Happy Birthday, Caesar’s Salad!

The overall, all-time favorite Caesar’s Salad turns 100 years old this year, having been created in Tijuana by Italian chef Caesar Cardini at his Alhambra Cafe. That’s an incredible feat for a dish that uses only a few ingredients: Romaine lettuce, egg yolk, garlic, anchovies, olive oil, Worcestershire, apple vinegar, Mexican lime (limón), croutons and parmesan cheese.

Cardini was an Italian immigrant who moved to Mexico during the prohibition era in the early 1900s. He founded the Alhambra Cafe in Tijuana, which later turned into Caesar’s Restaurant, which still exists to date. There are several versions of how he created the world-famous salad, which is considered a delicacy throughout the world.

One version says that some patrons arrived late at his cafe and he had to come up with something from the leftovers in his fridge. 

Another version states that he was given the recipe by the mother of one of his also Italian cooks. 

Caesar Cardini was immortalized early this month with a statue outside his restaurant, currently owned by celebrity Chef Javier Plascencia, who also owns the Jazamango restaurant in Todos Santos and Animalón in San Jose del Cabo.

Here’s What to Expect When Adopting a Dog in Mexico


Life is better when you have a dog with you. Here’s how to make that happen while in Mexico. 

In many Mexican cities, a weekend walk through the park will bring you face-to-face with a sight guaranteed to pull at the heartstrings of even the grumpiest of grinches. Pets up for adoption flank the walking paths, meowing, yapping, and napping alongside their brothers and sisters. Several older dogs wear signs saying, “Adopt me!” in Spanish. The presence of these hopeful pets in public spaces is a concerted effort by the multitude of rescue organizations in Mexico to match an increasing number of homeless pups with loving owners. 

Indeed, many travelers to Mexico have returned home with a canine buddy after falling in love with a friendly stray during a trip. Among them is British actress and activist Emma Watson, who recently shared her positive experience adopting her puppy Sofia from Mexico, calling the pup “an angel, not a dog.” 

Why you should adopt a dog from Mexico. The Wild at Heart Foundation of Mexico estimates over 23 million stray dogs roam the country. In Mexico City alone, authorities have reported capturing and euthanizing a heartbreaking 20,000 dogs per month. Additionally, the lack of comprehensive anti-cruelty laws in the country allows for commonplace neglect and violence towards dogs.

Data from the State of Pet Homelessness Project reveals over 96,000 pups seeking refuge in shelters across Mexico. With one of the highest numbers of homeless animals globally, Mexico significantly surpasses figures in many other nations. Adopting a dog helps save canine lives and enrich our own, too.

Mexi-Canine Friends for Everyone. These distressing numbers are not the only reason to consider adopting a pup from Mexico. The sheer number of adoptable dogs in the country allows for a vast variety tailored to one’s lifestyle, needs, and preferences. Options include hairless breeds for those with allergies, high-energy dogs for active families, or calmer temperaments for more laid-back owners.

Due to the abundance of dogs, Mexico is also home to a diverse range of breeds and mixes less commonly found elsewhere. Adopting a dog from Mexico often allows owners to find a truly unique companion with distinct characteristics.

What It’s Like: Adopting Atlas. My own experience adopting my puppy Atlas from a Mexican rescue has provided useful insights. I’ve learned firsthand that raising a puppy is challenging but rewarding work. It’s a significant responsibility, so ensure you’re well-prepared. Street dogs, in particular, may need time to adjust, but with sufficient love and stability, they can become irreplaceable, adoring family members.

After attending puppy adoption events and browsing Instagram accounts of Mexican rescues, my partner and I came across an Instagram post from @adopta.mx featuring an irresistible Silver Lab mix pup (then called Luke). We instantly fell in love and reached out to the organization to ask about the next steps. They had us complete an application and conduct a brief interview where we demonstrated our preparedness and commitment to raising a puppy. We were approved within a few days.

The Pick-Up. In our case, since we lived in Mexico City, we were able to grab an Uber and head to a small residential town about 45 minutes outside of the city. When we received our pup, he was tiny, skinny, and shaking. He peed on my lap during the ride home. 

