English-speaking expats constitute only 10% of the total population here. So, yes, most people do speak Spanish. However, since tourism is the most profitable business here, more and more Mexican adults and children are learning to speak English. Expats can and do get by with just English in San Miguel. Many have no interest in learning Spanish. In contrast, Mexicans, especially those who work in restaurants, bars, and hotels; go out of their way to learn English.
Normally, expats who do not speak Spanish rely on their gardener, housekeeper, or handyman to help them with make connections to local services. It is usually somebody that they have met through some type of a work contract who has a good command of English and Spanish. These Mexicans become their “go to” people for everything from hardware store purchases to caterers & dog walkers. Legal, medical and immigration services require the assistance of a professional, bilingual consultant. I offer this kind of support when clients need this kind of assistance.
(Pictured: a man with his burro, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.)