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Message from the Founder of the MPWCFoundation (a SUMMARY of his latest "end of life" views on his life here in San Miguel Allende):

I arrived in San Miguel in 1993 and (after 4 lengthy visits) by 1995 I was living here permanently.  In early 2004, when in addition to many other things that I had accomplished here, I started the SMA free online newsmagazine and operated it as the publisher, we published an interview of me that disclosed my "life could not be better" attitudes about our town.   Little did I think that that was the going to be my high point and life COULD INDEED get worse.

I discovered, starting about that time, that so many Gringos had good ideas but they could not be bothered working at implementing their own good ideas themselves.  They wanted, even expected, others to do the actual work on their ideas.   And I started noticing this to be true with both the Gringos and the Mexicans. and true regarding volunteers for both the online newsmagazine and the MPWCFoundation (as well as its Grantees), and true in so many other facets of life here, and true then and still true today.   

I also started to notice things that happened within all of the many local elected and/or appointed administrations or supporting departments.  The implied promises of democracy and equality under the laws are not always kept in practice.   Some examples follow (in highly summarized and sanitized form because the explicit details are much more horrendous):

The neighbor to my north commenced unauthorized construction including ecologically-illegal cutting down of about 10 huge trees on her property and then carting in tons on earth which she then had flattened and pounded down by industrial-sized heavy roller equipment.  Many cracks started appearing immediately in my building just adjacent to her property. I reported this to Desarrollos Urbano who sent inspectors who saw my physical evidence and agreed with my observations of damages.  They also took their own pictures and promised me their report a few months later in 2006.  My constant follow-up periodic requests for any more current status report of their investigation drew no useful responses, just deflections and more excuses.   In exasperation, after repeated inquiries from me resulted in my long-overdue conclusion that they were doing nothing about the claim, they finally (almost 4 years later) admitted to me that all of the evidence that they had accumulated had mysteriously vanished and they certainly could do nothing about it now.  No excuses were provided and no apologies were extended.   Incidentally, this same neighbor (in 2016) started unapproved construction once again and once again damages to my house were reported   And once again, the charges were mysteriously lost and accepted as of no consequence by city employees.
I applied for Imigrado Permanente status and supplied all required paperwork.  I was then promised my final papers in about 3 months.  However. I had to repeatedly attempt (for many years) to ascertain what was delaying the papers.  Finally, after getting both the USA and Mexican federal authorities in Mexico City involved, papers were finally provided to me after well over 3 years had passed.   No excuses were provided and no apologies were extended.
The MPWCF's own "loans for women" project was promised permanent desk space (we agreed to pay for and provide the staffing and the loans ourselves) at the local DIF offices. We went ahead with our part in this project, however, a later administration ignored the previous administration's promises. No excuses were provided and no apologies were extended.
The Ecologia laws are flouted repeatedly and complaints to that department ignored. At the same time, two of my neighbors (both the Rosewood Hotel and/or my even-closer neighbor to my southeast. Nena) ran private parties all year round (averaging 2 or more nights every week) many until 3am or 4am with noise levels well beyond normal tolerance or legal levels.  Can you imagine what you'd feel like if you were forced to remain awake until 3am or 4am two or three nights EVERY week?  Especially when your own work (the Foundation and its support mechanisms) required early in the morning work.  And that did not even consider the damages done by the "big percussion" cannon-fired fireworks at about 11pm for each party, each "big boom" literally bounced around inside my house rattling everything and the accumulated physical damage was constant and cumulative.  And, still later, an additional ecological threat was reported and ignored; that of hours of noxious carbon dioxide emissions from a gas-driven electricity generator that poured their fumes into my next door courtyard where they remained for hours after the generator was turned off at the end of that night's party.
And then, adding to the above "2 or more nights every week" is the almost-every-night-of- the-week, unpredictable except it will happen almost every night, 5 to 10 minutes of too loud to hear over machine-gun-like blasts of firecrackers that break all attempts by me to follow the story on any movie or television show where hearing and understanding the dialogue is an important part of the viewing.   Oh, well, just another two hours wasted due to a short interruption that reduces understanding to little more than nothingness. 
The utility-monopolies (SAPaSMA, CFE, and TelMex) have all committed huge errors a minimum of two or more times each (over the last 19 years) and all three refuse or delay corrections or refund for overcharges no matter how obvious their own errors might have been.
Two decades of putrid smells from nearby open sewers are both unhealthy and very unpleasant.
Many people in many departments of local government make promises that they do not keep and their promised efforts to cause people to obey widely known laws generally result in no action no matter how great the offense.
Gringos are not excluded from this flaw - there have been many unkept promises from them, too.  An American lawyer, supposedly licensed to practice in Mexico, was barred by his own American State Bar Association for exactly the same kinds of unkept promises he made to me and to others here in SMA.   And Tenants too often enjoyed the lease terms that benefited the Tenants but did not keep their own promises in the same lease's terms that benefited the Landlords.   
And now, in 2015, the many cases of unsolved crimes, most much more serious than the above unkept promises, are beginning to come to the notice of Mexicans and Gringos alike, residents and visitors alike, tourists and the media alike.  

