Leah Jewall

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Leah is a Spanish/English teacher and translator from Vancouver who runs Translation Services Sayulita.  This entertaining vibrant woman has devoted her time and energy as a single parent to raising a fabulous son, now a successful musician and writer in Montreal.  Now free to experience her own adventures, she has been teaching in various parts of Mexico for the past two years.  Her first visit to Sayulita was in Feb. 2010, and due to varied and serendipitous events has been drawn to living here, where she is teaching, writing and enjoying life to the fullest. Contact author here.

Stories from Leah Jewall

Friday, December 14th, 2012

"Here's to freedom, cheers to art. Here's to having an excellent adventure and may the stopping never start." -Jason Mraz

This certainly seems to be the philosophy of Tracie Willis, ChocoBanana's former owner. Never one to conform to the "shoulds" in life, Tracie has chosen a life of adventure over mundane predictability. Here is her fascinating story of how destiny brought her to Sayulita, and how she became one of its most enduring icons:

Friday, November 30th, 2012

It's not the planned vacations that take you far down destiny's path, sometimes it's a spontaneous getaway, a chance remark, or a suggestion passed down from a friend that opens up horizons you'd never even dreamed of, let alone considered. Such was the case with Nancy and Ed Rinas, owners of Sayulita's bookstore. In Nancy's words, here is their story of how they came to discover Sayulita:
Friday, November 23rd, 2012

"Hey Lupe," I holler out the window, "stop watering the plants so I can finish my shower!" One of the drawbacks of living in a Mexican apartment building, but it could be worse. My neighbour only gets a trickle of water as he's the farthest from the tinako and has to shower with a bucket. He's been living here for over a year.

Friday, November 16th, 2012

I love hearing stories about intertwined lives, how after long separations people come together again effortlessly, mysteriously showing up together on a different stage in another space and time. Decades after their first contact, completely without planning or forethought, destinies float on capricious winds of chance:

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I always considered myself to be a city girl; I loved the idea of discovering new neighbourhoods or returning to old familiar ones, to that sweet corner cafe with the best homemade pumpkin pie and real whipped cream.....losing myself in a pleasant park for a day, or the debauchery of a wild night out on the town, loving the anonymity, the availability, the range of possibilities and contrasts. So what if I only went to a play once a year?
Friday, December 9th, 2011

Nowhere is it more evident of a culture's mindset regarding organized religion than in their joketelling. While traveling this summer in South America, I came across some interesting contrasts between Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia compared to Sayulita, regarding attitudes towards the Catholic church.
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

My first impressions of Chile, other than the way Chileans eat their Spanish and chop off the word endings - it´s so tame and orderly! People do what they´re supposed to and the cars even stop at crosswalks to allow pedestrians to pass! Quite a shock, coming from the craziness of driving in Mexico.

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Sayulita?
I´m from Portland, Oregon, and I moved here from New York City in March, 2009.
¿De dónde eres y por cuánto tiempo vives en Sayulita?
Soy de Portland, Oregon, y me mudé aquí de Nueva York en marzo, 2009.


What brought you here?
I was looking for a better life with less consumerism, less stress and a healthier lifestyle. I first visited Sayulita in 1996, and I liked the vibe here; it´s always been a special place for me.
¿Qué te trajo aquí?
Buscaba una vida mejor, con menos consumismo y estrés, también buscaba una vida más saludable. Visité Sayulita por primera vez in 1996, y me gustó la buena onda aquí; siempre ha sido un lugar especial para mí.


