Daily Archives: 20 noviembre, 2021
Ajijic’s agricultural guild in danger of disappearing
St. Andrew Catholic Church.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- With no fields to sow and no cows to herd in Ajijic, the farmers’ guild, once one of the strongest of the nine guilds, is now one of the hardest hit in the Ajijic’s patron saint festivities.
The festivities in honor of San Andrés Apóstol are held from November 22 to 30 In the Parish of San Andrés Apóstol, where the patron saint of Ajijic is located.
Semanario Laguna spoke with one of the members (of the guild. Ramona Díaz, received the media outside her house hiding her hands to protect herself from the cold, nostalgically commented that her membership in the guild is because she inherited it from her father, who inherited it from her grandfather. Senora Diaz acknowledged that the guild is one of those that has been fading the most with time.
«It used to be a robust day because there was a lot of farming and ranching, but the guild members have been doing less and less. Today there are fewer than 25 of us who cooperate, and there is no longer anywhere to plant or have livestock, that is why the festivities have been lost,» she mentioned while raising her voice a little to be able to stand out among the noise of trucks and cars passing by outside her home.
She went on to say that the only thing left is the name, because only memories of this trade remain, and they will probably be those of this last generation. «I don’t think I will pass it on to my children, because they are no longer committed to the faith or to the profession. Not only my children, many young people no longer approach religion today.»
She said that another important factor in the lack of participation not only in her guild, but in all the guilds,is the diminished the day of the youth which is a colorful day with a lot of celebration in other areas, but here it is different, because they have been leaving aside religion and customs, they only see the celebration.»
Looking to the side, she recalls a tradition that is basically lost, in which the guild on the following day, made a small procession with lanterns to get to the last mass of the day which represented that they were receiving their day. They called this the «entrada.» «It would be nice if those of us who participate in the guilds could agree to wear a shawl and wear our tresses, so we could show more of our traditions and roots.»
Finally, she called on the community of Ajijic, adults, youth and children, to get more involved in the traditions that remain since, with pride, she says it is part of what makes Ajijic magical. «Another one I remember, is the battle of the roses -men giving roses to women during the dances in the plaza. It was nice and fun. It should be done again and we could motivate them, for example, by giving a prize to the one with the most roses. Let’s not let the traditions that made us what we are die.»
Translated by Sydney Metrick.
Chavo Luna: more than a musician, a teacher of young musicians
Chavo Luna in front of his house, «The future of music is uncertain, from being dead during the pandemic now the movement is reborn».
Jazmín Stengel – Salvador de Luna Castellanos, better known as Chavo Luna, began his career at the age of eight in 1956. His interest began the day he followed the musicians he saw pass by the main avenue of his town, Chapala, dressed in suits with instruments in hand.
The pursuit of that day led the boy to the Academy of the parish of San Francisco de Asís where the community band, «Niños Héroes,» founded by the priest Raúl Navarro was rehearsing. «That’s where I began to study,» said Chavo.
Chavo found a harmony that would accompany him throughout his life. Being mostly self-taught, he sought to learn from friends and colleagues who studied at the Conservatory, such as Humberto Rivera who accompanied him for two years, helping him to complement his musical training.
The quality of his music and the few opportunities to practice his profession in Chapala during his youth, led him in the 70’s to make the leap directly to the tapatías groups. The Youth Orchestra of Guadalajara was the first to open its doors to him. After that, Chavo was part of the orchestras directed by Nano González and Enrique Reyes, both famous musicians from Jalisco.
Luna told us about one of the best moments he experienced on stage. «The first day you play a solo well the people look at you and you can hear the applause,» he said with a hidden smile and eyes lit up with nostalgia as if he were reliving that moment from the warmth of his living room.
After that day his career took off. He was a member of the Arturo Xavier Gonzalez Santana Orchestra when it split in 1981, «the best ones formed their own group and those of us who were not so good stayed,» Chavo recalled.
Shortly thereafter, the Jalisco State Symphony Orchestra called him to its elite ensemble of musicians in the city where he remained for three years. «At first I hesitated, but I wanted to fit in with the greats and I realized I had the quality,» he said with a blush.
