Last updateFri, 15 Mar 2019 3pm

Laguna Chapalac - June 16, 2018

Garden Guild

One of the area’s oldest expat organizations, the Lakeside Garden Guild, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

According to Binkie Chater, Margaret Southworth and Olga Spraggett, some of the guild’s earliest members, the guild was born out of necessity. These ladies were avid gardeners and started meeting once a month to exchange plants and flowers from their gardens, since viveros (nurseries) were non-existent then.

pg12The ladies took turns meeting in their homes, touring and sampling each others’ gardens, followed by lunch and a discussion of how best to grow the plants they had collected. Since this was prior to the internet, word-of-mouth was the way they learned how to grow the different types of plants found at lakeside.

Later, the program was expanded to include simple table centerpieces constructed with material from members’ gardens. The current Grower’s Group was a spinoff from the early Garden Guild.  

As time passed, the guild decided to hold an annual Floral Show in which each member created an arrangement. This event was open to the public.

The Garden Guild partnered with the Ajijic Garden Club to publish the first Lakeside Planting Calendar & Garden Guide, a journal that has been republished several times.

The Garden Guild undertakes a community project each year, as members believe it is important to give back to the lakeside community. Benches have been provided to the old train station and the Auditorio de la Ribera, and a memorial to Juanita Reed was placed on the Ajijic malecon this year. The guild’s most prominent project has been the Wipe Out Graffiti Campaign, which it helped create and has supported annually.

The 2018 Garden Guild board is continuing this legacy and hopefully make the original founders proud. Leading this effort are Georgia Barneburg, president; Sharon Smith, vice-president; Sue Williams, treasurer; Joyce McNiven, recording secretary; Janet Capetillo, corresponding secretary; and Bonnie Newman, past president.  

Vid Forum wine fest

The second edition of lakeside’s Vid Forum Wine Festival is Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17 at the Nimue Marina nautical club in La Floresta, located on Paseo de la Huerta, adjacent to the Hotel Real.

The fair is designed to bring together wine lovers and foodies with merchants showcasing around 20 labels from vineyards in Mexico and Spain, as well as assorted gourmet foods and meal offerings by four top-notch lakeside restaurants.  Also, you’ll have a chance to view and test drive several models of Tesla electric cars now available on the Mexican market.

Gates open Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with admission set at 300 pesos per person for tasting up to 30 wine samples up until 7:30 p.m. Sunday hours are 1:30 to 6 p.m., at a cost of 250 pesos. Prices include a complementary glass wine goblet. Advance tickets are on sale at Hotel Real, Alex Pasta Bar, Masayume Sushi Bar and Panchos Deli.

Open Circle

Gale Park presents “Gratitude, Forgiveness, and the Spiritual Path” at the next meeting of Open Circle, Sunday, June 17, 10:30 a.m. on the patio of the Lake Chapala Society.

This presentation explores the subject from the viewpoints of several traditions, including Buddhist, Native American, Christian and New Age thought. It delves into the ways gratitude and forgiveness enhance spiritual growth and personal health and happiness and suggests ways to begin to forgive the seemingly unforgivable.

Park is a writer and artist and particularly enjoys writing and teaching about spirituality. She has studied and drawn inspiration from many spiritual traditions but has focused on the study of shamanism and druidry since 2000. Her shamanic teachers have included a Peruvian curandera, a ceremonialist in the Native American tradition, an 11th generation Siberian shaman and an internationally known Peruvian shaman.

For more information on Open Circle, see opencircleajijic.org.

LCS TED talks

Designer Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb, presents “How Airbnb Designs for Trust,” Tuesday, June 19, noon to 1:15 p.m. at the LCS Sala.

Gebbia bet his whole company on the belief that people can trust each other enough to stay in one  another’s homes. How did he overcome the stranger-danger bias? Through good design. Now, 123 million hosted nights (and counting) later, Gebbia sets out his dreams of a culture of sharing which fosters community and connection.

LCS tech help

Every Thursday, tech expert Mike Goss will be available to help with questions and issues with phones, tablets and laptops from noon to 2 p.m. outside the LCS Sala. Members are encouraged to bring their portable devices so that questions can be solved during the sit down.

LCS Spanish

Warren Hardy Spanish Classes begin June 2 and run through August 20. Classes meet two days a week for one hour and a half each session at the Wilkes Education Center. Register at the Blue Umbrella Patio from June 25-30. For more information see www.akechapalasociety.com.

Introduction to Spanish will begin on Tuesday, July 10. Register in the Lake Chapala Society service office.

Meanwhile, continue to learn by joining Exploring Spanish, held every Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Sala. LCS Members only. Free.

Lakeside Freethinkers

Should atheism become politicized? Do atheists share a common political goal beyond church-state separation? Should atheists organize for other purposes, such as to promote critical thinking with regard to religious beliefs? Could doing this backfire and depict atheists unfavorably? These topics will be discussed at the next meeting of the Lakeside Freethinkers Wednesday, June 20, 4-6 p.m. at La Nueva Posada in Ajijic. 

The Lakeside Freethinkers define a “freethinker” as a person who is an atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, or skeptic. Freethinkers reject supernatural and other unsupported claims, and rely instead on reason applied to evidence to guide their lives.

If you would like to attend, or just obtain additional information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lakeside Birders

Friday June 22, the Lakeside Birders will meet 8:30 a.m. at the entrance to Cristiania Park in Chapala. Expect to see an interesting selection of species in the tall trees and on the shore of the lake. At about 10:30 a.m. the group will go to La Palapa de Don Juan for breakfast and complete the bird list.

Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (376) 766-1801. See chapalabirders.org for more information.

LCS bus trip

The Lake Chapala Society hosts a bus trip to Costco and Galerias Mall in Guadalajara, Thursday, June 28. Tickets for either trip are 370 pesos for members and 470 pesos for non-members.

pg14Sign up at the LCS office at least two days before the trip is scheduled. The bus leaves at 9:30 a.m. in front of the sculpture in La Floresta.

Canada Day fiesta

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch will hold a Canada Day celebration Sunday, July 1, noon to 5 p.m. at Funky Finns Bar in San Antonio Tlayacapan. On the menu are BBQ hamburgers, hot dogs, cole slaw, potato salad, corn on the cob and birthday cake. Music is by DJ Phill and Brenda. Therr will be dancing and door prizes. Tickets, 250 pesos, are available until June 27 from O&A O’Rourkes in Central Laguna, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

July 4th shindig

Democrats Abroad is holding another fun-filled U.S. Independence Day celebration, Wednesday, July 4, 4-8 p.m. at the lush gardens of Hotel Villa Montecarlo in Chapala.

The fiesta includes a live show and music by the Jamm Band and a menu of American outdoor specialties: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon and apple pie. A cash bar is available. Come celebrate with your neighbors and friends and make some new ones while you’re there.

Tickets, 300 pesos in advance, 350 pesos at the door, are available at Diane Pearl, Yoli’s Beauty Salon and Hotel Monte Carlo.

More July 4th

American Legion Post 7 Chapala will celebrate the July 4 holiday at the post with a picnic and live music by Sol y Luna. The event begins 1 p.m.

On the bill of fare are fried chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad and ice cream.  Tickets, 200 pesos are available at the post and generally sell out early.


The Heart of Awareness Insight Meditation Community offers multiple opportunities each week for silent meditation, Monday at 9 a.m., Wednesday at 4 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m. All sessions are open to the public regardless of experience or affiliation, and chairs and cushions are provided. There are brief written instructions on meditation for beginners.

Wednesday, June 20, the meditation period will be followed by a video talk by Stephen Batchelor, contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. This week’s talk in the series called “Buddhism for This One and Only Life” is titled “Letting Go of Self as a Path to Freedom.”

A yoga class is offered at The Heart of Awareness on Thursdays at 9 a.m. These gentle and relaxing yoga practice sessions are taught by Latika. Some mats and blocks are provided but participants are invited to bring their own mat and water bottle.  The class is one hour and 45 minutes.

The meditation center is located at Guadalupe Victoria 101, Ajijic. For more information, see heartofawareness.org.

Fitness walks

A walk for fitness will take place on the LCS gazebo every Wednesday, 10-11 a.m. through September 26. This activity will follow Leslie Sansone’s “Walk at Home” program – an activity endorsed by the American Heart Association. Contact Lisa O’Dell for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


One-hour yoga classes by certified instructor Delia, featuring both chair and mat techniques, are held Wednesdays, 9 a.m. at American Legion Post 7 in Chapala. To sign up, or for more information, call 331-222-0438.

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