Expat Files – 11.01.15

-Today we discuss the low key artistry of certain very gifted Latins. Many are old timers carrying the final artistic torch. They often seem to be a world apart from us – living as they did in the 1960’s while staunchly preserving their (soon to be lost) art or craft. Today we highlight one particular guy who makes some of the finest custom 100% hand-built electric guitars and wood instruments in the world. When he gets an order, he does all of the woodcraft artistry himself then has a crack young 20 something electronics expert do the pickups and hot wiring.

-If your own expat business ideas involve exporting of rainforest hardwood or hardwood products, be aware that new, stiff, USA and European customs regulations on most all organic products can be so stifling as to make such efforts impossible to accomplish. Today we present an example…

-As more and cheaper Chinese made products enter Latin America, the locals down here are slowly forsaking their own fine local furniture and handicrafts for cheap particleboard junk. Sure it can look decent when new but also might falls apart in record time … sound familiar?

-The trouble with Latin American road construction and why no one down here seems to understand the basics of the problem…

-When first-world franchises first arrive in Latin America, they almost always succeed (the “Gringo Advantage” rides again). However, some of the first-world habits and customs that often tag along for the ride never really catch on down here, yet they still remain as anomalies. When something simple to us doesn’t catch on it’s generally because of a cultural disparity. Here’s a good example…


Expat Files – 09.25.15

-Living in the land of ultra-premium coffee can offer many unique opportunities for gringo business ventures. Note there are many gigantic coffee plantations and mega processing plants but the vast majority of Latin coffee farmers are small mom and pop outfits with perhaps only a few acres or more. Since most small outfits sell locally- and the farmers are not internet savvy, or just want to sell the product by the bag or sack- there are many opportunities for gringos to market their very own “boutique” coffee brands. Think Amazon and EBay.

-More advice for gringos on cars and driving in Latin America

-Shopping in the big, chaotic markets: more tips, tales and crazy stories.