All of the above seems to be acceptable as just "business as usual".  Even if these above "normal problems" are put aside, even if that can be done, I next had to confront the huge damages to me personally and to the Foundation's (women and children) beneficiaries.  This is the Andy Blair tragedy.  In addition to everything else she took from me, the biggest loss to me was causing me to close down of the Foundation and the work that I had given the previous 22 years of my life to, perfecting the goals that were now not going to be met, and possibly even more than that was the resultant us$5,000,000 or more loss to the women and children of San Miguel.  And even more importantly to me personally, I lost my ability to ever again TRUST people to the extent that I used to be able to do.  And, of course, I never received any of the benefits that "that woman" had promised to deliver, which had been my reason for giving her all of the benefits that she had already received.

Although I still possess all of the physical evidence (like copies of the $25,000 check, copies of our signed Agreement, copies of our emails discussing the Agreement and the benefits that she had already received and the benefits she promised to me that I had not received, and all other pieces of written evidence), and there has been no response from her as to why she felt it appropriate for her to break her written promises to me, the legal system in San Miguel is so personally frustrating and difficult for me to comprehend with its impediments that a person like myself who is now so physically impaired (significantly because of what "that woman" did not do that she was supposed to do as part of our Agreement, I do not believe I will ever be personally able to do what is now required to drag her before the legal system.   

Add to all of that the fact that the majority of past and present grantees have failed at keeping their promises regarding Transparency and Continuity although they had all very sweetly accepted well over us$125,000 in grants by July, 2014 (and already knew that there was over us$5,000,000 additional yet to be distributed to SMA grantees in the MPWCF at my death).

All of the above brings me closer to the point where I really don't care about much anymore, and I'm beginning to consider giving up on Mexico and certainly San Miguel as well.   

And so, I am more than a little DOWN on San Miguel Allende, quite a bit down from the above-described pre-2004 days when "everything was great".  There is a definite downside to living here for over 20 years.

The simple and most pressing fact is that I take promises (both those made BY me as well as those made TO me) very seriously.   For most of my adult life, I have made and then observed “Underpromise and Overdeliver” as my motto for both my personal life and for the MPWCFoundation.   Now, I am depressed, disillusioned, and getting very angry at others' lack of performance. What to do?  I have promised (repeatedly on this website, in addition to so many individual statements elsewhere) that this Foundation will do EVERYTHING I have promised (but most descriptively and elaborately, I have guaranteed this at point #10 on the trustees webpage).  As a consequential result of my guarantees, the us$5,000,000 or more is the Foundation's to keep and use (as promised).  I can not take it back or use it myself, I can not give any of it to friends or relatives, I can only give it to charities that meet the criteria promised by me to both the State of Texas, where we incorporated, and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the USA.  However, I must take notice that so many others (see above) have broken their promises to me.  Now what?

Is there any wonder about why I lost faith in San Miguel and the people who live here?  I spent the earliest years here, certainly between 1993 and 2004, doing "good things" for ALL of the varied peoples of San Miguel and later, in my own recent moments of need, got little or nothing when I needed a little help from some of them.  It may be my imagination (but I think not) that those who have more recently moved here since 2004 are here for vastly different reasons than what motivated earlier arrivals.   The Stirling Dickinson(s), the Bob Somerlott(s), the Luisa Velte(s), and others that inspired me, now long gone, were replaced by those who seem more interested in what they can TAKE from San Miguel, not what they can GIVE.   So, I ask you to help me (see the end of Note #1 on the allocations page) turn this around and let me see that there are now some new people who care about Mexico and Mexican's needs.

Frankly, I expect very little from the courts and even less from the new Gringo arrivals.  I'd be very surprised to have my thoughts proven to be wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Underpromise and Overdeliver”

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