Huele de Noche: The Fragrant White Night Flowers

by Judy King 22. September 2010 18:41

jesus2 075 I planned of creating a special garden of all the scented white blooming plants from the time I realized plants like jasmine, gardenia, frangipani, and orange blossoms all thrive here at Lakeside. Several years ago I purchased a house, and when the construction workers finished making their messes and just before the rains began, I started designing gardens and buying plants to sink into the rich earth.

As I hauled car load after car load home from the nursery, I remembered a quip from a former associate.  "Landscaping is easy," he said with a grin. "Just stand in the middle of your yard and throw money!"

(Left:) Datura features giant bell-shaped blooms. These are double, two bells in each flower. You may know it better as Giant Loco Weed or Giant Jimson.

For years, my friend José had waxed eloquently about his favorite Mexican plant with white flowers and a romantic fragrance. he called it huele de noche (scent of the night). With a name like that, I was hooked.

Within days I had planted the wonderfully lacy, frothy, viney type of jasmine the guy at the nursery promised was  huele de noche. But when José and his wife Marta stopped by, he admired the scent of the plant, shook his head and said, "It's good, but it's not huele de noche."

editor3-flower  bushes 005 monday 005 

(Above:) At left is Queen of the Nile – it isn’t fragrant, but between that name and the giant balls of white flowers, it earned a place in my garden. In center is the common vine-style jasmine. You’ll find clouds of small leaves and deliciously scented tiny flowers billowing over Lakeside walls. (Right:) Gardenias – those fragile flowers of prom corsage fame bloom in area gardens.

I caught a whiff of a wonderful fragrance as I walked through a friend’s gate. I zeroed in on a shrub with glossy green leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers. Because my friend didn't know the name of the plant, I cut off a sprig to take to the nursery. The nursery’s owner examined the sprig and nodded her head definitively. Brushing dirt from her gloves, said, "It's a shrub type of jasmín (jasmine). My workers call iit huele noche."

"Great," I was smiling from ear to ear. That's just what I'm looking for." Ready to carry the plant to the car, I overheard one of the workers showing a plant to a pair of shoppers. He pointed out the tiny white rose-like blooms and described the slow growth of the plant, the Grand Duke Jasmine. Then I heard the lady shopper exclaim as she smelled the flowers, "Ah, it's huele de noche, just like in my grandmother's garden. Of course I bought one of those, too. 

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(Above at left, this shrub jasmine has miniature star-shaped flowers that bloom in clusters – they small wonderful on the night breeze. At right is the regal gran duque (Grand Duke) jasmine. Each of the blossoms on this slower growing plant looks like a tiny full-blown white rose. The scent is incredibly beautiful – the best of all, in my opinion.)

When José and Marta stopped by to sip a little tequila and admire the progress in the garden, they stooped to inhale the scent of the new plants. "Lovely, simply lovely," he said. "They have such wonderful fragrances, and they are good, but they're just not huele de noche."

Each time I purchased a fragrant white flowering plant I was more convinced I'd found the "real" huele de noche. Once I learned to translate the phrase more correctly as "scent of the night", I came to accept that each of these plants is the “real” one. After all, each certainly had a wonderful fragrance that was more pronounced after dark.

I planted three other sweet-smelling jasmine plants near the carport so I'd catch the scent as soon as I got out of the car. On a visit to a local nursery, the middle-aged owner showed me an upright shrub that she claimed was the ancestor to today's gardenias and is called sombra de la montaña (shade on the mountain). She smiled when she clasped her dirt-caked hands across her rounded belly and said with a nod, "my mother always called her huele de noche." I bought three sombras and planted then at the end of the sidewalk. 

The next two plants I found were both in the jasmine family, with star-shaped white flowers. Both had glossy green leaves that resembled those of the gardenia, and both had a delightful fragrance.

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(Above:) These two jasmine plants bear fragrant white star-shaped flowers. (Left:) These tiny flowers have just five petals. (Right:) On this plant the larger stars have nine longer, thinner, curving petals.

