock Hop, 50/50 draws and raffles.
Bucerías will celebrate the traditional Our Lady of Peace Patron Saint Festival from January 16-24. This is a religious celebration that has been observed for many years in the Riviera Nayarit.
The most symbolic act of the tradition is the Maritime Pilgrimage (Blessing of the Boats) with the Peace Torch, which is escorted by boats that place themselves in the shape of a cross on January 24.
On this day, fishermen leave from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and once they arrive in Bucerías attend a Mass offered for the Virgin in the Church of Our Lady of Peace. Men from all over the southern coast of Nayarit come together to pray for a year of good fishing, tourism, health and prosperity for the area’s families.
During the week, masses are held at the church, along with fireworks displays, carnival rides and games, plenty of food stands, musical entertainment and the crowning of the Queen of the Patron Saint Festival.
All these activities take place in and around the main plaza in Bucerías.
The Vallarta Yacht Club (VYC) in Nuevo Vallarta brought in the new year with the start of the 13th annual Vallarta Cup Race Series.
The sailboat races started on Saturday, January 6, and will continue each Saturday this month.
The races feature about 30 sailboats and mark the start of the nautical competition season in the Northshore. In the evenings following each Saturday race, a party is held in the VYC clubhouse in Nuevo Vallarta. The participants are primarily local sailors.
Participants can register on any of the Saturdays in January, even after the series has begun.
Sailboats set sail from the facilities of the event host, Paradise Village Marina, as well as the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz and Marina Vallarta.
For more details and registration, go to vallartayachtclub.org.
The 24-year-old Bucerias Christmas for Children Program enjoyed a successful 2017 – the first year it was run by the John Ozzello Memorial Food Bank and Humanitarian Aid.
Thanks to the generosity of businesses and individuals in Bucerias, 1,000 gifts were distributed to children living in needy areas of Bucerias.
Moms and grandmas were not left out, receiving gift bags of soap/shampoo/lotion.
The volunteer program was started 24 years ago by Ron and Arlene Tackett, who, homesick for a “real” Christmas, decided to spread some Christmas cheer. That first year, they handed out candy to children in the neighborhoods while driving a jeep, playing Christmas music. The program kept growing each year, with the peak years seeing upward of 1,400 children receiving handouts.
After 20 years of hard work, Ron and Arlene decided to pass the Santa suit to Jan and Jennie Roden, who organized the program successfully for two years before stepping down.
After a successful 2016 under the auspices of Amigos de Bucerias, it was decided that the program would be a better fit for the Food Bank. Organizers were able to use the new Food Bank A.C. affiliation in 2017 to target families, providing gifts and extra food in their holiday despensas, a part of the Children’s Christmas Program that the organization would like to see expanded in future years.