ANA Pres Announcement

The Amapas Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce that Sylvia Toy will serve as interim President.  Sylvia has served on the ANA Board for four years as Secretary, and worked on membership, business sponsors, and member benefits.   ANA’s long time President Tom Swale passed away suddenly in May 2018, and is sorely missed by all. Sylvia’s efforts garnered 67 new members, now over 350 total to make one of the largest neighborhood associations in Puerto Vallarta.

Sylvia’s 30 year career was in education as a classroom teacher, building principal, district administrator in literacy and special education programs, and a private consultant for web-based programs.  Little did she know that when she and her husband moved to Puerto Vallarta five years ago, she would find a new passion – serving the community of Amapas.

Sylvia thrives on organization, infrastructure, and data driven decision making. Her “retirement” to Puerto Vallarta has allowed her to develop other skills, including one she never knew she had: sales.  She increased the number of business memberships and created the first annual ANA Business Brochure.  Bringing life to the businesses that offer ANA members a discount, the ANA Business Brochure has brought significant attention to the Amapas community.

During those four years she volunteered at each Drag Derby.  “This year I even ran with the queens.  Pretty good for bad knees!”  Last year she was responsible for ANA’s Annual Dinner Dance – Let’s Misbehave.  Sylvia said of her goals:  “I want to add shared leadership.  I played and coached soccer and volleyball so I know firsthand what it feels like to work as a team.”

Sylvia’s goals are big: “First we will finish and maintain everything Tom started – highway sidewalk, painting crosswalks, Caballito stairs, Pilitas stairs, and modifying the Pulpito tree lighting to name a few.  Later, we need to again survey what our members need and want.  if you live in Amapas and want a voice in ANA’s future, then you need to participate.”

“Community activism requires selfless behavior – Tom was the perfect role model.  I can’t fill Tom’s flip flops, but I will do my best to keep ANA moving forward,” she added.

Don Pickens, ANA Treasurer for six years, owner of Casa Cupula and Taste Restaurant, had previously announced in February that he would be stepping down once a replacement was found.  Gladly, he will be staying on to ensure institutional memory continues and to make sure ANA remains financially sound. “Sylvia has the energy and enthusiasm needed to succeed in this job. We will adapt and thrive, as Tom would have wanted!”

Gene Mendoza, ANA Vocal for Safety and Security for six years and owner of Fusion Gourmet Restaurant said “Sylvia has that rare combination of organization and motivation that our association needs in a President.”

The Amapas Neighborhood Association has scheduled an extraordinary meeting on Saturday, October 20th to appoint new Board members. New members include Robin Spencer (returning to the Board) and Robert Howell. They replace Harris Spiridonidis, whom the Board thanks for his years of diligent service, concentrating on Responsible Development.  Yasmin Todd has also resigned due to a move out of the colonia.

For information on how to join and support the ANA’s mission, please contact or Visit us at or at our office at 111-3 Rodolfo Gomez.


Tom Swale

Tom Swale

It is with great sadness that the Amapas Neighborhood Association announces the passing of our long time President, Tom Swale.  Tom died at age 71 unexpectedly in May, 2018.  As Tom was the heart and soul of our very active neighborhood association located in Puerto Vallarta, and many members are out of town during the off season, it has taken the Board some time to reorganize and plan a proper and fitting farewell.

Tom’s Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 17 at his beloved beach.  Specifics will be released closer to the date by the ANA.  Tom’s brother Steve recognized the special place so many of us in Amapas have in our hearts for Tom. Hopefully, this date will allow people out of town for the summer to attend this gathering of remembrance.

Tom Swale moved to Puerto Vallarta from Los Angeles in 2006, after a successful career as a television writer, with his long time partner Carl Romeo.  Carl passed away in January, 2016 after a brief illness. Tom joined the ANA in 2012 as President and threw himself into the job with the passion and energy that everyone so admired. Under his leadership the association grew from 40 to over 350 members, and the annual budget grew by 20 times to over $1,000,000 pesos.  The ANA has become one of Puerto Vallarta’s largest and most successful neighborhood associations, and focuses on promoting Responsible Development, improving streets and infrastructure, assuring security and providing social opportunities for members. In recognition of Tom’s involvement in civic affairs, the Puerto Vallarta City Council had recently appointed him to Puerto Vallarta’s Sister City Committee with San Francisco CA. Tom was beloved by many in the community for his dedication and optimism. As Tom observed with the initiation of a memorial fund for his husband Carl, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

“I won’t mince words, losing Tom was a huge blow to our Association and to each of us personally,” said long time friend and Treasurer Don Pickens. “It was unexpected and a brilliant light in the community went out so suddenly, we had to regroup and recover to decide how to move forward.  But ultimately, we know that to honor Tom’s work and memory each of us must step up to keep the ANA strong.”

