Caboholics Convention Is Coming To Town

If you are addicted to Cabo this might be the meeting for you.
BY: DAVID HARMER

For the fifth consecutive year the annual Carboholics convention rolls into the southern Baja February 6th to 13th. You may have noticed a multitude of Gringo folks over the last couple of days wearing various forms of Caboholic memorabilia, wondering round the area’s shops, bars and restaurants. To the uninitiated it may look like winter-break for baby boomers but no, it’s much more than that. Sure the Carboholics are in town to have a great time and revel in everything that this part of Mexico has to offer. In fact it may seem that the only thing Caboholics do in moderation is moderation itself. But look closer and you will find that there is a far more laudable end game to their apparently superficial frolicking.

caboholics.jpgThe Caboholics is an organization that now counts a membership of more than 7800 individuals as measured by the “likes” on the Caboholics Support Group Facebook page. They started as a small initiative five years ago when Cabo was dog meat in the media and because of the economic problems in the US. The idea of Caboholics was simple: to help local businesses survive in tough times. That early initiative has now become an international movement for the betterment of both Cabo businesses and for the hearty partiers of the Caboholics.

At the time of the first annual convention Caboholic membership stood at 150, but a hard core of only about 30 Caboholics made it down for that first convention. 300 made it down last year, and nobody knows how many will show up this year Plus of course there are many Caboholics living locally, not all are tourists.

The funds that the Caboholics generate for local charities come from a number of sources. First, local business can sponsor the convention. It is not possible to sponsor the group as a whole but the conventions have a gold, silver, and platinum sponsorship structure.

Bronze sponsorship is $20 and for this they get an announcement  in the convention goers welcome pack, their logo on the web site, and an invitation to the meet and greet. Silver sponsorship is $35 and they get all of that plus a banner on their business, plus they are included in the various games that are run all week that are designed to get the conventioneers to go into the local businesses that sponsor the silver and gold levels. Gold sponsorship is $50 and gets everything plus a display area at the meet and greet.

The money goes to The Humane Society, El Ranchito doggie shelter, the volunteer fire service, Feeding Los Cabo Kids, and Ecoplan. The charities all get a display area at the meet and greet.

Much of the rest of the funds are generated by various eclectic fundraising activities and from the generous donations of members both large and small, corporate and personal. There are no dues be becoe a Caboholic, but registration for the annual convention is $10.

One of the many grateful recipients of Caboholic fund raising is El Ranchito which is a no kill temporary home for distressed dogs. In this case a single donation from a corporate Caboholic member, Baja International Realty, kept El Ranchito open for three months over the summer when their funds simply dried up.

The two other initial recipients of Caboholic philanthropy were the humane society and the local volunteer fire department. In recent years both Feeding Los Cabos Kids and Ecoplan, (turtle huggers), have been added to the grateful roster of aid recipients. The aid provided is not just cash. Caboholics supply leads for dogs and reading glasses for the elderly. According to the group, they don’t really help local communities directly but prefer to nudge generous parties who want to give, into the right direction.

 Sponsorship of the Caboholic Convention pays off, just ask Adela Baltazar who has owned the tiny Sangrias Bar next to The Giggling Marlin for nine years. She says, “Caboholics are very loyal to businesses that are loyal to them. My business is always strong during the convention. Also I am a dog lover and I like the work they do at El Ranchito. I was also happy to personally pitch in and help the Caboholics distribute Christmas gifts to the poor children in our community”.

Likewise, multiple convention sponsor Carol Billups, broker at Cabo Realty Pros, stated her company sponsors the convention, “because Caboholics are the most positive group of people we can imagine! They have fun, a lot of it, but they also do so much good for our community. They don’t just stay in the resort zone, they go into the community and try to make a difference. They are very special people.”

 The co-owner of Hooligans bar, Stephanie Ormiston, is also a big convention supporter and has been a sponsor for each event since 2013 when she took over the restaurant and bar. “Caboholics are amazing word of mouth communicators and via their web site and Facebook page their positive reviews of my restaurant and bar is extremely helpful marketing for me. Of course the great work they do in the community makes our support a no-brainer. From the instant I was asked by the group founders to help, we jumped on board.|”

So if you are a Caboholic with no desire to find a cure but a strong desire to spend time with other similarly afflicted soles in a support group, talking all things Baja, join. Because no matter how hard you try not to think about it you just know that this little part of Mexico will always be washing around your consciousness. And even if you consider your addiction to be absolutely normal behavior, make your way to the Caboholic store at Plaza Nautica in downtown Cabo, stand tall, and confess to store manager Angel Castelan your name and that you are a Caboholic. He will introduce you to the rest of the support group who are equally afflicted by such a need for all things Cabo. Yes, there are others who travel down here to get their fix multiple times a year.

A word of warning however; you will probably stumble out with a Caboholic T-shirt and be on your way to meeting new friends who you have a lot in common with.

For more information go to  www.caboholics.com.