What am I going to write about Lake Chapala Ajijic Today?

September 26, 2009

I sit down with a fresh cup of Cafe de Olla almost every morning with this big question: what am I going to write about today? …followed by these other questions and thoughts:

  • What problem can I help Chapala Club subscribers with?
  • How can I be helpful and add something fun, exciting or clever into my writing so you guys will look forward  to reading the articles?
  • Who else is writing about Lake Chapala Ajijic that can inspire me?
  • What do Club Members or just lurkers  want and need to know?
  • How can my next article educate, entertain, engage and enrich the lives of our members?
  • …and, to be completely honest, at the same time, how can I use the content to build relationships, and attract the right people, who need and want my services? (and help build my business)

I truly believe that the ChapalaClub on line community Magazine/Forum is the best way yet to hook up with people interested in learning more about living either full or part time right here at Lake Chapala Ajijic, Mexico ! Honest.

But it works best if I add at least two articles a week. That’s a lot of writing, video making, and  photograph accumulating.. and it does take a considerable amount of time.

But. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining, because I absolutely love doing it.

It’s not always easy to come up with good stuff.

This is where you come in if you’re a member or even if you just stumbled on our ChapalaClub.com member site.

So, please , please, please tell me in the comments section below

What you like best about the articles on the site,

What you don’t like (just as important if not more so… as I sure don’t want to turn anyone off),   and

What you’d like to see and hear more about living, working, and playing here at Lake Chapala Ajijic, Mexico

Our members are mostly from the USA and Canada, but we also have members who already live here at Lake Chapala Ajijic too.

So, my job is to do my best to provide content useful to everyone.

Gracias to Everyone for your help in making www.ChapalaClub.com the best on line magazine about living, working and playing at Lake Chapala Ajijic Mexico ever.

Siempre tu amigo, Sid

P.S. If you’d like to become a contributor to ChapalaClub.com either regularly or on occasion send me your ideas and or sample articles to Sid@ChapalaClub.com.

Sorry, at this time we can’t pay in money for submissions, but it a great way to get your name out there as a published author and impress friends and family.

  • http://ChapalaClub Carol Rome

    Hi Sid We are since last winter long term winter renters. Sorry no buying for us but I have friends who are interested. We are responsible for 9 new travellers to come into the area this winter alone. All of whom are staying from 2 to 6 months. We are very enthusiastic about the whole area.

    Anyway we are heading down this year in time for Days of the Dead. Can you fill us in on what goes on in the area. Like Joco, Chapala and Ajijic.

    Other suggestions for articles. Have you done an article about the market on Wednesday, and the smaller markets in San Antonio etc.? What about the cultural stuff that is only a short ways away in Guadalajara. PLus Tonala and Telacapaque can be accessed either by tour or using the local buses. We saw Juan Diego Flores at the Telmex last year for a mere 400 pesos each. You might suggest inexpensive Guadalajara hotels and the places to see and things to do. We will get our opera and symphony fix this year in Guadalajara. We enjoyed many events in Ajijic last winter too.

    We take the ETN buses and enjoy the colonial cities within 6 hours. Mexico City is a huge city but we have found it to be one of the greatest to explore and we recommend it to all our friends. We head to the beaches east and west using the buses. A cheap trip. We actually have travelled extensively within Mexico and can recommend many places. A mini vacation within the vacation.

    What about the great fund raising efforts of many folks in the area to help the Mexicans, young and old. What about the Red Cross and their good work and the help they are to everyone.

    What about the fact that if you do not have a car down there when you go to an evening event it might be good to get to know a taxi driver who will patiently wait for you. We noted on our first evening out that the taxis and buses are not roaming after about 9.30, causing us to walk back to out San Antonio digs in the dark. Now street lights along the carreterra are not bad we had dark spots where we picked our
    way only home.

    What about the great food shopping places, like Tony’s meat market, the good fish stores in Ajijic, the many good dentists you can have faith in , the caring doctors, the fresh berrries available for a good part of the winter at such super prices.

    Anyway just a few ideas You may have touched upon these in the past. I only discovered your site about 6 weeks ago.
    I have forwarded the site to many folks . It’s a good thing you are doing. I know how much time it takes….Thanks Carol Rome Canada

  • Allan & Kathy Mayer

    We both look forward to your news letter every week. It keeps us in line with our thinking about Chapala and when we will be able to make our move there.
    If its possible, you might put some houses for sale and or rent in a little columne.
    Thanks for taking the time and keeping us informed.

