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

October 27, 2013  

- On the last show it was mentioned that 
Latin Americans are much more superstitious than first world folks. Here are a few more strange and odd things Latins will do to gain the upper hand with the supernatural. Some of this weird stuff is sure to make expats shake their heads in disbelief.    
 
-Latin Rock Music and Latin stand-up comedy are some of the latest popular phenomenons that have been lifted lock, stock and barrel from first-world innovators. On close observation astute expats do see that Latin music and comedy acts are stealing material mercilessly from first-world sources. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) when Latins put their spin on the material and translate punch lines or lyrics they usually come out well... third-worldish.         
 
-For all of you single first-world lady expat wanabees and lady expat gonnabees; here are some tips and cautions from a seasoned gringa expat concerning mating and dating Latin men. Our gringa source gives a heads up on some of the common tricks that married Latin men use to fool newly arrived gringas who just might be looking for love and romance..
 
-Here are some odd Spanish words you’ll hear on occasion that have no real English counterparts, and thus are sure to throw you the first time around.
 
-An update on the contaminated water issue in Latin America and what you should be doing about it.    
 
-My January 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is all set to go so. To check out the agenda and the signup details just click on the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the ExpatWisdom.com mainpage.
 
“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Heathcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 25, 2013  
-You probably know that gringos up north have a life expectancy of more than five beyond Latin Americans in general. That said, you’d be amazed at how many really old even ancient old men and women in their 80’s and 90’s are still out there in the fields working, chopping brush, hauling wood and shlepping water buckets on their backs, etc. By the way, Latins even have a common name for all these very old folks, “ancianos” meaning “ancient ones” in English. So how do these old ancient folks do it... put in a full days work like they were still 35 and without complaints? And what about the so-called first-world diseases of old age like arthritis, hear aliments, cancer and Alzheimer's? Here are some some surprising facts about those spry old Latin “ancianos”…  
 
-Expat Eddie just bought a used Jeep from a pretentious, lard-ass, despicable Latin government type. But it’s not just any Jeep as you’ll soon hear. Yet another true Expat Eddie story you'll have to try to swallow....      
 
-When driving your vehicle in the Latin countryside, beware of landslides, tree trunks and the occasional gigantic boulders… especially in the rainy season. Just know that you can expect to get held up by some kind of natural or unnatural road impediment at any time and get delayed in a traffic bottleneck or two on almost every extended road trip. Sure the local road crews eventually get around to fixing things but usually they do it half-ass. Get this, they often go home after clearing only one lane… allowing the traffic to inch through and thus creating another kind of bottleneck (remember that the street workers themselves can’t afford cars so they don’t have much sympathy for drivers stuck in tough spots... not to mention, they're government workers).    
 
-Latin Americans are very very superstitious. The longer you’re down here the more you realize that there seems to be no limit to the odd things Latins will do to ward off spirits, bad luck, get rich, have beautiful babies, find love and such. And at Halloween it's time to highlight a few of the odder things that make us expats laugh to ourselves. Its never nice to laugh aloud when the locals are involved (and never forget we gringos have a few odd , even irrational, habits of our own)   
 
-My January 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is all set to go so. To check out the agenda and the signup details just click on the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the ExpatWisdom.com mainpage.
 
 -“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Heathcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 20, 2013  


-Lets trying to straighten out some common confusing Spanish language terms that just seem to fly right over our expat heads. No matter how long we’ve been down here it seems some of us have a few mental language blocks that won’t go away. 

 
- How expats make disinformation work for them! Down in Latin America, every so often when one visits a first-world like guarded community, office tower, hotel, government building, etc., you must hand over an ID or get it scanned to get a visitor’s pass. Well it turns out many expats (having already felt the strong, odoriferous presence of Big Brother up north) just don't use their REAL ID’s much unless absolutely necessary(like for boarder crossings and banking). Expats have found in most cases it pays to use a fake or altered ID. Why not? Well just realize that you do get a fresh start here and for once you can easily avoid getting on computers and lists by just smiling and handing over a nicely done fake ID. And note that even if you must show a REAL ONE, few Latin organizations (except some govt agencies) have any sort of shared computer networks and data systems are in no way connected like they are in the first world. Again I'm clueing you in to something you won't hear on any other Expat site or program ... the fact that many expats use altered or fake ID’s all the time and no one here cares. Sure it might not be quite legal (or maybe it is since you're  showing an imperfect  “COPY” and have NOT altered your AUTHENTIC docs in any way) and I’m not suggesting you do it either way but again. it’s just a fact, and a way to stay way off the radar…
 
-Latins love to celebrate loud, and I mean when they bring out the massive fireworks and bombs things do get very, very, very loud! And yes, I did say BOMBS!
 
