We are coming up on our one year anniversary of moving to the Lake Chapala area. I thought you might like to hear my thoughts on living here – nowhere is perfect but we are happy and adjusting.
Because the area has been an expat magnet for many years it seems to attract people who are new to México and are just “trying it out.” That can be a bit frustrating as we overhear thoughtless comments or clueless interactions as we do our business around town. But not everyone here is a newbie, not at all! There are lots of people here who have made their homes Lakeside for many years and are active contributing members of the community.
One of the main criticisms of the area is that there are so many expats that it’s somehow less Mexican. I don’t agree. The town we live in – San Antonio – is a tiny Mexican village similar to others of the same size anywhere in the country. There are probably more people who speak English here than other places but if you speak Spanish they are happy to speak Spanish, too.
I do miss many things about Mazatlán, especially the easy access to cultural events in Centro but we are figuring it out here. There is lots of live music and the local celebrations are different and fun. I had expected to leave banda behind in Mazatlán – but oh, no – it is here in full force! Right now the fiestas patronales are on in San Antonio – running from June 5 to 16… a different banda every night in the plaza and fun and rides for everyone. That’s the music schedule, above.
The weather here is so wonderful, we really love it. Even the hot months of April, May, and June are mild since the humidity is low. The nights are cool and the days sunny and warm. Year round.
As a health nut I love being able to buy organic produce easily. I am happy that there are stores that sell lots of organic products, soy meats, probiotic foods, and more all within an easy walk of home. I buy honey from a neighbor, and if I wanted I could go milk a cow for fresh milk every day just at the end of the road.
Below you can watch Coco do some training at “school” and Henry watching her go. The squeaking in the audio is a doggie treadmill some of the pups use.
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Our days are pretty full. We joined a gym. (OMG, you couldn’t dream up a more funky gym!) Paul and I are tutoring a young dentist who wants to learn English. I joined a book group. The dogs go to “school” every morning now, and love playing with their friends. I am making kombucha, kefir, and sourdough again. I bought a sewing machine and have been making clothes and things for the house. Paul had his cataracts removed and is enjoying not wearing glasses for the first time since he was ten years old. And my eyes have improved to where I only need glasses now for reading! That is cool!
Over the years we have seesawed back and forth between city and country living and I am sure happy now to be living a more rural life. There are lots of people riding horses, cows being herded down to the lake for water, wonderful birds and of course trees and the beautiful lake, too. We go to Guadalajara frequently for our city fix but are happy to return to our little country home.
The video below was taken at the end of our street and is the most common cause of traffic backups here. 🙂
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We are going to be signing a lease for another year – we like our little six house cota and have renovated the kitchen in exchange for being able to furnish the house ourselves. So for now we are settled and enjoying our lakeside home.