Never Stop Learning, Keep “The Old Timer’s Disease” under control… Read a Book, Play a Game of Scrabble, Dance a Gig, Watch a Movie or Find a New Friend over a cup of Coffee that rivals Starbucks!

September 9, 2009

Where Can you do all of these things almost for free ?

All of this and much much more are waiting for you at the Lake Chapala Society located at beautiful Lake Chapala, Mexico.

Misc Shots for DVD photo video 001
The Main Entrance on Constitucion

The name sounds a bit “stuffy” to me, but LCS as  it’s known here locally is far from “stuffy” I can assure you.

Let me just touch on a few of the major services LCS has in store for you for a modest yearly membership fee… but note: a lot of the neatest things are absolutely free so read on.

OK, let me start with the “free stuff” first.

The place is an oasis of beauty inside an oasis beauty. You see the grounds were once a large beautiful estate and are in turn surrounded by other beautiful estates.


Once inside the front gate the gorgeous garden with its lush tropical plantings, fish ponds and small waterfalls pull you ever inward to delight your eyes, nose, and ears with their many beautiful flower species to soak up with your eyes, to inhale with nostrils flared and with ears perked.

Another freebie is the opportunity to stop by the information desk manned by a knowledgeable volunteer and pick their brain about all things Lake Chapala.

There are also free blood pressure checks, free enlightened conversation among old friends and new friends alike (well OK… a little gossip too) and a strictly organized extensive bulletin board (only members may post on the board) but loaded with interesting and useful information about all many of things for sale, houses for rent, rides to and from the USA and Canada wanted, tours to take, volunteers needed for this or that worthy activity, maids and or gardeners who come highly recommended who use a job or a little more work, stuff wanted, house sitters, lost or found items, and people trying to locate people, to share an international mail box, etc. etc.

You might say the Lake Chapala Bulletin Board is a mini physical version of the on line Craig’s List, but focused on the Lake Chapala area wants and needs.

Scrabble, Line Dancing classes, Free Weekly Movie, various club meetings, lectures, US Consulate programs, ticket sales for area events, tours fund raisers and many more low  or no cost items round out the ongoing activities at LCS.

Some members enjoy coffee and conversation
Now let’s chat about the stuff reserved for paying members:

It’s Not Starbucks, but I like the Coffee as Well.. and I’m a coffee nut.

I’m talking about the LCS snack and coffee bar where you really can get a fresh cup of cupachino or just plain old American Java along with an array of home made cookies and other assorted temptations to challenge your waistline.

The nice thing is after you get your favorite cup of what ever (they also have herb tea if your a sissy… just kidding I like herb tea too) you now have an excuse to sit for spell and likely as not strike up or be struck up with a conversation from some interesting English speaker from who knows where… maybe your own home town. The world gets smaller all the time you know.

A large wonderful English Language Library

The LCS Library has been in operation since 1955.  When LCS moved to the present facilities, the library was located in the building that had been the weaving facility that Neill James, the original owner of the estate, had set up.

After beginning with a one-bookcase book exchange program, the library has grown into a true library with nearly 25,000 volumes, including reference books.

The collection is an impressive one of both fiction and non-fiction books. The main source of books are from donations.
A Happy Couple at the recent LCS Fiesta

A reader can always find something to entertain or learn from in the library, which is one of the largest English language libraries located outside of an English speaking country.

Donations of books or magazines are always greatly appreciated.

A Memorial Book Program exists for members who wish to donate books to the library in memory of a family member or friend.

The library also sells used books for nominal sums to help support the facility.

LCS also has one of the largest Spanish Language Libraries for use of the local people or anyone who feels at home reading Spanish.

The Gringo Pony Express:

Because in days gone by the government mail service in Mexico, especially out going mail to the USA, Canada and the rest of the world had reputation for being so slow that one might think it went out by burro and not by a fast pony the LCS created an outgoing only mail service.

Here how it works: Members put their outgoing mail (no packages please) into the “Mail Box” in the LCS office and then members who are leaving Mexico take a sack of mail with them and deposit at the first mail box outside of Mexico they come to which usually will be in the USA or Canada.

I’m told that on average the mail goes out once a week, but no guarantees, so don’t mail time sensitive letters this way, but instead use one of the outgoing commercial mail services.

There’s hope on the horizon however for the Mexican Government Mail system. The Mexican government has contracted with the US Postal system to help them modernize their system.

My sister in law sent a letter to my wife from Las Vegas, NV and in exactly 10 days it was in my mail box in Chapala Haciendas which is just a few miles North of Chapala.

I would expect that the transit time the other direction would be as good if you took your letter to the local post office to mail it.

Well, there

OK, One more Happy Couple at the recent LCS Fiesta

So there’s  a lot more to tell and be told about the LCS, but by now you should get the idea. It’s a true treasure trove of value which other gringo retirement areas outside of the USA or Canada simple don’t have.

LCS also has a website at

As you can tell it’s a MUST STOP IN place when you come to visit us. I always try to include the LCS on my gratis area get acquainted tours:

You can sign up for your gratis area wide 4 or so hour tour  by just e mailing me at or

Call me Toll Free from the USA or Canada at 1 877 514 1396.

  • David Kydd

    Can someone give me the phone number of the person who installs Star Choice satellites? We are in Jocotepec. Thank you

  • Sid

    Hi David, I’m not at home now to be able to check my files and it will be a couple of weeks before I can check them.

    As I recall the Lakeside area Directory has an ad for this service and you could probably find the answer form someone on the forum you can access from our site under the title Chapala Webboard on the right hand side of our home page.

    Good luck. Sid

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