Saturday, August 18, 2018

Children's Art Camp at LCS

Children and art have a long history in the Lake Chapala village of Ajijic, Mexico. In 1954, Neill James, writer and arts patron, started the free, Children’s Art Program which has continued under the guidance of the Lake Chapala Society, also founded by James. Over the years, thousands of children have explored their creativity on Saturday mornings in the LCS garden and for the one week every summer when there is an art camp that draws over a hundred children. 
Danielle Page

Co-sponsored by the Ajijic Society of the Arts, and under the guidance of Danielle Page and sixty other volunteers, the summer art camp offers materials and time to explore painting, mosaics, clay, and needle crafts under the gentle guidance of professional artists.

Many of the local professional artists were mentored by Neill James and have continued to give back to local children for decades. The children may not recognize it, but they are being guided by the best artists in the area. 
Javier Zaragoza

Jesús Lopez Vega
Robina Nicol
The concluding event of the week is an art sale where children who want to can put their art up for sale. Imagine the pride and excitement of having one of your first works of art sold! To date, over 10,000 pesos have been paid out to the young artists.
by Oscar Orlando Ibarra Lopez
Over the years, many of the art pieces have also been made into cards. I was able to track one young artist, Oscar Orlando Ibarra Lopez, through years of his development. This year he was a volunteer at art camp, helping other young artists begin their journey.  

Serious work supported by generosity 

As I wandered through the grounds from group to group, two things struck me:

The seriousness of the kids as they worked on their projects, and the generosity of the camp ... the lush garden to work in, the abundance of the art materials that allowed the young artists to experiment with many approaches and materials; and the constant attention of caring teachers. It made me want to be a kid again (for just a moment).

Here are just a few photos from this amazing and generous event. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hero Story: Augustin Vazquez Calvario

Augustin Vazquez Calvario
Lake Chapala is an incredibly beautiful area with its lake and mountains and almost perfect weather. What is not quite so easy to see but is just as beautiful is the generosity of its people, both locals and immigrants. This video tells the story of one hero who inspired the action of hundreds of volunteers to help people live better lives through the program Operation Feed.

"We are helping people
 and making people happy."
-- Augustin Vazquez Calvario 

Click here to see the beautiful and inspiring story.