Lakeside Living – May 2023

Writing by Ojo Staff

May 2023

The Lake Chapala Society hosts Open Circle every Sunday at 10:30am, a popular community gathering in Ajijic, to enjoy a diverse range of presentations.

Entrance by the side gate on Ramón Corona, opens at 9:30am. We recommend bringing a hat and bottled water, and please remove containers upon departure.

Check their website for upcoming presentations, make your reservation if you want to attend and if you missed a past presentation, you could still enjoy it online:


~  7th Not available at press time.

~  14th

14 de mayo de 2023

“Mother – Daughter relationships”

by Lillie Henley

Lillie Henley

Rev. Lillie Mae Henley will share with us some of the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships as well as anecdotes which women have shared with her. It is amazing what mothers teach us, or try to teach us, or unwittingly pass on. We learn their lessons consciously and unconsciously. Mothers’ life lessons, in one way or another, stay with us, and influence the personalities we become.

“Most of us take for granted what our mothers do for us or mean to us. Yes, there’s the most obvious components of our relationships—physical and financial—but it is only when we reflect intentionally on our relationships are we able to appreciate, or come to terms, with those relationships,” says Rev. Lillie

Lillie Mae Henley has a Master of Divinity from the Unitarian Universalist theological school in Chicago and studied family systems theory at the University of Chicago school of social work. She retired from the UU ministry in 2018.

~  21th Not announced at press time.

~  28th Not announced at press time.

~ 30th Not announced at press time.

DJ Howard at the ROCK ’n’ ROLL PARTY on Wednesday, May 3

Diego Ortiz, Hotel Administrador and Gerardo Gutirrez Plascencia, Hotel Villa Montecarlo Subdirector, are looking forward to guests rockin’ to DJ Howard at the ROCK ’n’ ROLL PARTY on Wednesday, May 3 in support of Lakeside Charities Grant Program AC. Ted Kassier, Grant Program volunteer, can’t wait to serve Costco hot dogs and promote the Charity Wine  & Hotel Cocktail Bars, under the supervision of Rogelio Negrete, Chef. 

Since its inception, our Lakeside Charities Grant Program AC has distributed more than 650,000 pesos to local non-profits including Ninos de San Antonio, Tepehua, Poco a Poco San Pedro, Hope House, Sunrise Rotary, Have Hammers and San Juan Cosala Token Shop.  Join us at our ROCK ’n’ ROLL PARTY so we can offer “new” grants to other lakeside projects in 2023.  Hotel Villa Montecarlo’s lakeview terrace is the place to be on Wed, May 3, from 4:30-7:30 pm for a rockin’ good time that helps a wide range of non-profits.

A 450 mxn ticket invites you to “dance your cares away” to DJ Howard’s classic oldies, while chowing down grilled Costco hot dogs+side dishes.  Drinks available from our no-host Grant Program Wine and Hotel Montecarlo Cocktail Bars.  If you like a “little action”, check out our 50/50 Raffle!

Want a free gift Bottle of Wine?  Just plan ahead with a few friends, purchase 6+ tickets together, and get a free gift Bottle of Wine for your special Reserved Table.  Since this event is just around the corner on May 3, contact right away to see if tickets are still available.  Sorry, but no tickets sold at the door.


2023 NEW Artisans

Marco Antonio Juárez Cruz – Tapijulapa, Tabasco

 The Pueblo Magico village of Tapijulapa is in the Sierras de Tabasco and has a unique art form that can only be found practiced here. This is the root of the mutusay, a natural fiber similar to wicker, with which the skill of the artisan can weave chairs, tables, and furniture of all types  Mutusay weaving was only started 40 years ago by Benito Veloz, a primary school teacher, who, without tools, began to work with the branches that hung from the trees — mutusay. Today, mutusay has become the most important economic livelihood of Tapijulapa, the only place where this raw material is used.

