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A weekly source of positive energy and information
for the village of Sayulita Mexico

                                  Friday, September 12th, 2014                                              

Rentals | Business | RealEstate | Calendar | Reviews | Forum | News

From the Editor's Desk: 

Happy Friday!

I receive a lot of emails from our readers inquiring about what it's like to live in Sayulita and questions about moving here. These emails inspired me to write the story, Transitioning to a Life in Sayulita. This story features a Sayulita couple, Gabriel and Wendy Jones, originally from British Columbia. 

Gabriel is also a writer and has written an article about Festival Sayulita, which will take place in January of this year. Make sure to check out his story in the new Fall Edition of Mexi-Go! on page 32.

SayulitAnimals will be closing September 15th for their annual vacation. They are in need of one more foster home during this time. If you have room in your heart and home, please contact them to make arrangements to foster this sweet dog. 

If you have suggestions on things you would like to see in El Sayulero or ideas to make this newsletter better, please email me at

Thank you for reading,

Stacey Elkins


This Week's El Sayulero

1.  An Interview with the Owner of Manjares Exquisite Cuisine
2.  Experiencia Sayulita Spanish School
3.  Transitioning to a Life in Sayulita
4.  Pro Sayulita Needs Your Support
5.  Horseback Riding with Painted Ponies
6.  What Do You Love Most About Sayulita?
7.  New and Featured Sayulita Listings
8.  Deals and Specials
9.  Photo of the Week
10.  A Note from SayulitAnimals
11.  Upcoming Events in Sayulita statistics for the last 30 days

August 12 to September 12:

  Newsletter subscribers:  9,960
  Website Visitors: 50,869
  Web pages viewed:    253,583
  Average visit session:  5:57
  Reservation requests:  3,048
  Business requests:  506
  Reviews Posted:  99
Check out Sayulita's popular homes and businesses here!

Most Popular Rentals


Most Popular Businesses


Advertising Opportunities | 322-142-4699

An Interview with the Owner of Manjares Exquisite Cuisine

If you’ve been in Sayulita the last month, you’ve probably noticed a new restaurant, Manjares Exquisite Cuisine, has opened its doors. You’ve probably also noticed the owner, Francisco Alday, who’s bright smile and gregarious personality shines as he greets each individual who passes by his authentic Mexican restaurant. One look at him and you can tell he truly loves what he does.

How long have you lived in Sayulita and what brought you here?

I moved to Sayulita a year and a half ago. I knew I wanted to open a restaurant here, but I first wanted to familiarize myself with the town, the vibe and the people, both locals and tourists. I wanted to see what type of restaurant would and wouldn’t work here in Sayulita and what need I could fill by opening my restaurant.

Why open a restaurant in Sayulita?

It’s my passion and it’s a lifestyle for me. I enjoy eating and drinking and sharing with other people through food and drink. I started working in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher when I was 14 years old. I’ve been in this business for over 20 years now.

Why did you choose to open your restaurant in low season?

A new restaurant goes through several phases as it establishes itself. Low season is the perfect time to hire staff, pick a menu that works well, get the vibe you want and work out any kinks. I also like the challenge of making the restaurant a success during low season.

Is Manjares Exquisite Cuisine in Sayulita your first restaurant?

No, this is the 3rd restaurant that I’ve owned and managed. I was born and raised in Queretaro, Mexico, which is near Mexico City. That’s where I opened my first restaurant, which was traditional Mexican cuisine. After this, I moved to New York City, where I lived for 15 years and owned a Mexican/American restaurant.

How would you describe the cuisine at Manjares Exquisite Cuisine?

The food is lovely, exquisite, traditional Mexican food. Currently our three most popular dishes are enchiladas, flautas and chilaquiles.

What would you consider your specialty?

We pride ourselves in making handmade corn tortillas daily in house. We also offer specials each night, based on the freshest and best protein we can find. For instance, each night we have a surf and turf special. We get USDA Angus beef from Texas, including Ribeye, Filet Mignon, Prime Rib and New York Strip. We also get Alaskan Salmon from Alaska and Tuna from the San Diego area. All of the surf and turf platters come with authentic Mexican rice, beans and potatoes.

What changes, if any, do you plan to make to Manjares Exquisite Cuisine moving forward?

