Becoming Neighborhood Party Animals in San Miguel de Allende

Mexican Fiesta

Finding our New Family

Last time, I mentioned that we had an amazing start to our permanent San Miguel de Allende residency in the sleepy neighborhood of La Lejona. We’ve since moved away from La Lejona but have so many great memories of the wonderful, warm neighbors we routinely enjoyed. We’ve found that Mexican people have huge hearts and once they meet you, you are special to them. And in our little community this really rang true. Our neighbors threw incredible parties, and they did not need any particular reason for throwing a party! Thankfully, as newly adopted family members, we were invited to every single one.

Now you should know that a Mexican party is like no other. It’s almost like they happen in stages and I have taken the liberty of bestowing names upon these stages.

First, there is “The Arrival”. Our neighbors liked to start their gatherings around 2pm. And, by the way, the starting time of a party is just a suggestion. If you are early, you may be there by yourself for a while. As North Americans, we are programmed to watch the clock and don’t be late! Luckily, living steps away from the party location allowed us to duck back in and out of our house like wack-a-moles until there was a respectable crowd gathering.

During “The Arrival”, the music is on and drinks are ready and available including beer, mezcal or tequila, and this fabulous accompaniment called “Sangrita”, which means ‘little blood.” It’s like Bloody Mary mix and made with peppers and hot sauce and other yummy stuff! Here’s a recipe if you are interested.  You sip alternating between the tequila and Sangrita. Some also serve a shot of lime juice as well as a shot of tequila and Sangrita to make it a “La Bandera”, a tribute to the Mexican flag.

La Bandera - lime juice, tequila and sangrita

The "Nosh-Up"

Corn Smut

Next comes what I call “Nosh-Up.” There will be all types of dishes, and lots of them. Go back as often as you want to load your plate. This is what your fat pants are for. Don’t be disrespectful.

You’ll eat things you’ve never heard of like moldy mushrooms called Huitlacoche, also known as corn smut. It’s considered a delicacy in Central America. Don’t be a whimp. Try it. Try it all!

"Hips Don't Lie"

Now we find ourselves at “Hips Don’t Lie.” If you don’t happen to own a pair of Latin hips (thankfully I’m half Mexican), you’ll be ok. The music will move you anyway and after all the La Banderas, nobody will care. You’ll have the time of your life! This stage can last for hours but leads into “Food: the Reboot” and also sometimes Karaoke! Interestingly, at the parties we’ve attended the music played was 90% US and 10% Mexican, giving us every opportunity to take the mic.

Still More

Fireworks in San Miguel

The next stages, “Time to Wake the Dogs” and “There’s got to be More Dogs than That”, are optional but respectfully include fireworks and then more fireworks. These stages often happen after 2am. In the end there is no rest for the Mexican partiers, or surrounding neighborhoods for that matter. But it is all part of the authentic, unique joy that is Mexico.

Wrapping Up

Our time in La Lejona was a beautiful soft landing for us, and although we have moved out and into our own home, we remain connected to those who welcomed us so warmly. Not a day goes by  where we experience one ounce of regret for taking the leap to move to Mexico. And when speaking of Mexico, San Miguel del Allende is where it’s at!

Party in San Miguel de Allende
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