The following weeks were an anxious whirlwind as first-time puppy parents. We fretted over every detail, wondering if we were providing the proper care. Atlas suffered bouts of diarrhea, nipped incessantly (as puppies do), and swallowed anything on the floor he could fit in his mouth. In one particularly harrowing incident, I rushed him to the vet in a panic after finding one of my candy-colored earplugs in his stool. Despite our worries and with our vet’s guidance, Atlas has grown into a healthy, friendly, and feisty little guy. 

The Basics of Adopting a Dog from Mexico – Step by Step: While there may be some variations, the general process for adopting a dog from Mexico is similar across most rescues. 

Finding Your Furry Companion: The process typically begins by finding a credible rescue organization through online searches, social media, or word-of-mouth recommendations. Adoptist, Adopta.mx, Alamos Dog Foundation, Pets. Yuri, and Caravana Canina are good starting points. Thoroughly vetting the rescue is crucial and reputable organizations should have details on the animal’s medical history and behavior and be able to guide you through the adoption and travel process. If adopting while abroad, select a rescue experienced with sending pets to your country, as they can assist with all the required paperwork, vetting, crates, airport protocols, and customs procedures.

If you’re searching for a pet while outside of Mexico and are unable to meet the pet in advance, be sure to gather as much information as possible to carefully vet whether the dog is the right fit for your family. Ask the rescue for additional details like videos, information on the parents, and behavioral notes. 

In cases where you find and fall in love with a stray dog while in Mexico, the requirements differ slightly but adopting is still fairly straightforward. Take the stray to a local veterinarian to have its health assessed and begin the vaccination process. If possible, try partnering with a local rescue to assist with the process or temporarily care for the animal until it can travel to its new home.

Interviews and Paperwork: Many rescues will require you to fill out a form with questions about yourself and the dog’s future home to ensure it is being placed in a safe environment. They’ll assess if you’re a good fit by asking about previous pet ownership, your preparedness for the responsibility of a dog, reasons for adopting, and your commitment to keeping the pet for life. Other common questions include whether you can provide a comfortable sleeping area and if you are financially stable to care for a dog. Many rescues also request a future commitment to spaying/neutering if the dog is not already sterilized. Some organizations conduct phone or video call interviews, offering an opportunity to ask your questions and demonstrate your readiness to adopt. 

Vaccinations and Checkup Requirements: Most countries mandate a rabies vaccine and health certificate from a veterinarian before entering. Be sure to give yourself enough time to get any vaccines if needed. The health certificate required is typical, like a canine’s yearly “physical”. Oftentimes, the veterinarian will give you something called a “carnet” or a passport-like book with a record of the dog’s vaccinations. Be sure to have the original and make an extra copy.

If traveling to the U.S., you’ll need a certificate showing the rabies vaccine was given within 12 months but over 30 days before the flight. Once you show this document, your dog will also need to pass a physical exam.

Bringing Your Dog Home

If adopting a puppy, aim for them to be at least 4 months old to ensure they’ve completed their initial round of vaccinations. Driving is the easiest to avoid the complexity of air travel, but if flying, book the most direct route possible to minimize stress for your canine companion. For most airlines, small dogs may fly in-cabin if their total weight with the carrier is under 20 lbs. Otherwise, they’ll ride in a specially allocated cargo space. Be sure to check your airline’s pet policies and your country’s regulations regarding quarantines (which are rare, but sometimes happen).

If you’re adopting a dog from outside of Mexico and cannot pick it up yourself, work with the rescue to arrange a “flight angel” escort. Many rescues have volunteers who assist by accompanying animals on their journey to the new home. You’ll be responsible for covering the airline’s pet fee, any applicable import taxes, and meeting the volunteer escort at your arrival airport to welcome your new furry family member.

Enjoy and Love: Finally, be sure to enjoy your new canine companion. Let us know about your experience adopting a dog from Mexico in the comments below!

Monica Belot is a writer, researcher, strategist and adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where she teaches in the Strategic Design & Management Program. Splitting her time between NYC and Mexico City, where she resides with her naughty silver labrador puppy Atlas, Monica writes about topics spanning everything from the human experience to travel and design research. Follow her varied scribbles on Medium at https://medium.com/@monicabelot.

