Valentine’s Day

photo by Keenan Shoal for Journal del Pacifico

photo by Keenan Shoal for Journal del Pacifico

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day?

Chocolates La Laguna, behind the bookstore in Todos Santos, has just the right treat for Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s night dinner, there are delicious options available at Pura Vida, La Esquina and Garden by Rancho Pescadero.

There are also great gifts available for men and women at Nomad Chic and Étnica in Todos Santos.

Todos Santos resident, Keenan Shoal, provided our cover photo for the Winter 2018 issue well as the interior shots for the start of the Historic Home Tour article and the Camp Cecil on Isla Espíritu Santo on our La Paz Beaches page. You may remember that Keenan’s stunning Pacific Ocean view from La Poza hill was our cover for the Summer 2016 issue of Journal del Pacifico. You can see more of Keenan’s photography at Gallery Ezra Katz in Todos Santos.

Dr. Jon P. Rebman, Baja, Mexico

Dr. Jon P. Rebman, Baja, Mexico

In this issue, Bryan Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures, interviewed Dr. Jon P. Rebman, renowned author of the Baja California Plant Field Guide, about the ‘lost plants of Baja.” It’s a fascinating look into the search for Baja California plants that have not been collected or scientifically documented for decades. He covered part of the territory near Loreto by mule with Trudi Angell of Saddling South.

Also, in this issue, Kaia Thomson of Todos Caballos shares her story and photos in The Banana Chronicles with a bunch of fun facts and fabulous pictures.

Café Santa Fé is celebrating its 28th anniversary. I remember meeting Paula and Ezio Colombo when I first came to Todos Santos in 1993 and marveling how such a small town could have a restaurant of this calibre. As Michael Mercer wrote on the occasion of their 20th anniversary:
In late 1990, when the Café Santa Fé opened, there was one restaurant in Todos Santos, a modest Mexican place called the Santa Monica. There were no art galleries (apart from Charles Stewart’s living room). Very few tourists, even fewer gringo residents.
“Our first night, we had 15 or 20 people from the trailer park,” Paula remembers. “One dish, a putanesca.” Everyone loved it, but the peso had just been devalued and no one could afford to pay. “So that night was free.”
Eight years later, they are still serving perfect pastas, pizza, salads, seafood and local meats.

Artist Carlos Diaz Castro is well known for his vivid paintings of Baja and ranchero life. You can see more of his work at his Diaz Castro Studio & Fine Art Gallery on 5 de Mayo in the historic district of La Paz.

La Misión Restaurant at Hacienda Cerritos is now open every day for lunch and dinner, from noon to 9 pm.

Carlitos Place in Pescadero has added Chinese recipes to their expanded menu– Peking duck, Mongolian beef, sweet & sour shrimp and chicken, beef broccoli and fried rice. Cooking classes are coming soon too! See our feature in the issue.

Kimberly’s Supermarket & Café on the road to Cerritos Beach has groceries, coffee and snacks from 7 am to 8 pm. And Shakas restaurant next door, will be open soon!

Sugar Shack is also now serving snacks, including birria, wings, guacamole, onion rings and more and have expanded to outdoor seating in the back.

Las Olas Recovery provides personal attention for their clients’ addiction solutions with medically assisted detox and 24-hour care. Results are their ambition. See their ad for more information.

La Curandería Health and Wellness Centre in Pescadero has lighthearted, Community Yoga Saturdays at 8 am. 100% donations are given to different area groups. Also, at La Curandería, you can enjoy Hesed Najeera’s deep, holistic massage and Ayurvedic bodywork.

Do you drive on the beaches? Do you know it isn’t legal? The Friends of the Todos Santos Dunes ask that you please show some respect for the beauty and magic of Baja and help protect the sea turtles nesting and hatching. You can read more about how the coastal dunes are an important part of the ecosystem in the article in this issue.

by Keenan Shoal for Journal del Pacifico

by Keenan Shoal for Journal del Pacifico

We hope that you enjoyed the Todos Santos’ Artist’s Studio Tour! The next fun tour will be the Todos Santos Historic Home Tour on March 4. Both give a different view of the pueblo mágico and benefit the programs of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C.

The Baja 100 art walk/drive is another fun downtown Todos Santos event. Check out the The Baja 100 Facebook page for updates on their March events.

Don’t forget, you can see the current issue and every issue online. We will see you next with our Spring issue. Deadline is March 5.

February 2018 in Todos Santos

February gets off to a great start with a lot of fun events in and around Todos Santos. Here are a few of the upcoming events.

Thursday, February 1, 3 pm, Todos Santos Writers Workshop Roundtable. “Inner and Outer Landscapes: Nature Writing in the First Person, with Christopher Merrill and Ellen Waterston, moderated by Jeanne McCulloch, at Casa Dracula on the otro lado. Open to public for a donation to the Palapa Society of Todos Santos.

