Ajijic’s friend, shaman, artist, teacher and tyrant, Katuza, is fondly remembered
Jesús María Higuera Hernández, born on March 1, 1951, passed away at the age of 71 on May 22, 2022. Photo: Facebook.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic).- Beloved Ajijic personality Jesús María Higuera Hernández, known as Katuza, was recognized worldwide, not only for his artistic skill, but for being a spiritual master and revolutionary man every day of his life.
Born on March 1, 1951, he grew up in Ajijic in a family originally from the town. Later he would travel to Canada to start a restaurant. After a few years abroad, he decided to return to his hometown after succumbing to excessive drinking.
Katuza, pictured performing a ritual in Porter’s music video «Palapa». Photo: YouTube.
Upon his return, according to one of his closest friends, Daniel Palma, he continued excessive drinking, until he had a scare that made him forswear alcohol. After this, he became interested in the Huichol culture and their pilgrimage of «La Cruz». Joining them he learned about dance, healing, spiritual rituals and temazcal (sweat lodge), and received the title of marakame (one who merges art and culture) by the Wixárika community.
One of the skills for which he was most recognized was the temazcal, an ancestral healing ritual connected to the sweat lodge. One of his students, Luis Ríos, shared that with his apprentices, Katuza was always very firm, with a strong and sincere character, which surprised many, and alienated many others.
«He handled the traditional Mexican temazcal with burnt brick, mud and his own hands. He fought so much that he lost the sense of the temazcal. It moves with love and with love people are healed. The temazcal goes deeper, cleanses your being, your soul, and returns the essence of why we are alive, that’s how he taught me,» Luis said.
Katuza during a cleansing he performed at the Municipal Government Palace, in 2016. Photo: Facebook.
He performed dozens of temazcals not only in Chapala, but also throughout México and even Europe. National and international people became interested in him because of his rituals. Several of his acquaintances said that he was always traveling to continue learning and cultivating his skills, which is why he was portrayed in articles in media around the world, such as the New York Times.
«Once, some friends of mine were looking for this kind of healing. I took them to Katuza because he did what they were looking for. After they left, they told me that, in healing them, he was very specific with each one, ridding them of what ailed them, without having to mention it to them. They were very surprised, that’s why they recognized him as the medicine man,» Daniel Palma shared.
One of his wood and leather drum courses in the main square of Ajijic. Photo: Facebook.
As for his artistic side, his friend and colleague Daniel said that he handled wood and stone in a very rustic way, and his main creations portrayed lizards and iguanas.
Jesús María passed away last Sunday, May 22, at the age of 71. Many of his friends and acquaintances bid him farewell with a mass and small rituals.
He was a man who is a legend of the people Ajijic who is described with multiple titles: shaman, teacher, friend, artist, tyrant, and who inspired dozens of writings, songs, and videos that captured his eccentric life. One of those is a fragment of the song “Pájaro Rojo”, by Erick de Jesús Ocelotl:
Bajando luces de otros tiempos
Between the moon and the cold
Goes a marakame marking dreams
And the whispers of a child
You paint wings to my senses
Smiling at your madness I tell you
Katuza is on an uncertain journey
Red bird red bird friend
Don’t forget what I say
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan
Looking at Life in Lakeside
By Patrick O’Heffernan
A Tapatio Mexican driver won the Monaco Grand Prix this week, the world cup of Formula 1 auto racing and to many the most difficult of auto racing’s unofficial Triple Crown. He is the first Mexican to win the Monaco Grand Prix, and the first North American to win it since 1981.
Now, you may not be excited about auto racing. I understand, although I am, having raced H-class Sprites in another lifetime. Formula l racing (the funny-looking really fast cars) is a rich person’s sport, sort of like yacht racing, only louder and more dangerous for both drivers and spectators. But this one is a win for the home team here is Jalisco as well as Mexico..
Mexico is justifiably proud that one of its sons topped the podium at Monaco, Sergio “Checo” Pérez, racing for the Red Bull team. This is Pérez ‘s third Grand Prix success, the first being winning the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and the second a pole position in the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix earlier this year.
