What a dream San Miguel de Allende is. After spending a full week in Mexico City we were super looking forward to San Miguel. San Miguel is a colonial town in Central Mexico about a four hour bus ride northwest of Mexico City. We took the Delta of buses there (just in case anyone finds themselves in Mexico City) and it is now the mode of transportation to beat.
We were invited to stay with our good friend Mary who had fallen in love with San Miguel last year. It really is a magical place. The architecture, local culture, churches, parks, and my favorite to talk about– food.
Not only did we get to spend the week with Mary, but we met up with more friends (quality time with JoBeth and Lew)! It was a wonderful week filled with good shared meals and outings. We researched some about things to do in San Miguel, but mostly relied on Mary for recommendations–and they were perfect! Walking tours (which we’re both big fans of), gypsy guitar concert, hot springs, and again, so.much.good.food. It was great to travel somewhere and stay with someone who already knows and loves the place.
The weather in San Miguel feels like Spring year round. The population is about 20% expats and it’s easy to see why. Downtown San Miguel is home to historic 17th century churches and also has a Starbucks. A very interesting mix of cultures!
One of my favorite things of San Miguel was the Rancho Tour. The rural villages outside of San Miguel are home to a women’s co-op called Las Rancheritas.
The Co-Op is made up of 16 women who are descendants of the Otomi people who are indigenous to the San Miguel area. We were invited into their homes where we ate the best meal I have had in Mexico.
We (very minimally) helped make some homemade tortillas, visited a local stone cutter, their rug weaving shop, and ended the day learning some Otomi phrases from the Co-Op’s abuelita.
One of the houses we visited on the tour really stood out from many others in the village. The stone work was gorgeous, they had a beautiful large yard, and we could it tell was a hub for many of the women and kids in the village. Our wonderful tour guide, Donna, explained to us that the dad of the family lives in the United States for half the year doing seasonal migrant work. He is one of the only workers in the village who has a green card and is able to work in the U.S.. It was amazing to see the difference it can make. After he works for half the year in the United States, he returns home to his family and the community he loves, and is able to financially invest in.
I doubt this man works harder or longer than any other person in his community to provide for his family. We met many hard working people in the village that day. But, he has the opportunity to work in a different country that is more economically stable and currently has more opportunities. What a difference that opportunity has made. We can provide those opportunities to many families who are trapped in poverty through the expansion of the green card program. People want to stay in their communities. When there is no work, they have to look else where. When will we become a part of the solution instead of exasperating the problem?
Mexico is a beautiful country with hardworking, kind, and generous people. The rhetoric pushed out today from many of our leaders is shameful. We had an amazing day spent in this village. We were welcomed into homes and fed a filling meal that took time and preparation. I’ve felt such love from the Mexican people.
While traveling around, we are trying to be a good representation of what I hope Americans aspire to be– open-minded people, learning from those who are different than us, and slow to pass judgement.