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These boots are made for walking. Really? These cowgirl boots are made from the prickly pear nopal cacti – and they are as soft as butter. The plant leather offers a variety of eye-pleasing colours, not just cactus/beige green.  Kristen Decker, of Mazatlan4Sale, has been investigating the process of turning Mexico’s naturally indigenous cacti – which needs no irrigation- into super soft cowgirl boots. “Our focus is creating a closed-loop production system, utilizing eco-friendly materials and implementing a sustainable manufacturing process.” Welcome to Desert Bloom. The team hopes to launch in October, but in the meantime, sign up for their newsletter and get ready for an exciting design in the style and colours you want.

Just look at these benefits -besides the joy of buying a new pair of boots.

  1. It is exceptionally durable, and it will last at least 10 years
  2. The colour of the cactus leather will not fade over time
  3. It is highly breathable, water-resistant, and soft to the skin
  4. Cactus naturally regenerates the soil, and it is a natural carbon sink
  5. It uses no chemicals in the manufacturing, making it environmentally-friendly
  6. It saves vast amounts of water as no irrigation is needed
  7. It is cruelty-free and 100% vegan

Cowboy boots could be in your future – but first Kristen [ask her how many pairs of boots she owns!] is starting with girls. And girls know how to shop. And yes, girls know these boot are made for walking. [SM, March 2024.]

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Artesano Bakery is on the rise. Gaby and Ruben now bring you, La Comuna Pizza and Grill, just around the corner from Artesano.

Desayuno, breakfast, LOTS of choices: 22 coffees, 8 teas, 9 omelets. Pizzas – 6 offerings with LOTS of toppings, 3 pastas, 2 salads. Cortes a las Brasas, from the grill: 2 steaks, 3 hamburgers and 8 sandwiches and combos with various fillings. It’s from Artesano so you know it’s made with love and only the freshest ingredients.

[La Comuna is located on Melchor Ocampo #510, and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8 am. to 6 pm, 669 197 4993.Credit cards accepted.Inside seating with ac or courtyard seating.]

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Salty Paws offers four all natural products for your dog. When Hayley Ivancoe lived in Vancouver, B.C. with her dogs it was easy to buy a packaged raw meat meal. However, when Hayley moved to Mazatlan several years ago and acquired a Siberian Husky and a Border Collie, she couldn’t find a decent raw meal for her dogs anywhere. Like so many dog owners, she began to make her own dog food. “I am a strong believer in a raw meat diet for my dogs and couldn’t find any natural products here. It’s a lot of work when you are a busy mum to make healthy food for your dog[s]. That’s why I launched Salty Paws to offer dog owners a nutritious choice. I am also a big believer in supporting local vendors. The Salty Dog team- Daniella Reynosa and Kyle Solis Mason shop every day for local healthy ingredients at the Pino Suarez Mercado.”

The Raw Meat is a 100% beef mix with organic eggs, and the Salty Paws secret sauce – fruits, vegetables, all fresh and flash frozen in microwave safe bags. “I believe a raw diet will help improve your dogs’ immune system, teeth, allergies, skin and coat, digestion and weight control.” Salty Paws sells the Raw Meat in a package of 72 bricks [about 3.2 kilos/ 7 pounds] and for a medium sized dog, depending on his/her active life should last about ten days. The cost is $580, free delivery but please allow 3-5 days to prepare and deliver.

The Salty Paws’ partners: Daniella Reynosa, Hayley Ivancoe, Kyle Solis Mason.

While walking her dogs she met many dog owners and learned that some owners are not comfortable with a totally raw meat diet so Hayley developed the Meal Topper. That meant investing in a dehydrator and Kyle operates that machine.  The Meal Toppers’ ingredients, like a smoothie, are poured into the dehydrator; 70% chicken or beef, 20% fruit and vegetables, 10% bone broth and no grains. Sprinkle these on your croquettes and your dog gets all the extra nutrients. You don’t need to “dress up” the croquettes – most dogs quickly gobble up the Meal Toppers with their croquettes. 125 grams cost $35 and there’s a minimum delivery of $200. Be sure to ask for chicken or beef and of course, keep them in the freezer.

Why stop at two products? Dogs love a delicious bone, “so let’s make them healthy and clean their teeth too.” Kyle smokes beef bones in a large smoker using local wood from the Guanabana fruit tree for almost 3 hours. Dogs are chewing on these nutritious bones for hours. One large bone or 2 small bones are $65. Free delivery with other Salty Paw products, and again they should be kept in the freezer.

