Salsa making has never been so much fun!

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Survival International gets a hand from Mazatlan

September has always been famous for being a quite season in Mazatlan.  If you take a walk through the city streets, you’ll see restaurants shut down for the month, or hotels under renovation.  The heat keeps locals indoors, sheltered from the burning (yet humid) weather that is the September Heat in Mazatlan.

Mexican Nationals have all returned back to their homes from “Summer Vacations” and Mazatlan goes under a slow, but steady facelift for the upcoming “Snowbird Season”, where all the Canadians and Americans fly south to escape the winter blues.

Our guests have felt the heat this season – jump onto our facebook page to see some fun photos of our Dancing Chefs making the most of the Mazatlan heat!  Being a slow month, little Lela’s contribution this month was lower than any other month, but we were still pleasantly surprised at her strength.  Even with only 8 shows, she managed to raise $195USD, all of which, has found its way to Survival International.

Next month’s cause has been chosen.  The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) will be Lela’s cause for the month of October. JDRF was started back in 1970 by a group of parents of children with type 1 diabetes.  Their mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.  Since their inception they have funded $1.4 billion to research around the world.  They are also the world’s leading charitable funders of diabetes research.  If you have or know someone with diabetes, please post the link to this blog entry on your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace, and share the knowledge with others.  The more donations we raise, the closer we get to finding a cure.

Until JDRF contacted us, I had never really known the seriousness of diabetes…you always hear of someone with diabetes, or read food labels and magazine articles, but it shocked me to see how many people suffer from the complications that come with having diabetes.  I wanted to share with you some interesting facts regarding diabetes :

The Scope of Diabetes

• Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes (7.8 percent of the population):

• Diagnosed: 17.9 million

• Undiagnosed: 5.7 million

• As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.

• Diabetes currently affects 285 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 435 million by 2030.

• In the U.S., a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds; more than 1.6 million people are diagnosed each year.

We look forward to the cooler weather in October!  A big big thanks to all that donated in September.  Your Lela photos are viewable via our Facebook Fan Page! Don’t forget to click and tag 🙂

Best,

Pamela Hormazabal

http://salsaandsalsa.com


Guest Photos for Aug 2010

We always encourage guests of Salsa and Salsa to send us their fun pictures from the tour. I’ve been collecting them for quite some time, so rather than have them sitting in a folder in my computer, I thought “I should share these fun pics!”

So here they are! I think it’ll be fun to post these every so often and share the fun times with you all.

I am a total photo junkie!! I love taking photos, I love receiving photos and I love looking back at them from time to time…brings back some fond memories. Just the other day, I was looking at some old school photos…who still has theirs?!!
Thanks to social networks such as WordPress and Facebook, I’m able to stay in touch with some school friends, work friends and just people I have befriended over the years.

Be sure to keep sending those pictures! Our newsletter always has a contest, with the photo contest being a rotating visitor. This month was a photo contest and we received a whopping 50 photos for past guests! Make sure you have signed up to our newsletter to find out who the winners were 😉 The winners will also be posted on the website’s photo gallery.

August has been very eventful for us. More on that next week, but needless to say, we announced our expansion to Cozumel this month and everything has been go go go! It’s all very exciting, and we can’t wait to bring you more news regarding our move to the popular Mayan Riviera!

Our contact email for Cozumel is salsacozumel@gmail.com, so feel free to email us if you will be on a cruise in the Mayan Riviera!


Salsa and Salsa (Mazatlan) has a new home

Who said word of mouth no longer works??!!  Not us!  Thanks to all your rave reviews on TripAdvisor, your photos on Facebook, your comments to your shore excursion representatives and last month’s article on msn.com naming us one of the best shore excursions in the world, we have grown in popularity and have found a newer and bigger location to accommodate the growing numbers!

Royal Villas Resort is now the new home of Salsa and Salsa, with stunning views, an undercover seating area, a large pool with a water slide, direct access to the beach, a games room, a fully stocked bar with some of the best Pina Colada’s in town and only minutes from the main shopping district.
We had our first show there with a record number of guests and the whole thing was just spectacular!

Nearly 150 guests from Carnival Splendor joined us this Thursday, all with the energy and anticipation we needed for our first show in our new home.  What a blast we had!  Free-pouring Margaritas, lots of mushing, plenty of laughter and lots of smiles…couldn’t have asked for a better group of people!  Families, teenagers, couples, birthday girls and boys, and even a group of 21 “singles” joined us today.  We even had a couple who had been married for 34 years (awww).

Here is a panoramic of the seating area just before we got started… a beautiful new setting for our salsa class, with  a
giant stone wall, agave and cactus plants, enormous ceilings with great big pillars and of course, the hustle and bustle of
our new staff, which truly made today possible.

A big thanks to all those involved in making today a great success and we look forward to making Salsa and Salsa’s new home a welcoming venue to all our guests (past, present and future!).  Be sure to see more pictures on our website and Facebook page.

