Mexico’s Independence

On September 16, 1810, a progressive priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla became the father of Mexican independence with a historic proclamation urging his fellow Mexicans to take up arms against the Spanish government. Known as the “Grito de Dolores,” Hidalgo’s declaration launched a decade-long struggle that ended 300 years of colonial rule, established an independent Mexico and helped cultivate a unique Mexican identity. Its anniversary is now celebrated as the country’s birthday.  So named because it was publicly read in the town of Dolores, the Grito called for the end of Spanish rule in Mexico, the redistribution of land and a concept that the criollos’ earlier plans had deliberately omitted: racial equality. Though a criollo himself, Hidalgo extended his call to arms to mestizos and people of indigenous descent; their significant contribution of manpower changed the tenor of the revolt.

Hidalgo led his growing militia from village to village en route to Mexico City, leaving in their wake a bloodbath that he later came to deeply regret. Defeated in January 1811, Hidalgo fled north but was captured and executed by firing squad in Chihuahua. Others took the helm of the rebellion, including José María Morelos y Pavón, Mariano Matamoros and Vicente Guerrero, who all led armies of indigenous and racially mixed revolutionaries against the Spanish royalists. The conflict dragged on until 1821, when the Treaty of Córdoba established Mexico as an independent country.

Although September 16, 1810 marked the beginning of Mexico’s struggle for independence rather than its ultimate achievement, the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores has been a day of celebration across Mexico since the late 19th century. The holiday begins on the evening of September 15 with a symbolic reenactment of Hidalgo’s historic proclamation by the president of the republic and the city presidents in all the country. The next day, typical activities include parades, bullfights, rodeos and traditional dancing.

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Mexico's Independence

Turtles in the bay

Every year the beaches of Banderas Bay receive valued visitors who come back to their place of origin to lay their eggs and continue the eternal cycle of life.  Sea turtles, mainly the Olive Ridley species, come back to the place that saw them hatch.

Turtles have been around for over 200 million years, although their number has been diminishing for the last 200 years due to human over-exploitation of our natural resources.  The largest turtle that still exists today is the Leatherback, measuring 4 to 6 feet long and up to a ton in weight. Olive Ridley sea turtles are considered to be one of the smallest of marine turtle species. They measure 2 to 2.5 feet and weigh between 77 and 100 pounds.

Each year, between the months of June and December, thousands of marine turtles come to nest on the shores of the Bay. Many turtle camps protect these creatures and their nests, releasing the little hatchlings under the right conditions in an effort to boost their numbers.

You can visit these camps to enjoy one a very special activity, the release of the hatchlings.  Your visit will start with an informative talk about the turtles, what to do if you happen to find a female nestling on the beach, and what you can do to help.  Then you will pick one of the small hatchlings, give it a name and release it to see it making its way to the ocean waters.  This long (for their size) crawl imprints this particular location on them and for some still unknown mechanism makes them return to this very same beach 8 to 12 years later to nest and reproduce.

Poaching of the eggs for their supposedly aphrodisiacal effect and of the turtles themselves for their meat has not yet been eradicated and hence the need for their protection.  Millions of sea turtles worldwide drown after getting caught in fishing nets.  They can confuse garbage for food. Plastic bags can easily look like a jelly fish to a turtle and clog its digestive system. We can all help by not littering and by picking up the trash we encounter on beaches and in our oceans. 

Give yourself the opportunity to live the wonderful experience of a turtle release.  Help them mark their future nestling place and be a first-hand witness of the marvelous circle of life!

*Photo courtesy of Josef Kandoll

CupoClassifieds…..Just what Vallarta was waiting for!

Why are classifieds awesome?

La Gazette was born in Paris in 1631. The first French newspaper was founded by Théophraste Renaudot, who a year earlier had opened the bureau d'adresse et de rencontre, an office where prospective employers and employees could find each other.  This combination of enterprises gave birth to the first printed classified ads in history, although hanging public announcements was used since Roman times and handwritten ads had appeared more recently in public places in England.

So many changes in the past 400 years.  Today classified ads have stopped being the domain of printed media to become one of the most visited categories on internet.  What started as a way to find a job and buy and sell items for those who had what other people needed has turned into a window to make commercial and personal transactions of all kinds, from the ever-popular mentioned above to finding a roommate, dating services and house or vacation exchange.

CupoCity recently launched CupoClassifieds of the already famous deal site Users can buy, sell, trade, give away free, inform about cultural events, promote pet adoptions, find a friend, and loads of other fun things to explore for everyone.

To learn how you can post an ad on CupoClassifieds visit and see all the FREE sections featured! ENJOY!

Mouth to mouth or forum to forum


Never before consumers have had access to so many tools to exert our right to choose as at this very moment.  Nowadays we possess ways to learn things that up to a generation ago would have been unthinkable.  What was once called “the information highway” has become both a super route with uncountable lanes where we can find more information than we are capable of processing and a tool which allows us to be aware of everything that happens in our world.  One of the sectors benefitted from internet’s unsurmountable capacity to keep us informed is the is the consumer sector.

