Jul 182019
Las batallas del general (novel by Martín Casillas)

Martín Casillas de Alba‘s second novel, Las batallas del general, was published in 2002 as the second in a proposed trilogy about Lake Chapala. The first novel in the series was Confesiones de Maclovia (1995), the third novel remains unpublished. Inspired by the life of General Ramón Corona, born near Tuxcueca on the southern shore […]

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Jul 112019
Lake Chapala's bit part for special effects: In Harm's Way (1965)

Lake Chapala – the lake itself – played an important bit part in the filming of the 1965 movie In Harm’s Way. The movie, an epic Panavision war film, was John Wayne’s last black-and-white film. The movie’s cast, besides John Wayne, included Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Henry Fonda, Stanley Holloway and Larry Hagman, among many […]

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Jul 042019
Confesiones de Maclovia (novel by Martín Casillas)

Confesiones de Maclovia, Martín Casillas de Alba‘s first novel, was inspired by the life of his grandmother who lived much of her adult life in Chapala, including several years in the Hotel Nido, prior to her death in October 1933. Some seventy years later, the novel’s author-narrator travels to Chapala in the hopes of unraveling […]

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Jun 272019
Clique Ajijic: an art collective in the mid-1970s

The Clique Ajijic was a group of eight varied and talented artists who formed a loosely-organized collective for three or four years in the mid-1970s. One of the members, Synnove Pettersen, recalls that “We never painted together as a group, just had shows.” Another member, the late Tom Faloon, once commented to me that Kate […]

Jun 202019
Mexican author Martín Casillas de Alba has written several books related to Lake Chapala

Martín Casillas de Alba, whose published works range from journalism and non-fiction to Shakespearean analysis, has published several Spanish language books related to Chapala, including two outstanding full-length novels. His family has lengthy and important connections to Chapala. His grandfather was the architect Guillermo de Alba (1874-1935). Between 1895 and 1920, de Alba designed numerous […]

Jun 132019
Painter and lithographer Richard Frush worked in Ajijic in the 1970s

Pioneering lithographer Richard Frush (1951-2008) painted in Ajijic in the 1970s. Richard Wayne Frush, associated with Tucson, Arizona, and Taos, New Mexico, was born in Colorado on 17 February 1951. His parents, Donald W. and Virginia Frush, owned and operated the Trinidad Coca-Cola Bottling Company in that state for many years. Richard was one of […]

Jun 062019
Juan Pablo Guzmán, author of a prize-winning novel about Lake Chapala

Juan Pablo Guzmán, a renowned Guadalajara physician, wrote several books, including a novel – El gran Chapa – set at Lake Chapala. We will take a closer look at the novel, which won the inaugural Premio Jalisco for literature in 1950, and offers valuable insights into lakeside communities and culture, in a separate post. In […]

May 302019
Movie mystery: Did the Vampires invade Ajijic?

La invasión de los vampiros (1963) is a Mexican film in which a doctor and his assistant hunt down a vampire named Count Frankenhausen, who is terrorizing the local populace. Written and directed by Miguel Morayta, it starred Erna Martha Bauman, Rafael del Río and Tito Junco. The film was released two years later in […]

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May 232019
John Upton  (1917-2005): translator, educator and Renaissance man

John Elbert Upton was born on 10 September 1917 and died aged 88, in Monterey, California, on 9 October 2005. He was a multi-talented individual who earned his living as a translator and teacher. Upton lived in Ajijic for over a decade, from 1949 to 1959, and then returned to live in the village several […]

May 092019
English-born novelist Leonora Baccante lived in Ajijic in the 1950s

Leonora Baccante had published two novels prior to living in Ajijic in the 1950s, at the same time as Eileen and Robert (Bob) Bassing. Baccante’s novels are not set in Ajijic, but Baccante herself was the basis for the character of novelist Victoria Beacon, the central character in Eileen Bassing‘s novel, Where’s Annie? Little is […]

May 022019
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art shows Louis Stettner's photos of Lake Chapala

Brooklyn-born photographer Louis Stettner, one of the greatest U.S. photographers of all time, died in 2016 at the age of 93. The largest retrospective of his work to date – entitled “Traveling Light” – opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2018 and closes in June this year. It includes three photographs […]

Apr 252019
Lake Chapala on the Silver Screen - "El Escándalo" (1920), an early silent movie

The earliest commercial movie to include footage of Lake Chapala was almost certainly the silent movie El Escándalo (1920), based on English writer Cosmo Hamilton’s novel Scandal (1917). El Escándalo was directed and produced by Alfredo B. Cuéllar. Cuéllar had studied law and economics at UNAM before working as a journalist. He owned the ABC […]

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Apr 182019
Novelist Joan Van Every Frost (1929-2012) lived in Jocotepec for more than 40 years

Novelist Joan Van Every Frost, born 28 Feb 1929 in Los Angeles, California, lived in Jocotepec from 1966 to 2012. She died at age 83 on 6 June 2012 in Santa Barbara, California. Her father, Dale Van Every, was a famous writer and screenwriter most active in the 1920s and 1930s. Joan gained an undergraduate […]

Apr 042019
Canadian poet Al Purdy (1918-2000) mused about Lawrence's time at Lake Chapala

Canadian poet Al Purdy was at the peak of his creative powers when he followed in the footsteps of his idol D. H. Lawrence and visited Lake Chapala in the late 1970s. Since 1923, many Lawrence fans had made their own pilgrimage to Chapala to see first-hand what inspired their great hero. However, Purdy is […]

Mar 282019
The 1967 movie "Ven a Cantar Conmigo" includes footage taken at Lake Chapala

Ven a cantar conmigo was filmed in Jalisco two years after the making of Verano en Guadalajara (1965). Both movies are musical romances that incorporate lots of tourist-alluring footage of markets, ancient buildings and cultural events in Guadalajara and at Lake Chapala. The two movies also share the same lead actor – Robert Conrad – […]

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Mar 072019
Writer and illustrator Ellis Credle Townsend lived in Ajijic for more than a decade

Writer and illustrator Ellis Credle Townsend moved from Guadalajara to Ajijic in about 1974 and lived and worked at Lake Chapala for more than a decade. She was the author and illustrator of more than twenty children’s books over a long career. Ellis Credle (she used her maiden name on all her books) was born […]

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