  • Jeff Vadheim

    Hi Sid, I love your website with its great articles. Being a person poised on the brink of selling everything out up here in Arizona, my business and home for the past nine years, a 7-suite large B&B, and moving to Chapala next spring after the new owners have totally taken over and are trained in, I am highly interested in articles or interviews with Lakeside residents who would like to tell their story of how they got there. Actually the articles that would be really helpful would be the ones focusing on how each person/couple researched and chose the area they wanted to live in at first, how it panned out, and what caused them to move to another area after a while if that happened. Did they buy too much house and cart way too many “things” they just couldn’t be without all the way down there, just to find out that some of the “burdens” they were trying to escape had actually come with them in that expensive moving van? Who chooses an American-style gated community and who totally avoids that lifestyle for more immersion in the village culture of Mexico? Who gives up his vehicle in exchange for walking everywhere, using the bus and an occasional taxi when needed? A great example would be Rob and Lorie at the QQ B&B in Chapala who totally run their business without a vehicle and haven’t owned one for 12 years. Interviews with interesting people who tried something new and found out how it did or didn’t work for them can be very helpful to new residents who would be looking for help in deciding where to live or how to approach their retirement as you could identify with one of the folks who’ve already done what you’d been thinking about. After I get there and try my version of retirement out for a while, you can interview me too!

  • David Patterson

    We are trying to wind up our affairs here in Washington State and be as smart as we can about the practical problems of moving to Ajijic. We very much appreciate and enjoy your responses and the feedback from others about the day to day living challenges (as well as joys) of living on the lake. We have spent two different two week periods of time on the lake, one with the Focus on Mexico group which was very helpful.

    I wonder if from time to time you might comment on the discussions that take place to help keep them goal directed. It sounds like a great bunch of people that contibute questions and suggestions and we look forward to becoming regular contributors from our home in Ajijic if we can just get out act together to get there.

  • kent stansbury

    Hola, Sid, While watching the recent video of the driving down the Caratera, there were certainly many familiar scenes to see. However, after most much of video, I found the music so loud and distracting that I couldn’t even hear what you were saying, so I just turned it off. In future endeavers, please keep the background music toned down a little, please. Thanks, and I hope to get back down there sometime in the next 4 or 5 months for another housesit. Regards, Kent

  • Linda C.

    Hello again Sid,

    Since you ask … I’m just a lurker so far, but plan to do more as time permits – when we have moved closer. As we sit here in Calgary, Alberta enduring a very windy day that’s blowing autumn leaves all over (and significant dust into the house), my husband asks: 1) Do you ever (regularly or frequently) get terrific winds blowing in Chapala; and 2) Would an internet connection be reliable/stable (since he manages investments daily online). I have a : Do you ever run out of water? Is that why people there have a cistern either on the roof or underground – to catch or retain water for when the supply runs low? Thank you in advance – I agree wholeheartedly that you have the best and most personal Chapala information site – please keep up the great work.



  • sheila

    How are women really treated by the local males?
    I have heard from someone who now lives in Chapala that she felt disrespected and ignored while trying to accomplish contracting work in her home and repairs in her home. She is seeing it as a male chauvanist society at this point.

    Also, what is really the deal with petty crime in Lake Chapala areas?.
    We live in an area in Calif.(Thousand Oaks) where we don’t have to always have our doors and windows locked, and have not had breakins in the neighborhood that I know of. We live in a middle class neighborhood close to a wealthy neighborhood. I see bikes out in yards etc. Although we have had the unlocked truck gone through and things taken. I must say though that our town was considered one of the safest towns in the US so maybe we are the exception. It’s just that if we do not get a loan modification as my husband was forced into retirement, we need to move somewhere cheaper…but I do not want to be always worrying that if I leave soemthing unlocked that someone would come in my house. Does it mean no windows open for evening breezes? I do not want to live in a gated community as I want a large yard for a garden and want some elbow room. But what is the crime really like?

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Linda,

    We do get some pretty strong winds associated with thunder storms. We do have to fight dust in the dry season as we do not artificially heat or cool our homes as a general rule. We regulate the temperature inside our homes by how many windows or doors we have open or closed at a given time. NOrmally we just have plesant breezes too and from the Lake.

