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

November 11, 2012  

-A few words on the general reluctance older folks have to becoming permanent expats even when they are absolutely convinced it’s the right (and perhaps the only) move that’ll allow them to live out their golden years in a sane, happy, healthy way, on a low, low budget.

-Did you know that about 10% of long term expats are ex-hippies from the 60’s and 70’s? Most came down ages ago because they saw Big Brother closing in and anticipated the steady decline of the US and citizen's rights before any of us did. Most of them are now well established “soft-core” capitalists with “green and/or new age” small businesses. You’ll find they mostly inhabit certain laid-back corners throughout Latin America, though some are in high volume tourist zones like Costa Rica and Panama; after all, they came down decades ago when CR and Panama were un-gringoized and very cheap (thus many become very wealthy off the later gringo boom). So, have these ex-hippies retained their 60’s style “free love” and drugs attitude? Well kinda, and kinda not…
-Many gringos, new-agers, pseudo and ex-hippies have heard of the famous Shamanic consciousness altering experience using the Amazon basin herbal drug called ahayuaska. Though illegal in both the USA and Europe, ahayuaska is a protected religious rite  in Latin America and perfectly legal there. However, most gringos and expats coming down looking for the experience tend to get hoodwinked- since every taxi driver has a part-time shaman brother-in-law ready to mix a potion of sorts and do a dance for a Franklin or two. So what about the real thing, are the shaman's hoarding the good stuff for themselves?
-Johnny describes his own weekend ahayuaska experience courtesy of actual Colombian Shamans. These strange guys were on a university sanctioned cultural exchange trip throughout Latin America, dispensing their brand of enlightenment direct from the Amazon jungle. (and children, don’t try this at home)
-MY JANUARY 2013 LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR IS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Go to to get complete details. There may be one or two spots left, so don’t miss out.
-I’ve put together a mixed media program specifically for expats and wanabees called the 'New 5 Flags'. Just head over immediately to and get all the details. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
-The Expat Wisdom seminar team has been invited to present the classroom part of our  Latin America immersion seminar in Spain. Why Europe? Well, while the euro crumbles, Europe goes bankrupt, ”official” unemployment hits 25%, a new great depression looms. People are panicking and looking for a life raft. Not surprisingly, just like you folks are, many astute Europeans are looking to relocate Latin America to preserve their businesses, lifestyles and nesteggs. And of course they asked us Latin American expat experts to come over and bring them up to speed- expat style. Do check out our Spain seminar link on the homepage.
-Follow the link on the main page at to schedule a consultation with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, now you and I can talk about your situation one on one.
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