Lakeside Living – May 2017


Sandy Olson
Phone: 331-283-8529


May 2017




Viva la Musica is presenting a nice array of musical productions this spring. Here is what’s going on in May. It’s important to get tickets soon.

Jalisco Philharmonic

Friday May 12 Sibelius Violin Concerto with Liza Ferschtman, violin. This is part of the May Festival. (Bus leaves at 6:30 pm). Tickets are 600 pesos for members and 700 pesos for nonmembers.


Saturday May 13 Der Rosencavalier by Richard Strauss, with Renee Fleming and Elina Garenca in a new production. (Bus leaves at 10:30 am).


Soprano Renee Fleming


The cost for members is 450 pesos and 550 for non-members.


Friday May 21 The Hunchback of Notre Dame by the Ballet de Jalisco. This will be an open air performance inside the historic Cabañas Cultural Center in downtown Guadalajara. (Bus leaves at 6:30 pm). Tickets are 600 pesos for members and 700 pesos for nonmembers.

Bus trip tickets are available at the LCS ticket booth on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 am to noon.  Note: tickets for bus trips should be purchased at least a week in advance as Viva needs to purchase the theater tickets a week ahead of the performance.

And Later This Year…

Viva is planning to offer a “Summer in the Village” Series, priced at 300 pesos per concert, or 800 pesos for the package of three events. Details will be announced later.


Sunday morning finds many Lakeside residents at the Lake Chapala Society and Open Circle, a forum on a variety of stimulating topics. A social hour with coffee and snacks at 10:00 a.m. is followed by an interesting lecture and discussion at 10:30.

May Local Government’s Efforts to Protect and Sustain Lake Chapala

Presented by Cara Pratt, United States Peace Corps Response Volunteer

Have you ever wondered what local Mexican government entities are doing to protect our natural environment in the Lake Chapala region? Learn about aquatic weed management, environmental education, efforts to combat and adapt to climate change, and the creation of natural protected areas surrounding Lake Chapala,

Cara Pratt grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After graduating with degrees in Environmental Policy and International Relations from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she joined the United States Peace Corps in rural Paraguay working in grassroots environmental conservation. Cara spent four years promoting reforestation in Paraguay, and now joins us as a United States Peace Corps Response Volunteer working in natural resources management with AIPROMADES (Inter-municipal Association for the Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development of Lake Chapala) in Chapala.

May 14 Memories of a Madwoman

Presented by Susan Weeks

Some of us have been blessed with loving mothers who nurtured and supported us throughout our lives. Others of us have not been so fortunate. Yet we can all celebrate Mother’s Day in our own unique way. Susan Weeks shares her personal experience and offers insights into what makes this day so special. No matter the circumstances of our backgrounds, we have been given the gift of life and for that, we can truly be thankful. 

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Susan Weeks has led a nomadic life (Mexico is her eighth country of residence), with numerous professions, including administrator, editor, international tour director and spiritual leader, and has had varied scholastic interests. Susan is a Licensed Unity Teacher, and is pursuing ordination as an Inter-Faith minister.

May 21  Clarifying Cross-Cultural Conundrums

Presented by Dr. Linda Sonna

Psychologist and author Dr. Linda Sonna will discuss the differences in Mexican and North-of-the-Border world views, values, attitudes, beliefs, and customs that commonly confound intercultural encounters. 

Dr. Sonna served as professor of multicultural counseling at Canada’s Yorkville University for ten years and was a nationally self-syndicated columnist. She authored ten parenting books and recently released a memoir of her mother’s years in Mexico entitled Tortilla & Peanut Butter: True Confessions of an American Mom Turned Smuggler. Dr. Sonna immigrated to Mexico in 2005, where she lived in San Miguel de Allende until moving to Lakeside this month.

May 28  Celtic Faery Lore  

Presented by Gale Park


Gale Park


Gale will explore Celtic legends and lore about the faery folk through storytelling and testimonials. These faeries are not Disney confections with tiny wings and glitter wands. They are powerful beings of the natural world who in the Celtic lands were highly respected and even feared. Belief in faeries’ existence is not required to enjoy learning about the folklore surrounding them.

Gale Park is a writer, artist, and mystic who has explored and practiced various forms of spirituality from an early age. Since 2000, she has studied shamanism and druidry, with a special focus on ancient Celtic traditions. She recently returned to Mexico after living in an off-grid cottage in the mountains of East Tennessee. She is working on a book about the wheel of time and the seasons, which is basically a Celtic version of a Native American medicine wheel.

June 4 Opera Ad Libitum:  Opera as You Like It

Presenter: Ad Líbitum Compañía de Ópera de Guadalajara

Returning to Open Circle by popular demand: María de Jesús Cárdenas (soprano); Teresa Banderas (mezzosoprano); José Luís Villarruel (tenor); and Ricardo Lavín (baritone). These vocalists are at the top of their careers, have performed at prestigious venues with major orchestras throughout Mexico, and have sung a wide variety of roles and won numerous awards. Their program for us will include arias from the operatic works of Mozart, Bizet, Bellini, and Rossini. They will be accompanied by Juan Pablo Piano on piano.


Some of us had the privilege of hearing Michael Hogan, writer, historian and university professor, speak at Open Circle about his newest book, Lincoln and Mexico.

Michael has since written a play, Lincoln and Mexico: The Untold Story, which was produced recently in Guadalajara to rave reviews. Now the play is coming to Lakeside on May 19 and 20 at 7:30 pm. It will be shown at the Lakeside Little Theatre.  You will not want to miss this one.

Synopsis: The play recounts the story, discovered by a history teacher, of how Mary Todd Lincoln helped the Mexican envoy eliminate the French from North America.

