The International Friendship Club Kickoff Fiesta!

It was fun to join the International Friendship Club’s (IFC) formal season kickoff on Sunday at the always-interesting Arte Vallarta Museo in el Remance neighborhood, with live music, tasty appetizers, and delicious libations. The evening was a chance to relax and enjoy the reunion while making plans for the next few months.

The kickoff was a great example of how the IFC pulls people together.

Attendees loaded Santa’s bag with Toys for Tots which will be distributed to children around Banderas Bay in time for the Three King’s Day celebration on January 6. In case you missed this event, the IFC Clubhouse has a Toys for Tots bin.

If you want to spread some holiday cheer and help package and distribute the toys in early January, contact Linda at

My partner and I hopped onto the IFC Home Tours bus two days later. This was my fourth or fifth tour and his second. There was a woman on our bus who had been on 28 tours!

Four exceptional homes were on the list, three on the waterfront just south of the Romantic Zone and one above Rio Cuale in Gringo Gulch.

The first villa is owned by a French couple with a delicious taste in art. Their waterfront home had several sculptures by Sergio Bustamante, whose amazing sculpture “The Search for Reason” (aka The Pillowheads on a ladder sculpture) is a great favorite to climb and photograph on the Malecón. There was no shortage of interior design ideas that drew upon local Mexican flavor.

The IFC all-volunteer team of guides and docents looked after our safety and filled in details about the homes.

Don’t miss out! Our final Home Tour for 2023 is on Tuesday, December 19.

Then, the team will take a well-deserved break. Twice-weekly tours will resume after the new year. Home Tours are important for IFC as one of the main sources of funding for IFC charitable activities.

It may come as a surprise that even though Home Tours raises funds for charitable organizations, they are rated number 10 on Trip Advisor for 400+ tours available in the Puerto Vallarta area.

Home Tours are pre-ticketed via the IFC website. They will whisk you away on clean, air conditioned buses from the Sea Monkey Restaurant at 10:15 AM on Tuesday, December 19.

There are several IFC programs I’m looking forward to. IFC’s first “Dine Around” was held

last Friday at River Café on Isla Rio Cuale. These groups of about 20 people get together for an evening out.

Please keep a look out for Dine Arounds and Meet & Greets on the IFC calendar.

High Tea at Casita & Garden on Thursday, January 11, is a must-do! I love being surrounded by greenery, peaceful sculptures and the pond in the garden. This is an opportunity to play with hats, fascinators, and other dress-up items! Think pink!

An even bigger plus is the music provided by Media Luna, my unequaled favorite band in Vallarta. In case you’re unfamiliar with Media Luna, they are virtuoso musicians who enthrall audiences with Spanish, Mexican and international songs. What an afternoon this will be!

I’m also looking forward to seeing young people learning to play jazz. These are Vallarta’s Salty Paw youth jazz orchestra, a group under the umbrella of the Instituto de Artes Musicales de Puerto Vallarta (IAMPV). Tickets for this IFC co-sponsored event at Oscar’s Restaurant on Isla Cuale on January 21 will soon be available on the IFC website,

Remember to renew your annual membership and join us for our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, January 17, at 5 PM at the IFC Clubhouse.

The first 20 members registered will be entered in a raffle to win a free Home Tours Ticket, valued at 800 pesos or about 50 USD. Come out to elect and meet your new Executive and Advisory Board members.

Signing off from the IFC for this week, dear reader. Wishing you a very happy holiday season!


  • 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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