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..the heartbeat of the Riviera Nayarit

December 13 2009

virgin-of-guadalupe-3[1].jpgMEXICAN POP CULTURE:         

       Virgin of Guadalupe

                                 ©Tara Spears     


One of Mexico and Central America’s most revered religious icons, Our Lady of Guadalupe, has woven itself into all phases of popular culture by the 21st century. While millions of the faithful will attend church on December 12 in her honor, the influence of this Mexican saint is evident all year long in home altars, clothing, tattoos, media, jewelry, folkart and Latino literature. As sociologists have observed, the Virgin of Guadalupe is the common denominator" uniting Mexicans. Writing that Mexico is composed of a vast patchwork of differences—linguistic, ethnic, and class-based— Judy King says "The Virgin of Guadalupe is the rubber band that binds this disparate nation into a whole.” The central American countries composed of indigenous people identify  and embrace her since the virgin was Indian.

tattoo[1].jpgMiracle of the Lady of Guadalupe Religious Events Timeline:

1525 — The Indian Cuauhtlatoatzin is baptized by a Franciscan priest. He received the Christian name of Juan Diego.
1531 — Year of Virgin apparitions to Juan Diego.
1567 — The new church building ordered by Archbishop Montúfar is completed.
1666 — A formal inquiry and investigation was conducted by the Church from 18 February to 22 March in order to give authority to the tradition.
1946 — Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady to be the Patroness of the Americas.
1976 — Dedication of the new basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located four miles from central Mexico City.
1988 — The liturgical celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe on 12 December was raised to the status of a solemnity in all dioceses in the United States.
1999 — Pope John Paul II, during his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of 12 December as a Liturgical Feast for the whole continent.

Place tattoo pics 2, 3, 4

The Virgin of Guadalupe is a powerful cultural symbol of Mexican identity and nationhood. In colonial times the Virgin of Guadalupe was interpreted as a native, loving and forgiving mother, the intercessor to God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. Today Guadalupe has been reinterpreted as an empowering symbol of liberation and action rather than as female passivity. In contemporary society the populist appeal of the image cuts across all sectors of Mexican life, and her image is displayed not only in churches, but can also be seen in taxis, buses, on tee-shirts, amulets and as tattoos. Chicano and other Latino societies helped establish the Virgin of Guadalupe as an archetypal emblem of mestizaje.


    virgin belt buckle

Producing iconology for the population has been constant both in Mexico and in the rest of Spanish America since the 16th century. The great Mexican artists of the 17th and 18th centuries have left us many paintings of this subject and, from the 17th century, more and more churches were built in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico and in the rest of Spanish America and even in Spain. Of course the basilica in Mexico City, on the original site of the miracle, sees millions of visitors each year and has dramatic celebrations during December.

Insert church,       parade             child being photographed w virgin image

ester hernandez.jpgAccording to anthropologist Rose Anna Mueller, José Guadalupe Posada, the Mexican muralists, and other artists have used this image for its liberationist and powerful meanings. Female artists have mined its potential as a feminine symbol of empowerment. In some instances Guadalupe assumed a more active stance than the prayerful pose of folded hands and downcast eyes of the "standard image." She ceased to be an intercessor for her son, becoming a potent and active woman in her own right. Two 1933 paintings by P. Gonzalo Carrasco, "The Virgin of Guadalupe Defending Mexican Youth" depict a very active Virgin attacking demons while keeping an infant in her arms, out of reach from demons.

In the 1960's César Chavez marched with the image when The United Farm Workers went on strike. Ester Hernández's 1975 depiction, "The Virgin of Guadalupe Defending the Rights of Chicanos" is a radical interpretation of the religious icon as warrior-defender of minority rights. The 1978 Yolanda López series of paintings and collages converted the passive, colonial Guadalupe into a more relevant role model for contemporary Chicana women. There continues an ongoing attempt to rediscover the "indigenous" origins of Guadalupe, depicting her as an embodiment of Tonantzin-Coatlicue, goddess of the cosmos, sacred guardian and mother image for the Mexican nation.                                                                         

Mexican writer, Carlos Fuentes, interprets the importance of the Virgin of Guadalupe as becoming the divine mother to the orphaned children of the New World through Juan Diego's apparition, allowing the Spanish authorities to transform the Indian people from children of violated women to the children of the pure virgin. Feminists who find it difficult to accept a patriarchal God have appropriated Guadalupe as the Earth Mother or the Great Mother Goddess who can heal the wounds of the past. Along with Frida Kahlo's images, the Virgin of Guadalupe continues to be a strong emblem of chicanismo, especially for females.                     


A symbol of popular religiosity, a proof of God's unconditional love, and a feminine metaphor in the comprehension of the divine, The Virgin of Guadalupe continues to convey a paradoxical message that can be manipulated for political purposes. According to Octavio Paz "There are two beliefs deeply imbedded in Mexican consciousness: belief in the lottery and belief in the Virgin of Guadalupe.” Far from cheapening her image, this proliferation of images personalize her and maintain her presence in daily life; not just on December 12. For Virgin of Guadalupe devotees, they adhere to her universe where, by devotional contact, they empower themselves and resurrect an identity grounded in a profound historical context.


Yolanda lopez Virgin sewing                                      mural photo

 Email author:

From Xaltemba Restaurant "Virgin on the Jetty" 

As you know, December 12 is an extremely important day in Mexico, The Day of the Virgin.

To mark the occasion, and to learn more about this quintessential Mexican tradition and the way it feeds into so many areas of life and culture here, we are extremely privileged to have our own Virgin expert, Susan Cobb, coming to give a preview reading from her insightful, entertaining book, "Virgin on the Jetty" 


Anyone who has been lucky enough to meet Susan, or to read any of her book, knows that this is a rare privilege not to be missed!

We look forward to seeing you here at Xaltemba, at the hub of the festivities tomorrow night!