This article was originally published in MexicoNewsDaily.com and is reprinted with permission.

Remax Baja Realty Expands to Todos Santos, Baja Sur

Remax Hidden Paradise Arrives in Todos Santos to Revolutionize the Local Real Estate Market

The magic of Todos Santos merges with the experience of Remax in the newly inaugurated Remax Hidden Paradise office. Located in the heart of our Pueblo Mágico, the agency promises to become a benchmark for those looking to buy or rent properties in the region.

With a team of highly trained professionals and extensive knowledge of the local market, Remax Hidden Paradise offers comprehensive services to meet the needs of its clients. Whether you dream of a beachfront villa in Los Cabos, a refuge in the Todos Santos desert, or an investment in the growing La Paz market, this new office will provide you with the necessary advice and support at every stage of the process.

“Mariela Frias, said, “We are excited to bring the Remax brand to Todos Santos and contribute to the development of this unique community. Our goal is to offer a service of excellence, based on trust, transparency, and commitment to our clients.”

The opening of Remax Hidden Paradise marks a milestone in the real estate market of Baja California Sur, expanding the options and opportunities for those looking to settle or invest in this privileged region.

For more information, visit the Remax Hidden Paradise office in front of Banorte, or call +619-632-70-45.

Rosarito Takes Center Stage with First Opera Encounter


Gear up, opera lovers and curious bystanders! The city of Playas de Rosarito in Baja California is gearing up to host its first-ever Opera Encounter in Rosarito (ENOR), set to transform the State Center for the Arts into the opera hub of the region from July 27 to August 3. This inaugural event is not just a series of performances; it’s a cultural movement aimed at making opera accessible and enjoyable for all.

The Baja California Secretary of Culture is spearheading this initiative, with a packed schedule that includes masterclasses, rehearsal sessions, insightful lectures, and riveting recitals. The event will gather a mix of experienced maestros, professional singers, and up-and-coming talents, all dedicated to providing a unique artistic experience that cultivates a deeper appreciation for this majestic art form.

According to Marco Antonio Nuño Sánchez, the coordinator of CEART Playas de Rosarito, the essence of ENOR is to foster artistic development, broaden the opera’s appeal to new audiences, and strengthen the cultural community. “By creating spaces for opera, we aim to not only entertain but also educate and inspire connections among local, national, and international artists,” Nuño Sánchez remarked.

This sentiment is echoed by Javier Carrillo, the artistic coordinator of ENOR Rosarito, who emphasized the festival’s role in breaking down the elitist barriers often associated with opera. “ENOR is designed to integrate opera culture in a natural and accessible setting for everyone. This week-long event focuses on unveiling the behind-the-scenes of opera production, from singer preparation to the complexities of staging an opera,” Carrillo explained.

One of the highlights of the Opera Encounter is the grand concert “Il baccio di Tosca,” scheduled for July 31. This performance will commemorate the centennial of Giacomo Puccini’s passing by bringing to life scenes from his iconic opera “Tosca.” The event will feature renowned opera stars Maria Katzarava as Floria Tosca, César Sánchez as Mario Cavaradossi, and Carlos Conde as Il Barone Scarpia. They will be accompanied by the Ghukasyan String Orchestra with Andrés Sarre at the piano, under the skilled direction of Armando Pesqueira, coordinator of the State Music System of Baja California.

As ENOR draws to a close, the festival will segue into the twelfth edition of the “Opera by the Sea Festival,” which will take place at the CEART Rosarito arts esplanade. This event is free to the public, further emphasizing the initiative’s goal to make cultural events accessible to a broader audience.

Local businesses and tourism operators are also set to benefit from the influx of visitors and cultural aficionados expected to attend the festival. This aligns with the broader vision of the organizers to not only enrich the cultural landscape but also stimulate the local economy through high-quality artistic events.

For those interested in experiencing this operatic extravaganza, further details about the program and ticket information can be found on the websites and social media pages of the Baja California Secretary of Culture and CEART Playas de Rosarito. This is a golden opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of opera right in the heart of Baja California.

