Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Full issues of El Calendario are now online, beginning with February 2007, at ElCalendariodeTodosSantos.com
Todos Santos 2008 Art Festival Dates: February 4 - 10
Todos Santos 2008 Film Festival Dates: March 5 - 8
Be sure to check out Todos Santos Pages new BLOG. Stay informed of the latest happenings in town, even in between issues.
This Just In!
March 2007 marks El Calendario's ninth anniversary! Gracias to all the advertisers, writers and artists who still make us the official guide to Todos Santos.
Condolences from all of Todos Santos to the family and friends of John Stewart, the mover behind the resurgence of the Hotel California. With the help of his wife Debbie and manager Alejandro Blanco, they made the Hotel California the number one tourist attraction in Todos Santos. John passed away on September 1, 2006.
Kevin Bingham, El Bigote, long time Todos Santos surfer/resident, house-sitter and all-round personality, died in September 2006, after earlier suffering a stroke. We send our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of El Bigote.
Times are good in Todos Santos. It seemed to take forever, but the first big northwest swells are finally arriving and the surfers are happy. Old restaurants are reopening and new ones are close to serving clients. Gallery receptions are in full swing, with Galería On-cé, La Galera and Galería N.E. Hayles all hosting fabulous get togthers in the last couple of weeks.
Let's clear something up; Galería On·cé is a photo gallery. The promotional material may have left you guessing, but it's true and there are all kinds of photos for sale in the gallery.
You may remember that on the night of the Pueblo Magico celebration, the road north to La Paz was temporarily shut down in both directions due to water in the Las Quintas arroyo over flowing the roadway. The governor of B.C.S. and mayor of La Paz were unable to immediately return to La Paz. In the time since then, the roadbed has been raised and large drainage ducts run under it so that the arroyo water no longer threatens the highway and traffic can pass even when the arroyo is running. Now if only the governor would get stuck in el otro lado when the callejon is flooded or between Todos Santos and Pescadero when the San Pedrito arroyo is running. Smart money guesses that's what it will take to fix those two perennial problem spots.
The new Pemex station on the La Paz side of town is nearly completed. This station is owned by the Todos Santos ejido and there was lots of controversy surrounding its construction. The water table in that area is very close to the surface and many were concerned about the inevitable gasoline leakage and how it would affect the water. Petitions were circulated to trying to stop the construction but they were not successful. In an earlier interview with the Milkmaid, the leaders of the ejido assured us that the water table is in no danger from the station.
The local Banorte bank really is open until 4 p.m. now. Sometime in 2007 they should be open on Saturdays too. This is a big leap forward for business in Todos Santos. Rumor has it that another new bank, HSBC, will be opening across the corner from the existing Banorte. There are also rumors that a second bank will be in the same location, possibly Banamex. Vamos a ver.
Happy Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years. Since Todos Santos is home, or at least part time home, to so many different people, one of these surely applies.
Casa Juanita, in the white building, has many unique, local items including clay pots, baskets and Damiana Liquor. They make good gifts. Jane has a really great inventory right now, something for everyone in all price ranges.
Just down the street, the rooftop terrace is now open at Tre Galine. Enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. Their new pizzeria should also be open in January.
The lovely shops, galleries and restaurants on calle Centenario in the historic district, where art is life, invite you to visit and take a stroll down their street. Newly opened on calle Centenario is the Buena Vida bistro and bar. They are a full bar with specialties pizzas.
Café d'licia in el otro lado is open again with new hours - Friday through Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is a beautiful spot for Sunday breakfast.
Suki's Comida de Asia is also open again. Same garden location, same hours, same great Asian specialties like pad Thai, pot stickers, curry, soups…
This month is Agua y Sol’s 10th Anniversary in Todos Santos. They are celebrating by offering a 15% discount on all cash purchases of arts and crafts over 1500 pesos. This includes ceramics, glassworks, ironworks, sculptures and more by their exclusive artists.
Budget Rent-a-Car has opened a new office here in Todos Santos, right down from Agua y Sol on Márquez de León.
