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

October 30, 2015  
-Today we discuss a very special place called the Lake Atitlan district in Guatemala. No one who stays there more than a few days is unaffected by it. Now I’m certainly no romantic sentimentalist, but I have to admit it really does leave an indelible memory.   
 
-Some more talk about how illegals send “remisas” ($) back to their Latin countries of origin in a variety of ways. Because these guys are illegals, under the radar, and don’t want to get caught and deported, they do try to use anonymous ways of sending cash home as much as possible. That said, expats and gringos who might (and should) want to keep a low profile can use many of these same (quite legal) methods to move small amounts of $ around themselves. People are always finding new ways and the possibilities seem to be endless.    
 
-Some tips on different cellphone service providers and the general use of cell phones in Latin America
 
-Hi tech drones (not those hobby toys) have arrived in Latin America
 
-The state of consumer product recalls in Latin America and the true meaning of, ”Buyer Beware”.
 
-A thoughtful Canadian reveals the truth about living with “Big Brother” up in the Great White North. He tells us how Canada is slowly becoming unbearable and how he and his wife hope to make their escape to Latin America soon.    
   
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
-NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too…  
 
 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.TheNewExpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
 
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October 25, 2015  
-In your quest in becoming an Expat, are you searching for a Latin country with a very low-level of perceived government corruption- like maybe Ecuador? Is that detail on your wish list?
Today you’ll hear a few top level corruption stories from Ecuador that will truly surprise you (or not). So does all that mean Ecuador’s not a good choice for Expats? Not necessarily, and here’s why…     
 
-Which Latin countries have the best and worst human rights records? Which countries have the most race and class discrimination?
Sure, they all have sub-par, rickety social safety nets of one kind or another, but most are corrupt horribly underfunded and terribly administered. That said, are there any social plans/programs for the sweaty masses that are half way decent? You’ll be surprised…
 
-More on the Arab and Muslim contingent in Latin America and why it would be very rare for an expat to even see a Muslim down here. (You’ll never hearthis stuff in the main stream media!!)   
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
-NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we will soon be featuring a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too…  
 
 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.TheNewExpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 23, 2015  
-Looking for a few very low cost Expat business ideas? Here’s an idea one Latin Expat has taken and marketed successfully on Amazon. He’s in a beautiful rural surrounding, works about 3 hours a week, has one full time employee and makes about $20k a year (on an initial $5k investment plus the land). He could make much more but likes his life and doesn’t want to put in another 3 hours a week.. would be too much like real work.   
 
-Today we have a few more good reasons why socialist leaning Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay may not be the best places for Expats to consider living- in the long term. These are countries that have established price controls on basic commodities and are thus setting themselves up for disruptive economic problems. Price controls NEVER work. Do you want to be there when the system is no longer tenable?   
 
-There’s a new car theft scam making the rounds in Latin America. Today we have the play-by-play action as to how the bad guys pull it off. It’s pretty slick. Don’t let it happen to you!  
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Its where you’ll get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format.
 
-NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we will soon be featuring a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer friend and colleague (with great credentials). He will be blogging regularly from Central America touching on everything you want to know about Latin Legal issues such as residency, passports, contracts, S.A. corporations, banking, Trusts, courts, lawsuits, and much more. He’ll stress all manner of Latin Legal issues as they pertain to Expats. Better yet, you’ll be able to contact our Lawyer and email him your own legal questions too…   
 
 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.TheNewExpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up a time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 18, 2015  
-Today we have an unofficial analysis of the present state of the gay/lesbian situation in traditionally macho Latin America. Attitudes have changed immensely in the past five years. People are coming out of the closet in droves and, unlike a few years ago, in most metro areas no one seems to mind. Though you won’t see poor lower-class guys holding hands on a chicken bus (that would be pushing it) you will on occasion see things like that amongst the middle and upper-classes in shopping centers and such.        
 
-What happens when the first-world has its inevitable blowout? The poop will flow downhill (though not nearly as tragically and dramatically as where you are now). When the Latins start feeling the pinch, won’t they naturally want to retaliate against any expat gringos in the vicinity? Won’t the angry masses want to hang us from the highest Jacuzzi?
Today we’ll answer that all too common question. By the way, that question almost always comes by way of wannabees and gonnabees up in the states. It’s one of the standard avoidance excuses. But Expats down here know better.
 
There really is something lacking with Public University educated Latins. Why can’t see the simple things that we gringos so easily see? Why are their jokes so bad and why don’t they get our gringo humor? Why do they take many mandatory semesters of English yet their conversational English is so piss poor it can be practically unintelligible?
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . Get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format. It’ll be in ship-shape soon.   
 
 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.TheNewExpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 16, 2015  
-Oh what fun! This week Expat Eddie drags me to see an amazing Latin neighborhood dog- a scarred, tattered and beat up old mutt with very special pyrotechnic skills. For my money, a surefire winner if ever filmed and submitted to America’s Funniest Videos (if it's still on the air- its a big lag time hit in Latin America ) . 
 