Celebrate the Harvest in This Year Fiestas de la Vendimia


From July 31 to August 18, 2024, Ensenada, Baja California, will once again be the epicenter of Mexican wine culture with the XXXIV Fiestas de la Vendimia. Organized by Provino, which encompasses 84 wineries, this festival aims to promote Mexican wine, attracting an expected 120,000 attendees and generating an economic impact of 800 million pesos.

This year’s theme focuses on sustainability in agronomy, highlighting the industry’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices. As Provino celebrates its 24th anniversary, the festivities will feature over 30 events throughout the year, offering something for everyone.

Wine enthusiasts can indulge in tasting tours priced at 1,350 pesos, experiencing the rich flavors of local wines. Additionally, events like the one at Viña de Liceaga will showcase local talent such as the group “La Gran Familia” from Mexicali. For 1,450 pesos, guests can enjoy wine tastings paired with delicious paella.

Safety is a top priority, with the business sector collaborating to ensure a secure environment for all attendees. Despite the expected influx of cars, the event has a history of incident-free celebrations, a tradition they intend to uphold for many years to come.

Join the celebration of Mexican wine at Fiestas de la Vendimia and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Ensenada’s Valle de Guadalupe.

A Stark Warning of Water Cuts: A Water Watch Editorial


It seems an act of sheer folly to write about staying vigilant in our water usage after two relatively wet winters here in Baja California. It would seem the populus has fallen under a spell which suggests there is no longer a water issue in our future. But finally, a trickle of information was buried in the May 6th issue of this paper in the Que Pasa in Baja?, entitled “Baja California Faces Severe Colorado River Water Cuts.” It was only a matter of time for the alarm about water to be raised once again. The concern about water and the lack of it was never resolved; it just went underground with the rain of the last wet winters.

The Permanent Forum on Binational Waters issued the stark warning. “The upcoming cut in Colorado River water allocation to Mexico in 2024 will exceed the annual water usage of all Baja California cities reliant on this source.” This will mean about a 33% cut. It went on to say that the 2024 reductions of Baja’s primary water source have been severe, “the most severe will be in 2025, when a new administration is in charge.” This refers to the US elections in November. The 1944 Treaty protecting Colorado River water to Baja will expire in 2026. Yet the push for “progress” is in full gear around the state.
In the January 15th Gringo Gazette front page article sighted that the new governor, Marina Pila, attended the World Economic Forum in Switzerland where she stated that her primary goal was to showcase Baja California as “an ideal investment destination.” There was a long list of issues to be addressed such as economic development, security and sustainability. Last year the new governor announced her pet mega project for the wine country.  An “artificial town” with the theme of a medieval Italian village as a residential community and tourist complex with shops and lodging. 

The June 3rd paper had headlines of a “premier entertainment hub, boasting a capacity of 10,000 people for top-tier events,” including 300 bathrooms. How they can claim to be “eco-friendly” is absurd. June 14th Gringo Gazette was filled with articles promising happy tourist paradise and more jobs. One such is set to “Transform Ensenada’s Port Area,” and a ferry service from Ensenada to San Diego is expected in the next five months. Claiming to “boost” Baja’s image is touted as the “Punta Piedra’s New Misión Project.” It will feature 70 residences with “advanced technology and water-saving systems.” All of this is in alignment with the government’s blessings to have Baja California “attracting capital to the state.” It should be asked who is promising abundant water flowing for the generations of investors?  

Since I began investigating this issue over the last two decades it has become obvious to me that people’s minds tend to default to the idea that building desal plants will be our savior. Always after receiving these disturbing water facts there is always a casual wave of the hand, “Well, build a desal plant.” And sure enough, the July 1st front-page article by Archer Ingram, Rosarito’s New Desalination Plant Gets Green Light. I was amused by the subtitle, “if its ever completed” which is probably close to the truth. Ingram did a good job giving us all the ins and outs of the politics and costs of building it to a tune of half a billion dollars. But not addressed was the cost of operation and increased prices to the users. It wasn’t stated how long it would take to build the plant after all the talking stops. Given the timely nature of Rosarito’s water needs for development it is an important question. Will there be enough water to build it? This one plant would not furnish Rosarito’s growing needs and the impact on the ocean is a very real issue.