(Second reminder... when we have had our fill of Virginity and are ready to pollute ourselves once again... 
CABARET SUNDAY!  This week it is FREE to all...!!! - come for the whole evening, or just pop in for a drink
The restaurant is open for dinner as usual and the show begins at 9pm... and then if anyone feels like getting down on the dance floor...Our friends Rochi (la chica de chiclet), Lorena, Alex and Omar will be here, and also a little surprise... wink wink (at this very minute, I am dusting off my vocal chords... sewing up the holes in my stockings... etc etc.)
There will be Hula dancing... Romance... Maracas... ra-ra skirts... girl power... excitement.... don't forget, "outiside it is cold... but in here it is soooo hot!")

Become a Friend of Riviera Nayarit on Facebook click here

Headline News

Mexico needs to defeat both poverty, cartels

Drug-related violence has killed more than 2,250 people this year in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. In 2008, more than 5,000 Mexicans were killed in similar violence, mostly in battles between competing drug cartels.

Yet just a couple weeks ago, President Felipe Calderón announced that in the second half of his six-year term he’d be switching priorities. Instead of the war against drug cartels, he said, poverty would become his chief focus……Go to original article


Retrofitted Vehicles Offer Window Into Mexico’s Cartels

CULIACÁN, Mexico — Federico Solórzano is no used car salesman, but he seemed to be getting into the part as he made the rounds of a well-stocked car lot the other day. “This is a 2009 Lincoln S.U.V.,” he said, gesturing toward a decked-out vehicle to his right. “Over there, we have two Corvettes. Here’s a Smart car.”

He was dressed in camouflage, and affixed to his shoulder were a golden eagle and single star, which gave away his real job as a Mexican Army general. ……Go to original article


Mexico's drug cartels siphon liquid gold

Bold theft of $1 billion in oil, resold in U.S., has dealt a major blow to the treasury Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico's pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company. ……Go to original article


Depp to play Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa

Johnny Depp is to star as Pancho Villa in a new Emir Kusturica biopic about Mexico's 19th-century bandit-turned-revolutionary, Spanish media reported Wednesday.

Playing opposite Mexico's Salma Hayek, the 46-year-old Depp will trade the swashbuckling antics of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series for the part of General Villa, El Pais newspaper quoted the Serbian director as saying.……Go to original article


Puerto Vallarta Remains One of the World’s Most Coveted, Exotic Retreats

Puerto Vallarta offers visitors a broad spectrum of authentic Mexican experiences, with a wide range of spectacular landscapes, fantastic food (and tequila, of course), and the chance to see some of the rarest animals on land and at sea.

……Go to original article


Rafael Acosta -- a.k.a. 'Juanito' -- quits as president of Mexico City neighborhood

Reporting from Mexico City - Rafael Acosta, the peddler-turned-politico whose maneuverings have captivated Mexico City for months, quit as president of its most populous borough Thursday amid allegations that he filed a false birth certificate when he ran.……Go to original article


Mexico Spending $90M on Ads for Tourism

Celeb ad campaign with targets tourists scared away from Mexico by swine flu

 If the rich, famous and pretty are returning to Mexico's beaches now that officials say the swine flu epidemic is waning, won't everyone else?

That's the message of a $90 million campaign aimed at luring tourists scared off by the outbreak, which has killed at least 83 people in Mexico. ……Go to original article





Rights Group Report Faults Mexican Army’s Conduct in Drug War

 The steady drumbeat of complaints against Mexico’s army is expected to continue Tuesday, when Amnesty International is scheduled to release a report raising allegations of extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary detentions against soldiers engaged in the nation’s drug war…..go to original article


Canadian mining firm at centre of Mexican murder probe

Three men with links to a Canadian mining company have been charged in the killing of a Mexican activist, threatening already strained relations between the countries on the eve of a visit to the same region by Governor-General Michaëlle Jean…… go to original article


U.S. to use new drone to scour coast for smugglers

U.S. federal border police will soon launch an unmanned surveillance aircraft with marine radar to patrol the coastline for drug smuggling boats, authorities said on Monday.

The remote-controlled plane acquired by the Customs and Border Protection agency is an adapted and unarmed version of the Predator drones built by California-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc and flown by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan….go to original article


Mexican president meets Canada's governor general on bilateral ties

Mexican President Felipe Calderon Monday welcomed Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean at his presidential residence Los Pinos, praising the bilateral efforts in forging close economic ties and combating organized crime. …..go to original article


Rethinking Trade Policy for Development: Lessons From Mexico Under NAFTA

Despite an increase in trade, foreign investment, and productivity since NAFTA took effect in 1994, Mexico has been disappointed by slow economic growth and weak job creation. In addition, recession in the United States is hitting Mexico particularly hard, given its dependence on its northern neighbor. …go to original article


Gibson to make movie in Mexican prison

Mel Gibson will next year clear out a prison to shoot scenes for his second movie in Mexico.

According to the governor of Veracruz, Gibson will return to eastern Mexico where he shot the 2006 movie Apocalypto…..go to original article




Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue

Advocating humane and healthy practices for animals in the Jaltemba Bay area by promoting health, education, sterilization, adoptions, foster care and positive relationships with animals and their owners.

December 2006 to November 2009:  Three years, 8 clinics and more than 1,340 animals spayed or neutered in the Jaltemba Bay area!



Tuesday Sayulita Express

Since our last clinic in November where 128 animals were spayed and neutered, JBAR has been taking 5 animals every Tuesday to be spayed or neutered down to the veterinary clinic in Sayulita.  The Sayulita clinic offers free spaying and neutering for street dogs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Since we are taking so many animals to the clinic, we are offering a donation of 150 pesos per animal to help them defray their expenses.  If anyone here who has a truck with a topper or a van/suv wishes to help out with one-way transportation, please call Lacy 274 0102.  So far we have sterilized and additional 20 animals by making the weekly trip.

Many thanks to Gayle Betzing and her husband, Jim Stewart, Ana Lewis Julianna Bay and Susan Schrandt for transporting home our sterilized animals.

Gayle Betzing and her husband

Also thanks to Sheila Soenen who is visiting in our area who has helped us by removing the rope around a dog’s neck in La Penita (it had cut into the throat).  She bought the antibiotics and has continued to treat the dog. Sheila also helped make a splint for a dog hit by a car.   She is a dog trainer on vacation! 



