The Expat Files: Living in Latin America A guide to moving to Latin America, finding work, and settling in.

February 12, 2016  

- More new evidence the Panama commercial real estate bubble is imploding

-Yes, there are large, overripe residential and commercial real estate bubbles throughout Latin America. Even if that wasn’t so, there are so many mindless government bureaucratic hurdles that it’s just not wise to attempt to build any commercial construction project from scratch- not in any large Latin city. However, many of those same hurdles somehow do not exist in when attempting such projects in smaller towns and just outside the big cites (go figure). In short, buy what you like when the bubble pops, but for now, RENT!       

-According to experts, 15-20% of Latins have 24/7 internet in the home. Did you know that more than 95% of those connected use the net exclusively for social media and moronic entertainment purposes? Yes, it’s a sad state of affairs, but are percentages any different foe users in the states?

-Getting permanent residency in a Latin country is highly recommended, in fact essential. Just a year or so ago the process used to be fairly easy and straightforward- but Latin manana time slow. However, US agencies are now actively throwing up their own mindless barriers for gringos trying to obtain the necessary documents to begin that process. Why? Uncle Sam doesn’t want his sheep to leave the barn.

Today we have some first-hand accounts of the newest hurdles one must jump… 

-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

 -NEWS FLASH!

At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact him and email your own legal questions too… 

 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com

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February 7, 2016  

- What climate changes are we now seeing in Latin America if any. What about those much-favored “perennial spring-like” Alti-Plano regions?

-What will happen to the food and water supplies in Latin America if climate changes (in whatever form) become more apparent?

-What will happen to Latin big city bad boy gangs as economies slip into the crapper and implode (along with the rest of the world)? Will they move to target the nearby smaller, safer, nicer, cites and neighborhoods?    

-Comments on the Latin macho society’s supreme infatuation with “Mujeres de Clima”- sexy TV weather ladies who famously appear on every TV news program.
Note: there are no TV weathermen in Latin America. 

-When very bad first-world habits invade Latin America:
We know that everything from the states (the good, the bad and the permanently ugly) eventually gets to Latin America. Some positive first-world arrivals can be good, but when awful and idiotic stuff arrive the “lag time” effect is never long enough to suit many of us Expats. In truth, some “lag times” should be stretched to infinity!       . 

-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.

-Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

-NEWS FLASH! 
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a trusted Latin lawyer (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact him and email your own legal questions too…  

CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com

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February 5, 2016  

- Today we have some more personal stores concerning the failed attempts of Latin governments trying to copy the Big Brother state apparatus in Latin America. It's NOT working.

Talk about “lag time”! When discussing places “off the Gringo tourist trail”, Latin culture is just not remotely ready for anything resembling what we know as intrusive first-world Big Brother culture. So as far as personal freedoms are concerned, the somewhat predictable Latin "chaos" can be a very good thing (wait…that’s an oxymoron, right?)   

 -How safe are Latin infrastructure projects? Considering the general Latin lack of detail and proper maintenance, especially with government projects, should Gringos and Expats be overly worried about driving the roads, bridges and overpasses?   

-More details concerning Latin bank issued credit cards (VISA /MC).     

-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

 -NEWS FLASH!

At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 

 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com

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January 31, 2016  
- Today we have emails from a few Canadians, one who felt slighted by a recent E.F. broadcast…
 
When Gringos/ Expats team up with a Latin business partner(called a “socio”):
Often when a great new Latin business idea suddenly presents itself, we gringos feel it important to have a Latin business partner. We think one may be necessary for things to go smoothly, especially to negotiate those early encounters with stifling Latin bureaucracy. Somehow we’re under the impression only a Latin person can jump the hoops since we don’t know the system and our Spanish skills mostly suck (at first). However, chances are great that your Latin “socio” will need you far more than you’ll ever need him. Sooner or later you just might find that he/she will be a constant drain on you.  
   
Who can we thank for the “lag time” effect:
-Imagine a world where you will hear not a single awesome or dude -even from flighty, TV, junk-food addicted teenagers! So what does that mean? It means all those annoying English slang, filler words and empty phrases like “awesome and dude” are not yet falling like guano from the tongues of Latins.
However, many gringos and pretentious upscale Latins will “dude” you- and certain annoying entitled Latins hopping back and forth to Mijami  do try to impress by spitting out tired gringo slang like polished turds.
So how about the future? How long can it last? Expect Costa Ricans to start “dude-ing” their fantasy Facebook friends soon. 
 
-New tips on finding short and long term Latin rentals- while sitting comfortably in your kitchen way up in the 1st world..
 
-An update on that very inexpensive, locally famous, “Decameron” chain of all-inclusive Latin beach resorts. Why haven’t gringos up north heard of it? Because its 100% Latin owned and operated so the whole experience is in 100% Spanish. In other words, start learnin’        

-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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January 29, 2016  
- Today we have emails from a few Canadians, one who felt slighted by a recent E.F. broadcast…
 
When Gringos/ Expats team up with a Latin business partner(called a “socio”):
Often when a great new Latin business idea suddenly presents itself, we gringos feel it important to have a Latin business partner. We think one may be necessary for things to go smoothly, especially to negotiate those early encounters with stifling Latin bureaucracy. Somehow we’re under the impression only a Latin person can jump the hoops since we don’t know the system and our Spanish skills mostly suck (at first). However, chances are great that your Latin “socio” will need you far more than you’ll ever need him. Sooner or later you just might find that he/she will be a constant drain on you.  
   
