A former  bullfighter and Air Force con­trol tower operator, Dotty Vidargas has not   led   a   boring life. The Chicago native from the north side had just finished classes at the American Acad­emy of Art when, on a whim, she and a friend moved to San Miguel   de Allende   sixty   one years ago.  “The idea was to continue my painting, take ad­vantage of being able to study in Mexico…sort of change my life, and try not to become a suburban house wife!

Back in 1947, it was a quiet town with cobblestone roads running about three blocks in each direction. Grand old Span­ish Colonial-style mansions with large patios lined the central streets of the town, and the pop­ulation stood at about 8,000. Very few stores existed, and the ones that did catered mostly to the needs of the campesinos, or country people.

Today the town has extended in every direction, and the in­habitants number approximate­ly 80,000. A lot’s changed, but the best parts have stayed the same. Many of those beautiful old homes have been converted into banks and shops — in fact, the center of town is now ninety percent commercial — but that small-town feel remains, in some ways literally, as the ancient nar­row streets were originally de­signed with only burro traffic in mind. So many of the original 17th and 18th century buildings have been preserved, and mod­ern architecture and neon signs are banned in San Miguel. The ancient cathedrals, mansions and traditional tiled-roofs can make walking the streets feel a little bit like time-traveling.

Dotty Vidargas Real Estate was established in 1960 –the first agency in San Miguel — so no other realtor has seen the town evolve the way Vidargas has, and no one knows more about the

residents or the culture. DVRE has shares hundreds of listings with four other agencies, in every price range, and category: town and country, houses, ranches and lots.

San Miguel offers something for everyone – the gorgeous Spanish architecture, the thriving artistic and academic communi­ty, a lower cost of living, impres­sive music and theater scene and a vibrant nightlife. The lifestyle is what you want it to be… social life with lots of parties, or study, writ­ing, golf, riding, helping in the different organizations. It’s your choice. And with a great team of agents to service all of your needs, how could you go wrong?

“I came for 6 months and have stayed 61 years!” says Vidar­gas. “People have come to San Miguel and fallen in love with the town immediately, and have even bought houses after only being here a few days. The saying goes, ‘you’ve been here 2 days and haven’t bought a house yet?!'”