For those of you who wish to see photos of our last clinic, please click on the following link to the clinic photo album:


For the cpmplete report go to page two Features

Ana’s Kids 

The girls are now in their own apartment and we wish to thank Geovanna de La Rosa   for providing them with free rent for a month.  Suyin continues to attend the university in Tepic on Saturday after working five days a week.   The younger girl, Kenia, is doing well in school.

 Kind folks who wish to remain anonymous are completing the work on the casa begun for Ana by Habitat for Humanity; this is expected to take a couple of months.  Then the girls will move into their own new home.

We wish to thank the following for their generous contributions:

Linda Webb                            650 pesos

Anonymous                             500 pesos

Petra’s jar                                400 pesos

Breakfast collection                345 pesos

Karen Duffy                           500 pesos

Franny Bischof                       500 pesos

Rick Echeverria                       200 pesos

We purchased 400 pesos of groceries for the girls in Mega this past week and were thanked profusely.  This week we will pay 1100 pesos for Suyin’s university fees.

An anonymous donor has offered to fund English classes for Kenia; she is also meeting with Hala two afternoons a week to improve her skills in that language.

We regret to announce that Susana has resigned from our committee due to other demands on her time.

If anyone wishes to assist Kenia in the afternoons please call either Jane Kelley at 274-2868 or Lupita Cuevas Geddes at 274-1252.

Lupita and Jane

patron roberto.JPGMentoring Riviera Nayarit Fine Arts:

Artist and Patron Roberto Gil de Montes

© Tara Spears

               First in a three part series


For more than 20 years internationally acclaimed artist Roberto Gil de Montes has infused this rural beach town with enthusiasm for the arts. Not only does he have a studio for creating his own work, but he has been instrumental in improving the La Penita community, mentoring numerous artists, and providing the area’s only fine art gallery, Xaltemba. “I’ve been fortunate to live a life dedicated to art while being active in the neighborhood-whereever I’ve lived” said Roberto. Unlike many successful, big talents, Roberto is approachable and personable, subtly articulate about a wide spectrum of issues including Mexican art history or artistic expression or social problems of immigrants. His complex intellect and world travels are evident in his artistic work and professional achievements, yet to the Xaltemba visitors and local residents, Roberto is just “that really interesting guy in La Penita.”    

RGM at 8.jpeg      roberto 16 passport.jpeg       in studio.jpg

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, a city that is seeped in outstanding architecture, magnificent public sculpture and art, Roberto’s earliest memories were of the José Clemente Orozco murals. When he was 15 (center photo, above) Roberto’s family moved to the vastly different urban Los Angeles, USA.  As a result of “having one foot on both sides of the border,” Roberto’s art expresses a bicultural perspective.  After graduating from public high school, Roberto spent two years at Los Angeles Trade Technical College studying photography while taking classes at East Los Angeles College. He began his BFA program at Otis Parsons Art Institute in 1972 and became friends with Judithe Hernández and Carlos Almaraz. The latter would become a mentor and friend for life. After receiving his MFA from Otis Parsons in 1976, he took classes in Latin American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, from 1976 to 1978. There he met Gronk, Willi Herrón, and Harry Gamboa, and with them founded Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), one of the most innovative and imaginative exhibition spaces in Los rgdmontes_375x287_dolorespa[1].jpgAngeles. In 1979 the Mexican magazine Artes Visuales, affiliated with the Museo de Arte Moderno, invited Gil de Montes to edit a special issue dedicated to Chicano art. He moved to Mexico City, where he worked with the magazine and got involved in the intellectual and cultural milieu of the city. Returning to LA, Roberto focused on his painting and other artistic projects. Besides earning critical acclaim, he was awarded the coveted mid career Getty Center for the Arts fellowship.

A large component of Roberto’s work is characterized by modernist figures in a style that is infused with Mexican mythology and landscapes with an interjection of Los Angles attitude. Throughout his professional career he has had many one man exhibits besides participating in numerous group art shows. In addition to having his art shown in prestigious galleries, such as Jan Baum Los Angeles, Gil de Montes’ art appears in several respected art anthologies: Hispanic Art in the USA (1987); the European exhibition “Le Demon des Anges,” (1991);  Currents in Southern California Art (2000); and the Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition entitled Arte Latino (2005).   Besides producing a large body of provocative paintings, Roberto has created two public art commissions: the 7th Street Metro Central Station, entitled “Heaven to Hell”; and a ceramic fountain for MTA Gateway Park (1995).  Both, pictured below, are in Los Angeles.

heaven to earth.bmp      ceramic park.bmp

Throughout his creative career, Roberto also taught fine arts at various universities such as Monterey and UCLA.  It’s no wonder that with such a busy schedule Roberto finds the slower pace of La Penita, Mexico inspirational and rejuvenating.

Robert in India.jpegIn his quest for “experiencing a life well-lived,” Roberto has traveled to Europe, Cuba, India (left photo) and Asia. This appreciation and first-hand experience with the colors and nuances of other cultures infuse his art with a global perspective and narrative quality.  “I find inspiration in the work of others,” said Roberto. Perhaps it is this intellectual openness, coupled with Roberto’s innate generous nature that has led to his long history of mentoring aspiring artists in LA and Mexico. “It was Roberto’s encouragement to follow my heart that motivated me to pursue my art fulltime, to stop working the job I hated; to stop thinking, maybe  someday…” said textile artist Ruth Suarez.  

