Puerto Vallarta - 'Tis the season to eat and be merry, especially for those of us who have endured a long absence from not only this piece of paradise by the bay, but also from our far-flung friends who now come together for another "winter" of fun and friendship.
The first "social event" on the calendar of the International Friendship Club (IFC) is the club's Brunch, which will be eaten at The River Café at 10:00 am on Sunday, November 12th. Located on the Rio Cuale island in the downtown area, The River Café has been serving excellent food for many years and attendees at the brunch will be able to enjoy good food to satisfy the cravings of both Mexican and North American palates. Tickets to the brunch cost $350 pesos and are available online at ifcvallarta.com and from the office/clubhouse, located above the HSBC bank, where Insurgentes crosses the Rio Cuale in in the downtown area. The office is open from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm Monday to Friday.
There are many advantages of being a member of IFC, apart from making new friends and enjoying old ones (some, very old!). The club offers Spanish and bridge classes, social bridge, lectures, happy hours, yoga classes and meditation. It also offers Home Tours. Each one of the activities generates income from ticket sales or user fees and all of the profits of the club are used to support twenty or so programs and charities.
Corazón de Niña is a not-for-profit organization that offers love, shelter, food and education for between thirty-eight and forty-four kids. They receive nothing from any level of Mexican government and depend entirely on the generosity of individuals, community groups and businesses so fundraising is an ongoing part of the operation. And that's where the second "brunch" comes in...
Every Tuesday morning from November 7th to March 27th at 10:00 am tours take place at the home, which is located at San Luis Potosi #355 in Primero de Mayo, Puerto Vallarta. Docents show visitors around the facilities and tell them the story of the origin of the home and something about the lives of those living there. The tours end with a lunch prepared by members of the Corazón family and give the visitor a chance to see the home in operation as well as to meet and chat with some of the children and the volunteers and staff who work there. A minimum donation for the tour and the brunch is $200 but if you'd like to give more or to sign up as a monthly donor, that's OK too.
If you like a Beachfront Fashion Show and you'd like to support Corazón de Niña, then put this on your calendar: Saturday, November 15th at 1:00 pm at the El Dorado Beach Club. It's located at Pulpito #102 on Playa Los Muertos. Tickets are $500 pesos and available from Maracuya at the above address or by emailing info(at)maracuya.com. As well as a chance to see the latest fashions, you'll be encouraged to nibble on a delicious light lunch and indulge in sumptuous desserts. Coffee and tea will be served, but a cash bar will be available for those who would like something a little more interesting to drink.
Corazón is just one of the charities supported by IFC. Others include the Biblioteca Los Mangos - PV's terrific public library (open to the public but virtually unsupported by government funding); SETAC - an organization dedicated to the education about and prevention of HIV; Clinica Santa Barbara - a family rehabilitation center; Dives en Misericordia - a soup kitchen in one of the poorer parts of town and Volcanes Community Education Project, which offers after-school activities centered on math, remedial reading, computers and music.
The IFC supports hundreds of children in Puerto Vallarta by using thousands of volunteer hours every year and just one very dedicated staff member who works 23 hours a week. Each one of the charities has an IFC member who is assigned to be familiar with its operation and finances so that we can be confident that the money the club donates is being spent appropriately.
International Friendship Club members welcome your participation in any of its activities and look forward to meeting you soon.The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C. It is located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300. Phone: 322-222-5466. Website: ifcvallarta.com Email: ifcvallarta(at)gmail.com