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

October 29, 2017  

#1- There has been a striking absence of political correctness, big brother influence, social justice warrior types and so-called snowflakes here in Latin America-excepting in certain gringoized tourist areas and public Latin university campuses. Because Latin America is a macho society, the culture is a good 25 years behind when it comes to political correctness of any kind. Funny thing though, most expats find they can get along pretty well in that sort time machine…

#2- People are always asking me to reveal a thing or two about my own past USA history, so today we'll feature a short “boots on the ground” Johnny  Mueller Chicagoland story that will certainly surprise you.

#3- If you are a half way decent observer of human nature you can't help but notice that the majority of wealthy Latins have more than a few exceedingly bad habits, not the least of which is that they live far beyond their means (sound familiar?)and mostly paycheck to paycheck. Its all in the name of perpetuating a kind of "keeping up with the Jones's" on steroids, meanwhile the Jones's can't keep up either. Because showing off costs a lot of dough, they are forever late and often months behind in their basic payment obligations including utilities  bills and workers salaries. There’s an old saying “poor folks have poor habits”, but here in Latin America that applies across the board

#4- Sign up for Johnny Mueller’s Latin American “Expat Insider” Seminar. The next one will take place on Sat, January 6th  through Thurs, January 11th  2018. Get on the earlybird list and get the info signup details by emailing Johnny at: theexpatfiles@gmail.com or visiting www.TheNewExpat.com

# 5- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a “Plan B”blueprint and the best way kick-start your plans before getting your own boots on the ground in here in Latin America. See my video intro to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com

#6- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.

#7- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com

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October 27, 2017  
#1- The newest phrase in the Latin street talk vernacular is “El Sueno Canadiense”. That means, “The Canadian Dream”. Sound familiar, kinda?
Yes, certain illegals who’ve been feeling the pressure of the Trump administration and the latest US immigration crackdowns are changing plans for a newer kinder more tolerant trajectory- Canada
 
#2- The average unsophisticated working-class Latino has basically 3 simple lifetime travel wishes- 1-to visit Miami, 2-to see Disneyworld and 3-to visit a place that has real snow.
If only our own jaded lives could be as uncomplicated.
 
#3- What if part of your mission to Latin America was to recruit and hire a bilingual translator guide or aide? How would you handle it? Today we have a slew of tips as well as some definite do’s and dont’s on that subject.
 
#4- There happens to be an unusual nexus of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency early adapters here in Latin America. Yes, many astute, low profile, expats are most definitely connected to the crypto-world and believe in all it stands for. Today we’ll discuss a few things about crypto on this side of the world that just might surprise you.      
 
#5- Sign up for Johnny Mueller’s Latin American “Expat Insider” Seminar. The next one will take place on Sat, January 6th  through Thurs, January 11th  2018. Get on the earlybird list and get the info signup details by emailing Johnny at: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
 
# 6- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a “Plan B”blueprint and the best way kick-start your plans before getting your own boots on the ground in here in Latin America. See my video intro to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com 
 
#7- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.
 
#8- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com
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October 22, 2017  

#1- Everything you gringos and expats need to know (and some things you didn’t even know you needed to know) regarding death, dying, cemeteries, funeral services, funeral homes, cremation and postmortem arrangements in Latin America

#2- The US embassy’s Big Brother arm wants to keep track of all the expat sheep who are leaving the barn. Yes, by pretending to be nice, fatherly and and helpful, embassies try to get you to give up your personal info and dats. Today we talk about how they’ll try to suck you in- and some tips on how not to fall for it

#3- Dealing with Social Security questions when living in Latin America- problems and payments

#4-Though “Manana time" is the unwritten rule here in Latin America there is one well-known glaring exception- when someone dies things get done in speedy Gonzales fashion. Much faster then up in the 1st world. Why the urgency and how’d that happen?

