All posts filed under: Your People

Antonio-Parra-Agente-de-Seguridad

Antonio Parra – Security Agent

Antonio Parra is a happy and charismatic 24 year old with a big smile and a great attitude. Upon meeting him it’s easy to see why General Manager Philipp Real suggested that I interview him for this month’s column.   Antonio is a Security Agent at Garza Blanca in Puerto Vallarta. He works the main lobby entrance and the beach. His job is mostly about receiving guests and keeping a watchful eye over the property, but Antonio goes the extra mile to make sure guests have a great experience, and that is why we are featuring him this month.   Security Agents are the first people you see when you arrive at Garza Blanca. Dressed in brown trousers, beige shirts, and hats, they receive guests and keep a security detail of everyone who enters and exits the property daily. They do daily rounds, walking the property making sure everything is in order.   Antonio does all of this, of course, but his extra charm, personality, and willingness to take care of guests have earned him …

Chef Refugio Silva

Chef Refugio Silva – Chef Patron – Garza Blanca & Hotel Mousai

Chef Silva keeps all of the restaurants running smoothly, behind the scenes. He serves a very important role that is crucial to the kitchen departments, but not always visible to the guests. Today we pull back the curtain to shine a spotlight on Chef Silva. Tell me about your background, and your role at Garza Blanca and Hotel Mousai. I was born in Michoacan, and I moved to the United States when I was 14 years old. I lived in Nebraska and I started working in a restaurant there as a busboy when I was 17 years old, and that is how I began my career. I got promoted to dishwasher, then kitchen. I fell in love with cooking and now I have many years experience in international cuisine including Mexican, Italian, French, Spanish and even vegetarian cuisine. When I decided to come back to Mexico, I knew I wanted to live in a vacation town like Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. I chose Puerto Vallarta because it is close …

Miriam-Vázquez-New-Restaurant-Manager-at-Blanca-Blue

Miriam Vázquez – New Restaurant Manager at Blanca Blue

With Blanca Blue being updated from top to bottom, including improvements to the dining room, a brand new menu, new cocktails, new chef, and new bar staff, the restaurant needed a strong new manager to steer the transition into the new direction, and Miriam was the perfect choice. With her experience in fine dining, Mexican food and diversity in the culinary arts world, in addition to being fully bilingual in English and Spanish and bicultural in Mexican and United States culture, she brings an unmatched skill set to Blanca Blue. Read on to learn more about our new top notch manager. Please tell us a little about your background. I was born in Mexico City, and when I was 12 years old I moved to the United States. I lived in Sedona, Arizona for 16 years. I started working at L’Auberge de Sedona Resort and Spa which is where my passion for Food & Beverage and service started. L’Auberge had two restaurants, an American bistro where I started working, and a separate restaurant L’Auberge restaurant …

Head Chef Ovidio Pérez

If you have been reading this column for the past few months, you know that the Food & Beverage department at Garza Blanca in Puerto Vallarta has been going through a major upgrade! The restaurants have been renovated, new staff have been brought on board, and the menus have been updated! Read on to meet Chef Ovidio Pérez, the brand new head chef at Blanca Blue.   Tell me about your background. I am originally from Zimatlán de Álvarez, Oaxaca, where I first learned my love of food and passion for cooking from my grandmother and my mother. My mother’s name is Juana Amaya Hernandez, and she is one of the top chefs in Oaxaca known for traditional style cooking, especially mole. She is one of the 3 most important traditional style women chefs from Oaxaca. She is a person who all the people search to learn about the kitchen. She is well known through word of mouth. All my creativity starts from my mom and my grandma.   For university, I studied cooking at …

Ivan Aguilar – Bar Manager for Garza Blanca and Hotel Mousai

Ivan started working at Garza Blanca in May of 2018 as Head Bartender, and was quickly promoted to Bar Manager for both Garza Blanca and Hotel Mousai. Read on to learn more about this talented young man with a grand vision.   Tell me about your background and your education. I’m from Mexico City and I’m the youngest of four siblings. I have my undergraduate degree in tourism and hospitality from Instituto De Estudios Superiores De Turismo in Mexico City, and my master’s degree in Nutrition from Quintana Roo University. Before finishing my undergrad, I did an internship in Scottsdale, Arizona for 6 months with the Four Seasons hotel. After I graduated, I worked in Cabo San Lucas at the hotel Las Ventanas Paraiso by Rosewood as a bartender. It was my first job after school and it gave me the opportunity to use all of the knowledge I gained about the hospitality industry in university, and it was the perfect job for someone like me who really loves to talk to people and get …

