Turtle Release and Beach Clean up, Oct 26, 2019

Dear customers and friends,

I invite you to join, as every year, you and your family or friends to this volunteer to help the ENVIRONMENT… Monex Bank invites you to:

Beach cleaning, and turtle release this time!
Date: SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER, 4.30PM (see more information in the postcard below)
Meeting point: Soriana Playa de Oro
I appreciate your confirmation please before this Friday, October 11, to register them with name, if you are an adult or child, and size to request your shirts and caps.

Hopefully you can join us, remember: It has no cost, nor do you have to bring anything, just your enthusiasm and participation!

Limited space, please confirm full name, adult and / or child, and size for your shirts.
Any doubt I am at your service,

Regards!

Estimados clientes y amigos,

 

Los invito a sumarse como cada año a ustedes y su familia o amigos a este voluntariado para ayudar al MEDIO AMBIENTE  …Banco Monex los invita a :

 

  • Limpieza de playa, y liberación de tortugas  en esta ocasión!
  • Fecha:  SABADO 26 OCTUBRE, 4.30PM ( anexo  mas datos en la postal  abajo)
  • Punto reunión : Soriana Playa de Oro

 

 

Agradezco su confirmación por favor antes de este viernes 11 octubre , para inscribirlos con nombre , si es adulto o niño , y talla  para poder solicitar sus playeras y gorras.

 

Ojala puedan acompañarnos , recuerden : No tiene costo,  ni tienen que traer nada , solo su entusiasmo y participación ¡!

 

  • Cupo limitado, favor de confirmar nombre completo, adulto y/ o niño , y talla  para sus playeras..

 

Cualquier duda quedo a sus órdenes, ¡

 

Saludos!

 

 

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Síguenos:

Cynthia M Hermosillo Ch.

Director Sucursal Puerto Vallarta

 

 

Tel. 3222599000 Ext. 9002

Tel. Directo ha cambiado!!: 

322 2599002(marcando los 10 digitos

Nos cambiamos!                 Blvd. Fco.Medina Ascencio No.2485 Local SUB E-1  Plaza Peninsula , Zona Hotelera Norte,

C.P. 48330, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

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BUCERÍAS: ART AND WATER SPORTS

BUCERÍAS: ART AND WATER SPORTS

Jorge Chávez

Sep. 25, 2019
1,205 views

Relaxing in Bucerías can be very easy, with its wide range of entertainment including excellent restaurants, a thriving music scene, an art walk and both residential and commercial areas. The town’s name comes from the word “bucear” (to dive), as this activity is related to fishing, which has sustained the town since its founding. The Estatua del Buzo (Statue of the Diver), close to the main square, perfectly captures this tradition and is an ideal place for souvenir photos.

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

To Start

After breakfast at one of the various options in this Riviera Nayarit micro-destination, a short walk along its streets is the best way to begin. Thanks to its oceanfront location, Bucerías’s main square is the ideal place to get a feel for the town’s lifestyle and relaxed pace. To one side is the Artisans’ Market, which is very lively on weekends. A little hidden, but easy to reach, is Paseo del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), a pedestrian passageway connecting the market with the town, featuring curious murals highlighting romance.

Beaches

Bucerías’s long, wide beach, with its fine sand and gentle waves, is undoubtedly one of its main attractions and one of the favorite destinations for families with young children. You will find many restaurants here, especially near the center of town. Due to its excellent climate throughout the year, this beach is an ideal place to practice and admire extreme watersports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. And it is consistently included in SEMARNAT’s list of the cleanest beaches in Mexico.

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

Dining

From the simple to the gourmet, there are a number of options to consider here, many located on Lázaro Cárdenas and nearby streets, right next to shops and art galleries. Starting from the main square and heading north along the Pacific, a wide variety of oceanfront family restaurants offer exquisite specialties based on fish and seafood.

Shopping

One of Bucerías’s busiest areas is the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), where there are lots of boutiques, shops and galleries with different types of art. Consider taking the opportunity to admire the mystical and colorful Huichol crafts, especially the yarn paintings and beaded animal figures—not to be missed!

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

Nightlife

You can start the evening at one of Bucerías’s coffee shops, where you can enjoy blends from different parts of Mexico and the world, as well as exquisite fine pastries.

During the winter season, there are events such as the Farmers Market and the Bucerías Art Walk, which organizes art-related festivities. Throughout the year, there also are workshops in various disciplines.

When night falls, many bars have live music, performed by residents or some of the renowned musicians who visit. And the town’s culinary offerings have increased recently, with the addition of gourmet restaurants featuring various specialties, including Mexican, Asian and Italian dishes, among many others.

One of Riviera Nayarit’s most visited micro-destinations, Bucerías is ideal for anyone looking for a quiet weekend getaway and/or spending the day in the company of family or friends.

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

Venture south of Puerto Vallarta for small inlets, quaint towns and beautiful beaches

Mayto beach: 'absolutely divine.'Mayto beach: ‘absolutely divine.’

Venture south of Puerto Vallarta for small inlets, quaint towns and beautiful beaches

Take a boat from Boca de Tomatlán to Yelapa and get off the beaten track

When director John Huston came to film The Night of the Iguana in 1963, Puerto Vallarta was just a sleepy little fishing village. A little Hollywood glamour, provided by the famous cast and scandalous and media-drenched affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and this little pueblo suddenly became an international beach hideaway for starlets and regular folks alike.

Palm-lined beaches, turquoise waters, brown sugar sand and a sultry year-round climate — there’s a lot to love in Puerto Vallarta.

Unbeknownst to a lot of travelers that beach-hop north – to the beaches of Punta Mita, Sayulita and San Francisco – Puerto Vallarta’s southern shores are dotted with delicious little inlets and a handful of quaint towns that boast some of the coast’s most beautiful beaches. It takes a little effort to get to these off-the-beaten track expanses of sand, but I think you’ll find it worth it once you arrive.

From Boca de Tomatlán to Yelapa

The road south out of central Puerto Vallarta is a jungle-lined trek past luxury hotels, public beach accesses and a half-dozen, half-built dream houses. Despite the constant construction, a dense fog of humidity and heat permeates everything, slowing even the most ambitious projects and most energetic tourists.

Along this road you’ll pass the now-closed Night of the Iguana hotel, and several exclusive housing developments in pre-sale before you reach the highway entrance to Boca de Tomatlán, a small village about 30 minutes down the coast. Whether you go by bus or by cab, it’s easy to find the town’s boat dock as you enter Boca’s small handful of streets. This is one of the bigger towns along this stretch of coast and the take-off point for the boat that takes you down the shoreline.

You’ll see handfuls of locals and Mexican tourists waiting for the next water taxi to set out. Boats to Yelapa leave every hour on the hour starting at 8:00am with an additional final boat at 6:30pm. Sounds prompt, but everything here is variable, so arrive with sunscreen and patience. The Yelapa taxi will drop you off at any of the beaches between Boca and Yelapa (about a 40-minute ride) but you have to ask the boat’s captain in advance.

Alternatively you can ask around to see which boats are going to the specific beach you want and you can often find someone leaving sooner and getting you there faster. There is a single walking path that will take you overland to both Animas beach and Quixmo beach but it is a long and hot walk. The boats are infinitely faster and more enjoyable. In the case of the water taxi you pay when you get off; a private boat ride requires you to set a price in advance.

I suggest riding the entire way to Yelapa to take a look at the beaches as you decide what suits your fancy. There is a first tiny, rocky-edged beach called Madagascar as you pass a palapa “house” on the edge of a cliff heading out from Boca. There is nothing here as far as amenities and not much shade, but it is an isolated pinpoint of a beach to drop anchor and swim for a bit.

