FAQ-About the Personal Residency

  • I am a single woman. Is it safe for me in Chapala?
    • Thousands of older single women have moved to the Lake because it is
      so affordable to live here, especially on a small Social Security check. We
      find it very safe, more so than in the US because there is a ban on
      handguns here. There is very low crime here in Chapala and the
      residency spaces are just a couple of blocks from the police station. The
      violence in Mexico is mostly drug-related gang violence at the border
      like in LA and Chicago and doesn’t involve the ex-pats ( we are located
      17 hours south of the border). Families are often out late on the streets
      having their dinner (la cena) and it is a lively, safe environment.

  • I am nervous about taking a taxi from the airport.
    • No need to be nervous! When you finish with customs and immigration
      and enter the terminal, there is a taxi kiosk near the exit. They speak
      English in the kiosk and you pay for the trip there with pesos or credit
      card. They will give you a slip and then you exit the terminal to the taxi
      stand. Most of the drivers speak only a little English but we will be
      sending you directions to Chapala, which are very easy to follow (only
      25 minutes) and you can guide your driver by just indicating left or right
      once you get into Chapala Center.

  • What do you supply at your live/work spaces?
    • We supply towels, linens, dish soap, toilet paper, a shared laundry with
      laundry soap, and weekly maid service. The kitchens are fully equipped
      with all the basic cooking and serving supplies you might need.

  • What should I do about phone service?
    • There are several options. You can check to see if your current phone
      service has a temporary plan you can add for calls from Mexico. You can
      use Skype or buy a Skype phone number for international calls for only
      $5.99/month. Some of our units have a cell phone that guests can use.
      We advise getting a sim card from IUSACell (an ATT affiliate), which has
      an office on Madera (Main Street) and a rep named Alejandro who
      speaks English. Call his cell: 334.593.1519

  • How will I get my key?
    • Our concierge, Patty Pusieski, is usually on hand to meet you at the
      house to let you in and give you a quick orientation. We do have lock
      boxes and depending on your arrival and her availability, you may find
      your key in the lock box. We will send that information closer to your
      arrival. Please be sure to send us your itinerary before you arrive.

  • Are any of your spaces handicap accessible?
    • We have one downstairs unit that is on the ground floor and has no stairs. There is no step into the shower, but the bathroom door is narrow. However the toilet is just inside the doorway. The kitchen counter is at standing height. The bedroom has a matrimonial size bed and there is a couch in the living room that opens to a single bed that lays on the ground. This could be used by a caregiver (unless that person sleeps with you). All other rooms and patio could accommodate a wheelchair or rollator.


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