In Rosarito... Fear the Walking Dead
31 August 16 11:48 AM

Given how many TV shows don’t actually film in the actual area they take place in, it was refreshing to visit set of Fear the Walking Dead where they were filming scenes set in Mexico that were being filmed… in Mexico!

 It was an early morning on this spring day in Rosarito, Mexico as the cast and crew get to work on a scene you’ll see in this coming Sunday’s episode, “Los Muertos.” Having sat out the Nick-centric midseason premiere, “Los Muertos” catches us up with Madison (Kim Dickens), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) and Strand (Colman Domingo), as we see what their next step is, now that they’ve lost track of everyone else they were traveling with – or as Mason joked, they’d been split into “The cool kids and the not-cool kids. Obviously we’re the not-cool kids!”

As you might imagine, when we pick up with them, this group of four’s first instinct is to head back to Strand’s boat. But in the scene I watched them film, on an ocean-side cliff, they discover there’s a major impediment to this – one that has them at a loss over what to do, until Alicia comes up with a suggestion.

So how is the group handling their new dynamic? Very differently, depending on the character, with some rising to the occasion more than others.

After filming at the beach was finished for the day, we returned to Fear the Walking Dead’s local studio in Mexico — Deep Blue Sea, Pearl Harbor and Master and Commander are among the many water-based projects to film here since James Cameron had a ton of stages and tanks built to accommodate water-based scenes for Titanic — where I chatted with Debnam-Carey in front of the full size exterior Abigail boat built for the show. In fact, thanks to the tank currently being emptied for cleaning, we were standing on the floor of the tank, in what is usually a huge body of water.

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New Tijuana hospital to have binational focus
18 April 16 11:41 AM

SIMNSA taps Scripps Health for advice on building $120 million facility

By Paul Sisson

Scripps Health and a binational company will announce today that they’re partnering to establish a hospital aimed at serving the growing number of Southern Californians who prefer to get medical care south of the border.

The facility, slated for a parcel just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, will strive to obtain international accreditation from the Joint Commission — a standard currently met by only four other facilities in Mexico and none in Tijuana.

The pursuit of that accreditation is a key reason Sistemas Medicos Nacionales S.A., also known as SIMNSA, has tapped the La Jolla-based Scripps Health network to help it develop its first hospital. To date, the company has only operated clinics.

SIMNSA, which is both a health insurance company and a medical provider, plans to spend $120 million to turn its existing eight-story clinic in Tijuana into a full-service hospital with 200 inpatient beds, an emergency department and an intensive care unit. When completed in 2018, the hospital intends to offer cardiology, neurosurgery, oncology and labor and delivery procedures in addition to the array of outpatient services it already provides.

The large investment represents an attempt to deliver more cohesive care for SIMNSA’s 100,000 beneficiaries, who often have to travel to multiple hospitals throughout Tijuana to get the services they need, said Frank Carrillo, the company’s president.

“Most hospitals (in Tijuana), for example, don’t have an MRI machine. I don’t think you can find one facility that has everything in one place. You have to transfer the patient from one place to another to have a complete treatment,” Carrillo said. “I think this partnership with Scripps is going to make the big difference for us. We’re going to be one of the largest and most modern hospitals in all of Mexico when we’re finished.”

Chris Van Gorder, chief executive of Scripps Health, said he was impressed with what he saw when he recently visited SIMNSA’s clinic in Tijuana. (The company also has facilities in Chula Vista and Mexicali.)

Van Gorder said the Tijuana operation is modern and efficient, including a dental clinic that uses lasers to sculpt crowns while patients wait on-site.

“We will learn from them, and they will learn from us. I fully anticipate this relationship will grow,” he said. “We need to learn more about binational health care.”

The hospital project is a tangible sign of growth for the “transitory medicine” market that spans the U.S.-Mexico border.

Employment brings many thousands of Mexican citizens with U.S. green cards north every day, and they often leave their families behind in Tijuana and other border cities. At the same time, thousands of Mexican nationals, largely Americans whose parents or spouses are Mexican citizens, have flocked south to receive often-cheaper health care in Mexico.

Carrillo said about 90 percent of the patients whom SIMNSA serves in Mexico have traveled south from California for that treatment.

As the first Mexican HMO authorized to sell insurance policies to businesses in California, SIMNSA has been catering to these employers’ staffs since 2000. Its enrollment has risen steadily: In 2007, it had about 19,000 direct enrollees. Today, the figure is nearly 50,000, thanks to its dealings with more than 500 employers. (The company is not allowed to offer policies directly to individuals.)

SIMNSA alliances with big insurers — Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and Health Net — have added roughly another 50,000 enrollees.

The collaboration between SIMNSA and Scripps Health makes sense, said Arturo Vargas Bustamante, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy at UCLA who has written extensively about cross-border health care.

He said even though many Mexican-Americans buy policies from Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, those plans’ high deductibles often make it cheaper to obtain treatment in Mexico. And some consumers are turned off by the increasingly impersonal nature of U.S. health care, which often gives patients little time with their physicians, Bustamante said.

“Many, they prefer to go down to where they know they will, essentially, get to have a half-hour or more to talk to a doctor,” he said.

Bustamante also said the SIMNSA-Scripps hospital venture is an early indication of the burgeoning trend of health care investment in Baja California. Many people who have used their green cards to work in the U.S. for years plan to retire south of the border, he noted. In addition, he said, an existing pattern of Americans retiring in Mexico because they can get more for their money there is expected to accelerate as wave after wave of baby boomers reach retirement age.

“It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how things unfold,” Bustamante said.

In terms of infrastructure and medical-equipment standards, Van Gorder said SIMNSA planners and architects have been visiting Scripps’ recently opened specialty heart hospital in La Jolla to learn more about what requirements need to be fulfilled for Joint Commission accreditation.

