FIESTA PATRONAL DE SAN FRANCISCO (San Pancho), NAYARIT
SEPTEMBER 28 TO OCTOBER 4, 2023!
Whatever you can contribute to the town’s festivities will be appreciated! Read below.
Hola familia, amigas, amigos, vecinas, vecinos and all of you who love San Pancho, Nayarit. I hope you’re all well within the range of the possible. The month of August has finally passed; it was one of the hottest months thus far according to many of the locals. Heat indices reached 95F many a day. Lalo and I felt the heat and humidity very intensely; we would spend a lot of time in one of two rooms where we turned on the A/C to 29C (84F), sometimes 30C (86F), and felt relatively cool. Sometimes we felt like we were back to Covid times, restrained and isolated. We decided,on and off, to go to higher and cooler lands and towns in Mexico (average heat index 75F)—Puebla, Cholula,Tlaxcala, Guanajuato, the highlands of the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro, and San Miguel de Allende where I’m writing right now—and in the process we discovered ruins, visited museums, and read a lot about mostly Mexican prehispanic history and some of Spanish colonial history.
We’ll return to San Pancho just in time for the first of several town celebrations, the Mexican Independence Day festivities on September 16 when there will be a parade along Ave. Tercer Mundo with mariachis and children from the primary and secondary schools marching along, men and women on horseback in full regalia, all ending at the Plaza del Sol, the main square, where selected students read on the microphone a brief history of how the war of Mexico’s independence from Spain (1810-1821) came to be and the main actors involved—the priest Miguel Hidalgo led, and the captain Ignacio Allende 2nd in command, both born of Spanish parents.
But the most important SP festivity is called “La Fiesta Patronal de San Pancho, Nayarit” that lasts one week, from September 28 to October 4 to commemorate San Pancho’s (San Francisco’s) patron, San Francisco de Asís (St Francis of Assisi), who died Oct. 4, 1226. “Patronal” refers to the patron saint (santo patrono) of a town. All towns in Mexico have a patron saint historically, and the tradition is that either specific well-endowed families adopt one day of the week’s festivities and provide, free of charge, food and entertainment to the town’s residents and its visitors, or a version of sponsorship by other venues. In San Pancho the tradition is that each of the 7 barrios (neighborhoods) of the town sponsor one day of festivities. All barrios and businesses also contribute to the general decorations of the town for that week and the meals in the plaza for the children and elders of the town and families on October 4. I know that barrio #1 consists of Costa Azul beginning with Las Olas and including Clavellinas. I am inquiring about which streets and blocks belong to barrios 2 to 7 and will let you know. Nevertheless everyone is welcomed to contribute to the last day’s festivities. The total cost for these various last day events will cost $24,000 pesos. If you are interested in donating any amount you can do so by you or your administrator provide your name when dropping it off at my house, casa calabaza, calle Las Palmas 100 in front of Aqua Bella, OR sending it through pay pal under my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the amount you sent. Every one who contributes will be given or sent a receipt and your name will be published if you don’t object.
If you are in barrio #1, I would ask for any amount of a donation for our assigned day September 28 which is the initiation of the fiesta patronal de San Pancho. Luz Calderón will have her artistic gymnastics girls’ troupe Luz del Futuro perform at the plaza so we will need to rent chairs; we will also have fireworks, an allegorical parade vehicle, and flowers—a total of $17,000 pesos ($1,000 USD). Please see above for ways to deliver your contribution. Muchísimas gracias for your generosity towards the people of San Pancho.
Other updates on San Pancho:
* Now we have Radio San Pancho, developed by Walter Fehrmann who hails from Argentina where he was a radio announcer and host for many years. He and his collaborator are in the process of restructuring. They had some initial large contributions to pay for the equipment and the rent. It is located in the building previously occupied by the police by Entreamigos. I will send you the link to their station once they’re back on board.
* Steve Raschke who established the online bilingual newspaper San Pancho Voz, is looking for someone, or more than one, to take over this project. He spent hundreds of hours programming, designing, and launching it. Ryan Simmons was dedicated to announcing it and collaborating with Steve. The paper obtained 100s of subscribers, however it is time-intensive to maintain such an amazing website as a volunteer, and he’s giving it up. He originally wanted it to be advertising-free, but is willing to let that go. If interested check out: www.sanpanchovoz.com and give him a call at: +52 322 200 1944.
I took the liberty of forwarding to you the latest news from:
* The Turtle Project of the Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde. It has an “Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest Program” and they are short on volunteers. You might be interested in participating in one way or another. Also, in August 2023, they have recorded 576 nests, 395 placed within the nursery, 204 nests left on the beach and 18 taken by poachers.
* Entreamigos has a new executive director, Indira Santos Aznar! She is a dynamo with a depth of experience working with small communities and farmers throughout southern Mexico. She worked closely with Nicole Swedlow, the Entreamigos founder, in the development and institutionalization of Entreamigos as a community center, so she has a special place in its creation. Drop by EA to meet her! If you are not familiar with Entreamigos be sure to take a tour of what it has to offer to you and your family, children and adults. One of its signature contributions to the town is its scholarship program for children from kindergarden through college; Lalo and I contribute to the educational support of two amazing girls, and once a year invite them and their families to a meal to establish a relationship, catch up with their academic and community activities, and encourage them in their achievements. There are at least 5 children who need sponsors, if interested drop by the center or let me know.
