San Juan Cosalá citizens launch their own brand to increase tourism
Berenice Barragán. – Citizens of San Juan Cosalá took their city’s image into their own hands and launched their own city brand to promote the town as a tourist destination and strengthen its economy. Led by noted artist Luis Guzmán Zamora, a committee presented the new logo at a January 9 ceremony at the Xilotl «Voz al viento» (Voice of the Wind) art and culture space,
The new logo incorporates the town’s pre-Hispanic past, and natural wealth, and religious traditions, including the tower of the temple known as the «Hospitalito», plus a bird, the initials of the name of the town, and ancestral inscriptions. The logo is intended not only to promote the town, but to remind its residents of their cultural history.
«The people of San Juan Cosalá must stop being indifferent. He who does not get involved in the activities of his community, cannot be called a member of it,» urged Luis Guzman.
Sculptor Isidro Xilonzóchitl, who owns the space where the city logo was presented, assured residents that he and the cultural community of the town will work hard to position the town using the new logo to increase tourism – especially from abroad – to cement San Juan Cosalá’s economic importance in the region.
«We will work to really position this brand, and I as an artist have to commit to do this because I believe in all this. I do not know how long it will take, but it will be achieved,» he said in an interview.
This project was born from citizens interested in improving their community, and does not involve any government agencies or public funds. Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan.
President elect Biden releases $1.9 trillion stimulus plan with $1400 cash payments
President elect Joseph Biden.
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. “We must do this and we must do this now” president elect Joseph Biden told a worldwide audience Thursday night as he announced his $1.9 trillion Coronavirus relief plan, which will include $1400US stimulus payments to every American, including Expats living abroad. The major address comes barely a week before he is inaugurated and a day after the US House impeached President Trump for the second time.
The stimulus plan also calls for increasing supplemental unemployment benefits to $400 per week through September, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, plus extending moratoriums on eviction and foreclosure on Federally-guaranteed mortgages to Sept. 30. Small landlords would receive additional small business help. The plans also calls for massive payments to state and local governments and to schools, especially for projects to limit Coronavirus spread. Biden also said he will release all available doses of vaccines after coming into office on Jan. 20.
Former film and TV star and Playboy Club singer to be featured in Lakeside Little Theater Legacy video series.
PEGGY CHILTON ALBUM COVER.
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. Lakeside resident and former film and television and singing celebrity Peggy Lord Chilton will be the star of the Lakeside Little Theater’s Legacy video series this month. Chilton has a long career including acting in 17 films – several shot in Mexico, numerous television shows, a popular folk singer opening for Peter Paul and Mary and the Kingston Trio, and a tour of Playboy Clubs across the nation as a singing comedian. She moved to Lakeside in 2009 and has directed or appeared in numerous LLT productions, including Pajama Game and Nunsense, and plans to stay involved as a director or actress.
In a pre-interview conversation, Chilton – once known as “the Lusty, Trusty, Buster” – described parties at the Playboy Mansion, meeting Phyllis Diller for gossip in an alley between nightclubs, how her pet ocelot protected her, and being told early in her career by one club owner he hoped she was better that the previous singer, someone named Barbara Streisand.
Produced by JeanMarie Harmon, and filmed and edited by Jim Jack, the Lakeside Little Theater Legacy Project is a YouTube video series featuring some of the legacy talent in Lakeside to give a quick peek at their lives before and during their time at LLT. Currently, the series is featuring Broadway dancer, actress and choreographer Barbara Clippinger at www.lakesidelittletheatre.com/
Potranquitas first practice
Erika Navarro puts her students and their stick horses through their paces
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. Led by former Escaramuza champion Erika Navarro, the Escaramuza Pedagógica Las Potranquitas Ajijic kicked off its season with its first practice Wednesday night at the Ajijic Lienzo Charro bullring. The girls, aged 4 – 8, and one little boy, began their weekly drills in very good form as Navarro used voce command (and an encouraging huddle) to get them back in shape after a summer off.
Photography: Patrick O’Heffernan.
The Escaramuza Pedagógica Las Potranquitas Ajijic trains many of the girls who go on to ride real horses in competitive Escaramuza performances at Charros in Chapala and other cities. The Ajijic Potranquitas team went to the first level of national competition last year with financial support from local doors and horse lovers. The public is welcome to observe the Wednesday night practice from the stands of Lienzo Charro, beginning at 6 pm.
Photography: Patrick O’Heffernan.
Photography: Patrick O’Heffernan.
Santa Claus arrives on a motorcycle at Chapala Police Department
Photo: Patrick O’Heffernan
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. Santa and his elves arrived Saturday afternoon at the Chapala Police Department on motorcycles to distribute presents to over 40 children of Chapala’s police offices as part of a program launched by the Auxiliary of American Legion Post 7 and the Los Güeros Motorcycle Club of Lakeside, with involvement from the Anavets of Canada.
When Los Güeros club arrived with roaring pipes at the assembly yard of the Chapala Police Department, they were met by children, police officers, officials from the American Legion Auxiliary, Mayor Moises Anaya, and other dignitaries. The children were waiting patiently with their families at tables under special tents set up for the occasion.
Project Manager Gloria Allen of the Auxiliary served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event, flanked by project volunteers Lenel Tamez, Loretta Pompeii Flick, and Irene Nottingham and officials from Chapala. Allen introduced the dignitaries, including Chapala Police Chief Moisés Torres Ramírez, each of whom thanked the police for their work and the participating organizations for their generosity.
“This is in gratitude for the work of the police in keeping us safe,” Allen told Laguna, noting that in her welcome speech, she said she worked closely with Olga Ramirez who “made this event possible.” The Auxiliary also collected funds and toys and provided candy at the event.
American Legion Post 7 Auxiliary, Los Gueros Motorcycle Club and Anavets distribute gifts and candy to the children of Chapala’s police to say “thank you for keeping us safe.”
This is the first year Allen has coordinated the gift distribution, which will also include the Chapala Bomberos next week and the Love in Action Children’s Home on Christmas Eve. The program started when Allen was contacted by the Los Gueros Toy Run and learned that they had collected toys but could not have their annual Toy Run to distribute gifts. Allen linked the volunteers of the Post 7 Auxiliary together with the Los Gueros and brought in Anavets to organize three distribution events, the first one with the children of the Police last Saturday.
“Cindy Bosch of the Los Gueros Motorcycle Club told me they had these toys but couldn’t distribute them, so we were delighted to put this together, especially since Post 7 has been involved in the Toy Run for 5 years, Allen told Laguna.
The Annual Los Gueros Motorcycle Club Toy Run is held to provide a good Christmas for the underpaid frontline public servants in Chapala, as well as other children whose families cannot afford presents.
The 35 to 40 children present were almost outnumbered by the motorcycles that roared into the Police Department’s assembly space, near Suriana Market in Chapala and they loved every minute of it, except for the speeches. They happily lined up with their parents to receive gifts and then went back to the table for a special lunch.
Donations needed for Los Amigos Christmas gifts for Lakeside’s out of work families
Santa disteributres presents at Los Amigos Ranch 2019
On Christmas day, Santa will visit the Rancho Los Amigos to distribute presents to children whose parents have been out of work and are too destitute to afford Christmas. Volunteers with the Los Amigos Foundation established by local doctor, philanthropist and horsewoman Lupita Cevallos will bring families to the ranch Christmas Day for gifts and a traditional dinner. Unwrapped donations of (new) toys, blankets, socks, and clothes are still needed to avoid disappointing any children. Donations can be brought to the Hotel Villa San Francisco on the Chapala Malecón or at Dr. Cevalla’s Clinic on the Carretera in Riberas, across from the Greenspire Church. Details at https://www.facebook.com/lupita.cevallos
Covid-19 vaccinations available this February
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic, with information from Kerry Watson, Administrator of Chapala Health Network. Mexico should begin receiving the first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine in the third week of December and the first priority group, frontline healthcare workers, will be vaccinated at designated centers in CDMX and Coahuila. The program will be carried out by the military and government health care units.
The Federal government has released its National Plan for Vaccination of Mexico, along with the priority groups in the general public and age-based schedules for shots. The first publicly available shots are expected to be administered in February of next year and continue through March 2022 as needed, according to Hugo López-Gatell, Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion.
“At this moment the vaccine opens a horizon of hope because the it gives us a powerful tool that can be used in combination with other instruments for a more effective control of this epidemic,” he told the media when announcing the National Priority Plan.
Key questions and answers:
What vaccines will Mexico receive? Mexico has contracted to receive 35 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from the Chinese firm CanSinoBIO, 77.4 million doses from AstraZeneca as well as 35.5 million from Pfizer. The Pfizer vaccine requires two does per patient; the others only one. The federal government will continue to contract with drug makers for additional doses as needed.
Is Jalisco prepared to receive and distribute vaccinations? Jalisco was the first state to start pre-planning and logistical setup for the vaccination program. The governor signed an agreement with the University of Guadalajara to provide the cold-chain (-70F) required for the Pfizer doses. The University is now installing refrigerators and other equipment and personnel to receive, store and distribute doses.
Where will we get shots and will they be free? Hugo López-Gatell said that vaccination centers will be set up and shots will be free. Locally, a logical place for shots is the Centro de Salud which is the INSABI/former Seguro Popular location, but this has not been announced or confirmed. Local medical groups and clinics surveyed by Laguna have no information on when or whether they will receive doses. Few, if any, have the cold-chain equipment needed for the Pfizer vaccine.
How effective are the vaccinations? There are 180 other vaccines in various trials around the world. The Pfizer two-dose regime is reported to be 90-95% effective. The AstroZenea regime has been described as “moderately effective” by the STAT Medical news site and the CanSinoBIO vaccine has been described by the BBC as 86% effective.
What about allergies? Two people in the UK, out of thousands vaccinated, had an adverse reaction, but both had known life-threatening allergies. Disclose any allergies before you are vaccinated; if they are not life-threatening anaphylactic response allergies, it is highly likely you can safely receive the Pfizer does; if not, you can most likely receive the other brands expected to be approved, although you may be held for 2 hours of observation..
What is the priority for shots? López-Gatell released the priority list in the National Plan:
the order of priority of population groups to receive the vaccine is as follows:
- Frontline healthcare workers
- People 80 and over
- People aged 70 to 79
- People from 60 to 69
- People from 50 to 59
- People from 40 to 49
- Population under 40 years
What is the schedule for shots? The first priority group, frontline healthcare workers, will begin receiving vaccinations at the end of December when the doses arrive. The coverage goal of the National Plan is immunity for at least 75% of the population 16 years and older by the end of 2021. To achieve this, the National Plan has established 5 stages for shots:
Stage 1 from December 2020 to February 2021
Stage 2 from February to April 2021
Stage 3 from April to May 2021
Stage 4 from May to June 2021
Stage 5 from June 2021 to March 2022
Who will be in each stage? Can we get appointments? Stages 2 through 5 will take place from February 2021 through March 2022, as shown above. We do not have information on the exact grouping by age in each stage, but expect detailed announcements in January. We also have no information as to whether private clinics and doctor groups will receive doses or if appointments will be available at either public or private locations.
Will Expats be vaccinated, or only Mexicans? The Plan talks about “Mexicans”, but there has been no indication that Expats or non-citizens will be excluded. It makes no sense to exclude Expats, or any resident group, as that would defeat the purpose of stopping the spread of Covid by creating widespread immunity.
After I get a shot, will I have to wear a mask? Yes, you should wear a mask for some time as you could be contagious to others and don’t know it, according to Apoorva Mandavilli, Science and Health writer for the New York Times. She points out that viruses can enter your nose after vaccination and develop there for some time even though your antibodies prevent them from spreading to your body. While in your nose they can still be sneezed out and infect others. Stanford University immunologist Michal Tal warns that, “It’s really going to be critical for (vaccinated people) to know if they have to keep wearing masks, because they could still be contagious.”
Where can we get more information? Laguna will provide information I at http://semanariolaguna.com, and on twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we receive it, and in the weekly print edition, Semanario Laguna. Chapala Health Talk is another excellent source of up to date health information, including reports on Covid and vaccines https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChapalaHealthTalk/announcements.
Jocotepec Ecology Director warns citizens not to buy puppies from posters on the street
Miguel Cerna: Anonymous signs have been posted in the streets of Jocotepec offering newborn puppies for sale, an action prohibited by the Regulations for the Well-being and Dignified Treatment of Animals in Jocotepec.
