A bi-weekly news source for the village of San Pancho, Mexico
March 1st 2017


The San Pancho Music festival is three wonderful nights of music under the stars in the plaza in San Pancho held on the last weekend of February. The town fills up with music lovers from near and far as music fills the night air and everyone converges on the plaza to take up their chairs for an evening of free music. The musicians come from as far away as NY at their own expense to amaze us with their talents and give this beautiful gift to the people of San Pancho. This event is supported only by the donations of the public and we are in awe of the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that makes this sweet miracle happen every year. We especially want to thank the organizers of the festival 2017: Alberto Gonzalez, Andy Crawford, Chris Parsons & Chas Eller.  We don't know how they manage to pull it off but San Pancho's Music Festival is one of the reasons we LOVE San Pancho.  

The beautiful image of Chas Eller playing his keyboard was created by David Fisher, one of our talented local musicians who has been a long-standing performer at the festival.

Entreamigos turns 11 years representing a bridge between cultures, providing educational opportunities for kids and families in San Francisco and the region through creativity, consciousness in environmental actions, love and commitment with the community. 
·      Recognized as a CECA by Semarnat: Educational Center with Environmental Consciousness
·      It administrates several environmental educational programs in the community and through out several public schools in the region.
·      Since 2010 it runs the biggest Collection Center in the Nayarit Coast, a citizen inniciative. 
·       Leader in solidary tourism, more than 1000 international volunteers every year.
·       The scholarship program benefits the future of more than 85 young students.
·      It hosts a large and beautiful library for kids and adults. 
·       Free classes and workshops for all ages.

The theme of this year 9º Festival de Arte Infantil es "Descubre la Feria Ambiental" is because of our commitment and search for creating and augmenting awareness about the importance of taking care of our environment, and how our actions and attitudes can change our daily lives, to promote a healthier, more loving life between ourselves and the world we live in. 

Next Friday March 3rd, we will showcase the work we do at Entreamigos: productive workshops, recreational and environmental games, story telling, amongst others. We also are collaborating with different organizations with alike purposes in environmental topics. It will be a representative, artsy and cultural event, with music and traditional cooking. 

We hope you can join us in an afternoon with discoveries and fun for the entire family, deepening the concept of sustainability and ways of participating to take care of our environment for a more creative, conscious and loving world!!!

Man on the Street - 
With Earl Miller

Our dear friend Earl has been hitting the streets to find out who you might meet when you are here in San Pancho.  
Here's the scoop!

What do you do?

l am a property manager and own San Pancho Management. I take care of several properties and get to meet new people all the time, which is really an experience.
How did you find San Pancho?

l found San Pancho when l met my beautiful wife Cecilia, who happens to be from here. Her family has been here for generations - they were some of the founders of this beautiful town.

What is the best thing about San Pancho for you?

The best about San Pancho is really hard to say because there are several great things that l love about this magical town; the people, who are very friendly, and the sunsets .
San Pancho has a very magical touch that once you come once you will fall in love with it.......


Where are you from?

I am from Milano, Italy
Milano has a population of 1,236,837 making it the biggest city in Lombardy.

What do you do?

I work here in the pueblo with my two restaurants. I really enjoy the people and letting them get a taste of the real Italy. I love being able to share my love of Italy. My restaurants are Dolce Amore and Dolce Jardin... Come and enjoy the true taste of Italy and Mexico.

How did you find San Pancho?

How I found San Pancho 9 years ago was through a close friend of mine. I am so glad he brought me here to this beautiful village.

What is the best thing about San Pancho for you?

There are no banks, no stoplights, no police and all the great blend of locals and visitors.
Benny Love.......

Where are you from?
I grew up as an Army BRAT and moved every few years all over the world, hence a strong passion for travel. As the youngest of three, my father retired when I was still in high school and graduated in the northern Virginia area.  Promptly after high school I moved to Colorado and attended Western State College (because of it's proximity to Crested Butte ski resort). After ski bumming and getting a degree in Anthropology, I moved to Chicago, California and eventually ended up in Nicaragua where I met my wonderful wife and together ran a surf lodge, construction company and non-profit. When she was pregnant with our first boy, we moved to Napa, California, where we spent the last three years and had another little boy.  So I guess I tell people California, only 'cause it's easy and my truck has the plates.... :)  

What do you do?

