Friday, December 11, 2009

Puerto Peñasco's Identity Crisis

-by El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"

There are many (very) popular travel and vacationing spots around the world and when people ponder certain destinations, whether they’ve ever been before or not, one or two images and/or emotions usually come to mind. Often those metaphors depict (at least to them) what the place is like.

I’d bet the farm that if you stopped people on any ‘Main-Street’ USA and asked them to describe (e.g.) Paris in one word, they ‘might’ say ‘Wine’, ‘Food’, ‘Fashion’ or the ‘Eiffel Tower’ etc. If you then stopped more people and asked them to describe, in one word, “Hawaii” they’d likely come up with ‘Tropical’, ‘Luau’, ‘Exotic’ or ‘Rainbows’, etc.

Of course Puerto Peñasco is not as well known as other destinations but I wonder if you stopped people on the streets in Phoenix or the surrounding area and asked them to describe Peñasco in one word, for many that might be a challenge.

My best guess is that for those who’ve visited or live in Rocky Point there are varied thoughts and opinions about RP, but I’m also likely to believe that for those who’ve never been here before but have heard of PP they’d most likely have no view or perspective one way or the other.

Even if I change the question from one word to, say, three, four or five I have recently discovered that I, too, had a difficult time describing Peñasco to an acquaintance recently in such a manner, and in few words, so that it conjured up ‘images’ in their mind and more importantly a desire to visit…

But what I found even more interesting is when I asked a friend who comes to town as often as she can with her family if she could tell me (in one word) what comes to her mind when she thinks of Puerto Peñasco? She hesitated for a fraction of a second and then said “Ocean”; yet within a nano-second (keep in mind she is very honest and tells it like she sees it) she said, “No; dirty”.

She, like so many others, really likes Peñasco for Peñasco being, well, Peñasco and then continued on citing having fun, the beaches, etc. But that still doesn’t quite get that one common mental impression so many people around the world associate with other destinations…

¡Viva México y Puerto Peñasco!

Email me: El Gitano Penasco
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain