What’s the Lake Chapala Society All About?

October 30, 2015

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Hi Everyone,

I always take my visitors to Ajijic and show them the Lake Chapala Society.

Why? Because it’s the oldest Ex Pat group at Lake Chapala and each year it gets better. I always enjoy their newsletter and I thought I’d pass it along to you guys in this post. when you come for a visit here, it’s a must place to check out.

I’ve been a member for the last 15 years and each year it just get’s better. Many of the services are free, but I encourage you to join when you move here. OK enough chatter from me, Enjoy the most recent report form The Lake Chapala Society. You’ll be glad you did.

Tu amigo, Sid

“60 years of “People Helping People”
November 2015

The Lake Chapala Society
www.lakechapalasociety.com

LCS Celebrates 60th Anniversary!

Saturday, November 7th, LCS celebrates a unique milestone -
sixty years at Lakeside. We are one of the longest running
expatriate organizations in Mexico. We started in a small
store front in Chapala with 45 members, founded a small
lending library, taught local people English, and cared for
the ex-pat portion of the Chapala cemetery. Today we are
2,800 members strong in the center of Ajijic.

We offer a full array of services for members, including one
of the largest English language libraries south of the border,
a DVD library, and a slew of classes offering everything from
ipad to Spanish instruction. It is the first stop for most ex-pats
seeking information about living and learning at Lakeside.

We also carry on a long tradition, started by philanthropist
Neill James in 1954, of offering art classes on Saturday
mornings to local children. A dedicated group of Mexican,
Canadian and U.S. volunteers operate this program free of
charge to give youngsters an outlet for artistic expression
and to carry on the tradition of Ajijic as an artists’ colony. No
doubt some of these children will go on to become the next
generation of successful artists.

We have a student aid program for those who have
demonstrated financial need and have attended and earned
excellent grades in prepatoria. This year we are sponsoring 25
young people to realize their dreams of attending university
or technological institutions. Over the years, we have helped
hundreds of students become successful lawyers, doctors,
architects, teachers and engineers.

The Neill James Biblioteca Publica de Ajijic, located on
Galeana #18, is also supported by the LCS and offers over
4,000 Spanish language titles. Biblioteca volunteers conduct
English language classes for more than 300 students. Classes
are offered at various times during the week and at class levels
that range from beginner to advanced, in addition to English
conversation classes.

LCS has prospered over the years by adapting to change. As
we prepare for the next 60 years we continue to strengthen
our bond to the community. This year the LCS changed its
mission statement to “to promote the active participation
of Lakeside’s inhabitants to improve the quality of life”. We
believe in the saying, “Give someone a fish, and they eat
today; teach someone to fish, and they eat for life.” We believe
education is the key to improving the quality of life for both
the ex-patriate and the Mexican communities.

This coming year we will be hiring a bilingual Education Director
whose outreach will be to both the Spanish and
English populations at lakeside. For the Mexican community
we will be looking for avenues to enrich and expand our
existing offerings with the goal of increasing literacy and
skills necessary to be successful in the workforce. For the expatriate
population, we plan to offer more life-long learning
classes to stimulate the mind and enhance our knowledge
and understanding of our adopted country.

As we plan for the future, we also need to consider our
physical facilities. Our buildings were constructed in the
1950′s and are showing their age. We do not have adequate
space for all the activities we wish to offer now and certainly
not enough for future needs. The LCS Campus Committee
has been tasked to analyze our current and future space
requirements and will be presenting their recommendations
to the Board of Directors later this month.

This month is the time to celebrate our achievements over
the last 60 years, but we cannot rest on our laurels. We must
press ahead to our transition to the future both in terms of
our commitment to the entire lakeside community as well
as the re-engineering of our campus.

Ben White, President

Email for more information:
Sid@ChapalaClub.com

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