september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 3
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Page 4 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
for years he jam-packed two monthly columns with great
tips and facts about gardening and about local construction
techniques. The valuable information in these pieces is just
as valid today as it was nine years ago and we’re delighted to
by Judy King present, again, featured columns from both of John’s efforts:
“The Garden Oracle” and “From the Ground Up.”
Few of us expect to take on a new position just at the time Chef Lorraine Russo has been in charge of the kitchen at
most of our friends are beginning to collect Social Security, La Nueva Posada for 18 years—since she began organizing
but when I was offered a position doing what I love best to the kitchen and training the staff for the building’s grand
do—writing and editing—I couldn’t refuse, especially when I opening in August 1990. Now we’re roped her into sharing
learned that I could work from home. some of her favorite dishes and stories in our new “Flavors
Learning the ins and outs of any new job takes some time, of Lakeside” column. Here you’ll discover how to integrate
and that’s the one thing that is in short supply at The Lake some of Mexico’s traditional ingredients into your day-to-day
Chapala Review this fall. My arrival in the editor’s chair coincided menus; you’ll learn about the area’s favorite dishes and the
with Publisher/Owner Darryl Tenenbaum’s unveiling of his country’s most famous food icons. We’re betting that in the
newest brainchild, the tourism-based upscale publication, upcoming months a little tequila news and notes and a few
Point South. This high-end magazine is based on a dynamite chiles, will also creep into this column.
concept—it combines advertising and editorial content from Our October issue will unveil more new columns. If you
Lake Chapala, Puerto Vallarta and San Miguel Allende to feature love listening to music and going dancing, you’ll be delighted
and promote all the three of the most popular destinations in that local songstress Carol Bedford has agreed to keep us in
central Mexico. For now, Point South will just be distributed the loop by reporting on the schedules of our favorite groups.
twice a year to 75,000 Canadian subscribers of the mammoth Harriet Hart will be interviewing and compiling profiles of
newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Lakeside’s musicians. We’ll keep the lid on the third new
How will we present our little corner of the world? We’ve column for now, but if you like kids, you’ll love this new
gathered editorial material to explore many of the facets and piece.
contrasts of life in Mexico—from an honest view of the cost Fall comes softly to Lakeside, lulling us into a false sense of
of living to a story of a working rancher and his son. We’re endless dreamy Indian summer days. The leaves on the trees
writing about the making of the comfortable equipales—the may not change colors here, but we’re well into September
ubiquitous traditional rosewood and pigskin chairs and tables, and everywhere I go, folks are noticing the subtle changes
we’ll explain Mexico’s Christmas customs and even talk of in the sunlight, the cooler edge to the breeze, and increased
how the rebozos of Mexico paint our land with stunning strips activity levels as the Snowbirds return. The wildflowers will
of color. There’ll be more, of course, but our goal for Point soon fill the roadsides and valleys with masses of yellow, pink
South is similar to the goal of The Lake Chapala Review creators, and orange blooms that indelibly mark our year, announcing
Darryl and his mother, Helyn—to be the bridge between the beginning of the “fall fiesta season.”
the foreign and Mexican communities, to explain the little The weeks from mid-September’s Independence Day
puzzling moments and to make life easier for those readers through the New Year melt into each other as we rush through
who chose to visit or live in our area. a continuous circle of celebrations, novenas, processions,
Meanwhile, we’re keeping things hopping here at The Lake pilgrimages, fetes, fests, fiestas and feasts on Lake Chapala’s
Chapala Review. We’re so proud of the continuing work of your north shore. The mad dash to attend the increasing events won’t
favorite writers, and are pleased to introduce new regular slow until early spring. Not all of Lakeside’s upcoming events
columns to our pages. Last month we published the first part focus on favorite local Saints and Virgins or are accompanied
in the “Starting from Scratch” series by Janet Holt, a part- with fireworks—not by a long shot—as the Snowbirds return,
time Texan who is spending the summer at Lakeside. Janet’s the foreigners begin filling their social calendars with rounds
column shares some of the easy-to-understand help for first- of parties, concerts, plays and charity events.
time investors she’s written into her book, An Investment Guide Can you think of a better way to kick off a season of activity
That Starts from Scratch which will be published in 2009. than with Independence Day festivities and Thanksgiving
In our September issue we’re inaugurating a new column turkey dinners for Canadians?
and are reintroducing a pair golden oldie pieces. John Hang on to your hats, here we go! Happy Independence
Worthington was one of our first writers and write he did— Day!! Viva! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!! Viva!
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 5
The Lake Chapala Review
Flavors of Lakeside 7
Have Mouse, Will...
Mind, Body, Soul 10
Fiestas Kickoff 11
Jewish Life Lakeside 12
Starting From Scratch 13
On The Road 14 • Attractive, affordable condo
Lakeside What’s Up? 15 • 2 BR, 2 dens
Be Alert, Be Aware! 17 • Furnished, heated pool
Lot: 139 m2 Const: 119 m2
Medical Potpourri 18 • Best Ajijic investment Opportunity
Hidden Treasures 17
• 4 income properties
• 3 bedroom home & courtyard
Ajijic Limpio 18 !
Lot: 648 m2 Const: 601 m2
Focus On... 19 $619,000 USD
LCS Healthcare Week
23 Las Terrazas BE
Fresh News 25 • Entertainer’s Delight!
• Attractively Furnished
Profiles 26 • Large Kitchen, DR, LR
Shelter Report 28 • Spacious Quality
Mexico Lindo 29 Throughout
• Lot: 441 m2 Const: 188 m2
Eye of the Camera 30
Constellations 36 $249,900 USD
Home Inspector 41
The Garden Oracle 41
Buyers and Sellers 42
From the Ground Up 43
Out & About Dining 48
Review of Advertisers 49
Those of Us Who Dance.. 6
How NOT To Grow... 16
Upcoming Events 20
Mummy Dearest 24
How to Build ... Casita 27
Feria Maestro del Arte 32
Book Review 34
Photography Contest 35
Coffee in Mexico 37
I Am Sarah 38
Mueblera del Lago Ajijic 39
Plastic Surgery in MX 40
An American Adventure 44
What is a Good Country? 46
Old Morelia Road 46
Wilkes Ed. Center 47
The Complete Lake Chapala
reivew Vol. 10-Issue 7, Sept. 15
to Oct. 15, is owned & published
by Darryl Glen Tenenbaum,
Derecho de Autor # 04-2005-
Circulation: 6,000 ejs.
Page 6 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Those of Us Who Dance in the Sun
by Bill Frayer
Those of us who dance in the sun
Breathing in the sweetness
Surrounded with beauty bought,
Living in spaces adorned
With the sweat of those
We do not know.
Those of us who dance in the sun
Have planned for golden days
Cultivated status and worth
Which seemingly assures
A deserving coda for a life
Well lived, amid the stars.
Yet, those of us who dance in the sun
Have lots to lose and far to fall,
All our plans and luck for naught
No grips to cling
To life’s delicious gulps.
Like all, we face
The black chasm
And the unimaginable loss.
There are those, of course
Who cannot dance in the sun,
Who were born to work
In the sun and the dust.
They do not dance but plod,
Proudly, seeking survival,
Close to the ground
They do not dance
And have not so far to fall
Unaware of this irony
As they sweep our floors
So we may dance.
This poem is included in the collection of poetry Lakeside
resident Bill Fryer recently published under the title Sacred
Lake. Centered on his life at Lake Chapala, the volumes
of poetry will be available for sale during a 10:30 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. book signing at the Lake Chapala Society on
Tuesday, October 7.
Income from the sales of Sacred Lake will be donated
to the education arm of the LCS, the Wilkes Educational
Center. Sacred Lake will also be available at Diane Pearl’s
Colección at the intersection of Colón and Constitutión and
at Revistas, the bookstore in Bugambilias Mall in Ajijic.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 7
The Flavors of Lakeside
by Chef Lorraine Russo &
Judy King Hurray for the Red, White, and Green
Mexico has a traditional Independence Day dish that is
worthy of intense celebration. The Mexican flag colors of
chiles en nogada (stuffed poblano chiles with walnut cream
sauce and pomegranate seeds) make the entrée beautiful
enough for fireworks and parades--but there’s a lot more to
this patriotically-colored entrée than meets the eye.
Not many dishes can equal the historic origin of chiles
en nogada. Shortly after Mexico won its independence from
Spain in 1821, Mexico’s new Emperor Agustín de Iturbide
unexpectedly arrived in Puebla to celebrate his September
28th birthday and the feast day of his patron saint, San
Agustín, in the convent which housed the Augustinian nuns.
Just imagine the flurry of excitement in the Santa Monica
Convent kitchen when the shocked nuns discovered that
the Emperor--the former general who had received Spain’s
surrender and based the draft of the constitution on his
plans for equality and freedom of religion--was coming to
dinner. Driven by the patriotic fervor sweeping the republic
and a tight budget, the good sisters scurried from garden
to pantries combining the colors and textures of central
Mexico’s seasonal foods with complex spices to create a
culinary masterpiece--a work of art which transformed the
colors of the new flag into sensational tastes—a dish fit to
honor the Emperor of Mexico.
At dinner, the nuns presented platters of poblano chiles
stuffed with picadillo (chopped meats, nuts and fruits). The
deep green chiles signified the flag’s green stripe—the symbol
of independence and hope. A creamy white sauce made from
freshly harvested nogales (walnuts) represented the unity,
purity and honesty of the white center section of the flag
and the garnish of red pomegranate seeds embodied the
patriotism and the blood of Mexico’s heroes in the flag’s red
Today September’s favorite dish still often includes 30 or
more ingredients. The carefully cooked and blended beef,
pork and ham, onions, garlic and tomatoes, six or eight dried
and fresh fruits mixed with a half dozen spices and herbs
are stuffed into the mild chiles which, at room temperature,
are topped with a sauce of blended nuts, cream, cheese,
cinnamon and sherry, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
In the old days the dish could only be made when the prime
ingredients, the just-mature walnuts, fresh pears, apples and
papaya and red, ripe pomegranates were in season.
Chef Lorraine Russo explains, “The very scarcity of this
dish is part of its great attraction—along with the delicate
balance of contrasting temperatures, flavors and textures.
When you eat really good chiles en nogada, each bite is an
endless surprise.” She added another suggestion for fully
appreciating this special Mexican dish.
“If you want to understand the glorious intrigue and
remarkable effect of this dish, take another look at Like
Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel—either the book or the
movie. Chiles en nogadas play a vital role in the unforgettable
wedding feast scene. The guests are so overwhelmed with
waves of passion evoked by the beauty, taste and essence of
the chiles en nogada that they abruptly leave the celebration
in a fever of urgent clandestine mating. There’s no question,
those nuns in Puebla knew their way around a kitchen. This
is surely one of the most elegant and exciting of all Mexican
Maybe a legend adds an extra dollop of sazon (seasoning
and flavors) to homemade Mexican holiday dishes—especially
when the recipe has a historical setting, a backdrop of Colonial
buildings, and is topped off with the intrigue of a surprise
visit from the new country’s Emperor.
In this new column, old friends and long-time Lakeside residents
Chef Lorraine Russo of La Nueva Posada and LCR Editor Judy King
explore the secrets, stories and sazones (flavors) of Jalisco’s favorite
dishes. Look for chiles en nogada on Independence Day menus at
restaurants such as: La Bogega, Manix, and Tio Domingo.
Page 8 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Fabulous Selection Have Mouse, Will Movie
by Eloise Hollyfield firstname.lastname@example.org
of Many Things! Don’t you envy those folks in the states and elsewhere
who can simply order a movie--old or current--from NetFlex
Jewelry or Block Buster and have it delivered directly to their door?
Gifts Galore Alas, we don’t have this type of service here at Lakeside. Not
to despair…you can get most movies or TV shows directly
Art from the Internet. Explore these possibilities!
Candles If you are using an old computer that doesn’t meet these
specifications, you may want to upgrade or to purchase a
new computer. If you aren’t sure if your computer meets
these specs, your computer repair guy can tell you. Here are
the recommended requirements:
One Colón @ Ocampo, Ajijic • 2 MG or more of memory
766-5683 • Dual-channel processer running 1.5 GB per channel
• 160 GB hard drive or more
• 15.4 to 17” screen or larger on a laptop computer;
17”-22” monitor for a desktop.
To watch movies, you will need to download software,
much of which is free.
Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/)
is a web browser that is considered by many users to be
superior to Microsoft Internet Explorer for running movies
or TV shows that have been shown within the past one to
two weeks. There is no charge to download this.
Veoh (http://www.veoh.com) is a really nice site. Scroll to
the bottom of the page, lower right corner, and click on
“Download Veoh TV.” This site enables you to watch web
video on your television set by recording it to a DVR. You
will first need to save it to your hard drive then record it to
DIVX (http://www.divx.com) is an excellent player for
RealPlayer (http://www.realplayer.com/) is a popular choice
for many computer users. To download movies, though, you
need to download Version 11. There is an annual charge of
$29.00 (as of this writing). Once you have downloaded the
movie of choice, you will be able to then burn it to a CD or
DVD if it is permitted by the movie company.
OV Guide (http://www.ovguide.com) is a great site
for watching both movies and TV shows, old and new.
Simply click on “Movies/TV” on the left column. There are
many excellent links on this site. For example, if you are
particularly interested in seeing your favorite TV show, click
on TV Shack or TV Links. There are several similar links, but
these are two of the better known ones.
Some movie download sites charge by the movie; prices
vary. Most of these sites allow you to pay for the movie,
download it, and then burn it to CD or DVD. Some of the
better known sites are as follows:
wbg ) offers a couple of free movies before charging for
downloading additional movies.
Movie Download (http://my-movie-download.com/) and
Movie Download (http://www.vizumi.com) provide the
needed download software so that you can download to
your computer. However, if you want to record the movie
for later use, you will need to pay.
Butterfly (http://www.butterflydownloadnetwork.com/) is
a really great site. You pay a one-time fee for life (well, at
least so far) and you can download and burn the movies to
your heart’s content!
Movie Download http://moviedownloadworld.com/
Express Movie Downloads
(http://www.expressmoviedownloads.com/) is considered
by some to be the best movie download site because only US
servers are used, which means the downloads are faster.
Enjoy the movies and television shows you’ve been able
to bring into your own home almost instantly!
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 9
Old Ajijic As I said, things were slow but then they were never
fast. The day the gypsies swept through town woke us up.
by Kate Karns The Eighties Pina, one of the dressmakers warned me they were in town.
So what, I thought, until two women dressed in brightly
Things in the eighties were a little slow here in Ajijic. I colored skirts, hoop earrings, heavy make-up and bright
guess they were slow in the US, too. Every so often, we’d head scarves whirled in. They pawed through our inventory
get half-filled tour buses with their weary guides coming unlike legit customers. Pina came out of the sewing room to
into the Telares, the shop across the narrow road from help me keep an eye on them. One tried on a cape, another
the old Posada, where five weavers filled orders for Helen held up a dress or two. It was so fast it was almost like a
Kirtland’s designs. Helen was the owner of the business. I dance. Before I realized it they were back out the door. As
worked in the shop with three or four of the most talented we set the shop back in order we saw that they had gotten
dressmakers in the village. away with one stole and two skirts. But at least it stirred up
The beautiful shop, El Angel, kitty-cornered across the sleepy little shops—and then the next day it was back
the street from the Posada, hired the others. Gail to the same lazy quiet day broken by the clacking sound of
Michel owned that store and made it into the Paris Vogue the weavers.
with its style and beauty. It was in the building where Lois It was on such a day that I was leaning in the doorway in a
Cugini now has her shop, Opus, at the foot of Colón. The ho-hum way when lumbering down the narrow street came
fourth corner was a place called Casa Blanca which sold an elephant like a huge lost tourist, taking his time passing
mostly keepsakes and take-away items the Posada, our shop and then on down the street. I rushed
Ajijic had the reputation in Guadalajara of being filled into the weaving and sewing room shouting, “Did you see
with ne’er-do-wells, crazy people and poor fishermen. that! Did you see the elephant? I’m not kidding.”
Counter-culture icons Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary They all raised their heads and looked at each other and
temporarily settled here and that didn’t help the reputation then bent back to their work. I’m still not sure whether their
of the permanent settlement. Of course the folks who attitude meant “crazy gringa” or that elephants strolled
turned away didn’t know what they were missing--probably down the street all the time.
didn’t want to know. Later, I went across the street to the Posada for lunch. I
Ajijic was very foreign. It wasn’t Europe. It wasn’t Canada, sat by the window facing the beach. When I looked out I
Palm Springs or Palm Beach. It still isn’t. We came here to saw a down-trodden, dirty yellow beast tied to a stake in
get out of the sameness of everyday living, to meet some the sand. I turned to the bartender who was wiping down
real challenges and to fulfill my husband’s courting threat, the bar behind me. No one else was in the room. Still
“Someday we’ll live in Mexico.” At the time I thought that reeling from seeing the elephant, I pointed and shouted,
was fine; I’m not quite sure I knew where it was. “What’s that? Que es--oh hell--there’s a lion out there!”
We took a train from Mexicali to Guadalajara, bought a “Si, señora. un le-on” (“Yes, señora, a lion”), and he
map and rented a car. We rode into this beautiful, protected continued wiping the bar. “Un circo, pronto.” (“There’s going
palm of tranquility and stayed. We’d found it. to be a circus, soon.”)
Page 10 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Mind, Body, Soul for a senior exercise group. When I met her, I found a wrinkled
woman with hands shaped from a life of long hard work. She
by Barbara Rotthaler Integrative Medicine at Work was always doing something from the heart, including loving
her husband who is not so strong anymore because of a heart
Alternative or complementary medicine and conventional problem. “I want him to be with me many more years, so I
medicine don’t have to be in conflict—each can benefit the might do a little bit more for him than I should,” she said.
patient. Integrative medicine (the bridge between these two She is a very grounded person, strong, happy and thankful
positions of medicine) can be beneficial and life saving. for every day of her life and for every situation that comes
There has always been conflict between these forms of her way.
medicine and today there are strong arguments between the I am convinced that she would not have survived the
two factions which can cause patients to be confused, skeptical advanced cancer without the conventional medicine (surgery
and fearful. Many people strictly favor either conventional or and chemo), or without the natural approach--her healthy,
alternative medicine. Proponents of both sides behave as if fresh and simple diet, herbal teas, morning swims and her
they were following a religion. “Do I believe or not”? healthy point of view.
Some people who see a naturopath are afraid to tell their The other person is a younger woman from the same
regular physician. They think that he or she might disapprove village who discovered she had advanced ovarian cancer.
or might not be willing to care for them in the future. They She had surgery followed by chemotherapy. For months she
are afraid of having to suspend the chemical drug (e.g. for struggled to recover from these treatments. She lost weight
high blood pressure) when they see an alternative medicine was depressed and finally, the doctor said to her: “Just enjoy
therapist. There is so much uncertainty around this subject the summer – there is nothing more that I can do for you.”
that unfortunately the sick person who needs help from both She felt totally desperate and lost until her daughter’s
sides is lost in the chasm between the two sides. friend told her about a naturopath who worked with
There is nothing wrong in using both approaches. I
always encourage people to use all options for health—and
it is important to let our conventional doctors know that we
(in addition to taking their medicine) are also taking some
herbal remedies or seeing a homeopath.
I observed two cases while I was in Germany which may
encourage you to consider all choices. They show how
integrative medicine works. It is obvious to me, that without
the conventional medicine, or without the natural medicine,
these women would not still be alive.