How did you get started in the childcare business?
In the States I worked in the fashion and photography industry, and I got the idea for childcare when I was here for a wedding in 2007. My friend had hired a Mexican girl to watch her children, and I didn´t think too much of it at the time, but when I decided to move here, I said, that´s what I´m going to do! And that´s when I started Sayulita Childcare. I´m still doing photography, more and more all the time.
¿Cómo empezaste con el negocio de cuidar a los niños?
En los Estados Unidos, trabajé en la industria de modelos y fotografía, y se me ocurrió la idea de cuidar a los niños cuando estuve en Sayulita para una boda en 2007. Una amiga empleó a una chica a cuidar a sus niños, y cuando decidí mudarme aquí, decidí comenzar con mi compañía, Sayulita Childcare. Me interesa mucho la fotografía y todavía estoy trabajando en eso.
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The new Pemex gas station at the corner of Highway 200 and the Punta de Mita Road is slowly taking shape in the large southwest corner lot. The clearing of the land started in October of 2010 and the construction and building on the site started in May of this year. According to an unofficial spokesman, projected completion plans are for the end of July of 2011.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Sayuleros will be going to the polls on Sunday, July 3rd to vote for the first time in a number of years. Local residents will be voting for the following officials: Governor of Nayarit, District 14 Deputy, Municipal President, and Alderman.

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Local residents and businesses have once again come through for the community by generously donating uniforms for a local soccer team. A local resident was approached with a request for the uniforms, and she put out a call on Facebook, which drew a good response.
Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Sayulita Cultural Radio started broadcasting on June 5, 2011 from a small rented space on calle Revolución, and its appearance has caused much talk in the community. Founder Jose Mora Cervantes is pleased that he has achieved his goal of establishing the station before the onset of the 2011 rainy season, so as to be able to broadcast any pertinent and necessary information in the event of an emergency.
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Two main streets on Gringo Hill have been paved, thanks to a group of concerned residents. The contractor, Alejandro, who was hired independently, had done a great job when he paved another road in the same area last summer. Most of the residents on the hill contributed to the project.
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The now-completed sports field has seen a lot of activity in the last couple months, with layer upon layer of sand being deposited to every inch of its surface. The numerous dump trucks of sand taken from the elevated river bed served two purposes: to rid the riverbed of the excess silt and sand washed down by last season's floods, and to build up the land base of the sports field, to prevent future flooding and to prepare it for use as a parking lot.
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The paving project on Miramar experienced a couple of setbacks during its first week in operation. Two days into levelling and grading the street, two water pipes were broken, one in front of the vacant lot next to the recently opened Lolita hostel, and the other directly in front of the bookstore, causing a small pond to form in front of the beleaguered flower bed caving under its load of sand. One of the graders also broke down and the crew had to wait a couple days for repairs, while Miramar residents patiently awaited the repair of the water pipes for water access to their homes.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

They've never won the Stanley Cup, and have finally made it to the playoffs. After a 17-year hiatus, the Vancouver Canucks have made it to the final round of the Stanley Cup, and Canadians, especially Western Canadians and Vancouverites in particular, are really pumped about the prospect of watching some very exciting hockey over the next week or so, even while vacationing in Sayulita.

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Preparations for street paving began on calle Miramar this morning around 10am. A big yellow grader appeared and started levelling and grading the length of Miramar from calle Revolución to calle Palmar, leaving behind piles of gravel the length of the street, and decimating the small garden plot outside of the bookstore's main gate. By mid-afternoon another grader and a dump truck had joined the busy work force.
Thursday, May 5th, 2011

May 3rd is Day of the Holy Cross in Mexico, and is also celebrated as Mason's or Worker's Day. The tradition is to place a cross at a construction site where building is underway. Workers say a prayer or mass at the site; the engineers, architects or managers of the project provide enchiladas, beer or soft drinks, and everyone takes time out to eat and party together.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Sayulimpia, organized by members of Grupo Pro Sayulita, has hired workers to help keep our streets clean - two men clean the beach, one sweeps the north end of calle Revolución, and another group works at the Recycling Depot. Felipe and his family, along with Eric Steinman, have been working hard to get the depot well-organized.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A huge swarm of bees suddenly appeared in the small rose-colored bougainvillea tree in the northeast corner of the main plaza. Last Tuesday, around mid-afternoon, local residents noticed the large, oval-shaped mass of bees in the small tree situated at the top of the stairs, leading from the plaza to the row of businesses situated between the church and Chocobanana Restaurant.