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Laguna Chapalac - February 28, 2014

Sunny weather, the pulse of tropical tunes and a delectable Caribbean buffet catered by Roberto’s Restaurant set a perfect ambience for the happy crowd gathered  for the February 22 Fiesta Latina held on the lush grounds of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS).

Aside from all the laid-back Latino style fun enjoyed by those in attendance, the annual fund-raising event generated proceeds to sustain LCS education programs and services benefiting the Mexican community.

The Student Aid Program currently supports 35 promising young people, providing stipends to defray costs of tuition, books and transportation as they pursue university level studies.

The Children’s Art Program inspires local youngsters to explore their creative talents through free workshops held at LCS every Saturday morning and the new vacation period Summer Art Camp. These popular activities preserve the legacy of the late writer-philanthropist Neill James whose patronage helped launch the careers of many of the area’s most talented and successful native artists.

The Wilkes Education Center (WEC) is the venue for the flourishing LCS courses in English-as-a- Second-Language. Volunteer teachers are currently providing instruction to around 300 students, divided into 22 classroom sections and two conversation groups.  Enrollment is free of charge, except for text books sold at discounted rates.   WEC is also home to Ajijic’s only fully functioning Spanish language public library, with nearly 5,000 titles on its shelves.

British Society

The speaker at the meeting of the Lakeside British Society on Saturday, March 1, 1 p.m. at Manix  Restaurant will be  Bryan Clark from Vida Alarms, who will introduce the latest monitoring and security systems that are on sale in the area.

The meal costs 120 pesos, including tip, and is a choice of stuffed chicken with spinach and cheese, or sea bass with almonds and vegetables. Both selections include soup and a small salad. A large salad is available for 80 pesos. Dessert is apple tart.

Contact Alicia McNiff at 765-4786 or Ceri Dando at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you plan to attend. Visitors are always welcome. Manix has parking available on an adjacent lot. 

Endangered ecosystem

The impact of agricultural pollutants and erosion in Mexico’s largest lake will be the topic of a presentation programmed for the March 4 monthly meeting of the Lake Chapala Green Group. As usual, the gathering will be held at the Lake Chapala Society, starting at 3:30 p.m.and open to alñl interested persons.

Guest speaker Alejandro Juárez Aguilar, general director of  Corazón de la Tierra (Heart of the Earth)-Institute of Environmental Development, will give an overview of findings from a recent two-year research project delving into significant environmental issues originating in the lake’s immediate surroundings. Corazón de la Tierra published the analysis of six separate but related scientific studies under the title “Contaminación Agrícola y Erosión en la Cuenca del Lago Chapala”, released last year and now available in an English language edition. The book includes an introductory chapter with a complete description of the Lake Chapala sub-basin, four fold-out color maps and a complementary compact disc loaded with facts, figures and illustrations.

Presbyterian Bazaar

Lakeside Presbyterian Church holds its annual bazaar on  Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on each day.   This bazaar is always eagerly awaited and well attended, offering an array of great stuff:  jewelry, collectibles, hard- and soft-cover books, decorating items, furniture, linens, tools, electronics, baked goods, clothing and more.

This year, the LPC congregation has added a new twist:  Mexican comida will be on sale: pozole, enchiladas and other authentic dishes.  Funding for this new feature is provided for the Spanish-language youth group, to further their activities. 

The LPC bazaar is held at the church, Riberas del Pilar, Carretera Chapala-Jocotepec 231, between Vigolari and S&S Auto.  Just look for the LPC sign saying, “You Have Family at Lakeside!”

Lakeside Presbyterian donates all proceeds to a half-dozen charities, from Jocotepec to Chapala.  Bazaar earnings further education in general, supporting students from primary to university level, as well as women’s health initiatives.  The bazaar also contributes to compassionate feeding programs, an orphanage and a multitude of needy Mexican families, from the very young to the very old. 

Community members are welcome to come and help out. There will be plenty of jobs to pass around for willing hands. 

Fashion show benefit

New colors for Spring and Summer attire will be showcased by Cugini’s Opus Boutique at the Over the Rainbow Luncheon and Fashion Show, a fundraiser for the Villa Infantil orphanage in San Pedro Tesistán. The event will be held Saturday, March 9, 12:30 p.m., at Las Caballerizas Restaurant in the Raquet Club at San Juan Cosalá.  Entertainment by Mac Morrison and a silent auction are also on the program.

Tickets for the benefit are now on sale at 250 pesos per person at following Ajijic outlets: Opus Boutique, Diane Pearl Colecciones, Mia’s Boutique and the Lake Chapala Society. For further information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Bridge Club

The Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club will be starting lessons for beginners Tuesday, March 11. The beginner lessons will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon and will continue for four weeks.

The course will be taught by Lew Crippen, a longtime life master, lakeside resident and experienced teacher. Participants will learn the basic principles of the game, including bidding and play of the cards. The cost for the beginner class is only 250 pesos and includes a textbook which has a value of US$12.

After the beginner course there will be an intermediate beginner course for those wishing to continue or those who already know the basics of the game of bridge.

This class will start April 8 and run for six weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon. This course will cover competitive bidding and the use of bidding conventions. The cost for the intermediate beginner class is 400 pesos and includes two textbooks, each with a value of US$12.

You do not need a partner to participate in these classes, which are designed for people of all ages.

The Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club is located in Riberas del Pilar on the Carretera in the same center as Mom’s Deli. To register, contact Lew Crippen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 766-1119.

Tepehua fundraiser

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 15 for the American Legion Post Nine spring fundraiser to benefit the Tepehua Community Center. All proceeds help fund the center’s activities, which include a free weekly hot meal for 200 women and children; free medical and dental clinics; sewing, cooking and English classes for local women, drug and abuse counseling, family planning and education classes for “special needs” children.

Tepehua is one of the most economically challenged neighborhoods in Chapala. The Community Center is now in its third year, fulfilling its stated mission of “helping a village to help itself.”

Everyone is invited to join the fundraiser party at the center, located  at Calle Ramon Chavez 16, one block west of the newly constructed church with the tall statue overlooking downtown Chapala. 

With the approach of St Patrick’s Day, Post Nine and the ladies from the Tepehua kitchen will serve a special Irish menu featuring an appetizer of potted Irish beer cheese in a black bread bowl, followed by a choice of corned beef and cabbage, buttered carrots and colcannon potatoes or classic Irish beef stew (vegan Irish stew is also available). The desert is cranberry bread pudding served with warm whiskey sauce. The Tepehua Saint Patrick’s Party will run from 1-6  p.m.

In addition to this gourmet meal, the program features a cash bar, music and dancing, tours of the facility and, for those who wish to celebrate the occasion, Irish coffee.

Admission is 200 pesos and tickets can be obtained in advance from Diane Pearl, Tepehua Treasurers Bazaar in Riberas del Pilar or by calling Susan at 766-3118, Vince at 331-358-8944 or Perry at 763-5126. Maps to the center are available on request from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The center is located one kilometer up the hill from the Chapala Bus Station after turning west on Calle Miguel Martinez to the top of the mountain.

LCS bus trips

The Lake Chapala Society bus trip on Thursday, March 6 is to Guadalajara’s Galerias Mall and its cluster of fine stores and restaurants, including Liverpool, Sears, Best Buy, Costco, Sams, Walmart, Mega, Chilis, Applebees and more.  The bus leaves at 9:30 a.m. and returns from the Costco area at 4 p.m. 

On Tuesday, March 25 the bus heads to the crafts centers of Tonala and Tlaquepaque, leaving at 9 a.m. and returning at 4 p.m.  If you do not wish to stay around the plaza in Tlaquepaque, you may go to the Forum Mall, which has Liverpool and Home Depot stores.  Cost: 250 pesos per person each trip.


The next LCS trip to McAllen, Texas departs on Sunday, May 4 and heads back on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 7, arriving in Ajijic on the morning of Thursday, May 8.  

Due to a new tax, the price is 7,000 pesos (527 dollars) per person for a double room and 8,700 pesos (655 dollars) for a single room.  This cost includes the round trip on a deluxe bus, three nights at the Hampton Inn, three breakfasts, and tips for the two drivers to and from McAllen.  The bus will take travelers to all the main shopping areas.

There is a non-refundable 1,000 pesos deposit.  In order to reserve the bus and hotel, a count of those interested is needed as soon as possible.  Sign up at LCS Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


The final fundraising dinner of the season at the Jaltepec Centro Educativo takes place on Wednesday, March 12, 6.30 p.m. A no-host bar opens at 6 p.m., with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktail music by Timothy Welch.  The students will prepare and serve a cold pasta salad with olives and sun-dried tomatoes, followed by a mixed green salad with fruit and nuts.  Main course choices are fish with jamaica sauce or chicken with chipolte sauce, followed by a chocolate tart for dessert, coffee or tea. The donation is 400 pesos per person.  Reservations are a must. Contact Linda Buckthorp at 766-1631 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before March 10.

Weight Watchers

The Ajijic Weight Watchers meetings will no longer be held. If you wish to attend meetings you may do so at the Guadalajara Center, located at Plaza Turquesa del Sol, Av. Mariano Otero 1917 local 16-17, Residencial Victoria. For additional information, check the website www.weightwatchers.com.mx or call toll free 01-800-710- 3378.

Open Circle

At the Open Circle meeting on Sunday, March 2, Kat Miller  will talk on “Full expression: It’s About Communication.”

Says Miller: “Way before we actually speak, an internal conversation begins. It may be beneficial or damaging. There are communication techniques and heart centered processes that can make the internal conversation compassionate and the external affective. Knowing the inside story and how to inquire into our truth in any given moment, is a great place to start. Join me in an exploration of communication that brings intimacy and clarity as well as the ability to respond rather than react in difficult situations.”

Miller runs an active counseling practice in Ajijic, as well as outside the country. Her passion is helping people aged over 40 use difficult times as doorways to living authentically and joyfully. 

Weekly Open Circle gatherings start with coffee, tea and sandwich bites for socializing at 10 a.m., followed by the program at 10:30 a.m. sharp.

Little Chapel

The Little Chapel by the Lake refreshment period on Sunday, March 2 begins at 10:45 a.m., to be followed by the regular worship service at 11:15 a.m.

That service will include Rev. Gene Raymer’s message, “Great Expectations,” which parallels our expectations of our fellow man with God’s expectations for us.  Following the service, many members of the congregation will join together for a fellowship lunch at Viva Mexico.

On Wednesday, the second installment of the “Midweek Movie” series will be shown. Next week’s movie is “WWJD – The Woodcarver.” The film begins at 2:30 p.m. and free snacks will be available. A brief intermission will be added to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs.

The Little Chapel by the Lake is an interdenominational congregation and is located on the mountain side of the Carretera in Chula Vista, just east of the golf course. 

Christ Church

Christ Church Lakeside celebrates the last Sunday of Epiphany, Transfiguration Sunday, on March 2 by celebrating Holy Communion Rite II at the Little Chapel by the Lake.

The Very Rev. Sandy Olson’s sermon topic is” Stop and Listen to God.” Christ Church and the Little Chapel enjoy a common fellowship time between their two services, from about 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Christ Church and the Little Chapel will be holding their second annual pancake supper on Tuesday, March 4, from 5 -7 p.m.

And Christ Church will celebrate Ash Wednesday on March 5, 5 p.m. with the imposition of ashes.

There will be no Bible study on March 4.

St. Andrew’s Anglican

This Sunday at St. Andrew’s, the congregation will listen to the story of Moses’s encounter with God on Mt. Sinai, and the story of Jesus’s Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor.  Fr. Winston Welty’s sermon, “Transfiguring Terror,” explores the ways in which that experience of God still happens when we have eyes to see it all around us.  The 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship probably won’t terrify many people, but like all authentic worship, it could be God’s way of transfiguring them.

Between the two services, enjoy fellowship, refreshment, and welcome time in the garden, and those of a certain age can participate in the children’s Sunday School from 10:45 a.m.  St. Andrew’s is located at Calle San Lucas 19, a block south of the Carretera in Riberas del Pilar.

Lent at St. Andrew’s

Looking ahead, the reflective, penitential season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday this week, and will be observed at St. Andrew’s with a service at noon, complete with Holy Eucharist, Imposition of Ashes, choir, and a brief meditation to start the season. 

Before beginning the Lenten fast, St. Andrew’s enjoys a Shrove Tuesday feast, the annual Pancake and Sausage Supper, sponsored by its Company of Gentlemen.  The festivities begin with a social hour at 4 p.m. and the meal at 5 p.m.  The cost is 50 pesos, but don’t be late - the pancakes go fast!

Every Wednesday in Lent, St. Andrew’s invites everyone to join them for “A Fresh Look at the Lord’s Prayer,” a seven-session Bible Study on the world’s most familiar prayer.  This Lent they will look behind the familiar words to the ways in which Jesus intended this prayer to change our whole approach to God.  The first one-hour session begins this week in the old office building following the Ash Wednesday Liturgy, about 1 p.m.  The remaining six sessions will begin at 11 a.m. each Wednesday.  Each session will stand on its own, so those interested are welcome to attend whenever they can.


The Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Plaza de la Ribera (Rio Bravo 10A, Ajijic). On March 2, Helen White will speak on “Climbing The Mountain with Sisyphus: A Short History of Women’s Rights in the United States.”

Contact either Fred Harland (766-1458) or Sandy Wallin (765-7231 for further information.

Center for Spiritual Living

The celebration service topic at the Center for Spiritual Living (Nicolas Bravo 17, Ajijic) on Friday, March 7, 5 p.m. is “The Art of Living - Say Yes.”  

Practicing Compassionate Communication continues on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon through April 16. Here you can learn to have satisfactory conversations with friends, partners, family and those difficult people in our lives in a mindful and empathetic way.   

The Thursday discussion group shares the book “A Thousand Names for Joy” by Byron Katie. The program begins with an optional meditation from 10-10:20 a.m. followed by the group from 10:30 a.m.-noon. The Spanish-language group discussing “The Ten Concepts of Science of Mind” meets on Thursdays at 16 de Septiembre 30, from 7-9:30 p.m. 

For more 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 www.cslchapala.com.


Since February 3, the congregation of Lakeside Presbyterian Church has enjoyed a stimulating and entertaining series of sermons based on the Lord’s Prayer.  Pastor Ross Arnold has shown unsuspected and profound depth in this familiar, best-loved prayer, which appears in the books of Matthew and Luke, with slight variations.

On Sunday, March 2, Pastor Arnold’s sermon is entitled “Forgive,” from the text “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  This may be the most difficult passage in the Lord’s Prayer to abide by:  it feels wonderful to be forgiven, but it can be mighty difficult to forgive freely those who have in some way hurt us.  What exactly is a “trespass,” and why and in what way is our own forgiveness dependent on our willingness to extend the same grace to others? 

Sunday worship begins at 10 a.m.  Following the service, there is fellowship and refreshments.  Lakeside Presbyterian Church is in Riberas del Pilar, on the mountain side of the Carretera, between S&S Auto and Vigolari.


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