Published On: Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017

Ever wonder why so many American Expats move to San Miguel?

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Chuck Bolotin, founder of, which has over 7,000 answers and more than 200 expat stories and interviews contributed by more than 500 experts about retiring, moving, and doing business overseas, recently published on an article titled “Expat Destination San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Inexpensive Culture, Old World Charm”, explaining why so many Americans and Canadians move to San Miguel de Allende.

Chuck also contributes with The Yucatan Times, San Miguel Times and The Riviera Maya Times.


San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Photo:

Of all the expat destinations we cover for Best Places in the World to Retire, including writing about them on our Mexico road trip, few generate as much interest as San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It’s easy to see why.

Culture and the Arts

The physical and cultural center of San Miguel de Allende is the iconic and otherworldly Parroquia (cathedral), which can be seen from miles away. This architectural gem is a fitting center to the city, because the modern, expat-related history of San Miguel de Allende begins with the arts.

A self-taught student of San Miguel de Allende history, Daniel Ortiz told us that it all started when an art school was established in San Miguel de Allende that could accept payments from students using the U.S. GI Bill. “A lot of them came to study and never left,” says Ortiz. “Some married local San Miguelenses. Especially after World War II, this wave of Americans shaped the artistic and overall community of San Miguel de Allende.”

The recent American art school arrivals found lots to like about San Miguel de Allende that was already there from the colonial period and unchanged. Lane Simmons, who moved from Austin, Tex. to San Miguel de Allende in 1995, said that the happy historical events helped to essentially freeze the colonial look. “After the mining era, San Miguel became, for all practical purposes, a ghost town,” explained Simmons. “So San Miguel’s historical architecture got preserved well before most of the town’s post-colonial era growth and development occurred.”

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