Side Note : We’re totally stoked that we have reached 1,000 views on

our blog!!  Keep coming back and be sure to comment on the posts

you like 🙂


Things that make you go…AWESOME!

A friend of mine recently posted on her Facebook status a link to someone else’s blog.  I don’t often have the time to click leisurely, but the title caught my eye.  ‘1000 Awesome Things’…  so I sat there and checked one million other status reports from other friends, and then I went back to it…hmmmm, 1000 Awesome things…  so I clicked it.

Apart from the title of the blog giving it away, the blog is about, funny enough, 1000 awesome things!  I read only 10 things and laughed, nodded, turned to my partner and discussed, smiled and even at one point yelled out “TOTALLY!”

Although I’m late to jump on this fast growing blog, it only recently got published as a book in April of 2010.  I totally recommend it to anyone who wants to remember what it’s like to laugh, cry, dream and explore.  The blog started back in June 2008 and it’s creator  Neil Pasricha has a smooth and easy to read style that makes you want to read all 1000 things.  The blog’s edge is the countdown from 1000 to 1.  It is currently at #495, so if you’d like to follow it along, simply click on the link provided below or on the right panel in our Blogroll.

I’m dying to get my hands on the book – a lot of people that know me well would be surprised at hearing me say that…  Pamela? Read? Really?!  I’m not a reader, I admit it.  I rarely want to read and have rarely picked up a book and read it from start to finish in my life. I’m more a magazine person.  Test me on Vogue, Harpers, Vanity or National Geographic. I’ve read them all.

But don’t get me wrong. I have read some books – when I was younger and had more time on my hands, I was all about reading…

First came my Anne Rice addiction :

Interview with the Vampire (1976)
The Vampire Lestat (1985)
The Queen of the Damned (1988)
The Tale of the Body Thief (1992)

Memnoch the Devil (1995)
The Vampire Armand (1998)

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay changed my life.  Then the movie was so great that I decided I wanted to travel the world and see different worlds for myself.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson was another book that made me explore the world of fantasy fiction.  Now THAT book I could not put down and funny story, never got to finish because I left it behind when I moved from one home to another…I hear there are more books in the series now, so maybe it’s time I get reading again.

John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief also had me staying up late at night, my dad yelling out “Go to bed!”…that book made me want to be get into the legal world.

What books changed your life?  What books are STILL changing your life?  What are you reading now?  I love knowing what people are reading.  Even though I’m not currently reading anything, I love hearing people tell me what they are reading.  Their interphttps://i1.wp.com/www.cirkla.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/baby_laughing.jpgretations of someone else’s vision, story or life – it fascinates me!

Well, back to the 1000 awesome things, I would like to hear what you guys find awesome.  I find the laughter of a baby awesome, call it my getting clucky (oh oh, boyfriend watch out…) but nothing beats the purity of a babies laughter.

Alrighty folks, I really enjoy reading your comments and emails, as well as your Facebook messages and Testimonials on our site.  So keep them coming.  We have some pretty big news coming up soon, so stay tuned!

Over and out

Pamela





Old Fashioned Skills – who still has them?

We are slowly but surely, venturing into unknown territory when it comes to the world wide web.  Like most people, we too find it hard to keep up with all the new gadgets, social networking sites, uploading, downloading, stats, news, and everything online!

Salsa and Salsa on Facebook

Thankfully, I love it all!  I can’t get enough of Facebook – my personal page allows certain games (Bejeweled, Lexulous, Geo Challenge and a few others) and I dare anyone to try and beat my scores hahaha! Our facebook page for Salsa and Salsa tends to stick to just Salsa and Salsa, with photos, videos (well, one for now, but I encourage you guys to send us your videos of the tour, so we can post and share it with other Facebookers!) as well as lots of fun comments.

Review us on Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor is another forum which grabs a lot of my attention.  As most of you know, we have been trying hard to reach #1 on Tripadvisor and we are just about there…this week we reached #2, we were stuck on #4 for months!!  What a relief to jump from 4 to 3, then 3 to 2.

Now we’re knocking on #1’s door, ready to kick it down and take it off it’s hinges! hahaha.  It’s all about the reviews on that site, so if you haven’t reviewed us, go ahead and take a second to do so, it might just be the review that gets us to #1!

Our blog, of course, is always enjoyable to write and we love reading the comments from our readers.  The blog world is truly new to us both, and I myself (and I’m sure I can speak for Leonique) am amazed at how one person’s thoughts can reach another person who may just be on the other side of the world!  Awesome.

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

We have yet to venture into Twitterland…so many guests on the tour have said “NOOOO! Don’t do it!” – I’d like to hear from you guys – should we Twitter or should we not?!  What’s the biggest difference between Twitter and Facebook – aren’t they the same thing?  My understanding is that Twitter is simply just status updates.  No photos, no videos, no comments, just status reports… so if this is correct, what’s the point?  But I am willing to hear you Twitterers out (ok, I just made that name up, I wonder what the real term is), I am certainly opened to hearing from you and being swayed to the dark side…

How did you hear about us?

