Lake Chapala is located 25 minutes from Guadalajara International Airport and 45 minutes from the City of Guadalajara, one of the largest cities in Mexico, boasting abundant cultural resources.: museums, galleries, theatres and artist supplies.
Beautiful Live/Work spaces at Garden of Dreams Boutique Hotel
There are eight live/work spaces that are available for resident artists and writers. All residents will have access to the solar-heated swimming pool, be inspired by the stunning gardens and enjoy complimentary continental breakfast each day as a feature of their stay.
This is the perfect oppportunity fo finish a manuscript, prepare for a show, collect your thoughts or plan your next body of work. Read some of the interviews with creatives who have come to Chapala for a personal residency
I stayed at the historic QQ Hotel as part of the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency program, where The Carriage House became my home-cum-studio for one month. I met many fellow artists, including the residency’s founder Deborah Kruger, who invited us to her studio where she shared her art practice with warmth, generosity and transparency.
The residents enjoyed the luxury of togetherness and/or solitude at the QQ Hotel, and I came away from this experience with a bold new direction for my drawing practice, and new poems for my poetry manuscript.
It was a gift to stay at such a place.
Mori McCraePoet and Visual Artist from St. Catherines, Canada
Thank you all for making my stay in Chapala an Amazing Experience. Your Handbook was a major player in helping me feel at home. I loved the artist dinners where I met the other residents. One artist gave me exactly the feedback for my writing that I’ve been waiting for years!
Chapala itself was astounding – I couldn’t believe all the birds, and having a space where I could see the sunrise AND the sunset. Chapala is also a great place to walk around and think.
So gracias! for giving me a wonderful adventure, and time to re-work a part of a book that has stymied me for many moons.
Pam SummaWriter- Seattle, WA
The residency was truly wonderful. The uninterrupted time and spaciousness to create was truly a gift. The 360 Xochi Quetzal team were very warm and helpful. Our apartment was lovely and well set up for writing. We particularly loved breakfasts and star gazing on the outdoor patio area. Lake Chapala is a delightful town - gorgeous lake, lovely people, great food, slow pace of life - perfect for place to get away and create!
I spent a month at 360 Xochi Quetzal to finish work on a novel. I couldn’t have picked a more charming and inspiring place to work. The accommodations are lovely, the town is lively and accessible, the food is amazing, the weather spectacular, and the people of Chapala are very friendly. Everywhere there is color, from the flowers and trees to the facades of buildings and the legendary sunset over Lake Chapala. But all of this would have been for naught if it weren’t for the hospitality of Deborah and Christian who made me feel immediately welcome and at home as family. I will surely return again.
Fredric SinclairWriter, poet, playwright New York, NY
My husband and I truly enjoyed our residency in Chapala, a place of beauty, extraordinary color, kind people - and inspiration! I was able to step back, concentrate, start working with new materials, relearn and incorporate new colors into my paintings on silk. Our casita was well placed and comfortable. Our host was welcoming and facilitated connections with other participating artists. Walking on the Malecon, discovering the town, attending cultural events, interacting with other residents from around the world - and watching in awe the extraordinary sunsets, this residency was a time of learning, relaxation and progress. I plan to return.
Merridee SmithSilk Painter, Auburn, California
I will always remember my writing residency in Chapala, where I spent a month making great headway on a collection of poetry I’d just begun focusing on borders and walls—literal and metaphorical. Like so many Mexican towns, Chapala is simultaneously peaceful, bustling, and vibrant. The Upper Casita, with a view of the lake and surrounding mountains, was perfect for having other residents over for dinner or a glass of wine after a day’s work. Cobra and Christian are warm and welcoming, so from the beginning I felt at ease and at home. I highly recommend Xochi Quetzal if you are looking to immerse yourself in a creative project.
Sandra DunnPoet, Long Island,NY
We were new to Mexico and had no idea what to expect from the Residency or Chapala. Both were delightful! I was able to work successfully on two projects that have been germinating for some time, and also enjoy the friendly, lovely and accessible town with its many colors and flavors. Our casita was comfortable, spacious and nicely furnished. It included a studio, patio and a private balcony perfect for an end-of-day cocktail. Deborah, Christian and colleagues were the perfect hosts who fostered a very satisfying creative experience in an environment that was at once stimulating and restful. Muchisimas gracias!
Diana LeidelVisual Artist Brooklyn, NY
I spent two months in the Fall of 2019 at the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency in Chapala and had a really productive time, as a painter and also exploring the local area and Guadalajara/Jalisco.
The Lopez Cotilla apartment was perfect for one person, using the second bedroom as a studio. Everything was within walking distance with lots of nearby food tiendas if you like to cook.
Lake Chapala is spectacular and calm enough to get a lot of work done without too many distractions. Guadalajara, less than an hour away, is an incredibly rich cultural city with a great food scene.
