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…)
Mardi Gras is a French word meaning Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday refers to eating rich and fatty foods the day before fasting of the Lent Season. Ash Wednesday starts off Lent. Fat Tuesday is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday from the word Shrive. Shrive means “confess” which relates to the Lent season. Fat Tuesday is the last day of Carnival season, a time of parties and letting go of inhibitions before the season of fasting, obligations and confessions of Lent. For sure, people at the Mardi Gras parade in Ajijic yesterday were letting go of their inhibitions and having fun.
Crowds were gathered all along the road, anxiously awaiting the parade. The tradition of wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, and parades was very much alive at this year’s Fat Tuesday.
The Mardi Gras parade was held in Chapala along the main road on Sunday, February 10th. It was scheduled to start at ten a.m. Since I am always early to things, I arrived at nine thirty. It didn’t get started until eleven thirty. In my article about the Carnival, I had promised take photos after the parade of the car show in the Carnival. Plus photos of the beautiful young women in the car show and handsome young men and also photos of the ice skating rink. (I know, it is hard to believe there was an ice rink in the park in Chapala on a hot afternoon and I wanted to prove it to you.)
But after three hours of standing in the hot sun at the parade, I had to break that promise. I went home instead and took a nap. I hope these parade photos will make up for the ones I missed out on at the Carnival. There are lots of photos of beautiful, scantily clad dancing girls and handsome young men. Enjoy. (more…)
The second annual Open Studios Tour was the weekend of February 9th and 10th, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was a benefit for the Artists of the Ajijic Society for the Arts and the Children’s Art Program at the Lake Chapala Society. The locations of the studios were given out in a booklet form along with photos of artwork done by the different artists. Cost was only 50 pesos for two people. The work ranged from textile, jewelery, paintings , photography, weaving, to ceramic sculptures. All high quality work.
A table was set up at Johanna’s Restaurant for the work that was done in the Children’s Art Classes at the Lake Chapala Society. Several other artists also had displays in their garden. Unfortunately, I didn’t get good photos because of the bright sunshine. This is a good place to apologize to all the wonderful artists that I didn’t photograph and put into this article. I only have a limited space to work with and there were over seventy artists and twenty locations. I didn’t have time to get to all of them. So, please forgive me if I didn’t get you in this article.
The Chapala 2013 Carnival season kicked off on Friday evening, February 1st, with a samba parade along Avenida Madero. It was followed by Entierro del Mal Humor (Burial of bad humor). On Sunday, February 10th at 11 a.m. there will be another huge Mardi gras style parade with floats, music, dance troupes, horses and much more. Something not to be missed if you are anywhere near Chapala that week end. I missed the evening parade but hopefully I will make it to the morning parade and I will write about it in my next article. Stay tuned.
Christiana Park is easy to find. When you come into Chapala, you go east on any of the downtown streets. If you are on the street next to the malecon, you turn left when you get to stop light at the end of the row of restaurants. You will pass the Red Cross station and see the park on your right. If you take any of the downtown streets, you will eventually run into the park. If you get lost, ask anyone. It is a huge park.
Christmas in Mexico lasts for many days. Las Posadas start on Dec. 16th and end on Dec. 24, Noche Buena. During those nine days, people are setting off cohetes (Fireworks) and church bells ring often. It is very noisy in Mexico during this time of the year. Las Posadas are parades of different groups of people walking down the streets. They are from various neighborhoods or sometimes they are specific kinds of workers, like carpenters or fishermen. People carry candles and statues. The statues may be of Mary, Jesus and/or saints. The people sing Christmas songs and sometimes stop for prayer or religious readings during their walk.
The parade is symbolic of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to spend the night, knocking on doors and being turned away. Finally, the parade ends up at a house where they are welcomed. There is food and drink. The drink is usually a traditional punch of sugar cane, prunes, guava and cinnamon sticks. They are also served little round fruit cakes called Tejocotes.
The Shangri La retirement Living Facility is located in San Antonio. The address is #169 Ramon Corona, San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco, MX. It is a beautiful facility but I was most impressed with the owner. Her name is Joannie Smith. She and her husband, Fenley, moved to Mexico ten years ago. Joannie rented the house and put a lot of time and money into fixing it up. They opened the business four years ago. She is obviously an extremely competent and loving woman. All the clients and their loved ones must think so too because they have been with her since she opened.
Joannie had to have a non functional swimming pool dug up and filled in with dirt and flowers. She added an extra bathroom. She put extra shelving in the bedrooms and did other remodeling projects around the home. I wouldn’t mind being her landlady. It was all done at Joannie’s expense. The home has a very large yard. There is a fence all around the property so it is safe for the clients to freely wander around in and enjoy the trees and flowers. (more…)
The Ajijic Tuesday Organic Market is an ever expanding success story. It started out in Carol Kindschi’s Back yard in March three years ago. It was organized by a small group of Expat women. The idea was formed when a dear woman friend developed cancer. These women decided to bring the organic fruits and vegetables to one place so they could shop for her. They contacted all the organic farmers in the lakeside area and the market was started.
The first e mails went out to only thirty neighbors. It quickly took off like wildfire. It has changed venues three times since then and many more venders have joined. The woman with cancer recovered and returned to the States. All good news. This market seems to be touched by magic. It is a huge success and every Tuesday morning there is a line of people waiting for it to open. Watch out for the crush at the most popular stands.The current location is at La Huerta Eventos Center in West Ajijic. It is easy to find. It is three and a half miles or ten minutes from the Libramento. Carreterra-Jocotopec-Lakeside #522. Just look for the signs and all the cars. (more…)
This year the Feria Maestros del Arte was held in West Ajijic at the Plaza de la Ribera, Number 10 Rio Bravo street. The entrance fee was 50 pesos and that was well worth it. It was held for three days; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 16th through November 18th. I was only able to go on the last day and I regret that. I missed many interesting events that were also part of the art and craft exhibits. There were musicians and dancers, fashion shows, and instructional lectures. I would have liked to have seen the one on how to make radish carvings or how to use a Molcajete. Or how about free wine and tequila tasting?
The event was well attended on all three days. It is a once a year show and people prepare for it all year long. Craftsmen and women come in with their work from all over Mexico. There are no fees for them. This is totally run by volunteers. It was started in 2002 by Marianne Carlson after she and her friends took a trip around Mexico, looking for crafts. She decided to bring the craft people to Ajijic where they could have more buyers. (more…)