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Savings and Socializing?
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fladude



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Living like a local means eating beans and rice and shopping at open air markets. Personally I can't do it. So I do not advise anyone who wants to save money, or even break even work in Latin America, unless you really get into the class system and enjoy being at the lower end of it slaving away for people who will never pay your worth. But least if you pretend like you love them and their children, they MIGHT give you one of their french fries (which you can't afford).

You teach in Latin America to learn Spanish or for some strange personal reason. You don't teach here for money. I'm sure there are a few exceptions to that rule, but not a lot. Its a big world, so unless you just want to learn Spanish, I say find a place that pays better. But of course everyone is different. For myself I can't live without my electronics, computers, tvs, internet, etc.... if you hate that kind of thing maybe you can make do in LA. It ain't for everyone though.
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1514
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live like a local middle-class Mexican, and while I sometimes eat rice and beans, it certainly isn't the mainstay of my diet or that of my neighbors.

My "strange personal reason" for living here is that I love the weather, the friendliness of the people, the culture, and the language. It's too bad that things didn't work out for you in Latin America, but I would hope that your relentlessly negative post won't discourage others from coming here to work. I have a computer, access to the internet, even my very own printer in my house! I don't have a TV because I've chosen not to have one.

I wish you luck in whatever part of the world you find yourself and may your electronics, etc. make you truly happy!
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fladude



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isla Guapa wrote:


My "strange personal reason" for living here is that I love the weather, the friendliness of the people, the culture, and the language. It's too bad that things didn't work out for you in Latin America, but I would hope that your relentlessly negative post won't discourage others from coming here to work. !


I'm in Latin America right now, quite possibly making more than you, and I have a rented house and computer and such and I still think it sucks. Latin American middle class is not the same as US middle class. mainly because there is no real middle class. There is just rich and poor, with some people being "upper poor or educated poor." Not that the USA isn't getting there, but it isn't this bad yet.

As for it working out for me..... I'm here now... but long term it certainly could work out for me if I liked it, but I don't. I do though, have a contract and plan on finishing it.... To me though, Asia is a much better place to be and I can't wait to get back there. It just has a lot more going for it, in terms of savings and modernization, electronics, etc.... and safety.....

I've only mentioned this in one or two posts, so I'm certainly not relentless in my bashing. But at the same time, people need to be aware of the reality of working here. For people who like to go out, like to buy new electronics or that sort of thing it isn't a great place, or even like to live someplace where they can go out without worrying about their safety all the time, this isn't a great place.

If you want to look for your latin lover, or learn spanish, or care more about building friendships and relationships than going out, I'm sure its a great place to work. But it certainly isn't for everyone..... And for every post that someone like me puts on here, there are 5-10 posts telling someone a bunch of nonsense about how they will able to live fine in Central A. on 500 a month or some other completely ridiculous statement. So I am just keeping things fair and balanced.

I think I am quite fair in my assessment of the country.
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1514
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fladude wrote:
Isla Guapa wrote:


My "strange personal reason" for living here is that I love the weather, the friendliness of the people, the culture, and the language. It's too bad that things didn't work out for you in Latin America, but I would hope that your relentlessly negative post won't discourage others from coming here to work. !


I'm in Latin America right now, quite possibly making more than you, and I have a rented house and computer and such and I still think it sucks. Latin American middle class is not the same as US middle class. mainly because there is no real middle class. There is just rich and poor, with some people being "upper poor or educated poor."

As for it working out for me..... It certainly could work out for me if I liked it, but I don't. I've only mentioned this in one or two posts, so I'm certainly not relentless in my bashing. But at the same time, people need to be aware of the reality of working here. For people who like to go out, like to buy new electronics or that sort of thing it isn't a great place, unless you just really love the culture and language and can overlook the negatives.

If you want to look for your latin lover, or learn spanish, or care more about building friendships and relationships than having a good time, I'm sure its a great place to work. But it certainly isn't for everyone.....


I don't know where you are living in Latin America, but where I am, in Mexico, there certainly is a middle class. On the other hand, if you are looking for a place to live where the middle class lives just like it does in the US, then perhaps LA is not the place for you. In fact, if you want to reproduce the life you had in the US, why leave in the first place? Actually, in many ways I live better here than I did in the States. I can afford to have a cleaning lady in every now and then to clean my apartment, can take taxis without straining my budget, can go to the movies much more often than I did in the States, can eat out a lot more, and, when I eat in the food I consume is fresher and cheaper, can take luxurious intercity buses to visit other parts of Mexico at a fraction of what it would cost in the States, etc., etc.

