Last updateFri, 27 Dec 2013 11am

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Laguna Chapalac - December 20, 2013

The UVA  (University Vocational Assistance) family — scholarship students, sponsors and friends of the program  — recently gathered at the home of Sue Torres in Ajijic to celebrate the season and the efforts of this lakeside charity.

It was a record turnout with 28 students and 25 sponsors/friends attending the fiesta. Beginning in the 1970’s as the outreach program for Little Chapel by the Lake, a scholarship plan was established to allow bright but financially challenged students to continue their education at the university level.  In recent years the program has changed the name to better reflect its aims and is now known as UVA Scholarship Fund A.C. 

Currently 37 students are in the program and six more are working on the licensing process for becoming professionals in their chosen careers. The group participated in a take-home project, enjoyed pozole and competed for prizes in the “duck dipping” game.  Early Santa came with bags of sweets to be sent home for the student’s families.  Josefina Contreras and Alejandra Lopez, both former scholarship students, spoke to the group.  Each had  a story about their experience as students and explained just how important, and what the assistance meant for the completion of the university process. 

Anyone wishing to assist a student at the university level — continue their education and realize their dreams — please contact Sue Torres 766-2932 or Cristi Baron 766-3574.  UVA is also in need of anyone having a computer to donate for a student.

Holiday parade

Christmas elves will be out spreading holiday cheer Friday, December 20 as the fifth annual Desfile Navideño rolls through the streets of Ajijic. A caravan of colorfully decorated floats will line up on Calle Galeana around 6 p.m., wind through the center of town and end up at the central plaza arriving via Hidalgo-Parroquia.  The parade is organized by Jorge Reynoso in cooperation with local merchants and residents.

A walk on the wild side

Give yourself a break from the hectic holiday preparations and come join the friendly folks of Fauna Silvestre Mexico on Saturday, December 21. They’ll be near the Chapala malecon (boardwalk) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with some of the local fauna. Get up close and personal with their furry and feathered friends. Bring your cameras and ask questions.

Also on hand will be Chapala Director of Ecology Montezuma Medina, Chapala Police Chief Ramon del Arco and representatives from PROFEPA, the federal environmental protection agency. Fauna Silvestre Mexico always welcomes new volunteers.

Banda party

Gente Bandera Magazine and the Chapala municipal government are co-sponsoring a down home Christmas posada bash for the local populace scheduled for Saturday, December 21,  from 3 p.m. at the Lienzo Charro arena, located on Avenida Madero opposite the Pemex station. Crowds will enjoy a full afternoon and evening of rousing banda music with a half dozen different musical groups appearing on the bill. Admission to the event is set at 20 pesos a head.

Three Kings fundraiser

Ajijic town administrator Hector España is throwing a dance party and barbecue feast at the plaza Sunday, December 22, 3-7 p.m., as a fundraiser for the town’s traditional Three Kings Day celebration coming up early next month.

The Tallboys Band and several other local groups are booked to provide the musical entertainment. The menu for the all-you-can-eat BBQ includes grilled chicken and pork ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad.  Tickets, going for 250 pesos per person, are on sale at Colecciones Diane Pearl, Ocampo at Colon, Manix Restaurant, Ocampo 57 and the Lake Chapala Society, 16 de Septiembre 16-A. 

Proceeds will go toward defraying expenses for piñatas, candy, fruit and toys for kids, and the purchase of socks, scarves, gloves and knit caps for elders, all to be distributed at the  January 6 Fiesta de Reyes.  Anyone who is unable to attend may support the cause by dropping off donations in cash or kind at Manix Restaurant in lieu of the Delegación office, which will be closed for the holidays from December 21 through January 6.

Open Circle  

The Open Circle meeting on Sunday, December 22 takes place at the Real de Chapala Hotel at 10 a.m.

A ride will be provided from the Lake Chapala Society to the hotel at 9 a.m. sharp.

The speaker will be Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, who will give a slide lecture on  “Frida Kahlo: The Brush of Anguish.”  Kahlo is best known for her self-portraits and is considered by many to be Mexico’s greatest female artist of the 20th Century. Her work has been celebrated as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

Born in Guadalajara, Aguilar-Moreno completed his Master’s degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin, and in 1999 received an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Art History and Anthropology.

