Where is Mazatlan, and how do we drive down?
Just a note being Miss Winnie is shown in the header, we did not drive down in the Camper, but in our automoblie.
We've driven this route for many years and love the coastal view and the vast agricultural fields that are so abundant. It is actually shorter for us to drive from El Paso south to Torreon/Durango/Mazatlan, but we live in the high desert and yhr ocean viewing is something different that flavors our pallet.
Our normal drive is down in two nights, but this year we took an extra day. Nogales the first, then San Carlos, on to Los Mochas and then Mazatlan. This cut our daily distance to 350 miles or so. Miss Dottie likes that.
At San Carlos, we had dinner with some old old friends from our days in the Heavy Equipment Industry, Al and June Herman. Al is now 90, and still walking his 3 miles every morning. When we were actively employed, Al was VP of Service for Rust Tractor. our Caterpillar dealer.
In Los Mochas we were at the Best Western on the downtown plaza. The magnificent Catholic Church was specially lit, as there was a wedding that evening.
You can see the Bride in her long white gown, and the Mariachi Orechestra playing on her entry. What a special treat! Many of the Guests were staying in the Hotel, and as always these young people were spectacular.
Our Home in Mazatlan - The Inn at Mazatlan
This photo' isfrom 2015, when all of our children were down and doing their thing of relaxing with our friend, Mr. El Sol.
They come every other year, and stay with us for the two weeks of Christmas. Dottie and I must suffer for another three or four weeks all by ourselves.
You are probably asking, as one Son-in-Law did before his first trip, 'My Gosh what do you do there for x number of Weeks"? Well the Kids love any one of three great golf courses; and Mazatlan is a lot like New Orleans, when it comes to dining. Either a Restaurant is excellent, or it doesn't survive. But still there must be more than golf, sun, ocean, beach, dining, reading, and relaxing.
I'm glad you asked that question!
The Inn is a totally different Timeshare Operation from others, and I'll tell you why. About 8 years ago several of us having coffee one morning concluded we needed a Website whereby we could offer our unused time to other Owners and the Public. At one time I was a Webmaster for several nonprofit organizations, i.e. NM Shrine, and Scottish Rite, and our Church; so I started a Website for the Owners at the Inn. www.innatmazatlanowners.com.
Very quickly, we had some 50 Owners registered on this site and are now approaching 300. The Website and later Facebook gave us a communication vehicle and both are very active.
Our next move with a communication vehicle in place was to start a Samaritan Effort to support causes in Mazatlan, that we found worthwhile. The Website and email proved to be the exact tool to pull all this together. It has been a fantastic bonding catalyst.
After a year or so we picked a elementary school in the barrio or bolinas area of the City called El Conchi.
In the last five years we have Air Conditioned all 10 class rooms, and in this process we rebuilt the electrical infrastructure. We've painted the school twice, we've finished a concrete decking between the classroom which now serves as the auditorium; and we even in an emergency funded reinstalled the main electrical wiring, that was stolen one weekend.
But now I want to share a story with you; that brought tears to our eyes and warmth to our hearts, when we took 20 children from El Conchi on a Santa Shopping Spree. We had two children from each morning class drawn by the Teachers on this Christmas adventure.
Let me set the stage for you. First most of these children come from homes that don't even have a refrigerator, they have never owned a new pair of shoes, much less a new pair of trousers, or a skirt, or a shirt or a blouse. They thought they were being treated for breakfast and a Christmas present
Think of their amazement when they arrive at this luxurious hotel and experienced their first ride in an elevator, and then to enter into this elegant setting for breakfast. They were awed, and they were scared. The Inn at Mazatlan partnered with us on this Spree and furnished breakfast for the 20 children and 40 or so Owners who were the Santa's for the niños.
Jamie Del Rio, the Food Manager for the Inn, is shown delivering one of his 'Donuts on a Stick'. He also surprised them with pancakes, but not just plain old pancakes - for the kids their pancakes were formed as Mikey Mouse. One child was heard asking another, "Did you try that brown stuff? Was it good"? ......They had never tasted maple syrup.
Each child received a present of a new pair of shoes. Then they were told, that their Santa's were taking them to Walmart; where they were to be outfitted from head to toe with new clothes.
Lets Go Shopping
Santa's from Iowa
This Santa is from Minnesota
This Shopping Spree was a real challenge, as we had a huge language barrier; and also clothing sizes in Mexico are different from what the Santa's were accustom too. We must complement Walmart as it was very accommodating in helping to hurdle these two difficulties.
Santa's from Minnesota and Victoria, BC.
These Santa's are the Muzyka Family from Saskatchewan, Canada
These Santa's are from Minnesota, California, and Victoria, BC
Santa's from Utah, California, New Mexico and Colorado are all ready for check out; and so are the niños with their green shopping bags.
In each bag the children had their clothes; but they also picked out a gift for the home, and one Mom or Dad. Each Santa had a budget, and part of their responsibility was to shop within that budget. We were very fortunate, as the peso was down in the US and Canadian dollar; so our dollars stretched very well.
And the Niños are off back to El Conchi with their green shopping bags in hand. The Santa's were off to the Inn with an awesome experience of what caring and sharing means for the soul.
Thanks to the generosity of our Owners we are already starting to plan our Santa Shopping for next year, but then we'll take 40 to 50 Niños on their Spree. .
Here is a hyper link to the full story on the Inn at Mazatlan's website, if you would like to take a look. Just click Here!
A week following the shopping spree the School called; and several of us were invited to come to the School, where the children wanted to make a presentation to us
The Primary School
Diana Laura Riojas De Colosio
Grant the following
"Inn at Mazatlan Owners Samaritan Fund Group"
For your Valuable Help.
We were taken by surprise; as there was a rather large crowd at the School when we arrived, including the Press, the Superintendent of Public Schools in Mazatlan, five of the School Board Members, and many parterts of the children.
Manual De Jesus Roman Esquer, Director of the School, made this presentation and gave his appreciation to the American and Canadians who have been so thoughtful and meaningful to the School. The above plaque was unveiled, and it hangs on the wall near the Directors Office. I was honored to accept this recognition on behalf of the Timeshare Owners at the Inn.
Shown here are Patty Lizarraga, teacher, Jesus de Manual Roman Esquer, Director, and Mary Williams, our Patron Saint of the Samaritans. We were also given this small plaque identical to the one on the wall to place in the Lobby at the Inn.
Each grade then presented a skit thanking our Samaritan Group. The Sixth grade 'Chicas' danced for us.
The third grade won our hearts; when they sang in English to us Que Será, Será, and you betcha, even we with moist eyes joined their singing.
Que Será, Será What ever will be will be.
The future is not ours to see. Que Será, Será
The web link for the Presentation program just click.HERE
So what do we do in Mazatlan for 5 weeks. We relax, we enjoy Mr. El Sol, we golf, we dine, and we do our part in thanking the people of Mazatlan for letting us come and enjoy the splender of Mexico.
I hope you've enjoyed with us this heart warming experience, that we live when south of the Border. I must relate to you, that in the last six years this group of vacationers has raised and spent on worthwhile causes in Mazatlan over $32,000.00. And Partners this much in dollars goes a long long way in Mexico. No Fish Hooks in the pockets of these generous Owners, just proving the point that "Money Flows to Good Ideas and Great Causes".
We'll now leave Maztlanan and make the drive home, with the hope that God's love will shine upon us and next year return us to this our adopted City in Sinaloa, MX
Come on Willie sing us another verse, and we’ll move on down the road.