Information about SMA
This is a small guide. No doubt you will have other questions and need other information than what is contained here. And you will likely need it in English, at least when you first arrive. I suggest using the following resources.
Go to our website at RealtySanMiguel.com, and look under the "Everything San Miguel" tab in the navigation bar. There you will find all kinds of resources, from instructions on Getting to San Miguel, videos on Moving to San Miguel and Living in San Miguel, to News About San
Miguel (and Mexico) to blogs about real estate and the economy.
Coming soon is an event calendar which will list and describe all of the major festivals, conferences, holidays, etc. and include details such as hours and locations.
Yes, these web pages are all hosted by our company, Realty San Miguel. No, you won't find a lot of self-promotion. Instead, you'll discover a wealth of helpful information about living in (or just visiting) San Miguel.
"Civil San Miguel de Allende", known simply as "The Civil List" among locals, is a Yahoo group that has several thousand members who share what they know about San Miguel at any given moment. Basic computer skills are required. It's great for getting recommendations for doctors, hair stylists, dog trainers, reiki masters, etc. It's also great for finding out details of cultural events, new restaurant locations and hours, etc. Your chances of locating a person you met briefly at a party are quite good as well.
Go here to sign up. A word of warning, however. The Civil List is nicknamed the "Snivel List" because of the frequently pissy attitude of a relative handful of regular posters. Pity the man who asks where he can buy a fly swatter. He will likely receive half a dozen posts on the moral depravity of killing insects. Did he ask? No. Does he care? Probably not. For this reason, my
personal policy on the civil list is – get in and get out. Do not have posts emailed to you, because you will not know what hit your inbox*. Ask for what you need, reply with effusive thanks when you get it, and don't go back unnecessarily unless you like petty arguments and offenses easily taken.
Finally, take advantage of the search feature. It's a box at the top of the page, and allows you to search past posts and frequently find your answer immediately.
*To use the list without receiving all the posts in your inbox, go to "Manage My Groups" on the Yahoo Groups page. From there, under "mail subscription" choose "no email." To see posts, just go to the Civil San Miguel de Allende page on the Yahoo Groups site and hit "Messages."
The Atención newspaper, written mostly in English, comes out every Friday. You cannot get a subscription nor have it delivered
to your home, but it's worth leaving your house for if you are new to town. Sold at the library and at various cafes and stores around town, it covers San Miguel's current happenings of all sorts, and
also includes classified ads, hours and advertisements for restaurants, gallery openings, boutique sales, church services, AA meetings, etc. You can see the online version here.
This English language directory comes out once a year. You can buy it at bookstores and even at Mega. It is a phone directory of (generally speaking) the gringo community and a local business directory, including phone numbers for government services, utilities, embassies, etc. It can come in handy when you
know the name of a place but
can't find the phone number.
But do note that there are many, many fine businesses that are not included. And it uses those archaic yellow pages categories. So if you need a doctor, don't look under "d", because you won't find one. You'll find a few listed under "medical emergency" , which is a good
thing, because by the time you thought to look under "physician" you might have bled to death.
This phone book, published by Tel Mex, has a white pages and a yellow pages section, as well as lists of area and country codes, directory assistance,a map of the city, emergency numbers, long distance calling info., etc., much like a "regular" phone book in the U.S., but in Spanish, of course. A guy will
come to your house once a
year and offer you the new
one. It's customary to give him
your old one and also tip him.
However, be prepared. The yellow pages of this phone book are even less intuitive than those of the Juarde. That said, it is much more
comprehensive and lists tons
of businesses that don't
necessarily cater to the gringo
community, which often means
that services are cheaper,
although you will likely have to
be able to speak Spanish to
get what you need. It's worth a
Seriously. This is one of the best ways to find all sorts of things, from what you were originally looking for to what you didn't even know you were interested in! You will see stores and businesses that you never noticed, especially if you head out in the evening. Step inside, and you will discover, for example, that your neighbor-hood tienda (store) stocks a large variety of candles, or that the papeleria
(stationary store) sells beads...who knew?
Meeting people and making friends in San Miguel is very, very easy. Walk from your
house to the Jardin. Go to a
cafe, or to the patio at the
library and you will likely meet
someone new. And every new
person you meet will be a
treasure trove of information
Along these lines, don't be afraid to stop a stranger on the street and ask them for directions. Friendliness is something of a San Miguel hallmark.
|TheEnglish language newspaper in San Miguel||Atención||(ah ten see OAN)|
|TheEnglish language directory in San Miguel||Juarde||(who are they - get it?)|
|The main square in Centro||El Jardín||(el har DEEN)*|
*The Jardín is the most popular place in the whole town, so it's worth learning how to pronounce its name correctly. Please note that it is not "jar" as in peanut butter, and it does not rhyme with "garden".It is "har" as in "hardly", and it rhymes with "Nadine".)