I planted three of each in triangle formations at the back of each side garden. An older gentleman at a nursery assured me that one of them was the real huele de noche, but he just couldn't quite remember which was which. Still, I'd enjoy having both, he knew that for sure. Then he added, "Be sure to leave plenty of space for them to grow. Huele de noche is a big plant."

I called my friends to come see the new garden additions. "Come and see!" I said. "Check out these star-flowering jasmines – one of them is really huele de noche."

I caught Marta throwing a funny little smile at her husband as he admired the new jasmine and the sombra de la montaña, but before he could make is now familiar proclamation Marta interrupted. "Heavens, José," quit torturing the poor woman and show her the gift you have for her garden.” 

José was smiling from ear to ear "Get ready to smell the scent of heaven." With a gesture broader than his smile, he indicated the thriving plants covered with lovely white flowers, he said, "See. Smell. Now that's good, that's really good, because it is huele de noche!"

 Honeysuckle 22

I began laughing and I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks. I laughed until I could barely stand. Poor José looked at Marta and she looked back at José. I realized that they thought there was something wrong with the plants and tried desperately to recover from the laughter that was still making it difficult to breathe or speak.

"Thank you, my friends, Oh my goodness thank you. I'm so thrilled to finally have the “real” huele de noche for my garden, but it's … so...funny...." I paused, overcome with another burst of laughter.

A few minutes later we placed the plants at the kitchen door. As I regained my composure, I poured coffee and then taking the sugar from the cupboard and the milk from the refrigerator, I explained that I'd seen this fragrant plant before.

"When you first mentioned huele de noche, I knew I had to have it in my garden. Just the name, 'the fragrance of the night'—well, it just sounded so tropical, so Latin, so exotic, so romantic. "So, I began searching, and I've searched for over two years. I've found and bought wonderful exotic, tropical plants, but none of them was the right one... the true one. I wondered how huele de noche could be more special and exotic than the plants I'd found.

"Now, here it is. The plant of with the romantic scent for which I've been searching and it's,"...I giggled..."plain, old-fashioned honeysuckle, a plant I've known my whole life."

bushes 003"Is that bad?" Marta looked concerned.

"No," I took her hand, and said, "No, no, it's not bad. In fact it's just wonderful. I picked flowers from this vine when I was eight years old and visited Aunt Margaret the summer after she got married. The vines flourished on the dinner bell pole just outside the kitchen door.

"At Aunt Betty's house, it was climbing up the mailbox post. Great-Aunt Lulu grew it by the clothes line. Honeysuckle covered the fence in front of Mrs. Norman's house. She was my piano teacher.

"It was just everywhere I liked to go when I was growing up. I loved the smell and I couldn't understand when Grandma said it was too common and  kept trying to kill it out of her garden." I grinned as I remembered the vine stubbornly twining onto the lattice work of Grandma's front porch.

"It's a wonderful plant, and a wonderfully special scent. Now I'll also remember the two of you when I smell it."

When I moved from that house with the exotic, sweet smelling plants, I propagated pieces of several of the jasmines and planted them into pots to take with me. As I write, I can smell the scent of the star jasmine drifting through the window on the night air. In a few minutes, when I go outside on my way to the bedroom, I'll pick one flower from José and Marta's huele de noche to lay on my bedside table. Its scent always brings me memories from childhood, and reminds me of the love of good friends in both Mexico and the middle of the United States.

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Homes & Gardens, Rentals & Lodging


Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

Queen of the Night

by Judy King 20. September 2010 18:41

Lorraine's flowers 017Queen of the Night
Even without a regal name, you'd know that the Queen of the Night, the night-blooming cereus, is the sovereign of this area's list of stunning, fragrant white flowers.

While all of the fragrant white night-blooming plants here are worthy of royal attention, Reina de la Noche (Queen of the Night) is certainly appropriately named. Few other plants in the world produce blooms that can compete with the style, form, scent, or drama of these fragrant, once-a-year giant white flowers.

