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UU Service

Betse Davies & Bob Hesdorfer

By Jon Sievert

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel was founded 30 years ago by a group of expats with diverse religious backgrounds to practice a free and liberal religion. At this week’s service, early members Betse Davies and Bob Hesdorfer share their memories and stories of how UUFSMA has grown from a tiny handful to a thriving and robust fellowship that draws up to 180 attendees from around the world each Sunday morning during San Miguel’s high season.

Betse Davies retired from teaching high school history and humanities “a long time ago.” In 1989, retirement brought her and husband Walter to San Miguel, where her parents had spent many winters during the 1960s. Part of the draw, she says, was the existence of the UU Fellowship, which assured her that like-minded people were living here. In the ensuing 28 years, she has been an active member of the expat community that looks to give back to the Mexican people for their welcoming embrace. In 2001, she was a founding member of Jóvenes Adelante, which grants scholarships to Mexican honors students who could otherwise not afford to attend university. She has also been a vital contributor to Patronato Pro Niños, which provides medical and dental care for children from economically disadvantaged SMA families. For the past 14 years, she has served as the coordinator for the SMA walking tour that provides a meaningful part of the organization’s income.

Bob Hesdorfer, along with his wife Ann Riley, arrived in San Miguel from Denver in August 1993 after a career as a graphic designer, copywriter, and advertising agency owner. He joined UUFSMA several months later and has served as a board member and officer, including president, over the years. He has also donated his talents as a graphic designer to many UU projects.

UUFSMA prides itself as a lay-led fellowship while hosting UU ministers from the US and Canada for fully half of its services. More than 50 percent of all income from pledges and offerings is reinvested in the Mexican community through well-vetted organizations such as Mujeres en CambioCEDESAJóvenes AdelantePatronato Por NiñosEscuela de Educacion EspecialCasita LindaLibros para Todos, and Apoyo Gente de Emprendedora.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


UU Service

“30 Years of UUFSMA”

By Betse Davies and Bob Hesdorfer

Sun, Nov 19, 10:30am

Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15




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