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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Loreto - Ladies Birthday Luncheon

LORETO Ladies Birthday Luncheon - July 2010
 Date: Thursday, July 8, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m.

Location: Porto Bello Restaurant, Puerto Escondido
This is a beautiful location, overlooking the harbor, and wonderful mountains. We hope to see everyone!

Price: $110.00 pesos (lunch, tip, beverage)
Menu: Free range chicken salad, ice tea or lemonade
Birthday cake ($15.00 pesos)

Please RSVP to flintreefranger@q.com or call 818-934-9775(Noreen Brown) by Friday, July 2, 2010.

TODOS SANTOS - Pescadero's Barrio De San Juan Carnival - This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Pescadero's Barrio De San Juan Carnival - This Friday, Saturday & Sunday starting at 6PM daily when the day's heat wears off and a pleasant breeze comes in off the Pacific. All (locals & expats) are invited to join the fun at any or all of the following:

July 2, Friday: Carnival rides/games + music and food 
July 3, Saturday: Carnival, Queen Contest, Dance to live music, Queen coronation 
July 4, Sunday: Kids' Day with traditional July 4th activities--sack/3-leg races, tug-o-war.

San Juan barrio playground/basketball court is located north end of Pescadero. (Before first tope toward Todos, turn right, first street right on corner.) Hope to see you there! - , southbeachcom2010@yahoo.com, 612 118 3423, Pescadero BCS Mexico

PEOPLE & VOICES - Sea Change


Sea Change By Paula Brook

It hasn’t been easy explaining to my friends back home why I love living in the Baja despite all the bad news flowing north from here. I go breathless defending my second home, describing the wild beauty of the desert, the astounding sea life, the easy pace, the simple pleasures – until I see their eyes glaze over and I know what they are thinking: that I can have it, they’ll stay home.

But now I have this photograph, and a story that says it all. In the photo my new friend Sujey is smiling broadly, her arms around her two young children, Kimberly and Jorge. They’re on a white sand beach on the tiny perfect island of Coronado half an hour by fishing skiff from the southern Baja town of Loreto where they live, and where my husband and I have built our retirement home on the edge of the Sea of Cortez.

It’s not the picture’s setting that is exceptional, though. There are plenty of white sand beaches in Mexico, though arguably few as pristine this one. Coronado is one of five uninhabited islas protected by the Bay of Loreto National Marine Park. Many gringo tourists are drawn to Loreto for precisely this – the rare chance to cruise unspoiled waters past coral reefs and sea lion colonies, cliffs dotted with blue-footed boobies and topped with osprey nests. The sea here is a giant jack-in-the-box where clownish dolphins pop up by the hundreds to dive and race alongside your boat and manta rays leap and sailfish perform their defiant dance on cue, “catch me if you can!”

Not to mention the whales – humpback, blue, grey, fin, sperm, sometimes it’s actually too much to take in. It can’t possibly be for real. But it is, a treasure chest open to those of us lucky enough to have a boat or the money to charter one. Riches for the rich. Same old story.

But here’s where the story takes a turn. Sujey and her family, like the majority of Loreto’s nearly 11,000 residents, live by the sea but are landlocked by their povery. A recent survey taken by the US-based conservation group Rare, found that more than half the population of Loreto is not even aware there is a marine park here, nor that the view from their noisy little malecon is of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – something to be proud of, to protect.

And this is the challenge faced by organizations like Rare. It is hard to share the conservation message with people whose feet have never touched the white sand where the tiny fragile tortugitas hatch each fall, people whose parents cooked sea turtles for supper. Harder still to convince local fishermen to count and measure their dorado and turn home to their hungry families in mid-morning if they’ve already caught their limit.

Which is why the local staff of CONANP, the federal parks department, applied to Rare for the resources they would need to undertake a two-year “Rare Pride” awareness campaign in Loreto. The program was approved, resources allocated and a local organizer named Perla Lozana Angulo hired to launch the program 18 months ago.

Today, as the Rare Pride campaign winds down, real pride appears to be winding up. You can hardly toss a clamshell in Loreto without hitting a poster announcing “
You digo si a la pesca responsable” (I say yes to responsible fishing) or “Loretanos por un mar lleno de vida!” (Loretanos for a sea full of life!)

Cars sport the slogans on their bumpers; school kids wear them on blue rubber wristbands. Murals at the soccer and baseball parks announce that points are being scored “for sustainable fishing!”

But for Sujey, pride was just a catchy slogan until last month when she boarded a boat for the first time in her life and headed out to sea. It was our boat, with my husband Shaw at the wheel and me on lifejacket duty and seven others on board including little Jorge and Kimberly.

Ours was one of 23 boats recruited for a day of free rides offered to Loretanos who had never been to the islands. Among the captains were local fishing guides, park officials and
extranjeros like us who were keen to offer our Mexican neighbors a glimpse of the magic that is their birthright.

Free sailing and kayaking were also on offer all day at the municipal beach. On the malecon, Perla Angulo was overseeing a giant clam cook-off along with puppet shows and information kiosks. But the longest lineups were for the island tours, organized by Loreto’s Rare director Cynthia Mayoral who could have used 20 more boats to accommodate the crowd. As we set off toward Isla Coronado, we looked back to see people queuing patiently for second and third sailings.

It was to be a very full day for us volunteers, but muy
lleno de vida – and I don’t just mean sea life.

“The idea of the boat rides was to create an opportunity for people to have an emotional connection to the park,” Mayoral told me later. “We got more than 250 people out there, and the reaction was amazing.”

What pleased her most was the pride expressed by the park staff – “guys who do this important work everyday and don’t get much recognition or credit. Out on the water that day, sharing the park with their community, it was a real breakthrough experience for them.”

As it was for us, sharing our passengers’ thrill at discovering the paradise in their own backyard. For Sujey, the best was the exhilaration of flying across the waves at 40 knots, like a ride at the fair, she told me, “
pero mucho mejor!”

Her boss at a health spa gave her the day off for this adventure and she threw herself into it, bringing swimming gear and toys and snacks for the kids – their first island picnic. So many firsts.

Little Jorge, who loves looking at pictures of sea animals and trying to identify them, went into near shock as we neared
el punto de lobos where a dozen-odd sea lions lazed in the sun, some with sleeping infants draped across their great sloping backs. When some of the stinky beasts reared up and barked at our approaching boat, Jorge’s mouth fell open and he dived to Sujey’s feet and cowered there for several minutes, taking cautious peeks over the railing while his mom and three-year-old sister shrieked with laughter.

We must have taken more time than most groups laughing at the lobos and scanning for boobies because by the time we swung around the island to the white-sand picnic spot it was uncharacteristically crammed with beached pangas. Shaw and I have been here dozens of times and rarely encountered more than one or two groups of island-hopping tourists or divers exploring the reef. Today we had to carefully angle-park our boat between two others before inviting our passengers to jump over the bow into the warm shallows.

On the beach, Sujey quickly changed the children into swim suits and, with the most cursory look back at me looking at her, turned seaward and walked straight out into the water in sweatpants and t-shirt. Straight as though mesmerized, drawn by an urge stronger than motherhood – some kind of primal tug out into the clear bay, never glancing back, walking until the water reached her chin, pulling the elastic out of her ponytail, shaking her head and diving down, then resurfacing so far out I found myself holding my breath.

Ten, twenty minutes later and a cool wind had come up. The children paid no notice – sandcastles demanded building and rebuilding – but we adults pulled on sweaters and pulled down our hats. I kept my gaze moving from the shore to the sea where Sujey was now a tiny splashing speck in the distance, rounding the reef with strong strokes. Surely cold and tired by now, I thought. Weighed down by wet clothing, no lifejacket, no one nearby to hear a call for help. But just as I was about to cry for her, she waved – a tiny but patently strong and happy signal from afar, and a shout, almost as shrill as the lobos’ bark: “
estupendo!

Basta!” I shouted back to the waving arm.

Ya voy!” it returned, breathless but clear.

Sujey hardly spoke as we motored back to Loreto. She sat straight up into the bracing wind in her wet clothes, tightly hugging her children who shivered and squirmed on her lap, laughing through booby-blue lips even though they’d been dried and dressed and bundled up in their matching tiger-eared towels. They stayed that way for the 30-minute ride back to town, and didn’t budge until after we had docked in the marina.

Estamos acqui,” I said to Sujey, and it was like I had woken her from a dream. She pulled her wet hair back into a tight ponytail and handed the children up to my husband on the dock – their little arms and legs dangling like wet noodles, so tired they could barely walk back to the malecon. But not so their mom, who glowed with energy.

Asi que es eso,” she said quietly as we embraced.

Indeed,
eso es.
-end-



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ENSENADA - Whales Tail 4th of July event

Whale’s Tail July 4th Extravaganza at Bajamar

1st Annual Whales Tail July 4th celebration at Bajamar Oceanfront Resort, kilometer 77.5. 
Sunday - July 4th, the day will begin at 10am with an all-Vehicle Parade. Any vehicle—golf carts, trucks, cars, bicycles—can enter the event, and prizes in a variety of categories will be offered for theme-decoration. 

The parade route will meander through and around Bajamar, beginning at 11am, culminating at The Whale’s Tail palapa.


The free fiesta starts at 12pm. There will be artists and crafts booths, a health care booth providing free blood pressure checks on site, Baja Good Life Club booth, as well as other vendor booths. Bands will play throughout the day, and visitors will be treated to a colorful and visual display of folkloric dancing. Plenty of food will be available for purchase, catered by Calafia hotel, and Dona Lupe is offering tastings of their excellent local wines.

A highlight of the July 4th celebration will be the Apple Pie bake-off, sponsored by Hogaza Hogaza! European-style bakery in Ensenada. Although this delectable treat is considered by many to be the all-American dessert, interestingly, Ensenada’s own Valle de Guadalupe has become famed for its own version of apple pie, so it is possible that the competition will get—well, competitive.

