PUERTO VALLARTA GETS CLOSER TO CREATING THE MUNICIPAL CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN
Puerto Vallarta took another step towards the creation of a Municipal Climate Change Plan (PMCC), which allows it, from the local level, to face this global phenomenon that threatens settlements located along the coasts.
On April 10 and 11, the Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change Design Workshop was held, which is part of the Puerto Vallarta’s PMCC development process.
This process is being supported by the Ministry of Environment and Territorial Development (SEMADET) of the State of Jalisco and the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development in Mexico (GIZ), through the programs of Vertically Integrated Climate Policies (VICLIM) and Adaptation to the climate change based on ecosystems with the private sector in Mexico (ADAPTUR).
During the work session, key individuals were informed about the conditions of the municipality in the face of climate change, the sectors that most emit Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), as well as which are the most vulnerable for the future.
The group worked on the construction of a long-term strategic vision for the PMCC of Puerto Vallarta, developed in a participatory manner that meets the needs of each sector.
The actions proposed in this workshop will be an initial input for the design and implementation of future policies and instruments that promote sectoral articulation for decision-making, in the face of the global challenge posed by climate change.
The exercise counted on the participation of strategic actors of diverse scopes, among them of the public, social sector, academia and private sector, who from their perspectives and taking care of their interests, contributed quality inputs for the development of the PMCC.
The fact that Puerto Vallarta has a PMCC, provides a comparative advantage over other tourist destinations, being in a better position to reduce the risks of this global climatic phenomenon, as well as its impacts on the community.
Beyond this workshop, society and key stakeholders can continue to be involved in each of the stages of the development of the PMCC, through the PMCC Blog (https://energypedia.info/wiki/Portal:PMCC), a online space designed to promote the exchange of experiences, successes and challenges, as well as sharing documents, studies, videos, events, among other materials that are of common interest.
JoAnna (aka Joe Perry) is taking the stage at The Red Room for four shows only at 9:30 pm on April 17, 21, 24 & 28. Having just completed another hugely successful season with Chi Chi Rones in Dueling Drag Divas at Act II, audiences will be thrilled to see this creative and amazingly talented entertainer once again at The Red Room before the season winds down.
JoAnna sings LIVE with her own voices (no lip sync) and a soaring range. Her infamous and uncanny celebrity impersonations are legendary and make for a night of great entertainment! Her show features everything from pop to rock to jazz standards. She’ll amaze you with numbers from Adele, Patsy, Cyndi, Judy, Cher Eartha, Amy and many more! You’ll hear clever versions of favorite songs that JoAnna delivers with side-splitting humor and fabulous parodies.
JoAnna is celebrating her 13th season as a headline performer in Puerto Vallarta! She started out in NYC, and has won numerous awards, including “The Best Patsy Cline Singer” at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She is well-known for her amazing impressions, and can do amazing impersonations of our favorite musical stars, past and present! In addition to PV, JoAnna has enjoyed 6 successful performance seasons in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and 8 spectacular summers in Ogunquit, Maine! The New York Times has hailed her as “One of the Best!” and the Florida Sun writes that she is “Beyond impressions, Parody and Burlesque.”
Danny Mininni, Act II’s founder recently shared this about JoAnna. “13 years ago when I first moved to Puerto Vallarta, I was on the beach and this man walked up to me and said hey you want to see a show. We chatted a bit and he told me he did this show at Peter Deep’s Club Mañana, they had a small showroom back then. This was my FIRST introduction to PV Cabaret, well really the first time I had ever seen this sort of show. ALL LIVE SINGING DRAG QUEEN SHOW. I will never forget it. It was Aunt JoAnna back than and she shared the show with Kim Kuzma and I thought ohhhh they need to have their own shows. I call her the longest living PV Draq Queen, Join us this Wednesday when Joanna returns as a solo act reliving all her crazy shenanigans”
So don’t miss this limited engagement of ‘The Very Breast of JoAnna,’ The Gal With a Gazillion Voices on Wednesdays and Sundays for ONLY 2 weeks. Come see a true star of Drag and enjoy the incredible talent of JoAnna!
