US football classic
The 119th annual Army/Navy football game will be shown Saturday, December 8, at American Legion Post 7 Chapala.
The party starts 1:30 p.m. and kickoff is 2 p.m. Tacos available 3 to 5 p.m. A football pot and raffle for a liquor gift basket are slated. Bring botanas to enjoy during the game if you wish. Address: Morelos 114, Chapala.
Jim Cook presents “How the Virgin of Guadalupe Became One of the Most Important Religious, Cultural, and Political Symbols of Mexico” at the next meeting of Open Circle, Sunday, December 9, 10:30 a.m., on the patio of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS).
The fiesta for the Virgen de Guadalupe is held yearly on December 12. Since the Spanish Conquest, this incarnation of the Virgin Mary has been a powerful symbol, particularly for Mexico’s poor and indigenous. She is found everywhere from cathedrals in her name to humble shrines beside remote mountain trails. Cook will explain her origin as a complex mixture of paganism and Christianity. He will show how she was used during the Spiritual Conquest of New Spain to overcome native resistance and then centuries later was the rallying symbol of the insurgents during the Mexican War of Independence.
During his 11 years living full-time in Mexico, Cook and his wife Carole have traveled all over the country, absorbing its history and culture, extensively photographing the fiesta of Guadalupe. Cook has published many of these photos in his blog, “Jim and Carole’s Mexico Adventure,” and has written about the Virgin of Guadalupe’s importance to Mexican culture and politics. Some of his photos have appeared in “La Llave de Guadalupe,” a book about the Virgin of Guadalupe by Mexican historian Arturo Rocha.
The Lake Chapala Chapter of Democrats Abroad holds their annual holiday party Monday, December 10, 4 p.m. at La Bodega Restaurant, 16 de Septiembre, Ajijic.
A Mexican buffet with a choice of vegetarian or chicken fajitas, great music and cash bar are slated. No program, just holiday cheer! Members, visitors and those curious to know more about the organization’s activities in Mexico and stateside are invited, but only 100 tickets will be sold.
The 300-peso ticket will include a welcome tequila shot, the buffet, Christmas/Chanukah music and a chance to participate in both a White Elephant Gift Exchange and Toys for Tots collection.
For the White Elephant Gift Exchange, participants should bring something to swap – a never-used gift that just “wasn’t you” but great for someone else, or something nice or comical that you no longer need but has a value between 250-500 pesos max. Participants can keep the gift they choose at the party or swap with another participant for theirs. It can be a lot of fun and laughs.
Members and visitors will also be able to contribute to a “Toys for Tots” collection. Democrats Abroad is working with the Los Gueros Motorcycle Club, the American Legion Post 7 and the Royal Canadian Legion in Chapala to provide toys and holiday meals to more than 350 very poor children in the Tepehua region of Chapala. Toys or cash donations will be very appreciated. All donated items will be given to the children Sunday, December 16.
Members who want to take part in delivering the toys can meet at the American Legion in Chapala on that day, 10:30 a.m. and join the parade, complete with fire trucks, motorcycles and vans. Those wishing to donate to the collection should bring to the party a wrapped, new toy for a child (cost between 100-150 pesos max). Mark on your gift to give to a boy or girl and age for recipient (newborn to 10 years old).
Lake Chapala Birders
Monday, December 10, the Lake Chapala Birders will walk the one-mile long Allen Lloyd Trail, which has lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. The group meets at 8.30 a.m. at the trail head.
Expect to see stripe-headed sparrow, tropical kingbird and groove-billed ani. The group will head to Cafe Negro restaurant at about 10:15 a.m. for breakfast and to complete the bird list.
How to get there: Drive up the Libramiento a half mile from the traffic light at Walmart, and park on the north side of the road across from the two condominium towers.
Lake Chapala Birders will hold its annual Ajijic area Christmas Bird Count Monday, December 17, 8 a.m.. Several teams of five people, each with a leader and an assigned territory, will spend a day of intensive birding before joining in a dinner celebration, 6 p.m., when they share details of each team’s adventures.
The second Lake Chapala Christmas Bird count is Wednesday, December 19 and is at La Cienega (marsh) about 80 kilometers east of Ajijic. Two teams are assigned different parts of the dike across the lake. The teams leave Ajijic around 8 a.m. and meet for a sandwich lunch on the shore of the Lerma River.
Anyone interested in birding is invited to either or both events. Registration takes place, Saturday, December 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the home of Birders’ leader John Keeling, Condominium Villas del Tepalo, Callejon al Tepalos 140, Villa 46. Or call Keeling, (376) 766-1801 to arrange an alternate registration time.
Frans de Waal presents “Moral behavior in animals” at the next TED Talk, Tuesday, December 11, noon to 1:30 p.m.
What happens when two monkeys are paid unequally? Fairness, reciprocity, empathy, cooperation – caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But De Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.
Hosted by Ron Mullenaux. LCS members only.
LCS Mexico courses
The Lake Chapala Society offers the following classes to its members: Revolutionary women in modern Mexican history, December 10, 12 and 13 and Negotiating Paradise, December 10, 12 and 13.
Sign up and check course details, times and the cost for each course at the LCS.
LCS bus trips
The Lake Chapala Society offers bus trips to various metro area locations throughout the month: Tonala, Tuesday, December 11; Galerias Mall/Costco, Monday, December 17; Tlaquepaque Forum Mall/Home Depot, Thursday, December 27.
Check the LCS office or website to sign up and to learn the departure times and cost of the trips for members and non-members.
The Canadian Club of Lake Chapala holds its Christmas gathering, Wednesday, December 12, 3 p.m. at La Nueva Posada. The event is pot luck and members and guests should bring enough finger food to share with at least ten people. DJ Phil will play Christmas music. Everyone is welcome.
Cruz Roja paella feast
The Cruz Roja will hold a paella benefit dinner at Hotel Montecarlo, Thursday, December 13, 5:30 p.m. The menu consists of salad, paella and a variety of desserts. Ricardo and Blanca will provide the entertainment.
Tickets, 300 pesos, are available at Estetica Yoly’s, Diane Pearl and the Chapala Cruz Roja clinic. Information: Yoli, (376) 766-2260.
Sanitation workers benefit
An outdoor screening of the 1950s-era Christmas classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be presented on the Ajijic Plaza in front of the Ajijic Cultural Center, Thursday, December 13, 5:50 p.m. as a fundraiser to make Christmas a little brighter for Ajijic’s sanitation workers.
The late Todd “Rocky” Karns appears in the film as Harry, the brother of the starring character George Bailey played by Jimmy Stewart. Karns lived in Ajijic from 1971 until his death in 2000, devoting his retirement years to painting and to acting, directing and producing shows at Lakeside Little Theatre.
Manix Restaurant will serve up sweet churros, buñuelos, tamales, hot chocolate, cinnamon tea, Mexican ponche, atole and popcorn.
The cost of the film and the treats is 300 pesos. Santa will be there for selfies. A Christmas food drive table for the workers will be set up if you would like to drop off holiday candies, cakes, canned goods, etc. Admission bracelets are available at Manix Restaurant and the Guadalajara Reporter office in Plaza Bugambilias.
The funds raised will be used exclusively for the cost of the event and the Sanitation Department Christmas gifts.
Progressive Action Group
The Progressive Action Group will hold their annual Christmas get-together Tuesday, December 18, to discuss plans and actions for 2019.
Spanish at LCS
Sign up now for the seven-week Warren Hardy Spanish classes in January and February. Open only to Lake Chapala Society members.
The Heart of Awareness Insight Meditation Community offers multiple opportunities each week for silent meditation. All sessions are open to the public regardless of experience or affiliation.
Wednesday, December 12, the meditation period will be followed by a video teaching by meditation teacher and coach Anushka Fernandopulle. She explores how dharma practice can help us awaken to the ways we manifest as leaders in the world, developing the values of compassion, integrity, and wisdom. Even if we don’t think we are leaders, it’s likely we assume leadership roles we wouldn’t have defined as such within our families, communities, and daily life. A discussion period follows the video.
A yoga class is offered Thursdays from 9 to 10:45 a.m.
The meditation center is at Guadalupe Victoria 101, Ajijic. Information: heartofawareness.org.