The Gift of Balance

Hey Baby— it cold, and crazy, out there. The traffic. The shopping lists. The baking. The run to the airport to pick up your mother-in-law. The meal planning. The kids preparing for their finals…

Breathe. That’s what is getting me through this season. Woman In Balance

Breathing and relying on the wonderful support from our friends at Women In Balance. Amidst all this holiday-hulabalu I visualize myself and a few g’friends planning a trip to Playa Viva. Now you can take the vision to reality. Women In Balance is offering the opportunity for you to win a trip here AND you can invite three gal pals, too! Check out their contest and sign up to become a Women In Balance. They offer wonderful tips and healthful advice to every woman. (And, lets face it, when we’re happy, EVERYONE IS HAPPY!).


What’s a Guy to Do?

Surf Map of Guerrero

We have recently been fielding a lot of questions from folks looking to become co-owners at Playa Viva and interestingly many of the questions have to deal with activities.  As one person stated, “for my husband, fly fishing is everything, if there is no fly fishing nearby, it is a deal killer.” Another wanted not only a list of internationally renowned surf spots nearby but wanted photos as well.  Luckily, Playa Viva has plenty of both. Again, it depends on the type of fly fishing you do and surfing level you require, but within minutes ore within hours, we have plenty of variety of both.

 The estuary that borders and runs through Playa Viva and the lake up in the archaeological site provide plenty of places to fish right on site. Both of these areas will be part of the Private Reserve we are creating for the use of owners (and guests).  This is part of the un-calculated financial benefit of ownership, at the risk of sounding too “salesy”, you not only get co-ownership of your Casita and other buildings, but you are co-owner of 160 acres of woods, estuary, archeology site and 1.2 kilometers of beach front. 

 Beachfront, that takes me to surfing. Playa Icacos is the beach off the mouth of the Juluchuca river and the estuary formed by the sand bar that closes most of the year. On the map included here, you see Juluchuca as one of the top surf spots in the State of Guerrero. This area also includes La Barrita and Loma Bonita. About an hour away is Troncones and nearby sites (Salulita and El Rancho).

So what do you want to do while on vacation. For some, it is the community engagement, for others surfing and fishing, for others its just taking it easy.  We want to hear from you about what you expect out of your vacation time in Playa Viva.

Seeds of connection

As the Director of Sales I have the privilege of seeing the project come to life from a various angles—getting to know the architect and his amazing plans for building tree houses, tip-toeing through delicate, newly planted mangrove seedlings on the banks of the estuary to setting a tiny turtle on the sand and watching it make it’s first steps toward the ocean.

But for me what really makes this project come to life are the people.  From the fascinating conversations I’ve been having with prospective buyers from all over the US and beyond, to the gradual familiarity I’m gaining with members of the local community.   Playa Viva is about connecting and finding common ground in deep and unexpected ways.

Over the past week this has meant taking an early morning walk on the beach with a group of elderly Mexican women in Juluchuca and realizing that though we come from different generations and different cultures (not to mention the formative language barrier), we were not so different.  As we walked we talked about our shared love of cooking, sharing recipes and stories of family and friends.

Several hours later I was in Troncones greeting a group of prospective buyers and supporters of Playa Viva.  Another fascinating group.  There were surfers from Southern California, two lively women from San Francisco, a landscape architect from Utah and a Canadian Yoga instructor.  Thanks to Playa Viva  we were not just meeting in passing but exploring the land together and sitting down to shared meals, allowing conversation to flow and time to make real connections.

Looking back on my week I realize that this is a very important (though easily overlooked) aspect of our project.  We are creating an especially fertile environment for communication—bridging the distance between people and cultures—to see what takes root.

7000 Plants and Trees

Vivero / Nursery - 7000 Plants and Trees for Playa Viva

It has been a real treat spending the last week giving tours of Playa Viva while Odin Ruz, our permaculture specialist, has been on site.  We now have a nursery nearby with over 7000 trees and plants of all varieties.

 Included are two very special trees grown from the seeds of “mother” trees located on Playa Viva. These two trees are the Zapotillo and the Guayacama, the later being a very hard wood, and we are lucky to have one of each still left on our land to serve as a mother tree. 

