Community Service on the Riviera Nayarit

Many wonderful people help out with community service on the Riviera Nayarit, and  if there is one thing I love to write about is people that help people by doing community service; paying it forward. Paying it forward is the best way to allow your grace to shine out from within.  This is exactly how these two folks live their lives.
This week I would like to honor Bucerias Mexico residents Harold and Sue Sokolove  for their Riviera Nayarit community service endeavors.
Harold and Sue moved to Bucerias about 10 years ago. Harold and Sue lived in Waco Texas (a small town of 12,000 people) where they resided for 22 years before relocating to Bucerias.  Harold was a USPS mail carrier and Sue worked as an industrial engineer for the M&M Mars Candy Company. Harold was also a volunteer for the Waco Fire Department as well as in Iowa for 17 years.
Sue and Harold had spent many years vacationing in Puerto Vallarta and fell in love with the PV  and Riviera Nayarit area like so many of us have. Harold states, “Retirement meant that we could go anywhere we wanted. We met lots of people who vacationed here at the same time, and who were also planning to move or already had moved here.” Sue says she loves to live here “Because something unexpected always happens.” And isn’t that the truth!
Harold told me that Sue speaks Spanish quite well, however, also commenting that he is too lazy to practice, but can minimally converse because he took a couple of courses from Sean at the former BBCC. (Bucerias Bilingual Community Center in Bucerias.) They were also volunteers in the Waco Texas city government and also volunteered with a major Waco charity bike ride in Texas. The energy of volunteering and paying it forward followed them to Bucerias Mexico.

Harold was the former president of the Amigos de Bucerias, (2006-2008), and the original person for the PEACE adoption table at Mega (the former BBCC). They currently work with the Bucerias Children’s Library, Manos de Amor (Bucerias orphanage), Paraiso Felino Cat Shelter, and help with street repairs and clean-ups in Col. Las Palmas and Dorada, the reforestation project and the monthly Bucerias beach clean-ups. Sue also is a member of the Beta Sigma Phi service sorority.Since their relocation Harold has been a volunteer firefighter/bombero for the Proteccion Civil Bahia de Banderas and the State of Nayarit, as well has Sue from time to time over the years.

Bringing in Medical Supplies
Approximately 5 years ago they met Dianne Deboer who is a Critical Care nurse in a Calgary Canada hospital who had purchased a condo at the Aqua in the Flamingos development Nuevo Vallarta. Harold knew from working with the Proteccion Civil that there was always a need for first aid, medical supplies and equipment for their ambulances. Dianne had explained that she was always throwing away good medical supplies at her hospital. (Which I am sure is standard Canadian protocol.) From that point on Dianne began to bring medical supplies every time she came down and Harold and Sue were able to distribute them to the paramedics of Proteccion Civil, the local hospitals and Centro Salud (health centers), which were very well received. Harold tells me, “On one occasion, I arranged the donation to be covered by a Mexican newspaper reporter. I sent Dianne a copy of the newspaper story and she posted it on the hospital wall. Soon, other nurses were salvaging what would otherwise be thrown away under normal hospital policy.” Over the years, this is how Harold and Sue met the directors of the Proteccion Civil Nayarit.
How do you find a Free Fire Truck?
The current director, Maritn Tapia Miranda contacted them about 3 months ago, explaining that he had a friend in San Hose California who was a retired firefighter who bought and sold used fire trucks. He explained that his friend offered the PCE (Proteccion Civil Estadal) a used fire truck for free and only charging for the equipment that it carries which were the hoses, nozzles, ladders, power generator and other miscellaneous tools. Martin contacted them about “supporting” the campaign to get the fire truck for the newly opened PC base in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, who at the time only had one ambulance and one water tanker. Harold said, “The amount of money he needed was not out-of-line for what he told me came with the fire truck (a 1972 pumper), so after a little discussion we said OK.” Some of the moneys they collected were from people who donate money to them, so in turn can be distributed in lump sums to local community service groups and charities that have projects that need funding. They also received permission from the local Fire Chief to offer fire truck rides as a means to raise more funds for the fire department that were needed to purchase supplies and also for maintenance. It has all come together and the fire truck is now stationed in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and is also available to respond anywhere in the municipality. WOW! This is how you get a fire truck donated! ­­­
Harold and Sue keep busy so “We can really enjoy the times when we’re not busy. We have a good time; it keeps us from being bored and we hope it makes the community service organizations more successful.” When they do have time to relax they enjoy going to their newer home of 3 years in Guadalajara. They have some new projects coming up this high season and it will be interesting to see what develops!
Kudos to you, Harold and Sue Sokolove for holding the energy to help others and showing all of us through their example how Riviera Nayarit community service (or no matter where you are) can make a difference in the community. Thank you so much for all you both do for our communities here in Mexico. You are an amazing example of Grace in action.
Visit our FaceBook Page to find out about local Banderas Bay and Riviera Nayarit restaurants, specials, rentals and real estate, and community services.