To reserve a booth at the Extravaganza, or for more information, directions, All-Vehicle Parade registration, or entry forms for the Apple Pie contest, visit www.whalestailbajamar.com.

SAN FELIPE - Mark Dille's First Annual Memorial BBQ Fundraiser

Hot Diggety Dog! - Mark Dille's First Annual Memorial BBQ Fundraiser

Location: ZAPP Animal Center site Date:
Friday, July 9th, 1-4pm

July 9th would have been Mark's 63rd Birthday, so expect the food to be even better than what Mark would have made himself. More info contact Steven Forman, Head DogMan -
bajaanimalrescue@yahoo.com or 707-320-4969 US / 686-577-2708 MX. Presented by ZAPP Animal Center - Zero Additional Pupulation Project www.sfzapp.com

ROSARITO BEACH - 4th of July Beach BBQ


Fireworks, food and fun on the 4th of July.

Fireworks, Food and Fun at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, on Sunday July 4, 2010, in Baja California, Mexico; all for the benefit of The Flying Samaritans. The Flying Samaritans is an all volunteer organization that runs a free health clinic on the 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month for those who have no other access to health care in Rosarito Beach, helping over 300 patients a month.

The event will include Live Entertainment from 4pm to 10pm, Food at 15 different food Kiosks including traditional 4th of July fare of hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob and of course, the finest fish and beef tacos ever. And the Finale will be fantastic display of Fireworks on the Rosarito Beach Pier. Plus a “Yankee Doodle Dandy” sing along. The Rosarito Beach Hotel is offering special week-end rates that include admission to the event.

VIP Package includes reserved seating so people can come and go as they please and still are assured a table under the tent, directly in front of the stage for the afternoon and evening. It also includes 6 free raffle tickets.

Joining in this event will be Furniture Expo who will be at the hotel Friday, Saturday and Sunday with an incredible array of great Furniture and accessories on display and for sale.

Thanks to the support of The Rosarito Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bancomer, The Rosarito Beach Hotel and Furniture Expo; The Flying Samaritans are looking forward to a great Charity Event.

For more information go to www.flysams4thjulybbq.com for reservations flysamsjuly4thbbq@gmail.com or call 858-240-2360.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

BUSINESS - Luxury Avenue

Luxury Avenue Los Cabos Raises the Bar on Boutique

Luxury Avenue Los Cabos, the one-of-a-kind boutique mall, offers visitors a unique shopping experience and the best retail therapy in Baja. In December 2009, Luxury Avenue Los Cabos marked its first anniversary with the opening of several high-end boutiques and the launch of their social media program, which brings their incredible shopping options directly to consumers. Throughout 2010, Luxury Avenue Los Cabos will continue to grow the number of upscale boutiques as it strives to become the number one shopping destination in Mexico.

Though Luxury Avenue Los Cabos opened with an impressive array of boutiques, within the first year it expanded to welcome several additional brands. Premiering first was TOUS, the Spanish brand with the teddy logo and Chopard, the renowned Swiss jeweler and watchmaker. Coinciding with the first anniversary, three impressive names, Paul & Shark, Cartier and Ferragamo, debuted their boutiques further solidifying Luxury Avenue as the place to shop. Marking Luxury Avenue's two-year anniversary, in December, Hermés, the world-famous French brand known for their exquisite leather goods and Birkin bag, will open. These new boutiques are just the latest in the long line of leading luxury brands who have opened at Luxury Avenue including CH Carolina Herrera, Coach, Fendi, Swarovski and Montblanc.

Luxury Avenue is the newest venture from Grupo Ultrafemme, the innovative company that developed the alluring and distinct retail divisions of Ultrafemme and Ultrajewels. With 10 locations throughout Mexico, Ultrafemme offers more than 500 of the world's best cosmetic, fragrance and skin care brands such as Chanel, Clinique, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder, La Mer, La Prairie, and Lancôme. The Ultrajewels boutiques, with 8 locations throughout the country, feature the finest jewelry and timepieces such as Rolex, Breguet, Breitling, Bvlgari, Cartier, Concord, David Yurman, Hublot, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Mikimoto, Omega, Panerai, Roberto Coin, TAG Heuer, Tiffany & Co, Zenith and more.

Friday, June 25, 2010

FISHING - Forktail Fever

Forktail Fever
by Tom Gatch
Veteran Baja Angler, Jay Johnson (left), and Capt. Beto Zamora display
proof that Baja’s quality grade yellowtail are still available just off the
coast of Ensenada.
If I had to name a particular species of gamefish that can be successfully targeted at sometime during the year in almost every region of Baja California, it would have to be the yellowtail. And, over the years, perhaps no place has drawn more anglers to the peninsula to pursue yellowtail than has Ensenada on the Pacific Coast of Baja Norte.

Known as "jurel" to Baja’s pangeros and commercial fishermen, this hard fighting cousin of the amberjack gave Ensenada its reputation during the 1940s and '50’s of being “the yellowtail capital of the world.” Even though they may no longer be present in their previous numbers, this spirited and tenacious jack (Seriola dorsalls) still offers an extremely valuable contribution to the area’s fishery.

