Friday, February 24, 2012


Perhaps it is because San Miguel is surrounded by cacti and scrub, that the early residents of this high desert colonia city splattered their homes and buildings with color.  Unlike Puerto Vallarta, whose beauty is found in its rivers, glistening jungle, deep horseshoe-shaped bay and the undulating Sierra Madres, the beauty of San Miguel is man made.  
One of the many beautiful streets in San Miguel
In contrast to its 500 year old dark stone paved streets in centro ( easier on cars and feet than the cobblestones in neighboring colonias and in Puerto Vallarta), the old and new homes are a bouquet of  seductive colors- wisteria, golden yellow, rust, ochre, terra cotta, emerald green and the palest shades of pink, blue and turquoise.   The centerpiece of this hilltop town and always aglow at night, is the splendid parroquía, copied after a French church seen on a postcard. The town is immaculately clean.  No trash or litter in sight anywhere.  Puerto Vallarta, surrounded by natural beauty, is not a clean city – and should be.
Parroquía at end of a street in San Miguel de Allende

Leaving San Miguel,   we drove to Dolores Hidalgo and spent time walking around this colorful, clean town, famous as the place where Father Miguel Hidalgo shouted out the “grito” for Mexico´s independence in 1810.
From the main plaza in Dolores Hidalgo
   Dolores Hidalgo is also known for its tile and ceramic stores and factories and exotically flavored ice cream cones that are sold at the park-like main plaza. 

Plaza at Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato
  From there, through the confusing maze of highway and streets of Guadalajara to tranquil Teuchitlan for another overnight at the gracious Hacienda el Carmen.  
Entrance to Hacienda el Carmen
Situated in a beautiful valley between two mountain ranges, the many extinct volcanoes have produced rich soil perfect for growing sugar cane and agave. On the following morning, a sparking ride on my favorite horse there, “Chocolate,” loping past fields of sugar cane and mares with their recently born foals.  The first joyful yellow and pink blossoms of the primavera and amapas trees punctuate the countryside.  It´s almost spring!

  Driving west towards the coast, we stopped for lunch in the pleasant town of Tequila, birthplace of the drink, where there are several famous tequila distilleries housed in former haciendas and dozens of stores selling tequila and straw cowboy hats for twenty-five pesos.  Across the plaza from the little outdoor umbrella-covered restaurant are two old stone churches, one of which was built in the 16th century.  Worshipers were exiting with palm ashes on their foreheads – the first day of Lent.  Founded in 1530, Tequila, along with thousands and thousands of acres of the blue-green agave, is a World Heritage Site.  Nearby is the enormous and extinct Tequila volcano.  Covered in black lava on all sides, the lava tumbles all the way down to the modern highway.  In its raw beauty and in its charming pueblos and colonial cities, one finds the real Mexico.

BEACH CLEAN-UPS:  Len Marin is team captain and sent out the following email on Thursday:

“Thanks to Ron and Viviana for help in cleaning the beach last Saturday.  Much trash had washed down the river following the rains of last week.  For Saturday, March 3, we will be moving to another location.  We´ll be cleaning the Rio Cuale from the Cultural Center toward the east.  The Cultural Center is on the east end of the island in the Rio Cuale.  From there you can easily get down to the riverbank.  Prepare to get your feet wet as you may be in the water at times.  Also bring insect repellant as the bugs can be fierce.  We will start at 11:00 and meet up with the Brigada de Basura close to where the bridge crosses the Rio Cuale, next to Rivera Cuale condos.  The Brigada de Basura is the group of 40-60  neighborhood children and adult volunteers who meet ever Saturday at Que Pasa for a street and river clean-up.  Michael, who owns the restaurant and sponsors the Brigada, will provide hot dogs and chips in appreciation of our working with his group…  This is an opportunity to really interact with the neighborhood,  and a large presence on our part would be nice.”  Gloves and bags supplied. Contact:

PV ANGELS:  New site covering charities –

DONATIONS:   $2,500 CA for PEACE free spay and neuter clinics- from Heidi Wallace in Canada.


