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Sea Turtle Conservation Project

Okay, first night out patrolling the beaches for sea turtle eggs...pretty cool. We basically just find nests, dig them up, and re-bury the eggs in the hatchery, where the eggs can be protected from predators, and then release the turtles back into the ocean when they hatch. There is so much wildlife at night that I've never seen before. Tonight, I saw some newly hatched baby sea turtles, adult female sea turtles laying their eggs, night herons hunting for crabs, raccoons looking for food (preferrably the eggs), and a hermit crab :)

Pictures below - not my own pictures, but this is pretty much what I saw....


My 6 month update

Okay, so we've officially been here for 6 months now, and I've decided to do an update.

- Still LOVE the weather. Despite it being the humid and the rainy season right now, it's still so nice to never wear jeans, never need a scarf, and never even need a blanket to sleep with. However, it has been quite gloomy and cloudy lately, but still nothing compared to the SF "summer" of fog in the Richmond District. Can't wait for the sun to come back out!

- I have a job! The pay is crap compared to the US, but enough for us to live on here in Vallarta, about $20 a day, which is much better than the $4/day minimum wage here in the state of Jalisco. Edgar and I work together, and actually sit right next to each other every day... b/c we just dont see each other enough at home ;)

- I am also doing some volunteer work. I'm volunteering with the seas turtles, and volunteering with an English after school program for elementary kids. More info about that here and here.

- Omg, the food! I love the cheap eats around here. Reminds me of my obsession with the Woodland taco truck back in college, but here I'm even more spoiled with an abundance of tacos on practically every street corner! However, Rocko's did raise their prices, and I'm very upset about that. Hmph.

- Although I love the cuteness of the cobblestone roads, those, partnered with the loads of potholes this rainy season, have accelerated our need for new shocks on the car. Better start saving!

- and lastly, the abundance of animals here. I've seen sea turtles, dolphins, iguanas, crabs (in my house), and unfortunately, even cockroaches! Yuck! I had no idea they could fly!!!! Makes me miss the occassional spider in SF.

Hmmm...that's all I can think of right now, so there's my update. I miss my family and friends tons! but am definitely enjoying Vallarta as much as possible for the short time I am here :) Six more months, and we're back to the real world!

Fiesta Independencia

So the 14th is El Charro Day. We had to work, so we had to miss that. Then the 15th is the party for the 16th - Independence Day. Unfortunately, we missed a lot of the party and El Grito on the 15th because, wouldn't you just know it, we got distracted by some yummy food. We watched el grito in Mexico City on the restaurant tv while we ate, and then headed over to the main plaza for more food, music and dancing. Lots of military security, but no problems that I heard of, just a few pat-downs, and confiscations of alcohol.

The next day, Independence Day, was HOT. We walked around through the food, music, and dancing, and took some pictures. Take a look!

You can't really tell from the picture, but this guy was making his horse dance around to the music, while he drank his beer.

I also have an awesome video of some drunkards dancing, but can't seem to upload it right now. I'll try again later...

Rain, rain, go away....

The nightly rains and thunderstorms here have made our pretty beach not so pretty anymore. Here's the before:

and the after:

Major Bridge Collapses in Puerto Vallarta

We were just driving over this bridge the other day, and about 12 hours collapses!!!

Here is that story...

Two People Rescued After Bridge Collapse in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – The two occupants of a taxi were rescued early Tuesday after a bridge in western Mexico collapsed, authorities said.

The accident cut off the only access route to the Pacific coast resort town of Puerto Vallarta, located in Jalisco state, from the neighboring state of Nayarit.

Several eyewitnesses to the collapse told authorities of the presence of the taxi on the bridge, emergency services personnel in Jalisco told Efe.

The structure partially collapsed about 3 a.m. due to the erosion of its support pillars by the rise of the rain-swollen Ameca River.

The eyewitnesses also reported the presence of another vehicle on the span at the moment of the collapse and authorities are currently trying to either find it or rule out its presence by combing the area with helicopters.

The two people in the taxi were hospitalized, the sources added.

About 100 meters (328 feet) of the lane leading to Puerto Vallarta came down into the river, but the bridge has been completely closed, since authorities do not know if the rest of the structure will be able to resist the force of the surging water.