Well, I was a partner in a General Contracting firm in Napa before moving here and still work a little with them, but we will see what San Pancho and the Nayarit coast has to offer and needs.... My wife, Kassidy, is a very talented photographer and specializes in weddings.

How did you find San Pancho?

I used to come down here a decade ago in my ski-bum prime during the off season in the mountains. Fell in love.  

Earl & his beautiful wife Jane are the owners of Roberto's Bungalows, San Pancho's friendliest place to stay.  Earl and Jane will take you under their wing and have you living like locals from your first day. Stop by and say Hi!  

Thanks, Earl!!!

Circo De Los Niños

Now is the time for our annual benefit show! 
Each year we present the result of the training of Circo de Los Ninos. We always do this in a new theatrical setting and we are very excited by this year production. The presentation will be in the Circo Bodega with bleachers seating, so good seat for every one. 
The show concept is inspired from a classical play: Shakespeare's Midsummer Night Dream! The dream aspect seemed very appropriate with all those fairies living in a forest, and little characters playing tricks on each other. We imagined those magical scenes as a celebration of friendship and love. More than 15 different techniques of circus art will be presented by the 85 children that are part of this year's production.
There won't be spoken words, or very few, evocation and pantomime will carry the story. Using colorful costumes,  masks, make-up, projections and lavish lighting, we will create a mysterious universe, where Oberon the Fairy King and his beautiful Queen Titania and their court will charm the spectators of all ages.
There will be graceful acrobatic ensembles - daring feats - and classical numbers that are part of Circo de los Ninos seven-year short history.
Mark your calendars: 
March 22-23-24-25 @ 7.30 pm
Get your tickets online at 
General seating:    450 pesos
Dream Catchers Fund Benefactors:   2500 pesos 
(for preferred seating)
Our Dream Catcher´s Sponsors contribute annually to help Circo de los Niños de San Pancho sustain its programs and maintain our fees accessible for the 150 families enrolled.   

Our mission, at Circo de los Niños de San Pancho, is to encourage the wholistic development of children and young adults by improving their artistic, creative, motor and communication skills as well as strengthening their confidence in taking risks in a secure and safe environment. Circo de los Niños de San Pancho offers a quality program in Circus Arts training with a focus on empowerment at the human level.  The Dream Catcher legend holds that its web catches good dreams and keeps them safe for the dreamer to reach his or her vision. At Circo de los Niños, we aspire to awaken the imagination and creativity of each young person.   Join the Dream Catchers at Circo de los Niños and help a child reach his potential and experience the magic!

Featured Vacation Rental - Casa Paraiso

Casa Paraiso is a 3 bedroom 3 1/2 bathroom vacation rental property located on Honduras street - This private courtyard centered home is perfect for up to 3 couples.  Each bedroom has it's own bathroom and there is lots of open area to enjoy time together over meals prepared in the kitchen that opens out on the large patio with a pool and palapa shaded sitting area.  This is a perfect place for your next get-away with a small group of friends in San Pancho.

Featured Video
Maruno at San Pancho Music Festival by Candice Fulton
Moruno at San Pancho Music Festival
by Candice Fulton

The People of San Pancho 
By Patrick Clarke

This is our sixth year in San Pancho. Each time we have come for three months. When people at home ask about San Pancho, curious about the attraction it has for us, I begin by telling them about tranquility. I tell them that the pace of your life immediately slows. I am also quick to say that this is not because nothing is going on, quite the opposite. There is a smorgasbord of activities. The variety of experiences is unlimited and includes food, music and art of all kinds, laughing yoga on the beach, bird watching, ocean experiences, hiking, and so on. You can take classes or join groups of all kinds. You can be busy or you can just be. San Pancho has been called the cultural centre of the province of Nayarit with good reason. There are countless ways to enjoy and participate in San Pancho life and to contribute but there is no sense of urgency in the air. It is possible to just be here sampling the many offerings available, to become involved, or simply to become aware. The people who come here each have a story which may be discovered in the most casual of conversations. But the culture of San Pancho goes far deeper than the outward appearance of a town simply catering to the tourist industry. It has a uniqueness. It is the people who define the San Pancho experience and it is first and foremost a Mexican community. While visitors who live here, or come every year, make many contributions it is the Mexicans and their values, their openness, resilience, and enthusiasm for life which make this possible and which make this wonderful place very special. It is this element that I try to convey to people who ask about our experience. This is not always easy to get across simply because you have to be here to know this and most who ask are interested in what you do to amuse and enjoy yourself or they are overly concerned with safety. Without some understanding of the people of San Pancho the experience becomes indistinguishable from any other getaway in the sun. This makes all the difference. The quiet energy and industry here may easily go unnoticed but reveals some of the underlying character of the pueblo. For many there is a pride in the community which has little to do with us. It was there before. Let me introduce you to a few people and perhaps it will extend your San Pancho experience as it has ours.   