    It takes a little getting used to but once you do it’s second nature to adjust the windows and doors.

    Most people enjoy the fresh clean air here rather than being forced to button up and heat or cool artificially. We have tile floors with little or no carpet for dust to destroy, and most people have maids, at least part time to mop and dust we really don;t mind the dust that much.

    A very few homes have some form of either window unit or central air system, but as a rule these people are very sensitive to even moderately warm weather or dust or both. I can count on one hand the number of homes I’ve seen with central AC. AC units would run the electric bill up much higher too.

    The most reliable Highspeed internet would be Tel Mex DSL.It has a reliability factor I’ve been told of 97% up time. My own experience has been even better with Tel Mex high speed. I don’t recall ever having any downtime with Tel Mex.

    Depending upon just where you live you are more or less likely to experience down time due to electricity failure. A laptop or battery backup will keep you on line even then as the telephone lines will still be working even in the occasional fierce storm.

    No, we don;t run out of water. Most folks here have cisterns (aljibes) because the water is pumped from wells just so many hours a day. The systems are not as a rule pressurized all the time. The cistern has a float valve in it like in the back of your toilet tank so that as the water level drops water from the city or from your development will, when the pumps ar turned on pump water into your cistern until the float valve lifts and cuts the supply off.

    Your home will have a pump which will pump water from your cistern (aljibe) to your pressure tank or to your roof top water tank called a tinaco. The tinaco also has a float valve to that it will not overfill.

    When you turn on a tap in your home the water gravity flows from the tinaco into your home. The higher the tinaco the more pressure the water has.

    If you have a pressure tank your pump will pump the water into the tank which keeps pressure on the water that enters it such that when you turn on the tap the water comes out under higher pressure (usually) than it would from a tinaco.

    Some homes like my own have a dual system. When I bought my home it just had the traditional tinaco. I added a pressure tank and whole house water purification system so that water from my taps comes out under pressure and purified.

    Most tinancos are not high enough to provide enough pressure to push the water through a set of filters and past a ultraviolet light source which kills any remaining bacteria before it comes out of the tap… and thus the need for the pressure tank system.

    I like the dual system because if we lose electricity the pressure tank system will not work as the pump will not run without electricity…. and so we turn a valve and the tinaco then supplies with water pressure to flush toilets and take showers.

    Linda, Thanks so very much for the kind words about our website. It’s a labor of love. I can’t count how many new friends we’ve made over the years with the website.

    Thanks for the excellent questions. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    HI Kent, Thanks for your comment. Yes, I got a lot of similar comments. I agree and future videos will not have this problem.

    Look forward to having you back in the area. Best to your other half. Sid

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi David, Thanks so much for taking the time to submit a comment. I encourage an open discussion of all the issues, but will certainly do my best to keep them focued.

    Thanks again for your comments. Sid

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    WOW Jeff. Tons of great ideas in your post many of which I’ve thought of as well and some of which will be forth coming.

    I admit I struggle to keep good content on the site. I’ve recently met a lady who will be I hope a regular contributor to ChapalaClub.com and she has begun to interview people here to get their stories.

    Perhaps your post will inspire some folks to share their stories here. I invite area residents and non residents alike to tell their stories about how they came to be interested in our area. BUT, with a very big caveat ! The posts need to be focused, as brief as possible and still be complete. Please remember that the idea is to help and inform the rest of us rather than to tell your life’s story as interesting at that may be… this is not the appropriate forum for that.

    Jeff, I’ll be sure that our new writer will read your great comments so she can take them into account as she interviews folks.

    Thanks again, Sid

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Allan and Kathy, Great to hear from you. Hope you can plan a follow up trip here before too long.

    Yes, I really should share a few representative listings and some representative rentals from time to time.

    I just don’t want our readers to think that all I care about is selling them a house. I hate pushy type sales people.

    So, when ever you see a listing I share on ChapalaClub.com it will never be one of mine as I do not accept listings. But, I do think it’s a good idea to give a few representative listings and will do so from time to time.

    Here’s the link to the GIL MLS site


    where there are hundreds of properties listed for sale. But, remember please let me help you research any home or lot you find there of interest, because I want to be your Exclusive Buyer’s Only Realtor.

    You should have someone in YOUR CORNER looking after your interests. The listing agent is looking after the Seller’s best interest…not yours.

    Thanks again Allan & Kathy for staying in touch.
    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Carol, WOW, WOW, WOW ! You’ve just given me enough ideas for the next year of ChapalaClub.con content.

    All of your suggestions have merit of course and some of them have been addressed before to some degree. There’s just so much to tell about our area here at Lake Chapala that I shy away from too much discussion about Guadalajara. Of course I agree it’s a large vibrant wonderful city. I lived there for over a year in “el barrio” Santa Teresita while I taught English at the Vancouver Language Center, and courted the lady who is now my wife.

    It’s wonderful to have it so nearby with it’s glitzy new malls, great historical areas, large beautiful parks, Ballet Folklorico, etc. etc. but there are lots of websites extolling the virtues of Guadalajara so I just let folks know it’s nearby and that my wife does tours to and all around Guadalajara including Tlaquepaque, Tonala, Marcardo Libertad etc.

    BUt yes, I will do my best to include as many of your ideas about our area as possible in future articles.

    Please send me an e mail if you would be interested in writing articles for submission on some of your areas of interest. I’m definitely looking for creative writers and judging by your comments you have what it takes.

    People want solid practical information, but also want to enjoy what they’re reading, so that they’re having fun while learning.

    Please check out the 285 articles previously published under the tab All Club Posts which is the 4th from the left on the top row of buttons on the home page for additional fun research.

    Some information is repeated from time to time because it’s essential core data. For example I recall an article on our water systems here I did a few years back but this core information needs to be repeated and updated from time to time.

    Carol, I know you put a lot of thought into your excellent post and all your points are well taken and I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate the feedback. I do intend to act on as much of it as I can in future articles and please consider being a regular contributor and helping me out. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

    as you find the time on a wide variety of topics

  • http://ChapalaClub Carol Rome

    Good morning from a cool fall day in Canada…only 30 more sleeps until we are back in San Antonio. As my brother says Mexico makes my heart sing!!!

    I will be happy to send along little bits of my thoughts on living and loving the Chapala area. My husband has been working on a book focusing on senior travel in Mexico along with wonderful photos so maybe we can get him to be a participant also.
    Adios Amigo Carol

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Carol, Great, Just send me your ideas and articles you’d like to submit to me at Sid@ChapalaClub.com and I’ll be very happy to evaluate your submissions. I’m looking forward to it.

    Our readership curve int he stats I check from time to time shows a graph of a steady upward line at approximately a 45 degree angle… so I’m very pleased with the success we’ve had because of folks like you tuning in.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Joan Wright (in Canada)

    Hi Sid:
    I would love to see just more of the same really, the walking or driving tours of the different areas/neighbourhoods of Ajijic/Chapala, the everyday life, that’s the sort of thing that really interests me. Plus the safety aspect of living in Ajijic and surrounding area of course. I’ve heard some worrying things but what is the truth.

    Do you know anyone who would allow you to video inside their house/property to get an idea of what to expect from Mexican bathrooms/living rooms/gardens etc. I like the videos of the different cultural events too, educational AND enjoyable. LOVED the one on Mexcala Island – that was awesome! Keep up the great work!

    What is your real estate site so I can check out some properties?

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Again Joan, Thanks for another great comment. As an Exclusive Buyer’s Only Realtor I do not have a private site with homes listed for sale because I don;t list homes to sell. Intead I act in your best interests representing you.

    I’m a member of the GIL (Grupo Inmobilario del Lago) which has the MLS site listing all the homes of all the many member Real Estate Agencies.

    NOw before I give you the site, remember to please contact me rather than the listing agent or listing agency so I can represent your best interests. The seller’s already have their representative. I think you should have yours as well.

    OK, Here’s the site: http://www.mlsmexico.com/chapala

    I’ll try to do some videos of homes for sale in different price ranges in different areas to give you a representative sampling of homes for sale here.

    Thanks again for your nice comments. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • http://VideosofChapala Betty Wheeler

    Hi Sid!
    Joan Wright and I have the same interest as far as the type of videos that I would like to see. The everyday life and the various areas. The idea of taping in and around the homes is great. I jump on the various real estate sites and look at the pictures of homes just to get an idea of what homes in that area look like.

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Betty, Thanks for your input. I’m listening! Sid

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