Over the following decades, however, commercial development and a rapidly increasing population took their toll. But perhaps the most deleterious practice to negatively impact Ensenada’s yellowtail fishery was the mass, over-harvesting of baitfish stocks for the purpose of making fishmeal. Without the proliferation of forage fish, the once large schools of yellowtail that originally made the region famous gradually faded into memory.

Although not as voracious as the commercial harvesters a half century ago, the large tuna farms that are presently operating off of Baja Norte’s Pacific Coast continue to net massive quantities of baitfish such as sardines and anchovies. In the process, they impose a negative impact upon the very same bait resources that normally draw migrating yellowtail and other pelagic species into our area as the season progresses. But in spite of this fact, Bahia de Todos Santos still remains a productive venue for pursuing this popular gamester.

Nonetheless, yellowtail fishing off of Ensenada remains good in the spring and early summer, and often reaches its peak during late summer and early fall. The fish are generally found in areas ranging up to 60 miles from shore, and can be also be located near offshore banks or islands either electronically or by using more traditional methods, which include looking for surface disturbances as well as flocks of circling, diving birds.

While most anglers end up fishing for the migratory school-sized yellowtail that invade our waters between spring and fall, the real diehards fish for them practically year round by targeting the big, resident "homeguard" fish that can be taken between the southern tip of Islas Todos Santos, and the rocky promontories and pinnacles that thrust above the water’s surface just off the end of the Punta Banda peninsula. Many of these bruisers "forktails" can weigh over 30 pounds. Actually hooking and landing one of these bad boys can be a hit or miss proposition during the off season, but if you are lucky enough to do so, you are in for a fight of a lifetime.

Homeguard "mossbacks," which are often even targeted during winter months, can be particularly frustrating because of their incredible strength and stamina. Once hooked, they will usually begin a powerful, long run toward any type of structure, and have an unnerving ability to wrap your line around whatever is available. When this occurs, it almost always results in a lost fish.

It is essential that your tackle be in top condition and, ideally, you should have a separate rod set up for each specifically different situation; one for live bait, one for iron and one for trolling. Large, mackerel-patterned Rapala-style hard baits work well on the troll, while light surface iron is most effective for casting to boiling fish.

Hungry homeguard yellowtail are rarely able to resist a well-presented live sardine or small mackerel that is dropped right in front of their nose. Baits can sometimes be cajoled to swim to greater depths by simply hooking them through the flesh near the anal fin. When yellowtail are observed crashing schools of baitfish, one of the most effective artificial baits is a surface iron jig in chrome, pewter or a blue/white combination. Cast directly at the activity, let the lure sink for a few seconds, then retrieve at a moderate speed and prepare yourself for a jarring strike.

But, when yellowtail are holding deeper in the water column, heavier bottom iron can be deadly when allowed to fully descend to the bottom, and is then cranked up rapidly. Needless to say, fresh line is always a must when targeting homeguard yellowtail, as are premium hooks that will not bend or break under the pressure. In recent years, the advent of high-quality fluorocarbon leaders that are virtually invisible have made fishing for these sometimes line-shy fish a bit easier.

As table fare, unless it is properly handled and prepared, yellowtail can tend to have a somewhat gamey flavor. That is why it is important to bleed and chill the ones you intend to keep to maintain optimum quality, and then carefully remove all of the dark reddish meat during the filleting process. If that is done, you will then be able to treat friends and family to world-class hamachi sashimi as well as thick, tasty fillets of grilled yellowtail cooked over mesquite. And smoked yellowtail is considered a gourmet delicacy.

Now that the season has finally arrived, it will probably be just a matter of time before schools of yellowtail begin showing up around the Baja coast. And, hopefully, with careful stewardship and responsible commercial and recreational harvesting practices now and in the future, the yellowtail will remain one of Baja’s most valuable native resources for many years to come.
Tom Gatch is the author of Hooked on Baja and has built a solid reputation as one of the foremost authors and photographers focusing on outdoor and recreational topics in Southern California and the Baja California peninusula.
Put the following in a sidebar:

Got a question or hot tip to share? Email it to Tom Gatch: tlgatch@sbcglobal.net

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SAN FELIPE - SalsaFest!


San Felipe Salsa Fest, July 3
by Benjamin Eugene

It's summer and it's hot. This time of year, along the Sea of Cortez, things heat up and slow down; especially in San Felipe. The snowbirds have gone home and the rest of us look for things to keep ourselves busy. This year we are going to celebrate summer, we're going to throw ourselves a party . . . The San Felipe way; when things get hot, San Felipians make it hotter.

Spicy food, hot music, hot weather and cold cerveza are on the menu for the 1st Annual San Felipe Salsa Festival, July 3, in San Felipe, Baja California. Playa San Rafael is the place for a one-day celebration of everything salsa and summer—the food, the music and the dance. You can taste it, you can dance it and you can even take it home!


The event begins a 11 a.m. and will feature the salsa creations of the community, a horseshoe tournament, arts and crafts booths, live music, a barbeque, and lots of great food. The event is free to the public to attend. If you would like to attend, exhibit, compete in the salsa competition or the horseshoe tournament, please visit www.sanfelipesalsa.com for more information.

