Dance, Food and Rodeo Events Highlight La Misión
tradition, the tranquil rural valley of La Misión will burst
into action on
Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, 2013 for one of the largest
festivals of its type in Baja – the 34th Annual La
Fiesta. Once the site
of a large population of Cumiai (Kumiai) indigenous peoples, the valley
commemorate its heritage including its
by connie ellig; photos by david hopps & connie
discovery by Spanish
1769 and its rich mission history; the foundation of “Rancho La
Misión Viejo de
San Miguel” by Irish settler Felipe Crosthwaite Armstrong in 1862; and
subsequent land consolidation and establishment of “Ejido La
Misión” in 1938.
Interestingly enough, many of the descendents of La Misión’s
and founders actively participate in the fiesta’s various activities.
The family-oriented event offers plenty of
all ages: cultural exhibits, arts and crafts, colorful folkloric and calabaceado
dancers from northern Baja
California and southern California, live music, lots of delicious
Mexican food, and an action-packed Mexican country rodeo known as a vaquería
. In the evening, there are neon-lit
rides and amusements plus a huge bonfire, dramatically lighted by
local cowboys on horseback.
The fiesta officially opens at 8am on Saturday with sports
contests, followed by the opening of the Campamento
(Cowboy Camp) at 1pm. Visitors can enjoy regional foods and
the preserved ruins of the San Miguel Arcángel de la Frontera
established by Dominican Friar Luis Sales in 1787, before viewing the
cattle branding, calf roping and other cowboy contests down in the
corral area at 3pm.
On the open-air stage next to the primary
school, there will
be a special presentation by folkloric dancers from La Misión
and San Ysidro,
CA at 3pm, followed by the 16th Annual State Calabaceado Dance Festival
featuring nearly a dozen professional dance companies. Those who have
seen a performance of this high-energy, leg-twirling, foot-stomping
Mexican dance are in for an amazing treat! At 7pm, diplomas will be
participating dance troupes.
At 8pm, there will be a huge ceremonial bonfire down at the
traditional Cowboy Camp with a Calabaceado Contest for local dancers,
native songs and dances performed by the Kumiai from San José de
Overnight dry camping is allowed; security and restrooms are provided.
adventurous, the Cowboy Camp is a rare opportunity to meet descendants
founders of the valley of La Misión and the vaqueros
(cowboys) who make their living from this land. Language barriers tend
disappear in the Mexican atmosphere of hospitality and friendship.
Sunday’s festivities will begin at 9am with the opening of
the “Micro-History of La Misión” exhibition and a Catholic mass
thanksgiving, followed by a civic and school parade at 10am, and the
inauguration of the event at noon.
Folkloric dancing will begin on the stage at 12:30pm and
continue throughout the afternoon until 6:30pm. Nearly one dozen
troupes will perform traditional dances from the different states of
Don’t miss the exotic “Danza del Borrego Cimarrón (Dance of the
at 1pm by the Kicukpaico Dance Group. Additional Sunday highlights
presentation of “Mexican Airs” by guitarist Miguel de Hoyos with Paco
2:25pm and a special performance of “Nativo,” a music and dance
based on the history of Baja California, by the Compañia de
Danza de Baja
California at 5:20pm.
Although the folkloric dancers can be
must-see is the 2:25pm historic cabalgata
(procession) of costumed riders on horseback that will wind its way
down to the
corral and arena area and signal the start of the regional rodeo
At 3pm the dust will fly as real-life cowboys ride bulls and broncos
execute other daring and dexterous feats while contending for trophies.
Although the upper area onstage entertainment and the lower
area rodeo contests start winding down between 6-7pm, the celebration
from 8pm-midnight in the Cowboy Camp with live music, dancing, foods
The two-day La Misión Fiesta is held on
the patios and
grounds adjoining the primary school and San Miguel Arcángel de
mission ruins at Km. 65.5 on the Tijuana-Ensenada Free Road (use
exit from the toll road at La Fonda). Admission is free; a donation is
for onsite parking. For more information, contact Professor Mario Reyes
UABC School of Tourism in Tijuana at tel/fax (664)682-1697 or e-mail
La Misión Fiesta is an excellent opportunity to enjoy an
authentic, informal country-style festival while experiencing the
and culture of Baja California. Be sure to wear sun protection,
clothes and walking shoes, and be prepared to have a great time!
note that times posted are approximate.
