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

June 29, 2012  
-What if you want to bring Fido with you down to LA? What kind of obstacles will you encounter along the way. Is it an easy or hard thing to do? And what does it cost? Are the rules pretty much the same in every LA country? Here’s the dirt on that stuff.
-What about that pet quarantine business? How can they do that when all my papers are in order? What’s up with that? How much is it going to cost and how long does Fido have to stay locked up in solitary?
-Airline carriers have their own very detailed restrictions and rules about shipping pets to foreign lands. Here is a breakdown of some of the main airline regs.
-What about exotic animals? Can I bring Cristo, my Jesus Lizard, down to Peru?
-Some advice and comments for expat wanabees who are thinking about coming down to LA as a couple.
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation 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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June 25, 2012  
-When you’re an expat in LA, you will surely have some household help. They really love working for expats but there are some things that go on between the boss (you) and the help (them) that will really surprise you.
-How to hire a Latin gardener, maid or handyman. What to look for in the candidates and the pitfalls to avoid.
-Sometimes if you have very dependable good long term help, they’ll know they’ve got your confidence and work a subtle scheme to get their whole family into the act. Generally, there’s nothing wrong with that- they sort of become your extended family anyway and you feel more than a bit responsible for them and their family, even though you’ll never visit their neighborhood-and often wouldn’t want to either! (does that sound classist or what?)
-When you find a very good gardener or maid you sometimes have to bite your tongue and put up with a lot of petty (or not so petty) annoyances
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation 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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June 18, 2012  
-Living in Argentina is just about first world expensive and is about to get about 14% more costly. On July first a new 14% tax goes into effect covering all imports from non-South American (Mercosur) countries. It a protectionist measure that they think will foil cheap Chinese and South Korean imports which have flooded the markets (sound familiar?) But it’s really just a desperate revenue measure from a boated, corrupt govt.
-And did you know that Santiago Chile is now about 20% more expensive the Buenos Aires? That’s what you get when third world govts try hard to follow the first world example (i.e. tax, spend and grow like cancer)
-Why do a tiny handful of backpackers never get sick? Do they have an iron stomach, an alien immune system, or do they have a secret we’d all like to know about?  Well here it is from the horse’s mouth, from certain immune travelers in Latin America on the cheap who should be regular victims; people who have never had Montezuma’s revenge, ever!
-When you think of machetes and Latin America, you automatically think working class gardeners and farmers. The machete is the ago-old outdoor working man’s basic tool. But guess what? Rural women are surprisingly adept at using them too! (Ouch)
-The truth about eggs, chickens and fertilizer in Latin America
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation 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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June 15, 2012  
-Some disturbing info about those Latin American Spanish immersion programs. If you’re the sensitive type, have a weak stomach or a case of bashful kidneys, those family immersion programs can be an unpleasant experience in more ways than one (but you’ll sure learn your Spanish!)
-More proof that most Latin men will fail a basic third grade cleanliness, hygiene and smell test. In fact, women of all classes routinely refer to their men as “cerdos” which means pigs, (and it’s no term of endearment)
-Great advice on eating out healthy and happy. How to pick a good clean restaurant and how to avoid Montezuma’s revenge even when everyone around you seems to be stricken by it
-News about cheap bottled (actually plastic bagged) water for the masses. Something that you’ve probably never heard of before- but when you see it don’t try it!
-Expat Eddie gets a doggie bag - adventures in a Latin American Chinese restaurant
- A warning to ceviche and shrimp lovers
-One new spot may have opened up in my Latin Insider’s seminar (in late June). If you want to attend please email me ASAP at theexpatfiles@gmail.comput the word “Seminar” in the subject line to ask about that space.
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June 11, 2012  
-After getting another slew of emails asking me why I don’t recommend Mexico, here are 20 more reasons not to live or invest there. And actually, I feel sorry for anyone who has a lot of their nest egg invested there because its only going to get worse. However the south western Yucatan area from Cancun down to Belize (called the Mexican Riviera, or the Mayan trail) has much less crime than any of the north border towns or Mexico City itself and its not so congested or overpopulated.
-A word about the kidnapping and extortion business in Latin America
-Expat Eddie on the road- and he gets pulled over by the Mexican cops (nothing is ever simple with Eddie)
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation 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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June 8, 2012  
-Most expats want to help to poor Latins who are living on the edge or worse. But we don’t exactly know what kind of help would benefit them the most. What can we give or do for them that would permanently improve their condition? (Not the usual govt or first world feel-good giveaways please!) Now for some cheap, easy, satisfying ideas for first world do-gooders who really want to see some progress.
-Because of poor basic hygiene and unsanitary food preparation techniques, half or more of the lower and middle class Latin population are infected with intestinal parasites and don’t even know it. The question is; why they can live like that and not feel any obvious ill effects? Well that’s due to the volumes of hot peppers, chiles, garlic and spices they consume- all foods with high anti-parasitic activity(and locals are blissfully unaware of that fact too).
-Are Latin American beaches safe for swimming or not? How dirty and polluted are they, and what kind of water quality do they have? You’ll be surprised.
-If Latin American waters are so polluted, then you shouldn’t eat the seafood either right? Well here’s the scoop on that conundrum too!
-The sorry, sad state of Lake Nicaragua, one of the biggest most scenic and most terribly polluted lakes in all of Latin America.
-One new spot may have opened up in my Latin Insider’s seminar (in late June). If you want to attend please email me ASAP at theexpatfiles@gmail.com put the word “Seminar” in the subject line to reserve that place.
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June 4, 2012  
-Be sure to follow me on www.expatwisdom.com to get more new audios, blogs, stories and expat info as well as my big personal report, “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”
-Now you can follow the link on the main page at www.expatwisdom.com to schedule a consultation 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.
-The state of Latin American healthcare and the availability of medical insurance is one of the topics people are very interested in. Lately there have been some excellent developments in the medical insurance industry here and you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised when you hear about how expats can get insurance insanely cheap and yet have complete first world style HMO coverage
The real dope on Latin doctors; their training, their medical degrees, the medical schools they attend and the state of medical specialties in Latin America
-The things they never tell you about those so-called fantastic Cuban medical schools and Cuban doctors in general
-The story behind the preponderance of ugly, dented, sun-bleached cars in the $500 to $1000 range. All I can say about that is, with all of those 25 to 35 year old Datsuns, Hondas and Toyotas humming along down here- you really gotta hand it to those Japanese engineers!
-Explaining the details behind two competing private Latin American HMO health insurance plans (based on a single person of 45-50 years). One plan costs $1000 a year (no typo!) and the other one $550 a year (still no typo!). And you won’t believe the coverage, though of course there are some exclusions and contingencies.
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June 1, 2012  
-One new spot has opened up in my Latin Insider’s seminar (in late June). If you want to attend please email me ASAP at theexpatfiles@gmail.com put the word “Seminar” in the subject line and reserve that place.
-Be sure to sign up for my Saturday am, June 2nd teleconference call. Do this by going to www.expatwisdom.com and signing up for my free report- “17 Undiscovered Latin American Paradises”. By signing up you will automatically get an email with the details on how to participate in the teleconference.
-Money and grief saving tips on buying, building and renting in Latin America.
-Water, water, everywhere. And unfortunately, during the rainy, season it’s not always in your shower or your sink, but more likely percolating down your windows and seeping through the walls.
-The state of homeowner’s insurance in Latin America; less than 2% of homes are covered, and as for now- I don’t recommended it. There are way too many exclusions and loopholes and very high deductibles. It’s an all round bad deal.
-The truth about those horrible sewer smells that pervade about one in four private Latin bathrooms (and about 100% of the public ones)
-Silicone caulk is used by the trainload down here. It’s a contractor’s best friend and the Latin version of duck tape (Though duck tape is immensely popular down here too)
-Tips on outfitting your Latin American digs using good quality plumbing and appliances. If left to their own devices, 95% of the local contractors will install cheap second rate stuff that will come back to haunt you some day.
-How to avoid a very preventable (and frequent) type of house flood
-Do not plan on having carpets or rugs, unless you want a new ecosystem in your living room
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