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

May 31, 2015  
-Is Spain a good starting place for would be expats? Today some comparisons between living in Spain versus Latin America.
 
-Get ready for another chapter in the crazy life of Expat Eddie. This time he’s got the maid and her 14year-old daughter living at his house. You’ll be a be surprised and perhaps shocked at the circumstances… and how its all been unfolding.    
 
-Have you ever heard of a bruja? Every middle and lower middle class Latin neighborhood has one. It means “witch” in Spanish and also the name given to the neighborhood fortune teller/soothsayer, potion mixer/spell caster.
Yup, Latins are very, very superstitious. When all else fails in the love, romance, health and money departments the person makes a date with the local bruja and pays a fee- whether she gets the desired results or not; note the bruja clients are nearly always women! By the way, the word “brujaria” describes the acts and spells the brujas’ perform.
 
-Latins most commonly visit brujas, #1- to either make someone fall in love or regain a love interest that’s strayed, #2- to fix money problems, #3- to cure physical ills the doctor can’t.
So do brujas really work? I doubt it, but they say it beats Obamacare.            
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to thewww.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 29, 2015  
-More on safely moving your gold, silver and precious metals across borders and how to stay as anonymous as possible while doing so.
 
-A word on bank safety deposit boxes: their availability and use in Latin America  
 
-If you’ve been watching the international news over the last few weeks you may have noticed a rather big top level political shakeup going down in Guatemala. It’s just the most recent billion dollar corruption scandal collapsing the present government. Along with the country’s first female vice president, dozens of high level politicos are in jail or under house arrest and a dozen politicians now fugitives on the run from Interpol.
That said, how does all this political turmoil and unrest affect the expats and gringos living in Guatemala? What do long term expats have to say about the situation? Are they nervous, frightened and ready to pack up and leave? You’ll be surprised to hear that talk of corruption and scandal rarely comes up in casual conversation amongst gringos and expats. Why? Because every administration is thoroughly corrupt. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the only ones really affected by such massive corruption and thievery are the common people, the 80% who must ride the chicken buses, attend horrible free public schools (no desks or running water). Its the poor people who must go to the pitiful but free public hospitals (with not enough beds, gloves, medicines or syringes to go around). They're the ones that suffer- while expats and gringos continue to live like first world people no matter which corrupt leaders are in office.      
 
-TAKE PART IN ONE OF MY LIVE “WEBINARS”:
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two weeks for a very limited time so sign up now to listen in live and contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 24, 2015  
-In the last two years nearly all Latin American countries have adopted their own sort of local Craig’s list clones… as well as many free classified ad websites. Of course there’s been the usual lag time of a few years but suddenly these sites are springing up and becoming quite popular- fast displacing the traditional newspaper classifieds which can be too pricy for the average Latin selling low-priced stuff. That said, wannabees and gonnabees should take advantage of such sites as much as they can; not only to find good cheap stuff but also as a nice side effect, pick up bits of commonly used Spanish terms along the way.
 
-Some real life examples demonstrating how one of the surest ways to get a Latin business going is to purchase one that’s barely chugging long (from its less than mediocre Latin owner/operator).
 
-A discussion and some tips on gold ownership, bank accounts and money transfers between foreign banks
 
-Mostly because of the “gringo advantage”, when you’re off the tourist trail you’ll be considered a bit of a VIP. For example there are many perks your Latin lawyer will arrange for you that he wouldn’t offer to his regular Latin clients       
 
-TAKE PART IN ONE OF MY LIVE “WEBINARS”:
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two weeks for a very limited time so sign up now to listen in live and contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 22, 2015  
- If you live in Latin America long enough and as your Spanish skills improve, soon enough you’ll start to understand there’s a very odd subservient classist relationship between Latin Americans and their so called “mother-country” Spain.  Do remember that it was the Spanish conquistadors that came over to rape, pillage, kill pagan priests and extract gold and silver at any cost. And do remember that, most of today’s present Latin Americans have a high percentage of the local indigenous blood (unlike the long term residents in the USA and Canada) …. which is why the majority of Latins are short and brown- not white and tall like their Spanish conquerors. In short, real Spaniards fro Europe believe their Latin cousins to be lower-class rabble who will never pull themselves from the muck they have created.   
 
-So many stateside people with limited finances are now facing the terrible prospect of sending off a stricken loved one to some stinky, depressing state run nursing home. Latin America provides an infinitely better, vastly more humane and much much less expensive alternative. The solution is easy, just rent an apartment in a decent area and hire a full time live-in nurse. But how does one go about it? Can the arrangements be done by long distance? Today we have some news from a gringo in the states who is managing a loved one in that situation. He has already begun the first step in the process- which is finding the proper nurse in Latin America …        

-TAKE PART IN ONE OF MY LIVE “WEBINARS”:
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two weeks for a very limited time so sign up now to listen in live and contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 17, 2015  
- On the other side of the globe, the Philippine islands have the closest thing to a Latin American culture. They were once conquered and colonized by Spain so they have many of the same traditions… with some important differences…  
 
-When you come to Latin America, for all of you who enjoy walking and exploring, note that there are different categories of “safe”. For example there are, #1, safe places to walk through day and night, #2 safe places to walk in the daytime only (questionable at night), #3 places that are considered unsafe to walk in both day and night. Then there's the question- what if you're walking alone or with two or more in your group?  
 
-In Latin America the cars and trucks do not respect pedestrians at all. That’s why so many thousands of peopel on foot are killed or maimed with impunity each year. You also know for many reasons the chicken buses and most other public transportation methods are not recommended. Today we’ll be mentioning another generally unsafe place you don’t want to walk on, or through. Its called a “paserela” (pedestrian bridge or catwalk). There are many such useful but ugly monstrosities in every Latin city. They’re constructed to allow pedestrians to safely cross over large heavily traveled highways ,yet ironically sometimes it’s much safer to just take your chances and dodge the cars. You’ll hear why…
 
Fresh new expats are always intimidated when they first get behind the wheel in Latin America. Though, after a few months one does inevitably get used to the organized chaos of it all since the traffic does sort of move along in its own meandering way. But note, soon enough you’ll be bending and breaking a lot of traffic laws you’d never dreamed of flaunting back in Cleveland. Sometimes following the crazy moves of the guy in front of you is the only way to go with the flow. If you want to prevent a hemorrhoid flare-up you must adapt and be flexible. Besides, cops almost never ticket for moving violations… not to mention, most cops actually like gringos and just love to BS with you about Miami and Disneyland when you break a traffic law.    
                 
-TAKE PART IN ONE OF MY LIVE “WEBINARS”:
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two weeks for a very limited time so sign up now to listen in live and contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 15, 2015  
-Would you like to take part in on one of my live “webinars?
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two weeks and free for a limited time so sign up now to listen in live and contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.
 
-Some Latins, especially upscale Latins, don’t like the term “3rd world”. They much prefer the more PC term “developing nation”. In fact, to call someone a “trecer mundista” (a 3rd worlder) south of the border can be a harsh insult to some of the more sensitive educated Latins- though its often mouthed by Latin bosses to employees who have made errors on the job or have done something the chief bottle washer considers stupid. Use the 3rd world thing at your own risk...
  
-Latin Employees, their work ethic and what expats can expect from them as employers:
Expats, wannabees and gonnabees are always hiring Latin employees. You probably will too- and your first hiring experience almost always begins with a cleaning lady, gardener or maintenance man. There are certain cultural things you should know in general about your new employees before you get mad, angry, disappointed or even blow up at them. Yes, impatient, wound-up, “type A” gringos (used to certain standards and often cracking the whip on the job back in the states) have been known to boil and rage at some of the work habits of their Latin employees. Nope, it doesn’t have to be that way. Just knowing and understanding a few subtle and not so subtle Latin social and cultural differences can make all the difference. The key words are train, monitor and adapt... 
 
-What about Latin professionals and their work ethic? Here’s the skinny on that often sore subject…
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 10, 2015  
-Would you like to get in on one of my free live “webinars?
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two or three weeks for a very limited time so sign up now to listen in live. Contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.  

-Seems like everyone who’s been any kind of traveller at all occasionally checks in with the “Trip Advisor”. If you don’t know what the Trip Advisor is then you probably live in your basement. So today we have some comments, the pros and cons of using (and trusting) it as a free public service. Remember, you usually get what you pay for(including this show!)
 
-How “Trip Advisor”, big retirement magazines websites and vacation bloggers have slowly but surely put Roatan, Honduras smack on the gringo tourist trail. It’s not a good thing by any means. Adios Roatan! Formerly one of the best inexpensive, secret island paradise getaways. Guess we won’t be vacationing there anymore!   
 
