2020 South American Expat Thread

aynrus

Pelican
I was exclusively in southern Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina.

It is safer but it is "safer by Brazilian standards."

A murder rate of 25 or 32 per 100,000 in a city in southern Brazil is considered "safe" or "safer" compared with the Northeast where a murder rate might be 60 per 100,000 for a similarly sized city, although both murder rates are ridiculous by American standards. A murder rate of 25 per 100,000 or 32 per 100,000 for an American city in the Midwest or Southwest would make it a city in the top 10 for most dangerous cities in the USA.

And how real these murder rates in LatAm are? Where I'm from (before I moved to the States) - murder rates are completely fake country-wide (and this is even admitted in official government documents). US murder rates are at least close to accurate.
I lived in one of these 20-ish murder rate cities in the States long time ago, right on the edge of 'bad area" too, and had not experienced ever feeling unsafe and didn't even lock my windows or doors. I don't think this can be remotely compared to what's going on in Latin America.
 

magaman

Sparrow
The beached whale pandemic is as bad or worse here I’d say.

Bring a bulldozer.

135 million Mexicans so thousands of skinny ones. But their emotional problems and disregard for men may drive you to suicide.

Maybe your mother and father really loved you, so you have more inner resilience than I do?

When I date a woman it really bothers me when they repeatedly attack me and act like a spoiled ungrateful baby.

But I have a social and emotional void that many men do not. I’m not looking for mother 2.0. Just someone that actually loves, respects, and values me. Who makes a marginal effort for a relationship.

I need basic manners (please, thank you), diet, exercise, and for there to be some kind of connection. Most women I meet have no real hobbies or interests besides spending time with their family and work.

For instance I dated a tourism major who didn’t care at all about the UNESCO sites I took her to across mexico. She only wanted photos of herself there. No real interest, at all.

She’d wake up in the morning and her first words to me were “Instagram.” The society is pretty rotten. It’s ruined a lot of women, unfortunately.

I’m powerless to change 20+ years of a woman’s societal programming, addiction to processed foods, enslavement to social media, etc.

I have tried to talk to Mexican women about all this. Few are capable of having a heart to heart discussion. I just get silent treatment or blamed for not liking their maladjustment and mistreatment of me.

Attractive ones don’t need to make excuses or stay silent. They proudly declare it’s Mexican culture that teaches and encourages women to treat men they love with almost total disregard and hate.

If I don’t like it then I’m “in the wrong country.”

In short, it’s an obese, soft feminist country with simp culture and rampant sexism (against both women and men).

Enjoy the lower cost of living and weather. Have an Indio for me.
Wow. Sounds like that broad you keep talking about is a real piece of work. Sorry it didn't work out.
 

Cortés

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I wouldn't mind visiting those areas - care to fill me in?

About a year ago I posted my experience with some pictures to go along with it. I included it below here

I don't want to get too specific with where I stayed- were talking about towns of 5-20000 people. I will say though that there are many of these towns in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. I would recommend doing a reconnaissance trip and renting a car to explore around. It's a beautiful part of Brazil and it's pretty safe. Really any small town north of Porto Alegre in RS has what you're looking for. Between Porto Alegre and Caxias do Sul you have a lot of German villages including Gramado, and from Caxias do Sul up north thru Santa Catarina you have Italians. Bento Gonçalves as well is full of western European descendants and is a beautiful wine region. The city itself is pretty cozy as well. The beaches are mediocre in RS, and anything south of Porto Alegre is trash and dangerous like the north of brazil. I spent about a week in the urban outskirts of Porto Alegre and hated it, i wasn't really a fan of the city itself either. My time in the Porto Alegre metrô área was the only time I was up close to violent crime, double shooting in broad daylight on my street. North of the metro area you have none of that.

I only passed through Santa Catarina along the coast, skipping over Floripa. Everyone who's visited Floripa loves it. In SC I didn't come across one sketchy area or run down suburb. The coast has alot more Portuguese descendants, and the beaches are beautiful. In the north eastern parts (but not the coast) are more German. I've heard great things about Joinville. Southern/western SC has a lot of Italian immigrants. Im not really sure about my future with my girlfriend here in Minas Gerais, if things don't work out I'm looking to explore more of Santa Catarina. I passed so many beautiful looking towns with the unique Brazilian Jungle asthetic with the order and cleanliness of Europe.

In Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul it's pretty hard to go wrong. There's a ton of small farming villages and suburban areas that seemed very livable to me. The town i talked about in the prior post I found because from the highway I saw a church peaking above the town and went to go check it out. Even here in Minas and in Sao Paulo there's a few gems I've come across that I've noted to visit later. Alot more of the run down suburbs in these parts, but still some great villages to live in

Just get out here and explore. There's so much to discover in Brazil beyond the tourist sites

I've been in Brazil for about three weeks now. I'm exploring around, doing reconnaissance for where I'll eventually settle down. My checklist is simple: friendly people, nice views and a strong Catholic community.

I started off in Rio grande do Sul and I'm going north. I spent a week in a small town a little bit north of Porto Alegre. The town had about 5000 people. I was driving along the highway and saw a church among a nice city peaking out over the trees, so I stopped in the city

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This is why I could never be a Protestant. Even in some small South American town you have architectural works of art where you can go to worship. I tried an Evangelical church my first week here just to see what it was like. It was in some sort of garage, and I got wierd, scammy, for profit vibes.

I drove around a bit and the views were great here

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This area is known for the wineries and grape farms. The napa valley of Brazil. It's very safe here, the only blood and guts spilled here look like:

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This area had huge immigration from Europe in the 1800s. It also had immigration of people from a certain country after a certain war in Europe maybe 80 or so years ago lol. I spent a little over a week here and wanted to find someone from that country during the war, just for the curiosity of that (no luck, but I met plenty of people whose late great grandparents had fought in the war).

Arriving in a small town like this is a bit surreal. When a gringo arrives, word spreads before you even meet anybody. Even though the people there were very European looking, just having someone they don't recognize in town and people start to talk. I told maybe 3 or 4 people my name before everyone already knew it. Everyone was friendly and welcoming though! Keep in mind that a young single American arrives in town and EVERYONE will assume you have this image of Brazilian women dancing around naked waiting to be with a gringo. Everyone assumed (they were joking but they weren't) that I came to pick up girls. Shouldn't be hard to brush off this if you go to church regularly and people see that you aren't just some gringo trying to bang easy third world girls.

I made a friend in this city my age who kind of showed me how things were there. He seemed like someone into self improvement and taking care of his body, but when it came to women and relationships, he tells me to "forget the concept of a girlfriend, everyone here just does "ficar"". In other words hookup culture. The young people there didn't seem to serious about religion or real relationships, so I decided to carry on.

I drove through Santa Catarina without much stopping. I've heard good things about Florianopolis but I really want to see the north of Brazil. The weather is a bit too cool for me, I need the tropical heat. The rolling hills covered in shacks beside the beaches make for nice photos

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From my understanding the 3 southernmost states of Brazil are similar culturally, but Rio grande do sul is supposedly the most distinct. Even just staying one night in a suburb off the island of floripa, I saw lots of gross leg tattoos or shoulder tattoos on the women (I can't say too much though I've got a sleeve :dodgy:) talking to people around here I didn't get the vibe it is a very religious place. Rio grande do sul had Evangelical churches on every corner, not so much here. You could occasionally see a nice Catholic church but this area didn't seem too pious. However I only spent 3 days driving though the state so this is just surface level observations

I arrived into parana, going around curitiba towards the beach. This area is very mountainous but seems very jungle like as well. The hotel I stayed at had river rapids running under in front of the hotel. I drove towards one of the beaches and was pleasantly surprised, not too shabby!

