Life in La Cruz: The Chimichurri Tool Man

One day a guest shared the most delicious sauce. It looked like pesto but was more flavourful. Called chimichurri I learned it’s made locally. My friends told me it’s for meat but I’ve used it so many ways including mixing it with cream cheese enjoying it as chip dip, or whipped with avocado oil and used as a salad dressing or I stir in an avocado and serve with cut veggies. No matter it’s yummy and I’ve been a fan and cheerleader of maker Alberto Alvarez Franco ever since!

Alberto had been to Canada and had considered living there but elected to move to La Cruz in 2008 to assist his ill mother-in-law. In 2009 he moved back to Monterrey returning to La Cruz in 2011. Alberto operates two businesses; creating his scrumptious chimichurri and pickles selling them at the various farmer’s markets around the bay and he founded Toolman PV in 2013 to provide residential maintenance servicing from Punta de Mita to Boca de Tomatlán. He told me “I specialize in washing machines, dryers, pool equipment, hydro pressure systems, plumbing (for both water and gas), electricity, ceiling fans, dishwashers, water heaters, and everything you can put on a Honey-Do list. What’s great? I guarantee my work, and if I don’t solve your problem, you don’t have to pay me.” He enjoys ‘making it work again’.

A good year of business to Alberto begins as ‘the season’ commences with expats and friends returning to the Bay. He notices at the Sunday Market in La Cruz more and more people are coming with newspapers and social media posts talking about the Bay as one of the top destinations in the world.

Alberto was born in 1972 and raised in Culiacán, Sinaloa graduating college at UANL in Monterrey as a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer in 1997.

He says “Like any other business there have been rewards, not just money but also in recognition especially when customers call me again. Every job is a challenge, it might be the same known machine but the space to work on it is reduced, or the screws are rusted or the salinity in the place has corroded everything underneath. There’s always a complication… but I have the tools, the experience and I use my wits and my hands to figure it out. The overwhelming moment comes when everybody calls that one day, when I wish I had four hands and 37 hours in a day, and/or a doppelgänger.”

Seven years in a row Alberto has volunteered for the Altruism Festival on behalf of Amigos de La Cruz. He also donates his services in the form of a voucher for charity events around Bucerías and La Cruz. He’s donated his time working at both the Elementary and Junior High schools in La Cruz and will do it again if requested.

Alberto loves La Cruz for the warmth and love of the people living here, the food, the music and the amenities. He says, “This is the best place on Earth.”

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Cindy Bouchard
Cindy Bouchard, an expat Canadian runs a Boutique Hotel, Villa Amor del Mar, in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. She and her husband Chris are living and lovin’ in Vallarta–Nayarit. If you want more info on La Cruz or desire… A very special vacation contact Cindy via