Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - February 14 here in Mexico is known as Día del Amor y Amistad - a special day for loved ones, lovers, and friends. Although expressing our love and appreciation should happen often, this is the day to really focus on giving back to those who have given us so much!
Here are some gift ideas from the local artisans of Vallarta that I have found while giving my walking tours.
Milagros (Spanish for miracles) affixed to wooden hearts have a long history as these metal icons were originally purchased in front of churches. One would then pin them to the gown of Our Lady of Guadalupe to symbolize the "miracle" or prayer needed. Today you can find these to hang in your home as blessings at Faith Collectiva on Basilio Badillo.
Glass hearts have become very popular to hang in windows or where ever they can catch the light. Hand-blown of different colors, these and the little ceramic hearts can be found at Señor Talavera on Calle Encino. There are also a variety of glass hearts available at the Vallarta Botanical Garden.
Little wooden trinket boxes with glass hearts inside and wooden pictures of hearts can be found at Corazón Vallarta on Augustine Rodriguez one block west of the Municipal Market, or in the evenings at the north end of the Malecón across from the Cuban restaurant, La Bodeguita del Medio.
Last, but by no means least, are chocolate hearts, long the favorite of young and old alike. These and all kinds of other Valentine's Day sweets can be found at the small candy store on Hidalgo, just before Libertad in El Centro.Whatever you are giving your Valentine, I hope you have a LOVEly day!
In 2009, Sandra Cesca started a small company called 'Learn Vallarta.' Today she offers Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours through many of PV's neighborhoods to immerse people in the culture. She is fully certified by the national Department of Tourism and works closely with the local tourism and marketing office to help promote Vallarta. Sandra is also the author of two guidebooks detailing her walking tours through her photography. Visit her at the Marsol Market on Fridays, where you can find her books, walking maps, photography and walking tour information.