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Good spot to sip a coconut and people watch

I continued further north and caught a ferry to take me across the bay. Once I got across it got a bit more rural. The roads were narrow and winding around the mountains, great ride that day

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I rode through some of the smaller towns in Parana and things began to feel more dodgy there. It felt like a poorer area, but this part of the state is much less developed than closer to curitiba. Maybe some of the farming towns out west are more cozy

Right now I'm in a beach town in Sao paolo state, looking to go north. The idea is to find a small town with an English school and teach for a few months. Not sure if I want to go towards Minas gerais or to the north east. I've heard Minas Gerais is very religious, but I'm stuck with this idea of finding my place in a small tropical beach village. Need to choose which road to follow by tommorow!
 
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iop890

Crow
Gold Member
@Cortés Thanks for the info, I just read that post the other day while doing a search about south Brazil.

I may have to fly down for a an exploratory trip soon, Brazil seems to be wide open so I might as well.

I made a friend in this city my age who kind of showed me how things were there. He seemed like someone into self improvement and taking care of his body, but when it came to women and relationships, he tells me to "forget the concept of a girlfriend, everyone here just does "ficar"". In other words hookup culture. The young people there didn't seem to serious about religion or real relationships, so I decided to carry on.

Would you say he was generally correct about Santa Catarina as a whole, or just being negative? Wherever I decide to relocate, finding a girl and starting a family will be a priority. What were the girls there like generally?
 
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Cortés

Woodpecker
Gold Member
@Cortés Thanks for the info, I just read that post the other day while doing a search about south Brazil.

I may have to fly down for a an exploratory trip soon, Brazil seems to be wide open so I might as well.



Would you say he was generally correct about Santa Catarina as a whole, or just being negative? Wherever I decide to relocate, finding a girl and starting a family will be a priority. What were the girls there like generally?

The state where I met him was Rio Grande do Sul, i only spent a few days driving through Santa Catarina without meeting people aside from small talk. I would say that what he said is half true for all of Brazil. There's really two types of Brazilians regardless of social class. There are many favela dwellers as well as upper class people who party every Friday and Saturday getting hammered and kiss every girl/guy in the club (not exaggerating) and don't want a serious relationship. But on the reverse there are many people who are very family minded and don't like partying. Girls in this group aren't going around hooking up with strangers on tinder nor at the club. I will say though, In this part of the world unfortunately many see premarital sex as no big deal in a relationship. You will probably come across girls who have slept a few times with an ex boyfriend, even some (but definitely not all) girls you'll meet in church. That's just the reality of Latin America. With that said it's still very possible to find a girl who is waiting. Very easy to find a girl who wants to have a family and would stay home with children. Also VERY easy to find a girl who's feminine and pleasant to be around. Plus girls here tend to be a little bit deeper than girls from other countries, not 2 dimensional non thinking Instagram addicts.

If you are catholic or evangelical, you'll find community with other worshippers in any town. I'm catholic and was very pleasantly surprised how many people around my age went to mass or participated in groups in the church. Literally just a matter of showing up to an adoration or a prayer group you'll have new friends of all ages. Funny enough, before I was dating my girlfriend there were three different times where some mid 20 something year old girl approached me at church to meet me and talk in english. It's a shame i wasn't a few years older because they all looked great, were religious and pleasant to be around. If you end up going shoot me a PM and I can send you info about this one organization that has prayer groups in churches all over the country.

Keep in mind that a small town church girl will be a bit hesitant to start pursuing things with a gringo that's only planning on staying in town for a week or two. Even if you have honest intentions of marriage, the whole community will assume that you are gonna bed her then disappear. Unless you are planning on finding a good spot and parking for a few months, you really should move slowly and show her and her family that you have intentions of a real relationship, and that if you are leaving so soon after starting the relationship that you will continue it long distance and plan to come back and visit. In general people in the villages will be asking you why the hell you would come and stay there of all places, so a decent answer should be thought of before arriving. The overwhelming majority of people in the villages don't speak English, but are patient enough to communicate by hand gestures and Google translate. But a little Portuguese will go a long way towards making friends and meeting people. Portuguese was actually fairly easy to learn, especially if you already have some spanish

My bet is that in the south people are slightly less religious than further up north. But the times I went to mass in the south there were still more young people than my church in the states. I have noticed independent of the region, you tend to have more middle and upper class whites in the catholic church, and lower middle class blacks/pardos who are evangelical. The upper class white European girls in Brazil can be kind of snobby and career minded, but also based at moments. I met one luxembourgish descended girl at church who unprovoked ranted about Muslims in Europe. The middle class white girls in the church are ideal. Very down to earth, family minded and ride-or-die loyal. Aside from lower class girls you don't have to worry too much about gold diggers, unless you're filthy rich or you're 50 years, fat and offer no legitimate reason for a 20 year old girl to want to be your wife

My bad if this is a bit all over the place, I'm just putting out what comes to mind
 
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iop890

Crow
Gold Member
@Cortés Thanks a lot for the info, it was very helpful.

I'm strongly considering taking your advice about renting a car and exploring for a while since I have the time/money at the moment(and it looks like it would be pretty cheap anyway, and entertaining enough even if it doesn't pan out long term). I'll send you a PM if I do.
 

Cr33pin

Peacock
Gold Member
I rented a car in Brazil and drove from Porto Alegre to Corumba. It was great! Quite the diversity in cities I stopped in a long the way. My data went out on my phone and my GPS went out one evening and I passed through this town that completely shut down at dark, it was pretty eerie and surreal.... I ended up driving a few hours to another city and it was a normal lively city. Even though most of my interactions were brief they were all great. I really like Brazil but I don't know how much I trust in it to be a long term place to live.
 

Mountaineer

Pelican
Gold Member
I rented a car in Brazil and drove from Porto Alegre to Corumba. It was great! Quite the diversity in cities I stopped in a long the way. My data went out on my phone and my GPS went out one evening and I passed through this town that completely shut down at dark, it was pretty eerie and surreal.... I ended up driving a few hours to another city and it was a normal lively city. Even though most of my interactions were brief they were all great. I really like Brazil but I don't know how much I trust in it to be a long term place to live.
How was it in terms of 'rona BS?
 

Cortés

Woodpecker
Gold Member
How was it in terms of 'rona BS?

I'm in Brazil now and it has been all over the place- some good and some bad. In March pretty much every state was in severe lockdown. Unfortunately churches stayed closed with zero exception. In the city of Sao Paulo and in Belo Horizonte the lockdown was followed, out of the cities not so much. After the first few days there was not one single store outside of the major cities that was fully closed. For example, the barbers would half close the garage style door to their shop, but all you had to do is tap on the door and they'll take you in. Same sort of thing with the shops. Restaurants were only take out. Currently where I'm at things are open for the most part. One night after the curfew I went to go get food and the cops there were doing the same. I have yet to meet anyone who thinks the lockdowns are a good idea. However the media here is launching a full attack on Bolsonaro and is over exaggerating this new wave we have here. People are pretty fearful of the virus in conversation, but they still are super relaxed when it comes to masks. Multiple times I've had people tell me how bad covid is at the moment, all the while they don't have a mask on and are talking 10 inches from my face. Most people are whining about not being able to get vaxxed, but ive met some people who don't plan on taking it.
 
Another commie win in Latin America, this time in Perú. Runoffs are in two months. Some expats seem to get nervous already

Any people who have more info on Castillo? Is he a traditional commie like Maduro, Morales or Castro or a globohomo Trotskyist like the ones in Chile?