In the process of buying a property, there are two aspects that require special attention: one of course is obtaining title, the other, which is as important, is obtaining possession of the property you are buying. In Mexico, possession of a property is a very delicate matter and in many cases is not treated with the importance it deserves. Under our legal system, the concept of possession can be quite complex and may differ considerably from the legalities of possessing a property in the U.S. or Canada. This is why in dealing with this controversial topic, it is best if you are aware of some scenarios in which you should act within the scope of what is considered lawful.
What should I do regarding possession if I am buying property in Mexico?
If you are buying a property from the developer, the purchase contract should specify a specific date for the delivery of the unit, with penalties in case of default. When this delivery date comes, most certainly the developer will have you sign a contract in which you agree to the conditions in which the unit is being delivered, and if there are still details or work to be done in your condo, then you should specify that in the agreement (punch list), along with a due date for those details. You should also be aware that your one-year guarantee starts to count as of the day you take possession.
If I already own a property in Mexico, what are my do’s and don’ts in terms of possession?
Mexican law tends to protect the person in possession of a property, especially if that person obtained the possession through legal means, like for example through a lease agreement. The legal premise is that you can only evict someone through a ruling from a judge obtained after a proper trial. Without this ruling, evicting someone (either by denying access, locking out or changing locks or codes) can be considered a crime which is called Unlawful Dispossession of Property (or Despojo in Spanish) and this crime can be punished with up to 3 years in prison.
You might think that just by having title over a property you have superior rights over anyone who is in possession of that same property, but this is not always the case. That is why before evicting someone from your property, you should consider carefully taking this action without following the proper legal proceeding, since by not doing so, the consequences can be severe and may include criminal charges.
Roberto Ortiz de Montellano is a Mexican-Licensed Attorney at Law with over twenty years of professional legal experience. He started his own practice in Puerto Vallarta five years ago. His areas of expertise focus mostly on Real Estate Law, Business Law, HOAs and Estate Planning.
Roberto Ortiz de Montellano F.
Mexican-Licensed Attorney at Law
The Riviera Nayarit has confirmed its participation in Restaurant Week, a gourmet festival that will be held from May 15th through June 10th with the inclusion of 12 of the destination’s restaurants—double the number of registrants from 2018.
Generally speaking, this is the second year in a row the record for participating restaurants has been broken with 62 restaurants preparing for the 2019 event(the previous record was established in 2018 with 59 participants).
The event is organized by Vallarta Lifestyles Media Group with the support of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Puerto VallartaTourism Trust. Restaurant week is one of several top culinary events held in the region.
Participants comprise a wide range of types of cuisine and are located all along Banderas Bay, providing local and foreign diners with the opportunity to taste the varied flavors of the destination at reduced prices.
Throughout the event, these venues will offer innovative, three-course menus (with three different options each) and will be grouped into three price categories: $289, $399 y $466 MXN per person, which in some cases represent a discount up to 50 %. Note that tips and beverages are not included in these prices.
This year’s 62 participating restaurants are: Amadeo’s Bistró, Archie’s Wok, Azafrán, Barcelona Tapas, Barrio Bistro, Bistro Limón, Bistro Teresa, Bistro Orgánico (Hotel Cielo Rojo), Blanca Blue, Boccon di Vino, Boquería Hidalgo, Café des Artistes, Coco Tropical, Daiquiri Dick’s, Di Vino Dante, Eclecticos, El Arrayán, El Dorado, El Patrón Viva Vallarta, Eugenia, Gaviotas, Hacienda San Ángel Gourmet, Joe Jack’s Fish Shack, Kaiser Maximilian, La Cappella, La Cigale, La Leche, La Palapa, Layla’s Restaurante, Le Bistro Café, Le Kliff, Lobster Paradise, Lupita Mexican & Seafood, Mark’s Bar & Grill, Mérida Grill, Mikado, Nicksan, No Way José!, Ocean Grill, Ookii Sushi, OPA Greek Bistro, Oso’s Fish Market Restaurant, Pal’Mar Sea Food & Grilled Garage, Pezlimon, Pizzeria La Dolce, Porto Bello, Restaurante Icú, River Café, Sapori di Sicilia, Seasons PV, Serrano’s Meat House, Si Señor Beach, Sonora House, Spice Market, The Blue Shrimp, The Iguana, Tintoque, Trio Mediterranean, Tuna Blanca, Umai, Venazu and Vitea.
