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

September 1, 2015  
-In Latin America, more and more nearly forgotten first-world has-been personalities, lecturers (and faded dinosaurs of rock) are showing up here and there. They're doing a re-heated hash of their once popular old and moldy seminars and tours. Nope, these folks have not faded into the sunset kindly, instead they've found a second life in the 3rd world, a lucky way to cash in on their long past glories. 

-Certain adventurous and astute stateside people (and their promoters) have figured out the famous first-world “lag-time effect” combined with the gringo advantage can mean more than a “dead cat bounce”. It often can mean a brand new wave of popularity and success for gringos (even if their Spanish languages skills are nil)
 
 -Today we see Expat Eddie stumbling along trying to use a very effective type of Latin Craig’s list website called www.OLX.com.  In this new adventure Eddie’s uses the website to locate and buy a used high-end elliptical trainer. As usual the story has some surprising twists and unexpected turns. Only in Latin America!   
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
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August 28, 2015  
-In Latin America its getting more and more difficult to change US dollar funny money into local Latin funny money… all because of the phony drug war, FATCA and US pressure.
 
-When coming down for a visit how much cash should you bring and how should you carry or wear it?
 
-Some tips for using Latin ATM’s. You can use many of them to withdraw both US dollar funny money and local Latin funny money too.
  
-Lots of interest and ideas these days for using recycled 40-foot shipping containers. Some say they can be ideal for creative housing and many other inspired construction projects. That said, down here there’s been a lot of talk about containers for many years and still almost no action. Why not?   
 
-More on the Latin macho society effect, the female forgiveness factor and the unusually strong Latin family unit that exists even in the poorest of families.
 
-Some surprising info concerning what’s really going on behind the scenes in Latin media and in the fashion and modeling world   
    
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
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August 25, 2015  
-In Latin America, some countries like Colombia produce enough oil for their own use and have plenty to export as well. When the price of oil is high (like 2 years ago) government slugs, like pigs at the trough, expand and gorge on the extraordinary tax revenues, but boom times do end. So now that oil prices are in the crapper, Latin countries that produce oil like Colombia-with their very weak environmental laws- have found an easy but highly destructive way to increase those oil tax revenues again, by FRACKING!!!
   
-Did you know that a very recent study revealed that your average fat-assed deadbeat Costa Rican government employee took FIVE TIMES as many sick days in 2014 as did persons working real jobs in the private sector? Not only that, the report states that Costa Rican government pinheads make from 150 to 200 percent more than people working in equivalent private sector jobs. Sound Familiar? Yet another example of how retarded Latin Governments believe anything first-world is imminently desirable… no matter how ruinous, unknowingly copying every last disastrous first-world defect as well.  
 
-More on those famous S.A. Corporations and Latin taxes  
  
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


August 25, 2015  
-In Latin America, when socialist paradise policies go awry and the natives get restless, massive crowds often take to the streets. Then, the first thing the “peoples” government does is impose currency controls, censorship and restrictions on basic rights. Sound familiar?   
 
-Some Latin crime statistics regarding organized big city gangs: Is crime out of control? How does such criminality affect Expats living south of the border?
 
-Did you know that Uruguay has five times the number of military personal per capita than the average Latin country, and that the US government gives millions each year specifically to support that effort? Which begs the question, what terrible enemies does little Uruguay have? Might Argentina, Chile or Peru be poised to invade? By the way, nearly one in of five Uruguay workers has a government job- a lopsided effect that’s about three times the Latin American average. Only Cuba has a larger percentage of government workers per capita.
 
-Today, first-world gringa expats in Latin America have some tips and generalities concerning dating and relationships with Latin guys. You’ll be surprised (or maybe not). 
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


August 16, 2015  
-There are many potential problems with Latina/Gringo love matches… let me count the ways: Gringo/Latin romantic relationships face many cultural clashes(i.e. religion, language, music, family, friends, Exes, etc.) Even so, long term gringos will freely admit the mistakes they’ve made in that regard seem to start early- often they were a bit desperate and lonely upon arrival in Latin America, looking for love in all the wrong place
 
-How about the countless cases where a good and generous gringo boyfriend and/or husband ends up as a perpetual meal ticket for his Latin lady’s extended family? That common situation often causes much friction and eventual breakup    
 
-What happens when a Gringo ends up in Latin family court?
Just lately, Latin family courts have been stacked with female judges. Thus, after decades of all male macho rule and edict Latin women are finally getting a shot at ending, or at least limiting, centuries of cart blanche “testosterone” rule of law. So these days, as far as family court, for men the pendulum often swings the other way. Women are now capable of getting a sort of legal revenge… and men are yelling foul. Sound familiar? 
 
-A clueless, stupid Gringo gets nailed in Latin Family Court: a true story     
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


August 14, 2015  
-Colombia is on the map as one of the latest, greatest retirement destinations- that’s according to nearly all of the popular retirement rags and blogs. But what most gringos and Expats don’t realize is that the country’s very heavily taxed business and manufacturing sector is forcing many medium and large companies to close or flee to more business friendly countries. Colombia now has a corporate tax structure with rates hovering around 75% and the country is rapidly de-industrializing.    
 
- Gringo tipping anxiety in Latin America: a primer on restaurant bills/charges and common gringo tipping mistakes and false assumptions 
 
-Ecuador’s socialist government is in an expensive growth spurt (some surprise, huh?) and now that tax revenues are way down (due to the big oil price slump) President Correa is preparing to substantially increase taxes on more productive sectors of society.    
 
-S.A. corporations are alive and well in Latin America but much less than 5% of the population have one or even know anything about them or what they're for…
 
-Here’s a stale, old Latin joke… but it’s true:
 
Pancho, “Hey Senor, where is the men’s room?”  
 
Jose, “Anywhere you like.”
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


August 9, 2015  
-How to see Central America on the cheap (but not backpacker cheap):
Today we have a story of a lone gringo’s 10 week trip through most all of Central America. He did it by way of the Latin version of a private Greyhound Bus. Starting his trip in Panama, he travelled northward and explored most major cities and attractions in Central America- ending finally in Mexico. He explains how he did the trip on only $35 a day which included the bus tickets and three day stay at the all-inclusive Decameron resort in El Salvador. He gives great advice and tips spelling out how anyone can do much the same thing…
 
-Everyone loves shopping at those big Latin produce markets... that is, once they’ve actually experienced one up close and first hand. Gringos who never get the chance don’t know what they’re missing. Most never go because they are fearful of big crowds, the chaos and their lack of Spanish. That said, today we have some basic tips that will make any trip to the big market fun, cheap and painless…
 
-There are odd cases where your personal “gringo advantage” temporarily rubs off on the Latin person or persons you happen to be with.  
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American
Listen Now:


August 7, 2015  

-What’s the story on childhood vaccinations in Latin America?

How many shots are required and at what intervals? Are all kids required to get them? Can parents opt their kids out or otherwise get around it? Is 3rd world lax about it or is there 1st world Nazi-style enforcement? Do Latins even understand the controversy around vaccines, their adjutants and toxic additives?
 
-A Latin American real estate update:
The real estate bubble seems to creeping all over Latin America. Its settling in while simultaneously straining and cracking around the edges. Meanwhile, since no one’s got the money or credit to buy (except certain gringos and Europeans) it’s turning into an unbelievable renter’s market. There are great deals for those with patience, a good eye and adequate “boots on the ground”. However, don’t expect to get any great deals surfing the net in Cleveland whist sitting on the sofa eating bon-bons. Note that what rents for $1000 a month on the net you can usually negotiate in person down to $600.

-Beware of glossy ads with happy gringo faces selling and promoting real estate projects and developments. When the gringos are in the sales and promo end you can predict just one thing- a top of the local Latin land and housing market is near.         
 
-More solid proof that the gringo advantage is alive and well (when off the gringo tourist trail). Today we have more expat stories proving a 1st world type Big Brother state Latin style is far, far off in the future. 
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


August 4, 2015  
-When cars are stopped at Latin American traffic blockades the cops will only ask for 3 things: license, registration and proof of payment of the car’s yearly circulation sticker. Nothing else is important to them; not the broken windshields, lack of seat belts, burned out brake-lights, black smoke belching from tailpipes or even the 5 kids sitting up front on daddy’s lap.
 
-Any traffic violations you might accumulate will never account or appear against you personally, only against the owner of the car. Tickets for moving violations are rare and cheap so it doesn’t pay to fight them. You’re better off paying the 40 bucks than waste your time going to a court hearing that might be postponed/delayed any number of times and for any reason. BYW: those hearings almost always take place in a crappy part of town.    
 
-Expats need a lawyer of course but as your Spanish improves you’ll start to use him less and less, especially for the small stuff. But note: however adept you become at the language there will be certain times to just let him take over or you’ll be forever wasting time and effort. Sometimes when you think you’ve got it under control, you don’t.
 
-Ask any long time gringo, one of the most persistent general problems they see with Latin American workers is their lack of an eye for detail. That said, most times when Latin governments try to “gringoize” (i.e., modernize) a government department or service- for example by “computerizing” a chronically inefficient system- a larger disaster often follows. Today we have a recent true story proving that very point. 
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


July 31, 2015  
-A few words about those strange and sometimes wonderful middle-class Latin yard parties and celebrations because you’ll be invited to attend these events now and again(maybe way too often).
 
-Prepare and get your earplugs ready for the rockets and fireworks when your neighbors have their weekend events and parties. Sometimes those things can get very loud and go well into night. Tip: lock your guns in the cabinet... unloaded.
 
-Today Expat Eddie graces us with another bizarre, "it can only happen in Latin America" story. This time he relates how when stuck at a party somewhere in El Salvador the subject at hand was Donald Trump. This time Eddie was in the spotlight. Everyone wanted to hear his take on Trump, who they see as the evil devil/destroyer of the "American dream".         
 
-DYK: in so-called Latin “man on the street” interviews the top #3 America names that come up in the minds of the Latin public areObama, Trump and Kim Kardashian (and they say the US public is dumbed down!)   
 
-First world “lag time effect” is alive and well. Even though 90% of the time that effect adds to our “Gringo advantage”, sometimes it can backfire badly when Latin "gringo wannabees" try to embrace it.
 
-Just like up in the states, some upscale Latin mothers are convinced their pre-school and grade school kids are gifted "geniuses" so they stupidly post every new word and burp on Facebook for posterity (sound familiar?)   
 
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:
 
Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
Listen Now:


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