Thus, those who want to travel to Puerto Vallarta from Nayarit will have to detour through relatively nearby Costa Alegre, but that route – sources say – will take eight hours to traverse.

The bridge was the access route used “by all tourists” who visit the area, one local official said. EFE

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune - Two People Rescued After Bridge Collapse in Mexico

Grenade in PV Bar

On the night of August 26, there was a grenade explosion in a Puerto Vallarta bar, that injured 16 patrons, including those in possession of the weapon. Here is the story, as reported by The Associated Press:

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico — Mexican authorities say at least 16 people have been injured by a grenade that exploded at a bar in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta.

Jalisco state prosecutors say five of the injured have been detained as part of the investigation. Four of those detained each lost a leg in the explosion before dawn Thursday.

Prosecutors say they are investigating whether one of the injured was carrying the grenade when it exploded.

Jalisco state has seen a wave of drug violence in recent months and the bloodshed has intesified since drug kingpin Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel was killed by soldiers earlier this month. Coronel, whose base was in Jalisco, was the No. 3 of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

But don't worry Mom, this is far from tourist-land, and according to local forums, this poses no danger to local expats who stear clear of such places.

Mexicana Airlines Files Bankruptcy

I had originally booked a nonstop round-trip flight to CA months in advance, only to find out the night before my flight, that my plans had changed. Without any notification, Mexicana had cancelled my nonstop flights, and rescheduled my flight times and added layovers in Mexico City for both legs of my trip. I was not happy.....

UPDATE: Mexicana has ceased operations.

Day Trip - Sayulita

About 30-40 minutes outside of Vallarta, is the pueblo of Sayulita. This isn't your typical small town in Mexico. Sayulita looks more like a Santa Cruz-Mexico combo, kind of a beautiful and lively mexican/gringo surfer town, I would say. Lots of gringos everywhere,, boutique swim shops I can't afford, fresh seafood, lots of dogs, and who knows how many surf shops and real estate tiendas.

I fell in love within five minutes....and I'm not the only one. We chit-chatted with a former New Englander who had moved to Sayulita seven years prior. He and his wife were on a 10 day trip to Sayulita (7 yrs ago), and after only three days, they purcahsed a home!!!

It looks like we may be spending a lot of time surfing (or learning to surf) here in Sayulita!

Sea Turtle!

Sea Turtle laid her eggs on Playa Los Camarones

The Eco Police dude was holding the turtle in the above picture

The eggs. They are collected and placed in hatcheries and incubated, until they are hatched and released

Heading back into the ocean

Check out the Sea Turtle Conservation Project here in Vallarta for more info

Delta Airlines Loses Dog!

This is my worst nightmare!

While visiting Puerto Vallarta, a young couple rescued a homeless dog, and decided to take it home with them. However, the dog never made the connecting flight, and was lost in Mexico City.

Read on HERE

Read the update HERE

Mexico Limits US Dollar Transactions

In a step aimed at thwarting money laundering by drug cartels, the government of Mexico announced strict limits Tuesday on the deposit and exchange of U.S. dollars in banks, noting that the nation's economy is being flooded with illicit drug profits.

The money helps traffickers buy military-grade weapons used to kill tens of thousands of people and recruit small armies all over the country who battle rival gangs and government forces.

Failure to intercept the money has long been singled out as a major flaw in President Felipe Calderon's military-led offensive against the cartels.

In response, the government announced that it will limit individual bank account holders to deposits of $4,000 monthly in U.S. currency, while others without accounts will be allowed to exchange up to $1,500. Companies working along the border or in designated tourist areas can conduct bank transactions of up to $7,000 monthly...

Continue reading...


Mexico Wants to Change Its Image

President Felipe Calderón declared that his government is working on an integral publicity project to promote Mexico's image in every sphere, thereby boosting national tourism.

Read full article HERE

World Cup @ Las Palomes

Free margaritas for the Mexico v France World Cup game!

And Mexico beat France!!!!

PLUS, the food is delicious. Some items are a bit pricey ($38 peso corona - regular price) but great chilaquiles, tortilla soup, nachos, and omelettes!

Malecon Entertainment

These guys climb to the top of this ladder/pole and then hang upside down from a rope, and rotate in circles back down to the ground.