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Hosting an artist during the Feria

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Where do the Artists Stay?
You too can be a host!

All artists attending Feria Maestros del Arte are housed with local families at Lakeside. This experience offers a unique opportunity to forge cross-cultural bonds between families of diverse backgrounds. Many artists have never had the chance to get to know the foreigners who come to live in their country and often, the expatriates have not gotten to know many of the Mexicans up close and personal.

Silent revenge led me to one of the best decisions I have made here. I signed up to host Mexican artists displaying their creations at Chapala's annual Maestro del Arte exposition. I wanted to say, just once, "I'm sorry, the casita is taken that week," should one of the disappointers ask to come. Grateful for a comfortable respite, these artists drifted in as strangers but left as family members of choice. Our adoptees will return for a third year in November for a Mexican homecoming. Carol L. Bowman

Sleep Where? Two of the Feria's favorite artists live in a tiny mountain town in Michoacán. Until the Feria, they had never been in an expatriate's home. It wasn't until after the Feria that their host discovered that Cecilia and Fidel had not slept in their beds but rather on top of them. They had not used the towels and soap put out for them and it didn't look as if they had even used the shower. Not wanting to offend or take advantage of their host's hospitality, these modest people did what they believed was expected of them as guests. This situation brought to our attention need to have hosts explain and/or demonstrate certain things to their guests - turn down the bed, show them where the hot water is, tell them that the soap and towels are for their use, etc.

Waffles you say! Catalina and her family (from a small mountain town in Michoacán) were wonderful guests. After worrying about dinner and being concerned our guests were getting enough and the "right" food, we decided one meal to serve waffles. Our guests were so thrilled with them, not only did we have them the next a.m. for breakfast, whenever we asked Catalina what she would like to eat, she would say "Waffles, please." Before she left, we made her a present of the waffle iron. It pleased us so that Catalina beamed with delight as we handed it to her. We hope she will be returning next year so that we might continue learning about each other's cultures. Thank you for a wonderful experience." Margaret and Bill

Missing Artist - We were planning on hosting two families for the Maestros del Arte show. We received a call from Marianne telling us our first family was ready to be picked up. My husband, Daniel, drove to the site to meet our first family and let them follow us home with their large truck. As he was starting the car, a young man and his mother knocked on the window to get in. Thinking this must be our second family, Daniel loaded them up and brought them home, They were tired from their bus ride from the Pátzcuaro area on which they hauled nine large boxes of goods, so they immediately settled into their room and went to sleep. About an hour later, Marianne calls and says our second family is at the Feria site and ready to be picked up. I told her we already had two families and no more extra beds. She asked who we had and when I told her she said, "So that's where my missing artist is! I thought we had lost them!" Donna & Dan

You're where? One year a host took four of six people from the Molinero family. The other two family members were staying around the corner with another host. The family was taking a bus from Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán but didn't arrive until midnight the night before the Feria. They had been asked to take the bus all the way to Chapala, however, when Marianne returned to her house after showing other artists where they were staying, her housemate told her someone had called and all they said in Spanish was, "Molinero, camionera" and hung up. Realizing it was the Molinero family, Marianne hopped in her van and drove to the bus station in Tonalá, however, she had no idea what bus line they were arriving on or if she was even going to the right bus station. Luckily, there are only two bus lines coming from the Pátzcuaro area. There were no artists waiting at the first, but at the second there was the Molinero family, heads hanging, obviously very, very tired. Greeted with huge smiles and the knowledge they would not have to spend all night at the bus station, all 6 of them squeezed into Marianne's 1970 VW van.

When delivered to their hosts at 1 am in the morning, they were promptly fed a hot meal of tamales, rice and beans. Mother Molinero had gone upstairs right away. While everyone was enjoying their meal, she came downstairs and asked Chris if she should go down to the lake to wash her hair. Chris and I looked at each and realized a quick lesson in the mechanics of how to operate the shower was needed. Mother Molinero went to bed content and with clean hair. Chris & Harry

 

For information on hosting during the Feria, contact Brenda Byrom (376) 765-2408 or 331 534 6985 cellphone or email brenda-colin@hotmail.com.


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