STERILIZATIONS  in San Blas, Nayarit – February 15-18

Male cats – 9; Female cats – 21; male dogs – 22; Female dogs – 55;  TOTAL:  107

Although I seldom note terminated pregnancies of cats and dogs at the clinics, they almost always take place.  The goal of PEACE´s “Ayuda a los Animales” program is to prevent the future suffering of unwanted animals PEACE mobile clinics offer free spay and neuter clinics 48 weeks of the year in the area of the Bay of Banderas.  Our cost is approximately $1,700 per surgery week.  This past week´s numbers of terminated pregnancies reflect the enormous problem of the overpopulation of cats and dogs due to non-sterilization:  one dog pregnant with eleven puppies and six cats pregnant with a total of 30 kittens. 

TVT (transmissible venereal tumor, widespread in Mexico in the dog population, is malignant and fatal.  Last week two female dogs suffering from this disease were euthanized at the PEACE clinic.  If these dogs had been sterilized, they would not have been infected. 



February 22-25 – Higuera Blanca
February 29-March 3 – Mita
March 7- 10 - La Cruz
March 14-17 -   Lo de Marcos
March 21-March 24 - La Peñita
March 28-March 31 -Las Varas
April 4-7 - Semana Santa (Easter Week)

Times are 9 AM-2 PM Wednesday-Friday and 9 AM-12 N Saturday.
To volunteer or for specific directions: 
If lost en route:  Lalo - 044 322 141 1031


Animal advocate Livia Hevi reports that Angelicat and PurrProject are now partnering with cat and kitten adoptions  on Fridays at Plaza Marina on from 11-1 and at Plaza Caracol from 11-2 and Saturdays at Plaza Caracol from 11-1:30.  On the average, there are six or seven adoptions weekly.  Livia was told by the President of the National Protection of Animals in Mexico that Angelicat is the number one adoption center for cats in all of Mexico.

Centro de Acopio (pound) – Monday-Friday from 8 AM-3 PM.  Call 293-3690
Photos on Facebook under “PV Animal.”

ADOPTED:  At Plaza Caracol on Saturday, February 18th - three sterilized kittens (one from Dr. Peña and two from the Acopio)

NEED LOVING HOMES:  “Cleo,” the pretty and sweet mama dog recovering from surgery for her severely dislocated leg.   Born at the Centro de Acopio, all but two of her thirteen puppies died from distemper.  If interested in meeting Cleo, please contact:    
Cleo´s leg post surgry

“Simba, the long-haired black female cat I picked up on the Isla Cuale.  She is spayed, young, beautiful and very affectionate.  Please contact me if interested.    

All the dogs and cats at the Centro de Acopio (pound).  It is very difficult for many of us to see their photos.  They  look so defeated.  Please consider adopting or fostering.  They are at great risk. 
All the dogs are gentle, pretty, young and will make extremely grateful and loyal pets
Two more lovely dogs at the pound for adoption
Male Terrier mix - 3 years old
Lab Mix
Jack Russell Mix

RESCUED:  The pretty little brown female dog that had been in the Centro de Acopio for over three weeks.  Although she was tested negative for parvo and distemper, the dog that so many people commented about on Facebook,  was diagnosed with erlichia and anaplasma.  Easily treatable, the dog is being given meds and fostered by Manuel Zapata.  She will be available for adoption on Saturdays at Plaza Caracol. 

PV ANIMAL ON FACEBOOK:  Now has 1,000 plus friends, many of whom are helping network for adoptions and foster homes for street and Acopio dogs and cats.

SPECIAL AT PEACE BOUTIQUE:  With purchases of 200 pesos or more,  homemade gourmet dog food is being given away as long as supplies last.
some of the merchandise at the PEACE Boutique

UPCOMING FUNDRAISER FOR PEACE:  The first annual “Arte Vida” in Puerto Vallarta will be held on March 30th at Casa Corona in Centro.   The evening will include a lavish catered cocktail buffet, live and silent auctions and music by the popular singer and guitarist, Armando Silva.  The live auction will be all art, with artists in attendance.  Tickets, priced at 750 pesos per person, can be purchased at the PEACE boutique, located at Plaza Romy ( at Madero & Cárdenas streets)  or from the following committee members:   Carolyn Brussand-Lamb, Maria O´Connor, Gabriela Roman, Indalesio Sanchez, Fernando Valerio or me-All profits will benefit PEACE education programs and spay/neuter clinics in Puerto Vallarta. 

