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

November 23, 2014  
-Another first-world copy-cat craze that’s hitting Latin America is the proliferation of stand-up comics, open-mike amateur nights and comedy clubs. Yup, the Latin “lag time effect” rides again and the comedy club phenomenon has in no way peaked here yet … as it had done some years go back in the states. Even so, creativity is not on the menu here. And if you speak decent Spanish and you catch one of these guys you might pick up on the fact that you’ve heard certain bits somewhere before- in English. Now if some think that signals a business or career opportunity… maybe so, but check this out first…

-Some thoughts on the state of university education in Latin America and some speculation as to why Latin engineers and scientific types- though very capable and knowledgeable in their own narrow fields- are substantially different in temperament and style than many of their first-world trained counterparts… much to their (not our) detriment

-The average Latin person, as a rule, may not seem as inquisitive or innately curious about life in general as the average first-world person, but note Latins, especially the middle and lower classes, certainly(by necessity) have their creative spurts…
-How the “lag time effect” and persistent Latin parental fantasies about higher education undermine the future of so many of the best young Latin minds      

What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking…. 
If not- be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track seminar event in Central America. Come down to the January 2015 seminar, formulate your own “Plan B” and find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a measly Social Security check. For complete details, go to www.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page. 

 -Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, we can talk about your situation one on one.
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November 21, 2014  
-Last week we discussed “gringo prices” and how to spot when you’re being singled for the dubious honor of paying more than you have to… but today’s subject can be much more costly. It involves a relatively new quasi-legal airport and immigration type of gouge (more like extortion) that seems to have sprung up from badly-interpreted tourist visa guidelines that catch gringo and expat travelers with one-way travel tickets in a costly bureaucratic net. 

-Things you should know about getting legal residency in a Latin country

-Another very disturbing development has recently come out of Argentina’s Big Brother apparatus. Tourists, visitors and Expats; get ready for a new border-control- Spanish Inquisition style shakedowns- at all Argentine airports and land boarders. And now, after seeing what’s about to happen, it’s impossible to recommend that country as a place for anything but short vacation trip. From now on you can forget about Argentina as a low profile, stress-free expat destination. Sure, you might say nearly every Latin country is run by a pack of pompous, thieving morons, but Argentina has a very large contingent of rats, bottom feeders, cannibals and jackals too.  
     
What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
If not- be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track seminar event in Central America. Come down to the January 2015 seminar, formulate your own “Plan B” and find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a just measly Social Security check. For complete details, go to www.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page. 

 -Do follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, let’s talk about your situation one on one.
 
 

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November 16, 2014  
-Today we’ll discuss what are often called “gringo prices” and how to spot when you’re being singled for the dubious honor of paying more than you have to 
 
-Some news for meat eaters: yes there are plenty of available, non-factory-farm, free-range (driveway) chickens- probably in your own nice Latin neighborhood. You’ll certainly hear them at all hours (and possibly want to strangle them personally). But note the locals have a very limited number of such birds for sale so if you’re into somewhat healthy eating you’ll have to know where to get em’ live and fresh on a regular basis…

-Now for some weird things you never knew about the chickens down here in Latin America… long with some tips on the types, care, handling, slaying and dismemberment of said birds.

-And for red meat lovers: here are the available choices and what you should look out for. Remember, in Latin America one can practically count on the fact that the sanitation factor will fall short in most slaughterhouses and meat markets- though there are ways to maintain your own high standards (if you have any)    

-There is a rather ubiquitous, disturbing dental problem that occurs in a high percentage of the Latin population that’s just is not an issue in the first-world. Can you guess what it is?     

What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
If not- be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track seminar event in Central America. Come down to the January 2015 seminar, formulate your own “Plan B” and find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a measly Social Security check. For complete details, go to www.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page. 

 -Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, we can talk about your situation one on one.
 
 
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November 14, 2014  
-Speaking of earthquakes, during the recording of last week’s show there was a 5.2 and I certainly felt it. 

-It’s time to pick on the backpackers again, this time in regards to earthquakes. Expat Eddie has one of the wildest theories yet (though faintly scientific) as to why so many friendly, blissfully odoriferous backpackers report many small earth tremors that most of us expats and locals rarely pick up on. Only Eddie could come up with this one…   
    
-Speaking of Latin culture quirks and Latin sociology, every expat and gringo ought to take a trip to a Latin American traveling carnival. That’s one place you can get a very good idea of the marginally uncomfortable mixing of the lower, middle and wealthy classes. You can also see many teenage Latin girls down on the carnival midway displaying their fashion/coolness statements (mostly to outdo the other adolescent girls). It’s a very good place to show off their style (and those new shoes). And as young adolescent Latin boys will admit, the two best places to check out the young girls is not at the local McDonalds or a mall but at a carnival(its second only to the Sunday mass "fashion" show ). 

