|CAMINO EN PLAYA GRANDE|
Playa Grande. “Large Beach.” With that name, it would be reasonable to expect, at the minimum, sand.
|PRESIDENTE LÁZARO CÁRDENAS|
Playa Grande is a very small colonia (neighborhood) approximately 25-minutes driving time northeast of Vallarta. Playa Grande is also the name of the more than 2,800 hectares (approximately 7,000 acres) of lush ejido land adjacent to the colonia in the foothills of the Sierra Madres. Lázaro Cárdenas, president of Mexico from 1934-1940, instituted land reform during his term, taking large parcels of land from the elite and giving them to the peasants to use as agrarian collectives.
I didn´t see any land being used for farming in Playa Grande. A perfect, paved road meanders past beautiful pink cantera hills, a stone highly valued for its softness, varying colors, textures and durability. Cantera is found exclusively in parts of México and Central America.
|CANTERA EN PLAYA GRANDE|
The cantera is being mined and provides the major source of income for the ejido community in Playa Grande. The unstripped cantera hills are very beautiful. In addition to cantera income, the ejido community receives a subsidy from the government for keeping Playa Grande green. It is very green.
|MINA DE CANTERA – CANTERA BEING MINED|
Signs are posted along the road advising that it is illegal to hunt, fish, cut down orchids or a plant called Pig´s Tail. There is also a request not to leave trash, and that someone doing so would be reported to the authorities. Telephone number listed.
But there was some trash. We filled two large bags of it that we found on the banks of the river where we had gone to swim.
|SWIMMING HOLE. LUGAR PARA NADAR EN PLAYA GRANDE|
At one point, the road crosses over a wide, low cascading part of the river where it could be slightly dangerous to go by foot. We opted to follow a
|SUVS AND TRUCKS CAN CROSS HERE. PEDESTRIANS USE A DIRT PATH. LAS CAMIONETAS, ETC. SE PUEDEN CRUZAR EL RÍO AQUÍ PERO LA GENTE USAN UN CAMINITO.|
short, dirt path nearby. It leads to a long, wooden bridge that hangs over the river with a sign in big letters over the entrance that spells out “GRACIAS.” After crossing, one is back on the paved road.
As we continued our two-hour walk in greenness, we heard the songs of birds, the rare gurgle of frogs and inhaled the perfumes of different jungle flowers that mingled in the warm, dense morning air.
|BEAUTIFUL, FRAGRANT FLOWER IN PLAYA GRANDE´S JUNGLE. HERMOSA, PERFUMADA FLOR EN LA SELVA DE PLAYA GRANDE|
MASCOTA. The word, if it were in the Spanish language, means “pet.” But Mascota, the town and municipality, is derived from the Teco language of the original inhabitants of the area. Their name for this place was “Amaxacotlán Mazacotla,” which means “the place of deer and snakes.”
|VISTA DE MASCOTA|
The charming colonial town of Mascota is approximately 1,200 meters above sea level in the pine-filled and pyroclastic-coned plateau of the Western Sierra Madres mountain chain.
|MOLCAJETE VOLCÁN – MASCOTA – VOLCANO|
The municipality of Mascota includes 40 small towns, of which Mascota, with its 14,000 inhabitants, is the largest. This is beautiful ranch and farm country, with fields of corn, guayavas, avocados, cattle, horses, fighting cocks, etc. The year-round average temperatures are in the low 70´s. Mornings and nights are cool.
The town of Mascota is listed as a “Pueblo Mágico” in Mexico. The “Magical Towns Program” was initiated by the Secretariat of Tourism to promote towns that offer “magical” experiences due to their historical importance, cultural resources or unique natural beauty. Sayulita, a popular beach town an hour´s drive north of Vallarta, recently was removed from the “Pueblo Mágico” list because of the pollution in the water there.
|OLD STONE WALLS – MUROS VIEJOS DE PIEDRAS – MASCOTA|
|FIGHTING COCK FARM- GRANJAS DE GALLOS DE PELEA – MASCOTA|
Mascota has been named the cleanest town in the state of Jalisco for the past twenty-five years. There are steep fines for littering, and laws in place requiring the separation of plastic from other trash, composting, etc.
|CALLE PRINCIPAL EN MASCOTA – MAIN STREET|
Mascota is not only spotlessly clean, it is very quiet. A pleasant sound and sight is the occasional clip-clopping of horses ridden over cobbled streets by rancheros wearing levis, long-sleeved cotton checked or plaid shirts with snap faux mother-of-pearl buttons, boots and wide-brimmed, straw sombreros.
|ENCANTADOR CAFE/RESTAURANT NAPOLES – ATRÁS DEL CLUB DE LEÓNES – MASCOTA – CHARMING CAFÉ/RESTAURANT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE LIONS CLUB|
CLINIC IN MASCOTA. Although only 60 kilometers from Puerto Vallarta, it takes approximately two hours to drive there. Much of the road is serpentine as it climbs up into the foothills of the Sierra Madres and then winds down to the green plateau below. The clinic took place in the town´s Club de Leones, which wasn´t only spacious, it was grand. Red and white seem to be a preferred color combination in Mascota, with many red and white checked cement sidewalks. Perfect for domino games.
|CLÍNICA EN EL CLUB DE LEÓNES – MASCOTA|
|JORGE PÉREZ, SECRETARY AND GUILLERMO ARECHIGA, PRESIDENT – BRINGING BREAKFASTTO THE VET TEAM – CLUB DE LEONES – MASCOTA – TRAENDO DESAYUNOS AL EQUIPO.|
The great location was arranged by Guillermo Arechiga, president of the Lions Club. Guillermo and his wife, Ofelia, also provided and secured meals for the vet team and invited part of the team to stay in one of the rental cabañas on their beautiful ranch, “Rancho de los Abuelos- Mascota.”
