by Denise Fiske-Chow
Just before Christmas of 2007, my good friends Larry and Jeannie Frazier invited my husband Richard and me over for some holiday good cheer, food and a great view of the sunset over our beautiful Bay. Larry and Jeannie had been coming here for 25 years or more and we had been coming to the area for 28 years and have lived here full time for almost 21 years, so you can image the “remember when” conversations that took place that evening.
Larry happened to mention the time that the Bucerias Hotel, the original small hotel where the de Cameron now stands, got held up by a gang of banditos riding out of the hills, guns drawn! They lined all the guests up on the beach in front of the hotel and while some of them stood guard, others went from room to room stealing whatever they could. When they were done, they simply holstered their guns, mounted their horses and rode back into the hills. Needless to say, it gave the hotel guests quite a story to tell. There was no local law and order to speak of at that time, so no one was ever caught and no property ever recovered.
Yes, times have changed and I have to admit, having survived the “old days”, it was nothing short of exciting.
Do you have a special memory of something happening here that you’d like to share with us? Please: Contact Us
We are very pleased to have received email from Susan Rowe.
Many people have fond memories of reading the Amigos y Vecinos over coffee – or something stronger. Organising this website is time consuming enough, but read what Susan and her Editorial Team went through – hats off to you ladies! It was a phenomenal amount of work to get the articles (chase the contributors time & time again); the advertising (can you come back tomorrow I’m busy right now); the payment (can you come back next week I’ve just had to pay all the bills); the publishing (printing press just broke down and we’re waiting for parts from GDL), AND the distribution – without a car !! Well done ladies! (and erm, gentlemen – where were you?)
Amigos y Vecinos evolved from a newly formed Communications Committee of Amigos de Bucerias in 2006. Committee members Denise Fiske-Chow, Judi Conrad, Sheila Marin, and I were excited to start up a newsletter that would serve the entire community. It was understood by all that we would make this a bilingual newsletter – truly representing the town of Bucerias.
Probably because I was the least busy of the members (Judi busy founding the community center that is now known as the BBCC; Denise writing and working as a real estate agent, property manager and building a house with her husband, Richard; Sheila was a wife, mother and a real estate agent), and being fairly new in town and not quick enough to decline, I became Managing Editor of Amigos y Vecinos.
One of the first things I did was enlist Valiene Heckart to do an ongoing article which we called “Que Pasa”! Valiene knew what was going on around town, and we needed that in our newsletter. It was a terrific addition and she always came through.
Our first issue was eight pages. It came out in April 2006. Judi wrote an article on the Children’s Library that was being built; Denise did the first of her Buen Provecho articles on Bucerias restaurants. Valiene did her introductory Que Pasa.
We had so many ideas for the newsletter, some of which we carried out, some we did not. Eventually we had articles on pets available for adoption, written by Molly Fisher; a Children’s Corner written by MacKenzie and Shay Forget; articles on musicians, artists, writers in the area. We wanted to do a “new business” article each month, but I think we only managed that about one or two times.
One of our major goals was to highlight each month one of the area’s nonprofits – we succeeded in doing that, informing the community about all that was going on. There was always much to write about in that arena.
We wanted to do articles that would offer help: We wrote how to get a “tercera edad” card, and how to do the “Bucerias shuffle” to avoid the sting rays that visited from time to time. And we soon printed emergency numbers in every issue. We did follow our original plan: a bi-lingual newsletter about life in Bucerias.
We decided to finance the newsletter through business card ads in the newsletter. We often had to create the card for the smaller businesses, another job to add to the list. Eventually we had larger ads, even full-page ads at the end of my stint as Managing Editor.
We printed hard copies to distribute throughout the town, and that was an expensive proposition. For quite a while we used Papeleria Zayu and they did a terrific job, but their equipment couldn’t keep up with the expansion of the newsletter, which kept growing and growing! (The last issue we did when I was Managing Editor was about 20 pages!) We did try to keep our copying business in Bucerias, but that was not always possible.
Getting the newsletter out each month was quite a task. Many, many people did so much work in writing, translating, and distributing the newsletter, and going around to local businesses to get ads. (That was quite a job for me, as I had no car—a lament my friends heard all too often!) So many businesses were there with us from the beginning till the time I finished my stint: Carnes del Mundo, Remax, Elements Realty, Sandrina’s, Ixta, and so many more.
It was terrific working with so many of my neighbors and I became friends with quite a few of them.
The last issue I worked on was July/August 2008. I was getting ready to move, and couldn’t handle it any more. Luckily, Linda Foy took over the job. After a year or so, she turned it over to someone else, who did a few issues but unfortunately was too busy to continue it. I had since left town, so I guess that was the end of Amigos y Vecinos.
Thank you Susan! Plese send your Bucerias memories: Contact Us