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

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.
 
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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.
 
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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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October 19, 2014  
-Here’s the very recent David and Goliath story of how a group of indigenous Central American farmers stuck it to Monsanto, after Monsanto tried to slip one over on them regarding GMO’s and seed patents  
 
-Some idiosyncrasies and habits of the Latin working classes that you should know about (stuff that no one ever tells you) if you need help and have to hire the local talent.
 
-Tips on hiring and dealing with Latin management types and white-collar workers. There are subtle differences you may encounter when hiring one who has graduated from a public, versus hiring someone from a private, high school or university.
 
-Everyone’s talking about Ebola and Chikungunya. Should expats be worried? Can you even pronounce it? Find out the real story, the scares and the threats and what’s happening on the ground here in Latin America.  
 
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. 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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October 17, 2014  
-A small milestone: today we have reached show #400
 
That said, will we ever run out of strange and interesting Latin American stories, facts, news and anecdotes? Nah…I doubt it!
 
-Clueless gringos make common mistakes. Here are some tips on how to avoid them.
 
-The cheap and easy way of disinfecting of fruits and vegetables in an ongoing effort to avoid Montezuma’s (or some call it backpacker’s) revenge
 
-When you want to know anything about recreational drugs in Latin America, just go to the source… ask a few local “gringo wannabe” college students!
 
-A few words about gringos and newbee expats who try to score recreational drugs upon arrival in Latin America
 
-More details on how to handle the occasional kitchen floor mega “ant march” that everyone in Latin America is forced to deal with at one time or another... and foiling them naturally, without toxins.       
 
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. 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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October 12, 2014  
The latest on banks and banking in Latin America- Part 2:
Learn how to find a good, stable Latin bank along with some tips on how to use short term US dollar bank CD’s in Latin banks to your best advantage.  
 
-There is an active Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon) conundrum in Latin America: It turns out that the average Latin person’s got a schizophrenic love/hate relationship going with the whole conquistado- invasion scenario. Even as educated and enlightened Latinos proudly beam while telling you how their veins are overflowing with noble Spanish blood; the truth is that deep down, many Latin people understand that Columbus was really a serial rapist, pillager and genocidal destroyer. You might say today's Latin American societyis in denial about denial. (now wouldn’t that make a great T-shirt! "Don't mind me: I'm denying denial" )   
 
-An update on the cracks that are now appearing in the Latin American real estate bubble. It won’t be long now before the whole thing unravels and tremendous bargains start to hit the market … stay tuned for further late breaking news .       
    
About my January 2015, Expat Wisdom- Latin American Insider’s Seminar. Be sure to check out the latest off-the-tourist-trail, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience for those who are looking for the newest version of the American Dream “south of the border”. Just go to www.ExpatWisdom.com then click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top left on the main page for complete details.  
 
-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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October 10, 2014  
-The latest on banks and banking in Latin America- Part 1:
Every Latin country has 10 to 20 banks or more. So with all those choices, how are you (a presumably crap-Spanish speaker) supposed to choose a good,solid, stable bank on your own? Not you will most likely need one pronto when you first get down. Oops, don’t forget the fact that Latin banks are third-world, and are well, err… owned, operated and regulated by Latins with the usual manana mentality. And yes and some Latin banks do occasionally fail. That said, is it prudent for you to have maybe two or even three Latin banks? Well then how about none, zero, nada? Not to worry, today we’ll give some valuable tips regarding that dilemma
 
-What kind of interest rates are bank CD’s paying in the USA these days- half a percent? Zero? Maybe you’re even dumb enough to be paying the banksters to hold your fiat money for you. I hope not. What kind of craziness is that? That why it’s a shock when fresh expats land in Latin America and see that local banks pay from 4 to 8% annually on regular bank CD’s…. in both their funny-money and in US fiat dollars too! Too good to be true you say? Nope, it’s a fact. So then, why not dive in and get in on those excellent pre-millennium rates? Not so fast… here’s the dope on that….
 
-Beware of free advice, references and recommendations coming from scruffy gringos who hang out in expat bars. They do mean well, but since many of them drink and hang exclusively with other somewhat purposeless gringos (in said expat bars), their “free” information is often unreliable (just like many of them are)…       
     
About my January 2015, Expat Wisdom- Latin American Insider’s Seminar. Be sure to check out the latest “off the tourist trail”, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience for expat gonnabees, expat wannabees and those who are looking for the new version of  “American Dream”…. the one that’s “south of the border”.  Just go to my website www.ExpatWisdom.com then and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top left on the main page for complete details.  
 
-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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October 5, 2014  
-Mormons in Latin America: At first it looked like a fluke, but in the last 3 years or so there suddenly seems to be a great many more Mormons hot-footing it around Latin America than ever before. Whereas just a few years ago, one would be lucky to see a righteous pair of said soul savers every month or so, but now for some strange reason they’re spotted round most Latin towns and in the boonies nearly every day. Are you ready for a twist in this story and a very strange answer? Well, here’s one detour you’d never expect…       
-In response to my most recent broadcasts from the Dominican Republic, today we’ll discuss a string of emails that came in from a seasoned expat who has spent many years in the Dominican Republic. Our man in the DR has a lot to say about his own trials and tribulations in dealing with the locals, and as you'll see...most aren't all that positive. Having been sucked into his share of scams.... along with other adventures, he gives us his unique sociological slant on the Dominican people as well as bits and pieces concerning a few delicate, unpredictable and volatile themes: that is, mating, dating and gringo/Latin romances DR style.   
 
- Announcing my January 2015, Expat Wisdom- Latin American Insider’s Seminar. Be sure to check out my latest “off the tourist trail”, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience for expat gonnabees, expat wannabees and those who are looking for the new version of  “American Dream”…. the one that’s “south of the border”.  Just go to my website www.ExpatWisdom.com then and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top left on the main page for complete details.  
 
-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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October 3, 2014  

-The slick and sometimes unslick reputations of certain Latin lawyer types. Why is it that in some Latin countries being a lawyer is the second most dangerous occupation... right behind Chicken bus drivers (and that’s no joke)
 
-Islam, Muslims and the lack of obvious local/regional news reporting on fundamentalism in Latin America. While terrorist events happening in the rest of the world are heavily reported by the Latin press and media, there seems to be little coverage of any activity down here. Oh yes, there are rumors of fundamentalist cells and training camps etc., but stil, it’s all speculation with no hard data or solid reporting. We shall see…
      
-There are not very many Middle Eastern people in Latin America, but every medium and large city has an established contingent. Ever wonder how (or why) they ended up in Latin America and not elsewhere? Sure, 95% of them took a commercial flight of course. But how did they get that Latin visa to qualify in the first place- when the requirements are quite strict… ostensibly as strict as the requirements for a visa to the states or Canada?
 
-Did you know(of course you didn’t) that according to official investigators for the Latin customs and tax authorities, reports show that by far the most arrests made for contraband and pirated material have been of immigrants of Middle Eastern decent.. so called “Arabees”. Note that Latins call all Middle Eastern and North African people “Arabees” (the exception being Jews, who Latins call “Judeos”) and note that Latins call all Asians “Chinos”.   
 
- Announcing my January 2015, Expat Wisdom- Latin American Insider’s Seminar. Be sure to check out my latest “off the tourist trail”, boots-on-the-ground, fast-track experience for expat gonnabees, expat wannabees and those who are looking for the new version of  “American Dream”…. the one that’s “south of the border”.  Just go to my website www.ExpatWisdom.com then and click on the Latin American Seminar link at the top left on the main page for complete details.  
 
-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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