Peter HoldenPainter-Todos Santos, Mexico
Our residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal was more than we had hoped for! The time and space to work, think, and explore--without deadlines or requirements--opened up our practice in a way we had not imagined. The town is lovely, easy to navigate, with everything within walking distance. The locals were so welcoming; we felt at home right away. Our accommodations in Lopez Cotilla were clean, comfortable and allowed both of us to have our own studio space. We really enjoyed quiet evenings on the patio watching the sun set over beautiful Chapala and meet ups with the other residents. Muchisimas gracias!
Suzanne Stroebe, Bernard CousinsArtist / Musician Brooklyn, NY
After a beautiful and adventurous journey from Europe, we found ourselves in a taxi descending the hills of Sierra de San Juan Cosala with the full moon reflected in the lake. The word “magia and maravilla” crossed my mind and I got goose bumps.
Chapala is indeed a magical place, colourful, charming and very safe with friendly people everywhere. We were blown away by the bird life, vegetation, architecture, which are so different from ours in Hungary.
Our casita was a for us: comfortable, well-equipped and authentically Mexican. The Residency Handbook answered all our questions before we even asked them. Cobra and Christian are very attentive and kind, and their hospitality was unmatchable.
Zsuzsa and IstvanVisual artists from Hungary, Europe
As painting and writing residents during 2017, we both would like to thank you for the opportunity to be able to focus and collaborate on a project, entitled Immigrants. We had been thinking about it, had discussed it, but never quite got around to doing it until this residency. The atmosphere, encouragement, feedback and like-mindedness of all involved in Chapala gave us both the inspiration to move forward.
It was a productive and great experience for us both and we thank you.
Joyce and Hector DeCordovaWriter and Artist - Greenport, NY
I visited the 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist Residency in Chapala, Mexico for the entire month of April 2017. It was a perfect retreat for me. I loved watching the cowboys ride in on their horses. My work flourished, inspired by the other visiting artists and the tranquil nature of the town. I went to Ajijic and attended figure drawing and portrait sessions up to three times per week. I made new friends and felt encouraged in my writing and art making. I am so glad I had a chance to participate in this program. Chapala is a perfect place to get your work done with little distraction.
Anna RoachMixed Media, Seattle, WA
360 Xochi Quetzal was my first residency and I loved every bit of it. The opportunity to get away and single-task toward my writing instead of routinely multitasking was priceless. My studio was cute, clean, and well-equipped. Deborah and Sandra were very approachable, helpful, and I loved connecting with fellow-residents from different disciplines too. Most of all, the location of our residence across from the Malecón buzzing with artisans, vendors and restaurants offered to me just the right balance of isolation toward focused work and a community around. I hope to return soon.
Namrata PoddarWriter, California
My time in Chapala was pivotal for me as a writer. You can't understand the effect Chapala has until you arrive. Its splashes of color, rhythms and scenic beauty will inspire you. Scribbling away at Café Paris, locals ambling by, a cool glass of beer sweating on the table... I felt like Hemingway. This residency gave all that to me and more. It is a gift I continue to cherish; a feeling I look back on when in need of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation.
Sean HammerWriter – New York City
Everyone comes to the residency for different reasons. For me it was a time to reflect upon this whirlwind past year. I lead a hectic life and often feel like I run from exhibition to exhibition without time for contemplation. I really needed to slow down and think about the next direction for my work. I got that and a lot more! I finished two small projects and reveled in the beautiful environment. I was able see the Monarch butterfly migration and experience an indigenous fiesta with my fellow artists. I left the residency refreshed, with new friends and purpose!
Jenny AngusInstallation Artist - Madison, WI
I had no expectations when I headed to Mexico for a personal residency, and the entire experience was a wonderful surprise. I loved Chapala: its realness, its people, the lake, the restaurants, and especially my casita where I could work outside on the patio. I met wonderful people that made my trip even more enjoyable. I had no agenda as I worked, but I was pondering an exhibition for the following December. I didn’t realize until I returned home and began working on the show in earnest how beneficial the weeks in Chapala were. I will certainly return. http://loribgoodman.com/
Lori GoodmanArtist – Eureka, CA
My personal residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal was wonderfully productive and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a creative project that requires some quiet, focused time. The casita was lovely - spacious, fully furnished, very clean and stocked. The residency hosts, Cobra and Christian, are welcoming, fun and engaging. My casita was steps away from the Malecón and within walking or bike riding to Ajijic. The locals are friendly and engaging-quick to suggest a favorite taco stand or even invite you to join them for a hike. I will definitely be back!