A little farther down and you will see a short, palm-lined strip of beach that is absolutely lovely called El Caballo. This has little human presence to speak of although there are a few hotels on either end tucked up into the mountainside. Just past the rocky outcrop at the end of Caballo is Animas beach. Animas has a decent strip of beach and a long dock in the center.

This a popular beach for tourists because there are a couple of dozen restaurants that sit between the sand and the jungle backdrop. The water is nice but not as crystal clear and gorgeous blue as some of the others.

Morning in Yelapa.

Morning in Yelapa.

The next big beach is Quimixto, which you will recognize by the terracotta-roofed house that sits to one edge, almost in the water. This is a splendid beach for an afternoon, and many locals told me it was their favorite. There are a handful of restaurants and hotels but much fewer than at Animas.

Next is Caletas, which is the home to the Ritmo de Noches show put on by Vallarta Adventures at night. This was also the once home of director John Huston and the beach is absolutely adorable, even though there are just a few hotels and no restaurants open to the public. Majahuitas beach (the next down) is similar in that there are a few hotels but not much with open arms to the public. Still the beach is delicious and small.

Yelapa is next up, with an ample beach to one side of the town, home to about 1,500 people. Several restaurants, including the most famous, Fanny’s, sit center-stage on the beach and boats bob in the water near the town dock as many of the locals you see working in this area either live here or in Boca. Yelapa is a nice town to make your base if you’re comfortable depending on water taxis for transportation or paying exorbitant rates for private boats (someone quoted me US $70 an hour for a private ride).

The town has some nice hotels including Hotel Lagunita, Casa Pericos and others that sit along the edges of Yelapa’s tiny bay. The rock outcropping to the south end of the bay down the little coast to Playa Isabella has nice snorkeling.

Yelapa to Chimo

Twice daily from Yelapa runs a taxi that heads farther south down the coast to Chimo beach, about 30 minutes away. Again, beware of trusting timetables too much and always be early and prepare to wait. Catch the morning taxi to head to La Manzanilla, a minuscule beach that glitters like a jewel just 10 minutes down the coast by boat. There’s nothing there to distract from the beauty of the crystal-clear water but a shady palapa for picnics.

Manzanilla glitters like a jewel.

Manzanilla glitters like a jewel.

From Manzanilla you can walk south over the rocks (watch out for iguanas!) to the next beach ingeniously called Playa del Medio, or beach in the middle. This is another gorgeous little gem, and quiet, unless there is a rowdy yacht parked just off the coast like the day I was there.

From Playa del Medio you can walk along a cement path to Pizota, a small fishing village at the farthest end of this strip of beaches. Pizota has that same lovely water, but the beach is scattered with locals’ kayaks and canoes and the water with taxis and fishing boats. Most days you will have a little audience if you want to swim there as the local boat operators hang out in the shade near the edge of the beach, gabbing and drinking beers.

Pizota is a regular stop on the Chimo taxi’s route, but be sure to ask the taxi captain and not the locals what time they will be coming through – answers varied wildly and I ended up missing it altogether. There is a small convenience store on the edge of beach with some surly women running it – a fine place if you need to get a beer or water or snacks.

Inland and then out again

Too far to go by water (unless you have your own boat) there are a handful of places farther south, what is commonly called Costa Alegre, that I think you should know about.

Mayto beach is absolutely divine. The water makes a deep drop just past the sand-dune style coast, but while it looked rough, the day I went the waves were a joy. A single hotel sits on the beach, the Mayto Hotel (what else?), and they serve cheap beer and delicious food in an exclusive setting. This beach is starting to be on people’s lips, but it’s still so far out there (about an hour from the closest town of Tuito) that it’s yet to be overrun with tourists.

Playa del Medio is another gorgeous gem.

Playa del Medio is another gorgeous gem.

The day I went (albeit during the low season) there were only about six other people (and most of those eating at the hotel). The beach stretches lazily around a 12-kilometer bay that the staff of the Mayto says can have rougher waves in the winter season. There is no shade here so bring that umbrella or prepare to fry. There is a small tortoise refuge that releases turtles in the evening if you stick around. You can camp at the tortoise refuge for about $8 a person a night.

Once you make it out to Mayto you can hop down the coast for a few other hidden beaches. The Playa del Amor (love beach) is just a five-minute drive and another five minutes will take you to Tehu, a small fishing village famed for their oysters and ancient lighthouse. Talk to Juan Pablo at the XXX, he speaks perfect English after living in Los Angeles most of his life and can give you all kinds of tips on where to hike and which beaches he loves.

His suggestion, which I didn’t have time to follow, was Playa Corrales, about an hour north, where he said the bay is so small and intimate it’s like floating in a Jacuzzi. Sitting at Juan Pablo’s place you can see the beaches of Villa del Mar across the bay. Supposedly the waves are rough because of their location but you should definitely decide for yourself.

For a stop on the way back to Puerto Vallarta, the tiny town of El Tuito is growing in popularity. It is famed for its dairy products so make sure to order the jocoque or queso fresco from a local restaurant. Another lovely side trip? The Vallarta Botanical Gardens on that same road, a breathtaking collection of local flora in the midst of the dry, tropical forest.

While travel times and complications can sometimes feel overwhelming, I promise you any of these hidden beach that you make the effort to visit will reward you with a delicious swim and an equally delicious day.

Lydia Carey is a freelance writer based in Mexico City and a frequent contributor to Mexico News Daily.

PUERTO VALLARTA PREPARES TO RECEIVE AND CARE FOR MORE THAN 130 THOUSAND TURTLES

PUERTO VALLARTA PREPARES TO RECEIVE AND CARE FOR MORE THAN 130 THOUSAND TURTLES

Puerto Vallarta was the home of 2,700 turtle nests in 2018, giving birth to 130,000 turtles, so this year the city is preparing its 14 kilometers of coastline to receive and care for them during this breeding season.

Currently, Puerto Vallarta is the only city to have a sea turtle protection plan on the Mexican Pacific, which has led to making Puerto Vallarta the best place in the country to see them in their habitat, the result of years of effort in conservation. The city records an 85% hatching rate.

The effort has also involved some hotels in the area such as the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, Barceló Puerto Vallarta and Velas Vallarta, which as part of its attractions offer visitors to be part of the experience.

The task is not simple. The possibility of nesting occurs along the 14 kilometers of coastline, where Puerto Vallarta gathers thousands of tourists throughout the year to enjoy its beaches. However, there are some actions that tourists can carry out to contribute to the conservation of the species, such as avoiding throwing cigarette butts or leaving coal from the campfire on the beach, as they are substances that affect the degree of hatching of eggs.

In this part of the Mexican Pacific, four of the eight species of sea turtles are registered worldwide: black, hawksbill, lute and golf, the latter being the most popular.

In 2018 there was a great find, a new species of turtle was discovered, unique in the world and that exists only in Puerto Vallarta, so they registered it as “Casquito de Vallarta”.

Officially, the season is from August to December, however, several of them begin to arrive from mid-July.

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of this expat from California

News
Surfer and former publisher Janet Blaser.

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of this expat from California

Janet Blaser enjoys the Mexican lifestyle and has no plans to move back to the US

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of a California woman who has now been living in the Sinaloa resort city for more than a decade and can’t imagine moving back to the United States.

Janet Blaser, formerly a food and restaurant writer in Santa Cruz, California, moved to Mazatlán in 2006 after she lost one journalism job and had her hours cut back at another as a result of the rise in popularity of online news.

A trip to the Pacific coast city in Mexico served as the impetus for her relocation decision.

“I fell in love, I felt this heart connection somehow — there were beautiful old buildings, cobblestone streets, plazas with wrought iron and the beautiful glittering Pacific Ocean, warm and swimmable,” Blaser told the financial information website MarketWatch.

“It just felt deeply healing, friendly and welcoming,” she added.

Another reason for Blaser’s move was that she spotted an interesting opportunity.

