A Week in a Mexican Fishing Village – Days 4 thru 7

By Michael

See days 1 through 3 here. The cover photo is of a mural at Organic Love restaurant in La Cruz.

After an early morning walk of nearly an hour around the Marina in La Cruz, I showered and went to Jardín del Pulpo again, working until late afternoon, then spent a quiet night at home.

Marina in La Cruz

I am working on a book of photo-essays based on my travels the past 17 months and another more academic treatise about the transformation of market ideology into a form of economic theology, while also getting ready to launch new Civic Innovation Tours for Reimagining Politics.

Yet another project that I am prioritizing at the moment is helping my brilliant niece Melissa in Denver launch a new project with marketing, strategy and building a website and social media ecosystem. The project is called the Oneness Movement. We are planning the first in a series of Oneness Day Festivals for mid-March in Denver.

When I put Melissa through the Claritas messaging process that I have used while running so many political campaigns, I had to press her on the “Why?” of the project. Why is this needed? What is the big problem, or what is the “pain” as Guy Kawasaki asks.

Her answer? Pure and profound in my opinion.
“Too many good people feel helpless to do good things.”

It is heartbreaking to hear Melissa’s stories of people breaking down and crying even in the middle of simple meditation and breathing exercises because they feel overwhelmed. In a group meditation, there is a feeling of support and safety. They can let down their guard and share.

So now Oneness.care in a supportive community environment to help people begin living with a clean spiritual palette. Visit the site and donate to Melissa’s new project.

Holger is on the second day of his trip to Guadalajara. He pitched his tent the first night in the safety of the fire station in Talpa de Allende, an old silver mining town in the mountains of Jalisco.

I’ve introduced him to multiple friends in Guadalajara, and he is going to be interviewed by my friend Grecia, who hosts a radio show about the cycling scene in Guadalajara!

Photo courtesy of Holger Franz, http://kozmopolit.de


Another morning and afternoon working at Jardin del Pulpo, followed by a long walk in the Marina and a few beers and a light dinner at La Cruz Inn. The Inn is a gathering spot for some of the most colorful characters in La Cruz, including Norm, whose real name isn’t Norm, but who nonetheless has his own barstool with “Norm” painted on the back!

Norm’s stool

He is wickedly funny in an almost existential way. My first encounter with Norm led to a 30 minute conversation about the meaning of time using an old wooden clock behind the bar as a metaphoric prop.

I am told by Annette, who owns the Inn with her welcoming husband Cirilo (Their’s is a Canadian-Mexican love story in it’s own right.), that Norm sometimes bakes “special” brownies that he shares with the customers, producing unscripted moments of confusion and hilarity. Every day at the Inn there is someone interesting to talk with and amazing new stories to hear.

I returned home and worked into the early a.m. hours.

Annette and the adorably intelligent Sam (Samantha)


I worked all day in the courtyard at Jardín del Pulpo.

In the afternoon, more than 30 women unexpectedly poured into the place, gathering on the upper deck for a meeting of Women Who Sail, an international organization with more than 2,500 members on Facebook.

It turns out that March is a perfect time for a Pacific Ocean crossing due to favorable Tradewinds, and La Cruz, with it’s large Marina, is an excellent spot to gather, do last minute repairs, lay in supplies and do test runs in the relative calm of Bahía de Banderas and up and down the Nayarit coast in preparation for a March launch. These sailing women were here for a variety of reasons, but prepping for the March crossing was part of it for many of them.

A woman named Giselle Miller was at the Jardín taping interviews with the women for her iTunes podcast, Why We Spin Yarns. Giselle and I talked and exchanged contact info, and I later shared suggestions for interviews with some of the remarkable women who run local businesses in La Cruz.

Giselle and her husband have their own unique story, having purchased a weathered old wooden boat with faded teak decks in La Paz, then sailing her to Guayamas, where they restored her to her former glory.

The boat is now called S/V Sedna, and you can read the story of her rebirth here. Giselle and her husband are planning to leave with a Tradewinds regatta from La Cruz in March to make “the jump” across the Pacific, as Giselle describes it, to the Marquesas.

S/V Sedna story

Nearly every day in La Cruz, one encounters people with fascinating stories that revolve around sailing. Many people live on their boats in the Marina. Others, like my friend Ron, anchor offshore to avoid paying for a slip and row into La Cruz daily in kayaks or canoes to eat, drink or buy supplies. There are sailing schools, sailmakers, classes on celestial navigation and much more, including a very active fleet of local fisherman whose families have taken their living from the sea for many generations.

Local fishing boats

I punctuated my late afternoon of work with a long evening walk, then headed to the Inn at 9:00 pm. My friend Nansi, the amazing bartender, and the rest of the crew at the Inn invited me to go with them after work to Tacos on the Street, a famous local taqueria.

Tacos are 22 pesos. Bottles of Pacífico, my favorite Mexican beer, are 20 pesos. Everything from the food to the atmosphere and service were terrific. We had a great time. I was honored to be included.

With Nansi (2nd from left) and posse on the way to Tacos on the Street

I met my friend Anallely for breakfast at Organic Love and listened to her stories about living in Puerto Vallarta versus the Nayarit. It was her birthday, and I gave her a Huichol bracelet and matching earrings.

Organic Love is owned by Alef, an amazing woman who says that Organic Love is not a business, but a “cultural project.” Everything in the restaurant is organic, handmade and locally sourced. There is a small organic food store, and there are yoga, dance and music classes.

Anallely had to leave for work at noon, but Alef and I continued talking for nearly an hour about cultural and political issues. Alef has a brilliant and unique perspective on life that is informed by values centered on caring for nature and one another, perhaps in part because of her background from a family steeped in art and creativity. It has given her an appreciation for both. She sings, plays multiple instruments, composes music and paints.

With Alef at Organic Love

After a few more hours of work in the late afternoon, I met a friend for dinner and drinks and that was the end of the week.

One of the takeaways for me from this week was the need for people to clear their minds of the political noise which now seems to invade every crevice of daily life in the US. The Trump reality spectacle and the dysfunctional circus of US party politics came up repeatedly in conversations all week, often destroying a good conversation or trashing a pleasant moment.

If, as Aristotle maintained, life is inherently political, then we need to find better ways of interacting with one another as political animals. That is why my Civic Innovation Tours, which are launching this year with an upcoming publicity campaign, are designed to give participants direct experience with a wide variety of alternative models encountered in my travels.

Collectively, I believe the incredibly innovative and scalable initiatives that I have had the joy of knowing and working with across the world the past 17 months have the potential to transform civic life.

One week Civic Innovation Tours in Chile


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Donors receive a free preview copy of my new ebook filled with great photos and stories about the amazing civic innovators I have met and worked with during my travels around the world the past 17 months.