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Speaker to Discuss SMA Tourism, Development, Sustainability

By Jim Carey

San Miguel de Allende has been identified as one of the world’s premier tourist and retirement communities, in part thanks to Condé Nast, Travel and Leisure, and Fortune having highlighted our city as a must-see destination. While it is undeniable that this popularity brings economic benefits, it is equally true that it poses many challenges to the city’s long-term sustainability and character.

On Monday, Alberto Aveleyra, Mexican anthropologist, president of the Friends of the Historical Museum of San Miguel, former member of the San Miguel Tourism Board, and founder of the Artisans of Time will speak on the challenges San Miguel faces as it continues to grow.

Is San Miguel facing a point of no return in its development? Real estate speculation and gentrification have buyers purchasing homes only to live here a few weeks or months of the year. Projects like Capilla de Piedra affect the cultural landscape and the city’s urban integrity. Excessive tourism creates risks to the tangible and intangible heritage of the city.

Go into the neighborhoods (colonias) outside Centro and ask local citizens about San Miguel’s challenges, and you will hear many concerns: “the government only cares about the center of the city and does not consider our needs”; “there are no social development programs and support for young people”; “we have no garbage receptacles, no green spaces, and no recreational areas;” and “we have bad lighting and no street names.” One teacher told me, “SMA is the best city only because we honest, hardworking people live here. We are not thinking about how to take advantage of the town where our families and friends live.”

The consensus seems to be that the main problem in San Miguel has been the lack of planning and a long-term sustainable perspective by local authorities.

Please join us for this timely and vital presentation by Alberto Aveleyra and discussion on the state and impact of tourism in San Miguel de Allende.


Talk and Discussion

Occupy San Miguel presents

Alberto Aveleyra on Tourism and Development

Mon, Mar 19, 1pm

Quinta Loreto Hotel

Loreto 15, TV room







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