If you're looking for hot summer fun in San Felipe over the 4th of July holiday weekend, then there is no better and more affordable way to have a good time. This is the first annual San Felipe Salsa Festival and, in an effort to get everyone involved, we have created a variety of activities for everyone—salsa lovers and businesses alike.

Playa San Rafael is located at KM 178.3 on highway 5 north of San Felipe, behind Baja Java and Blowin' Smoke BBQ.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

PEOPLE & VOICES - Tequila & Me

“Tequila, EMTs and Me”
By: Greg McKinney

It has been said that anyone who travels to Mexico enough will eventually have a “tequila story”….


I have observed this phenomenon in others on prior occasions, only to succumb to it myself: Gringos who come to Mexico who believe that simply because they have crossed an international border, the laws-of physics, gravity, and common sense, in particular, no longer apply.


My girlfriend Melissa and I had come to visit San Felipe in northern Baja for a week. We had found our “little slice of paradise” there on the Sea of Cortez and were having a house built. We were also celebrating our birthdays (we share the same day!). Melissa had driven the last leg of the 12 hour trip from the San Francisco bay area and was not feeling quite as refreshed as I, the guy who can sleep through anything. Pulling into our place, we unpacked and I left her there to rest in our casita while I joined some friends for a barbeque at another campo several kilometers away.


A bottle of “Milagros” tequila disappeared while I was enjoying the steak and shrimp. I lost track of my intake after the first few shots and my sense of balance was put to the test as I walked over to my truck for something I no longer recall. I never made it back to the party. I had stumbled, silently, off a cliff in the night! Gravity took over and I was found sometime later, arms and legs stretched out like a starfish on the beach. My friends brought me back up to the top to “sleep it off” in the front seat of their Jeep. I awoke a few hours later, in pain and gasping for breath. I searched for the keys to my truck, fighting for each lungful of air. Confused, wondering what had happened to me, I was determined to get back to Melissa at the casita.


I made it safely there only to pass out from lack of oxygen.


When I came to, my moaning and heavy breathing woke her up as I dragged myself inside. “What’s wrong with you” she said waking up, clearly annoyed with me. The bedside light came on, illuminating my giant head magnificently as Melissa attempted to see what all the fuss was about. “I, I don’t know”, I honestly squeaked trying to take in and release enough air to speak. “I think I’m allergic to the shrimp” was all I could imagine. She had known me for 7 years and knew that I had no such allergy. Bless her heart; she had the presence of mind to insist on taking me to the emergency room at the St. James Infirmary in San Felipe.


The nurse on duty examined me and found no marks on my body to account for my distress but sure became quite animated as he looked at the results of my x-rays.


A broken left shoulder, broken left collar bone, five broken ribs on the left front side with the middle rib puncturing the left lung. My right lung had also collapsed. The nurse stated that if I did not get flown out of there right then to the UC San Diego trauma center, I would probably die. A quick call north revealed that it was a busy weekend and there was no bed space available in San Diego, so I was going to be transported by ground ambulance. The Mexican ambulance crew was both gentle and professional on the code 3 (lights and sirens) run to the El Centro Regional Medical Center. Somewhere past La Ventana, I awoke to find both of the EMT techs standing over me. They had been working to resuscitate me! Job well done!


We were detained at the border only long enough to move me to an American ambulance service from Calexico. Eleven hours after my impact with the beach, two chest tubes were inserted into me to re-inflate both lungs. Later that day, I was flown to UC San Diego to spend the rest of my birthday week in their ICU.


Here is what I learned from all of this: 1) Tequila, while very good, is not meant to be consumed in such large amounts! 2) The medical treatment available that night in San Felipe, while ultimately saving my life by stabilizing me for transport north, was not sufficient to treat my injuries. We need our own trauma center in San Felipe. Until then, I’d advise everyone to look into some kind of “Life Flight” insurance like SKYMED because out-of-pocket ambulance costs can be kind of pricey. 3) It is so easy to take the good you have in your life for granted. I could have easily died that night. The many facets of this story are insignificant to me compared to the fact that I am still here to tell it. I am now well and forever changed.


Ten months after my accident, my very forgiving love, Melissa, married this “Humpty Dumpty”. She and I still travel frequent to visit our beautiful home in our “little slice of heaven” on the Sea of Cortez-San Felipe. Vaya con cuidado!

PEOPLE & VOICES - My Journey to Baja

My Journey to Baja
How I Discovered the Good Life in Baja
In 1963, my husband and I came here to camp for three days with friends, leaving our two children with my parents. San Felipe, at that time, was not much more than a speck.
We fell in love with the area, especially the Sea of Cortez, and decided that when we retired we wanted to live in San Felipe at the beach. Two more children . . . and eight years later my husband got killed in a car accident.
I never returned to San Felipe; but in 2000, the kids raised and having moved to Colorado, I packed up my 6-foot by 8-foot trailer and after 6 days on the road I finally arrived in San Felipe.
When I crossed the border I was pretty scared, I was alone, spoke a little Spanish, but realized this is a different country, different language, different money, yes, different everything I knew . . . but I kept coming.
I now have a larger trailer and live in a campo here in San Felipe at the beach and am very happy that I came. I am living the dream for both my husband and I even though he is not physically here.
I am retired now, hire out for translating, write poetry and just enjoy life.

