There are only three more days to celebrate Guadalupe, the Patron Saint of Mexico. More than 300 processions are participating during this year’s 12 days of festivities.
For me, the best night in the Main Square is December 11, around 11 pm, when everybody sings ‘Las Mañanitas’ to the Virgin. It is joyous!
After the 12th, Posadas are everywhere, with invitees recreating in song Joseph and Mary’s search for lodgings in Bethlehem a couple of thousand years ago. Gifts are exchanged, and coworkers get to know one another better over much food and drink.
In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated traditionally on the 24th, unlike the rest of North America.
We then have a few days of recovery until New Year’s Eve. That will require way more time and space than I have here! Enjoy the Saturday Markets with love From Here.
The Malecon is looking muy festive and literally overnight. The gigantic tree is up, decorated and winking with light. Santa’s chair is in place; the Wise Men are standing by their respective rides, and it’s ‘starting to look a lot like Christmas!’
The Second Annual Fundraiser for Vallarta School for Girls at Los Mangos Library is today at 5 pm. Patrice and I look forward to seeing so many dear friends gather together again – to help our community. In particular, Vallarta’s young women and girls.
I am in awe of our expatriate community, peopled with Francie Nguyen and Cecil Kerfont, who founded this school 18 months ago. A full report tomorrow, From Here.
Last evening’s fiesta at Los Mangos Library for Vallarta School for Girls was a roaring success. The girls started the entertainment, gathered together, and sang for us. Later, they disbursed hugs along with handmade Christmas cards. I was thrilled they included me in that sweet gesture; thanks to Perla A. for your beautiful creation.
Dozens of art pieces ranging from VSG canvases to exotic South African sculptures were auctioned off silently and the old-fashioned way.
Entertainers included Kim Kuzma, Kevin Anthony, Diego Guerrero, Eva and George, Fernanda and Carlos, and Robert Ryan. Derek Carkner was a splendid emcee with Santiago on lights and sound.
Kudos to Founders Francie Nguyen and Cecil Kerfont and your legion of volunteers. What a labor of love.
Patrice and I joined Jan Dorland and Rob Burton at our favorite resto, Il Pesce on Constitucion, for pre-show pasta, long-overdue, uninterrupted conversation, and much laughter. These moments of singular togetherness are rare and sorely missed during this hectic social season.
After funghi fettuccine in truffle oil, we made our way to Act2PV for ‘Divas,’ well-choreographed tributes to Lady Gaga, Selena and more on the Main Stage. I loved seeing Luijer and Indra for the first time since they competed in the last Voice of Vallarta – both incredible dancers.
The processions for Our Lady of Guadalupe are winding down and will finish this evening after 12 days of celebration. Patrice and I stood with thousands in the Main Square last night for ‘Las Mañanitas,’ with fireworks exploding over the church’s crown, welcoming her feast day at midnight. Banks will be closed throughout the city today, and the beaches will be packed as Patrice and I head for the tianguis in Coapinole. If you see us there, say hello From Here.
Vallarta’s suburb, Coapinole, lies on the other side of Pitillal and hosts a fantastic open-air market (tianguis) every Tuesday morning.
It is downright bewildering the first few times – there is such an abundance of everything, notably clothing. The vendors lay their wares in careful piles on their table(s) – teeshirts on one corner, blue jeans on another and maybe long-sleeved shirts in the center.
Within minutes, the ‘order’ disappears and constructive chaos ensues as locals, primarily women, shop to stock their casual in-home stores or closets (like me).
While it sounds like a free-for-all, the sorting is done methodically and with kindness; it’s rare for someone to reach over you to take something. Rather, everyone waits to see what’s discarded, usually to the middle of the table, and therefore, is fair game for the rest.
My sister, Patrice, finds more functional, beautiful winter clothing at the tianguis than in Canada. It’s far less expensive, and buying has a considerable element of surprise, making shopping fun again.
And, with both of us being ‘Polite Vegetarians,’ the fresh food is fabulous.
Due to the last day of processions for Guadalupe, Patrice and I were dropped off by the taxi, with all our purchases, at Casa Ley. The Malecon was full of tourists and Christmassy flair. The air seemed crystal clear and sharp-edged; another exquisite day in Puerto Vallarta, From Here.
Wednesday is Game Day, and the turnout was great for our small Scrabble Club. We had several new, good players stop by for a couple of games; I hope they will make a habit of us!
Upstairs at Nacho Daddy was packed with tourists and locals at yesterday’s Colina Spay & Neuter Clinic bingo fundraiser. These games are essential for funding the free Saturday clinics that have been going on for over a decade and have sterilized nearly 11,000 cats and dogs.
David Duvall gave us a sweet taste of his upcoming Cole Porter concert at Act2PV this coming Sunday. I will see you there!
Wow. Ten days to Christmas. Did I mention it will be Patrice and my first one together in 40 years? Wow, again, From Here.
Vallarta Mirror had its first Posada last night at Il Pesce. The Proofreader, Graphic Designer and Editor/Owner at a tiny table eating amazing fettuccine, exchanging gifts of love, friendship, ideas, and information and genuinely enjoying the company of the Company. Next year, I will remember to take the song sheets!
The Vallarta Symphony Orchestra is offering its Holiday Concert at the American School in the Marina on Sunday, December 17, at 7 pm. Two choral groups will sing excerpts from Handel’s Messiah (and more!) under the expert direction of Aquiles Morales. You may pay at the door. If you can’t make it Sunday, head to Los Mangos Library on Wednesday, December 20, at 8 pm. Thanks, Patricia Silver!
I am heading to the Isla Cuale this morning to Ricardo Mazcal’s Weekend Market to stock up on his Maz-mix, which has kept me energized for a decade. Tonight, Bruno Mars Tribute at Act2PV; I love Victor do Espirito, From Here.