Dany Lamote (“de mi Cocina”) of the Hotel California has been very busy. His new cookbook, The Hotel California Tequila Cookbook with his partners, David and Mary Weiler, will be available at the Hotel Emporio soon. Dany’s also teaching a cooking class this January. See workshops for more information.
Uguet's Tiles & Marble is having a big sale for three days only January 16, 17 and 18, only at her Todos Santos location.
Galería de Todos Santos' first show of the season, featuring Erick Ochoa and Michael Cope, will be in late January. And those rumors that you have heard are true, our favorite renaissance man, Michael Cope, will be serving delicious appetizers at the La Copa wine bar very soon.
“Our Friendly Fauna” returns this month with the familar wood-eating bee, El Moscaron. Also in this issue is some fun poetry by Fred Sears about the drive down the peninsula. And we’re starting a new feature from the annual Historic Home tour, “Todos Santos’ Historic Buildings.”
We’ve heard that people are driving up from Cabo to hear the rockin’ sounds of “Flashback” at the Hotel California Saturday nights. We’ll be rocking with them New Year’s Eve at the Hotel California for sure!
¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!
On November 3, there was a terrible accident on Highway 19, the road between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos. A few miles north of Cabo, a semi-trailer that was hauling a bulldozer collided with a garbage truck. Apparently the garbage truck was completely totaled and the wreckage blocked both lanes of the highway for over 4 hours. We heard that it took 2 hours for the police and the ambulances to arrive. Remember, drive cautiously, take care and arrive safely. These two lane highways are still very dangerous.
Baja Life Magazine’s issue 21 2006 (they don’t have dates, we checked) has three stories about Todos Santos. Two are paid advertising but interesting nonetheless. The other, written by new local resident Kaia Thomsen, is a fresh new look at our little pueblo on the eve of our official recognition as a “Pueblo Magico” (more on that below.) We hope to have some contributions from Kaia in future issues of El Calendario.
Halloween at the Sandbar was happening! We miss Santanas and we all hate the drive back from Pescadero if we have been drinking, but at least someone still knows how to throw a party. Thanks John, Matt, Gaby, Antonio, Shantal and Ana Maria. If you weren’t there, you missed music by The Zombies (you may recognize some members of the band), Jed’s return (well almost), gnomes, vampires, ghosts and devils. Grand prize in the costume contest was 1000 pesos. Mark your calendar for next year’s event.
It’s true! Pescadero now has high speed internet access. Just 10 years ago, Pescadero didn’t even have phone lines - Claudia and Ross of Sueno Tropical had an office on the south end of Todos Santos with a phone and a very tall radio tower and they used a 2 way radio to access a local phone line. You have come a LONG way Pescadero!
Check out Douglas Menuez’s wonderful photos in his slideshow, Heaven, Earth, Tequila at this address: http://mediastorm.org/0005.htm - Heaven, Earth, Tequila: Un Viaje al Corazón de México is a journey of discovery into the heart and soul of Mexico. What started as an exploration of the 9,000-year tradition of tequila fermentation paints a colorful tableau of the culture, pride and passion of the Mexican people.
How do all those supposedly independent hot dog vendors know to raise the price at the same time? It’s impossible to know but sometime in the week of October 14, the price of hot dogs (from the night time street vendors) rose 20% to 12 pesos per doggie. That’s almost the cost of a quart of ice cold beer!
What a summer! The rain began in mid-July and seems as though it never really stopped. The desert is amazingly green and the weeds are as tall as garbage cans, at least in the Las Tunas area. Sin dudas, we were very lucky in avoiding hurricanes John and Lane. The power they packed would have caused tremendous damage and havoc here in Todos Santos.
On a lazy Thursday afternoon, September 7, 2006, shortly after Hurricane John walloped the East Cape area, it began to rain in Todos Santos. The intensity increased and within 30 minutes, several inches had fallen. Water in the callejon rose rapidly to three to four feet in height, trapping pedestrians and cars. The entire huerta (really a huge arroyo) ran with water two to three feet high, like river rapids, seeking the ocean. Now you know why that land is so fertile and why up to now, no one has lived there. It was hours before traffic could reach “el otro lado” and traffic was also stopped south of town near the San Pedrito arroyos and north of town near the Las Quintas arroyo. Todos Santos was an island for several hours. The Flash Flood of 2006 will be remembered for years to come.
