Diseños Casa y Jardín has been open for eleven years so far, during this time, we have seen good and bad times, we have been busy and we have been very quiet, however we are a company with a deep sense of social responsibility. As you know we have a strong commitment with the community of local artists in Puerto Peñasco, in the last years we have held three different contests, one to find our current company logo and two to recognize the outstanding performance of certain talents.

As you have probably noticed as well, we permanently display the logo for the local LGBT Alliance of information & support as part of our caring to impact Puerto Peñasco’s community. Over the years I’ve learned, as Maya Angelou used to say: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

In Puerto Vallarta, besides my career in the hotel industry and in the restaurant business, I worked as a consultant and instructor for different training programs. In one instance, I was hired by one the cities in the bay to work with the police department, I collaborated helping establish the fundamentals for the academy topics.

That city wanted to teach the new police officers how to deal with citizens in a “customer-service approach”, it was a unique experience to work with law-enforcement people. No wonder why in 2001, Puerto Vallarta was named as La Ciudad Mas Amigable en el Mundo (The Friendliest City in the World) by CondéNast magazine.

Condé Nast quotes, “Friendliest of all, however, is Puerto Vallarta (92.5 out of 100 points). The Mexican resort city marked its debut on the list in 2001, in part because of the remarkable amiability of the local folk.”

Amiability is something we cannot fake, yet, we can always raise awareness so people will understand the importance of rendering a great service, and hopefully that information sensitizes them so they will deliver quality service with a sincere smile.

In that vein I remember the times I had dealings with the Four Seasons®, they had a motto “We can teach you how to make beds or how to make a reservation but we can’t teach you how to smile”, so if someone doesn’t smile at their first interview they don’t get further in the hiring process. I rather insist though, that human beings can become more empathetic and emotionally intelligent in their relationships with others.

A few weeks ago I was very pleased to receive the invitation to share some of that experience and knowledge with the local police department, I would specifically work with the department of Prevention of Domestic Violence/D.A.R.E., a group of seven enthusiastic officers who spend their shifts working in schools, teaching kids how to avoid the dangers of drugs and so forth. They also attend to the calls to assist families in violent situations.

We spent three excellent days reviewing principles of body language and its connection with crime prevention and stress management. We spent some time reviewing and reacting some cases in which some of those principles were involved. This workshop empowered new elements and gave the not-so-new members of the team, a way to review, teach and learn new information, especially when we talked about negotiation.

We spoke about human resilience, how to achieve it as professionals and how to make others aware of its importance in life; another topic we thoroughly discussed was assertiveness, and how this department can help children develop that quality in the face of bullying when they visit schools.

At Diseños Casa y Jardín we truly believe ‘If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it’. We are going to continue helping Peñasco become the paradise we all would like to have, even when we have to take matters into our hands.

I learned there is also much to do, the group of D.A.R.E. needs volunteers, materials to work efficiently; and more importantly they need a board of trustees to help them raise the resources the program needs to be effective. So in case you feel you can be of help and want to contribute do not hesitate and contact officer Andres Lara Fuentes who is in charge of prevention or you can write me an email or give me a call at (044-638) 384-0066. Your help will be very much appreciated.

Thank you again dear friends for reading this column, for visiting and patronizing my design center on Rodeo Drive and also for supporting our new endeavor: the restaurant Bacanora Grill in the marina area. We will keep on striving to give you outstanding service and delicious food but more importantly, we invite you take a stand on the social issues we feel Peñasco still needs help with.

Every other month we hold and sponsor an activity for the local LGBT Alliance; for example last June 28 the first ever Pride parade was held in Hermosillo and Peñasco had the privilege of leading that parade. Remember Diseños Casa y Jardín continues to work hard on the board of CEDO and the Local Chamber of Commerce.

Choose your flag and join us to make of Puerto Peñasco the place we want it to be!

Writen by Eddie Wharez®