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

February 28, 2016  
- Do I get occasional hate mail and complaints directed at myself or the Expat Files show? Off course, but I have pretty thick skin. On that note, today we have just such an email of complaint from a Canadian listener. Since Canadians are generally nicer and more civil than us guys from Chicago (or Cleveland), this listener is kind and gentle about his complaints and even throws in a backhanded compliment or two. Oh but don’t worry, in a future show I’ll read a few of the more evil email complaints. I get those too…      
 
-Today we have a discussion about gringos and their use and abuse of the Spanish language. You’ll not hear this stuff any where else.
 
-Early on (or in due time) nearly every Expat Gringo or Gringa has a bad day or two: mostly when dealing with Latin bureaucracy, lousy customer service or Latin tardiness that leads to unintended consequences. True,Gringos do rage and blow up in public. I’ve done it myself. However, there are laid back Expats who don’t necessarily explode in frustration but merely count to 10or 20 (or 200) and fume and seethe internally. Today we have a first-hand story of a long-term Expat’s full-blown public blowup.                   
 
-Supposed USA real-estate “gurus” and their seminars are rolling through in Latin America as we speak. Talk about slick! They’re selling off condos in Miami to upscale Latins who are dying to have bragging rights in what they consider the northern Latin "Mecca”. Yup, just 10% down- and buyers also get the huge side benefit of a special US immigration “investors’ visa and automatic permanent residency for the buyer (and family) along with the deal. Its stark proof that Latins don’t do their housing homework and that they’ve never had a US housing market history lesson.  
 
-Visit me Johnny (and Expat super-blogger John Galt)at our new joint website www.TheNewExpat.com . It’s 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.
 
 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files"YouTube channel -and become a subscriber(it’s free!)
 
 -NEWS FLASH!
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer (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 him and email your own legal questions too… 
 

 CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Would you like a 1 on 1 personal Skype or phone consult with me? Setup 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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February 26, 2016  

- Many 1st World Gringos and Expats come down to Latin America with a shortage of cash and resources, and some with perhaps with just enough dough to live for a period of 6 months to a year or so. One of the quickest and easiest job options for them is an English teaching job. In that area there are four good and sure options to choose from. That said, today we’ll answer one of the many emails that specifically addresses the subject of teaching English in Latin America…

-After a year or so on the job, about half the Gringo English teachers in Latin American private k-12 schools end up finding a niche that turns into a nice business opportunity. On the other hand, half of the Gringo English teachers stay on the job for years with no desire to leave. So even if they stumble on a great business idea or two or three (and most eventually do), they still don’t bother to chase the carrot. Why? Because in Latin America teachers (especially Gringo teachers) are respected and admired by both parents and kids alike (what a unique concept!) Today we provide some stories and proof of concept…               

-You certainly know, and are probably quite irritated, about the great illegal migration of uneducated, unwashed masses from Latin America- coming to a neighborhood near you. Still, everyone wonders how dirt poor people can afford to pay the $2000 to $10000 it costs to hire a “coyote” to get them across safely. People rightly ask, if they can scrape together that kind of dough why are they in such a hurry to leave? The fact is in the states today, half of the average adult population can’t even scrape together $500 in cash!

Today we’ll get to see exactly how poor Latins gather up the necessary dough. You’ll certainly be surprised…

-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.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber (it’s free!)

 -NEWS FLASH!

At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer (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 him and email your own legal questions too…

 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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February 21, 2016  

- By now you’ve heard from many sources that Latin Americans are some of the happiest people in the world. But do you know which of the 20 Latin countries are rated lowest on that list? They’re still happy campers but just less so…

Today we’ll talk about the three Latin countries whose people aren’t quite as happy or carefree as the others. Can you guess these three countries?

-Although we can’t get exact figures, it’s really true that perhaps 95% of Latins would love to migrate to the states. Even when presented with the facts, Latins firmly believe the hype and propaganda (the golden land of opportunity and plenty bit). Now to take the hype one step further, it seems even those immensely popular Latin soap opera “tele-novellas” are getting into the act. Every weeknight night on TV some soap or other presents a highly improbable and vapid tale of some poor Latin unfortunate slipping in to the states illegally and finding the so called “American dream”. It’s really an unintentional(?) and powerful migratory marketing promotion in disguise.

-A discussion on health clubs and muscle-bound Latin fitness fanatics. Every country has them, and Latin America is no exception.

-When doing business in Latin America, what are the best ways to make dependable and cheap phone calls back to the states? Here’s the scoop…

-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.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber (it’s free!)

 -NEWS FLASH!

At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer (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 him and email your own legal questions too…

 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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February 19, 2016  

Latin Americans and “customer service”:

Latin businesses have customer service desks, departments and more than ample personnel manning them. Workers and customer service reps will nearly always attend you with sincerity and a smile. However there is a huge “lag time” difference between what kind of help and final results you might get down here and the sort of resolutions you come to expect to when dealing with customer service problems up in the states.

