In February1983, Lois Lucas was approached by Pastor Richard Dwyer regarding the formation of an American Society of Baja California. As he stated, Americans can move in and out of Baja California, be entangled in distressing situations, or live and die in Baja without their fellow expatriates knowing of it. He mentioned the fact that he and his wife, Joy, had moved to Guadalajara knowing nothing of the city. They joined the American Society of Jalisco, obtained one of their directories, and practically lived by their recommendations during the time they were there. It was suggested that since Lois and Bob were going to Guadalajara, that possibly they could obtain a copy of their Constitution and By Laws and the possibility of forming a similar Society could be pursued.
Upon their return, a meeting of eight people was held and everyone was of the opinion that a similar Society was badly needed in Baja. A meeting was held with Mr. Robert Ezelle, the Consul General of the US in Tijuana, and the idea was heartily endorsed and given the assurance of his office’s full support. State Attorney Wilfredo Ruiz of the Office for the Protection of the Tourist also endorsed it, as did Attorney General Jorge Palacio of the Federal Office for the protection of the consumer. The American Society of Baja California was officially formed on the 24th of February, 1983. It was felt that since one of the aims of the Society was to foster friendly relations between the native Mexicans living in Baja and their foreign guests that everything possible should be done to encourage them to join the Association, consequently the name was changed to The United Society of Baja California.
The preamble of the Constitution states, “This association is a non-political, non-racial, non-sectarian, non-profit association. It is constituted to foster friendly relations between the people of the United States of America (and other English-speaking people) and the people of Mexico. This organization shall provide a focal point for participation in service, cultural, charitable, and social activities for the mutual benefit of all who live in or visit Baja California.”
During the interview with Governor Roberto de la Madrid on the 19th of May, the Governor made the following statement in response to the question, “What would you like the United Society of Baja California to do?” he stated, “Speaking as Governor, you retirees – and there are about 5,000 or 6,000 here – you move here and are part of our society. But there’s no communication between you people and the authorities. No communication among yourselves. Almost no communication with the Mexicans. You want to live here, but you don’t want to have anything to do with us. So, everybody – Mexicans – just stand aside. We leave you alone. Someone needs to take the first step.”
Perhaps the United Society of Baja California is the first step.
What is the Society doing? It is compiling a Directory of Members with their interests and hobbies. It is compiling a Directory of Businesses and Services. It will undoubtedly be making contributions to benefit the Cruz Roja, possibly a handicraft Center, a library, orphanages, etc. It is developing a CB-telephone net for emergency calls from Ensenada to Tijuana. It’s a social program with activities starting with golf, brunches, cocktail parties, bridge, fishing trips, dine-out parties, movies nights, etc. It is helping people become acquainted with the people in other developments. Some of its regular and special programs will be held at the spectacular Tijuana Cultural Center. It is answering questions about living in Mexico, and if it does not know the answers –and there are a lot of them it does not know –it is referring them to the proper person or agency to get the answers. …IT IS COMMUNICATING.