By Jesús Aguado
After first coming to San Miguel as a teen in the ’80s, to becoming a psychotherapist in the United States, Wesley Gleason found his place in San Miguel de Allende. He and his partner bought and restored a house on one of the most iconic streets in San Miguel and threw many great parties there for years. Then Wesley decided he wanted to start Agave Real Estate.
On any given day, Wesley can be seen at one of the most exclusive wineries, restaurants, or cafes, always accompanied by local or visiting friends, or clients. Despite his complicated agenda, he shared a bit of his life with Atencion. In this interview he told us not just which is the most expensive house in San Miguel, but also (after his family) what is his most precious possession.
Jesús Aguado: What do you do on a regular day in San Miguel?
Wesley Gleason: I get my coffee at Kibok near my house, work hard, and then I spend the evening with my friends and family.
JA: What do you do in San Miguel when you are not working and have visitors?
WG: I love sharing the town with visitors. Going to great restaurants, walking through the town, visiting wineries, having sunset cocktails at home.
JA: What was your life like before SMA? Where did you live? What did you do?
WG: I grew up in Atlanta. After college and grad school I had a very urban lifestyle before coming to San Miguel. I worked as a psychotherapist in San Francisco and New York.
JA: How did you discover San Miguel, and why did you decide to move here?
WG: I came to San Miguel for the first time as a teen in the 1980s, and I grew up coming here over the years. My mother is an artist and came to paint in the summer. My Dad and I would come join her, and we all loved the town. After many years and having lived and travelled all over the world, we are all living here now.
JA: What was San Miguel like when you arrived? What is it like now? Do you still like it?
WG: San Miguel was much quieter and rustic when I arrived. The San Antonio neighborhood felt like a separate little town. Now it feels more urban and chic, but I still love it. While it’s less authentically small-town Mexico, I love the great food, shopping, and amenities.
JA: What is the best memory you have in this city?
WG: I remember being a teenager in San Miguel, going out with a group of friends to El Ring.
JA: What do you believe in?
WG: I believe that people are generally good.
JA: What possession do you care most for in this life?
WG: I have a wonderful painting by my mother of the Okefenokee Swamp. It’s cypress trees reflected in the water and is amazing.
JA: As a host of international visitors, what is the first thing you tell your friends when they arrive in San Miguel?
WG: I tell them that San Miguel is beautiful and friendly, but it’s not Disney World. Enjoy the sensory experiences, the wonderful people, great food, but also remember to be sensible and safe.
JA: What is your favorite restaurant or bar in San Miguel?
WG: There are so many! La Parada, San Mezcal, and The Restaurant are probably my top three.
JA: How and why did you get involved in real estate?
WG: My partner and I restored an 18th century house in Centro, and it was an amazing experience. I became intrigued with what was behind all those colorful walls, and I love the people who have found this magical town. Real estate is a great way to engage with people and enjoy the beautiful architecture here. I started Agave in 2008, and it has been quite a ride!
JA: What is the price of the most expensive home you have seen in San Miguel? And the lowest?
WG: I think Casa Chorro is the most expensive house to come on the market here, at US$6.5m. I’m not sure about the lowest.
JA: Is there any advice you can give us for an American trying to buy a home in San Miguel?
WG: Choose a good realtor with a broad knowledge of the market and someone who knows the steps for a foreigner to purchase property here. Also, follow your gut—you will know your house when you find it.
JA: Is there any particular advice you can give us for a Mexican trying to buy a home in San Miguel?WG: San Miguel is expensive but worth it! Having prices in USD can be frustrating, but it provides a stable market.