Welcome to Raicilla Dreams, please make yourself comfy....you will find many photos, anecdotes and tales of Yelapa told by amigos that lived there before electricity and before it was totally discovered by the tourist world. I welcome your own memories and photos.

Start at the very bottom with archives and work your way up if you want to follow the order I posted. Otherwise, just feel free to skip around and read what suits your fancy...faye

Monday, November 9, 2009

Zalate Fire

Although it's a bit hard to see, here is a very dramatic photo sent by Leslie Korn of the fire to the Zalate.

photo credit: Celeste Greco1982

History Contributed by Leslie Korn

Soon after Janet and I arrived in
in 1973, Rick the Stick asked Janet if we would teach school for his children. This evolved into a little one room schoolhouse in the Zalate, which we ran between 1974 and 1977. Bett’s children, Drew and Trevor attended every morning for 3 hours, as they lived a few houses up the path; The Robinson kids were there occasionally and Liuba’s kids took the putt putt in from Colimita and landed at the beach when the ocean allowed.

Betts paid us $20 a week to teach her kids, which was just enough to live on. Betts was very committed to her kids and their education. Since I had always hated school (and had recently dropped out of the university) I had the opportunity to teach all the things I wished I had been taught; together we danced to trance music, did yoga, wrote poetry while listening to Stravinsky, spent time down by the lagoon to study frogs, read National Geographic and cooked, baked and shopped at the tiendas in order to learn arithmetic.

Rick died in ‘74 and we never worked with his children, but we came to inhabit the Zalate because Fran, a mid age American Spanish teacher who had lived her adult life with a Mexican husband in Morelos somehow got the house. She wasn’t staying long and like many people she liked the idea of a house in Yelapa more than the reality of it. She asked us to housesit which we did for years until she let us take over lease in ‘77. We re-roofed the house in ’79 and built the little treatment house next door and then did so again after it burned down in ‘82.

I ran into Kathryn Hill a few years back and she gave me this photo of us at a party at Betts and Byron’s. 1977

In May of 1982
Casa Zalate, often referred to as the Casa Juanitas (1975-2002) caught fire from the heat spreading from the fire at Rita Tillets’ house. There were two theories about the fire: one was that the Mexican owner burned the place down so he could get the property back from Rita and Howard who were trying to arrange for Zona Federal, and the other was that in a drunken state one of the Tillets knocked over a candle. Quien sabe?

At the time Airforce Dan was watching our house as he lived in the Galeria next door. He later told me that he raced over to dampen down the house with water with a hose from the watertank, but the ground was so hot that when he got close he could tell that the house was going to erupt from beneath. He said he ran for his life as it exploded.

I was up in Boston in the middle of giving a Polarity treatment when Byron called me with the news. We rebuilt the Zalate and the small treatment house that summer with money loaned to me by my parents.

People in the village brought plants for the garden. Don Juan Cruz gave us free rent for a few years, Buddy Berlin paid for the rock wall to be rebuilt and Saul Kaplan (of Saul and Sandy, who had built their house next to Ratza’s a few years earlier) personally installed the whole water system.

Photo credits) Celeste Greco1982, gave me this photo that she took of the fire.

In 1997 Rudy was speaking at a conference in Los Alamos at the invitation of Marjorie Bell-Chambers, on the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2. He put some of our Yelapa seminar brochures on the speakers table. After his talk, Kay Harper, 83, introduced herself to him and told him her story about how in 1958 she canoed over to Yelapa with her husband, the Los Alamos Laboratory photographer Bob Harper, and Steve Glumaz whom they’d met in a bar in PV.

These are a few of Bob”s photos of their stay in Yelapa. Later that year, Kay donated her husband’s Yelapa photos and her notebooks about her travels to Mexico, to our non- profit the Center for World Indigenous Studies’ www.cwis.org <http://www.cwis.org> , where we host the online Bob Harper Collection which includes some great shots of both Yelapa and PV in 1958.

Photo Credits: Robert Harper

for more stories and information from Leslie Korn please go to:

Sunday, November 8, 2009


To read all the posts you will need to scroll down to bottom and choose archives found listed on the lefthand side of the window.
LIAR LIAR 12“ X 12”

you know who you are!

I just figured out how to post these photos in larger format! So here are some of my recent paintings done in Yelapa.

Little Foxes 12“ X 12” acrylic on board
commemorating the rabid fox scare
that's me in the jungle whistling a happy little tune to keep them at bay...no killing sticks for me.

Snake Eyes 12“ X 12” acrylic on board

GoTo Websites for PV and Yelapa Info

BTW readers, there are many good websites on Yelapa and PV, but a couple faves for current information are found at:
http://yelapa.info/ maintained by David

What's Missing?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Native Son

Guaco has been in charge of the Helschein estate for over 30 years. As my Spanish gets tuned in I learn more from this gentle man and his sweet pretty wife, Elena. She keeps the big house in check during the main season and they both open and close the houses as needed. They are proud parents of three grown children and two grandchildren.

Loriano Lorenzo is Guaco's given name. I tease him that it is a movie star name, but he does not like it and prefers his nickname which has stuck with him since the age of four.

His mother is 93 and gave birth to 14 children of which nine are still living. Families intermarried with other families and Guaco is connected by blood to many in Yelapa. He's always telling me so and so, yes, he's my cousn, etc. His mother was from Chicala so there is family blood connection there, too. She now receives the new social security for those over 70. This has been recently enacted by the new government. He told me he had to take time off to head over to PV with her paperwork and photo to collect her bimonthly small stipend.

Guaco tells me Yelapa before gringos was poor but what they needed to live well was all here. The sea was full of fish, fruits abound on trees and they could grow vegetables. Sometimes the family would paddle to points across the Bay for maiz and other needs trading fish as they went.
Often they would paddle in large canoas (dugouts) with 6 men standing with oars and passengers in the bottom. They would travel at night in the full moon taking 2-3 hours to reach Punta Mita or Sayulita.

Life was simple, the river was clean and basic needs were met. Medicines and soap often came directly from the plants, barks and sap from the mountains behind the village.

Guaco received his nickname from his grandfather who heard him sing like a bird when he was little. It stuck.

Talk turned to the gringo discovery of Yelapa. Guaco felt it was mostly Hollywood connected when the filming of Night of the Iguana took place in the early 60's. The Mismaloya notoriety with its stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton brought a new set of characters such as Ava Gardner, Donovan, Jack Nicholson, Candace Bergen and many more to this little village.

To read more about Yelapa History please go to an account based on research at the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, in 1991 and 2005 by Carolyn McCall, Ph.D.