Winter 2019

Journal del Pacifico winter 2019 cover by Kenny Viese, El Triunfo. Baja, Mexico

Winter 2019 cover by Kenny Viese

This Winter 2019 issue of Journal del Pacifico covers a wealth of regional history—silver mining in Baja California Sur and El Triunfo; Mark Spahr’s move to Todos Santos and El Triunfo and his recovery; long-term Todos Santos resident Ezio Colombo, and he and his wife Paula Rafelson’s restaurant Café Santa Fé; and one woman’s mission to share the history of local ranches and their unique products.

Like many visitors, I have fond memories of my first trip to Todos Santos in 1993 and the delicious meals and welcoming hospitality of Paula and Ezio at Café Santa Fé.

Mark Spahr´s first restaurant, Caffé Todos Caffe El Truinfo, El Triunfo, Baja, MexicoSantos, and current restaurant, Caffé El Triunfo, have been popular breakfast and lunch destinations for decades. Mark was one of nine people featured in the documentary, film called The Age of Disconnection, which will be shown at this year’s Festival de Cine de Todos Santos y La Paz. You can read more about it in this issue’s story by local artist Nanette Hayles.

Photographer Kenny Viese provided our cover shot and many beautiful photos of El Triunfo for Bryan Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco-Adventures’ fascinating tale of the Ruta de Plata.

Ángela “Yera” Cota’s “El Mercado Ranchero” celebrates the handmade products and produce of Baja California ranches. Lisa Jackson’s story shares Yera’s dream of providing a unique market for ranchero wares like traditional pottery, handmade knives, furniture, and furnishing. Mercado Ranchero also has fresh chickens every Saturday, organic eggs, and ranch cheeses.

Shut Up Frank’s, a different local institution, is open again, Wednesday through Monday, with seven TVs showing all sports including UFC and boxing. Frank’s 22nd annual St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage feast is March 17, starting at 3 pm.

Amor D'Vino, Todos Santos, Baja, MexicoBesides selling the best in Baja wines, Amor d’vino has gourmet olive oil, chutneys, salsas and more. Their restaurant is also open Monday through Friday, 5 to 7 pm. Enjoy a glass, or bottle of Baja wine with your dinner!

Comfort Care, Todos Santos, Baja, MexicoGrowing old in Baja is becoming a reality for many ex-pats. Now Comfort Care & Assistance is providing options for assisted living, hospice care, and information about death and dying in Mexico.

St. Jude’s Pharmacy, next door to their clinic, has prescription medications and orthopedics. They speak English and are open late until 11 pm.

Last issue, we placed Taller de Terreno a bit too close to town on our otro lado map. They are located farther out on the road to Las Playitas and are having their grand opening event as part of the Todos Santos Artists Open Studio Tour.

Also participating in the Todos Santos Artists Open Studio Tour, Cate Thomassen, shardArtist, creates beautiful mosaics—hangings, tables, water features, lamps, and commissions—inspired by nature. She uses stained and vitreous glass, and polished and unpolished minerals.

Casa Las Tunas has comfortable units complete with kitchens on the otro lado of Todos Santos. They are available daily, weekly, or monthly.

Bleu, in the garden at Galería Ezra Katz, serves amazing Mediterranean breakfasts and lunch. They are also available for catering and special events.

Pacifica Fish Market seafood restaurant now has a full bar and is open until 9 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Mail Boxes Todos Santos is now open! They provide mail boxes with a US address (up to four people) plus shipping of packages, vehicles, boats, and trailers—even entire households!

Why worry about thieves? Get peace of mind with Pacifico Storage with enclosed units, automotive, boat, ATV, camper, and household storage. They are located at KM 45 on highway 19.

Casa Kootenay, La Paz, Baja, MexicoCasa Kootenay bed and breakfast is a romantic getaway on the beach on the Sea of Cortez in La Paz. Relax by the pool, or launch your kayak or stand up paddle board right from the beach out front!

Dana’s Office is now open in La Paz. Dana and her husband Alastair build custom homes, as well as offer full real estate services.

Looking to start a new adventure in Mexico? Allende Books in La Paz is for sale.

You’ll see us next issue, Spring 2019 with information on the GastroVino Baja Food & Wine Festival and more! The deadline for ads and articles is March 10.

Holiday 2018/2019 issue

Fall 2018 Journal del Pacifico cover by Brian McGuffey, Todos Santos, Baja, MexicoThank you for all the compliments on our Fall/Otoño 2018 issue of Journal del Pacifico with the stunning cover by Brian McGuffey. It was a great start to our seventh season!

