Saturday, June 09, 2007

Making a Living in San Miguel

I'm back in the States now, having had an extremely productive research trip. My research assistant, Jalal, served as a type of "pace car" and kept me moving throughout the three and a half weeks. Together we completed 127 oral history interviews, which is truly amazing.

Every research trip (for me, at least) tends to focus on a particular topic. Last year I interviewed mainly longer term expats. Those interviewees were able to give me a longer-term vision of the SMA expat community, but also revealed aspects of the population that I would not have expected: younger working expats, some married and raising kids, others who were making a go at living in Mexico.

For the next few days, I'm going to be blogging about expat work in SMA. Most of the people I interviewed had businesses, and therefore are willing to be identified (or their businesses identified) on this blog.

I"m still decompressing from my return trip: I was overjoyed to to see my family, but I was not happy to have to take the wheel of my minivan again (alas, this is the suburbs). I will be processing much of the materials Jalal and I collected, and reporting some of those findings here. I was amazed and impressed with what I discovered this summer. I think you will be as well.


Anonymous said...

We can't wait!

Doug and Cindi

Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered how a gringo population would be regarded by Mexicans in whose town their livelihood is dependent upon the foreign presence compared to a city in which their bread and butter is not dependent upon a tourist or expat foreign community? Hmmm.


Anonymous said...

i would like more information on americans raising small children in san miguel. we are seriously considering moving there two children, ages 2 and 4. wondering what life is like for young american children there, their parents, connecting, stay-at-home moms, schools, etc. if you interviewed anyone with children, please write about what you learned. can't find much online, regarding lifestyle (parks, classes, etc.) and have only found one grade school, the waldorf. wondering what all preschool and grade school options are.
love what you've written! esp. regarding joy factor vs. american self-made stress factor. the psychology of expats, etc. also wondering how much less expensive it is for cost of living in a town like san miguel (we know it is expensive on mexican standards) compared to a place like chicago. how much the mexicans blend with expats (who are fluent in spanish) socially. what it's like to set up a business using the internet as a base there. any interview information would be so appreciated with your wonderful writing. will get the book!

Deb said...

Dear Anonymous poster:

Thank you for your comments and requests. I have a large body of information on families and living with small children in Mexico. I'll be away from the blog until Monday July 9, and I will be happy to expand on this information for you.

Please feel free to email me with the link on the main page of the blog if you have further questions.


Anonymous said...

thanks for replying to my post regarding raising small children in san miguel. i lived in santa fe, nm for about a decade and loved it--the mountains, art scene, tri-cultural community, size of the city, etc. san miguel seems similiar in some aspects, although being in mexico (which i'm quite passionately in love with, been there many times, even lived there for a brief stint) i wonder how deep the veneer is (or is it wondrously solid?) regarding ease, beauty, peace, texture and pace? one of the draws of moving to mx is, of course, having the ability to hire help with child care and house care. being a stay-at-home mom of two, i would then have more time to focus on my own ambitions, too (or, possibly have time to simply shower and eat a complete meal without being in a hurry). seems like so much of my time is spent doing house maintenance, etc. that could easily be turned into more productive, meaningful family time or professional creative energy. does the ease of having help in the home make marriages better, children happier and mothers saner (so they have time to focus on themselves, for example, instead of the laundry pile)?
i look forward to your next post. thanks...we have the option of living where we choose, and we're now deciding between san miguel and santa fe. also curious about american children's social lives there...