March 2020 ENewsletter


While the COVID-19 virus has not been reported to have hit Puerto Vallarta, we are all reading the news and know that other viruses are alive and well in paradise.  During this time of the year it is quite common for people to contract the flu, pneumonia, or any other type of respiratory disease.  Please use the following common sense when deciding to attend a social event.

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds before, during, and after the event.
  • Assume others don’t wash their hands, so limit hand-shaking.  Use elbow to elbow or head nods.
  • If you’re sick, have a fever, have a cough, achy, headache, etc., please don’t attend the social event.
  • If you don’t wash your hands, then use available hand sanitizer to clean your hands before having contact with another.

As of the writing of this March ENewsletter, ANA will not hold its social events until allowed by City and State officials.  We are following the request by the Jalisco governor to stay home for five days, which would be until Wednesday, March 25th.  Please exercise good hygiene and make good decisions. 


Membership is the backbone of our financial planning and the reason why ANA is strong and effective.  In 2019 we had 17 full building members (207 units) and approximately 60 individual members.

We begin 2020 Membership with a significant increase in full building membership (FBM).  ANA now has 20 FBM buildings which represents 295 units.  This is a 30% increase!  Why are buildings joining ANA?  After November’s President’s Reception & MÁS event ANA experienced an increased interest in our work, especially as it was outlined in ANA’s Five Year Plan.  Through the document, ANA was able to demonstrate to our community that we are committed to taking care of our neighborhood and that we listen to what our community tells us. 

As of April 1, 2020 ANA’s membership fees will increase. 

Here’s the rationale for the increase.

  • ANA originally set its membership rates in pesos based upon the exchange rate to $100 USD. As of today, the rate is 22.19 pesos to one USD. 
  • All costs in Puerto Vallarta are increasing, i.e., services, workers, materials, labor, etc.
  • ANA needs to remain competitive and retain our quality staff.

Interested in knowing more about ANA – Contact to schedule a presentation for your building or an individual appointment.



The Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA) held its annual general meeting (AGM) at Incanto’s piano bar on February 20, 2020.  Even though no one sang, it was a great setting for our group of about 30 people.  Everyone was able to hear each other and look into each other’s eyes.  The intimate setting allowed everyone to hear and see who was speaking. 

Here are the 2019 highlights from this year’s AGM.

ANA’s Priorities are Safety and Security, Responsible Development, Infrastructure, and Community.

  • Safety and Security

Significant decreases in criminal activity in the Amapas zone since Spring 2019

Continued Vecinos En Alerta (VEA) Amapas – Police WhatsApp Program

Held monthly meetings with Police and Police Chief.

Communicated Security Alerts to all ANA members

Gained Police approval for Traffic Calming Interventions


  • Responsible Development

ANA is following the development of three properties:  Casa Serena on Calle Santa Barbara, Calle Gardenias 215, and the possible development of The Creek on Calle Olas Altas.

ANA is not against development.  ANA is for responsible development


  • Infrastructure

Pilitas Stair repair

Highway – painting, clearing vegetation along the road, maintenance

Street Repairs

Abedul Garbage Bin


  • Community Events

ANA held monthly Meet and Greets throughout the Amapas community.

On average 30 members attended, even during the summer months.


Our 2019 fundraising events included:

December 2018 ANA Dinner Dance – Sail Away

March 2019 – Mariachis, Margaritas & More

May 2019 – Drag Derby

November 2019 – Mariachis, Margaritas & More

Third Edition – ANA Business Brochure


The November President’s Reception & MÁS (Movers and Shakers) had 50 Attendees – Members and Non-Members.  We shared the process used to develop ANA’s Five Year Plan:

  1. Survey of all ANA members
  2. Held President’s Round Table with 36 ANA Members
  3. Developed working definitions and targets
  4. ANA Board developed goals and objectives

We distributed ANA’s Five Year Plan which laid out our work and vision for 2019 and beyond.

Don presented the state of ANA’s 2019 finances.  (Insert here.)

ANA’s Board for 2020 will be:  Sylvia Toy (president), Robert Howell (secretary), Steve Clarke (treasurer), Don Pickens (vocal), and Robin Spencer (vocal).  There are two openings which will be filled at a later date.

What?  Don Pickens isn’t treasurer anymore?  For two years Don has been joking and pleading for someone else to take on the treasurer’s responsibilities.  Many things happened during those two years.  Don was hit by a taxi.  Tom passed away.  Sylvia became president and life moved on.  Don is staying on the Board, but he will focus on fundraising.  This is something he has wanted to do for some time.  Steve Clarke, former president at Villas Loma Linda, will be working with Don to learn all the particulars of working a business in Mexico.  So, don’t worry, folks.  Don is still a part of the Board and he has someone very capable to teach. 

2020 Budget (Insert here.)

Responsibilities were divided amongst the Board members as follows:

2020 Focus

1.0  Safety and Security

Distribute Vecinos En Alerta (VEA) signs to all FBMs

Determine need and support for Private Patrol Program

Hola Traffic Calming meeting on March 4th.

