The time around the Day of the Dead is filled with interesting things to do and see. I have already written about the big celebration in the Ajijic plaza with the Zombie Thriller dance and parade, pumpkin carving contest and art and craft show. These life sized, actually larger than life sized, Catrina Dolls were also out on the Ajijic and Chapala plazas. They were created by the school children with help from local artists. Most of them were made out of recycled materials. They were a lot of fun to see and photograph. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Each Doll had a plaque with the doll’s name, yes they were named, and the school and artists who helped make it. One of the things that I enjoyed most was photographing people as they related to the dolls. Some of the dolls were named after famous people, such as Frida Kahlo. (more…)
Saturday, October 26th, was a big day for Ajijic. There were several things happening in the Ajijic Plaza and the entire area was packed with participants and curious onlookers. The Michael Jackson Thriller Dance was one event. This is a worldwide dance to raise money for different charities. In Ajijic, it is for the Local Red Cross. People dressed in the zombie makeup and costumes were mixed in with the crowds before the dance. The children loved this event.
The women in the photo above were part of the zombie dancers. They were posing for another photographer but I jumped in and took one too. They were too cute to resist. Cute? Maybe that isn’t the right word. (more…)
Tammy and I were on another adventure of the area east of Chapala. We stopped at El Gran Salon restaurant for a bite to eat but their electricity was out. In front of it are Tom Sumner, one of the three owners, and on the right, the musician Cesar Fabien. He plays and sings there. It just opened on July 22nd. They have Karaoke on Thursday nights. I was told that quite a crowd gathers for it. This restaurant is easy to find. It is on the main road that goes along the lake towards Mezcala, on the lake side. It is just a few miles outside of Chapala, before San Nicolas. Their hours are: one to eight in the evening from Monday through Friday. Tom is also the owner of the consignment store in Chapala just before the American Legion.
There are only three large restaurants in the area around San Nicolas and San Juan Tecomatlan. One is Cain’s Restaurant. ( I have shown you several photos of it in the previous article.) One is El Gran Salon and the other is an Italian place, Focaccia. All three of these are interesting and I encourage you to visit each one. They are very different from each other. (more…)
This is the second article in a series that I am writing about the area East of Chapala. It is a mostly undiscovered part of the lakeside. The first trip out there was by bus and on this trip I rode out with my friend Tammy in her comfortable car. Both ways were interesting. We didn’t go through the first town, Santa Cruz this time. Maybe we will make it on the next trip. On this trip, we focused on the area called Vista Del Lago and the Country Club.
Vista Del Lago is easy to find. It is only a few miles East of Chapala. The Mezcala bus goes past it. If you take the bus, it is quite a long walk to the homes up on the hillside. It is an easy walk to the Country Club from the main road. When you see the arches in the above photo, you know you are there.
The Penthouse, Living in Community where like minds and like hearts meet. That is the opening statement on the flyer given to me by the managers of The Penthouse. It is located in Riberas del Pilar, just a block from the lake and across the street from a green field. The location is perfect for peace and quiet. The idea is for people to be able to have their own apartments but also common rooms to share with others and a common dining room where two meals a day are put out for everyone. Since people have their own kitchens, they can cook for themselves if they wish. But most people enjoy the dining experience with the other members of the community.
Below is a photo of the common dining room. It is light and airy. There are several book shelves lining the walls. The books are for everyone. Meals are cooked everyday except Sunday. If someone doesn’t show up for breakfast or dinner, then one of the managers goes to that person’s apartment to check if everything is okay. This kind of living experience gives people both privacy and support in case of emergencies. I know a woman who decided to move there after she fell and hit her head and no one knew it for a day. An experience like that can make a person not feel safe living alone anymore. So this kind of living situation is ideal. Living alone can also get awfully lonely. Someone is always around at the Penthouse for conversation or games or just watching television in one of the common rooms. (more…)
I was fortunate enough to get a ride and tour from Shelley Ronnfeldt to the new Lucky Dog Shelter just outside of Chapala. Shelley is in the photo below. Their address is: 110 Carretera, San Nicolas. Their open hours are: 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday. If you drive, take the carretera from Chapala toward Mezcala. The street is Gonzalez Gallo and it goes past The Cruz Roja and Christiana Park and the Old Train Station. It is located 2.5 Kilometers outside of Chapala on the lake side, before Vista del Lago.