I didn't say all your posts have bashed expat life in Latin America, just the one I commented on. I donīt know what you mean by "going out", but I go out all the time, as much or more than I did when I was living in the US. Buying new electronics has never been an interest of mine, but if it's one of yours, then it's true than they are more expensive in Mexico than they are back home. And I certainly have a good time here. If you aren't, then your idea of a good time is perhaps different from mine.

Well, I hope we can agree to disagree, and may the next country you move to be more to your liking!

P.S. One more thing. You haven't said where you are living in Latin America and have implied that your unpleasant experience wo the Mexican highlandsuld be valid for the entire area. Surely, life is different in a small Central American country like El Salvador, than it is in a world-class metropolis like Buenos Aires or a pleasant middle-size colonial city in the Mexican highlands.
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CarolinaTHeels



Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the fun you can have in LA compared to a place like Korea is not even comparable.

i wanted to shoot myself living in Korea when I thought about the time I had in Colombia!
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fladude



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isla Guapa wrote:

P.S. One more thing. You haven't said where you are living in Latin America and have implied that your unpleasant experience wo the Mexican highlandsuld be valid for the entire area. Surely, life is different in a small Central American country like El Salvador, than it is in a world-class metropolis like Buenos Aires or a pleasant middle-size colonial city in the Mexican highlands.


Good point. I am in a major city in Central America (not Panama). In this city you certainly would not do some of the things you talked about.... like taking the buses, at least not the ones that go around the city (overland buses ok... but city transport no way). That is because of the crime. Although we certainly have malls and modern things here in the city. I doubt that its very different from Mexico City, except perhaps for the crime, which is certainly worse here.

Anyway its a big world, some people like LA and some don't. As for why I would leave the US... First let me say that I think your question is a cop out. Its a typical response from someone who is defending the place they like. The implication is that if someone isn't happy here, then they will never be happy anywhere but the USA. That obviously isn't true. I've been to Asia, and YES maybe I do prefer the Westernized Asian lifestyle, with its clubs and golf courses and electronics stores (with actually decente priced electronics) over say traditional Asian lifestyle. But at the same time I can make enough money in Asia to live that lifestyle . So yes I would move there and would not try to become Asian, but rather live amongst them with my western lifestyle.

As for why did I leave the USA... I am tempted not to answer since it really isn't anyone's business. But...

We all have our reasons for leaving of course. But for myself it was partly to free myself from the robotic and controlling nonsense going on in US public education (NCLB) along with a general desire for freedom. Additionally, I like to travel. That doesn't mean I intend to give up my lifestyle, just that I plan to emigrate. Very Happy And yes I am going to be a bad immigrant... the kind the US complains about, the one's who move to a new country and keep their old ways. Very Happy

While I have no intention of going back to the USA, I'm not staying here either. It seems to work out for some people I guess, but for the most part simply teaching (outside of a handful of cities) is not smart business.

So to me the question isn't.... "Why did I leave?" but rather "Why did I leave and come here.... when I could have gone someplace else and made twice as much? Potentially some place like Asia... that I enjoy a lot more?"

And to answer that question.... well I can't. It was just a dumb move. Very Happy I mean my name is FlaDude.... Fla... / Latin America.... pretty close relatively. It seemed like a good idea to start small. In reality though.....
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree with Isla that there certainly is a middle class in Mexico, and it's on the rise, unlike the US where it is rapidly declining. In fact, the US seems to be turning into some sort of latter day Mexico...

But, if you have proper qualifications, establish yourself somewhere and network. You can do very well in Mexico. I've even bought a house, had a family and put my husband through gratuate school. Yes, electronics and other manufactured goods can be expensive and/or shoddy here. But I actually don't like those kinds of things. And I get back to the US often enough to buy a new lap top there when I need one. Services are so much cheaper here and I have a full time houskeeper-nanny not something most teachers in the US can afford. Like Isla said the food is fresh, cheap and delicous, both from the market and in the restuarants. I only go to American style supper markets for the few items I can't get elsewhere. Apart from beautiful handmade clothing items, I buy almost all the rest of my family's cloths used, not because I can't afford to buy new, but because I believe it's the correct thing to do.
And the part of Mexico where I live is extremely safe.
With small children I don't get out for much night life these days, but when I did I tended to enjoy the night life here more than the night life I experienced in Osaka, Japan--because I LOVE latin music. In Japan, I sought out latin music, something that is a lot easier to do here. Previous to Japan, I was in Cuenca, Ecuador, which I have often heard described as boring on this forum. I also really enjoyed the night life there which usually started in a cafe--moved on to a live music venue then to a house party (and if you invited the band you were hearing to the party--THEY CAME! I was only 22 and to me that was the coolest thing EVER!)


