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A well-established, permanent community of North American expatriates, augmented by students, teachers, artists and writers who call San Miguel home, has made its mark on the town without detracting from its charm or altering its unique flavor. Estimates of the ex-pat population range from 7,000 to 12,000.

The contributions of the ex-pat community are numerous, and all have helped raise the sophistication level of the city on all fronts—from culture to medicine to technology.
There may be no neon lights in town but there is high-speed wireless internet, up to seventy international channels on the cable television service, English language newspapers, secure mail service to the United States an excellent medical and dental care. Ex-pats have improved life in San Miguel through their philanthropy and volunteer work at local charities to help the poor, the sick, abused women, orphans and abandoned animals.

Among the institutions that were founded or enriched by ex-pats are:
Instituto Allende: Ancha de San Antonio #20; 152-0190. The famous art school that first lured Americans here in the 1940s, was founded by early resident Stirling Dickinson, along with a Peruvian artist named TK.
Jardin Botanico El Charco del Ingenio: Charles Glass, a well-known cactus expert from the United States, was key in the establishiment of this large preserve in the cayon wilderness above San Miguel.

La Biblioteca Publica de San Miguel de Allende: Insurgentes #25; 152-0293. The bilingual library, which sponsors an assortment of cultural events, was founded by Helen Wale in 1954. Today, it houses one of the largest collection of English language books in Mexico.

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