I have met no one here who typifies more the undercurrent of positive energy and enterprise which exists in this otherwise tranquil pueblo than Iris Rodriguez. Iris is 26 and has lived here all of her life. She graduated from high school and earned a diploma in tourism and is fluent in english. Much of her drive came from her mother, Isabel, who among other things has been a property manager in San Pancho. From her mother and other family members Iris learned quickly in life that much must be earned. If she wanted something special, a pair of shoes for example, she earned this by helping her mother with a variety of things. She recalls this not as drudgery but as an opportunity. She was learning early how to take care of herself and introduced to all of the possibilities for doing so. And so she began to view life as full of such possibilities. She internalized a work ethic and enthusiasm for life which characterized her whole extended family.  Iris is a faciltator. She is always available to connect people and to find services or community resources for whatever is needed or of interest to people. She is invigorated by these challenges and for her there is never a dull day.

At 26 Iris is married to Oto and they have built their own home. They are devoted to each other and work together to provide for themselves, always with a positive outlook. Nothing of what they have accomplished has come easily nor has it dampened their enjoyment of life and particularly life in San Pancho. They have done whatever it takes, working several jobs to do this and in this way they are like so many other members of this great Mexican community. Iris now manages many properties while Oto contributes to maintenance, gardens, pools, etc., as well as cooking at the Ola Rica restaurant. Both Iris and Oto have the attitude that you do whatever is necessary. No work is considered demeaning. There is no stigma attached to any honest work. Iris points to having cleaned toilets as an example of this. Just a job to be done. 

Oto is bilingual having learned all of his english in school. He is hesitant sometimes to use english but with encouragement he will. While he is not as outgoing as Iris, Oto is a bright, friendly and positive person as well. He came to San Pancho many years ago and also graduated from high school. For Iris and Oto San Pancho is home and they are content to live their lives here while venturing out to experience new things. They are adventurers in life but draw their enthusiasm from a happy existence in this little town. They plan a trip to Canada soon. They will travel but the quality of life they experience here makes their return inevitable. This is where they live.

When asked about what is truly important to them both Iris and Oto are quick to say that first it is each other. Close to this is family. They are soundly anchored in these relationships and from this comes their energy and enthusiasm for life and for doing so much. They are thoughtful people. Iris is quite open about her views on social and political issues. In this their response to life goes beyond their daily activities and beyond the confines of San Pancho. There is no arrogance in this. They simply care about what goes on in their community, country, and the world. They are quite aware of the struggles that many in their community have in simply surviving. But their response is active. They are involved. Why others contribute in a grand fashion to causes such as education and health services much more goes on quietly. It is common for Mexicans to provide food and work for those who struggle. The man who sweeps the street is paid for his work. These are not handouts but fair compensation for work done. They do not remove themselves from these people and honour their efforts to do something, anything, to survive. It is who they are and what they do. They "walk the walk". This to me is unique since it seems so common in other cultures and societies to separate oneself from those who struggle and to move forward without a backward glance having escaped "failure". There is often little recognition of how thin is the line between "us" and "them". Such recognition seems apparent in listening to Oto and Iris speak of their lives and their sense of connection and sharing in the experience of life. There was a humbling sense of humanity, of generosity of spirit, in their attitudes and actions. Again, they were not passive in this. It was evident in their behaviour, the test of beliefs, feelings, and values.  Afterwards I felt a stronger inclination to notice and respect the street sweeper( and to pay him for his work).

