Chacras in Uruguay and Cuts of Beef

2017-11-1 Chacras and Real Estate            Chacras are small parcels of farmland, starting at about 5 hectares. A hectare, to be precise, is 2.47105 acres. They’re not big enough to farm. I was interested in buying one because a) they’re affordable and b) they are a reasonable way to get some money out of the U.S. and into something real in Uruguay. Farmland in Uruguay has a lot of appeal. I read an article by Lee Harrison a few months ago about buying chacras in Uruguay starting at $45,000. The cheapest one I saw was priced … Continue reading

Sophia has Returned to Uruguay for Further Exploration

2017-10-25 I attended a conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay in March 2017. I never got around to writing about what I learned due to a heavy travel schedule. I liked Uruguay enough to return and am writing from La Paloma, Rocha, Uruguay now (October 2017). The2017 Offshore Investment Summit was a production of Banyan Hill Publishing (formerly The Sovereign Society). When I attended the conference in March, I was pleasantly surprised by many things. Because of this and because I met a very nice couple who live in Uruguay part of the year, I decided to come back and … Continue reading

A Modern Tale of Banking in Panama

May 9, 2017               When I arrived in Panama, I simply wanted to fix my Banvivienda account so that the annual fees for maintaining my business entity could be paid from the account. As usual, the plan morphed into something else. My friend suggested that it might be better to move the business account from Banvivienda to Tower Bank and not use a checking account (since I don’t write checks against the account anyway). I needed a bank reference letter to open the new business savings account at Tower Bank. That required a visit … Continue reading

The Mexico Experience

February 22, 2017                 I dance Argentine Tango and asked about dance on a Facebook group for SMA a couple weeks before I left the U.S. I learned that they have dances twice a week. I’ve been to every dance since I arrived. I’ve heard that there are also places to dance Salsa as well as other styles of dance. In fact, there’s an Arthur Murray studio down the hill from where I live. The Tango dancers are a very friendly crowd here. I feel comfortable with them and have not exhibited any … Continue reading

Creature Comforts and Quality of Life in Mexico

February 15, 2017               Heating my Apartment I mentioned having one stand-alone heater in my one-bedroom apartment. It has a propane tank in it. On the nights when the temperature got down to 35 degrees (in early January), I generally ran it in the morning, starting from the moment I got out of bed until the outside temperature hit about 60. There’s nothing to hold the heat in the apartment overnight so it takes a while to heat it up once the sun comes up. During that colder weather, I would bring my clothes … Continue reading

The Art of Grocery Shopping in Mexico

February 8, 2017            The Quest for Bottled Water As is generally the case in the Latin American countries I’ve visited, there are a LOT of little stores that have a very limited selection of items. Many have cold drinks and lots of snack food. I went to these types of stores to buy water before I found a better solution. Now I have huge bottles of water delivered. You need a dispenser for them; my neighbor helped me out with that. Before I was getting my water delivered, I found a place near my apartment … Continue reading

Colorful, Bougainvillea-covered Houses

February 2, 2017 My Attraction to San Miguel      Things I really like about SMA are the sunny skies and intense sun. I also enjoy the colorful houses, one next to the other, covered with flowers. There are beautiful houses with vibrant colors and bougainvillea readily visible to anyone walking down the street. I appreciate that they are not hidden behind gated communities, but can be found everywhere. Well-kept high-end houses are right next to empty or neglected houses. There are tons of artists here and plenty of stores if you’re in the market for art or just like to look. … Continue reading

Why I Decided to Check Out San Miguel de Allende

January 19, 2017 Let me explain why I decided to explore San Miguel de Allende (SMA) as a place to live in the future. I had heard about this location from a Mexican woman living in Boquete, Panama several years ago. She told me there is a huge ex-pat population there. From what I’ve found online, as well as what the “Mexico expert” at the Retire Overseas Bootcamp told me, it sounds like there may be more than 10,000 ex-pats living in the SMA area. Large Ex-pat population I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad … Continue reading

Banking in Panama – Trials and Tribulations

May 11, 2016          I visit my bank, Banvivienda, every time I go to Panama, for one reason or another. This time, it was because I had forgotten to login to my bank accounts and transfer money between them often enough to keep them active. The accounts at Banvivienda are rendered inactive if you don’t have some activity in them within 6 months. Hence, it was a good time to stop by and get my accounts re-activated. And I wanted to deposit some cash I brought with me. The more money I get out of the U.S., … Continue reading

Protecting Possessions in Big Cities

April 28, 2016       One of the things I like about visiting Panama City is that I have a friend who lives there. She and I have been getting together for years…maybe since 2010. We always have a nice time catching up and she is into a lot of interesting things. She is an investor and has learned some valuable lessons about life in Latin America. She was robbed last December. She was walking home and was very near to her home when a guy on a motor-scooter drove by and grabbed onto her purse. She thought about … Continue reading