Even if we don’t realize, everybody is consuming something at all times, and possess information about it is of capital importance not only in the quantity, but in the quality of what we know.  But how can we be sure of the reliability of what we know about what we want to purchase? 

As with the majority of situations, our most trusted source is pour first circle of family and friends, who usually have preferences very like ours; listening to mouth to mouth recommendations is still the most trusted source of information.  If people we know has good thing to say about a product, we will acquire it more confidently.

Out of this first circle of information, we find ourselves in more recently charted territory.  The “mouth to mouth” becomes the “forum to forum” or, even more recently, the “wall to wall”.  Knowing our cousin’s opinion about a restaurant I would like to visit might not be enough anymore; now we can know my cousin’s cousin opinion, or his girlfriend’s, his buddies’ and, now that we are on it, the opinion of all the people who has visited this now famous (for being good or bad, expensive or reasonable, clean or mmm…) restaurant.

Thus, internet has become our second but most ample source of information about what and what not to buy.  That’s why it has become so important for us to learn to know web sites as we have learned to know people in order to make deals with them: we know which one is trustworthy, which one has more “credibility capital”, which one we’d better stay clear from and with which one we can work with the lesser risk.  As happens with people, sites that have made an effort for being reliable to us gain and keep our confidence.

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Summer activities in Puerto Vallarta

Summer vacations are on full swing and our city is now welcoming the wave of Mexican tourists who make Vallarta their yearly family vacation destination.  Summer warmth is high and up, getting us to look for different ways to refresh ourselves and to spend times of leisure and fun among the ample menu of activities a beach resort has to offer both its visitors and residents.

Being a top-notch touristic destination, Puerto Vallarta has an offer of activities in the same level.  From bird watching to bungee jumping, going through all levels of adrenaline, you will surely find something you like to spend a couple of hours or an entire day full of fun.

This is but a short list of things to do if you are in Vallarta during summer:

Surfing: Banderas Bay features several spots with important surfing activity, with waves ideal for every level, from beginners to experts.

Zip lines: canopy lines are a great option for those who enjoy thrill in the middle of nature.  Ost of adventure parks are safety-certified.

Golf: we have some of the most beautiful courses of Mexico in this area, designed by the most famous architects in the world.

Fishing: casual or sports, professional or amateur, from a pier or deep in the sea, fishing is almost a must with all the chances to practice it in Vallarta.

Paddle surfing: a newer variety of surf, stand up paddle has flourished in the area; you can now practice it at most of the beaches.

Snorkeling and diving: just like with fishing, you can practice snorkeling and diving almost in any point of the bay.  Experts have their favorite spots, though.

Horseback riding: Either along the beach or high on the mountains surrounding the city, horseback riding tours are an environment-friendly and fun way to know the beauties of the port.

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Mamas in PV do it again!

Encouraged by the great success of the reunion to celebrate Children's Day, Mamas in PV decided to repeat it and gather again, this time on the beach of Sí Señor Restaurant, who played excellent hosts to get the over 100 moms and their little ones to spend a morning for the ages.

The idea of Mamas in PV came from a group of friends who used to meet every week to share their experiences of being mothers in a place like Puerto Vallarta.  From the mere social occasion they have moved to heading community-oriented projects with the family in mind, such as parks improvement, charity events and awareness-raising of the importance of good eating.

Saturday 28th of June started very early with the activities carried out by guests and sponsors.  Paddle surf came first with Jeri Grant of Paddle Vallarta, who gave lessons of this novel sport.  “Serendipity” show of Act II Entertainment , directed by Danny Minini and Karla Barragán allowed all the families to appreciate a sample of the musical talent in Puerto Vallarta.  The photo booth set up by Aime Jewel and Ulises L. Guerrero Fotografía to take pictures in customs was a total hit, as were the workshops by Koala Kids Care, who made the youngsters and their pops built sand castles with plaster and their magical special materials!

Kindergym by Gymboree came from Nuevo Vallarta and amused everyone with a circle of songs in English, while Bonita Make Up y Salón gave all the girls a manicure.  The closing of activities was the great pageant "Banderas Bay Bathing Beauty" sponsored by Havaianas and Myskova Boutique.  Moms received presents from Organic Select and Dr. Adriana de Applaude brought bubbles for all the kids.

Sí Señor Restaurant gave everyone such a good attention that Mamas in PV decided to name it “The Best Family Restaurant on the Beach”

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Mamas in PV Mamas in PV Mamas in Pv

Brazil 2014, halfway through

Soccer world cup Brazil 2014 has ended its first stage, which means half the teams which arrived on June 12 are back home or on their way.  There have been the usual casualties, with teams as Australia, Honduras or Korea, which have never been very competitive internationally, out of the tourney.  There have been also god and bad surprises.  Powerhouses as Italy, England, Portugal and Spain have also had to pack back to Europe while Greece, Algeria and Switzerland, from whom only their fans expected much, are still fighting to go deeper in the tourney.

Mexico is still alive thanks to the good team performance it has had so far, but it will face The Netherlands, a powerful team considered one of the current favorites along with Germany and Brazil. The United States team, on its side, has also survived this initial phase with a more than decent performance and will face Belgium in the following round.