VHS.jpg Roberto’s keen appreciation of cinema has a fascinating history. “I love good movies and consider them not just a form of entertainment but a vehicle for education and social change,” he said. “When you visit our restaurant we show clips from movies, and music numbers, but from time to time we play an entire film. In the future we would love to share movies that have inspired us and maybe start a movie club.” When Roberto was 17 he had a summer job at Twentieth Century Fox Studio working in the story files department. “My job was to file the synopsis that the studio writers would crank out.  I was amazed that in an old Spanish building in the lot, there were people whose job it was to just read books then write reviews and recommendations for turning the book into film.” Later on he worked at Universal Studios in the still photo department. “I was just a gopher, taking film to the photographers on the set and then picking up the shot film to take back to the lab for developing.  It was exciting to see a film actually being shot, or the score music being played simultaneously with a film.” From this cinema experience, Roberto learned the importance of lighting and design that goes into creating the background for the narrative,  elements that he utilizes in his art.  “I have many good memories of my experience with movie production,” he said with a smile. “One highlight is that I saw Burt Bachrach score the film for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which won an Oscar for best music.”  Roberto is featured in three art video cassette productions, all of which are still available through


Eddie Roberto rest.JPGA firm believer in the importance of individual contribution to society, Roberto and his partner, Eduardo Dominguez, (left) another dynamic talent, are concerned with the quality of life in their south of the border community.  They were instrumental in impacting change through community action: first by hosting meetings in their home, starting educational programs in the local schools, and organizing a fund raising event to accomplish the programs. These efforts have evolved into the highly effective Los Amigos non-profit organization that has built a recycling center, cleaned up the beaches, and financed local school structural improvements.


The huge impact of Roberto Gil de Montes’ diverse talent will enrich this Riviera Nayarit tiny community for generations. By making art assessable in his Xaltemba gallery, mentoring local artists and providing a venue for performing arts that encourages the friendship of Mexican and international residents, this one low-key individual proves that caring can make a significant difference in a neighborhood.


boy behind screen.gif                      xaltemba arte gallery restaurant.png


Roberto’s painting that is part of the                                    Xaltemba Arte Gallery and Restaurant

In the Smithsonian Modern Art collection                                        La Penita, Nayarit



Email author:

Jaltemba Cup Golf Championship proceeds go to computers for Secondaria in La Penita de Jaltemba

Computers for Jaltemba Schools

Bill Bell (second from left) explains to school principal and over 400 high school children  that the computers were just one way that the Foreign visitors were giving back to the community that most call a home away from home. Right to left Ginger Paine, Byron Paine, Larry Baron and California George.  The biggest cheer went out when Bill told the audience that the current champions were the sole Mexican team that played in the cup.

 Computers for Jaltemba Schools

Marching for flag Day, the children attend this school come from Lo de Marcos and as far north as Chacala

Computers for Jaltemba Schools

Jaltemba Cup organizers Byron, Larry and Ginger hand over the four computers to the grateful young adults. This year's funds went to buy 5 computers (one was given to the Casa de Ninos in Lo De Marcos) as well as a community sound system

Computers for Jaltemba Schools Computers for Jaltemba Schools

Ginger presents one the computers to smiling girl while the above fellow thank the Jaltemba Cup organizers and participants for the computers.  (Computers and this technology is our future and paves the way for our success...gracias" he said.

El Gran Bazar a Huge Success


When almost five hundred people were waiting for the gates to open at El Gran Bazar held by the Education Committee of Los Amigos de La Peñita on Saturday, December 5, we knew we had a big hit on our hands.


Although a final figure will not be known until our raffles are finalized, our preliminary estimate is that the event raised somewhere in the order of 15,000 pesos.  This money will go directly into projects designed to help improve schools in La Peñita.


After the bazar, almost two hundred people stayed around, despite the rain, for the entertainment, which featured our Junior Charros, Ballet Iztacihuatl from Las Varas,

Marion and Jeff Rogers, Duane Flatmo, and Most Wanted.


The Education Committee would like to thank everyone who made the event such a huge success:

  • the businesses who made donations to the event- La Casita Restaurant, Charly's Restaurant in Los Ayala, the Fitness Pad, La Palapa de Guty, Piña Colada, Soleys Restaurant, Tonitas III, Xaltemba Restaurant, Coca-cola and Pepsi;
  • Ken and Mary Alice Snyder, who donated a dinner for four with cocktails and wine in their home;
  • Jaltemba Bay Folk and Jaltemba Sol, who help to publicize the event;
  • the entertainers who gave so freely of their time;
  • the people who generously donated items to the Bazar; and 
  • the many volunteers who did everything from picking up and transporting items, pricing and selling them and setting up and cleaning up the venue.


The draw for the raffle prizes will be held at the next Los Amigos Meeting on Monday, December 14 at 7:00 at La Palapa de Guty.  Tickets will be available at the Tianguis on Thursday.


For more pictures of the event, you can go to


For more information on the projects that these monies are supporting, you can go to:


The next meeting of Los Amigos de La Peñita will be on Monday, December 14 at Restaurante La Palapa de Guty, Circuito Libertad #4.  There will be a social gathering at 6:30 with the formal meeting starting at 7:00.


Key agenda items will be:


*  Invitation to all to join Los Amigos


*  Election of officers for 2010   


*  Latest developments in recycling


*  Promoting donations of money and auction items for Fiesta 2010


We will also be drawing the raffle tickets from El Gran Bazar.


All are welcome.

Word to the Wise  BUY NOW


by Dorothy Bell

The crazy season is almost upon us. Not only is the market filling up every Thursday, but stores and restaurants are getting more and more crowded. Half of the part time residents seem to be here already; welcome back hugs to friends get more frequent.

We have a vibrant and giving community which has been very generous with the less fortunate. As most of you know the calendar is crazy during the last week of January and the beginning of February. The Jaltemba Cup Golf Tournament, Fiesta La Penita, the Superbowl festivities, The Margarita Challenge, the Horseshoe tourney, and of course, the Fashion Show. Everyone complains that all the attractions take place all at once, yet every year many of us attend or participate in nearly all of the events. Its what we do.

Well the word has caught on. The Fashion Show has sold out of their tables for ten already and you can now only purchase individual tickets. The Margarita Challenge ticket sales are also moving right along and even though the event is in February, over 1/2 of their tickets are committed. Patty at Hinde and Jaimes says that her Superbowl event is getting "tight."

Word to the Wise? Buy your tickets now if you wish to attend any of the great functions that will be taking place in January and February. Write or phone a friend and ensure you have a place at the table, a spot on the team or a ticket to the event.

