Temporary Site Outage Resolved

by David McLaughlin 7. November 2010 11:40

Today, Nov. 7, 2010, from approximately 2:25 PM UTC until 5:10 PM UTC, our www.Mexico-Insights.com website was not operational (8:25 AM – 11:10 AM Ajijic local time).

This was a problem at our web hosting service, and unfortunately it occurred at a point where our ‘friendly’ error page didn’t display – only an ugly error page from the web server – not very informative.

We noticed the problem a little after 9AM local, put in a trouble ticket to the web hosting service, and in due time the issue was resolved.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience.




Misc | Living at Lake Chapala

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.

It’s October!

by Judy King 3. October 2010 15:45

I’m so disappointed to have let a week go by without posting here – but I’ve a VERY good excuse. No, the dog didn’t eat my homework, but the result has been the same – my hard drive not only crashed, it burned…died…left no survivers. 

Thankfully, I’d backup up most of my information just four days before the death of the computer – but, I didn’t back up my email addresses and information (that’s a pain – get safe guards in place, now!). I can claim ignorance with the loss of 10-12 finished, ready-to-publish blog posts to same me time during deadline times.

So, I had no prepared material for you blog readers during the extremely busy time of moving into a different computer. The only thing I can compare that process to is getting the car back from the mechanic or body shop after several days – you know the feeling…the mirrors are off, someone changed the radio pre-set stations, there aren’t CDs in the player, they took the stuff out of the glove box and put it on the floor while they worked on the dash, the seat is in exactly the opposite position – it takes forever to make it feel right again.

The good news is that I made the deadline for the new issue of Living at Lake Chapala’snew October issue. It was up and running on September 30 about 7 p.m. as usual.

Since it’s now time to get the articles ready for the October 15 issue of the Lake Chapala Review, I’m the editor there, too, I have a great surprise for all of you.

Today and tomorrow I’m teasing you with the preview of the articles in the current October 2010 issue of Living at Lake Chapala. 

Meanwhile here is the preview we always include in the From the Editor’s Column. You can always read that, whether you are a subscriber or not.

October 2010: Celebrating a Saint, A Virgin, and a Great Rainy Season

With the first day of fall and that beautiful harvest moon in late September, we're trying hard to convince ourselves that it really is fall here at Lake Chapala. If the calendar doesn't convince you, try a trip to Chapala this week.

The huge downtown carnival set up, the stages, blocked off traffic flow and morning and evening processions will confirm that it really is early October and Chapala is well into the novena honoring the town's patron, San Francisco (St. Francis of Assisi).

If you hurry you can still join in the fun and celebration — it culminates on the feast day of the saint, October 4.

(Left:) The Virgin of the Rosary, the centuries-old figure from over the altar in Ajijic's small chapel is feted for the entire of October.


Meanwhile, not to be outdone in the devotion to local favorite icons, the last few days of September were studded with evening skyrockets as Ajijic's favorite Virgin of the Rosary, the patron of the old chapel on the north side of the plaza, moved to spend a night and day in the church in San Antonio and then headed for the church at Six Corners to spend a night with the parishioners there.

On September 30 she was positioned in a place of honor in the front of Ajijic's parish church, El Templo de San Andrés, where she'll receive early morning pilgrims all during her month. Don't miss the grand procession in her honor around 6 p.m. on October 31. It's a wonderful opportunity to see the indigenous dancers, local bands and hundreds of the local faithful walking in a solemn moment of honor and respect.

Lakeside religious processions are always perfect locations to snap wonderful pictures of unusual scenes. Here, at left below, a small girl depicts the Virgin of the Rosary on a procession float while at right, a troupe of dancers near the completion of the hour-long procession.

The Rainy Season and Ajijic's Waterfalls
The annual rainy season which usually stretches from early June to mid-September is still going strong, fueled by tropical storms which are continuing to develop and move up both shores of Mexico. Storms on either coast circle rain-producing clouds up and over the mountains to our high central plateau.

