offers its foreign residents the unparalleled experience of life
in a quaint Mexican village...with all the services and amenities
of a nearby metropolitan city, lovely Guadalajara.
large community of full-time and seasonal foreign residents enjoy
life in Ajijic including an estimated 7,000 U.S. citizens and
Canadians. There is a very good representation of people from
many parts of the world.
large number of active charitable, civic and social groups make
it easy to meet people and become a part of Ajijic’s community.
Active social groups in the area
include Duplicate and Progressive Bridge Clubs, The Humane Society,
several Garden Clubs, Culinary Arts Society, The American Legion,
The Writer’s Group, Needle Pushers, Daughters of the American
Revolution, Genealogy Club, Computer Club, Chess Club, Lakeside
Little Theater, and two Yacht clubs. The list goes on and on as
there are more than 40 English language clubs and charitable organizations
in art, handicrafts, music, computers, and Spanish (both conversational
and structured) are available. Tennis, golf, walking, jogging,
horseback riding, boating, fishing, mountain biking, Tai Chi,
and various exercise groups are available for sports enthusiasts.
A variety of passive pleasures are available too, such as concerts,
art galleries and museums.
in touch and being informed about many countries and cultures
in the world is easy too, as cable television has many English-language
stations, the popular CNN amongst them, and satellite reception
gives up to two hundred and fifty channels including those beamed
down from the U.S., Mexico and from around the world.
Lake Chapala Society
top of the list of active organizations is the 3,000-plus member
Lake Chapala Society (LCS) with its well-stocked library of English-language
books, periodicals and videos. The library has 20,000 volumes
including reference books. There is a magazine collection and
a reading room. Talking books are available from the library in
both fiction and nonfiction, obtained from the U.S. Library of
Congress in Washington, D.C. The LCS is the only civilian organization
outside the U.S. to be honored with such an arrangement. The videotape
library has approximately 2,500 VHS video movies. Also available
are tape duplication and VHS player repair.
The LCS is the place to meet. The extensive
and beautifully landscaped grounds host events such as annual
Independence Day celebrations for both the United States and Canada
in early July, and an annual fiesta on Mexico’s Independence Day,
September 16. LCS publishes an annual directory of members’ names,
addresses and phone numbers, which many who reside lakeside find
indispensable. The LCS is dedicated to the ideals of community
service, good fellowship and good relations with local citizens
and authorities. Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and staffed
almost exclusively by volunteers.
the LCS has a children’s library in Spanish with a wide assortment
of books and reference materials. They sponsor a scholarship program
through this library for selected students in secondaria (junior
high) and preparatoria (high school) based on financial need as
well as scholastic ability.
equipment available for loan from the LCS includes wheel chairs,
crutches, canes, and walkers. Baby furniture for loan includes
a crib, a high chair, and walkers.
blood pressure checks are normally Monday and Friday from 10 a.m.
to Noon. A HAM radio station is located on the grounds, and in
emergencies, contact can be made with any place in the world.
is on an annual basis and is open to all.
and the lakeside in general, has a low crime rate. There are few
safer places in the world where one can live.
clinics are located Lakeside, with the principal ones being Clinica
Ajijic at Carretera 33, telephones 766-0662, 766-0500 and for
24 hour emergency, 766-1499; San Andrés Clinic adjacent in La
Floresta, 766-1198; and Clinica San Jose de la Ribera at Plaza
Maskaras, Hidalgo 79-G, Chapala, telephone/fax 765-4805. Most
have bilingual doctors on staff. In emergencies, ambulance service
is available from these clinics locally or to large modern medical
centers in Guadalajara. Medical air evacuation services are available
to the United States as well. The Red Cross, 765-2277, which is
located on Calle Gonzales Gallo in Chapala, responds to all traffic
accident injuries. The services are at no charge, even if an ambulance
has to take you into one of the Guadalajara hospitals or a doctor
has to perform surgery. Donations to the Red Cross are always
U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara, Calle Progreso 175, (3)
825-2700, is open 8 a.m. until Noon, Monday through Friday. Registration
of full or part time residents is recommended with the American
Citizen Services Unit. Necessary information will be on file in
the case of an emergency. It will not be shared with any other
agency (like the IRS); the information is strictly confidential.
The Federal Benefits Unit handles veterans’ claims, railroad pensions,
and social security, both inquiries and benefits.
course, all Embassies are located in Mexico City.
addition to several Catholic churches [San Andrés in Ajijic has
an English language mass, 9 a.m. Sunday] there are Sunday services
in English at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Calle San Lucas,
Riberas del Pilar, 10 a.m.; the nondenominational Little Chapel
By The Lake on the highway in Chula Vista, 11 a.m.; New Apostolic
Church, Roble 61, Chula Vista, 11 a.m.; El Lago Community Church,
Javier Mina 7, Ajijic, 11 a.m.; and the Lakeside Fellowship interdenominational
congregation which meets 1:30 p.m. at Saint Andrew’s.
lines and cellular telephones are easily obtained, and fax services
and long distance pay phone calls can be made locally in many
places. Where the Mexican mail service is still somewhat slow,
it has been supplemented by MailBoxes Etc., with faster access
to international postal service. UPS has several pickup points
in the area.
Internet & em@il
those computer-oriented individuals Cyber-Cafes abound and are
easily accessible in most villages. CompuServe and AOL have made
their services readily available at very competitive fees. There
are many competing services available for internet access, including
one offered by TelMex (Prodigy).