Is San Miguel the place for me?

I am intrigued by the possibility of moving to San Miguel de Allende, and would like to communicate with you all about that.
Here's a short brief about me:
I'm from California. Have a BA in Humanistic Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and a California teaching credential.

Starting in 1997 I lived in Tijuana for about ten years. I was married to a Mexican woman who passed away in 2011.
At that point I came to Buenos Aires to pursue a dream my father left behind in his merchant marine days.
I've taught English and Music at public schools in California, and Universities in Mexico... I much preferred the latter... and if I could do it again in San Miguel, that would be a clincher in my decision making. In fact, I have permanent residency  in Mexico which I acquired by virtue of my wife, and am authorized to teach English there.
Buenos Aires isn't really doing it for me and I am pondering a return to Mexico. My initial thought about San Miguel was that there would be too many Americans but...
I've been watching your video, and some others, and I'm beginning to think San Miguel might be a great place for me, especially if:
a) I could play music there (are there amateur orchestras or - more especially - STRING QUARTETS)?
b) I could associate with other artistic types

c) I could work as a teacher.

In regard to c), I could teach Mexicans English, or Americans Spanish... and I could teach violin and viola.
I think "too many Americans" may be some kind of old bias that I am ready to discard. I really am in need of friends and the commonality of culture makes levels of friendship possible that cultural differences make difficult... Since my wife's death I've been somewhat adrift and...
(Oh yes, and as I have frequently been reminded, ANYONE on this continent is an "American".)

Maybe the reason for the drift in my life has been to lead me to San Miguel?
So, the present situation is: that although I have worked here in BA as a teacher, I have run up against the obstacle that getting legal residency here is quite difficult.
And I have also realized that I hate the weather here and that my father's fascination with this city was his and not mine. A good thing to learn, but it may be time to move on. After all, I have two stepchildren in Tijuana and two daughters in California, and I am too far away from them now. Besides - Christmas in the summer? what's up with THAT?

After the next Christmas (which I will spend in Tijuana and California) I will be wandering through Mexico and I would like to come to San Miguel and taste for myself what it's all about. Could you connect me with some people, or direct me somewhere, which would make this a useful and enjoyable experience - so that I wouldn't have to start completely from scratch (as I did here in Buenos Aires)?
I think the clincher for me would be the opportunity to play music. I'm not a philharmonic-level player, but I've got good chops and those chops would only improve with - hopefully - lots of playing...
I'm 58 now... I'd fit right in with the “retired” folks there, it seems to me. Although I tend to agree with Toller Cranston that the word “retired” isn’t so good... I’d like to think of a move there as a possibility to re-CREATE myself and hook up with the things I’ve been wanting to do all my life...
Any help you can give about how to do that will be greatly appreciated 

Thanks in advance,

Bob Haskell

Hi Bob Haskell,

Sorry to read about your lost :|

I suggest you post your resume in the Teaching jobs in San Miguel de Allende section please and maybe in the Careers in music in San Miguel de Allende sectin too. It might help :)

Best of luck to you

Thank you


Thank you very much -

I will do both of the things you recommended...

Tal vez, después de Navidad, nos podamos conocer en San Miguel!!

Chao desde Buenos Aires!


Hi Bob, the main issue with working in Mexico is doing so legally. In order to work in San Miguel, you would require a job offer / invite from a company, and they would then have to assist you in obtaining work status (Usually starts as a one year work Visa).

People of course work "under the table," but, there are always risks with going this route.

My advice would be to start exploring organizations/companies in SMA that might have a place for you, and also contact an immigration consultant in San Miguel.


Yes, I know you're right... But during the ten years I lived in Tijuana I acquired permanent residency; now I'm being informed by people in the immigration business (and who are friends of mine) that all I have to do is get the new plastic card, which involves a fee of $4000.00 pesos... But at least I can keep my status - and work!

Of course, as always, there might be some legal snag or reason I have to lose my residency, or have to start over again...

In fact, at the Mexican Embassy here in Buenos Aires, just yesterday, they told me that the new laws invalidate all the trámites[i][/i]and I have to start over.

That was BEFORE my immigration friend told me not to worry; that its not true! Just another of the things I love about Mexico: everybody knows exactly what's going on all the time!

I'll be prepared for either eventuality.

Thanks for the post.

- Bob

Hi Bob, I sent you a message with some more info./a good music contact in San Miguel.


Are you still thinking about this? I have wanted to make the move for 20 years. I'm 57, artist living in Los Angeles.   Cheri -email-  chehopro[at]

Me too. I visited SMA 20 years ago, and have been back 2 times since then. Wonderful place.It has changed a lot and english is spoken everywhere.There is a starbucks downtown and a mall on the outskirts but the streets are still cobblestone and no traffic lights in sight.  There is a thriving expat community and I met some wonderful people at the library, yoga classes,  and the unitarian congregation. I would like to live there wnters, but not quite ready to retire.

Are you planning to work or volunteer?

Hi: I am from the other piece of america - Canada. I've visited SMA 3 times, and would love to winter there. I found it very easy to meet other english speakers and there are lots of free and not too pricy cultural events. Great art everywhere, and music too at the schools. The average age is about 60 - 70+ and many people I would be like to be friends with. Many teachers, and health care practitioners. I teach nursing and would like to work teacing medical english.There seems to be a number of spanish language schools and lots of texans.  I am sure there is a politically better way of saying this - but the people are good texans, and not the redneck variety.
But it is not a place to get away from the noth american culture. IMHO.

I would say SMA would be an excellent fit for you. The expats there are a cut way above the usual segregated enclaves in other parts of Mexico. The difference between say Santa Fe, NM and Palm Springs. Big difference. I usually call SMA the Santa Fe of Mexico. The expat population is about 80 Democrats by leaning and only 10% Republican. The others being independant. So the trend is for engaged and engaging EP's. There is rarely a time, sitting next to someone at a table, that you don't hear conversations from the most interesting folks! It often even becomes a multi-table discussion. Most people I meet there are "different" in a good way. Finding your way financially will be the challenge. Hoops to jump of course, client base to build, etc.

There's a guy in town that I think you might "musically" connect with.
HIs name is Fred Dannen, look him up on Facebook.
Good luck!   Ronnie

Hi Bob,
I was curious to see if you ever decided to settle in SMA? We are moving there in August, we have purchased a house there. My cousins also have a home there and are both musicians, one is still actively working and her instrument is the viola.

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