 

Cr33pin

Peacock
Gold Member
I have somehow managed to live in Cartagena for over a year now. It has its charms but it is certainly not my ideal living situation. I live in a super safe/ nice/ touristy part of the city an haven't left my neighborhood the whole time I have been here. Can't complain about my housing situation other than the rent, I am paying more here then I ever paid in any other country... pretty much double what I would normally pay. However I am in one of the nicest buildings in Cartagena and my building is beachfront. I am definitely going on a month by month basis now. I was looking into staying in some surf hostel near Santa Marta for a month just to escape the city life but the one I wanted to go to was closed for renovations. After a year of staying in my ivory tower I think I been spoiled and become accustomed to this level of comfort.. I need to break out of that. Its always so easy just to decide to do another month here cause I have things like the basketball court, the gym, the restaurants I like, the beach, the pool.... But in reality I would be 100x happier somewhere quiet with some nature around. Now that I am a few months back into the gym and starting to get my gainz back its super easy to just justify another month here as another month to stay in my gainz routine. The plan is to stay in Colombia until things start to open up and there are no required test or quarantines to travel to Panama (a test when I arrive is ok) I ponder the idea of just renting a car here for a month an driving around the coast, its only $400 a month. Some of my favorite times I had in South America on this trip was driving rental cars across Uruguay, Brazil, and Bolivia (until I made it to La Paz).... who knows... month by month and eventually I will swim up to Panama and hopefully it will capture my soul and I will stay there for the rest of my life.

I like watching all these videos from this relocation channel. I really like the personalities of most of these older folks that move to Panama. I would like to somehow get involved with these kinds of retired expat communities. My grandparents who have now passed were absolutely the shinning lights in my family life. I think because of that I have a certain connection with older folks. I am always about as close to my friends parents as I am to my friends. I think it would be good for me to have those kind of connections with some older folks if I am to settle in Panama, since I dont really have much of a connection with the current living members of my family (it makes traveling the world solo and looking to expat a lot easier and more appealing)

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lonewolf1968

Kingfisher
Quick question to fellow Rooshvfers. Do you all declare/report taxes yearly? There'll be a huge tax reform in Colombia which will oblige the middle middle class (which I belong to) to pay an Income tax for those who earn above to 1000 USD a month. I wanted to compare how it is done in developed countries. I could probably google it, but well, you know I love this forum's standpoints. What are your thoughts on taxing the hell out of everybody?, isn't this how it works in all of your countries? cause companies here are taxed the hell out when regular people just pay the VAT but no income tax.
 

Mountaineer

Pelican
Gold Member
I believe that high taxation and especially real estate taxes will be the key factor in kicking people out on the street from their own homes. And if you don't accept the CDBC + vax you can't pay the tax which means you will be destined to end up on the street and eventually the medical concentration camp.
 

aynrus

Pelican
I believe that high taxation and especially real estate taxes will be the key factor in kicking people out on the street from their own homes. And if you don't accept the CDBC + vax you can't pay the tax which means you will be destined to end up on the street and eventually the medical concentration camp.
One can work with income and social security taxes part (maximizing deductions and/or just keeping gross income to the minimum in the progressive rate scale country) - but there's hardly an escape from real property taxation, as they're literally taxing you to have a roof over your head and the ground to keep you bed on.
As homelessness is de-facto illegal and one has to pay property tax - one is literally taxed to be alive. (I fail to understand why all the defenders of the constitutional freedoms are unable to see that)
This is one most appalling tax, something I never accepted in the States (quite high here and most jurisdictions have ever-growing property tax as valuations increase). This is one tax they can use to put people out of their homes, that's for sure.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Quick question to fellow Rooshvfers. Do you all declare/report taxes yearly? There'll be a huge tax reform in Colombia which will oblige the middle middle class (which I belong to) to pay an Income tax for those who earn above to 1000 USD a month. I wanted to compare how it is done in developed countries. I could probably google it, but well, you know I love this forum's standpoints. What are your thoughts on taxing the hell out of everybody?, isn't this how it works in all of your countries? cause companies here are taxed the hell out when regular people just pay the VAT but no income tax.

