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SONIA DIAZ of Sonia Diaz – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sonia Diaz next to characteracture at Dia de Muertos in San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMany of the neighborhoods in San Miguel de Allende are multiracial neighborhoods. You may find Canadians, Mexicans, Americans, Australians, Germans and a significant number from South America. There’s a good chance that you will be living beside an expat because most of the colonias have residents from different countries, the majority being Americans.
 
Most of the places here are peaceful and quiet, that is, of course, when there is no church parade or celebration going on. During these events, it would be noisy due to the festive atmosphere, of course. For those not familiar with the Mexican culture please know we like to celebrate and enjoy life and in doing so we are not so quiet. J
 
There are no neighborhoods that are even 50% expat; all are mixed to some extent.
 
(Sonia Diaz with tall friend in San Miguel de Allende.)
Jim Castro of Agave Rentals – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mature garden in Los Frailes, near the reservoir, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWho your neighbors would be in San Miguel de Allende would depend on where you live. There are some areas such as Centro (the central part of town) that are largely American and Canadian. Here in Centro your neighbors would be 50% Mexican and 50% expats so the experience is different here. There are people here in Centro that you might be able to relate to and talk to. The Mexicans who live in Centro are lovely and wonderful. We know all of our neighbors and we say, “Buenos dias”, and it is fairly interactive.
 
If you live in a more Mexican neighborhood outside of Centro, you are going to have a different experience and you’re going to interact in a different way. You might feel like you want to contribute more or show your generosity more in an area like that so that you feel more welcome. I was talking to somebody about this recently and I said, “You know, if there’s a robbery in some of the bad parts of San Miguel, all they are going to do is try to take your cellphone or your TV.” And he says, “Well, if I move to that part of town, I’ll buy the whole neighborhood sets of TVs that they don’t have to worry about that.” There is some truth to that statement. You’re going to reach out and be generous and nice and make sure that you’re welcome. There is a one to one correlation between how many gringos there are and how wealthy the area is. Centro is the wealthiest part of town and therefore it has the most gringos. As you radiate out of Centro, it gets less wealthy and there are less gringos. The wealthier Mexicans also tend to live in Centro. 
 
If you get on top of some of the roofs here in Centro and look over, you would see a house that has been repaired but it’s been around for 100 years. Right here, you will not see corrugated roofs but if you go a couple of blocks away, you would see corrugated roofs even after all these years and after all these developments. So it is still possible that you would live next to your housekeeper or next to a poor family. You don’t have to be a wealthy Mexican or a gringo to live in Centro. You could live next to a family that has been here for a long time; we do. We get along well with our neighbors here even though there is still some sort of resentment due to the income disparity. We’ve been invited recently to community meetings that were set up by the Mexican residents to tackle topics about crime, traffic, noise, etc. We sat in the same meetings and do not understand Spanish as well but we get it well enough and they help us understand so we cohabitate well.
 
Mexicans live a louder life. If there are celebrations then there will be loud music associated with the celebrations. There could be fireworks associated with the celebrations, too. Mexicans use fireworks for any reason that you can imagine. There are many churches in San Miguel de Allende so you would hear them use their bells and they use them assertively. If you do not like a generally loud noise level then you wouldn’t want to live in Centro. I recommend that you live in Balcones, Atascadero, parts of San Antonio, Los Frailles, or in the outskirts of Centro.
 
(Mature garden in Los Frailes, near the reservoir, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Ivy Del Pozzo of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Hacienda-style home in center of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe house to the left of my place is rented on short-term rental. Across the street from my place is a lovely family that lives in such a very small house that I cannot imagine how they live there. The mother and daughter walk my dog for me four times a week. They are great people. Next to them is a house of a carpenter. He has a workshop at the back of where he lives in which he does great carpentry. Next door to that house is a really big, fancy, and relatively new house designed by the same lady that was the architect for my house. There are expats in that house that come maybe three or four times a year. So your neighbors here in San Miguel are a little bit of everything.
 
I have sold million-dollar properties in Centro San Miguel in which when you stand on the roof of it and look down next door, you will find small Mexican families. There are also places that you can go up the hill and still be in San Miguel but in different colonias where there are small, teensy, indigenous kinds of houses where it is still a mix between expats and Mexican but it is a higher-end demographic. 
 
And then within a 10-minute drive outside of town you will arrive at a Club de Golf, which is a golf club where there is a development with beautiful homes on the golf course. The people living there are still mixed Mexican-American expats but they are of a higher demographic.
 
For the most part, we are pretty much a mix here in town. It is a great experience to have us all living together.  As you get further out of town it starts to get into more homogeneous types of neighborhoods socio-economically, if not, ethnically.
 
(Hacienda-style home in center of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Eric Chazaro of Keller Williams Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Christmas celebration at Rancho Labradores, San Miguel de Allende,  Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOne of the reasons why San Miguel de Allende has become popular is because we have mixed neighborhoods. The neighborhoods here are neighborhoods where a typical Mexican family would live and the expat community would just blend in.  Americans usually come to San Miguel, purchase a house, renovate it to the highest standards and top of the line facilities and they would live right next to a Mexican family so they would become part of the community.
 
Of course, there are also gated communities in San Miguel but even in these gated communities you would find a good mix of Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans (perhaps from Mexico City, Queretaro, or Monterey) who would have second homes in San Miguel. In general, San Miguel de Allende has become a very special place because the expat community here and the Mexican community mix really well.  
 
(Christmas celebration at Rancho Labradores, San Miguel de Allende,  Mexico, pictured.)

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