Expat Files – 05.22.16

#1- What’s that “Gringo Advantage” thing all about? Well, it starts with “boots on the ground”, that’s when you begin to notice the missing pieces in Latin owned businesses and their lack of attention to detail. Yet they still manage to survive and some have great success. Get ready to ask yourself over and over… how can that be? Seeing all that stuff, when the locals don’t, is the start of your “Gringo Advantage”

#2– People in the first-world say the legal system in Latin America does NOT favor the individual. That is, if one is suspected of a crime down here he is usually “guilty” until proven innocent. Well it’s not that simple and really depends on three important factors: social class, finances and whether or not you have a friendly attorney to phone up if you’re in trouble…

#3- Latin kids are well behaved, overly polite and respectful to their elders. That’s the solid opinion of nearly every visiting gringo. Yet Latins believe in corporal punishment- with 98% of adults reporting they were whacked as kids on occasion . So what goes on here? Could there be a correlation? Nah, that would be way too un-PC to even suggest….

#4-Some Gringos bring their bad first-world habits with them… please don’t do that!!

#5-Should you take advantage of the high interest rate bank CD’s that so many Latin Banks are offering? Sure, you can get up to 10% APR if you’ve got enough dough and time. But whats the catch and the risks?

#6- Besides the constant barrage of overtly sexy and scantily clad women, you’ll never guess what’s being shown on Latin TV. Would you believe certain Latin lawyers up in the states are showing up on Latin TV, teaching illegals up in the states exactly how to evade ICE, US Immigration officials? It’s something average American citizens will never understand unless they watch the Latin channels and speak Spanish, and of course that’ll never happen.

#7Consult with Johnny; schedule a cell or SKYPE call: Set up a time to talk and sort out your own specific Latin American “PLAN- B”. Just write “CONSULT” in the subject line with a short list of questions/talking points to:

#8- Visit me Johnny(and expat super-blogger John Galt) at where you get real “boots on the ground” info, experienced expat blogs and terrific one-of-kind reports.



Held in and around Guatemala, Central America- “off the Gringo tourist trail”, Saturday July 9th thru Thursday July 14th. Click the link on top of the main-page or email: or, or click on the link below (or paste it in your browser)


Expat Files – 10.18.15

-Today we have an unofficial analysis of the present state of the gay/lesbian situation in traditionally macho Latin America. Attitudes have changed immensely in the past five years. People are coming out of the closet in droves and, unlike a few years ago, in most metro areas no one seems to mind. Though you won’t see poor lower-class guys holding hands on a chicken bus (that would be pushing it) you will on occasion see things like that amongst the middle and upper-classes in shopping centers and such.

-What happens when the first-world has its inevitable blowout? The poop will flow downhill (though not nearly as tragically and dramatically as where you are now). When the Latins start feeling the pinch, won’t they naturally want to retaliate against any expat gringos in the vicinity? Won’t the angry masses want to hang us from the highest Jacuzzi?


Expat Files – 08.30.15

-In Latin America, more and more nearly forgotten first-world has-been personalities, lecturers (and faded dinosaurs of rock) are showing up here and there. They’re doing a re-heated hash of their once popular old and moldy seminars and tours. Nope, these folks have not faded into the sunset kindly, instead they’ve found a second life in the 3rd world, a lucky way to cash in on their long past glories.

-Certain adventurous and astute stateside people (and their promoters) have figured out the famous first-world “lag-time effect” combined with the gringo advantage can mean more than a “dead cat bounce”. It often can mean a brand new wave of popularity and success for gringos (even if their Spanish languages skills are nil)

-Today we see Expat Eddie stumbling along trying to use a very effective type of Latin Craig’s list website called In this new adventure Eddie’s uses the website to locate and buy a used high-end elliptical trainer. As usual the story has some surprising twists and unexpected turns. Only in Latin America!


Follow the consult link on the main page at and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.


Expat Files – 08.14.15

-Colombia is on the map as one of the latest, greatest retirement destinations- that’s according to nearly all of the popular retirement rags and blogs. But what most gringos and Expats don’t realize is that the country’s very heavily taxed business and manufacturing sector is forcing many medium and large companies to close or flee to more business friendly countries. Colombia now has a corporate tax structure with rates hovering around 75% and the country is rapidly de-industrializing.

– Gringo tipping anxiety in Latin America: a primer on restaurant bills/charges and common gringo tipping mistakes and false assumptions

-Ecuador’s socialist government is in an expensive growth spurt (some surprise, huh?) and now that tax revenues are way down (due to the big oil price slump) President Correa is preparing to substantially increase taxes on more productive sectors of society.

-S.A. corporations are alive and well in Latin America but much less than 5% of the population have one or even know anything about them or what they’re for…

-Here’s a stale, old Latin joke… but it’s true:

Pancho, “Hey Senor, where is the men’s room?”

Jose, “Anywhere you like.”


Follow the consult link on the main page at and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.


Expat Files – 05.17.15

– On the other side of the globe, the Philippine islands have the closest thing to a Latin American culture. They were once conquered and colonized by Spain so they have many of the same traditions… with some important differences…

-When you come to Latin America, for all of you who enjoy walking and exploring, note that there are different categories of “safe”. For example there are, #1, safe places to walk through day and night, #2 safe places to walk in the daytime only (questionable at night), #3 places that are considered unsafe to walk in both day and night. Then there’s the question- what if you’re walking alone or with two or more in your group?


Expat Files – 04.19.15

-We’ve been getting conflicting reports on the situation in Argentina. Some long term expats living there say it’s deteriorating rather slowly while others say its in the fast lane heading for a nearby cliff. Some say its heaven and other say hell. The answer all depends if one is flush with US dollars or stuck dealing day to day with …

Latin America flags

Expat Files – 03.22.15

-Just like in the US, Latin governments are terribly corrupt… so the next duly (or unduly) elected chief thief nearly always finds the coffers empty. But no matter…. the next scumbag party chief thief in power does as every careless spendthrift government does and floats a new bond issue to cover the debt of the previous bond issue. Meanwhile, the …


Expat Files – 03.08.15

-The strange relationship between dogs and coconuts   -Cockroach, “La Cucaracha” home invasions revisited. A new, expat gringa’s cautionary tale of her personal arthropodic woes   -Meanwhile one of our Expat Wisdom seminar alumni explains the new e-book he has written regarding his extensive “boots on the ground” experience and investigation of Spanish schools, Spanish tutors and Immersion families. Looks …