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North Banderas Beat - April 02, 2022

Darn, time flies! The “season” is far from over, but things are definitely slowing down. Below, in the words of locals, is a snippet of “so far” in 2021-2022.

Mark and Tim shared:

pg21a“After the better part of two years, life has mostly returned to normal—or the new normal—in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Covid numbers are down and local folks have been and are continuing to be vaccinated. People are busy working, tourists and snowbirds have returned, and our schools have finally reopened.

“For 83 weeks during the pandemic, an incredible team of volunteers, known as the La Cruz Food Pantry, worked tirelessly to make sure our neighbors in this magical village did not go hungry. Our group assembled and delivered 10,638 despensas—conservatively, more than 50 tons of food. From the very start we said, ‘our happiest day will be the day we can go out of business.’ So, this high season, we are particularly grateful that this work is done. We appreciate our friends and neighbors in a whole new way and know that all of us will always be here for the people of La Cruz.”

Sandra told me:

“It seems surreal that we are in April 2022. The last two years have been so incredibly difficult; challenging but also peaceful in a way. This season was intense, very busy, for which we are all grateful, and I think a lot of us learned a lot from the last two years about what’s really important to us. The day I told the staff they didn’t have to wear masks anymore we all cried with relief and joy. Only the Lord knows what lies ahead but we are as ready as we will ever be. Thank you to all our precious staff and customers for helping us survive and thrive during this pandemic. A sus órdenes, from all of us at Sandrina’s in Bucerias.”

The abundance of whales this year reminded me to check in with a sailor. Exuded Charity:

“This year we’ve had several major regattas, from the magnificent big boats of MexOrc to the annual dinghy regatta, WestMex and many local regattas, too. After sailing around the world, our venue here is hard to beat for conditions, beauty and overall good value. We sailed many miles in Mexican waters and kept coming back for the community, the whales, and the amazing beauty of Banderas Bay. I’m so thankful that we’ve had (are still having) the marvelous 2022 season that is translating into an amazingly up-leveled existence for all of us here to benefit from!”

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• Look to the bay for the International Laser Class World Championships and Men’s Standard World Championship, May 23-30. Men’s Standard Masters World Championship, June 1-7 and the ILCA Radial Masters World Championships, June 11-17, both out of the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Alexa (who lives on a yacht with her family) said:

“As we come into Easter, it makes me think of this past season in La Cruz. There has been new growth and a ‘rebirth’ of our little fishing village. After a quiet couple of years around the marina, town, and fish market, people have finally emerged from their homes. Visitors are eager to be out, and citizens of the town are eager to give them a great experience. We have made it through a trying time only to come back stronger. The Sunday market has grown, new restaurants and produce markets have opened, and more charter boats are busy in the marina. I’m grateful for the resilience of the people of La Cruz who came together to support each other during the pandemic; because of their strength, our town has come out better than ever.”

Reflected Armi:

“Arriving in Bucerias in October 2021, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the season for Encore and other businesses in the area. We barely survived last season. Businesses closed, people lost their lives and jobs. It was a scary and hopeless situation. We decided to open the restaurant throughout the pandemic, even in the summertime, just to have a place for people to gather who chose to remain in Mexico, despite travel advisories from Canada and United States. I talked to musicians in November 2021 and began planning their show schedule for the season, with no idea if there would be people to watch them. I just had to do something to get musicians to play and bring life and joy to our town and our people. Being a musician myself, I know how much my colleagues have suffered throughout the pandemic. No work, no government assistance, and worse, no musical outlet. Singers must sing, and musicians must play. The gamble paid off, the people returned and were excited to see everyone. It was an emotional reunion for most of us, to see friends and customers after two years. This is a joyful season, a catharsis for musicians, a renewal for many travelers and hope for everyone. As the song goes, the best is yet to come! Visit us as we continue with our live music and new menu.”

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Andrea at the Black Forest Retaurant in La Cruz is thankful for much:

“The last two years have been challenging for everybody, including us. Unwavering support from our clients, as many returned after years of not being able to visit Riviera Nayarit. Loyalty, we’ll never take that for granted. We appreciate our repeat guests and look forward to seeing everyone again. The Black Forest Restaurant is great due to our staff. We value professional training and are fortunate to employ young people who are eager to learn. Privately we learned a lot in the last year, to live with loss, to go new ways and to concentrate on what is important in our lives.”

Aruna at the Octopus Garden Hostal and Café has been busy over the last two months:

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“Three musicians, separately, asked if they could play music in the shady garden patio! Three days a week we held lunch concerts: blues and country, a magical combination of country music and some excellent bluegrass, always with delicious food! Guests came and went from the hostel, particularly people connected to the sailing community. Yoga and dance classes picked up as people settled into new routines. The delicious smell of roasting coffee permeates the area, drawing people from blocks away. April 1 brings excitement: Casa Hule Pizza is moving into the Octopus Garden. Delicious handmade pastas are in production and firewood is piled up ready for the large woodburning oven. The restaurant will be open Monday to Saturday, 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Coffee and cakes will still be served in the mornings and internet users will find a very good signal. We’re eagerly looking forward to Easter celebrations, the arrival of the holiday makers and the festive spirit. Saludos!”

Mandy at Britannia in La Cruz added extra events to her schedule:

April 9, the Jessie Tylre Williams Band; April 12, Britannia’s 18th anniversary party; April 29 and 30, the yard sale.

As my last missive for the season, the sentiment that screams to me is generosity, and for that I’m ever so grateful; from the editor of this paper allowing me to promote the area I love to all who make my everyday beyond great, I thank you!

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