Moving to Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico
I first came to Ajijic, Lake Chapala in 1979 with my husband to visit his friend at what was then the Old Posada.
We arrived and met people at the airport who were going to the Old Posada so we shared a cab. My first impression of Ajijic was not the best. Although the inn was charming the pool was stagnent and in the village there was garbage everywhere.
The first morning my husband’s friend knocked on our door very early in the morning to take him into Guadalajara to buy shrimp. They returned home at 7:00 pm and, needless to say, I was not amused. His friend’s father took pity on me and invited me to lunch where we had hamberguesas. The rest of the day I sat on the pier and looked out over the not too clean Lake Chapala.
On the up side the people were charming and we were invited to a bautismo (baptism) where we treated like family and had a wonderful time with good food, music and a very warm welcoming group of Mexicans. We spoke no Spanish at that point but that did not seem to make a difference and we did not have any trouble communicating our delight at being included in the festivities. The Eagers, owners of the Old Posada, also managed to fit us in for the New Year’s celebration which was a very exciting evening which included an excellent dinner, Mariachis, Indian Dancers, fireworks and lots of champagne. We have attended that very same New Year’s celebration at the now Nueva Posada every year that we have been here.
When our vacation was over I made the decision that Ajijic/Lake Chapala was not a place I would wish to return.
I did, however, return in 1990 again with my husband and then again in 1991 with our 2 children. There was such a stark difference in 1990 and I looked up instead of down. Our daughter has a theory that if you look up you will see the birds and the bouganvillea cascading over stone walls, jacaranda trees blooming in purple profusion everywhere and the clearest of blue Mexican skies. You will see the beauty of the place and the people but if you look down you will see the poverty, stray dogs and occasional garbage not in its proper place.
We brought our family here in the summer of 1994 and at that time, with not a word spoken, my husband and I knew we return to live and did so in September of the same year. That was 14 years ago and I have loved every minute of every day. When we first arrived we had to go to Guadalajara to get basil but now thanks to Pancho at Superlake we have everything we need right here in Ajijic including Twinings Earl Grey Decaffinated Tea.
Our children feel that moving to Ajijic, Lake Chapala was the best gift we have ever given to them and although they have both travelled away from home for school and to work Ajijic is now their home.
The climate is second to none in the world and the warmth of the sun and the people is very good for the soul. The beauty of Lake Chapala and the mountains is breathtaking and the year round flowers are such a treat coming from a northern climate where we have geraniums for a month or two.
In the “old days” in Ajijic, Lake Chapala there was one telephone in the village and the lights went out at 7:00 pm. The road to Guadalajara was a treacherous one lane affair. Things have changed a lot since 1979. We still have the occasional power outage but it is well worth it to have the peace and tranquility of living in paradise. So my advice to anyone coming to Ajijic, Lake Chapala is to look up and not down and you will save yourself a lot of valuable time in deciding this is the place you would love to be.