My kids are mad at me because I am not living my life as they think I should but, after all the years of raising them alone, I feel it is my time to live and this is where I care to live it.
Thank you for listening.

Happy to be here in San Felipe,
Karolina

TELL US YOUR STORY
We'd like to hear your story—how you came to make the decision to move to Baja—the steps you took, the hurdles you overcame, how it improved your life, helped you achieve a goal or learn something that matters in life. Email your story to editor@mexicoliving.info.

PEOPLE & VOICES - La Huerita

Desde Tijuana Hasta Chetumal
by La Huerita

In Mexico the phrase "From Tijuana to Chetumal" is a way of saying "From one extreme to another." Taken literally it refers to the diversity of Mexico's geography: Tijuana, in the extreme northwest, inhabits a desert environment abutting California along the Pacific Ocean; Chetumal, to the extreme southeast, is in a tropical climate on the Atlantic Ocean, abutting Belize. In between is a vast country of multiple climates and cultural diversity, a veritable smorgasbord of delight for the serious traveler.

Lucky me to have had the opportunity to be greeted as "Huera" ("blondie"—"huerita" being an affectionate diminutive of that) from the extremes of the country through that smorgasbord in between! It's been a privilege, a joy and a great learning experience even when comfort was not exactly part of the adventure.

In the "White City" of Merida I've enoyed the typical Sunday afternoon party in the Plaza, with the streets roped off and its people, dressed in their Sunday best, eating, talking, laughing, singing, holding hands, bargaining with vendors for hand crafted items . . .

In Playa del Carmen, before it got famous, I laughed with children along dusty streets, followed as we walked by earnest little black piglets, and one stormy night I was entertained by lightning flashes illuminating a squirming mass of scorpions crawling up the window screen to escape the flooding on the ground.

In a dusty little town along some coast I spent two nights in a tiny hotel where the shower curtain doubled as a bathroom door, there was no hot water and fireflies lit up the room in the evening. The sound of the waves just feet away lulled me night and day; I could have stayed longer and been happy.

In old Cabo I experienced the great solar eclipse, ate myself into oblivion at El Pollo de Oro and got a ticket for "wild parking" when I pulled over to talk to a friend who was crossing the street.

During Dia de los Muertos I celebrated the life of a friend who was buried in a local cemetery. I've been terminally sunburned on the beaches of Cancun; puffed my way up the steep cobbled streets of Puerto Vallarta next to a donkey with a load of firewood; mellowed out in Manzanillo; watched summer thunderstorms roll in over the mountains behind Mazatlan and ridden in a pulmonia through the rain, grinning as if I had good sense; shopped till I dropped in Guadalajara; ridden both "chicken" buses and luxury buses; whale watched at Magdalena Bay; partied at the Rosarito Beach Hotel; kicked back in San Felipe; tidepooled in Rocky Point . . . Ah, where does the time go? I've hardly begun!

Mark Twain once said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness . . ." I'd like to believe I wouldn't have those traits, regardless; but, if any of them were lingering within, traveling and living in Mexico helped remove them. Just one more reason to be grateful.

Thank you, Mexico. Muchisimas gracias!

Spanish Lesson 101

Adjectives:
mayor - larger, older, main
mejor - best, better (adv)
menos - less, fewer
mi - my
mismo - same

Adverbs:
dentro - inside
después - after
durante - during, for (time)
entonces - so, then
hoy - today, nowadays


Conjunctions:
pues - then, well then
que - that, which
si - if, whether
sino - but, except, rather
y - and

Nouns:
hombre - man, mankind; husband
hora - hour, time
lugar - place, position
mano - hand
manera - manner, way

Prepositions:
hasta - until, up to, even (adv)
hacia - toward
mediante - by means of
para - for, to, in order to
por - for, by, through

Pronouns:
le - [3rd person indir. obj. pron.]
lo - [3rd person m. dir. obj. pron.]
me - me
- me (obj. prep.)
nada - nothing, (not) at all