First is the 85-year old woman who had severe cancer six
years ago. She worked very hard all her life, her parents were
refugees from an eastern European country. At an early age
she learned to grow vegetables in gardens and fields, how
to make bread, how to sew and cook. She and her husband
had two children, but the son died when he was 40 years
old. Two years after the loss of her son—when she was 79,
she developed abdominal pain. She went several times to
different doctors but no one took her pain seriously saying it
was a torn muscle. Finally she was diagnosed with advanced
abdominal cancer. She had surgery, but the doctors could not Chinese medicine, homeopathy, etc. He gave her hope and
remove all the cancer and suggested, “The rest we will do recommended changes in her life – less work, more relaxation
with chemotherapy”. techniques, affirmations and moderate exercise. Soon she
When the doctor came with the chemotherapy injection, felt stronger, gained weight, came out of the desperation and
she said: “Ah, here comes my life-saving angel”. The young everybody who sees her today says: “you look so healthy and
doctor said, “How wonderful, you are the only person who well.” And when somebody in Germany says that, they really
greets me that way. Everybody else is saying, oh no, another mean it!
injection of the devil’s stuff.” She says, “I have not felt so well in many years.” Even
When she was released from the hospital she started to though she is not yet beyond the critical five-year recovery
eat only healthy foods, mostly fresh vegetables from her mark, I am sure that she would not be in such excellent
garden. She alternated drinking herbal teas for the kidneys, condition without the alternative approach.
liver, lungs, and digestion. A morning swim in a nearby pond While these are only two examples, I hope they can help
was part of her routine, even when it was a little bit cool on you be more open to the alternative medicine approach as a
many days. She learned Qi Gong and became the instructor complement to regular medical services.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 11
Fiestas Kickoff the Fall Season
One celebration follows another in October. Plan to
attend some of these special events:
San Francisco--Get a jumpstart on the month by
joining in all nine days of the fiesta for Chapala’s patron
saint, San Francisco, (St. Francis de Assisi). You’ll find in lots of new styles.
street markets, music, dancing, processions, and daily
fireworks—morning, noon and night in the downtown
and malecón areas of Chapala.
Celebrating Chapala’s Birthday--Not long after that fiesta
is wrapped up on October 4, Chapala starts to celebrate
anew—this time the anniversary of the town’s founding.
Look for art shows, outdoor concerts and a variety of
other events during this birthday party.
Octoberfest--Meanwhile, the entire city of Guadalajara
and much of the rest of the state of Jalisco is wrapped
up in the month-long 33rd annual Fiestas de Octubre
(Octoberfest). The first events are scheduled in late
September and the list goes on and on in several city
locations—it takes a series of locales to house the
month’s more than 450 planned events during the month.
More than 1.5 million people will show up to enjoy art
shows, gigantic parades, concerts, cockfights, and a host
of musical events during this month’s celebration, “Mitos
Fantasticos” (“Fantastic Myths).
There is something for everyone during the fiesta—
Lakeside residents will enjoy the art shows, the October
5 parade and the progress during the Certemen Nacional
de Labrado en Cantera (the national cantera stone carving
contest) in Plaza Liberación (behind the Guadalajara
cathedral). Children and grandchildren will enjoy the
rides, ice skating rink, cartoon characters, haunted
house and kid’s fantasy world, La Carnica Azul (The Blue
You’ll find a complete schedule of upcoming events
and maps on the Fiestas de Octobre website: www.
Ajijic’s Virgin of the Rosary—Don’t miss the October
31 procession—the closing event of Ajijic’s month-long
celebration of the Virgin of the Rosary—you’ll find details
in this month’s Mexico Lindo column.
October 12—Columbus is not at center stage on
Mexico’s October 12 holiday--it is a day for all of the
people of Mexico to pay homage to their heritage in
Día de la Raza (Day of the Roots) activities. From school
children to old folks, small celebrations are part of the
October 12 has immense traditional importance in
Guadalajara as another celebration proudly takes to the
streets. In a massive early morning procession through
the city, the Virgin of Zapopan is escorted through city
streets from the Guadalajara Cathedral where she has
been visiting, to her home altar in the ornate Basilica in
the extreme northeastern sector of the city. All summer,
a duplicate of the small 500-year-old statue travels
through the dioceses, spending a day in each of the city’s
The 500-year-old figure is revered in all of Jalisco—
she is not only the patron of Guadalajara, she is also the
protector of the entire state, the annual rainy season, and
Lake Chapala. In addition to ensuring sufficient rainfall
and good crops, early in Guadalajara’s history, petitions
to the Virgin saved the city from an epidemic of bubonic
plague. Scores of brass bands, thousands of troupes of
indigenous dancers and hoards of people, in all, nearly
two million participants and spectators show up for this
annual mega event
Page 12 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Jewish Life Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation
by Alison Solomon
We all know that climate and affordability often top
the reasons ex-pats from the USA and Canada move to
Lakeside. But for some, there’s another clincher for
choosing Ajijic over other locations in Mexico – the
thriving Jewish community. When ex-pats who were
Jewish moved here a decade ago, the only choice was
to go to the orthodox synagogue in Guadalajara, which
wasn’t the ideal option for those raised in the more liberal,
progressive customs north of the border. Then a few years
ago a group of Jewish residents began getting together,
meeting in each others’ homes. Today the Lake Chapala
Jewish Congregation (LCJC) boasts a membership of over
100 families and holds regular services in a beautiful
building, generously donated by area resident Geoffrey
Of course, it’s not easy being a one-size-fits-all
synagogue. Just look around you to see how many
different churches there are, each with its different
rituals and practices, then think about the fact that Jews
tend to be an opinionated bunch, and imagine trying to
accommodate everyone under the same roof! For a while
LCJC was led by local resident rabbi Phil Posner, but 18
months ago the community decided to become lay-led,
with the option of bringing in a variety of visiting rabbis.
For last year’s High Holidays two mature student rabbis
from the renewal movement were hired for the 10-day
period, and they exposed the community to what was for
many, a very different approach to Judaism.
This year rabbi
will be the
guest of LCJC.
Like last year’s
came to the
in life, when
she was almost
ready for a
community herself! She had lived most of her life as a
secular Jew, devoted to being Jewish but not in a spiritual
or religious way. Then, in the 1990s she connected with
a “wonderful community in Massachusetts, which opened
me up to a new experience, through music and liturgy.”
She decided she wanted to know more, and joined a class
for adults wishing to have a bar- or bat- mitzvah (Jewish
coming-of-age ceremony which has only been opened up
to women in recent decades). One thing led to another,
and four years ago she was ordained as a rabbinic pastor.
She is now in the final stages of becoming a full-fledged
Rabbi Wenig is very excited to be coming to Ajijic for
the High Holy Days, which this year begin on September
29. She says that her goal is “to make Judaism come alive
for so many of us for whom it lost its meaning somewhere
along the line.” There will be a full schedule of services and
celebrations through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement,
including intimate gatherings in homes as well as the
larger traditional services at the synagogue, which last
year were attended by over 60 people. For tickets and
information, please contact President Helena Feldstein at
766-1364, or email email@example.com.
Rabbi Wenig hopes to encourage members of the
community to think about having their own adult bar
or bat-mitzvahs. Who knows – we may just sprout some
rabbis-to-be right here in Ajijic!
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 13
Starting from Scratch
by Janet Holt The Retirement Revolution
We often speak of “traditional” retirement, but in the
not-so-distant past, the concept of retirement was almost
unknown. Life expectancy in 1900 was only about 47 years,
so people worked, experienced a short period of illness or
disability, and then they died. This picture changed during
the industrial revolution as people migrated from the farms
to the cities for factory jobs and family support systems began
to disintegrate. The Social Security Act of 1935, which set the
official retirement age at 65, was intended to supplement
personal savings to keep retirees out of poverty—but just
barely—and not for long. Life expectancy was only about 60
at the time. The predominant view of retirement was a brief
respite from a life of hard work before death—that’s pretty
The Golden Years
The end of World War II ushered in a period of peace
and prosperity. Workers often stayed in the same job, or at
least with the same employer, for their entire careers and
many companies provided pension plans to reward these
loyal employees. By 1980, 80% of the working population of
the United States was covered by private pensions. Social
Security benefits had increased by nearly 80%. Congress
766 02 17
authorized automatic cost of living increases to pensioners
and introduced Medicare in 1965—life was good. Life
expectancy had increased dramatically, and people began
retiring younger and healthier. People viewed the Golden
Years as a time to escape responsibilities and enjoy a carefree
life funded by secure pensions. Masonry,
The Retirement Revolution
This hearty generation produced the huge number of Plumbing,
children known as the Baby Boomers born between 1946 and
1964. Boomers on the leading edge of this wave are now 62 Painting,
and facing their own retirement—and it will be anything but
traditional. Surveys indicate a majority of boomers plan to Electrical,
continue working, at least part-time, well past age 65. Some
will work because many took “live for today” a little too Carpentry and
literally and failed to save enough money to retire. Others
see it as a time to pursue new interests or follow dreams— all kinds
the trend is toward starting over rather than wrapping up.
Medical breakthroughs coupled with healthier lifestyles have of services for
created a generation that can expect to be energetic and
productive well into their eighties and beyond. your house.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
The dramatic shift in recent years from defined benefit Competitive Prices.
plans to defined contribution plans mean that a majority
of new retirees will need to rely on their own resources for Cell: 045-331-520-7707
income rather than on pensions. With defined benefit plans, Next to OXXO
the corporation makes investment decisions and the retiree
is guaranteed a specific monthly benefit—at least in theory. in Chula Vista
Corporate mergers, bankruptcies and other fiscal shenanigans
can be disastrous for pensioners. Defined contribution plans,
such as 401Ks, are individual accounts. Participants make
contributions and select their own investment vehicles. The
buck stops with them—hopefully not literally.
Of course, there’s always Social Security, but depending
on the government, for more than subsistence income will be
very risky. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. As long
as there are many workers to support the retirees, the burden
is easy to bear. In 1950, the ratio of workers to retirees was
1-hour full body massage
16 to one. As of this writing, the ratio is about three to one $200 pesos
and declining. Some experts are warning of fiscal disaster as
the boomers strain Social Security resources. Others dismiss
these concerns and celebrate new opportunities for older
or $150 pesos in
workers. The only thing we can be certain of about the future Calle Caña #67, Chapala
is that it is in our own hands.
Jose Mora: 045 331 452 4591 or 376 765 6081
(Janet Holt’s book, An Investment Guide That Starts from firstname.lastname@example.org
Scratch, will be published in early 2009.)
Page 14 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
On The Road
by Karen Hartwig
can not usually be repaired.
• Do not overload your vehicle; this can inhibit control
Tires - Part 1 and cause an accident. If you are pulling a trailer, there can
be some weight transfer from the trailer to your vehicle.
How much can be said about tires … surprisingly, a lot. Check your owner’s manual for the maximum recommended
So much depends on tires. Safety should always be the weight.
number one issue when it comes to driving a car, and tires • Try to avoid driving over potholes or any objects on the
play an important part in keeping your car safe. We were road. If you can’t steer clear, then slow down to a minimum
reminded of the role tires play in auto safety a few years speed.
ago when many unfortunate fatal crashes were a result of • Rotate tires every 7,000 miles (approx. 10,000 kms).
faulty tires. Tire rotation is essential to ensure even wear and maximum
There are a number of things each vehicle owner can do tread life. With front-wheel drive cars the braking,
to ensure safety and longer tread life for tires: acceleration and steering forces affect the front wheels
• Check tire pressure on a monthly basis or prior to more and will therefore wear front tires more quickly. The
long trips. This is best done when the tires are cool; tire type of vehicle you drive will influence the way tire rotation
friction caused by use can increase pressure and therefore should be done (read your owner’s manual).
give a false reading. Don’t forget to check the spare tire. • Be sure your wheels are balanced. Proper wheel
The maximum tire pressure will be printed on the sidewall balancing will prevent uneven tread wear, and could prevent
of the tire, however under normal circumstances, you can excessive wear on the suspension. A good indication you
use 80% of that maximum amount. It is not recommended need wheel balancing would be a shaking in the steering
to have less than 28 pounds per square inch. According to wheel at higher speeds.
the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), under • Improper alignment of the wheels will also cause
inflated tires are the leading cause of tire-related accidents. uneven tread wear and affect the stability of the car. If your
Be aware that low tire pressure can affect the handling of vehicle pulls to one direction or another (on a flat surface)
the vehicle, and tire life. Did you know that low tire pressure you should have this checked. Much like balancing the
can increase the effects of hydroplaning? The tire pressure wheels, your car will more than likely require alignments
will be listed in your owner’s manual, and in most vehicles more often if you are driving on uneven road surfaces. The
on the door jamb, but unless you have the original tires, same would apply for steering and suspension.
there could be variations. • Overheated tires, caused by high speeds, hard braking,
• Inspect tires on a monthly basis. Look for uneven or overloading, rough roads and aggressive driving, will
extreme wear on the tread; this could be caused by several contribute to tire failure.
things including improper inflation, poor balancing or Don’t take chances, replace tires if required. When the
alignment or problems with the suspension. Search for “wear indicator bars” on the tread of the tire are even with
bulging and cracks on the sidewalls or separation of the the tread, the tread is severely uneven, or the sidewalls
tread. These can easily cause blowouts. Sidewall damage are damaged or cracked, it’s time to get new tires. Never
change just one tire, it is important to install front or rear
pairs, or preferably complete sets of four. The pairs of tires
should be completely equal to avoid stress on handling and
suspension. It is argued that new tires should go on the
front, as there is more force from the pressure of braking,
steering and acceleration. However, other experts say
that new tires should go on the rear in order to maintain
maximum traction at the rear to ensure stability. One thing
for sure, driving on severely worn or damaged tires is a
recipe for disaster.
Choosing the right tire for your car can be overwhelming
with all the options available. Obviously you get what you
pay for, and going for the more economical tire may mean it
will need to be replaced sooner. Check your owner’s manual
for suggested size.
Remember tires are the only thing between you and the
road, and are crucial for the safety of you and the passengers
of your car.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 15
Riberas. 765-6968. www.LakeChapalaJews.com or call Helen
Feldstein at 766-1364 .
LAKE CHAPALA SHRINE CLUB Last Tuesday of month. 1:00 pm,
Nueva Posada, President Perry King 763-5126
LOS NIÑOS DE CHAPALA Y AJIJIC Educational scholarships to
A COURSE IN MIRACLES Saturday 2:00 at 16 Septiembre #34-6 children & young adults 766-1688 www.lakesideninos.org
Ongoing. No charge. 766-4882. MACINTOSH USER GROUPS Third Wed, 3:00pm LCS Sala. Bob
AJIJIC MASONIC LODGE #31 2nd & 4th Wed. of month 5:00 Mitchell. Beginner Mac 101 Classes: 1st Mon. Noon. Sala,
pm, Secretary: 387-761-0017. Chris Stevens.
Ajijic MEDITATION GROUP Thurs 5:30. Paseo de las Redes #39. MAS Music Appreciation Society, Classical music and Children’s
La Floresta, Dan Stark 766-0411. Music Project-Beverly Ely Denton 765-6409.
AJIJIC QUILT GUILD Open to general public, 2nd Tuesday 12 NAVY LEAGUE, LAKE CHAPALA COUNCIL 3rd Sat. for lunch pro-
noon, Laguna B&B. 766-0276. gram at 1 pm, Sandy Bell 766-4750 or Dave Wagner 766-1848.
AJIJIC SOCIETY OF THE ARTS 1st Mon. of month 10 am, Nueva NEEDLEPUSHERS Sew dresses, knit or crochet sweaters for lo-
Posada, art program follows meeting. cal kids. Every Tues. 10 a.m. LCS Sala. Lynne 766-5116.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Mon,Thurs, LCS. Francis 766-3903 NINOS INCAPACITADOS Meetings open to all. Second
AMERICAN LEGION #114 Morelos, Chapala-Call 765-2259 for Thurs,9:30-Nueva Posada. Rich Petersen 765-5511.
details on this month’s events. Visitors and guests welcome. NIÑOS Y JOVENES CARAVAN Delivers food stuff & used cloth-
AMIGOS DE LOS ANCIANOS (Friends of the Elderly) Casa de ing to the orphanage in San Juan Cosalá, Reuben Varela, at
Ancianos, Chapala, Marlene Dunham 766-1067. 01-387-76-10606
AMIGOS Every Wed. 6-8 pm, La Nueva Posada, friendly group NORTH SHORE AUTO ENTHUSIASTS Meet 3 pm, 3rd Sat. up-
of mature people meet to make new friends. stairs at Tom’s Bar. Call Ron 765-3361.
AMOR EN ACCION (Love in Action) Children’s Shelter in Chapala OPEN CIRCLE is a group interested in fostering the health of
2nd Tuesday, LCS Sala. Noon. Pat Wayne email@example.com. body, mind, spirit, Every Sun. 10 - 12, LCS Patio, back gate.
AMSIF Bridge 2nd Saturday of every month at Ruben’s Grill OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS Every Tues & Fri. Noon, Marcos
from 12-5:OO. Lunch included, prize to best players with pro- Castellanos #51-A, Ajijic, 766-2575 or 766-1626.
ceeds going to AMSIF and Niños y Jovenes. 100 pesos. ROTARY CLUB OF AJIJIC Every Tues. 1:30 pm, Old Posada, foot
BRITISH SOCIETY Lunch and Speaker meeting. 1st Sat. of of Colón, Ajijic 766-2190
month at 1 pm, Manix Restaurant, Alicia McNiff 765-4786. SCRABBLE Tues/Thurs, 12-3 LCS Pavilion. Dan Stark 766-0411.
CANADIAN CLUB Second Wed. Nueva Posada, lwr. garden at 4 SOFTBALL GAME CO-ED Wed & Fri 10am to Noon, Perry King
PM. Sept. to April.www.canadianclubmx.com. 763-5126.
CARD & DOMINO CLUB Meets Wed., Fri. & Sun. Will teach. VOLLEYBALL 10 am Tues, Thurs, Sat, Cristiana Park. Jim 766-
Make friends, Melanie’s Restaurant, Ocampo #151 (Danza del 3102.
Sol) call for times, Francine at 766-4253. WRITERS’ GROUP 1st & 3rd Fri. 10:15 am Nueva Posada, guests
DAR (Lakeside Chapter) Meets 3rd Wed. of month, Info Mardel most welcome.
Shambach 765-2961 or Bateman 766-2964.
CRUZ ROJA INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS DE CHAPALA- Meets
2 p.m. first Wed. of each month in the Sala at the Lake Chapala
Society. website at www.cruzrojalakeside.com.
DUTCH LAKESIDE CLUB - 3rd Thurs. Julia Boogaard 765-5535.
ECKANKAR Penny White 766-1230.
GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS Every Mon. 4 pm, Club 12, Marcos
Castellanos # 51-A,Ajijic, Charlie K, 766-3671.
GARDEN CLUB Members Only! 3rd Wed. of month,12:30 pm,
Nueva Posada, lunch, guest speaker, raffle. New members wel-
come to join before meeting (11:30).
GERMAN SPEAKERS 2nd Thurs. Thea Petersen 765-2442.
HASH HOUSE HARRIERS Sat. 8:30 am, Nueva Posada, Everyone
welcome! No dues or membership.
IRISH SOCIETY meets 2nd Monday 4:00 pm at Nueva Posada,
call Brian Cronin at 765-5071; firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAKE CHAPALA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB Stratified Pairs meet
every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 1:15 pm. 99ers meet
at 9:15 am Friday. The Carretera, #77-1, one block east of
Maskaras Clinic. Info: 766-3924 or 766-1418.
LAKE CHAPALA JEWISH CONGREGATION Santa Margarita #13,
Page 16 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
How Not to Grow Tomatoes... into a larger container in about two weeks. Two weeks
after that I was ready to tackle the up-side-down tomato
by Roger Johnson ... Upside Down plant experience.