Todos Santos is now an official Pueblo Magico and money has arrived to renovate the park, the auditorium and Calle Militar. Most of the summer, construction crews were digging up Militar, then filling it in, and then digging it up again. The work is still in progress but at least the first layer of asphalt is down and the daily dust clouds are a thing of the past. The official ceremony marking the event is scheduled for October 23.
The roads in el otro lado are once again in terrible shape. In many places, only one lane of traffic can safely pass. Red rover red rover, send that road grader right over….pretty please.
John Stewart, the motivating and creative force behind the Hotel California resurrection, passed away in the early morning hours of September 1. His energy and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.
One thing that became painfully obvious to those who stayed in town this summer was the lack of nightlife. By mid-August, it was difficult to find more than three or four options for dinner and the only Todos Santos bar open after 9 p.m. was in the Hotel California. Hopefully this new season will bring some new ventures to replace Santanas and la Cañada del Diablo.
Also missing in action is Sueño Tropical. Ross and Claudia have retired to enjoy the good life after many years of hard work “down on the farm.” The palo de arco shack that served as their tienda in Pescadero has been torn down and there are no known plans for a new one. Autumn, winter and spring just won’t be the same without all those fresh fruits, herbs and veggies that we all took for granted.
Pizza pizza pizza - more than one entrepreneur is considering how to take advantage of the pizza supply and demand situation in town. More is better so we hope that they all succeed.
Well the long, hot summer is almost over and so is our dearth of eating out experiences. The remodeling job at Miguel’s Restaurante seems almost finished. Can't wait to get back to his chilis rellenos and pescado al mojo de ajo.
Pizza My Heart will be opening upstairs in the Oasis complex on Zaragoza mid-October. They will be offering pizza by the slice and whole pies. Delivery is available too. They will also be serving chicken wings, turkey drummies and deli sandwiches. Check out their ad in this issue for some special offers.
Ana San will also be open downstairs in Oasis complex in late October. She'll have a sushi bar with sushi, sashimi, soups, salad, soft drinks, wine and beer. She'll also have a fresh fish market at the same location. Those of us who have missed Teriyaki Ana's are quite excited.
And big changes are happening at the Sandbar. Now they’re serving French fries, chili fries, chili hot dogs and coming soon PIZZA! They're also open early on Sundays so that you won't miss a minute of your favorite NFL games.
The Cañada del Diablo is no longer a bar. They will still have their popular “Cook Your Own T-Bone Night” on Thursdays, but no more drinking Pacificos and listening to ranchera music Saturday nights until 3 a.m. Instead, Barbara has opened a furniture store at her location with beautiful, rustic style furniture from Chupila Puebla on the mainland. She also has a new garden palapa for private events.
Café Brown will be showing all the baseball playoffs and World Series with two beers for 30 pesos!
Ambiente by DecorAmerica has opened a store in Todos Santos on Obregon behind the bank. They stock lovely home furnishings including American mattresses and Mexican arts and crafts.
Laura Daniels in Pescadero has art supplies including da Vinci paintbrush. Call her, or ask for her at the Pescadero Surf Camp at km64.
We have new attorney in town, Felipe Rodriguez Lara, representing Notario Publico No. 8. He and his wife, Nina Sundquist, an official translator, are sharing office space in Maria Bonita.
The annual town festival celebrating the founding of Todos Santos should take place (mas or menos) from October 11 - 14. Various groups, including local schools and ASUPMATOMA will have informational or fund raising booths during the day. Night time is when the place comes alive with whole families sampling the food, playing the games and riding the rides. There will be live music and dancing in the plaza every night, with the biggest night being Saturday, October 14. ¡Disfruta!
Don’t forget Sunday, October 29 we go off Daylight Savings Time. Set your clocks back!
This month El Calendario has changed to a new format. We added photos of your favorite columnists (even that elusive Milkmaid), updated the town map and have more color pages. We're bigger and better than ever. We hope that you enjoy it!
Where is that road grader? The roads in el otro lado are in horrendous shape. Cars are rattling to pieces everyday, nearly leaving automotive parts on the roadside. And gracias a dios, they have finally finished paving the main road in el otro lado and the detour is once again just a quiet side street.
Todos Santos was almost officially declared a pueblo magico in mid-May, but it was decided that the announcement and festivities will have to wait until after the federal election on July 2, just to be certain the event doesn’t influence the election.
Now that the ex-Santanas/Hotel Todos Santos location has been painted PINK (and hence gone for good) Todos Santos really needs another cool hangout place, preferably with pizzas and surf videos. Great in town locations are rare, but the opportunity is there for someone with vision.
Don't look now, but the Maria Bonita Hotel is once again changing its color scheme. Maybe Truper is sponsoring the changes as the hotel now sports an orange color very similar to the one you can see on so many hardware stores in the southern Baja area. But the hotel did add some very upscale signage and is building a parking lot across the street on calle Militar. Think it will be a high-rise with spiral driveways?
Another restaurant is trying to make a go of it in what is possibly the hardest luck location in Todos Santos. Mariscos Tonis is opening across from the park by the stoplight. No other business has ever lasted more than a few months in that spot, but maybe this time will be the charm.
If you keep your eyes open this summer, somewhere on calle Hidalgo, you will soon see a new gallery/showroom featuring large format photography and Asian furniture.
Beat the heat this summer! The calm warm waters of summer are perfect for kayaking here in Todos Santos. Once again, La Sirena Kayak y Surf Aventuras invites local business owners to experience their Punta Lobos kayak tour free of charge...for more information contact Francesca or German at 145-0353.
Studio 3, located behind the bank, is a unique design studio with antiques, vintage jewelry, gifts… you never know what you'll find there! Wendy Rain and Keenan Shoal are sharing the space and offering their individual services for interior design, construction consulting and landscape development. Wendy also offers historic cement tiles from Nicaragua, Solatube lighting, American mattresses and bedding, indoor and outdoor lighting… and much more.
Things may slow down for the summer, but the team of Los Adobes and Café Brown are planning some more great music events. Stop in either location and ask for details. Café Brown is also a good place to find the latest hurricane information.
The Sandbar in Pescadero has a new rock band, La Orden Sagrada, playing Friday nights.
Friday and Saturday nights are still hopping at the Hotel California bar with live music by Shawn and Cowboy Friday nights and “Flashback” on Saturday nights.
Como El Sol has moved to a location on calle Militar between Obregón and Hidalgo.
Ricardo Amigo is now offering property management services. Check out their ad int the Summer 2006 issue for more information.
Remember endangered sea turtles will be nesting on our local beaches this summer. Please don’t drive on the beaches!
It was rough in Todos Santos when the city water was turned off the Friday before the beginning of the Semana Santa (Holy Week/Easter) holiday. With all those visitors coming to town, why repair the system on the eve of such a large holiday? Word is that higher ups in La Paz told local water officials that they could have the repairs now or wait an unknown length of time for the opportunity to arise again. For five to six days, most areas had no water at all. Some barrios were more fortunate and received very limited, intermittent, low flow water. The purpose of the shut off was to repair existing large pipes and the main city pump and attempt to bring an older well in Las Quintas back online. The water schedule in Las Tunas hasn’t changed, so one has to imagine that the Las Quintas well never came back. At least municipal water is flowing again to all areas. Let's be thankful for small favors.
Once again, politics has reared its head and put a stop to the “sometimes” annual Skim Board Championship. Frank (Shut Up Frank’s) really thought he had all the obstacles covered this year but once again, something went wrong and the contest will not be held here in Todos Santos. The last successful contest here was in 2004 and it was a blast. Maybe next year, ¡Ojala!
Santanas may be missing, but the combo of Los Adobes and Café Brown managed to put on their best party yet, bringing Cuban music to the back bar at Los Adobes. At least 60 dancing fools showed up and enjoyed the sensual rhythms, buena onda and wicked margaritas. The Summer 2006 El Calendario cover is a photo from this event.
