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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Remembering Landon Hollander: 'Improving Quality of Life in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle' - and Beyond

Cindy Bouchard - Amigos de La Cruz
September 23, 2016

Recent birthday celebration for young Dunia, hosted by Connie and Landon (Amigos de La Cruz)

Nothing feels ‘right’ and there are no correct words when we lose a friend. A part of our tight community has passed away and we are mourning. Landon Hollander promoted La Cruz de Huanacaxtle every chance he could. On Facebook, daily notices of restaurant specials with fabulous photos of the offerings would pop up thanks to Landon. Inside La Cruz, an online newsletter with a FB presence shared upcoming events, restaurant specials around town and boasted visiting celebrities to the area.

Landon, along with his wife Connie, will always be known for their volunteer commitments with the Amigos de La Cruz and most notably for creating and running one of the most talked about events ever in La Cruz. ‘A Taste of La Cruz’ was a world class event; a trade-show of sorts, where for a nominal entrance fee we got to hang out with friends, meet new people, listen to amazing music, enjoy ‘tastes’ of amazing food and wine from vendors around the Bay all while the sun set before us. As a roving reporter for these events, this was my favorite ‘overhear': After asking me what time the event ended, a fellow shared with me what he was frantically typing into his cell phone “I’m putting this on Facebook, right now. Everybody’s got to come!”

Landon will be remembered for his community generosity and his deep love for Connie, who we hold in our prayers. Condolences poured in from our community, there are many more on Facebook, so many, I tried not to duplicate:

“Landon was my first and best friend in La Cruz. He and Connie met me and my friend for breakfast the first morning we were in town from San Diego 5 years ago and showed us the ropes – where to go, where to shop and how to get around. Then they invited us to some community events and I fell in love with their little piece of paradise… Landon has always been my go-to person for anything and was always there for me… advice, a ride, a computer fix, a good joke, where to get the best cheeseburger… he was always helping someone! Most of all he taught me his love and respect for the people of La Cruz. I can’t even imagine La Cruz without him… but I know La Cruz will not forget him.” Carrie Elwood

“I met Landon in 2011 during our La Cruz Kids Club Bake Sale. Landon was interested in learning more about Marina Riviera Nayarit and its involvement with the community. It was nice to see him wanting and willing to write about our efforts including volunteering and creating new events. His personality was predominate in his writing, which gave us a good laugh at times and kept us well entertained.
I will miss hearing his voice on the morning Cruiser Radio Net (ch 22A), reading his current stories & seeing him around town taking photos and reporting updates for Inside La Cruz and on Facebook. I will always remember his warm smile. Editor, writer, reporter, photographer and most important, one of our own. Dear Landon, you will be missed. I know you are still here with us in many ways.” Katrina Liana of the Marina Riviera Nayarit

“One of the things that Landon accomplished, which newer residents of La Cruz might not know, is the development of the garbage bins or as they say in Spanish ‘tombos.’ Around 2010, he and Connie put a lot of effort into getting this program going. Their yard was often full of supplies to get the tombos ready for placement in the town, which included drilling holes so the rain didn’t collect and painting Amigos de La Cruz on each and every one of them. It is a project that has been very successful. On behalf of my neighbors and friends in La Cruz; many thanks to Landon for his contribution.” Karen Cope

“Landon Hollander definitely deserves this recognition. I want to share my experience knowing Landon as I always saw him as ‘the gift of helping’ and giving me ideas for my business. It was a privilege to have him as a client, always calm, respectful, an excellent client!! Unfortunately, I didn’t say to Landon that as a Mexican it is a privilege to have foreigners in my country (your country also), who become connected to Mexico. You enjoyed and took the time to understand the culture and help improve the economic development of this area. My respect and admiration and infinite thanks, Landon, wherever you are. To your wife Constance a loving embrace and in your memory she will receive of me my help, she must approach me when she needs and gladly I will help her as thanks for the good work you played in Bahia de Banderas.“ Vilma Habelloecker, Vilma’s Yacht Agency

