If you’re looking to meet new friends, learn Spanish, play bridge, find a new restaurant, or to volunteer to help Mexican kids, the International Friendship Club (IFC) welcomes you. The clubhouse/office is upstairs above the HSBC bank, at the corner of Libertad and Insurgentes in el Centro. It’s open from 9 am to 1:30 Monday to Friday.
If you’d like to meet new friends, then the IFC Happy Hour happens on Fridays from 5 to 6 pm, where people do the social thing of mixing and mingling. Afterward, you might like to hook up with a few people and walk to a restaurant that may be new to you but has been checked out by a club hostess/host. They will make sure that your evening with new friends is an enjoyable one.
If you enjoy living in Mexico and realize that the best way to communicate is to be able to speak a few words or tell whole stories in Spanish, then come to the Spanish classes. They happen every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and cater to every level of competency, from learning to say “Hola” to heights that I can only dream of.
Bridge, for some retirees and those just on vacation, is an important form of mental challenge, relaxation, and another way to socialize. If you’d like to learn the basics as well as some more advanced techniques, Tom Hibbs, the IFC’s affable bridge instructor, will let you into the mysteries of re-doubling when you are vulnerable. Tom’s classes happen on Mondays from 9 to noon. Social bridge is played on Fridays from 2 to 5 pm. Everyone is welcome.
If you’d like to volunteer to help the IFC raise money to help the local Mexican kids, the IFC can use your help. Running the club takes a lot of people doing a lot of different things for just a few hours a month. The club’s major fundraising engine is the famous IFC Home Tours. The tours need people to sell tickets, collect money, write name tags, be docents on the buses, find the homes, and more. Tours happen on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for a couple of hours.
Volunteers are needed to be the face of the IFC during office hours. Our “receptionists” provide information about the club and sell tickets to club activities. It’s a great way to meet visitors and to help them and other members.
IFC donates financial help to a diverse group of Mexicans in need. It provides anti-venom for scorpion stings to villages on Cabo Corrientes. It encourages kids to learn classical, Mexican, and jazz music by supporting three separate youth music programs. The cleft palate program has been providing free surgeries and follow-up medical care to kids with cleft palates since 1985. All of these activities, and many more, happen because people like you step up to help: a little or a lot.
If you decide to check out the IFC website at www.ifcvallarta.co and follow that up with a visit, you will be welcomed. Please, come and see us.