Because each flower opens and closes in the dark of one night, few expatriates have witnessed the flowers on the sprawling, ordinary-looking plant that drapes over walls, rocks, or trees.

It takes a few seasons to learn the pattern of this plant's blooms. Be careful, you could miss the flowers entirely during your first year or two at Lake Chapala.

When you notice that one of the buds begins swelling, be sure to go back and check the plant every hour or so, all evening long. Sometime between eight p.m. and midnight, you'll be calling the entire family and part of the neighborhood to come watch the final hour when this huge bloom opens bit by bit, just like a Discovery Channel freeze-frame documentary film.

Lorraine's flowers 008 Lorraine's flowers 010

(Above:) When the buds have swollen to this point, know the flower will open that very night.

Beginning in April, the first several flowers open on the Hylocereus undatus, which is better known in the United States as the night-blooming cereus. Early in the blooming season, one of the glorious flowers opens each night. If you are lucky enough to have a Queen of the Night in your garden, let your friends know that you'll call them in time to come see the flowers open on the night of the plant's annual grand finale.

Lorraine's flowers 030 Lorraine's flowers 023 

There's usually one magnificent night in late April or early May when a half dozen or more of the eight- to ten-inch white flowers come into full bloom. Most of us who have relocated to Lakeside are usually sound asleep long before midnight, but it's well worth the effort to join in a flower watch — you won’t see much the following morning -- soon after the first rays of morning sun, the flowers fold up and fade away.

Lorraine's flowers 041 (Left:) This plant produced 10 lemon-scented, eight-inch blooms on one memorable night

Break out a bottle of Champagne to toast a life that brings you to this moment, to this sight, and the lemony fragrance spreading through the neighborhood.

A larger tropical variety of the plant is found in the southern Mexico states of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz. Epiphyllum oxypetalum has many of the characteristics of Reina de la Noche.  An ordinary-looking plant, it is distinguished only by its long leaves during most of the year. It earns the title Dama de Noche (Lady of the Night) on the one night of the year when it bursts forth with 100 or more 10- to 14-inch blooms.


Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

Villages, Subdivisions, Developments, Towns

by Judy King 19. August 2010 09:20

Last month I heard from a subscriber who is still living North of the Border. She is avidly checking listings for rentals and homes for sale on real estate websites and getting more and more confused.

chapala 05 048"Help!" she pleaded, "I haven't been there yet, and I just can't visualize where anything is in relationship to anything else. Where are the towns of Riberas, San Antonio Tlayacapan, Villa Nova and Vista Allegre? How far apart are they?"

I wrote right back to her to explain that here on the North Shore of Lake Chapala there are two “county-seat” towns and eight villages which lay like a string of beads along the water's edge. Some of the other names she lists are fraccionamientos. (county authorized subdivisions) and which are neighborhoods or condo associations.

(ABOVE:) Chapala and Jocotepec are the north shore’s Municipios (County Seat Towns). In each of these towns you’ll find a building for the “county” offices. The famed old Nido Hotel in Chapala has been converted to the office building.

From the east end of the lake to the western end, the North shore villages are fairly evenly spaced – between two to about five miles apart.

  • Mezcala
  • San Juan Tecomatlán
  • San Nicolás de Ibarra
  • Santa Cruz de la Soledad
  • Chapala
  • San Antonio Tlayacapan
  • Ajijic
  • San Juan Cosalá
  • El Chante
  • Jocotepec

The several categories of settlements here at Lake Chapala include (in order of importance):

Municipios--(county seats) The towns of Chapala and Jocotepec are both the seats of government for their respective municipios, (counties).

DSC00357Pueblos (villages)—these are the other small towns from the bulleted list. Each has a plaza and church. Only the municipios and pueblos have regular, free garbage pickup and access to sewage treatment plants. Homes in all other areas have septic systems.

These villages are represented in “county government” by a locally elected representative called a Delagado from a Delagacion building.

(Left:) The Ajijic seat of local government has been decorated with murals by local artists.

