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.
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. You can also use Uber if you have that App on your phone. You can change some money at the airport at a Cambio. However, we suggest just changing a small amount, like $50 because the exchange rates are much better in Chapala.
Each live/work space is private and for your use only. We supply towels, linens, dish soap, toilet paper, hairdryers, a shared laundry with laundry soap, and a light weekly maid service (cleaning kitchen and bathroom but no laundry). The kitchens are fully equipped with all the basic cooking and serving supplies you might need. There is internet and a screen that you can use for streaming movies, news etc. Each space has a studio or writing area and a work table. All units have patios where you can also work and relax.
There are several options. You can check to see if your current phone service has a temporary international plan that includes calls from US, Canada and Mexico (ATT and Sprint work well here). You can use Skype or buy a Skype phone number for international calls. Most of our residents find that using WhatsApp is the easiest phone option. We advise downloading it before you arrive in Mexico and testing it by calling one of our cell phones.
All of our units have a secure keypad to enter from the street. A few weeks before you arrive, we will send you the key code. There is also a key to open the door of your space. On arrival day, we leave the door unlocked and the key on the table so that you can easily find it. Let us know if you are coming with a partner/friend and we will leave two sets of keys. Depending on the time of day you arrive, one of us will try and greet you with a brief orientation.
We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. There is no formal application. Just send us a short email (email@example.com) with your plans for the residency and why it is important at this time in your creative life. Also include links to your website or other social media platform. We rent our live/work spaces on a first-come, first-serve basis. Our assumption is that you are seeking a personal residency because you are serious about your work and need uninterrupted time to focus.
Our live/workspaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and a reservation is confirmed upon receipt of a 50% down payment in US Dollars through our PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org (please make sure you copy and paste our account correctly so that we get your payment!) and we advise you to choose the “Send to Someone You Trust” category to reduce fees. If you are charged a fee, you may pay it in pesos when you arrive.
Many creative couples (or collaborative teams) come to Chapala for personal residencies. Our larger live/work space is the Lopez Casita. If both of you are planning to work, you will be more comfortable at Lopez. However, all spaces have a patio allowing one person to work in the casita and one to work outside.
First of all, Mexico is considered a developing country, not a third world country. The electric outlets are exactly the same as in the US, so you can bring your favorite electrical device. You do NOT need any special immunizations. However, for reasons we do not understand you CANNOT bring Sudafed into the country. But you can buy something similar here without a prescription.
In both Aztec and Maya culture, Xochiquetzal was the goddess associated with fertility, creativity and crafts, especially weaving and embroidery. The name is a compound of the Nahuatl words for flower (xochitl) and for tail feather of the strikingly colored quetzal bird (quetzalli).
Pronounce it like this: So-chi Ket-zal