If you've been watching the temperatures and rainfall amounts on http://chapalaweather.netyou've rejoiced with us as we've received more rain than normal this season. We're 5" above normal rainfall for the months of June through September and topped the annual average rainfall more than a month ago. We're standing at over 42" of rainfall so far this year compared to the average of 33.5" per year.

(At Left:) A hiker marvels at a section of Tepalo, Ajijic's triple waterfalls which cascade down through a canyon just above the village.

All that rain is great news for our gardens and for Lake Chapala which this week reached 82% capacity; that's up more than 31 inches from a year ago and tops the 2009 September levels by 10%. It looks like the lake could easily surpass the record high levels of 2008.

Of course the gain in lake water is not just due to the heavy rains here at Lakeside. This summer's storm systems have dropped good amounts of water all along the Rio Lerma basin, and the 11 upstream reservoirs are holding an average of 93% of their capacities — far better than the 63% levels they marked in September of last year. Because they are all nearly full, we know that water will be released downstream for Lake Chapala.

What does that upstream water report mean? I expect that Lake Chapala's water level will continue to rise for at least two more months, and may continue to rise into the new year as runoff and excess water continues to enter the lake from the river.

This year's abundant rainfall has another benefit for hikers, casual walkers and the just plain curious — Tepalo, Ajijic's waterfalls cascading down the mountains just above town.

That's right — Ajijic has a waterfall — well actually there are several falls in this system, lower falls and a series of triple falls up a little higher.

Jim Cook, the resident hiking expert on the Living at Lake Chapala writing team, headed up to Tepalo in mid-September to take pictures and get the scoop so that you can make the fairly easy walk up to the falls, too. Jim gives the specifics in his article, but this is a walk that is doable for most of our readers, even the non-hikers. And if you join the crowds of Mexican families heading up the hill by the Donut shop in the late afternoon, you'll be joining flocks of children, parents, abuelos (grandparents) and even bisabuelos (great-grandparents).

Making the walk to Tepalo is a happy town tradition. You see the waterfall doesn't "run" in drier years — and if "Tepalo is running," you know there's plenty of rain for a good corn crop and a good harvest. Life in Mexico tends to break down to the simplest level of expectations and celebration. Join the fun!

Traveling With the Experts: Tapalpa and Jalapa
I'm amazed at the amount of traveling some of our Living at Lake Chapala writers do each year — yet they still have time to be actively involved with the community, and to write the results of their trips for you.

(Left:) When Carol Bowman headed for a weekend away in Tapalpa, she found some special entertainment for a very traditional event along the way. (Right:) Michael McLaughlin and Anita Lee visited the village of San Antonio near Jalapa — and this bell tower which was constructed in 1546.

Carol Bowman has taken the traveler's prize among the members of our writing team. Although she has just been back a few days from a three-week journey to the Holy Lands, she is filling us in on her pampered weekend away in Tapalpa in this month's Out and About column.

Lucky woman that she is, Carol was able to see first hand one of the most enduring customs of area ranchers and farmers — the pajaretes. She was a little confused, too, when on the side of the road she saw a tent, filled with tables and huge ceramic cups and heard a trio playing ranchero music.

Her driver explained the tradition to Carol and her husband, Ernie, while pointing out the milk cows tied up nearby. It seems that a goodly shot of tequila or grain alcohol, instant coffee, sugar, cinnamon (to the cowboy's taste) are poured into one of the big cups and then comes the milk, fresh, directly from the cow, foamy and warm. As Carol says, it's truly a "breakfast of champions," at least to hear these guys tell it.

(Left:) In the Vera Cruz plaza, all decorated for the September Independence Day activities, Michael and Anita watched a performance of folkloric dancing. (Right:) As Michael explains in his article, the anthropological museum in Jalapa was one of the best he's visited. This sculpture fragment wears an owl headdress.