The 16 restaurants joining Restaurant Week for the very first time are: Amadeo’s Bistro, Bistro Limon, Boquería Hidalgo, Eclécticos, El Patrón Viva Vallarta, Eugenia, Joe Jack’s Fish Shack, Lobster Paradise, Ocean Grill, Ookii Sushi, OPA Greek Bistro, Pal’Mar Sea Food & Grilled Garage, Sonora House, Spice Market, Umai and Venazu.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER VACATIONS IN THE RIVIERA NAYARIT
You have no excuse for staying home during Holy Week and Easter! The Riviera Nayarit wants your vacations to be unforgettable with Seasonal Offers that go live from Friday, April 5 through May 2, 2019 that include promotions from 23 hotels associated with the destination.
Participating hotels from Nuevo Vallarta, Flamingos, Bucerías, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, and Rincón de Guayabitos are offering rates from $2,700 MXN and discounts from 20% up to 54%, free amenities, and much more.
This promotional event is organized by the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB and the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to incentivize tourism during this holiday period, one of most important for domestic travelers.
“These offers were created to make the luxury of the Riviera Nayarit accessible to more people,” said Marc Murphy, director of the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) and managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Hotel and Motel Association (CVB). “We have a great variety of hotels and resorts for everyone, and each time the properties are offering more discounts and incentives.”
Promotions and amenities:
• Free calls to the U.S. and Canada • Pet-friendly hotels • Up to 3 children stay free • $50 USD in resort credits • Free WiFi • Unlimited calls in Mexico and to the United States and Canada • Unlimited all-inclusive • Unlimited rounds of golf • Theme nights • Pillow menus • Free babysitting for 8 hours with a minimum stay of 5 nights • 3 and 6 months with no interest.
Stay in the best hotels: In Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos: Dreams Villamagna; Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit; Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta; Marina Banderas; Marival Residences; Marival Emotions Resort; Occidental Nuevo Vallarta; Ocean Breeze; Paradise Village; Riu Palace Pacífico; Riu Vallarta; Samba Vallarta; Las Palomas Nuevo Vallarta; Villa del Palmar Flamingos; Villa La Estancia. Bucerías: Royal Decameron Complex; Vista Vallarta. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: B Nayar; Matlali; Vallarta Gardens. Punta de Mita and Higuera Blanca: Rancho Banderas; Imanta Resort. Rincón de Guayabitos: Las Cabañas del Capitán.
Semana Santa is fast approaching! The municipal government in Puerto Vallarta is busy preparing family friendly events to be enjoyed over the two-week holiday.
The city will set up four stages on the Malecón, where people will be able to enjoy free entertainment, including traditional Mexican dance, live music, circus shows and more.
Municipal tourism director Ramón González Lomelí says that the city’s two ‘Turicletos,’ pedal-powered by as many as 20 people at a time, as well as a train will be put on the Malecón during semana Santa.
To promote tourism and encourage visitors to check out the city centre, González Lomelí said that these are just some of the activities that the city has planned.
The celebrations will continue into the month of May with other events including the 13th Festival Vallarta Azteca del Folclor from April 28 through May 5 with a week of shows around the city, the Puerto Vallarta Open ATP Tennis Tournament from April 29 through May 5 held across from Villa del Palmar in the Hotel Zone, and the 2019 Down Puerto Vallarta Extreme Bike Race is on again on May 18 & 19.