He is author of numerous books, most recently: Ulama (2004), Utopía de Piedra: El Arte Tequitqui de Mexico (2005), Handbook to Life in the Aztec World (2007), El Rostro Humano de Hidalgo (2010) and Diego Rivera: A Biography (2011).  He has also written countless articles in anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers.   He has made several appearances on the History and National Geographic channels. This is his third lecture at the Open Circle and has always drawn an enthusiastic audience.

Christmas Sale

The elves (Have Hammers students) have been busily working on last-minute Christmas items that will be on sale Monday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hammers’ headquarters, located at Hildago 110 in Riberas (across from Casi Nuevo and 7-Eleven).

On sale at reduced prices will be end tables, bookcases, shelves, wine racks and a variety of other student-made items.

Tickets for the Hammers 5th annual fundraiser scheduled for February 12, 2014 will also be on sale.

Your purchases will greatly help teach valuable life skills through woodworking and carpentry to Have Hammers students.

For more information call  766-4830.

Genealogy Forum

The December meeting of the Genealogy Forum will take place Monday, December 30, 2:30 p.m. in the Sala at Lake Chapala Society. This month’s topic will be “Evernote for Genealogy.” This free software application, Evernote, has proven to be a real boon to genealogy research. This month’s meeting will be an overview of some of the possible uses and techniques to simplify and organize your research. We will also talk about what members are doing currently: any breakthroughs, any exciting new sources, any stubborn brick walls.

Volunteer Fair

Lake Chapala Society hosts a free Volunteer Fair on Friday, January 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  All Lakeside non-profit organizations are invited to have a presence at the fair to provide the public with information about their mission and  opportunities for volunteering.

New people are constantly arriving to live part-time or full-time on the north shore of Lake Chapala. Many are retired and have time and a desire to do some meaningful service. This fair will offer opportunities to meet representatives from different organizations and learn about their activities.  Even people who have lived at Lakeside for a few years may be not be aware of all the many organizations that are trying to improve the quality of life at Lakeside.

Among organizations seeking volunteers are the Chapala Cruz Roja (the Red Cross), Operation Feed, Feria Maestros del Arte, the Tepehua Community Center, Viva la Musica, the Shriners, Niños de Chapala & Ajijic, the Lakeside School for Children with Special Needs and Operación Compasion.

Lakeside Conservatives

There was lots of fun to be had at the recent Lakeside Conservatives Group Christmas Party held at Sol y Luna, which included door prizes, good food, seasonal decor and the lively music featuring Jack Fallon and Jerry Morse the  “Doo Wops,” keeping everyone on their feet most of the evening. 

The Lakeside Conservatives’ contact/email list consists of over 280 U.S. members from Chapala to Jocotopec.  This group provides a monthly opportunity to meet, listen to speakers, view films and discuss conservative issues with other like-minded people.  Their stated objectives and goals are to  “inform, educate and entertain  the membership,” believing that “an informed and educated expat voter is the best voter.” 

The next meeting for the Lakeside Conservatives will be Wednesday January 8, 4 p.m.  at Sol y Luna, Rio Bravo 10A.  This is a new meeting location and should accommodate elderly and handicapped members.  To join the mailing list, receive information regarding future meetings or membership, contact Don at 01-387-761-0484 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Democrats Abroad

The Lake Chapala Chapter of Democrats Abroad Mexico has chosen a new place to conduct its monthly meetings, according to Francis C. Reidelberger, the organization’s executive chair.

Beginning next month, the organization will conduct its general membership meetings at La Bodega Restaurant in Ajijic.  Previously, the group had held meetings at La Nueva Posada, but Reidelberger said recent space configuration changes there made a move necessary.

Democrats Abroad meetings are held on the second Monday of each month.  The first meeting of 2014 will be at January 13, 4 p.m. at La Bodega.

More information about the organization may be obtained by calling Reidelberger at 376-763-5271 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Bus trips

LCS has scheduled three bus trips to Guadalajara in January.  On Wednesday, January 8, the destination is the Galerias Mall, which boasts Liverpool, Sears, Best Buy, Costco, Sams, Walmart, Mega and many more stores and good restaurants.  The bus leaves at 9:30 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m.  On Wednesday, January 15, the trip will be to the crafts centers of Tonala and Tlaquepaque, while on Thursday, January 30, the bus heads to the Guadalajara Zoo.  The cost includes the aquarium, safari and a train ride.  There will be additional charge will be for the sky lift.  The price for the zoo trip will be confirmed shortly. The two other trips are 200 pesos each.

