After an official release from the governor of the state of Nayarit on March 30th, 2020, asking tourists to not travel during what normally is Sayulita's busiest time of year, "Semana Santa", or Spring/Easter break, Sayulita's local volunteer group, the Gavilanes Vigilantes, took safety measures into their own hands, and have been helping to patrol the entrance and exit to and from town in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Sayulita Life made an additional $5,000 donation to the Vigilantes’ group in order to support their efforts in protecting our pueblo. This donation went toward purchasing food & refreshments directly for the 50+ volunteers working long and tiresome shifts, and toward the purchase of safety supplies needed for the group’s members.
Starting on April 4th, 2020, the Gavilanes created checkpoints at the entrance and exit of the pueblo in order to ensure that state safety protocols were being enforced and that tourists were not being allowed entrance into Sayulita. Supported by the local police, transito, & marina, the Gavilanes granted access into Sayulita to local residents and essential workers only. On April 6th, 2020, it was reported that the Gavilanes turned around 300+ cars within just the first three days of working the security checkpoints. They announced via Facebook that their plan to patrol the entrances would last until April 30th, 2020.
The Vigilantes released an official statement highlighting their purpose: "As a measure of immediate action in the absence of a response of action by the corresponding authorities, thinking of our people, we are analyzing the option of closing accesses to Sayulita, & implementing filters for entry and exit control. We know that it may seem a drastic and decisive decision for many, but as a group committed to our people, we firmly believe that it is the best decision to face the prevention of the spread of this virus that is causing a lot of damage throughout the world."
On April 7th, SayulitaLife.com donated the $5,000 pesos to Sayulita’s Gavilanes after seeing how many volunteers were committing to help, and how they desperately needed donations to sustain them through the end of the month with food & supplies. Several of our staff also personally dropped off homemade meals and other supplies to the team of volunteers at the checkpoints.
As the Vigilantes continued to monitor the checkpoints, on April 9th, Sayulita was ordered to a strict lock-down, with restricted beach access for residents. No locals were allowed to leave town unless for emergencies, and the Gavilanes began patrolling the streets & beaches to ensure locals were following the order to stay at home. On April 16th, Mexico’s federal government announced the extension of the quarantine through May 30th, 2020.
On April 18th, 2020, after 360 hours and 15 days of labor, the Gavilanes released an official statement announcing that the Municipal President and Secretary of Public Security of the State had taken over control of the filters and checkpoints, and that the group was no longer in charge. However, they stated that they would continue to help and assist by offering support to the police, and by continuing to monitor Sayulita’s streets and beaches.
We thank all of the Gavilanes Vigilantes volunteers for helping to keep our village safe; we could not be more proud of how each of them stepped up to help in a time of great need. Sayulita will bounce back and continue to stay safe & healthy due to the tremendous efforts of this amazing, selfless group.
As things continue to change by the day, we will keep readers updated regarding how the Vigilantes are helping to serve our community. We encourage readers to visit their FaceBook Page for updates and more information.
*Since its founding in 2004, SayulitaLife.com has been dedicated to giving back to the community of Sayulita. In our 15th year as a company, Sayulita Life has created the “Giving Fund”, where we have pledged to donate $5,000 pesos EVERY MONTH to a local charity or cause. Read more at https://www.sayulitalife.com/giving-back.
Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri