Last updateFri, 06 Feb 2015 4pm
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Laguna Chapalac – January 17, 2015

Bilingual Toastmasters

The Lake Chapala Bilingual Toastmasters’ meeting will be held, in Spanish, at the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) sala on Monday, January 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. During the January 12 meeting, the presented speeches included Janice Taylor and her introduction to the work of Juan Goytosolo, Karuna Gomez Mont, who spoke about the enjoyment of meditation, and Arch Crane, who offered tips on being a good conversationalist. 

The next English meeting will be held at the LCS on Monday, January 26. Attendees can use the gate on Ramon Corona. For information in English call Guy Jobidon: (376) 766-5181. Call Marissa Urrutia for Spanish information at (33)1600-5937.

Noon Seminar

Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai will be featured, by TED podcast, during the noon Seminar on Tuesday, January 20 in the Lake Chapala Society sala. The program, available for LCS members, will be chaired by Fred Harland. In “My daughter, Malala,” Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don’t want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy and an independent identity. He tells stories from his own life and the life of his daughter, Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for daring to go to school. “Why is my daughter so strong?” Yousafzai asks. “Because I didn’t clip her wings.”

Dine with the Shrine

Members of the Shriners work year around to raise money to provide free medical care for local children. During the past year, the area group paid about a half million pesos while providing orthopedic and cleft palate surgery and care and treatment for local kids with burn injuries.  

Shriners work with lakeside restaurant owners to create a win-win situation for doners, Shriners and the restaurateurs. During  Dine with the Shrine events, diners pay the regular cost of the designated entrees, as well as their beverages and dessert. The restaurant donates the full cost of the entrées to the medical programs so that the Shriners can continue helping kids and underwriting some of the costs incurred by the parents.

The next Dine with the Shrine event will be held on Wednesday, January 21 at Los Telares in Ajijic. From noon until 8 p.m., Los Telares will donate the full cost (140 pesos) of all orders of the sea bass in lemon sauce or chicken parmesan to Dine with the Shrine coffers.

LCS Reminders

There is still time for participants to sign up to join the Wednesday, January 21 bus trip to the arts and crafts centers of Tonalá and Tlaquepaque. 

The winter LCS Health Day is scheduled for Thursday, January 22, on the grounds of the society. A variety of vaccines and health consultations, screenings and services are available. Those interested can obtain more information on the LCS website at www.lakechapalasociety.com and complete advance sign up and payments in the LCS office. 


A discussion of the horrific recent events in Paris will dominate the meeting of the Lakeside Freethinkers on Wednesday, January 21. Other topics will ask if Islam is a dangerous religion and if average Muslims are responsible for the actions of a few. If time permits, a book review of “Nailed” by David Fitzgerald will follow.

Members may also bring up other matters. The Lakeside Freethinkers define a “freethinker” as a person who identifies himself or herself as an atheist, agnostic, secular humanist or skeptic. They reject belief in the supernatural and rely on science and reason to guide their lives. Those who would like to attend, or wish additional information, can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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.

Mexico’s Spirits

A ten-week class at the Lake Chapala Society will delve into the wine, beer and spirits of Mexico. Sommeliers Bob Atkinson and Rebeca Martin Casas will discuss a number of associated topics, including the wines produced in Mexico, the wine producing regions and the grapes being grown. There will be wine tastings and discussions on food pairing. Classes will be held in the LCS Gazebo on Fridays beginning January 23, 3 p.m. The course is 2,700 pesos for members and 3,200 pesos for non-members. Buy course tickets at the LCS, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

LCS Mexican Cooking

Chef Linda Harley will feature Pollo Motuleno, an exotic dish based on ingredients commonly used in the Yucatan, at the next Mexican Specialties Cooking Class. Chicken breasts wrapped around cheese slices, in a rich sauce of Seville orange, tomato, onion, and rum-infused raisins, highlight the complexity of mestizo cooking. The class will be held on Tuesday, January 27. The registration deadline at the LCS office is Friday, January 23.

A tianguis-to-table class on Wednesday, January 28 will feature a traditional Lenten dish in Mexico. Spinach or romeritos (Suaeda torreyana) includes one of the popular green vegetables with shrimp patties. Fish entrees take the forefront across Mexico with the beginning of Lent on Wednesday, February 18. Advance sign up in the LCS office is required for these unique classes. Each class has a charge of 300 pesos. 

2015 Annual Meeting

The School for Special Children in Jocotopec (formerly known as the  School for the Deaf) will hold its 2015 annual general meeting on Friday, January 30 at the Puerto Arroyo Clubhouse, Carretera Poniente  525, immediately before the large plant nursery and Oxxo.

All friends and supporters of the school are welcome to attend to hear reports about the successful past year with the new leadership team. On the agenda items are the 2014 financial report, program reports and election of officers. The doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and the meeting begins 10 a.m.

NCA Dinner 

Plans are complete for a Valentine’s Day Dinner with Mike and the Suspects , “For the Love of Education,” according to supporters of Los Niños de Chapala and Ajijic (NCA). The fundraising event will be held on Saturday, February 14, 5-10 p.m. at the Hotel Villa Montecarlo in Chapala. 

Proceeds from this dinner dance event, 50/50 raffle and silent auction will help support the exceptional students in the NCA program and also subsidize some of the organization’s administrative expenses. 

Tickets at 350 pesos are available from Shannon at (33) 1695-6422, or Doug (33) 1069-0084 or the NCA Bazaar on the Carretera in Riberas del Pilar across from 7-11.

