Trip Procedures Guidelines

Trip Procedures Download

Past Trips

As you will see later in the website, LADAP raises most of its money to give awards and group grants through membership dues and surcharges on trips that it organizes. We are known for our spectacular cultural guided tours which access artists in their homes and workshops, visit avid collectors estates, attend amazing local ferias and market places, and attend cultural events and venues. These trips are planned by our members on a volunteer basis to keep the costs low. In another tab on the website you will find our Calendar of Events. Below are recaps of some of our trips for you to see what you can expect when you join us traveling. Please consider joining LADAP. Our dues and trip costs are very reasonable. Trips usually sell out rapidly. The only way you can get advance information about our trips is to become a member and get our free newsletter. Please consider joining after carefully reading the travel disclaimer and insurance sections in the Trip Procedures and Guidelines document above.

November 8-12, 2017

Once again, LADAP has awarded a financial grant to the Feria Maestros to assist with bringing Mexican artisans to the Feria where they can sell their treasures. Each year Amigos Ron and Cathey Merrill, who have a home in nearby Ajijic, plan activities around the dates of the Feria to encourage participation in the Feria and extend the benefits of flying into Mexico for the three day Feria. We hope you will join us for the 2017 rendezvous!

NOTE: Unlike last year, this is not an extended rendezvous for the purpose of raising money for LADAP projects and, as such, there is no registration fee. Invite your friends and family along!

For planning purposes, please email your intention to participate along with your choice for day trip and any questions to Cathey Merrill at

We suggest arriving no later than Tuesday, November 7. That will give you all day Wednesday to adjust to the altitude which is over 5,000 feet. If altitude doesn’t affect you, you will have an extra day to explore the villages around the lake or take in the weekly Wednesday Market in Ajijic.

Wednesday, November 8

At 6 pm we will meet for dinner together at a yet to be determined restaurant. At that time, all final details will be distributed to participants.

Thursday, November 9
There will be two options from which to choose from:

1) A day trip by van to a specific destination yet to be chosen. Let us know which of the following YOU would prefer — we will choose only one based on which receives the most votes from committed participants:
Tequila to visit the Jose Cuervo distillery
Mazamitla, a Swiss style village in the mountains
Island of Mescala
Around Lake Cajititlan to visit artisans not participating in the Feria
Hacienda tours

You will pay the tour guide directly at the time the tour begins (in pesos, please). Estimated cost of day trip is about $100 USD per person including tip.

2) A cooking class at Abuelinda’s in Ajijic costing $35 USD. The class runs from about 11 am until 2 pm, is very hands on and results in eating your creations for lunch. Linda Harley, the chef, is deciding between these two options:
Tasting of three moles, Oaxacan and Poblano and cooking an encacahuatado (chicken in peanut sauce)
Making “sopes” and then pairing them with different toppings.
Thursday evening you are on your own for dinner.

Friday, November 10
The Feria Maestros opens at 10 am at the Yacht Club in Chapala. All taxis know this location. You can purchase food at the Feria or eat at the Yacht Club restaurant or at other nearby restaurants. Once your hand is stamped, you can come and go all day without having to repay the minimal entrance fee. The Feria is open from 10 am to 5 pm each day. A list of participating artisans can be found by visiting the Feria website.

Saturday, November 11
Return to the Feria to shop, meet friends or visit with the artisans! If you don’t want to return to the Feria, walk along the lakeside malecon in Chapala and explore the nearby Catholic church and Municipal building which is full of painted murals inside. Or taxi to Ajijic which is just 3 miles away and walk the main street, Colon, to explore the shops and restaurants, the main plaza and then onto the lakeside malecon. While in the plaza, visit the Cultural Center. If you are a collector, visit Barbara’s Bazaar on 16 de Septiembre and the other local antique shops. Don’t forget to stop by Efren Gonzalez Gallery on Corona street (open 10 am to 2 pm daily).

Sunday, November 12
Return to the Feria and/or explore Chapala or Ajijic as suggested in the activities for Saturday.

Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6 pm there will be an open house at the Merrill home and you are invited! Feast on appetizers and drinks, view the Merrill’s collection of Mexican folk art, and enjoy a wonderful view of Lake Chapala. You are welcome to come early and stay late!

Donations to LADAP are always welcome but not required for participation in this trip.

Article by Cathey Merrill (TX), Chapala trip coordinator and former LADAP president.


TRIP RECAP – Amigos in Guatemala for Semana Santa

LADAP President Bill Roe planned the perfect itinerary for a group of 24 Amigos who ventured past Mexico and into Guatemala for Holy Week! It was a wonderful
14-day trip filled with warm people, vibrant colors, long-standing traditions and beautiful landscapes.

Accommodations were top notch — in a former convent in Antigua with six museums on the beautiful grounds and lakeside in Atitlan with impeccable gardens and a view of a volcano across the lake. As usual, Amigos easily caught up with old friends and warmly welcomed new travelers.

Semana Santa activities included a series of very somber and moving processions through town where people carried massive wooden platforms with large santos on them, cobblestoned streets lined with colored sawdust alfombras (carpets), music and lots of incense! Between festivities, the group was treated to a textile lecture, weaving/dyeing demonstrations and the opportunity to meet Grand Master weaver Carolina Perez de Guaran from San Antonio Aguascalientes.

Grand Master weaver Carolina Perez de Guaran & daughters

There were trips to bustling mercados in Sololá and Chichicastenango, shopping in Panajachel, visits to churches and museums, and a boat ride across Lake Atitlan to visit the villages of San Juan La Laguna and Santiago de Atitlan. In Antigua, a local shaman and published author explained Mayan legends and we toured the home of artist and collector of vintage huipiles Deborah DuFlon. We also visited with antique dealers Gio and Stephanie — who had a warehouse filled with santos, slingshots, jewelry, masks and Maximóns! (Photo by Macon McCrossen)

Some of us learned that, after leaving Mexico in the 1990s, Ken Edwards, the famous American potter who worked with Jorge Wilmot in Tonala, Jalisco, moved to a small town on the edge of Lake Atitlan. There he trained two young brothers to make stoneware ceramics that combine the classic Tonala hand painted graphics, ancient Chinese techniques and Edwards’ original designs. Although it appears Edwards has left Guatemala, the brothers continue to produce the pottery and have built a successful business around their craft. It was nice to see the Mexico-influenced pottery in shops and restaurants.

Women’s collectives offered an overabundance of colorful, intricately woven textiles and Amigos shopped ’til they dropped! Many had to purchase extra carry-on bags to accommodate their purchases. Of course, the bags were made of beautiful huipiles! The trip was capped with an amazing visit to Tikal to see, and for some to climb, the impressive Mayan ruins. All in all, it was a very special trip filled with spectacular sights and experiences that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Thanks to Bill for planning! Thanks to David Garcia and Gayla Pierce for leading!

Article and photos by Trinie Garcia-Valdez (except as noted).

Photo by David Garcia

Photo by Graciela Rogerio

Comments are closed.