As strange as it may seem and with the help of a small
Last year, a bit bored on an American Airlines flight piece of cloth in the bottom of the pot to keep the dirt
from Dallas to Guadalajara, I was entertaining myself by
from falling through the hole, I hung my two, up-side-
looking through the catalog of things you cannot live
without in the seat pocket of the plane when I came across down, potted tomatoes on a wire in a nice sunny spot.
an item that sparked my interest because of years of hobby Within a week the seedlings had begun growing on
gardening. It was a kit to grow tomatoes upside-down. their own, but they wanted to curl upward. I groaned a
The sales pitch included why’s and why nots. I said, “Who little but distracted myself by planting the other seedlings
needs a kit, I can do that.” all over in a variety of different settings. I had some planted
The catalog kit came with a three-foot high stand that in shade, some in full sun and some with a 50-50 mix. I
kept the pot off the ground--a standard pot with a hole watered all of them equally and checked them all nearly
in the bottom. I decided I could accomplish the same every day.
thing with the overhead hanging pots that we see for sale After thirty days, I gave up on all but three plants, the
everywhere. two in the upside-down hangers (they weren’t doing well)
Then I went to the local vivero (nursery) to buy a couple and one in a heavily shaded back patio that seemed to
of nice potted tomato plants. To my surprise here at be going gang busters. The latter plant seemed healthy
Lakeside there are no potted vegetable plants--anywhere— enough but was really leggy, growing taller than I had ever
at least, not that I could find. The folks at the nursery seen a tomato and I started to support it with tall sticks
suggested buying a package of seeds, but from a picture and then tied it with line to a trellis. While this one stole
on the package I did not know what kind of tomatoes I my interest, the straggly upside-down plants demanded I
would be buying and how they would grow. Nor did I need give up that venture--even though my son in Florida sent
50 seeds, I only needed two plants, and so I headed for pictures of his upside-down plants and was picking fruit
tianguis (street market). Here, I decided, I could see the from them almost every day. We eventually decided that
final product I wanted and taste them and use those seeds his large starter plants had been the secret to his success.
to plant in my pot. Well, I selected a nice medium- sized Now I have only my very tall, heavily shaded plant in
tomato about the size of a tennis ball that looked good the raised bed on the back patio. It reached the top of the
and tasted great to boot. I saved some seeds on a paper trellis and had a couple of promising green tomatoes. I
towel and let them dry for about a week.
decided these must be magic tomato seeds similar to Jack’s
Next I mixed some dirt with Mexican “miracle grow”
(horse manure) in a small plastic margarine container. I magic beans. Then just like that, the two green tomatoes
sprouted more than a dozen plants which I transplanted grew to the size of tennis balls and ripened. One went for
a salad and the other to a BLT. Both were very tasty. In
the meantime a few other blossoms appeared even higher
than my head and I decided to give them a chance.
That brings us to today, three or four weeks later. I
measured the tomato plant this morning and it is 20 feet,
4 inches high, has 10 green tomatoes and 11 blossoms. It
is still growing as it has grown through the trellis and is
spreading out horizontally across the roof.
When I shared this saga with a good friend down the
block, he told me of a vivero east of Chapala where they grow
vine tomatoes commercially in a greenhouse environment.
They grow them in close rows tied up for easy picking and
so they can grow more plants in a small space…and the
tomatoes are sold at tianguis. Well, of course.
Will I try growing upside-down plants again? Probably
not! It was a long process starting them from seeds, but I
might be tempted to plant a vine tomato again. On second
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 17
Be Alert, Be Aware! there is immediate pain or burning with very little swelling.
The site is usually sensitive to the touch, with numbness or
by John de Waal Scorpions:Here’s What You Need to Know a tingling sensation in the area of the sting. As the reaction
My wife was stung last month by a becomes more severe, there could be numbness to the
scorpion while in bed. Her hand and part extremities or the face, blurry vision, or muscle twitching,
of her arm were numb for hours. We waited or (with children) hyperactivity and roving eye movements.
until morning to go to the Red Cross Clinic Wash the area with soap and water and then apply a cool
on Ave. Cristianía in Chapala, and there we compress to the site of the scorpion sting. Use a zip lock
discovered that if the sting is over five hours bag of ice, wrapped in a washcloth or a bag of frozen peas
old, there is nothing they can do except or corn for 10 minutes. Remove compress for 10 minutes
prescribe a strong analgesic for the pain. and repeat for several hours, as necessary.
After this first experience, I decided to look Stay calm, call the Red Cross at 065 or, better yet, go
into what we should know about scorpions there right away. You have about one hour to receive the
and what to do if this should happen again— anti-venom to avoid the worst discomfort. There is a doctor
other than to go to the clinic sooner. on duty at the Red Cross Clinic 24-hours a day seven days a
Hopefully sharing my research from local week.
doctors and the internet will help others in the What the Doctor Will Do: Doctors treat scorpion stings
community. I strongly recommend that after with medications (if needed) to ease the pain and control
reading this article, you discuss scorpions and the body’s reactions to the venom. They may also administer
other insect stings with your doctor to clarify antivenin to block the scorpion’s venom in those who are
the best action for you and your own health having a more severe reaction.
concerns. Ask Your Doctor: If you should keep allergy pills,
Learning about scorpions is the best way to be antihistamines or other medications on hand to take
prepared for them. Knowing what they are, what immediately in case of a scorpion sting.
they look like, how they act, and where they Scorpion facts:
are likely to be found will help you feel more • Scorpions glow brightly under UV light (black
• A scorpion is part of the arachnid family, • Scorpions are basically immune to most pesticides.
which also includes mites, ticks, and
• A professional exterminator can kill the other bugs.
• Scorpions have four pairs of legs. They also have Deprived of food, the scorpions will also die.
pincers that look like little lobster claws and a tail • Very few people die from scorpion stings, but stings
that curls up over their backs. can be dangerous to the very young and the very
• Scorpions come in many sizes and colors and can be old and to pets. Discuss a line of action in case your
one-half inch long or six inches long or longer. They animals are stung.
have a venom bulb at the end of a long tail, called
• There are about 1,500 species worldwide.
• Scorpions hide in cool, damp places near aljibes,
under sink cupboards, in wood and junk piles,
under rocks and in debris.
• They are usually nocturnal (i.e. they sleep during
the day and come out at night) and are more active
when it rains.
• They typically eat spiders, insects and each other, if
they are hungry enough.
• In your home, they may hide in shoes, towels, and
clothes, so be sure to carefully check these before
putting them on.
• When there is a lot of construction near your home,
you are likely to find more scorpions inside as their
outdoor habitat is disturbed.
• They can live for months on just water. Because
they are looking for water, you may find them in or
under sinks or tubs.
• Scorpions can live to be over six years old.
• The great majority of scorpion stings occur on the
hands and feet, so watch where you reach with
your hands and avoid walking, even in your home
• Most people assume they are seeing the most
dangerous scorpion when they see any scorpion.
While people can die from scorpion stings,
thankfully the antivenin that is readily available for
serious reactions, deaths in Mexico from scorpion
stings are rare.
What to Expect: Some people have a moderate to severe
allergic reaction to scorpion venom, just as some people
are allergic to bee stings, strawberries or peanuts. Most
scorpion stings result in an annoying simple reaction, with
the reddening and slight swelling at the site.
Learn to Recognize Scorpion Sting Symptoms: Usually
Page 18 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Medical Potpourri the risk, but it is still important to use reasonable caution
with carbonated beverages. There still are health risks for
by Mary Anne Molinari, MN, GCNS-BC and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Gilbert Silverman, MD, FAAP, FAACAP Cola and Kidney Stones FDA Mining for Data
No one needs to be reminded that the kidneys play an Drug monitoring agencies such as the FDA take a long
integral role in one’s well being. The incidence of kidney time to determine the end results of new drugs because
disease is skyrocketing, not only in industrial countries, they rely on reports of problems from physicians and
but recent reports indicate similar findings in urban areas pharmaceutical companies.
of Mexico. It often takes years to have enough evidence to conclude
It is an accepted fact that overindulgences of sugared that a drug poses real or possible risks. Remember Vioxx,
carbonated beverages increase our risk for diabetes and
the arthritis drug? This popular drug was prescribed for
obesity. Now there is good evidence that cola can also
increase our risk of kidney problems, specifically kidney several years before it was pulled from the market due to
stones. Recent research indicates consuming two or more risks of heart attacks and strokes. That danger was real
cola drinks per day may double our probability of chronic to patients but the upside is that the Vioxx history, and
kidney disease. that of others withdrawn from the market caused U.S.
The risk is associated with the dark-colored sodas like congress to pass legislation mandating that the FDA set
Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper and the generic brands but not up a computerized system to review tens of millions of
with other carbonated beverages. There does not seem patients for problems with medications.
to be any difference between artificially sweetened and The FDA has formed a partnership with WellPoint
regular colas in this study. (the nation’s largest health insurer) to establish a drug
Since comparable results were not found with other surveillance system called “Safety Sentinel System”.
carbonated beverages, investigators believe the culprit is WellPoint, is collaborating with government and academic
phosphoric acid, an ingredient which is added to colas as institutions.
a preservative and to give it its characteristic tangy taste. Health care insurers amass huge amounts of data
Unfortunately, it is also known to change urine in a way including prescription use and medical claims. The FDA
that favors kidney stone formation. Kidney stones and
wants to include more insurers to represent different
damage have been linked to high levels of phosphates.
Other carbonated beverages contain citric acid. populations. This system will help identify safety risks
So the bottom line: drinking two or more cola drinks from drugs earlier and help doctors make better decisions
may (findings are preliminary) increase your chance for when treating us, spot complications from other treatment
kidney stones and non-colas drinks appear to not increase regimes, and analyze lab data. Some analysis may notice
if some groups with similar heritage could be at greater
risk or benefit from a drug.
It is especially helpful that more and more health
care professionals are using e-health record systems. This
means that the pools of medical data to mine will increase
Can the system really work? Well, that question was
posed to WellPoint who claims that it searched its data
base for the information it had stored on Vioxx when
the drug was released in 1999. It claims it could have
detected the health related hazards within four months
of its market release.
While there is no single all-people encompassing
data base, it is encouraging that the individual efforts
of different health related agencies will help to provide
a comprehensive and improved safety drug surveillance
system for the future.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 19
Focus On... It really is so easy to make friends here. I haven’t
experienced a connection like this since high school to tell
by Karen McConnaughey Making Friends at Lake Chapala you the truth. Is it because we’ve left family and friends far
email@example.com behind in another country, or is it just because the kind of
people who decide to make a move like this are more open
Hello out there…to the lady I ran into at Plaza Bugambilias, and friendly? Ultimately my friends and I have decided it’s a
hugged and said, “Goodness, I never see you and now twice in little bit of both. Quite a few of us came down here with few
two days! How wonderful! What are you up to today?” or no connections whatsoever, so we’ve been forced out of
Bill didn’t say anything to her, which should have been my our comfort zone. We’re more willing to take chances. We
first clue. And, she had sunglasses on, so I couldn’t see what make friends in Wal-Mart, at Super Lake, and at the numerous
was probably confusion in her eyes. She was very friendly and fund-raising events in the area. And, I think it’s also because
said, “Well, I’m getting some stuff for my daughter…” (Hm- most of us brought with us a willingness to interact with the
m-m-m…daughter…Joy doesn’t have a daughter and, you know… community, both expats and nationals, and the flexibility not
she’s a little taller than…hm-m-m-m.) to get bent out of shape.
We chatted easily a bit more, and as we walked away, I My friend Marian said it well: “This place has a magic about
said to Bill, “That wasn’t Joy was it?” He just laughed and said, it—look at the people who come here for a week (I was one of those)
“Nope! I wondered who you thought you were talking to!” and instinctively get the feeling that this is where they should be for
Oh well…you know Lakeside is such a friendly place that the rest of their lives. I doubt that ever happens to someone driving
it’s easy to get confused. And, just like not-Joy, no one’s going through, say, Iowa. Ours is also about as close to a classless society
to snub you just because you make a little mistake and hug a as I think you could ever find. I know people who are living only
stranger. That’s one of my favorite things about living here. on Social Security, and those with enough money to live anywhere
Everybody is so willing to meet someone new as long as you they want, and chose to live here. And, everyone will interact with
have a smile on your face. anyone else, without any financial stigma between the ‘haves’ and
When Bill and I arrived in Ajijic in January 2004, we knew the ‘have nots.’”
no one but our real estate agent. We bought our house in And, lots of us talk about ‘border promotions’…you know,
2003, went back home, and in four months, sold two houses you reinvent yourself when you cross the border…there are
full of furniture, got married, retired and moved to Mexico. no privates or corporals here! There’s nothing wrong with
Any one of those things could have been disastrous, and that—it also means that there are no preconceived ideas
added all together, they could have spelled catastrophe! about you when you come here. You’re a big, beautiful, blank
Not only that, but my birthday’s in February. Anyone slate! All you need to do is be positive and show interest in
who knows me knows my birthday is a national holiday and others, not just yourself. And that’s pretty much all you really
I celebrate the entire month. My first birthday in Mexico was need to know in order to make friends in the Lake Chapala
spent at Pedro’s Gourmet with just the two of us. It was fine… area.
just a little understated for me. The next year’s birthday was So if we run into each other, and I give you a great big “I
spent at La Bodega with about 50 guests and a band. I had know you” hug, just go with the flow…you never know…we
about as many guests there as I had at my 50th birthday party could become best friends!
in Kansas City, and I had lived there my entire life. It was a If you want to read additional archived articles from Focus on
wonderful party! Mexico, go to www.focusonmexico.com.
Page 20 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Upcoming Events... Ajijic.
This non-profit volunteer organization helps low-income
Mexican families pay for major medical expenses for their
children with disabling or life-threatening illnesses.
Art Show to Aid Local Boy’s Kidney Transplant Each month volunteers meet one of the children being
Lakeside artists are participating in helped by the program and hear brief reports from members of
an art show to help raise money to help the board. Everyone is invited to come at 9:30 a.m. for coffee
fund surgery for a suffering Ajijic teenager. and to learn about the organization before the meeting.
Bryan Daniel Silva Delgado’s kidneys have
never worked properly. Unfortunately due
Special Film Presentation
The Ajijic Writers Film Forum is presenting the classic,
to the family’s financial situation, Bryan
award-winning movie, A Touch of Class, at the historic Ajijic
has not received the medical care he has
cinema in the Jardin Plaza Restaurant on the Ajijic Plaza. This
needed for the past 18 months, and he is
second film in the Film Forum, a comedy starring George Segal
now in a terminal phase of chronic renal
Bryan Daniel and Glenda Jackson, will be shown at 12 noon on September
insufficiency, even with dialysis twice a
week. In addition he is anemic, has lung Silva Delgado
Beverages will be available for purchase throughout the
edema, heart failure and has lost his hearing.
movie. An intermission will allow you to order lunch (not
Now, with the help of a local non-religious foundation,
included in admission fee). After the movie, a panel will
Manos de Jesús, it has been determined that his mother is a
discuss the film, with audience participation from one and all
viable kidney donor for Bryan. The foundation has given
economic support and has been searching for medical
There will be a short story writing competition based on
attention in Hospital Civil and promoted several fundraising
the theme of the movie with a dinner gift certificate worth
events to help pay for both surgeries.
$250 pesos awarded for first place and the second prize
A fundraising painting and sculpture exhibit is planned for
winner receiving free entry for two to the next Film Forum
Saturday, September 20 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday,
presentation. Competition rules will be distributed at the
September 21 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Lake Chapala Society.
All of the proceeds from the show will be donated to Bryan’s
Tickets are $50 pesos with proceeds helping to fund a
creative writing scholarship through Los Niños de Chapala y Ajijic
For more information about the art show, the foundation
A.C. Tickets are available from Nora Lewis, Victoria Schmidt,
or about how you can help Bryan’s health challenges,
Ken Clarke or Ed Tasca or at the door. For more information
contact Rosina Hernandez at 045 (331) 238-4854 or email:
Call to Artists: Sacred Spaces 2008
Niños Incapacitados Resumes Monthly Meetings Lakeside artists are invited to enter pieces of art which for
Programa Pro Niños Incapacitados del Lago, A.C. has resumed them resonate to the theme of the first annual Sacred Spaces
its regular schedule of monthly meetings on the second Art Show which will open November 8, 2008, in the Rabid
Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. at La Nueva Posada in Rabbits Studio & Gallery, Calle Constitucion #95, Ajijic.
Request an entry form and the show requirements by
calling Frances Carter at (376) 765-4762 or Patti Burton at
(376) 766-5820. A slide, photo or brief description of the art to
be entered in the show must be submitted by mid-September.
A portion of the entry fee proceeds will be donated to Mexican
educational programs. For more information email: mpele@
Concerts and Classes in Chapala
The Gonzalez Gallo Cultural Center in Chapala will be the
scene of a free concert at 7 p.m. on September 27 when the
group Pilar Coffeen with flute, guitar, and drums takes the
stage with a concert of trova, a form of Latin American music.
In addition, the Cultural Center continues classes in various
musical instruments, painting, ceramics, drawing, theatre,
SUMMERTIME HAPPY HOURS
photography and engraving during the fall semester.
Contact the center at 1500 Gonzalez Gallo Ave. in Chapala
or call (376) 765-7424 for information.
EVERYDAY - Noon to 5:00 pm
5 pesos Wings
BIG SCREEN HDTV
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 21
Fernando and the Latin All Star Dancers planning and important differences in Mexican law in sessions
Grab your dancing shoes and head to La Bodega on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on October 28.
September 27. You could win a chance to dance with one of Tickets for the event, at $300 pesos, include a buffet lunch
Fernando’s 10 Latin All Star Dancers to the music by deejay and are available at Diane Pearl’s Colección on Colón in Ajijic.
Cindy Paul. Proceeds go to four local organizations. For more information
Tickets and reservations for this special dinner-dance are email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at
available at La Bodega, 16 de Septiembre #124, Ajijic. The www.lakesidewomen.org.
Dinner Buffet starts at 7 p.m., with music and dancing at 8
p.m. Music Appreciation Society 2008-2009 Schedule
Writers Book Fair Season Tickets for the seven concerts in the Music
A book fair to showcase the published works of area writers Appreciation Society’s 2008-2009 season are on sale at the
will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the back patio of the Lake Chapala Society ticket counter with tickets priced at
Lake Chapala Society. The attending writers—with M.C. Alex $1,500, $1,200 and $1,000 pesos.
Grattan will be on hand to read from their books and to sign The Concert Series is as follows:
books for attendees. November 11 - The Orquesta de Camara del Estado de Jalisco (The
This event will be a fundraiser for ACA, the ecological State Chamber Orchestra of Jalisco) features 30 artists under
farming organization located in Jaltepec, near Joctepec. the direction of David Mosqueda.
December 2 - Three Tenors and Soprano present opera arias. The
Cervantino Festival Bus Trip “Primo Tenore” of San Antonio, Texas, and a soprano with the
Viva La Musica! members and friends are heading off voluptuous tone to captivate.
on an October 18-24 bus tour to the Festival Cervantino in January 13 - Duo Petrof from Colima is back by popular
Guanajuato, also visiting Queretero and Leon. The trip will demand. Pianists Anatoly Zatin and Vlada Vassillieva present
include tickets to three performances—the Kullervo Male music for two pianos.
Choir of Finland, a concert of traditional danzon music of Cuba February 3 - The Medina-Gracian Guitar Duo will play Latin-
and the Yucatan and a contemporary dance performance by American music for two guitars.
the provocative company, Pilobolus. Call (376) 766-1801 for February 17 - Boris Zarankin and Inna Perkis perform a family
more information. affair with four-hand arrangements to accompany their
Viva La Musica! Scholarships daughter Ilana singing sprano arias. March 11 - The New Pacific
Viva La Musica! recently awarded $10,000 peso scholarships Trio, in residence at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory
to three new music students and one continuing recipient: of Music, presents an ensemble of piano, cello and violin.
