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Laguna Chapalac - August 10, 2013

Red Cross increases fees

As of August 1, the Chapala Red Cross has increased fees for many of its services.


The Cruz Roja has not raised its charges in about three years and has absorbed many of the costs, says Norm Pifer, vice president of the Red Cross Council (Consejo).

“Increased diesel and gasoline, medicines and supplies makes this overdue step very necessary,” he says. “The costs of basic supplies – gauze, x-ray film, sutures, and IV materials – are up 12 percent from last year.”

According to Pifer, the monthly average expenditure in 2012 was 31,900 pesos. “So far this year through June the average is running at 35,600 pesos a month.”

Other changes at Cruz Roja Chapala are also in the offing.

Says Pifer: “We are bundling some services, especially in the X-ray area, as well as offering alternatives. With X-rays you may now have the image put on a disk, have it emailed to your doctor or hospital, or do it the old-fashioned way and take a film with you. Each package has a different charge as does each style of X-ray. It takes more energy to X-ray the abdomen versus a hand as an indication of different rates.”

One new charge is a requested donation if an ambulance is dispatched and the patient or family refuses service.

Pifer says it costs about 30 pesos a kilometer to operate the ambulance. “Ambulance service is the biggest area of cost and smallest area of financial recovery.”

Cruz Roja treatment is not free and while emergency service is not denied to anyone, a summary of the cost of service is presented to each patient. Recovery based on ability to pay is a key factor in maintaining first-class emergency service at lakeside, Pifer says, noting that “no federal, state or local government money goes for the direct support of Cruz Roja.”

Dine with the Shrine

The recent item in this column about the Dine with the Shrine meal sponsored by the Lake Chapala Shrine Club contained an error in the date of the event. Noble Denny Strole accepts that the mistake was his own and apologies to one and all. Here is the correct information.

The event will be held on Tuesday, August 27 at Restaurant Hacienda de Don Pedro on the south side of the Carretera just west of Ajijic. Special lunches/dinners will be served from noon to 8 p.m.

The host, Pedro Arellano Arroyo, has two great entrees planned at a cost of only 130 pesos, and both include a glass of red or white wine. A salad is also included with both entrée selections.

One entrée is a grilled beef fillet with baked potato and choice of vegetable. The other is grilled salmon with fine herbs, accompanied with fettuccine.

Arellano will provide for your listening pleasure, live, quietly elegant music from 4-7 p.m. The tip, drinks and dessert are not included in the dinner price.

The restaurant will donate 100 percent of special lunch/dinner sales to the Lake Chapala Shrine Club to benefit their activities, most importantly helping children at lakeside with their medical needs.

The Shrine Club’s Transportation Fund is getting uncomfortably low, hence this surprise Dine with the Shrine. Photos of the children who have been helped will be on show at the event.

Mark your calendars now. Reservations may be made by calling (376) 766-4906 or at the restaurant. Indicate that you will be coming for the Special Shriner Dinner.

In the past seven years the Lake Chapala Shrine Club has helped over 850 children at a cost of 1,535,800 pesos. The community’s continuing support of the Dine with the Shrine program, and other fund-raising events, is greatly appreciated.

For more information, contact Strole at 766-0485 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Post Seven

American Legion Post Seven in Chapala is holding its 5th Annual “Jimmy Buffett Parrot Head All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Boil” on Thursday, August 22.

Expect to dine on shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, garlic bread and ice cream.

There will be a 50/50 raffle, a liquor basket raffle, as well as a Jimmy Buffett trivia quiz and margaritas at special prices. Cocktails are served at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m.  The price is the same as last year: 170 pesos. Tickets are now on sale at the Legion (Morelos 114, Chapala).

Don’t forget the Legion’s weekly Fish Fries on Saturdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and the Sunday Burgers from noon to 3 p.m.