-Many inquiries come in from boat owners wishing detailed info on guarded/gated marina communities. Boat owners (and wannabees) are interested in places they can dock and live 24/7. They’re searching for 3rd world marinas that have adequate first-world style amenities in order to live out their dream life…. at 3rd world prices of course.        
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 8, 2015  
The descriptions for... EXPAT FILES SHOW #457-05-08-2015 (FRI):
 
-Tips on packing and protecting your prescription drugs, vitamins and supplements. What to keep in mind when packing for trips to and from Latin America 
 
-Would you like to get in on one of my free live “webinars?
Check out www.Expatwisdom.com and sign up for one of my free one hour live “webinars”. They will take place about every two or three weeks for a limited time so sign up now to listen in live. Contribute your own thoughts and questions about Latin America.  
 
-Now for a disturbing recent eyewitness in-your-face report on drones and chem-trails in Coast Rica and Mexico.
 
-Having invested in some “dud” Latin deals over the years myself, I’m very tuned in to the fact that there are many Latin business and so-called pure investment opportunities that seem to be specifically aimed at gringos. Note they’re not necessarily scams- but let’s just say are often way too optimistic from the get go. Latins are nothing if not overly optimistic about everything- including life itself! Why then you might ask, are the majority of these “fantastic” linited time only, land, agricultural, real estate and/or mining investments, etc., etc., most specifically aimed at gringos and yet they're rarely advertised or targeted to the Latin public in the Spanish language media? Easy, because gringos are gullible and easy to sell. We come ambling south of the border with rose-colored glasses and often an urge to invest in what's touted as a tropical paradise in a strong growth phase. True, we often have the available dough to invest... and if we lose a few grand, it’s not the end of the world to us or lifestyles. Not to mention, if the thing goes sour, we’re generally back in Cleveland some 2000 miles away and can’t do anything about it. Don’t forget, most gringos can’t speak Spanish well enough to start an action against the principals, whoever they are. Oh and did I mention that most Latin court cases can take years to settle and judgments are often never satisfied even when awarded? Sure, there are great investment deals down here but just be careful.       
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 3, 2015  
-Easter week in Latin America (called Semana Santa) can be a truly crazy and some say, nerve wracking experience for gringos and expats. Here’s why….

-Because the “gringo advantage” is alive and well especially off the tourist trail, eventually you will meet a Latin person with a gringoized name that seems so tacky or wacky that you think it must be some kind or nickname or inside joke. But don’t assume. Don’t assume anything! Just try not to laugh… that would be rude.   

-Just a few comments on the latest theft in Mexico- another truck containing highly radioactive material. Are these just odd mistakes, or should expats be worried? This is the fourthreported incident of its kind in the last two years.

-Today we discuss advanced stem-cell therapies as well as blood/platelet therapies now available throughout Latin America    
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans now for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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May 1, 2015  
-Today we have a disturbing email from a female public high-school English teacher(in the states) hoping beyond hope that she can last just two more years and get her pension. Then it’s get the hell out of Dodge and down to Latin America.

-It’s not Carnival time, so why are there hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets of Brazil? Here’s a hint… the Brazilian president’s popularity is at an all-time historic low of 13%. Yes, it’s a political corruption of massive proportions (again) but this time the media and the people have solid goods on the crooks in office. The snakes won’t easily buy or squirm out of this one.

-Each year many tens of thousands of Nicaraguans immigrate illegally to Costa Rica and Panama. They easily find low-end, basic grunt work jobs working for less than crap wages. However, even as local Latins hire Nicas, take advantage of them and get away with the practice indefinitely… if a gringo hires one, look out! 

-Banking and US dollar withdrawal problems are on the upswing in Latin America. Today we have the story of a Canadian citizen down in Mexico who cannot get his US dollars from the Mexican branch of his very own Canadian bank.

-The Philippines do have a solidly Latin based culture, very similar to Latin America. But note there are some disturbing differences that make it a very volatile place.

SIGN-UP FOR JOHNNY’S WEBINARS AT WWW.EXPATWISDOM.COMGet in on live discussions and ask some questions of your own.  
 
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans now for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the www.ExpatWisdom.com main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
    
-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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