Making raicilla at Rancho Nuevo: after heating the oven, the fire is extinguished and the piñas are thrown inside.
If tequila is king, raicilla is the queen: a visit to a rustic distillery in Jalisco
Dry-baked agave gives this mezcal a distinctive flavor
Friday, April 5, 2019
“Have you ever seen how they make raicilla, John?” asked my friend JP Mercado. Well, I had been told that raicilla was a kind of moonshine made in the mountains, but beyond that I knew nothing, so when JP offered to take me to a taberna (rustic distillery) where they make it, I signed up on the spot.
“And where is that taberna located?” I asked my friend.
“In a place called Rancho Nuevo, which is 70 kilometers east of Puerto Vallarta,” Mercado replied, but when he sent me the coordinates, I stared at my map of Jalisco in disbelief. Rancho Nuevo appeared to be situated right smack in the middle of a huge empty space — with no roads visible — identified only as Sierra Jolapa, a mountain range I had never heard of.
“Well, well,” I thought, “this already sounds interesting.”
Before heading for the taberna in the hills, I tried to learn what I could about raicilla.
I found out that the mezcal industry — according researchers Zizumbo and Colunga — was probably born in 1612 in the state of Colima when the conquistadores cut down all the coconut palms on the coast in an effort to eliminate the production of a distilled spirit called tuba or vino de cocos.
The thirsty population then turned to agaves. When the Spaniards eventually got around to taxing these spirits, local people came up with a tale to tell the tax collector: “We aren’t making our drink from the piña or agave heart (which was taxable) but from its root (raicilla)” — which, of course, is the very same thing.
Finally came the day for me to visit the raicilla taberna. Early one morning JP and his wife Ana picked me up. As we drove, Ana, who had grown up in that mysterious Sierra Jolapa, told me that while traveling around Mexico and the world, she would present new friends with a gift of raicilla, knowing they would surely never have heard of it.
“But everyone who tried it was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted and would want more.”
Eventually the owners of bars and hotels also began to ask the Mercados about this “vino del cerro” and they began to look into the question of permits and regulations that might allow the raicilla of Rancho Nuevo to be marketed commercially, as is tequila.
“Wait a minute!” I interjected. “Exactly what is the difference between raicilla and tequila?”
JP told me I might as well add sotol, bacanora, tepemete and bingarrote to my list. All of these beverages, I found out, are distilled spirits made from the juice of a cooked agave, so all of them are mezcales (actually, this is incorrect. Sotol is made from a member of the asparagus family).
Tequila is made only from the blue agave, while raicilla can be made from any one of five agaves, and so on down the list.
To complicate things, territory comes into play here. The word tequila can only be used for blue agave spirits produced in Jalisco or parts of four other states. “The denomination of origin for raicilla was unclear up to very recently,” JP told me, “but now the product is protected and can only be made in Jalisco.
“Meanwhile, we have obtained federal, state and local permits to produce our own brand of raicilla, which is called La Reina, made only in Rancho Nuevo where we are now headed.”
From Guadalajara we drove west and then north, through ever higher hills covered with oaks and feathery pine trees, perhaps Lumholtz’s pine. Following steep, narrow dirt roads we skirted the edge of a deep valley bordered on the other side by gorgeous red cliffs.
At the end of a three-hour drive, we reached La Taberna de la Reina, situated alongside a brook bubbling with clear, clean, drinkable water.
Here we were welcomed by the maestro of the taberna, Don Julio Topete Becerra, who carries on a tradition passed from father to son. Right from the spot where we stood, we could see every stage in the raicilla-making process.
The hillside above us was covered with Maximiliana agaves, which have very broad leaves. To my surprise and delight, I learned that these agaves come from seeds, not clones (as do tequila agaves), so the flowers are fertilized by bats, suggesting that every bottle of raicilla deserves a “bat-friendly” sticker.
