Marjorie Zap

I am a native of New York City through my college years at New York University where I studied in two major areas: dramatic art and economics. During World War II I worked as an economist for the US Treasury Department in Washington and at the conclusion of the war transferred to the United Nations in New York where I worked on economic development issues in third world countries. I met my husband at the UN. We both left the UN in the early 1950’s and moved to Orange County, New York where we established an international handcraft shop featuring traditional crafts. For thirty years we traveled around the world seeking one-of-a-kind well designed items in prices affordable to customers who came to a country shop in a large barn. During our travels we kept looking for a place with a moderate climate for our retirement years.

My husband died in 1979 and I carried on with the business, the traveling, and many local organizational activities. In 1996 I decided it was time to retire and move to another area. I lived in a 250 year-old house, had a large barn housing a demanding business, 25 acres of land and a swimming pool. That year the pool, septic system, the well and the pump had to be replaced. A lawn service, electricians, plumbers, biweekly house cleaner and a weekly handyman were regular visitors. And let’s not overlook the ever increasing taxes. Finally, in my 70th year I decided to leave it all and warm my perennially cold feet in a moderate climate. It was a choice between Bali, Indonesia and San Miguel de Allende Mexico.

After wintering in San Miguel for three years I bought a small house there in 1997 within easy walking distance of the city center. An addition for family and guests was designed by Gonzalo Bauer, my Mexico City artist and architect friend, and happily executed by a delightful San Miguel engineer. I obtained Mexico residency papers, selected the belongings I wanted to move to SMA, arranged for a New Jersey shipper to pack and deliver them to Laredo, Texas where a Mexican transport company passed them through customs, brought them to my house, unpacked and placed everything. I had heard tales of woe from residents who had had unhappy shipping experiences. My good fortune continued with the prompt delivery of custom-made curtains and a file cabinet. There was no evidence of ” mañana.”

Once I had purchased and remodeled my home, it didn’t take me long to fit into the community.

Before leaving the US I was a featured travel writer for the Middletown, New York Times Herald Record. After coming to San Miguel I wrote for Atencion San Miguel (the English language weekly) and then for El Independiente (a local newspaper published in both Spanish and English), which was interested in longer travel and other feature stories about San Miguel.

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