Planning, commitment, cooperation and even serendipity have allowed Guadalajara’s decades-old social club for foreigners to do better than survive, even though the large house owned by the American Society of Jalisco (AMSOC) has virtually closed to members for about three months.
“We’ve been getting smaller forever,” said current president Bruce Newby, who comes in, often alone, to AMSOC every day. “So I started aiming years ago to keep the club solvent even when we get down to two members,” he joked. As a result of his installation of solar panels on the roof, AMSOC’s electricity bills – a principal expense besides a small staff payroll – were slashed.
Those savings help, Newby said. In addition, “Members are still paying dues and we get rent from a psychologist, the Junior League and two 12-step groups – although we’ve agreed on rent reductions in some cases.”
“We’re not suffering financially,” said long-time AMSOC member and officer Frank Rodriguez. “We recently started to open Wednesdays from 10 to 3 so members can come in with masks and borrow books and movie DVDs from our library. We ask them to call first to make sure someone is at the desk.”