Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco (Dec. 7, 2022): The board of directors of the Vallarta Garden Club (VGC) and the leadership of the Amigos de la Isla Cuale (AIC) are pleased to announce the groups will be merging as of January 1, 2023.
VGC Board President John McKinney will continue leading the board of the combined organization, and Guy Weeks will join the board as the head of a permanent Amigos de la Isla Cuale subcommittee.
Weeks was part of a crew of volunteers who dug the island out from beneath tons of sand left behind after flooding brought by Hurricane Nora in August 2021. Following the initial cleanup effort, Weeks assembled a core group of volunteers that began organizing and raising funds to restore the plants and trees that had been decimated by the flood. In cooperation with local government authorities, other non-profit groups and generous donors, the group also took on several other improvement projects including security lighting, erosion management, establishing new planter beds and building a children’s playground.
Dozens of volunteers, including VGC members, contributed sweat equity in the work to revitalize the Isla. In addition, the VGC board allocated funding to the project to purchase plants, soil, fertilizer and other supplies.
“We have been honored to support, and become friends with, the Amigos de la Isla Cuale since March 2022. Joining together to care for this Green Jewel for the long term was an easy decision for both groups,” said McKinney.
In 2020, the VGC decided to focus their volunteer work and contributions on community projects where there is a real need and a local commitment to care for the planting. Last year, the Club built a garden for the Vallarta Food Bank, which serves the hungry across the entire Banderas Bay community. “After several conversations with Guy and other AIC leaders, everyone agreed it made perfect sense for the Isla Cuale to become an ongoing special project of the Club.” In addition to helping complete and maintain the Isla gardens, the VGC will soon begin a landscaping project for the new Vallarta School for Girls in Cinco de Diciembre. The Club also will continue to maintain the boxes of bougainvillea and other flowering plants in the tourist areas of Old Town, with the help of the City.
Weeks said, “The Garden Club has been beautifying Vallarta for more than a decade. They’re an established non-profit with a tremendous reputation. As the AIC’s efforts began to expand, it just made sense to become a special project of the Club. This way, we can devote the majority of our effort to doing what we do best – improving and protecting the last green space in the heart of Vallarta – and less effort on administrative tasks.”