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After what feels like a very long time, the new Kids Guide to (In and Around) Sayulita is set to be printed and will be available for sale.

This guide is in response to the numerous times I get asked what there is to do for kids in the area. Since I am in contact with many families throughout the year, delivering baby gear rental, the inevitable question always comes up. And I get it. Whenever I go travel, my first google search is- What to do with kids in ....? So, here you have it. A handy guide that will get you started with some great beach spots, some outdoor and nature activities, even things to do if its raining outside. It is just enough to fill up your week, and keep the kids occupied.

If anyone is interested, please shoot me an email. I plan to have it in print form and eventually a pdf that you can download. 

Thanks for the support!

It all started with an email circulating around to various active moms in the community- Lets make a playground! This was back in the Fall of 2013, and as soon as I saw the group forming, I felt an impulsive need to participate and make it happen. 

The park committee started out with morning meets out at Villa Amor, with coffee and little breakfasts overlooking our sparkling bay. We felt giddy with possibilities, dreaming up designs and imagined what equipment would work for the space. There were about 8 moms at first, representing local Mexican ladies to those of us who have built our new home here, to Barbara, an older lady who just wanted to help. Since there had previously been a basic playground in the largest public open space in Sayulita- the baseball field- that is where we set our sights on to host this new bigger and better playground project. We invited the various factions that claimed ownership of the this piece of land, not really caring to get involved in their political dramas, but more so to get everyone on board with the project. We hosted the baseball association, the local "mayor" at the time, and then went on to tackle the more challenging Ejido, of which there were two competing groups claiming they were the official representatives of the Ejido. It was an interesting process, but ultimately we won over every group's approval. 

Next we came up with fundraising strategies. We started with giant bakesales in the main plaza, selling cookies, cakes and soliciting donations. While some on our committee thought this was going to be just pocket change, our first bakesale earned 12,000 pesos which got the ball rolling. With other cash donations from community members, our park was underway. 

It became a life force of its own. Once the old wall was knocked down to create a more secure fence which defined the park space, the game was on. Two of us became the lead on the project, with back up support of many others throughout the construction and maintenance and through thick and thin, we carried on. As the planting, installation and decoration of the park began to happen through the next 3 months, the park gained respect and attention from the community at large. We created the name SayuPark with a cute logo of a child swinging on a wave. 

Hosting various community workdays was key to getting everyone to take ownership of this park. Ultimately it is for the kids, and we wanted to make sure that local people especially felt comfortable using the space. At first many were suspicious, thinking they had to pay to get in. Quickly everyone realized that the park was meant for the kids, to encourage play in a safe and secure area. On a given afternoon, there are dozens of kids running, swinging and sliding- it is definitely well used. 

The SayuPark project is one that I hold dear to my heart and I am proud to be part of. It was a project of overcoming what many felt was impossible to achieve, and that it lives on with solely private donations is a testament that the community values its presence.

School groups use the park during the day. My own kids go there with their teachers, climb on a swing with a book and are actively engaged in learning in an outdoor setting.  My proudest moments are when we are passing the park with visitors, and my son Lucca shouts out- There is the park my mom built!

We did it for them. 

When reality hit that my son Enzo was officially addicted to surfing, I have to say I was pretty thrilled. Surfing has been in my life since my Santa Cruz college days, when I first got on a surfboard, inspired by my dear friend Ty. I remember my first board being a 7'2" and I was quite proud of it. I learned at Cowells Beach and then attempted several dozen sessions at Manresa Beach with my college boyfriend, Roger. I eventually moved up to a 9'0" and the gracefulness of a longboard has held me captivated since. I have never had the surf addiction to the extent where I drop everything to get into the newly arrived swell, but I do crave it and try my best to surf once a week. Having a kid that surfs keeps it alive in my world, and encourages me to get out there with him.

My brother Marc is also a surfer. Tio Marc gifted Enzo with his first surfboard when we were visiting in California. It was a wide short board, great for learning on and we finagled a way to fly it back to Mexico for free. Enzo practiced on that board, and that is where his love for surfing sprouted. 

Visiting some friends in San Diego a summer later, their young son, Levi, who had previously surfed with Enzo in Sayulita, gifted him his next board. This was a mini board, a 3'10"  and it resembled a skim board in size. Enzo soared on that board, taking his surfing to a next level. 

As his surfing improved, Enzo began to gain attention from the local surfer boys and from tourists alike. The local guys were (and still are) so awesome with him, towing him into the lineup and giving him preference to catch waves. When he got out from a session, tourists couldn't believe how small he was and with his mini board, he was like a road-side attraction. The cameras and i-phones came out, how many pictures he is in, I will never know. I can't help to get a little giggle every time I see him throwing a shaka when he is getting his picture taken. He is a little surfing sensation.

A guy in our town, Alex, one day approached me and Enzo and said he had a board-shaper friend who was interested in sponsoring younger kids in Sayulita. Nef of Mainland Surfboards chose kids that he saw promise in, with the intention of keeping them focused and active and encouraging them to stay out of the bad scene that can pop up in beach life. After a Skype conference, Enzo had his first board sponsor, with promise of two surfboards a year. From there, Nef introduced us to Nick of Peligro clothing and within a few months, Enzo had his second sponsor- this time for clothing and hats.

