I remember on my very first trip to Latin America…
As you can read here.
It was to the Zapatista villages in Mexico.
Anyway, there was a man in the group named Peter that helped organize our time to the area.
He helped run an NGO that served the communities in the area.
I remember one night in particular…
Before we had gotten to the area we were headed towards…
We were at some small bar near some hotel in southern Mexico….
And others in the group had gone to sleep.
So it was just Peter and I talking about whatever.
I was curious about his work with this NGO that he was helping run.
Why does he do it?
What motivates him?
How was his first trip to the Zapatista communities?
What are the issues they have?
We had a good conversation – and he was quite nice – even bought me a drink!
But over the time that I was there…
Talking with him over some drinks and in my later days in Chiapas, Mexico…
I learned a lot about this movement and also the NGO that works in the area
And how, for Peter, he couldn’t imagine or care to spend significant time in any other Latin country necessarily.
He has his work in Chiapas and he enjoys it a lot.
Similar to another foreigner I met long time ago in Bolivia just a year or so after I met Peter in Chiapas…
Social Work in Cocha
Similarly, I once met another foreigner who has dedicated a significant part of his life to social work down here in Latin America.
When I was spending a few months in Cochabamba, Bolivia as you can read here…
I met a British guy who was on the top of running the NGO that I was working for in the time.
He was a charismatic young guy – if I had to guess his age – maybe mid 30s?
Either way, he had spent a decent amount of time in Bolivia and still does doing work in the country.
I think he still runs the NGO that I did work for or at least he does some type of social work down there in some way or the other.
For him, he grew a strong attachment to the country and its culture while finding passion in the work that he does.
Which is part of how he ended up in Bolivia.
And speaking of foreigners who choose Bolivia as their home….
Frank the Hippie
There was an older gentleman that happened to work in the NGO that I was working at in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
He was probably in his 60s or 70s more or less.
Why was he living in Bolivia?
Well, his NGO work involved basically helping run the garden and basic maintenance work for the main building of the NGO.
In return, the NGO compensated him to a degree and I’m pretty sure he had some social security or something helping him live there as well.
Anyway, the reason why he lived in Bolivia was – in his words – more spiritual.
Bolivia was the country that spoke to him out of all of the countries in Latin America…
Because he had some affinity for “Andean culture” and its “ancient people, customs and culture.”
Something along those lines was how he put it.
He just had some affinity for indigenous folks in general in Bolivia and the cultures behind the different indigenous groups in the country.
Including the medicines he would encounter down there and also….
Yeah, I guess I should say it – ayahuasca.
Anyway, that’s why he was in Bolivia for so long and might still be there in fact.
Some spiritual connection to the country – from his point of view….
Including his practice with things like ayahuasca and different medicines and plants in the country as well.
That was my impression anyway based on my time talking with him when we both worked for this NGO.
And after I had finished my time in Bolivia, I eventually traveled to countries like Argentina and Colombia….
The Hunt for Latino Dick
When I was living in Colombia…
I was staying in a city called Barranquilla.
Back then, I knew a handful of other gringos who were spending time in Barranquilla also.
One of them was a young American chick in her young 20s.
Some white, blonde looking chick who, if I remember right, was from one of the Carolinas but I don’t remember perfectly.
Either way, she loved Colombia.
Now why is that?
Well, she didn’t like the food….
Didn’t care for that much either outside of reggaeton.
What she loved – and it was kinda obvious among our little group of gringos – was getting dicked down by the local men.
She had a Latino fetish from what I could remember.
Basically if your last name was “Ramirez” or some shit, then you could fuck her even if you were 3 foot tall, had an IQ and dick size of 2 and smelled like shit.
Which is funny to think about since the typical idea of “sex tourists” to LATAM is that of the 60 year old fat, white gringo walking down a beach with a 18 year old Latina.
When, for those who don’t know, there are plenty of gringas too – though not as much as the gringos – coming down for sex and love.
Anyway, her “Argentina” so to speak was Colombia.
Well, in the long run, it might not be.
Most folks who come down here for sex eventually do leave if they don’t care for the place they are in itself.
I imagine it’s her “temporary Argentina” in that she will either bring a Colombian dude back to the US…
Like the one she is currently dating.
Or will just leave Colombia when she is tired of the fun.
Whichever comes first.
