Moving to South America? That’s radical!

South America first

Español: Centro Histórico de Quito, Iglesia de...
Español: Centro Histórico de Quito, Iglesia del Sagrario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A former business partner and friend needs some advice. But he casually mentions going to South America. Time to give him some thoughts to think about:

Let’s first talk about South America. That’s radical. Why? Are you involved with someone down there? If I were relocating to South America, I would look into Ecuador first and Uruguay second. But perhaps you should look at Panama or Mexico first – they are closer.

About 50% of expats leave a Latin American country for the following reasons:

  • They haven’t adapted to speaking the native language – usually Spanish. Or in Brazil, it is Portuguese.
  • They haven’t adapted to Manana time – which really means not today, and tomorrow it might be not today, etc.
  • There is a different set of values and customs the natives live by and the expats haven’t adapted.

Usually, it they can survive 2 years and adjust to these 3 broad areas, then there should be few problems.

Panama next

Then I have my own questions and research on Latin America, which I need to just get the finishing touches on an expat forum.
I thought I would bring this topic up. According to resources that have written books on Panama and work at English speaking Panama newspapers, I can import homeopathic remedies from the US – no problem. Now there are supposed to be a couple health food stores in Panama that carry these items. And a Google search for “homeopatia Farmacia Panama”, have come up with some names. And there appear to be homeopathic practitioners in Panama. So have I been given correct info, that I can either obtain homeopathic remedies in Panama (i.e. via health food store and/or homeopatia Farmacia”), or import them from the US?

Now Ecuador

Then folks use Magic Jack, Vongage and Skype, so time to put in my two cents worth, in an Ecuador expat forum.

f you go to Amazon and look at Magic Jack, you see that over 1000 reviews rate it – on average – 3 out of 5 stars. I prefer Skype with a phone line number and/or Ooma (a bit more pricey but has excellent overall reviews on Amazon). You can also use Google hangouts. I recommend to connect all these devices to a router with a cable, rather than WIFI. If both parties have hi-speed Internet connections, they work much better. Be sure all you computer operating system software, router and cable modem firmware, video camera, etc., has the latest production patches.

Ooma is much cheaper than Vonage. In my opinion, it is much more reliable. In the US many years ago, Vonage convinced me to use their device, between the modem and my computer. I constantly had problems and had to call both Vonage and Comcast. Finally, I brought a Linksys router and attached the Vonage device to it. If I had any problems then, it was just with Vonage. I just had to reboot the Vonage device.

Currently, they have been advertising Basic Talk on TV. I have read it really is Vonage, but with less features and a more attractive price.

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