Have you ever wished you could meet more Mexican people, get to know them and learn about their culture directly from them? Then, why not volunteer to host an artisan during Feria Maestros del Arte?

Hosting has been an integral part of the Feria ever since the first year. Here is an opportunity to span the gap between cultures and learn about Mexico’s incredible folk art directly from an artisan whose work is steeped in tradition and Mexican culture.

Why has hosting become so popular at Lakeside?

It could be that the experience of hosting an artist in your home will outweigh any material object you may purchase or exhibition you may attend in Mexico. It will allow you to experience up close, the artisans’ devotion to family and dedication to their work.

Founder Marianne Carlson relates, “The artists are very special people. Some of their art brings tears to my eyes when I watch the caring and thought they put into each piece of their art. The artists take such pride in their work and it breaks my heart to think that without a ready market like the Feria—one that is within their means to attend—this heritage of handwork might disappear.”

Visiting artists are not accustomed to the modern conveniences in Lakeside homes. Brenda Byrom, our Host Coordinator will supply you with a list of suggestions that will help your guests feel more comfortable in your home: i.e. it is suggested that as a host you show your guests how to turn on the hot water and advise them that towels, shampoo and soap are for their use. Many of the artists are from humble homes and villages, as evidenced by the artist who asked a host whether she should walk down to the lake to wash her hair — she was readily shown how the shower worked so that she might wash her hair.

Language barriers rank as the most frequent host concern, however, your match up with an artisan is evaluated by Brenda, and she works with you to ensure you are comfortable with having non-English speaking guests. If you would be more comfortable with English speakers, Brenda will help you with that request as well. We live in a bilingual environment, so this can be an exciting challenge."

Experiences differ, of course, depending on the degree of involvement desired by the host family, and by the artists. But it can be a learning experience for both the hosts and artists and can form long-lasting friendships.

The Feria will always offer our maestros a venue at no cost to them AND with the continued support of our local community hosts, we will offer them a life-changing experience too.

For more information on volunteering or hosting contact info@feriamaestros.com or WhatsApp 331 098 4850

Hosts & Artisans

I Never Thought of Doing That! How you can help us


 Have you considered volunteering but haven't found your "niche?" Maybe you don't want to commit to an ongoing event or charity, but prefer a shorter commitment? Maybe you're looking for a volunteer effort that is "different" — something that combines a good cause and a unique or artistic experience? Then why not consider volunteering, or hosting an artist, for Feria Maestros del Arte?

Our volunteers and hosts donate their hearts and enthusiastic spirits to help the Feria continue its efforts to preserve and promote the "endangered" folk art of Mexico. Already, many forms of Mexican folk art have completely disappeared because artists cannot sustain themselves with their art income alone. More and more artists are abandoning their work to seek employment in the cities or doing menial work where they are assured a guaranteed income.

Why give your time and energy to our organization, and what do we have to offer our volunteers?

  • Meet interesting, artistic, motivated and energetic volunteers.
  • Learn something new.
  • Offer your particular skills or talent without a large time commitment — you choose your level of involvement — one day, one week, more — it’s up to you.
  • Broaden your perspective on Mexico and the unique art found here.
  • A chance to give back something to your host country.
  • Here is a place to put your particular skills or talent to use without a huge time commitment - you choose your level of involvement — one day, one week, more — it’s up to you.
  • Broaden your perspective of Mexico and the unique art unlike any other in the world available here.
  • For expats and snowbirds, give back to your host country and the Lakeside community.

What specific things can you do?

  • There are dozens of volunteer positions: working at the show itself — selling tickets, stamping hands, helping with the charity raffle, etc. etc.!
  • You can help market the Feria event, by passing out flyers locally in the tianguis or other high-traffic areas, and by helping us put it on the calendar of every folk art collector or gallery owner who travels to Mexico.
  • We also look for families/individuals willing to host the artists during the three days they are in Chapala for the Feria event. This is a very special opportunity to connect with Mexico's history, and hosting has become a very popular volunteer effort. Many hosts join with other hosts in the evenings after the show and plan group meals. Often, the artists return year after year, to stay with the same host.
  • Are you computer savvy? We could use your help with social media outreach, internet research, graphic design, blog / newsletter posts, and more. You can even do these at home, wherever you might be.
  • There are other non-Feria event volunteer opportunities as well, perhaps you would like to learn new skills while you help us? Website support, e-Commerce support, grant writing, and marketing to name a few!
  • …or create a niche for yourself — something we haven't thought of!

Whatever level of participation you choose, we guarantee that you will receive more than you give. Ask any of our volunteers or hosts. The artists are very special people, not only because of their creative skills, but because they are so grateful for this opportunity to participate in an event and an organization aimed at promoting and selling their art.


Bridget Andrews - Past Board Member/Artists Supporting the Feria Booth

Diana Ayala - Past Board Member

Suzanna Baillergeau - Past Development Coordinator

Marion Blackmer - Host

Steve Checkoway - Past Admissions/Name Tags Coordinator

Paulette Coburn - Past Name Tags Coordinator

Toni & Ed Combs - Past Raffle Coordinators

Lynda & Pancho Deriger - Past Board Member — Past Set-Up/Take-Down Coordinator

Charlotte Donalson - Past Board Member

Sheilah Dwyer - Past Admissions Head

Susanne Flater - Past Entertainment Coordinator

Delayne Giardini - Past Board Member

Janet & Don Hemmerle - First-Year Start-Up

Marti Hurley de Lopez - Host

Norie Koebel (Deceased) - Past Fashion Show Coordinator

Barbara Madren (Deceased) - First-Year Start-Up

Jerry McDonald (Deceased) - Past Board Member/Accounting Coordinator

Jerry Ondola - Past Set-Up/Take-Down Coordinator

Arvada Parrish - Past Decorations Coordinator

Barbara & Antonio Passarello - Host

Guillermina (Gay) Pérez Vargas - Past Board Member/Chapala Yacht Club Liaison/Entertainment Coordinator

Cathy Roberts - Past Board Member/Finance Coordinator

Roberto Serrano - Past Transportation Coordinator

Sandra Spencer - Past Host Coordinator

Lily Toomer - Host

Clive Toomer (Deceased) - Host

Sandy Wallin - Past Decorations Coordinator

Betty White - Past Banner Sales Coordinator

Susy Wright (Deceased) - Host

Joyce Wycoff - Past Newsletter Coordinator

Antje Zaldivar - Past Board President

Dalia Zepeda - Past Fashion Show Coordinator