The underlying theme to San Miguel is ART. When you come to San Miguel you either make or buy ART. But not everyone has the talent, eye nor wallet to make or buy ART. These poor souls were lost in San Miguel until the Doing Good Works Gang was formed. It took a long time to get this gang off the ground but once it got up and running there was no stopping it.

Finding a Cause

The first step was finding a CAUSE.  The cause had to have several characteristics

  1. it had to be FUN
  2. not involve a lot of time
  3. leave members free for bridge games
  4. not involve getting dirty
  5. not cost a lot of money
  6. provide a place to meet other expats
  7. match charities that were known at home

That is why the SPA was such an early hit for a CAUSE. But first they had to get rid of the all the ugly dogs with a city cull.

The story about founding the SPC, another fun charity can be found here.

Another easy one was the Biblioteca.  The worst downside was dust on the books.

The story of the election of the head of Biblioteca can be found here.



Once the cause is found the Recruiting begins. They call gang members VOLUNTEERS and set up fairs to recruit them.

It is not difficult to find volunteers as no one in San Miguel wants to be alone

No one wants to be alone in San Miguel.

Several sociological studies of expats and gangs in San Miguel have shown that being alone can be dangerous. Groups provide constant chatter to drown out individual thoughts. San Miguel organizes groups to do all sort of things – Photography tours, walking tours, art classes, language classes, excursions into people’s homes, help the poor tours, help the poor tours even if they don’t want it tours, butterfly tours, movies etc. etc. It is endless.

They even put out lists showing Gang Members how they can help. The easier the CAUSE the more volunteers.

Raising Money

You can’t run a charity without money.  Early in the morning this gang invade the Jardin and sets up tables staffed by VOLUNTEERS who coerce other gangs and TOURISTS to support their CAUSE.   They use guilt to extract money from tourists. If you are a tourist reading this, then remember to always say you are going home tomorrow so you will never be there for any of their events.

Here is a video of them at work  Hear the word CHARITY but note they wear sunglasses.  The man in the shorts is being sold a timeshare that doesn’t exist.

One day three gangs set up tables to help the Disabled (Cause #13), the Environment (Cause #23) and the politically unaware Mexicans (Cause #56). It was interesting as the local chanter in the Jardin tried to drive them from the Jardin by attacking their large sign and poster on one of his rounds of the Jardin. But it had no effect as they all knew they were doing such good work.

This clever Pilgrimage Promotion raised money for a local charity.

These gals from Texas also had their own fund raising idea.

There are even Day Camps for Seniors to raise funds.


The last step is PUBLICITY. What is the point of doing good works if no one know about it. Never give anyone your email address as it will be flooded with stories of their good works. Whenever anyone tells you about their GOOD WORKS be impressed.

Even a Lady Godiva Impersonator was used to raise funds.

But the annual Gang Festival is one way the Doing Good Works Gang get publicity.