On Tuesday, my second day at the clinic, María Caridad Perez Cabrera, a short, curly-haired blonde woman in her 40´s, introduced herself to me. María, originally from Cuba, had worked at a large ad agency in New York and now lives in Mascota. She said she had rescued and found homes via FB for more than 200 dogs and asked me to pick up a mama dog from a neighbor on Tuesday because she would be in Guadalajara.
I drove to the address María gave me, accompanied by a former taxi driver who had lived in Vallarta for fifty-two years. Originally from Mascota, he is now retired and a member of the Lions Club. The owner of the small, humble home where we were knocking, almost immediately rode up on a bicycle. Two three-month old kittens ran out onto the sidewalk when he opened the door. I could see a large cardboard box on the floor in the house and asked if we could put the kittens in it and drive them back to the clinic. The man beckoned me to come look inside the box. The mother of the two older kittens was nursing three newborns. I drove back to the clinic with the flea-infested kittens from the first litter and returned to the house with my co-pilot. We loaded up a large, black Lab-mix mama and her three handsome, black puppies and returned to the clinic, where two touristic policeman were visiting.
|CACHORRO TRANQUILIZADO Y ADOPTADO POR UN POLICÍA TURISTICA – MASCOTA. TRANQUILIZED PUPPY BEFORE BEING NEUTERED AND ADOPTED BY A TOURISTIC POLICE.|
One of them had been there the day before with his brown and white Cocker for spaying. She had given birth to four puppies two months before and he promised to bring them in the next morning to be sterilized. The second policeman adopted one of the black male puppies.
|ROJO Y BLANCO – COMBINACIÓN DE COLORES POPULAR EN MASCOTA|
|CASA ROJA Y BLANCA – MASCOTA – POPULAR COMBINATION OF RED AND WHITE IN MASCOTA.|
The second lucky black dog on Tuesday was a young female street dog who had wandered into the building. She was spayed and taken home to Ofelia´s and Guillermo´s beautiful ranch, where she will have lots of grass to run on with the three other dogs.
|PEQUEÑO PARQUE – MASCOTA – SMALL PARK
Places to visit in Mascota: A small museum; Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores; Iglesia Navidad; and the Templo de la Sangre Preciosa. The latter, with its Roman-arched entrance, was begun in the late 1800´s as a monastery and never completed. Adorned by bougainvillea and avocado trees (one fell to the ground next to me), it is used now for weddings and fiestas.
|ENTRADA CON ARCO ROMANO DEL TEMPLO DE SANGRE PRECIOSA. MASCOTA.
ROMAN-ARCHED ENTRANCE TO THE “TEMPLE OF PRECIOUS BLOOD.”
IGLESIA DE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LOS DOLORES – MASCOTA
STERILIZATIONS IN MASCOTA – AUGUST 6-8:
Female dogs: 75; Male dogs – 11; Female cats – 22; Male cats – 16
PLUS pregnancies terminated for 1 cat with 5 fetuses and 1 cat with 4 fetuses
|PARTE DE DOS EXCELENTES EQUIPOS – CLUB DE LEONES Y PEACEANIMALS.
PART OF TWO TEAMS – LIONS CLUB AND PEACEANIMALS
DONATIONS TO PEACEANIMALS:
Marsha Staneck – $50 USD
|JONATHAN EN BOCA DESPUÉS DE CIRUGIA PARA LA MANDÍBULA QUEBRADA|
The bay was a clear Mediterranean blue on Saturday when we swam with dolphins and spotted eagle rays. Although I have been swimming near them on the water´s surface, this was the first time I´ve been underwater to see them and hear their whistles.
It is turtle mating time, and they are very busy in the bay. For an interesting article on how they manage this:
Current temperature in Banderas Bay – 87 degrees fahrenheit.
|YA ESTÁN MUCHAS TORTUGAS APAREANDOSE EN LA BAHÍA DE BANDERAS|
EDUCATION PROGRAM- SUMMER VACATION. SCHOOLS CLOSED.
PEACEANIMALS VET TEAM – EL EQUIPO DE PEACEANIMALS – DR. ANTHONY, LESLIE, DR. POLI Y DR. PACHECO
NECESITAMOS LUGARES PARA NUESTRAS CLÍNICAS EN COLONIAS Y PUEBLOS. PRECISO: BAÑO, ELECTRICIDAD, AGUA Y PARA ESTACIONARSE.