Tag Archives: San Miguel de Allende

Small Business in Mexico–SMA Walking Tours by Joseph Toone

Today’s featured business is Joseph Toone Tours run by Joseph Toone, naturally.  Not only does he provide walking tours of San Miguel de Allende, but has done extensive research on customs of the area and compiled them into several books.  He’s definitely someone to look up your next trip to SMA.

Captura de pantalla (99)

How did you end up in Mexico?
Grace of God.  Came down ten years ago with 3 kids in HS, bought a house the first time here and moved here.  Best move ever!

Where do you live now?
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

Have you experienced any defining moments since settling in Mexico?
Many and they all started with a grandmother in my volunteer English class asking me to be her danzon partner despite not speaking Spanish (then) or knowing how to dance. That led to my introduction to Mexican history and culture by performing at festivals. That led to writing articles which led to now being TripAdvisor’s number one private guide for my town and Amazon’s best selling author on Mexican History and Travel for a series of books called San Miguel de Allende’s Secrets.

Would you say that you changed?
Yes.  More patient and understanding of faith’s role on history and culture.  Less controlling and worried about the future.

When did you get started?
3 years ago

What prompted your business choice?
A need to express to foreigners Mexican history, faith and culture to better understand what is going on around them during their stay.

How do manage?
My kids are grown and gone so the business is just me.  Business is a bit grand of term. Tours supply the money to allow me to print books based on articles I’ve written for both local press and international publications.  I sold my high tech company providing the income for me to live off investments in Mexican companies.  I consider the tours and writing a time consuming and fun hobby explaining the indigenous and Spanish roots to modern traditions.

What do you offer?
Top rated tours and bestselling books on central Mexico.

Is your business local or are your products/services available online?
Books are for sale on Amazon but tours are local.



San Miguel de Allende Secrets: History and Culture with Virgins, Barbies and Transgender Saints


San Miguel de Allende Secrets: Easter with Plagues, Prison, Piñatas and Popsicles


San Miguel de Allende Secrets: Day of the Dead with Skeletons, Witches and Spirit Dogs


San Miguel de Allende Secrets: Christmas with St. Nick’s Nudes, Devils and Jesus’ Doppelganger

How can you be reached?
Joseph Toone Tours

Joseph Toone

Catholic SMA

History and Culture Walking Tours





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Filed under Inspirational Writers in Mexico, Small Business in Mexico, Uncategorized

Blogs About Mexico Worth Reading–Don Day in SMA

I’ll just let our next blogger introduce himself.   Here he is, the guru of good eats in San Miguel de Allende–Don Day in SMA.


My real name is Glenn Griffin and I’m guessing most people who read the blog know that. So some people call me Don, some people call me Glenn, some people call me #*%~¥€!, and most people know to not call me late for dinner (or cocktails). Using a pseudonym goes back to my freelance days when I would be working for two competing publications; cashing cheques in someone else’s name was a frequent problem.

What brought you to Mexico?

I originally came for sun, sand, sex and cerveza in the seventies. Living vicariously through newspaper columnist Paul Rimstead, who spent his winters here in the seventies, is what brought me to San Miguel de Allende in 2004.

What was the inspiration behind the name of your blog?

Don Day in SMA. It was a Spanglish attempt at Where in San Miguel de Allende but obviously not the best of puns as the number of people that “got it” I can count on one hand.  (¿Dónde en San Miguel de Allende?)


What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?

Central Mexico, more specifically San Miguel de Allende, and mostly good food and good wine.

Why do you blog?

I was lured away from journalism to the big bucks of advertising very early in my career and always had regrets. Retirement and the birth of blogging gave me the opportunity to sneak back in the side door. Food and wine have always been a big part of my life; writing about it was a natural choice. I like to think that I’m the advice column for anyone looking for the best things to eat and drink in San Miguel. My primary target audience…hard to totally take the boy away from the advertisingese…are the expats and snowbirds of central Mexico.


What is your favorite blog post?

After hundreds and hundreds, it’s hard to name one. My greatest joy comes from discovering a little hole in the wall with very good food that is starving for customers, writing about it and returning to see a lot of asses on a lot of chairs.

What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?

Wine has always been a struggle. I thought that over time…I’ve had an extraordinary amount of practice…I might develop a palate like some of the experts. I haven’t and still might confuse a Cabernet Franc with a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Sauvignon Blanc with a Chenin Blanc. It is also difficult to write about wine in San Miguel because our supplies of individual brands are so small; if I rave about something it disappears off the shelf leaving my readers frustrated and angry (including me if I haven’t stocked up).

What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?  

My best experience in Mexico has been making new friends…of which the blog is mostly responsible. I now have more great people to hang out with after 13 years in Mexico than I have after 60 years in Canada. Mexico resulted in a renaissance of my social life when I thought I was going to be spending my days in an easy chair, getting fat and bald, while reading dog-eared recipe books.

What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?

I can’t think of one really bad thing. Really. Well maybe once sitting on a cactus.

If you are no longer in Mexico, do you plan on returning?  

I spend six months in Mexico, six months in Canada each year. If I didn’t have a giant-sized family in Canada, I might spend every day of my life in Mexico. I am currently in Canada. Back in Mexico for the month of August and then there from October to April.


Where do you see your blog going?  

My blog has gone as far as I hoped it would go. I wanted to become a knowledgeable, entertaining and respected critic of San Miguel de Allende’s culinary scene and I think I’ve accomplished that. I wanted to be followed by most of central Mexico’s “foodies” and my number of subscribers suggests that. I’m delving deeper into Mexican cuisine but otherwise, my subject matter and style won’t probably change.



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Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures

A to Z Blogs About Mexico–From Rancho Santa Clara

Alfred blogs at Rancho Santa Clara, near one of my favorite colonial cities in Guanajuato.  I’m sure you’ll love his off-grid dream house building adventures as much as I did!

rancho santa clara

Retirement brought me to Mexico.  We live in a small ranch, about seven acres. I grew up in Cuba in a town named Santa Clara.

My bog is pretty wide-ranging, though I try to keep it focused on topics related to the ranch, San Miguel de Allende or Mexico. But I can stray and talk about politics in the U.S. for example. I used to work in a newspaper and I like to write. I don’t have any particular audience in mind. I’d like to get more readers for my blog, but that’s about it. I don’t want to complicate it so much that it turns into a full-time job.

My favorite blogs posts have been a couple about the death of our favorite dog, Gladys. We really loved her. It has been difficult to write about Crime and security issues in San Miguel and Mexico. I want to be both accurate and fair, realistic but not a scare-monger.

Oddly enough, a memorial service for the sister of a friend has been the best experience I’ve had in Mexico. It was a beautiful ceremony that included a ten-year- old boy singing mariachi tunes. The worst experience I’ve had in Mexico was being the executive director of a local animal shelter. Don’t need that again. Stay away from volunteer organizations.

We don’t know how long we plan on remaining in Mexico. My husband and I have been here for eleven years and occasionally have talked about returning to the States.

For those planning on moving to Mexico, I suggest they rent for three or four months before moving.

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Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures, Uncategorized