Fraccionamientos (subdivisions) are neighborhoods with homes built over a longer period of time and by a variety of builders. Some have a gate with a guard, and most now have a homeowners' association with rules and regulations, with a board of directors governing the subdivision. Some have their own water system, and garbage pickup, which, along with street maintenance, is covered by the fraccionamiento fees.

Some of the area's fraccionamientos are Chapala Haciendas, Las Brisas de Chapala, Vista del Lago, Riberas del Pilar, Mirasol, Chula Vista, La Floresta, Villa Nova, Rancho del Oro, and the Raquet Club.

There are other, smaller neighborhoods that are too small to be organized. A few of these smaller clusters of individual homes are the places called Las Salvias, Los Charales, La Canacinta, El Limón, Jaltepec, and La Cristina.

Note: Fraccionamientos that do not collect fees also don’t provide services, nor do these other small un-organized neighborhoods. You’ll want to check to know how the streets are maintained, if there is street lighting, and how neighbors handle garbage pickup.

 

 Condominium Associations—most area condo associations are developments where the homes were built in the same or similar style by one builder – all at about the same time. The homeowners share ownership and responsibility of the common areas, some of which can include a swimming pool and club house.

Some associations are small, with just a handful of homes – including Las Palmas, Villas San Jose, Villas Canacinta, and the 16-unit El Palmar Courtyard (shown at left). Others, like Riviera Alta, Villa del Sol, Birds of Paradise, Los Arroyos and El Parque have up to 100 or more houses. Many of the condo associations have a guard at the gate and some share gardeners for all of the homes. A few even pay for the exterior maintenance of the buildings.

As you might guess, the monthly fees in these developments are much higher than in the fraccionamientos where fewer services are paid communally. Among the many other area developments or condo associations include Vista Allegre, Los Terraces, Lomas del Lago, Lomas de Tepalo, Lomas de Ajijic, Los Olivos, Mission del Lago, and the 30-some new developments between Ajijic and Jocotepec.


Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

Hot Utility Tips for Home Buyers

by Judy King 10. August 2010 21:14
costs-bill

It may seem at first glance that everything at Lake Chapala is just like back home  – after all we tout our groups and events that meet each month in English, the high speed internet, satellite service and grocery store filled to the rafters with imported items and a new mall with movie theater, Walmart and Domino’s Pizza are lined along the highway at the edge of town.

Don’t let your eyes fool you. Lakeside is a series of small Mexican villages – occupied mostly by…Mexicans. Expats are still less than 10% of the local population – yes, even in Ajijic! And our world revolves on a Mexican clock which functions thanks to a Mexican power company. We cook on gas stoves supplied by local delivery trucks and we answer phones with lines installed and maintained by the world’s richest man – Carlos Slim.

You’ll find that the common daily operating systems of all of these common utilities (along with the water, cable/satellite and cell phone service) have surprises for all newcomers.

Here’s a list of tips to give you a head’s up on some of the twists and turns that await those who live here.

  • When a buyer purchases a home or a renter moves from one house to another, the utilities are not turned off. Instead, the utilities (and taxes) are prorated fairly according to the amount of time each party is in the house.
  • Before making an offer on a home or signing a lease to rent a house, be sure to check the written inventory of goods that will remain in the house. Be absolutely certain that the stationary gas tank, the telephone line with number xxx-xxxx and the satellite system's dish, descrambler or tuner box(es), motor and other necessary equipment are specifically listed. It’s not good enough to say telephone and/or satellite dish.
  • At closing, the buyer receives copies of the current paid electric and telephone bills, letters to the electric and telephone companies transferring the accounts to the buyer and copies of the seller's identification papers so that the utilities can be put in the buyer’s name.
  • The buyer's broker withholds a small amount of money from the seller's final money until all of the outstanding utility bills have been received and prorated.