HU Song

Looking for a happier, more contented life?  Need to lift a grieving heart?  Join 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 is a contemplative spiritual exercise. It is held at the Spiritual Center on Nicolas Bravo 17B, Ajijic.  People of all faiths are welcome.  The December HU Song is scheduled for Saturday, December 21.  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 further information. The event is hosted by Eckankar Mexico.

Center for Spiritual Living

The Reverend Tim Schubert leads a “Burning Bowl Ceremony” on Friday, December 27 at the Center for Spiritual Living (Nicolas Bravo 17). This is an opportunity to release the past and ready ourselves for a new wonderful year.  A social hour will follow. There will be no Wednesday classes until January 8.  The Thursday discussion group, “The Untethered Soul,” begins with an optional meditation from 10 to 10:20 a.m. followed by the group from 10:30-noon.  The Thursday evening Spanish Group continues in January. 

For information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , call 766-0920 or check the website at

Bible Study

The Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation is offering the community a course of study from a Jewish perspective of the section of the Bible known as The Prophets, focusing on the Book of Joshua and Book of Judges.

The next class will be on Saturday, December 21 at the synagogue, Sta. Margarita 113, Riberas del Pilar.   A full schedule of classes and topics will be available.

The discussion centered course will be led by Baruch Rand, a member of the Jewish Congregation and a respected Jewish educator with many years of scholarship.  Rand has a taught many generations over a career spanning over 50 years before his retirement.  He has been living at Lakeside for many years and continues his mission to bring insight and meaning to Biblical texts, in the context of Judaism.

The Bible Study classes take place on every alternate Saturday morning after Sabbath morning worship.  Sabbath worship begins at 10 a.m., with the classes commencing at approximately noon at the conclusion of worship. 

Questions and inquiries may be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or directly to Rand at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation was founded in 2000 to be a place of worship, learning and meeting for the entire Jewish community.  It is a progressive egalitarian Jewish congregation.  Membership is always welcomed.

Lakeside Presbyterian

At Lakeside Presbyterian Church, on Sunday, December 22, Pastor Ross Arnold’s sermon will be “Expectations.” He will take as his text Matthew 1:18-25. 

The birth of Jesus could not have come as a surprise to the Jewish people in the first century.  God had been very clear in telling them what to expect, and how the Messiah would come.  But still, they were surprised, and never could quite figure it out. ..

Sunday worship begins at 10 a.m.  Following the service, there is a time of fellowship and refreshments.  Lakeside Presbyterian Church is in Riberas del Pilar, on the mountain side of the Carretera, just west of S&S Auto and Bubba’s Retaurant. All are welcome. 

Little Chapel

The Little Chapel by the Lake will hold its regular service on Sunday, December 22 at 11:15 a.m. “Romeo’s Question” will be the title of Rev. Gene Raymer’s Christmas message.  As usual, members of the congregation will meet for lunch following the service.

The Little Chapel by the Lake is located on the mountain side of the Carretera in Chula Vista just east of the golf club. 

Christ Church Anglican

Christ Church Anglican Fellowship will celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent on December 22 with a service of lessons and carols at 9:30 a.m. at the Little Chapel by the Lake, Carretera 10, Chula Vista.  No sermon is planned. 

After the 9:30 a.m. service on Sundays, Christ Church and the Little Chapel enjoy a common fellowship of time from about 10:35 a.m. until 11:10 a.m. 


The Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Plaza de la Ribera, Rio Bravo 10A.  On Sunday, December 22 Lew Crippen will lead the Christmas celebration of Principles and Carols, with seasonal music and readings.  There will be a coffee hour following the service.  For more information call 766-1119 or 765-7231, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

St. Andrew’s Anglican

It’s a busy, joyous time at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church this week, as it is at churches around the world.  On Sunday, December 22 at 9 and 11 a.m., the Advent season of waiting, expectation, and preparation comes to a close as we listen in on Joseph’s dream in which he hears the instruction to name Mary’s baby.  The sermon – “Savior? Who Needs A Savior?” – reflects on the meaning of that name and our resistance to its message. 

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


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