March 28, 2006

[Restoration Program]

The train station in Chapala was built in 1920 to handle rail and boat traffic both for tourists coming to the area and for farm produce leaving for Guadalajara. But flooding from the Lake and the rise of the motor car closed the station by 1926 and it fell into disrepair after being abandoned.

[boats on lake side] [trains on town side] [crowds greeting trains]

Over the last ten years groups of Chapala and Guadalajara patrons took on the project federal "Adopt a Work of Art" program within the Jalisco Department of Culture. The restored train station is now a Cultural Center for the community celebrating the building itself and the work of local artists and artisans.

[town entrance to center] [lake side center entrance] [restoration architect]

Special guests included the Sophia Gonzalez Luna, State Secretary of Culture; Francisco Ramírez Acuña, Governor of Jalisco; and Sra. Martha Sahagún de Fox, wife of Mexican President Vincente Fox.

[Sophia Gonzalez Luna] [Francisco Ramírez Acuña] [Martha Sahagún de Fox]

After the ceremonies dignitaries, including Arturo Gutiérrez Tejeda, the Mayor of Chapala, entered the display areas while Chapala's own Cantos y Redes mariachi group serendaded the reception outside.

[Chapala Mayor, Arturo Gutiérrez Tejeda] [Cantos y Redes music group] [Ceramic display] [Roberto Montenegro pot display]

Guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks under the awnings. Distinguished guests included Eric Ericson, Birgitte Schlegel and Allan Rose, and Aurora Michel, manager at Lloyd Ajijic and an early supporter of the Center.

[Reception Flowers] [Eric, Birgitte and Allan] [Aurora Michel]

Guests included "Adopt a Work of Art" Jalisco branch organizers Patricia Urzua de Arce and Pinky Corvera de Charpenel as well as members of the ex patriate community: Robin with Dan and Paula McTavish and Tony Wilshere; and Dale and Wayne Palfrey.

[Pinky Corvera and Patricia Urza] [Robin, Dan & Paula McTavish and Tony Wilshere] [Dale and Wayne Palfrey]

Another grand day in our own little "paradise" with our wonderful Mexican hosts. Mrs. Fox was a delight telling her memories of first coming to the Chapala area at age 15 in a mini skirt and eating a juicy mango.

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