Last updateMon, 16 Feb 2015 1pm

Laguna Chapalac – January 10, 2015

Family History

Lakeside residents have the opportunity to visit the new lakeside Family History Center during an open house on Sunday, January 11, from 3 to 4 p.m. 

Center Director Pam Ames will be on hand to show how the center can help those working on family history and research projects. Included in the resources will be free access to major family history websites such as Ancestry.com, Find My Past and My Heritage. Among the avid users of the information will be the more than 90 members of the Genealogy Forum. 

Democrats Abroad

The nominating committee of the Lake Chapala Chapter of Democrats Abroad Mexico will be named during the meeting on Monday, January 12, 4 p.m. at La Bodega Restaurant in Ajijic. This committee will organize slates to fill the ten positions on the board of directors. The elections will be held at the general membership meeting in March.

A final discussion will be held to select the eight films for the organization’s annual “Sunday Afternoon at the Movies” series, which begins in March. This series of films is the organization’s annual major fundraising event.

For more information about the organization, its work or free membership, contact Executive Chair Francis C. Reidelberger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (376) 763-5271.

Bilingual Toastmasters

The Lake Chapala Bilingual Toastmasters Club meets every Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Sala of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS). With several recent visitors expressing interest in membership, the group is growing in the new year. Members who invite 15 friends to attend a January meeting will receive a Red Service Ribbon.

During the group’s Spanish session on January 5, Marissa Urrutia received a certificate of completion designating her as a competent communicator. Full-time and winter residents and guests attend the meetings, which alternate between English and Spanish. The Monday, January 12 meeting will be held in English. 

Additional information in English is available from Guy Jobidon at (376) 766-5181. Marissa Urrutia has details in Spanish at (33) 1600-5937.

Marriage vows










Chuck Giles and Donna Mansfield celebrated the 35th re-enactment of their marriage vows on December 9 with Dr. Tim Schubert performing the ceremony with grace and wisdom. Giles delivered  thoughts on “Friendship” in his usual standup comedy style, telling the audience of 50 friends that friendship gets us through the tough times when love isn’t enough. The ceremony included the couple’s traditional songs:  Kenny Rogers’ “The Vows Go Unbroken,” and Anne Murray’s “Come From the Heart.” Giles and Mansfield danced again, as they have at least 1,000 times to Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” this year with the addition of Giles’ new rolling walker.


On the agenda of the Tuesday, January 13, 4 p.m. meeting of the Lakeside Progressives is a discussion of a member’s around-the-world trip, Bernie Sander’s “Twelve Initiatives to Restore the Middle Class,” and a review of George Lakoff’s book, “The All New Don’t think of an Elephant!”.

The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Peacock Garden Restaurant on Colón in Ajijic. This is a gathering of like-minded people looking for progressive solutions to problems not being addressed by the major political parties. Most attendees stay to have an early dinner at the restaurant following the meeting. Visit Lakeside Progressives on Facebook. Email Chad Olsen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions or plan to attend. 

Noon Seminar

Ron Mullenaux will chair the noon seminar for LCS members on Tuesday, January 13 in the sala at the LCS campus. Speaker Boyd Varty shares stories of animals, humans and the way they are interrelated. He speaks of ubuntu, which is defined as, “I am, because of you.” Varty has dedicated this talk to South African leader Nelson Mandela, the human embodiment of great-hearted, generous spirit.


Father Basil G. Royston, D. Min. and the English-speaking  congregation of Templo de San Andrés in Ajijic were honored to be witnesses when four semi-cloistered Benedictine nuns renewed their solemn perpetual vows during the 9 a.m. Mass on Thursday, January 1. This annual ceremony usually takes place within the cloistered monastery and is seldom seen by members of the public. The nuns moved to Lake Chapala from Ghiffa in Northern Italy with hopes  of starting a monastery here; they currently have one inquirer, shown above at left.

Learning Seminar

“Evolution: Humans are Late to the Party” will be Dr. Richard Rhoda’s topic for the LCS Learning Seminar on Tuesday, January 13, 2 p.m. in the LCS sala. 

Open to the public, Rhoda’s talk reviews evolution on this planet and the 3.8 billion years it has been under way. Homo Sapiens appeared about 150,000 years ago and have been here for only about the last 0.05 percent of this time. How has this happened  and how humans spread throughout the world are among the questions Rhoda addresses during the 90-minute session. 


Members of the Lakeside Conservatives Group will hold their annual general meeting on Wednesday, January 14, 4 p.m.  in the clubhouse of the San Juan Cosala Raquet Club. The meeting program will feature the viewing of Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, “America: Imagine The World Without Her.”

The Raquet Club will be the location for the group’s next three meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. For further information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (387) 761-0484. 

Pet Food Drive

Each month local animal activists band together in a drive to obtain cat and dog food for animals awaiting adoption in area shelters. Donors can participate by purchasing food at the Lakeside Friends of the Animals Shelter pet food store on Thursday, January 15, between 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Once the food is purchased donors can specify the shelter they wish to help by notifying one of the Anita’s Animals volunteers who will be on hand. Those unable to attend on the day of the drive can still help by notifying the store clerk that the purchase is a donation for the shopper’s preferred rescue organization. The store will hold the donation for pickup by the specified group. A portion of all LFA pet food store purchases helps support several area charities. 

