Living Like a Local in Puerto Vallarta
People always ask me what it’s like to live in Mexico? Mexico is a pretty diverse place and I’ve only really lived in Puerto Vallarta, for better or worse it’s been fun. Being in the Sportfishing business I work with many visiting tourist looking to go fishing. Now we have a couple of boats, but I also work with many boats in Marina Vallarta. Many of the Captains and Crews become friends and with time are almost family. Once you get away from the “tourism leaches” the people in PV are incredible. Famous for being nice people, the “Pata Saladas” or original locals will do anything they can for you with a smile.
Living in Puerto Vallarta for as long as I have, I’ve seen many changes. I remember when Puerto Vallarta was a “small” town on the Bay of Banderas. Things always change, but in reality Puerto Vallarta is still much the same, without the hotels. You may say, “without hotels”? Yes, you see when I arrived to PV all of the hotels were located in the downtown area. People would go to breakfast in El Centro / down town, leaving the several nice hotels for a brief while. Now the hotels had restaurants naturally, but food was “extra”. And for the most part, you got gauged, but you bit the bullet because it was “there” and convenient. Most people would agree that breakfast and drinks around the pool had its “cost”. People would walk around and shop at the many unique “tiendas” or shops in English. The town was always in a constant state of movement. The town would literally “breathe” with tourism as the cities “life giving breath”. That was more than ten years ago. Puerto Vallarta still has some hotels, but nothing like the “good old days”.
Not long ago I had this couple walk into my shop. They were just amazed that there was actually a private marina in Puerto Vallarta. They continued that they had come to Puerto Vallarta for the last ten years and stayed in the Marriott Hotel. For some reason this couple never knew that within walking distance was one of the top ten private marinas in the world. It just amazed me. But, after a few seconds of thought I could understand. You see as you enter Marina Vallarta, driving down Paseo de la Marina avenue, you will never see a boat, water, anything that suggest you’re in Marina Vallarta, nothing. You’ll pass the Marina Vallarta Golf Course and you’ll pass many condominium complexes just before you arrive at your hotel. In fact most people don’t even know that Marina Vallarta’s entrance is signified by our world famous whale statue!
So you did it, you’re the proud owner of a new Vacation Club Travel Package for the next 25 years, aka a “Timeshare”! Well welcome to Puerto Vallarta the land that Timeshare built. It’s “Time-Share-Landia” amigos from top to bottom. Most everything you see, taste, feel or hear has roots deep in the timeshare industry in Puerto Vallarta. I mean it’s an amazing thing, but it works very well, thank you very much.
When I used to live in the USA I was always told they had the best medical care in the world. And that you couldn’t find better medical care anywhere for any price. I believed it, didn’t questions it and paid for malpractice insurance, which is 75% or more of your medical charges. That alone is a whole article in and of itself. I see that as a good and bad thing, good you can get “insured” medical coverage and top notch medical care. But if you think about it, if these doctors are so good, why do they need such expensive medical coverage?
As long as I can remember the word “Gringo” has been a word used to refer to “Americans” by the Mexican nationals. Many of us wonder why they call us “Gringos”. Canadians say that they’re not Gringos, only Americans are gringos. The question of where the term came from seems to be something of a rumor at best. So I started looking into it, just for my own knowledge, being a “Gringo”.