Full Season Ahead

Many of us took time over the last month with friends and family, some away from Vallarta, some here. Much to celebrate. Being alive. Being with people. Beauty. There were concerts, movies, parties, dinners, worship, practices, etc.

Some of us relished the quiet.

In this new year, in this time of renewal and fresh starts, my mind is not only on the heavier subjects such as self-care, family, love, and resolutions but also on enjoying the people, places, and things that drew me to Vallarta in the first place.

The mountains and the ocean. The pleasant winds. Breezes. And then there are so many things to expand and enjoy.

Spanish classes at the International Friendship Club (IFC) are top on my list, offered at four levels, with classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. This, for me, is an ongoing, never-ending project. I shall be intermediate for the rest of my life! But it is fun learning, and I do progress, even if only at a turtle’s pace (not the teacher’s fault!).

Music is also essential for my everyday life in Vallarta. Two events of note coming up:

Much fun to be had at the IFC High Tea, where my favorite Puerto Vallarta band, Media Luna, will be featured. This event will be held at Casita & Garden on January 11. Get your tickets online at before they sell out. I am hoping to find the right hat!

Broadway songstress Deb Darr performs in a special concert at The Palm on Monday, January 15, at 4 pm.

The proceeds benefit the 20+ charities supported by IFC. Tickets can be reserved by calling The Palm’s box office at +52.322.222.0200 between 11 am and 11 pm. No online reservation or ticketing for this show. You may leave the show with a tear in your eye, a smile on your lips, or both. And knowing you have helped support one of Puerto Vallarta’s greatest charities.

To understand Mexico better, I eagerly anticipate Dan Grippo’s history lectures. This year’s series begins on Friday, January 12, at 10 am at the IFC Clubhouse.

Dan has his doctorate in Mexican history. His entertaining, deeply researched lectures deepen our connection to our adopted country. Tickets to this series may be purchased online at ifcvallarta.org.

For feeling great, few things beat yoga, meditation, tai chi, and art classes.

The IFC offers all these outlets. Ongoing yoga classes are from 9 to 12:30 on Wednesdays at the IFC Clubhouse.

Yoga and Meditation are Saturdays. Tai Chi is on Mondays, 3-4 pm, starting January 22.

A 4-week sketching and painting workshop starts January 16. Tickets are available online.

On the purely social (and foodie) side of life, I will join the ‘Dine Around‘ on January 26. This dinner will be hosted by Dave Westin, with a group of about 20, at Trio in Centro.

For more info, check out the IFC calendar and sign up!

Behind each of these activities is an organization that supports educational and social service non-profits in the Vallarta area, the International Friendship Club. Non-members are welcome at all activities.

Membership supports the operation of the Clubhouse, and members are entitled to discounts on some classes and at more than 30 bars, restaurants, and other venues in Vallarta.

The annual general membership meeting is Wednesday, January 17, at 5 pm. Members will vote on the Executive slate for the next two years.

If you are not already a member, dig deeper into Vallarta by considering membership and perhaps joining committees that review applications for financial support from various non profits.

I would be remiss not to mention one of my favorite activities of the season, Home Tours sponsored by the IFC.

Each week, you and your friends can be transported to 3 or 4 one-of-a-kind homes and villas in the Vallarta area. Filled with design ideas, great art, and views, these tours are rated among the top 10 in Vallarta by Tripadvisor.

The engaging IFC volunteers who escort the tours are full of interesting facts about the Vallarta area and provide information about each home. \\

Home Tours are prepaid via the IFC website, ifcvallarta.org, and depart promptly from The Sea Monkey on the Malecon, Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30. Please check in by 10 am on the morning of your tour. Good mobility is required as several unique homes require a steep walk on cobblestones to access.\\

I am always amazed that these events are the work of volunteers and support Vallarta non-profits. Full season ahead!


  • Peggy A Nelson

    Hailing originally from Chicago, Peggy Nelson is vice president of Vallarta’s International Friendship Club and co-chairs its Social Services Committee. She is a former abuela with Vallarta Abuelos. Her Vallarta grandson plays semi-pro baseball in Sayulita. Her daughter lives in New Orleans. Peggy is a retired international telecommunications attorney.

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