In the true sense of the word, “up” is the current construction trend in Bucerias, much to the chagrin of some longtime residents and visitors to this once-quaint fishing village.
An estimated 200 new condo units are now under construction in the north and south end of town, housed in structures ranging from four to eight floors.
There are deep concerns at how this development will affect the city’s streets, parking, sewer treatment and potable water supply, as well as its image. One developer says he can’t understand the desire of local architects and builders to always make their structures out of “white cement and glass,” with no hint of traditional Mexican design.
Some residents may also be returning for the winter to find that their cherished view of the bay from their rear terrace is now obstructed by a new building.
And speaking of change, the newest gastronomic upscale trends in Bucerias seem to be crepes and coffee shops.
There are now over a dozen coffee shops scattered around town, some literally down the block from each other.
Even the new CMQ hospital has a lobby cafe, managed by Starbucks (but without the name recognition).
The other new trend is crepes, with several opening or moving into the Bucerias Art District.
One crepe “establishment” is a cart at the Bucerias Artwalk Plaza, while the other moved from its location in Bucerias centro.
So far, we’ve heard no complaints about Bucerias’ coffee shops or creperias. Change happens.
While the North Bay area was spared the damaging effects of Hurricane Willa, the north coastal area of Nayarit took a direct hit resulting in flooding and damaged highways.
Calls went out to assist “our brothers and sisters” and almost immediately centros de acopio (collection centers) began accumulating donated supplies for the hurricane victims.
Chedraui, Walmart, Mega and other local businesses became collection points, as did the Bucerias area’s municipal councilor, Dr. Nilda Minjarez Garcia.
Hotels, bars, veterinarians, spas and schools collected what they could and sent it on to the flooded areas.
At least six locations in Bucerias will continue accepting donations until further notice. They are Hacienda de Arte, Casa de Ayita, Simon’s Bistro, YoYoMo’s, BobChelero and PetVet and Care.
The Bucerias Food Bank is also planning a fundraiser for the communities of Tecuala and Tuxpan, which were “ground zero” for the damage in Nayarit.
The Bucerias Food Bank asks you to join their “rock-scue team” and support the Nayarit community.
It takes place Monday, November 5, from 5 p.m., at the Drunken Duck, in Bucerias centro.
A 200-peso donation will be collected at the door. Bring donations such as canned tuna and salmon, other non-perishable food, diapers, baby food, personal hygiene supplies, clothes in good condition, blankets and, especially, cleaning supplies
Brigado Mano A Mano (Brigade Hand to Hand) will distribute the donations. Led by Adolfo García, they will ensure the donations get to those in need.
The food bank worked with this group during recent earthquakes.
For more information or for photos and video of where this group is helping, like their page at facebook.com/helpinghandtohand.
Amigos Happy Hour
Amigos de La Cruz has a busy season of activities ahead and they are ready to get things kicked off.
For those who want to meet and mingle with friends old and new, there is Amigos’ Happy Hour. Gatherings take place the second Friday of each month through April. The first one will be held Friday, November 9, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Oso’s Oyster Bar in the La Cruz Marina.
Everyone is welcome: current volunteers, future volunteers, amigos and anyone simply wanting to kick back for a few cold drinks.
This is a no-host bar, which means each person pays their own tab.
It’s not a meeting, not a fundraiser, just plain no-obligation fun.
This season brings more activity to the Kids Club, which is near the main crossroads in La Cruz, at Coral 5, in a space donated by Jon and Dawn Moss.
The Kids Club is under the direction of Carmen Tapia who has organized many activities for kids, usually in English. When the village mothers were asked what they’d like to see for their children, it was English instruction.
Tapia says more volunteer teachers are needed.
“Really, anyone can help who has time,” she says. “Spanish speakers can be homework helpers, native English speakers can teach a small class. We’d also like to provide dance, music and other activities for the children if teachers are available.
“It doesn’t need to be a big commitment. Please consider volunteering a few hours each week, from November to March, or for as long as you are here,” Tapia adds.
There will be a staff meeting the first week of November, Monday, November 5, 1 p.m. at Kids Club. It will be a planning session complete with margaritas and munchies.
“We will help you every step of the way. You don’t have to create your own lesson plans,” says Tapia.
Welcome back party
The annual Amigos de La Cruz welcome back party is set for Friday, December 7, at Vallarta Gardens.
This season it’s a Hawaiian-themed party, beginning at 5:30 p.m., featuring live entertainment, dinner and a dance party.
There will be prizes for the best outfit and a Hula Hoop contest.
Tickets cost 850 pesos each and can be purchased from AmigosLaCruz.org.
Paws and Claws
The Paws and Claws committee, associated with the Amigos de Bucerias charity, has scheduled their first-of-the-season free spay/neuter clinic, with a Canadian touch.
It is set for Monday, November 12, and Tuesday, November 13, at Calle Niño Artillero 11 in Bucerias.
Animals can be brought starting at 7:30 a.m. and will be ready to return home in mid-afternoon.
The two-day clinic is a change from the four-day format Paws and Claws used in the past.
Also, for the first time Paws and Claws has partnered with Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic of Chilliwack, British Columbia.
Paws and Claws committee member Darlene Ell is from Chilliwack and Cottonwood Clinic was her veterinarian there. On a visit earlier in the year, Ell needed an international health certificate for her dog Chula.
When Dr. Maarhuis recognized the name of PetVet and Care in Bucerias, he told Ell that he and his wife Julie had visited Bucerias recently and while on vacation adopted a rescue dog.
The Cottonwood clinic told Ell they had previously done a volunteer clinic in Peru.
“I asked Dr. Maarhuis if he would be interested in coming to do a clinic with Paws and Claws and he enthusiastically replied yes,” Ell says. “He then said that he would bring his whole office.”
It’s important that animals not be fed for eight hours before the clinic. Pets must be at least two months old, cats must be in a carrier or box and dogs must be on a leash.
While the clinic is free, donations for future spay/neuter clinic expenses are much appreciated.
To find the clinic, turn right on Niño Artillero from the northbound lateral of Highway 200. (Gecko Rent a Car is at that corner) and go a little more than one block.
Another clinic is scheduled for November 28-December 1. The location has not been set yet.