I will be putting in a large 60 inch television and broadcasting sports from around the world, including Mexico, the United States and Canada. Customers will be able to watch all of their favorite teams compete in hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer and football. We will also be expanding our menu for high season.

Why should people eat at Manjares Exquisite Cuisine in Sayulita?

They will not only find great prices and great food, but also an excellent ambiance and bilingual, personable staff. We’re not just about dropping a meal in front of someone. We’re about connecting and making our customers feel comfortable and welcome. We’re about providing great service and leaving our customers feeling satisfied with their experience at Manjares Exquisite Cuisine



Experiencia Sayulita
Spanish School

By Stacey Elkins

If you have ever wanted to learn Spanish in a language immersion program, now is your chance. Experiencia Sayulita Spanish School offers a great opportunity for those who want to become fluent Spanish speakers. “Experiencia is a new school here in Sayulita, but we are not new at teaching. We have a lot of experience,” says Estefania Ballinas Genel, the owner of the Experiencia Sayulita location.

The school, which opened six months ago, is Experiencia’s fourth location. Estefania’s father founded the first school in Cuernavaca, near Mexico City, in 1977. Prior to this, her father, a former psychologist, had taught older Mexicans to read and write in Spanish through a government program.

A second school was opened in Tepoztlan in 1998 by Estefania’s aunt and a third school was opened in Puerto Escondido in 2010 by her cousin.

Estefania has worked in the family business for more than 10 years and is excited to be running the Sayulita location. The school is located on Tamarindo in a quiet neighborhood, allowing a tranquil atmosphere to study Spanish. The green, lush yard further adds to the peaceful ambiance.

The school’s mission is to provide the best possible education in Spanish as a foreign language, while integrating students into the Mexican culture.
The intensive program consists of 20 group lessons per week. Students are in class Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Communicative grammar and practical conversation are central to this program.

“It is a mix of intense Spanish with fun and laughter that allows you to learn Spanish in a comfortable and easy way. Juan Carlos is an excellent teacher,” said Amy Daniels, a Sayulita local who is currently enrolled in the intensive program.

“It is important to communicate in Spanish frequently and understand that with language comes life. Once you understand this, you can understand the connection between the language and the culture,” says Juan Carlos, a teacher at Experiencia.

The classes are capped at five students, which enables the teachers to give each student individual attention. New students can start classes any Monday of the year and all levels of Spanish are taught. All the teachers are native speakers, are certified to teach Spanish and also have extensive experience in teaching.

“My father’s original idea for Experiencia was to teach students in a complete immersion program, but we are flexible based on the need of each student,” says Estefania. Private classes are offered and group classes will also be added for those not wanting to participate in the intensive program. 

To learn more about this Spanish school or to inquire about classes, contact Estefania at Experiencia Sayulita Spanish School.


Transitioning to a Life in Sayulita

                                                   By Stacey Elkins

Moving from one country to another country can be a challenge, particularly due to differences in culture. However, Gabriel Jones, Sales Director & Contributing Writer of Mexi-Go!, and his wife, Wendy, did just did that when they made the leap from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sayulita three and a half years ago.

At the time, Gabriel’s employer Mexi-Go!, a Canadian publication, was transitioning to become a Mexican company. Wendy was employed by a Canadian company and was working remotely from home. When the opportunity arose to move to Sayulita, Wendy got approval from her employer to continue to work remotely from Mexico.

This required a home with solid internet connection and a phone line, as Wendy’s job required numerous teleconferences. Through 
they found a long-term rental and made arrangements to rent the house.

Nick Sherman, former President of Pro Sayulita, was their property manager and became their first Sayulita friend. He provided invaluable information to this couple. “He made our transition so much easier. He showed us how Mexican houses differ from Canadian ones, helped us roll with the punches during our first rainy season and a million little things like how to pay our CFE bill and Telmex bill. He really helped us in so many ways,” the couple says.

Gabriel and Wendy also relied on
 forums and other social forums for information about transitioning to life in Sayulita. “So many people, both Mexicans and foreigners, are willing to help. They share their experiences with what works and what doesn’t. They offer suggestions as simple as where to purchase things or as complex as how to change over car titles and plates from Jalisco to Nayarit. Some foreigners believe there isn’t a lot of health care here, but there is on a lot of levels, which we have found through the referrals of others,” says Wendy.