Last edited by MotherF on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1514
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our unhappy poster fladude has chosen not to reveal which country he's working in. It sounds like he's chosen a place that offers him a lifestyle quite different from what MotherF and I have experienced in Mexico. I think it's important to mention again that Latin America encompasses a huge geographic and cultural area, and what may be true for one country (or even part of a country) is not necessarily true for the whole region.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isla Guapa wrote:
Our unhappy poster fladude has chosen not to reveal which country he's working in. It sounds like he's chosen a place that offers him a lifestyle quite different from what MotherF and I have experienced in Mexico. I think it's important to mention again that Latin America encompasses a huge geographic and cultural area, and what may be true for one country (or even part of a country) is not necessarily true for the whole region.


Maximo Nivel - Antigua wrote:
Its a lot safer than say Guatemala City, where I live.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 796

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only worked in South America, and visited North and Central America as a tourist, but I would imagine that life as a teacher in Central America would be significantly harder than the North or South. Certainly, I don't recognise anything about my life in fladude's descriptions. Nor have I seen similar issues with any of the teachers I've worked with.

There is a middle class in Ecuador, and we are probably at the lower end of it. Quite frankly we have a fantastic life here. A nice apartment in a good area, cable TV, broadband, meals out, etc. We tend to socialise at home rather than going out (our choice), we can afford to travel locally from time to time.

Money is quite tight for us sometimes, but that's because we have chosen to work short hours (typically around 15 hrs a week each). We could easily double those hours and save to travel more, but at the moment we would rather have the time off.

The younger teachers I know go out drinking and clubbing regularly, they all seem to have decent accommodation, they pretty much all save, and either travel or buy other luxuries.

The teachers I've known who didn't settle in here were all looking to recreate their home countries here. Which does seem to fit the pattern. Maybe that is possible in some countries, but it's not going to happen in LA. So if that's what someone needs to be happy, they need to look elsewhere.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8814
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can tell you about Peru. Unless you're working at an intl school, or have connections that will get you a very good job, you can expect about 700 a month. 1000 is you work super hard.

My only regret about teaching in Peru was staying so long. I should have left sooner.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8814
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarolinaTHeels wrote:
the fun you can have in LA compared to a place like Korea is not even comparable.

i wanted to shoot myself living in Korea when I thought about the time I had in Colombia!

Different strokes for different folks. I have a heck of a lot more fun here in Asia than I ever did in Latin America. I also don't have to worry about dogs or people attacking me at night in Asia. Being hit by a car or stepping in puke, yes. Being mugged or raped, no.

Mexico seems to be a different story. I loved the very short time I spent there and felt safe.
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fladude wrote:
Living like a local means eating beans and rice and shopping at open air markets. Personally I can't do it. So I do not advise anyone who wants to save money, or even break even work in Latin America


Thanks for that great insight. This was my personal experience in Mexico City. I taught there for almost 4 years and had many problems. Not getting paid on time, not getting paid the full amont owed to me, students canceling all of the time, hours fluctuating which made it difficult to budget. I'm just stating facts of my personal experiences in Mexico City. It's hard to save when your salary is low and you really can't move up if you're only teaching


fladude wrote:
You don't teach here for money. I'm sure there are a few exceptions to that rule, but not a lot.


The key word being few amigo.
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fladude wrote:
And for every post that someone like me puts on here, there are 5-10 posts telling someone a bunch of nonsense about how they will able to live fine in Central A. on 500 a month or some other completely ridiculous statement. So I am just keeping things fair and balanced.


Thanks for the information, fladude. I appreciate the insight you bring based on your personal experience working in Latin America. And thanks for keeping things fair and balanced.

That is what makes daves esl cafe different and great. Dave allows different views to be expressed so long as there are no personal attacks. This sight keeps things fair and balanced. Thanks Dave! Very Happy
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
I have a heck of a lot more fun here in Asia than I ever did in Latin America. I also don't have to worry about dogs or people attacking me at night in Asia. Being hit by a car or stepping in puke, yes. Being mugged or raped, no.


Wow.
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