Identify locations for additional lighting.

2.0 Responsible Development

Continue vigilance on developments in the Amapas zone:  Serena, Gardenias 215, and The Creek.

Identify open space in Amapas.

3.0 Infrastructure

Highway Sidewalk – dedication, maintenance, and decorate wall

Highway painting, signage, speed reductors & crosswalk – installation and maintenance

Install trash containment receptacles

Install lights in identified locations

Implement Clean Beach project

Obtain commitment from City to increase service to Amapas Zone

4.0 Community

Continue monthly Meet and Greet events

Volunteer Coordinator – Myrna Morton Brown

Outreach to new members – individuals and full buildings

Members Only Q & A sessions on topics of member interest




Fifteen percent of ANA’s membership responded to the survey.  In general, most of us don’t know a lot about our water supply.  Additionally, there are very few credentialed individuals who will go on record to give us answers.  It puts ANA in a strange position, because while we don’t want to contribute to rumors, we also don’t want to withhold credible information.  That is why the next steps are critical in coming up with good, solid information.

The Almar Hotel

The Almar Hotel is located between Calle Amapas and Calle Santa Barbara.  Owned and operated by brothers Alejandro and Vidal Meza, these two men bought a property and recreated it for a new clientele.  As a result of their investment into the community, they have brought jobs and people into this section of Amapas.

Recently, President Toy and Viviana Testón, ANA Administrator, met with Alejandro Meza and his architect to discuss concerns about the new expansion occurring on the property.  First, their target is to finish by year’s end, because they already have rented rooms in their new additions.  That’s a relief to all, because constant construction noise is difficult to bear.  Secondly, construction only occurs between 10 and 7, Monday – Saturday. 

They are doing their best to be responsible neighbors.  In an effort to provide a safe environment for their workers, they constructed a temporary bridge between the top of the project (near Calle Amapas) and existing stairs.  Concerns were voiced to ANA over this action, because the bridge crossed over land that is not part of the Almar project.  It is temporary and will be removed once construction is complete. 

Speaking of the stairs – These run between Calle Amapas and Calle Malecón.  As part of the Almar project, the Meza brothers fixed these crumbling stairs to make them safer and more stable.  They have also added lights so evening travelers can see where they are stepping. 

ANA is vigilant about ensuring responsible development occurs within our colonia.  None of us enjoy losing our precious views of the Banderas Bay, so ANA works with developers to ensure they are following the Plan Parcial which specifies height and density restrictions.  Almar is doing so and contributing to the community. 

Almar will continue to notify ANA when parties occur at their Sky Bar that are outside of City specified noise limits.  ANA’s relationship with Almar and the Meza brothers is an example of a positive working relationship with the businesses in the Amapas colonia.

Traffic Calming Initiative Version 1.0 – Next Steps

A summary of the meeting held on Wednesday, March 4th has been distributed to all ANA members.  On March 11th another meeting was held for those who wished to learn more about the Traffic Calming Initiative.  Two people attended.  A road trip will occur sometime in April for interested members to see and experience a variety of topes, vibradores, and dead-placement options.  The item that generated the greatest interest was a tope-crosswalk combination.  This would reduce the amount of interventions, cost less, and cause less noise to be generated.  We’ll see!

ANA’s Traffic Calming Initiative Version 1.0 received City approval.  By making changes, we need to have another meeting in April with Police and City to discuss Version 2.0.


“High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.” (Mark Twain)


Everybody needs water!  We have been fortunate in Puerto Vallarta, that until recent years we have had a sufficient supply of tap water, and the sewage system, has somewhat kept working. ANA has taken on the task of seeking a transparent report from officials of the plan for infrastructure to keep up with significant development in our city. As reported at our General Meeting, we have received validated reports of both water shortages and sewage spills in Puerto Vallarta. Our eyes see the rapid development of vertical buildings and increased tourism.


Our members reported a lack of knowledge of our water sources, and sewage disposal system in a recent survey conducted by ANA. Our members want ANA to work with the city in obtaining a transparent plan to address the infrastructure of water systems: tap and sanitation.


We are heartened to learn that we now have other entities acknowledging our members´ concerns.

  • The Mexican Federation and college of civil engineers, had their national meeting here, central themes were works for Puerto Vallarta and the controversial phenomenon of the construction of buildings and vertical condominiums, which without planning will cause chaos. (Feb. 2020)
  • Aumenta SEAPAL infraestructura y disponibilidad de agua potable en Puerto Vallarta. (SEAPAL is augmenting infrastructure and availability of potable water) COMUNICADO (HTTP://WWW.NOTICIASPV.COM.MX/AUTHOR/REDACCION/) $ 21 FEBRERO, 2020


Although these headlines are indicative of a broader acknowledgement of the potential problems in Amapas and the city as a whole, it is the Obligation of ANA, through its members and the AMAPAS Vecinal to seek a transparent plan from city officials.  This effort is both time consuming and costly as we seek professional consultation in identifying the specific needs of the Amapas Zone, which likely reflect the needs of the city as a whole.  As stated at the General Assembly, by Robert Howell, Secretary, and others this is a concern for all residents in Amapas, but paid members are bearing the burden of the non-members of Amapas. Please encourage non-members to join and assist with this initiative.  The infrastructure team of ANA will keep membership informed as we continue to move forward!