This season is lining up to be hot, hot, hot.

Calderón: 2009 was 'The Year of Living Dangerously'
Jaime Obrajero - The News
go to original
December 11, 2009


Speaking at a general assembly meeting of the National Housing Fund for Workers (Infonavit), the president said that the economy in the third quarter grew 2.9 percent, a turn-around from earlier this year. (Notimex/Alfredo Guerrero)
México - President Felipe Calderón said Thursday that 2009 has been one of Mexico´s worst economic years, but 2010 will be the year of recuperation.

Speaking from Los Pinos presidential residence during a general assembly meeting of the National Housing Fund for Workers (Infonavit), the president called on the housing industry to expand its offerings and provide easier access to housing.

Calderón said that the economy in the third quarter grew 2.9 percent, a turn-around from earlier this year.

Calderón compared 2009 to the Charlton Heston movie, "The Year of Living Dangerously."

"Paraphrasing some very famous movie from way back when, whose name I don´t remember...It was more or like the year that we lived dangerously. Practically all of 2009. It was, or still is a very complicated, very difficult, very challenging year. The United States economy fell on top of us, that´s why the damage here was worse."

However, beginning in June, Calderón said, Mexico´s economy saw small signs of recovery. From January to November only 24,000 jobs were created, but in November alone 106,000 new positions were created, he said.

Those figures are true, he added, even though the country doesn´t perceive it that way.

"(November had) the highest figure since 2007 in the country," Calderón said. "It´s a real fact, incomparable, because the workers are registered in social security with their name, surname and the amount they´re paying for social security every six months."

The president also took the opportunity to yet again call on Ernesto Cordero to take all of the needed measures to improve the economy. Cordero is expected to ascend from secretary of Social Development to secretary of Finance.

Calderón thanked the Organized Laborer Movement, especially the Mexican Workers Confederation´s Joaquín Gamboa Pascoe, for the "enormous responsibility with which they have managed their respective organizations" despite the crisis and unemployment.





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To all who are interested in viewing the Barbie Fashion Show. Dates and times for viewing the barbie fashion show at Xaltemba Restaurant in La Penita is scheduled to begin on Thursday, the 17th of December.  The exhibition will be open for viewing from 5.30 til 9.  The same on Friday.  Then Saturday, the volunteer party, and the closing is Sunday. The Santa event which is scheduled for Sunday, the 20th at 5:30. Santa will meet the children in the plaza in La Penita at 5:15 and proceed with them to the restaurant. We are expecting about 25 girls who will then be presented with a gift from Santa.

Tom Plattenberger, to curate Barbie Fashion show at Xaltemba Restaurant, December 17th to 20th.

The Barbie Fashion Show, being guest curated by Tom Plattenberger, is scheduled to open the evening of the 17th of December at Xaltemba Restaurant and Gallery and close on Sunday the 20th about 6 pm. We will be showing over 300 Barbie's, but expect to have a total of 650 dolls, which will then be given to area agencies for distribution to the local children for Christmas. This show is the product of this year's Barbie's Angel project volunteers. The show is open to the public and is viewable any time the restaurant is open.

History of the Barbie Angels Project

by Geri Demoss


I have always crocheted and knitted since I was a young girl, although during my working years I had not indulged in my craft. Consequently, upon my retirement in 1990, I was looking for a hobby and returned to crocheting afghans and doilies. After about 10 years of that pursuit, all of the family had a generous supply of afghans and my husband said we had enough doilies to put doilies on top of doilies. I had garnered many blue ribbons from the county and State fairs, had sold and given away many of my creations and was looking for another avenue in which to use my crocheting expertise. Thus the beginning of the Barbie Doll Adventure.

Continued on page 2

Mixed slowpitch is Wed at 11 AM at the ball diamond next to the Guayabitos PEMEX. All welcome. We share gloves so even if you don't have one come on out.

Any one seen these bikes?

Happy ending!

Santa Claus came early to the Paraiso del Pescador RV Park!! The two stolen bicycles that were reported in the last edition of the Jaltemba Sol were recovered today at the Police Station in Guayabitos.  Thanks for all who gave us advice and support.  Mary Jane and Jim

Mexico City has been certified by Guinness World Records as having the world's largest Christmas tree.Mexico City has been certified by Guinness World Records as having the world's largest Christmas tree.

Mexico City has been certified by Guinness World Records as having the world's largest Christmas tree.

The tree stands 110.35 meters high, has a diameter of 35 meters and weighs 330 tonnes.

The new record exceeds by 24 centimeters the Christmas tree in Aracaju, Brazil, the city that had held the record since 2007 with a tree 110.11 meters high.  Bill Bell Photographs

Did Nafta Actually Help Mexico?
Elisabeth Malkin - New York Times
go to original
December 12, 2009


Nafta, signed by President Carlos Salinas of Mexico, left, and President Bill Clinton, has been in effect for almost 16 years. (Henry Romero/Reuters)
Who benefited from the North American Free Trade Agreement? Given the continuing decline in American manufacturing jobs, many people assume the winner in the accord must have been Mexico.

Unions and a portion of the Democratic Party have argued that the accord helped push American jobs south of the border to Mexico, where companies can take advantage of low wages and lax regulation. When the issue emerged again last year during the Democratic primary, the benefits to Mexico were never questioned.

But a study released Wednesday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace finds that Mexico has fared poorly under the accord.

“After 15 years, it seems clear that Nafta’s promise of broad-based dynamic growth did not come true in Mexico,” write the study’s authors, Eduardo Zepeda of the Carnegie Endowment and Timothy A. Wise and Kevin P. Gallagher of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts.

In one crucial way, Nafta did deliver as expected: Exports and foreign direct investment tripled from the early 1990s as Mexico became a leading supplier of cars, electronics and a broad variety of industrial parts to the United States. Productivity in Mexican manufacturing rose 80 percent.

But annual economic growth averaged only 1.6 percent per capita between 1992 and 2007 — low even by Mexican standards until the 1980s.