Who can we thank for the “lag time” effect:
-Imagine a world where you will hear not a single awesome or dude -even from flighty, TV, junk-food addicted teenagers! So what does that mean? It means all those annoying English slang, filler words and empty phrases like “awesome and dude” are not yet falling like guano from the tongues of Latins.
However, many gringos and pretentious upscale Latins will “dude” you- and certain annoying entitled Latins hopping back and forth to Mijami  do try to impress by spitting out tired gringo slang like polished turds.
So how about the future? How long can it last? Expect Costa Ricans to start “dude-ing” their fantasy Facebook friends soon. 
 
-New tips on finding short and long term Latin rentals- while sitting comfortably in your kitchen way up in the 1st world..
 
-An update on that very inexpensive, locally famous, “Decameron” chain of all-inclusive Latin beach resorts. Why haven’t gringos up north heard of it? Because its 100% Latin owned and operated so the whole experience is in 100% Spanish. In other words, start learnin’        

-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to:theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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January 24, 2016  
- I’ve lived all over Latin America both on and off the gringo tourist trail and much prefer the latter. Why not live off the trail where the locals truly like Americans and thus where the “gringo advantage” is alive and well? That said, some expats(especially the new, fresh, green lightly traveled variety) just love tourist trail locations. That’s why today we list 10 good and positive reasons why some might prefer to live with other gringos “ON the tourist trail”.
 
-Some of the so called “expert” expat retirement mags and rags as well as expat living blogs now tout “up and coming” Colombia as the “next” Costa Rica. After hearing today’s rant, you’ll still want to visit the place but probably won’t want to live or invest there. However, with Sofia Vergara as Colombia’s unofficial cultural ambassador (with every lonely heat gringo convinced she’s the Colombian girl next door) you can bet the gringos will come, no matter what the underlying facts might be.    

-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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January 22, 2016  
 -An update on my recently completed Expat Insider, “boots on the ground” Seminar.
 
-The nitpicky details about Latin American bank accounts that no one mentions, but you’d better know! 
 
-Latin credit and debit card tips: It’s a good idea to have one or two. Nearly all Latins do use them indiscriminately. Don’t fall into that perilous trap. Use them very sparingly and only for larger purchases and cash withdrawals.
   
-Things to know about the poor Indigenous Latin populations and notes on the unchanging, perpetual class system. Latin middle-classes and wealthier Latin upper classes have boxed them in.
 
-A bit about the love/hate relationship Latins have with their own inglorious history and melting pot heritage.
 
-What green gringos and Expats who might be are hiring bilingual Latins should expect.
 
-Today Expat Eddie, a formerly clueless and now infamously successful restaurateur, shows us the lighter side of his own clever job interviewing tactics.  
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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January 10, 2016  
-The “Gringo Advantage” strikes again... sparking yet another simple, inexpensive business idea. (one you’d never expect).
 
-Fresh gringos and new Expats can get awfully steamed up when they find they have to wait an interminable amount of time just to get waited on by a cashier or bank teller. Today we have a gringo “drive up AutoBanco” story that will get you thinking about how and why “manana” time is a part of Latin culture and why it will probably never change no matter how much Gringos and Expats kick and scream about it.   
 
-Today we have a strange (but not for Latin America) car parking-lot story that takes place at a modern Latin Airport
 
-What does ”Off the Gringo Tourist Trail” really mean?
 
-A visit to a typically decrepit, “free” Nation Health Care Latin Hospital.
There are 101 reasons why public hospitals are NEVER recommended for Expats and Gringos.
 
-We also have an email defending Mexico as a top place for Expat living
 
-An analysis of how the two-faced Latin media, and criminal Latin celebrity hypocrites, portray Donald Trump as the evil one.   
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com

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January 8, 2016  
 -A seasoned gringo Expat (with a Brazilian wife) living in Brazil tells us some horrifying personal stories of the general insecurity and rampant crime taking place in the country. It seems even the so-called nice, upscale residential and shopping areas are not exempt from frequent robberies, assaults, general crime and lawlessness. Beside the crime problem, there are many reasons why Brazil does not make my list of Expat destinations.  
 
-Today we have more good reasons not to drive a late model car of distinction or SUV in Latin America. If you do, you’ll be a target.
 
-To Tint or not to Tint: the truth about those ubiquitous Latin American dark-tinted (extremely dark) car windows. Should you do it to your own car? What if no cars had tinting? Is it a good or bad thing?
 
-What’s Latin America like for supersized and very tall gringos and Expats? For example: is it easy (or hard) for a six foot five inch guy to get around in a mostly down-sized Latin America? Yes, some buildings really are architecturally unfriendly to tall people. In older buildings, even six-footer’s occasionally bump their noggins    
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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January 3, 2016  
 -Some Expat auto owners weigh in with amusing stories describing what happens when Latin cops tried to shake them down for dough.
BTW: the car/vehicle paperwork shakedown situation is common around Christmas time (when most Latins are beyond dead broke).     
 
-Latin cops love bribes (mordida). But they love free gifts too. That why long term Expats sometimes tuck certain special cheap giveaway items in their cars just to hand to cops pressuring for handouts. In the event you get pulled over, some key cheap items can work like a charm!    
 
-In every Latin country there is a small group of 20 to 50 very wealthy “old money” families that own huge tracts of land along with many of the basic industries. Their last names and are well known to the rest of the working population- who generally revere them like minor royals. Often their snotty kids are unruly, abusive jerks. Even so, cops try to maintain a “hands off” policy. It’s sort of their Latin version of our “Gringo Advantage”…. though thankfully, few of us gringos come off like them in the pretentious jerk department.        
 
-The parking situation in Latin America can be complicated. Today we compare Latin parking options to what you are used to up in Hartford and Cleveland. Some of what you are about to hear will sound a bit nutty, but that’s life in Latin America.            
         
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too… 
 
  -Last chance for Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the latest Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Just go to www.TheNewExpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
 
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