The Pilitas Stairwell Project, located on Calle Pilitas at Pino Suarez, is a project to restore the Andador Pilitas (staircase) that connects our 2 streets.  This important area was destroyed several years ago during the construction of the Bella Loma condominiums, and was never restored (as originally promised) with a new staircase and green area


With so much new construction happening everywhere in the old town area (and PV in general), small projects like this are important to the integrity of our neighborhoods and vital to the locals. This was originally a city thoroughfare and it is important that we restore it as such, with green areas.

The Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA) has many other irons in the fire (as shown in their newsletter) but the Pilitas Stairway Project is a top priority.

We are very happy to announce that this past Spring we finally received the permit from the city to proceed with the project.  The ANA and its members of the Pilitas Stairwell Project been working tirelessly with a local architect to render a beautiful, ambitious, (and logistically complicated) project that our neighborhood can be proud of. Furthermore, we will be breaking ground on Monday May 20; (to avoid July’s heavy rains).  A ribbon cutting is planned for Wednesday May 29th.

 We are able to start construction because of the initial generous donation of Nathalie Herling from Art Vallarta of $10,000 USD.  Also, the residents of El Escondido and Canada Romantica have each donated in the amount of $10,000 USD.  We still need to collect the other half of the funds so that we may complete this project in the 2 month timeline.  


*So now we are asking for donations from those of you who live and work in the area (and who would benefit from the restoration of this andador) to help reach our goal of $40,000 USD.  Residents, Realtors, Hotels, and Developers in the area would certainly all benefit from our beautiful staircase.


We invite you to see the attached project plans. The staircase is highlighted with sections in different colors. Each section has a cost and can be dedicated to you or your business.  A ribbon cutting is planned for Wednesday, May 29th.

Art Vallarta is in charge of the tile work and adding names of the donors.  Funds are being managed through ANA so you or your business can receive a factura.

If you have any further questions or suggestions, please email us at

Many thanks to those of you who have followed us during this process, for your continued patience and support, and to both the Pilitas Stairwell Project and the ANA staff who have worked so diligently to make this happen!

Thank you in advance for your support and donations for this important project!!!



Your ANA Board


President – Sylvia Toy Treasurer – Don Pickens Secretary – Robert Howell
Vocal – Robin Spencer Vocal – Grant Gillham Vocal – Loryn Walker
Vocal – open

 After dedicating seven years on the ANA Board, Gene Mendoza, Vocal for Safety and Security, is retiring.  Please join us on Thursday, May 16th for a special recognition of his many years of service.

Sylvia Toy

Sylvia Toy

Robert Howell

Robert Howell

Don Pickens

Don Pickens

Robin Spencer

Robin Spencer

Loryn Walker

Loryn Walker

A Kinder Gentler Highway Experience

What motivates people to drive cautiously?  In Vallarta the focus of driving is to keep on moving.  Stop signs are guidelines and offered up as suggestions to take a moment and pause.  If the intent is to make people slow down then the topes (speed bumps) are the only way to influence driving behavior.  Why?  Topes can cause significant harm to a vehicle, which is a prized possession, and must be cared for.

Therefore, that is why topes are used so frequently throughout the city.  They work! What doesn’t work is relying on driver’s good intentions, especially when it comes to driving on Highway 200 – the Carretera. Everyone loves zooming up and down the highway and the feeling that they are driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.  Same beautiful waters, but a whole lot more pedestrians. Safety was the number one issue for ANA members.  It includes home and personal safety.  Whether you own or rent, walk or drive, it is important for everyone to be able to cross the highway. 

 The stretch of highway that divides the Amapas community twists and turns and allows vehicles to accelerate and decelerate at amazing speeds.  Quite often there are multi-denominational prayer services held at the blind intersections where requests for heavenly assistance can be overheard.  Please, oh please, make sure the oncoming vehicle is not accelerating as I enter the highway.  Pedestrians and drivers pray to  their respective divinities. Wouldn’t it be great if we all just slowed down?  What if every time we saw a pedestrian trying to cross the highway we stopped and let him/her do so?  What if we were driving slow enough to allow another vehicle to merge in front of us?  What if we all just got along? All possibilities.  All dreams.  What is our reality?

Let’s Talk Trash

La Cima III, Terraza Del Mar, and individual members residing near the bottom of Los Pinos and the highway have expressed concerns about the trash.  It is not only unsightly but the trash debris falls in between the slats of the water way which ultimately finds its way into the ocean.

  Given the easy location of this trash spot, many non-neighborhood people throw their trash there which has been of concern for years.  It’s a frustrating situation for ANA, as well, because most of the residents are not ANA members so we don’t have any contacts. Regardless, ANA will be holding a meeting of interested neighbors to come up with a solution to the trash, because it is a problem that impacts all of us.  If interested in problem solving and you live in the area, please contact ANA at