This past June, Enzo qualified for Junior Nationals in the 10 and under division. The competition was held in Los Cabos, Baja California. His dad and I thought about it for all of 5 minutes, and decided this was a great opportunity for him to experience a bigger surf competition with a wider arena of competitors. We arrived to San Jose del Cabo and the waves were massive. The event surf spot, Zippers, was double overhead, with a pounding right hand barreling wave. The first few days of the competition as the older categories surfed, Enzo practiced on a smaller wave down the beach. As the day finally arrived for his category, the wave had dropped to a more manageable size for these little groms. Out he paddled, excited and nervous. And he did it. He caught wave after wave, until finally the announcer had to tell him his wave count was maxed and he couldn't catch any more. He won his category and presently is Junior Nationals Champion for Sub 10 category in Mexico.

I don't know where this will all lead to. There are other families in our town that have kids that have made surfing a career, even in their young teen years. I don't want to limit Enzo's potential, but I also don't want to push him into a world of severe competition that requires tons of money to finance. I want him to love surfing for the sport, the joy of being in the ocean. My biggest wish is that we will continue to have lots of opportunities to ride waves together. Nothing has given me more joy than when I see him in front of me on the same, pumping down the line. The life of a surf mom!



When summer arrives to Sayulita, there is only one thing we all think about- where to get in some water. Our options are fortunately varied, as we live right on the Pacific ocean and have dozens of gorgeous beaches accessible to us. Our newest quest has been where to find fresh water, as rivers and lakes prove to be so much more cool and refreshing and leave us feeling purified and clean afterwards.


As the summer starts creeping its way into our lives, there are about 8 families that have religiously been making a pilgrimage up to Laguna Santa Maria del Oro. This is a crater lake up in the higher altitudes of our state, Nayarit. From Sayulita its about a 3 hour drive, and we go for a full weekend to take complete advantage of having several nights to campout and almost three full days of lake time. This lake is special for many of us Sayulita families, as our kids have spent every year reconnecting with it's clean waters, swimming and frolicking care free. Each year we seem to add on a new activity which gives them even more access to the waters. The first year, they mostly jumped off  a dock that was right off the campground. The next year, the bigger kids got into fishing, sporting lines and bait that kept them entertained for hours but rarely got a catch. Then we introduced the kayaks and paddle boards. The ultimate was what we call the "floating island" which was the largest inflatable raft we could find, that we tethered to a submerged post, and the kids could swim and jump and lounge and play all day on it. 

Over the last couple years, we became privy to some secret river spots which when we motivate to head out to them, we always finish our day enchanted and recharged. One of the closest to Sayulita, takes us through pineapple fields, heading towards the Sierra mountains, until we look for the parking spot that signifies where we get in the river. The water is cool and delightful, and last time we went, the river had risen so that it created a strong flow and the kids were wave surfing on their boogies against the current. It was a bit scary and took me a minute to feel comfortable as their little bodies catapulted down river with the force of the rushing water. 

Another secret spot even closer to home is one that is ephemeral in the heavy rains of summer. From the jungle sprouts a clean and clear river running straight into the ocean. It doesn't get too deep, but has a swift flow so that even the little dudes can float on the boogie boards with not too much worry. 

What I mostly love about our summer days at the beach, river or lake, is watching my kids and my friend's kids play. Its the true, carefree play of children in nature, creating fun from what is there. It may be splashing and floating the water, or building a sand castle, or collecting sticks, but it is all about being in the moment and experiencing the natural elements as their toys. This is when I feel I have given my kids the best life can offer.

We are coastal people. Our business looks out at one of the most popular surfing beaches in Mexico, and we as a family enjoy spending time in the ocean doing water sports. There was a time though when my two baby boys were little and I had to watch every step they made, as the threat of the large, strong ocean made it daunting to relax and enjoy my beach days. There was really only one solution: get my kids trained and experienced in the water.


Long and hot summer days spent here in our sleepy village, with not much to do in the off season when work slowed down, and with two kids under the age of 4 years old made it obvious we had to get in a pool. The best decision we made was to sign up for swim lessons in the mid afternoon. That way we could get in some pool time since we didn’t have one, have the kids cool down, and then they would pass out afterwards and get in a good nap. Laurencio was our swim instructor for several years, and he had a very disciplined style that taught the kids how to float, then how to stroke and then specific styles of strokes. He always ended the class with the “dead man’s float” where they had to lay on their backs, completely still for a full minute. I love thinking about their intent concentration as they relaxed into this pose, with their little swim caps on, they looked so serene.


As their swimming improved in the pool, the next step was to head to the ocean. Boogie boarding was a perfect way for the boys to get into the water and experience the exhilaration of catching a wave and being propelled to the shoreline. Our neighboring surf schools were always willing to lend the boys a boogie board, and even take them out into the line up and push them into waves. 


Around 6 years of age, my older son decided he was taking up surfing. He practiced and played around in the beginner section of the surf break, catching white wash and standing up. He started actually catching waves and the addiction began. One day I remember so clearly, he says “Mom, I am going out there”- pointing to the main line up where the real surfers went. It was a few hundred meters from the beach, and I was hesitant about him going by himself. We went back and forth about it, but he was adamant that he was ready. “Fine”, I said. And that was it. From that point on, he paddled out there like a little tadpole and got into the lineup. All the local boys were so supportive, pulling him out to the line up, and then pushing him into waves. And then big swells would come through, and I was the paranoid mom standing on the beach trying to find my little dude in the lineup. All the surfers kept reassuring me he was fine, they were watching him.


Now my sons are 8 and 9 years old, and we spend most weekends at the beach. My older son is a better surfer than I am these days. My younger son has become really strong at Stand Up Paddling. There are moments when we are all out there, on the ocean together. A wave comes, and we all go for it. I look over and I see my boys, still little to me, riding the face of the wave. They look over at me, and shout- “Come on, Mom!” It is definitely the best part of my life so far!