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Vallarta Community Event Builds Bridges, Not Walls

April 12, 2017

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - At a breakfast press conference at Fusion Gourmet Restaurant on Monday, April 10, the Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA) and Viejo Vallarta announced that their joint event, 'Mariachis, Margaritas & More,' held on February 23 at the Lion's Club, was a resounding success.

More than just a party, the event was a bilingual, bicultural celebration of international friendship, a community effort to build bridges, not walls; to foster collaboration and respect despite rising tension between Mexico and the U.S. under the Trump administration.

At the event, over 300 Mexican, Canadian and U.S. citizens gathered together to enjoy great food provided by 40 top Vallarta restaurants and caterers, accompanied by lively Mariachi music by Mariachi Jalisco, a band from Mascota, Jalisco.

Margaritas flowed freely, along with goodwill, as guests from all walks of life dined and drank together, enjoyed a folkloric dance performance by the Ballet Folklorico Xiutla directed by Enrique Barrios, and entertainment by Act II Stages star Brittany Kingery, who sang classics from the Linda Ronstadt songbook, Canciones De Mi Padre.

During Monday's press conference, ANA president Tom Swale and Viejo Vallarta president Benny Ibarra announced that, in addition to creating an enjoyable event, the associations took in a total of $88,000 pesos. ANA and Viejo Vallarta had enough money after expenses to buy a new pressure-washer for each neighborhood, so the streets and sidewalks in both colonias can be kept clean - goodbye nasty street stains and odors, hello, cleanliness!

The presidents went on to say that Felix Perez, Member of Viejo Vallarta; Robin Spencer, ANA Social & Special Events Chair; Daniela Roque, Viejo Vallarta Administrator; Viviana Teston, ANA Administrator; and Fernando Hernandez, ANA Assistant Manager, were crucial to the success of the event.

They gave special thanks to Sr. Ernesto Fong for providing audio equipment and sponsoring the folkloric dancers, as well as to all of the restaurants that participated in the event:

El Brujo • San Lucas • River Cafι • Roberto's • Mexicanisimo • No Way Josι! • Rio Grande • Canto del Mar • Mariscos el Guero • Frankies • Sonora Steak House • Boccon Di Vino • Fredy's Tucan • Cocina Economica La Fonda • Nacho Daddy • Steve's Sports Bar • Los Guapos Food Park • Jerusalem Express • Los Muertos Brewing • Johnny's Diner • El Torito • Carniceria Colin • Mariscos Cisneros • La Hacienda de Carlota • Traviesos • Taste Restaurant @ Casa Cupula • Martini en Fuego • Bravos • Margarita Grill • Deli Italiano • Mariscos la Famosa • Otensia Funiculi • El Mole de Jovita • La Fuente del Puente • Las Peρitas Bar and Grill • Robin's Catering • Celebrations Vallarta

The Amapas and Viejo Vallarta neighborhood associations were so pleased with the success of 'Mariachis, Margaritas & More' that they plan to repeat the event next March for the enjoyment of neighbors and visitors alike, and hope to raise more funds so they can make more improvements in their neighborhoods.

The Amapas Neighborhood Association is the official association of residents and business owners in the Colonia Amapas of Puerto Vallarta. A volunteer and not-for-profit association with about 350 members, the ANA was founded in 2002 to improve the quality of life in Amapas. We work to keep our neighborhood safe, beautiful, desirable and welcoming to tourists and residents from all countries and walks of life. We are also the official "Junta Vecinal" or neighborhood council for Amapas, the legal representative of the neighborhood to the city government. Learn more at