“We are very lucky and we are very honored that Scripps was willing to lend us a hand and advise us. We’ve never done a hospital before, and that’s why we’re excited to have access to their experience and their knowledge,” Carrillo said.

Once the hospital project is finished, the Scripps Health name will appear on the revamped building’s facade subordinate to the SIMNSA logo. While Scripps doctors may visit the facility, they plan to, at least at first, only provide advice on subjects such as staff training, hospital operating protocols, infection control and physician credentialing. It will still be SIMNSA’s doctors and nurses seeing patients.

SIMNSA will pay Scripps a consulting fee for its efforts. Both parties declined to disclose the amount but said it is small.

Van Gorder said while Scripps facilities north of the border will get some referrals for more complex cases as a result of the collaboration, he expects little effect on his network’s bottom line.

He also said Scripps stands to make gains by observing how SIMNSA operates as provider and insurance company, a dual role that can deliver financial savings for companies that can get all levels of care, from the doctor’s office to the surgical suite, to work together without sacrificing quality.

“There are things in terms of efficiency that we can learn from them. This is a very ripe learning opportunity for both organizations,” Van Gorder said.

Carrillo said the future hospital is only one piece of SIMNSA’s long-range strategy. His company plans to seek permission from the U.S. government to become an authorized provider for enrollees in two major American health programs — Medicare and TRICARE. 

FDI rises to $28.38 bn in Mexico
23 February 16 11:15 AM

Mexico City, Feb 22 (EFE).- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico rose to $28.38 billion last year, up 25.8 percent from the preliminary $22.57 billion figure registered in 2014, the Economy Secretariat said.

"The 2015 figure is the net result of $32.81 billion in inflows minus $4.42 billion accounted for as reductions in foreign direct investment," the secretariat said in a statement.

Two transactions stood out among the inflows, the secretariat said.

The first, amounting to $2.03 billion, was related to AT&T Corp.'s aquisition of shares of wireless carriers Iusacell and Unefon in the first quarter of 2015.

The second transaction was the sale by Mexico's Vitro of operations to a U.S.-based company for $2.15 billion, a deal that was completed in the third quarter of last year.

FDI climbed to $4.89 billion in the fourth quarter.

"During the current administration, total foreign direct investment is $99.73 billion, up 61.1 percent from the figure originally reported at the end of the first three years of the preious six-year (presidential) term ($61.89 billion)," the secretariat said.

The biggest sources of FDI were the United States, accounting for 53.1 percent; Spain, with 9.6 percent; Japan, with 4.7 percent; Germany, with 4.3 percent; and Canada, with 3.8 percent.

Some 24.5 percent of FDI came from 74 other countries.

Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
Private firms can import fuel April 1
23 February 16 11:10 AM

President advances date liberalizing rules on fuel imports

More gas stations might be coming sooner to Mexico with today’s announcement to accelerate changes in fuel import regulations.

Only Petróleos Mexicanos is permitted to import fuel at present, but that was to have changed next year as one of the elements of the energy reforms. “I want to announce that we will bring forward this opening. Effective April 1, 2016, any company will be able to import gasoline and diesel, which should be reflected in better prices.”President Enrique Peña Nieto told an energy forum in Houston, Texas, today that restrictions on the import of gasoline and diesel will be lifted in April rather than next January 1 as planned.

He made the announcement during his keynote address earlier this afternoon to the annual IHS CERAWeek conference, an international energy forum.

He described the change as “a decisive action that will trigger strong private investment and allow for intense competition in the fuel sector when prices are freed up completely in 2018.”

Firms other than Pemex have been allowed to open gas stations since the beginning of the year, but they can only buy their products from the state oil company.

Peña Nieto also said the call for bids in the auction of crude oil blocks in deep-water fields in the Gulf of Mexico will be held in early December.

But the president said opening Mexico’s energy industry will continue regardless. “it is not the time to stop. It is the time to move forward,” he said, later adding that energy reforms have represented a paradigm shift, and “the most important economic change in the country in the last 50 years.”Some observers have suggested the auction should be delayed until oil prices are strong enough to justify the development costs of the fields. The breakeven cost in deep-water fields is about US $65 per barrel, according to Rystad Energy.

Following his speech, Peña Nieto was recognized for his “profound leadership” in transforming Mexico’s energy industry with the IHS CERAWeek Global Energy Lifetime Achievement Award. It is presented to individuals who “have made a significant and lasting impact on the global energy future.”

“No country has more profoundly modernized every aspect of its energy sector—from oil and gas, to power and renewable energy, to the sale of refined products — in such a short time,” said Daniel Yergin, conference chair and vice-chairman of IHS Inc., sponsor of the event.

There was a bit of bright news in Houston today when the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) spoke about the prospects for oil prices.

Fatih Birol shared details from a New IEA report that forecasts oil demand will grow by about 7 million barrels a day by 2021, but producers will only be able to deliver 4.1 million barrels.

Earlier today, Peña Nieto met with Texas Governor Greg Abbott but potentially divisive themes such as border walls and border security were left off the agenda. Instead, they discussed “continued collaboration and progress” on an energy task force that would encourage innovative, cross-border energy solutions.

Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
Restart bank trust debate, urge realtors
23 February 16 10:54 AM

Elimination of fideicomiso would detonate market, industry says

The real estate industry plans to lobby for a renewed discussion in Congress over the elimination of the bank trust foreigners must use to purchase property.

The president of the Real Estate Confederation of Latin America said removing the requirement for foreigners to buy real estate with a trust, called a fideicomiso, would detonate sales and have an impact on the entire sector.

Antonio Hánna estimated it would drive up demand by 30% in the five years following the change.

Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization, or Mexican companies, can directly own real estate within 50 kilometers of the ocean or 100 kilometers of international borders. Foreigners who wish to hold land within those areas, known as the restricted zone, must do so with a bank trust.