The 360 Xochi Quetzel Personal Residency Program was a perfect place for me to focus on my children’s book. I wanted an authentic Mexico experience where I would be submersed in the culture and language. Chapala was easy to get around and affordable. The Lopez Cotilla casita was cool, breezy and comfortable. It had everything I needed. I woke up in the morning to hummingbirds buzzing around a tree outside my window. Sunsets were beautiful from the outdoor terrace and an occasional dramatic thunderstorm just to let you know who is really in charge around here. Muchas Gracias!!
Kristin BalouchWriter-Brooklyn, NY
We have one word to describe the our experience here at 360 Xochi Quetzal, and that is MAGIC! The casita is very spacious, allowing for lots of room to create. It is very comfortable and clean, and has everything you could possibly need for your personal residency. We especially enjoy spending time on the relaxing balcony. Cobra and Chris are available and very helpful. The Residency Handbook in the casita addresses all of our questions in detail and offers suggestions for things to try around the area. You will often hear live music in the early evening from the Malecon. It feels very safe here, and even more secure having the Red Cross right across the street. It has been a wonderful experience, and Kristen and I would like to return each year.
Orion KugelPhotographer-New Hampshire
We have one word to describe the our experience here at 360 Xochi Quetzal, and that is MAGIC! The casita is very spacious, allowing for lots of room to create. It is very comfortable and clean, and has everything you could possibly need for your personal residency. We especially enjoy spending time on the relaxing balcony. Cobra and Chris are available and very helpful. The Residency Handbook in the casita addresses all of our questions in detail and offers suggestions for things to try around the area. You will often hear live music in the early evening from the Malecon. It feels very safe here, and even more secure having the Red Cross right across the street. It has been a wonderful experience, and Orion and I would like to return each year.
Kristen PobatschnigPainter-New Hampshire
There's one word to describe the 360 Xochi Quetzal experience and that is MAGIC! The casita is very spacious, clean and comfortable with lots of room to create. I especially enjoyed spending time on the relaxing balcony where you often hear live music. It also granted me a most sought-after introspection. The serenity of the lake and presence of other artists inspired me to get mentally ready and organized for my future as a novelist. All in all, 360 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 SouffriauWriter-Brussels, Belgium
"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
Voyage to Scorpion Island)
Andrew MorganComposer-Lawrence, KS
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. LytleSculptor-California
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 PribichSculptor-New York City
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. RiveccaAuthor-San Francisco, CA
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 SherezSculptor -Oakland, CA
“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 GaleasPainter-Philadelphia, PA
I'm writing to thank you for one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had in Mexico. Thanks for generously allowing me to share the middle casita with my friend Jana, which made it economically possible for me to come. The studio was absolutely superb and well furnished allowing me to relax and work on 14 paintings which I am fine tuning and completing here in Vancouver. I appreciated how obviously loved and cared for the casita was in general, fully stocked and full of gorgeous Chapala light. And last but not least thank you for introducing me to such lovely and like-minded people.
John ClinockPainter, Vancouver, Canada
At the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency, I was able to push past some creative blocks I'd been having for a long time. I found a nice balance of isolation that allowed me to focus on my writing and other artists that I could connect with during my residency. The apartment was beautiful and had a nice deck with a great view. Also, Deborah Kruger is a great contact to have when navigating Lake Chapala for the first time.
Jack OrtizWriter, USA
“I have always had a strong desire to have an art assistant, and in Chapala this became a reality. The residency connected me with a local sewing program, and I was able to hire Tere, to help me with sewing. I don’t speak Spanish, but with the help of an interpreter, and Tere’s all-around savvy, it worked out exactly as I imagined. I had the most productive 7 weeks of art-making in my life. Also, the residency recommended a taxi driver to help me with shopping, and a masseuse who came to the apartment weekly. All of these things were instrumental to helping me focus on my art.”
Sal StromMixed Media Artist- Woodburn Oregon
This residency was wonderful! Starting from the church bells ringing as a wake-up call to the voladares playing their haunting tune in the malecon, Chapala felt like a blessed place, inspirational in so many aspects. I grew addicted to writing, then stepping out for a long walk to buy fresh fruits sprinkled with chile from my favorite streetside vendor, often stopping at the Plaza under the shade of the large trees. Everyone is so friendly and the pace is slow. Perfect for plotting new writing, as well as getting old work finished.
Dipika Mukherjee Writer, Poet-Chicago, IL
My residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal gave me these gifts: space to be alone with my own thoughts, time to dream and let my painter’s mind expand and roam, lovely mornings in my courtyard where my easel awaited, no judgments, no worries, no interruptions. The birds in the trees overhead sang to me every day, and the man who tends the flowers on the Malecon has a beautiful whistle. I came home with 8 paintings, done in 4 weeks. Bonuses were an immersion into Mexican cooking, Mexican and South American literature, and the Orozco murals! I would do this every year if I could.
Anna Lee LarimorePainter, Long Beach Peninsula, Washington State