The authors blame several problems that contributed to the low growth. While those problems are not exclusively Nafta’s fault, the authors argue that they are part of a broader Nafta-based economic strategy that shunned the public sector’s role in promoting growth.

For example, despite the increase in foreign direct investment, domestic investment decreased.

There are several reasons for this. Local companies went out of business because they could not compete with imports. Foreign companies that invested in Mexico did not source from Mexico, and Nafta’s conditions prevented Mexico from requiring local purchases. At the same time, public investment fell because Mexico adopted strict fiscal policies to achieve macroeconomic stability. The study estimates that Mexico’s overall investment rate has hovered around 19 percent of gross domestic product, compared to China’s rate of about 40 percent over the last two decades.

American jobs did move south, particularly into the export sector. The growth in services — new supermarkets, banks, tourism — also created jobs. But overall, Mexico was unable to create enough jobs to make up for all the jobs lost because of competition from imports, particularly purchases of subsidized grains from the United States.

The oversupply of labor, along with government policies that succeeded in keeping wages low, have led to a slight increase in the gap between average wages in the United States and Mexico — precisely the opposite of what Nafta was expected to do.

The authors conclude that “Mexico locked into place a set of economic policies that collectively produced disappointing results.” Mexico — and other countries seeking Nafta-style trade agreements with the United States — should reframe policies in terms of broader pro-growth strategies that channel the benefits from trade into other parts of the economy, the authors write.


Mixed Slowpitch

Just a reminder that Mixed slowpitch is Wed at 11 AM at the ball diamond next to the Guayabitos PEMEX. All welcome. We share gloves so even if you don't have one come on out.


Coming December 12th Our Lady of Guadeloupe Day


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Amigos de Lo de Marcos Fundraiser

Saturday, 06 February 2010
15:00 - 22:00
Plaza Principal, Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico

This event raises funds that enable Amigos de Lo de Marcos to help the community of Lo de Marcos. Amigos projects last year included repairing bathrooms at the Elementary School, building garbage collection centers, providing transportation for Senior Citizens, building Recycling Bins, etc. There will be Live Music, auctions, raffles, and Great Food!! Donations for auction gratefully accepted!


Rafael Acosta - a.k.a. 'Juanito' - Quits as President of Mexico City Neighborhood

Ken Ellingwood - Los Angeles Times
go to original
December 11, 2009


Rafael Acosta gives a thumbs up to the press as he sits in the offices of the borough chief of Ixtapalapa in Mexico City. (Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)
The erstwhile street vendor is accused of falsifying his birth certificate when he ran for the job in Iztapalapa. A months-long drama may have ended.

Mexico City - Rafael Acosta, the peddler-turned-politico whose maneuverings have captivated Mexico City for months, quit as president of its most populous borough Thursday amid allegations that he filed a false birth certificate when he ran.

Acosta, a leftist street vendor who goes by "Juanito," delivered his resignation after foes threatened to seek prosecution on charges that his candidacy papers were falsified. Acosta this week gave reporters conflicting birth dates, first saying he was born in 1958, then 1960. His family background also has come under scrutiny.

Clara Brugada, who fought Acosta for the job, threatened to file a criminal complaint. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard will propose a possible replacement to local lawmakers.

Acosta's resignation apparently ends the drama that has swirled since July over Iztapalapa, a working-class community with nearly 2 million residents. At that time, Acosta won election as delegado, a mayor-like post, as part of a deal in which he would hand over power to Brugada, who had been ruled off the ballot after a disputed internal party vote.

The arrangement ran into trouble after Acosta won July 5. He first flirted with keeping the job, but then agreed to take a leave of absence, clearing the way for Brugada to take over.

Then, last week, as Acosta's two-month leave ended, he announced he would take the job after all. He fired Brugada and her team, and she appealed to the Mexico City legislature to oust him.

Lawmakers were studying the matter when Acosta resigned.


Driving Safely in Mexico

Driving safely in Mexico tips by Bill and Dot Bell

Click here to read more


Click here to read about the orphans of Tepic and how one man fishing dream became a Fishin Mission


Check out Salvador's new season of specials on food, drinks and entertainment click here

Calling all Chili lovers!
Crazy Nelly's 2nd annual chili cook-off is
6pm Sunday January 10
and we're ready for contestants.
The 3 categories are,
Spiciest, Most original and Overall Best.
Free to enter the cook-off.
 One free drink and no cover for the contestants.
75 pesos cover includes;
one drink, Judging all the chilis and party with the best rock band from Puerto Vallarta,
After everybody has tasted and judged the remaining chili will be served up to enjoy.
Stop by Crazy Nelly's or email to to enter.







Click this ad for more information


FOR SALE Vehicles

2004 Toyota RAV4 L, leather, alloy wheels, sunroof, roof rack
85,000 KM, Nayarit plates, very good condition.
13,000 US
327-274-2891  Click here for more classifieds


Nayarit plates 40,000 pesos
274 0733 Jonathan Boston
FOR SALE: 1993 Suburban. 30,000 peso. Contact Amelia at Castle Bungalows in LaPenita, 327-274-0958.
SE VENDE: 1993 Suburban, 30,000 pesos, Telephono Amelia en Castle Bungalows en LaPenita, 327-274-0958.
FOR SALE: My husband died. Need to sell his boat with Honda motor on a trailer. 55,000 pesos. Call Amelia at Castle Bungalows in LaPenita, 327-274-0958.
SE VENDE: Launcha con Honda motor en remolque. 55,000 pesos. Telephono Amelia en Castle Bungalows en LaPenita, 327-274-0958.
FOR SALE: Small freezer. Works good. 1,500 pesos. Contact Amelia at Castle Bungalows In LaPenita. 327-274-0958.
SE VENDE: Confrilador, chico, 1,500 pesos. Telephone Amelia en Castle Bungalows en LaPenita, 327-274-0958.


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Now you can report police and government corruption in Mexico on line click here

Your personal information will be protected in accordance to the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information and Guidelines

Got a question?

If you are unsure of how to fill the complaint form, complaint, suggestion, request or recognition, we advise you 24 hours a day 365 days a year.