If you don’t have a car, just catch the bus that goes out to Mezcala. It will also say Sta Cruz or San Nicolas. It goes right by the Shelter. You are welcome to visit or help out. They always need dog walkers or other kinds of help from cleaning to doing intakes or adoptions. If you want to adopt a dog, you can go out at other times besides their regular hours. Just call them and arrange it. Their cell number is: 331 300 7144. (more…)
This year we were lucky. The Globos Celebration came off without rain but as you can see from these photos, the sky was very overcast. The next day it started raining and we have had rain for days now. The gods must have been looking down on us last Saturday to keep the rains at bay for the day. The date was Sept. 14th and the place was the grounds on Revolucion street. In order to save myself a good seat, I arrived almost three hours early. I will have to remember next year. Don’t go before around four thirty in the afternoon. By the time the bigger globos are being put up, I am too tired to stay when I arrive that early. No reason to have a seat in the grandstands anyway. It is better to arrive late and just walk around in the field. You can get much better photos from the field and it is like a giant party out there.
The globos are made out of what is called China Paper. It is extremely thin paper and slick. It is light so there won’t be much weight on the globos as they go up but also it burns quickly. The photo above is the globo commissioned by Accesslakechapala.com. Of course, I wanted to put theirs on at the beginning of this article. Since I left before it went up, I don’t know if it survived the launching. Access paid a group of young people to make this globo for them. Many of the larger ones have the names of their sponsors on them. (more…)
I decided to take some of my favorite photos and write an overview of living in the lakeside area. My first impulse was to put on photos of all the holidays and celebrations. That proved to be too large of a task. I looked online at Mexican Holidays. There were nine major holidays listed and twenty nine ones that are called Observance days and four Season days. I have no idea of how many other days the actually Mexican’s celebrate. It feels like one every week. There always seems to be at least one celebration and several parties going on at once. Don’t come to Mexico to live if you don’t want to experience celebrations, parties and parades.
There are so many parades in the Lakeside area that I can’t even begin to remember them, let alone list where these parade photos came from. I guess it doesn’t make a great deal of difference. They are all beautiful and fun. But if you are at a parade and you get tired, you can just sit down in a quiet place and rest for awhile, like the little girl in the next photo.
Children’s Day was Tuesday April 30th in Mexico. No classes on that day, just games and parties, pinatas and other great things for the children to do. In 1954, the General Assembly of the United Nations recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day. So this is a huge holiday all over the world, not just in Mexico. Most countries celebrate it on June 1st. The celebration in this article was held on Sunday, April 28th, a few days before the official Children’s day.
The town plans for this holiday for months in advance, collecting money from different organizations and individuals. I talked with a man from the Association of Charros (the Cowboys). He said they were helping out with everything, including donating money. Check out the photo below. They were mixing up the sweet drinks in garbage cans because those were the largest containers they could find. (more…)
Escaramuza in Spanish means skirmish. Another meaning is, “Riding from the heart.” This one took place at the Ajijic bull ring on Sunday, April 7th. 2013. It was an all woman’s horse show. It was a combination of equestrian skills, handcrafted tack, beautiful costumes, music and food. It is a rich heritage of living folk traditions dating back hundreds of years.
Tickets were eighty pesos at the door. I loved watching the little boy helping his father collect the tickets. He was so proud to be of use. (more…)
This last weekend went to the dogs in the Lakeside area. Saturday evening at Salvador’s Restaurant in Ajijic, Anita’s Animals had a big spaghetti fund raiser for her shelter out in San Juan Cosala. On Sunday, there was another fun raiser near Santa Cruz at the new Lucky Dog shelter. It was their grand opening and they had free hot dogs and cold drinks. Unfortunately, I am only one person and I had already planned to attending the once a year doggie fashion show that was held at the American Legion in Chapala. They also had barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers. It was a fun event.
Above is a Boston Terrier named Razor Back. He was very patient. His owner made his Sherlock Holmes costume. He didn’t much like that hat.
The 35th Annual Mexican National Chili Cook-Off was held on the 22, 23,24, of February in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Their hours were from 11 to 5 p.m. every day. It was held at the Tobolandia Water Park on the Libramiento. This year it was closer into the water park and away from the dust that we had to experience the past couple of years. The weather was beautiful. Entrance fee was only twenty pesos and it was ten pesos for a ticket to taste the Chili. I went on Saturday. I ran into almost every I knew in town. It was a very successful event.
As I walked into the Chili Cook Off area, I saw and heard fireworks going off. They spelled out the words Anos 35 Years. Exciting display. It sure got my heartbeat going. (more…)