 homes2-electricDSC00809

  • The buyer must contract for their own new cable or satellite TV programming service.
  • The electric and phone bills must be paid on time, even if you don't receive them.
  • Because all homes use propane gas for cooking, clothes drying and most for water heating (a few have solar heaters) there is no regular bill. You must be home when the gas is delivered and you must pay for the gas in cash.
  • Even if your neighborhood or your house does not receive water, cable, electricity or telephone service for several days or weeks, you will not be eligible for a proportionate refund or credit on the bill.
  • Many newer homes have installed water pressure systems to move water through the house. When there's no electricity to power the pump, there is no water. Don't remove the tinaco (rooftop tank). Instead pipe the water through it with your pressure system, and have a valve so you could switch to gravity flow if necessary.
  • Because the electric company charges more per kilowatt hour as your usage climbs, you might be able to lower you bill by installing a second meter. Dividing the kilowatt hours just might do the trick.

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Mexican utility companies

Learning to maneuver through the maze of gas delivery, Telmex red tape and delays, CFE's complicated billing practices and paying your water bill annually takes some time, some Spanish and some patience.

These utility challenges is just one of the reasons we suggest that new residents at Lake Chapala rent first—the rental manager will pay your bills from a management account you set up in their office, along with your first and last rent and security deposit. With someone else paying your bills, you'll just need to remember to visit the office once a month to replenish the management account and pay the rent.


Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

Living at Lake Chapala’s August Issue

by Judy King 1. August 2010 15:14

Wow, it’s the First Day of this year’s EIGHTH month! 
I can barely believe that this month marks the three-quarters mark of 2010. We are having another great year here at Living at Lake Chapala. In fact, nine members of our writing team has been out gathering information for our all new August issue. We've prepared a little bit of everything this month — take a look at this summary of our new articles.

image A Sailor Run Aground

Jim Tipton is introducing you to one of his very good friends in this month's Community Article. If you've not yet met Ken and Lise Clarke, you'll want to after you read about how this Lakeside couple met aboard ship and fell instantly head over heels in love. This is a love story with lasting power — when they reached dry land, they raised a family and then moved to Lakeside for retirement — and so Ken could write his story of the years at sea.

Mexico's Traditional Music

Mexico is a land of eternal music — it's part of the lifestyle — it's part of life. What's Mexico's most popular music? That, like most things in this land of contrasts, depends. There are those who would vote for orchestras playing classical music, or for classic rock and roll. More traditionally, you'd have a giant pile of votes for mariachi — that smooth blend of violins, guitars and trumpets. Earning just as much (or more) devotion from residents in central and northern Mexico would be the bandas — the groups of trumpets, trombones, clarinets, and percussion that play a type of music that sounds a little like a sharply uniformed military brass marching band colliding with The Six Fat Dutchmen Polka Band.


(Left:) A youthful group of musicians — a banda plays traditional music on the Ajijic plaza. (Right:) Bandas of all levels of fame and popularity perform in Lakeside's villages. This group came from a nearby town to play in an Ajijic club on July 17. The big name groups come to town for the annual fiesta and during mardi gras.

As Micki Wendt explains in this month's Out and About column, this isn't all about John Phillip Sousa, and it's not about Lawrence (a-one and a-two) Welk (but it helps if you were in your high school marching band and lived in the upper Midwest near a German or Polish population.) Banda music is a Mexican hybrid, and it's the love of the nation.

You may not think you know banda, but you've heard it — the bad, the ok, the good, and the really good. You're apt to hear it every time you pass a construction site or wait at a stop light behind a car with a throbbing stereo, or hear the marching band marching around town at 7 a.m. during fiesta. So far you've probably been more annoyed than in love, but give this article and the links to some professional videos a chance…you may be surprised!


Mexican banda members are snappy dressers. (Left:) This Chapala group was performing right outside the municipal building one evening — all in white and that shade of hot pink that here is called Rosa Mexicana. (Right:) Ajijic's Banda Incomparable was sporting new suits at last year's fiesta — their logo is embroidered on the back of the jackets.

