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Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

Chucha Anzaldo’s tangled, wiry survival techniques & raw country wisdom

Chucha – Maria de Jesus – Anzalda was a wiry, middle-sized woman of about 60 when I first met her in the 1960s.  She was easy to remember because of her inventive ways of  making a living.  She seldom seemed to struggle in doing that, yet was always roughly inventive about it.  


Hard past: Local adventure looks for pricey clay bricks but finds a ‘familiar’ drowned body

In 1992, planning to build a new bodega, Nacho Lara invited his cousin and me to survey those villages near the Lake where adobon – home-made bricks – were created. “Adobon” was the word once used to identify large local red clay bricks. They measured 36.6 centimeters long, 16.5 centimeters wide and 7.5 centimeters high.  Made of clay and cow dung, low-fired in simple pyramid brick kilns, they cost 500,000 pesos a thousand.  In 1973. adobon cost 1,000 pesos per thousand.  That was a clear marker of Mexico’s uncontrolled inflation.  The price was called “crazy” by most Mexicans, especially when talking to foreign associates, and especially by sane local albañiles (masons).   

Nostalgia, cantina economists, caballos and change at Lake Chapala

Thirty years ago this month I was sitting at pueblo cantina with Nacho Mejia, who had worked at La Posada Ajijic some years before that and in the 1960s in Jocotepec’s La Quinta Inn. We were enjoying some nostalgia, including numerous tales of folks we know with a thirst not only for maguey juice and cerveza, but often for more excitement than they knew how to handle.