Kawasaki’s Bell draws first Motorcycle Start at 45th Tecate
SCORE Baja 500
SAN DIEGO, CA
– Following Tuesday’s night live drawing for
starting positions, Southern California desert racing ace Robby Bell,
defending overall winner, will be the first motorcycle off the starting
the upcoming 45th
Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500
desert race. Entries from around
the world continue to arrive for Round 2 of the 2013 SCORE Desert
Series, to be
held May 30-June 2 in Mexico’s northern Baja California, starting and
in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of
With SCORE Trophy Trucks
and unlimited Class 1 open-wheel
desert race cars qualifying for starting positions, Bell is certain of
starting position on Saturday, June 1. The start draw was broadcast
worldwide during a special edition of Roger Norman’s Dirt Live Internet
SCORE is celebrating its
40th year as the world’s foremost
desert racing organization in 2013 and this race is traditionally one
most popular events on the SCORE schedule. Most the world’s best desert
will be in action at this year’s 45th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE
the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
It is an elapsed-time race
with staggered starts with the
green flag on Saturday (June 1) dropping first for the motorcycles and
6 a.m. and several hours later for the cars and trucks. (read entire story)
California is fast becoming the First Choice for Retirement
That Baja California will become the first choice for
retirement by Americans and Canadians is not a question as to whether
or won’t, as it will. Rather the question is how fast?
It has been a matter of perception since places like San
Miguel Allende, Ajijic, Chapala, Puerto Vallarta and other more mature
and coastal regions have better name recognition; but in the state of
California places like Rosarito Beach, Ensenada, Tecate, Playas de
San Felipe are winning recognition as retirement havens.
Perceptions aside of the estimated 1 million Americans
living in Mexico, approximately 25 % live in the Baja California
already, which is no small percentage.
It may sound like local bravado predicting that Baja
California will become the overwhelming retirement choice for Americans
even Canadians within the next 10 to 15 years. Such prediction is
supported as Baja offers the diversity meeting the goals, aspirations
of a majority of today’s and future retirees.
We are familiar with the population sector called Baby
Boomers, as those born between 1946 and 1964, that number over 78
will be reaching retirement age (65) between the years 2011 and 2029,
pre-Baby Boomers those born between 1935 and 1945 whose 2013 ages range
68 and 85, numbering over 30 million.
Obviously the number of now and future retirees is more than
ample, so the question is why would they choose one place over another?
To grasp why Baja is becoming the favored retirement region,
one must first recognize the four options available and in order of
1. Don’t move – stay put.
2. Downsize within the same community.
3. Move to another community or other state.
4. Move out of country.
Were it economically possible to live by the sea shore or
ocean view vicinity, U.S. retirees faced with choice number 3 above,
would be a primary location of choice, but the high living cost makes
impossible for the majority of retirees. This in turn, due to its
proximity, makes the Baja California north coast from the U.S. border
Ensenada a very desirable alternative.
For those choosing to move out of country, Mexico is already
the first choice; however, putting a damper on this trend has been the
personal safety concerns that the U.S. media has imbedded in the minds
audience. The second damper has been the global economy that had
property values and devastated retirement accounts which in large
forced the postponement of retirement.
But the documentary, The
North Baja Coast: Come Visit, Stay to Live
, showcasing interviews
American expatriates whose sincere testimonies are discarding the
individual security reports as they attest to being safe, and getting
out on cost of living savings, availability of quality medical
perfect weather, plentiful activities amid wonderful and caring people.
The primary retiree moving to Mexico to date has been the
“active adult” who does not require help in daily living activities.
attention to the “aging in place” must be recognized as the natural
aging will at some point in time require assistance in daily chores and
affordable and timely available health services becoming increasingly
services that are also available in Baja or if preferred within short
in San Diego.
At present the various reasons for choosing Mexico for
retirement, depending on the income level of the retiree, range from
for luxury at bargain prices, but with familiar comforts found in U.S.
and the more active also seek adventure, cultural exchanges and new
experiences, coupled with quality of life. Primary attractions to a
region are climate, security, available quality health care, convenient
location and of primary consideration – better living at less cost.
Baja exceeds expectations.
To further understand the potential attraction of Baja
California and indeed, Mexico, I use data provided by arguably the most
qualified husband-wife team in the field of aging, Maddy and Dr. Ken
who find that though active adults share an “age range,” their plans,
aspirations are most often quite diverse, and have segregated them into
1. “Ageless Explorer” – personifies the current ideal for
retirement and is not satisfied with traditional retirement – they seek
active, productive and independent.
2. “Comfortably Content” – this group seeks relaxation and
enjoyment of the fruits of their labor without any further real
3. “Live for Today” – enjoy fund and adventure but are
financially unprepared for a comfortable retirement.
4. “Sick and Tired” – are inactive, unfulfilled and resigned
to less than a satisfying future.
Categories 1, 2 and 3 represent the most likely candidates
for Mexico retirement. Active Living International concludes that those
categories identified by the Dychtwald group are close to 28 million
providing ample potential retirees for all of Mexico but this author
all above reasons that Baja California will become the first to “fill
is the editor of HispanicVista, and co-founder
Communications, producers of
the documentary, “The North Baja Coast: Come Visit, Stay to Live.”