Networking in the community was another immense source of helping this couple transition to their life here in Sayulita. Gabriel and Wendy have found that volunteering has been a great way to get involved with the community and meet a lot of great friends.Through SayulitAnimals, fundraisers at Costa Verde International School and river clean-ups through Eco Sayulita, they have met some of their closest friends.

“In Sayulita, locals are likely to have friends in various age categories. There is no border on age when it comes to friendship here. We have friends that range in age from 20 years old to 70 years old. Even the neighborhood children regularly stop by the house,” says Gabriel and Wendy.

While a lot of people do speak English in Sayulita, language can still be a barrier. Wendy is currently taking the intensive Spanish course at Experiencia Sayulita Spanish School and is very excited to be improving her Spanish and ability to communicate. Both Gabriel and Wendy have been able to pick up some key Spanish by spending time with Mexican neighbors, shopping and getting out in the community.

The couple feels that it is important to try to communicate in the native language and learning new Spanish words can be very rewarding. “After several months of ordering bacon a kilo at a time it was a big day for me when I mastered the word medio and could order just half a kilo of bacon” joked Gabriel.

Gabriel and Wendy have made Sayulita their home and have no regrets about their decision to move here. “This was the best decision that we have ever made. That is why we are still here and we are so happy to be here.”


Pro Sayulita Needs Your Support


Our money is running out now! Your help is urgently needed to continue to provide services. Please do not wait. Donate today to continue the level of services that we all need to insure our quality of life. 

What makes us love our one-of-a-kind Sayulita . . .

• It’s beautiful, clean beaches
• Lush jungle, great for hiking & horseback rides
• Colorful Mexican culture
• Or ALL of the above?

What is it worth for us to have:

• Free 24/7 ready response ambulance and paramedics — average cost of an ambulance ride in Canada — $45-$240, in the U.S. — $2,000.
• A well-equipped fire station (with basic English and the jaws of life), plus lifeguards with rescue boards and a proven track record — 900 medical emergencies handled and 327 rescues in the 2013/14 season.
• Garbage and recycling services that keep our beach and public roads clean.
• Continued reduction in crime — down 90% since state police station opened.

You can help preserve these services for as little as a $1 a day donation to Pro Sayulita. With no real property tax in the state of Nayarit, the only way to supply these services is to support Pro Sayulita, which provides funding to the Firemen, Paramedics, and Sayulimpia. Do we want to slide back to earlier times — when it could take an ambulance close to an hour to reach someone in need, when beaches and streets were littered and dirty? This is a real prospect — unless we all step up to the plate!

Pro Sayulita provides $120,000 U.S. per year to provide these essential services to you, your families and your visitors. Join your fellow supporters, who have already raised $60,000 through the annual Fiesta. You can give at any level, but here are some suggested benchmarks:

• Platinum:   $500 — $1,000+ (or the sky’s the limit!)
• Gold:          $365 ($1/day) — $500
• Silver:         $50 — $364

Supporting Pro Sayulita is easy:  Go to 
and click the donate button at the top of the page. Then select your amount. If you wish to select a different amount, click on the bold text “open donation page” located in the paragraph just above this area on our webpage. 

Please don't put this off - donate today. 


Horseback Riding with
Painted Ponies

Upon arrival at Painted Ponies Equestrian Center, my friend, Eric Steinman and I are greeted by a big smile and hello from our guide, Jose DeJesus, and several dogs with wagging tails. Jose is in the process of saddling up our horses, Valentina and Mariposa, for our two hour ride.

We are surrounded by extremely tall tropical palms that are nearly 80 feet tall. The early morning sun rays are just starting to peek through the tops and birds are chirping all around us. There is a sense of tranquility that can’t be beat at this Equestrian Center, which sits on 62 picturesque acres on the south side of Monkey Mountain. Best of all, it is just a hop, skip and a jump from Sayulita.

There are 27 horses and ponies in various corrals, including several beautiful Pintos, with brown and white coloring, others black and white. There’s also a baby pony, which I find strangely odd looking with its donkey-Iike buck teeth. I can’t help but laugh. It is this uniqueness that I find irresistible as I pet him.

We begin our horse ride down a small, paved road through the jungle. There is beautiful, lush vegetation on both sides of us. There are trees with small orange and yellowish blossoms. In some areas, the various trees form a thick, protective canopy above us.