The play has two storylines: the main one is the history of the United States and Mexico from 1863-1867; the second, set in modern times, is that of the students and their history teacher, Mr. North, at a small school in Guadalajara.

Call LLT at 376.766.0954, or email for reservations and tickets. The last word is that tickets are 100 pesos.


On May 11, at 7 pm, Mauricio Allera Malo, a student from the Department of Music at the University of Guadalajara, will perform at the Old Train Station in Chapala. 

The program starts with a Bach Prelude and Fugue. Following is Sonata Number Ten by Mozart. Jumping ahead in history, Allera will play Chopin’s Etudes Nos. 1 and 5, Opus 25 and Ballade No. 3. The program will continue with two Debussy Preludes. At the end he will perform The Suite Cubana, composed by Manuel M. Ponce, “The Pride of Mexico.”

Then, on May 27 at 7 pm The Tapatío Guitar Quartet, “Guitarreto,” will present a selection of Latin American pieces from their album “Eurolatino.” Tickets are 100 pesos and are available at the door.




John Stokdijk founded the Ajijic Book Club last year and has developed a sizeable core membership. The group reads nonfiction. Some of the past guest presenters have been local writers: David Bryen, Libby Coulterjohn, Jack Prins, Connie Davis and Gary Fish.

John says, “In my fifties I began looking forward to retirement, knowing that it would afford me more time to read. But my anticipation soon returned into frustration. Yes, I have more time to read, but I also have more time to discover books that I would like to read. My Amazon wish list is growing at a rate far beyond my capacity to read.”


John Stokdijk


ABC welcomes new members and currently has several book selection opportunities available. For more information on membership, open to all, contact John at


Going from the flower power of 1977 to new blooms in 2017, the Lake Chapala Garden Club has just celebrated its 40th anniversary and appointed a new board of directors.

Judie Keck, 2017 president, says, “Lakeside has changed dramatically since the late seventies. To mark this new flowering, we have attracted key speakers, including leading academic Professor David Truly. His forty year academic study is an eye opener on the way we are now and how we got here today.”

Another speaker will be leading hotelier Michael Eager, of La Nueva Posada Hotel, with anecdotes about changing times in tourism. Other speakers with gardening themes will be celebrated garden specialist Francisco Nava and irrigation expert Antonio Ricalde.

The club has also commissioned a poem by poet, author and Ajijic resident John Dodds. John’s portfolio includes nine published books of poetry over the last 50 years.  His debut presentation is planned for the celebration lunch on July 19 at the San Remy restaurant in Ajijic.

The Garden Club promotes an interest, appreciation and better understanding of botanical subjects, including but not limited to all plant materials, their care and use in the home and garden.

The meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month. Contact them if you would like to join one of the meetings as a guest. There is a garden tour before the meeting, followed by lunch, a raffle and a speaker. For inquires, check the website:


Top, left to right: Nancy Miendo, Secretary, Karen Calderon, Tours, Karen Rowell Treasurer, Judie Keck, President. Front row, left to right: Barbara Baker, Raffles, Tracy Reuter, Vice President, Rosemary Grayson, Public Relations, Sandy Feldmann, Speakers.



Lakeside Little Theatre has announced its offerings for the 2017-18 season. Look for further announcements. Season tickets will be available in September.




The Naked Stage play for May is Chapatti  and is directed by Rosann Balbontin. It runs May 26, 27 and 28. 

It’s a dog—it’s an Indian pancake—it’s Chapatti, an earnest, compassionate look at loneliness and our universal need for companionship, whether in the form of pets or other people.

The play speaks to everyone, but especially to the heartache and seclusion often felt by older men and women. This tender story is about two people who learn how to love.

Dan is a longtime bachelor whose only companion is Chapatti, named for his master’s fondness for Indian flatbread. Shedding the dog is at the top of Dan’s mind, part of a process of jettisoning everything that still tethers him to existence in his twilight years.

But when he and Betty run into each other at the veterinarian’s office, and then later in their neighborhood after a rather involved (and somewhat forced) series of events, she resolves to draw him back into life–both his own and hers.

Naked Stage is in Riberas del Pilar, at Hidalgo #261, on the mountain side and directly across from the Catholic Church. Reservations are recommended. The new suggested donation is 100 pesos.

For more information and reservations, email For those who use Facebook, look for The Naked Stage for breaking news and updates.


Left to right: Rich Petersen, Liz White, Mary Hunt, Fred Koesling



CASA members celebrated in style at their Annual Awards Banquet at La Mision Restaurant with a private catered and cooked to perfection dinner for 39 guests on March 27, to honor their winners throughout 2016 and to celebrate the end of their 30th year.


The top three winners were from left, Monica Molloy, Michele Lococo and Judith Greenberg.



The Veggie Growers Club has been meeting for three and a half years. They meet at Huerta Organic Café, Hildago #212 in Riberas del Pilar on the second Monday of the month at 10 am, unless members are notified by email that they are meeting at a member’s house.

Members discuss problems with growing vegetables at Lakeside, local pests and how to treat them, composting and all matters related to growing vegetables. Sometimes guest speakers give presentations. Members also share seeds and starter plants.

The next meeting is Wednesday, April 12 at 10 am. For more information call John at 766.0620.


Founder John McWilliams


To be sure, the 16th Annual Feria Maestros del Arte doesn’t happen until the weekend of November 10-12, but it’s not too early to consider getting involved.

We’re told that this is “the most incredible folk and indigenous art show in Mexico. Buyers and collectors come to the Feria to purchase the highest quality Mexican art at the best prices available.”

Check Face Book to learn more and sign up to volunteer for this important event.


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For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

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