I was interested in knowing what Iris and Oto thought of the many visitors to San Pancho, those who simply passed through, those who spent the season here, and those who left their previous lives behind and moved here. For starters they see this as providing more opportunities for them. They welcome this and the stimulation to the economy for everyone. Although I have seen mixed feelings in others, perhaps a resentment for the intrusion and possibly for the dependence on foreigners for a "leg up". I see none of this in Oto or Iris. They take all people at face value accepting everyone in general. They see people taking time out from their other lives and some leaving other lives behind. They do not paint everyone with the same brush but see differences in people from a distance and as they come to know them. They see some people contributing and investing in the community and others just being here perhaps seeking the calm and a life uncluttered by past realities. San Pancho has been changed as more people came for various reasons. They see it as continuing to change but do not feel that the foundation of their community provided by the Mexican character will be significantly altered. They will continue to be who and what they were quite apart from such changes. San Pancho will continue and remain an essentially Mexican town sharing itself with more of the world. They seemed to be saying in other words that "We are who we are and do what we do". They believe that the integrity of this will remain despite other changes in their  town. It is hard to believe otherwise in listening to them.

There is little doubt in my mind that Iris and Oto are unusual people, an unusual couple. At the same time they revealed what I saw as the general character of San Pancho. They do not see themselves as above other Mexicans but instead as possessing values representative of so many others in their community, as a part of something of great value. They seem to me to be the best of San Pancho. Without trying they appear to be among the "flag bearers" displaying the heart of this unusual place. They are the future and it is in good hands. My life has been better with them in it.

I was concerned in writing such an article that I did not obtain a false impression, an exception to the rule. And so I sought out Jerry Vasquez, a friend of ours from the beginning. You may know Jerry. He is an owner of the Baja Takeria but these days you will see brothers Leroy  and Julio, more than Jerry. His second venture more recently is as a realtor. Since he arrived in San Pancho Jerry has been a fixture at the Baja Takeria, a driving force in making this the success it is without question. His attitude to this business venture tells you a lot about Jerry. But there is more.

Jerry was born in Tijuana and lived there until he was 14. He moved with his father to Colorado and eventually the elite air of Aspen where he worked in a restaurant paying his dues washing dishes and working his way up until he became a waiter. All the time he was learning. He is indeed a learner. He moved to Chihuahua with his girlfriend and his son JJ. Jerry returned by himself to Colorado to chase the "American dream" and his relationship ended. His relationship with JJ was interrupted but not ended. His son is a very important part of his life. His return to Colorado expressed his drive to be successful. But I think he was, as a young man, also searching for himself, a place to be and to continue his dream. This dream, the idea that with hard work anything is possible for anyone, has no ownership. It was not born in the USA. The right to success is universal but the opportunity is not. It is as much a Mexican dream as well. It is understood by Jerry and others in the Mexican community that such a dream is founded on hard work. There is no evident sense of entitlement in Jerry. When the opportunity to be part of a new restaurant in San Pancho was offered he returned to Mexico and the dream became a reality. Jerry again worked relentlessly to buy into the Baja Takeria. For all who watched, the Baja Takeria was Jerry. His constant presence, friendliness, and genuine love of people and this place carried the day. Jerry's dream, however, included family and a community where he felt respected and accepted. He is a connector and genuinely values his relationships with others no matter how fleeting or casual. He embodies the idea that we are all related and this shows in his sincere respect for people.

Jerry was an outsider in San Pancho. He gravitated to people who came to see him for what he was, a honest, unpretentious person with an unparalleled work ethic and enthusiasm who enjoyed life here. He was home. When he met Diana the pieces of Jerry's life came together. Like Iris and Oto they began to build a life together. Diana possesses the same work ethic. She has her own salon and is a devoted mother. In the Mexican community children are a gift and the love the Mexicans have for their children is unmistakeable. So when Jadee arrived life was even better. The community's response to a fund raiser to allow Jadee to have a much needed eye operation was a demonstration of the compassion and respect that San Pancho has for Jerry and his family. For Jerry, who had found his place, everything became possible. Diana, Jadee, and their extended Mexican family provided the backbone in his life. His story is far from over but he is fulfilling his dream. His life is balanced with love of family and opportunities offered where he might least have expected. The "dream" for many is compromised. Conventional success often corrupts and trumps relationships and family. I see no such compromise in the way Jerry is living this out. His sense of community and love for this place goes beyond his own ambitions but reflects his values. Jerry expects to be successful here and has a vision for San Pancho. 