01800FUNCION (Citizen Contact Center)













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TABLES of ten have sold out

Individual ticket sales are still available




 Bigfoot Truck Camper


2001 Model 3000, Series – Excellent Condition,

Queen size Bed, Dinette which converts to second bed

Range/Oven, Furnace, Double Sink, Full Shower and

Bathroom, Microwave, Air Conditioner, Two Awnings,

TV in Bedroom, Electric Jacks.  Immediate possession.

See  Tom at Oasis Trailer Park – Phone 322-116-6072

To view more classifieds click here

For Sale
1.  4 aluminum screen doors with frames and trim as well as locks and keys
2   4 heavy steel cross bar and glass doors with locks and keys
3   1 bathroom set with toilet, tank, sink and accessories
4   1 sliding shower door (tub size) with frame
Call 274 0776 for prices..  Will discount to someone who wants it all!!
Se Vende
1.  4 puertas de aluminio y moscatera con cerraduras y llaves - con marcos
2   4 puertas de fiero y vidrio, con cerraduras y llaves
3   1 juego de baño - taza, tanque, lavabo y acesorios para jabon, toallas, etc.
4   1 puerta corriendo para regadera con marco
Por favor llamar 274 - 0776 para precios - hay un descuento si quiere todas las cosas
Bob & Linda Gibbs
Casita de La Peñita



We would like to rent a 3 bedroom house on or very near the beach in Rincon de Guayabitos. Three Canadian couples with no children and all non smokers looking to rent from January 31, 2010 till March 15th 2010.

LOOKING TO BUY VEHICLE in the Guayabitos area, 4 door and must be in good running order. Also must have Nayarit plates. Will be in Guayabitos at the end of Oct. 2009. Please email pictures and price to
MIRAR PARA COMPVAR UN VEHICULO en el area de Guayabitos, 4 puerta y debe estar en correr bueno orden.Tambien debe tener platos de Nayarit. Estara en Guayabitos a fines de octubre 2009. Mande un correo electronico por favor cualquier imagan y valore a

FOR SALE:  Hughes DW7000 Satellite Unit  $450.00 USD

A new and complete (modem, dish antenna and all mounting hardware) Hughes DW7000 Satellite unit still in the box for anyone wanting to have their own private system. 
please email me for further information

Contact Us

Mexico: Are Safety Concerns Fact or Fiction?
Glynna Prentice - International Living
go to original
December 03, 2009

Mexico's real estate market and tourism industry have been hard hit by the global recession, concerns of drug violence and the swine flu. Are the safety concerns legitimate, or a myth reinforced by the media?
Mazatlan, Mexico - Part of my daily routine here in Campeche, where I live in the Yucatán Peninsula, is to stroll to the historic center and chat with friends who own shops on the main street. I usually go in the late afternoon when the air is cooler and long shadows stretch across the cobbled streets and colonial buildings. It’s a nice walk, and very peaceful.

I used to pass lots of tourists along the way, but I don’t anymore. These days my friends mostly talk about how tourism is down, and with it their sales.

Tourism all over Mexico has slowed to a trickle this year. Part of this is due to the global recession, which has left people with less money to spend on travel. But mostly it’s due to bad press, to fears of swine flu and of drug violence. And it’s a shame, because it’s both inaccurate and undeserved.

It’s doubly a shame because those fears are making folks miss out on some exceptional bargains. Right now, you can get big savings on Mexico travel deals - discounts on hotel stays, air fares, restaurants and the like - to entice tourists back. The tourists who come all have a great time.


    Mexican authorities shut down Blackfire mine

    A demonstrator lights candles next to a banner with a picture of anti-mine activist Mariano Abarca Robledo during a protest outside the Canadian embassy in Mexico City, on Dec. 3, 2009.

    The Canadian mining company entangled in a murder investigation of a local activist has had its mine shut down by Mexican authorities because of environmental violations.

    The Ministry of the Environment for the state of Chiapas has temporarily closed a barite mine owned by Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration Ltd., citing several infractions, including pollution and causing toxic emissions, a government spokeswoman said yesterday.

    Three men linked to Blackfire, including a current employee, were recently arrested in the Nov. 27 slaying of activist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who had publicly protested against the mining operation located in Chicomuselo, Chiapas. Ministry spokeswoman Carolina Ochoa denied the mine closing had anything to do with the killing.

    Brent Willis, president of Blackfire, said the company has not been told why the mine, which has been operating since November, 2008, was closed.

    “The government asked for it to be shut down today … we don't have an understanding of why it was shut down,” Mr. Willis said in an interview.

    Privately held Blackfire, which is controlled by Mr. Willis, his brother Brent and Mexican investor Emiliano Canales Avila, has denied any role in the death of Mr. Abarca, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting outside his home.

    Mexico's Attorney-General has said that all three men arrested in the murder are linked to Blackfire. Mr. Willis denied this. He said one man, Caralampio Lopez Vazquez, works for the company, but that the other two are no longer employees.

    “We were not involved in the incident in any manner,” Mr. Willis said.

    The mine shutdown and murder investigation comes as Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean visits Chiapas on a diplomatic tour and as Parliament considers Bill C-300, a private member's bill that would impose sanctions on Canadian resource companies that violate human rights and environmental standards in foreign countries.

    The powerful mining industry is lobbying hard to quash the bill, introduced by Liberal MP John McKay, but concedes the Blackfire situation is unlikely to help its cause.

    “It is a serious situation and it is a tragic situation,” Gordon Peeling, president and chief executive officer of The Mining Association of Canada, said of the murder.

    “It is not helpful in terms of the dynamic of the discussion for those that want to link these things. Their thinking is flawed if they try to link it to C-300,” he added.

    Roger Maldonado, another activist in Chiapas who knew Mr. Abarca, said Blackfire has been accused of causing environmental damage and bribing local officials and that anti-mining activists have faced threats and retaliation from mine employees.

    “They feel their jobs are jeopardized by somebody protesting against the mine,” Mr. Maldonado said in an interview.

