Hello from the lovely colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, at 6000 ft. above sea level in the Sierra Madre Mountains 170 miles northwest of Mexico City. With a population of about 60,000 in the city proper and about 140,000 in the municipality and of these perhaps 20-25,000 expats about half from the USA. Prized for its art and music scenes and especially for its colorful colonial structures and cobblestone streets, San Miguel is a lively town to local residents and expats. I am spending a little over a week here and staying in a lovely Airbnb apartment in Casa Las Divas run by two very nice expat women. You can find me at Hidalgo 47 on Google Maps without any problem.
The name of the city derives from a 16th-century friar Juan de San Miguel and martyr of Mexican Independence Ignacio Allende who was born in a house facing the city’s central plaza. The most iconic structure in the town is probably La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, the current parish church of San Miguel and one of the most photographed churches in Mexico. The church dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and is unique in Mexico with it’s two tall towers and it’s neo-gothic facade.
While I am in San Miguel I am having daily private one hour Spanish lessons with my excellent teacher Antonieta. In my short first day in San Miguel it is apparent that one could easily get along here with only English but hey, why come to Mexico and speak only English? I might as well stay home if I was going to do that. Everywhere that I went today in the “Centro” district of San Miguel I heard American English being spoken.
I looked at a lovely apartment near the Fabrica de Aurora, a fantastic collection of shops, galleries, restaurants that was once a factory. It is very much gentrified but the variety of art including painting, sculpture, construction, glass, and fabric makes it a very interesting place to visit.
I plan further updates with a description of other places of interest here in San Miguel in the coming days so please, keep in touch!