Verbs:
decir - to tell, say
dejar - to let, leave
dormir - to sleep
encontrar - to find
escribir - to write
escuchar - to listen
Common Phrases:
Can you translate this for me? ¿Puede traducirme esto, por favor?
I understand. Ya entiendo.
I don't understand. No entiendo.
Do you understand? ¿Entiende?
Where is...? ¿Dónde está...?
The bicycle... la bicicleta…
Road Signs:
GRACIAS POR USAR EL - Thanks For Using Your Seatbelt
GRAVA SUELTA - Loose Gravel
GUARDE SU DISTANCIA - Keep Your Distance
HOMBRES TRABAJANDO - Men at Work
MANEJE CON PRECAUCION - Drive with Caution
MAQUINA TRABAJANDO - Heavy Machines at Work
NO CIRCULAR POR EL ACOTAMIENTO - No Driving On the Shoulders
NO DE FRENTE - No Entry
NO DEJE PIEDRAS EL ACOTAMIENTO - Do not leave rocks on the highway
NO DOBLE RODADO - No Trucks with Duals
NO ESTACIONARSE EN ACOTAMIENTO - No Parking On Shoulders
NO FRENE CON MOTOR - No Engine Breaks
NO MALTRATE LAS SENALES - Don’t Disregard the Signs
NO REBASE CON RAYA CONTINUA - No Passing on a Continuous Line
NO REBASE POR EL ACONTAMIENTO - No Passing on Shoulders
NO REBASE - No Passing
NO TIRE BASURA - Don’t Throw Trash
NO TRANSITE POR FRANJAS LATERALES - Do Not Drive on Shoulders
NO UTILIZAR FRENO CON MOTOR - No Engine Breaking
OBEDEZCA LAS SENALES - Obey the Signs

Mailbag - June 2010

Tuna Pens and Illegal Netting
I would like to comment on the "Sportfishing vs. Tuna Pens and Illegal Gill Netting" by Dann Manz, published in the May edition of Mexico Living.

HATS OFF TO YOU, DANN MANZ, for speaking out against these tuna pens and gill nets!

We need more folks in Baja like you, who care about our environment, and have the cutzpah to make their opinions heard!

And thanks to the Mexico Living editors for printing this article!

—Vivian Marlene Dunbar, Tijuana

MLG - Vivian, I've passed along your "kudos" to both Dann Manz and the publishers, and we all thank you for taking the time to give us a pat on the back.
Moving to Mexico
I thought I saw an ad from a company that specializes in moving people to Mexcio. I can not find it now. Do you have any information on that or a website I can go to?

Also what are the rules on driving our own stuff down? Anything you can give us would help.

We will be moving to Loreto. Our FM3 is ready for us to pick up this next week on our next trip down there.

Thanks,

---Michelle, Grapeview, Washington

MLG - Michelle, we're extremely excited that you've decided to relocate to Baja.
The company you are referring to is San Felipe Moving & Storage. The article appeared on page 14 of the November 2009 issue. Visit their website, www.sanfelipesafestorage.com, and click on "Importing Your Goods." Also,

I would recommend that you contact them for more detailed information. Please, let us know how the moves goes.

PEOPLE & VOICES - Around Town in Loreto

Around Town in Loreto with Lynn Hamman
On April 21 the Inauguration of Club de Adultos Mayores (CLAM) was held in the Plaza Juarez. This organization has been developed in coordination with the National Institute of Aging Adults and the Volunteer Ladies Committee of Loreto's Municipal DIF. The committee is comprised of Mirella Ramírez De Yee, Presidenta Del Sistema DIF Municipal, C. Mirna Hernández Álvarez Subdelegada de INAPAM en Loreto and Profa. GPE., Araceli Rebollar de Castro Presidenta del Comité De Damas Voluntarias de DIF Municipal. MayorJuan Yee-Cunningham presided over the dedication of the center. The audience enjoyed the festivities including the dancers, singers, presentations and refreshments. Everyone was given a tour of the facility where there will be health information classes, craft classes and Zumba exercise classes by Erika Plascencia (of course, at a much slower tempo).

Loreto Adventure Network (LAN) was developed in February 2010 of local business owners/operators whose common goal is to provide a resource for socially and culturally aware travelers who wish to enjoy the unique beauty, spirit, history, and hospitality of Loreto and surroundings. This group is comprised mainly of guides, tour operators, lodgings and other various businesses in Loreto. Jill Jackson, Debora Simmons and Julie Ramos initiated the group with the help of webmaster Tom Haglund. Currently, there are 17 members of this group who meet bi-monthly at the Eco-Alianza office on Hidalgo. Hopefully, through marketing, more air travel opportunities and the uniqueness of this group, more tourists will visit Loreto. The website is www.loretoadventurenetwork.com. Check it out!
Mayor Juan Yee-Cunningham presiding over the Inaguration of Club de Adultos Mayores (CLAM)
Loreto Adventure Network (LAN) web-banner by Tom Haglund.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Loreto - Dali Update

Dalí Gourmet Store UPDATE:
  1. We are going to be open all summer (if there are any changes, we will let you know).
  2. We are not closing our doors for retail.  We appreciate all business we can get and retail… you're the best!!
  3. Hours during summer, same hours:Mon-Fri              8 am to 6.30pmSat                      8 am to 3 pm
If you have any questions please call Dalí, Gourmet Store (613) 135-2477
Stock up your boat or house with the best products for your kitchen from meats (beef, pork, chicken, duck) to  dairies (half & half, cheeses), groceries and fresh baguettes. Benito Juarez s/n, Col. Centro, Loreto BCS dali_loreto@prodigy.net.mx