Oliver Quintero, Publisher of the Gringo Gazette, stated the land had already been purchased years ago for the first failed project which ended in litigation, the site is in Ejido Mazatlán, right next to the CFE thermoelectrical plant.

Water cuts are here. Water is our most precious thing we have. We waste a lot of it. Learning to conserve is wise for any future planning. To check out the water facts and history go to the Gringo Gazette webpage, ggnorth.com. Scroll down to August 16 and 30, 2021 where the Water Watch series begins.  Be sure and check out the YouTube channel Mojo Adventures for current boots-on-the-ground updates on the Colorado River as we head into 2026.

Editor’s Note: Martina is a freelance writer and journalist. She is the creator of the Water Watch series as a community service. She is the author of Dust in My Sandals, Tales from a Baja Traveler. See our ad and dive into her true adventures and wonders of Baja California.

Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito Declare Beaches Fit for Fun!

Good news, beach lovers! Both Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito have rolled out the blue carpets, inviting everyone to enjoy their sparkling sands and clear waters. After months of efforts and environmental vigilance, these popular coastal spots are ready to make your beach day dreams come true.

Playas de Tijuana: From No-Go to Go-Go!

It wasn’t looking good for a while there. With high levels of enterococcus bacteria—yes, that’s the yucky stuff from sewage spills—Tijuana’s beaches were a no-go zone for months. But thanks to the tireless efforts of the ‘Proyecto Ambiental Fronterizo’ and various local campaigns, the tides have turned. As of late May 2024, after relentless monitoring and cleaning, the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (COEPRIS) has given Playas de Tijuana the green light. They’re not just open; they’re officially safe for all your beachside frolicking. Let’s just hope they stay that way for a while.

Rosarito’s Center Beach: The Place to Be!

Moving down the coast to Rosarito, things are looking equally sunny. Center Beach has passed recent water quality tests with flying colors, showing levels of enterococcus well below the threshold of concern. Thanks to continuous improvements in beach surveillance and the commitment of local lifeguards—who train rigorously three times a week to keep their rescue chops up—beachgoers can rest easy. And to top it off, vehicle access to the beaches has been restricted to keep the sands safe and serene.

Both cities have seen remarkable community and governmental collaboration, demonstrating a stellar commitment to environmental health and public safety. From closed beaches marred by pollution to thriving recreational hotspots, Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito are clean, clear, and utterly inviting.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab that beach towel, slap on some sunscreen, and head to these beaches. Whether you’re building sandcastles, catching waves, or just soaking up some rays, these clean coastal gems are the place to be. Remember, though, the battle for clean beaches continues, and it’s up to all of us to keep them beautiful. Pack your trash, use those bins, and let’s keep our sands as clean as our fun is wild!

Gasoline Shortage Hits Tijuana, Tecate, and Rosarito!

Buckle up, folks! The gasoline shortage has hit Tijuana, Tecate, and Rosarito, and it’s not pretty. Carlos Roberto Rubio Arreola, the head honcho of the Onexpo Baja Gas Station Association in Tijuana, spilled the beans: some gas stations are already dry. Why? Because Pemex-Rosarito has hit the brakes on fuel distribution, thanks to a never-ending blockade by the residents of Maclovio Rojas, who are fed up with the lack of solutions to their property title issues.

Carlos Roberto mentioned that they’ve been chatting with Pemex to fix the mess, but as of this Tuesday, some Tijuana stations have already hung up the “No Gas” signs. Since last Sunday night, the residents of Maclovio Rojas set up camp and blocked the fuel trucks at the Pemex plant in Playas de Rosarito. Their gripe? Authorities aren’t paying attention to their property title problems.

Onexpo Baja confirmed in an official statement that their members are worried. Not only is Pemex unable to deliver fuel, but the authorized distributors are also stuck in the same boat.

Rubio Arreola warned that the problem is getting worse by the day, causing more and more gas stations to run dry. Onexpo promises to keep us in the loop about the efforts to restore fuel supplies and hopes for a quick and lasting solution to the Pemex Distribution Plant conflict. They’re as clueless about the root of the problem as we are, dear citizens.