From June 28 on every match is win or die.  Winner goes on and loser goes back sad but with the satisfaction of being among the top sixteen in the world.  This figure will get smaller as days go by and the tournament becomes more difficult every time and victories harder to get.  Let’s hope our area teams advance as far as possible… maybe to the finals?

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Fish at your favorite style, “a tu gusto”

Historically human groups have created their diets based on the elements more readily available in their habitat.  So, inhabitants of forest have had the meat of animals as their main ingredient, while fish has been the choice of those dwelling the coasts or the riverbanks.  In Puerto Vallarta we are lucky enough to live surrounded by a diversity of ecosystems which have allowed the local diet to be comprised of ingredients with several origins, especially of those coming from water.

If we add this to the gastronomic culture developed in the city during the last three decades, the outcome is a great culinary richness available for all tastes and possibilities, of course with fish as a central ingredient in the kitchens of restoration establishments.  Amid the most popular species we can find the red snapper, mahi mahi, rooster fish, bull fish, marlin, sword fish, bass, tuna and even the brought-from-afar salmon.  With minor variations by the personal style of every cook, these are some of the most popular styles to prepare fish we can find in pour city:

  • - Zarandeado – the most local of the récipes, it is prepared brushing the fish with a sauce based on chilies and spices of the area and cooking it in a zaranda, a kind of light grilling press which holds it while allowing it to be cooked on both sides.
  • - A la plancha – on the grill, maybe the simplest preparation on a griddle, pan or wok with each one’s favorite side dish.
  • - A la mantequilla – with butter, cooked with a thin flour layer and bathed with a sauce of butter, cilantro, lime and garlic.
  • - A la diabla – the name deviled  comes from the hotness of its sauce, which can be prepared with chipotle or any other red chili.
  • - Al ajillo – with garlic and guajillo chili, usually on a mild tomato sauce.
  • - Al ajo – with garlis, rubbed with a paste of garlic, lime, salt and pepper and cooked on the griddle.
  • - Empapelado – papered, cooked wrapped in aluminum foil with tomato, onion, chili and other spices.
  • - A la veracruzana – Veracruz style from Mediterranean heritage, it is prepared with olives, capers and Mexican spices.

So when you see the legend: “Pescado a tu gusto” you will know you can pick your favorite of these styles and you will be sure it will come to your table delicious and well prepared.

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La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a samll town in Banderas Bay located about 20 miles north of downtown Puerto Vallarta.  Its name stems from across that was located at the entrance of the town, engraved from the wood of the most abundant tree in the area, the huanacaxtle.  This word comes from nahuatl and means tree of ears by the shape of its fruits.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle was founded in 1930 by the Chávez family, who still live in town.  It has always been a fishing village known popularly as La Cruz.  Here it is still possible to witness the arrival of fishermen in their pangas loaded with the ample variety of fish and seafood they catch from the waters of the bay.

Beaches in the area are famous for their fine golden sand.  They are divided in five sections: El Tizate, Cruz de Huanacaxtle, La Manzanilla, Piedra Blanca and Arena Blanca, where you can admire the beauty of the sea and visit their restaurants, both typical and modern.  And speaking of modern, during the last few years La Cruz has been object of a transformation that is turning it in a center of important economic activity with the construction of several real estate developments and with the creation of the Riviera Nayarit Marina, the newest and most advanced in the Mexican Pacific, with capacity for 400 vessels from 30 to 400 feet.

All this development has been grounded with the birth of a gastronomic culture unique by its own right.  Several restaurants of diverse cuisine have sprouted in the cobblestoned streets of La Cruz , each one with an exclusive personality, but permeated by the unique charm of the town, by the warmth of its people and the beauty of the place.  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is definitively a spot worth visiting.

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Francisco Medina Ascencio Boulevard, the first image of Puerto Vallarta

Guacamole Grill

Francisco Medina Ascencio Boulevard has traditionally been the most important access way to Puerto Vallarta.  Old pictures let us see more like a dirt and gravel way 60 years ago, which turned into a muddy path during the rainy season.  The first chain hotel in the then small town was Sheraton, in the beginning of what is now known as the boulevard. With the pass of the years and the growth of Vallarta, the access avenue has been subject to gradual changes.

Little by little this way has become the site of some of the most important hotels in town.  Iconic places such as Posada Vallarta and Villa del Palmar, the first time share development in the area, have given Vallarta’s main avenue the luster it rightfully deserves.  Two significant milestones were the construction of the international airport and the development of Marina Vallarta.  arracheraThese two works reinforced the need of having a worthy access to the city, with a lay out to allow the vehicle traffic in a fluid and agile manner.  The settling of important businesses has also occurred in a natural way.  Today, shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants and night clubs rest all along the almost 10 kilometers of Francisco Medina Ascencio Boulevard, between Las Juntas crossroads –where a bronze statue of this former Jalisco governor was recently inaugurated- and the Sheraton Hotel, extreme points of this important way.

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Guacamole Grill