“Wayland and I were devastated to hear of Landon´s sudden death; our deepest sympathies go to Connie on her loss. She and Landon have been like angels to us since Wayland´s accident two years ago, regularly bringing over delicious meals with exotic recipes that brightened our horizon. Landon has played an important role in keeping the La Cruz community together over the last 8 years or so, organizing events and presenting a meeting place for local businesses, visitors and residents; this was his public face, but with friends he was always warm and thoughtful and expressed his great fortune in sharing with us this small town and tropical paradise.” Wayland and Aruna, El Jardin del Pulpo, Octopus's Garden

“While I knew that Landon had a long history of community service, to me he was always the life of the party. Beer tasting, Derby parties, movie night, Sunday brunches, and summer dinners were just some of the fun events he was central to. He was a whiz with technology, which always seemed to need a tweek or two, and he was the go-to guy when something needed to be installed.” Shari Dector Hirst

“Hello my name is Sandra Gonzalez and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet Mr. Landon and Mrs. Connie Hollander. I was given the opportunity to participate in the event at Taste of La Cruz from 2012-2013, participating as la Modista (the dressmaker). Thanks to their advice and experience I undertook new opportunities and am no longer in La Cruz but in Guadalajara; as a dressmaker in ROSA CLARÁ. That changed my life completely. I will always be eternally grateful. Thank You, Landon and Connie Hollander.” Sandra Gonzalez

“We are so sad and speechless, hard to put feelings into words. We appreciate all the support Landon always gave to the music and to the town. Geo and I send love to Connie.” Fernanda, Luna Rumba

“I just want to share that Landon not only helped in La Cruz, but he and his wife were always generous with us in San Pancho. I remember that he would contact me, often in the dredges of summer to offer to bring a load of clothes or donations for the EntreAmigos community center that I run. He would always be full of energy and excitement for the work that we are doing, he would “love on us” if you can say it in that way. We send our love and abrazos to the family and to all of you in La Cruz who have lost a special soul.” Nicole Swedlow, Director, EntreAmigos

“In the spring of 2012 Landon worked to get businesses of La Cruz together and help each other with marketing and promoting La Cruz. In the end there was no official La Cruz business owners group but those meetings led to the foundation of the Restaurant Association of Riviera Nayarit. One of the focus points of this association is the training and professional education of employees and young people, something he would have loved. In my personal opinion I think that he always tried to help people and businesses with his skills of writing an interesting story about this place he called home – La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. “ Andrea Küffner, Black Forest Restaurant

“Landon was an engaging supporter of many of our community projects that also involved our marine community. He was a common voice on our Radio Net in the morning on VHF 22A at 0830, to help keep the marine fleet informed about what was going on around La Cruz. He was constantly involved in programs with Amigos De La Cruz and made sure the fleet knew about them. I know from my heart that this amazing mixed community of nationals, foreign, and marine, will feel the loss terribly.” Mike Danielson, PV Sailing, North Sails

“If you ever ask about La Cruz’s best promoter, you will hear Landon’s name. We got together when we started planning and working on ‘Taste of La Cruz,’ then ‘La Cruz Music Festival’ and some more events that he had in mind; he was always working, always thinking what would be best for the La Cruz community. A heavy supporter of local business, even in the summer time, inviting people to spend money on the local restaurants in order to support business and keep them open year around. With a big smile on his face, and a camera in hand, always ready to take a photo and show the best of La Cruz. We are losing one of the best promoters for our little, quite and lovely community.” Rafa Alcantara, Harbormaster, Marina Riviera Nayarit, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

“Landon left us a great legacy, his love for the diverse community of La Cruz. We are ever grateful for his great example of loving community service.” Chris Bouchard

Note from Connie: Thank you for your outpouring of love during this difficult time. Many are asking about a memorial in honor of Landon, and I promise to let you know the plans, as soon as I can. Connie

Señor Landon, I hope you knew how much you were respected and LOVED! Adios Amigo… vaya con Dios.

Mass was held for Landon, arranged by "Dunia Two," as Landon called her, at the Catholic Church across from the La Cruz plaza, 8 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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