Last year Michael McLaughlin and his wife, Anita Lee, spent six months traveling Mexico. In this month's People, Places and Things, he writes about their adventures in Vera Cruz, Jalapa, and some of the other small villages, including his favorite, Xico Xico and Coatepec, the coffee producing center of Vera Cruz.

They may not have found the perfect place to live (they report that it's far too hot and humid) but they certainly found adventures enough to last most of us several weeks.

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.

How Much Do You Know About Mexico?

by Judy King 7. September 2010 10:37

Here’s our Bicentennial gift for you – a peek at one of the articles in the new September 2010 issue of Living at Lake Chapala.

Statistics about Lake Chapala can be hard to find. As a matter of fact, statistics about Mexico used to be hard to find. We discovered that Tony Burton and Richard Rhoda’s book Geo-Mexico: The Geography and Dynamics of Modern Mexico was a huge help in preparing this article. I found my biggest problem was getting interested in the fascinating text and explanations and then continuing to read page after page instead of just doing my research! (If you are at Lake Chapala you’ll find the book in most area book suppliers, including La Nueva Posada. On-line you’ll find the book on Amazon.com)

In just a couple of weeks we’ll be celebrating the Bicentennial of Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain. As we move closer to this grand anniversary, and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution in November, we’ll be sharing information about our adopted country.

The colors of the Mexican flag represent bravery, purity and patriotism and are centered with the country's emblem, the eagle with the snake.

Are you a lover of facts, figures and statistics?

If you are you are going to LOVE this column!  We’ve slipped out of our usual formats to bring pure information to our Facts and Figures article. Do you know how many states there are in Mexico? How many people are there? What is the national symbol? How many college students? Here are the answers, all in one handy place.


Facts about Mexico

Capitol City

Mexico City

Largest City

Mexico City (30 million)

Second City

Guadalajara (6-10 million)


Spanish and 61 indigenous languages

< Currency>

Peso (currently about 11.5 to $1 US Dollar)


97,340,000 (11th largest in world)

National Government

Federal Republic

Current President

Felipe Calderon

Presidential Term of Office

One term of six years ends in 2006

Mexican states

31 plus Federal District


Area of Mexico

1,964,375 km2 (12th largest in world)

Border with U.S.

3,153 km

Border with Guatemala

956 km

Border with Belize

193 km

Pacific Coastline

7,828 km

Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Coastline

3,292 km


Rise of Olmecs

1820-200 B.C.

Maya and Zapotec development in south

500 B.C. to 900 A.D.

Toltecs reign in Tula

1325 A.D.

Founding of Tenochtitlán (Pre-Mexico City)

1000 A.D.

Arrival of Spanish Navy in Yucatán

1511 A.D.

Arrival of Cortés and Conquistadores

1520 under King Carlos V

Declaration of Mexican Independence

September 15, 1810

Mexico achieves independence


Current constitution approved



National Symbols:

National Symbol

Eagle on cactus, snake in beak

National Costume

Charro Suit and China Poblana

National Dance

Jarabe Tapatío (Mexican Hat Dance)

Favorite Music

Mariachi, Trio, Norteño, and Ranchero

Favorite Team Sport

Fútbol (Soccer)

Mainstays of diet

Corn, beans, squash, rice, fruit and chile

Favorite Foods

Tacos and tamales

Favorite Drinks

Tequila and Mescal distilled from agave




mariachi04 057



Under 14


Ages 15-29


Ages 30-64


Ages 64-75


Mexicans in Canada

23,350 in 1996

Mexicans in the U.S.