There were a lot of English-speaking expats and tourists in town but little information about Mazatlán’s social and cultural life and Blaser’s journalistic experience and ingenuity could fix that.

So in 2006, the writer and surfing enthusiast packed up her car and set her sights on starting a new life in northern Mexico. A plan to move to New Orleans was put on the backburner.

Blaser admitted to having doubts about the move but knew that staying in California would stretch her budget and leave her with an uncertain future.

During her first year in Mazatlán, Blaser worked part time as an online editor as she planned how to start an arts and entertainment publication that would provide information to the English-speaking residents of the city and the tourists who visit.

In 2007, she launched M! Magazine and continued to run the successful publication for nine years. In the same period, Blaser started a local organic farmers’ market.

The 63-year-old is now retired but remains busy: she has just published a book entitled Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats, in which 27 essays of women living happily in Mexico are compiled.

Even though her magazine publishing days are over, Blaser is not thinking about relocating north of the border even though she says she misses her three adult children and three grandkids, all of whom live in the United States.

“I can’t imagine living in the U.S. again,” she told MarketWatch, explaining that the cheaper cost of living in Mexico – Blaser lives on about US $1,000 a month – was one but not the only reason why.

“I couldn’t afford to live in the States again” Blaser said before adding that she prefers the “easygoing Mexican lifestyle” in any case.

“It’s a very different vibe here that’s kind of hard to explain. It’s not about being retired, because I wasn’t that until a year ago. It’s just a different understanding of what’s important in life, and a more relaxed live-and-let-live attitude. If something doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow, or the next day. What’s the big deal?” she said.

“. . . I’m able to actually live a more simple life and be satisfied in a way I could never before in the U.S.”

Source: MarketWatch (en)

#remaxinpv

#puertovallartaremax

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#remaxdestiny

RIVIERA NAYARIT RENEWS ITS BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATIONS

Blue Flag designation (about cleanliness and services) is very difficult to get and we are proud of the beaches that have attained and maintained that!

The Puerto Vallarta continues to invest in our environment and to maximize the enjoyment of our natural resources, for both owners and visitors.

RIVIERA NAYARIT RENEWS ITS BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATIONS

On Monday, July 15, 2019, Blue Flag certificates were awarded to the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte and the Marina Riviera Nayarit during a ceremony headed by Miguel Torruco Marqués, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, and Antonio Echeverría García, Governor of the State of Nayarit. Both venues are in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas in the Riviera Nayarit. The Lagoon at Santa María del Oro (municipality of Santa María del Oro), and the Marina Fonatur San Blas (municipality of San Blas) are also within the Riviera Nayarit.

The event took place at the Marina Fonatur in the Historic Port of San Blas, where they raised the corresponding flag. This occasion marked the first time the marina received this international certification.

Thanks to these credentials, the state of Nayarit has become an example for the nation. According to Torruco Marqués, this “speaks to the commitment the tourism service providers and the community have with the environment.”

He stated that over the next three decades, people would have more free time and more income. Therefore, “those nations that best preserve their environment and, above all, conserve their historical, cultural, and culinary identity, will be the ones who will participate fully in the extraordinary economic revenue generated by tourism.”

Ana Cecilia Llanos Guzmán, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Nayarit, also made a distinguished appearance at the event, along with the municipal presidents of Bahía de Banderas, Jaime Cuevas Tello, and Candy Yescas, from San Blas.

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) sets the protocols for Blue Flag certifications. Joaquín Díaz Ríos, executive director for the entity’s Mexico chapter, offered the explanatory statements: The main criteria taken into account for this award are water quality, environmental education and management, safety, and services.

Of note is the fact the certification is valid for one year. Because of this, at the end of every summer the beaches are up for recertification after an exhaustive evaluation.

MORE INFO:

+ According to statistics offered by the Ministry of Tourism, Mexico is first in line in Latin America as to the number of Blue Flags received and in 13th place worldwide.