#5- Sign up for Johnny Mueller’s Latin American “Expat Insider” Seminar. The next one will take place on Sat, January 6th  through Thurs, January 11th  2018. Get on the earlybird list and get the info signup details by emailing Johnny at: theexpatfiles@gmail.com

# 6- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a blueprint for your “Plan B” and the best way kick-start your plan before getting boots on the ground in Latin America. See the three video intros to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com

#7- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.

#8- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com

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October 20, 2017  
#1- When Gringos go “Native”. 
A small percentage do go native and its generally a sad thing to see, but not always. The signs are obvious- perpetually disheveled, sweaty, same smudged baggy shirt and pants, raggedy old sandals, slightly odoriferous. And bad smells prevail in the native gringo’s house too- the scent of dogs, cats, garbage and driveway chickens. Look out for the soiled grimy furniture, the smelly stained bathroom and the equally disgusting kitchen. But not to be too judgemental here, one does wonder why a 1st world person would chose to live like a perpetual backpacker. Surprisingly, most seem to be happier than pigs in s*^#! Some might say that "we" should be so lucky…         
 
#2- Why it pays to go farther “south” than “south of the border”.
Mexico was always touted as a cool, cheap destination for gringos and expats since before the 60’s. That is until lately. Today we have some current observations from gringos who abandoned the place and moved further south.
 
#3- A stark comparison of Latin American public schools (K -12) versus our own woefully inadequate USA public schools. Even though ours really suck, by comparison, Latin public schools make ours look like expensive East Coast boarding schools
 
#4-Today’s “boots on the ground” story comes from our own Capitan Mango. A surprising Good Samaritan story that could happen to you.
 
#5- Sign up for Johnny Mueller’s Latin American “Expat Insider” Seminar. The next one will take place on Sat, January 6th  through Thurs, January 11th  2018. Get on the earlybird list and get the info signup details by emailing Johnny at: theexpatfiles@gmail.com
 
# 6- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a blueprint for your “Plan B” and the best way kick-start your plan before getting boots on the ground in Latin America. See my free video intro to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com 
 
#7- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.
 
#8- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com
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October 15, 2017  

#1- Everything you need to know about hiring, firing and interviewing domestics, maids, and cleaning ladies.
Interviewees are coming from a completely different lifestyle, world view and social situation than you, so then what questions should you be asking in a interview? How much should you pay? What about benefits, hours and time off? Will she want to be on or off the government books? Do you have a choice?

#2- DYK that when “off the gringo tourist trail” a live-in maid averages about $175 a month. For that kind of ridiculous dough she has to work 80+ hours a week, from six in the morning to eight at night, and with only Sundays off. Its easy to see why domestics always prefer to work for expats and gringos when they possibly can?

#3- When Gringos and expats come to Latin America and finally settle in, often times old bad habits creep back into their lives. For example, some start collecting more and more junk, cluttering their newly “streamlined” life with unecessary stuff… a reprise of the old life back in Cleveland. Will that happen to you?

#4- What happens when there’s “hanky panky” going on between an expat gringo and the maid. Its a sordid cliché plot point in every Latin soap opera- also the subject of today’s “boots on the ground” story.

#5- Sign up for Johnny Mueller’s Latin American “Expat Insider” Seminar. The next one will take place on Sat, January 6th  through Thurs, January 11th  2018. Get on the earlybird list and get the info signup details by emailing Johnny at: theexpatfiles@gmail.com

# 6- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a blueprint for your “Plan B” and the best way kick-start your plan before getting boots on the ground in Latin America. See the three video intros to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com

#7- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.

#8- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com

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October 13, 2017  
#1- Shipping Container Houses in Latin America- Part 2:
With basic container homes now available on Amazon, with complete packages (starting at $36k plus shipping), could it be a good idea to just have a unit sent to your lot in Nicaragua or Honduras or wherever? Sounds like a nice plan right? Today we have the dope on that option..
 
#2- When in Latin America, what you need to know when ordering online from Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba or any commercial website:
Yes things can go wrong, and you can pay way too much or worse. So today we’ll show you some easy steps that will make it all a breeze, as well as offer some tips regarding shipping your items down from the states.
 