-Ever wonder what it’s like to be the only gringo in a crowd of 1000 or even 2000 people? Yes, that’s often what it’s like when you live “off the gringo tourist trail”. It’s an experience you’re not likely to forget. And if you’re like me, after a while you get so used to being sort of a “B” grade VIP it’s hard to go back to being a nondescript slug.   
  
- Some hard learned tips and suggestions for gringos regarding machetes (you’ll surely have one or two in the garden shed)

-Now for some weird things you never knew about coconuts: if you’re into drinking coconut water( as you should be) you’ll like these tips on the types of available coconuts as well as the care, handling and manipulation of said giant seeds

What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience in Central America. Come to my January 2015 seminar and formulate your own “Plan B”. Find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a measly Social Security check. For complete details, go to www.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page. 

 -Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, we can talk about your situation one on one.
 
 
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November 10, 2014  
-Speaking of Latin culture quirks and Latin sociology, there are many basic differences in the way first-world gringos view the world in general versus the way most local Latinos and Latinas see things. In the end, no matter how much Latin people falter on the details, and no matter how lacking they might be in the ways of doing business- in many other more social aspects of life we can learn a lot of good lessons from them (though we gringos are stuck in our ways and usually don’t bother).
 
-Often green gringos and new expats in the throes of starting a new Latin-based business don’t know enough Spanish to feel comfortable handling all the local interactions a foreign business start-up might entail. That said, often gringos take the easy way out and hire the first available person that speaks decent English- as someone who might help lead them through the maze. Note that many Latin English speakers you run into are actually deported illegal aliens whose real aim in life is it to earn enough dough to sneak back into Texas or Cleveland and leave you high and dry.   
 
-If Venezuelan women have been struggling to cope with chronic shortages of basic food and hygiene products, it appears that many young women have at last had enough of president Maduro’s brand of “sacrifice socialism”. Tens of thousands of Venezuelan Ladies will sacrifice anything but their right to inexpensive cosmetic surgery- a business that has just recently been hit by a severe shortage of quality breast and butt implants(all of which are import items that must be purchased with restricted US dollars). And how about this; at this very moment there are a number of Colombian black-market implant smugglers serving time in Venezuelan prisons (I wonder how you explain something like that to the judge, or your mother)                      
 
What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience in Central America. Come to my January 2015 seminar and formulate your own “Plan B”. Find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a measly Social Security check. For complete details, go to www.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, we can talk about your situation one on one.
 
 

Listen Now:


November 7, 2014  
-Things you should be aware of if you ever have a swimming pool in Latin America.
 
-Believe it or not, there can be as many as 100 tiny earthquakes a day that register 2 points or less on the Richter scale. And that’s not to say there are 100 daily quakes for all of Latin America… but 100 plus for any given location in Latin America! Thankfully you won’t feel any of them (your dog might), though they can slowly but surely do some cumulative damage to buildings and such .
 
-Have you heard of an ostensibly "benevolent and humanitarian" agency with the soothing name, USAID? It’s the so called “United States Agency for International Development”? In Latin America you’ll see their letters on very secure, highly fortified and monitored buildings in most all large cities. So what’s that all about? Its all just sick propaganda, and here’s the real story...
 
-If you need a job and don’t mind selling your soul to the devil, you can become part of the problem by applying for a job at a US consulate or embassy in Latin America. Check the locals papers, they’re always hiring..  (but you'll have to be somewhat bilingual)
 
-Do you see red after hearing how certain thick-headed government do-nothing mid-level employees retire with massive six-figure pensions…. and often with multiple pensions? Here’s a story direct from the horse’s mouth that just about beats everything you’ve heard about gluttonously excessive government pensions. And what might all that have to do with Latin America? Get ready to see more red!            
 
What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience in Central America. Come to my January 2015 seminar and formulate your own “Plan B”. Find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a measly Social Security check. For complete details, go towww.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, we can talk about your situation one on one.
Listen Now:


November 2, 2014  
-Now for some scary first-world banking news you should be aware of that makes it all the more imperative that you have a viable “Plan B”, that is, an exit plan to get your ass and assets out of harm’s way before the next first-world crisis hits and you’re stuck in the middle of it.  
 
-Before you decide on becoming an Expat in any particular South American country, consider this very disturbing farm and GMO news coming out of the South American agricultural belt.
 
-Mexico is all over the news again. And of course it’s NEVER good news. This time they’ve broken a terrifying world’s record for a western country - 43 students kidnapped and presumed dead, all from the same college. That said, I have to ask all you nice Expat wannabees and gonnabees up there in Minneapolis and Cleveland this question just one more time… “Why do you keep sending emails asking me to recommend places to live, work and retire, etc., in Mexico?”
 
