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.
Lake Chapala, 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!
Lake Chapala, the largest in the Mexican Republic, with 1112 km². The climate of the lagoon is tempered with rains in summer. The rains appear between the months of June and October. The coldest periods are from December to February. Most months it's a wonderful climate. A combination of tropical location, high altitude and a large body of water, produce a climate in the Lake Chapala area that is one of the best in the world.
Other prime retirement locations cannot come close to matching the climate in the Lake Chapala area. High humidity, searing summer heat, hurricane and tornado threats and miserable winters are all foreign to the lakeside. Temperatures are consistent year round. The sun shines all day almost every day. Consistently low humidity adds to the comfort level. The wind is very gentle or non-existent. Sunrises and sunsets vary only about an hour from winter to summer.
The Days For Girls Team gets together regularly at la Bodega Restaurant to assemble sustainable menstrual kits. Each kit, from raw materials, to sewn components takes about 14 volunteer hours. The kits are then distributed to girls and women living in marginal lakeside communities, along with a ten hour education component. See www.daysforgirlslakechapala.org for more information. Days for Girls volunteers will be giving a presentation to University students visiting Lake Chapala to study the effects of Global Programs in Mexico at La Bodega restaurant, 16 de Septiembre 124, from 2:00 to 4:00 on January 11th. Come and see what this group is all about.
Days for Girls is a worldwide movement that aims to break the cycle of poverty and violence against women in one of the most unexpected ways ever — by promoting access to menstrual health management and reproductive health education. Our educational component that accompanies the distribution of our kits covers hygiene, health and reproduction, family and community violence, unwanted pregnancies and general empowerment. When girls and women have health, education, and opportunity, communities and our world are stronger. Days for Girls helps to ensure that every girl has what she needs to succeed. Every girl. Everywhere. Period.
RE-GIFTING The writer offers some tips on what to give to that special friend who is very hard to please: give him/her a check. The writer says it worked pretty well when she had been on the receiving end.
THE HUMOR SOLUTION A reminder that there are few situations in life that this remedy cannot at least make more bearable. It's called laughter.
Home of The Week
"Totally Renovated House"
This spectacular, multi-level home has been completely renovated, including great kitchen with state of the art appliances, superior black granite counters, all new plumbing, amazing marble floors throughout and so much more! The home boasts 2 bedrooms, plus a large studio/3rd bedroom, large open space office/sitting area, two fireplaces, formal dining area, large laundry room including OnDemand water heater, complete water filtration system, plus new washer and dryer. Patios off every room! Skylights and lots of sunshine. Room for elevator. The double lot includes mature mango, pomgranite, guava & lime trees. Formal walking paths are throughout the gardens adjacent to huge patio area. Possible to subdivide.
This is a unique property that must be seen to appreciate! Priced to sell quickly!
Monday in Chapala, Wednesday in Ajijic, Thursday in Jocotepec, the tianguis, or open street market, is a familiar weekly event at Lakeside. But did you ever wonder why these enterprising merchants and vendors get up so early and work so hard to set up their booths and displays for only a few hours one day of the week?
Business, of course. A social event, to be sure; a place to meet friends and neighbors and pass the time of day. But the tianguis is much more than that. Its roots go back to classical Aztec times and beyond to other peoples of ancient Mesoamerica.
The term Mesoamerica refers to a large cultural area extending from Tamaulipas, Mexico in the north to central Honduras and Costa Rica in the south. It is characterized by certain common cultural traditions and features, some of which go back as far as 2,000 B.C. One of the most important of these cultural traits was the “tianguis”, which in Nahuatl means “marketplace.” By extension this came to mean the buying and selling of goods on a fixed day of the week.
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.
"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.