Pérez ‘s win was based on strategy, as well as speed. A rainstorm on the track and a late race accident that took out a barrier forced the drivers and their crews to make multiple decisions on which tires to run on for the final laps and when to change them – a major set of strategic choices. Pérez and his crew got the strategy right; the other three top finishers did not
As a result Pérez was able to hold the lead to the checkered flag and cinch his third success in Formula One, finishing just over a second ahead of second place Carlos Sainz of Spain. The 32-year old was rewarded with lots of champagne in very big bottles, kisses from every woman within reach, a gold trophy in the shape of the track in a special Luis Vuitton case, and an $8 million contract renewal with Red Bull. Plus, the undying pride of his countrymen and women.
Why should Mexico be so proud that one of its own has won the top Formula 1 race in the world – or any F-1 race for that matter? Well, for starters, F-1 is arguably the most competitive sport in the world. There are 9 billion people on earth and only 20 Formula 1 seats available. That makes driving F-1 a more exclusive club than the US Senate, and Pérez has made Mexico a Member.
Secondly, unlike NASCAR where everyone is essentially driving the same car because of NASCAR rules, F-1 cars can be and are designed to be the fastest in the world. The engines generate 1,000 HP and rev at 15,000 RPMs, moving them at speeds of up to 240 mph (NASCAR tops out at 212 mph). There are different cars for different tracks, with the length and stiffness of the frame, the center gravity, the engines (four companies supply F-1 engines), and other components differing vastly from car to car and track to track.
In short, racing Formula – and winning – is a unique combination of a skilled driver willing to risk his or her life in every race, the pinnacle of auto design and technology, money, and strategy. Racing and winning a Formula 1 race puts Mexico in the most exclusive club in the world. Whether or not you follow auto racing, it is another reason to be proud of the country we live in. It can do big things.
After a year and a half, the water well in the west of Ajijic is finally working!
Municipal President and SIMAPA officials during the announcement that the well would be connected to the potable water network. Photo: Government of Chapala.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic).- The well on the outskirts of Ajijic was put into operation at the end of last week, after approximately a year and a half of drilling, and will supply the areas from La Cristina to Alceseca, to the west of the town.
The person in charge of the Municipal System of Potable Water and Sewage (SIMAPA) Ajijic, Timoteo Aldana Pérez, said that although it does not have the expected capacity, the water is suitable for consumption and sufficient to cover the needs of the area.
The wells shortly after being drilled in 2020. The well is located in the area of La Mojonera and will supply water from La Cristina to Alceseca. Photo: Sofía Medeles.
«The well produces less water than we expected. Normally the capacity of the other wells ranges from 33 to 16 liters per second, but this one gives between eight and ten. It is not what we expected, but it is enough water for the area. We hope that with the rainy season it can improve,» said Aldana Pérez.
He also said that the low capacity of the well could be due to the fact that the bentonite -material used to avoid or reduce landslides in the wells- that was used during its drilling has not yet been completely cleaned. «It’s a matter of waiting to get it all out,» he mentioned.
He added that this well is the deepest of all the wells in Ajijic and the drilling expenses were assumed by the past administration. This administration was in charge of the electrification and the placement of the pumping system, and although he does not know the total cost of the well, he commented that he estimates it could be approximately three million pesos.
Neighbors of the zone said that the operation of the new well is already noticeable.
«Yes, there has been water for more days, although not all day. Before there was water two or three days a week, and now up to six days,» commented José Rosario, who lives in the Alceseca area.
On the other hand, one of the interviewees, an inhabitant of La Cristina, to the west of Ajijic, commented that she has noticed the change, however, the water has been more cloudy with a whitish color.
The well is located in «Rancho San Vicente», on the municipality’s borders. This was announced by the last administration (2018-2021), where the then municipal president Moisés Alejandro Anaya Aguilar stated in November 2020 that the well was already drilled, however, it was not actually completed in his administration.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan
The first Mariachi School in Lakeside opens in Ajijic with distinguished personalities
The Pedro Rey Mariachi School is located in Ajijic, at Constitución #147 in «la casa de adobe». Photo: Facebook.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic).- The first Mariachi School in Lakeside opened this week in Ajijic. Named after the musician Pedro Rey, the school will offer different disciplines in the most Mexican musical genre, the mariachi.
The presentation took place in the facilities of what will be the new school in the well-known adobe house, located at Constitución #147. Classes will begin on June 6th.
VIP table at the opening: (L to R) Jorge Cerna, Miguel Barrón, Ramón García, Daniel Medeles, Pedro Rey, René Mejía Jacobo, Carlos Mata and Jorge Corredor Zaraza. Photo: Sofía Medeles.
Present at the event were the founder of Mariachi Los Galleros, Pedro Rey, after whom the new school is named; musician and teacher Jorge Cerna; arranger and music producer Miguel Barrón; musical director of mariachi Los Toritos, Ramón García; and the director of the Pedro Rey Mariachi School, Daniel Arturo Medeles Córdova.
Mariachis attending the event with Pedro Rey. Photo: Sofía Medeles.
Medeles Córdova, director and founder of the school said that they will begin offering regular classes for the young people who join; approximately 35 people are already enrolled.
The school will offer classes to young people between 7 and 17 years of age; among others, the students will learn to play the trumpet, guitar, guitarrón, violin, vihuela, in addition to singing classes to tune the voice of those interested.
Information on the classes, convocations, schedules and information regarding the school, can be found on the Facebook page: «Escuela de Mariachi Pedro Rey» .
«I feel fulfilled and totally convinced to return to Ajijic. I am from here, my family is from here and here I grew up and became what I am. I feel fulfilled, motivated, and eager to give something back to the town for all that it has given me,» said Daniel.
Also on the podium at the opening were musician and composer René Mejía Jacobo; harpist and teacher, Carlos Mata; musician and business administrator, Jorge Corredor Zaraza; the municipal president of Chapala, Alejandro Aguirre Curiel and his wife Erika Eryn Torres Herrera, president of DIF.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan
Recinto Maya Kay, la experiencia de nadar con delfines
Nado con delfines.
Redacción (El Chante, Jal).- Recinto Maya Kay es un delfinario en el municipio de Jocotepec que se enfoca en el tratamiento de enfermedades a través de la delfinoterapia, además de contar con otras opciones como la estimulación prenatal, nado interactivo y presentar dos exhibiciones al mes.
El recinto cuenta con dos delfines y tres estanques para llevar a cabo sus actividades, además de con tres tipos de especies de guacamayas, dos de México y una especie de Brasil.
Entre las actividades que realiza se encuentran el nado especializado o delfinoterapia para el tratamiento de padecimientos como síndrome de Down, autismo, parálisis, déficit de atención, depresión estimulación prenatal para embarazadas, encuentro con delfines para papás y bebés, encuentro exprés fuera del agua, nado recreativo con delfines y pláticas educativas sobre el manejo y cuidados médicos de los delfines para niños y estudios superiores.
Por otra parte, el nado interactivo ofrece la experiencia de nadar con delfines, así como el nado para mujeres embarazadas que busca estimular al bebé antes de su nacimiento o mediante el programa Dolphin kids tus hijos perderán el miedo a nadar.
Además, Recinto Maya Kay ofrece dos demostraciones con delfines al mes para disfrutarse en compañía de toda la familia y cuenta con tres guacamayas que saben andar en bicicleta y en patín y que de manera ocasional suelen acudir a escuelas donde realizan pláticas educativas y una pequeña exhibición.
Recinto Maya Kay cuenta con personal con 27 años de experiencia en el cuidado de los delfines y guacamayas ya que con anterioridad fueron conocidos como Mundo Marino en el parque de diversiones Selva Mágica de Guadalajara.
En el delfinario Recinto Maya Kay se ubica en la delegación El Chante, municipio de Jocotepec conocido por sus balnearios, spas, ambiente de relajación, tranquilidad y excelente clima.
El costo de nado con delfines dura 40 minutos dentro del agua es de mil, 99 pesos; menores de tres a 10 años 899 pesos. Costo por persona a partir de cuatro acompañantes que no ingresen a nado 50 pesos.
Reservaciones al 3312685631 o al 36985298 en horarios de atención de 9:30 de la mañana a 6:30 de la tarde o visita http://www.recintomayakay.com.mx/