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The fine art of giving back

Philanthropy is a quality that has long been a golden thread woven into the fabric of the Lake Chapala area’s expatriate community.

pg16aLending a helping hand to those in need is an admirable way for foreign settlers to manifest gratitude to their gracious Mexican neighbor hosts.

The trend is commonly traced back to the late Neill James who launched the Biblioteca Pública and free art workshops for local children, took budding artists under her wing and promoted embroidery and seamstress work opportunities for village women. But many other expats of yesteryear were likewise involved in charitable activities.

A number of altruistic organizations have emerged over the years. The Niños de Chapala and Ajijic education assistance programs, Niños Incapacitados, Casa de Ancianos, Jocotepec’s former School for the Deaf converted into the Escuela para Niños Especiales were founded by expats decades ago and continue operating to this day.

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