-If you like coffee, it’s not enough to live in the world’s best coffee region. You must also use the right coffee making technique(s) for the best results. As a an amateur coffee aficionado, it just blows my mind that ninty-five percent of Latins homes and restaurants use the worst method:percolators. They can't help but brew indifferent to bad coffee- out of otherwise very excellent beans. That said here's what you should look out for…  
 
-Another culinary misadventure, this time in an upper middle-class Latin home 
 
-You hear a lot about “gringo” prices, especially evident when on the tourist trail like in Costa Rica. Today we see how that escalation process works and how you can avoid getting gouged by using a little common sense.   
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at our new joint website www.thenewexpat.com . Get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and reports. It’s a work in progress so please be patient. We’re continually improving and expanding the format. It’ll be in ship-shape soon.   
 
 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.thenewexpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 11, 2015  
-So many gonnabees and wannabees want desperately to become Expats you’d think there would be a big gringo stampede south of the border. But there isn’t. Because its such a big leap it usually takes some kind of first-world trauma or a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment to set the plan in motion.
Today we have such a story and more… a wannabee/gonnabee describing the particular traumatic moment that sent him over the edge.  
 
-For those of you wondering how to transport your gold and silver down to Latin America: did you know there are certain secure ATM machines in Colombia and Peru that actually dispense gold and silver ingots? 
 
-You may have heard of the recent landslide in Guatemala that buried 500 or so people, and their homes. They were squatters: the poorest of the poor. Tragedy and disaster for them, yes. But as for us, not to worry. That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen to Expat gringos. Here’s the rest of the story…
 
-Just when you think nothing much will surprise you, something happens that makes you stop and wish for a camera. Even long term expats in Latin America get fun and weird surprises most every day. 
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt) at my new website www.thenewexpat.com to get real “boots on the ground” info, blogs and reports. Its a work in progress so please be patient.   
 
 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.thenewexpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 9, 2015  
-How many stateside people really get the somber message that the so called “American Dream” has taken an abrupt U-Turn and has relocated south of the boarder (south of Mexico too)? It will never be back.

  -Investing in the Latin Bank CD’s? Should you or shouldn’t you:
With Latin Bank CD’s giving US dollar interest rates up to 8%, and with Local funny money CD rates at 10 to 15% per year shouldn’t an expat at least consider it and test the waters? Find out more here… 

 -Chicken is a Latin diet staple. Unfortunately, bad things are happening in their poultry world and Latins don’t have a clue. In fact they are setting themselves and future generations up for a rude awakening. The signs and  signals can already be seen... but only by gringos with a good eye for details. Its the downside of the "Gringo Advantage".    

 -Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR: the next Latin American “Insider” Seminar will begin Sat, Jan 9 thru Thurs, Jan 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Just go to www.thenewexpat.com and click on the Latin Seminar link, or paste this link below into your browser:
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar

 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 4, 2015  
-Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots on the ground”  SEMINAR:
My next Latin American “Insider” seminar will start Sat January 9th ending Thurs January 14th. Sign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts. Here’s the direct link to the Seminar info and signup page, just click or paste into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
-HOTEL ROOM SAFES: Are they safe? Probably not. How to hide your valuables etc., in any hotel room.    
 
-Everything you wanted to know about pirate CD’s and pirate CD vendors. Watch out! To make a sale, they will tell you anything you want to hear. Should you even buy from them at all?
 
-Those Crazy Expat Gringo Bars: What they’re really like? Who you might meet there? Who should you avoid? What to keep an eye out for? Ten good reasons why you don’t want to make a habit of hanging at those places. 
 
CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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October 2, 2015  
Johnny’s Jan 2016, LATIN AMERICAN “Boots On The Ground”  SEMINAR:
- My next Latin American “Insider” seminar will start Sat January 9th ending Thurs January 14thSign up by November 1st to get in on the early-bird discounts.  Below is the direct link to the Seminar info and signup page: just click or paste into your browser:
 
http://thenewexpat.com/johnnys-jan-2016-latin-american-insider-seminar
 
 -A discussion on how over the years things in Latin American have changed so much for the better regarding Expat gringos. But still there are so many new Expats that just don’t listen to good advice. Many continue to spin their wheels for a year or two (or five). They keep making the same mistakes I did when I first came down 25 years ago.
 
-Not only is there a lot of bad advice out there: lots of it is coming from part-time expats and bloggers with little “boots on the ground” experience and almost none have explored much “off the gringo tourist trail”. Much of the bad stuff is coming from people who are just trying to sell you stuff. That’s why today I’m suggesting you check out a valuable expat websitewww.thenewexpat.com
Its run by John Galt? Who is John (Juan )Galt? I know him personally. He’s the gringo Expat running, blogging and posting on that site (among others). John was one of my original Latin American seminar attendees who ended up moving down permanently a few years ago and since has become an absolute wealth of practical expat information. Do check it out. Note the site is not glitzy or polished but for content comes highly recommended. In fact, its popular enough to have been hacked recently by Russians, Ovomitoids, or who knows?         
 
-More tips, tales and crazy stories that can only happen in Latin America
 
CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Set up time when we can talk and sort out your own specific Latin American plans. Just put the word “CONSULT” in the subject line and send a short list of your questions and talking points to: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
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