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This, and the other tips pages, must be constantly fed with TIPS FROM YOU.  They may be of any length (from maybe 10 words to 5 paragraphs or so).  Send them to us at and we will publish them immediately.  What you take for granted now can become someone else's new and valuable tip for living here.

This page currently contains the following tips for living here, listed in this order:

Satellite TV from DISH network now available legally and at fair cost   by Michael Wein
Rules (probably also known as "regulations") of the Mexican Nation   by Jesus Cabral
A long listing of many, many things to do in San Miguel   by Michael Wein
for your own benefit, register your living here in SMA   by Michael Wein
read (in English) the Mexican constitution (especially article 33)

6/8/04  -  Satellite TV from DISH network is now available legally and at fair cost   by Michael Wein.

Through the efforts of Mel Berry (a dealer in satellite systems in Houston), individuals living in San Miguel may have access to satellite television from the USA in a variety of ways.  Those who already possess Direct TV dishes will be able to continue to use their current Direct TV dishes even though they change to the DISH network.  And those who are new to satellite tv as well as those who have purchased Direct TV programming previously may acquire new DISH receivers in a rebate program wherein the receivers are acquired for no cost.  Anyone may then purchase any number of programming packages at the same cost as anyone living in the USA.  

Antennas (the "dish" itself) can now be purchased (although they are not necessary if you already have a Direct TV dish) locally from Daniel Guerra Ybarra (at 154-6331).  The receivers are purchased from the Houston dealer and cost $99us and you will get a credit of $10us a month for 15 months (yes, you do make a little profit on that) against your subscription costs.   The receivers can be delivered to you in San Miguel at nominal cost using the services of a courier.  If installation is necessary, Daniel will install them for you.  The DISH network programming is quite varied and you can purchase programming (depending on how much and what kind of programming you want) for anywhere between $29us and $83us a month.  Much more information and answers to many questions that I have personally asked are on the web-pages of the Houston dealer.  Just click on to see their entire web-site, or just click on "San Miguel de Allende -- Mexico" to see information applicable solely to us in San Miguel.  The comparison between local Cablevision and DISH network as an alternative to Cablevision highly favors DISH from both a price point of view as well as a quality and quantity point of view.  You can read more about the DISH network itself at   As to their performance in delivery and service, I will update this as soon as I receive my equipment around June 22nd.

6/3/04 Rules (probably also known as "regulations") of the Mexican Nation   by Jesus Cabral

Rules in Mexico are published in the "diario oficial de la federacion".  The official copy is better done in downtown DF. Alternatively it shouldn't be a problem to find the website of the official paper and then print the related article for your own use or to show to government officials when they seem to interpret it their own (and different) way.

March 5, 2004 - A long listing of many, many things to do in San Miguel - by Michael Wein

Someone wrote stating: "My sister-in-law is having a terrible time after 4 years here. She is not an artist, has no artistic ability, and feels that (other than volunteering) there is nothing to do here. In her case I tend to agree.  Any ideas for her? Classes are out, walking is her passion but after 4 years she's seen SMA!

My response:

You've got to be kidding. I've been here over 10 yars now and I am still finding new things to do; things that I want to do and things that bring satisfactory challenges to me. As a coincidence, I bought my house from a couple wherein the husband said the same thing about San Miguel. His loss; my gain.

As a relatively short and certainly incomplete list, I suggest your sister-in-law try any of the following.

  1. ...Education (not so surprisingly, it would also open her mind to other possibilities for "enjoying herself")
  2. ...Start her own non-profit organization that does what SHE thinks is necessary.
  3. ...Take a series of local or out-of-town bus rides to nowhere (and discover that there's a somewhere out there).
  4. ...Learn to use a computer (not the simple email or surfing, but something useful and interesting to her).
  5. ...Study the life (surfing or books, her choice) of a great person she admires
  6. ...Learn to cook a new way (Mexican, Afganistani, Brazilian, whatever).
  7. ...Discover Music or Theatre or Art Appreciation; San Miguel may be one of the best places in the world to do this
  8. ...Get a pet and try to train it (turtles are especially hard to train, but must be very rewarding if successful)
  9. ...Exercise walking - and seeing new neighborhoods - bring a camera
  10. ...Fundraising - get out of the "volunteering business" and do something different for any organization
  11. ...Yoga, t'ai-chi, meditation, or some other form of exercise.
  12. ...Surveys - you'd be surprised how many untaken (currently) surveys in this town would provide useful information.
  13. ...go out and make friends with new people; almost no one in this town bites
  14. ...go horseback riding or take a balloon ride
  15. ...Take acting lessons - who knows what she may be able to discover about herself
  16. ...find a problem or a need and invent or find a solution
  17. ...Gardening - it must be a new challenge to create a "low water, high yield" garden here in Mexico
  18. ...Adopt a child (if only for a day) and take him/her to some place that he/she would enjoy; I suspect the sister-in-law would get immediate payback herself.
  19. ...Information - make your own booklet on how to find things (do things) here in San Miguel
  20. ...Dancing Lessons - there are many different styles that are taught here
  21. ...As San Miguel is in the center of Mexico, traveling from San Miguel to other parts of Mexico is relatively easy.
  22. ...Interview people - who knows, maybe she has a knack for it - interview people who KNOW something about town and maybe she will learn something useful herself
  23. ...Bake a loaf or some unusual bread.
  24. ...Read (your choice fiction, biography, whatever) -- the Biblioteca has such an eclectic mix of books, perhaps she can find something amusing, educational, provocative, whatever she finds not boring.
  25. ...Read one of the so-called "great books"; order it from if it is not currently in town.
  26. ...Experiment with new (to her) fruits and vegetables.
  27. ...Think about something (examine your deepest beliefs)

And, if the above doesn't sufficiently occupy her mind and/or body, I found that I could start (that means more work, of course) any sort of affinity group that I wanted but found non-existent before I started it. For example, over the years, I've personally started a comedy improvisation group, a investing-using-computers group, a toastmasters group, a discussions group, and now this online newspaper, among others, and as for doing things by myself, I have started to sculpt (like your sister I thought I had no artistic ability), a library unlike any other in town (no, its not porn - those DO exist in town), writing for my own pleasure, Haiku poetry, and taking up a new competitive sport.  And, of course, there are even more things to do that I hope to get into in the future.

Nothing to do???? There would be nothing to do anywhere on this earth under those circumstances.

March 4, 2004 - for your own benefit, register your living here in SMA - by Michael Wein

Have you registered your existence here in San Miguel?   It is advised that you register with all or some of the following in case of many different kinds of unexpected occurrences:
with the 24-Hour Association (a burial service, sparing your survivors huge problems)- for more about the, click on non-profit organizations
with your country's consulate - USA is in SMA; most others are in Mexico City (in the case of an emergency of almost any sort, this is a good idea)
with the Presidencia
with Juarde, the local phone book (so that your neighbors can find you)

March 3, 2004 - if you would like to read (in English) the Mexican constitution, click on this link:

You might be especially interested in Article 33, and you should be aware that your interpretation of this is not nearly as important as the Mexican government's interpretation of Article 33.

Objectives of this page   this section will contain all "tips for living here" that meet the criteria described in Instructions .   All tips will be published in the date order of receipt, with the latest letters on top (the oldest nearer the bottom).  And, in instances where large quantities of tips relate to a definite category, a separate (but linked) web-page will be added (see links at the top of this page) for such categories.



“Underpromise and Overdeliver”

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