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

May 30, 2011  
May 25, 2011  

- The underground (informal) economy, and how Latin governments lie about their employment figures (just like the USA does).

- More miserable Latin Public school system facts, and why you NEVER want to teach English there (or send your kids there for that matter).

- Comparing Latin universities with 1st World universities.

- A wide open market; A million English teaching jobs for Expats, some formal, some not. How every day want ads read something like this…

“English Teachers Wanted for Exclusive Private School”, No experience necessary, Spanish language skills a plus, but not necessary. Bachelor’s degree required (but don’t worry, even a throw-away one will do; like political science, drama, or sociology).

- Whats a TOEFL exam?... And why every upwardly mobile Latin person dreams of passing it (but few do).

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May 23, 2011  

- A warning against using carpets and rugs.

- The grossness of hotel rooms (i.e., be wary of hotel beds).

- Expats working, it’s mostly illegal, but most everyone does it! Work permits, and what to do if you get caught working without one.

- Typical, easy to get jobs that are always available to Expats.

- Bar and restaurant tricks, and why, as the night goes on, clients don't get what they pay for.

- The national sport - tax evasion.

- Why Latin governments prefer Expat business owners over local ones.

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May 18, 2011  

The Lost Art Of Politeness, Manners, And Good Samaritanism (and is samaritanism a real word?):

- A genuine politeness gene is alive and well and living in Latin America.

- Where kids in public places are actually under control (just like the good old days in your country). How and why Latin kid’s respect for elders differs so much from their 1st World counterparts.

- Ritalin and other kiddie behavioral management drugs? Kid management drugs haven’t landed down here… yet! (thank Buddha).

- Why Latins on the street, so eager to please, will often give you very bad directions.

- Good Samaritans, car trouble, dialing 911, and the value of basic liability auto insurance.

- 10 reasons why Latin America is NOT at all a good place to raise your kids (even though they have some excellent private grade schools, K-12).

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May 16, 2011  

A Visit To A Latin American Pharmacy:

- Get every medicine you can get up north, plus, a thousand teas, brews, roots, animal parts and herbal concoctions you’ve never heard of. Need some powdered rattlesnake rattle? … ask and you shall receive.

- Why generic drugs down here are always 50% cheaper (or even more) than generics in the 1st world (but can you trust them?).

- Need a powerful drug or refill? No prescription necessary (no kidding). If so, then why isn’t everyone and his brother walking around like a lifeless zombie?

- Where pharmacists aren’t really pharmacists and doctors don’t play golf.

- Spanish vs English drug names. What are druggists selling and how do you know what to ask for?

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May 11, 2011  

Dishonest Road Contractors, The Cost of Living, Farming, Fertilizer and More:

- Market madness, the art of buying fresh food and produce.

- Why shifting to granulated nitrogen fertilizer (petroleum based) is having a lasting negative effects on farming and the farmers themselves.

- How the ruling party buys elections with your 1st world donations.

- Why LA governments love 1st World infrastructure donations, but hate the specialists sometimes sent to oversee the projects.

- Why new LA roads go so bad so fast and why everyone in the know clams up when you talk about it.

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May 9, 2011  

Think that 1st World Republicrats are Corrupt? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet:

- Why in lovely Costa Rica, the “Switzerland of Latin America”, are three of the last five Presidents in jail or fugitives in exile?

- Why is it so common that deposed, indicted and disgraced Latin presidents live the life of Donald Trump (but with normal hair) while exiled in some neighboring Banana Republic?

- The reasons that cowardly and corrupt Latin judges just roll over like pet Chihuahuas whenever politicians face charges in their courts.

- Legal tricks lawyers use and how they strive to make trials drag on forever (or at least until the next election cycle).

- Why white collar crime pays (and why in fact crime just pays in general).

- More tips on guarding and waterproofing your valuables at the beach.

- Yet another annoying car theft scam that you just won’t believe.

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May 4, 2011  

Some 3rd World Survival Tips, The Cost of Living, Emails and more:

- More cost-of-living examples that will surely make you want to move here.

- Expat cinema, video store and DVD experiences (both legit and pirate).

- Slick tricks to try when there’s no water in the restroom (no, and I don’t suggest using your shirttail, yuk!).

- An Expat Traveler’s arsenal- some cheap, common things you should always carry or have on hand, (no, I’m not talking firearms here) that make life a lot easier down here.

- The present state of recycling garbage in LA, (ha! ha!).

- A tiny secret weapon for survival, that you hope you never have to use.

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May 2, 2011  

General Safety Tips;

- What’s wrong with my theme song, ‘Down Mexico Way? Well, for one thing, I don’t. recommend living, working, playing, and/or retiring in Mexico! But I guess I just like the song.

- In S. America, they have refrigerator/freezers that run on a propane gas flames and use no electricity whatsoever (Hey, are you pulling my leg?), and they’re great.

- What's the most dangerous place in Latin America? Would you believe the kitchen?

- Buying and using household appliances down here.

- The four kinds of vehicles on the road that you never, ever, want to drive behind, and why.

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