Last updateFri, 18 Jul 2014 3pm

La Manzanilla Memo - November 23, 2013


The U.S. Thanksgiving celebration is a lively holiday in La Manzanilla.  If you are hankering for a traditional turkey feast make your reservations early!

Palapa Joe’s continues its tradition by serving up a three-course spread including appetizer, turkey with all the fixings, and dessert for 275 pesos, seatings at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Reservations at 315-351-5348. 

Local songstress and restaurateur Lora Loka will be featuring a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at her namesake beachside restaurant for 280 pesos. Seatings start at 6 p.m. and, who knows, she might break in to an impromptu song as the pumpkin pie is served. Reservations at 315-351-5333.

Al Fresco Restaurant at Chantli Mare, located at the north end of the bay in Boca de Iguanas, offers up chef Greg Couillard’s take on the traditional meal which includes shrimp, leek and pumpkin bisque, roasted turkey and glazed ham with all the trimmings, and pumpkin spice creme brûlée for 350 pesos.   Reservations at 315-107-9957.

Pump it up

With much fanfare ¡Activos! Estilo de Vida opened its doors the first week of June with a lively community event that included spinning and zumba demonstrations, dance performances and an official ribbon cutting.   ¡Activos! is La Manzanilla’s first health club, the brainchild of Cruz Gomez, her daughter Cynthia Coates and son-in-law Robert Rhodes.  Gomez moved from Tecoman to La Manzanilla in 2011.  All three family members were interested in working on a project to support the health and physical well-being of the community.  They initiated a survey and feasibility study in the fall of 2012.   Overwhelmingly, people indicated they wanted a place to exercise that offered weight machines as well as fitness classes. 

Nine local residents were recruited to make up an advisory board for the project and now La Manzanilla is the beneficiary of a beautiful new workout facility, complete with weight machines, spinning, zumba, cardio classes, as well as dance-based exercise classes for children. 

“We hope the residents of La Manzanilla will embrace the center and that it will become self-sustaining,” says Coates. “Our hope is to develop the advisory board into a functioning board of directors that will actually run the center and then we can simply hand the whole thing over to the community.”

Judging by attendance, the facility has been an overwhelming success and, more importantly, seems to have spurred on an overall interest in exercise.  There have always been a few people running on the beach in the morning, but now the early morning is greeted by groups of people speed walking the hills or jogging two kilometers to the highway and back before catching an early morning fitness class.  The tianguis is even getting into the act, featuring never-before-seen sporty stretch pants and workout tops.

¡Activos!  is currently housed in a rented building but Gomez, Coates and Rhodes are partnering with Pro La Manzanilla, a local nonprofit group, to build a larger facility on the other side of town.  Phase one of the Pro La Manzanilla project saw the construction of a basketball court.  There are plans to add a building that would serve as the permanent home to ¡Activos! and a community park. 

¡Activos! is in an airy two-story building on the main road into town, Lazaro Cardenas 245.  Hours are Monday to Saturday, 7:30.-11 a.m. and 4:30-8:30 p.m.  Non-resident day passes are 50 pesos and monthly unlimited use packages are available for 440 pesos.  For a full schedule of classes see www.activoslamanzanilla.com.

Galeria La Manzanilla

La Manzanilla’s fine art gallery kicks off its winter season with the first Meet the Artist reception, Friday December, 6 from 4-7 p.m.  Come and enjoy the newest works of famed Ajijic artist Efren Gonzalez.  Gonzalez is a popular perennial favorite and it is likely more of his paintings grace the walls of La Manzanilla homes than those in Ajijic.    He first came to La Manzanilla in 2004 and has kicked-off the Galeria’s season ever since.  Enjoy appetizers and libations while you peruse the art, jewelry and ceramics.

Annual Tree Party fundraiser

Holiday revelers go all out trying to outshine each other for top honors at this unique silent auction, where the definition of “holiday tree” is envisioned in countless ways.  Community members donate their artfully created trees which are auctioned off during the evening.  Funds raised go toward a local project such as providing fans in the elementary school classrooms, buying an industrial size printer for the secondary school, or outfitting the ambulance with a defibrillator.  Café de Flores hosts the event and provides tasty passed appetizers as well as a sumptuous buffet.  This year’s event is Thursday, December 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., 80 pesos per person.  One entrance is free if you donate a tree.  Tree donations must be dropped off by 3 p.m. on the 12th. Auction winners are announced at 7:30 p.m., advanced tickets available by calling 315-351-7376.

Garage sale and festival

Sponsored by The Helping Hands Bookstore, this one-day community event features traditional garage sale items along with food, music, custom clothing and handmade jewelry.  The sale takes place in the main jardin and sellers pay 100 pesos which the bookstore donates to the local schools.  La Manzanilla loves garage sales, probably because we can’t bring ourselves to throw things away.  Items that would end-up at second-hand stores up north have no place to go here.  The garage sale is the perfect alternative.  Most of us end-up buying as much as we sell.  Something about, “One man’s junk …,” well you know the saying. Come see for yourself Saturday, December 14, from 9 a.m-1 p.m.