Item added to the auction:  Two nights at the Hacienda el Carmen! 
Dining area at Hacienda el Carmen
Hacienda el Carmen

PEACE MEMBERSHIPS:  300 pesos per year entitles members to great discounts at terrific vendor locations in the area of the Bay of Banderas.  All monies raised from sales of memberships equally benefit PEACE programs in Nayarit and Vallarta.  Memberships are sold at the PEACE boutique, where the majority of merchandise is fabricated by local artisans. Sales benefit both the women´s co-op and PEACE programs.  For a list of participating vendors:

The memberships quickly pay for themselves with the discounts offered by a wide variety of vendors.

Please help support PEACE, which has tax-free status in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

In PEACE and bliss,

Member – Board of Directors – 

Será porque San Miguel está rodeado de cactus y el tipo de vegetación que los viejos residents de ésta ciudad colonial en el alto desierto decidieron llenar con color sus casas y edificios. Muy diferente a Puerto Vallarta cuya belleza se encuentra en sus ríos, su jungla, su bahía y las ondulaciones de la Sierra Madre, la belleza de San Miguel es hecha por el hombre. En contraste a sus oscuras calles empedradas de 500 años (más nobles con los carros y los pies que las calles empedradas de las colonias de alrededor y las de Puerto Vallarta), las casas viejas y nuevas son un conjunto de colores seductores-vistaria, dorado, rojo óxido, ocre, terra cotta, verde esmeralda y los tonos más tenues de rosa, azul y turqueza. La pieza central de este pueblo en la cima de la montaña y siempre alumbrada de noche es la esplendorosa parroquia, copiada de una iglesia Francesa vista en una postal. Este pueblo es inmaculadamente limpio. No hay basura a la vista por ningún lado.  Puerto Vallarta, rodeado por belleza natura no es una ciudad limpia como bebiera ser.

Dejando San Miguel, manejamos hacia Dolores Hidalgo y pasamos el tiempo caminando en éste pueblo lleno de colorido, limpio y famoso por ser el lugar donde el Padre Miguel Hidalgo dio el grito de Independencia de México en 1810. Dolores Hidalgo es también conocida por sus tiendas y fábricas de azulejo y cerámica así como por los sabores exóticos de conos de nieve que se venden en su plaza-parque principal. De ahí y pasando por el laberinto de la carretera y las calles de Guadalajara llegamos a la tranquila Teuchitlan para pasar otra noche en la noble Hacienda del Carmen. Situada en un valle hermoso entre dos montañas, los extintos volcanes han producido una tierra rica y perfecta para sembrar caña de azúcar y agave. La mañana siguiente un brillante paseo en mi caballo favorito de ahí “Chocolate”, pasamos por  los sembradíos de caña de azúcar y yeguas con sus potrillos recién nacidos. Los primeros brotes amarillos y rosas de los árboles de primaveras y amapas adornan el paisaje. Es casi primavera.

Manejando al oeste hacia la costa, nos paramos para comer en el agradable pueblito de Tequila, lugar de nacimiento de la bebida, donde hay varias destilerías famosas en lo que eran haciendas y docenas de tiendas vendiendo tequila. Frente a la plaza desde la sombrilla que cubría el restaurante había dos iglesias de piedra, una construida en el siglo XVI. Los creyentes salían con palmas y cenizas en sus frentes – el primer día de la Cuaresma. Fundada en 1530, Tequila junto con miles y miles de hectáreas del agave azul-verde es un Patrimonio de la Humanidad Mundial. Cerca se encuentra el enorme y extinto volcán de Tequila. Cubierto con lava negra en todos sus lados, la lava llega hasta abajo a la moderna carretera. En la cruda belleza y sus pueblitos encantadores y ciudades coloniales, uno encuentra el verdadero México.