The mutusay is gathered by the ejidatario (ejido land) peasants who cut it especially for the artisans during times when they do not have to work harvesting their land. They sell a roll of mutusay for five pesos — to weave a rocking chair, around 100 rolls are needed.

There are approximately 15 workshops with which the almost three thousand inhabitants of the town directly or indirectly have a relationship. Two generations ago, the family of Marco Antonio Juárez Cruz began working with mutusay. Today, he works with two other persons to create their remarkable furniture.

Mutusay is cool, easy to repair and it is ideal for hot climates as it can withstand high temperatures, as well as rain. However, promotion is needed for the furniture of Tapijulapa to become known. Social media has been their main avenue of promoting this work. Some opportunities have presented themselves, but were not to the benefit of the artisans. 

Alfonso Castillo Merino – Izucar de Matamoras, Puebla

Alfonso Castillo Merino began his journey into folk art in 2005 when he was nine years old. He began with painting in his father’s, Alfonso Castillo Orta, workshop — folk art here was a family affair. He loved what he was learning and became very interested in continuing with the family tradition. It all started as a game, since he was a young child looking to explore clay and painting, but as he grew up, it went from being a game to a lifestyle.

Alfonso has never stopped painting and, at the same time, studying. Over time, he has improved his technique and innovated without forgetting the essence of the traditional in each of his pieces.

His art has become important because it embodies six generations in my family and he hopes to keep it alive for many more years.

Alfonso begins by molding his pieces from scratch and then firing them. Once fired, he and his wife paint them. At the end of the process, they apply varnish to protect each piece.

Izúcar de Matamoros, Puebla is known for the poly-chrome clay work done here. Local artisans, such as the Castillo family, have stood out nationally and internationally for the creativity and originality with which their work is made.

Leticia Engracia García Aguilar – Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca 

A fourth-generation artist, daughter of the famous Josefina Aguilar, Leticia began shaping clay at six-years old with the encourage-ment of her parents. Over time, she grew passionate about the practice, and when she married, she encouraged her husband and children to get involved.

Leticia and her husband model ceramic figures and their eldest daughter and son bring the figures to life with vibrant acrylic paints. Together, they make vignettes representing their community and culture, like market vendors carrying their wares, dancing couples, and women preparing meals and nativity scenes that incorporate indigenous Zapotec people and imagery. Skeletal Catrinas and Dia de los Muertos altars are also popular among their creations.

Guillermo Pascual Lozada – Hueyapan, Puebla

Guillermo Pascual Lozada, a second-generation artisan, started embroidering when he was 13 years old because his mother needed to support the family’s six children. She saw that he was interested and began instructing him in various techniques. Next, he became interested in learning about natural dyes, although his mother did not participate in this but supported his desire to experiment and find new methods. She gave him the freedom to work on his own and, at 16-years-old, he was dying his own thread and embroidering his own pieces.

He also learned how to tie the fringes using fine macramé. Again, his mother was his instructor, explaining the number of threads, the crosses, twists and how to measure everything using his fingers, fists and elbows. She also explained in detail the meaning of the figures and designs he used. Next, Guillermo was ready to learn backstrap loom weaving.

For some time, Guillermo has helped support 15 other people in his community by giving them work at fair prices. They are able to work at home and bring money into the household without neglecting their children.

The municipality of Hueyapan and its 11 communities are all involved in textile work, Tanamacoyan being the one with the largest number of artisans. The elaboration processes and the iconography that they embroidered are specifically characteristic of the municipality — this has helped them achieve national and international recognition for their work.

Elizabeth Rangel Roque – Tlaquepaque, Jalisco

Elizabeth Rangel Roque started goldsmithing when she was a child. Her father, Master Goldsmith Luis Rangel Linares, is originally from Iguala de la Independencía, Guerrero, a cradle of renowned jewelers. As a child, he worked in his father’s workshop, Baltazar Rangel Pedrote. Luis Rangel migrated to Jalisco and continues to work in the goldsmith trade. Currently, Elizabeth, her brother and husband work together in their taller (workshop). 

Elizabeth is a fourth-generation artist and has a master’s degree in archeology, which has allowed her to apply original motifs to her pieces by introducing and experimenting with pre-Hispanic techniques as well as traditional ones. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, she and her father have begun teaching her 13-year-old son their craft.

Goldsmithing is an important part of this family’s life — they enjoy creating unique pieces, each of which presents a new challenge — it is currently their main source of income.

Mexico’s finest and most amazing folk art presented during a best-in-class 3-day event. November 2023

 The Ajijic Writers Group, the flagship Writers’ group in our Lakeside community, meets in the garden of La Nueva Posada on the first and third Friday of each month at 11AM-1PM.

Founded by Alejandro Dominguez-Grattan, the longtime Editor-in-Chief of El Ojo del Lago more than 30 years ago, and now run by Victoria Schmidt, current Editor-in-Chief of the Ojo,  the Ajijic Writers Group welcomes all levels of poets and writers; novices (we love newcomers), published authors of all genres (our mentors) and everything in between are welcome to read from their original material. We then invite the audience to offer edit suggestions and constructive critique. We are all here to help each other become better writers. We are grateful for our legacy members who loyally attend to offer insightful, succinct feedback and support.

We encourage everyone to stay for lunch and linger in the beautiful garden, mingle with other writers and get inspired to start that book you have been longing to write.

Address: Donato Guerra No. 9, Ajijic.

Telephone: (376) 766-1344

 Bare Stage is “dark” this month of May. Every year Bare Stage theatre goes dark in May.  Why? Well the answer is that it can get pretty hot on that outdoor patio and the volunteers who run the place need a rest. Every month on the last full weekend of the month they stage a rehearsed and dramatized reading of a different play, from comedies to dramas and classics. There are no costumes, props or set, just great acting and directing. The plays are actual read but most of the time the audience seems to forget this fact as they get caught up in the performances.

“six women on stage have continued the Bare Stage’s string of hits.” March show Steeel Magnolias 2023  Patrick O’Heffernan

Their upcoming shows for the summer season are very exciting starting with Exit Laughing on June 23rd, 24th and 25th, a comedy by Paul Elliott. Like its name suggests you will exit laughing, the show is directed by Roxanne Rosenblatt.

On July 28th, 29th & 30th, they are bringing to life the Norm Foster comedy On the Flight Path. This is Kathleen Morris’s second direction with Bare Stage. She has a unique comedic edge and Norm is known to all as that crazy Canadian comedienne with heart.

On August 25th, 26th & 27th they are planning a creative reading of Thurber’s Carnival directed by Suki O’Brien. And on September 22nd, 23rd and 24th is a very special production of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie directed by Artistic Director, Roseann Wilshere.

Bare Stage theatre was established in October of 2018. Their very first show was The Art of Murder by Joe Di Pietro. They were following on the heels of the closing of The Naked Stage. Roseann Wilshere is the Artistic Director and Arlene Pace is Associate Artistic Director with  a team of volunteers that help run the space. Roxanne Rosenblatt is head of Marketing, and Michel Boudreaux handles Box Office and Reservations. Their Red Hats (they wear red berets), front of house people; are Chris L’Ecluse, Pam Pettus, Linda Goman, Brian Kaulback, Rick Brier, Stan Goman and Frank Lynch. If you would like to volunteer to be a red hat contact Roxanne Rosenblatt.

They are located at #261 on the mountain side of the Carretera in Riberas del Pilar across from the Catholic Church. Door and Bar open at 3:00 pm. Seats are held till 3:50 pm. Auditorium curtains will be open for air flow. Please Like, Follow & Share their Facebook Page: BUT PLEASE RESERVE using

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

Ojo Del Lago
Latest posts by Ojo Del Lago (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *