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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | October 2009 

Gay Puerto Vallarta's Founding Father, Paco Ruiz, Gravely Ill and Needs Your Help
email this pageprint this pageemail usEd Walsh - SF Gay Travel Examiner
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October 24, 2009

Paco Ruiz and pet (
The man most responsible for Puerto Vallarta becoming the most popular gay destination in Mexico is fighting for his life. Paco Ruiz, the founder of Club Paco Paco, is gravely ill with cancer.

Club Paco Paco opened in December 1989, nearly 20 years ago, and changed everything in Vallarta. A few people know that it was when the police threw him in jail, many years ago, for two lesbians kissing in his bar, that Vallarta was transformed into the gay friendly town we know today. Rather than bail him out of jail, his lover and partner, David Lansley, called the news organizations in Mexico City.

His case became one of those momentary media sensations all over Mexico. It was on all the newscasts on TV and PV's mayor was not pleased. If fact he pretty much freaked out, because it made Vallarta the laughing stock of the moment.

The changes where the city stopped the homophobic repression of gay bars and embraced gay tourism happened quickly in the aftermath. The mayor even helped arrange the leasing of a new location for Paco Paco, where is was for its heyday years until its demise. It is now the location of Paco's Ranch.

Paco is not a rich guy. That's another sad story. He never made much money. A series of contractual and business disputes eventually left him with nothing.

Paco was diagnosed just a couple months ago. He had surgery, which was only able to remove half of the tumor, and proceeded to radiation and chemo, which did not go well. They have had to abandon this therapy until he gets stronger.

As of today he has lost about 40% of his weight and is a private hospital in Guadalajara that is costing 5000 pesos ($385 US) a day. Frankly, he doesn't have the money and he needs our help.

How can you help?

Donations to help with the medicines for Paco can be sent via paypal to mark(at)

His lover of nearly 30 years works for Gay Guide Vallarta. (

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