Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 3pm

Laguna Chapalac - January 2, 2016

Open Circle

Michael McLaughlin’s presentation at Open Circle on Sunday, January 3, 10:30 a.m. is titled “Organizational Theory and Behavior” and, believe it or not, is actually funny!

McLaughlin explores how efficiency, rules and regulations effect never-ending change. His tips bring a calm enlightenment for the next time attendees have to suffer through meetings and survive within a dysfunctional organization. 

For almost 20 years, McLaughlin was an actor and director of a non-profit improvisational theater he founded in Sacramento, California.  He directs and produces the Ajijic Lip Sync show, an annual fundraiser for the auditorium and other Lakeside nonprofits. McLaughlin has contributed short stories to local magazines for a number of years. 

Open Circle meets in the rear garden of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) complex, located at the corner of 16 de Septiembre and Ramon Corona in Ajijic. Attendees arrive at 10 a.m. for complimentary finger foods, beverages and social time. The program begins promptly at 10:30 a.m. and concludes at 11:30 a.m.

Learning Seminar

LCS members are invited to attend the Tuesday, January 5 noon to 1:15 p.m. learning seminar featuring past geneticist Pamela Ronald’s TED talk: “The Case for Engineering our Food.”  Bill Frayer is the moderator for the meeting. 

In an eye-opening talk, Ronald, a former University of California at Davis researcher, describes her decade-long quest to isolate a gene that allows rice to survive prolonged flooding. She shows how the genetic improvement of seeds saved the Hawaiian papaya crop in the 1990s, and makes the case that modern genetics is sometimes the most effective method to advance sustainable agriculture and enhance food security for our planet’s growing population.

Neill James Seminar

Roger Heath presents “Who Stole the American Dream?,” a video presentation by Hedrick Smith, during the Tuesday, January 5, 2 p.m. Neill James Seminar in the LCS sala. 

Heath leads the discussion of Smith’s video summarizing his book of the same name. 

Smith, in reporting the middle class in the United States and elsewhere lost significant ground since the 1970s, and argues that these losses did not “just happen,” but were the result of a planned and coordinated assault by monied interests. 

The group’s discussion looks at to what degree this theory is true. 

Heath worked as a government economist for more than three decades in Ottawa, before settling in Chapala with his wife, June. For some time, he has coordinated the discussion and philosophy groups at the LCS.

Separation and Divorce

A new support group for those who are separated and/or divorced has recently formed to assist those individuals in the process of reclaiming oneself. 

Meetings are set for the first and third Wednesdays of each month: Wednesday, January 6 and Wednesday, January 20 from 2:30-4 p.m. The group is free & run by a professional counselor with extensive group experience. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (376) 766-4522.

Women’s Disease Group

The Women’s Cancer and Life Threatening Disease Support Group meets without charge on Monday, January 11 and Monday, January 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

A professional counselor facilitates the group, which allows women to receive comfort and information from others who understand the feeling those dealing with serious illness experience. The group is open to women in treatment, and recent survivors. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (376) 766-4522.

Trivia Quizes 

Niños Incapacitados still has tickets available for the fun Trivia Quiz fundraisers on Tuesday, January 12, 2 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. at the Hotel Real de Chapala. Contestants can form teams of eight or come and wing it on their own. Those attending should bring their own munchies, but there will be a no-host bar. Tickets for the afternoon event are 250 pesos. The 6:30 p.m. contest tickets cost 300 pesos. For tickets or additional information, email Lorna McIntyre at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

1 2 16 17bLoss Support 

The Loss and Moving Forward Support Group is designed for people who have lost a life partner or are recovering from the death of a parent or child. Through a circle of support, the group will focus on the roller coaster of emotions experienced in times of grief and explore ways to positively harness those emotions towards creating a new life. 

The group meets on Wednesday, January 13 and Wednesday, January 27, 2:30-4 p.m. without charge with a professional counselor. For information and to join the group, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: (376) 766-4522.

Cruz Roja Hunts for Bears

Cruz Roja Chapala is looking for a pack of adventuresome, outdoorsy folks who dare to join others in taking the plunge to become members of the 2016 Cruz Roja Polar Bears.

The last sighting of the Cruz Roja Polar Bears was in early January 2013 when they were stuck in the cold mud of at the edge Lake Chapala. By all accounts they retreated into serious hibernation … until Cruz Roja announced this year’s new and better location and conditions. 

The playful Cruz Roja Polar Bears are back, but they won’t be leaping into the lake and coming up with necklaces of lirio. In the 2016 event, they will swim and dive and frolic in a spectacular swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees, at the Hotel Montecarlo on Wednesday, January 13, from 1-3 p.m.

The bears will be pleased to note that this year’s experiences come complete with locker rooms, showers, lounge chairs, cheering crowds, the music of DJ Howard to get everyone dancing and with food and beverages available nearby. This event has all of the amenities suitable for “High class bears,” and there’s no cold lake mud.  

Cruz Roja needs brave folks to take the new, amenity-filled Polar Bear plunge. The bears need folks to solicit sponsorships to support Cruz Roja. There will be fun for all and funds to help all when help is needed most. Entrance to the event is free. For information or to sign up to take the plunge or to sponsor a bear, contact Margy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (376) 766-4337. 

Robbie Burns 

Everyone who sings “Auld Lang Syne” already knows Scotland’s greatest poet, Robbie Burns. He wrote over 500 songs and even more poems in his short, but prolific life. 

Scots and friends of Scots around the world come together each year on January 25 to celebrate Robbie Burns’ birthday with pipes, kilts, haggis, dancing and toasts. 

Mark the calendar, buy tickets early and join the happy Scots on Monday, January 25, 5 p.m. at the Hotel Real de Chapala for an evening of Scottish entertainment including dancing, singing, humorous toasts and the elegant dinner and “a wee hauf.”  

The festivities start with bagpipes and a no-host bar and dancing with the Ajijic Scottish Country Dancers. Guests should wear tartan if they have it, and will be invited to try the easy steps. 

Enjoy as the bagpipes lead the grand march and the “Address Tae the Haggis,” another of Burns’ poems, but stand clear of the ‘sgian-dubh’ (the Scottish hidden dagger). Next on the evening’s agenda is dinner, served at your table, with a wee dram to go with the toasts.  To round out the evening, there’ll be a Scottish sing-along. 

A Burns Supper is a celebration of Robbie Burns, and all things Scottish. Join the fun evening and at the same time help the children supported by Niños Incapacitados. 

Tickets at a cost of 375 pesos each for this popular event can be purchased from Anne Flaningam at (376) 766-1609 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Seating is at tables of ten.

Save the Date

Operation Feed urges area residents to open their hearts to help the men, women and children of San Juan Cosala with the Operation Feed Dinner, Auction and Celebration on Friday, February 12 at Viva Mexico in San Juan Cosala. Tickets are 250 pesos. 

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