Offer your help with Riviera Nayarit Community Service in Mexico. 


The Best of Banderas Bay Entertainment – Bryan Savage

Banderas Bay entertainment is amazing during the high season! From rock to jazz to banda and everything in-between! If you have not had the opportunity to see a Bryan Savage concert you have been missing something very special indeed. Bryan has been playing the saxophone and flute professionally for about 40 years playing with big time musicians and vocalists like Al Stewart (Year of the Cat), The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Bonnit Rait and many, many others. Bryan was also awarded a gold record for his sax solo on Steve Martin’s number-one-selling hit single “King Tut”.  He is currently doing shows under his own name as well as  with The Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit every winter in Mexico.
Throughout college he played in bands and felt that playing music was where his biggest interest was. After receiving his BA degree in finance Bryan decided to continue to play and his first CD was self-titled “Bryan Savage” and was released in 1992, which did very well on U.S. radio airplay. In 1996 Bryan was signed by one of the Virgin Records companies with six more CD’s to follow under his name. All of the CD’s have received tons of airplay in the U.S. as well as internationally, with “Catfood” and “Soul Temptation” doing the best, charting in the top 5 or better. Bryan has created many CD’s with other big names in the music industry and has gone on tour in many countries such as Japan, Germany, England, Scotland, Netherlands and Canada, and of course Mexico!

Bryan and his wife Michelle are from my neck of the woods in Colorado; Glenwood Springs, which is located in the Aspen / Roaring Fork Valley.  He and Michelle have been coming to Mexico since 1988, first to Cozumel for vacations, and then starting in 2005 to the Puerto Vallarta area. They purchased their second place on the playa in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in 2010. Their first place was for only a month or so for “get-aways” during the Colorado winters. Now they are both quite happy to escape the cold winters of the Rocky Mountains and stay for 6 months.

Life changing events happen to all of us
, and for Bryan it was in 2010 that he began not to feel well. They had been spending winters in Naples Florida at that time. Bryan decided to make an appointment with a doctor and cardiologist, who did an electrocardiogram and came out saying, “I’m going to call an ambulance to take you to the hospital”.  Bryan told me he did not think he ever had an actual heart attack, but later found out that he was very close to having a fatal one as they found nearly 100% blockage of the heart artery, that the doctors actually call a “widow maker”, as well as a couple of other arteries that were also blocked. Bryan immediately went in for a triple heart bypass open heart surgery. Bryan had always exercised a lot and eaten healthy, which doctors credited for his surviving. They blamed heredity factors on the heart disease.

The Banderas Bay Entertainment Scene

Luckily for all of us folks, and the Banderas Bay entertainment scene and along the Riviera Nayarit, Bryan’s life changing experience led Bryan and his wife Michelle with the decision that it would be more fun to spend winters in Mexico. Bryan stated, “I was planning on being off most of the winters while down here and continue to play the busy playing schedule back in Colorado for the summers, between playing with The Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars, as well as doing my shows that are under my name.”

Music is in Bryan’s blood, or could quite possibly BE his blood as he continues to create new original music each year. When he plays solo, Bryan puts on a terrific show with computerized accompaniments he has created which creates a rich full sound, complete with a light show.

For Banderas Bay entertainment at it’s best, jazz music from The Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars are amazing and are not called the “Allstars’ for nothing!
They put on an amazing performance with Chas Eller on keyboards, Steve York on bass and Lazaro Poey on drums / percussion and Bryan playing alto sax and flute. Bryan also enjoys playing private parties and events as well and packs the dance floors.

You can catch Bryan Savage solo concerts at Breakers Beach Bar for a special Valentine’s Day Sunset Concert in Bucerias, Sonora a la Parrilla on Feb 24th in Bucerias and at Oso’s Oyster Bar every Thursday in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle at the marina, and also plays at Los Arroyos Verdes throughout the season for the fun Sunday Pool Party they have.

The Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars are playing in Sayulita and Zen Garden (a wonderful venue) Friday, January 30th, (their second show there this season!), and Puerto Vallarta at the Red Room on Feb 7th, 20th, March 6th, 20th. They are also playing the 15th Annual San Pancho Music Festival, which is February 27, 28 and March 1st. They are not yet sure which day they are playing yet as schedules continue to unfold. To find out more or contact Bryan Savage you can check his page out here. Thanks for all of the amazing Banderas Bay entertainment and the sweet music Bryan Savage creates for us!

