Sunday, March 26, 2006
My wife and I had a wonderful vacation on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The resort of Mar de Jade is on Playa Chacala, about 1 1/2 hours north of Puerto Vallarta, on the edge of a jungle that has overgrown the volcanic landscape. We read about it in Moon Handbooks’ Pacific Mexico book.
The resort has a beautiful ocean beach, swimming pool, hammocks, lovely rooms, healthy food, interesting guests, helpful management, optional daily excursions, Spanish lessons, yoga or just relaxing, all at a reasonable cost. The resort welcomes groups that have a common interest, such as yoga or singing or meditation.
Mar de Jade is owned by Laura del Valle, a Mexican doctor who established a rural health clinic with the aid of the income generated by the resort. She also runs a free after-school program for children who get a meal and care through the afternoon hours. She plans to generate work for local woman in this small community, which has no luxury hotels, restaurants, boutiques or crowds. She also offers a unique way of celebrating birthdays that you will have to find out about on your own, but that I experienced.
Del Valle is looking for volunteer help at both the clinic and the resort, and offers a discount for a few hours of work a day. Whether you just relax like we did or actually volunteer, you salve your social conscience and contribute to the welfare of the region. It’s much better than a tax deduction.
Doubles start at $200 per night plus 10 percent room tax, including accommodations for two and three buffet-style meals per day.
Contact: PMB 078-344, 827 Union Pacific, Laredo, TX 78045-9452. (800) 257-0532, http://www.mardejade.com/.