+ Currently, 54 beaches and three marinas in 13 municipalities and six states in Mexico have the certification: Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Jalisco, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Quintana Roo.

+ The Riviera Nayarit received its first Blue Flag for the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte in 2013, which has maintained its certification since then.

+ The Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle received its Blue Flag in 2015, the first of its kind to receive this international award.

+ The lagoon at Santa María del Oro raised its first Blue Flag in August of 2016.

 

THIRTY-YEAR PLAN FOR DEVELOPMENT IN COSTALEGRE ANNOUNCED

THIRTY-YEAR PLAN FOR DEVELOPMENT IN COSTALEGRE ANNOUNCED

The tourist area of ​​Costalegre, the second most important beach destination in Jalisco, will undergo a development plan over the next 30 years.

During a working tour of the region this weekend, Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez announced the Master Development Plan for that region, which includes the creation of a governance body that will be integrated by a Social Council and an Economic Council.

“The purpose is that we can have defined this year an agreement with the political, social, economic and academic actors of Costalegre to define the direction of this region,” said Alfaro Ramírez.

According to the governor, the master plan will guarantee the growth and development of the Costalegre region -integrated by the municipalities of Cabo Corrientes, Tomatlán, La Huerta and Cihuatlán- for the next three decades.

“It will start a new stage that will ensure that in 30 years the decisions we make today can guarantee that we live better here, that the environmental capital of this entire region is taken care of, that we can raise the quality of life of the people”, he said.

The master plan includes, among other actions, infrastructure works to improve communication channels, as well as the increase in equipment for social development with new schools and health modules.

The mayor of Tomatlan, Jorge Luis Tello García, demanded that the development plan be built with the help of environmental specialists to guarantee “the full exercise of rights” of its inhabitants.

The tourist project for Costalegre includes an investment of 3.8 million pesos for the construction of the southern highway that will connect Puerto Vallartawith the municipalities of La Huerta and Tomatlán.

According to Alfaro Ramírez, the environmental impact studies and the release of rights of way will be completed shortly, so this year the tender for the project that will unite the International Airport of Puerto Vallarta with Chalacatepec in just 50 minutes could be released.

Similarly, said the governor, the project is expected to consolidate a corridor of economic, social and environmental development in the area, for which, only 1.7% of the 743,300 hectares that make up the region will be urbanized and it would allow the construction of little more than 3,000 hotel rooms, mostly five-star hotels.

Part 4 of My Articles about How We Can Make an Impact upon the Environment: Cleaning our Areas.

Part 4 of My Articles about How We Can Make an Impact upon the Environment:  Cleaning our Areas.

Hi to all and for those that know me personally, you are aware that I make a dedicated choice to protect our environment.

For those that do not, my goal each day, is very simple; how can I minimize my negative impact upon our/my environment, and how can I make my impact more positive.

This is both ecological and economical.  Fortunately, there are simple ways to work with both areas.

As I sure you have already read, Puerto Vallarta is investigating phasing out plastic bags, plastic straws and other harmful and long-lasting detriments to our environment.  Four other municipalities have already banned, or within several months will do so, to limit the plastics that are around us each day.

Our Company, REMAX Puerto Vallarta, has just started a program, to get local residents and visitors to come with us to clean our areas.

We are starting with the beaches, in front of the Grand Venetian condominium.

We were so fortunate to have almost all of our team, but as well Stella and Cal Leavitt, from Timothy Real Estate Group, and Lupita Meza and Stephanie Ibarra from Albago Estates, came to assist!

While it was only about 1.5 hours, we (the 10 of us) were able to pick up over 20 kilos or 50 pounds of garbage!  That being said, the beaches were actually very clean, as there were many hotels on the beach, and they are extremely efficient in ensuring that the beaches are kept as tidy as possible for their clients.

I found a shoe, Melina found a purse (as well as some other interesting items) and Dana found a cellular phone!

The largest contaminant we encountered were cigarette butts.  These are incredible detrimental, as they do not break down and fish and mammals end up eating them.  

I am not a person to tell people not to smoke, but it is so easy to just pick up after ourselves and leave the beach, or area, just as you found it, or even better, pick up 1 other piece of garbage; now the beach, or the area, is better than you found it.  It is that simple!

I was raised with the motto or slogan of “Do not be the First”.  It was so clear and obvious, in that if there was no garbage around, do not be the first to drop something.

Then, the Broken Window Hypothesis came into common parlance, with the same idea; if no windows are broken, it is very unlikely that someone will break one, even in abandoned properties.

Mexico is changing so rapidly and the younger generation, as well as the burgeoning middle-class, are demanding and expecting better environmental standards.  We are so fortunate to have a forward thinking community that wants that too.

We shall be doing something similar, each month and we look forward to all like-minded persons to join us; we all win and are making a difference.

I will be sending out our next project and location through our blog, but also through our facebook page:  puertovallartaremax, also known as Puerto Vallarta Real Estate.  Please like the page and you shall get our daily updates.

Thank you all!

Todd Bates

 


RE/MAX Puerto Vallarta Beach Clean-Up, Tomorrow!

This Saturday afternoon, tomorrow April 27, 2019, our RE/MAX team and the public is getting together at the beach in front of Grand Venetian, on the Pitillal River, to clean up remnants left from Semana Santa.  We will meet at the public parking lot on the river (north of La Isla) at 1pm and conclude at 3pm.  We will supply the trash bags, gloves, water and snacks. Bring a hat and wear sunscreen.  Please come and show your support for a clean and healthy community!

Grass-roots glass crushing reduces impact of recycled bottles in Baja Sur

Claire Donahue, the “glass lady,Claire Donahue, the “glass lady,” spearheaded a glass-crushing initiative.

Grass-roots glass crushing reduces impact of recycled bottles in Baja Sur

Citizens step in to deal with waste management problems

Like many Mexican communities, the twin towns of La Ventana and El Sargento in Baja California Sur suffer from serious waste management problems. The community’s single garbage truck breaks down regularly and its inadequate landfill is reaching capacity.

The two contiguous towns sit at the apex of pristine La Ventana Bay on the Gulf of California. They are blessed with scenic beauty, good weather and El Norte, the steady wind blowing across the Bay in winter that makes for perfect kiteboarding and windsurfing.

In fact, La Ventana Bay is regularly listed as either the No. 1 or No. 2 destination in the world for practitioners of these sports.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the area is suffering from rapid growth. Its infrastructure, including waste management, simply isn’t up to dealing with the increasing population and business activity.

Five years ago, this led a group of residents to found the non-profit No Más Basura (NMB), or No More Garbage, to develop a program to remove recyclables from the waste stream. Not only does it offer a popular weekly recycling event for the community, it’s actively engaged in educational programs K-12 to help raise a new generation of recyclers and to train local businesses in recycling methods. The group also organizes several annual community-wide clean-up days.

glass crusher quickly reduces a weekly bottle collection to crushed glass.

Though quiet as a kitchen blender, the crusher quickly reduces a weekly bottle collection to crushed glass.

One major focus is minimizing the impact of Easter Week on local beaches as some 5,000 people, many from nearby La Paz, gather to party for three or four days. In addition to organizing trash removal and recycling, NMB fields ambassadors from local schools who patrol the beaches to ask campers to take home as much of their trash as possible and to dispose properly of the rest in provided receptacles.

NMB is confronting the two major problems that dog virtually all recycling efforts — raising money to fund the operation and what to do with the recyclables once collected. Recyclers might think: “Good for me. I’ve gotten rid of that stuff in the right way.” But it’s doubtful that too much thought is given to where “that stuff” is going and how.

Most recyclable material is of little, if any, value. So, creative ways must often be found to make use of it. Fortunately, plastics, aluminum and metals are marketable. NMB gives all the plastic to the local schools for them to sell in La Paz. The aluminum and mixed metals are sold to a recycler and the proceeds help buy gas for transportation.