For the very best of Banderas Bay entertainment check out Bryan Savage in Mexico!


La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Hosts 4th
Swimming Competition

The 4th Annual Open water swimming Competition , (Aguas Abiertas Riviera Nayarit Nadoseguro) will be held this Saturday, May 17th, 2014 in the Riviera Nayarit pueblo La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, on the playa next to the Marina Riviera Nayarit (La Cruz Marina) starting at 7am and finishing at 2pm.  There are going to be a lot more people this year, as there are 700 registered competitors, which is double the amount from the first tournament which was held in 2011.  The competitions are regulated as well as judged by people from the International Swimming Federation (Fina) as well as the Mexican Swimming Federation (FMN).

Registration Closed
They have had to close the registration early due to so many people signing up. The competitions are include all ages of athletes from 5 to 70 years old, and welcomes competitors from regions of Mexico, as well as Canada, the United States and abroad.
In previous competitions the categories were7 to 20 year-olds making a 500 m lap; kids ages 11 and 12 swimming 1.250 km.; swimmers ages 13 and 14 competing in the 2.5 km swim, and amateurs 15 years and older swimming the 3.75 km in the required time of under 2 hrs. The main competition is a 5k race for professional swimmers with a time limit of 1 hour, 20 min.

Place/Prize Trophy  Information:
1st Place – Trophy and $4,000 pesos
2nd Place: Medal and $3,000 pesos
3rd Place: Medal and $2,000 pesos
4th Place: Medal and $1,000 pesos
5th Place: Medal and $500 pesos

The event has huge financial backing and is heavily supported from the government, as well as the State of Nayarit and the Secretary of Tourism, as well as sponsors like “Riviera Nayarit” and “Mexico”, which helps to create the success for this annual swimming event.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is the perfect place for this swimming competition due to its pristine beaches and safe swimming location, along with local hotels and restaurants and road access.  There is also plenty of room for everyone to come and enjoy the day on the beach and cheer for their swimming friends, a fun time for all. There will be vendors with food and drinks, tee-shirt stands and more. If your looking for a terrific place to stay right on the playa next to the La Cruz Marina check out Villa Amor del Mar, La Cruz Beachfront Boutique Inn. Chris and Cindy are fabulous hosts!

If you missed out on registering for this year’s swimming competition, here is the information to get in on next year’s competition! You may email at, or call 322-209-0716.  Well known and important swimmers will be competing, such as female competitor and Olympic medalist Lizet Rueda Santos.
I wish all of the competitors the best of luck! Buena Suerte! and have FUN above all!
Come on over to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle this Saturday and enjoy the festivities! If your looking for more information about La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, local La Cruz Restaurants and other information, please  visit the website . See you on the playa!

Discover La Cruz de Huanacaxtle on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico!


The Best of Banderas Bay Entertainment

During the high season you can find about any type of music that is known to mankind on the Banderas Bay Entertainment / Puerto Vallarta scene in Mexico Every pueblo on the Riviera Nayarit has a different flavor, with music festivals, the town festivals, and all at different months during the season. Bars and restaurants love to have live entertainment to persuade you to come and eat at their restaurants..and why not?! Some have a cover, some do not. Some are beachfront and outside, some are not.  Its a great way to explore some good food and fun entertainment.
One  fun addition this season for great Bucerias entertainment is at the Luna Lounge. They have created a One Time Only Friday Cabaret show and have  well known celebrities and impersonators come from all over for a one time show, instead of the regular weekly gig.
Their next show is to celebrate Elvis …ELVIS IS IN THE HOUSE! On January 10th. You can check the Bucerias community calendar for all the Luna Lounge events (like the Tuesday’s Crazy Bitches Drag Show) and the special one time Friday’s show as well as other Bucerias fun and events, or click here to make a reservation or get more information.

Well Known Musicians for Banderas Bay Entertainment

There are several well known musicians that reside here during the winter season. One of my favorites is Bryan Savage.  Bryan has played his saxophone and flute to audiences in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Canada with Al Stewart, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Amazing Rhythm Aces and John Denver. He has opened for Bonnie Raitt, Mick Fleetwood, Santana, Glen Frey, Eddie Money, Journey, Gary Burton, Rick Braun, Chuck Mangione, just to name a few! He also has a new CD out. You can catch him playing with another well known musician Chas Eller (keyboard extraordinaire) and the AllStar Jazz Band at the Paradise Theater, (200 pesos not including dinner I believe) or out by the pool at Los Arroyos Verdes on January 19, 2014 cost 200 pesos includes the pool pass, lunch and a couple of drinks…
(a smoking deal!). Also catch him every Tuesday in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (just past Bucerias towards Punta de Mita) at Oso’s Oyster Bar and Fish Market on the La Cruz Marina, no cover charge! If you don’t feel like driving, stay at the fabulous
Villa Amor del Mar Boutique Hotel
, located on the playa overlooking the La Cruz Marina. Chris and Cindy are amazing hosts, and have all sorts of fun package deals as well!