The buyer, who must pay an annual fee to the bank, has the right to use the property but the bank holds the title.

Sales of vacation homes and apartments totaled 1,725 last year. Remove the bank trust requirement and the number would soar to 2,423 after five years, said the confederation.

The change would require an amendment to the constitution, which is what the Mexican Association of Real Estate Agents (AMPI) lobbied for a few years ago. The proposal got as far as Congress, but became bogged down in the Senate, said AMPI president Gustavo Solares.

He, too, predicted that removing the fideicomisorequirement would detonate activity in the market.

Claudia Velázquez of the real estate consultancy Softec said that in addition to the constitutional change there was also a need to streamline the process for Mexican buyers as well. She said they represent up to 80% of the purchasers in some tourist destinations. 

Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
Invest in Baja California real estate
19 February 16 02:51 PM


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While some Baja real estate businesses come and go, we have been in business at the Rosarito Beach Hotel since 1925. Our team, the Gustavo Torres family, knows the people and properties around Baja better than any other agency. We have more sales on record than any other agency in the region, but don't think that we treat our clients like numbers. We not only sell property, we also assist you with every step in making your purchase and move to Baja as simple and enjoyable as possible. Baja real estate is now the answer!

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Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
American retirees flock to Mexican shore in Baja looking for living and financial ease
17 November 15 08:22 AM

Pam and Brian Saltzman

By Rebekah Sager

Despite what many Americans may believe about the dangers of Mexico, there are a few “brave” souls who would argue that the Mexico they know is not only safe, but safer than the U.S., and has maintained the core values America lost years ago.

Thousands of Americans annually retire to various Mexican cities, making up a good chunk of the estimated 1 million U.S. citizens that call Mexico home.

Pam Salzman and her husband Brian retired 12 years ago. They say they were vacationing in Mexico so much that at one point they decided to try living there full-time and see how it felt.

In 2013 the Salzmans sold their house in Alpine, a rural neighborhood in the San Diego County of California, and promptly plunked down $500k in cash for a 3,700 square foot oceanfront property and never looked back.

They fell hard for the Baja California Peninsula area.

“We live in a gated community. My wife drives to her bridge games alone and she feels safe,” Brian Salzman told FNL.

Aside from the obvious financial benefits of living in Mexico, many of the retirees say they’re happy to be away from the America they think is in dire straits.

“We’ve got too many social programs. We’ve taken away the incentives of working hard. And immigrants come to the U.S. and they get everything for free — free housing and free medical,” Brian Salzman said.

“We love Mexico. People here are generous, hard-working and happy. It’s like living in the 1950s or 60s,” Pam Salzman told FNL.

Herb Kinsey moved to Rosarito 14 years ago following his retirement. “After 9/11 everyone hated the U.S. and I found Mexico to be like the North County (Carlsbad, CA) I fell in love with 40 years ago — before it became a circus,” Kinsey told FNL.

“I moved for the climate, the culture and the cuisine. I love the food, the people, and I wanted out of a place with ridiculous traffic and crime,” he said. “It’s mellow down here.”

“An increasing number of Americans are moving here to escape their government's policies and the costs of living. They find a higher standard of living and a greater degree of freedom,” Kinsey said in an interview with New York Times in 2003.

He says he stands by this statement today, 12 years later.

 “I retired for a decade to the Caribbean. I’ve met a lot of ex-pats, and I can count on one hand those who ever want to come back to the U.S. once they’ve left,” he told FNL.

Kinsey sells real estate in Baja and says the new demographic buying in the area is younger. “Many are empty nesters who work from home,” he said. “They want to be near the border to easily cross, and since the Internet is now working well, there’s nothing stopping people,” Kinsey added.

More than anything, the retirees complain that the America they once loved doesn’t exist. They cite mass school shootings (although almost all of those who spoke with FNL insisted on an American’s right to bear arms and stand behind the NRA), too many rules and too much government regulation.

Kinsey talks about a day recently when he crossed into the U.S. with his accountant. “We stopped at the border and the agent asked for my passport. I hold a Canadian passport so I handed it to the guy. My accountant handed his Mexican passport to the agent and we knew there was trouble when the guy accuses my friend of having a fake passport. My friend asked ‘Why do you think it’s a fake?’ The agent says, ‘This passport says you were born in Chula Vista — a neighborhood in the southern-most area of San Diego, CA. You know that city is in the U.S.’ My accountant says, ‘Yes, I was born in the U.S., but I renounced my citizenship to be a Mexican citizen.’ The agent was shocked,” says Kinsey.

There are also those retirees who live in assisted living facilities in Mexico -- another financial incentive for senior Americans for whom the same care they’d receive in the States would cost vastly more. Assisted care in the U.S. averages about $3,800 a month, and nursing homes can cost upwards of $7,000.

In Mexico, the cost would range more like $1,400-$2,000 a month for meals, cleaning, laundry and more.

Lake Chapala, in central Mexico, has been called the “world's largest foreign retirement community,” with up to 16,000 or more U.S. and Canadian retirees in residence.

With all of the chatter of immigration as the 2016 election year approaches, it’s worth noting that according to the Department of Treasury, the names of individuals who renounced their U.S. citizenship or terminated long-term U.S. residency is up, with 576 for the first quarter and 1,577 in the second quarter of 2014.

In 2013, a record was set with 2,999 people renouncing their U.S. citizenship.

If these retirees are any indication, the numbers of Americans flocking across the border could continue to rise in the coming decades.

Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
Steak & Lobster Festival at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, October 25 2015
21 October 15 11:25 AM

Price per dish $20 USD  (Dish and drink)

Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
14 October 15 12:28 PM

By Dania Vargas Austryjak Wednesday, 2015-10-14 (09:26:04)

A pan dulce to celebrate A festivity for the dead might seem a little strange for some cultures; but in Mexico celebrating those who have left this world and remembering them in a happy way, is part of the colorful culture and traditions of the country. During the celebrations of Day of the Dead in Mexico, there is one delicious element that can be enjoyed for more days than just those of the festivity, and that is no other than pan de muerto or bread of the dead. Pan de muerto is a type of bread that is prepared and eaten during October and during Day of the Dead celebrations, which take place every November 2nd; besides it is a vital element for the altars. The origin of this peculiarly-named bread, dates back to pre-Hispanic times, and there are several versions and no clear answer on what is the exact background of this treat. dia de muertos


Some legends indicate that ancient civilizations performed human sacrifices to honor their deities, one of these rituals required to take the heart of a princess and place it in a pot with amaranth; the ritual leader would have to bite the heart, as a sign of gratitude. The bread making came in when the Spaniards forbade any of these sacrificial rituals, ergo the pre-Hispanic people started making bread in the shape of a heart and covered in red sugar to resemble the blood. Another not-so-graphic version of the story, tells that the bread was prepared to symbolize the heart of an idol, followed by a symbolic sacrifice, which consisted of removing the “heart” from the deity, in order to be shared with the rest of the people. Detalle de un pan de muerto But no matter where the origin of pan de muerto is, this bread represents the dead: its traditional round shape represents the body, the bone figures that decorate it all across the sides, represent the extremities and the round piece in the middle, on top represents the skull. There are different shapes and presentations of this bread: some bread makers cover them in sesame seeds, colored sugar and regular sugar. Pan de muerto is a butter-based bread with orange blossom and anise scents, it has a soft flaky brioche-like interior; the crust is thin and golden and many people love the “bones and skull” pieces because they get a little crispy on the outside. Some modern bakeries put delicious fillings in the bread, such as pastry cream or hazelnut-chocolate cream, other people prefer to eat this bread just with a hot cup of coffee or chocolate. But it doesn’t matter how you like your pan de muerto, as long as you share it with your loved ones, dead or alive.

Postedby Gustavo Torres | 0 Comments    
Why Are One Million Americans Moving to Mexico?
27 August 15 01:56 PM

Now selling 
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Why Are One Million Americans Moving to Mexico?
By International Living

In many ways, Mexico today is like the U.S. was 50 years ago…before big government, big business, and special interests whittled away the lifestyle our parents took for granted. It is full of overlooked retirement havens where you can retire in luxury without spending a fortune.

Mexico’s lower cost of living—and of just about everything else—means a comfortable, fulfilling life here will likely cost you a fraction of what you pay “back home.” From real estate to groceries, and from entertainment to healthcare, life in Mexico simply costs less. Here you can still find comfortable homes for under $150,000 and pay pennies on the dollar for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. As for healthcare…across the board, healthcare in Mexico costs a quarter to a half of what you’d pay in the U.S.—for treatment by well-trained medical professionals in first-class hospitals and clinics. (In fact, there are few places in Mexico where you’re more than a few hours from a good private hospital.)

Today’s Mexico is largely First-World, with excellent highways, sleek airports, and high-speed telecommunications, as well as first-run films (in English, with Spanish subtitles) and television shows. You’ll find shopping malls and supermarkets, all carrying many familiar products from home.

But you’ll also enjoy a slower, more relaxed pace of life here, where children still play in the streets and neighbors know each other. You’ll find a rich, strong local culture, too, with traditional markets; colorful, indigenous dress; ancient ruins of great civilizations; and regional music, dance, and customs. You’ll find plenty to do and see in Mexico—and the Mexican people, some of the friendliest folks around, will be happy to share it with you.

And thanks to Mexico’s large size and varied geography, you can find whatever climate and lifestyle you want. Like the beach? Mexico has nearly 6,000 miles of coastline, much of it white-sand beach...

So whatever lifestyle you seek, you’ll likely find it in Mexico. No wonder more U.S. expats live in Mexico than in any other country in the world…

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Celebrating Similarities
11 December 14 02:04 PM

What do Ireland and Mexico have in common? Let me count the ways.

Well , first of all, we can go back to relatively recent history, the Mexican-American War that began in 1846. Students of international conflicts might remember that during this 'dust-up', several Irish immigrants who began the conflict fighting on the side of the Americans switched their allegiance to the underdog mexicanosand formed the Saint Patrick (or, en espanol, San Patricio) Battalion.When Mexico accepted defeat in 1848, several dozen of the defectors were caught by U.S. forces and were hung as traitors. However, in Mexico, to this day, the sons of Ireland who were executed continue to be honored as heroes.In addition, many modern day south-of the-border icons are of Irish ancestry. Alvaro Obregon (originally O'Brien) was President of The Republic from 1920-24, Academy Award winning actor Anthony Quinn was the son of a Mexican father and Irish mother, and, close to home, the Ireland born-and-bred Crosthwaite clan are one of the founding families of Baja California's Rosarito area.

How about other commonalities? Going way back we can look at the religious faith...Catholicism...that both countries share as well as a common enemy most of the Francaise. But perhaps the most unusual congruity of them all is in the field of the terpsichorean arts. When Sandra Dibble of the San Diego Union Tribune dabbled on the shared roots in her 2011 article entitled "Irish Dancers from Tijuana?', she was barely scratching the surface of what has become a worldwide phenomenon.

As she pointed out, "Tijuana is one of the few places in Mexico where Irish step dancing is taught and performed. Fernando Lopez Maldonado, director of the city's elite public high school Prepa Federal Lazaro Cardenas dance program, pointed out that he began teaching the steps back in 2002 after watching a traveling troupe perform Irish maestro Michael Flatley's 'Lord of The Dance' show."

