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

August 4, 2015  
-When cars are stopped at Latin American traffic blockades the cops will only ask for 3 things: license, registration and proof of payment of the car’s yearly circulation sticker. Nothing else is important to them; not the broken windshields, lack of seat belts, burned out brake-lights, black smoke belching from tailpipes or even the 5 kids sitting up front on daddy’s lap.
-Any traffic violations you might accumulate will never account or appear against you personally, only against the owner of the car. Tickets for moving violations are rare and cheap so it doesn’t pay to fight them. You’re better off paying the 40 bucks than waste your time going to a court hearing that might be postponed/delayed any number of times and for any reason. BYW: those hearings almost always take place in a crappy part of town.    
-Expats need a lawyer of course but as your Spanish improves you’ll start to use him less and less, especially for the small stuff. But note: however adept you become at the language there will be certain times to just let him take over or you’ll be forever wasting time and effort. Sometimes when you think you’ve got it under control, you don’t.
-Ask any long time gringo, one of the most persistent general problems they see with Latin American workers is their lack of an eye for detail. That said, most times when Latin governments try to “gringoize” (i.e., modernize) a government department or service- for example by “computerizing” a chronically inefficient system- a larger disaster often follows. Today we have a recent true story proving that very point. 
Follow the consult link on the main page at and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.
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