Rafael Contreras Lira, violinist; Emanuel Medeles Medina, bass April 7 - The recently formed Youth Choir a Capella from
baritone; Ivan Morales Flores, pianist; and Wilfrido Renteria Guadalajara performed in Spain this summer and will sing
Arellano, violinist. selections in Spanish.
Updated Viva La Musica information is available on the Email: email@example.com or refer to masajijic.com for
website at www.ajijicviva.org. additional information about the Music Appreciation Society
and these concerts.
Canciones y Arias: Solos y Dúos
Two members of Los Cantantes del Lago, Marian Wellman,
soprano, and Emmanuel Medeles, baritone will perform a
recital of favorite songs and arias on Sunday, October 26 at 4
p.m. at Centro Sol y Luna, Rio Bravo #10 in Ajijic. Marian and
Emmanuel will be accompanied by pianist and Los Cantantes
Music Director Timothy G. Ruff Welch and a string quartet.
Tickets for the event are $150 pesos and will go on sale
at the Lake Chapala Society ticket counter on October 14. All
proceeds will help defray expenses of Los Cantantes del Lago’s
2009 Mexican Tour. For more information, email Michael and
Jane Hainsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women’s Safety, Finance and Legal Fair
Join other Lakeside women and area experts for a day
of planning and advice sponsored by the Lakeside Women
organizers of the April Health and Beauty Fair.
Participants at the new event presented in the Chapala
Hotel Villa Monte Carlo will receive expert advice on what to
do in an emergency, dealing with the police, self protection
tips, avoiding scams and taking control of finances, estate
Page 22 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
LCS Healthcare Week Skin Cancer Screening in LCS Clinic area
Each quarter during the year, the Lake Chapala Thursday, October 9: (And every Thursday)
Society sponsors a Healthcare Week. During these 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
daily sessions, LCS members and others are invited to Optometrist: eye exams and consultations.
attend special lectures, health screening and tests, and Sign-up mandatory.
opportunities to improve their general health. Thursday, October 9:
Healthcare Week Events for the upcoming October 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
6 to10 event include: Osteoporosis Testing in the gazebo
Monday, October 6: Sign-up at 5 minute intervals.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost $250 pesos, with a portion going to the Casa
Polo’s Hearing Testing and Hearing Aid Service de Ancianos in Chapala
Sign-up necessary Friday, October 10
Monday, October 6: 10 a.m. in the Sala
Flu Shots in LCS Clinic Office 10th Medical Forum, “Hypnotherapy,” by Mitchell
Estimated Cost $300 pesos Peary
Sign-up required Master Hypnotist, Council of Hypnotist Examiners
Monday, October 6 (ACHE)
10 a.m. to Noon Friday, October 10
Blood Pressure Testing on front lawn Flu Shots in LCS Clinic Office
Tuesday, October 7 Estimated Cost $300 pesos
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sign-up required
Diabetic Screening in the LCS Clinic Office Friday, October 10
Please eat a high carbohydrate meal two hours 10 a.m. to Noon
before testing. Donations accepted, no sign-up. Blood Pressure Testing on front lawn
Wednesday, October 8:
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Continuing Friday Medical Forums
A continuing special series of Friday Medical Forums
will be held at LCS in the Sala on October 17, 24, 31
and November 7. Mary Molinari, RN, Lynn Turnbull, RN
and Gilbert Silverman, MD, will present “The Metabolic
Syndrome, The Road to Diabetes, Heart Disease and
Death. Do you have it?”
The Lakeside Medical Guide
The Lakeside Medical Guide, which is published every six
months is available at the LCS Medical Library, Information
Desk, Blood Pressure table and is in the back of the Blue
Medical Notebook in the LCS Office. This “Guide” is not for
sale or to be copied as the information contained in earlier
editions is out of date. This is an authoritative guide that
has been published for the past 10 years.
ADOBE REAL ESTATE OFFERS
Chapala Haciendas $500; San Antonio $600, $800;
Upper Chula Vista $850, $1,250
765 - 2671
Landlords or Renters Call:
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 23
Cruz Roja We have been careful with security and procedures
when placing the containers. We are placing numbered
by Rich Bailey Cruz Roja Collection Containers containers in the businesses and each container has a one-
page contract which notes the container number, store
I’m sure you have seen name, phone number, and location as well as the specific
the transparent plastic Cruz Roja Volunteer designated to pick up the funds from
collection containers in the those containers. The volunteer’s name and phone number
stores and on the counters are also listed as well as a signature from a Cruz Roja Board
of local businesses. They member (usually the Treasurer). In this way, each store or
have been in place for a business becomes familiar with the responsible Cruz Roja
full year and we thought Volunteer and can feel comfortable that Cruz Roja Chapala
a report on their success is receiving the funds. I would like to thank the volunteers
was due. The donations that have taken on the responsibility of making the
from those containers have collections of the donations. Team members include Sed
totaled over $33,000 pesos Kennedy, Rogers Tomenson, Arnie Mogseth, Mike Patino,
in the last year. To give you and Jack Waymire. This is a time-consuming task when
an idea of what that can do for Cruz Roja, that’s just about performed on a regular basis and is much appreciated.
equal to the recent cost ($35,000 pesos) of bringing all our When we first began placing these containers around
ambulances up to the highest standard. We are so pleased town, one was located at Actinver/Lloyd’s in Ajijic. One day,
that you have embraced this fund raiser and are dropping a couple came to take the container out of the building
your loose change into the collection containers. and the Actinver/Lloyd guard noted that neither of these
We have placed approximately 40 containers in individuals normally handled the container. The guard
Lakeside businesses and the owners have been extremely seized the container and scolded the two individuals noting
encouraging and accommodating. They are making sure that he knew who the responsible Cruz Roja Volunteers
the containers are in visible locations, easy for you to were. People are watching out for your donations.
use. The top 10 producing locations (ranked by monthly September and October will bring more snowbirds
collections) are: Trattoria Ajijic - $841 pesos, Ruben’s Grill - home to Lakeside and with them the increase in pressure
$503 pesos, Paz Liquor - $296 pesos, Farmacia Guadalajara on the services provided by Cruz Roja will be felt. As we
- $271 pesos, Tony’s Meat Market - $247 pesos, Mailboxes start to gear up for the high season, please keep us in mind
Etc. - $181 pesos, Farmacia Cristina - $150 pesos, Telmex - and reach into your pocket a little more often to keep your
$149 pesos, Super Lake - $123 pesos, Clinica Ajijic - $111 Cruz Roja healthy.
pesos. The owners of these businesses have shown a great As always, “Remember the life you save may be your
deal of pride in being part of this important collection of own”.
Check out our website or come visit our o ce.
Riberas del Pilar Chapala Haciendas Chapala Chapala Haciendas Hac. La Canacinta
$95,000 USD $98,000 USD $99,000 USD $115,000 USD $125,000 USD
Ajijic Riberas del Pilar La Canacinta Chapala La Canacinta
$159,000 USD $170,000 USD $190,000 USD $229,000 USD $274,900 USD
Made for Wheelchairs/RVs
Misión Chula Vista Riberas del Pilar Los Arroyos Hacienda el Molino
$310,000 USD $325,000 USD $388,000 USD $425,000 USD $2,950,000 USD
LOTS: Aguilas/$20,000 USD
Lomas del Country/San Nicolás
1,001 m2, $250,000 Pesos
Camino Lomas del Chante #12
2,571 m2, $125,000 USD
10,070 m2, $49,900 USD
Page 24 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Museo de las Momias.
Mummy Dearest (The Museum of the
by Carol L. Bowman Mysterious Mummies of Guanajuato Mummies)
The discovery of
Who is this macabre figure you see standing upright in this rare process of
the box. No, this isn’t a mummy found in an Egyptian tomb. accidental natural
No, this person wasn’t wrapped in cloth and encased for mummification
preservation. Yes, he wore this leather duster and red bow was unearthed in
tie upon burial and his remains, identified as Dr. Remigio 1865 in the Santa
Leroy were exhumed over 150 years ago in Guanajuato. . Paula Cemetery on
During my travels, I have witnessed incredible artifacts a hill overlooking A baby’s skin shows only minor deterioration.
and masterpieces at museums worldwide. Few created the Guanajuato. Although (Photo by Ernie Sowers)
curiosity within me, however, as the 119 objects displayed many sources differ on
at a museum located on Trozado Hill in the beautiful the dates of specific happenings or the dates of the mummy
UNESCO World Heritage City of Guanajuato. exhumations, the scientific and historical facts regarding
For $50 pesos we the reasons this process occurred remain consistent.
walked among the dead A mid-19 century Guanajuato law required living
who eerily resembled the relatives of the deceased to pay a grave tax of $170 pesos,
living. Exhumed bodies payable in total at the time of death for the wealthy, or
naturally mummified with at a rate of $20 pesos per year for the poor. If three years
little decomposition, still passed without the tax payment being paid, the body was
feature colorful and wiry hair exhumed and cremated. Only the corpses, on which the
attached to intact scalps. grave tax had not been paid, were disturbed, among the
Some still wear burial clothes hundreds of bodies placed in tombs seven rows high.
that remain relatively intact. Dr. Remigio Leroy was interred during a cholera
All of the mummies, especially epidemic in 1833 and happened to be the first exhumed
those whose mouths formed body; he had no relatives in Mexico to pay the new tax.
an oval opening as though The body appeared mummified, preserved, and intact. A
they were still screaming combination of arid soil conditions and climate, at the
prove fascinating subjects. elevation of 7,000 feet caused the body to dry out naturally
We eagerly waited entrance The mouth muscles, the first toof rigor
deteriorate during the process
before it could decompose. The soil, rich in nitrates and
into the most visited museum mortis in an unembalmed body, cause aluminum caused rapid dehydration.
in all of Mexico, with over the mouth to fall open. (Photo by Ernie From then, until 1958 when the grave tax was repealed,
1,000,000 guests a year, El cemetery workers continued to dig up the “unpaid” tenants
and found the same stone-like condition in most bodies
even as little as five years from date of death. The workers
displayed the bodies next to the cemetery and, according
to an article in the Brownsville Herald, they started charging
onlookers to view the bodies in the ossuary in 1894, thus
opening the first Museum of Mummies. Interest really
sparked among Mexican tourists in 1970 after the premier
of the movie, “Santo Verses the Mummies of Guanajuato,”
starring Mexican masked wrestler Rodolfo Guzman
The museum boasts having the smallest mummy in the
world, a baby taken by caesarean section. The mother’s
remains are located elsewhere in the museum. Each display
gives a short historical account of the identification of the
body and circumstances of death, if known.
National Geographic’s “The Mummy Roadshow,” and
the 1978 out of print book by Ray Bradbury, The Mummies
of Guanajuato, provide additional, in-depth information on
this fascinating phenomenon.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 25
Fresh News expand. The corral project has become a model for local
farmers to produce small animal species. As funded, ACA
will incorporate more species into the program; perhaps
by Wendee Hill Exciting new plans for the future
even pheasant and quail and also a line of chickens to
It began with a vision. Wendee Hill and Marie Pruden, provide organic eggs which are already popular and in
with their impressive credentials, wanted to grow healthy, very short supply. This training model will create more
organic foods and spread the practice of sustainable revenue and is an excellent model for the ongoing
farming at Lakeside—the area with which they were educational outreach to which ACA is committed.
enthralled—for its physical environment, the lake and, The Earth Box Connection: ACA has yet another plan
most of all, the culture. to benefit the community and generate a dependable
For nearly 20 years, they’ve taught and grown organics source of income. The Earth Box will (ideally) consist
here in Mexico, learned north of the border practices of three parts; one box in which to grow the plantings,
of sustainable farming that can be implemented here, another to hold compost and the last for earthworms.
researched the needs of three village communities, The proposed system will be entirely self sustaining and
experimented with vermiculture and explored new can produce vegetables, herbs and/or ornamental plants
partnerships with schools and ways to expand training in your backyard.
and to perfect their methods. It all works. The right Minimal funds can establish this venture which can
people have been recruited and well trained. then be put into operation with very little effort. ACA
ACA with its Eco Training Center in Jaltepec is now plans to implement larger versions of the Earth Box
uniquely poised--at a most propitious moment, prepared in communities, churches, schools, where they will
to surge forward; to create viable models of profitable be tended by ACA-trained local citizens and students.
organic farming for a market that already exists and is Produce from this type of planting is healthy and
ready to expand. uncontaminated and amazingly prolific. As soon as the
To that end, ACA is paying special attention to the samples become familiar and their value understood,
models onsite, focusing on commercial considerations ACA plans to make them available as another source of
and practices. By building vibrant business opportunities, sustainable revenue.
offering operational models and demonstrating that If any of these new plans interest you, contact ACA at
healthy, environmentally friendly farming is worth 01 (387) 763-1568 or email: acacentroecologico@gmail.
pursuing, local people who follow the demonstration com to become a fundraising volunteer for the October
models will be able to take advantage of that market. Harvest Fair, at the organic market, or as a donor to get
It also makes it possible for ACA to develop a reliable these worthwhile projects off the ground. The time is
source of revenue to continue their meaningful outreach, ripe!
perfect methods for ever-improved sustainable growth
practices and expand the enthusiasm and commitment
for transitioning to a more environmentally sound
The Areo-ponic Greenhouse Project: The climate is ripe.
There is now an energized and lucrative market for organic
vegetables for restaurants and individual consumers are
seeking more locally grown foods throughout the area.
A generous donor has made six commercial
greenhouses available. They have only to be transported
from Florida, set up and planted. Once operational, they
will supply not only a much-needed source of revenue
for ACA to continue its work, but also provide a dramatic
example to the citizens of the area that organic farming
is here to stay and worth copying.
The Corral Project: ACA has succeeded so brilliantly with
their annual Thanksgiving turkey program that they have
expanded to raising Muscovy ducks and rabbits. As you
tour the facility, you can see they are now prepared to
Page 26 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Profiles his soul’s vision in vivid color that drove him to continue
practicing and polishing his craft. The colors he painted
by Tod Jonson Ernie Howard: Abstract Artist with Passion could share his discoveries as representational expressions
of Ernie Howard.
Abstract is probably the hardest art Ernie has lived in many parts of the world...each of which
genre in which to paint because it is injected new lifelines into his art. His experiences with the
not capturing and reproducing a visible Hopi Indians of Arizona and the native Pueblo cultures of
object onto a canvas...yet... the finished northern New Mexico added new winds of insight to his
product looks so easy to the untrained. imaginative mind and Ernie blossomed both spiritually and
An abstract artist sees through the commercially.
mind what most of us cannot hope to Ernie’s craving for the best and his thirst for truth led him
envision. The work of the artist evokes to study with an Eastern spiritual master whose teachings
vivid emotions that release experiences dramatically changed his life. Ernie’s work began to change
deeply locked in the heart. Abstract art and grow as the teachings helped him discover and develop
uses a visual language of form, color, the many dimensions to life and reality.
and line to create a composition which exists independently Ernie is not only a talented artist; he is a gifted
of visual references to the world. conversationalist and shares the same warmth and friendliness
At an early age Ernie Howard used his logic of perspective with friends that drive him to paint with passion. Ernie did
to reproduce an illusion of visible reality when he showed not feel he needed to follow in the footsteps of famous
alternative ways of describing visual experiences... a genuine abstract artists Salvador Dali or Pablo Picasso; he created his
artist was born! own world of art through his developing emotions.
Ernie Howard’s mother passed away when he was two Over the years he has been acclaimed as “a man of the
hours old. His father remarried and took a post with the arts” and he wears that crown beautifully while producing
Navy and was never again an integral part of Ernie’s life. daily one experience after another. To support this continuing
Ernie was left alone to grow up with his own creative and drive to paint, he has converted a portion of his home into a
clever means which opened his mind to see how the world large working studio filled with raw and mystical paintings
really is—how it works on the inside. He learned to reach that speak to and capture the heart.
far deeper into every facet of life he approached and then Being invited to his home and seeing his private collection
expressed his findings in praise-worthy art. of vital primitive art was a treasured afternoon to remember.
Being an artist isn’t ‘day-to-day reliable’ when it comes It is during his artistic reflections of his life that you recognize
to making a living, regardless of how famous or stunning the man who easily says, “I paint because I must, because
your art may be. Therefore as a back up, Ernie became a painting defines and redefines my existence. My work comes
registered nurse and excelled in that profession. Today, he from my own mind and from the universe, in an abstract
is retired from healthcare and living at Lakeside with his impressionist fashion that is filled with intercultural shapes,
partner of 32 years. symbols, and ideas. I work at pushing my own boundaries
It was his ability to start with an empty canvas and capture and creating new expressions that are unique for me.” This
expression alone has led him to one exhibit after another.
Lakeside residents had the opportunity to experience
Ernie’s multi-faceted work when a collection of his paintings
were exhibited at International Realty in Ajijic. Then, in July
2008, he had an outstandingly successful exhibit at Baraka
in Guadalajara. Following that exhibit, he was invited to
be part of an upcoming November 13-December 6 colectiva
(group show) in Mexico City in the great Salón de la Plástica
Mexicana, a prestigious exhibition space sponsored by the
Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, which shows the works of
the greatest modern Mexican masters. For information about
the Mexico City show, call Ernie Howard at 765-5511.
If you are arranging a trip to Mexico City this winter, be
sure to attend this exhibit and see our “hometown boy”
receive the celebrity status he has earned as he is recognized
by leading Mexican critics and gallery owners. Being included
in this show and the resulting recognition will establish him in
the halls of artistic expression of this, his adopted country.
For an appointment to visit Ernie’s studio call: 765-5511 or
email at email@example.com
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 27
footings. These reinforced vertical supports will provide the
How to Build an Ajijic Casita framework for the building and will support the weight of
by Tom B. Stephenson
the brick roof.
The top of these foundation walls is finally covered with
They dance and they sing carefully selected and fitted flat stones which are mortared
They shout and they fling smoothly into place by a skilled master fitter. Bear in mind
As the house that they bring that these skilled abañiles (masons) are using skills brought to
Begins to take wing. them by the Spanish who learned them from the conquering
Moors. These are the ancient arts developed by the Arabs in
I have the unusual opportunity to observe the
construction of a group of four casitas (small homes) right in the sixth or seventh century A.D. As in those old times, our
my own back yard. My home is in an assisted living center masons work from dawn to dark, with only caps to shade
near the Ajijic malecón (lakeside walkway). With a studio the worst of the sun. I shudder to think of their pay scale,
apartment adjoining the ongoing construction, observation but will inquire as construction and the growth of the casitas
is welcome—especially since one of the new casitas will be goes along.
mine when completed. Being a cooking enthusiast, I’m The foundation work on my casita is largely completed.
relating this building process to my tried and true step-by- Trenches are being dug for the second unit. The other
step method of cooking by the recipe. foundations for the last two casitas will not be started until
It all began, of course, with the architect, contractor and the major construction on these first two is completed—to
blueprints, and our home’s executive committee. Then we allow truck access to the site.
started the recipe for new homes: You will be appraised as to the progress as the work goes
To begin the work, take a large bag of powdered lime, along—watch for continuing reports. My estimate is that
such as is used for lining tennis courts and ball fields and the bulk of the construction will take three or four months,
outline the perimeter walls of the casitas in the white dust, allowing for new permits and other delays as required.
putting pairs of lines to indicate the width of the walls.
