I’ve lost track of what day it is … easy to do when you’re retired and don’t have to worry about a schedule to keep. We have a Wagon Master (and a Tail Gunner) and because we’ve broken down into four traveling groups – we just listen to our group leader to tell us when it’s time to attend a gathering or to load up and head out. Kinda’ like school children listening to the headmaster!
In any event, we are now a little further down the Baja Penninsula to a great little camp on the beach (Pacific Ocean side). It’s called La Jolla (LaHoya) Beach Camp and it’s just south of Ensanada.
Once we got everyone parked and they all got settled, we walked across the street to the neighborhood social hall where we were treated to a superb welcome dinner presented by our host family the Pavloffs. We were offered vegetarian Mexican Lasagna, veggie kabobs and/or meat meals that included seasoned beef tacos, beans, rice, salad and Flan for desert along with unlimited servings of local wine, Mexican rice drink (Horchata) and Hibisucus Tea
We listened to a short history of the Pabloff family and their impact on the area of Punta Banda. The Pabloff family over the years has been very good to the general Ensenada area and the Punta Banda Peninsula in particular. Read more about the genealogy and their connection to Russia by following this link.
Alejandro Pabloff and his wife (both entered New York from Russia in the 1920’s) then came to Baja California from Los Angles in the 1940’s and bought land here and ultimately developed not only a beach front campground but also a large community for ex-pats.
They had seven sons – we met Miguel (Mike) and Esteban (Steve) and each has taken an active role in the family business. Mike runs the camp, Steve runs the farm and others manage or work in the auto repair shop, the market, the salon, or any of the other businesses the family owns. They also employ probably hundreds of local nationals to perform both skilled labor and manual day labor at any of their locations throughout the peninsula. They keep everybody busy and productive and those that can’t work get help (food and housing) from the family.
There is also a huge (hundreds of homes) hillside community of U.S. citizens who lease land from the Pavloffs and build their homes (seasonal or year-round) here. You have to be a Mexican citizen to own land here but you can lease land here and own your home.
There is a homeowners association here who’s purpose is to join together to enrich not only their own lives but those locals in the area as well. The social hall, the library, the thrift store, and the theater are for the benefit of everyone.
We were treated to dinner in the social hall, we visited the thrift shop and library this morning, and we’ll be having our benefit auction and enjoying a performance by the Folklorio Dancers in the Gertrude Pearlman Theater on Saturday.
Sometime today we’re going to help move all the auction items that we brought over to the theater for the auction Saturday afternoon.
Maybe I should explain a little more about Chapter 8 and why we are all here on this trip. I’ll copy this info from the Chapter 8 web site that you are invited to visit and find out more for yourself.
(From the web site) The purpose of Chapter 8 is to:
- Introduce Escapees Chapter 8 Mexican Connection members to RV travel in Mexico, its scenery, traditions, food, culture and folklore.
- Travel South of the border and give back more than the enriching experiences we gain, through charity donations and business patronization.
- Enable Chapter 8 members to feel comfortable to return to Mexico for future rallies as well as their own road trip adventures.
This is the 37th year that the Escapees RV Club Chapter 8 “Mexican Connection” group has been coming to Mexico and I’m not sure how many of those years have included giving back to the communities that they have visited, but it’s probably at least a dozen or so.
This year we/they have designated four local groups as our Service Projects and all the travelers have brought down donations of food, clothing, bedding, toys, and more to share with these previously identified groups. In addition, we have brought with us (or purchased locally) items for our “in house” auction that will take place on Saturday where we will bid on each other’s donations in order to raise cash funds to be given to these very needy groups.
More to come as we continue to enjoy our stay in Baja California with our new friends.