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Barra de Navidad and Melaque Journal – February 27, 2014

Movers and Shakers

At a “standing room only” February 11 town hall meeting, engineer Francisco Alvarez of Uretek gave a PowerPoint presentation about the ongoing Barra de Navidad beach renovation project. 

Many among the audience gasped when they saw what had been the devastating condition of the sea wall below the Barra de Navidad Hotel.  Some onlookers learned for the first time that Barra had been a “patient in critical condition.” 

Besides Hurricane Jova in 2011, severe erosion on the bay’s beaches had left structures in imminent danger of collapse.  A group of concerned citizens, business people and friends of the community rallied together, assembling governments, banks, fundraisers and environmentalists to take notice. 

The quick fix involved installing geotubes at the perimeters of the bay. Environmentally friendly foam, taking 6-8 seconds to expand and stabilize cracking concrete sea walls, was injected. A “backbone” was built in days that could have taken weeks without this state-of-the-art technology. 

The next step is to prevent further sand erosion. Through Uretek, Delft University (Netherlands) has been engaged to provide additional expertise in sea technology. According to Alvarez, residents and expats must understand that the “cure” includes redirecting water with artificial reefs to further change the structure of the beach. He assured listeners that the artificial reefs installed in 2013 now host teeming populations of fish and plant life.  He invited all to approach his team with their know-how, lauding long-time residents, Christine and Lee Yoast, as models of community service. 

Giving Back

Take a moment to look at what these two community-spirited expats are doing to provide more opportunities for young people in the area.  

- Canadian Lin Lawson has spent four of his five years in Barra coaching basketball from grades 3-6 at the Ignacio M. Altamirano Primary School. 

Lawson knows by introducing the game to young students, making it fun, his donation of skills and time could be instrumental in preventing school drop outs. 

“Sport has been a lifeline for many struggling students, including myself,” he says.

- U.S. citizen David Kettenhofen, aka Captain Dave, teaches teens to navigate a 50-ft sail boat – at no charge! 

In 2014, his third year at the task, 176 kids joined his program. 

“There is worth in giving children often unavailable, unique experiences and skills,” says Kettenhofen, who has lived in his boat at the marina for 12 years. 

Kettenhofen just purchased two used 14-ft Laser sailboats for the program so students can learn small boat sailing as well. The boats will be left in Barra so the youngsters can practice year round. 

Donations are encouraged to help keep the program afloat. So far Canadians have been the biggest donors. For more details go to www.sailbarra.com.    

Soap for Hope   

Disaster Aid Canada Executive Director Anne Smith recently visited the Costalegre Rotary Club to present her “Soap for Hope” program. School supplies, clothing and a water filtration system were brought to the Indigenous School in Pinal Villa near Melaque, while a water filtration system was donated to municipal Director of Ecology Gilberto Grijalba Sotelo, who passed it on to a Cihuatlan seniors facility. Appreciation was expressed to local Rotary for working in partnership with Disaster Aid Canada. See This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


Join in the cleanup  at Laguna de Tule Andador Pier in Villa Obregon on Sunday, March 1, 8 a.m. 

Bring shovels, rakes, brooms and whatever cleanup tools you have. Delicious pozole and drinks will be provided by the non-profit association Prolatule. 

A group of 30 local Mexicans have already volunteered. Come practice your Spanish while beautifying the walkway. Check out Prolatule on Facebook or call Director Irma Erazo at 315-100-7001.

Yard Sale

Costalegre Rotary’s Yard Sale is Saturday, March 7, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the empty lot in front of the Cabo Blanco Hotel in Barra. 

All proceeds are earmarked to fund the high demand from local schools for tinacos (rooftop water tanks). Arrive early with clothing, household, miscellaneous items you can donate to support this fundraiser. Or simply come along to buy! 

Everyone is invited to join Rotary at their weekly meetings, on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the same hotel. 

Piano Concert

As part of his tour of Jalisco next month, Antonio Cabrero, director of the San Miguel de Allende Orchestra, is presenting a piano concert at the Cabo Blanco Hotel in Barra on Saturday, March 14. The concert will be the final Costalegre Rotary fundraiser of the season and be tailored to both welcome spring and say farewell to the winter expat visitors. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cabrero is also playing two concerts in Ajijic on March 5 and 8. 

The Generous Arts 

“Not only does music make the world go around, it makes the ride a lot smoother,” says Trish Faurot, who plays with Gord Ross Wednesdays through Saturdays, 7:30-10:30 p.m. in the Faro Lobby Bar at the Grand Isla Navidad Resort. 

The pair collaborate on grand piano, guitar, harmonica and with the singing. Salt Spring Island, British Columbia is their home up north for the summer months. They have been at the Faro for 15 years. No cover.

Food & Photos

At Barra Foto Galeria you will find a whole new meaning to fusion cuisine. Rosy and Roberto Hansen combine their passion for cooking fine food, creating photographic art and sharing both with the community, in their garden patio. 

The Hansens showcase their cuisine on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The art gallery shop has its own hours. This is a great opportunity to experience elegant dining while surrounded by works of photographic art, under a starry sky, near a fire-pit. Reserve and/or visit at www.barrafotogaleria.com.