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: 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, 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.


7/6/2010 5:03:10 PM #

We were quite interested in that fixer-upper but came to your conclusion. My sincere sympathies to the people who bought it and put so much money in.

Eileen Mexico |

7/6/2010 8:36:30 PM #

Thank goodness you didn't buy it! It just doesn't stay fixed. It's just another reason why it's a good idea to live here for a while before folks buy a house -- you were smarter than most, you knew the territory.

judyking Mexico |

7/28/2010 1:38:43 AM #

Im no professional, but I consider you just crafted a very good point point. You clearly know what youre talking about, and I can actually get behind that. Thanks for staying so upfront and so genuine.

budget auto insurance United States |

Comments are closed

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 ]

Let's Be Social

Become friends with
Judy on Facebook,
or follow Judy on Twitter.

Log in