Puerto Vallarta Resident

Vallarta Customs
Living in Puerto Vallarta


Siesta in Puerto Vallarta is from 2:00PM to 4:00PM and you will find some businesses (not bars & restaurants) closed during those hours, but they will stay open after siesta till 8:00 or 9:00PM. Siesta is becoming far less common in town.
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Sunday Evening in Puerto Vallarta

After sundown on Sunday families, groups of boys and separate groups of girls, dressed in their best, will promenade up and down the Malecón (sea front walk). The groups of young people will be making eyes at each other as they pass.
This is also a time for families to get dressed up and go meet their friends, sit , chat and watch others walk by. There will be vendors selling anything from roasted corn on the cob to brightly coloured windmills and Puerto Vallarta Informationballoons. There is also, on weekend nights, usually an event going on at the small amphitheater at the end of the Malecón by the three arches, Teatro de Los Arcos.

Garbage Collections

When you see bags of garbage on the street corner, don't think that this is a sign of a trashy place. The garbage is now collected three days a week the days vary from one Colonia to the other. It used to be every day, until the city privatised it, then it was like this:-..." it is put out on the street corner when the sound of a 'cow bell' is heard."You may see this guy who runs, and I do mean runs, down the street ringing a 'cow bell'. This guy used to come by my bedroom window at 6AM EVERY morning! I kinda miss him... NOT!
The truck now comes by every day in the restaurant areas but without the cow bell.

Street Kids

You are certain to be accosted by young children selling 'chiclets' and other things, some can be pretty pushy as well. Some of these kids are being exploited by their parents or some other adults nearby. We have in Puerto Vallarta support programs for these children in need. Please help by not giving them money or buying things from them, this only encourages the problem. You will be helping them to stay off the streets and away from exploitation.
I guess I must confess in having friends, very young and awful cute, who you'll find around the Los Muertos Beach area in the evenings, and I sometimes buy things from them, They have some very strange, weirdly painted, animals made from 'who knows what' with bobbing heads. That was the season before and still some about, the latest I saw was an egg shaped thing with a hinged lid, containing a spider with moving legs, all brightly painted for 15 pesos. Also some very young and cute flower sellers.

You'll also see the 'Marias', indian looking, older women squatting on the street begging, just what you expected to see in Mexico, Right? Wrong, these women are well organized and are brought to the edge of El Centro by van, then they go to their spots, sometimes with kids, who may, or may not, be theirs.

Read what another resident of Mexico says:

"Mexico isn't a culture of poverty, it is simply a different culture. Though poverty indeed exists it is relative to the socio-economic culture in which it exists. Using that measuring stick there is a lot less poverty here in Mexico than is being inferred. Poor but happy, translates into not so poor for Mexicans who believe that they are better off than many people with more money. The poverty problem by U.S. standards is more closely related to economic opportunities, of which Mexico has had very little in the past couple of decades in particular. But many Mexicans look at the problems the U.S. and other "superpowers" have and they feel very fortunate to be Mexicans and sorry for the first-worlders with their myopic vision of the world.
Straying a bit, contrary to popular belief the U.S. is NOT the center of the world and most of the rest of the world does not aspire to imitate the U.S. Here in Mexico we are generally proud to be Mexicans, as U.S. citizens are generally proud to be 'Americans' ".
Quoted by kind permission of Zihu@Rob

For your Information When you visit, please don't try to apply your standards on the Mexican Culture, remember the History of Mexico goes back further than any other part of North America. ......
and that name America should be cleared up. The name comes from Amerigo Vespucci (another Italian), who was a major figure in exploration and sighted the coast of Brazil in 1499. The name 'American' therefore applies to all residents of the two continents, from Canada to the tip of South America. So, if you happen to come from 'The United States of America', keep in mind that Mexicans, as well as all the other residents of the two continents, are also 'Americans'. If asked 'where are you from ?' ..'The US' or 'United States' is much preferable to 'America'. I'm afraid North America won't cut it either, since this also includes Mexico.

History The Spanish sailed the West Coast of Mexico in the 16th Century and passed this part of Jalisco on their way to Baja California, which they called the "Island of Pearls".
They are many stories about these early days and little is really known. Some say that two boats used in the voyages above where built close to Mismaloya, where timber and protection from the weather were available.
What is known is that Spanish explorers traveling over land from the south encountered a large band of 'Indians' in the wide and fertile valley of the Rio Ameca. The 'Indians' carried poles with feathers tied to the end and the Spanish mistook these as flags and named the place Valle de Banderas (Valley of Flags), Later the adjacent bay took on the name.
During the 18th Century it was referred to by whalers as 'Bahia de Los Jorobados' - Bay of the Humpback Whale.
In the early part of the 19th Century, one Don Guadalupe Sanchez Torres, a trader, started to bring in salt by sea from the area around San Blas, to supply the gold and silver mining towns in the mountains behind the bay, who used it in the refining process. These towns, such as Cuale and San Sebastian sent their precious bullion by land to the East Coast for shipping to Spain, which was much safer and easier than by sea, so don't believe all those exciting descriptions of Puerto Vallarta loading silver bars onto ships in the bay, it never happened.
In 1851 Don Guadalupe established a settlement, at the mouth of the Rio Cuale, with his extended family and named it Las Peñas de Santa Maria de Guadalupe.
The small settlement expanded with workers from the mining towns, when production slowed at the mines, who turned their hand to agriculture, cattle and fishing.
In 1918 the town became a Municipality and the name was changed to Puerto Vallarta in memory of a former Governor of Jalisco and well know lawyer, Don Ignacio L. Vallarta.
After the World War II, several GIs moved down to Puerto Vallarta, perhaps to recover from the affects of that engagement. Some sent up businesses and some just retired, many to the north bank of the Rio Cuale, which came to be known as 'Gringo Gulch'.
But the event that turned the world attention on Puerto Vallarta was when John Huston decided to film Tennessee Williams's "Night of the Iguana" at a small beach (Mismaloya) near town. Among the cast were Ava Gardner, Debra Kerr and Richard Burton. Also in town was Elizabeth Taylor who was having a rather public affair with Richard Burton, while still married to Eddie Fisher. The newspapers lapped it up and descended on the town and pictures of Puerto Vallarta appeared all over the world.