In San Miguel de Allende, there is more to do for single women as opposed to the city where I lived in the States. Although both cities are about the same size, in San Miguel de Allende, there are a lot more opportunities for single women to get involved in organizations- mixed gender organizations, organizations that are mainly women, and volunteer opportunities. As soon as you get involved in these organizations, you meet many other women, most of them expats, thereby giving you a sudden huge network of friends and acquaintances in the city.
As far as living alone in San Miguel de Allende and concerns about safety, I have never, at any time, felt unsafe in San Miguel de Allende. For example, I was somewhere today, and I was thinking, “Why am I walking here by myself?”
I would not walk the streets at night alone in San Miguel de Allende. I would not do that in my town in Pennsylvania, either, which is not a crime-ridden city at all, and that is common sense. In the daytime, I feel fine walking outside by myself.
I rode the bus in San Miguel de Allende two days ago, which I did for the first four years I lived here, when I would take the bus three days a week in town. I’ve been driving since, so I haven’t had any occasion to take the bus in San Miguel de Allende, and I miss the interaction. As I got on the bus, a Mexican woman who was younger than I and who probably thought I was extremely elderly stood up to give me her seat, and insisted that I sit there. Another Mexican woman who was closer to my age and had a cane got on the bus, and I stood up to get her to sit. She said, “Oh no.” So in Spanish, I said to her, “Yes, please do, because this is your country and I’m a visitor. Please have the seat.” And with that she took the seat.
In many places in San Miguel de Allende where I’m the only American, I notice the courtesy of the Mexican people not because it’s an uncomfortable situation, but because their courtesy is something I look for. Anytime I’m on the bus, I seem to be the only Gringo there. At first, I sense that feeling of being looked at, and that’s good, because that increases my sensitivity of how minorities feel. They’re very much a minority in my community at home, so I sense that, and that’s good. I like that. That made me grow and made me stretch.
I spend two months here in San Miguel de Allende in the fall, and there are lots of snowbirds here then. The population of expats jumps during the winter months, so you see them everywhere. Before the fall, when I’m in town in San Miguel de Allende, I can walk three blocks and not see another Gringo.
(Street in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)