-More unbelievably stupid examples of your corrupt, broke first-world government donating useless expensive stuff to corrupt, broke third-world governments (on your tax dollar and dime of course)
 
“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”, That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Healthcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 18, 2013  
#1- My January 2014 “Expat Wisdom” seminar is all set to go so. To check out the agenda and the signup details just click on the Latin American Seminar link on the top of the  ExpatWisdom.com main page.
 
#2- A few more comments and real life stories for those of you who might be thinking of repackaging an old seminar or lecture idea and going on the circuit in Latin America
 
#3- Some advice for all expat wanabees and expat gonnabee first-world professionals (CPAs, chemists, X-ray techs, industrial engineers, etc.) hoping to land jobs at Latin American subsidies of first-world trans-national companies. Sure, these companies all want to hire qualified gringos and people with first-world training, and yes there are always job openings but….      
 
#4- A word about the very top level, very expensive(in Latin terms) private universities. The ones that cost an unbelievable $5000 to $6000 a year(ha ha!) You’ll find just one or two of these top notch, very limited enrollment, schools in almost every Latin country and they’re pretty much the only universities graduating students that are on par with kids from the better first-world universities. Whereas elsewhere in Latin America, the other dozen or so Universities you find in any given Latin country are really no more than glorified high schools or worse.You'll find, as in the USA, quality seems to generally correlate with price. 
 
#5 -Looking to hire a Latin trained professional for your new expat business? You need to listen to this…   .
 
#6 -How certain unscrupulous first-world seminar companies are scamming gullible Latins while getting rich in the process (that’s the point right?). These guys have gouged people in the states (and are a huge part of the US government student loan debacle) and are being sued big time, and now they’re down here in Latin America where almost no one ever gets sued. Such a deal! Are these jerks smart or what?         
 
 #7- “AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Healthcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
#8 -Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 13, 2013  
#1-Today marks my 300th Expat Files show! And as you might imagine I get many requests from folks asking if I can package all of them up and provide a detailed index so folks can quickly hone in on their topic of interest. If I did that you’d have about 150 straight hours of Expat Files audio! The good news is that a dedicated friend of the program living up in the UK is working on the hardest part; putting together a comprehensive cross reference and index.
You already know that in any given half hour I might hit on ten or more convoluted topics so proper indexing will take real patience and determination. And hopefully, if our good man in the UK can plow through it without getting carpal tunnel or brain fatigue, the whole project could be available soon. As Brian Wilson once said, "wouldn't it be nice…"     

#2-Get ready for a big increase the general level of US harassment when you try to leave the states. US immigration will be treating you more and more like a criminal even if you’re on a simple vacation to Cancun. So, why is it getting more and more difficult and complicated to leave the Big Brother paradise? Why its because the government is dead broke and must keep track of the middle-class cows to be milked, naturally. Don't you know its dangerous for dumb animals to get a taste of freedom?
Bottom line- if you don’t get a “get out of dodge” plan together soon … within a year or so there's a good chance the door will get slammed in your face.    
 
#3-Here’s the “real” story (one the US media never reports) about Mexican cartels, drugs,and the escalating chaos and crime against expats and foreigners. A report on the present Mexico situation and why its a very bad place for expats to live and invest, why its broken it can’t be fixed and why it will only get worse.  
 
#4-A day in the life of a very happy and contented Latin middle-class family of five. How is it possible that they have almost all the usual first-world amenities including two cars (though used) all on only $1000 a month?   
 
#5-“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Heathcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
#6-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 11, 2013  
#1-Power outages are common in Latin America. But how frequent are they, how long do they last and how quickly do they get repaired. What happens if you’re the one making the complaint to the utility company? And what are the chances you even get through to the emergency line on a phone call? Here’s the scoop….   
 
