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Take a paddle on the presa

By Carol Schmidt

Once in a while would you like to leave the bustling excitement of Centro behind and just drift on the water away from everyone, just you and the white egrets and vermilion flycatchers and roseated spoonbills and woodstorks and herons and an occasional pelican?

Bring your camera and a picnic lunch and relax, occasionally exerting yourself with a few paddles around the bend to explore the next harbor of the Presa. This is another side of living in San Miguel de Allende that not many experience. Many expats reminisce longingly about days on the water in their hometowns, not realizing that they can recreate that experience a few minutes from Centro.

The Sociedad de Audubon Mexico is making it easy for you to buy your own kayak and support this outstanding community organization at the same time. Models range from the sturdy 10-foot-long Impulse, which weighs only 44 pounds and can hold up to 275 pounds and sells for US$475, up to seaworthy models for more than US$2,000. Colors for the Impulse are azure/white, lime/white, red/yellow, tangerine/white, yellow, and red. For US$615 an Impulse package can be delivered to San Miguel, including life jackets and paddles.

Go to for details about all models and shipping arrangements. Wait time is about two months. Audubon will offer an introductory and helpful “get to know your boat” workshop after delivery. Several people new to kayaking are now avid enthusiasts. It is a safe and easy way to do a little exercise, reduce stress levels and enrich your life.

Orders are on a first-come, first-served basis with payment, with priority given to Audubon and Amigos de la Presa members, and must be placed on or before December 7, 2012. If you will not be in San Miguel during the anticipated delivery time (approximately January 15), we can arrange temporary storage for your boat. Long-term storage at Amigos de la Presa’s boathouse may be arranged on a fee basis with Mike Lambert, President of Amigos de la Presa, AC. For more information go to:, or write to:

Providing this opportunity is a natural outgrowth of the Audubon Society’s vision, which is “to become the most effective advocate for the protection and appreciation of birds and all other elements of nature in the San Miguel de Allende area and environs.” The group’s mission is “to conserve, restore and protect habitats and natural resources for the benefit of birds, wildlife, humanity and the earth’s future, and to provide opportunities to enjoy and learn about our natural heritage.”

It is the only Audubon Society in Mexico and it has been continuously active in San Miguel for more than 45 years and works with other environmental organizations in the region on issues like water supply. It offers grants of up to 50,000 pesos to groups or individuals for projects furthering these goals. For more information about Sociedad de Audubon Mexico go to

Carol Schmidt and Norma Hair had to leave their beloved San Miguel in August after 10 years because of Carol’s breathing problems at high altitudes. They remain involved in San Miguel and will soon publish a second edition of The Best How-To Book on Moving to Mexico with coauthor Rolly Brook, containing the recent changes to the Mexican immigration laws.


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