But, to be fair, she did say that she loved Colombia and plans on living there forever.
So we will see!
But moving beyond the more “fun” reasons for why gringos and gringas choose a country to live in….
Connecting With Your Nicaraguan Roots
As you can read here…
When I traveled to Nicaragua with a group of other Americans to do some missionary work and the like…
We met a Nicaraguan-American who was basically our guide to the community that we were going to work in.
Although the guy could live in the US if he wanted to….
From what I remember in my conversations with him, he chose to live in Nicaragua to reconnect with his roots.
He occasionally traveled to Nicaragua from time to time growing up….
And had family in Nicaragua as well obviously.
So, once he became an adult, he chose Nicaragua as his home because of that more personal connection to the country.
Given his parents were from Nicaragua, that motivated him to move back.
Though sometimes the decision as to what Latin country to move to isn’t so easy….
“So Many Choices”
A few years ago, I happened to have met another American dude back when I was first living in Roma Norte near Metro Insurgentes of Mexico City.
Let’s call him Joe.
Joe was an American dude who was slightly older than me – perhaps by about 3 or 4 years more or less.
From Indiana to be specific.
Anyway, he managed to get things to work out financially in terms of making money online.
He had some job he could do remotely from his laptop because of some connections he had that helped him land the work.
Anyway, Joe had been spending some time in Mexico City as well but was actually on the way out around the time we met.
He happened to live in the same apartment building as me at the time, which is how we met.
Well, he was going to travel around some more.
He had been to Colombia, Brazil, Peru, etc…
Maybe a few other countries as well.
And just couldn’t decide on which one he liked the most.
He knew he didn’t like Peru as much.
So that’s off the list.
But he was looking for a place that basically had lots of hot women but more modernity in terms of the city.
He had his share of fun with the women down here and while he wanted to keep that up…
He also wanted a place that wasn’t so shitty to live in.
Mexico City was a good option he liked and he said he might come back.
But some other cities were on his mind also.
Colombia was always a country he liked for the women but he felt most of the cities in Colombia were kinda shitty.
He found Rio to be more enjoyable and up to everything he was looking for but hated Portuguese and the longer distance away from home.
So he was on the road again soon after we met!
Maybe he is still making a decision…
Perhaps he never makes one.
Wherever he ends up will surely be a fun place with hot chicks and plenty of nightlife.
Though not every gringo wants to keep up with the fun life either…
“Looking for Tranquility”
On the other hand, I’ve met other gringos down here who had their fair share of fun…
But now, for the most part, are beyond that.
For example, a month or so ago, I was at a bar near where I am as I went out to meet some new people.
And happened to come across a British guy down here that we can call Bob.
Not sure if they use the name Bob in the UK but let’s go with it.
Anyway, Bob had his fair share of fun and was maybe around mid 30s more or less in age.
So, as I said, he had his fair share of drinking and hooking up.
But now desires a place in Latin America that is calm and quiet.
Less chaotic – so no Mexico City, I suppose.
But a part of the region that is calm and quiet.
Perhaps a good place to raise a family – as he said he would like to find a nice woman now to settle down with.
Where will he go?
He said he was thinking of maybe Uruguay.
Though maybe more expensive in living costs…
They don’t tax your worldwide income, it’s relatively safe and is a calmer place.
Funny enough – he referenced a Twitter account that I follow by a man named “Lawrence King.”
You can check out the Twitter account here.
Who tweets once in a while about the positives of living in Uruguay.
So maybe that influenced his thinking on where to settle down – especially as he said he has never been to Uruguay before.
But not Uruguay just yet – though he hopes to make the move down when international travel is more relaxed.
But while Bob is still thinking about where to settle down in – as he said, he’s not 100% set on Uruguay just yet as he wants to check it out first…
Not everyone necessarily even wants to settle down in a specific Latin country!
The Continual Traveler
Though I have not met too many foreigners in the last few years ever since I left the touristy areas of Mexico City…
As I said in the last section, I have just recently tried branching out again slowly to meeting new foreigners.
In a way, I guess you can say I have been in a “Latin bubble” for a few years in Mexico.
Most gringos stay in a “gringo bubble” but I’m just now meeting the occasional new foreigner here and there whenever I feel like it.
Anyway, like I met Bob at the same event…
I also met another foreigner at the table we were at…
I forgot his name but he was some American dude – who, if I remember right – was from West Virginia.
