2020 South American Expat Thread

darknavigator

Woodpecker
Catholic
"The grass isn’t always greener, Latin America can be a good place to live but it certainly isn’t for everyone, it depends on what your goals are. Take a trip there to check it out, maybe stay for a few months to learn Spanish but you won’t be as comfortable as back home in the burbs, for some of us, that’s the appeal"

Also, maybe look into spending some time on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) before you take the leap into Latin America. If you don't like Spain and Portugal then you're not going to like Latin America IMHO.
 

TCOCBR18

Sparrow
Orthodox
"The grass isn’t always greener, Latin America can be a good place to live but it certainly isn’t for everyone, it depends on what your goals are. Take a trip there to check it out, maybe stay for a few months to learn Spanish but you won’t be as comfortable as back home in the burbs, for some of us, that’s the appeal"

Also, maybe look into spending some time on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) before you take the leap into Latin America. If you don't like Spain and Portugal then you're not going to like Latin America IMHO.
I actually have a trip to Spain planned for next year! This developed independently of my recent interest in Latin America. I'll be tagging along with a Catholic pilgrimage with a good friend if all goes according to plan. That will be my first experience of a Spanish-speaking country.
Nonetheless, I really don't view any part of the European Union as a place I would consider living in. But I am interested in why you connect Spain and Portugal to LatAm. I didn't really think of them as all too culturally similar anymore, though there's obviously language, Catholicism, shared history, so yeah actually they are pretty obviously similar, but I was just coming from the idea that one is firmly part of the modern West, while the other appears to be more of its own civilizational sphere. Please correct me if I'm off the mark on that.
 

TCOCBR18

Sparrow
Orthodox
Another topic of discussion: does anyone have commentary on the fact that, unless I'm mistaken, not a single Latin American country has joined the US and Europe in sanctioning Russia? I'll pose that question to the Russo-Ukraine war thread as well.
 

darknavigator

Woodpecker
Catholic
"I actually have a trip to Spain planned for next year!"

Excellent plan!

"That will be my first experience of a Spanish-speaking country".

If you can't hack it in Spain you sure as heck won't be able to hack it in Latin America. After your Spanish trip Latin America will be a lot lot easier for you to adapt to (less of a culture shock).

"Nonetheless, I really don't view any part of the European Union as a place I would consider living in"

You'll be able to make that judgement after your Spain trip. Southern (Mediterranean) Europe is a lot different from northern Europe.

"But I am interested in why you connect Spain and Portugal to LatAm. I didn't really think of them as all too culturally similar anymore, though there's obviously language, Catholicism, shared history, so yeah actually they are pretty obviously similar, but I was just coming from the idea that one is firmly part of the modern West, while the other appears to be more of its own civilizational sphere".

Spain has all the stuff that you'll see in Latin America (warm weather, beautiful churches, baroque architecture etc.) but it's a lot safer. It's not like a British person going to Australia which has the same British culture but the weather, architecture, general environment is totally different.

In the big cities of Latin America you will find all of the same things that you have in north America (Starbucks, McDonalds etc.) The big problem with Latin America is the violence problem. People from Latin America love Spain as the culture is so similar to the Latin culture minus the safety / security challenges. Spain is Latin America with training wheels.
 

IM3000

Pelican
With the exception of Mexico and Peru, the traditional Spanish food is also much much better than any Latam cuisine, another perk of going there.
The downside form a language perspective is that the Spanish they speak in Spain is more complicated as the use an additional personal pronoun for the second person plural (vosotros). In Latam, you'll only need nosotros and ustedes.
Plus, in most regions, they have the "th" sound instead of the "s" sound in words like ciudad which makes pronunciation a bit more challenging while also sounding worse.
 
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Dilated

Woodpecker
Other Christian
Hello, everybody. This thread on expatriation to Latin America caught my attention and really contains so much good information by now. However, though I know this has already been discussed here, yet since I've seen conflicting things and also haven't read all 51 pages of this thread for a definitive answer, I want to ask: is Latin America actually an improvement over the middle American suburban atmosphere that I have essentially lived in my whole life? Or is Latin America now becoming increasingly Americanized, modernized, secularized, etc., to the extent that it no longer even represents much of a contrast from most of the US? I am a young, single Orthodox man and have been considering getting out of America when possible, if not to live permanently then at least to stay for a while, like taking a break from the US. I've been making some progress in Spanish to facilitate this possibility.

Was talking to a forum member about this recently. It’s true that in LatAm there is less cultural degeneracy and most women actually want to start a family (although they are catching up to USA on the former).

However, do know that it comes with max pain at every level of every interaction be it with the government or private citizens. If you’re an orderly gentleman that requires a logical, rational society you’re going to have a very hard time.

I’m surprised daily at the general incompetence even though I’m prepared for it.

*Context- super gringo with 2 years living in LatAm with Spanish good enough for most interactions.
 

scotian

Peacock
Gold Member
Favourite city is Cali but I wouldn’t live there long term because it’s too hot and pretty sketchy. Long term I’d live in Bucaramanga or one of the Coffee Zone cities, either Armenia or Manizales.
 