Sunday, February 4, Catch the Superbowl LII at Chill N Grill in Todos Santos, The Oasis and Cerritos Beach Inn in Pescadero.

Friday, February 9 & Saturday, February 10, 5 – 8 pm, The Baja 100 Art Walk
The Art Walk will take place on Friday and Saturday afternoon/evening with live music from Zoe and the Mischief plus a raffle of 13 original pieces of work donated by The Baja 100 artists. Don’t miss your chance to win a painting or original work by local talented artists. This event is free of charge to attendees. We are also an event that is walkable. Park your car in town and start new Hotel Casa Tota where you’ll find Galería Jardin Alquimia and all the works for the raffle to benefit The Palalpa Society.

February 10 & 11, 10 am – 4 pm, The 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour
Have you ever yearned for a glimpse into the private world of artists where ideas and inspirations are translated into dazzling creations of color, texture, shapes and forms? If so, the Todos Santos Open Studio Tour is designed to satisfy your curiosity. The 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio will be held the weekend of February 10 and 11, from 10 am to 4 pm. Once a year during this special event, a community of artists opens the doors to their studios, inviting you to explore down rambling dirt roads and discover what’s hidden behind their walls. The experience of visiting an artist’s studio is completely different from viewing the artist’s work in the formal setting of a gallery. It’s a chance to connect more intimately with the artist, ask questions, discuss observations, see his or her tools of the trade and even gain insights into the artist’s personal working process.

If this sounds intriguing, come and discover what attracts and sustains so many diverse artists from Mexico, the Unites States, Canada, South America and Europe to come and settle in Todos Santos! Over the years, artists have been influenced by many or all of the elements of their surroundings: the Baja desert landscape, the vast and dynamic ocean, the majestic Sierra de La Laguna, the distinctive quality of light and air and clouds. However, essential to all artists who have made Todos Santos their home is a pervasive, almost tangible, sense of artistic community.

For artist Steve Thurston, who has participated in every annual tour since its inception in 2010, establishing himself in Todos Santos has been total immersion into an “art world,” which exists in only a very few places. Encaustic artist Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz never imagined she would find such a supportive and curious community as the one here in Todos Santos. She describes the first Todos Santos Annual Artists Studio Tour which took place on March 10th, 2010: “The tour was created and organized by ARTS (Artists of Todos Santos), an informal group of artists and art lovers dedicated to the development and support of a vibrant, inclusive arts community and to inspiring and growing the visual arts talent in Todos Santos. Amongst these friends were Diane Knight, Vic Kirby, Michael McAllister, Steve Thurston, Tori Sepulveda, and Roxanne Sparks.”-Most of whom remain actively engaged and thriving in their artistic endeavors in Todos Santos today. Another painter, Peter Holden, loves being in such an idyllic location and creative community. He finds this context has been a great motivator to propel his work, encouraging him to explore open-ended artistic directions as well as focused work.

Now nine years later, approximately 40 artists participate in the Annual Open Studio Tour including painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramicists, encaustic and cold wax artists, jewelers, printmakers, mixed media artists, woodworkers and more. The spaces in which they work are as uniquely different as their type of craft. Some of their studios are well-established, others are more improvised or temporary, some expand into the outdoors or are entirely outside and some showcase a group of artists. At Marsha Dahlquist’s studio, a group of five to six artists have been meeting every Thursday for the last three years. According to Marsha, “we paint mostly from photo references–our own individual photos. We paint, laugh, drink coffee and encourage each other. It’s more than painting. We’ve all become such good friends. For me, it’s been a blessing. I love each and every one of these amazing, wonderful women.”

On the tour, you’ll find emerging artists as well as artists who have been working professionally for many years. It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand your familiarity beyond the collection of more-established artists, as well as learn about new and exciting directions evolving in the work of artists with whom you’re already well-acquainted. To find artists who are participating in the Todos Santos Open Studio Tour please visit www.facebook.com/todossantosopenstudiotour.

Now that you’ve chosen several artists’ studios to visit, the fun begins! You will need a car (or carpool with a friend) and the map provided with your ticket to lead you on a self-guided tour through the various neighborhoods of Todos Santos. Along the way, large colorful signs painted by the artists will help direct you to their individual studios. It has become a tradition amongst the artists to create their own distinctive and delightful signage. Don’t be concerned if you make a wrong turn. Most likely you’ll enjoy encountering an artist who was not on your original list. All artists will be pleased to discuss their work and will be displaying work available to purchase at various price ranges.

Your entry ticket will provide you with a map and a wristband that will be good for two days. Most participants appreciate the flexibility to wander about in different neighborhoods each day or return to their favorite studios a second time–perhaps to acquire something that caught their eye the day before. All proceeds from the sale of artwork go entirely to the individual artist, while all proceeds from ticket sales benefit the children’s art programs at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C.