After a fifteen-year absence, «One day my sister told me that her three children wanted to learn music. I proposed to invite seven more of their friends to form a band.» Since 1983, Luna has gathered young people in the main square of the Chapala every Sunday to form the new band of Chapala.
At that time, the now 73-year-old maestro made a crucial life decision. “Since we musicians sacrifice time and effort, I dedicated mine to develop music among the young people of the town,» said Chavo not regretting leaving the big leagues to continue his legacy with music classes for clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and all the wind instruments he masters.
The effort over 28 years has never been in vain, and even if the pay is a simple plate of pozole with a couple of tostadas, the students have always made their work worthwhile. There are 18 students who have made it to the «mero arriba,» seven are now professionals and play with celebrities such as Alejandro «El Potrillo» Fernández, La Banda San Miguel, Banda Caramelo or La Pequeño Musical.
Chavo Luna may not have achieved worldwide fame like other musicians who pursued a public image, but the persistence and dedication he has shown throughout his 52-year career, his dedication to non-profit teaching, lead him to be recognized by his people with an outdoor tribute in the main square of the Chapala capital on November 21 at 8:00 p.m., where the Chavo Luna Wind Band, directed by Chavo Luna himself, will also perform.
Musicians in Chapala are scattered, but not absent. After a year of pandemic without festivities or music, the guild of mariacheros will meet again on Monday, November 22 at the Parish of San Francisco de Asís at 7:30 a.m. to celebrate a mass in honor of Santa Cecilia, Patron Saint of all musicians.
At the end of the mass, the groups will go to the little chapel of Santa Cecilia, on Chapala’s malecon in front of La Rampa restaurant, where the mariachis gather to sing the mañanitas to the patron saint, as they do every year.
The musicians from San Antonio Tlayacapan will organize a symbolic festival to celebrate their day, bringing together bands such as Astro Norteño, La Banda Caramelo, Banda Colegiala, Mórbida, La GS Band and Polo con su guitarra, combining musical genres for all tastes.
Also, in the parish of San Antonio de Padua, a mass in honor of St. Cecilia will be held at 7:00 a.m. and at the end, the mañanitas will be in the atrium of the same parish.
Translated by Sydney Metrick.
Mariana Macías arrived in Thailand to represent México in beauty contest
Mariana Macías, originally from San Antonio Tlayacapan.
Laguna staff. Mariana Macias, originally from San Antonio Tlayacapan, set foot on Thai soil to begin her quest for Miss Grand International. On Sunday night the winner of the «Miss Grand Mexico 2021» beauty pageant landed at Phuket International Airport to represent Mexico in the ninth edition of Miss Grand International 2021, on December 4.
The Lourdes Chapel will open its doors to the public after three years of being closed
The neighbors of the Lourdes neighborhood will see the doors of their chapel open to the public for the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Photo Jazmín Stengel.
Jazmín Stengel – After being closed to the public for more than three years and after six months of restoration work, the Chapel of Lourdes will finally open its doors to the public to commemorate the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12, as was done in 1940.
To date, more than 500,000 pesos (almost $24,000 USD) have been invested in the restoration work, according to the civil engineer, Enrique Petersen. These resources come from what the neighbors have been able to raise through donations, most of the time in material.
«Unlike earlier, they now prefer anonymous donations», commented Alejandra Martinez, daughter of Tere and Jose (Pepe) Martinez, neighbors of the community and treasurers of this collection. She added that many Chapalenses and foreigners have contributed their share, including Enrique Petersen who undertook the job of directing the work without charging a peso.
After six months of restoration work, there are still pending details of painting and finishing in the temple. Photo Jazmín Stengel.
The task has not been easy, since the labor expenses and some materials not donated tallied up to 70 thousand pesos one month, with even more expenses. The average monthly expenses remained at 20 thousand pesos, which has covered the payroll of four stonemasons.
The steady collection of resources has been maintained thanks to fairs, raffles, sales, and the monthly contributions of more than 200 pesos, which the neighbors of the neighborhood pledged to contribute.
