I was just reading John Scherber’s book San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart and would like to share an excerpt. I highly recommend the book. It’s insightful, interesting and brings issues to the forefront that are important to us all. John’s interviews with San Miguel ex-pats answers a lot of questions that people living in Mexico full-time are continually asked. “Why did you move to Mexico” – “Do you feel safe in Mexico” – “What do you do in Mexico every day?” The geography and cultural fabric of Mexico is so diverse that the answers to these questions vary considerably as John expertly reveals in his interviews with local ex-pats.
Here’s a small excerpt from San Miguel de Allende, A Place in the Heart: “Linda’s studio is in the Fabrica la Aurora, a former textile mill that sprawls informally over a number of acres on the north side of town. Her back wall is a traditional Mexican stone design using large flat irregular stones set in mortar with small stones embedded around them. Walls like this are attractive but not water tight. Now moisture seeps through from the recent heavy rains, and a ceiling fan runs as we talk.
Her paintings are large vivid floral subjects realistically rendered. The big mullioned window in front faces a sunny concrete plaza within the old factory. Other studios are visible, a covered coffee and sandwich shop run by three attractive young Mexican women, and the back entrance of an upscale furniture and accessories store. Other shops offer Mexican antiques and religious art. In the center is a small bookstore, focused on design. There is a village feeling to the complex. Outside is a large parking lot, something almost unknown in this town other than at the few big box stores at the outskirts. At the end of the parking lot is a fenced area full of ducks of several varieties with their own pool. It doesn’t provoke much comment although the reason it’s there isn’t obvious.
While she feels this environment is a good fit, Linda also knows she is different from many Americans who live In San Miguel. “I don’t have very much money. I have a little adobe home. I live in a Mexican neighborhood, I live on my retirement, on social security. Many of them, when I first came and I was invited to parties, recognized I didn’t fit. I’m not a drinker, I’m not a party goer. If I go to a party I want to meet people I have something in common with. I want to talk to them about things that are important to me, not food, not houses.”
Her social set tends to be other artists and what she calls, “spiritual seekers.”
“I was in a women’s group for years, and they are basically very spiritual women. Some are Mexican, others are different nationalities.”
John Scherber, originally from Minnesota, moved to Mexico full-time in 2007. CLICK HERE, to order John Scherber’s award-winning non-fiction account of the expat experience .