Dibble opened the door to more research on the subject when she briefly mentioned that " the Irish step dances are somewhat reminiscent of the Mexican zapateado style popular in the southern state of Veracruz."

That research uncovered a lot more than a passing similarity.

Dan Haren and Ann Richens, who ran a Columbus, Ohio based Irish Dance Academy, were indefatigable researchers who traced the roots of their native country's contributions to a variety of dances first performed in the mid-1500s. "These included the Rinnee Fada or Fading, where two lines with partners faced each other. The dances had a fast tempo and included side steps." Fast forward 200 years to when "a major influence on Irish dance and culture was the advent of the traveling Dance Masters. Sometimes the itinerant teachers had to tie a rope around a student's leg to distinguish right foot from left. Having an eminent dance master associated with a village was a cause for pride and boasting by the community."

"Each dance master had a repertoire of dance steps and he created new steps over time. By the way, eight measures or bars of music were called a 'step, hence the term 'step dancing."

"Dance Masters created the first schools of dancing; villagers paid the dance masters and the accompanying musicians from the proceeds collected at a 'benefit night' held to present the new artistic creations. Apparently the level of the pay for the instructors was relatively high for the country as it included room and board."

At approximately the same historical period, a combination of music and dance that had started in Spain (where it originated as flamenco and fandango) found its way to the Mexican state of Veracruz during the colonial period where it was called jarocho or zapateado. It was an amalgam of Spanish baroque music played by musicians accompanied by rhythmically talented dancers stamping out the rhythms (often with two lines of performers facing each other on raised platforms called tarimas).

The Mexican National Folk Dance, derived from this style, is called the Jarabe Tapatio. The late great ethnomusicologist Francis Toor tells us that back in the 1920's " was danced by rancheros and their partners....and it was gay and it was fiery. In many instances a wooden platform was placed over an excavated area or over buried jars to produce a resonance. The dance sometimes lasted for hours."

Now we can compare 'Lord of The Dance' choreography (the pinnacle of Irish step dancing) with Mexico'sbaile folklorico zapateado/jarocho and the similarities are striking. In fact, as writer Agustin Gurza of The Los Angeles Times told us in 2006 "...British born dance director Richard O'Neal gave up his job as assistant director of Michael Flatley's international production company of 'Riverdance' and attempted to launch a Mexican version of the show to be based on the rousing, foot-stomping dance style known as son jarocho, native to the southern state of Veracruz. The invitation had come from a powerful, highly placed fan of 'Riverdance," (then) Veracruz Governor Miguel Aleman Velasco."

Can an amalgam of the two country's dance heritages succeed? The jury is still out on the experiment, but on February 28th you can see extremely talented young Mexican dancers perform Irish choreography interpreted by a local, brilliant and talented dance master; by the way, you can do this without traveling to the ends of the earth and having to pay a king's ransom.

Check out the recently created Facebook event page titled 'International Triple Treat Benefit Concert' and find out how you can support a worthy cause while being marvelously entertained by not only the aforementioned Danza Irlandesa, but by the celebrated Blue Agave, under the Musical Direction of the internationally acclaimed Andy Abad, and the Latin Grammy-nominated Trio Ellas. It all takes place at the Rosarito Beach Hotel's historic Salon Mexicano. Packages including event tickets and two nights at the iconic oceanfront hostelry are available and...while they last...affordable. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the show starts promptly at 7:00 PM.

Please contact the Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito's President, Rosy M Torres, for all the details or (661) 850-1773 and find out how you can enjoy a very special evening spent celebrating similarities.

30 September 14 01:56 PM
Posted by: amar on Sep 15, 2014
You can own a piece of the Legend at the Historic

Rosarito Beach Hotel

Baja California is the retirees paradise of North America. Having the most-crossed international border in the entire world, it is the home of mariachi bands, poets, artists, and many foreign residents who enjoy the Baja living experience. It is a unique opportunity to live in a foreign country but with the convenience of a short drive to the U.S.

Located only 30 miles from downtown San Diego, the charming town of Rosarito Beach offers a different world in a matter of minutes. Retirees can explore new locations and experience a different culture while couples can rediscover their love for one another in the beautifully romantic setting of Baja. The majestic sunsets are breathtaking, the food delicious and the night life exciting. Dollars are accepted everywhere and surprisingly, many locals are bilinguals. 

Perhaps 10,000 retirees, most from the U.S, call Rosarito home. The affordable cost of living and the support network they have, are some of the advantages of living in this picturesque area of Mexico. Many organized groups as well as non-profit organizations keep retirees busy. The agenda is full of events all year round!

Rosarito is justly famous as a lobster’s paradise. Almost a million lobsters are served in the Rosarito coastal area each year. "Puerto Nuevo-style" is now a world-famous synonym for the exquisite lobster offered in the local restaurants. Seafood is prepared, not only by the expert chefs of Rosarito, but also by local family-run businesses that creates a perfect balance of flavors and aromas in cozy ambiances.

Baja‘s Gold Coast is becoming a Mecca for artists and art lovers. In the last few years there has been a virtual explosion of galleries offering “serious art” in northern Baja. Many artists have galleries in town or in their homes. Great art is everywhere and going gallery shopping is becoming one the most popular things to do for Rosarito residents. 

Since it first opened its doors in 1925, millions of visitors as well as movie stars, presidents and international royalty, have been attracted to the romantic old-world charm and loving hospitality of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. Located in the heart of town, its popularity spawned the birth of the city of Rosarito Beach, long time ago.

Now, a new chapter in the majestic history of this beautiful hotel is being written with the 17-story, 271 Luxury oceanfront condos of 1, 2 and 3 beedrooms called "The Residence at RBH”. It is your chance to own a part of this glamorous past while investing in an extraordinary future for your retirement.