 

 

 

 

Fiesta Dia de Muertos Todos SantosCongratulations to Rouss Ramirez, Amamos Nuestro Pueblo A.C., Bésame Mucho Bazaar, and many others who organized the third annual Fiesta de Día de Muertos Todos Santos. There were altars, catrinas, parades, and many fun events for the entire pueblo, and ended with a special concert by La Sonora Santanera in the plaza. We look forward to next year’s event!

Speaking of events, the Palapa Society of Todos Santos has two popular ones coming up soon. December 29 is the Carrera de Todos Santos 5k walk/run and February 8-10, 2019 is the Artists Open Studio Tour. Read about both these events in our Holiday 2018/2019 issue.

One of the newest studios to participate in the Open Studio Tour, Taller de Terreno, will be holding their grand opening during the tour weekend. Taller de Terreno is an artists’ retreat and case study of sustainable architecture. They also offer workshops at their sustainable ranch setting, where participants exchange ideas, practice wellness, and work toward assimilating the built environment into the natural one.

 

 

 

 

Holiday 2018/2019 cover of Journal del PacificoWe hope that you enjoy our Holiday 2018/2019 issue of Journal del Pacifico, this entire issue is packed full of great articles and photos. The front cover photo and feature story tells the story of local surfer Lucas’ quest to represent Mexico in the World Surf League.

Once again, Bryan Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures has written a fascinating piece on sharks off the Baja coast and in the Sea of Cortez. Kaia Thomson, marine biologist Jay Gittens, and The Cortez Club has shared some of their photos of this misunderstood predator.

Miguel’s Restaurant is now open for breakfast again! They have also added some delicious new seafood dishes to their menu.

Zack’s Gym on the otro lado of Todos Santos opens Monday, January 1st. It will feature the revolutionary “Zack-Attack” small group training (think Tabata meets spinning). Each session combines spin, TRX and weights to optimize calorie burning for up to 72 hours and build muscle. Also available will be open gym hours, personal training, physical therapy, and free meal planning service for the entire community!

The reviews speak for themselves: Carlito’s Place Restaurant is the place to stop at when in the Pescadero/Todos Santos. It’s absolutely worth the drive out from Cabo or La Paz to experience their delicious food, hospitality and al fresco dining in a lovely setting.

The Baja Bliss Wellness Spa has a beautiful new location in Pescadero on the road to Rancho Pescdero. They offer a menu of unique relaxation services such as flotation therapy, Thai yoga massage with salt stone, Reiki with crystals, BreathWave, and reflexology. They have partnered with The Balm natural store and Poroto restaurant to form “El Colectivo de Bienestar, Pescadero.” Stop by El Colectivo for relaxation, healthy eats, and natural products!

MiniSuper Munchies is in their fifth season and keeps getting better! They now have a bar license and are serving some mixed drinks, craft beers, and Kombucha on tap.

Villa Rocas is a luxury rental villa in south Pescadero beach. Villa Rocas, with four suites–all with beachfront terrazas, can host up to 15 guests comfortably.

Dos Marias Spa, also in Pescadero, offers the ultimate in pampering with a variety of facials, body scrubs, massage treatments, and a Temazcal sweat lodge. Treat yourself for the holidays!

Hesed Najera provides deep, holistic massage, body and energy work at your location or his. Visit his website for details: hesednajera.com

Las Olas Recovery can help you with personalized addiction treatment. They provide medically assisted detox, holistic healing, and comprehensive care. Contact them today for more information.

Villas de Cerritos Beach is a beach community of vacation rentals on the road to Cerritos Beach. Visit their website for more information and reservation.

The Baja Blooms Retreat, a five-day pottery, yoga, and art journaling retreat with Stephanie Friedman, Emelie Eldridge, and Zoë Dearborn, takes place in February 2019. They also have special day rates for locals. Check out their ad and our events listing for more details.

Two great writing retreats also take place soon and you can read all about them in the Holiday 2018/2019 issue. The Writing Ranch presents its ninth annual “Writing Down the Baja” retreat January 27 to February 3 at Serendipity in Todos Santos.

The Todos Santos Writers Workshop (TSWW) will be held February 3 to 9 at Casa Dracula on the otro lado.

Quinta Lupita in La Paz is the place for handmade Saltillo and Talavera tile, sinks, ceramics, accessories, and fixtures. See their ad for details and our La Paz map for their location.

Happy Holidays! We will see you again in February with our Winter 2019 issue. The deadline is January 10, 2019.

Summer 2018

Journal del Pacifico Summer 2018 cover by Paul Van Vleck, Todos Santos, Baja, MexicoWelcome to Summertime in Baja! Not even Tropical Storm Bud could keep us from distributing the Summer issue of Journal del Pacifico with our cover by Paul Van Vleck.