The director of Ecology, Diego Palmeros Suárez, attributed the purchase and sale of dogs to the Christmas season, a time of year when many families give them away as pets; although he did not rule out the possibility of also using them for training fighting dogs.
Palmeros Suarez warned those involved that these actions are prohibited in the municipal regulations and that the sale of animals on the street was also illegal.
«The regulations do not allow you to do that (buying and selling. You need to be registered, in case of a kennel, you have to hand in all the papers, a veterinarian who is aware of them, etc.; besides explaining what they are going to be used for,» he said in an interview.
In addition, the Animal Welfare and Treatment Regulations of the Municipality of Jocotepec do not allow sales on streets, highways or any other location that does not have the corresponding permits.
Animal protection activists like non-Mexican association «Tails of Mexico» and Rescate Canino Jocotepec, asked people to remove the signs to stop the mistreatment and suffering of the puppies.
Another problem in the Christmas season is increase in the number of stray animals abandoned by their families so they can replace them replace them with puppies”, explained Diego Palmeros.
«The problem has grown a little lately, because of the season, people who want to remove an older dog so they pretend they lost it or that it ran away; the child becomes sad and the parents buy another one», he explained.
Added to the inhuman conditions in which the dogs are found in the streets, dog poisoning is another problem people need to be aware of due to the frequency with which it happens. The last dog poisoning was registered last December 7th in the center of the town, which, after hours of agony from the poison, the poisoned dog was put to sleep.
Diego Palmeros said that the poisoning of dogs is the result of a vicious circle that starts with a lack of education for the care of animals, so he invited the population to adopt to prevent the problem of street fauna from getting worse.
» It’s like a chain: I abandon a dog, it is wandering the streets, it acts according to its instincts to look for food; it makes garbage, people get angry, kick them and even poison them,» he said.
Translated by patrick o’heffernan
IN OPINION OF: Patrick O’Heffernan
The United States is currently home to more than 7,000 non-daily newspapers with more than 150 million readers. There are no similar statistics of weekly local newspapers in Mexico, but Wikipedia lists 55 regional newspapers, 24 of which publish weekly. The actual total is probably much higher because the Wiki list does not include the many hyperlocal weeklies that exist in almost every town and pueblo in the country. But regardless of the correct number, Mexico is blessed with a robust infrastructure of local papers.
Here in Lakeside, the majority Spanish-speaking population relies on the Semanario Laguna and its website, Twitter feed and Instagram sites for breaking news, plus its innovative Ventas Publicidad Laguna WhatsApp site for local business news. For English-speakers, there is the English-language section of Semanario Laguna, plus hyperlocal online news websites in English, Facebook groups, and the Lakeside edition of the English-language Guadalajara Reporter.
Some people dismiss the hyperlocal news organizations and outlets. They prefer to get their news from Facebook, TV, regional weeklies, national or state dailies, or “big news” websites like NewYorkTimes.com, LATimes.com, Guardian.com, etc. But local weeklies are the muscle and sinew of journalism in any country for two big reasons.
First, local papers provide you with information about what is going on in your neighborhood, your town, your school, sometimes your block. Where else are you going to find out who won the local high school soccer game, whether or not the town’s escaramuza charra team is going to the finals, or why the street across from your house is being torn up? Who else is going to interview Miss Ajijic and Miss Chapala and their courts? Who else is going to cover the local citizens’ rally to stop illegal development and then go and photograph the illegal development?
Local news outlets, whether daily or weekly or online, provide the information people want and need for their daily lives. You cannot get everything you need from Facebook, or local editions of metro papers, or national websites. You need news organizations with people on the ground, in your community who know where the bodies are buried (or try to find out), who know the local government, who know the local businesses and nonprofits, and know what you need to know in your community and its relationships to the state and the nation and yes, even the world.
Which brings me to the second reason local news organizations are so important to journalism; they are not only its muscle and sinew, they are its womb.
The Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of NYU publishes a long list of journalists who began at a local weekly or small TV station and went on to win Pulitzer Prizes, lead national networks, serve as executive editors of major newspapers, or become best-selling authors.
