Abbeyfield, the Ajijic housing compound for senior residents, will close operations by the end of this year after a 12-year history.
The independent living rental facility located on the Ajijic waterfront is comprised of five free-standing casitas, four en-suite rooms, a shared kitchen, and common living, dining and garden areas, along with a lap pool.
Abbeyfield’s nine residents were taken by surprise when they were notified in mid-June that they were being given a six-month grace period to find new accommodations and relocate.
“It came as a real shock,” says longtime Mexico resident Millicent Brandow, who has lived at Abbeyfield for the past three years. “What will I do? Where will I go?” she and her perplexed living companions immediately wondered. However, Brandow praises part-time administrator Kevin Paulini for becoming their champion, going beyond his bookkeeping duties to help in the search for alternative housing options.
The decision to vacate Abbeyfield has been a long time coming, explained Mina Powers, one of the original board members of Casas Cariñosos, the non-profit civil association that set up the group home back in 2006 with principal funding provided by the late Lissa Taylor, a Canadian citizen who settled at lakeside in 1975.
Taylor was instrumental in launching the outreach program at St. Andrews Church dedicated to supporting charitable causes in the community. Abbeyfield became an offshoot project for the purpose of offering affordable housing to self-sufficient individuals of advanced age wishing to live independently in a secure, harmonious environment, with a balance of privacy and companionship. Taylor lived there herself until her death in 2011.