Once a sleepy colonial town, San Miguel changed in the 1930s when Unitedstatesian and Canadian expatriates retired to this Guanajuato village for artistic inspiration or simply to be left alone.

San Miguel began as a mission, which then turned into a market center for the surrounding haciendas. Native son and soldier Ignacio Allende along with Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo conspired to overthrow the Spanish rule, thereby explaining why San Miguel and the state of Guanajuato are considered to be the cradle of Mexican independence. It became a city in 1826 and had Allende added to its name in honor of the independence hero. A steady decline in the city seemed to stop after the Mexican government declared the city a historical monument in 1926. Modern construction was banned in the downtown "district" and the old, crumbling, colonial buildings around the central plaza were restored. Lastly, if you had to describe the city in one sentence or less it would be: "Artsy-fartsy, cosmopolitan, miniature version of Guanajuato city or any other small, college-influenced town around the world which is influenced by quote-unquote coolness."

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