*The season end Entreamigos Newsletter included news about the successful Summer Workshops for children from San Pancho and the neighboring towns. There were 62 on-hand workshops including swimming lessons taught by 86 volunteers and assistants; 200 children participated, and the Entreamigos staff planned, purchased materials, coordinated, and supported all of these efforts. Muchísimas gracias a cada uno/many thanks to each one and to EA for continuing to improve the quality of the lives of San Pancho children and youth and their families!
* Another piece of EA news is that it is developing a plastics recycling-reclaiming program with the support of a grant to purchase basic equipment, shredder, pelletizer, injector, and molds as well as a two-day training for those interested.
* The MILA estuary project (Manejo Integral de Lirio Acuático/Integrated management of water lilies) headed by Luis Morales is moving forward successfully in the municipality. A land use permit has been issued to establish a collection site by the estuary for collecting invasive water lilies and recycling them to use as fertilizer. Fantastic! It is a 1,200 m2 piece of land by the town’s old treatment plant at the end of calle Mexico. The next step is applying to SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales/Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) for the concession of a designation as a maritime terrestrial zone. Thus far $24,536 pesos have been raised for the various trámites (red tape). The project is moving forward by fencing the site to prevent squatters and garbage and fundraising to purchase a grinder which costs approximately $115,000, including transportation. For donations for this cause you can transfer money to:
Centro de Estudios para la Conservación de las Aves, A.C.
Account No.: 04298804
In terms of the water supply of San Pancho, we have welcomed the recent rain because the months of July and August were pretty dry. One positive thing was that the consejo de agua de San Pancho, the water council, was able to drain the town’s “caja de agua”, main water holding tank, up on calle Tahití in order to clean it and remove detritus; it took most of a day. Right now the town’s households get water for half a day. The consejo is still soliciting support from the Nayarit governor to open an additional community water well; a well site that holds sufficient water has been identified in the property on the back of the secondary school. However, too many agendas related to the development of the Nayarit coast seem to have stalled support for San Pancho given the town’s opposition to having OROMAPAS, the municipal water commission, take over the water system of the town. Many townspeople believe that the municipality is waiting for a major breakdown in the system in order to take it over. Unfortunately the reputation of OROMAPAS for properly handling water systems is the worst—just ask Sayulita and Lo de Marcos.
Regarding the unstoppable development along our coast, the online paper NNC.MX published the latest news from the Nayarit’s Governor Navarro who at a news conference last month stated: “Today I tell you that in 10 years the Riviera Nayarit will be transformed to a Riviera Maya [e.g., Cancún, Tulúm], a tourist development of great scope. One of the watershed moments in this trajectory to a brilliant future is the development of a great port that is expected to be one of the best in Mexico. Nayarit’s Secretary of Tourism also delivered exciting news: 5 new tourism developments are on track, inspired by European models. This does not bode well for San Pancho…
While San Pancho has been quite quiet these past two months, plenty of street parking, one of the major town problems that has been identified is people putting out on the sidewalk their black garbage bags and large containers every day even though it is not garbage pick-up day. Many streets and around the plaza have mounds of garbage bags, big and small, dogs tear them apart and disperse their content, etc. You can imagine. Finally a group of activist residents and merchants formed a committee called, SAN PANCHO LIMPIO—Por favor.It is a Project with accountability to donors, volunteers clean up, sponsored by Moana, Chido Greens, La Tarraya, Ysuri, Tatehuari, North Shore Realty, Aldea Bamboo, Cielo Rojo, Mexicolate, Hotel Marii, La Esquina, El Palmar, Pizza El Punto and a number of individuals. The poster states its goal is to reduce the amount of garbage generated by the townspeople by:
1st stage-maintaining the streets clean, insisting on separating out the recyclables, reducing/avoiding the use of plastic containers, bags, etc
2nd stage-collecting vegetarian organic waste for a community compost
CONTRIBUTIONS: BBVA 047 358 4305
COLLABORATORS: call +52 449 256 4734
My final news is that today there will be a meeting of interested organizations, parents, teachers, and San Pancho residents, to discuss “La casa del maestro,” a proyect to build affordable housing for the teachers who work at the middle school in San Pancho, Escuela Secundaria Técnica # 17 “Mar Patrimonial” de San Pancho. The project was developed by the architectural students at ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, in collaboration with the academic community. It is a do-it-yourself project, the gathering of individuals with diverse skills to build modest living quarters for teachers. The secundaria was unable to open classes on time like the rest of Mexico due to lack of teachers. Part of the problem is the high cost of renting small and very modest apartments in San Pancho.
That is all for now. Be well, be safe, and enjoy the moment. I’ll keep you updated on what I know and hear, and, as always, I welcome corrections, additions, and suggestions. If you want to be taken off these mailings let me know. Saludos, patricia