Friday, November 02, 2007

Another Side of Chacala

It's still in the low 90's every day, with lots of lovely sunshine, and bright blue skies. No rain for maybe three weeks. And nice breezes. I feel so lucky to live here, in Chacala.
Lately I have been noticing how I tend edit out the less pleasant parts of scenes around Chacala. And of Las Varas too. I am familiar with the concept of "a picture is worth a thousand words", and "lying with photos" and it kind of bothers me.

And I am starting think that to some extent my somewhat unconscious effort to make nice, attractive pictures of Chacala has resulted in some very misleading clues about what Chacala is really like. Visually, I mean.So today I am going to show another side of Chacala. Partly I am doing this because I am getting worried by some of the rental inquiries that come my way. It's hard to describe what I am thinking. One thing is I don't want to be responsible for attracting people to Chacala who prefer the gringo enclaves like La Penita and Guayabitos. Or Sayulita, for example. And who want, and expect, Chacala to be like that.
Today a landlady was telling me some potential renters have asked her "Why don't you have TV and air con in your units?". She looked kind of ashamed. I have heard this from other landladies too.

I can only think of a few things to say. One is that maybe Chacala can be a tourist town for people who want to be outside, enjoying the beauty of Chacala, rather than sitting in a dark room watching TV in a cold room. Landladies here usually think that's kind of funny. TV is still so new here.Another thing I try to say is that what makes Chacala special for many people who come to Chacala is that they have a chance to get to know the family where they are staying. And other local people. That's a very special thing for some people who come to Chacala. And I mention people who come to Chacala year after year because they love how it is now.I don't think either of those ideas are helpful to landladies want to keep up with the Lopez's or to be competitive in a changing Chacala.

Sometimes I try to help people understand how many years it will take to get their money back when they buy a new piece of furniture for their rental. Or to figure out how they will have to raise their rates to cover the cost of electricity for air conditioning. I haven't been very effective in talking about that.
The house below is a "remodel" of this house.
Which located right on the road, within inches ,
of where
the giant trucks come booming by all day long.
Anyway. I was over at someone's house today. My friend was semi-frantically creating costumes for something. It took awhile for me to figure out what was going on. But it turned out she was sewing outfits like those worn by the various Catholic saints. Santos. She had a set of pictures of various important male and female religious figures, and was copying the outfits. They looked good.Juanito, who is a kind of a young teacher of Catholicism tenets to local kids, showed me his new brown robe. Kind of like what Franciscans wear. Or Father Junipero Serra. The man who made the missions in California many centuries ago. Before California was invaded by the U.S. in the late 1840's.
Anyway, Juanito tried to explain to me that (I hope I have this right) Saturday there is going to be an important children's procession through the streets of Las Varas, ending at the Church. The children would wear costumes of religious figures. Some of which my friend was sewing.
I think this was the first time they have done this, around here, at least. And that it's part of the Catholic Church in Mexico effort to discourage Mexican Catholicos from participating in Halloween activities. Since it promotes Devil costumes, etc.

Pretty interesting. After I left, Juanito came after me to tell me to be at the Chacala church at 3:30pm tomorrow to get a ride to Las Varas. And take photos. I am excited. I love seeing processions here. And the precious children all dressed up. And I will have a chance to pick up thi months set of favorite photos.Which are printed by a Kodak guy in Las Varas. Any maybe to eat some polla asada. BBQ Chicken.


Jennifer said...

You know those pictures honestly, make Chacala a more beautiful place! I guess the best way to describe it is that it shows character.

Jim Cook said...

I have been reading your blog for some time. Loved the piece on your shoes! I think I like your blog because you seem to being living "on the edge" by American standards and really enjoying it. Your insights are unique.

Keep up the originality,


wayne said...

And these same people who want the TV and air conditioning will hate Chacala after the changes. It won't be the same place. Keep fighting to maintain the status quo, you won't be sorry!

Naomi said...

Opened my Sunday Houston Chronicle and saw the attached in the travel section.
We really didn't want this information to get out. We're frequent visitors to San Pancho for several years now and have realized that it is getting too developed now. Wanted to set our sights on Chacala to live out the last of life. Our visits in the past have been too short to Chacala. That will change on our next visit. We're Andee "wannabees." Love your blog. It keeps us wanting to return for longer periods of time. Robert and Naomi