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Seems only a few days ago that we were braving the icy wind and cold up north to dig out our car to get to Mexico. Then we had to brush off snow.
While in Mexico we brush off flowers. Now I'll take this any day.
Chapala boasts the 2nd best climate in the world, the first being Addis Ababa Ethiopia. But now, that is pretty far away, so many come here and so did we, to stay at Chapala's newest resort-hotel.
It was opened in 1971, and along with attracting tourists, it's a gathering place every Sunday for Mexicans and local American residents, who are of course serenaded by those ever-present Mariachis.
Another village along the lake adjacent to Chapala is Ajijic, where many Americans live too.
It has the unspoiled character of a typical Indian village, with the customary plaza and cobblestone streets, which I guess are just some of the reasons why Ajijic is steadily growing in popularity.
One of Ajijic's most prominent residents is Neil James, an American from Georgia. She came here in 1941 to spend only a few weeks, but became so captivated by it she's been here ever since.
And along with planning her outstanding garden, Neil James is around 80 years old, designed and erected the building of 13 houses in Ajijic, including her own.
Also being a talented, versatile person, she's written 5 successful books about her world travels, including: "Dust On My Heart" about Mexico.
Also Neil has contributed generously to the community. She's given the village 2 libraries, sponsors local aspiring artists, including Tony and Manuel who you saw in the first half for the program in San Miguel.
But one of her most philanthropic projects has been establishing a cottage industry, and here in her home she's checking the work of some of the girls who sew and do embroidery.
In order the help them earn a living, Neil employs many to make various articles of clothing. She supplies the materials and then puts the finished pieces in a shop she opened on the grounds.
The shop does a very good business, and after the overhead has been met, the proceeds are then given to the-
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