The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C., founded in 2003, is a multi-cultural non-profit Mexican civil association. Its mission is the development and administration of scholarship, educational, and environmental programs for the benefit of local children and their families. Visit www.palapasociety.org for more information.

Advance ticket sales begin January 28, 2018 and are $10 USD or $200 pesos. They can be purchased in Todos Santos at the El Tecolote Bookstore on calle Juárez, ordered online at ts.studiotour@gmail.com or purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased on event days from 9 am to 3 pm at La Cocina de Cleo in Las Tunas and The Palapa Learning Center (PLC) on calle del Huerto in town. The PLC will feature a sampling of the studio tour artists’ work for sale and children’s art on display.

See you with the new Spring 2018 issue of Journal del Pacifico soon!

Holiday 2017/2018 Issue

Baja Blooms: The Gardens of Los Colibris Casitas front coverHappy Holiday from Journal del Pacifico!

Thank you for all the wonderful compliments on our special Fall issue cover by Bruce Herman of Luz Gallery. This issue’s front cover features a botanical illustration by Dr. Esmé Hennessey. You can read more about Dr. Hennessey in Bryan Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures’ story, “Different Continents, Same Problems”—which also has photos of some of Baja’s ‘local’ plants by Kaia Thomson, excerpted with permission from Baja Blooms: The Gardens of Los Colibris. Baja Blooms was edited and produced by Journal del Pacifico’s Janice Kinne, and is available at El Tecolote Bookstore in Todos Santos and Allende Books in La Paz.

Tim Means of Baja Expenditions, La Paz, Baja, Mexico

Tim Means of Baja Expenditions

“Go Together: It Takes a Village to Save a Peninsula” tells the incredible history of Tim Means of Baja Expeditions’ 40-year vision to spend the rest of his life exploring and preserving the natural world of Baja California Sur. At 73, Tim continues to share the inspiration he has found here, and his desire to preserve the health of these unique local marine and desert ecosystems.

This issue also has information on two very popular events: The Palapa Society of Todos Santos’ Carrera de Todos Santos 5K walk / run and the Todos Santos Artists Studio Tour. Both are fun and support worthy local causes.

Padrino Children's Foundation staff

Padrino Children’s Foundation staff

Also in this issue, is a feature on the Padrino Children’s Foundation (PCF) and the important work that they are doing for the Todos Santos / Pescadero community. Their mission is to promote wellness for the community and provide access to professional medical care for underserved children in Todos Santos and the surrounding area. To do so, PCF collaborates with health professionals and organizations that provide medical evaluation, treatment, medical aids, and family assistance. Read more about it and how you can help.

La Posta del Oasis in Todos Santos serves World cuisine—conventional, vegetarian and vegan—featuring fresh, local organic vegetables, fish, seafood and meats. They also have special event nights and wine flights with dinner.

Rancho Pescadero is offering two Yoga, Surf & Nutrition Retreats at the end of March and May. More than your average yoga and surf getaway, they offer practical advice on mindful eating from a nutritionist; participants learn how to nourish the body for optimal energy while engaging in what it means to eat mindfully in today’s fast paced world.

La Misión Restaurant and Sunset Bar at Hacienda Cerritos, situated on the point at Cerritos Beach, is now open to the public after 4 pm, for lunch and dinner, cocktails and breathtaking sunset views.

Carlito’s Place Restaurant in Pescadero, is newly remodeled and expanded, with an outdoor kitchen, sushi bar, and martini bar. Carlitos prepares Asian fusion and farm-to-table seafood, poultry and steak specialties. Check out their daily happy hour!

Dos Marias Spa, in Pescadero, invites you to come and enjoy a truly relaxing experience at their beautiful spa, nestled in a traditional rustic location near the beach.

Mini Super Munchies’ famous Tuesday Night Open Mic/Music Jams, with amazing food, wonderful people, and rocking music takes place from 5 to 9 pm, every Tuesday until spring! All ages are welcome.

La Bohemia Baja Hotel Pequeño, in downtown Todos Santos, has a daily happy hour, a local artisan market Thursdays, live music Fridays, and lots of fun events this December and January. See events for more details. Ask about their pool pass!

The popular Noche de Super Salud, delicious plant-based dinners, will return this season at Pura Vida Health Food Store, La Fuente Winery (formerly The Tasting Room) and, La Bohemia Baja Hotel Pequeño. For dates and times, check their Facebook page. They are also excited to announce Prana Foods and RAWHigh—their new assortment of food to go, available for delivery in Todos Santos, at Namaste Yoga Centro and other local markets.

Surf Casitas, on the beach in Pescadero, is located in a gated private beachfront property on San Pedrito Beach. They have six casitas with a shared kitchen. Just step out of the front gate and on to the sand!

Corazón de Té, on the otro lado in Todos Santos, is re-opened daily for breakfast, waffles, smoothies and tea.

We are very excited that Chocolates La Laguna has re-opened in time for the holidays! Their luxury handmade chocolates and truffles are always a popular gift, or treat for yourself. You can also find unique, handmade gifts for yourself and those you love at Étnica, Nomad Chic, Tony’s Arte, Décor y Muebles in Todos Santos and Allende Books in La Paz.

Looking for a fun time on Christmas Eve or the New Year’s Eve weekend? Check out our events page for parties, music and good times at La Esquina, Gallo Azul, Posta del Oasis in Todos Santos and the Oasis Bar & Grill and Cerritos Beach Inn in Pescadero.

Holiday 2017/2018 Issue of Journal del PacificoDownload Holiday 2017/2018 in PDF format

See you with our next issue in the new year! The deadline is January 10, 2018.

Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

8th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

by Jill Mollenhauer

Anne Hebebrand, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Anne Hebebrand

Every year it’s the talk of the town. The Todos Santos Open Studio Tour draws hundreds of people curious to see working art studios, meet the artists, and perhaps have a personal dialogue with them. Stories are exchanged; laughter flows and smiles glow on the faces of those who find something that seems to have been made especially for them.

At its inception in 2009, the then one-day tour boasted a mere handful of amazing talent. For 2017 the number of participating artists has grown to over 40, necessitating its extension to a two day event.

Benito Ortega, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Benito Ortega

The 8th annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour will be held on the weekend of February 11 and 12, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm both days. All proceeds benefit the children’s art programs of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. Advance ticket sales begin January 28, 2017. Tickets will be $200 pesos each and can be purchased in Todos Santos at El Tecolote Bookstore on Calle Juárez, or ordered online at ts.studiotour@gmail.com. Tickets can also be purchased at Cafélix in Todos Santos from 9 am to 3 pm both event days. Maps are included with purchase and plenty of signs are posted to streamline the self-guided tour.

Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz

The choices of what to see are practically endless: paint, mixed media, encaustic, wood carving, metal sculpture, stone work, jewelry, fibers, photography and more. The hardest part might be deciding which studios to choose from and if it is possible to get to them all in two days. From the south end of town all the way through the north end of el Otro Lado, there are artist studios tucked away that hold treasures undreamed of.

To help plan your tour, browse the Facebook page Todos Santos Open Studio Tour to see some samples of the different work. Seasoned veterans of the tour often make a list of names to help plan a route, making sure to visit their favorite artists along with some new ones. Others prefer to just wing it, leaving it open to the serendipity of the moment.

Besides spending the day immersed in creativity, the tour is a chance to explore what it is like to be an artist in the beautiful pueblo mágico of Todos Santos. It is the personal interaction with the artists that makes this tour so special. What inspires them? What brought them here and why do they stay? How did they begin and what story do they have to tell?

Sculptor Benito Ortega was drawn to Todos Santos eight years ago by ‘a vibration in the air.’ Nine year resident, encaustic artist Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz stays because life is simple and she can spend the mornings lost in the passion of creativity. The positive energy of the light and the people is just part of what keeps painter/teacher Tori Sepulveda enthralled with Todos Santos, even after 10 years.

As a kid flipping burgers at the foot of the Newport Beach pier Peter Holden probably never imagined himself living and painting in Baja California Sur for over a decade. Did Anne Hebebrand envision herself  experimenting with diverse tools such as spatulas, rubber shapers, paint rollers, and palette knives on canvas when as a young girl she was a waitress at a Mexican restaurant?

Susan Doyle says, “My favorite part of painting is the point when you think it is awful and you’re about to give up and then some magical accident happens and it clicks.” For Nanette Hayles she loves all parts of the creative process but “getting ‘lost’ in a piece when time ceases” is her favorite. Steve Thurston says that the best painting is always the one he’s currently working on.

Landscape artist Marsha Dahlquist is entranced with street scenes and the challenge of painting architecture, while Jill Mollenhauer expresses emotions with vibrant colors and mixed media.

Whichever studios you visit, you are sure to find both talent and heart. Between the well-known galleries in town and the numerous hidden gems in the barrios there are delights and surprises waiting just for you.

Here are a few helpful tips to make it even more enjoyable: Some studios are clustered near enough that parking and walking is viable. Perusing the neighborhoods is a wonderful way to get a feel of the community. Or consider carpooling–everything is more fun with friends. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat and don’t forget the sunscreen! Cold drinks and delicious meals can be purchased in town and for even more fun, consider staying the night at one of the area boutique hotels.

For more information: ts.studiotour@gmail.com