Todos Santos Brewing celebrated their first anniversary with fun events over the weekend of June 8th to the 10th, Cheers to one year! Did your see our JDPTv Todos Santos Brewing  and Gastrovino videos on Facebook? Check it out. You’ll be seeing more of JDPTv in the coming season.

Hacienda Sydney, Todos Santos, TheAgency, Baja, Mexico

Hacienda Sydney, Todos Santos, TheAgency

Many visitors to Baja dream of moving here, and perhaps, starting a business or boutique hotel. In this issue, we’ve selected some of the most desirable dream properties currently available: Soledad Cerritos, Gavilan Beach and The Osprey in Pescadero; Boulder Cove in La Paz; The Todos Santos Inn and Hacienda Sydney aka the ‘Taj Mahal’ in Todos Santos; and La Huerta in San Juanico. We hope that you enjoy reading more about these exciting opportunities in our current issue, and maybe, your dream will become a reality.

Newly opened in Todos Santos, Gallo Azul Lofts, are four loft-style, one-bedroom apartments with modern kitchens, dining, and living spaces. They are conveniently located next door to the Gallo Azul restaurant, just one block up from the park. They are perfect for a vacation rental, long or short-term stay.

Baja Beans, in Pescadero, has extended their hours and are now open 7 am to 6 pm all year, serving breakfast and lunch.

Escape the heat with a day at the pool at La Misión at Hacienda Cerritos. The one-day 900 pesos pass is refundable with your restaurant and bar purchases, and the pool is open from 12 to 8 pm daily.

Shaka’s Cantina and Gallery is open on the road to Cerritos with happy hour and delicious daily food specials.

Unfortunately, summer weather can mean pests. Let the people at Jal Fumigación help control these unwanted visitors in your home.

Stop into Como El Sol in Pescadero for all your solar energy needs. They can help you out with panels, inverters, controllers, batteries, refrigerators, freezers, fans, lights and more!

Going away this summer? Contact Pickle N Paws for your pet care needs.

No Straws logo, Todos Santos, Baja, MexicoAlso in the Summer issue, Kaia Thomson of Todos Caballos has shared photos and stories about some of the creatures that we see moving about during the summer season. Bryan Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures tells two interesting tales this issue: the story of the sea lion colonies of Los Islotes in the Sea of Cortez, and the growing movement to eliminate plastic straws and containers in Baja.

You can read the whole Summer issue online here!

Core Yoga will be back at Cuatro Vientos in October. Enjoy your summer! We’ll be back with the Fall 2018 issue in September. Deadline is September 19.

Say No to Plastic Straws!

No Straws logo, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexicoby Bryan Jáuregui

There’s a sucker born every minute. That’s right. There’s a high possibility that you are personally a sucker, an even greater probability that most of your extended family members are suckers, and it is almost certain that your circle of friends and acquaintances suck too. How could we know such a thing? Simple mathematics. The United States is home to roughly 325 million people, yet the country uses 500 million plastic straws per day. That is to say, each person is using on average of 1.5 plastic straws per day. And that’s just one country. As a species, we suck on a global scale.
Of course, the thing that really sucks is that a huge percentage of these plastic straws are ending up in our oceans. The Earth Institute of Columbia University estimates that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of the continental United States. Of all that garbage, an Ocean Conservancy study concludes that fully 60% of it consists of items that society terms “disposable,” plastic bags, food containers, plastic bottles, and plastic straws. The Ocean Conservancy estimates that a plastic straw, used for 15 to 30 minutes to consume one drink, can take up to 100 years to decompose. A plastic bag that you use for 15 minutes to transport your purchase from store to home, can take 150 years to decompose. Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years.

So, that sucks, but why should us suckers care? Turns out plastic, it’s what’s for dinner. A recent study by the Ryan Institute concludes that 70% of fish in the North Atlantic have ingested plastic. Another study by Ghent University in Belgium estimates that shellfish lovers are eating upwards of 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year. That plastic straw that seemed so harmless in your drink at lunch could actually come back to haunt you in your seafood dinner. And that’s the thing: plastic is personal. Which is why towns across Baja California Sur, including Todos Santos, Pescadero, La Paz, Cabo Pulmo, and Los Barriles are taking a stand against plastic straws and other single-use plastics. Baja is a strip of land bounded by two oceans, so what we do in our towns has an immediate impact on our oceans. Baja is the place where five of the world’s seven sea turtle species come to nest (sea turtles mistake plastic bags for their favorite food, jelly fish, and die from ingesting the plastic; plastic straws also get stuck in their nostrils and air passageways); it is home to 39% of the world’s total number of marine mammal species (sea lions and others are getting entangled in plastic bags and packing bands, and dying from infection or strangulation); it is where one third of the world’s whale and dolphin species spend their time (a dead sperm whale was recently found with 29 kilos of plastic in its stomach); it is a critical part of the Pacific flyway and home to over 430 bird species (National Geographic states that 90% of sea birds are ingesting tiny bits of plastic that they lethally mistake for food); and the Sea of Cortez alone is the home of 891 fish species that supply over half of Mexico’s fisheries, from whence we get our seafood dinners. So, ridding the area of single-use plastics is a deeply personal matter for residents of Baja. Says Mayra Victoria Gutierrez Sandoval, leader of the Déplastificate movement in Baja Sur, “Every time you personally consume a piece of plastic, you have to be personally responsible for what happens to it. That is the only way to eradicate the problem.”

