Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Ameca - Puerto Vallarta Bridge Collapse Aug 31 2010

Early this morning the
Ameca Puerto Vallarta bridge
on Coastal Hwy 200 between Puerto Vallarta
and all points north,
fell into the Río Ameca.
Photo courtesy of Vallarta Escapes 
Authorities believe 3 cars fell into the river,
two people were rescued, and
a family is believed still missing.
Photo courtesy of Vallarta Escapes
 Since this bridge is the only thoroughfare
in or out of Puerto Vallarta to the north,
and Puerto Vallarta Airport,
everything has come to a standstill.
Well, except for the crafty and helpful
Mexican people.

A helicopter "bridge" is on standby for medical emergencies.

launched a water taxi.

How cool is that!

Here is their schedule in case you're in the area:

Free maritime transportation is being offered by Vallarta Adventures from the Paradise Village Marina to the main maritime port API today. The schedule is as follows:
11:00 am from Paradise Village Marina to main Maritime Terminal API in Puerto Vallarta (45 mins approx).
12:00 pm from API to Paradise Village Marina.
1:00 P.M. from the Paradise Village Marina to API.
2:00 P.M. from API to the Paradise Village Marina.
3:00 P.M. from the Paradise Village Marina to API.
4:00 P.M. from API to the Paradise Village Marina.
5:00 P.M. from the Paradise Village Marina to API.
6:00 P.M. from API to the Paradise Village Marina.

I think they deserve some free press for this.

For more information:
Vallarta Escapes

It's not hard to imagine a flotilla of pangas 
have rushed in to ferry people
back and forth as well.
Next come the taco stands, one or more blaring portable radios,
kids playing in the river, and cervezas.
 Some white plastic tables and chairs will appear,
hammocks will get hung, a dandy gaggle of mariachis will arrive
and the beach will become a fiesta.
And the panga rides will be free
but propinas will be GREATLY 

Because that's the way we do things here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm. . . August 2010


This cartoon is the brilliant work of the funniest paramedic 
in the business - Steve Berry 



Friday, August 20, 2010

Mezcala, Lake Chapala Aug 2010

Mezcala is located east of Chapala and in front of
Mezcala Island

Out on the east end of Lake Chapala,
about 20 minutes from Chapala by car,
is a very small village said to be a 'closed community'.
Apparently that means everyone there is from there
and that's the way they like it!

They are also known to have many of their sons live and work
in the US as a closely connected group
who not only send money back to their families,
but also to the community
earmarked for town projects.

Mezcala is a pleasant village with a small, but interesting,
museum on the plaza
and a dock at the foot of the main street
where you can hire a panga
to take you out to Mezcala Island
to explore the island and the ruins of a prison.

Unfortunately, weather did not permit that for us.
Not only that, they were setting up for their 
yearly fiesta and the town and plaza were chock-a-block
with generators, trucks, and machinery.
Rendering it all but useless for good photos.

A castillo awaiting assembly.

The church is lovely.

In spite of the banger statue out front.

And so sweet inside.

As I was threading my feet through kilometers of laid cables,
I heard in passing "Hi, are you guys having fun?".


José introduced himself in English, perfect and without an accent,
and said he was the new
head of the tourist police for the village of Mezcala.
José recently returned from Georgetown, CA,
 where he was a CDF firefighter.
He's currently busy training firefighters and police here in Mexico.

If you go, be sure and find José so he can tell you
about Mezcala and show you around.
He is delightful and knowledable.

Stay tuned for a more indepth view of Mezcala
and the island - when the sun shines again!

Hope that happens soon!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tenacatita - No Mas! Aug 2010

Have you ever been here?

This is La Playa Tenacatita, in the village of Tenacatita,
in the Bahia Tenacatita.

My favorite place in Mexico.
I used to snorkel here.
And swim here.
And gorge myself on seafood here.
I even buried my mother here in the Bahia Tenacatita!

It's now a memory in the minds of those who knew it.

A couple of days ago the police went to Tenacatita
and destroyed the palapa restaurants on the beach,
evicted all the residents and gave them
ten minutes to remove their belongings
and get out of Dodge.

It's a land-grab.
Someone wants to build a resort.

Here is some info:

The eviction. . .

Here are some boots-on-the-ground reports:

To all my friends and their friends and their friends...
Today is the 6th of August.30 people from the village were taken to jail,some beaten severely and remain there.The bail is 20,000 pesos for every person.The charge is :resisting police orders.
The moving company, which has taken furniture and valuables from the owners was a fraud.It was corrupted police itself wanting to steal the people stuff.The German lady,Irene,recovered a bit of her possessions,some of her stuff,like her mattresses were thrown in a rain out of her house.Her fridges,just a few months old do not work,since they also have thrown them out.
People are afraid.
Policemen walk around like big cocky roosters with their arms in their hands.
The alcohol from the restaurants has been used by the police,also the beds in hotels.Daily leave many state trucks full of black garbage bags of stolen goods.
Irene heard that the buildings,like her house and others will be leveled today.She is running around trying to find justice.Her lawyer has no advice for her.
Noone is allowed on a beach and if the restaurant owners need to go there,they are searched for weapons and accompanied by the police.
The police is very very tense and trigger happy.They were shooting last night randomly. I have not seen the targets,but heard the noise.
Noone is at the streets after dark. Mothers of teenage daughters are very afraid and some,who have the means have send their daughters away.
The facts are that this beach is so precious,that someone(still unclear who)with a lot of financial power has started the motion to make this beach another Carreyes,or el Tamarindo.
The lots at the beach have no posts anymore,the wires were cut and someone started to put up a chain link fence,but we have no details and it is extremely hard to take any pics.The palapa Mosca does not exist anymore.
Mosca himself does not eat or sleep only sits and life is being sucked right out of him.Poor Lola,she had so many plans for this upcoming season is devastated. Everybody is.

And another:

I have hardly slept and eaten for 3
days. Trying to get things organized and rescuing some of my stuff. Please read this carefully, I am here in the hub of the wheel. I don't
have time to read the press.

I am too tired to search for the right terms. So this is the story:

the guy who took over had a court decision, which is over 10 years old, so out of date, not any more applicable. The state judges andgovernor are corrupt. They are breaking every possible law, blatantly, and get away with it.

- Nobody was allowed to see the eviction order, let alone get a copy

- They showed me a legal document which looked more like a court protocol, in any case it was not titled "eviction order" and worse, there were no specifications about who should get evicted. That isagainst the law. They didn't even know my name.

- All the titles and documents like the one saying that there is absolutely no infringement on the lot in the sense of claims of third
parties were issued starting from after the elapsed 11 years. So they are more up to date. And they are issued by the federal government.

- the police didn't let any media onto the sites

- they didn't let the attorney general of the county in

- the president of the county was in Guadalajara at that time, he immediately stopped all his meetings and made about 160 telephone calls
to get into contact with higher authorities

- the attorney general and the president of La Huerta are municipal, the judges are state and the police as well. So they are higher ranked

- the police committed various violent acts against civilians, they went into señor Cruz' s house while he was sleeping and shot around. I
saw a young boy who was completely covered with wounds from rubber bullets. A restaurant owner at the beach was menaced with getting killed, because she wanted to see the order (Lillian). La Guera was in Raul's house, beside the filling station, in the kitchen, and they pointed a gun at her head through the window. I personally didn't have bad experiences with the police, apart from them tearing down my new fence, but I wasn't in the village at the time. I got the information from the people concerned.

- 17 people got arrested, for doing practically nothing, 3 minors. They got freed last night

- Yesterday afternoon the federal judge issued an order of suspension(amparo) stating that all actions on the side of the occupant should
be stopped. All the high-ranked officials got informed immediately. The police didn't react. This noon Notary Lomeli's associate went with
Ivan, the municipal attorney general and Carlos, the president, and the police still didn't react. They claimed that they hadn't got any orders from
their superiors.

- they are putting up meshed fences starting at the very beginning of El Palmar, right beside the lagoon, level of the bridge and in the mangroves besides the Hotel Paraiso. They are also drilling holes in the street to put in gates. I went there this afternoon, because I learned that more things had been dumped into the parking place below El Paraiso

- Another law infraction: robbery. They took everything out of my house while I was there and what didn't fit into my car got dumped besides the Paraiso, only they didn't tell me, so I learned that by chance, because I saw someone with my beds on their truck. I had 10 minutes to get my things together. In the morning they told me to get my valuables, that I had 5 minutes to leave. Which I didn't, so they came back at night with that so-called eviction order, and instead of
starting the work on the other houses, they concentrated on me to intimidate me.

- the worst law infraction, if it is possible to say so, is the fact that this greedy real estate company is privatizing 4 beaches, which
according to Mexican law should always be open to the public, if I am not mistaken. Nobody will be able to get to any beach any more, unless
client of their all-inclusive, golf resort.

I would like to stress the following: everybody in the professional field, such as politicians, lawyers, notaries are shocked about this
blatant usurpation of power, violation of laws and abuse. The only way to get our right back is strong and massive legal action, everybody has to make a denouncement (?) with the police and support the actions of the lawyers and private persons, with their personal presence and money contributions.Like Kiko (president of the ejido) and somebody else whose name I forgot who went to Guadalajara to get the amparo. Tonight the townspeople are going in buses to Guadalajara because tomorrow at 9 there is a meeting with a state secretary and there will be a lot of medias. I am not going, because being German I might risk getting expelled. I will be busy contacting German media.

This is a very serious situation, not to be underestimated. It would be good if you could come down, not Dobie, because you have no land
there, but everybody who has a property. We also need the attention of the foreign media and governments. 

Here is a link to a previous post
of a day at the beach in

My heart is broken.

Click on Sparks Mexico for more boots-on-the-ground reports!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm. . . August 2010

What can I say.

We tend to do things the old-fashioned way
in Jocotepec.

The best part is the man who walks
ahead of the truck, by a few blocks,
ringing a bell to announce the pending arrival of the basura truck.