brenda

“It seems like most people are looking for a way to connect, which is what I offer them”

With an eye toward building community by encouraging healthy communication, Brenda Retzlaff operates a message board on www.allvallarta.com. Community is paramount to Brenda, a resident of Puerto Vallarta for less than three years, but already a much-sought-after resource for local information. “Sometimes people bring up hot topics on the board that create this whirlwind of responses. I’ve been known to tell people where to get off if they don’t respect that the board isn’t for advertising or for politics.”

How is it that this petite dynamo from Minnesota has become such an expert in such a short time? “I like to encourage people to consider other options. Every now and then, even when I’m busy, I do some of the touristy things —like going on an expedition to see the whales, or going to Splash with friends, or Temazcal, things like that. It helps me keep up-to-date on what’s out there. I go to new restaurants and check out new places for myself.”

Sergio González, her previous employer at PV Net where she organized and created their website format, says, “Brenda has the ability to see things from the viewpoint of the tourist and finds the clearest way to present them.”

“It seems like most people are looking for a way to connect, which is what I offer them on the board,” observes Retzlaff. “In fact, we meet every Friday at Cuates y Cuetes for cocktails around sunset. If you want to get together with us, join us. Surprisingly enough, lasting friendships have come out of this. I’ve been told about Vallarta parties in places like Calgary, Vancouver, the East Coast, California, Wisconsin, Texas.”

As if this weren’t enough, Retzlaff also manages the deluxe nine-unit Casa Isabel on the hills above the South Side. Unfazed by the most complex requests or desires of her guests, she manages to pull it off with a bright smile. “It’s a good combination, because in a way it’s related to what I do on the board, which is help people find community and their very own Vallarta. If they leave a little bit of themselves here, they’ll be back. It’s just the way it works.”