If you can still find a gas station with fuel, fill up while you can. Some stations have already shut down, and who knows when they’ll be back in action. Good luck, and may the gas gods be with you!

Get Ready for the Sassy Fine Art Festival 2024!

Rosarito is about to get a whole lot sassier! On Saturday, June 8th, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Hacienda Km 43 will host the Sassy Fine Art Festival. This all-day event promises a feast for the senses, featuring 23 of northern Baja’s finest artists, live music, delicious food from Chef Santos, and three fully stocked bars. It’s set to be a day of pure enjoyment.

The festival, inspired by the talents of Marlen Caster and Polo Valencia, will showcase a range of artistic brilliance. Marlen Caster’s glowing-in-the-dark artwork highlights the tragedy of discarded fishing nets in the sea. Her pieces are nothing short of mesmerizing. Polo Valencia, a seasoned artist with a gallery in Popotla since 1988, has helped curate the festival’s lineup. Polo’s gallery has attracted celebrities like Mel Gibson and James Cameron, and he has a knack for discovering incredible talent.

Adding to the excitement, Canadian author Marnie Ross, now residing in San Felipe, will be present to share her Baja-set murder mystery series. Young talents Maky Garcia Romero, and brothers Tonatiuh and Emiliano Ramírez, are also set to impress with their work.

The entertainment lineup is equally stellar. World-class violinist Jose Enrique Tovar, formerly of the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra, will perform. Jose, now living in Mexico, is renowned for his versatility, seamlessly switching from classical violin to fiddle.

Following Jose is Storyteller, a band of seasoned rockers guaranteed to get the crowd moving. Known for their infectious energy, drummer Todd and lead guitarist Dante, along with the rest of the band, promise to deliver a performance that will have everyone dancing.

The Sassy Fine Art Festival’s first year is shaping up to be an unforgettable celebration of art, music, and community. From stunning visual art to live performances and culinary delights, this event is all about enjoying the finer things in life.

Don’t miss out on what promises to be an unforgettable day at the Sassy Fine Art Festival!

Arena Valle de Guadalupe Opens Its Doors with a Bang!

Get ready, music lovers! The brand-new Arena Valle de Guadalupe is set to become Baja California’s premier entertainment hub, boasting a capacity of 10,000 and promising top-tier events. Although the arena is still a work in progress, the venue opened its doors to the press for an exclusive tour on May 16th, revealing its impressive architecture and design, all set against the stunning backdrop of the wine valley.

The grand opening concert will be headlined by none other than Christian Nodal on May 26th, marking the first of many spectacular events. Following Nodal, a star-studded lineup awaits: Carín León on June 8th, Ricky Martin on June 21st, Banda MS on June 22nd, and Los Aguilar on July 27th. And that’s just the beginning!

Nelly Sanoja, the arena’s representative, highlighted the venue’s modern yet regionally respectful design. Equipped with nearly 300 restrooms, 3,000 parking spaces, and advanced security systems, Arena Valle de Guadalupe is ready to welcome both national and international visitors. The venue also prides itself on its eco-friendly construction, featuring its own power substation and septic systems, and ensuring accessibility for all guests.

Photo courtesy of Alejandro Zepeda

Ricky Martin’s concert on June 21st is particularly anticipated, as he will be the first international artist to grace the new arena’s stage. Fans can expect a phenomenal show with Ricky’s greatest hits, including “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and “She Bangs” enhanced by a full symphony orchestra. Tickets range from 2,000 to 10,000 pesos, promising a high-quality visual and auditory experience.

Marco Santalices from InHouse, the production company behind the arena, assured that while a few final touches are still being made, the venue will be fully ready for Nodal’s concert. The arena’s long-term strategy already includes bookings up to 2025, big names like J.Lo, Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, Raw Alejandro, and Maluma are already being mentioned while Luis Miguel is said to be already confirmed to perform, with the date to be announced soon.

Mark your calendars, grab your tickets, and get ready to experience world-class performances in the heart of Valle de Guadalupe!

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