By Natalie Taylor
One weaves information on the internet, the other weaves beauty on cloth. Glenn Wilson is originally from Miami and studied Computer Science at Xavier College in Cincinnati; then moved to Houston in 1987. It was here that he met Victoria, who was originally from Western Massachusetts. They married in 1989 and settled in Houston for the next two decades. In 2015 they moved to San Francisco where Glenn initiated a start-up company the same year. When he began thinking about stopping work, he and Victoria wanted a city that was walkable, had a great climate—without natural disasters such as flooding in Houston or the potential earthquakes in San Francisco; and something more affordable than the Bay area. They had visited Ajijic around 2010 and liked it very much, but found it a bit too small and without as much art and culture as they like. After further investigating, they decided on San Miguel de Allende, and in 2016 they contacted a real estate agent and came looking for a house to buy. What they found in San Rafael was a perfect home, so in 2017 they made their permanent move to San Miguel.
Like many expats before them, Glenn and Victoria felt compelled to give back to the community that had embraced them. It was here that Glenn’s computer background became the vehicle for that commitment. He wanted an informative, public website where one could make searches based on interest; since there was nothing like that in the city, he created one. In June of 2018 he launched SMAFAQ, a website dedicate to news and information about the city. To get the information he needed, he founded Newswire Mexico, an aggregate of news mostly about Mexico, but including international stories.
In 2020, when the Covid pandemic started, Glenn began providing information about it on the website: national and international statistics, and especially information about where to find help in dealing with the pandemic. He also began working with the American Embassy as a citizen liaison volunteer passing along information about travel restrictions and experts’ advice. SMAFAQ is more than an information site; it is also a forum for local events and stories. It turned into a forum for adjunct services such as a mask-making project, a health service group, and last but not least it has channeled donations to several charitable organization in SMA.
While Glenn is busy maintaining and monitoring his sites, Victoria spends a lot of her time with artistic endeavors. She is a visual artist working in a number of mediums, but primarily she calls herself a “solitary quilter.” She mixes old quilting styles with modern techniques and creates unique, contemporary creations. They both love their mixed neighborhood, their neighbors, and San Miguel itself because it has fulfilled what they were expecting of a retirement community—affordability, great weather, kind and welcoming people, and a chance to pay back what they receive.
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