Really Great Karma and  A Cookbook for a Cause

We're fixated this month on great food prepared by sets of Mexican sisters with great ideas and big hearts. First in the Mexican Kitchen, Harriet Hart is visiting a new restaurant on Calle Hidalgo in Ajijc which is owned and operated by Margarita and Rocio del Castillo. These vegetarian sisters recently moved from their home town — Guadalajara — and opened one of the cutest lunch spots in town — Buen Karma.

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Then former mental health professional Carol Bowman interviewed a trio of Guadalajara women — the Levy sisters — who have turned their skills in the kitchen into a cookbook (written in Spanish) and then turned the cookbook into a fundraising tool with proceeds going toward their pet project — a mental health center in Jalisco's capital city. You'll enjoy meeting the Levy sisters and learning about their favorite non-profit in this month's Health and Safety column.

The New Expat Radio Station for English Speakers

Then Judy is bringing you something very new — online radio for expats! Yep, Amigo Rodrigo is spinning American music on a 24-hour-a-day radio station — along with Mexican news and weather in English, Spanish vocabulary words and other specialty bits of information — and you can listen to it all on your computer. It couldn't be easier. Catch up with all of this in the Feature Article.

Back to School (Times Two) and Attending the Ballet 
What fun, we've devoted two slots this month to how foreigners at Lakeside get involved in the community, and take on some or all of the school expenses for slightly overwhelmed local families. While there are a dozen or more groups and organizations who are creating scholarships to pay the expenses so local kids can continue to attend classes — from Kinder through Grad School — our Cost of Living and Soul of Mexico columns tell how individuals are making a difference here at Lake Chapala.

First up Georgina Russell is back, this time in our Cost of Living slot explaining how she administers a fund for area kids. Who started this fund and this program? A trio of New York kids who were visiting their relatives at Lakeside! Now the US kids come back every year to see how the money they've raised in their home town and New York schools is being put to use here.


(Left:) One of the special joys of being a sponsor to a Lakeside student is being included in graduations, programs and special school events. (Right:) The ballet at Lake Chapala? You bet. And Scott Richards enjoyed it all – see his report in this month’s People, Places and Things.

Then long-time Lakeside resident, Phyllis Rauch explains how she and her late husband became involved in helping to educate the members of a family in their village of Nestipac. While Phyllis dreamed at first of "their kids" becoming doctors, lawyers and engineers, she reflects on how it's all worked out in real life and beautifully illustrates the Soul of Mexico piece with photos of her current (and we suspect her favorite) student Daniela.

Saving the Wild Orchids

Artist Janice Kimball delves into the world of Mexican wild orchids this month in our Homes and Lodging column. You'll enjoy her story of how she came to fall in love with these tender exotic beauties — years ago in the middle of an all-too-long Detroit winter. Now she's on a soapbox, helping us learn to protect the wild orchids from area mountains — and best of all she tells us where to find lovely, not-endangered, plants in local nurseries.


(Left:) These lavender beauties were once wild orchids in the Jalisco mountains above Lake Chapala. They've been blooming on a tree in Ajijic now for nearly 15 years. (Right:) Leave the wild orchids to bloom for another year in the mountains. Local nurseries have a lovely selection of hybrid orchids at very reasonable prices.

Planning for Singles

And to wrap up the issue, Judy is exploring some tips for singles living at Lakeside. It's just so important to form a support group and then finalize some of the necessary plans so that your friends will easily be able to help your children should you be recovering from illness or surgery and when you die. Look for this so very important information in the Getting Here space.

Are you a Living at Lake Chapala Subscriber?

That’s our rundown this month – and now, while you read these pieces we are already working on our Big Blowout Bicentennial Celebration for the September issue of Living at Lake Chapala. We’d love to have you become one of our family of subscribers and we’re betting you’ll love reading the very best online magazine about life in Mexico. Did we mention that subscribers have access to on-line support – we’re always here to answer your email questions! What a deal that is!


Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

About Judy King

Judy King

Hi There — Welcome to my little corner of the world. I'm Judy King and I live in the centuries-old village of Ajijic on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest natural lake.

I've lived here full time since 1990, and... [ more ]

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