LCS Mexican Cooking

Authentic Mexican cuisine classes continue this month at the Lake Chapala Society with chef and cooking instructor Linda Harley. Each class is 300 pesos, and participants must sign up at least four days in advance at the LCS office. 

On Tuesday, January 20, class members will learn to prepare pescado a la Veracruzana (fish in Veracruz style).

During the Wednesday, January 21 session, students will work on a  Tianguis to Table dish – pollo encacahuetado – chicken in peanut sauce. 

The class on Thursday, January 22 focuses on cantina food: totopos, tostados, gringas and tacos. More details about each class are located on the LCS website, www.lakechapalasociety.com.

Spay-Neuter Sale

Lakeside Spay Neuter Dog Ranch will hold a giant yard sale on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17,  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Paseo del Mirador 14 in Upper La Floresta. In addition to a wide variety of clothing and household items, the group will be selling roast beef sliders, sangria, beer, soda and water. Proceeds from this event will help to feed, house and care for more than 70 dogs currently living at The Ranch.

Donations for the sale are gratefully accepted and can be left at HandyMail, Ramon Corona 164 (next to the San Antonio dog park) or Paseo del Mirador 14. For pick up of items, call (33) 1604-0044.

Wine, Beer, Spirits

A ten-week introductory course about Mexico’s wine, beer and spirits presented by sommeliers Bob Atkinson and Rebecca Martin Casas is the newest learning opportunity at the Lake Chapala Society. 

Those attending will learn about all of Mexico’s wine types, regions, grapes, winemaking methods, wine-testing and food pairing. The ten weekly sessions begin on Friday, January 21, 3 p.m. The course is 2,700 pesos for members and 3,200 pesos for non-members. Space is limited, and sign up at the LCS office is required. More information is available at www.lakechapalasociety.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

LCS Health Day

Special health testing, vaccinations and consultations will be featured during the Lake Chapala Society Health Day on Thursday, January 22, from 10 a.m. to noon. 

For the first time the Zostavax (Shingles vaccine) will be available at a cost of 2,300 pesos (prior sign up in the LCS office is required). 

Other vaccines available will be flu, 300 pesos; lifetime pneumonia, 1,500 pesos; five-year flu vaccine, 500 pesos. Also available will be free diabetes screening, blood pressure checks and medication/supplement consultations. 

For more details see the LCS website: www.lakechapalasociety.com.

Behind the Walls

Area residents and visitors have the opportunity to see “Behind the Walls” of four beautiful homes during the Thursday, January 22 tour, an annual fundraiser for the School for Special Children in Jocotepec. 

Ticket holders will meet at the Ajijic pier at 10:15 a.m. Tickets for 200 pesos are available at Diane Pearl Colecciones and at Charter Club Tours. If all tickets are not sold in advance, a few may be available at the pier. 

Other tours this season will be on February 26 and March 26. 

For more information, call Jessie Wynant at (376) 766-1438 or Dale Wilson at (376) 766-5283.

Robbie Burns 

Niños Incapacitados reports that tickets are selling quickly for the glorious Robbie Burns Birthday Supper they are hosting on Sunday, January 25 at the Hotel Real de Chapala. 

Ticket price for an evening of Scottish dancing, singing, bagpipes,  tartans, good food and scotch is 375 pesos. To order tickets, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

Fiesta Mexicana

The LCS is gearing up for their very popular annual Fiesta Mexicana, scheduled for Saturday, January 31. Tickets for the event, at 400 pesos, include a welcome margarita, Mexican dinner buffet, fashion show, ballet folklorico, mariachis, silent auction and more. 

Find details at www.lakechapalasociety.com.  

Date Change

The traditional Black and White Dinner Dance Gala for the School for Special Children is now scheduled for Friday, February 20, due to a scheduling conflict with the Northern Lights Jazz Night.

The moonlit event will be held on the lakeshore at Villa Encantada in Chapala. An elegant meal and big band dance music from the 1940s complete the plans.

Tickets are available at 600 pesos at Diane Pearl Colecciones or at Mia’s Boutique. Those planning to attend can reserve a table for eight.  

For more information, contact coordinator Claudette Champagne at (376) 766-1033 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

St. Andrew’s 

The Sunday, January 11, 10 a.m. worship service at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church will include the congregation’s opportunity to renew their own baptismal vows on the Sunday when Jesus’ baptism is recalled. 

Fr. Winston Welty’s sermon is “Repent? Who, Me?” The children’s bilingual Sunday School meets at 9:45 a.m. and a coffee hour in the garden follows the worship service.

The feeding program supported by St. Andrew’s welcomes donations of non-perishable items:  beans, rice, lentils, pasta, salt and oil, which can be left in the baskets by the church doors.

The “Company of Gentlemen” meets at the church on Wednesday, January 14, 8:30 a.m. for their cordial informal monthly breakfast. Signing up on Sunday ensures enough food on Wednesday.

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

Lakeside Presbyterian

Pastor Ross Arnold will offer a sermon entitled “Believing in God – The Fine-Tuning Argument” during the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, January 11. Using Colossians 1:15-17 as his Bible passage, he will present reasons why the very physical nature of the universe discovered by modern scientists offers compelling rationale for believing in God. The scripture, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together,” essentially reboots Arnold’s sermon series called “Why We Believe,” as he continues to examine the reasons why Christian faith makes sense, and is rationally defensible.  

On January 11, the congregation shares a buffet lunch following the service. Lakeside Presbyterian Church is in Riberas del Pilar, on the mountain side on the Carretera next to S&S Auto. Just watch for the sign “You have family at Lakeside!”

San Andrés English

“The Father anointed God’s beloved son, Jesus, with the Holy Spirit and with power, to bring healing and peace to all the nations,” said Fr. Basil G. Royston, D. Min., noting that on Sunday, January 11, the worldwide church celebrates the baptism of the Lord.

Royston will celebrate Mass in English at 9 a.m. in San Andrés Parish Church in Ajijic. On the second Sunday of each month the members of the English speaking congregation have a special “white envelope” offering to help them meet their obligations to the local church and their many outreach projects for the elderly, school children, orphans, the Red Cross, children with medical needs and abandoned animals. 

Christ Church

Christ Church Lakeside will observe the baptism of Jesus during the worship service on Sunday, January 11, 9:30 a.m. by celebrating the Holy Eucharist Rite II in the Little Chapel by the Lake. Fr. Danny Borkowski will preside and give a message, “Theophany,” based on Mark 1:4-11.

The congregations of Christ Church Lakeside and the Little Chapel by the Lake share a common coffee fellowship time between their two services from about 10:35 until 11:10 a.m.

Deacon Rob Wells leads Bible study at 10 .a.m. each Tuesday in the fellowship hall of the Little Chapel by the Lake. Sessions last about an hour. The group is currently continuing the study of the Gospel of Luke.

Little Chapel 

The interdenominational congregation of the Little Chapel by the Lake will hold a worship service at  11:15 a.m. on Sunday, January 11, when the Rev. Gene Raymer will deliver a message titled “Another Look.” 

“Sometimes a passage is so rich in content that not everything can be said in one message,” he says. “So we’re going to go back and look at some of what we did not have time to say.” 

The congregation will share a period of refreshments with Christ Church Lakeside at 10:45. a.m. Following the worship service, members will travel to a local restaurant and enjoy a time of fellowship and food. The Little Chapel by the Lake is located on the mountain side of the Carretera just east of the Chula Vista golf course. 

Unitarian Universalist

The Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael will present “The Religious Atheist, or Why Do You Go To Church If You Don’t Believe In God?” during the Sunday, January 11, 10:30 a.m. service of the Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. 

Scott has served the Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church in Burke, Virginia since 2006. He is a co-founder of the Maryland chapter of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign and helped organize a 1993 initiative to bring live plants and playgrounds to vacant city lots. He was a labor organizer for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from 1998-2000. 

Scott prepared for the ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School and then founded TUUL-Belt Ministries, a practical ministry to respond to natural disasters in 2007. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution by a Minister Award from the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice. He serves on the Nominating Committee of the Joseph Priestly District Board, and is an executive team member for Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, an organization promoting immigration reform and economic justice.

The Lake Chapala group meets every Sunday at Plaza de la Ribera, Rio Bravo 10A.

Open Circle

“It’s high time to talk about time,” says David Bryen about this Sunday’s Open Circle presentation.  Bryen’s talk, titled “It’s About Time,” will explore several modes of time and offer clues that allow us to break our addiction to time and the anxiety it causes.

“If time heals all things why is it a lousy beautician?” Bryen asks. “We feel the ravages of time; we use it, save it, and race against it because it’s running out. Our relationship to time determines the quality of life. Our cultural orientation to time underlies all the major stress of our culture.” 

Before retiring to lakeside, Bryen was a psychotherapist, motorcycle safety instructor, woodcrafter and poet. He published “Riding off the Edge of the Map” in 2013 and is also author of “The Man Loves the Wine She Serves Through Her Body.”

The Open Circle presentation on Sunday, January 11 begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Lake Chapala Society.

Buddhist Community

The Heart of Awareness Buddhist Community meets at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays for meditation and dharma teachings. The dharma talk on January 14 will be “Working with the Hindrances.” Members will meet at Paseo de los Veleros 60 in Lower La Floresta.

Volunteers are needed as soon as possible to help decorate the new meeting space in the San Juan Plaza on Guadalupe Victoria. By hanging fabrics, curtains and other decor, the group hopes to improve the acoustics of the area. Contact Connie McCourt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Heart of Awareness is a non-sectarian Buddhist practice community grounded in the original teachings of the Buddha as preserved in the Theravada/Vipassana tradition. Membership in Heart of Awareness is open to those with Zen, Tibetan or Shambhala backgrounds, as well as people with no previous meditation experience. For further information, call Karin Miles at (376) 766-0020.