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

August 24, 2012  
-Some email questions for Expat Eddie concerning the finer points of how to run a brick and mortar business in Latin America.
-The fine art of tipping waiters (or not). Did you know that (on the tourist trail) some local Latin waiters and waitresses actually count on the general stupidity of green USA tourists? When travelers tip locals with their “funny money”, tourists nearly always tipway too much!
-Did you know that on the tourist trail as many as 25% of bar, restaurant and hotels bills are intentionally padded? And if you can’t read a bit of Spanish you’ll never even know it.
- A word about Latin American “customer service”; the obvious lack of it, why it remains retarded, and how expat gringos can exploit it for fun and profit.
-One of the very few really expensive things in Latin America (besides petrol and guns) are the electric rates. They’re 2-4 times as expensive per KWH as in the states, which means those ugly compact florescent bulbs are sprouting up everywhere. Yuk! And you know what that means; those horrid bulbs give off a putrid light that would make Vegas look like a basement locker room. But unfortunately, these bulbs are now dangling from fixtures in 80% of the bars and restaurants, and 99% of Latin homes. What a revoltin’ development!
-Organic food is in huge abundance at outdoor markets and at mom-and-pop stores throughout Latin America. But say the word “organic” to the local farmers actually growing the stuff don’t and they don’t have a clue to what you’re talking about.  And though their methods are what we gringos up north would call “organic” farming, Latins just call it “normal”. Meanwhile back in the states, Americans pay a hefty premium for the privilege of eating organic and Latins don’t even have to make the choice, it’s how they’ve always been eating (though fast food is catching up fast) .
-Now you can 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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