The Fourth Annual Ajijic Christmas Bazaar is set for Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at La Huerta de Serna at Carretera Poniente 522.
Local artists, cooks and crafters will fill the hall (also the site of the Tuesday Farmers Market) with a wide range of holiday gifts, décor and goodies.
The Children’s Rescue Program through Music Education in San Juan Cosala was organized less than two years ago and has mushroomed to a group with more than 200 children participating in the choir and the orchestra, which now is being outfitted with a full variety of instruments.
The organization has received some state and federal funding, along with local donations, and has been able to make amazing strides in a very short time. When the group appeared at Open Circle last year, it was with just 30 children.
In addition to hearing the children perform at the Sunday, December 13 meeting of Open Circle, attendees will hear from project administrators Agustin Vazquez and Coco Wonchee on how the project is positively impacting the lives and futures of the children who are involved, and also the general well-being of the community of San Juan Cosala.
Lake Chapala Society (LCS) members are invited to attend the Tuesday, December 15 learning seminar from noon to 1:15 p.m. featuring a video lecture, “Why Privacy Matters” by journalist Glenn Greenwald. Reba Mayo is the moderator for the LCS meeting.
Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see and write about the Edward Snowden files, which were filled with revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why private citizens need to care about privacy, even when they are “not doing anything they need to hide.”
Birders Fan Out
On the morning of Wednesday, December 16, Lake Chapala Birders will form five teams to spread out across the lakeshore to conduct the annual census known as the Christmas Bird Count.
This will be the tenth year of an event covering an area from the Raquet Club in the west, to Vista del Lago in the east, and to the village of Cajititlan in the north. The project aim is to identify and record all the birds seen that day.
The highest historical count was in 2006 when 43,000 birds of 114 species were counted. The results are published by the National Audubon Society. At the end of the day the birders will meet for dinner at Sunrise Restaurant to share the day’s experiences.
Members of the Needlepushers group have distributed 91 handmade sweaters to children at the Cuauhtémoc primary school in San Antonio Tlayacapan. The first sweater distribution of the season took place on Tuesday, November 24.
Another lot of approximately the same number of sweaters will be distributed at the Francisco Marquez primary school in Ajijic in the coming weeks.
Needlepushers is one of the oldest groups at lakeside. It traces its history back to 1962 when it was founded by Neill James, whose mother was an avid knitter. Members of Needlepushers knit and crochet sweaters and sew dresses and vests for area children. The dresses and vests are distributed in spring before Holy Week. The garments are created with materials which have been donated to the group, or with materials purchased with cash donations and the members’ dues.
The Needlepushers meet every Tuesday from 10-11:45 a.m. in the LCS Sala. New members are always welcome. Knitting and sewing skills are not required. Simple tasks such as sewing on buttons or hemming dresses are always needed to complete garments. Donations can be left at the LCS office or by contacting Susy Wright at (376) 766-7318.
The Annual Lakeside Freethinkers Xmas Party, hosted by the chairman, will take place on Wednesday, December 16. The meeting will feature food, drink and video broadcasts by favorite freethinkers. 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.
Dorothy McCauley, R.N., a CDE Diabetes Clinical Educator, will help conduct free blood sugar testing at American Legion Post 7 on Thursday, December 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. McCauley will also provide education for those with diabetes and convey information to help those with a family member or friend with diabetes.
Those who have diabetes and want to have their blood sugar tested should not eat for three hours prior to the test. They should also bring a list of all their medications. The post is at Morelos 114 in Chapala.
The First Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest and Holiday Karaoke Party will be held at American Legion Post 7 on Friday, December 18, 2 p.m.
Ugly Christmas Sweater parties and contests have become big winners during the holidays up north. The kitschy fun has now reached central Mexico.
Toy and Food Run
Local expat motorcycle club Los Gueros hosts the Second Annual Toy Run and Food Drive on Saturday, December 19. The event begins at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Post 7 in Chapala with registration and the reception of donations of an unwrapped toy and non-perishable food items. Breakfast will be available for bikers and guests there.
The riders roll out at noon for the ride to La Ola, the orphanage in Jocotepec.
“The kids can hear the roar of the motorcycles from a block or so away,” says event organizer Lee Myers. “Long before we turn into the driveway they are quivering with excitement.”
About 25 motorcycles participated in the 2014 ride. Myers expects that there may be nearly double that number in this year’s ride that escorts Santa to the children’s home. At the orphanage the riders will help prepare a barbecue lunch for the children and assist Santa with his visit to the kids.
“This is one of our favorite times of the year,” says Myers. “We don’t expect to be paid for these acts, but we are. We’re paid with hugs and smiles.”
Food collected during the event will go to Love in Action, a children’s home in Chapala. Those who wish to participate or to donate food or toys can contact Myers at (33) 3140-7003.
Area residents can sign up to receive the lost pet alerts by contacting the email address. As the numbers of the residents registered increases, the recovery time should decrease. The email addresses of participants will remain confidential as emails will be sent to the group using the bcc tool.
The dates of the next term of Spanish-language classes for LCS members have been announced by the Lake Chapala Society. Classes will begin on Monday, January 11 and continue through February 2016. The course meets for a 90-minute session twice a week at the Wilkes Education Center (Biblioteca) in Ajijic.
Students must pre-register. Registration for the upcoming classes is currently underway at the LCS office or on the LCS website: www.LakeChapalaSociety.com. The program manager will be available to answer prospective students’ questions and take registrations from Monday, January 4 to Friday, January 8, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the blue umbrella patio of the LCS campus.
The tuition for the course is 750 pesos. The course textbook is an additional 570 pesos, and other instructional materials may also be separately purchased.
Assistant Rabbi David Rossett relates the history of the Maccabees and how that time relates to Jews today when members and guests at the Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation gathered on the first night of Chanukah. “We celebrate the right of the people to be free. Chanukah is a celebration of our identity and our hope to return to our land,” he said before those assembled lit the first candles on the menorahs.