Blade Runner

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Was talking to a forum member about this recently. It’s true that in LatAm there is less cultural degeneracy and most women actually want to start a family (although they are catching up to USA on the former).

However, do know that it comes with max pain at every level of every interaction be it with the government or private citizens. If you’re an orderly gentleman that requires a logical, rational society you’re going to have a very hard time.

I’m surprised daily at the general incompetence even though I’m prepared for it.

*Context- super gringo with 2 years living in LatAm with Spanish good enough for most interactions.
This reality is the biggest challenge for me, since I believe that I'm closer to ancestrally to any of the eastern euro types, but don't know slavic languages and do know spanish. I'm quite sure from reading his stuff that Dilated has a similar outlook.
 

square_it

Pigeon
Protestant
Written Spanish was fairly easy for me to learn, but spoken Spanish has been more difficult than thought. I enjoyed living in Latin America, but felt overall I had to be on guard always and it took a toll. Latin America is still an option for me to find a wife, but I don't think I could settle down there permanently.
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
Written Spanish was fairly easy for me to learn, but spoken Spanish has been more difficult than thought. I enjoyed living in Latin America, but felt overall I had to be on guard always and it took a toll. Latin America is still an option for me to find a wife, but I don't think I could settle down there permanently.
Same, written Spanish and reading it has always been easier than speaking/understanding it for me too. What part of Latin America did you go to? Mexico is "close to home" so to speak and there's some influence there (good and bad) but even there would be a major culture shock and change from being in the USA and I've only visited there. I have no experience living there. I'm not sure if I would mind it but there would definitely be tradeoffs for sure.
 

square_it

Pigeon
Protestant
I lived in Mexico City for a bit. It was in a safe neighborhood, but I felt in the long run there's so much I don' know. Like navigating the legal system if something ever happens. I was also in Colombia for a bit. Nothing ever bad happened to me in Latam, but it was surely more intense than the states. In Colombia, I was warned to not use a phone on certain highways because motocyclists sometimes snatch them by breaking through the window.
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
I lived in Mexico City for a bit. It was in a safe neighborhood, but I felt in the long run there's so much I don' know. Like navigating the legal system if something ever happens. I was also in Colombia for a bit. Nothing ever bad happened to me in Latam, but it was surely more intense than the states. In Colombia, I was warned to not use a phone on certain highways because motocyclists sometimes snatch them by breaking through the window.
Whatever the "legal system" means down there anyway. That's another added risk of going down there; You're an outsider and presumably a "western" (white American/European) guy down there. They will treat you differently than they would their own and adjust their fines/fee/prices as such. Even in the tourist area I like to go to, I know they are charging me more for stuff than what the Mexican standard actually is but it's still a better deal than what I can get here in the USA.
 

scotian

Peacock
Gold Member
^This is why you learn the local lingo so you can negotiate prices and not get ripped off, bartering is part of the local culture, especially in markets. Go shopping with a local a few times and you’ll learn quickly enough.
 

vstk

Robin
Catholic
most women actually want to start a family
Among 18-25 year olds in urban Colombia, if we are talking about girls looking to have a Christian marriage, they are definitely a rather small minority, in my (recent) experience.
Lots of unplanned pregnancies outside of the wedlock though.
 

TCOCBR18

Sparrow
Orthodox
Among 18-25 year olds in urban Colombia, if we are talking about girls looking to have a Christian marriage, they are definitely a rather small minority, in my (recent) experience.
Lots of unplanned pregnancies outside of the wedlock though.
That is a rather disappointing thing. I'm getting the impression that it's not much better than America, and I looked at some birth rate/fertility rate statistics and saw that some Latin American countries are these days roughly in the US' ballpark, some still a bit higher but a few are even a bit lower now (Chile, Uruguay). The women are probably still at least more attractive physically, right? I mean, where I am in the US I just the other day went to a huge suburban Fourth of July event, several thousand people, and Lord have mercy, the percentage of those people who were just hideous was astonishing.
 

vstk

Robin
Catholic
The women are probably still at least more attractive physically, right?
Most definitely.
Compared to Northern Europe, fitness and activity levels are quite low however. So many people have hypertension / diabetes as they get older. You have to find a young woman and try to replace all her bad habits with good ones.

It seems that most of the attractive younger women in Colombian cities would rather cohabit than get married. Marriage rates are pretty low. And the ones looking for marriage are not necessarily Christian at all.
 
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square_it

Pigeon
Protestant
Whatever the "legal system" means down there anyway. That's another added risk of going down there; You're an outsider and presumably a "western" (white American/European) guy down there. They will treat you differently than they would their own and adjust their fines/fee/prices as such. Even in the tourist area I like to go to, I know they are charging me more for stuff than what the Mexican standard actually is but it's still a better deal than what I can get here in the USA.
Even though I've seen American guys get completely screwed over by the justice system, it's got to be the lesser evil over Latam. I can't imagine what would happen if a Latam wife or her family wanted to plot against me at some point.
 
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