Last month’s April Fools’ issue was very successful. Not only did more than a few people really believe that Los Adobes was selling out to Pemex, but another group thought the Billy Collins poetry seminar/reading couldn’t possibly be for real. More than a handful of beer guzzlers at Shut Up Frank’s have been seen checking their bottles for the infamous chuparracho parasite. Better fooling next time!
The International Community Foundation, a U.S. charity organization that promotes giving and volunteerism across U.S. borders, has just released a comprehensive evaluative report on the status of Baja California Sur. You can find the report on the web at http://www.icfdn.org/publications/na2006/.
Happy 84th Birthday to Charles Stewart from El Calendario!
Those who don’t live in town (like this reporter) might have missed the massive huerta fire on the night of Saturday, March 18. Those closest to the scene claim the entire sky was in flames and burning ashes fell all over el centro. Who said wetlands can’t burn? Support your local Bomberos!
After months of remodeling, the old Mision del Pilar hotel has finally reopened as the Maria Bonita Hotel. With pastel colors of yellow and white, it is much easier on the eyes, but are the rooms worth double the old price?
Anyone notice the really cool new sign at the state finanzas office? It really stands out at night when lit.
The season may be winding down, but there’s still a few things going on. April 9 - 15 is la Semana Santa, holy week, with the biggest days being Thursday and Friday. Kids will be out of school, Mexican families will take vacations and go to the beach, and the church on the plaza will hold a special outdoor service Friday evening, usually with fireworks at the end.
The Instituto Sudcaliforniano de Cultura and the Municipal de Cultura are sponsoring a Documentary Filmmaking Seminar this month by award winner directors Sergio Morkin (from the Todos Santos Festival de Cine) and Patricia Baum (of Los Cerritos Surf Shop).
The New York Times ran a piece entitled “Baja for Beginners” about three families with toddlers vacationing in Todos Santos. In addition to the beach the families enjoyed breakfast at Café Brown, dinner at the Café Santa Fé and the organic produce available from Sueño Tropical and Rancho Aiki. You can read the article online at: http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/travel/19ts-baja.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1142813576-fRRJ5qer6xWamSlKYq/EDQ
Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion, edited by C.M. Mayo, is now available at El Tecolote Libros. This book is not a travel guide; it is a panoramic vision of Mexico offered by some of Mexico’s finest contemporary writers of fiction and literary prose. The writings—many translated for the first time—bring you to the people of the beaches, the deserts, jungles, mountains, and mega-cities. The voices are rich and diverse, enthralling, and strange. These writings shatter stereotypes as they provide a rollicking journey from the Pacific to the Gulf, from Yucatán to the U.S.-Mexico border, from humble ranchos to a fabulous mountain-top castle.
C.M. Mayo, is the author of Sky Over El Nido (winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for short fiction) and Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico. She is also founding editor of Tameme, one of the most prestigious publishers of Spanish/ English translation. Her website is www.cmmayo.com
Road construction is the ticket in Todos Santos. We wonder about the logic of tearing up roads at the height of the tourist season, but so it goes. Construction on the "dead man's curve" at the Campo Experimental seems finished for the moment, but there will be four lanes there in the future. In el otro lado, the road from the top of Topete to the curve leading to Las Playitas is being paved. The disruption is greater than expected because one of the main detour routes is also closed while water pipes are replaced. Left hand? Right hand? Huh?
The Super Bowl party at the Sandbar was an overwhelming success with over 150 people attending. During halftime, Jed arranged field-goal kicking and passing contests. The goal posts are still there if you need to practice.
If you missed writer Michael Mercer's trademarked assault on life in Todos Santos (delivered at A Baja Book Event, Galería de Ida Victoria, February 18) worry not. Michael plans to post it on his web site, www.michaelmercer.com
This March 2006 is El Calendario's 8th anniversary! Town has grown and changed immensely since we've started, and we've grown and changed along with it. A big gracias goes out to our advertisers, writers and artists who have helped make us the best guide to Todos Santos!
