Monday, November 9, 2015

Post Patrica Glow

After the rains, the landscape is left clean and sparkling.  Not taking anything away from the communities that were damaged, Casa Viva like so many areas up and down the coast of Mexico were spared from worse damage.  This photo by Kevin Steele is one of a series that highlights the clean and sparkle that permeates Casa Viva after a big rain. The view is from the kitchen looking out over the Common Area, the pool and the beach/ocean beyond.  See more of Kevin's award winning photography on his website including several photos from Casa Viva in years past.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Some Well Baked Photos

Monica Medellin visited Casa Viva in late November of 2014 and took these extraordinary photos of Casa Viva for us. Below is one of our favorite with a link to the photo album in Facebook with all images..

Send us your photos of Casa Viva and we will be happy to post to Facebook or here on the site as well.  See the right column for links to other great photos albums. Or link to all photos here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Elvira.  She is the heart and soul of Casa Viva.  Not just because she is the cook and through her delicious food, reaches the stomach's and thus the heart and soul of all our guests. She is the core of Casa Viva because her big heart and lovely soul are reflected in all that is Casa Viva.

We took a few moments recently to talk to Elvira about her family and personal history and how she got to be at Casa Viva. Elvira was born in a small village called Potrerios outside of the town of Petatlan (population of about 18,000) but when she was less than a year old her family moved to the village of Troncones.  She only attended primary school (through 6th grade), the extent of her formal education.   Elivra is the second  in a family of 10 children, 5 boys and 5 girls. Most of her siblings now live in the United States and while they all left with plans to help out the family back in Mexico, Elvira sadly reports that they now don't help out much at all (she heard from them most recently when her mom passed away 2 years ago). Her father is still alive and is a cattle rancher and owns some property around Troncones.

At age 11, she was already working in restaurants and in private homes around Troncones doing any work she could find from washing clothes and house cleaning to eventual restaurant work as a waitress and cook's assistant.  At age 16 she married and moved with her husband to Petatlan. In Petatlan, she worked as a waitress and cook's assistant.  They had three children but were separated and divorced within 6 years and Elvira moved back to Troncones.

In Troncones, Elvira raised her 3 children while she worked various jobs, mostly in restaurants and spend several years working at the old Burro Boracho in the kitchen until the it closed due to financial problems.

When asked how she ended up at Casa Viva, Elvira mentions the 6 degrees of separation chain that led to Casa Viva starting with working at a restaurant that led to meeting Anita who recommended her to our accountant who then recommended her to us.  When Elvira started at Casa Viva we knew we had found someone special and we soon promoted her from cook to manager.

Elvira recently suffered a tragic loss that no parent ever wants to go through. Her eldest son Cain was diagnosed with colon cancer and after a long battle, he passed away on May 20, 2013.  Elvira would go with him to Mexico City regularly on the overnight bus from Zihuatanejo to Mexico City where he would undergo treatment.  Ever industrious, Elvira would go shopping for clothes in Mexico City looking for great deals and hot fashions to bring back and sell in Troncones.   

She still has 2 wonderful boys at home, Uriel and Jonathan, 16 and 13 respectively. When asked what she enjoys doing with her boys, Elvira says, "I like just hanging out and playing with my kids, sometimes I put them to work around the house helping me fix up the place, other times we sit together and they tell me about their girlfriends and I give them advice." When pushed to share some of her advice about girls she adds, "Well, I tell them not to get married to young, to get a job so they have money to buy their girlfriend a little something even if it is only a soda or something to eat when they go out, but to have their own money; and I tell them to treat their girls nicely, be respectful, don't talk bad about their girlfriends around town."

Elvira is a great mom, she's the best cook and we are lucky to have her as the heart and soul of Casa Viva.  Her smile melts all guests and her salsa verde "no tiene madre" (her green sauce is the very best ANYWHERE).

Elvira will be with Casa Viva for 10 years in May of 2015.  Please feel free to share your comments about your experience at Casa Viva with Elvira.

Friday, October 24, 2014


When it comes to travel reviews, TripAdvisor is definitely become the place to go to see what real travelers have to say and get the real "low down" on what a hotel is really like.  If you haven't checked out Casa Viva's  reviews on TripAdvisor, now's the time. We just got a great review from a lovely family visiting us with their small children. The review is entitled "Paradise."

Casa Viva is great for families and for couples but especially great for large groups, multi-generational family visits or reunions.

Please read the reviews, come visit and right your own review.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More than a fresh coat of paint...

The Casa Viva pool deck is under construction (see photo). We completely replaced the deck on the pool with a beautiful deck made from local wood called Guapinol (known as Stinky Toe as well). This is a beautiful hard redwood. The deck still has an expanded area for am yoga, pm beer and sunset viewing. This deck is all one level, making it easier to navigate on a dark night. The pool deck is part of a larger project of upgrading the Palapas (thatched roof) on the Round and Square Casitas, upgrading the floor in the guest area of the Round Casita, improvements to the laundry area and many more little details. You might not notice these details but we do, all part of our investment in keeping Casa Viva, now going on 15 years, still looking like it is brand new to your our guests.