Contact at Posiojr@aol.com
its first anniversary in January 2013, the Baja
Review is a hard copy, print on paper newspaper with no breaking
published once a month and is on the stands on the 23rd for the coming
The focus is good restaurants, wineries, hotels, music, outdoor life,
and community. My agenda is to inform, comfort and encourage the
speaking ex-pats living here, to support and stimulate the Mexican
in time, to reach and reassure the folks contemplating tourism in
by barbara keller; photo by david hopps
The Baja Review has some
excellent writers: Tom Gatch, of Hooked
on Baja fame, composes the fishing column and a restaurant review
Sitara Perez chronicles a wine diary of her first year making wines in
Guadalupe valley; Susan Shea provides a golf column. Classical music
and choral ensemble member Margit Gantt presents classical music
Wingate, a prolific writer and playwright, does a monthly column about
interesting women in Rosarito. And from time to time we have the wine
wine tastings hosted by Juan Hussong of Sano’s Restaurant in Ensenada.
The quality is
good, the articles are interesting, and the ads are
cheap. Be sure to check out the Baja
If you have stories
or articles that fit generally into the
categories we focus on, you are welcome to contact me at (646)155-0581
with your questions or submissions. Please keep
stories less than 500 words and nothing scary or contentious.
South to North you can find the Baja
Review on the 23rd or 24th of the month in many places, but for
Baja Mama’s Restaurant (Punta Banda),
& Gallery (Ensenada),
L.A. Cetto Cava at
Km. 108 highway north of Ensenada, Ochentos Pizza (San Antonio de
las Minas), and Tres Hermanos Grocery (San Antonio de las Minas).
Ensenada and Rosarito
, the Baja
is at La Fonda
Restaurant and Hotel, Splash Restaurant and Bar,
Business Center and Charly’s Place
in Rosarito, Rod and Dottie’s Mail Room, International Mail Service at
Plaza, and the Rosarito Beach Hotel
. Once you
have a copy of the Baja
check the back page for a
listing of other
places you can find the paper. Enjoy,
please, and I welcome feedback.
Review: Peter Fowler's Good
Info for Gringos Living
in Baja, Second Edition
Fowler gave me a copy of his book,” said Gabriella
Mendez of the Hearing Aid Store in Chula Vista. “I’m Mexican American
Baja often. Even so, the book is very useful.” She was talking about
edition of Fowler’s Good
Info for Gringos Living in Baja.
has just been published, and it is even more useful! For those of you
unfamiliar with the book, it’s a guide to help both foreign residents
visitors to learn the ins and outs of living in Baja California and
learn more about the people and the culture. The pocket-size quick
reference paperback is available through Amazon
as a paperback and via Kindle.
Get Hooked on Hooked on Baja
Escape to a land of magical, natural beauty that
warm sun, a host of beautiful coastlines and some of the very finest
fishing on the entire planet. Hooked
on Baja by Tom Gatch gives you the maps,
GPS waypoints, proper angling techniques, tackle and species
you need to be successful when fishing and exploring the coasts of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
Much more than a simple fishing
guide, Hooked on Baja
incorporates many true-life adventures from some of Baja’s foremost
personalities along with travel information, deliciously authentic
south of the
border recipes and, for those who end up being ‘hooked on Baja’
vital information on how to go about purchasing and legally securing
estate property along the picturesque coast of the Baja California
Hooked on Baja
allows readers to step away from the hustle,
bustle and traffic gridlock that are a regular part of life in many of
crowded urban communities north of the Mexican border. Discover a place
there are still countless opportunities for relaxation, recreation and
retirement in an enchanting world where the fish are nearly always
lines of pelicans are regularly observed gliding silently mere inches
Released on September 15,
2007, Hooked on Baja is now
available at Borders, Barnes & Noble and Costco warehouse stores in
as well as through most major online
the (Low) Fat with “Burro Bob”
by connie ellig; photos by david hopps & connie ellig
the evening I sat down to interview noted Southwest cookbook author Bob
Wiseman, it had been a long twelve-hour day at the J.D.
Chili Cookoff in Ensenada. We could hear the chili and salsa
celebrating and/or consoling themselves with margaritas and beer while
singing karaoke in the bar. With great fortitude we resisted the
to join the festivities and instead proceeded with the interview.
As I discovered, a conversation with “Burro
Bob” (as he is known in
chili cookoff circles) can cover a colorful spectrum of topics ranging
from Mexican and Southwest cooking to history, geography, travel,
western writers and fly-fishing. (read
entire story with recipes)