    Ms. Jean and Peter Kent, Canada's junior foreign minister for the Americas, were touring in Mexico yesterday as the Blackfire mining operation was being shut down.

    A spokeswoman for Ms. Jean said the Canadian delegation was not targeted by protests related to either the environmental accusations that have dogged the mine or the murder charges pending against people linked to the Canadian company.

    But in Canada, federal opposition members say there must be some controls placed on Canadian corporations operating abroad.

    Mr. McKay, the author of Bill C-300 said allegations like those levied against Blackfire, even if unproven, damage the company, the industry and the reputation of all Canadians.

    Peter Julian, an NDP MP who has put forth his own bill that would allow people who have been harmed by Canadian corporations operating in other countries to seek redress in a Canadian court, says Mr. McKay's bill does not go far enough.

    “The actions of a Canadian company, good or bad, have an impact on Canada as a whole,” said Mr. Julian, whose proposed legislation is unlikely to get as far as Mr. McKay's.

    “There is no doubt that there are a number of Canadian companies that have been irresponsible,” he said. “That, unfortunately, gives a black eye to the whole industry and does have an impact on Canada.”

    The government needs a means of address for these kinds of issues to ensure that Canadian companies are always acting in a socially end environmentally responsible manner, Mr. Julian said.

    Eleanor Johnston, a spokeswoman for Mr. Kent, confirmed that no protesters greeted the Canadian dignitaries yesterday. “A crime has been committed and the appropriate Mexican authorities are investigating,” said Ms. Johnston.

    With files from The Canadian Press

    Become a Friend of Nayarit on Face book click here
    Wanted: Looking for second hand woman's bicycle. Prefer a cruiser type, appearance not important, working order or not.

    Busco una bicicleta para mujer. Prefiero el tipo cruzer de playa, en servicio o no.
    correo electronico


  •  Learn Spanish Learn Spanish Today Learn Spanish - Learn Spanish on-line for free, using interactive audio/visual lessons.


    Speak Spanish - That Should be Your Goal!Free Spanish Lessons

    Learn Spanish Today   Make 2009 the year that you learn Spanish

    Can you Speak Spanish? How long have you been studying Spanish? Between high school classes, college classes and you own efforts you could easily have a couple years already under your belt. During this time you have likely built up a good Spanish vocabulary, along with a basic understanding of Spanish verb conjugation. But can you speak Spanish?

    Why is speaking Spanish so hard? Would you feel comfortable approaching a native Spanish speaker and starting a conversation? Why not? Why is it so hard to speak Spanish evenBeginning high school and college Spanish classes, as well as most self study Spanish courses start off by teaching vocabulary and verb conjugation. You practice speaking, but the focus is on the individual word or phrase. Lists of words are memorized and tests are given on verb conjugation. So when it comes time to speak, the words and phrases are separate in your mind. It becomes a matter of trying to pull all the pieces together and form them all into a sensible sentence, not just speaking.

    The key to becoming more comfortable in speaking situations is to practice and learn the sentences as a whole, not in separate pieces. This way when you are trying to remember what to say, the whole sentence pops in your mind, not just one word. You will speak Spanish more correctly, more fluently and more confidently than ever before.

    The Visual Link Spanish Course allows you to utilize this effective way of learning and practice speaking Spanish. In our free online demo lessons, you can see how we utilize these strategies to truly teach you to speak Spanish. You will be able to recall everything you learn and words will come into your mind as a complete sentence not separate individual words. You will already be on your way to speaking Spanish more fluently and more confident

    Learn Spanish Learn Spanish Today Learn Spanish - Learn Spanish on-line for free, using interactive audio/visual lessons.

    New with travel guide information added!

    Pacific Coast Road, Driving and Travel Guide Log 2010

    Driving in Mexico just got a little safer with the release of México Road Logs - A comprehensive compilation of road logs of the Mexican Highway system researched and created by Bill and Dot Bell (  They have just released the updated version of their successful Nogales to Puerto Vallarta road Log and Travel Guide.

    The Mexico Road Log and Driving Guides give details of what to expect along major travel routes when visiting different areas of Mexico. "Far more than a simple map, these road logs detail intersections, driving directions, points of interest, and provide important information on driving hazards that even current GPS systems do not track" said Dot Bell. "The Road Logs are a must for those who are driving throughout the Baja, Pacific, Gulf Coast, and the Interior of Mexico." 

    According to Insurance Guru Jim Labelle President of Mexpro (the largest insurance supplier to Canadians and Americans entering Mexico ) the Road Logs will make car and RV travel in Mexico less intimidating. "For years, our clients have asked us for updated road logs of Mexico," Labelle said.

    "The Mexico Road Logs provide our customers with additional peace of mind and will allow them to have a more enjoyable Mexico travel experience. They may even prevent U-turns and collisions! By using the Mexico Road Logs, our clients will experience less stress and have a more relaxed driving experience, which should also help Mexpro with reduced claims that in the past have resulted from customers getting lost or losing their composure," Labelle said.

    The Mexico Road Logs are updated, simple to read, easy to use, and offer the perfect solution to people who want to drive and enjoy Mexico.

    The Bell's originally designed the Mexico Road Log for a Caravan they were leading down Mexico's West Coast. "We wanted to list every individual gas station and identifier so folks wouldn't get lost. We wanted to warn them of every turn and hazard along the way," says Bell. "They were such a hit and even the people who have driven Mexican Roads for years were asking for them. They wanted to be reminded where the next gas station was, if it sold diesel or where the next Military checkpoint was likely to be."

    The Bell's are experts in Mexico Travel and have led conferences, seminars and special classes about driving and travel in Mexico throughout Canada and the USA. They have the most comprehensive travel website on Mexico Driving, RVing and Camping and are now working with Mexpro to distribute Mexico Road Logs in an easy-to-use interactive download.

    Available at

    How to download and buy the Road Log

    Click on the buy now button and you will be directed to a merchants page.  Once you pay for the road log you will redirected to an easy to use download page where you will be able to receive your product immediately.  Now only $9.99














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