“The Residence at RBH” is Baja’s Gold Coast first Condo-Hotel serviced luxury resort. Choose your ocean view from four spectacular options: a studio; one-bedroom, one bathroom; two-bedrooms, two bathrooms; or our three-bedrooms, three bathrooms penthouse residences. They are all beautifully appointed with fully equipped kitchens, top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Each residence is fully furnished and professionally decorated. Large covered balconies offer panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and private and secure storage spaces provide peace of mind. Prices start at only 169,000 U.S. dollars. This is an affordable great buy; it is an opportunity to enjoy your future by living in an oceanfront luxury unit.

A condo hotel is a hassle-free, luxurious home that generates rent revenue that can help offset the costs of ownership.

Purchasing a Condo Hotel suite is just like purchasing any other piece of real estate. You own it. However, with a Condo Hotel you can live in your condo full time or allow the hotel operator to rent it out for you for a split share of the revenue.

Because of this, owners of Condo Hotels get to experience both, the ultimate vacation getaway, and a real version of hassle free ownership.


As an owner, you can use your suite as much or as little as you desire. When you're away, place it in the condo hotel's rental program and receive a portion of the revenue it generates, under a shared-revenue agreement.

Professional hotel management handles all the details including renting, cleaning and maintaining your unit. Owners benefit not only from the appreciation on their investment, but also from the cash flow that is generated without any continued effort or investment on their part.

Once you live at your piece of the resort, be prepared to have all your cares melt away. Everything you need is here for you to enjoy and relax in the style you deserve, while the sound of ocean waves breaking below lulls you to sleep at night. Condo Hotels always include many more amenities and guest services than other developments because they are located on existing hotel sites.


-Full- Service Spa opened every day of the week

-Pools & Jacuzzis


-Children’s Play Areas

-Game Room with Pool Tables

-Beach Activities


-Business Center

-2 Restaurants

-3 Bars

-Shuttle Transportation to and from the San Diego and Tijuana Airports (reservation required)

-Maid service availability

-In-room dining

-24 hours maintenance

-Poolside serves

-Laundry service


-Tennis, Basketball & Racquetball Courts

The Resort is located right at the heart of Rosarito Beach, at a convenient walking distance to shops, grocery stores, bars & restaurants, exclusive ocean front view, and has direct access to the beach.

Retire in Style… Live in a piece of history and indulge yourself as many Hollywood movie stars do, at the legendary Rosarito Beach Hotel.

For more information go to:

Tijuana Airport Parking, Just Over the Border
22 January 14 12:12 PM

 In the barren Southwest, a good portion of the 1,900-mile border between the United States and Mexico is being fortified with walls, electronic surveillance and trenches.

Construction at Tijuana International. A privately financed pedestrian bridge will link the airport with the United States. Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times 

But in San Diego, private investors on both sides of the border are taking a different tack, building a bridge to Tijuana International Airport with the expectation of turning it into a low-cost alternative to San Diego’s boxed-in, one-runway airport.


Next year, if all goes according to plan, air travelers in this region will be able to park their cars in the United States and walk across an enclosed 325-foot passageway directly to Tijuana International.

The project would make Tijuana International a rare airport that would let passengers land in one country and leave in another. Two airports on the Swiss-French border allow for that, and a shuttle runs passengers with connecting flights between airports in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, across the border in mainland China.

The effort, led by the Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell, promises to help fulfill an early dream of the 20-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement: problem-free travel between Mexico and the United States.

Each year, 2.4 million travelers from the United States use the Tijuana airport, even if it means waiting for hours at the border. They provide the airport with nearly 60 percent of its traffic.

It is worth the trouble for those people because fares in Tijuana are substantially lower — up to 50 percent less to fly throughout Mexico — than at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field or other airports, like Los Angeles International.

Gilberto Rodriguez, who is from Riverside, Calif., knows the routine well. On a recent chilly morning, he wheeled bags the size of small refrigerators along a pathway toward the Mexican border with his wife, Esperanza, as his two daughters scrambled to keep up.

Once past the border, he would take a $12 cab ride to Tijuana International.

Mr. Rodriguez figured he had saved $1,000 on their four tickets.

With so many travelers like Mr. Rodriguez already using Tijuana, one of the busiest airports in Mexico, the project has gained broad support locally.

But border initiatives can move slowly. There is frustration here, for instance, that while Mexico widened the San Ysidro crossing — the nation’s busiest — to 34 lanes in 2012, financing for expansion on the United States side has been hung up in Congress.

“Local politicians understand the dynamics of the border,” said David Alvarez, a San Diego councilman and mayoral candidate whose district includes the bridge.

He noted that an estimated 75,000 people cross the border each day in San Diego. “We know who they are,” he said. “We know where they are going. Unfortunately, the rest of the country doesn’t. They don’t see what’s happening.”

The bridge is not the first, or grandest, attempt to provide an alternative to the San Diego airport.

There have been proposals to convert the nearby Marine Corps Air Station to a civilian airport, to connect a new airport in the desert 70 miles east by high-speed rail, and even to expand the San Diego airport, also known as Lindbergh Field, onto floating runways over the ocean.

The bridge itself has its roots in one of the most ambitious of those proposals: a $2 billion conversion of Tijuana International into a cross-border airport. That plan, put forward in the early 1990s after the adoption of Nafta, called for Mexican and American air traffic controllers, and terminals and runways on each side of the border. The project died when the United States government balked.

 But it gave way to a more modest plan. In 2007, Equity Group Investments, led by Mr. Zell, formed a partnership with a pair of Mexican investment companies with ties to Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, a public-private partnership that operates 12 airports in Mexico, including Tijuana. A year later, the company, Otay-Tijuana Venture, bought vacant land on the American side for $34 million.