20,650,000 in 2000

Mexicans in the U.S. illegally

2,700,000 in 1997

Income of Mexicans in the US

$5,910,000,000 USD [sic]










No declared religion


Weekly Church Attendance



Hospital beds/100,000 people


Doctors/100,000 people


Nurses/100,000 people


Life Expectancy (Infants born in 1999)

74 years

Average number children born to women


Women using contraceptives


Deaths per year



Illiterate portion of population

10.5% over 15 in 1998

Education through 6th grade

42% over 15 in 1998

Technical Institutes

161 with 202,669 students for 22 careers

Normal Schools to train teachers

586 with 100,000 licensed teachers

Public Universities

64 with 1,200,000 students

Graduates with Master's degree


Graduates with Doctorate degree


Students in Private Schools

11.5% of students (all levels)



Economy and Quality of Life:

National average income

$4,915 U.S.D. in 1995

Portion of population living in poverty


Portion of population living in wealth


Portion of population with electricity

93.52% in 1995

Portion of population with running water


Portion of population with dirt floors

15.4% in 1995

Telephone lines

10,500,000 (about 9%)

Cell Phone users

7,730,000 up from 680,000 in 1995

Radio and TV stations


Exported Mexican Goods

$136,703,000 U.S.D.

Goods Imported into Mexico

$142,063,000 U.S.D.



Airports / passengers

84 airports serving 32,900,000 passengers

Ocean Ports


Cargo Ships

637 over 100 tons (31st place in world)


365,119,000 KM in 1998

International visitors to Mexico

10,060,000 per year

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.

image image

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.

The July Edition of Living at Lake Chapala

by Judy King 5. July 2010 19:58

July’s early patriotic holidays honoring Canada (July 1) and the United States (July 4) and the associated long holiday weekend are drawing to a close.

imageNow perhaps you’ll have time to read the new July issue of Mexico Insights Living at Lake Chapala, our online magazine.

Each month our team of local residents and experts produce a full line up of 11 articles for our Living at Lake Chapala subscribers. We’re always proud of the work our writers do, take a look at what they’ve found to share with you in this month’s issue.

(Photo at Right:) When Micki Wendt made her first trip to Lakeside, she saw the area with fresh eyes — and loved a good deal of what she saw, including this Ajijic mural.

It's Summertime — Let's Hit the Road
Summertime is all about going on a great adventure — right? This issue we have four great adventures for you.

In the new July Feature Article, Herbert Piekow and his friend and photographer Victor, are sharing with us their recent trip to the Guadalajara zoo. There, through their eyes we're sure to see lions, and tigers and bears…oh my! And that's not all — there are the buffalos, llamas, flamingos, and all the fish in the aquarium.  

imageHerbert has done a great job of taking us along with him to see all the animals in the zoo — and then a whole lot more.

(Photo at Left:) Guadalajara’s famous sculptor and artist Sergio Bustamonte created this bunch of playful monkeys to line the stairway fountain and cascades near the zoo’s entrance. (Photo by Victor Morando)

Then in our Out and about Column, Jim Cook heads off searching for the Treasure of the Sierra Puebla and a wonderful Flower Festival in a very special Mexican town. He and Christopher English found a great deal more than flowers on this expedition into the mountains of Mexico.

Michael McLaughlin and his wife and photographer Anita Lee took six months last year to really get to know Mexico by spending a month in each of six locations. This month they share with us their experiences living and exploring Mexico's capitol — Mexico City. Did they find the horribly polluted, crime-ridden, gridlocked city we've all heard about? Hardly…read their story in this month's People, Places and Things.

 image  image
(Above photos:) When Michael McLaughlin and Anita Lee planned their month in Mexico City, they thought they'd have plenty of time to see all of the city's fabulous sights. As it turned out, there were far more sights than month…sounds like they'll have to go back for more. (Photos by Anita Lee)

Our fourth article describing a great travel adventure is by one of the long-time subscribers and readers of Living at Lake Chapala, Micki Wendt. This month's Getting Here article is her first piece for our pages — but she'll be back in August with another story.

