Playing Catch-Up on Colima Experiences

It’s been a while since our last blog. Didn’t notice did you? haha. This past month we’ve been playing catch-up on the lives of great friends in Mexico and enjoying many new experiences in Colima. Written pages of notes and taken hundreds of photos. One is this edition’s banner photo. The brilliant waters of Manzanillo Bay seen through Torre Vela’s beautiful lobby. It’s always a very welcome sight and the kick-start of great times!

Vacations with a purpose are memorable! None of us come to Colima to simply sit around. There’s a time for that but not a steady diet. Our purpose is to find new sights, people, tastes and activities that Colima has to offer. And then to pass these along to others, a task we’re very happy doing!

Friends, Food and Fun Experiences

Our friends in Colima form the basis of most of our enjoyment. Some work full time and others are retired but all find time for us in their busy lives. Meeting the newborn of dear friend Carmen was fabulous but too short. Meals and conversations with Pipis, Carlos, Jose and Jaime are truly enjoyable. It was great joining Luis and son, Juan Pablo (both far right bottom) and meeting some new friends. These folks make each day ones to remember and cherish!

One day, “delicious Mexican food” will no longer be such a magnetic bond between us all. But don’t expect that day for quite some time! Whether we meet at one of many incredible restaurants or dine at someone’s home, the shared love for the tastes of Colima is very strong.

Pipis & Carlos

Jose & Jaime

Luis & Juan Pablo

Get Your Bib On

We won’t devote paragraphs about the coconut shrimp with exclamations,  baaaad fork-tender lamb chops, prime rib so rare, it’s insured and mahi-mahi so fresh I slapped it! But what harm could a few photos cause? These beautiful creations are ‘common’ at numerous restaurants but are anything but that!

Prepared by skilled chefs, served by friendly staff, accompanied by soothing lights and music, the Colima restaurant experience is alone worth the travel time!

These meals amaze with the presentation and taste and the value keeps folks raving long after the wine is gone. They’re priced at 240 pesos ($16), 260 pesos ($17.50) 320 pesos ($21.50) and 220 pesos ($15) respectively. Your stomach is growling, isn’t it??

We’re trying to be health conscious, therefore following meals everyone has to get up and walk all the way to the car!

   

 A short connecting trip to Puerto Vallarta presented a rare opportunity. Dropped into Pipi’s just off the Malecon to enjoy their famous margaritas, guacamole, mariachis and local version of mud pie.

 

Enjoyed a Classroom Experience in Armeria

We’re excited to be invited to presentations by a number of organizations involved in the tourism industry in Mexico.

Really pleased to see Secretary of Tourism, Mara Iniquez present an award to a friend, Mariano, who we met many years ago.

Discussing tourism with a broad spectrum of people from Mexico reinforces the strong position the industry enjoys here. Representatives from numerous agencies contribute information related to the successes and challenges facing tourism.

Mexico remains the top destination for North Americans. Statistics prove that unrest between the US and Mexico has had little if any effect on Americans enjoying all Mexico has to offer. The exchange rate from the $US  to pesos is a major driving force. Most Americans we speak with however tell us it’s the climate, food, people and the ocean that draws them to Mexico.

Young Entrepreneur

Juan Pablo, (above) invited us to take a look at his new business venture. He and colleagues provide logistical services for this business. A short distance out of the capital city of Colima we find the operation. His pride in becoming an independent businessman at a young age is really inspiring.

An analysis in this particular area within the State indicated the need and they’ve designed a plan to address that need. They’re up and running and are extremely happy with the results they’re achieving.

This young man exudes confidence. His proven abilities are clearly formed through the close association he has working with his dad. Great lessons learned and put into action by young and eager members of the community is a major factor spurring the economy of Colima.

Ah, Teachers’ Convention!!

We would never have had this incredible experience if we hadn’t planned yet another breakfast out with the guys. Luckily for me at least, we did! We planned to meet at Hotel Plaza in Tecoman and as soon as we arrived it was obvious something was taking place. The large parking lot was jammed. We double parked behind a car with a foot of dust on it that didn’t look like it had moved this decade.

The breakfast with the guys was great as always. But once I found out it was a convention of teachers I couldn’t help but strike up conversations with a few who thankfully excused my attempts at Spanish. The convention was for Language Arts and unbelievably, English as a Second language teachers.

The enthusiastic tone in their voices was just wonderful to hear. They were really interested in my tales of teaching in the old west of Alberta. About walking seven miles to school each day to start the coal stove, hunting moose with a pen-knife for the kids’ lunches and using tree bark on which the students practised printing.

I’m watching Carlos, Steve, Jaime and Pepe quietly pay the bill and move away before I attempt introductions.

Colima’s Evolving Agricultural Growth

Papaya Processing

It’s great to be introduced to local Tecoman, Colima papaya processing on a recent visit. As you can see, this is a low-tech operation that has existed for years. The papayas are handpicked on the open field, wrapped in newspaper, placed in a wagon for transport to the processing plant. Here the papaya is unwrapped and placed in a 50-ppm chlorine bath for 30 minutes, (this chlorine bath meets USDA specifications), then rinsed in a water bath, placed on a conveyor for packaging. At the packaging line, papayas are wrapped again in recycled paper and placed in boxes by hand. The papayas are boxed wet and will breathe through the paper and holes in cardboard boxes. The boxes are placed on a pallet and transferred into the waiting transport truck. These papayas are on route to Los Angeles. This processing plant has 17 people working to load this shipment.

Papaya Production

Caballeros, who is kneeling (left photo above), owns the papaya processing plant and is now showing us his high-tech production farm. This is a netted 4 hectare (9.8 acres) controlled growing environment. This farm is to reduce plant disease contamination which will increase production. Plant disease and pests are a big problem in open field production. This farm utilizes an agronomic production program with pest control, plant disease, fertilizer, micronutrients and water intake to maximize and evaluate yield and costs. This farm also consolidates production from scattered open field production. This production facility will require a high-tech processing facility which can further optimize efficiency in papaya production.

It will be interesting to see Caballeros continue to transition his farm to produce fruits and vegetables for the North American market. Maybe your next papaya will get a closer look from you, when you pick it up at your grocery store.

“Never be Bored”   Steven Peterson

The OASIS CLUB Experience

Tucked away in the very popular neighbourhood of Club Santiago in a true gem. The Oasis Club is a complex that combines beach club, condos, pools, amenities and beautiful gardens. The atmosphere is very casual during the day but the dining room at the Club takes on a glamorous look when the sun goes down.

A favourite of ours, it is a low key but high-quality place to stay and play! The Oasis Club and Club Santiago host great numbers of Canadians who rent for the week or stay for the season. Located conveniently, enjoying a secure gated property and excellent food services and activities, The Oasis Club fits the bill.

 

Greetings and Farewells

Enjoyed some wonderful greetings including the always interesting and talkative Asterio when we arrived at Torre Vela. He brightens up every day!

We were also delighted to spend a good deal of time with Colette, an amazing WJ inflight crew member on the last seasonal direct flight to Manzanillo, Colima. She was just delightful and believed almost everything we told her about our careers in cardiovascular surgery and genome splicing of canola.

But alas, with the Westjet flying season over directly to Colima it was fond farewells to the contract staff who treat guests with such exceptional service. With the changes upcoming at WestJet, we are hopeful we will see these wonderful folks are back in November.

It’s been a great month and looking forward to great weather and lots of fun in Western Canada throughout the summer! Thanks for being here with us. please share with your friends and family. Have a wonderful summer season!!

The Beach!! The only place where salt lowers your Blood Pressure!!

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