Next gather a team of six workers with various specialties. Since all building permits for this area must come from
You’ll need diggers, mortar mixers, measurers, supervisors, Chapala, not Ajijic, they are difficult to negotiate. Keep in
wheelbarrow jockeys and stone masons. One will be in touch as these walls go tumbling up and my new home is
charge of storing the lime, cement, sand and gravel for constructed—in direct comparison to that story of bricks
building the foundation. and walls in Jericho!
Now, hire a back hoe machine and a dump truck--my
friend Mireya calls it a walking truck. The back hoe operator
needs to dig a rough trench about three feet wide and
six feet deep between the pairs of white lines. Workers
with shovels will “manicure” these trenches to exact size,
wheeling the excess dirt off back yonder, where the back It
lish sp alian
hoe will off-load it into the “walking truck”, for disposal Eng ken Test our original Italian pizza D.O.C. ok
Lord only knows. Maybe the Wal-Mart site? spo en
and enjoy our yellow house
Ooops, stop everything! The construction permit that Ajijic PIZZERIA Chapala
the contractor obtain from the building agency in Chapala
stated that he was to build condos. The building department TRANSITO ESTAFETA
ruled that what he is really going to build are casitas and that
invalidated the permit. So, mid-stream, all work must stop Make your reservations for big groups
for two or three weeks until the new permit with the word, on weekends!
“Casitas,” can be procured and then it’s back to work.
Then the maestro, he’s the man on site who wears the Eat In or Take Out
white hat, decides that the trench is properly excavated Hours: Noon to 10 pm
and brings in the rock hounds. They wheel in large chunks Hidalgo #75 • Riberas del Pilar Sun. Noon to 9 pm
Tel.: 01 376 765 6996 Closed Tues. & Wed.
of limestone for backfill. These chunks, some larger than
a fat man’s head, are man-
handled into the trenches,
then as each trench fills,
the rocks are fixed in
place with mortar which is
mixed in huge puddles by
those mixers with shovels.
The mortar is then wheel-
barrowed over to its final
resting place where it is
trowelled into place amidst
the rocks. This foundation
is neatly plastered in the
trenches making a wall
about two feet wide and
nearly six feet deep.
At each spot where
there will be a corner,
door or large window
of the building, the
foundation is left open for
later installation of steel
in-place castillo (riser) and
Page 28 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
by Thetis Reeves
It’s been said that success breeds success. In the case of
our store, our customers are the primary reason behind its
success. Thanks to a customer base that has grown over the
years, the orders we place with our suppliers are now bigger
than ever, which earns us a better volume discount which,
in turn, enables us to continue to offer the best prices on
pet food at Lakeside. However, it is not just our lower prices
that attract our customers; they come because they know
that all profits go to support the Shelter’s needy animals.
We never imagined that our store would generate so much
business from so many kind people intent on helping us
help our dogs and cats, but that’s what happened. We
thank all of you who have been long-time supporters and
customers, and we welcome new ones.
When we go adopting it’s often one quick impression
that gets us—a fluffy tail, say; a pair of big blue eyes;
perhaps it is the dark soulful ones that are irresistible.
Over-sized ears that could almost manage a lift-off, a
multicolored fur coat that would look good in any room
of the house, a toothy grin with the potential to scare a
stranger at your door, a saucy rear-end wriggle that’s good
for a smile.
Little things capture attention, but, of course, a tail can’t
tell the full story. Still, in our vast experience, we can assure
you that these first physical impressions are a moment of
truth. The remaining parts fall beautifully into place, so to
speak, and are just a façade for the inner animal, whose
other attributes include sweet dispositions, above average
I.Q.s, charming personalities, and more. It’s amazing but
So to inspire a visit, we’ve
gathered pictures of tails,
ears, toothy grins, bright
eyes, and glimpses of fur-
coats that are typical of our
healthy, neutered resident
cats, dogs, kittens and
puppies. Come see. Get the
A scarlet macaw has been purchased for our Bird Park in
order to rescue it from the dark room in which it was being
kept. Her name is Pancha. Many of you are familiar with
Sailor, our blue and gold macaw, and Pancha is no Sailor.
He’s blue, she’s red. She’s calm where Sailor is raucous,
complaisant where Sailor is a bit cranky. Two birds of a
feather striking a nice balance. Come visit them, too.
We need good homes for our many new kittens. We’ve taken
in all we can. Remember, when we have a full house, we must
turn away or put on a waiting list others that yearn to be cared
for in our Shelter. Can you help?
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 29
Mexico Lindo is returned to the chapel and the night unfolds with music,
dancing and fireworks in the plaza.
It’s no wonder that this small figure receives so much
by Judy King October Celebrates the Virgín del Rosario attention; she has been part of daily life in this village for
While the rest of the world celebrates the feast day of a long time. The chapel, built in the late 1580s, was once
the Virgin of the Rosary on October 7, in typical Lake the center of worship for the Franciscan hospital or hospice.
Chapala style, the icon of Ajijic’s old chapel is honored with The monks built hospitales after they converted a main area
a month of devotion. Each October morning resounds with as an early community center—there was space for visiting
skyrockets awakening the neighbors in one of Ajijic’s barrios monks and travelers to sleep, areas for instruction in school
(neighborhoods) in time to join the pre-dawn candlelight subjects, church classes and arts and crafts and helping both
processions to the church for las mañanitas (early morning the sick and the poor. Crops were grown inside the walls of
songs and prayers) before the 8 a.m. mass. the hospital complex, which also enclosed the livestock in
Getting the jump on the October event, the small figure safety at night.
of Mary holding her child, Jesus, is moved from her niche Sorting out and identifying the many virgins in Mexico’s
over the chapel’s altar in late September. Observing an old churches could become a life-long project for the curious.
tradition, on September 28, she is carried by Ajijic’s faithful First, keep in mind that all of Mexico’s virgin icons represent
to the edge of La Floresta. There the Ajijic contingent is met Mary, the mother of Christ. Some are named for the places
by a San Antonio Tlayacapan group who carry the virgin where she appeared or created miracles; These apparition
to the church in their village. Following a night of prayer, virgins are those named for Lourdes (France), Fatima
punctuated with hourly skyrockets, the San Antonio folks (Portugal), Mount Carmel, and Jalisco’s favorites: Zapopan,
bring the virgin back to La Floresta on September 29 and Talpa, and San Juan de Los Lagos. Others like the Virgins of
turn her over to the Six Corners residents who place her in Conception, Ascension, Purification, Soledad and Dolores
the western Ajijic church for a skyrocket-studded night of (sorrow) represent momentous times in Mary’s life.
vigil and prayer. The Virgin of the Rosary conveys Mary’s message from
On September 30, the Virgin of the Rosary is taken the her 1208 appearance to the Spanish monk, Santo Domingo.
center of town where, after an outdoor 7 p.m. mass, she She gave him the rosary and urged him to use the prayers to
takes her place near the altar in Ajijic’s main church, where oppose the Moors and other enemies of the faith.
she’ll remain until the end of October. Some years, the Virgin of Zapopan, the patrona of Jalisco
Before her return to the chapel on October 31, she’ll be visits Ajijic during the month of October. If that occurs this
carried through the streets in one of Ajijic’s most colorful year, be prepared for an extra procession with much pomp
annual religious processions featuring indigenous dancers and circumstance, drum and bugle corps, dancers and walking
from neighboring villages, bands, carros alegóricos (floats parishioners. While you may not join in the early morning
with biblical themes) and several hundred local residents. processions to the church, you will enjoy the experience
This procession usually begins at the church about 5 p.m. of seeing both the procession for Our Lady of Zapopan as
and arrives back at the church at 7 p.m. for an outdoor mass. well as the final march honoring Ajijic’s little Virgin of the
Later, the dancers perform in the church’s atrium, the virgin Rosary.
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Call Ahead for Take-Out orders 766-3822
Page 30 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Eye of the Camera get right smack into a scene was marvelous. I remember one
wonderful photo, shot in the ghettos of Chicago, of a woman
by Jill Flyer Details, Details, Details painting the nails of another who was sitting in a wheelchair.
He didn’t use high powered telephoto lenses - he just had
Last month we discussed taking control of the a wonderful knack to get people to be unselfconscious in
development and manipulation of your own photos to make front of him and the camera. Although he made contrast and
them your creative endeavor. Another important aspect, lighting alterations, he never bothered with other finishing
whether you are a professional or a Sunday afternoon details. He would print only one copy and that would be
amateur, is to concentrate on details. This, probably more that. That’s fine if you are printing for yourself, as he was. If
than anything else, separates excellent photographers you want to show your work or have someone actually buy
from just so-so amateurs. Nobody, but nobody, gets perfect your work, you need to be diligent about even the smallest
photos – ever. You just can’t see the flaws when the photos flaw to avoid an amateurish appearance. I may not be Ansel
are not enlarged. It’s a matter of spending the needed time
to correct those flaws. Also, if you are a buyer of photos, you
need assurance that what you have purchased is a finished
product, a real work of art, and that the artist is someone
who has cared enough to work and re-work his photo.
There are many people who have good ideas artistically,
but their ability to follow through is nil. Consequently their
photos have an unfinished, unpolished look. Unfortunately,
some of these people are selling their photos. They are never
going to be represented by a real photo gallery, or be able
to charge more than minimum prices until they learn that
they have to spend time to get the best results possible from
their photos. For example, I was taught to burn the corners
of a photo during developing--that darkens them, so there is
a distinction between where the image ends and the white
margin starts. It’s time consuming, as are all other factors
involved in making a professionally finished work of art.
Like any other art, it should hold up under the professional Adams, but my photos are going to be as good as I can
scrutiny of real galleries and real photographers who know possibly make them at this stage of my career.
and can see the difference. Working digitally, if you set the contrast or the hue
I knew a guy that did interesting photojournalistic concentration too high for example, it exaggerates the
photography. He worked just for his own pleasure - never pixels and the result is that the photo is not clear - you can’t
entered any shows, never tried to sell a photo. His ability to see those flaws on 4” x 6” snapshots, but if you are printing
anything 8” x 10” or larger, your photo will appear blurred
or unfocused. I was working on one photo that I absolutely
loved, but I had a sea of large pixels, so the photo wasn’t
very clean looking. I blew the photo w-a-a-y up so that I
could literally see each pixel and spent about five hours
going over every inch, pixel by pixel, deleting or smudging
over the errant pixels. The result was a lovely photo that
looked sharp and clear.
Of course the funny thing is that when you are correcting
pixels on a photo that is blown up 10 times, you lose all
sense of where you are in the photo. Once, after having
spent quite some time on a particular segment of a photo,
I found that I had completely deleted a girl’s leg. Then I
had to re-create the leg. I can see the difference, but I don’t
think anyone else can.
You also need to change things in sequence, to make
changes one at a time so that you can see the difference from
changing one variable before you add another. You change
the contrast one teeny bit and see what that does before
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 31
you change it more or
before you add or subtract
brightness. It is more
time consuming, but the
results are better. Another
example of attention to
detail is knowing which
kind of paper to use. When
I did black and white, I
always used a specific
paper which suited that
particular image, for tone,
contrast and finish. Now
I also special order paper
that is a better class than
what you get at Wal-Mart
or the local papeleria
(stationary store). Details,
Even when you are not
doing the work yourself
and have taken it to a
photo tech, you still need
to oversee how your photo
is being printed, and if
things aren’t done to your
complete satisfaction, you
need to work it out with
the tech and have the
photos reprinted. This is
your job, your photos and
your art. I once hired a tech
to scan some hand-painted
photos and burn them
onto a CD. The guy was
very knowledgeable about
all things digital and he did
a good job of scanning and
putting together the CD,
but the colors were slightly
off from my originals - he
couldn’t see it, but I could.
We sat together at the store
computer and worked until
the colors were as close to
the originals as possible.
As Confucius says: “If it
is worth doing, it is worth
Jill Flyer is a professional
photographer who lives here
year round. Her work is
featured in Galeria La Puerta
in Ajijic and Galeria Vallarta
in Puerto Vallarta. She
runs 2-, 3- and 7-day photo
safaris to give people an
opportunity to photograph
this area, and to learn how
to shoot smarter. For more
information (and to view
some of her photography),
check out her website at
you have questions, email Jill
Page 32 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Feria Maestros del Arte live and work in a small village in
the northern mountains of Puebla.
by Marianne Carlson A Peek at What’s to Come Amate (handmade paper) is their
trade and this year Julio and
The volunteers for this year’s Feria Maestros del Arte Leobardo will be demonstrating
folk art show, November 7-9 at Club de Yates de Chapala, their craft at the Feria. The paper
are hard at work finalizing all the many details that go is made from three types of
into presenting an event of this size. bark they collect on the hillsides
We send out a special invitation to join us this year, near their village. The process
especially if you’ve not experienced this show in previous of pounding, twisting, weaving
years. Here to tempt you is a peek at what you can expect and merging the different barks
to find at the Feria. together is incredible to watch.
Sixty-five artists will be attending from Chihuahua, Gloric Leticia Villajuana is
Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Mexico City, traveling to the Feria from the
Puebla, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Querétaro, and Monterrey. Some Yucatán to show and sell her
of our featured artists are: family’s famous handmade
Guadalupe Hermisillo Escobar from Chiapas who hammocks. They, too, are
crafts the famous roof crosses of Chiapas. Metal is bent, featured in the book Great Masters
twisted and worked into incredible designs for the crosses of Mexican Folk Art. The technique
of all sizes. This art is on the brink of extinction even of weaving, or corchado as it is
though books have been written about the beauty of the called in Yucatán, follows a nearly
crosses. extinct procedure from pre-
Elena Felipe Felix and Bernardina Rivera from Hispanic times.
Michoacán are featured in the landmark Fomento Cultural Angel Ortiz Gabriel and his
Banamex book Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art. Their work son, Angel Ortiz Arana, are from
making ollas (round pots) began from utilitarian need. Tonalá. Angel senior has revived
The pueblo (village) they live in does not have sufficient the lost technique of pitito ronderos
water for the community and the women walk miles to (clay whistles) from barro bruñido
fill their ollas with water. Today the two women paint the (burnished pottery).
ollas they make with intricate designs and are renowned The Feria is always hoping to
for their olla “towers” – sometimes as many as 8 or more find artists who are reviving or
ollas graduating from large to small that stack one on top keeping an almost lost art form
of the other. alive. The designs are imaginative and the pititas come
Julia Laja Chichicastla and Leobardo Espiritu Rocha in all shapes and sizes, each with its own special whistle
Created seven years ago by one individual, the Feria is
now a Mexican non-profit AC with dozens of volunteers.
The show has grown each year and attracts gallery and
museum buyers, collectors and folk art enthusiasts from
outside of Mexico as well as Lakeside and Guadalajara
Feria Maestros del Arte’s main goal is to strive, through
collaboration with the Mexican government and other
entities, to preserve not just Mexican folk and indigenous
art, but also to protect the culture of producing traditional
art by giving the artists a viable means to sell their work.
Another goal of the Feria is to work to preserve Mexican
culture in general, not solely its art. Toward this purpose,
the Feria is offering lectures, ethnic dancing and music at
this year’s show.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 33
Our guest lecturers include: with passion about her goal to make sure Huichol
• Marta Turok is well known for her work in Mexico culture can be found in places other than history
with coyuchi (100% organic cotton), spearheading books.
the protection of the purpura shellfish dye, and a Another very special event at this year’s Feria will be
long relationship with Mexican artisans and the an Orendain Tequila tasting. Tequila has been in Eduardo
environment. Marta pioneered work in a National Orendain’s family for more than 150 years and they are
Inventory of Raw Materials used in crafts and 20 producers of some of Mexico’s highest quality tequilas.
case-studies. Also a well-known writer of several Visitors to the Feria can enjoy tasting while learning about
books, she is now working at Fonart, the federal the virtues of fine sipping tequila.
government agency that attends artisans and has To ensure traveling to Chapala for this event is a
been dedicated wholly to crafts development in viable opportunity for the artists, they are not charged
practically all of its aspects since the 1980s. for booth space and they keep 100% of the income from
• Marc Navarro is an expert on vintage Mexican sales. Housing the artists with Lakeside host families for
sterling silver jewelry by artists such as William the 3-day event has become one of the highlights of the
Spratling, Hector Aguilar and Margot de Taxco. Feria. Getting to know these wonderfully creative people
These are the designers and artists of bold, and spend time with them is an experience of a lifetime –
sensual, imaginative designs that embody the just ask anyone who has hosted an artist!
creative passions of Taxco jewelry. Feria hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
• Susana Valadez, Director of the Huichol Center and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Price of admission is $50
for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts came pesos per day. Get your hand stamped and return as many
to Mexico in 1975 as a UCLA anthropologist to times as you like that day. Just follow the signs to find
conduct a month-long investigation of the Huichol Club de Yates - the setting is right on Lake Chapala and
indigenous people of Mexico. Thirty-two years the Club’s facilities are beautiful.
later, she remains on the scene. She will speak Be sure to pick up the October 15 edition of The Lake
Chapala Review, where the Feria will be featured on the
cover and there will be a tear-out page for times of the
various events and other Feria information.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the Feria or
to host an artist or just need more information, please contact
Marianne Carlson at (376)765-7485, mariannecarlson@
gmail.com or Donna Williams at (376)765-5937, wmsdonna@
Page 34 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Book Review this story of three humans I have come to care for with
a love surpassing any I have known through my long life.
Book by Ruffo Espinosa, Sr. Méjico: The Conquest of an
Review by James Tipton Ancient Civilization I was conceived at the zenith of their glory, and born in
the dawn of their fall.”
Ruffo Espinosa, Sr., the author of The novel begins with the birth of Cortéz in the town
this remarkable historical novel, was of Medellín in Spain, then in her own words, the story
born in Mexico in 1907 and spent of the young Princess Malintzín is told and we begin to
most of his adult life in the US where understand the Aztec empire, where a few ruled over
he earned a degree in English and a confederacy of many different Indian groups, some
a doctorate in law studying at the of whom hated their Aztec rulers and the corrupt and
University of Southern California
and the University of Arizona. His power-mad priesthood that controlled Moctezuma,
biography in this book, published keeping him drugged each day and therefore willing to
by iUniverse.Inc. reads, “As a allow their insane demands for human blood.
champion for the underdog, Mr. Malintzín’s father, the non-Aztec King Malináli
Espinosa felt that history unjustly Tenepal, tells her: “This is the beginning of the end….
dishonors Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortéz; Aztec The priests hate the nobility because we are their only
emperor, Moctezuma; and Olutla Princess Malintzín…. rivals. They own Moctezuma. We are now seeing the
After researching literature in the Nahuatl and Spanish systematic extermination of Méjico’s noble families.”
languages, Mr. Espinosa discovered that the three Finally Moctezuma was ordered to sacrifice his best
characters had a glorious story to tell.” friend, Malintzín’s father, to please the war god. Sadly,
Méjico: The Conquest of an Ancient Civilization is 672 Moctezuma carries out the sacrifice himself, with the
pages long, even though the subject fascinates me I young princess watching in horror. The princess writes:
thought that this book would be difficult for me to “I looked at this monster, this predator who had ripped
finish. How wrong I was--I began Saturday afternoon and out my father’s living heart. He embraced and kissed me.
finished on Monday, still absorbed and not wanting it to Never had I felt such coldness and there never burned in
As the Foreword states: “This epic story of love, a woman’s heart such a lust for revenge.”
hatred, religion, greed, war, pageantry, and honor is These were the conditions in the Aztec empire--on
artfully woven by the author between three primary the brink of civil war--shortly before Cortéz arrived at the
participants in the conquest. Hernán Cortéz, who came shores of Méjico. The astrologists had ascertained the
to conquer an empire in search of wealth and fame, found second coming of Quetzalcoatl, “the Plumed Serpent,” a
a magnificent people led by Emperor Moctezuma. The God of love and peace (born of God and a mortal woman)
emperor accepted the conquistador because he thought would be in 1518—just when Cortéz was landing on the
Cortéz was the Plumed Serpent, Quetzalcoatl, returned shores.
to fulfill the prophecy of his fathers. Malintzín and Cortéz, a hardened soldier who had
“The princess, Malintzín, became interpreter for never found a woman he loved more than his horse
Cortéz and the Aztecs. Her intelligence, strength, beauty, Morito, find each other and begin to fall in love.
and character gave Cortéz access to all of the secrets of Cortéz was immediately fascinated by Tenochtitlán, the
the New World. History has branded her a traitor when magnificent Aztec capital (part of which is now Mexico
it was her love for her people, her country, and her faith City), but sickened at the human sacrifice, evidenced
in Quetzalcoatl that brought her to Cortéz. so clearly by the “skull rack, which contained over one
“The last emperor of the Aztecs, Cuauhtémoc, was hundred thousand human heads….” The city itself,
valiant and courageous in his vain efforts to unify his
people against the conquistadores. With him died the Cortéz writes, “was without a rival in beauty, comparable
Aztec civilization and the Indian hope for the future.” only to the Adriatic city of Venice. I was determined, with
Almost all of the novel is told through first person the clean conscience of a man and the blameless soul of
accounts--often the same event is seen through the eyes a Christian knight to cleanse it of the blight of murder
of Hernán Cortéz and then through the eyes of Princess committed daily in the name of their gods.”
Malintzín--although their son, Martín Cortéz, begins and Méjico: The Conquest of an Ancient Civilization, is an epic
ends the tale: “I pause to consider how I might best begin story of love, hatred, religion, greed, war, the stuff of
real literature. Read it!
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 35
Photography Contest available in both Spanish and English. All entry fees have
been set to be as inexpensive as possible in order to have
by Jill Flyer greater participation from the Mexican community, the
Imagine your photograph hung in the Gonzalez Gallo foreign senior community and the children. Furthermore,
Cultural Center in Chapala and your name announced at we are going to all the schools in Chapala to encourage
the Fireworks Festival as the Best of Show winner of the all children and teens to participate. To make the contest
biggest photo contest to hit the shores of Lake Chapala. affordable for them, children can enter 4” x 6” photos and
Charge your batteries and get ready to point and shoot none of the entries need to be framed. Mats are required
entries for this new contest. only in the general amateur and professional categories.
The photo subject: Photos selected for inclusion in the show will need to
Photos must be of our magnificent lake, anything on be matted, but assistance is available for the financially
the lake or near the lake (within 10 meters), anyplace and challenged.”
anywhere, as long as the photo is within the municipality This contest is being organized with the approval and
of Chapala. support (non financial) of the Municipality of Chapala
That means you can take photos in Mezcala, Chapala, which will be lending aid to spread the information to
Riberas del Pilar, Chula Vista, San Antonio Tlayacapan, the children in all of the schools and to help promote the
Ajijic, and Rancho del Oro. You can not enter photos contest whenever and wherever they can.
of Jocotepec, or of San Juan Cosalá, and not anyplace Look for contest rules on the entry forms which
between San Juan and Jocotepec. You can take photos on are available at the Department of Tourism in the new
the Malecon of Chapala or photos of people at the Beer information building on the west end of the malecon in
Garden or at the souvenir shops, but not at the plaza. Chapala (you can park on Hidalgo) or in Ajijic at La Puerta
You can photograph the restaurant on the pier and the Gallery, #13 Colón, or after 2 p.m. at Photogenesis (at
walkways along the water in Ajijic, but not the town, not the south end of the plaza, near the church and school).
the houses, not the plaza. The photo must be taken Photos must be turned in to one of these three locations
outdoors and must be an image that is recognizable as by November 19th. Luis at Photogenesis has offered a
somewhere in Chapala. The photo must be taken for this 10% discount on printing of contest photo entries.
contest and never shown before in any other exhibit or For more information, email Jill Flyer at fotoflyer2003@
contest. yahoo.com or call 766-3025.
The winners and prizes:
The winners and runners up will be announced at
the Festival de Luces (Fireworks Festival) which will be
held in Chapala from December 10 - 14. There will be an
exhibition of the winning photos at the Gonzalez Gallo
Cutural Center (the old Chapala train station) and later
the exhibit will move to La Puerta Gallery in Ajijic.
There are seven categories and prizes will be awarded
in all categories for winners and runners up and there will
be one over-all Best of Show winner. There are categories
for professionals, amateurs, university students and
children and entry fees will range from $20 pesos for
children to $75 pesos for professionals. There will be at
least three judges chosen from photographers and artists
or gallery owners. No one associated with the contest
will be allowed to enter or judge the contest.
Jill Flyer, professional photographer and organizer
for this contest, said, “The goal is for hundreds of
people to be out on the
lakefront during the
months of October and
lakefront landscapes and
the people and animals
strolling alongside it. We
don’t care if they use a
professional camera or a
point and shoot, or if they
shoot with film or digital,
or if the photo is in black
and white or color. We
just want people to use
their creative energy and,
hopefully, have a lot of
fun doing it”.
The entry and rules:
Jill further explains,
saying, “We are trying
to involve the whole
community in this
endeavor. Posters and
entry forms will be
Page 36 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
A new light is shed on your dealings with siblings.
Things get better with your communication with them.
Plan an outing or a short trip for fun; it will be. Work
environment is jovial but competitive, especially in the real
estate field. Expand your holdings.
If your mate seems confused don’t press a decision. A time to invest, or at the least, to stay within the
Currently it is difficult for you to plan a direction as things budget. Stop the reckless spending. You add depression to
change. Keep the channels open to talk things out on a one- yourself if you go over your spending limit. Children bring
on- one basis; clear up misunderstandings. Legal matters joy. A partner is more attentive and fun....fun being the
go well; buy a new home now. magic word for you now. Laugh more.
If you are looking for work, try the office of a legal This is your time Libra! You set the pace now for
professional or a beauty salon. or selling Avon! If work is your year ahead. Step one, think about it; step two do
not your direction, then use this time to spruce yourself up it. Put your thoughts into motion; don’t let your dreams
with new clothes. A partner is loving and attentive; suggest stagnate. Buy that beautiful home you want and stay with
a trip away for the two of you. your budget plan. Money is coming to you.
Dealing with women regarding your finances is Lay low for another few weeks and then get ready
your best bet; a female loan officer will be more receptive for an energy surge! Watch out for temper tantrums, either
to your needs. Children, three or more, may come for a going from you or to you. Deal with them with loving
happy visit. Enjoy. Romantic opportunities multiply; enjoy forgiveness. Stop being so self-oriented and think of others
that too! Set new goals to achieve. in your life who matter. Curb your drinking.
Beautification, be it for you, your surroundings, or Many beautiful friends surround you. Be cautious
your home, or all of the above, go for it! Spend money of their attention, but accept it. Not a good time to loan
on what makes you happy, and if it makes you happy to money to a friend, although you may come into some pesos
reupholster your furniture. then do it! Siblings disappoint unexpectedly, and this could trigger their request. Check
you. An intense romance gets lighter. the electrical appliances at home.
Travel. Take that trip, or at least book it, that you
have been wanting to take. Walk around town as compared
to driving, as this could be fender bender time for you,
besides the walk is good for you; will help to get some
pounds off. A surprise win is yours.
Court cases and/or legal transactions work out to
your benefit. Travel and education go hand-in-hand, so if
you plan a trip be sure that it will teach you something, that
you will expand your intellect from the journey. Watch your
spur-of-the moment spending.
Bank transactions, loans, mortgages or inheritances,
all work out for you. Bickering with others over money
stops. Friends are supportive. Frustrations with a mate
continue, however you can cope with it better now. They
don’t mean to be so difficult. Exercise.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 37
Coffee in Mexico succeeded in bringing a live cutting of a coffee tree to the
island of Martinique in the West Indies. This single plant
by Tom B. Stephenson was the genesis of the great coffee plantations of Latin
Mocha, café, Joe, mud, kopi, Java - no matter what you It takes five or six years for mature fruit to be produced
call it, coffee is the breakfast of preference in America. on young trees. Six or seven months after flowering, the
The Brits prefer tea with sugar and milk, the French will fruit appears, changing from green to deep crimson as the
start the day with a short shot of vin blanc. In Italy it’s berries ripen, resembling cherries. Picking is selective and
cappuccino con grappa, breakfast beer delights Germans labor intensive, resulting in high prices.
and in Vienna—and some parts of Mexico strong coffee is The beans contain caffeine, which can be removed by
poured simultaneously into a heated cup with scalded milk. treating the green beans with chlorinated hydrocarbon.
Other Mexicans reach for hot chocolate or vanilla-flavored After treatment the beans are then roasted as usual, but
atole (corn based drink). they never reach the robust flavor preferred by devoted
Green (unroasted) coffee beans are a major import of coffeephobes. Decaffeinated coffee is preferred by people
the United States; about two-thirds of the annual supply who believe themselves hypersensitive to caffeine.
comes from Central and South America, with Brazil and Coffee thrives when grown at high altitudes in warm
Colombia the two largest suppliers. After petroleum, coffee weather and Colombia offers the perfect environment.
is the largest industry in Latin America. The major types Colombia’s mountainous terrain, with its rich volcanic
of commercial coffee are the arabicas from the western dirt, provides what the coffee tree needs especially when
hemisphere, while both grown under the shade
robustas and arabicas are of rubber and banana
produced in the eastern trees. It isn’t just the rich,
hemisphere. full-bodied flavor that
Several varieties of has made Colombian-
green coffee are usually grown coffee the world’s
blended and roasted most famous and the
together to produce favorite of coffeehouses
the tastes, aromas, and worldwide. The fictional
flavors popular with TV commercial characters
consumers. As a rule, Juan Valdez and his
ripe beans are heated amicable donkey have
in horizontal drums given Colombian coffee
that provide a tumbling a friendly face in the last
action to prevent uneven two decades.
heating or scorching. Processing Coffees
Temperatures for roasting Dry-processed
range from about 193°C (naturally processed)
(about 380°F) for a light coffees are dried in contact
roast, through about with the sweet mucilage
205°C (about 400°F) for a of the cherry, making the
medium roast, to about coffee heavy in body, sweet, smooth, and complex. Because
218°C (about 425° F) for a dark roast. The roasted beans are this coffee process is one of the most difficult due to the
cooled rapidly. long drying times, Brazil has invested significant time and
Ground coffee loses its unique flavor within about money to developing new systems and practices to prevent
a week unless it is specially packaged. Plastic-and- fermentation.
paper combinations are popular packaging media that Wet-processing coffee is a relatively new method of
afford protection to freshly roasted and ground coffee. removing the four layers surrounding the coffee bean
Hermetically sealed vacuum cans keep coffee fresh for up resulting in a coffee that is cleaner, brighter, and fruitier.
to three years. The pulped natural method removes the cherry and the
Coffee blends have individualistic flavors, making silver skin around the bean resulting in a beverage that has
companies like Starbuck’s successful. I found my favorite characteristics of both a dry- and wet-processed coffee. It is
coffee while living in eastern Saudi Arabia some years ago. often sweeter than wet-processed coffees, but retains some
The coffee merchant, a turbaned Yemani, was sitting beside of the wet-processed acidity and has some of the body of a
a burlap bag of green beans at street side. I handed him a dry-processed coffee. Brazil has made this method famous
few coins and he scooped me out a few beans. For another and produces some of the best pulped natural coffees in the
coin, he put the beans in an empty coffee can and held world.
them over a charcoal fire until he judged them done. He Just as I was finishing this piece, I discovered my Mexican
then put them in a brass mortar, and pulverized them with version of the itinerant Yemani coffee merchant I’d yet to
loud clinking and clanging with a brass pestle. The result meet in Ajijic. I found him the other day, wheeling his barrow
was a delightful brew which I boiled briefly in clear water. I up Colón, complete with a bag of ripe coffee, roasting pan
say “clear water” advisably, for much water in Saudi Arabia and charcoal, a grinder and scale. He was peddling the most
is not that. famous of Mexican coffees—beans grown in Vera Cruz and
I’ve been sure that there must be a stray Yemini somewhere just like his counterpart from halfway around the world,
in Mexico with a bag of coffee and appurtenances, but have could complete the entire coffee process right there on the
yet to find him. So my solution for the nonce is a product street.
by Nescafé called Mokaccino. This is a foamy sort of instant The only thing he was missing was the hot clear water
cappuccino that comes ten packets per package. It, also, and china cups, for no matter where you have a morning
should be mixed with clear water, not tap water! “cuppa” please take your own ceramic or china cup. Paper
Some authorities believe that coffee was first cultivated and plastic imitations add their peculiar after-taste to
in Arabia near the Red Sea about 675 A.D.. In the 15th and coffee. You’ll spot me at the LCS or one of the local coffee
16th centuries, extensive fields were planted in the Yemen shops drinking from my favorite mug. It’s a souvenir of one
region of Arabia. The consumption of coffee increased my stay in a very foreign land and is emblazoned with a
in Europe during the 17th century, prompting the Dutch logo from that culture, “Don’t Mess with Texas.”
to cultivate it in their colonies and in 1714 the French
Page 38 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
I Am Sarah the whole thing was over. I hadn’t meant to hurt anyone’s
by Jim Rambo Two days later, as my Dad would say, the crap hit
the fan. Police cars, satellite TV trucks and ambulance
It’s all like a bad dream; sirens blared as they raced
really a nightmare. I’m here, through dusty El Dorado and
hunched before my computer out to the ranch. The whole
screen, wondering how I town was on the streets,
could have been so stupid and wondering what was going
immature. When you’ve heard on. My worst suspicions were
me out, you’ll think of other, confirmed when Mrs. Shelby,
more descriptive adjectives for in a crowd of women, could be
my sad self. Crying into my lap heard above the rest. “They say
doesn’t help at all and I can’t that a young girl called up and
tell my parents, who don’t want they think she’d been raped.”
to discuss any of my problems. The other women moaned
And so I’m left alone, with my together at the news, most
keyboard and a hope, or dream, agreeing that the call was not
maybe, that just one person out unexpected. My heart raced,
there somewhere will answer my mouth went dry and I felt
this prayer for understanding. dirty all over. Standing back
I know that everyone has the away from the women now, I
right to be mad at me, I did wrong. I know it, but right felt like I was gonna faint with fear. It could only get worse
now I can’t bear the thought of everyone hating me. I need and it soon did.
a friend I can talk to. The only way out may be another lost At the dinner table that night, Mom and Dad could
life; perhaps my own? talk of nothing else. Dad told us that 416 children were
You have no doubt seen all of the TV coverage of taken away and would be housed in the coliseum over
the raid on the “Yearning for Zion” ranch here in El Dorado, on Antonio Street. He talked about other times when the
Texas. Like most others that the TV people were talking children were seized from the Mormons in Utah in the 30s,
to, you probably think that the ‘State of Texas has taken 40s and 50s. Then he went on and on about that raid at
an ugly bull by the horns; that the raid and the resulting Waco where 74 men, women and children were killed by the
capture of 416 children from their parents was justified. government. “I guess that our neighbors at the Zion Ranch
Well, I guarantee you that the raid should have never had a damn good reason for their paranoia,” he muttered,
happened. And it’s all my fault. That’s the God’s honest biting down on a chicken wing. “They’re always talking
truth. about terrorists in this country now but I’m beginning to
My name is Pattie Hanks and I’m a fifteen year old wonder who the real terrorists are,” he went on. Mom just
student at the Sam Houston Junior High. I am no deprived nodded ‘cause that’s what she always does when Daddy
child myself. I have my own room, this computer, two well- starts getting serious. I was stiff in my wooden chair, like
meaning parents and a life that most girls my age would I imagined a dead body would be. I can’t remember even
envy. I get Bs in almost all of my ninth grade classes and,
up till now, I have always felt real good about myself.
However, because of what I have done, things are now
entirely different; for the last two days I have avoided the
mirror. I’ll tell you why.
On April Fool’s Day I was bored. Most of my friends
had decided to have a barbeque that night over to Archie
Willis’ place. ‘Cause I was the only one in my group who
didn’t like Archie, I decided to stay home. Me and Archie
had problems that a cookout wouldn’t ever solve. Anyway,
I was up in my room and decided to make a call. Maybe
it was to cure a case of loneliness; maybe it was because
I thought I was a smartass but it was a terrible, terrible
mistake. I made that call that haunts me today.
I called the family shelter hotline and the bad
joke began. I told them that my name was Sarah and
that I was a member of the Fundamentalist Church of
the Latter day Saints. (FCLS) I gave the woman who
answered the hotline that name and said that I was 16
years old and living on the Zion Ranch. Being a social
worker, she was immediately interested and sympathetic.
She listened to my story that I had been married to a
51-year old man and that I had a young child. I also lied
and said that I was pregnant again and that my husband
had physically abused me, breaking my ribs once.
I whispered the whole thing softly and tried to
sound real serious. I had starred in our sixth grade play
in the role of a woman so I was able to lay it on thick.
The social worker insisted that I immediately meet her
somewhere so that she could help me. I only started to feel
bad about doing this when the lady on the phone choked
up and couldn’t talk to me. She might have even been
crying. I hung up the phone quickly, and I thought that
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 39
tasting that chicken, my In 1994, fortified with 25 years of hard
head was spinning so
Mueblera del Lago in Ajijic
work, dedication and retail success, the
fast. Grand Opening Success!
It’s been over a
business moved to their current Chapala
month and things are location at #443 Av. Madero to better
Drawing on their 39 years of Lakeside serve their customers. While the family
no better. Judge Barbara
Walther has already tried furniture store expertise and traditional
to hold a hearing in San service, Chapala’s Perez Loyola family operated a branch store in Ajijic, the
Angelo with over 400 owners of Chapala’s Mueblera del Lago loss of their mentor, family patriarch and
lawyers involved. It was opened another showroom and store— business leader, Don Enrique Perez Duran
just a mess. I could have this one in Plaza Interlago #14 (behind caused the family to withdraw from the
told them it would be. the Pemex station on the Libramiento) pueblo for five years.
My grades are dropping to better serve customers in San Antonio The family has remained mindful of
at school because I can’t and Ajijic. Since the company’s inception the mission left in their trust by Don
think straight any more. in 1969, the Chapala community has Enrique; with renewed determination and
Everybody’s wondering learned to depend on the Perez Loyola energy they are ready provide exceptional
who Sarah is; the poor family for quality home furnishings and convenience and comfort for Ajijic area
young girl who made
the call. Many experts the best brand name appliances and
have been brought into goods. The first Perez Loyola family store, customers. The new Mueblera del Lago
town by the state to La Comercial Centro, filled a spacious showroom and store in Plaza Interlago
support their action. One location at Av. Fco. Madero #208 (next to #14 is now open and well stocked with
named Marci Hamilton, a today’s Municipal Building which at that mattresses, furniture and accessories to
professor from New York, time was the Hotel Nido). provide furniture and art in harmony.
of course, has criticized
the women from Zion,
saying that “they’re doing
everything they can to
create sympathy. If they
can sway the public, then
that puts pressure on the
prosecutors.” I’m guessing
that Ms Hamilton doesn’t
have any children! Mr.
Parker, the lawyer for the
folks at Zion was mad
and put down the state
when he said, “They know
that there’s no Sarah. She
was just their foot in the
Well, Mr. Parker,
you’re wrong. I am Sarah. I
am unable to sleep, eat or
do much of anything else
nowadays. Should I have
known that the police in
my home state would act
like the Nazis? Could I
have anticipated physicals
for all the women, DNA
tests and total separation
from their own kids?
Should I have known
that nearly every child
advocate in the country
would be in town damning
the Zion folks? I just read
the ranch’s website at
where it is said that the
state’s standard of proof
about alleged abuse is
low, not proof beyond a
reasonable doubt; just a
simple balancing test.
I pray that my God
will judge me some day
with only one test: “Did
she mean for all of this to
Page 40 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Plastic Surgery in Mexico eye lift. The total cost here was $6,500 US. In the United
States that bill would have been approximately $23,000
by Kristina Morgan & US.
Karen McConnaughey Pampered to a Fully Recovery Ten days after the procedures, in the middle of a
pedicure at La Casita Montaña, Shelley was beaming
The Lakeside community is known for unusual around bruises, delighted with her progress and her new
celebrations and bashes, but we recently heard of a new look. “I would do it again in a second. I was looking a lot
party twist. Last month two just-healed cosmetic surgery older than I really am - I don’t feel old. I would do it again
patients were “unveiled” at Anne Dyer’s festive Stepping tomorrow except that now I don’t need to.”
Out party at La Casita Montaña, where post-operative Shelley then pointed to the fine lines at the
care is the best-kept secret in the Lake Chapala area. corners of her eyes. “I’m almost 50 so I wanted the
Guadalajara’s proximity to tourist destinations such as doctor to leave some laugh lines. He left everything
Puerto Vallarta and Lake Chapala, combined with the looking so natural. He’s so dedicated, easy-going
city’s reputation as an excellent medical center make and thorough. I felt so comfortable and safe. Plus,
it the place for foreigners seeking affordable cosmetic if I had wanted it, he would have done my surgery
surgery. La Casita Montaña fills the missing piece of on a Sunday. Imagine! A doctor working on Sunday!”
traveling for medical care puzzle—an affordable place to At Dyer’s Wellness and Beauty Day Spa, Shelley had
be pampered and coddled before and after surgery and hypnosis before and after surgery to ensure a pain- and
during the recovery process. stress-free experience, and to speed the healing. Her
Our friend Shelley agreed to have us tell her story. hypnotist also concentrated on smoking cessation. “I
She had her surgery done at a state-of-the-art clinic in can’t tell for certain if it helped or not but I thought it was
Guadalajara. The clinic was recommended by Dyer who has a neat idea because I believe in the power of the brain.”
done extensive research, checked the recommendations Post-surgery, Shelley’s pain was well managed and
and referrals before selecting a team of what she believes to her bruising was minimal. “Until the swelling was
be Guadalajara’s top surgeons, all with reliable credentials. down and the bruises lightened, I didn’t want to leave
Shelley, who stayed with Anne for post-operative the B&B, so Anne has provided me with everything I’ve
care, said, “The problem with many Americans is that needed. Anne even spent the first night in the hospital
they think everyone in Mexico is a chicken farmer with me. I didn’t have to worry about anything. It was
riding on a burro. They don’t understand that Mexico ideal post-operative care, and it made me feel very cared
has very well-educated and well-trained professionals. for and special…which I am, of course,” she laughed.
My doctor is a professor of surgery and his credentials
are impeccable, but I never would have done this if
Ann hadn’t been here to help me with the details and
my after care. She recommended my doctor because he
does reconstructive work and I needed that for my nose.”
Shelley had a face lift, a nose job, a chin implant,
liposuction along her jaw line, and an upper and lower
The Cosmetic Surgery Package at La Casita
Montaña has been carefully planned. In addition to
transportation to and from the clinic, post-surgery
care, massage and hypnosis, Anne can also arrange for
a professional hair stylist, a fashion consultant and a
make-up artist—all services of Anne’s new Wellness
and Beauty Day Spa on the hidden rooftop Happiness
Garden, which is accessed by of all things, a real elevator.
At the July Stepping Out party for both Shelley and
another recent guest basked in the limelight as their
friends’ cameras flashed and the videos rolled, capturing
their new faces which looked—well relaxed and rested.
Visit www.casitamontana.com or call 766-5513 for
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 41
Home Inspector The Garden Oracle
by John Worthington
by Brad Grieve Buyer’s Overture
This summer I’ve seen a series of last minute minor Dr. Mr. Oracle,
conflicts that could have been resolved easily, if they had not The rains have come and they have brought thousands of
been left to the last minute. Sometimes conflicts between weeds. I truly believe that every weed seed brought in by the wind
buyers and sellers are the result of miscommunication, or birds is growing in my garden. My gardener is overwhelmed. I
ignorance or misunderstandings. It is difficult to decipher believe I heard once that there are sprays which can control weeds
answers and understand whether the answer is the truth without harming my other plants, but I have no idea what they are
or a convenient partial or incomplete truth, or a cultural or where to get them. What can I do?
difference. Sra. Malesa Perez
With the cases I investigated, here are my best
recommendations for buyers in a foreign country. Dear Malesa,
Do your research - Understand the impact of the move you This is the time of year that weeds find most enjoyable.
are considering and look past your dreams of retirement life There are several methods of weed control available. The
in the sun to the practical side of life. While you can still most obvious is elbow grease mixed with time. This is
gather information from family, friends and acquaintances, effective, but tiring. An organic method is to treat the weeds
more people are investigating via the Internet. Qualify the with an acid solution such as vinegar or sulfur when they
source of everything you read on the Internet, including have formed four to six leaves. Marie at ACA tells me that a
the date it was published. The best sources are Internet solution of alcohol and water mixed with a little dish soap will
magazine articles which have content edited by a second burn weeds back. You can also buy commercial herbicides to
person (editor). help control weeds.
Do your due diligences - Compare the house you like with Commercial herbicides come in four forms: one attacks
other houses of similar size (land and construction) and only broad leaf plants, another attacks only grasses, one
understand the differences between your “dream home” and attacks everything it touches and one prevents seeds from
the comparable homes. Whether you are buying a previously becoming more than seedlings – a kind of birth control for
owned house “as is” or a new house with warrantees, delve weeds. The thing to remember is that each type of herbicide
into the condition of the house: see clearly and decide wisely. has its function and place.
This may require the counsel and expertise of an inspector or
engineer. If you have weeds in your lawn, then a broad leaf herbicide
Clients have asked me to prepare a market analysis is indicated .If you have grass in your rose bed, than a grass
to determine the value of the property they are going to killer is just the thing. If you want to prevent weeds from
purchase—including comparisons to similar properties still sprouting in your ornamental plants, then a pre-emergent
on the market or recently sold. Some similar sized properties would be appropriate to keep those seeds from growing. If
vary in price far more than can be accounted for location, you want to kill the whole damn thing off and start over, then
chattels, amenities and quality of construction. use a general-purpose herbicide.
Use plenty of common sense – If it looks like horse, walks One more thing: you purchase these products at farm
like a horse, and sounds like a horse—it’s likely a horse. agro/chemical stores, not at nurseries. Remember:
Too often I have seen buyers make decisions without using 1. If you don’t get the roots, the weeds will come back.
common sense. Some buyers do not ask questions for fear 2. Letting weeds go to seed before you remove them is
of embarrassment or because of a relaxed mood. Buyers counter productive.
understand they are in a different country, yet they assume 3. Some weed seeds are light activated so cultivation just
everything is done the same as back home and then they do to loosen the soil may not be such a good idea after all.
things that they would not do at home—including purchasing 4. The more weeds you pull, the fewer weeds will return
a property and accepting a promise of a deed—sometime in (in theory).
the future. 5. Weeds like to travel. If you live next to a vacant lot full
Keep a healthy skeptical mind - Some clients tell me that their of weeds, the wind will seed your garden. A wind screen will
agent, the seller, or builder “promised” something that they help.
later failed to carry out. Remember, the builders, developers, 6. Chop ‘em down before they seed. Please!
and the agents only get paid if they sell you something. You
could also add to that list the taxi driver, the waiter, the hotel Dear Garden Oracle,
or B&B manager, or one of the other people who may have I have heard two very different opinions concerning planting or
referred you along the way. While I am not saying that all of remodeling a garden during the rainy season. One faction claims
the aforementioned people are corrupt and only interested that it is too wet during the rains to plant and the other faction says
in the commission instead of your well-being, understanding the rainy season is the best time to plant. What do you think?
the motivation of the recommendations you receive will help Connie Considering
you keep the relationship in perspective and perhaps give
you insight on the quality of the answers provided. Dear Connie,
If you need evidence of a verbal agreement—a promise–-
I think that both sides are correct. The only thing to
write a letter of agreement or intention, or a letter confirming
a verbal agreement and send it to the other party and a friend remember about planting in the rainy season is not to dig a
or legal counsel. If there is a problem, the Mexican court will planting hole too deep for the root ball. If you do, there is a
not recognize an email without an original document and pretty good chance that the weight of the plant will compact
original signatures to back it up. the loose soil in the bottom of the hole and the plant will end
There are cases in which the developer or real estate up buried up to its neck.
company has promised to manifest the new construction onto On the other hand, planting or remodeling a garden
the deed of land being sold, once the house is finished. The during the rains can cause soil compaction. This is especially
promise of that second “closing” is forgotten or drags on and true if heavy equipment is involved on your lot.
on until the blunder is not discovered until the homeowner A word of caution: if you should contemplate planting
tries to sell the property. anything larger than potted flowers, make sure you purge all
Enjoy the process of purchasing your dream home in the air out from under the root ball. This is done by inserting
a foreign country, but don’t allow “over skepticism” or a garden hose down the side of the newly planted tree or
“over relaxation” rule your life; in either case you’ll have shrub and letting the water run until all the bubbles stop
frustrations to unravel and may miss out on the excitement coming to the surface and the plant is fairly swimming in
and adventure that is found here at Lake Chapala. water.
Page 42 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Buyers and Sellers
Formation of the GIL and Arbitration Committee
Most Lakeside buyers have a positive experience working
with the qualified and responsible Lake Chapala real estate
agents, brokers and offices who are members of the locally
organized, trained and regulated real estate board, the GIL.
(Groupo Inmobiliario del Lago, A.C.).
Few area residents realize the quality real estate service
they take for granted is the result of two decades of hard
work by broker- and agent-members of GIL. A Lake Chapala
sales boom in the late 1980s created a frantic time in the real
estate market here. Many houses were sold quickly and then
within months, resold for a higher price. The combination
of this active seller’s market and the absence of real estate
regulations created a perfect atmosphere for an infestation
of con men with a variety of real estate schemes, scams and
With the attraction of easy money, these new fly-by-
night “brokers” quickly found houses to show by offering
greedy sellers a cut-rate deal on the commission and telling
buyers that they could make a killing by buying now and
reselling in a few months for twice as much…or more. They
tipped airport taxi drivers to bring clients directly to them.
They operated from rented storefronts, some even from the
trunks of their cars. True stories are still repeated of tourist
buyers handing over a watch or as little as $50 US, to seal
an agreement to buy a house—often during the ride to the
airport, with the quick and dirty contract signed on the hood
of the shady agent’s car in the airport unloading zone. Many
of those buyers came to their senses and never returned—and
then the unsavory agents, pockets full of cash and watches,
were selling the same house again the next day while sellers
and the buyers lost time, money and confidence in the Lake
Chapala real estate industry.
The most infamous of these swindlers did end up in jail
and the ensuing confidence crisis was the motivation for
long-time brokers to organize, setting uniform standards,
forms and regulations. The GIL goals remain the same today,
with the group organizing and supervising brokers and
agents, promoting real estate through the MLS, training and
providing continuing education for agents and brokers, and
enforcing the by-laws and code of ethics ratified by the GIL
While all consumers in Mexico have the right to file
complaints through the legal system, GIL founders recognized
that finding satisfaction through the courts is an expensive,
time consuming and daunting barrier for most foreigners.
To improve service and confidence for renters, buyers and
sellers, the GIL built an Arbitration Committee into their
organization to receive and process complaints between
members, and between consumers and GIL member agents
The requirements for submitting complaints to the
Arbitration Committee are simple: the complaint must be
in writing, it must be signed and include the name, address,
phone and email addresses of the complaining party.
Documentation, dates, receipts and paperwork to support
the complaint are a vital part of the process.
Most complaints can be resolved by the Arbitration
Chairperson in a simple meeting between the principles.
More complex problems require a full committee meeting to
hear both sides of the complaint, review the documentation,
Best Shrimp Lakeside decide the case and determine the penalty—including
substantial fines and/or suspension from the group for
serious GIL violations.
To file a complaint with the Arbitration Committee, address
a written complaint to the Arbitration Committee and drop it
Field at the GIL office in Plaza Interlago (behind the Pemex on the
Open Noon to 10 pm
Alvaro Obregon #1
Tuesday - Sunday Tel: 765-3897 Libramiento) or with GIL Arbitration Committee Chairperson Kay
Available for Private Parties Kitchen 12-9 pm ChapalaBarTomas@yahoo.com Burnham at Continental Real Estate at #1 Colón in Ajijic.
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 43
From the Ground Up strength to the structure, but then, so does the quality of
the mortar mix. Obviously, a wider foundation is stronger
by John Worthington Stones and Walls than a narrow one, simply because there is more stone
in the structure providing more surface area support. Up
Stone is one of the most common of all building materials. to a point, larger stones are better than smaller ones for
In some parts of the world, stone is used for building the the same reasons as listed for concrete. If the stone in the
entire house. Here in Jalisco, stone is considered to be too foundation is too large, however, mortar can’t be placed
expensive to use in house constructions, although it is on three sides. Mortaring three sides of the stone in a
plentiful enough to be considered as an option. foundation is helpful, because the mortar is the glue that
In concrete, the size of the gravel, which is stone, is holds the whole system together.
a determining factor for the relative strength of the mix. For retaining walls, the equation is a little different. In
Smaller gravel or less gravel will make a weaker mix than this type of wall, it’s the mass of which counterbalances
with larger gravel or more gravel. Here at Lake Chapala, the weight of the soil behind it. The formula is to have one
we build with castillo (post) and dala or corona (beam) meter of wall width for every two meters of wall height.
construction, and use rebar and concrete to form the posts Most folks simply can’t afford a retaining wall constructed
and beams. While the amount of steel (rebar) in a post or in this manner. To help with upright strength, the builder
beam determines the flexibility and connectivity, it is the will place castillos or columns in the wall to give it vertical
concrete mix which determines the strength or hardness. If, strength. Neither of these ideas will single-handedly
for instance, you want to build a two-story house, it is the overcome the force of gravity pulling the soil down and out
amount of steel in the columns which protects the structure
from behind the wall; this must be done with sheer weight,
from earthquake movement but it is the hardness of the
concrete which provides the strength to hold the second counteracting sheer weight.
floor up and to a great extent, the size of the gravel in the Using anchors embedded in the soil behind the wall can
concrete which accounts for the hardness of the mix. be helpful if they are installed properly, but it should be
In concrete beams the same concepts are in play. The remembered that the material in which the anchor rests, is
function of a beam is to hold the columns (posts or castillos) part of the weight pushing the wall out. For anchors to be
in place. Rebar does the actual “holding,” but it’s the effective, they need to be far enough back from the wall to
concrete, which prevents the rebar from flexing too much. be embedded in material, which is not being supported by
The harder the mix, the less likely it is for the beams to split the retaining wall.
or crack during earth movement, whether that movement is Here’s the simple version: larger stone makes the wall
sudden or gradual, and again, a larger gravel size will make harder and therefore stronger. The mortar mix should be
the mix harder. as strong as the stone it is holding. For retaining walls, the
You can think about foundations and walls as though use of cal (lime) in the mix is not recommended. Cal wicks
there were expanded versions of a concrete mix within up water and dissolves and is not as strong as a straight
certain limits. In a foundation, stone certainly does give cement mix.
Page 44 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
An American Adventure peered from the clean, but cloudy bus window, I marveled at
the engineering feat of the former president, the man who
by Thomas Hally wielded a big stick. The canal hardly seemed wide enough
for the ships that passed through, yet the locks ascended and
Guadalupe, my fiancée, bade me bon voyage—or should descended in perfect harmony with the sea-going traffic.
I say buen viaje—as I boarded a jet bound for Costa Rica The following morning, I took a plane to Colombia on
and points south. I’d designed this 1979 adventure to my way to the homeland of my literary hero, Gabriel Garcia
experience—first hand—the countries and people I “met” Marquez. During the 90-minute flight, the lady sitting to
in the Latin American literature studies of my Mexico City my right announced that a famous singer named Gabriel
Master’s Degree program. was aboard. I finally met this performer and greeted him
Over the next few days, I moved from plane to taxi to bus confidently and then, much to my embarrassment, found
and back to taxis and buses again. After leaving San José de out his name was not Gabriel, but Julio—Julio Iglesias.
Costa Rica, I peered through Upon arriving in
the bus’s window into the Barranquilla, still not having
sleepless jungle; sensed the learned the lesson presented in
savage lure, saw only total Panama, I immediately took a
blackness. taxi cab to a “cheap but classy”
When I arrived in Panama hotel. Albert Einstein said
City, I asked a taxi driver for “The definition of insanity is
a lift to “cheap but classy” doing the same thing over and
hotel. That oxymoron did not over and expecting different
cut it in Panama. The hotel I results.” I was beginning to
landed in was, in reality, best wonder…
suited for an ox and a moron. The following day I was a
It was a seedy little dump bit flea bitten but otherwise
loaded with fleas, pimps, and unaffected. I got to the airport
prostitutes. I was beginning to and, while waiting for my flight
understand why Don Isaac and to Cali, I noticed veritable
Doña Lupe refused to allow bevies of beauties everywhere
their daughter to accompany I looked. How could I have
me on the trip. missed this sight the day
Listening to the bilingual before? There were brunettes
guide on a trip to the Panama Canal, I recalled the famous with dark complexions, fair-skinned brunettes, a plethora of
palindrome about Teddy Roosevelt; it was running through natural and bottled blondes, and the occasional red head
my mind like a mantra, “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!” As I with freckles, who would make me smile, thinking of Chile’s
Conquistador Bernardo O’Higgins and his army who had
passed that way during colonial times. I admired the scenery
until my neck hurt from so much twisting and turning.
Santiago de Cali, as the city was officially called, was
both a charmer and a big letdown. Sure it glittered with the
usual plethora of beautiful women, charming Latin American
ambience, colonial architecture, fabulous clime, and…
beggars! The most heart-wrenching of all of these souls were
the very young indigenous and Afro-Colombian boys that, if
my memory serves me correctly, were known as Gambinos.
I called these beggar kids “pathetic”; my heart went out
Forced to steal food from the tables of the outdoor
restaurants, or terrazas de café, they got their education on
the streets, 24 hours per day. The city’s alleys and garbage
dumps were home. They must get to know these rubbish
heaps and local open-air restaurants like they know their
own image in a mirror. A young one could get lost in many
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 45
Eager as I was to right wrongs, I offered my opinion of the humble souls on our pilgrimage. This was their norm but it
city government for allowing this situation to continue. My was my adventure. I was too excited to sleep. My dream had
remarks were not well taken: “We stand for law and order turned into reality. I had heard the jungle and I had seen it
here in Cali, and these rascals are juvenile delinquents. If at restaurant kiosks and again when the bus had to stop so
you aid and abet them we must hold you responsible for four strong men could remove an anaconda from the road.
contributing to the delinquency of minors; you may be jailed Finally, curled up into a ball, I went to sleep on the hard,
or expelled from Columbia as an undesirable.” Woops! It was wooden seat.
a lesson that served me well since, even while I remained I woke up with my head propped up against a window. Dawn
curious that the law did nothing to stop these kids—or feed had just peeked through the jungle canopy as we abandoned
them. With nothing I could do to improve their situation, I that exotic area and started climbing what appeared to be a
got on with my trip. formidable mountain. As we approached the highest point of
It was final day in Cali. I was considering taking a bus to the road the bus stopped and two plain-clothed policemen
Bogota, then taking a Colombian Air Force “prop flight” to stepped on and carefully checked the passengers’ hands as
Leticia in the heart of the Colombian Amazon Rainforest. they proceeded down the aisle. It was then that I realized
The round trip would not be too expensive, but I would have what eventually happens to those kids in Cali who steal food
to remain one week in Leticia before returning. Tempted in the terrazas de café—they are arrested for being involved
to go, I imagined in the drug
myself making trade. The police
tourist “forays” in “escorted” two
the Three Frontiers Afro -Colombian
area, where men in their
Colombia, Brazil, late teens to a
and Peru conjoin. wayside cell used
I tried to balance to temporarily
the grand time I’d incarcerate peons
have against my with tell-tale
limited time and signs of narcotics
funds, and realized involvement
I did not have the imprinted on
money to permit their palms.
