San Miguel de Allende applied September 22, 2006 to the UNESCO’s World Heritage to be designated as a World Heritage Site and on July 7, 2008 San Miguel de Allende was been admitted to Heaven .
One of the mission statements of UNESCO’s World Heritage is to encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage.
The World Heritage has a scoring system by expert panelists on sites.
Guide to the Scores:
0-25: Catastrophic: all criteria very negative, outlook grim.
26-45: In serious trouble.
46-65: In moderate trouble: all criteria medium-negative or a mix of negatives and positives.
66-85: Minor difficulties.
86-95: Authentic, unspoiled, and likely to remain so.
Most residents of San Miguel wants a score of 86-95
The problem, however, with Preservation is determining what is and what is not to be preserved. These are acceptable colors in San Miguel.
It is easy to set standards for buildings and monuments and physical characteristics but it becomes tricky when it comes to people. Some people simply are not worth preserving but once that determination is made how do you get rid of them. Enter the Gangs. One of the early mission statements of the Gangs of San Miguel was to maintain the preservation of the right kind of people in San Miguel – the artists, the rich, the eccentric, the collectors and the Democrats. Daily they search the Jardin on their mission to preserve and convince those found unsuitable to move. Tourists, found acceptable, are given a yearly renewable Return to San Miguel Card. Those who fail to meet the standard are given a list of other places in Mexico to live.
These Tourist were told that they would be happier in Ajijic and are preparing to go there. The Canadian Flag on the backpack was the reason they were found unsuitable.
So expats living in the rest of Mexico are rather bitter about their fall from grace and banishment from Eden. They do not speak kindly of San Miguel and have formed a single Gang called the I Wouldn’t Want to Live There Gang (there being SMA) whose sole purpose is to find fault with San Miguel.
This is not to imply that residents of San Miguel don’t feel a bit inferior. Three sites in Mexico have already been designated – Guanajuato with a score of 79 and Oaxaca and Monte Albán with a score 69 and Sian Ka’an and environs with a score of 58 but most Gang members dismiss them as too Mexican.