Cardboard is another matter. Since the Chinese banned imports of waste cardboard, the market has collapsed. Prices are so low in La Paz that it’s not worth the gas to take it there. However, NMB is looking into ways to get the commodity to the recycler without making a special trip. Another solution is providing cardboard to Rancho Cacachilas, a local sustainable resort, where it is used as mulch for its extensive organic gardening.

Styrofoam is another significant problem for recyclers. NMB does not accept Styrofoam items such as plates, cups and food containers, but a significant amount in the form of packing materials is provided to a local manufacturer of “eco blocks,” some 80% of which are polystyrene. Eco blocks are used in construction, replacing standard concrete blocks.

Unique to this area, because of unusually high kiteboarding and windsurfing activity, is the presence of discarded sails made of virtually indestructible ripstop polyester. To take sails out of the waste stream, NMB offers them to a local seamstress who manufactures colorful, strong, reusable shopping bags and purses. This also helps keep plastic bags out of the landfill.

Samples of crushed glass.

Samples of crushed glass.

But one the biggest headaches facing recyclers is what to do with glass bottles. Each week NMB collects as many as 3,000 bottles — primarily beer, wine and liquor. There is, however, no market for the commodity.

Recycling processors are increasingly reluctant to crush glass for reuse by bottle manufacturers because so much of the glass they receive is contaminated. The cost for removing labels, eliminating contaminates and cleaning glass prior to crushing is prohibitive.

Enter the NMB “glass lady.”

Claire Donahue, a diminutive seasonal resident of La Ventana and NMB member, met with program manager Javier Ponce about two years ago to discuss the glass issue. Claire had some experience in creating art glass and was intrigued by the challenge of dealing with the huge weekly bottle collection. She and Javier decided NMB should crush its own bottles and find local uses for the product.

After doing the necessary research, she located and purchased a glass crusher for NMB to use. It sits in a palapa on her beachfront property where she crushes bottles from each weekly collection.

“Meanwhile, we are moving ahead with plans to build a bodega for the glass crusher on 1.65 hectares on the outskirts of town.”

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Label removal was the first hurdle. Claire discovered that labels from most beverage companies are not easily removed. Many are virtually impossible. These “dirty” bottles are crushed to be used by local builders and homeowners for drainage fields or construction footers as a partial replacement for the sand or gravel.

But even if this dirty crushed glass goes to the landfill, it’s still a win since it takes significantly less space than uncrushed glass.

Claire has discovered about a dozen manufacturer’s bottles whose labels are easily removed after soaking. They are washed and turned into clean glass for use in concrete countertops, floors and walls. For countertops, for example, various combinations of colored glass are added to the concrete and ground smooth. Local builder Édgar Ramírez is offering this alternative to customers and experimenting with other uses.

Clean crushed glass is also suitable for decorating pavers, benches, water features and other landscaping applications including mulch. The commodity may also be used as a filler in concrete and road paving.

From an environmental perspective, Claire notes that glass bottles, despite being overtaken by plastic containers, are a better choice. It takes twice as much fossil fuel to make a plastic bottle than a comparable glass container and, in the process, plastic bottle manufacturing releases five times the greenhouse gases and requires 17 times as much water compared with plastic. And they help decrease the plague of plastic going into the oceans.

As soon as practical, she would like to turn the operation over to a third party, either a local entrepreneur or an educator interested in creating an internship program for local high school kids.

Interns would provide part of the labor and proceeds from the sale of the glass and products they’d create could go to a charity of their choosing, a scholarship fund or even back into the program. The internship would also teach many general skills important to anyone entering the workforce.

“There is a lot of excitement about the potential for raw crushed glass as well as the products that can be made locally with it. We hope that a successful project will inspire others in their creative treatment of ‘waste’ for the betterment of our community.

“A community like La Ventana/El Sargento is a great place to be involved in a project of this sort since you really feel like you can make a difference.”

The writer is a newspaper and magazine journalist, photojournalist and the author of two books.