Either way, he was fairly young – a bit more than me.
Probably early to mid 20s.
Well, what plans did he have?
What was he doing in Mexico City?
To sum it up – “travel and fuck bitches.”
Basically was his idea.
To be, in his words, a “digital nomad.”
He had been following all of these digital nomad blogs and Twitter accounts online…
And was inspired by this idea to just constantly travel the world.
And, in his words, “the women here aren’t bad looking!”
Well, I guess the pussy might be a motivator also…
But, nonetheless, when asked what his long term plans are – he said he couldn’t see himself ever not stop traveling.
“As long as I can is the dream.”
Now, having been down here for close to 6 years now, I’d say he probably will stop eventually.
Either go back home one day or pick a country down here to move to.
Though, to be fair, there is the occasional gringo who literally wants to live the “digital nomad” life forever.
Here’s an interesting documentary on them below here.
How many of them actually do consistently travel forever – never picking a home…
I have no idea.
I’ve never considered myself a “digital nomad” so who knows.
I guess maybe some do but many either go home or settle down somewhere.
And speaking of myself….
What About Me?
Why talk about all of these people?
What is the point?
What do they have in common?
The theme of this article is to bring up an aspect of living abroad for foreigners in Latin America.
Which is the eventual decision that one usually makes…
Where to relocate to?
Where to get residency?
I know of one Canadian guy who has lived in Mexico City for a while who has been thinking of moving to Paraguay…
And he has been down here a little bit longer than myself.
He spent time in Lima before and Mexico City obviously…
Maybe Paraguay is the place to settle down?
Who knows – not my decision.
And for me?
Honestly, I don’t plan on settling down anytime soon.
I’d like to experience in greater time various points of Latin America before making that decision.
Perhaps another 10 years at most – but maybe 5 at the least – to have some fun traveling around.
Been thinking primarily Brazil, Colombia, the DR, Argentina, Peru and Panama as the main countries of interest to me.
Once I am done with Mexico City…
But I’ve been thinking hard on relocating to Chile in the long run once I get my residency.
And it is a tough decision…
For some, such as the guy in Nicaragua reconnecting with his roots…
Or Peter in Chiapas…
The decision is easier because of those roots or because a certain purpose in life got you to a specific part of the world down here.
Though for others – such as Bob, Joe or the chick in Colombia – perhaps it is not so easy because you don’t have those tighter personal connections to a part of the word here.
Making it easier to just travel around forever and ever as you entertain different options.
And, as you can imagine, it’s a personal decision.
I can’t decide for any of you where to move down here.
That’s up to you.
I went into deeper reasons for why I consider Chile to be a likely spot for my eventual place to settle down in this article here.
Anyway, this article was inspired by watching an episode of a show I like a lot called Dexter.
Though the ending of it sucked dick, this scene here below did make me think of this aspect of living down here somehow…
Dexter -- Everyone Wants an Argentine Scene
That aspect of moving around and then either having to or having greater desire to eventually pick a place to settle down in.
“Everyone wants an Argentina”
Though hopefully your “Argentina” isn’t a place you are looking at to escape serial killers and police persecution…
But what is your “Argentina?”
Shit – maybe Venezuela?
What country are you more interested in moving to and why?
Would be interesting to hear – just drop a comment below.
And follow my Twitter here.
The great thing about a lot of Latin America – and you kind of touched on it – is that they do have pathways to permanent residency and citizenship which they don’t in places like Thailand (or anywhere in Asia…) – many retirees from Europe have bought property and set their lives up there only for the government to raise the bar and that’s that – they either meet the raised bar or go home (or go somewhere else…). Most of them are on renewable ‘retirement’ visas and one day these visas will probably be denied to a fair number of the folks who have nothing to go back ‘home’ to.
Colombia surprised me – I loved it there but if you asked before I went would I love it as much as I did, I would have probably said no, Colombia and The Coffee Triangle took me by surprise – it wouldn’t be easy to get PR or citizenship for Colombia and as long as that option is open, then one can work towards it – most places in Asia it is either extremely difficult or impossible to get permission to stay forever without ever renewing another visa again. Africa, I don’t know about… I read somewhere that to gain Nigerian citizenship – you need 20 years residency and give up your original nationality – who would go for that I have no idea.