Living Like a Local in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has over six million people yearly come into our airport destined for local hotels and destinations. Mexico for the most part is an open country, but Mexico has immigration laws which for years they (Mexicans) haven’t enforced. Now you may argue with that point, I know many people who have been deported, my brother included. Normally the deportation laws are used for the worst type of offenders, like forgetting an ice cream in your hand and forgetting to pay for in a mini-super. But now it’s worse. What you think you know about immigration law is most likely from what you’re already doing and getting away with. You were told by friends, family and even Mexican Real Estate agents you had no problems of any kind. Just keep coming down, spending your money in the local markets as a blood line to the local and state economy. There are no legal issues with older retired people and travelers other than the normal tourism issues daily which are quiet common. Now for the Law abiding, “mind their own business” types. It may be interesting for you to learn, you could be a criminal in the eyes of Mexican Immigration law.
I naturally make “chit chat” with customers and I discovered this thin blonde lady was working with the “Bomberos” or Fire Dept. here in Puerto Vallarta. Naturally I thought that was pretty cool, so I asked her a few brief questions. Hoping for a short answer this thin blonde told me how bad the situation was in the Bomberos and frankly I was shocked. I finally asked what this nice ladies name was and she told me Christena Callahan. She was from Canada, Calgary to be exact. And out of the goodness of her heart and a desire to try and make the world a better place, started working with local groups. She would discuss what was needed, then like a “Stiletto Bulldog” went out and started making things happen in Canada!
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.