Looking into moving to Central America

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
i get this. we go to Brazil pretty regularly and it only takes me a few weeks to get a hankering to hear some English.

the other point that has only been lightly touched on here is finding a place where personal safety is not a real live daily ongoing concern. have lived that way in the US as a younger man and would not wish to live that way in my twilight. CR, Nica, DR, Panama et al - can I go to the store at 10 pm in these countries without taking my life in my hands? In Brazil, the answer is no.
I don't believe there is a country that is 100% crime free ... my point is ... no matter what country you're in ... there will be places where it might feel relatively safe out at 10pm and other places where you could be perceived as a target of opportunity.
 

Swallow Tail

Nep status
Oct 6, 2017
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Your Mom’s House
I had someone threaten me and threaten to steal a nice bike I was renting on a work-vacation trip - Vagabond told me to pay him $5 or bike wouldn’t be there when I got out of the store. I looked at him, looked at everyone else standing around outside the place n told him and everyone else Listening that if my bike wasn’t there when I got out I’d pay each of them $20 to tell me where he was so I could find him n beat his ass.
he stayed right there n made sure bike was safe til my return.
 

sussle

Miki Dora status
Oct 11, 2009
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I don't believe there is a country that is 100% crime free ... my point is ... no matter what country you're in ... there will be places where it might feel relatively safe out at 10pm and other places where you could be perceived as a target of opportunity.
no, of course not...but i want to be safe in my own bed, without having to think twice about it. in some countries, you're never really safe anywhere.

i have this maddening 20 y/o disagreement with Mrs. Sussle, who cannot sleep if the windows are left open - literally 18+ feet above the ground coz our house is on pilings - because she's worried someone might come in the house when we are sleeping. home invasion is unheard of, where we live...in fact, so is violent crime in general. it's just not a realistic concern but there is no convincing her. i guess it's all relative.
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
no, of course not...but i want to be safe in my own bed, without having to think twice about it. in some countries, you're never really safe anywhere.

i have this maddening 20 y/o disagreement with Mrs. Sussle, who cannot sleep if the windows are left open - literally 18+ feet above the ground coz our house is on pilings - because she's worried someone might come in the house when we are sleeping. home invasion is unheard of, where we live...in fact, so is violent crime in general. it's just not a realistic concern but there is no convincing her. i guess it's all relative.
I've had on occasion a few of those conversations with Mrs. Flyinraptr. So one of the things we have learned is "generally speaking" ... Nicaraguans are deathly afraid of dogs .. always exceptions but for the most part it holds true. Before we moved to Nica permanently we were coming down 2 -3 times a year ... this feral dog "Cleo" who lived on the beach at Colorado's would always show up at where we were staying and of course Mrs. Flyinraptr would feed her while we were there and each time we left Cleo would be on the front porch watching us go in the rearview mirror ... definitely pulled on the heart strings. We had started looking into adopting her and bringing her back to the US and made a promise that if we ever decided to move to Nica we would adopt her. As fate would have it ... we moved to Nica ... and when we found her she was close to death (tick disease). Fortunately, we were able to save her .... she is still with us. Funny thing is she absolutely hates Nicaraguans (doesn't have a problem with gringos) ... while taking her on a walk if any Nicaraguans are walking by or worse on a bicycle ... the fur on her back stands up and she puffs her chest out and tries to act badass like she is going to lunge at them. It's quite amusing considering her condition and age .. i try to play it up and act like i am barely able to control her. San Juan Del Sur is a small town ... and so if the rumor gets around about the gringos with the crazy/vicious dog gets around ... not a bad thing. The workers building our house would show up and this 10+ yr old dog with arthritis and missing teeth ... who walks with a limp would have them backed up against a wall growling at them. I'd have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. We now have 5 dogs (all but one are Nicaraguan street dogs that we rescued) ...they are very protective ... we call them our early warning system. We live on the side of a hill with a wrap around view ... if anyone or a vehicle is within 200 mts of the house ... they typically let us know. When the work crew shows up for whatever reason they refuse to even come in the front gate to our property until we have rounded up all the dogs and secured them in a room. Of course, the theory is that by making your house look like too much of a hassle ... any would be thieves, etc .... will look for an easier target.
 

sussle

Miki Dora status
Oct 11, 2009
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ive never been so on edge, on vacation in my life then when i was in brazil. 3 weeks of walking on eggshells. place is legit scary even with local chaperones most of the time. in 3 weeks i was in 2 car accidents as well.
my in-laws live in a pretty cool surf town called Saquarema, about 2 hours north of Rio. pretty rural, beautiful little town that occasionally gets epic surf, the kind of place that you would think you could relax a little....but no: they have kind of a walled compound on the edge of this big lagoon and at night, after dark, everything gets locked up and they release two big German Shepherds to patrol the grounds. nobody goes near the dogs except my BIL, so no one goes out at after dark at all. no way to spend retirement, imho.

Edit: I think this pic is from the Oi Rio Pro in Saquarema a couple of years ago....Saq is on the WSL schedule this year as well, in December. I would think security would be tight for this kind of thing , probably a good time to return, now that I think about it. We haven't been since pre-pandemic days.
 
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CutnSnip

Miki Dora status
Sep 11, 2018
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Probably dropping in on you, California
my in-laws live in a pretty cool surf town called Saquarema, about 2 hours north of Rio. pretty rural, beautiful little town that occasionally gets epic surf, the kind of place that you would think you could relax a little....but no: they have kind of a walled compound on the edge of this big lagoon and at night, after dark, everything gets locked up and they release two big German Shepherds to patrol the grounds. nobody goes near the dogs except my BIL, so no one goes out at after dark at all. no way to spend retirement, imho.

looks gorgeous. i did 2 weeks in rio and one in sao paulo in 2007. felt safer walking around in sao paulo for sure but yea my friends house had armed guards. was surreal.
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
I couldn't move to Nica because I'm a journalist. Probably couldn't even visit there right now. Ortega seems to have become what he long ago railed against.
Absolutely right. If you ever have an interest check out "Blood of my Brothers" written by Steven Kinzer ... who was an American journalist in Nicaragua during the late seventies - early eighties.
 
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flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
2,585
991
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
ive never been so on edge, on vacation in my life then when i was in brazil. 3 weeks of walking on eggshells. place is legit scary even with local chaperones most of the time. in 3 weeks i was in 2 car accidents as well.
We took a short trip to Belize right before the pandemic exploded .... and i had a similar sense .... was constantly looking over my shoulder with the feeling that either someone was following us or we were being watched.
 

ThaDood

Michael Peterson status
Jul 29, 2003
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Playa Zen
The political climate is already there as far as authoritarianism and nepotism .... but outside of the civil unrest in 2018 - for better or worse it has been stable. One additional note on healthcare ... with the cost being so low ... we have opted to not buy health insurance .... cheaper to just pay as needed up to this point.
I have 13 months or less then I'm out of Texas and in CR & Nica for 3 month rotating stints. May hit you up later on tips in Nica. I've been to the Rancho Santana area a few times but would welcome advice for 3 month stays.