Consider Christine Amanpour, Chief International Anchor for CNN; she started on a small radio station in Rhode Island. Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer for the New York Times Homer Bigart started as a copy boy at his hometown newspaper. Ben Bradlee, the Executive editor of the Washington Post whose character we all saw in the film The Pentagon Papers, started his career as a cub reporter at the New Hampshire Sunday News, a start-up Sunday paper in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Or consider Lakeside homeowner Teya Ryan who started in a small, hyperlocal public TV station in Los Angeles, where she cut her teeth producing community stories and eventually rose to Executive Vice President and General Manager of CNN, leading the world’s largest news organization.
Even here at Semanario Laguna we are losing one of our reporters to Mexico City where he will get a Masters Degree and work for one of the nation’s largest magazines. A former writer for Laguna is now one of the top sports writers in the country. And we are proud that they started with us — a hyperlocal news organization that runs photos of local school graduating classes and pictures of crocodiles in our lake alongside investigations of government misfires and private takeovers of public property.
We know many, if not most, of you who are reading this right now also get news from Facebook, or the Guadalajara Reporter, or news alerts from national papers in the US and Mexico. Great – you should. I do. A variety of sources gives you a much better understanding of the world. But we thank you for reading the Semanario Laguna because, not only does that mean that you are well-informed locally, but you are part of what keeps independent journalism in Mexico strong.
Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD, is a volunteer cub reporter for Semanario Laguna. He is a former correspondent and magazine editor in Asia, a Professor of Mass Media and International Relations at Georgia Tech, and an Emmy-winning TV producer for the UN. He started his career as a summer intern with the Los Gatos Times -Saratoga Observer, a hyperlocal weekly newspaper in Los Gatos California.
Alfaro slams federal government because it has left Jailsco to “face the crises alone” during his visit to Ajijic
Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, governor of the state of Jalisco.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)– Governor Alfaro told a socially distanced crowd in Ajijic’s Plaza that the federal government has abandoned the state financially but he is working to get help to all sectors of the population “as far as possible.”
«We are having to face this (the crisis) alone, because the federal government has abandoned us, leaving us without support of any kind because this seems to be our problem,” he told the socially distanced crowd of a hundred people, many of whom had waited since early morning to meet him. He added that, «we have come to give some economic support and to show that we are trying to help all Jalisco’s women to the full extent of our power.»
In an immediate crowd-pleasing show of support, Alfaro helped distribute economic support and 55 bicycles from the program «Reactiva Municipios» of the Ministry of Economic Development of the State of Jalisco.
Alfaro also unofficially proclaimed the designation of Ajijic as a Magic Town (the Federal Secretary of Tourism makes the decision, not the state governor) and announced the investment of more than three and a half million pesos for the rehabilitation of the northern area of the main square (in front of the Rosario Chapel and the Cultural Center), to begin on Saturday, November 28. He also publicized the future remodeling of the Auditorium of La Ribera and the construction of the Chapel of Vigil.
Alfaro also assured the crowd that the construction of a second aqueduct to take water from Lake Chapala to Guadalajara has been completely cancelled, and the metropolitan water supply will be provided through other projects, such as helping in the cleanup efforts of the Lerma-Santiago River.
In his ten-minute speech, he boasted to the Ajijitecos that hundreds of millions of pesos have been invested to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic, and he assured people that the Jalisco is ready to reopen the economy since the upward trend in the number of infections has been halted, as well as the percentage of hospital bed usage. He added that the state cannot continue with the isolation because «if people do not die of the virus, they will die of hunger.
«We cannot stop our economy anymore because the economy is the other pandemic; if we continue in isolation and shut down, then maybe we will not die of the virus, but many will die of hunger and we cannot allow that,» said Jalisco’s governor.
The governor and his entourage spent most of Thursday in the area on a tour that included visits to the municipalities of Chapala, Jocotepec and Tuxcueca, where it was announced that the State of Jalisco will be the first in the country to implement the coronavirus vaccination program.
«Tomorrow (Friday, November 27) I will announce together with the University of Guadalajara (UdeG), the start of the vaccination program, as Jalisco will be the first state to be well prepared when it comes to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine», he said.
Wrapping up, Alfaro, saying “thank you to the people Ajijic for receiving me, long live Chapala, long live Ajijic and long live Jalisco.”
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan