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My Dream Week in Vallarta at the IFC

New to Vallarta? Are you a long-timer wanting a refresh? Looking for things to do?

I often count on the International Friendship Club’s (IFC) activities to complete my week. Taking advantage of the IFC’s offerings, what would be my ideal week in Puerto Vallarta?

I enjoy languages and am thrilled when I can carry on a conversation in Spanish, even if only a small one. It adds so much depth to my experience of everyday life here, and makes it much easier to do things! I also like to show that I care by trying.

There are four levels of Spanish classes at the IFC Clubhouse: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Each year here, I learn more and feel more at ease. You can see which levels meet when by clicking on the IFC calendar.

As I enter the Clubhouse on Monday mornings, I’ll pass the group that takes advantage of IFC bridge lessons. Monday morning classes are held outdoors, in the shade of the lovely IFC courtyard, nestled above the street noise and traffic.

On Fridays, you can take your pick of playing social bridge in either air-conditioned comfort or on the terrace. This is your group for those who love bridge or are curious to learn from friendly folks.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I can go with my partner or take friends on the IFC Home Tours. These are always fun, mainly because the IFC volunteers make it so. They are an enthusiastic bunch who love what they do. They help people get on and off the bus and into stunning and original homes. They always have exciting tidbits about the part of town we are going through or other tales of Puerto Vallarta. They are knowledgeable about the incredible homes we are about to see.

This season, we have added several new properties to our roster. Check out the post about each week’s featured homes at ifcvallarta.org.

To feel real, real good, I love yoga on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. For me, yoga stretching is better than a massage and lasts longer. I incorporate what I learn into my everyday life.

Other people prefer mindful meditation classes on Saturday mornings or, new this year, gently flowing Tai Chi classes on Monday and Thursday afternoons.

I keep my eyes peeled on the IFC Calendar on the IFC website, ifcvallarta.org, for one-off classes and social activities.

Meet & Greets are held at various venues aroundtown. I love checking out restaurants or bars I haven’t been to before and chatting with people I haven’t met before. It is the same for the Dine-Arounds, usually in groups of about 20, at various restaurants around Vallarta, always led by an IFC volunteer.

My favorite one-off classes are offered by Dan Grippo, PhD, and are typically about Mexican history or religion. Last year, Dan hosted a series about pandemics in Latin America brought about by foreign exploration.

The year before, his topic was the history of religion in Mexico. With religion being so influential, the class was fascinating. Whatever Dan may offer, starting in January, I will be there.

Other one-off programs will be offered throughout the IFC’s high season, December-March, so I frequently check the IFC online calendar for additions.

For example, I remember art classes last season, which will be held again this year, and writing classes one recent year.

The IFC is a social, educational and charitable organization supporting approximately 20 non-profits in the Vallarta area. As a result, there are often activities involving organizations the IFC supports.

I look forward to the Salty Paws Jazz Orchestra, a large youth jazz ensemble, performing on Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 4 pm at Oscar’s. This will be my third year enjoying their lively music and supporting the musical development of these young performers. Proceeds from ticket sales will support the educational programs of Instituto de Artes Musicales Puerto Vallarta (IAMPV), which also supports the Vallarta Symphony Orchestra.

Membership is not required for most IFC activities, but one supports the IFC’s charitable work through membership.

Membership also affords members significant discounts on many IFC classes, events, and some of the finest restaurants, bars, and other venues around Vallarta. There is a list of these on the IFC website.

There is much to love about Puerto Vallarta. Brunch at a restaurant on the beach or alongside the Rio Cuale. Live music at night. When I add to this my IFC Spanish classes, yoga and lectures by interesting speakers, I feel I have such a full life here. So much to do and be thankful for, with the IFC high on my list!

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