Daniel Gutierrez Villaseñor – Assistant Manager of Food & Beverage Operations

Daniel Gutierrez is an ambitious young man who is new to Garza Blanca, with just three months on staff, but at the age of 28 he already has a long history of working in restaurants, hospitality, and food & beverage management, and a tale of hard work and international adventure behind him that landed him here in Puerto Vallarta.   Tell us about your background. I was born in Veracruz, Mexico. I lived there until I was 15 years old, when I had the opportunity to move the to the United States to live with family in Inglewood, California, in the Los Angeles area. I learned English and started my restaurant career there.   When I moved to California I didn’t speak any English at all, but it was very important to me to go to a high school where classes were taught only in English because I knew that I would have more opportunities in my professional life if I learned to speak English well.   I started working part-time in a restaurant after …

Gema Esther Yerena Arechiga – Spa Coordinator

If you have visited Spa Imagine, you may well have met Gema who is the spa coordinator and one of the most senior therapists. She supports the spa manager, Marisol Arreola, and is responsible for curating the treatments. With almost 3 years working at Spa Imagine, the Puerto Vallarta-born therapist offers a wealth of expertise to all those who fall beneath the touch of her healing hands.   Read on to find out more about this mother of three who dedicates her life to other people’s well being. When did you learn you had a talent for healing and wellness? When I was younger, I needed a job to provide for my children, so my mother agreed to support me while I studied. At first, my mother did not want me to train in this field, but when I insisted, I soon realized that I had found work that I loved.   From the first time I gave a massage, I knew it was for me. I then went on to study all kinds of …

Every Vacation is Delicious Thanks to Johnattan Diaz

Meet Johnattan Diaz, Garza Blanca’s talented Food & Beverage Manager. Thanks to hard work and determination plus an innovative spirit and a constant eye on culinary trends, he has found the perfect recipe for success. Keep reading to see why he is such an incredible asset to the team.   Please tell us about your background. I was born in Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, but I have lived in 6 of Mexico’s states throughout my life. I went to university in Aguascalientes, and when I graduated, I took a job in Cancun at the Melia resort. My career has allowed me to live in some of the most amazing destinations in the country, including Los Cabos, Playa del Carmen, and currently in Puerto Vallarta. I have been fortunate to be involved in the openings of several prestigious properties around Mexico. I first began working for Garza Blanca 5 years ago, beginning as a Food & Beverage Assistant which quickly led to a promotion as the Food & Beverage Manager. Since I have experience …

Welcome New General Manager Cecilia Bustos

Allow us to introduce you to Cecilia Bustos, who became the new General Manager of Hotel Mousai in January 2018. Her enthusiasm and passion for life have already had a positive impact on the resort, and her friendly personality is sure to put a smile on your face. Read on to learn more about the personal and professional life of this proud wife and mother of two.   Will you tell us a bit about your background? Gladly! I was born in the state of Guerrero. We traveled around a lot as a family when I was a child because of my father’s job, which had a huge impact on my life. I was shy as a kid, but traveling opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. I loved meeting new people, experiencing different things and seeing all of the things that make a destination unique. I fell in love with the hospitality industry as a result and began my career when I was just 18 years old, during which time I …

Lend Your Ear to Claudia Madera Neyra

Having started her formal musical training at just 8 years old in Havana, Cuba, it should come as no surprise to members that Claudia Madera Neyra, your resident violinist at Garza Blanca Preserve, plays so beautifully. An only daughter, she grew up in a household full of music; her mother is a music teacher and her father is a professional musician. Today, at just 24 years old, the talented musician finds herself in Puerto Vallarta, more than two thousand miles from home. Read on to find out what she had to say about her career so far as a musician. How did you become a musician? Both my parents are musicians; and you could say I was born with music in my bones. I started my professional training at just 8 years old when I began at the La Escuela Elemental de Música in Havana. I was born in Havana and grew up there. As a young child, I loved music, and would watch concerts on the television, singing at home with my parents and …