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North Banderas Beat - March 25, 2023

As my last missive of this season what do I share? Do I talk about next season, this season or what’s coming up before June. How about a little of all that.

Holy Cross

pg21aThe entire town of La Cruz celebrates the Patron Saint of the Holy Cross for nine days of Catholic ceremonies commencing April 25 and culminating on May 3, Día de la Santa Cruz. The mornings begin with a bang (literally), as locals set off noisy rockets (which I’m told is to get folks to church).  The procession to the church each morning is repeated in the early evening, ending at the plaza for a party featuring a vast array of food, drink, festival games, music, rides for the children and fireworks. La Cruz knows how to party!

This celebration honors the patron saint of La Cruz, La Santa Cruz, who bestows her blessings on the village - and especially the fishermen - each year and hopefully for years to come.  Apparently, this deeply spiritual event has its roots in the 16th century. The Catholic Church plays a central role during the nine days, celebrating mass each evening, also usually accompanied by rockets and fireworks.

This has been an important event in La Cruz for over 70 years. Not to be missed is the horse procession on the beach from Bucerias to La Cruz on May 3, when the equestrians make a majestic entrance in town with horse dancing to follow.

Calling all foodies

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Vallarta Lifestyles welcomes you to the culinary event of the year, pampering your palate during Restaurant Week 2023 from May 15 to June 10.

All around the Bay of Banderas, our destination’s outstanding cuisine is offered at reduced prices. Imagine the most coveted restaurants in the region serving innovative three-course menus, with three options available for each course.

Discounted up to 50 percent, dining out during Restaurant Week is not only more fun, but also much more affordable. Participating restaurants can choose to offer their special Restaurant Week menu at 344, 459 or 575 pesos per person, tips and beverages not included. North Bay restaurants include Meet Meat, Mikoh and Sandrina’s in Bucerias. For more info see restaurantweekpv.com.

At Villa Amor del Mar we’re adding to those three foodie weeks with the “big event” being a cooking class with Chef Julio at Masala restaurant in La Cruz where we learn to make a Mexican cocktail, an appetizer, a dinner, and a dessert. We share Mexican wine and the team serves all we cooked in a beautiful presentation at a communal table.

Marichuy of the Treehouse bar and grill will teach us to make empanadas from a family recipe. At the hotel we’re bringing in someone to teach how to make tamales and I’ll be sharing how to make my tortilla soup for all who want to learn. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baywatch

Look to the bay in the third week of May! Kite surfers leave from the La Cruz marina heading toward Bucerias. A cloud of color dominates the sky as the athletes maneuver their grand sails and surfboard to beat their opponents.

The fabulous La Cruz Sunday market and the artisan market at La Comer in Bucerias continue through the end of April.

Jax’s in Bucerias, the Tree House Bar and Grill in La Cruz, and many other venues continue to provide local bands and concerts to dance the night away.

Community service

Many folks continue to do good for our communities, so please help as you can!

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• Fiona Clark continues to impress with all she does for our community, with her focus always on the children. Cri-Cri preschool in the El Mangal colonia of La Cruz has been studying their environment with a daily talk about garbage and how to reuse materials. These 3- to 5-year-olds have not only been keeping their school clean, but they also pick up garbage on the streets around their school and this week will be cleaning the beach near the marina with their parents. Last week they had a workshop with their parents to make sculptures from recycled materials that they will display in the village plaza. On Tuesday, they celebrated the arrival of Spring by having a fiesta wearing outfits from recycled materials. Let’s hope these children, their thoughtful and creative teachers, director and parents continue to keep the community of La Cruz clean!

Says Fiona: “A few of us volunteer to teach English there every Monday.” The principal, Samuel, says the project is not finished yet: “We are still working on the proposals of the children, including small and large actions helping our community to look cleaner and be free of contaminants.”

• Joan Gil has created a Tennis/Pickleball club where she has inspired kids to learn the game. Some of the kids are teaching. Information at 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..

• Jim and Marilyn Moxin continue to steer ahead the amazing seniors housing project, Casa de la Paz in Bucerias, with help from Ceci Paredes. Information: 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..

• Lynn Bailey, with help from her hubby, David, and many others, rescue and take care of the furrbabies with her “Little Lost Souls” cause. Information: 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..

• Karen Swanson and her team are getting youth off treets serving them meals, love and more at the Refuge of Hope in Bucerias. Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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• Patricia Spencer is teaching English to the mothers of La Cruz and is looking for volunteers to assist with this cause. Information: 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..

• La Cruz Delegado Carlos “Take” Camarena is asking folks to donate to the “Light up La Cruz” campaign. For a small donation you can provide a light to one of the street light poles.

• After three years, the English School of La Cruz 2023 has opened again at the Octopus Garden.  “Aruna made room for us upstairs, and with less space and fewer teachers we accepted about a third of the usual number of students,” leader Della Sullivan told me  “Only those eight years old and older were invited. After that, I accepted only a maximum of 60 students knowing that they don’t all stay. We ended the program with 51 students and the best attendance we have ever had. Some preteens, mostly teenagers, and a few early 20s made up the bulk of our base. Those who had attended prior years had really good retention. However, 80 percent of our students were absolute beginners. At the end of the program most knew all the basics and hundreds of new words. We operate something like a one room schoolhouse with what I called ‘organized chaos,’ but it worked extremely well thanks to some amazing teachers and intense students. I had almost forgot how much I love this. One of my biggest joys and blessings.” Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

So that’s a wrap for this season. I hope you feel as blessed as I do to be able to live, contribute, enjoy and thrive in beautiful Mexico. May all those who share this divine country with me know I am eternally grateful. Love and blessings until we meet again.

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