Who is Luna Rumba Anyways??

I keep getting asked this question, WHO IS LUNA RUMBA?? which amazes me! How could one not have heard about Luna Rumba??? They are fantastic!!
A hot Latin based band on the Banderas Bay entertainment scene this season is Luna Rumba performing Latin, flamenco, Middle Eastern, Celtic riffs and Cuban rhythms.  They have a very interesting story, and most folks that have heard of them know them from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, where the music for their first CD was created, and Luna Rumba was born.
They recently played at Breakers to a packed house Dec. 28th, for a Sunset concert .hahaha..with the rainy weather there was a tiny sun way out there, however no one cared; (their last no admission concert) and will also be performing at the Paradise Stage Community Center this season starting in January with their first show on January 16th, tickets;  200 pesos. You can also catch them at the Taste of La Cruz on January 10th,  at the La Cruz Marina Malecon for 100 pesos per person, and enjoy delicious foods from Banderas Bay restaurants. Cheko can be found at Los Arroyos Verdes playing his guitar and singing for fun Sundays by the Pool as well on January 12th and January 26th, 2014. Click here for Concert Dates. 

It all started with a Canadian musician Geo Urich who sailed into the small port of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. A new friend introduced him to Cheko Ruiz, a talented singer and song writer from Mexico City.  It is said, that after a jam session one afternoon at Rick’s Bar, they continued to play together creating original music which started an enthusiastic following.  After playing together for only two weeks, they were asked to play for the International Guitar Festival musician’s welcome dinner. They went their separate ways after that, promising to play together in the future. Who knew!!!

Bringing you up to date three years later, in 2012, Cheko (right) Ruiz and Geo Uhrich (left) got together in La Cruz, where Geo was docked  and started writing and rehearsing / recording songs for what was to become Luna Rumba.  During this time they met up with Chas Eller who plays keyboards on the album and drummer / percussion whiz Carlos Mancilla, and a few other great musicians to round out the sounds. The end result was a world-class CD with 11 original songs.

Already Winning Awards….
In March 2013 they were notified that the song “Vamoa  Rumbear” that Cheko wrote, which Geo had submitted to the John Leno Songwriting Contest, won finalist in the World Music Category out of thousands of entrants. Another song on the CD entitled “Espirtu Amor” (my favorite) written by Geo placed second in the world in the instrumental category for the USA International Songwriting Contest. They are on their way to win a  Latin Grammy!

Luna Rumba prides themselves playing every concert live. (Not everyone does!) Their real acoustic rhythms,  (meaning not pre-recorded), violin and guitar leads; with Cheko on guitar with his amazing vocals will absolutely melt your soul.
Geo is on violin, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, along with other amazing musicians like Carlos on percussion excite everyone and bring them to their feet to dance!

With Luna Rumba, real acoustic instruments meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depths of sound that will amaze you. Check out the Banderas Bay entertainment with live music on the Riviera Nayarit, and look for Luna Rumba Band!

Banderas Bay entertainment has a lot to offer on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico.


2nd La Cruz Sunday Market of High Season

It was Sunday morning and the La Cruz Sunday Market comes alive for the second market of the high season.  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is located on the Riviera Nayarit in amazing Mexico. This is where one of the best Mercados is found…the La Cruz Mercado.
It was another hot day  and the early birds were already there. I drove in looking for a parking spot and with place pretty full, but somehow I always manifest a good space.
Upon entering the La Cruz Sunday market the band Expiral was playing English songs that everyone could sing along, mostly older rock – n – roll.  The ambiance of the La Cruz Mercado (market) was very upbeat and enjoyable with a good crowd.  The La Cruz market is held alongside of the La Cruz Marina, so the Malecón was lined with vendors of every kind of product all the way down past the La Cruz Fish Market, and down to the end of the jetty.

The venders at the La Cruz Sunday Market provide organic food items such as sunflower honey made in Guadalajara, and Organic Peanuts with Carahuate Carlos, (from PV), homemade Chimichurri and pickles..spicy or German style from Alberto are excellent.  Check out the home made jams….it’s fun to walk around sampling all of the goodies!
Natural homeopath items and fresh farmers market products also abound with soaps and body butter creams from Oxnards Country House Soaps. Great lip balms too!  and if you enjoy aromatherapy oils, many of the creams have them. Having skin issues?…come on over and talk to Greg.
Arts and crafts with many made from plastic bottles or recycled items like these butterflies! and oh so much more!