Alejandro Grattan Dominguez

What does it mean to win a LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD? In the case of Alejandro Grattan Dominguez it means a lot. We have had many human treasures among us here at Lakeside, and Alex is one of the most brilliant.

In September, we gave out El Ojo del Lago’s annual awards for the first time since COVID. During that time, a major shift happened. Due to a personal health decision, Alex stepped down as editor. Although I was named his successor, no one could possibly fill the vacuum left by Alex.

At our annual awards luncheon, Alex was awarded the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, having edited El Ojo del Lago for 32 years.

While in Hollywood, Alex wrote and directed the first movie about Mexican-Americans, Only Once in a Lifetime. This film premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 1979, and, along with another of Alex’s films, No Return Address, was purchased by Turner Classic Movies.

In 1980, Alex was awarded the California Governor’s Commendation for his work. He won a Special Award of Appreciation from the National Association of Mexican-American Educators in 1981. He has written 23 film scripts, nine of which were either sold or optioned, some of them repeatedly.

After moving to Ajijic, in 1988 Alex established the Ajijic Writers’ Group, which over the decades has drawn hundreds of writers, many seeking his advice and guidance, which he gave unstintingly. During this time he wrote eight novels, three of which were at one time in 1,400 libraries in the USA, Canada, England, and Ireland. He won the Best Screenplay Award at the Mexican International Film Festival in 1999. 

In the community, he won an Award of Appreciation from Niños Incapacitados in 2007. His biography appears in 2007’s “Who’s Who in Mexico.”  He was also recognized in 2012 for the Lakeside Community Awards Committee. He was the Winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award in 2014 for his historical novel The Dark Side of the Dream.

Alex worked as the editor-in-chief of El Ojo del Lago for 32 years, and will probably be the longest legacy in the lifetime of the magazine, which is currently 45 years of age. Clearly, the Lake Chapala community owes a huge debt of gratitude to Alex for his enduring vision, talent, and generosity.

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Victoria Schmidt
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