The question is: What would you prefer?... #1-Happy smiley Latin attendants who are truly sorry about your complaints but never seem to solve problems to your satisfaction… or #2-Would you rather gets results and deal with a cranky, snippy, stateside person who absolutely hates his/her job?

-Captain Mango chimes in on GMO’s and BT crops in Latin America: Having been an unwitting (or witting?) BT insecticide spreader in his past life, Captain Mango gives all of us who are trying to be non-GMO “Organic” eaters a bit of toxic info to chew on…

-Whether its Gringos trying to learn Spanish in the states, or Latins trying to learn English in Latin America, there are a new breed of net-based corporate hucksters laying out juicy bait and promises trying to hook you and your dough.

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February 14, 2016  

- Today we have a “Gringo’s eye view” up front and personal: a boots on the ground walk through not one but two dirty, filthy, amazingly chaotic, Latin government immigration offices: one in a huge city of 2 million plus people and one in a very small town of about 10,000 population.

Note: There are huge differences (you’ll see).

You’ll see just how average Latin people manage to maneuver their way through the amazingly inefficient and mind-numbing maze of a bureaucracy without the aid of lawyers or outside support. That’s why even simple procedures can take days and repeated return trips.

You’ll see how it seems an almost impossible task for even a Spanish speaking native to get anything accomplished yet they somehow eventually slog on through and get it done. Why? Simply because 95% of Latins have much, much, much more time than money.

As for me, every time I see a long stagnant line outside of a government building it makes me think of that room full of monkeys on typewriters, who- given an infinite amount of time- can eventually type out the bible.

-GMO’s and BT crops in Latin America: yes they’ve been legalized in certain Latin Countries and here’s the breakdown…

-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.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

 -NEWS FLASH!

At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer (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 him and email your own legal questions too…

 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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February 12, 2016  

- More new evidence the Panama commercial real estate bubble is imploding

-Yes, there are large, overripe residential and commercial real estate bubbles throughout Latin America. Even if that wasn’t so, there are so many mindless government bureaucratic hurdles that it’s just not wise to attempt to build any commercial construction project from scratch- not in any large Latin city. However, many of those same hurdles somehow do not exist in when attempting such projects in smaller towns and just outside the big cites (go figure). In short, buy what you like when the bubble pops, but for now, RENT!       

-According to experts, 15-20% of Latins have 24/7 internet in the home. Did you know that more than 95% of those connected use the net exclusively for social media and moronic entertainment purposes? Yes, it’s a sad state of affairs, but are percentages any different foe users in the states?

-Getting permanent residency in a Latin country is highly recommended, in fact essential. Just a year or so ago the process used to be fairly easy and straightforward- but Latin manana time slow. However, US agencies are now actively throwing up their own mindless barriers for gringos trying to obtain the necessary documents to begin that process. Why? Uncle Sam doesn’t want his sheep to leave the barn.

Today we have some first-hand accounts of the newest hurdles one must jump… 

-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.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

 -NEWS FLASH!

At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a very trusted Latin lawyer (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 him and email your own legal questions too… 

 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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February 7, 2016  

- What climate changes are we now seeing in Latin America if any. What about those much-favored “perennial spring-like” Alti-Plano regions?

-What will happen to the food and water supplies in Latin America if climate changes (in whatever form) become more apparent?

-What will happen to Latin big city bad boy gangs as economies slip into the crapper and implode (along with the rest of the world)? Will they move to target the nearby smaller, safer, nicer, cites and neighborhoods?    

-Comments on the Latin macho society’s supreme infatuation with “Mujeres de Clima”- sexy TV weather ladies who famously appear on every TV news program.
Note: there are no TV weathermen in Latin America. 

-When very bad first-world habits invade Latin America:
We know that everything from the states (the good, the bad and the permanently ugly) eventually gets to Latin America. Some positive first-world arrivals can be good, but when awful and idiotic stuff arrive the “lag time” effect is never long enough to suit many of us Expats. In truth, some “lag times” should be stretched to infinity!       . 

-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.

-Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

-NEWS FLASH! 
At www.TheNewExpat.com we have a new feature: a blog written by a trusted Latin lawyer (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 him and email your own legal questions too…  

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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February 5, 2016  

- Today we have some more personal stores concerning the failed attempts of Latin governments trying to copy the Big Brother state apparatus in Latin America. It's NOT working.

Talk about “lag time”! When discussing places “off the Gringo tourist trail”, Latin culture is just not remotely ready for anything resembling what we know as intrusive first-world Big Brother culture. So as far as personal freedoms are concerned, the somewhat predictable Latin "chaos" can be a very good thing (wait…that’s an oxymoron, right?)   

 -How safe are Latin infrastructure projects? Considering the general Latin lack of detail and proper maintenance, especially with government projects, should Gringos and Expats be overly worried about driving the roads, bridges and overpasses?   

-More details concerning Latin bank issued credit cards (VISA /MC).     

-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.

 -Be sure to check out my "Expat Files" YouTube channel -and become a subscriber

 -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… 

 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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