The New Year’s Eve party at the Hotel California was the talk of the town. Lots of good food, plenty of pink champagne and the liveliest (and best dressed) dance crowd that Todos Santos has seen in a long time. Definitely the event of 2005!
Finding Playa Los Cerritos is no longer difficult. A new highway sign, visible from both directions and including icons for beach, whales and surf, is now prominently displayed pointing out the turnoff. But finding a way to actually reach the beach is becoming more and more difficult with the rapid commercial development of the Cerritos area.
More kudos are due for the Mayor of Todos Santos, "Chuy Frijol." He has re-opened the auditorium, made repairs, and organized athletic leagues for evening play, including men's basketball and women's volleyball. What a great way to give local teenagers something to do other than get into trouble. The Kramer Construction sponsored team, "Las Piratas," won the first basketball championship.
Iker and Sibila of Café Brown (pictured above) won the Santanas' Reggae-ween 2005 costume competition for the second time in a row. WOW!
Remember it's sea turtle nesting season - don't drive on the beach!
Let's put some rumors to rest. Yes, there will be a highway by-pass so that large trucks won't have to travel through the center of Todos Santos on their way to and from Cabo and La Paz.
The newly painted church on the plaza looks wonderful. Check the inside also. Thanks go out to all who helped make this possible, either by donating money, work or time. We also have a new bi-lingual padre named Sergio Renteria Sanchez. Stop by and welcome him to town.
This June 2005 we are re-running a story about coastal dunes that originally ran in our February and March 2002 issues. Unfortunately this story is very timely due to a proposed 55 unit development on the dunes in the Las Tunas area north of town. You can express your concern about this issue by signing one of the petitions circulating around town.
In the wee hours of the morning, Friday, April 15, 2005 a huge fire engulfed and destroyed the small collection of four artesanía shops on the corner of Juárez and Márquez de León. The home of Ezio and Paula, owners of the Café Sante Fé, is right next-door and was also damaged by the fire. Luckily, no one was badly hurt by the fire. The fire was particularly hard to fight and control because the municipal water system in Todos Santos is normally shut down at night.
The Programma Fondo de Desastres Naturales (FONDEN) has been working on the Profe. Néstor Centro Cultural restoration project. The grand sum of $910,000 pesos has been authorized to repair and waterproof the roof of the center and restore the murals in the front foyer. The project began in July 2004 and was scheduled to end April 2005, but more than likely the project will continue into May and possibly June. Three artists and one helper from México; Xochiquétzal Rodríguez Horta, Gabriela Fuentes Orozco, Ascanción Muñóz Vázquez, and Beatriz Olvera Torres are completing the mural restoration. Stop by and check out the great job they are doing. (See photo in opposite column.)
The seventh annual Todos Santos Art Festival had to deal with the same wet weather as it rained off and on all week. Most events went as scheduled and the art sale in the plaza and artesanías in the lot by the church managed to mostly stay dry.
Old-timers tell us that these February rains (called equipatas in Spanish) are nothing new. For some unknown reason, they haven't shown up much the last 10 years but before that they were the norm.
IN MEMORY OF ANTONIO "TOÑITO" VERDUGO OROZCO, 14 years old, born December 27, 1989. Toñito drowned October 18, 2004, while boogie boarding at the Palm Beach (the ocean is always dangerous, even for experienced swimmers.) He was a third year student at the Todos Santos Junior High School and loved to play baseball. Our sympathies and best wishes go out to all his family and friends.
EN MEMORIA DE ANTONIO "TOÑITO" VERDUGO OROZCO, de 14 años, nacido el 27 de Diciembre del 1989. Toñito se ahogó el 18 de Octubre del 2004 mientras surfeaba en la playa de Las Palmas (San Pedro). (Donde el mar es siempre peligroso aún para nadadores con experiencia). Estudiante de 3º año de Secundaria, en Todos Santos, quién amaba jugar beisbol. Nuestro pésame y mejores deseas para su familia y amigos.
Be careful swimming in the ocean! The waters around Todos Santos can be dangerous. Be smart - look and think before you enter the ocean
Where were you May through September 2005? Not in Todos Santos? Here's part of what you missed:
The Pescadero Environmental Fair and 3rd annual Baja California Surf Championships drew sizable crowds to Playa Los Cerritos on June 17. There were environmental booths with heavy emphasis on turtle protection as well as music (thanks Ira!)
In July, a group of drummers, musicians, and fire dancers from the mainland camped at the "old" Way of Nature and frequented Restaurante Santanas on weekends treating all to a dazzling display of drumming, African music and fire dancing.
In August, scenes for the upcoming movie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" were shot in Todos Santos to the delight of on-looking locals.
Miraculously we survived yet another April Fools issue. Not even "An Interview With a Transvestite" raised much of a fuss. A far cry from the homophobic reaction to past April issues. Todos Santos is indeed maturing.
Can't get your hands on a copy of the controversial book Bandidos? Look for it at the Hotel California Emporium and Mangos.
Finally, Brad pulled off a coup when he booked the incredible salsa band "Sexto Sentido" at Cañada del Diablo in mid-February hoping that Joan Baez would really be in town that weekend and would agree to sing a few songs, when she wasn't dancing. They didn't play together, but Joan did a very sweet and moving 30 minute set on acoustic guitar to a packed and delighted house.
Have you ever wondered how El Calendario came to be? Not many people know the true story. First, we are not a continuation of (nor affiliated in any way with) any other publication so don't believe those stories if you ever hear them.
In February 1998, I happened to be in the "new" El Tecolote bookstore (the old one having been located where Jill Logan's current gallery now stands) and overheard Jack Smith (artist, art professor, co-founder of the "Art Talk" series and Yacht Club) and Jane Perkins (mother of Barbara and bookstore founder) discussing how we really needed a way to publicize what was happening in the local art scene. "What a wonderful idea!" I said and asked if they were going to publish something. They both looked at me and said, "No, we can't do that!" Pausing, I suggested that Janice and I could do it. Both Jack and Jane thought it a wonderful thing and El Calendario was born. The first issue, a true collector's item - a single legal sheet of paper folded in half - was on the streets in March 1998. It listed all the art galleries and art events in March and had a total of 8 small ads to finance the printing. An issue or two later Jack drew our masthead, the pelicans, and the rest is history.
We will miss you Jack.
Congratulations are in order for our very own Coy Coffman, winner of the October 12 surf contest at Los Cerritos. Kudos also go to Todos Santos for a great showing in Travel and Leisure's "Best of the Baja" issue. Los Adobes, Posada La Poza, Todos Santos Inn, Hotel California, Galería de Todos Santos, and Mangos were prominently mentioned, just to name a few.
Hurricane Marty took a good shot at Todos Santos and southern Baja. On Monday, September 22, we lost power and water at 3 a.m. while the storm was 30 miles south of Cabo San Lucas. Hard rain and high winds whipped through the early morning. By 8 a.m. Marty was 30 miles northeast of La Paz and we had our strongest winds, gusting to an estimated 90+ mph. The callejon flooded as usual. In town, roads were passable. Access to La Paz and Cabo was briefly interrupted. By Wednesday, September 24, city water was back on, but still no power. Friday, September 26, between 2 and 4 p.m. power was restored but by 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, power and water were off again. On Saturday, September 27, in the mid-afternoon, both power and water were permanently restored and Todos Santos had weathered its second hurricane of this historic storm season. Things are back to normal. Overnight accommodations and lodgings including hotels and vacation rentals, restaurants and stores are all open for business. See our hurricanes page for photos.
Hurricane Ignacio did no lasting damage to Todos Santos. The streets were muddy but we were only without electricity for less than 24 hours, never lost telephone service, and life quickly returned to normal. The roads to La Paz and Los Cabos are both very passable. Overnight accommodations, restaurants and stores are all open for business.
