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Crumbling charm in Magic Town

Not so long ago Ajijic was commonly described as a former backwater village turned enchanting international retirement haven.

pg16aWhile the place continues to attract new foreign settlers, including both retirees and those still of working age, the rustic charm of yesteryear has been vanishing at an alarming rate.

Along with the building boom in surrounding territories, Ajijic proper has been subjected to development in modern architectural styles that drastically clash with the town’s original visual traits.

Changes in construction styles came about most notably in the wake of the 1994 enactment of the Nafta free trade agreement. Much of the innovation originated with foreign immigrants who began scooping up village homes at bargain prices and remodeling them to resemble the town houses of San Miguel de Allende and other classic colonial cities. Around the same time, native folks who had relocated for work opportunities north of the border also got in on the game, returning home with pockets lined with dollars that they sunk into modernizing their homesteads with the look common to U.S. suburbia.

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