“the adventure of As we
a lifetime.” I was entered the
disappointed, but next mountain
eager to get on restaurant, I
with my vacation realized that we
Pondering the were at the crest
situation in Cali, I of a peak in the
licked a mango ice Northern Andes
cream cone and chain. I observed
configured the rest the light grey mist
of my vacation. as it streamed
The bus would to the jungle
leave the station at about 4 p.m., heading north towards below and poured itself on the rainbow-colored flora and
Bogota. I hoped there would still be enough daylight to fauna. I strode into the restaurant hearkening to hawks,
afford me a glimpse of the rainforest just past the Cauca falcons, eagles; the cacophonous sound of mountain birds.
Valley. A burst tire and an hour round-trip to the terminal But we were now at an altitude that would not permit the
and back to retrieve a spare shattered that dream. Seven bewitchment of the jungle—that was already a memory
days in Central and South America and I still had not seen a never to be forgotten.
rainforest anywhere! After a breakfast, we began our descent into Bogota. I
At dusk, we pursued our meandering course through was both relieved and saddened that the 16-hour journey
the jolting, pot-holed, dirt road in a contraption called an had come to an end. After a day of sightseeing, I decided set
express bus. Being optimistic, I told myself how lucky I was off for Caracas, Venezuela, and that evening, with everything
to have been one of the first to buy a ticket and, fortunately, I owned stuffed into the rucksack, I made haste for the
get a seat. There were at least ten unfortunate souls who airport.
were dangling from the hand rails above the seats next to By 11 p.m., I was in a youth hostel in Caracas, and the
the luggage racks as the bus trudged through the night on following morning I took a tour bus for my customary
the wet jungle floor. The only way these hapless travelers exploratory trip downtown. I could see ultra-modern
would be able to sit down during the entire journey would office buildings that dotted the skyline of Caracas. Luxury
be by stealing someone’s place when the bus made its first condominiums, small meandering streams rolling through
bathroom stop. We all cautiously left our luggage on our the park, and tall palms and flower-laden trees replenished
seats, hurried up to go and quickly returned. If you lost your the city’s spirit. Hoofing it later, I feasted my eyes upon
seat it was just too bad; the bus driver had made it clear he white, orange, yellow, red, and purple-flowered gardens as I
was neither cop nor enforcer. sensed their perfumed fragrance.
Back on the road, the passengers were hungry and Day ended with dinner in, of all places, a terraza de café,
thirsty, so we stopped at a jungle kiosk. Outside I could where, instead of street boys, I watched ruby-throated and
hear the sounds of the jungle. It was a thunderous din; Lucifer hummingbirds at their feeding dishes, and noticed
the full moon and the clear starry night sky were shining pink, lavender, and white orchid flower beds that lined the
through the canopy of tall palms, coconut trees, and pale- periphery of the restaurant.
purple jacarandas. Finally I was in the grips of nature and the After a week of roadside food, I celebrated the end of
sounds of monkeys, macaws and parrots, the reluctant roar my vacation with a sea bass dinner after an appetizer of
of the panther, the stentorian blasts of electrical storms, empanadas (cheese turnovers). I sipped a fresh, cold beer. The
as well as the heavy gallop of the grand tapir that hurried sun shone and it was warm. I gathered up my belongings
across the road and past the lights of our stopped vehicle and luxuriated in a mid-priced hotel. Life was good and, best
obviously had much more meaning to me than the other of all, I would soon be home with Guadalupe.
Page 46 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
What is a Good Country? Old Morelia Road
by Roger Johnson by Mike Mercer My Religious Pilgrimage
Politicians are clamoring to tell us how Today on my walk down Old Morelia
we need change the way we are being Road, I was thinking how my trip to
governed and that we should pick them the A.T.M. in Jocotepec is a significant
because they know how to do it. It’s not, of religious pilgrimage.
course, just a United States’ problem—it’s a I keep trying to remember the pin
dilemma world-wide. What makes for a good number as I walk toward the village.
Some countries are, or have become, I know it is there somewhere under
complacent about the homeless, the low my hat. Sometimes the machine says,
income, the working poor, the immigrants, “You got one more chance buddy them
and the retired folks and then here comes the card is mine.” That is why I have to
the middle class. Of course, some countries remember the number before I arrive in
have never been able to make even basic front of the giver of financial life.
things a priority for the people and others The Spanish-speaking machine does
that have had assistance available to those not threaten me as much as it once did.
in need, are now unable to adjust to these I remember the first time it gobbled
challenging economic times. my card because I was two seconds to
. To be able to maintain the level of slow putting away my fresh money. Just
support and not lower it is rare indeed. More
people than ever are concerned and some as I reached for the ejected card in the
level of fear has begun for those who have slot--slurp--the hungry machine ate the
counted on the government programs to sucker. I fidgeted around a minute, had a
supplement their needs for things like health mental breakdown, and then cried when
care and a minimum quality of life. I saw the bank just beyond the glass
So, some of those people who have dividing wall was closed. The next day
said, “I love my country,” now may be asking when I asked the bank officer to retrieve
themselves, “What is happening in my the card, the beautiful lady told me that
country?” “Why can’t I afford to live there my card had been picked up and was in
and why do I feel like I need to move and… Guadalajara where it would be shredded.
hey, do I need to provide a solution myself?” She consoled me, handed me a facial
Unsuccessful attempts by governments to
ensure a minimum quality of life are causing tissue and said with a smile, “Just contact
concerns in counties that have a history of your bank and have them send you a new
being very good examples of taking care one.
of their citizens. Isn’t it interesting that a I won’t elaborate on the turmoil
country can force its citizens to fear so that involved in getting my new bank card
they feel they need to take some personal from the super-secret U.S. bank all the
action to ensure or protect their quality of way to my unlisted address in Mexico,
life? Isn’t it equally interesting that people but I hold the card in new esteem and
cannot be forced to love their country? when I reverently and gently into the
Is there a prescription for a country to blinking slot, I hold my breath until the
become a beloved country by its citizens? I transaction of the Holy Grail is finished
think so. Try this:
The leaders of any country must be strong
and manna and card are safely back in
in sincerely wishing that they do not want my hand.
any of their citizens to fear the government. If the Mexicans I often help address
Any country’s greatness in years ahead will the machine next to me knew my fear of
come from providing their people with a way this automatic machine with wavelengths
of life that assures health and prosperity. The tied God and Satan, and which causes
country’s streets must be safe and their legal me to need coffee, chair, and a urinal by
and government institutions stocked with the time I step back into the street, they
truth and confidence. might wave off my expertise.
For those super powers and super power I must be getting close to the A.T.M.
wannabees, it matters not that a country can My hand is sweaty on my walking stick
annihilate the world a thousand times over.
What matters is that a country can feed its
and my breath is coming in deep gasps.
people, can cure their illnesses, can provide I raise my eyes to the always-open door
for their comfort, and can assure a prosperous where the machine lives. He is waiting
nation for the generations to come. Only for me with a blinking eye and words
then can a country move forward. of welcome. I wonder if he knows what
Did I see a hand raised that you can name I want and has sent word to the bank
such a country? holding my money. One thing is sure;
These thoughts are extracted from the the A.T.M. has me where he wants me, in
novel The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry. his total control. I hold my breath, insert
They are from a fictitious speech given the card, remember the pin, and pray
by a person who wants to be the new tsar to the electric God as my savior. Bingo,
of Russia. I think that perhaps the author
could add a footnote stating, “I do not have
magic occurs and I stumble forth from
a problem if this speech is plagiarized by the machine’s presence older, wiser, and
anyone attempting to provide leadership to gleefully happy.
their country.” Where is the nearest bathroom?
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 47
The Wilkes Education Center best.
Hugo Reyes, who taught the 12 students in sixth grade,
by Sandy Feldman 2008 Summer Remedial Program has been a volunteer teacher in the remedial program
since he was 19 years old. His teaching philosophy is that
On July 31 , 70 students seven to twelve years old
children better understand their course material if they do
completed a four-week Summer Remedial Program at the extra curricular research on their subjects in the library. The
Wilkes Education Center (WEC) which is funded by the Lake WEC library (biblioteca) provides students with excellent
Chapala Society, with a field trip to the Guadalajara zoo. reference and research material.
The remedial program is a summer school offered Reyes has a degree in psychology and now at the age of
without cost to Mexican children who attended public 26 is returning to school for his masters degree. He has
schools and had difficulties with some of their courses. always enjoyed teaching at WEC but names his biggest
Participation in the program has grown over the last nine concern, saying, “Some kids are brilliant, but they don’t get
years. In previous years approximately 60 students have encouragement from parents or the community.”
attended the sessions each year. Olises, age 12, is one of Reyes’ students who looks
Most students enrolled in this year’s program attended forward to secondary school but is not sure what he wants
grades 1 through 6 in the government schools in Ajijic, to do with his life. Brenda, age 11, also looks forward
Chapala and Jocotepec. Classes in math, reading and writing to secondary school and wants to study to become a
were taught by Mexican teachers with WEC paying for all veterinarian. She’s working to get her GPA up from a 7.9 on
books, paper, and pencils. a scale of 10.
When a sixth grade The WEC building is
student was asked how the running out of classroom
program has helped him, space. Every available
he responded, “I’m able corner is now being used
to pay better attention in as classrooms. Some of
class.” Another sixth grade the summer classes were
student said she does not taught outside on the
forget things and she can patio. When the English
think better here than at as a Second Language
regular school. and Spanish classes
Because WEC maintains begin this fall, classroom
classes with 20 or less availability will be even
students, teachers are able tighter--over 200 people
to spend more time with have registered for the
each student. Government- ESL classes.
run schools average a 35-
to-1 student-teacher ratio and due to lack of attention,
some children get lost in the system.
Maria, age 11, is a fourth grade student who said she
learned more by taking classes at WEC than she learned
in her regular school. Her favorite class is math. Like many
students in the program, Maria has sisters and brothers in
other remedial classes.
Victor, age 10, another fourth grade student, attended
the summer sessions with a brother. His favorite class in
school was natural science because, “there are lots of things
I can learn.”
Ramón, age 8 and a first grade student, failed his
government school classes last year and told his WEC
classmates that he is only seven to conceal the fact that
he was held back. He also had an older brother in the
Jennifer and Estephen, both age 8 and in second grade,
said they think the remedial program is “good”. Jennifer’s
favorite class is math while Estephen likes Spanish the
Page 48 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Breakfast at Mom’s
What a luxury! One of the joys of retirement,
I think, is being able to go to a restaurant for a
leisurely, sumptuous breakfast any day you want.
For the budget-minded here at Lake Chapala,
there is Sunrise, Salvador’s and the American
Legion. All offer good food at “sensible” prices.
Sundays, of course, Salvador’s offers an absolutely
gigantic buffet which even features custom-made
omelets and Eggs Benedict. Then there’s the Waffle
House with a huge number of choices (I love their
breakfast burritos). The normally Chinese Min
Wah also has an interesting selection – but let me
tell you about . . .Mom’s.
I “borrowed” a menu as my memory is failing
rapidly. Mom’s specializes at noon hours in what
we know as comfort foods: meat loaf, fried chicken,
etc. but their breakfast choices are really unique.
Many could serve as your main meal of the day –
they’re not skimpy.
I may have mentioned the biscuits before in
this column. Mom’s and the Legion are, I think,
about equal in biscuit quality and they’re huge.
You can choose a biscuit or toast with most any
dish and, of course, they have that American
favorite - two biscuits with sausage (white) gravy,
a fruit cup or juice and your choice of bacon or
homemade country sausage patties for just $45
pesos. For $50 pesos, you can have a ham steak
There are two different three-egg omelets. Both
are $60 pesos. One is filled with roasted onions,
bell peppers, mushrooms and cheese. The other is
a more traditional omelet of ham and cheese.
At $65 pesos there is a choice of three
“supers”: Mom’s Benedict offers two poached
eggs on cornmeal waffles with sautéed spinach,
Canadian bacon and, of course, Hollandaise sauce.
A big favorite of my friend is called Creole Eggs.
This involves two poached eggs on those famous
biscuits, smothered with shrimp in a creamy
Creole sauce. It’s just a bit too picante (spicy) for
me. But I do enjoy the Popeye Special. Scrambled
eggs are mixed with seasoned spinach and ground
beef, served with chopped potatoes, onion and
“La Taverna” dei Quattro Mori tomato.
Among the other breakfast items are granola
with yogurt and fresh fruit; oatmeal with apples,
Cucina Italiana raisins and nuts; French toast, pancakes, waffles
Italian Chefs and much, much more. The meals include a fruit
cup or juice and coffee.
Thank You!! Be sure to try their lunches and great take-
home foods also, particularly the chicken pot pie
and chicken chili – yum!
Let’s Go For The 7th Year!! Breakfast is served from 7 to 11 a.m. Lunch
from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and they are closed
Sundays. Mom’s is located on the West end of
the building that houses Maskarás Clinic on the
Regular Hours: Fri. to Tues., 12 noon - 10 pm.
highway in Riberas del Pilar. Enjoy!
Plaza La Huerta (West Side-Ajijic)
Reservations (376) 766-2848
september 2008 Lake Chapala Review Page 49
Review of Advertisers
ANIMALS Lighting & Design 21 MISC. SERVICES TEL./TECHNOLOGY
Prisa Paint 26
Animal Shelter 28 LakeChapala Immigration Lagunanet 36
HEALTH & BEAUTY 42 New World Technology26
ART/GALLERIES Mail Boxes Etc. 22
Ann Dyer-Plaza Montaña Republicans Abroad 10 TRAVEL
Ajijic Art & Design 4 40 Ricky Ricardo Catering 33
Aimar Stained Glass 42 Edith’s Salon 10 Charter Club Tours 7
Efren Gonzalez 6 Farmacia Cristina 32 MOVING Linea Profesional 24
Galeria di Paola Center Farmacia Morelos 13 Mexico Insights 18
Jose’s Massage 13 Lake Chapala Moving 15
AUTOMOTIVE Stand Bike Center Strom-White Moving 39 WATER
Total Body Care 14
Goodyear Fuentes 30 NURSING HOMES Agua del Carmen 48
Lakeside Car Rental 42 HOTELS, B&Bs, HOSTELS Albercas del Lago 25
Linea Profesional 24 Casa Nostra 25 Tecno Agua 39
S & S Auto 46 Casa de las Flores 5 Ultra Pure 33
Casa del Sol 34 REAL ESTATE
BAKERY La Casa Encantada 15
La Nueva Posada 31 All-in-One Services 23
Lone Star Bakery 11 Absolut Fenix 12
INSURANCE Adobe Real Estate 22
BOUTIQUES Ajijic Rentals 44
TioCorp 16 Beverley Dawson 35
Arati 18 Parker 31 Four Seasons 17
Diane Pearl 8 Hernandez Real Estate 3
Mi México 11 LAUNDRY & CLEANING Intl. Realty 3
Investor Wanted 16
BUILDERS & Escomovil 43 Jorge Torres 30
BUILDING SUPPLIES Spring Clean 6 Lake Chapala R.E. Center
Raul Gonzalez Center
Constructionland 13 LEGAL & FINANCE Vita 2
Dist. del Lago 35 Wright Team 5
Hogar Ceramico 47 Efficient Wealth Mgmt.
CHURCHES Intercam 9
Lakeside Mortgage Cafe Magaña 24
Baptist Church 33 Consultants 28 El Guayabo 13
Multivalores 51 Grandma’s Kitchen 14
FURNITURE & DECOR Mortgages in Mexico 8 La Nueva Posada 31
La Taverna 48
La Casa de los Azulejos MEDICAL Manix 48
36 Mariscos Guicho 28
Mueblera del Lago 19 Dr. Don 8 Panino 29
Ricardo Fernandez Center Dr. Haro 44 Pizzeria Toscana 27
Tecnicos Unidos 20 Dr. Heredia 6 Tabarka 27
Dr. Reyes 47 Tomas Rest-Bar 42
HARDWARE-LIGHTING Hospital San Javier BC Tom’s Bar 20
Maskaras Clinic 31 Tony’s Restaurant 32
Galvez Hardware 6 Valenciana’s Pizza 6
Ilumina + Decora Center
Page 50 Lake Chapala Review september 2008
Verso of time thereby reducing a student’s costs. Bravo!
But when it comes to recreational reading, I draw the line.
by Larry Reeves Once Again I have seen some of the little electronic reading wonders of
our new age and my original statement stands. They work,
People have been crying about the end of books for as no doubt. They will keep my place in a book. They will
long as I have been alive, and that’s a pretty long time. I store my book. They will keep an index of my stored books.
was prompted to write about this topic when a member of They will fit in my pocket, or at least some of them will.
our writers group mentioned that he’s read that in making Pages will not get wrinkled or torn. It is impossible to spill
book selections for a small college library, a large number coffee or whatever on them. You only need one of them for
of books were only available electronically. He wondered if dozens or hundreds of books. They are little wonders of the
this didn’t, perhaps, forecast the end of the printed book. electronic/digital age.
I immediately took my usual stand saying that I never
Why don’t I, a reader of a couple of books a week, take
found an electronic book that I wanted to take to bed.
them to my heart, buy one, learn how to download, throw
Although that inane statement still stands, I have come to
revise my thinking on several of the newer manifestations out my book cases, subscribe to the specialized reference
of book publishing, including electronic publishing. works I need and enjoy unencumbered, my new life in
I am still trying to master the search techniques of beautiful Ajijic?
www.google.com and I am often confounded by the lack of Well, I’ll tell you. What happens to a book when
documentation of articles in www.wikipedia.com, still I find the electronic wizardry is finished with it bears little
electronic research less stressful than trips to the library resemblance to the physical book I want to hold in my
with my little pad of paper and the cumbersome handling hand. Gone is the art work of the dust jacket. I can’t feel it,
of heavy reference works. While I also admit that physical use it as a book mark or look at the author’s picture from
handling of large reference materials may pass as exercise, I time to time as I read. Gone too is the feel of the boards
much prefer walking my dogs. that bind my book and the end pages and hinges that hold
The publication of scientific materials is an extraordinarily it together and make it whole. Gone, too, is the art of the
expensive undertaking. The customer base is limited and book designer who decides on typography, paper, page
often plagued by inadequate funds. Electronic publishing size, type placement, pagination, page number placement,
eliminates some of the costs--paper, printing, binding, chapter headings and all the other myriad details that make
warehousing, picking and packing, shipping and annual a book unique and attractive.
inventorying. These are not an inconsiderate accumulation A well-designed book is a work of art, albeit sometimes
of costs. Further, by making the material available in parts, a minor work, but a work of art nonetheless. To take that
the customer base can be enlarged and potential customers away for the questionable convenience of a little electronic
for future publication of similar material identified. I have no gadget is tantamount to making salsa without jalapeño. Like
problem with that and am pleased to learn that publishers salsa, I want my books with a little zing and that zing should
will lease electronic access to text books for specific periods be a part of my reading experience.