After six to eight years, the agave is mature. Its pencas are removed (often with an axe) and the root is broken into several pieces. The next stage is cooking, which turned out a bit different from what I had seen at tequila distilleries.
The oven is made of adobe with walls half a meter thick. A hot fire is started inside the oven and allowed to burn for six hours. Once the oven walls are hot, the coals are pulled out with a long-handled rake and the chunks of piña are thrown inside. Immediately, the two openings of the oven are closed with big blocks of adobe and sealed tightly with clay.
So the agave root is not steamed or smoked, but dry-baked, giving raicilla its own distinctive taste.
The most unusual procedure in making raicilla is the one that comes next. The sweet, juicy mezcal is not run through a crusher or under a stone wheel. Instead, it is placed in a long, hollowed-out tree trunk (oak) and mashed by hand using heavy wooden pounders with long handles.
This is back-breaking work and if you visit the place, they will dare you to try doing it for just five minutes.
Once the canoe-shaped trough is filled with juice, the gooey, fibrous mixture is removed using buckets and poured into wooden barrels for fermentation.
The next stage, as in tequila-making, is distillation. This is easy to understand at La Reina, where you can see the final product dripping from the end of a long copper tube, most of which is coiled inside a barrel filled with water.
The final stage of production is aging. Don Julio dipped into a barrel and I got my first taste of properly made raicilla. What a surprise!
“This is really good!” I exclaimed. “It can hold its own against any tequila, in my book.”
“Now you can see why Ana’s friends were always pestering her for more,” said JP. “In these hills, they say, if tequila is king, raicilla is the queen.”
Ana Mercado tastes raicilla flavored with cuastecomate gourds.
If you would like to know more, or to visit the taberna in Rancho Nuevo, just leave a message at Raicilla La Reina. You’ll discover that both JP Mercado and his wife Ana speak excellent English.
The writer has lived near Guadalajara, Jalisco, for more than 30 years and is the author of A Guide to West Mexico’s Guachimontones and Surrounding Area and co-author of Outdoors in Western Mexico. More of his writing can be found on his website.
For ten years he was beaten; every single day kids slapped, kicked, punched and called him names. On the last day of school, while walking alone, six boys jumped out of bushes. They were about to attack Fred. “This stops now!” Fred fumed and for the first time ever, he fought back. His rage was furious and as a result, he pummelled all six boys. The next year, when returning to school, Fred discovered that fighting back had garnered him a new level of respect. No one bullied him and everyone left him alone. Despite this new found peace, Fred was still angry. He intuitively knew he was ‘different’ but could not pinpoint exactly why.
Carrying on with his life, Fred met and fell head over heels in love with his wife, selling his beloved pick-up truck to buy her an engagement ring. They married and had one child, a daughter. Fred worked many jobs: he was a truck driver hauling logs, a cook/chef and a heavy-duty equipment operator. Eventually, as he grew tired of his destructive lifestyle, he took up painting.
A friend displayed Fred’s paintings in his café where they sold very well (they were flying off the walls). As he continued to paint, his work received glowing accolades and won several awards. During this time, Fred encountered some less than desirable people including his agent who robbed him of 10’s of thousands of dollars in an international art scandal that made the newspapers. “When that news broke, I could walk into any art gallery. It was an awful time, but it put me on the map!”
But isn’t this a story about Francine, you might be wondering? Once, while his wife was out running errands, Fred was busy putting away the laundry. He picked up a ‘delightful to the touch’ dress and decided to try it on. As he pulled it over his head, he felt shivers run throughout his body. “It was better than any drug for me,” he said.
When he finally summoned the courage to tell his wife, he found her to be initially supportive; she even taught him about makeup and showed him how to ‘not walk like a logger.’ However, two years later, the marriage ended; telling Francine, “I have never seen you happier, I love you but do not need a roommate.”