 Developers cleared the largest hurdle in 2010 by securing State Department approval. Construction has been underway since July on the Mexican side of the border, but work has yet to begin on the undeveloped 58-acre parcel on the United States side. The project’s cost is about $75 million on the American side, the developers say, and $15 million on the Mexican side. Costs on the American side include structures for processing, administrative offices and parking,

Developers have been negotiating for several months with United States Customs and Border Protection, which would operate the checkpoints, and waiting to obtain building permits from the City of San Diego. Federal and local officials said final approval on those issues was expected soon.

The bridge would operate like any of the six other border crossings in California, said Jackie Wasiluk, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, except that an airline ticket would be required to pass through it. Operators of the bridge will bear the cost of the border agents.

A big part of the bridge’s appeal is that it will ease some traffic at the two nearest border crossings, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro, where cars routinely face long waits to cross.

“This makes sense on a lot of levels,” said Chandler Martin, the director of trade, border and community programs at the Institute of the Americas at the University of California, San Diego. “All that time spent waiting to cross is business forgone. If the border works efficiently, it helps both sides.”


Using the bridge is expected to cost $13 to $17, though the final fees have not been set, according to Stephanie Saathoff, a spokeswoman for Otay-Tijuana Venture. Though Ms. Saathoff said such fees would be the primary source of revenue, there would also be parking fees. And there is potential for other development — like hotels, retail shops and convenience stores — on 31 acres on the American side.

The interest in the project for Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, the airport company, is harder to quantify. The bridge is unlikely to spur any immediate development, said Miguel Aliaga, an investor relations officer for the airport company.

And Salvador Aguirre, a taxi driver, is not happy that he will lose business, saying he counts on eight to 10 trips a day from the border to the airport during holiday seasons.

But a growing airport that sends more people into Tijuana fits into the development efforts of a city that is seeking to project a safer, more cosmopolitan image.

“It is true that we have nothing to win in the short term,” Mr. Aliaga said. “But we think that Mexico needs new ideas. Airlines are very interested, and that should be a marketing tool.”

And for travelers like Mr. Rodriguez, who learned of the plan as he headed toward the border, the bridge would be a welcome relief.

“That would be perfect,” he said.

A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2014, on page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: A Project Will Put the Tijuana Airport’s Parking Just Over the Border. 

"Baja is the new Tuscany of cuisine.."
07 November 13 01:54 PM
By Gay Nagle Myers It has wineries and microbreweries; mountains and beaches; seaports and sports fishing; culinary treats and cultural centers; and 400 events and festivals each year. Where is it? What is it? It's Baja California, the northern half of the 1,000-mile-long Baja peninsula that extends from Tijuana on the U.S.-California border to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur on the southern tip. Baja California was the purview of Juan Tintos Funcke, who, until Oct. 31, served as the Mexican state's secretary of tourism and who held numerous roles in Baja's hospitality and tourism sectors for more than 30 years. His post has been taken up by Oscar Escobedo, who has previously served in the tourism secretary position. Before returning to private life, Tintos took time out for an overview of his state's progress and achievements and his hopes for the future. He acknowledged that the region has had a bad rap in recent years, linked with cartel activity along the border: A survey of traveler perceptions two years ago revealed that violence and security issues were top of mind, especially in Tijuana. However, over the past two years the state has seen increases in arrivals and occupancy despite those fears, as visitors seek out the state's wineries, craft beers and cuisine, according to this year's travelers survey. Air arrivals up "Tijuana Airport welcomed 3.8 million travelers last year, up 7.5% over 2011," Tintos said. "The airport has the second-best air connection network in Mexico after Mexico City. "The bulk of our visitors arrive by car from the U.S. West, coming to Baja California for vacations, for medical procedures, for the 400 festivals and sporting events each year, for business meetings and, of course, for our food and wine," Tintos said. Film production companies are a mainstay for the region, as well. Rosarito Beach, a Hollywood playground in the 1930s and '40s, draws moviemakers to its Baja Studios, where parts of the 1997 movie "Titanic" were filmed, along with scenes from 2001's "Pearl Harbor" and "All Is Lost," a film starring Robert Redford that's in theaters now. Hotel occupancy has increased 5% each year since 2011. In Tijuana and Ensenada, it's even higher, up 10% and 15%, respectively. "We have 11,000 rooms in categories from three-star and up," Tintos said. "More boutique properties are planned, especially along the [Wine Route] and the Sea of Cortes." Cruise visitors also play an important role in the state's tourism industry. The port at Ensenada, which ranked sixth in Mexico in terms of cruise arrivals in 2010, moved to second in 2012, after Cozumel, welcoming 429,000 passengers. "With more cruise lines calls scheduled this season and next, I predict we will top more than 700,000 passengers in the 2014-2015 season," he said. Cruise visitors already flock to the shopping near the port, but Ensenada is pumping up its excursion choices, steering more visitors to nearby zipline parks and the Guadalupe Valley, the starting point for Mexico's Wine Route. The Guadalupe Valley is the largest and best known of seven wine-producing valleys in Baja California. The state today has 70 winemakers who produce 90% of Mexico's wine. The $5.3 million Wine Museum, which opened in August 2012, features interactive displays of the history of winemaking in the region. Along with wineries and 62 microbreweries that have sprung up around Tecate (Baja's beer-producing capital) and near Ensenada and Tijuana, there is the cuisine. 'The new Tuscany' "Baja is the new Tuscany of cuisine," Tintos said, echoing a phrase uttered by traveling celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who gave rave reviews to the region's restaurants, bars, street food vendors, wineries and beers in an episode of "No Reservations" that aired on the Travel Channel last year. Chefs in the region today are moving away from heavier dishes to menus that feature Baja-Med cuisine, a new way of presenting the seafood, fresh vegetables, seasonings and fruits of the region. Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.
Americas Now... Made in Mexico
08 October 13 01:38 PM