 Several other trees are native but no longer found on the site. For example, we are re-introducing Cacao to Playa Viva, this is the source of Chocolate, native to Mexico.  Archeological records show that cacao was one of the tributes to the Aztecs from this area.

Another success for the Playa Viva permaculture team is the seeding of mangrove, a tree that is very hard to reproduce.  By clearing the banks of the estuary of invasive species, the team allowed for the mangrove seedlings to find fertile soil to sprout.  We now have several mangrove saplings sprouting up around the banks of the estuary.

 Odin also showed us several techniques for irrigating plants in remote locations.  In one case, clay pots that are unfinished and thus porous are used as a drip system to keep the root system of small trees growing in the hot dunes.  The other is using a 2 liter coke bottle and putting a small opening in the top.  The key is to make the hole small enough to let the water last for two days, then the team comes around and refills the bottles. 

I hope you can join us on site to see all these wonderful activities in action, to learn directly from Odin and his local team, and to hike the trails and see the results of the permaculture specialists in person.

The 2030 Challenge: What difference are we really making?

What difference are we making?

Not only do we need to make a difference, we need to figure out how to make the best choices. And I admit, it is sometimes difficult to know where to put your energy. For example, the CO2 output from one medium sized coal power plant (500 MW) will in just 10 days of operation completely offset the planting of 300,000 trees. And in the United States today, there are over 150 conventional coal powered plants on the drawing board. Not to mention China, where there is a new conventional coal powered plant being brought online every week.

Sometimes I feel like we are fighting an uphill battle.

But still, every tree we plant DOES make a difference. Every time I leave my house now, I try and power down all my electronics. And I just spent tons of time and resources putting expandable caulk into the seams of this ancient modified A-frame I live in, in Truckee, CA, at 5600 ft above sea level. Its cold here, and it is costing me a lot of energy to stay warm in this poorly insulated house. So what right do I have to tell China not to build more coal power plants?

According to Ed Mazria at the 2030 challenge (, the problem can be solved with no more coal — even if we were to burn ALL the remaining gas and oil reserves, we still would not reach a critical thermal mass in the atmosphere to fully trigger global warming. But coal is the factor that will push us way over the edge of this precipice.

Is it possible to conserve our way to sustainability? The road is long, and must begin with more awareness. And Playa Viva is a medium to communicate this message of awareness, tolerance, and respect for the people and natural environment we live in.

Love The Oceans & Win A Trip!

Not a bad deal.  If you love the oceans, (and who doesn’t?!), you have to check out Ocean Champions.  Ocean Champions is the only national, bipartisan political voice for the oceans.  That’s right.  They actually work to get pro-ocean political candidates elected, thereby securing healthy ocean policy.  They have done lots of outstanding work that you should know about.  As one of their supporters stated, “The oceans are the only reason we all haven’t died from CO2 poisoning.”  Makes you feel kind of protective, huh?

As part of OC’s campaign to attract ocean enthusiasts supporters, they are offering a contest where you and friends can come down for a visit to Playa Viva!

Okay, you got me.  OC is indeed a strategic partner of Playa Viva.  So, of course I shamelessly promote their efforts.  We love everyone who stands for the health of this beautiful planet.

Check it out.  You may win the trip down to visit us in Zihuatanejo.  (There’s some great surfing down here!).

This must be the place!

Entirely different vibe here. Leaving SFO- ‘homeland security’ had found a place to reside in the back of my neck. You know, that spot just between the shoulder blades. Bye-bye USA… hello MEXICO!!!

From the moment I land in Zihuantanejo/Ixtapa (ZIH) Airport I felt my breathing change. My shoulders were slowly leaving my ears. Hey! Everyone is smiling. What’s up with that? That lovely warm breeze. Okay. This feels more like it.

This must be the place Being a surfer from Norcal, it’s hard to imagine paddling out without my full 4.3 neoprene body girdle. Even though I’m here to ‘work’ and check out the progress of the Playa Viva site, it would be a lie to tell you I had anything else but surfing on my mind. It didn’t get any easier to wrap my brain around work at baggage claim. (grin!)

This Must Be The Place