Good girl! Good boy! Sit! Stay! Down! Treats for every occasion because you love and want to reward your furry friend. Salty Paws’ Dog Treats come in three flavours; 100% chicken breast jerky strips, or beef liver strips, about 4” long. The chicken liver nuggets are around 2” in diameter, and each Dog Treat bag contains 15-20 treats, and cost $100. Hayley says” bring a bag of beef liver treats home for your cat, they love them!” Free delivery when combined with other Salty Paw products.

Veterinarian, Dra. Diana Reyes told Salty Paws, “I am delighted with your products that are 100% natural and also have many nutrients that my pets digest them very well. I can give them the envelope frozen and it refreshes them a lot right now in this heat; they also have a super pleasant aroma that my dogs like a lot. I recommend these products 100%.”

Hayley the founder, all excited and juggling a million things, has the last word: “I just love it all. I love seeing the change in my dogs. Their fur is silky, and they drink less water. It’s rewarding to support local vendors, be part of the community and to greet repeat customers.”

[For all deliveries, please call 669 929 1656 and Daniella will take your order, she’s fluent in English and Spanish. Please allow 3-5 days for delivery. If you live in Centro you can buy the Dog Treats and Meal Toppers from La Olivia Restaurant [ Belisario Dominguez #216, closed Wednesdays, open from 8 am – 2 pm.]. Dra. Diana Reyes Veterinan Dominguez [Aquiles Serdan #223] is selling the Raw Meal Packages, Meal Topper and the Smoked Bones. Dra. Marian Herrera Veterinaria Opossum [Miguel Alemán #822] is selling the meal Topper and Dog Treats. The Salty Paws team [a lovely word play on the Spanish Mazatleco name Pata Salada – “salty feet”, will have a store front in December, 2023.] SM, July 2023.

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Enhanced security in Centro Historico. On Tuesday March 21, 2023 the mayor of Mazatlan, Edgar González Zataráin, inaugurated la Comadancia de Policia del Centro Historico.  At the cost of 289,000 pesos with thanks to Amado Guzmán Reynaud [president of the Governing Council of the Historic Center,CORCEHM] and other member of the council who also donated the pesos – a long-time dream for Guzmán came true – improved police co-operation within Centro Historico. In addition to the headquarters on Angel Flores/Carnaval [ground floor of the new parking lot] that contains a state-of-the-art surveillance centre, there are 20 uniformed police officers [Escuadrón Distrito Histórico] on bikes circulating though Centro 24/7. Their captain, “Pancho” Francisco Velarde, has a four wheeler patrol vehicle. If you have a complaint or an emergency you can call the headquarters at 669 454 0313 – it’s like a community hot line.  Or flag down one of the 20 police officers on their bikes. If you don’t speak Spanish have a bilingual friend or translator on your phone app to assist you – or write out some emergency phrases in Spanish and have them handy. This is the beginning of community policing at it’s finest.

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IThe Imaginese Brand store has arrived – bringing your vision to life. [Updated June 2022 – I went into Imaginese for a terrarium [too small for my space] and walked out with cute cocktail napkins, divine new sheets [cheaper than a bottle of scotch!] and side table I’d spent  1/2 years looking for! SM] Imaginese made a soft landing in Centro in October 2020. Owner, shop keeper, designer and general contractor, Gerrit Visser says: “We are a unique furniture store with one- of- a kind furniture pieces and home decor items to include a custom line of furniture. Looking for interior design? No project is too big or too small!” The  Canadian team – a family affair – with wife Katrina and mum, Linda Crossley, really want to bring your vision to life: they offer tailor -made services by an industry professional and personalized attention for all your design needs. “Let’s build your dream kitchen. Everyone wants a spa in their home!” These are just a few of their claims.

The Imaginese space [now double trouble for your wallet as the previous retailer they shared the space with moved on] contains home decor items and furniture you may have seen on your travels but certainly not ever in Mazatlan. Linda Crossley has always been an avid shopper [just ask her husband] and now she and the Vissers have turned her shopping “hobby” into a retail adventure. That’s the right word – it’s an adventure to shop at Imaginese, it’s fun, it’s different, it’s new. Friends of mine fell in love with a bedroom set they had seen by Restoration Hardware – “no problem” says Gerrit. I saw Gerrit on a hot summer night in my underground parking lot supervising his workers, delivering the massive bedroom set, assembly, installation and removing all the packing debris. That’s full service for you. Imaginese that!

Easier than climbing El Faro, closer than the Zipline, it’s time for you and your plastic to go on a shopping adventure! Linda, Katrina, and Gerrit are warm and friendly; it’s not snobby and the entire staff encourages you to wander and to wonder what will I buy today – if not today, then there’s always tomorrow. [SM, November 2020, and updated June 2021]

[ Imaginese Diseno Brand brand is located on Heriberto Frias #1404, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you would like an appointment with Imaginese call 669 244 7892, e mail: info@imaginese.ca or visit their website . Credit cards accepted.]