In the eyes of many world travelers, Tijuana Mexico has long been seen as little more than a tourist trap across the US border for cheap souvenirs and tequila and for its prostitutes peddling their services on the back streets of Avenida Revolucion. Its negative image cemented further by memories of violent turf battles in the streets between drug gangs and police in the not so distant past particularly this shootout back in 2008 that saw kindergarten children caught in the crossfire, having to be rescued from harms way by authorities. And today visitors here often see daily arrests of criminal suspects outside Tijuana’s souvenir shops. One shop owner hoping tourists might focus on more positive attributes like Tijuana’s favorite son legendary rock musician Carlos Santana. Santana aside what has gone virtually unnoticed here by the outside world is Tijuana’s extraordinary transformation in the last decade as a world class manufacturing center with armies of highly skilled Mexican workers. 165 thousand of them showing up for work each dayfor 600 hundred top foreign national companies here that are producing billions of dollars in exports each year. A “business boom” said to be directly responsible for turning this once impoverished town of 3 million citizens into a modern middle class metropolis -- with elegant gated communities rivaling those across the border in San Diego, California. Housing developments built not from the “drug money” of Mexico’s narcotics gangs but from the hard earned pesos of an exploding working middle class moving into them. A point man for Tijuana’s rise as a global manufacturing giant is Tijuana native Flavio Olivieri that is CEO of the Tijuana Economic Development Corporation. His nonprofit agency facilitating is the arrival of foreign multinational companies keen on doing business in Tijuana. He says they are a link between the companies and the government agencies and all of the services required to do business in Tijuana. Currently they have about 52 industrial parks that house close to 600 companies and manufacturing facilities. And they also have Samsung from Korea. They manufacture here their large format TV sets and their smart TV sets. And not just a handful of them, but 17 million Samsung flat screen TVs with their “Made in Mexico” stamp are exported each year from Tijuana to retailers just across the border in San Diego and across the United States - and to the European continent. As well Japanese electronics giant Sony has made Tijuana a major manufacturing base for its flat screen TVs.Toyota has a huge plant on the outskirts of Tijuana producing the popular “Tacoma” pickup truck for export in the United States. US aerospace giant Honeywell employs nearly 15 thousand local workers manufacturing aerial defense systems for the US military.And San Diego based 3DRobotics has made Tijuana its manufacturing hub for its highly popular amateur unmanned aerial vehicles known as ‘quad copters” selling in most countries around the world. So impressive are Tijuana’s manufacturing capabilities and output that the city of San Diego has become the first US city to open a binational affairs office in Tijuana to encourage more US-Mexico business partnerships says office director Mario Lopez. ATijuana has born Mexican American who commutes to and from Tijuana almost daily by San Diego’s trolley line to the US-Mexico border. Mario Lopez says: “We think of this as a mega region the only way to really thrive instead of competing instead of looking at each other on different terms is actually creating synergy that’s the only way in the long term that we’re going to be able to compete with other places in the world.” Though, “being able to compete,” say human rights groups, should not come at the expense of the Mexicans doing the work here, who they claim have historically been among the most exploited in the world. While industrial parks like these across Tijuana have created thousands of jobs, there remains a contentious issue with many workers: Low wages. The minimum wage in Mexico, for example, is almost five times lower than the 7 dollars and 25 cents an hour workers earn in the United States.Admittedly a controversial issue, says Tijuana’s business facilitator Flavio Olivieri. He tells us the hour wage is about one dollar that is fifty cents. Well it is not a lot of money compared to the US. It is more than other parts of the world and Mexico.And people with that wage are able to get their benefits and be able to get insurance and loans for buying a house and they get all the medical services they require. Olivieri says an example of how working conditions and benefits have improved here in recent years is the US Company DJO Global and its manufacturing plant in Tijuana voted one of the top 3 “Best Places to Work” in Mexico for two years running. Its 2,000 employees assembling orthopedic products here are offered everything from free college education - providing they stay with and move up in the company to home loans to free health careto a weekly discount Farmers Market - set up out front of the plant to save employees the time and expense of food shopping elsewhere each week. To a “Hollywood Star” style “Walk of Fame” for “Employees of the month” meant to boost morale.To this music system in the plant’s cafeteria “Karaoke Optional” We requested an opportunity to interview some of the floor workers here -- but the company told us none were willing to take part.We were, instead, offered an interview with an employee from the Human Resources department. Mildred Herrera Martinez claims the company changed her life for the better 13 years ago when she started work here on the production line at the legal working age in Mexico of 14. Her hourly wage has risen from 1 dollar fifty cents to 5 dollars an hour - earning her 40 dollars a day - 200 dollars a week. She worked her way up from the production line and after, they helped her finish university. And now she has risen to a position with Human Resources. Tijuana’s business leaders say the city’s manufacturing boom is slowly sending a message to its American neighbors to the north that Mexicans - when given the opportunity -- are capable of and happy to find jobs in their own country rather than crossing the border illegally for employment in the United States. Flavio Olivieri says: “You know the perception of Mexico has been very negative...and played very strongly by the media and downplaying the capabilities...and the opportunities with Mexico. And I think Americans can really notice the partnership...that could be developed with Mexico...because we complement each other...and we can be more competitive if we work together.” As for the issue of crime and security in Tijuana - Olivieri says drug war violence today is almost non-existent around the city. And while every day crime still exists, he says, it’s no more than in other major cities around the world. Flavio Olivieri thinks what really shows that crime is not a factor is the growth of companies. They continue to see existing companies to invest more and more and expand and expand. Tijuana’s future, he says, is brighter than it’s ever been and thanks to a more highly trained work force capable of higher standard production methods. That is meeting the demands of more and more US companies opening manufacturing plants here. That has Mexicans, these days, feeling quite proud.Tijuana is making its mark as a global manufacturing leader. 

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