Always Giving

Almost every retired expat woman I’ve met in San Miguel de Allende in the two years I’ve lived here now is in some way deeply involved in giving back to this beautiful, embracing place.

I know I’ve said this before in previous posts, but it bears repeating: We expats are all so grateful to live in this lovely old colonial city in the central mountains of Mexico at this later stage of our lives that we feel the need to express our thankfulness, in words as well as in deeds, throughout the year, and not just in this Christmas season of giving.

Take, for example, the fifteen-member group of women – from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela — who call themselves the San Miguel Quilters, who have been working together for more than a decade to create award-winning art quilts and who recently held their fourth triennial quilt and fabric art show and sale at the Bordello Gallery in el centro.

This show, which ran from December 1 through 10, featured more than 140 unique quilts, wall hangings, and other textile art created over countless hours by its talented members.

Just one of the dazzling quilts on display at the Bordello Gallery show
Two San Miguel Quilters with one of the group’s wall quilts at the Bordello Gallery
Virgin of Guadalupe wall quilt

Seventy-one pieces in the show sold, and the quilters generously donated proceeds from those sales to the local nonprofit Amigos de Animales, whose mission is to help curb the overpopulation of companion animals in San Miguel de Allende and “to help eliminate the fear, pain, suffering and misery of homeless animals.” (See www.amigos-sma.org .)

In the past, the San Miguel Quilters’ shows have benefited many nongovernmental organizations in San Miguel; among them: the Biblioteca, the city’s main library and intellectual hub; Mujeres en Cambio, a women’s group dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls in the communities surrounding SMA by providing them with the means to complete their education – www.mujeresencambio.org ; Jovenes Adelante, which grants merit scholarships to Mexican honors students from SMA who could not otherwise afford to attend university – www.jovenesadelante.org ; and Ojala Niños (see my WOW post of November 4, 2017, “Calaca Days” for that story).

Janet Avery, a longtime member of San Miguel Quilters, who organized both the Calaca quilt show and the recent show at the Bordello Gallery, explained to me that San Miguel Quilters’ purpose is “to share inspiration and explore new techniques, while doing good for the community.”

“I love that we can all work together on a craft that we love – and the fact that we can help out some of San Miguel’s most worthy causes,” she said.

That’s the spirit. All year round.

~ ~ ~

More of their work at the Bordello show:

4 thoughts on “Always Giving”

  1. Yes Bonnie…those quilters are amazing. I suspect if you asked the quilters and all the other San Miguel volunteers, you would hear that we get back far more than we give. Volunteering keeps us busy, allows us to continue to be useful in retirement, and it gives us enormous satisfaction. We are on the beneficiaries of this exchange!

    1. You’re absolutely right, Pamela! It reminds me of the Peace Corps experience, where we learned (and gained) much more than we taught. If only ALL retirees would get this memo…

  2. Very nice to see the beautiful work done by the quilters.
    I hope you have a joyful Christmas and a bountiful new year.
    Your friend Kate Mills

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