Cruise Critic is another forum which we have yet to join, although I know A LOT of cruisers frequent there.  Should we join Cruise Critic too?  How did you hear about us?

Sometimes I feel it’s all too much – all the technology – but truth is, where would we be without it?  I have yet to get an iPhone, although I had my eye on it months before its release, I am fighting the urge to just spring for it – I mean, who doesn’t need a gadget that can identify a song from simply holding the phone up in the air?  Or want to see if your table is wonky, hold the iPhone up and use the Spirit Level app that comes with the phone  (that one made me laugh!)  I was actually out with a friend at a restaurant when she pulled it out, checked the level of the table, and called the waiter over to let him know (I’m not joking, the funniest part of the story is the waiter just looked at her and said “ok, thanks?” hahaha)

With that in mind, I take a step back and think where would we be without all this technology?

Skype Me!

Skype helps me communicate with friends and family overseas, for free (if you haven’t heard of Skype, check it out – show your phone company that you have had enough of their ridiculous prices! and add the words “Skype Me” to your web talk repertoire).  I have to really rack my brain to think of items I can do without these days… I can certainly do without a car.  Even living in Mexico, I can find my way around easily, cheaply and without the added cost of gas, insurance, license costs, highway tolls and all the other costs that are inflicted on drivers.  I have been here for six years and have had no need (or desire) to buy a car.  On top of that, I feel very proud of the fact that I am doing my part in not contributing to the world’s pollution problem.

Computer – gotta have it.  No question about it – I could go without all the other things, but gotta have my laptop!

What can you go without?  More importantly, what can’t you go without?  Most of you will realize that it is hard to come up with the go without list…but try, it’s a good test on coming to terms with the fact that most of us surround ourselves with things we don’t really need.  We are all very lucky to live in a world that allows us to buy buy buy, all in the name of keeping up with technology.  I mean, I’ve fallen a victim to it – but I try hard to make up for it by giving back to the environment, spending time in nature (in other words, stepping away from the computer and getting outside!) and occasionally reverting back to the old fashioned ways, like riding a bike, drawing a picture (rather than taking a picture), whipping cream or eggs with a whisk (lol) and using a molcajete instead of a hand blender (double lol).

Food for thought…what old fashioned skills do you posses?

Till next time,

Pamela


Lela the Pig reaches Haiti!

For those who have yet to visit our new website, we have a section on there about LELA, our donation Pig.  Her mission is to collect 250,000 paracetamol tablets and send them to where they are needed most.  Every time we have ships docked in port, we bring her out and people give what they can to help her reach her goal.  If you haven’t seen her in action, take a quick peek at our Facebook Lela Album, where we have over 150 photos of people donating and holding (and recently kissing!) little Lela.

Lela the Pig

Lela is an integral part of our tour.  It’s our way of  “giving back”…

Since January 2010, we have collected nearly $1000USD from guests who have donated to each worthy cause.

Jan 14 – Feb  27              donations went to Haiti (after the devastating earthquake there)

Feb 28 – April 6              donations going to Chile (a personal cause, as I was born there and have most of my family there…)

April 7                               donations going to West Virginia (a horrible mining accident killed a total of 29 miners)

April 8 – present            donations going to Chile (so much work and help is still needed there…we just don’t hear about it anymore)

We have been lucky enough to find a contact for each cause.  For Haiti, we had a lovely young lady named Kara Telesmanick join the tour back in March and found out she had been working in Haiti with children when the earthquake happened.  Kara was on a mission of her own, to help undernourished children with the CNP (Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti).  Have a quick look at the You Tube video for what they are about 😉   (**a special thanks to Laura Lindroth for her help and attention**)

Payment was made to CNP for Haiti

We are proud to say we raised a total of $413USD for Haiti and look forward to sharing photos with you in relation to the kids in Haiti.

Here are Salsa and Salsa, we try our hardest to give back and ask that if you have friends or relatives that are able to donate, that you send them the link to this blog post 🙂  The more people that are aware of these disasters, the more help each cause will receive.

Leonique reminded me the day the Haiti donation was made, that we should take a moment out of our busy schedules to remember those who had passed on from each disaster.  I had plans to go out for my friends birthday, and as I sat there in a nice fancy restaurant, looking at my fancy food and drinking my fancy wine, Leonique’s words echoed in my head and I took a moment to be grateful for what I had…sometimes we take for granted the simple things.

Thanks to all those who have helped make Lela the Pig such a great success.  Donations online are always welcome and appreciated.  We will keep you always informed as to her paracetamol count, available on the bottom left hand corner of our website!

Not to change the subject – but totally changing the subject hehehe – check out my interview at Expat Alley, where my friend Tom Frost asks me about traveling, Mazatlan, Salsa and more!

Happy days!

Pamela