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Coldwell Banker Chapala Realty
 

 

Welcome to Ajijic and Lake Chapala Retirement Area

 

We want to congratulate you for looking into Mexico's largest North American retirement community. As pioneers in real estate (1st one lakeside) and the publishing business, we have introduced many to our local idyllic scene. We feel this is what we do best, showing you what graceful and carefree retirement is all about. Let us share with you our excitement and knowledge on the lake area. Be among the many that have already begun a new and enjoyable life.

 

The Area Known as “Lakeside”

This area is known as “Lakeside” to residents from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Europe, among other places, and “la ribera” to Mexicans.  Due partly to the eclectic mixture, it has developed a continental Old World charm which blends smoothly with a distinctly Mexican ambiance.

Cobblestone streets, tile-roofed homes, riotously colorful gardens blooming year around, and incredible open-air markets and restaurants are common sights, backdropped by lush green mountains surrounding the lake. The hills are laced with flowering trees and plants, and accented by waterfalls, caves, petroglyphs, indigenous sacred sites, and a variety of hiking trails and places to explore.

Over 10,000 retirees call lakeside their home, call us, we can show you around! 

Living in Lake Chapala

The Quest for the Elusive Mung Beans
(A Visit to Abastos)

By Chuck Bolotin

 

Mung Beans

Like an aspiring knight in a medieval fairytale who had been told to bring back the egg of a fire-breathing dragon or a nascent American Indian brave who had been given the task of producing a specific feather from a fearsome bird on some faraway mountaintop, I now had my challenge: bring me the mung beans.

In this case, the one issuing the challenge was none other than my wife, Jet, a devoted cook who sees the world as her laboratory. “Lakeside is a ‘pot luck culture,’ where friends and neighbors share the foods of their heart,” she said. “To participate, I need a breadth of ingredients. Please get me those beans.”

Just like the rites of passage challenges described above, the result of my quest would be binary: I would either succeed and be rewarded not only with the satisfaction of knowing I had achieved The Next Level of Life here at Lakeside and the fabulous culinary creations of my wife; or I would fail, and with that failure would come not only domestic disgrace and disappointment, but it would also put the lie to my off-handed, uninformed assertion: “Of course you can get anything you want here at Lakeside. Guadalajara is right by and it’s a city of five million people.”

Would my previously impetuous and ignorant bravado be rewarded with salvation or with repeated and prolonged ignominy?

We were about to find out.

On top of the request issued by my wife and it’s predicted success foolishly elevated to a point of honor by me, I had added two kickers: the price had to be somewhat reasonable and the sought after ingredients had to be available in larger quantities.

There are some who would say: “You’re in Mexico now. Stop trying to make Mexico like the US! Just use the local ingredients and forget about items like mung beans and moong dahl (also on my list).” To these people I would respond in two ways.

The first is a question: Is that how you lived before you moved to Lakeside? Did you never use any items that were not grown within the immediate vicinity of your home? If this is you, OK, for you, you’re right; do the same here. For the over 95% of us not in this category (just a wild guess) who would like to make their lives richer and more interesting, let’s continue.

The second response is a visual and an observation. Every time that our alternating housekeepers Sol and Gaby come to our home, Jet provides lunch, usually complete with a dessert of some type, exactly what Jet and I ate. Jet delights in offering up items such as Vietnamese pho soup and Sri Lankan eggplant with mustard seed and gingerbread with crystalized ginger, usually foods neither Sol nor Gaby have ever tasted, and all with ingredients not generally used in Jalisco cooking. Sometimes, we’re around as Sol or Gabby try out the special of the day. First the look of anticipation and then, upon her first taste, the joy on Sol’s face, which often lights up like a Christmas tree, is all you need to know. Would you have the heart to deny Sol this pleasure? And what would you say after you found out that right after lunch, Sol or Gaby’s first call is to the other one, so they can talk about what Jet just served them?

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MORE ARTICLES

Mark Sconce checks out the life and times of Howard Shapley and his monumental work in the field of Astronomy.

The writer relates a way a Mexican friend found to gauge the “hotness” of various chili peppers. There are six levels of “heat,” and most of us would be well-advised not to go anywhere near the final level.

  • ON DEATH AND DYING

Series of articles from various contributors about a somber subject much on the minds of many people who live in our wonderful little corner of Mexico.

Home of The Week

 

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"An extraordinary residence located in Chapala Haciendas"

 

Sitting on a small hill on a cul-de-sac street, this home has a beautiful view of the mountains and the lake. With new flooring throughout the house this is a one of a kind property. The property has fruit trees and beautiful large gardens, has a terrace with glass doors to a stunning mountain view. Spacious and bright rooms that create the perfect environment for both privacy and rest, including a balcony for that relaxing evening moment. The living and dining room feature a high-rise ceiling of bricks of a luxurious and discreet style. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, fire place, studio, laundry room, and a nice kitchen. With incredible surroundings, its simple and luxurious architecture combined with the perfect size, make the perfect home for relaxation and to enjoy a beautiful sunset.


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MORE ABOUT LAKE CHAPALA

 Archeology

A number of interesting archeological zones have been discovered around the Lake Chapala area.  While they require a bit of sleuthing to find, they reveal interesting facts about the ancient peoples who populated the area.

Piedras Zorras
Rocks containing illustrations and engravings have been found in the area, leading archeologists to believe that in about the 16th century a ceremonial centre of the Nahuatl tribe existed.  The rocks are located about 50 kilometres from Colima on the road that leads to the community of Telcruz,.  The indigenous peoples from Cuzalapa kept a plan of their territory, painted beautifully on cloth and dated from 1531.

Piedras Zorras

El Cerro Encantado (The Enchanted Hill) – Teocaltiche
This archeological zone is situated in the former hacienda of Tequesquite where they have found pottery and anthropomorfic figures which date from the year 100 – 150 AD and which which appear to be related to the culture and the tombs of the Chipacuro.  This zone is north-west of San Juan De Los Lagos (just off the freeway going east from Guadalajara).

 

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Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

"The Place Where the Water Springs Forth"

Ajijic is situated on a narrow strip of land between the mountains to the north and the Lake to the South. It is flanked by San Antonio Tlayacapan to the east and San Juan Cosala to the west. It is seven kilometers west of Chapala. Its average annual temperature is 19.9 degrees Centigrade "68F".

In 1522, the Spanish Olid Expedition reached the eastern shores of what is today called Lake Chapala. When it arrived, its leader, Captain Avalos, met with little resistance. A royal grant from the king of Spain gave joint ownership of the area to Avalos, who was a cousin of Hernan Cortez. Soon other cousins arrived, and one of them by the name of Saenz acquired almost all of the land that is now Ajijic.

By 1530, the Saenz property was one huge hacienda. The principal crop was mezcal, which was used in the making of tequila. The hills were covered with mezcal plants. Coffee and corn were also planted. Later, when a tequila distillery was built, the beverage was shipped, along with the coffee, back to Spain.

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Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

"Grasshoppers Over the Water" - Nahuatl "Very Wet Place" - Coca "Place Where the Pots Abound"- Nahuatl

Chapala is located on the north shore of Lake Chapala, 26 km. (16 mi.) east of the Lake's western end, and 42 km. (25 mi.) south of Guadalajara. It is the oldest, most populated, and the most easterly of a string of villages - Chapala, San Antonio Tlayacapan, Ajijic, San Juan Cosala and Jocopetec - known locally as Lakeside.

Its altitude is 1530 meters (5020 feet). Its average temperature is 19.9 degrees C (68 degrees F).

Founded in 1538, the town probably took its name from Chapalac, one of its earliest Indian chiefs. Or perhaps it came from the Mexican "Chapatla," the "place where pots abound," referring to the primitive Indian practice of appeasing the gods by throwing pots, spotted with blood from earlobes, into Lake Chapala.

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