When she came across her journal of her very first trip to Lakeside back in 2006, she realized that other readers would like seeing our area through her eyes. It seems strange to read her comments about making a decision about retirement here — we know she's been here now for a good long while.

image image

(Above Photos:) Micki tells us that color is the name of the game at Lake Chapala. She was smitten with the bursts of wonderful lush color everywhere she looked. (Left:) The vines only accent the color combination on this house. (Right:) Even village shops are filled with vivid color and friendly faces.

A Pillow of Diamonds, Resting Places of the Soul and Finding a Dentist
What a wonderful area Lake Chapala is and what a wonderful community we've chosen to call home. We've said it imagebefore, the most interesting people seem to find their way here. Jim Tipton is back in this issue, visiting with Margaret Van Every and her husband Bob in the new Community article. They are relatively new residents of Lakeside, but already Margaret has written and published a book of tanka poems, A Pillow Stuffed With Diamonds.

We're exploring the tradition of descansos (resting places for the souls) in this month's Soul of Mexico story. You've seen the crosses and mounds of flowers along the highways and byways of Mexico — each cross marks the spot on which a death occurred. Some believe that when death comes suddenly and violently, the soul may be confused, and instead of leaving this world, it lingers at the spot where it left the body. In recent years this tradition has become more and more popular outside of Mexico, too.

Next we've gathered some tips and ideas to help newcomers select a new Lakeside dentist. As a matter of fact, most of the information we've compiled for the Health and Safety column could also help you find the doctor and vet that best matches your needs and personality, too.

Buying Small Appliances, Locating the Fault Lines and Cooking with Salsa
We hear so often from folks asking us what they should move and what should they leave behind. This month we're trying to provide some of the information they may need to decide if they'll bring their kitchen appliances or replace them here. We've just looked locally at basic kitchen equipment, but we think you'll find the availability and pricing interesting. Check it out in our Cost of Living column.

Next, in our Homes and Lodging category, we're exploring a very important topic.Because Mexico doesn't require disclosure from either sellers or realtors, it's vital that those relocating to Lake Chapala learn as much as they can about local houses, neighborhoods and conditions. Area fault lines only affect the homes located directly on the fault — and that's a narrow band — but you don't want your home to be…the one.

image image

Above photos: Here is a good example of the need for folks at Lakeside to remember, "buyer beware." This lower Chula Vista house straddles one of the area’s  fault lines. Notice how the cracks extend from the house, through the planter, across the sidewalk and into the street. The blue house at the right is the same property but with the cracks all plastered over, the outer wall enlarged and painted up to go back on the market. The house sold a while back. The new owners have filled in those spaces in the wall. When we drove by this week we noticed that the new wall is already showing  tell-tale vertical cracks, in the very same places, again.

Not only have we described for you the type of problems in the area, and the locations of those problem areas, we're also sharing with you a way to get the only known map of the fault lines. Don't miss this piece.


Judy King and Chef Lorraine are in the Mexican Kitchen answering a reader's question. It was our Web Genius David McLaughlin who was seeking our aid and assistance. With a refrigerator full of bottles and cans of commercially produced salsas, David wants ideas of how to use up the leftovers. We've come up with a whole range of tasty dishes — for breakfast, lunch and dinner and had a good time fixing a few of the easy options for the article's pictures.

(Left:) Now this seems like an easy question…which salsa will you buy? There's good Mexican brands for $12 to $15 pesos, or the familiar US brand, Pace's, at $49 pesos. Do you suppose it is really four times as good?

Whew, isn't that a great line up of articles? Our writers just keep outdoing even their own previous best efforts.

If you are a subscriber, you can read all of this month’s articles just by going to the Mexico Insists website and then logging in with the user name and password you registered when you subscribed.

If you haven’t yet subscribed, but would like to read a sample of our work, email Editor Judy King: judy@mexico-insights.com and I’ll send you the log in codes so you can read the May and June issues – from cover to cover – FREE of cost of obligation. Take a look at what you are missing!

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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