Tom’s last major project was to extend the sidewalk along highway 200, which is used by many community residents and tourists alike.  Approximately $500,000 Mexican Pesos will be needed to make this happen, and the ANA will announce a memorial fund to this end shortly.  Anyone who would like to donate can please write to

Among Tom’s many accomplishments were paving of the entrance at Hortencias street, creating the first part of the Highway 200 sidewalk, creating alliances with Puerto Vallarta police to address security issues, creating the Drag Derby fundraiser held each year at Puerto Vallarta’s Gay Pride event, and working closely with the city and many experts to create new zoning laws to promote Responsible Development in Amapas.

The ANA has recently filled two Board memberships vacated by the resignations of Yasmin Todd (who moved from the area) and Harris Spiridonidis, who provided dedicated service to the ANA for many years.  Longtime resident Robert Howell, and returning Board Member Robin Spencer will join the Board.

Most importantly, the ANA has separately announced that Board Member Sylvia Toy will serve as Interim President until the next Annual meeting in February.  Sylvia’s experience and energy serving the ANA are greatly appreciated by the Board and everyone wishes her great success in this new endeavor.

“Community activism requires selfless behavior – Tom was the perfect role model.  I can’t fill Tom’s flip flops, but I will do my best to keep ANA moving forward,” she added.

Contact ANA at or at our offices at 111-3 Rodolfo Gomez in Puerto Vallarta.

Pilitas stairs update

At the end of Calle Pilitas, where it intersects with Pino Suarez, walkers can find a stairway that historically connected Amapas residents near the highway with neighbors on Pilitas and provided pedestrian access to the beach.

The stairs were destroyed during the construction of 212 Pilitas several years ago, and, despite the developer’s promises to neighbors, never rebuilt.

Last year ANA worked with neighbors, including the San Franciscan, Escondido and Cañada Romantica condominiums, to get City permission to rebuild the Pilitas Stairs.

Neighbors and ANA collected more than 200 signatures, in support of the project. ANA created a file that includes a topographic survey, renders, a floor plan, and an investigation through various City Hall departments.

ANA has done our work.  Now it is up to the City to do their part.  Currently ANA is waiting for a work permit to be issued.  Once secured, ANA will start a gofundme campaign to collect funds from the surrounding neighbors who will be benefit from this project.

Stay tuned!

Music Complaints from Mantamar/Top Bar

On July 10 Gene Mendoza, ANA board member responsible for Safety and Security, and representatives of Casa Corazon, Villas Santa Barbara, and Amapas 353 condominiums met with Vidal Meza. Mr. Meza is one of the owners of Mantamar/Top Sky Bar and he manages those establishments.

We had a very cordial meeting where complaints from the neighbors regarding the loud noise from Top Sky Bar were addressed. The three buildings mentioned above are the most affected from the noise at night. Neighbors complained about nightly loud music and sometimes foul language from entertainers at late hours. Mr. Meza promised to investigate the issue further. He compromised, however, to turn the volume of the music down during week nights and even more so after 11:00 PM every night.

Mr. Meza explained that they host special events when the volume would be higher and where special permits/licenses from the city are obtained. In such cases, he promised to inform the neighbors in advance via email so that owners and guests know of the dates and times of such events.

Everyone present at the meeting was pleased with the outcome. We ask members to report if loud music is still being played after 11:00 PM when special events are not publicized. If you want to be notified of dates and times of special events please send us an email to

Welcome Interim ANA Board Members!

Robin Spencer, full-time PV resident and business owner, returns to the ANA Board responsible for Individual and Full Building Membership.  She’s also going to be responsible for Social Events – her definite strength.  Robin will bring her previous experience as a Board member and her ability to connect with people on a personal level.

Robert Howell joins us as Board Secretary.  His desire to serve his adopted community combined with his organization and planning skills to our group.  His ability to set and establish boundaries will help us to make sure that the projects ANA takes on can be supported financially and with both short and long-term goals.  While not living full-time in PV, he will be joining us in November.

Each of these appointments are designated as interim until ANA membership vote at the upcoming ANA Extraordinary Meeting to be held on October 20th..