Jim And Iven Cut Their Cost Of Living 40% By Retiring To This Colorful City Of Artists
Oct. 6, 2014, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: San Miguel de Allende, home to some 10,000 foreign retirees, is a top retire overseas choice in Mexico.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, was discovered, you could say, in 1937, by the American writer and artist Stirling Dickinson and the wealthy Peruvian artist Cossio del Pomar. Cossio was so impressed with the potential of the colonial city when he saw it that he purchased and renovated several properties in the center of town. His efforts attracted famous artists, actors, writers, musicians, and other creative people of the time, who, likewise, invested in further restoration of San Miguel's beautiful old haciendas.
Cossio's principal contribution, though, was the establishment of an art school. The first school opened in an ex-convent that had been the quarters of a cavalry regiment. Cossio arranged private financing for the project and then worked with Stirling Dickinson to attract some of the biggest names in Mexican art to form the faculty. The couple marketed their curriculum throughout North and South America, opening the doors of their Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes in 1938.
The first group of 12 students arrived to find a town without a single restaurant or adequate lodging, but the opening of the school quickly created a commercial boom. Stores, eateries, lodgings, and cantinas popped up to service the students and faculty. The school suffered declining enrollments during World War II, but the post-war G.I. Bill kick-started interest again as American veterans took advantage of education subsidies to attend the school starting in 1946. The gifted artists and teachers who settled in San Miguel during this period were significant in converting San Miguel de Allende into a world-class artist colony, attracting first artists but, as time passed, another group of folks who appreciated the community the artists had formed—retirees.