Calm Before the Storm: Chapala in January

February is a month of celebration in Chapala. Indeed, in all of Mexico. What Americans know as Mardi Gras is a ten day festival here, and there are other holidays and celebrations as well. Tomorrow, February 4, is Constitution Day here. (It’s always the first Monday of February.) On that day back in 1917, Mexico initiated its present constitution. Truly, a cause for celebration.

However, January has its own charms, quiet and relatively inconspicuous as they may be.

On the malecon, the pelicans can be observed gracing the waters of the lake. Some days there seem to be hundreds of them; other days, many fewer. Where do they do? What do they do? We don’t know. But we, like almost everyone in Chapala love and respect their presence. Some of the locals take it upon themselves to feed the pelicans with the remains of the catches of local fishermen.

Down the malecon a little ways, local artists have tripped out the skateboard arena with bright new paintings.

It’s cool evenings and warm days, ranging typically between 55 degrees (F) during sleeping hours and 70 or so during the day. Just lovely.

And this year we were graced with another concert by the Orquestra Tipica, a group of musicians we saw last year at the train station turned art museum and classrooms.

This concert happened at the Presidential Building in the heart of Chapala. A well-preserved building with a two to three hundred seat theatre with a stage.

This auditorium has a foyer for informal gatherings, graced with a number of music and art themed paintings.

The orchestra delighted the audience with renditions of Mexican favorites, many of which we recognized from cartoons and films we’d seen over the years. The orchestra is a mixed and motley group of locals and expats, youth and aged, with a particularly flamboyant and vivacious leader, a delightful and engaging gentleman.

We hope to see and hear them again soon. Enjoy these videos if you will.


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