Monday, December 24, 2007

Changes in Chacala, This Year

I am trying to think of all the changes that have happened in Chacala this year. At least the changes I know about.

There have been some deaths. The beloved Mother of Laur died just recently. And also Maria-Palia, who died this summer. I miss her. She was the tiny lady who carried heavy loads around town on her head. And was also busy doing something. Often artistic things for Day of the Dead and Guadalupe and San Rafael Day. I am surprised how often I think I see her out of the corner of my eye. But when I look there is no one there. Or it´s someone else. There were several other deaths that I don´t know much about

Two younger men from Las Varas died in a one-car turnover right before the turnoff to Playa Chacala. The turn onto the beach road. There is a small altar/shrine set up in their memory right near where it happened.

There has been an interesting change in who is driving. Ever since I got to Chacala
I have been amazed to see ten year old boys driving pìckups around town. Never girls. Just boys. But times are changing around here. At the first Posada, last week, a sedan filled will little kids was being driven by a local 11 year old girl. She was delivering the kids to the Pinata and treats part of the Posada.

Then, last night and then again this morning I saw Erika, Aurora´s lovely daugther, driving the family pickup somewhere. Her younger sister was riding shotgun. I love seeing girls driving, but it scares me to know how little training they get. But, maybe the younger you start driving the better. I don´t know.

Lots of remodeling has gone on this year. Majahua has a new addition, including office space and a bar with several new terraces. The place next to Beatriz´s, the place next to Sarai´s store, Gracia´s all have projecsts going on. Mar de Jade seems to be building an apartment, a studio space, and an outside area for something. Not sure what. More projects include Pablo`s from Guadalajara´s house below the Bibliotecho, Laura´s three new small rentals (intended as monthly rentals), Angeles two new units, both with kitchens now, and Antonia´s new kitchen addition to her downstairs unit are all ready to rent. The lovely new gringo home right above the hotel is complete now, and a new smaller place is being built by a Guadalajara man next door has the basics up. Three (at least) gringos are building on the hillside above the paved road, and another gringo couple is building behind the new red two story rental, over the water. Oscar and his bride, Adrienna, are starting their new place on the Mirador property, and Berta´s lovely new rental´s rentals are open for business. Lots going on.

The new town water system has been going for about 16 months now. With only a few short downtimes when the well pump was stolen (twice), and various other problems surfaced. Including the Development somehow getting access to Chacala´s water. For their swimming pools and lawns, I guess. Who knows. I love having clean decent water to fill the tinaco with for at least six hours every day. It feels so luxurious.

There seem to be routine patrols by the police now. With so many strangers coming into town on the constructions crews it´s hard for local people to keep track of who should be around and who shouldn´t. The tourists generally stay down on the beach. The level of thievery is lower than last year, when a little den of theives from Las Varas came down to Chacala a couple of times,and got way with stuff. But they were caught quickly. I think there was only one instance of a break-in this year. At a empty gringo home. There may have been something else but I haven´t heard about it. I wouldn´t be surprised if some construction materials have been removed from building sites.......

The entire town keeps getting cleaner and cleaner. Including the beach. The kids are still picking up trash once a week, and posting signs requesting tourists put their trash in the new containers. Seems to be working.

The Bibliotecho now has DSL, so the computers there now run at normal speed, and everyone seems to be happy with that. The Bibliotecho is closed until after New Years. I think it´s so Viki, the Adminstrator, can have a well-deserved vacation.

The Posada has bene lovely this year. Tonight is the last night. The Church has been painted and redecorated. Juanito made some lovely displays for Guadalupe Day and Feliz Navided.

There are two new teachers at the school, and most adults and kids seem to be okay with them. Isaac is running the After-School program again this year and the kids seem to be enthusiastic about him. The Kinder is now on it´s 3rd or 4th teacher already this year. We will see what happens when school starts again on the 7th of January.

The schoolyard around the Primaria and Bibliotecho, looks great. Clean and tidy. At the kinder too. I haven´t been over to the Tele-Secundaria lately, so I don´t know how that looks.

It seems to be a little cooler in the evening and night than other years, but I still am not wearing long plants or a long sleeved shirt. I DO have a blanket on my bed though.

There are a bunch of Christmas Eve eating options around here, and some Christmas Day events too. I am talking about special dinners, etc. When I first came here there were no Christmas lights or trees, but they are all over now.

Anyway. The beach looks great. Clean everyday. Lots of fruit stands, and vendors with good things to eat.

I personally don´t care for Christmas, but it´s fun to watch what goes on around here.

1 comment:

Steve Cotton said...

Andee --

Nice summary for the year. I have enjoyed seeing Chacala through your eyes and learning that life is truly about the people we meet on our journey. I hope your new year will be filled with more of those riches.