Petersen said that when he began the plans for the restoration of the exterior, he discovered the poor condition of the foundation, and that part of the only tower was cracked.
«We started by fixing the base of the chapel and reinforcing its walls with metal and concrete, we removed the outside balcony that was pushing out one of the walls and repaired the cracks,» said the engineer, who added: «These details and water leaks from the hill impacted the infrastructure severely enough to close it in September 2019, almost 80 years after its inauguration,» he concluded.
At the end of the first stage of restoration, only cosmetic and finishing details such as painting, carpentry and gardening are pending, for which more budget is needed. However, the committee in charge, together with engineer Petersen, decided to reopen the chapel so that the community can see what has been achieved.
The chapel was built in 1940 by Guillermo González Hermosillo y Brizuela, who led the cooperation between the neighbors of Colonia Francesa and the Ixtle neighborhood to make possible the construction of the sanctuary.
Photograph of the first years of the Lourdes Chapel. Photo: J. González.
Now it is the turn for the second generation of neighbors, the heirs of the luxurious country houses in Colonia Francesa and the inhabitants of the renowned neighborhood of Lourdes in Chapala, named in honor of their patron saint. These neighbors continue the restoration of the shrine week after week by selling churros, fritters, and sweets outside after mass, and others by making extravagant anonymous donations.
The fundraising work continues to help fund the remaining restoration work, and the next fair is already planned to be held on November 28 outside of the Parish of San Francisco de Asis. Another fair is planned for December 5 outside of the Chapel of Lourdes.
Translated by Kerry Watson.
The religious novena honoring St. Andrew the Apostle to be held in traditional manner
The banner listing the program of activities and participating guilds is on the façade of the church of St. Andrew the Apostle.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- The novena of nine days of religious celebrations to honor St. Andrew the Apostle will be carried out at the church in the customary way -unlike the celebrations in the main plaza, which will be modified- with the traditional mañanitas, masses, rosaries, and adoration of the Holy Eucharist.
The mañanitas will be held at 7:00 a.m.; while mass will be held at three different times, 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Rosaries will be at 6:30 p.m., and adoration of the Holy Eucharist- in the hands of adorers and honorary adorers – will be on Wednesday, November 24, Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26.
Translated by Kerry Watson.
New administration working hard to beautify Ajijic’s boardwalk
Officials painting the fencing along the boardwalk. Photo: Santiago Baeza
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- Officials of the current PAN administration of Chapala, gave a facelift to the Ajijic boardwalk, painting area blue which previously were orange.
«We haven’t been able to address it as much as we would like, but we’ve already started. We are going to continue throughout the park and the boardwalk, renewing the paint of the dining areas and library, and at the beginning of the year we will start to renovate the aging grills» said Ajijic Delegado or town administrator Maximiliano «Max» Macias Arceo, who promised that the boardwalk and the beaches of Ajijic will continue to be beautified.
Painted and clean, this is how the dining areas and grills look. Photo: Sofía Medeles.
The Delegado said that a search has already begun for a new water pump to irrigate the green areas. He emphasized that the line will not be connected to the Municipal Potable Water and Sewage System (SIMAPA), but will take water from the lake, to improve the distribution of water to the neighbors of the boardwalk.
The green benches without back supports that were removed from the Ajijic plaza due to popular complaint will also be repaired and then relocated back to the boardwalk.
«We are looking to designate one day a week to clean up the boardwalk, remove the “lirio” or floating seaweed, and provide maintenance. We still don’t know if there will be new projects for these areas, but for the time being, they will be maintained and cleaned,» concluded the interviewee.
Translated by Kerry Watson
Ajijic to celebrate its Patron Saint
Parish of San Andrés Apóstol, where the patron saint of Ajijic is located. The festivities in honor of San Andrés Apóstol take place from November 22 to 30. Photo: Sofía Medeles
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)– A few days before the start of the festivities in honor of the patron saint of Ajijic (November 22-30), the Chapala government has finally given the festivities a green light with conditions that guarantee they will be held as our ancestors used to do. That is to say, the old-fashioned way.