#2-A few life saving tips on the care and feeding of your electronic gadgets and computers while here in Latin America. Often green gringos and new expats experience the premature death and/or failure of their laptops, notebooks and other devices. And they  usually chock it up to bad luck (or gremlins). The fact is, the climate down here can be very very hard on your prized toys, but it doesn’t have to take a toll …  
 
#3-More on Latin banking. This time we talk about foreigners with bank accounts and why banks in tourist areas like Costa Rica actually count on a high percentage of stupid gringos and Europeans not ever coming back…. thus abandoning their bank accounts and leaving them inactive. Then after some years the bank can by law confiscate the balances for that inactivity. Though this happens mostly with small passbook accounts, the numbers really add up... and the banks love it!
 
#4-You’ve heard talk about gringos and expats living first-world style in Latin America on a measly Social Security check. Well how about a family of FIVE living first world style on just one measly SS check?  Here’s that story…  
 
#5-“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Heathcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
#6-For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground” Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.
   
#7-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 6, 2013  
1-Ready for a few “cost of living” surprises? Well, today I’ve got some details that take “cost of living” facts and questions to a deeper level. Analysts are always throwing figures out comparing the so-called average north American person or family to some other country’s average citizen. So who is this average American and for the matter who is the average Latin person or expat?
 
2-Expats eventually wean themselves off of first-world products like imported foods and junk food they were accustomed to (or addicted to) up in Cleveland. Here’s a little story of what happens with long-term expats who have pent-up uncontrollable first-world cravings.
 
3-There was a time a few years back when little by little the local Latin store shelves started to carry previously rare and unobtainable (unavailable down here) stateside products. When that would happen it wasn’t unusual for gringos and expats to go a bit nuts and end up hoarding stuff and doing very un-gringolike things!

4-Some facts of life regarding expiration dates, truth in advertizing and food product labeling down in Latin America. If you're a label scrutinizer, this little report might be a bit of a shocker! 
 
5-A few more excellent expat tips about those little known but very desirable “altiplano” regions of Latin America   
 
6-“AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Heathcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).
 
7-For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground” Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.
   
8-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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October 4, 2013  
-As we step(er.. more like stumble) into different cultures, all of us gringos and expats commit our share of social gaffs never realizing it. And because Latins are generally more kind and forgiving than us infinitely more anal first worlder's, they almost never call us out on it. Latins avoid awkward moments and embarrassing incidents at all costs. And luckily our “gringo advantage” insures that the locals cut us even more slack. Thankfully, after a some months us foreigners finally do get the hang of many of odd Latin social norms but there are some very subtle social conventions most of us continue to violate and don’t know it. Here are some examples...  
 
2-We’ve all heard about those famously explosive Latina tempers, especially volatile regarding painfully sensitive topics like love, romance and jealousy. And speaking of jealousy; Latins really do have an extra jealousy jean with a capital “J”. That said, you might wonder what expats do when faced with an explosive emotional display like that in their relationships. Do they try to reason it out logically or lay low and stay well clear of the silverware, pots and pans? 
  
3-Today we have a very recent interview with a skeptical gringo who attended the latest Expat Wisdom seminar in June. Hear what he has to say about his own "boots on the ground" experience in Central America while with the Expart Wisdom crew. 

4 -Pencil in your calendar for this coming January. That’s when my next Expat Wisdom Seminar event is scheduled, “off the gringo tourist trail” of course. This time we’ll be starting the adventure on Sunday Jan 19th and ending late Thursday night the 23rd. If you plan on attending please email me at theexpatfiles@gmail.com orJohnny@ExpatWisdom.com and I’ll be sure to send you the full details.
 
5- “AN EXPAT’S GUIDE TO FIRST-WORLD  HEALTHCARE IN LATIN AMERICA”That’s the name of my long awaited free report. It’s finally finished and will be available for a time at www.ExpatWisdom.com. Grab a copy and than compare how 21st century Latin American healthcare stacks up to your Heathcare in the states. Read it and weep! And remember the report is free(at least for now).

6-For all of you curious about how our last Expat Wisdom seminar in June went down…  two of our attendees, Deane and Heather, put together a great 10 min slideshow/audio clip with some very cool visuals. Now you can see what it was like (and what you missed) as we all trucked around with our “boots on the ground” Just go to ExpatWisdom.com and click on the “slideshow” link.   
-Follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private 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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