We are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary here in Puerto Vallarta. Since we spent our honeymoon here, it seemed a fun idea to return. In twenty years, much has changed. Puerto Vallarta is a thriving city of 250,000 people. We are amazed and delighted every day that we are here by the cleanliness of the city, and the industriousness and the graciousness of the people. We were told that this is a very safe city…everyone works and no one has time for crime. That certainly seems to be the case. With the growth of the tourism industry, there are jobs for everyone. We were told minimum wage is low and workers count on tips to augment their income.
Upon arrival at the airport, we were welcomed with an offer to get some free tours and gifts if we would attend a presentation. It seemed like a good deal, so we accepted.
In the morning, someone took us to a resort destination for the presentation. We did not purchase anything that was offered, but we were treated with kindness, graciousness, and utmost respect by everyone. One of our gifts was a 4 hour fishing trip for Dan. Ernesto handled the details for us and told us he would meet us on Friday and take Dan to the boat. Since we didn’t purchase any vacation time, we wondered if Ernesto would still meet us this morning. He had told us to meet him at the OXXO minimart, but the paperwork said “El Faro”. We arrived at 7 a.m. at El Faro and couldn’t find him. Just when we were getting concerned, we saw Ernesto coming toward us. He had guessed we might have been confused and looked for us. I commented to Ernesto that we wondered if he would come for us. He said, “I am a man of my word.”
Dan had a good fishing trip. He was the only guest, plus the boat operator and the guide. When I met Dan afterwards, he had a sack of filleted fish and was feeling like he wished he had been able to give the gentlemen a bigger tip. We had also wanted to tip Ernesto, but had no contact information for him.
We went to an ATM machine and got some more pesos. Shortly thereafter, we went out for a walk around the marina and the shops, had some lunch and made our best attempts to find the fishing people and Ernesto. But not to be. No one was able to help us. As we were walking back to our resort, I commented to Dan that it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack to find Ernesto in this big city. Then I thought to myself, we have a big God. If God wants us to find Ernesto, nothing is too difficult for Him. Within seconds of having that thought, a white pickup truck turned down a side street that we were on. I commented to Dan, “Wouldn’t that be something if that were Ernesto’s truck”. Then we saw Ernesto waving at us. Only God! We ran to his truck and thanked him again for his kindness and handed him some cash. We also gave him some to give to the fishing gentlemen. He seemed overwhelmed and very appreciative.
Ernesto and the fishing crew are a perfect example of how Puerto Vallartans have treated us while we have been here. And our big God is paying attention to us wherever we are.
FYI, Ernesto works for vidanta.com