The Little Chapel

The interdenominational congregation of the Little Chapel by the Lake will share a refreshment period with Christ Church Lakeside on Sunday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. During the 11:15 a.m. worship service Rev. Gene Raymer presents the message, “Stealing from God,” based on Leviticus 27. Following the service, members of the congregation continue their fellowship in a local restaurant. 

The midweek movie on Wednesday, January 21, 4:30 p.m. will be “Amazing Grace.” The movie is based on the life of William Wilberforce and his quest to end the British slave trade. When Wilberforce faces intense opposition, his minister, John Newton, urges him to persevere. Newton is the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  The movie and refreshments are free.

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

Lakeside Presbyterian

Pastor Ross Arnold continues his series on “Why We Believe” with a sermon entitled “Why We Believe the Bible” during the Sunday, January 18, 10 a.m. English worship service at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church. 

“The Christian faith is built upon the Bible as the very word of God,” says Arnold, “but is it still possible to believe this?” His message contends that it is possible to explain why the Bible is compellingly true, timely and trustworthy using history, archaeology, and good old-fashioned reasonable thinking.”

Both English- and Spanish-language congregations gather in the garden at 11 a.m. for fellowship and refreshments. The Spanish worship service starts at noon. Lakeside Presbyterian Church is on the mountain side of the Carretera in Riberas del Pilar, beside S&S Auto. 

St. Andrew’s

“The Ministry of the Misfits” is the title of Fr. Winston Welty’s sermon for the Sunday, January 18, 10 a.m. service at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. 

He explains, “A little boy, a master manipulator, a stutterer, a lowly shepherd, a virgin teenager, a crooked politician, illiterate fishermen, violent revolutionaries – repeatedly, God calls and uses the least likely to accomplish the most.” 

The children’s bilingual Sunday School is at 9:45 a.m. A coffee hour in the garden follows the worship service.

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

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

San Andrés English

“Christ calls each of us by name,” says Fr. Basil G. Royston, D. Min., whose homily for the English Mass on Sunday, January 18 at 9 a.m. is “Answering God’s Call.” 

Royston adds, “In this celebration we listen to what God has to say to us, prepare to use in God’s service the body that God has given us for the glory of God. We say with Christ, ‘This is my body which is given up for you.’”

The English congregation of San Andrés is currently campaigning to find volunteers willing to prepare, deliver and/or serve lunch for the 30 children at Villa Infantil, the orphanage on the southwest shore of Lake Chapala. These volunteers in the Lunch Bunch can become responsible for a simple kid-friendly lunch just once, once a month, or once a week. For more information call Connie, the lunch coordinator, at (376) 765-3839. 

Unitarian Universalist 

Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael presents “Keep Calm And Let Conscience Be Your Guide” at the Sunday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. service of the Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Using the re-emergent lingo born of the World War II propaganda in Britain, “Keep Calm And Carry On,” she reflects on the work of conscience. 

Sammler-Michael has served the Unitarian Universalists in Loudoun, Virginia since 2007. She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who worked as a fine art photographer and chef. At separate 2012 campaign events she delivered invocations for First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. She is married to Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael; they share their home with his brother Dan, and Goobie the Cat.

The Unitarian Universalist group meets at Plaza de la Ribera, Rio Bravo 10A in Ajijic. For more information visit the group website: www.uuflc.org.

Open Circle

Loretta Downs returns to Open Circle on Sunday, January 18 with an uplifting and inspiring 10:30 a.m. talk including insights on the current worldwide social movement that is changing the ways people conclude their lives. In “Oh, Just Bury Me in the Backyard” she will share her beliefs on the miracle of transformation that is available to embrace and support, and to provide suggestions for approaching the finale with grace and serenity.

Downs is a nationally-recognized speaker and writer about supporting the end of life. She has been a companion to the dying for more than 25 years and is past-president of the Chicago End-of-Life Care Coalition and a member of the American Society on Aging. She raises Monarch butterflies in her award-winning garden and blogs at www.lifemattersmedia.org/category/experts/the-conversation.

Attendees at Open Circle gather in the LCS patio at 10 a.m. for refreshments. The program follows at 10:30 a.m. 

Military Ball

American Legion Post 7 Adjunct Vince Britton and his wife Susana enjoyed the third annual Military Ball January 10 at the Hotel Montecarlo, hosted by the Anezeh Shriners Legion of Honor Unit. In total about 80 members and guests from the local chapters of the 904th wing of the Canadian Air Force Association, American Legion Posts 7 and 9, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Navy League attended the event. The groups will join together at a bi-monthly social gathering every other month, with the first event to be hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion at Bar Tomas in Chapala February 4, at 3 p.m. Male and female military veterans are invited. 

Christ Church

Fr. Danny Borkowski will preside during the Sunday, January 18, 9:30 a.m. worship service of Christ Church Lakeside. His message, based on John 1:43-51, is titled “Son of God! King of Israel!” 

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

Deacon Rob Wells leads Bible Study on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. in the fellowship hall of the Little Chapel by the L

ake. The discussion sessions last about an hour. The group is currently continuing the study of the Gospel of Luke. 

Buddhist Community

The Heart of Awareness Buddhist Community meets on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. for meditation and dharma teachings. The dharma talk on Wednesday, January 21 will be “Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings.” Members will meet at Paseo de los Velaros 60 in Lower La Floresta.

The Monday Afternoon Dharma Movie will be shown on Monday, January 19, 3 p.m. The movie is “Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy,” three films on Tibetans in exile in India and Nepal.

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.