In her ‘coming out’ period, Francine was terrified to tell her mother (her father had already passed away). Francine describes her mother as “a little old Scottish lady; five foot nothing with tissues stuffed in her sleeves.”
Francine’s worry was unfounded; in response to her news, Francine’s eighty-year-old mother said, “I don’t have one of those Google machines, but I’m going to learn everything I can about transgendered people!” She cried and hugged Francine; “I will love you no matter what.”
With tears in her eyes, Francine recalls how several years later, her mother said in passing, “Finally, I have the daughter I always wanted.”
When she came out to her daughter she replied with: “Like I never saw that coming!” When her daughter was engaged to be married, Francine told her: “I guess I will have to revert back to being Fred if I want to walk you down the aisle as father of the bride.” The daughters’ response, “What?! NO! You are now Francine and will walk with me as Francine!” On the day of the wedding, both Francine and her daughter walked down the aisle with both faces beaming with happiness and pride.
In the coming years Francine moved to Puerto Vallarta and like many others, she describes it as a “magical place.” Prior to moving here, she had quit painting for six years; she was burned out—“for fifteen years I produced three hundred paintings per year and all the galleries wanted the same thing.”
Today at many charity fundraisers you will likely see a Francine Peters painting donated. Silent auctions for her paintings bring in a healthy amount of money; money which Francine admits she could most certainly use. Despite living peso to peso and barely “making ends meet,” Francine prefers to help others; after all, people helped her and she wants to pay it forward.
She tells me about one summer when Danny Mininni of Act II Stages suggested she display her work on the walls of his theatre; he told her, “I want to see you make it.” She smiles when sharing this story and tells me that “now, every night, hundreds of people can see, and walk by, my work!”
This story began with Fred and ends with Francine. In being true to herself and becoming who she was always meant to be, Francine found herself with “more family and friends than I ever had in my whole life.” “I may be alone,” she says “but I am never lonely.”
Francine Peters passed away this past weekend. A memorial celebration is arranged for Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 pm at Langostino’s in Old Town.
Morgan Hill, California – A new “Expats In Mexico” online survey of people who are considering moving to Mexico found that 81 percent of Baby Boomer respondents said they will retire in Mexico, nearly 52 percent within two years.
“It’s not surprising that so many Baby Boomers, primarily from the U.S. and Canada, are considering retiring in Mexico,” said Robert Nelson, Expats In Mexico co-founder and author of Boomers in Paradise – Living in Puerto Vallarta. “I discovered this trend 11 years ago while researching my book and it has just continued to pick up steam.”
The Mexican government reported over 1.2 million expats were living in Mexico through 2017, the latest figure available. The 2000 Mexican census data showed just under 540,000 expats in Mexico. Americans represented over 80 percent of all expats living in Mexico two years ago, nearly 900,000.
Retirement is the main reason why Boomers and all respondents want to move to Mexico. Both groups also rated cost of living and better climate as top reasons to move.
“Mexico as a retirement destination for Baby Boomers makes sense,” Nelson said. “According to a recent report by the Stanford Center on Longevity, U.S. Baby Boomers hold less wealth, are deeper in debt and will face higher expenses than retirees a decade older than them. Why not live better in a nicer climate?”
But all is not perfect south of the border. About 45 percent of all respondents and Boomers say security issues in Mexico might be a concern for them. Lack of Spanish language skills and quality of healthcare were less important considerations.
Both Baby Boomers and all respondents selected Puerto Vallarta as their destination of choice, followed by the Lake Chapala area and Los Cabos. About 38 percent of all respondents and Boomers chose a wide variety of other locations in Mexico.
The self-selected online survey was completed by 337 respondents in January and February 2019. Respondents were primarily Americans and Canadians.
You can find more survey results at ExpatsInMexico.com, an online magazine designed for both expats currently living in Mexico and aspiring expats considering moving to Mexico.