If you live, or spend a good deal of time in Puerto Peñasco, at one time or another you will find yourself in need of ‘something.’ What that ‘thing’ might be varies, but there will come a day when you will have to get in your car, truck, dune buggy, quad or side by side and head into town in search of it.
Food is relatively easy, unless it’s an item that is not readily found in the Mexican cuisine pantheon. If you’re looking for, say, half and half for your coffee, you might be hard pressed if you don’t know that Ley Express carries it. Of course, you could always go to Sam’s (an option that most of us old timers never had) but it’s not a given that they’ll have it. Likewise, finding your favorite salad dressing could be problematic. Mine is 1000 Island, and trying to find a good one is difficult if you are particular. American style potato chips, Cheetos and Fritos are scarce as well. Diet Coke or Pepsi are hard to come by too! Coke Light is what you’ll find in most stores, but it doesn’t taste the same. The easiest fix is to adapt to the local brands and make do.
It used to be that most visitors from the north brought with them everything, like beer, soda and chips, that they thought they’d need, in large quantities. But as Peñasco has grown in size and popularity, and the desires of the visitors have become known to the merchants, many common items Americanos desire have suddenly become available. Finding them is whole other story.
What you may bring with you across the border tends to vary on any given day as well. There was a time when you couldn’t bring beef steaks across the border. No one ever quite figured out why, but on a sunny day a decade and a half or so back, a couple of my pilot friends caught the brunt of that prohibition when they landed at the old airport, only to have their coolers, filled with Rib Eyes and T-Bones, confiscated. Needless to say they were not happy with having several hundred dollars worth of USDA Prime meat taken. It’s safe to say that their plans for a big cook out tanked. How that was resolved, I do not know, but shortly thereafter, bringing down meat was no longer a problem. Ahhh, Mexico!
Hardware items seem to be the thing most difficult to locate. Most gringos are used to going into their local Home Depot and getting exactly what they need in one visit. Not so in Peñasco. Electrica Veel, (Francisco I. Madero 125, Centro) off Benito Juarez near Avenida Constitucion, has got a good selection of hardware, plumbing and other parts in addition to electrical materials. Likewise, Socoada Ace Hardware (a name most Americans are familiar with) on Calle Simon Morua has got a lot, as well as tools and other materials.
If you’re a woodworker, or need lumber or tools, Todo Para Carpintero (Tecla de Bustamante sn, Centro, Josefa Ortíz de Dominguéz) has got it, in spades. My wife won’t let me take my wallet in when I go there because, being a tool freak, I just drool over the amazing selection of high-quality wood working tools on the wall of the main showroom. They also carry fine, cabinet grade, hardwoods as well as sized lumber. If you’re out near La Choya, Fermadera Los Pinos (Constitución S/N, José López Portillo) can supply you with whatever you need, construction materials-wise.
Another problem we have, living on the sea as we do, is metals don’t age well. Painting only does so much to stop the corrosive effects of the salt air. One solution is powder coating, an electrostatic process that bonds color directly to the metal. The process keeps rust at bay, extends the life of the metal and the maintenance required to keep it looking new. In times past, that process has been exclusively available only north of the border, but no more. Cholla Bay Powder Coating (Calle F, Playa Arenos, Bahía la Choya) can get it done for you at reasonable prices.
These and many more businesses provide a full spectrum of services to the residents and visitors to Puerto Peñasco, both full and part time. Before you get frustrated because you find yourself in need of that special ‘something’ and throw your hands up in disgust, ask a local. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that whatever it might be, you’ll find it right here in our little paradise.