My horse, Valentina, is a gentle horse that stops to eat the foliage when I give her the opportunity, which is every time she tries. I’m an inexperienced rider and my attempts to get her to move by giving her love taps are not very successful. Jose could sense my frustration as we turn onto a more narrow, dirt, jungle path and kindly attaches a lead to Valentina. This simple gesture made me feel more comfortable as we made our way towards the beach.

Jose is a wonderful and attentive guide, reminding us to lean back as we go down downhill and lean forward as we come back up.

We arrive at Litibu Beach and it is nearly deserted. The waves lap against the shore and the sun is shining. Jose points out the turtle camp, a luxury hotel in the far distance and other points of interest.

Each time prior to having the horses speed up their gait, he turns to me asking if I am comfortable. I’m sure my constant “whoa, whoa, WHOA!,” as we gallop down the pristine beach does not scream comfort. However, he is very conscientious and routinely checks to make sure I’m okay. He continues to hold the lead to Valentina as he knows it adds a sense of security for me.

The feeling of galloping down the beach is like nothing I have ever experienced. I can feel the wind blow through my hair as I bounce up and down on the saddle. I can feel the strength of the magnificent horse and there’s a sense of freedom in riding him in such a breathtakingly beautiful location.

To experience this horseback riding adventure for yourself or for information about other horseback riding options, contact Pat Wagner at Painted Ponies Equestrian Center.



What Do You Love Most
About Sayulita?

Jorge Figueroa, Sayulita

The people. They are so friendly and they are not judgmental. They don't care what you look like. I also love how everything is so simple here.

Bud and Barbara Brock Seattle, Washington

All of the dogs. They are friendly and accepted everywhere. There's even a dog that has been greeting us each morning and walks part way to town with us.

Yiyo Paris, Sayulita

The way of life and how you can sustain yourself living here. It's nice that you can do almost anything you want for work, whether it be working for someone else or for yourself. 

Aubrey Parrin and
Trevor Rozander
Manitoba, British Columbia

The surfing. The waves are really good to learn on. We came here for surf camp at Wildmex and they've been really great. 


Valerie and Damian Marquardt, Sayulita

Surfing and the Culture. Being out in nature and the warmth of the sun. We moved here from Canada seeking a more organic lifestyle. 


New and Featured Sayulita Listings

New Business Listing
Humma's Closet - Just Be

A unique shop with various vintage items, art, fashion and fine quality second hand clothing for children.  

Click here for more information.
For Sale: Ocean Front Lot

Located on the north end of town and almost one half acre. Great for a single home or development. Located in a neighborhood of fine homes, it is very private, yet only a ten minute walk to town. 

Click here for more information.

Deals and Specials

The following special will run from Friday, September 12th through Thursday, September, 25th. To get this special deal, mention this ad in El Sayulero.

ChocoBanana -  Get a family pack of delicious Choco Bananas! 5 Choco Bananas for only 50 pesos!

Look for new deals and specials in the next El Sayulero!
Photo of the Week
Photo by Camilla Fuchs with Camilla Fuchs Photography

A surfer flying off his board on a huge wave at Patzcuaro beach. Due to the recent tropical storm "Norbert" the waves in and around Sayulita got unusually big last week. Party time for the pros in town!

A Note from SayulitAnimals
SayulitAnimals will be closed from September 15th through the end of October. Unfortunately, all of our programs will be suspended during this time. We will be back on October 28th full of energy, enthusiasm and the usual dedication for a better life for our darling four legged friends.
Sara & Shelly

Upcoming Events in Sayulita
September 13
Traditional Mexican Cuisine Cooking Class
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
September 13
Mayweather vs Maidana
7:30 p.m.
Click here to view the community calendar!

Articles From the Last El Sayulero

  1. An Interview with Camilla Fuchs Photography
  2. Surf Fishing with Sayulita Kayak and Surf Fishing
  3. Origenes Surprising Success on
  4. Sabor Con Magia Private Chef and Catering


Thanks for reading.  Please let us know your opinions, suggestions, complaints or anything else you feel will help make Sayulita a better place in which to live and vacation.
Ian & Kerry Hodge Stacey Elkins Valorie Vanrheen
Founders Editor Social Media

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