Phone calls from Todos Santos to La Paz are no longer long distance! To dial La Paz from a land line, you need only dial 12-xxxxx where xxxxx is the 5 digit phone number in La Paz. To dial a La Paz based cellphone, you no longer can use 01-612 but in most cases, must now dial 044-612 and the number or if you are fortunate, just dial the number with no other
Dr. Robert Cleaves of the Wilderness Conservancy Project Care was in town recently to donate more computer equipment to the Centro de Salud. Previously his organization donated 2 school transport buses for under funded area schools. He and his wife will be honorary king and queen of the Festival del Pilar this October.
On Friday, May 30, 2003, the Cruz Roja of Todos Santos accepted delivery of a new-used ambulance. It cost over 160,000 pesos ($16,000 US) and major contributions came from the ejido of Todos Santos, the Cruz Roja collection drive, and extranjero benefactors in Elias Calles. What a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together!
On the morning of March 10, 2003, the school children of Todos Santos (many hundreds of them with their parents and friends) gathered at the Centro Cultural and marched down Calle Militar protesting the U.S. war against Iraq. All dressed in white, they gathered at the park for a series of readings, dances and performances in the name of peace. Profe NÚstor had to be very proud.
USA Today writer Laura Bly was in town to cover the opening of the Hotel California's rooms, but unfortunately it was delayed until next month. She did write a wonderful piece about the hotel and Todos Santos in the February 21 travel section. You can find a link to the story here.
The February 14 L.A. Times had a front-page story about Todos Santos and the unfortunate disappearance of our own Maureen Osterich. The story was fairly even handed in tone, became syndicated and appeared in many papers all over the US and Canada. Now many potential visitors question whether it is safe to come here. The short answer is yes, of course. But use common sense when going out at night, especially alone, and stay away from remote, seldom frequented areas unless you have company.
Want to call the US, Canada and the rest of the world for much less dinero from Mexico? How about 19 cents per minute to the US? Email UWT and ask about their high quality callback service. We use it and it works!
(all photos www.howardekmanphotography.com unless otherwise noted.)
The March 17, 2002 LA Times full color quarterly travel insert featured a lengthy story about Todos Santos by travel writer and local resident Joe Cummings. Joe did a wonderful job capturing the elusive spirit of Todos Santos, the part that entranced a select group of us to stay here for a long time. That makes two classy west coast newspaper stories about town in less than 6 months. You can find a link to the LA Times Todos Santos story here.
Rarely does a travel editor come to town without preconceived notions and just let Todos Santos show its true character. After many less than informative articles about Todos Santos in US newspapers, we finally got lucky. On November 4, 2001, the San Francisco Chronicle travel section highlighted Mexico. Todos Santos was the cover story. Travel editor Christine Delsol visited town for 5 days/4 nights in late October as we were recovering from Hurricane Juliette. Staying at the Todos Santos Inn and only revealing her identity the night before leaving, she wrote the best story about us since the 1993 Travel and Leisure article. ¡Muchas gracias! (You can find a link to this story at this Todos Santos site.)
The zip code (C.P. in Spanish) for Todos Santos has changed. The new code is C.P. 23305.
November 17, 2001, Mexican Area Codes changed! To call the local Todos Santos number 14-50000 from the US you dial 011-52-612-14-50000. To call from Mexico you dial 01-612-14-50000. For a full list of the changes, visit this TelMex site.
El Calendario highlights the work of a local Baja artist every issue with the famous "artist of the month" series. Writings about Mexico, Baja and the surrounding area frequently featured. Local creative writers are encouraged to contribute. Spanish lesson columns and "The Saavy Gringo Guide to Spanish" will help you find the correct word for that sticky situation. Phone/fax/email/web address lists will help you stay in touch even if you have to leave paradise. The clear instructions on how to decipher the cryptic phone system in Mexico are a must have!
Subscriptions are available and highly recommended as preparatory course material for your eventual visit/relocation to paradise. For a mere $35 US you can vicariously share the wonder of life in Todos Santos. Email for more details.
We gladly accept submissions, news, and information about the local area for possible inclusion in El Calendario. Please contact us via email: info (at) elcalendariodetodossantos.com
El Calendario de Todos Santos
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last update: December 20 , 2007