Upon moving to Lakeside over a decade ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find many opportunities to participate in the various activities which existed here. The Lake Chapala Society was a good place to start, and we soon became members. LCS had the mandate of helping both the expat and Mexican communities.
Being a knitter, I soon became involved with the Needle Pushers group, which provides free benefits to young Mexican children by knitting and distributing every year sweaters in November, and making for distribution dresses and vests just prior to Easter. LCS has recognized the importance of the Needle Pushers’ work by allowing them to use the South Campus house every Tuesday morning, and to store their materials at that location. The Needle Pushers are the oldest Mexican program operating within LCS.
The currently active 25 members of Needle Pushers were shocked to receive a notice stating that the LCS board had approved the use, without consultation, of the South Campus for all day on Tuesday, March 3 by a U.S. political activist group. The members, besides being upset, believe that the LCS has no right to favor any foreign political group over the work under a Mexican program, and has so advised the LCS board. To date, consultations and negotiations have failed to resolve this difference of opinion. It seems that the LCS has made a financial gain by their decision. (The Needle Pushers receive no financial support from LCS.)
Sadly the LCS will incur a financial loss. We as individuals will not continue to be members of the LCS.
Wendy and Lorne
The surprising news that the Jalisco government has decided to close Ajijic’s auditorium, the Auditorio de la Ribera, for major renovations in March was important enough to be on the front page of The Reporter. Then why was there no explanation for the need to do this and deprive the community of this essential venue for cultural events for an indefinite period?
The Guadalajara Reporter and its readers deserve answers to these questions:
How was the decision made to close the Ajijic auditorium so that it can be converted into a “regional hub for cultural and tourism activities ?” Which local officials were consulted and approved of this project, giving the go ahead to shut down the auditorium?
How much will this new center cost and where will these funds come from?
Will major upgrades to the auditorium, largely financed by the community, such as new seating, air conditioning and the sound system be saved for the new facility or will they be lost?
Last week there was a public demonstration in Guadalajara calling for the resignation of the Secretary of Culture Giovana Jasperson because of the harm she is causing to major cultural entities of Jalisco.
If Governor Alfaro removes her will the decision to shut down Ajijic’s auditorium be rescinded? Let’s hope so.
In the meantime, all those who do not wish to see Ajijic’s auditorium closed and performances either canceled or moved to smaller venues, need to make their concerns known.
Barbara Hildt, Ajijic
As far as we know “local officials” were not consulted, but – as reported in this newspaper – Secretary Jaspersen held a meeting with local representatives of all forms of artistic expression October 30 at the Auditorio, at which she presented the state government’s plans to decentralize the cultural ministry’s operations to five regions spread around the state. About 90 people of diverse nationalities were in attendance, and at the end of her 60-minute presentation she opened up the floor to a free dialogue, which lasted for about three hours. We have, so far, been unable to obtain an answer as to the future of the recent upgrades to the auditorium, but will continue to follow the matter.