-Some strange hoops you have to jump through while getting a license at the local Latin American driver’s license bureau
 
-A few facts you should know about taxis in Latin America     
 
What’s your exit plan? Do you have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track Expat experience in Central America. Come to my January 2015 seminar and formulate your own “Plan B”. Find out how to live an extraordinarily good life in Latin America on a simple Social Security check. For complete details, go to www.ExpatWisdom.com, and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, let’s talk about your situation one on one.
 
Listen Now:


October 31, 2014  
-In Latin America, the coolness factor for all things “gringo” is pervasive. In fact, as you are motoring or walking anywhere in Latin America, you’ll occasionally see English words and phrases mixed in with Spanish words in some ads, posters and signs. Do note that the more words appearing on ads and signs in English (BTW, often misspelled or grammatically incorrect) the more you can be sure that you’re entering an “upscale” area or neighborhood.  
 
-Strange things can happen when you’re the only gringo shopping in a big big box store like Costco. Yes, Latin America’s got hundreds of first-world style membership mega-stores so you can indulge yourself, and if you dare, buy all the Chinese made junk you want or all that fits in your Hyundai.
 
-Recently, a young married couple (two previous Expat Wisdom seminar attendees) signed an apartment rental contract in a first-world style, upscale neighborhood in Guatemala City. Here’s a bit of their story and some of the odd Latin quirks they discovered along the way…  
 
-Find out about inaccurate and spotty food-ingredient labeling in Latin America, and those very confusing expiration dates.            
 
What’s your exit plan? Do you even have a "Plan B"? The clock is ticking….
Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience in Central America. At my January 2015 seminar I'll help you formulate your own “Plan B”. Come down and find out how you can live an extraordinary good life in Latin America on a simple Social Security check. For complete details just go to www.ExpatWisdom.com then click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top of the main page.
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, now you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
 
Listen Now:


October 26, 2014  
The do’s and don’ts of dog ownership in Latin America Part 2. What are the best type of time-tested pet and guard dog combinations or Expats in Latin America? How do bad boy criminals, thieves and no-good-nicks respond to certain dog breeds?
 
-If you have a big scary looking dog with big teeth like a Rottweiler or Doberman, here are some simple tips on how to get your terrified cleaning lady and/or gardener acclimated to him quickly (and vice versa), while still keeping your hired help wary enough to have a healthy respect for your dog.
 
-What you really should know about Latin America veterinarians: yes there are many very good ones, and even the many large animal and horse doctors are very good and very very inexpensive(though a bit rustic). But do beware. There are a class of vets you want to want to keep your pet and your wallet away from…
 
-A discussion on home security, and types of yard fences.       
 
-Because of the hard water mineral content of so many Latin drinking water supplies, there has been some interesting speculation that it may contribute to the spike in the incidence of kidney stones in Latin America. Yes, kidney stones are on the rise all over the world, but it doesn’t look to be due to the water at all. There are simple ways to combat and avoid them.    
 
WILL YOU HAVE A "PLAN B" WHEN THE EXCREMENT HITS THE VENTILATOR? Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience in Central America. Come to my week-long, January 2015 seminar and see how to formulate your own Plan B. Come down and find out how you can live an extraordinary good life in Latin America on a simple Social Security check. For complete details just go to www.ExpatWisdom.com then click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top left on the main page
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
 
Listen Now:


October 24, 2014  
-In Latin America, the definition of “sexual harassment” is not nearly the same as it is in the first-world. In fact, what we’d call verbal “sexual harassment” in the states is so every day and common down here that Latin women just grin and bear it. Why? Because it’s a very macho society and women really have no one to complain to. And even if they did complain or could find the rare lawyer to take a case to court, the judge hearing the complaint would not take it seriously- since almost all judges are men.     
 
-The do’s and don’ts of dog ownership in Latin America. Dog ownership can be a very good idea for expats but they should follow some recommendations. Also, in today’s show we have some excellent pet tips specific for gringos in Latin America that should save a lot of time and grief.
 
-People want to know if they should bring old Mike the mutt down or buy a new little Mike upon arrival at their new Latin destination. What about pure canine races and the correct paperwork proving that? If a purebread is your choice, how do you go about getting the right breed and which ones are recommended?
 
WILL YOU HAVE A "PLAN B" WHEN THE FIRST-WORLD EXCREMENT HITS THE VENTILATOR? Be sure to check out my latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience in Central America. At my week-long, January 2015 seminar see how you can formulate your own Plan B. Come down and find out how you can live an extraordinary good life in Latin America on a simple Social Security check. For complete details just go to www.ExpatWisdom.com then click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top left on the main page
 
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private phone, Skype or Mumble consult with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, now you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
 
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