Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Spring/Summer 2006 issue.

From soap to rope and, of course, food and beverages, there are myriad uses for this bowling-ball-sized fruit ubiquitous on tropical beaches around the world — floating on ocean currents, its seeds tend to take root not far from shore.

Now, a heads up: Next time you’re lying under a rustling coconut palm, you might want to check whether the fruit it bears is green or brown. Why? Well, as a safety precaution, actually; the darker it is, the more mature and ready to plummet to earth.

In Vallarta, however, the truth is that most encounters you are likely to have with a coconut will include alcohol and a paper umbrella. That is unless you’re a Mexican child who doesn’t want to go to bed. Then your parents may scare you into compliance by saying “The boogeyman will get you.” And in this country, El Coco is that imaginary big hairy monster’s name.