 

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Do you have “an in a case of emergency” wallet card? What’s in your pocket when you take your dog for a walk, go for a morning stroll on the beach, or a run on Malecon? The consulate suggests something like this:

It will surprise you how much it takes to become a certified tourist guide.

[KM had this to say, March 2022:”if you are looking for an exceptional tour guide, I highly recommend Akino Montiel. He is a certified tour guide and the most knowledgeable and pleasant guy you’ll ever meet. We spent the day with him seeing dancing horses, visiting a tequila distillery and learning about the process in Osuna, and ending with a great meal and shopping in La Noria. Akino knows a lot about the area and the one question he couldn’t answer he researched and followed up with me soon after we returned. The whole experience was such a pleasure!”]

Many of you have “your guy” the person you turn to for day trips and for city tours. I always knew, to receive this designation, that it took time and money. A friend who has know him for 18 years introduced me to Akino Montiel  – a certified tour guide. He kindly gave me all the details of what it takes to become a certified tourist guide/Guia Turistas General. I think you’ll find the dedication and cost to be an eye-opener.

  • The certification allows a tour guide to work in any city in Mexico, but you must be a Mexican National and have finished high school.
  • To be certified requires 510 hours and costs between $30,000 to $40,000 pesos and you must past the bilingual [English/Spanish] test, as well as the CPR course.
  • Every teacher is an expert in their subject [architecture, wild life etc.] and has a master’s degree which is partly what makes the course so expensive.
  • Every four years Akino must renew his license, which involves 160 hours and approximately another $10,000 pesos.
  • Akino must renew his CPR course every two years.
  • If you have a federal driving license with a federal plate [which Akino has] he must pass a medical test every two years and every six months there is a mandatory engine and pollution inspection.

“I love to be a good host, it’s like when you have a new friend visiting your house, you just want them to feel comfortable and you want to show the best part of your place. It’s super fun and to give good service is my passion. For me it’s the best job in the world.” [These are all Akino’s quotes with no editing so you can see his English is excellent.]

He’s been tour guide since 1997, and his van holds six passengers. Not a requirement but Akino also has a degree in Tourism from Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa. Akino will take you wherever you want to go, but his two personal favourite tours are the Tequila Factory with El Quelite, and Concordia and Copala. If “your guy” is busy or you want another recommendation for a tour guide judging from his FP page and all the rave reviews he’s your man. You can reach him on WhatsApp 624 122 0915, e: akinomontiel@hotmail.com. [ SM, November 2018]

[Updated October 5, 2020: over the years Noë has trained a team, he’s not working alone any longer. During the height of Covid-19 he suspended his business to protect his employees and his clients. It’s full steam-ahead -cleaning now. A queen mattress is still $500 and very large and well-used sofa was $680.]

If you have ever thought about giving your mattress a deep cleaning then Noë Guadiana Villareal is your man. He started his business, Deep Extraction Cleaning [yes, that’s the name – “Mexicans love English names”.] opened its cleaning services in 2014.  A deep cleaning takes about 1 1/2 hours depending on your mattress size and stains. Noë begins with a Hepa filter vacuum [oh, the dust bunnies you would not believe!], then a soil remover and finally an injection suction for the deep clean. Allow a four to five hour drying time, with an approximate cost of $500. You may have two mattresses and there is a discount, or you may just need a light cleaning, for $250. He also cleans furniture, rugs, and car interiors. Noë’s team is very punctual and texts right on the dot of the appointed time, “I’m here.” The English-speaking Noë can be reached at 669 134 8864, or 669 986 1314 or e: decmazatlan@gmail.com. Sweet dreams.

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If you want to say it with flowers, then Luz Elena is the florist for you. She’s owned Floreria Jardin de Rosas for 35 + years and specializes in fresh flowers and creative arrangements; for years she has had her flowers shipped from south of Mexico City four times a week. Many are unique to Mazatlan! Wish to have a delivery? No problem, free delivery with a minimum order of $600. Luz Elena also accepts most major credit cards. If you don’t speak flower-Spanish don’t worry, Luz Elena’s English is perfect. In fact, you don’t have to worry about anything with Luz Elena, she’s just so professional. Jardin de Rosas is located on Paseo Lomas #248 [past Starbucks and the school], call 914 1754,or WhatsApp, 669 912 0415 and the hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.and on Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Like every florist in the world, plan your order way ahead for Mother’s Day [May 10] and Valentines.

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