One thing to really watch is bracket creep. The bracket is at a set amount per month right now, but over 20 years the currency debases and really you are paying taxes at 500USD/Month. If inflation runs higher, this happens even quicker. They have done this in Canada, "high" tax brackets in Canada are now "middle class brackets" with teachers, police, nurses (who are well paid here) are now in the high brackets.
 

aynrus

Pelican
I just looked at Colombia tax rate table (this is in peso). Huh!
Seems like one making a little over $10K/year has 19% income tax rate, and over $16K/year at 28%, over $39K - 33%.
I hope there's big deduction available.
But non-residents don't pay these taxes and also no tax on foreign-source income at all, looks like.
VAT 19% (5% for foodstuffs)

Say, compare to Paraguay - it 10% flat personal income tax rate for residents and no income tax on sources outside the country.
(alternatively, 8-10% progressive scale rate for income from providing personsal services, likely self-employment)
8% dividend and capital gains rate.
10% VAT (5% for basic groceries)
1% real estate tax (but properties are usually accessed below market - so far, supposedly)
Seems like decent tax climate, except real estate tax is very high for non-1st world country.

I looked into Paraguay tax deductions and appears they have possibly unlimited personal living expenses deduction....if this is true would be great. Colombia limits personal (non-business) deductions, say 10% for dependent, and see no mention of standard deduction.
 
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tomtud

Pelican
The problem with a place like colombia is that you have too many gimme groups as I like to call them. In turn, you are going to have politicians making promises that only future generations may foot the bill in order to get elected today. Now, fast forward that today is the future at this moment. Along with covid expenditures their budget needs more of a boost. Hence there is a big stink I see on Facebook from my colombian friends that the government is considering raising taxes at this inconvenient moment and a countrywide strike and March is being planned for the end of April.
Corruption is still a big issue (can be applicable anywhere in the world from politics to Main Street business). I am not current so don’t quote me, but a senator in Colombias senate earns approximately a salary that is 40+ times the minimum monthly salary. of Course they may give many reasons why such a lucrative salary is needed I.e., to prevent them being corrupt etc. Likewise, there are reasons why it shouldn’t. (sorry for deflecting the topic. I know that some politicians become very rich from being in office in other first world countries).

I believe 2022 is the end of the first term of the current presidency. Will a left or far left politician take over then? Or Duque continues. Of course doomsday may never happen. Ebbs and flows happen everywhere. Will there be hyperinflation? Will real estate take a plunge? Will petty crime increase? Who knows......
 

aynrus

Pelican
Quick question to fellow Rooshvfers. Do you all declare/report taxes yearly? There'll be a huge tax reform in Colombia which will oblige the middle middle class (which I belong to) to pay an Income tax for those who earn above to 1000 USD a month. I wanted to compare how it is done in developed countries. I could probably google it, but well, you know I love this forum's standpoints. What are your thoughts on taxing the hell out of everybody?, isn't this how it works in all of your countries? cause companies here are taxed the hell out when regular people just pay the VAT but no income tax.

Tax topic is endless one...

If you're earning somewhere around the tax bracket boundary, sometimes it makes sense to move down to lower bracket by lowering your income (at least official income on paper), especially with what I see in Colobmia tax rate table, where there's can be a big change in rate from bracket to bracket.
One can earn more gross income but end up earning less net income per hour (net is after taxes, gross before taxes), because of higher tax bracket and less/smaller tax deductions/credits becoming available.

Sometimes makes sense to become individual entrepreneur/contractor instead of employee, which would allow to deduct various business expenses: these deductions tend to be less limited than personal (and one normally could still deduct personal deductions as well, on top of business deductions); sometimes 100% of income can be deducted using business deductions. Deductions and exemptions reduce your taxable income.
There're also tax credits - unlike deductions, they don't just reduce tax they can be actually used to get money from the government, but not sure if there're any in Colombia, realistically.

In the US people file yearly tax returns (and sometimes make estimated quarterly tax payments, such as self-employed or if your employer withholds less than your final tax liability). Some people are not required to file tax returns because of having low income or skip them because they assume the employer withheld correct amount, and they don't (but this is a foolish thing to do which eventually comes backfiring in multiple ways).
 
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