Enjoy the beautiful weather.
Submitted by:  Beatriz of Dalí, Gourmet Store

FISHING -Tripui fishing Tour

2nd Annual Tripui Charity Fishing Tournament
June 24–26, 2010


Tripui Sportfishing is a group of anglers that call Puerto Escondido in beautiful Loreto, Baja California Sur, home. Puerto Escondido is located on the Sea of Cortez, surrounded by the Islands of Loreto and the Sierra La Giganta mountains. Tripui Sportfishing's purpose is to raise monies for local charities and to take advantage of the great fishing in Loreto, or as Tournament Chairman Bud Dees says, "The number one purpose of the Tripui Fishing Tournament is to have FUN!"
The original idea of the 2009 Tournament was to raise some money to purchase toys for the poorest children in Loreto. To that end, the children of the Colonia Miramar School(located in the poorest area of Loreto) were chosen to be the beneficiaries. Not knowing what the response would be, a modest goal of US$5,000 was set to purchase Christmas gifts for the children. Thanks to your generous support, they not only met that goal, they doubled it to the tune of $10,500.00!
The school provided them with the names, ages and genders of all the students, and the gifts purchased were age and gender specific. Each gift was individually wrapped (by the ladies of Tripui) and name tags were put on each gift for distribution on the last day of school. In an effort to benefit all the children of the school, various school supplies—writing tablets, pencils, crayons, dry-erase markers, etc.—were purchased for each classroom, as well as some sports equipment (basket balls, volley balls and nets) for school yard activities and a copier (for duplicating tests) was also purchased.
In its first year, the Tripui Sportfishing has improved the lives of so many. Imagine what they could do this year with your support. If you're an angler looking for an experience of a lifetime, while helping others, then come to Loreto and fish for the charity.
For more information, visit www.tripuisportsfishing.com

Pangarama
Baja Dream

Rowe Boat

SAN FELIPE: Life After Cancer & June Babies Party


Please attend the June babies Birthday Party and Life After Cancer Fundraiser.

It's Donna Roberts, Kat Hammontre, Tina Winston, John Pack, and many more June babies Birthdays. We are all celebrating the LIFE AFTER CANCER TOUR. Be the first to see our first two pieces June 25, at Rumors Beach Bar 4:00. From there the Pieces of art will travel to Galleries throughout Mexico and the United States. Additional Pieces will be available November 2010 done by some of Mexico's most famous Artists. Who will be attending the party also. Tavo's band, Denny Flannigan, Jim Manning and others will be entertaining. This also included a spaghetti dinner and many Surprises. The cost is $8.00. Tickets available at Rumors, Kat's Korner, Sunrunner Mail Center, Cancer Center, Fat Boy's, San Felipe Salt CO., and Tina at Jolly Mons Bar.

See you all there




Monday, June 21, 2010

HEALTH - JCI accredited hospitals in Mexico


Medical Tourism Industry Certifications
Maintaining High Quality Services in the Medical Tourism Industry

One of the primary concerns for health travelers is whether foreign providers can offer the same high-quality medical care they receive in their country of origin. This growing demand for foreign healthcare providers has prompted the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the best known healthcare accreditation group in the USA, to form an international offshoot known as the Joint Commission International (JCI).

In 1999, the JCI began surveying and accrediting hospitals and healthcare facilities outside of the USA. There are now 9 accredited hospitals in Mexico and over 220 worldwide, providing quality services for the medical tourism industry.

Mexico

Americn British Cowdray Medical Center IAP - Observatorio Campus, The
Mexico City, Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 06 December 2008

American British Cowdray Medical Center IAP - Sante Fe Campus, The
Mexico City, Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 12 December 2008

Christus Muguerza Alta Especialidad
Monterrey , Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 22 July 2007

Clinica Cumbres Chihuahua
Chihuahua, Mexico
Program: Ambulatory Care
First Accredited: 23 April 2008

Hospital CIMA Hermosillo
Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 11 December 2008

Hospital CIMA Monterrey
San Pedro Garza Garcia N.L., Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 19 December 2008

Hospital Mexico Americano, SC
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 20 March 2010

Hospital San Jose Tec de Monterrey
Monterrey , Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 25 December 2007

Hospital Y Clinica OCA, S.A. de C.V.
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 27 September 2008


This article contains information provided courtesy of Health-Tourism.com. Health-Tourism.com is a directory of medical centers that cater to international patients. Additional Medical tourism in Mexico links avail: http://www.health-tourism.com/mexico-medical-tourism/

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Loreto - Animalandia

ANIMALANDIA SPAY/NEUTER CLINICS ARE SCHEDULED:

July 18-25        World Vets
August        (dates pending)
October 21-23    World Vets

Volunteers are needed to provide meals and recreational opportunities for these wonderful people who come to Loreto to spay/neuter Loreto's animals. Please consider becoming an AnimalandiaAmbassador by hosting a meal at a restaurant or providing one at your home; or taking some of the volunteers fishing or for a panga ride to Coronados.

Also, ANIMALANDIA is in great need of a refrigerator in which we can store medicines and vaccines that require refrigeration. Do you have one you would like to donate?


Questions in regards to the next clinic times, or how you can help us can be directed to Misty at: animalandiadonations@hotmail.com