Each year Semana Santa in Puerto Vallarta brings more people, bigger cars and fewer parking spaces. Though many of our contemporaries either hide out at home or leave town for the duration, we love to wander around and enjoy the activities. A stroll along Los Muertos Beach in Puerto Vallarta on Good Friday afternoon exposes a swelling mass of humanity, gathered together in the name of Holiness. Taxis, beer trucks, tour buses and cars jockey alongside transit police, bomberos and thickly uniformed federales. Battery operated radios turned up full blast compete with quaking bass speakers in passing trucks, strolling minstrels, honking horns and blasting sirens, babies squalling, children squealing, the tide rumbling in and out, and the general hum of laughter and excited voices. We love it all! The briny smell of the sea combines with shrimp, fresh fish and chicken roasted over open fires, the smoldering clouds hover above the throng. While walking down side streets toward the beach, the smell of stale urine, mixed with heaps of fruit rinds in piles on corners waiting for garbage trucks to make their rounds poses juxtaposition to our olfactory senses. This is Mexico and these are Mexicans taking pleasure in their most important holiday in Puerto Vallarta. The influx grows every year; for a small handful of days the city is nearly bursting at the seams. Vallartenses have been extremely proud of the development of their city and tourism has long been the goal. Transplants are quick to criticize the local administration but Puerto Vallarta is one the most progressive cities in the country, perhaps the continent. During the 1970’s the government at both local and federal levels worked diligently to legalize the acquisition of land by foreign enterprises and individuals. This opened the door to hotel conglomerates, large corporations and above all, gave security to ex-patriots.
Many establishments have been torn down over the decades, replaced by newer construction; newcomers are none the wiser. While perusing travel websites one finds praise for Vallarta’s ability to maintain a modern façade while incorporating character of the past. Though many of us who’ve maintained residence in Puerto Vallarta know how contentious much of this new development is, a tourist is more likely to simply benefit from the day to day ambience and activities. Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city. She has sustained hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, the whims of politics and architecture and an influx of many tourists who decided to stay. If she is bursting at the seams, she surely will need a new pair of pants. The last thing we want the lady to do is go on a diet.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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