# 3- Some late breaking info for gringos and expats interested in residency programs, 2nd nationalities, multiple passports along with a discussion how just this week Bitcoin is starting to shake things up by entering into the 2nd nationality equation.
 
#4- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.
 
#5- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com
 
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October 8, 2017  
#1- Shipping Container Houses: everything you wanted to know about planning such projects in Latin America- the pros the cons, the good the bad and the ugly.
Its odd that there are containers galore “south of the border”. They’re everywhere yet Latins are not constructing container homes or even thinking about the possibilities. If you try to bring up the subject locals don’t know what you’re talking about. However, neither are many Expats actively building container homes, though they are certainly showing plenty of interest. Even so, container homes just might be the best and least expensive expat housing alternative by far. That's especially true you happen to own a cheap piece of land (with a wasted a million dollar view) that’s not easily amenable to traditional construction techniques due to perhaps steep slopes acute angulation or just odd orientation. For example, land on the side of a mountain or on the slope of an inactive volcano could be a difficult and expensive building site for standard construction techniques, though a perfect fit for a container home or hotel.
 
#3- A word about neighborhood “herreros or soldadores” – that is, your neighborhood Latin metal-working pro. They're the guys who can custom make, fix and repair just about any metal fence, door, railing or lattice work detail you might have. Most Latin have metal doors and metalwork around the house and so will you. That means you’ll call on him once in awhile for sure.
 
# 4- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a blueprint for your “Plan B” and the best way kick-start your plan before getting boots on the ground in Latin America. See the three video intros to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com 
 
#5- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.
 
#6- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com
 
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October 6, 2017  
#1- When “do gooders” and other good- hearted “people helpers” get scammed and don’t even know it: Today’s “boots on the ground” story in the aftermath of devastating hurricane Maria that hammered Puerto Rico  
 
#2- Some cool Spanish language tips along with some gringo observations and nuances that one can only appreciate (or detect) after living in Latin America for a few long decades   
 
#3- Spanish speakers and their “regional accents”:
Can gringos adapt? Can we even tell the difference? As you learn your Spanish, what will your regional Latin accent be like because you definitely will have an accent you know.
 
# 4- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a blueprint for your “Plan B” and the best way kick-start your plan before getting boots on the ground in Latin America. See the three video intros to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com 
 
#5- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.
 
#6- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com
 
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October 1, 2017  

#1- True or False:
You may have heard if you want to teach English, work in a call center or trans-national company in Latin America you might need a TEFL certificate. No matter what you may have heard or read on the web about the subject that’s just not true. Today you’ll hear the skinny on the TEFL. By the way, what’s a “TEFL” anyway?

#2- An new update on details concerning those pretty easy to get Call Center and English teaching jobs:
These jobs are really are viable options for newly arrived gringos whose Spanish sucks. However generally you’ll have to show the school or company that you have either temporary or permanent residency, or have applied for such.

#3- “No good deed goes unpunished”- or at least “some” good deeds anyway. Yes even in Latin America that cliché holds true, though I’ve seen it in action I've never heard it uttered quite that way in Spanish.

#4- Today we have a new structural and architectural engineering update showing exactly why so many apparently structurally sound buildings were damaged in the very recent 7.1 Mexico City earthquake.

#5- What you should but didn’t know about earthquake and hurricane insurance along with some good reasons why you should think twice about living, or working, in a building located on a corner lot.

# 6- Johnny’s new “Expat Essentials Course” is a blueprint for your “Plan B” and the best way kick-start your plan before getting boots on the ground in Latin America. See the three video intros to the course now at www.ExpatPlanB.com

#7- Check out my “The Expat Files” You Tube channel. See all the fun slides and photos that go along with each show. There are now more than 150 shows posted on my YouTube channel so have a look.

#8- Set up a one-on-one personal Phone/SKYPE consult with Johnny by first downloading the “Plan B” consult/questionnaire at www.TheNewExpat.com

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