Last updateSat, 22 Jun 2019 1pm

Laguna Chapalac - December 22, 2018

Open Circle

John Wells will present “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” at the next meeting of Open Circle, Sunday, December 23, 10:30 a.m., on the patio of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS).

Diamonds and other precious gemstones have fascinated people all over the world for millennia as evidence of wealth and power, as well as for personal decoration. Kings and queens have studded their crowns and other regalia with these glittering rocks to signify their importance.

pg16aWells will explain the origin of diamonds and other prized gemstones, including rubies, amethysts, sapphires and emeralds, as well as some “newer” stones such as those produced following the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. He will talk about their chemistry and mineralogy, where they are found and how they are mined and produced. As a holiday bonus, he will also provide some history and stories with a seasonal flavor.

John Wells has worked in the mining industry for 50 years and will share his experience and fascination with the exploration and production of precious metals and gemstones. 

Information: opencircleajijic.org.

LCS bus trips

The Lake Chapala Society (LCS) offers a bus trip to Tlaquepaque and the 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.

Lake Chapala Birders

Friday, December 28, the Lake Chapala Birders will carpool, 8 a.m. at Donas Donuts in Ajijic, leaving immediately for Villa Corona (a 60-minute drive). 

Expect to see various shore birds such as white-faced ibis, roseate spoonbill and snow goose. Bring your own mid-morning refreshments for a break around 11 a.m. The group will be back in Ajijic by about 1.30 p.m.

Anyone interested in birding is invited. If you plan on going, email John  Keeling at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least 48 hours ahead of time, letting him know if you will bring a vehicle for carpool planning.

pg16bTED Talks

Ted Talks will be on hold during the holidays and restart Tuesday, January 8.

LCS courses on Mexico

The Lake Chapala Society offers its members a variety of courses to learn about the history and flavors of Mexico in January. Sign up at the LCS office.

A course on Dia de Reyes (Three King’s Day) is Monday, January 7, 10 a.m. to noon; Mexico Hot Cocktails and how they are made is Tuesday, January 8, 2 to 4 p.m.; Coming Home, with Judy King, runs from January 9 to February 13, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Children of Corn is January 9 to 24, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; Understanding Mexican Law with Maria de las Nieves Sobles is January 11 to February 8, Fridays, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Mexican Winter Fruits, January 18, 10 a.m. to noon; Mexican Chilis and Salsas with Ana Moreno, January 22, 1 to 3 p.m.

Spanish at LCS

Sign up now for the seven-week Warren Hardy Spanish classes January 7 to February 25. Introduction to Spanish is a three-week class taking place on Tuesdays, beginning January 8. Mexican Street Spanish with Alfredo Perez, January 14, 10 a.m. to noon. (An intermediate Spanish level is needed for this class.) These classes are open only to Lake Chapala Society members. Find out about dates, times and costs at the LCS office.

Tarahumara Project

Libby Townsend continues to collect donations for her Tarahumara Project’s annual yard sale coming up in January. (Date to be announced soon.)

Donations can be dropped off at the Guadalajara Reporter office at Plaza Bugambilias in Ajijic, or one can arrange to have items picked up. Call (376) 766-3338 or email Townsend 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..

Townsend, who makes the trek north to the Copper Canyon with donations each year, says there’s so much more to the Tarahumara people than their well-known crafts. .

“They truly believe that it is up to them to keep the world alive through their rituals and beliefs. Unfortunately, what’s happening to them is what happened to the Plains Indians of North America,” she says.

Because the Tarahumara are indigenous and born in caves, they don’t have birth certificates nor addresses. Therefore, they can’t register to vote, so they don’t really exist. This means that others can take advantage of them.

“They sell their baskets to the tourists for next to nothing,” says Townsend. “We want to show them how their work is not only beautiful, but valuable and worth more than what they’re asking for it.”

Another admirable trait of the Tarahumara people is that they believe it is a sin to keep something for themselves when someone else needs it, Townsend says. “If we were to give them 100 pounds of beans, they would take only what they need for that day and give the rest to the other villagers. Their strength comes from sharing with one another.”

Creative writing


Fred Aceves will give a one-day creative writing workshop Saturday, January 12 in the Chapala area. Aceves’ debut novel published by Harper Collins, “The Closest I’ve Come,” was a 2017 Kirkus Best Book.

This workshop will focus on structure, characterization, description, dialogue, point of view and voice.

Information: 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..


The Culinary Arts Society of Ajijic held its holiday meeting December 17 at the Hotel Montecarlo in Chapala. Members presented an array of dishes in two categories: holiday party botanas and holiday desserts.

Taking first place in the botanas category was Carol Van Gorp for a chutney cheese pie. She also took the People’s Choice award. Second place and presentation awards went to Charlotte Donaldon for a sun-dried tomato and pesto terrine and Tracy Reuter won third place for a blue cheesecake.

In the dessert category, Paco Rincon Camara won first place, presentation and the people’s choice awards with her double chocolate and Irish cream pistachio cake. Geanie Tilley came in second with a mini cranberry orange white chocolate cheesecakes with pretzel crust. Third place went to Robbin Del Nagro Moore for her orange sponge cake trifle.

A hot main dish was served to members by the hotel.

The next meeting is Monday, January 21 at the Montecarlo. Categories for presentation are soups and stews and sweet/savory muffins. Information: ajijiccasa.org.

Burns Supper

Niños Incapacitados will hold its usually sold-out Robbie Burns Supper benefit Friday, January 25, 2019 at the Hotel Real de Chapala.

A celebration of Scotland’s most famous bard, the event includes cocktails and dancing in the patio area and dinner in the Eucalyptus room. Tributes, toasts and singing, kilt-wearing bagpipers and Scottish country dancing precede a new dinner menu, plus a bit of the haggis and a wee dram of scotch. For tickets contact Jerry Croucher at (376) 766-2036 or 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..

Insight Meditation

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.

Registration is now open for a residential retreat with visiting dharma teacher, DaeJa Napier, February 15 to 18. Information: heartofawareness.org.

Wednesday, December 26, 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.

The meditation center is at Guadalupe Victoria 101, Ajijic.  Information: heartofawareness.org.

Bikers deliver toys for tots



The t-shirt of Canadian transplant Larry Woolley (top) sums up the spirit of Los Güeros Motorcycle Club’s yearly Toys for Tots program held in conjunction with the Lake Chapala Chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion and American Legion Post 7 Chapala. These organizations joined forces this year with the Guadalajara-based Nacion Azteca Motorcycle Association to hand out toys to 350 children in the Tepehua area of Chapala on December 16.

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