Lakeside Living – December 2018


Sandy Olson
Phone: 331-283-8529

December 2018


The Lake Chapala Chorale, under new director Denning Chambers, will present its third annual holiday program in December.
Performances of some of your favorite music will take place at the Ajijic Cultural Center on December 8 at 4 pm,  and at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Riberas del Pilar on December 15 at 4 pm.  The suggested donation for these performances is 100 pesos.
The Chorale’s third  annual holiday dinner show will be on December 23 at Casa Linda Restaurant at Rio Bravo #7 in West Ajijic. Cocktails from the cash bar will be served at 4 pm and at 5 pm the Chorale will present a rendition of holiday songs.  Dinner will be served at 6 pm. Tickets for the dinner show, $350 pesos, are available at Diane Pearl Colecciones. 

The Bravo! Theatre is moving to 441 Hidalgo in Riberas del Pilar and is presenting “Chords & Quills,” a fundraising show to help with expenses for the new building.
Join in on this nice day with a concert of art songs, and a reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine.

Performers are Judy Roberts, voice; Daniel Medeles, violin, and Timothy G. Ruff Welch, piano.
The event is on Sunday, December 9 at 3 pm at St. Angrew’s Anglican Church in Riberas del Pilar. Tickets at $700 are available at Diane Pearl Colecciones, Mia’s Boutique, or by reserving via return email at
Sunday morning finds 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 am is followed by an interesting lecture and discussion at 10:30.
December 9
How the Virgin of Guadalupe Became One of the Most Important Religious, Cultural, and Political Symbols of Mexico
Presented by Jim Cook
The Fiesta for the Virgin of Guadalupe is held yearly on December 12. Since the Spanish Conquest, this incarnation of the Virgin Mary has been a powerful symbol, particularly for Mexico’s poor and indigenous. She is found everywhere from cathedrals in her name to humble shrines beside remote mountain trails. Jim will explain her origin as a complex mixture of paganism and Christianity. He will show how she was used during the Spiritual Conquest of New Spain to overcome native resistance and then centuries later was the rallying symbol of the insurgents during the Mexican War of Independence.
December 16  Making Peace
Presented by the San Juan Children’s Choir [Música Para Crecer A.C.]
After almost five years of studying, practicing, rehearsing, performing, being happy with their Music School at San Juan Cosala, the children and some parent-musicians and guests will present their annual holiday show, “Making Peace.”
Says  Director Coco Wonchee, “We look forward to our annual appearance with our good friends at Open Circle, where we are loved and feel more than welcome, where we feel accepted, valued, respected, appreciated, sometimes more than in our own community. We are happy, excited, and grateful whenever we play for the wonderful Open Circle.”
December 23
 Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Presented by John Wells
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.
John 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.
December 30
The High Cost of Doing Nothing
Presented by David Pisarra
Doing nothing, Killing time, Chilling out. It all sounds so relaxing, but it comes with a price.  Each week we can take small steps to accomplish our goals. In this inspirational speech the lesson of regular progress is reinforced.
David Pisarra is an international speaker who travels the world to motivate the meek, inspire  the idle and empower the fearful.
January 6  The Purpose of Life
Presented by Susan Weeks
Too often we become so caught up in the activities and dramas of daily life that we lose sight of what is truly important. Let’s move beyond the often token “New Year’s Resolutions” to the broader perspective of the true meaning of life. There is no better way to begin a New Year than to examine our core values and to, perhaps, realign our personal belief system. With wisdom and playfulness, Susan invites us to explore the realm of possibility in creating a vision of life filled with wonderment, joy, love and compassion. 
Something of a visionary, Susan has been an explorer of spirituality for decades and, more recently, the Spiritual Leader of Unity on Cape Cod. Having lived on four continents, her broad life experience has provided her a unique and optimistic world view. 
Artist and writer Janice Kimball has been a part of lakesides art community for over twenty years. She and weaver Francisco Urzua are collaborators on creating their original and custom wall art at Aztec Weaving Studios. This season the gallery has been completely remodeled with a new contemporary look.
Their reception will be on Tuesday, December 11, from 4—6 pm. Everyone is invited. The address: 232 Carretera Poniente,  near Yves Restaurant in west Ajijic. 
Check the website at

Maestro Francisco Urzua and Janice Kimball

We all know about the Christmas classic movie with Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. Come to the Ajijic Cultural Center in the Plaza on December 15 and 16 to see “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”  The door and bar open at 3 pm and the performance is from 4 pm to 6 pm.
The timeless tale of George Bailey is given a clever twist when it’s staged as a live, 1940s radio broadcast. Rosann Balbontin directs this Potter Productions show, which is adapted for the stage by Joe Landry.

Florette Schnelle, Greg Custer, Barbara Pruitt, and Terry Gibbard (left to right) give voice to all of Bedford Falls’s memorable residents, accompanied by sound effects created live onstage by Maryanne Gibbard (front).
Rosann says, “Bring the whole family to relive this timeless tale of a likable fellow down on his luck and ready to end it all—until an Angel Second Class shows him life’s true value.”
Tickets are $200 and can be purchased at Diane Pearl Colecciones, Mia’s Boutique, and at the door before each performance.

The Lake Chapala Community Orchestra is holding its inaugural concert, “A Christmas Celebration,” on Sunday, December 16.
Michael Reason, the orchestra’s conductor, has designed the concert to include Christmas themed readings interspersed between the musical selections. “The audience will become an integral part of the concert through singing popular carols and providing some extremely important percussion effects!” said Reason.
The concert will also feature two local area singers, Dulce del Torro and Karen Procter, who will perform songs that include Mozart’s Alleluia, Veni Veni Emanuel and Silent Night.
The concert starts at 2 pm (the bar opens at 1 pm) and is being held at The Spotlight Club in San Antonio, on the Carretera next to Fenix Realty.
Tickets are $150 for expats and $100 for Mexican nationals. Tickets can be purchased at The Spotlight Club between 2 pm and 5 pm Monday to Friday or by calling (33) 1845 1523, or via email at Seating is limited.
Bad press for Ebenezer Scrooge not withstanding, it’ll be a treat this month to visit the Bare Stage for their production of Scrooge!It’s “a tale that has charmed generations with its tribute to the magic of the Christmas spirit…” The reading is on December 28, 29 and 30. It’s directed by Roseann Wilshere.

Front Row, left to right Anne Drake , Emily Crocker, Sharon Jarvis. Back Row, left to right Lynn Phelan, Rob Stupple and Peter James. Missing from photo Paul Kloegman and Tony Wilshere

The theatre is at Hidalgo #261 on the mountain side of the carretera in Riberas del Pilar, across from the Catholic Church. Parking is available in the parking lot of the Baptist Church, behind the theater.
Donation is $100. The Box Office and bar open at 3 p.m. Reservations are by email at:  For those who use Facebook, look for Bare Stage Theatre 2018 for breaking news and updates. 
The Lake Chapala Painting Group invites all Ojo readers to attend the opening of the show “Art Matters” at the Cultural Center of Ajijic on the Ajijic Plaza Saturday, January 5 from 4-6 pm. The show consists of wall art in a variety of media by the group’s 19 talented member artists. Refreshments will be served.

Viva la Music is running bus trips to the following events.
Sunday December 9 Baroque Fest: Vivaldi, Geminiani, Gabrieli, Bach, Lully. The bus leaves at 10:30 for the 12:30 performance.
Thursday December 13 Ballet: Nutcracker by the Ballet de Jalisco. This plays to sell-out audiences every December. The bus leaves at 6:00 for the 8:30 performance.  ($700, $800 for non-members).
Here are the next two “Live at the Met” opera productions planned by  Viva at the Teatro Diana.
Saturday December 15 La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) by Verdi. The famous opera of love and misunderstanding, set in Paris with Diana Damrau as Violeta and Juan Diego Flores as Alfredo (187 minutes). The bus leaves at 10:30 for the noon show. 
Saturday February 2 Carmen by Georges Bizet, featuring Clementine Margaine as Carmen the ultimate seductress, and Roberto Alagna as her lover Don Jose (200 minutes). The bus leaves at 10:30 for the noon show.
Viva bus trips to the Met Opera are $450 and $550 for non-members. Tickets are available at the LCS ticket area Thursdays and Fridays from 10 to noon, or by calling Rosemary Keeling at 766-1801.
…..for the first Jewish Film Festival selection of 2019.  The date of the first showing is January 6. As usual, the movies will be shown Sundays at 1:30  at Cinemas del Lago, Bugambilias Plaza. “Come by after Open Circle and lunch!” says Joe Gottesman, Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation President.
Check this column in January for the specific schedule. Here is a list of the film selections:
RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsberg
The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
The Producers
Operation Final
Occupation of The American Mind
It’s Never Too Late For Life
Three Identical Twins


Rotary Club Ajijic and Salvati Foundation teamed with sponsors to host the Second Annual Catrina De Feet Breast Cancer 5K Run Walk in Ajijic.
The Rotary Club of Ajijic is one of the few English-speaking Rotary clubs in Mexico, and has been serving the Lake Chapala area since 2002.
Its members are business and professional men and women, many retired, who dedicate their time, expertise, and talents to helping others in our local area. For more information on the Rotary Club of Ajijic please contact Dr. Cherry

Nigel Birney, Valery Whittaker, Maggie and Rod Pye

The 2018 Cruz Roja Classic Golf Tournament was its usual success. Here are this year’s high achievers.
Says Don Fraser, “The  Tournament was a great success- perfect golf weather, 88 enthusiastic players and a great bar-b-que to finish the day. Our many thanks to the Country Club of Chapala, staff and members, our many, many sponsors and our tireless volunteers. With such hard work the new ambulance is sure to be here soon!”
Well, maybe. Freedom Chorale invites all hardcore 60s fans to join them on Tuesdays from 4-5:30 at La Bodega for a laid-back jaunt down MemoryLane. They sing famous 60s songs,  accompanied by a guitar. Sing along (lyrics provided) or just let the music carry you back to gentler days. No cover. Pure fun. For details email


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