The Chapala malecon is the focus of the city. Everyone gravitates there. To play, to sit, to smooch, to drink, to run, to skateboard, to bike. We walk its length (well, most of it) pretty much every day. It’s endlessly fascinating. And we get to observe the little changes that come with the seasons and the holidays and festivals and just the flow of life here in Mexico.
Last week, we briefly discussed the sudden appearance of water plants taking over the lakeshore over the past three weeks. Turns out the plants are water hyacinths, water lettuces and reeds. You can read more about the details here.
What’s new this week is a rigorous cleanup effort. Men with tools raking the plants onto the shore and a tractor busy piling the debris for disposal.
The malecon seems to be the pride of Chapala. Although we rarely encounter any clean-up efforts, it’s clear that the malecon in cleaned regularly. The abundant trash receptacles are cleared; the stones of the walkway are washed; streetlight bulbs are replaced.
One morning, Bonita had an early flight out of Guadalajara, well before dawn (typically dawn is around 7AM in the summer), and we drove through town on our way to the airport. Sure enough, an army of workers were out on the streets and sidewalks, sweeping and cleaning.
The Chapala sign is one of the most popular spots on the malecon. It’s at the intersection of the main boulevard of the city with the malecon and right across the street from the cathedral. Pretty much whenever we walk by the sign, there’s a line of people patiently waiting for their turn to have their picture taken or to take a picture.
Well-kempt trees create shade for sitting and picnicking and just hanging out. People take pictures, read books, and mostly socialize.
And there’s plenty of fun for the kids. Periodically carnival rides appear, replete with blinking lights and acerbic noises that clearly the kids love.
And there’s a skateboard park (there on the right in the photo above) for older children and teens.
Summer on the Chapala malecon. Delightful.