FAQ-About the Residency

  • What is the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency Program?
    • We are a free one-month international residency and we welcome applications from a wide range of media: visual art, textile art, fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, playwrights, screenwriters academics, musicians, composers, dancers and new media artists. The accepted residents are awarded a free place to live and work, a food stipend and all the amenities. We have a 25-page Residency Handbook, which helps our residents prepare for time in a developing country. We are located on Lake Chapala, which is the largest lake in Mexico and surrounded by picturesque mountains. We’re just 30 minutes from an international airport and the city of Guadalajara.

  • What kind of applicants are you looking for?
    • We want to represent a wide spectrum of residents: traditional and innovative work, abstract/realistic approaches to visual art, familiar and challenging forms of music, writing and dance.  We seek artists from a wide geographic area both within and outside of the US.  We want to support young emerging artists as well as folks who have a long and successful career and everyone in between.  Take some time to visit our Facebook Group Page and view albums of work from previous resident. Also visit our website and read interviews of some of the artists.  You will get a flavor of who has caught our eye.

  • What advice do you have for applicants?
    • Show us your best work, samples that you are proud of. Don’t try to make your application relevant to Mexico (unless it truly is). Be your authentic self. Brag about your accomplishments and share your vision for a residency. We want to get a sense of who you are as a creative person, so let us in!

  • What is your process for making decisions?
    • We have applicants from around the world.  There are 3 jurors with specialties in visual art, writing and performing arts.  We each come up with our top 10 choices and earmark our top 5.  Then we develop a list of winners and finalists.  If one of the winners cannot attend, then we invite our top finalist in that category.

  • We see on the website that the artists are responsible for transportation, but the residency program pays for lodging and a food stipend. Where does the money come from to house and feed them for their month long stay?
    • Applicants need to apply for the free residency on CAFÉ, which requires an application fee.  This fee funds most of the 360 Xochi Quetzal program including staff, overhead, physical plant and cleaning, supplies and marketing.

  • What is the difference between the 360 Xochi Quetzal free residency and the personal residency program?
    • Each December we offer a free one-month residency to 5 winners chosen from the application pool.  Applicants need to apply through CAFÉ .  (For more information see Free Residency Overview).  The personal residency program is available throughout the yeart to artists, writers and musicians who would like to rent one of our live/work spaces.  For more information see Personal Residency Overview.

  • What if we are not accepted for the free residency program?
    • We are only running the residency once a year now (mid-December – mid-January), so we are able to invite less residents. However, we have several live/work spaces to rent during the rest of the year and welcome creatives in every field to come to Mexico for a personal residency from one to six months. Write to us about descriptions of our spaces, costs and availability.

  • Tell us how the 360 Xochi Quetzal residency program began?
    • The program was founded and designed by Deborah Kruger. She attended a residency many years ago that made an enormous impact on her work and career. It was a one-month residency at the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony in upstate New York. After moving to Chapala, Deborah realized it was a perfect location for a similar program, so she decided to see what kind of response she would get. We are going now into our fifth year and apparently many other artists, writers and musicians agree that spending a month at Lake Chapala is indeed magical and inspiring.

      Deborah now offers private consultations to new residency programs. Contact her for scheduling and pricing at 360xochiquetzal@gmail.com and make sure to write CONSULTATION in your subject line.

  • What is involved in running a residency program?
    • The success of 360 Xochi Quetzal depends on a team of paid administrators all taking charge of the many various aspects of the program: website management, database management, platform management, staff management, preparing live/work spaces for incoming residents, communicating with applicants and residents, financial management, and tons of marketing using social media and other forms of outreach. Fortunately, founder Deborah Kruger has over 30 years of business management experience!

      Deborah now offers private consultations to new residency programs. Contact her for scheduling and pricing at 360xochiquetzal@gmail.com and make sure to write CONSULTATION in your subject line.

  • How many people do you have on your dedicated team?
    • We have an administrative team of 6; each has an area of expertise in order to cover the spectrum of duties required. Read more about our administrative team.

  • Tell us about some of the best and also most challenging parts of running this residency.
    • The greatest challenge is the crush of administrative work. It just never ends! One of the greatest aspects of running this program is meeting the incredibly talented residents that come from all over the world. We have formed lasting friendships with some of them and try to stay in touch with all of them.

  • Everyone seems to refer to Deborah Kruger as ¨Cobra¨. Why?
    • The name was given to me by the twin girls (9 yrs old) of a Mexican family I was living with when I first moved here.  It is nearly impossible for Mexicans to pronounce my name properly (D´bora) and it just came out as Cobra.  Besides having positive yogic associations, a European curator told me that it is an auspicious name for an artist because there is a painting movement in Europe called COBRA based in Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam.  Since I hate my name being mispronounced, Cobra has become my moniker here.

New Residency Consulting Available!

Deborah now offers private consultations to new residency programs. Contact her for scheduling and pricing at 360xochiquetzal@gmail.com and make sure to write CONSULTATION in your subject line.


Everyone comes to the residency for different reasons. For me it was a
time to reflect upon this whirlwind year. Like many, I lead a hectic life
and run from one exhibition to the next with little time for
contemplation. Even if I hadn’t made a single thing during my residency,
I would have been satisfied because what I really needed was to slow
down and think about what direction my work might take. I reveled in
the environment – the lake and mountains – as well as two trips, one to
see the Monarch butterflies and the other to a fiesta in an indigenous
village with my fellow artists. I left the residency refreshed, with new friends and purpose!

Jennifer Angus, Installation Artist
“Applying for the free Winter residency of Xochi Quetzal was the start of many positive transformations. The silence I found for myself during the residency, allowed me not only to write the best last chapter I can write at this stage of my evolution, it also granted me a most sought-after introspection moment during which I read my dreams and studied ancient Eastern writings. The serenity of the lake and presence of other artists inspired me to get mentally ready and organized for my future as a novelist. I am particularly fond of spending the holidays abroad with ‘strangers’. It always infuses me with these wild insights and whims. Our group was just lovely, the artists one by one very interesting. Cobra and Christian are warm and graceful hosts who made life easy. All in all, Xochi Quetzal was a weighty meditation, a poetic experience that carried me through the rest of Mexico in newness and will resonate long after.”
Heidi Souffriau, Writer
“I was partly inspired to apply for the Xochi Quetzal residency by The Retro Cocktail Hour — a popular Saturday night radio show on Kansas Public Radio 91.5 that features exotica music (a form of tropical jazz).  My hope was for the palm trees,  lakeside sunrises, and culture of Chapala & Mexico at large to inform my creative process.  These elements did precisely that, and the generous hospitality of Cobra & her partner Christian provided me with a cozy composing environment.”
Note from Staff: Listen to the music created during Andrew’s residency -Winter 2016
Andrew Morgan, Composer, Musician

Chapala is a safe, spiritually charged, beautiful place. Wild horses run through town.  It’s a place where you greet strangers on the street.

I walked along the lake in meditation a great deal. I hiked the looming cerro overlooking town. I biked all over the countryside. I wrote, documented, created composed soundscapes utilizing field recordings, and built small maquette light sculptures based on my experiences. I attended traditional temazcals, and sat alone in cathedrals.

It was pivotal for me in a spiritual sense more than a career advancing experience. I’m very grateful for it, and Deborah Kruger is a wonderful advocate to keep in contact with. I truly recommend the residency.

Justin R. Lytle, Sound Artist & Sculptor

My residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal in summer 2015 was both restorative and productive.  I was inspired by the beautiful studio and the surrounding Chapala  / Jalisco region.  The setting worked well for me in terms of inspiring and completing new work, and learning the history and customs of the area.  The flexible residency requirements allowed an easy engagement with other residents, and encouraged me to participate in Chapala and Guadalajara communities.  There are many contemporary art venues in Guadalajara, which are an easy bus ride from Chapala.

Michael Pribich, Sculptor

“Not only was this residency situated in one of the most beautifully mystical, culturally resonant, and stimulating settings imaginable, it also managed to be both peaceful and galvanizing: the perfect combination for immersing oneself in a creative project without hesitation or distraction. Deborah and Christian’s home was an oasis. One of my fellow residents remarked to me that “this place has amazing energy for getting work done,” and I wholeheartedly agree: the atmosphere seemed to hum with a low-key, generative productivity, one that helped me get closer than I’d been in many months to actually fully realizing and finishing a long story. I wish I was still there among the bougainvillea, the jade vines, the dogs and the pelicans.”

Suzanne K. Rivecca, Author

Chapala has become my home away from home. The Xochi Quetztal residency is run efficiently. Cobra and her team are friendly, accessible, and professional. My stay in Chapala is enhanced by the personal relationships I have developed with several of the team members. The casita I stay in is very well maintained and fully equipped. The studio area is large and ready for me to engage in art as soon as I arrive.  The weather is always fantastic. The lake, the town(s), the life, the restaurants, the view, the very friendly local people all call me back again and again. I love it!

Zahava Sherez, Sculptor

“This was the most work I’ve ever done in a single month in my life. I will never forget what an incredible experience this was and I thank you for honoring me with a residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal. The reference material I gathered throughout the trip to Chapala, Mexico is going to fuel my work for years to come. Thank you for everything! You run an incredible residency program!!!”

Santiago Galeas, Painter