Teresa Egea, Manager of Gardens, Sustainability & Spa at the hotel Rancho Pescadero and its Garden Restaurant, firmly believes in taking personal responsibility for reducing the use of plastics. “My philosophy is to practice the R’s, which are not only reduce, reuse, and recycle, but also reinvent and redistribute. I came to Rancho Pescadero six months ago and wanted to reinvent the use of the popote (straw). Our mixologist is from Oaxaca, where he developed a project of plant-based straws created by local communities with local plants, specifically Arundo donax, a type of cane. These straws are very beautiful, washable and reusable, and our guests love them, not only because they are enjoyable to use, but because they represent a sustainable alternative to plastic, and redistribute income away from plastic producers to local communities. Moreover, since we switched from plastic straws to the cane straws, our straw costs have declined by 2.5 times—it is a very profitable option and therefore a sustainable option for the business as well.”
Marimar Higgins, owner of La Esquina restaurant in Todos Santos, has long been a proponent of no popotes and eliminating single-use plastics. “We are serving straws less and less, and the ones we do serve are made out of paper. Almost all of our to-go containers are biodegradable, and we charge five pesos for all to-go items to make people think twice before taking away.”

Michael and Pat Cope of Michael’s at the Gallery restaurant gave up popotes and plastic water bottles long ago as well. Reflecting on such trends, Jürg Wiesendanger, owner of Hotel Posada La Poza says of the Déplastificate movement in Baja, “It is like banging on an open door.” And that is the exciting thing. While the movement to rid Baja of single-use plastics is gaining new momentum, restaurants like Posada La Poza’s El Gusto! gave up plastic straws a while ago and are currently evaluating how best to continue their forward momentum. Plenty of local companies are charging ahead. Alma and Manny’s, a much-loved local restaurant, stopped giving patrons plastic straws a year ago. New fish taco restaurant Santo Chilote not only doesn’t offer popotes to its patrons, it offers a discount to diners who bring their own takeaway containers. Landi Ortega eliminated popotes at her restaurant, Landi’s, over a year ago; Chef Sergio Rivera eliminated them from his restaurant La Casita a month ago; the Hotel Guaycura and its restaurants are celebrating their first popote-free season; and El Refugio owner Rachel Glueck has never had a popote on her premises. Feliz Ramon Vazquez Guluarte recently implemented a new program at his coffee shop, Cafélix, and now uses only compostable straws and glasses and environmentally-friendly take-out containers. Joella Parsons, owner of Pura Vida, is doing the same. Other businesses like La Morena, Fonda El Zaguán, La Santeña, Que Rico, Gallo Azul, Caffé Todos Santos, Café Santa Fé, Los Adobes and Cerritos Surf Town are actively working on their strategies for eliminating single-use plastics.

The Todos Santos Restaurant Association (Canirac) is totally committed to the movement. “To protect our oceans, sea turtles and other marine life, each restaurant that belongs to our association is committed to eliminating the use of plastic straws as a first step to becoming “green” restaurants. Our goal is to replace all single-use plastics with products made of compostable materials. The restaurant industry is united with the other sectors to make Todos Santos a town without single use plastics.”

That, most emphatically, does not suck! So next time you’re in a restaurant in Baja California Sur, don’t be a sucker. Ask for your drink “Sin popote por favor.” The sea turtles thank you!

RESOURCES FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS:
For more information on the Déplastificate movement in BCS please visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DesplastificateMX/

If you’re a local business looking for suppliers of non-plastic solutions to your business needs, and/or artwork and other informational tools for your employees and clients, please email Mayra Gutierrez at ponguinguiolalpz@gmail.com or Bryan Jáuregui at tsecoadventures@gmail.com

For recycling solutions in Todos Santos and Pescadero, please contact Alex Miró at:
https://www.ecorrrevolucion.org

No plastics campaign, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico