I wish to respond to Dale Palfreys’ column supporting the very loud banda concerts at the Lienzo Charro in Ajijic.
I speak Spanish and have spoken with many of my Mexican neighbors in the vicinity of the bullring, as well as formerly very loud nearby bars whose noise problems have been ameliorated due to neighbor complaints.
In fact, there are many Mexicans who live near these extremely noisy venues who are very unhappy with the noise of fiestas and the noisy bars which run all year around. They are the ones who have to get up early every day to go to work or school and are tired from working all day long and would like to be able to relax and sleep in the privacy of their own homes. But they have been unaware of any recourse available to them, and have been afraid to complain in the past for fear of retribution or simple lack of faith that it will do any good.
The noise levels have been slowly increasing every year. As a former music business professional with 20 years of experience performing with amplified sound, I can tell you the underlying reason for the noise is the lack of technical savvy in operating the amplified sound equipment, which is a professional skill in the United States, where this technology was invented and developed around 90 years ago.
The determining factors for setting a volume level are the overall acoustics of the “room” and the size of the actual audience present. Most bars hold under 100 people. The Lienzo Charro can probably hold a maximum of 2,000 people. But in both types of venues, I have heard volume levels blasted into my house consistent with performances in a major stadium with 50,000 people in attendance. The sound travels for many blocks in a radius and is extremely irritating to those who live nearby. Earplugs and headphones are not a viable solution for most Mexicans.
The Semanariolaguna – a Spanish weekly of local lakeside news – recently reported diminishing contributions to the fiestas. My maid confirmed that some want to contribute but can’t and others simply don’t want to contribute to the noise anymore. I pointed out to her that the very oversized sound systems used locally are very expensive. She remembered how the fiesta bandas used to play on the kioskos without amps, or only for the singers. So, two problems could be solved by returning to this true fiesta tradition. Far less money would be needed, and the noise problem would be solved.
I would like to congratulate and endorse Dale Palfrey’s Laguna Chapalac article in the issue of November 23-29. I think that she is absolutely correct, right down to her not-so politically correct instruction. I love the local culture and even though our dog did not like the cohetes at first, he has gotten used to them.
Maybe the visitors should hear this kind of sentiment more often. I once had to confront a visitor in a bank because he was creating a scene about how long it was taking in line – just way too long, he complained. I told him that same thing. “You came to this country and its customs. If you don’t like them you can go back to wherever you came from.”
George del Castillo
It has come to our attention there are people who are selling vehicles to foreigners with out-of-state license plates, and not disclosing the risks involved. With that in mind, we’ve decided to write this letter in order to warn those who think there is an advantage in this. Clearly there is not.
There are many requirements for foreigners to register a vehicle in Jalisco, and two of the most important are to have Mexican permanente or temporal residency papers (Jalisco will not accept a tourist visa), and a current proof of address in the buyer’s name (i.e. Telmex, CFE, Telcel, Mexican bank statement.)
Even without the required documents, some have found a way to register their vehicles with plates from other states (such as Mexico City) but this is not legitimate if you are a resident of Jalisco, and could create complications in the future (caveat emptor).
To be legal – much like the laws in the United States and Canada – you are required to register your vehicle in the state where you live (place of residence). By registering a vehicle in another state, there can be consequences that should be considered:
• Depending on the state, this can reduce the value of your vehicle substantially;
• It can be an issue for any insurance claims or cancelations, when the registration does not match the owner’s address;
• Logically, one should have a driver’s license from the state the vehicle is registered in (this can be an issue with the transit police and insurance);
• It will be harder to sell the vehicle in the future to someone in Jalisco, because the vehicle will have to go through a costly, timely and daunting verification and validation process through Jalisco’s Secretaría de Planeación, Administración y Finanzas (SEPAF). This is done by appointment at one of two locations in metro-area Guadalajara (Tonala or Tesistan).
We’ve been selling cars here at Lakeside since 1995, and have been doing it legally for all those years. Our goal is not only to educate the client in making the right decision on their purchase, but more importantly to ensure proper documentation in order to protect them from any future ramifications with their vehicles.
Our strong advice is be careful with the course of action you take today; trying to cut corners and save money now will cost you more down the road.
Another Mexican friend told me she could hear the fiesta noise from the Ajijic plaza in San Antonio! I confirmed with her that this was not on the night of the Lienzo “concert.” Half the people of Ajijic live in between the Lienzo Charro and the Plaza and many have to endure simultaneous noise from both venues.
Sadly, and evidently due to budget concerns, the Ajijic fiesta is now starting out in the evenings with annoying electronic noise and a maniacally screaming “announcer” who also screams over the bandas in a nonstop torrent of words. And volume levels go up and down as if small children were running the sound board. I hear all this in my house five blocks away.
I support the true traditions of the pueblo. I do not support anyone suffering because of the noise.
Michelle Wilson, Ajijic