San Andres fiestas
Daily fiestas honoring Saint Andrew the Apostle continue in Ajijic through Sunday, December 3.
The fiestas patronales encompass both traditional religious activities scheduled by the San Andrés parish church and the boisterous secular celebration centered at the village plaza. The festivities are customarily punctuated by heavy rounds of fireworks set off at all hours.
Members of local gremios (worker guilds) sponsor a candlelight procession each day through November 30 at dusk that travels along Calle Hidalgo from Seis Esquinas to the entrance of the San Andres church as the lead-in to the 7 p.m. celebration of Mass.
Following the evening church service, throngs congregate at the plaza to socialize, eat typical snacks, dance to live bands, enjoy mechanical rides, try their luck at games of chance and pelt one another with cascarones (confetti-filled egg shells).
Each night, a fireworks display centered around the Castillo is lit up in the church atrium between 10:30 and 11 p.m.
Informal bull-riding contests are held most afternoons at the local lienzo charro arena, starting around 4 p.m. accompanied by banda music and libations.
Gale Park presents “The Shamanic Worldview” at the next meeting of Open Circle at the Lake Chapala Society, Sunday, November 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Over many thousands of years, our ancestors developed ways of expanding human capacity for healing and problem solving. The systems and practices they originated came to be called shamanism. Gale will talk about how shamans and shamanic cultures view and interact with our Earth and its inhabitants – both the physical and the supernatural – and the ancient tools and practices they still use to serve their tribes.
Park is a writer, artist and mystic who has explored various forms of spirituality since her youth. For the past 17 years, she has studied and practiced shamanism and druidry. Among her early shamanic teachers were an 11th generation Siberian shaman, a Native American ceremonialist and a Peruvian curandera. She is currently studying with a Peruvian teacher of the Pachikuti Mesa tradition.
For more information, go to opencircleajjic.org.
Lake Chapala Society (LCS) members are invited to attend a TED seminar titled “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy” Tuesday, November 28, noon to 1:15 p.m. in the LCS Sala.
Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there’s a more fulfilling path? asks writer Emily Esfahani Smith. Having meaning in life – serving something beyond yourself, gives you something to hold on to.
An evening of fun and fundraising for the dogs at the Ranch is scheduled at Adelita’s Bar & Grill, Wednesday November 29, 5 p.m. Bring an 80-peso cover and an old towel for the dogs. A 50/50 raffle, sales table and auction are on the bill and there will be special menu prices. Call 766-0097 for reservations.
The Lake Chapala Society is holding its annual Holiday Fair Friday and Saturday, December 1 and 2, from 1-6 p.m. Support local artisans and peruse the variety of beautiful handicrafts, just in time for the gift giving season.
Last year, 40 booths featured handmade goods, jewelry, paintings, candles, photography, pottery and more, all created by local and nearby artists. The LCS Children’s Art program will offer a selection of more than 80 cards from their holiday catalog, as well as other children’s art for sale. The Crem Music School will hold a performance December 1, 4 p.m. and the Lake Chapala Chorale will perform December 2, 5 p.m. Entrance to the Holiday Fair is 20 pesos, children 12 and under enter free.
World AIDS Day
Ajijic Cares, an organization that promotes safe sex to Lakeside young people and seeks to destigmatize HIV/AIDS in the community while supporting awareness and treatment, will hold an event Friday, December 1, 5 p.m. at the amphitheater on the Ajijic malecon.
The Lakeside British Society holds its monthly luncheon Saturday, December 2, 1 p.m. at Manix Restaurant, Ocampo 57 in Ajijic.
Menu choices begin with a small salad or carrot soup; choice of shepherd’s pie with chips and gravy or grilled fish fillet with almond sauce or spaghetti arrabiata or a large salad. Dessert is lemon tart. The cost is 150 pesos plus tip.
Run for love
Fundraising 5- and 10-kilometer runs will be held Sunday, December 3 to benefit the Casa Hogar children’s home and the Tepehua Community Center. The races start at the Chapala Malecon sail statue at 8:30 a.m.
First place in the 10K event wins 500 pesos, and 150 pesos in the 5K children’s run. Register (100 pesos adults, 20 pesos children) at the Clinic Ibarra or on the day of the event at 7 a.m.
Chapala Pride parade
Although it started a few hours late, the Chapala Pride parade on Saturday, November 18 brought together members of the LGBTQ community, as well as supporters, including Chapala Mayor Javier Degollado.
More fun with dogs
Lucky Dog Rescue and Adoption Center has booked Santa Claus to pose for holiday portraits. The dogs can be photographed by professional photographer, Cathie Simon, in Christmas or Mexican props. All proceeds go to the care of homeless street dogs found wandering in the Lakeside area.
The fun takes place Tuesday, December 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Yves Restaurant and again on Saturday, December 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chapala Country Club, Vista del Lago.
Enjoy lunch in a beautiful setting while your pet’s photo with Santa is being printed.
The cost is 300 pesos for your choice of one 8x10-, two 5x7- or four 4x5-inch prints, and 350 pesos for two or more dogs in one photo.
Bring a small gift to be put under the Lucky Dog Christmas tree.
Introduction to Spanish
The Lake Chapala Society offers this casual class for the beginner to members only. It covers the Spanish alphabet, simple vocabulary and phrases useful about town, and information about Lakeside and Mexican culture. The class starts Tuesday, December 5 and continues for three weeks. Due to popular demand, two sessions will be offered in December: noon to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. Learning materials are provided and tuition is 175 pesos. Sign up at the LCS office or at www.lakechapalasociety.com.
Chefs from the Culinary Arts Society of Ajijic, Roberta Kalan, Michele Lococo, Bev Denton, Sally Meyers, Allison Quattrocchi, Tracy Reuter, Marina Benz and Jose Melendrez prepared an elegant Thai dinner for eight November 17. The event was auctioned off last March to benefit Niños Incapacitados. The table décor was by Judith Greenberg, who also designed the imported Thai silk menus on printed rice paper wrapped with a live orchid. Also participating were Mike Meyers (bartender); Carol Westbrook, who provided exquisite carved vegetables and fruit; Karen Richardson, who prepared the floral masterpiece at center table, and Monica Molloy, the hostess and coordinator of the event.
LCS bus trips
Thursday, December 7, LCS heads to Guadalajara’s upscale Andares mall. The cost is 350 pesos for members and 450 pesos for non-members. The bus leaves La Floresta at 9:30 a.m. Sign up at the LCS office. Upcoming bus trips include: Costco/Galerias Mall on December 18 and Tlaquepaque on December 27.
The 4th annual Lake Chapala Toy Run to benefit children in the Chapala barrio of Tepehua will be held Saturday, December 16, beginning with breakfast at the American Legion Post 7, 10 a.m. and then leaving at noon to bring the toys to the plaza in Tepehua.
Both cars and motorcycles from any club or group are welcome to the ride. Cash donations can be made at the Legion, the Iron Horse Bar, Just Chillin’ and Love and Fishes. Toys can be dropped off at the abovementioned places and Perry’s Pizza, La Mision, Casa Domenech, El Jardin de Ninette, the Canadian Royal Legion, Have Hammers, Adelita’s Bar and Grill, Christine’s and Mama’s Bar.
All the proceeds are to benefit the children of Tepehua. Sponsors of this toy run are American Legion Post 7 and Los Güeros Motorcycle Club.
The Heart of Awareness Insight Meditation Community will show the film “Chasing Buddha,” Monday, November 20, 3 p.m. The film is an award-winning documentary about the life of Ven. Robina Courtin, this month’s featured teacher at the Wednesday sessions. The monthly films are offered free of charge.
The Sangha offers meditation opportunities several times each week. The Community’s regular meditation and teaching session is Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. The formal schedule begins 4 p.m. November 22, meditation will be followed by a video teaching “The Courage of True Compassion” by Ven. Robina Courtin.
There are three additional hour-long silent meditation opportunities each week: Sundays and Mondays, 9-10 a.m. and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to noon.
Karen Vrilakas offers a gentle and spiritual yoga practice at the Center, Wednesday and Saturday mornings, 9-11 a.m.
The Heart of Awareness is grounded in the teachings of the Buddha. Prior experience or affiliation is not required. The center is located at Guadalupe Victoria 101 in Ajijic. For more information, see heartofawareness.org, or call Janet Reichert, 331-043-4669.