GMO-free corn campaign

The Lakeside-area Save the Corn project forges ahead with outreach to the populace of San Nicolas de Ibarra programmed for Sunday, August 11, 6 p.m., at the village plaza. The campaign, instigated by Simohn Spearitt, aims to raise public awareness concerning the increasing introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food chain, particularly in the cultivation of Mexican maize crops.

The central message is for the common people to maintain age-old dietary habits based on a foundation of tortillas and masa dough made from unadulterated corn, complemented by other wholesome natural foods. Consumption of sugary bottled sodas, junk food and other processed products loaded with chemical additives is discouraged.

Future Save the Corn events are scheduled for August 25 in Chapala and September 15 in Atotonilquillo. The campaign will also tie into activities of the nationwide “Sin Maiz no hay Pais” movement planned for September 29, at the peak of corn harvest season.

Pet food drive

The monthly pet food drive will be held on Thursday, August 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Animal Shelter pet food store in Riberas del Pilar.

This event occurs on the third Thursday of every month thanks to the support of the Animal Shelter’s Geoffrey Kaye and the assistance of Animal Buddies representatives who will be present to help you.

With your purchase you help the Shelter cats as well as Anita’s Animals, or your choice of animal rescue group.

You can make a purchase of dog or cat food at anytime if you are unable to come to the food drive on Thursday. When making your purchase, inform the store clerk whether the pet food is for Anita’s Animals, or another animal rescue group, and the Animal Shelter will hold your donation purchase for pickup.

After you have made this purchase, you will need to contact the designated rescue group you have selected. Please let that group know that there is a paid food purchase made by you waiting to be picked up at the Shelter.

Organizers of the drive say the lakeside area is currently experiencing a high kitten and puppy season, so donations of kitten and puppy food are especially appreciated.

NCA garden party

Bringing something new to lakeside’s social scene, Los Niños de Chapala y Ajijic (NCA) welcomed friends and supporters to the lovely Chapala home of Sharon Ford and Dave Paterson on August 2 for a Mexican Garden Party, complete with mariachi music, the songs of famed Lupita Jimenez, a feast of hand-made tacos and other typical dishes, and ample supplies of beer, wine and margaritas. Guests were so enthusiastic about the food, the ambiance and the good time enjoyed by all that NCA is already cooking up plans for its next garden party benefit.

Incorporated in 1977 as a non-profit, charitable organization, NCA has being helping bright young Mexicans stay in school for more than 35 years. Hundreds of program graduates have gone on to take up careers as doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, computer scientists, engineers and other professionals. Currently, NCA has more than 230 students attending school or University, all maintaining high marks. Most NCA sponsors are North American expats who believe in making a lasting difference, one student at a time.

NCA is duly registered with and reports to various Mexican government agencies. The organization reports that 95 percent of donated monies go directly to the students for tuition, books, school uniforms and related expenses, with the remaining five percent retained to cover NCA overhead and staff expenditures. For more information, including profiles of children awaiting sponsors, visit

Rescued dogs & their book

Luna and Winston, the famous pooches from their Mom’s book, “Who Rescued Who: Tales of Street Dogs and the People Who Love Them,” are excited because a sequel is in the works and will be on sale in November – just in time for Christmas.

The Ajijic Rotary Dog Assist Therapy Program (ARDAT) and Animal Buddies, the feeding program for dogs and cats at the Lakeside Animal Shelter, have both received more than 4,000 pesos each thanks to sales of the book.

Check out the Facebook page of “Who Rescued Who: Tales of Street Dogs and The People Who Love Them” or visit the website

HU Song

Everyone is invited to participate in a HU Song held on the third Saturday of every month from 10:30 to 11 a.m., followed by a fellowship time.

The HU Song, hosted by Eckankar Mexico, is a contemplative spiritual exercise which helps bring inner peace and more love into your life. It is held at the Spiritual Center on Nicolas Bravo 17B, Ajijic. People of all faiths are welcome.