The municipal authorities conditioned its permission on a midnight shutdown time, a restricted capacity, sanitary filters run by the guilds, signage identifying entrances and exits, use of masks throughout the nine days of parties, and monitoring by the municipal government.
Maximiliano «Max» Macías, currently in charge of the Delegation office, commented that the delegation is working together with merchants, guilds and organizing groups to create a very healthy and old-fashioned celebration in the kiosk of the Plaza with small, local music groups. In the afternoon there will be cultural performances.
«The experience at the festivities will be different this time; people can come with the family, spend some time and have dinner. We are starting little by little and reactivating the economy. For example, merchants who have not been able to make a living, will be allowed to work, as long as they respect the requirements of the Ministry of Health,” said Max.
The calendar of activities for the novenario (nine days of parties) was published the delegation’s web page (Delegación Ajijic 2021-2024), which lists the guilds who have duty each day: on November 22nd, the musicians’ guild; on the 23rd, the merchants’ guild; on the 24th, terrace owners who reached an agreement; and on the 25th , the new youth guild. These have all agreed to bring musical groups (who will perform at the kiosk). From November 26th to 30th the activities to be carried out will depend on the budget of the remaining guilds.
Residents see this as good news and have expressed their enthusiastic approval in social networks and interviews conducted by Semanario Laguna.
«It is good because on the one hand we see how little by little we are getting out of this pandemic, and on the other hand because they give the population a space to have fun,» said Sara from Ajijic to Laguna.
Maximiliano «Max» Macías called upon those attending the celebrations in honor of Saint Andrew the Apostle, and the merchants at the festivities, to respect the conditions and the Covid measures, noting that violators may be penalized.
Translated by Dee Lynn
One and half million pesos needed to solve the garbage problem in Jocotepec
Photo Caption 1: The collection company has been overwhelmed by the problem.Photo:Héctor Ruiz Mejía
Héctor Ruiz Mejía – One and half million pesos are needed to reopen the La Loma landfill in Ixtlahuacán by Grupo Integral de Recolección y Reciclados de Occidente (GIRRSA), and save its contract with the City Hall. City Hall does not have resources but it hopes GIRRSA can put up the funds to solve the problem of the long transfers to Ixtlahuacán .
This will also benefit GIRRSA, since the investment it makes in the Ixtlahuacán landfill, around two million pesos a year, will be consolidated into a single investment for the possible new landfill.
According to the municipal president of Jocotepec, José Miguel Gómez López, the collection company only has five of the seven trucks in operation needed for the collection, upsetting Jocotepec’s residents since people say they no longer know when their garbage will be collected.
The problem of the trucks has already caused intermittent collapse of the service and although José Miguel claimed that the company is willing to solve the problem, so far no action has been forthcoming. In addition to the mechanical failures that prevent the seven units from working properly, the round trip to and from the Ixtlahuacán landfill, which takes about four hours per unit, hinders the collection process, with delays accumulating for days and even weeks.
The problem is illustrated by the Mayra Berenice J. Vicente Negrete elementary school, which, according to García, principal of the school, the collection trucks do not have the capacity to go up to the school, so it has taken up to 15 days to clear the garbage that 300 children generate.
Every day the municipality generates around 40 tons of garbage; the waste that accumulates with the collection and disposal problems, leaving the 47 thousand inhabitants of Jocotepec uncertain if someday the garbage problem can be solved favorably and definitively.
«The people don’t care, the people want results’ ‘, said José Miguel, adding that although GIRRSA helped to contain the garbage crisis when the last administration had just begun, he will not hesitate to revoke the concession if they do not regularize the service.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan
Opinion: Horse pucky and highways. A car conversation
Traffic lights in Walmart intersection. Photo: Semanario Laguna.
Honey, can you tell if the light on the Carretera is red yet?
I can’t see it. I think the green light is broken, or at least so dim it is invisible. But I have to practically lean out of the window to see it and I can’t do that in this blouse. Can you see the other light?