LIMPIEZA DE PLAYAS: Len Martin es el capitán del equipo y envió el siguiente correo el Jueves:

“Gracias a Ron y Viviana por ayudar a limpiar la playa el pasado Sábado. Mucha basura había bajado con el río por las lluvias de la semana pasada. Para el Sábado 3 de Marzo nos estaremos moviendo a otra locación. Estaremos limpiando el Río Cuale desde el Centro Cultural hacia el este. El Centro Cultural está en el extremo este de la isla en el Río Cuale. De ahí uno puede llegar fácilmente a la rivera del río. Prepárense para mojarse los pies ya que pueden estar en el agua en ocasiones. También traigan repelente de insectos ya que los insectos a veces están feroces. Empezaremos a las 11:00 y nos reuniremos con la Brigada de Basura cerca de donde el puente cruza el Río Cuale junto a los condominios Rivera Cuale. La Bridaga de Basura es el grupo de 40-60 niños de la colonia y voluntarios adultos que se reunen cada Sábado en Que Pasa para limpiar las calles y el río. Michael que es propietario del restaurante y patrocina la Brigada proveerá de hot dogs y papas como muestra de apreciación por trabajar con este grupo… Esta es una oportunidad de en realidad interactuar con la colonia y una amplia participación de nuestra parte sería muy buena”
Se proveen guantes y bolsas. Contacta a:

PV ANGELS:  Nuevo sitio que cubre grupos de beneficiencia -–

DONATIVOS:   $2,500 CA para PEACE a sus clínicas gratuitas de esterilización – de Heidi Wallace en Canada.


ESTERILIZACIONES  en San Blas, Nayarit – Febrero 15-18

Gatos machos – 9; Hembras – 21; Perros machos – 22; Hembras – 55;  TOTAL:  107

Aunque muy raramente menciono la terminación de embarazos de los perros y gatos en las clínicas, casi siempre se llevan a cabo. El fin del programa de  PEACE “Ayuda a los Animales” es prevenir el sufrimiento futuro de animales no deseados y las cínicas móviles de PEACE ofrecen esterilizaciones gratuitas 48 semanas del año en el área de Bahía de Banderas.  Nuestro costo es de aproximadamente $1,700 por semana de esterilizaciones. Esta semana pasada los números de embarazos terminados reflejaron el enorme problema de la sobrepoblación de perros y gatos a raíz de la no esterilización: una perra embarazada con once cachorros y seis gatas embarazadas con un total de 30 gatitos.  

TVT (Tumor Venéreo Transmisible, es un muy común en la población de perros en México, es maligno y fatal. La semana pasada a dos perras que padecían de éste tumor se les practicó la eutanasia en la clínica de PEACE. Si estas perras hubieran estado esterilizadas no se habían infectado.  



Febrero 22-25 – Higuera Blanca
Febrero 29-March 3 – Mita
Marzo 7- 10 - La Cruz
Marzo 14-17 -   Lo de Marcos
Marzo 21- 24 - La Peñita
Marzo 28- 31 -Las Varas
Abril 4-7 - Semana Santa

Horario: 9 AM-2 PM Miércoles a Viernes y 9 AM-12 PM Sábados.
Para ser voluntario o para direcciones específicas: 
Si te pierdes en el camino:  Lalo - 044 322 141 1031


La activista de animales Livia Hevia nos reportó que  AngeliCAT y PurrProject están trabajando en conjunto con adopciones de gatos adultos y pequeños los Viernes en Plaza Marina de 11-1 y en Plaza Caracol de 11-2 y los  Sábados en   Plaza Caracol de 11-1:30.  En promedio hay de 6-7 adopciones por semana. Livia tuvo información del Presidente de Protectora Nacional de Animales en México que AngeliCAT es el centro de adopción de gatos número uno en todo  Mexico.

Centro de Acopio  – Lunes a Viernes de 8 AM-3 PM.  Llamar al 293-3690
Fotos en Facebook bajo “PV Animal.” 

Es difícil mirar las fotos de los animales.  Se ven muy tristes.  Favor de adoptar o dar hogar temporal.

ADOPTADOS:  En Plaza Caracol el Sábado, 18 de Febrero – 3 gatitos esterilizados (uno del Dr. Peña y dos del Acopio)

NECESITAN HOGARES:  “Simba,” la gatita negra de pelo largo que recogí de la Isla del Río Cuale. Está esterilizada, es joven, hermosa y muy cariñosa. Si te interesa porfavor contáctame.

“Cleo,” la perra con la pierna muy dislocada que dio la luz a 13 bebes en el Centro de Acopio.  De los 13, 11 murieron de moquillo.  Ella está recuperando después de su cirugía. Es hermosa, joven y cariñosa.  Favor de contactar:

RESCATADA:  La Hermosa perrita café que había estado en el Centro de Acopio por más de 3 semanas. Aunque salió negativa a parvo y moquillo fué diagnosticada con erlichia y anaplasma.  Son enfermedades tratables, y la perrita está siendo cuidada en hogar temporal por  Manuel Zapata.  Estará en adopción los sábados en Plaza Caracol. 

PV ANIMAL EN FACEBOOK: Ahora tiene más de 1,000 amigos, muchos de los cuales están ayudando a promover las adopciones y buscar hogares temporales para animals de la calle y perros y gatos del Acopio.

ESPECIAL  EN LA BOUTIQUE DE PEACE: En compras de 200 pesos o más se está regalando comida gourmet para perro hasta agotar existencias.

PROXIMO EVENTO DE RECAUDACION DE FONDOS PARA PEACE:  La Primer Anual “Arte Vida” en Puerto Vallarta será el 30 de Marzo en Casa Corona en el Centro. La velada incluirá un extenso buffet de cócteles, subasta silenciosa y subasta en vivo así como música del popular cantante y guitarrista Armando Silva. La subasta en vivo será de arte con los artistas presentes. Los boletos de 750 pesos por persona pueden ser adquiridos en la boutique de PEACE en Plaza Romy (Madero y Lázaro Cárdenas) o de los siguientes miembros del comité: Carolyn Brussand-Lamb, Maria O´Connor, Indalesio Sanchez, Fernando Valerio o de mí.   Todas las ganancias beneficiarán a los programas educativos de PEACE y las clínicas de esterillización gratuita en Puerto Vallarta. 

Ha sido añadido a la subasta: Dos noches en Hacienda del Carmen!

Membresías PEACE: 300 pesos anuales, dan derecho a grandes
descuentosen excelentes tiendas en el area de Bahia de Banderas. Todo
lo recaudado en las ventas también beneficia a los programas de PEACE
de Nayarit y Vallarta. Las membresías están a la venta en la Boutique
PEACE. Los artículos a la venta en la Boutique son fabricados por
artesanos locales. Sus ventas benefician a las mujeres artesanas y los
programas de PEACE. Para una lista de tiendas participantes visita:

Porfavor ayuda a apoyando a PEACE

En paz (PEACE)


Mesa Directiva-

Friday, February 17, 2012


Parroquia in San Miguel

Somber watercolored clouds clung to the foothills of the Sierra Madres as we wound up the narrow road and then descended past pine trees to Mascota, where we stopped for hot chocolate.   Following the signs to Guadalajara, we drove across the wide plateau between undulating mountains, passing fields and fields of sugar cane.   Rumbles of thunder and a crackle of lightening.  Rain!   A overnight at the heavenly  Hacienda El Carmen, a working ranch dating back to the 18th century.  Hundreds of acres of beauty .   Former aqueducts traversing the property.    Immaculate lawns filled with lemon trees exuding the heavy fragrance of their small white blossoms.   Horses in stables next to caged peacocks.   A pond for ducks and paddle boats.  The sweet smell of damp earth.  A sense of the past and the passion for the land. 
Hacienda el Carmen

Approximately 15 minutes driving towards Guadalajara from Hacienda el Carmen, are the  prehispanic ruins of Guachimontones.  The ruins were discovered in the 90´s and there is a very nice and very new museum at the foot of the hill where the ruins are situated.  Overlooking a lake, which was much larger before the Mexican government drained part of it to build a highway, a circual stepped pyramid rests in the middle of former circular building complexes dating back to 350 B.C.   After this stop, we continued  the six-hour drive up to the high desert colonial city of San Miguel de Allende. 

BEACH CLEAN-UPS:  From Len Matin, team captain:    "We will be at Los Muertos beach this Saturday.  Meet on the pedestrian bridge over the Rio Cuale or look for people picking up trash on the beach below.
Also, I'm open for changes in this process if we can do more and have a greater impact on our city.  Does anyone have any alternate ideas for days, times, locations, etc.   I know some of you can't make Saturdays and do some cleaning on your own.  That is great and maybe that is the way it should be for all of us.  Let me have some ideas."  9 Am for an hour or two.  Gloves and bags always supplied.  Contact:


126 pesos for spay/neuter clinics in Puerto Vallarta.  Steve Hach was walking on the Malecon early Friday evening and noticed the Acopio dogs for adoption.   Leaving the following morning for his home in Philadelphia, he emptied his pockets of change and handed it to me.


Because of the demonstrable need in that colonia, a second week was added, replacing Pitillal.

children waiting for their pets at clinic in Puerto Vallarta

Sterilizations in Coapinole – February 8-11
female cats- 22; male cats – 7; female dogs – 13; male dogs – 19  TOTAL:  61


ANGELICAT at Plaza Caracol on February 10th – 4 sterilized kittens
On the next day, I took the beautiful long-haired orange cat that I found on the island to Angelicat/PurrProject adoptions at Plaza Caracol.  She was adopted immediately, as well as a darling Basset Hound mix that had been rescued from an abusive owner.
ANGELICAT at Plaza Caracol on Friday, February 17 - 4 kittens

ACOPIO (POUND) at their event on the Malecon February 10th – 4 sterilized dogs and one unsterilized 6-week old puppy 
These dogs and one other were adopted at the Acopio//PV Animal event on the Malecón

“Angel,” the mama dog that was rescued from the Acopio with her six puppies.  She is a graduate of Carlos Ochoa´s dog training school and will make an excellent pet.  Two of her puppies are in foster home and available for adoption.  Maya and Frida are three months old, spayed, and  have half of their vaccines completed.  Preference is to have them adopted together.    Photo below.  Contact:


Many dogs and puppies at the Centro de Acopio (pound)  contact:  293-3690  Adoptions every Friday 11-2 at Plaza Caracol on Monday-Friday from 8-3.  These animals are at great risk.  Please adopt, don´t purchase pets.  Photo are 0f of some of the recent arrivals this week.  For more photos:  www,  under "PV Animal."  Mama dogs have the least chance of being adopted.


February 15-18 - San Blas
February 22-25 – Higuera Blanca
February 29-March 3 – Mita
March 7- 10 - La Cruz
March 14-17 -   Lo de Marcos
March 21-March 24 - La Peñita
March 28-March 31 -Las Varas
April 4-April 7 -       Semana Santa (Easter week)
April 11-April 14 -     Bucerias
April 18-April 21 -     San Pancho

Times are 9 AM-2 PM Wednesday-Friday and 9 AM-12 N Saturday.
To volunteer or for specific directions: 
If lost en route:  Lalo - 044 322 141 1031

UPCOMING FUNDRAISER FOR PEACE:  The first annual “Arte Vida” in Puerto Vallarta will be held on March 30th at Casa Corona in Centro.   The evening will include a lavish catered cocktail buffet,  live and silent auctions, and music by the popular singer and guitarist, Armando Silva.    The live auction will be all art, with artists in attendance.  Tickets, priced at 750 pesos each, can be purchased from committee members and at the PEACE Boutique.   Committee members to date include Maria OConnor and Carolyn Brussard-Lamb.   All profits will benefit PEACE education programs and spay/neuter clinics in Puerto Vallarta.


PEACE Boutique - home tour tickets sold here

PEACE home tours:  Every Tuesday at 10:30 AM through March 27th, departing from Plaza Romy (L. Vallarta # 228 between F. Madero andL.Cardenas streets). Beautiful homes, gardens and views.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at or at the PEACE
Boutique (address above).  Tickets go on sale day of tour at 9:30 AM at Plaza Romy.  For more information:  224-4007 or Tickets prices are $35 U.S.

"Manos Ujnidas por la Mujer" merchandise at PEACE boutique

Proceeds from tours this season are being banked in anticipation of launching the PEACE "Work for Food" program in Puerta Vallarta

PEACE MEMBERSHIPS:  300 pesos per year entitles members to great discounts at terrific vendor locations in the area of the Bay of Banderas.  All monies raised from sales of memberships equally benefit PEACE programs in Nayarit and Vallarta.  Memberships are sold at the PEACE boutique, where the majority of merchandise is fabricated by local artisans. Sales benefit both the women´s co-op and PEACE programs.  For a list of participating vendors:

The memberships quickly pay for themselves with the discounts offered by a wide variety of vendors.

Please help support PEACE.  Our organization has tax-free status in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

In PEACE and bliss,

Board of Directors -