The August HU Song is scheduled for Saturday, August 17. The door is monitored and closed at 10:30 a.m., so be sure to arrive no later than 10:20 a.m.

Contact Penny White at 766-1230 for more information.

St. Andrew’s

What are you afraid of? What keeps you awake at night? Perhaps fueled by advancing age, news reports, commercials, or family issues, we tend to be a fearful people. This week at St. Andrew’s, the focus of the Bible readings is on fear, and its futility. The sermon, “Diet Cola Hopes.” is a reflection on Jesus’s words to His disciples, then and now: “Do not be afraid, little flock.” How is it possible to heed words like that and become people who can live fearlessly and courageously in the face of the fearful realities of the world?

Sunday worship at St. Andrew’s begins at 10 a.m., 15 minutes after the start of the Summer Sunday School, and is followed by a time of refreshment, welcome, and fellowship in the garden.

The church’s “Update 2013” remodeling project is approaching its conclusion, but the monthly Company of Gentlemen breakfast is still convening at Min-Wah Restaurant in Ajijic. The breakfast on Wednesday, August 14 begins at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome.  

St. Andrew’s is located at Calle San Lucas 19, a block south of the Carretera in Riberas del Pilar.

Little Chapel

The Little Chapel by the Lake regular service on Sunday, August 11 begins as usual with refreshments shared with the Anglican Congregation at 10:45 a.m. At 11:15 a.m., the Rev. Gene Raymer will speak on “A Free GPS for You.” A fellowship luncheon will follow the service.

The interactive class on “What We Believe and Why” will continue on Wednesday, August 14. The Little Chapel welcomes all Christians and is located at Carretera 10, Chula Vista.

Christ Church Anglican

Christ Church Anglican Fellowship will celebrate the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost on Sunday, August 11 by celebrating the Holy Eucharist Rite II at 9:30 a.m. in the Little Chapel by the Lake, Carretera 10, Chula Vista. Fr. Danny Borkowski’s sermon topic will be “Where Is Your Heart?” based on Luke 12:32-40.

Christ Church and the Little Chapel by the Lake share a common fellowship time between their two services in the Fellowship Hall of the Little Chapel from about 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.


What comes to mind with the phrase “being unclean”? A group of Pharisees and teachers of the law gathered around Jesus, and asked why His disciples did not live according to the traditions of the elders, instead of eating with “defiled” hands. Jesus replied, “Nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them, for it doesn’t go into the heart, but into the stomach, and leaves the body. It is what comes from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts and deeds come and defile a person.”

On Sunday, August 11 at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Pastor Ross Arnold’s sermon will expand on this concept, using Mark 7:1-23 as the text. Sunday worship begins at 10 a.m. The “Second Sunday Pot Luck” lunch will follow worship. All are welcome.

Lakeside Presbyterian Church is located on the mountain side of the Carretera, just west of S&S Auto and Bubba’s Restaurant.

Center for Spiritual Living

Practitioner Arch Crane will present “Forgiveness” at the Center for Spiritual Living on Friday, August 16, from 5 to 6 p.m. with a social hour to follow.

The Wednesday class (10:30 a.m. to noon) continues with “Nonviolent Communication” and the Thursday discussion (10:30 a.m. to noon) will feature a new book, “Untethered Love.” The discussion is preceded by an optional meditation from 10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

You can have some “serious fun” at the Sacred Cinema on Sunday, August 18, 4 p.m. when the film “Michael” with John Travolta will be screened. Popcorn is provided. Bring your own drink.

Feel free to attend any or all activities. For further information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 766-0920. The center is located at Nicolas Bravo 17, Ajijic.


The Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship meets each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Sta. Margarita 113 (southwest corner of Santa Clara and Sta. Margarita) in Riberas del Pilar. On August 11 Ana Elsworth will give the talk “A Path to Peace,” based on the book “Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. A coffee hour will follow the service. For more information call 766-1119 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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