There is no other light, hon, that is why I need to know about the lights on the Carretera.
Why didn’t they put a light on the other side of the highway?
I don’t know, honey. Maybe the same reason they don’t fix the lights when they burn out or get damaged. Just look at this one next to us – it looks like a truck killed it and it is not quite ready to die. Hold it, this delivery van wants to turn into the street here so I have to back up so he can get in.
I think we just got a green – the car facing us is starting into the intersection. Try your left turn now. They have a light on this side they can see.
As soon as this truck lets me move, hon. Damn…the light just went red again. Now we have to wait through another cycle. What idiot designed this intersection?
You know who – the same so-called Federal engineer who designed the Walmart intersection. Why don’t you just turn right and then make a u-turn?
Yes! Hold on, hon…I made it. U-Turn at Pemex coming up.
Nicely done, dear. Driving in this town is like playing a video game.
Opinion by Patrick O’Heffernan
Hon, video games are easier- everything generally works and there is a help desk. Would you look at the signal at Juarez, just hanging down like that. If this is a Federal highway, the Mexican government should be embarrassed.
If the Administration is not embarrassed by the Maya Tren fiasco and the abandoned airport and the collapsing metro in Mexico City, the lack of traffic lights in Ajijic won’t phase them.
Hon, you are so right. Now, tell me why is it that the Federal highway workers can shut down the Carretera in rush hour to resurface the road which they could have done at night much faster, but they can’t manage to fix the broken traffic lights? Can’t Chapala do anything?
They tried, but it is a Federal highway. Remember when the Chapala Director of Mobility got so frustrated with no-shows from the Feds he went out and synchronized the lights himself.
I do. One of my Mexican beer buddies suggested dumping truckloads of horse manure in front of the Federal Transportation office in Guadalajara until they get the message that their roads are not fit for cars.
I don’t think it would help, dear. They don’t care and they have so much horse pucky of their own that they shovel at us, they probably wouldn’t even notice.
So true. Wait, did the light just turn green?
(Watch for a follow up on Laguna’s survey of broken traffic lights)
At least two women are attacked every day in Jocotepec
Jocotepec municipality has a population of 47,534 of which 24,129 are women, according to information from the Institute of Statistical and Geographic Information of Jalisco (IIEG), Jocotepec reports 870 attacks against women throughout the municipality so far, equivalent to 72.5 women attacked per month or 2.4 women per day. Photo Caption:The photograph is for illustrative purposes only.Photo:Héctor Ruiz Mejía.
Héctor Ruiz Mejía: According to data obtained by Laguna through a transparency request, 2.4 women are attacked everyday somewhere in the municipality of Jocotepec. San Juan Cosalá is Jocotepec’s most dangerous town for women for the third straight year.
San Juan Cosalá continues to be the most violent town despite a slight drop in reported attacks on women from their high point in 2019 . In that year authorities registered 224 attacks , which represented 18.6 women raped per month. The year 2020 saw a drop to 210 attacks (17.5 women per month) . In 2021 there have been a total of 126 reported cases (10.6 women per month) to date, but Cassandra Reyes, director of the Directorate of Substantive Equality, warns that December, traditionally the month with the highest incidence of violence, is still ahead.
«Something strange happens after Christmas and days of partying and alcohol before the New Year, the numbers of women victims of violence shoot up,» she said.
The numbers from the towns at the west end of Lake Chapala (known as the headwaters) are not encouraging either. Since 2020 attacks on women have increased almost double over 2019 as the municipal headwaters area recorded 109 cases in 2019 (9.08 women per month), 204 cases in 2020 (17 cases per month) and so far this year, 115 cases of violence have been reported (9.5 per month), with an anticipated increase in December.
However, last year saw the highest number of attacks, with 972 cases at the municipal level, which represented 81 women assaulted per month, largely influenced by the confinement caused by the pandemic, explained Casandra Reyes.
«The confinement represented a challenge for the women who were raped, as this made them live full time with their attacker who, being unemployed, increased their alcohol consumption», explained Cassandra.