Jerry and I talked of the changes in San Pancho, the wave of "progress" that is becoming more evident. Much of this is welcomed and wanted. The seasonal influx is quite simply an opportunity for many Mexicans to make money. The development of San Pancho brings more people who stay for a few days or months or who buy property and in some cases open businesses and contribute to the education, health services, and general welfare of the town. But Jerry knows that San Pancho is a Mexican town and the preservation of this identity is a priority for him. He understands not only that this identity is appealing but that it is essential to the quality of life enjoyed by so many here. It is the personality and substance of San Pancho while others are here and after they have gone and the town slips comfortably into its true character. As we spoke inevitable comparisons were made with Sayulita. We held the same opinion that the wave of progress had turned into a tsunami which swept away much of the truly Mexican character of that town. Where San Pancho has been and remains a personal place Sayulita has, to many observers, become impersonal, just a place to be in the sun with all the frills. In order to avoid this Jerry saw the need for San Pancho to stay ahead of the wave. For him this meant keeping ownership. He wants it to be even more of a place which takes care of itself and is seen to do this not depending on others whose contributions were welcomed. He recognized that this identity could not be taken for granted. When talking of this Jerry's passion for San Pancho shines through. He doesn't see this as a massive undertaking but something that occurs in small ways. Among other things he would like to see a San Pancho Security unit which patrols and informs visitors and Mexicans alike of the customs and informal rules for living here, a community friendly presence. He would like to see a San Pancho garbage truck which removes the unsightly piles of refuse around town. So he wants a clean and safe town and to have the responsibility that is taken for this to be visible. The ideas he has merely say that "we have pride in our community and we take care of our town".  He does not see himself as alone in this vision. It is shared by many other members of the community. Along with people like Iris and Oto, Jerry impresses as a standard bearer of the quality of life which so many recognize here. There is no ranting in Jerry's passion. It reflects the quiet determination, pride, feeling, and integrity which he brings to all parts of his life. 

I had thought to interview more people but found in Iris, Oto, and Jerry the essence and promise of San Pancho's past and future. In a world which struggles constantly to right itself, its values, and to find its humanity, San Pancho is out front. There are without doubt more who fit this profile but I believe none who fit it better.  I hope you have the opportunity to meet some. They are the leaders and with them San Pancho is in good hands. If San Pancho has changed you already, knowing any of these people will change it more. They are our hosts.

An afterthought I have is that perhaps San Pancho is so appealing because it expresses in its behaviour the values to which so many aspire and profess to hold. San Pancho may be special within the Mexican culture in its preservation of a kind of authenticity which has eluded many other cultures over time becoming obscured and corrupted by other priorities. It has not been lost here. The quality of life which comes with this is nurturing and draws us here and keeps us coming back. It is a place to be, even find, ourselves. In Iris, Oto, and Jerry I found this authenticity and the hope for San Pancho's future.    

Pat Clarke, February 2017

Pat's bio: born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Live in the country south of Calgary(a sometime "cowboy" for 30 years). Attended graduate school at the University of Denver.  25 years as a Psychologist and Professor at the University of Calgary.  35 years in private practice. Married to the love of my life, Donna.  I am the father of  two wonderful sons and a beautiful and accomplished foster daughter. I have two lovely step daughters who enrich my life.  There is also Emma, my granddaughter who is a joy in my life. I am blessed.

Thanks Pat!!!
Featured Business

Catering by... Sofia Silva Sanchez
Your Personal Chef in San Pancho
Sofia will come to you and create the perfect meal for your event.  C atering, weddings, parties, group or just a family dinner, you name it...!!  Just one look at the amazing selections that she will put together for you and you will know that you need to have her over to make your next event a great success.  Let Sofia take all of the headache out of planning your event and you can sit back and enjoy your party.  

Featured Real Estate


Beautiful jungle lot above Costa Azul with breathtaking ocean views. Perched high above the north end of San Pancho's beach, this lot is a gorgeous piece of property. Its orientation is such that its views cannot be blocked by any construction, and any building project cannot help but take advantage of the stunning views of the beach and the Pacific Ocean. Must be seen to be appreciated. 

Photos of the week

Some interesting views from Jim Furlong

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