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The Stars of San Miguel
Dec. 18, 2022

by Alejandro Anaya, text and photos

After four years of living in San Miguel, I am still amazed at how beautiful the city can be. This is especially so at Christmas, when the streets are decorated and the lights illuminate el Centro. Walking at night, listening to the caroling in front of the Christmas tree, I am filled with gratitude for our community.

Whether due to nostalgia that this time of year causes us or the decorations or other aspects of the festive atmosphere, Christmas reminds us of the importance of others. Almost three years after the start of the pandemic, here we are, celebrating, singing, living the spirit of helping and sharing. Above all we remember that the great secret of this community has been solidarity and empathy.

San Miguel has welcomed me with open arms from the moment I arrived. For this I am especially grateful. One gets used to the friendliness of the people here. Sometimes I think we're too apapachados (affable). But generally I think we set a good model for other parts of Mexico and the rest of the world to follow. Foreigners and Mexicans living in harmony, with great respect for each other's culture and with genuine concern for the well-being of the city is a wonderful ideal.

I've lived in many parts of Mexico, and have traveled the world, but have never seen such dedication from a community for those most in need. This commitment includes: the volunteers of Feed the Hungry; the collaborations with local communities to promote their art and culture; support for women; spaces and events for art; and more. All of this provides personal growth and nourishment of spirit both to those receiving and those dispensing the largess.

With each passing year I understand more profoundly how it is that so many people feed their hearts with San Miguel. The vibe here is like no other. Ours is the multicultural atmosphere of a cosmopolitan city, combined with the soul of a village, full of small town traditions and joy. This potent mix is undoubtedly addictive to those, like me, who come from the hectic jog of cities, where one can easily forget to smell the roses or admire the architecture. Any random walk in San Miguel reveals how good life can be.

Let us remember, while we admire the decorations of the season, that our brightest stars are not the metallic ones suspended over our head. The miracles that shine the brightest for us, now and throughout the year, are those special individuals who in San Miguel are not so rare. These generous souls illuminate our town, each one with their own special brilliance. So bright are they, that like a constellation in the sky, San Miguel is seen and admired for thousands of miles by millions of people.

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Alejandro Anaya is a visual artist and writer, originally from Torreon who, for almost four years, has lived and actively participated in the San Miguel community. His collaboration with Lokkal is part of his philosophy as a storyteller, and his commitment to share his discoveries and reflections on this beautiful part of Mexico, with all who seek to live a unique experience in our magical town.

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