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The pros of Living in Chile

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My personal “pros” of living in Chile

I wanted to outline the personal aspects I enjoyed about this country,as outlined in my web site : www.livinginchile.net

- the modernism of the city of Santiago (basically the middle and upper class neighbourhoods),with similiarities to some american cities.I also enjoy the “Metro of Santiago”,subway lines that are very efficient and clean,and take you to most parts of the city without the need of driving your car

- the cleanliness of the city,and care for keeping the city clean

- the economic stability,with no significant inflation nor devaluation of their currency,with easy access to bank loans with good interest rates

- the huge amount of american franchisings,making it very enjoyable to count on good food chains,banks,hotels,cinemas,courriers,and so many other american companies and services(like living in any american city)

- the good ratio of services vs fees of banks,telephone,electricity,etc

- great medical clinics,similar to the ones in the United States.Modern medical and dental facilities,with good providers.Though having access to these clinics requires to have a private health insurance,they are affordable

- absence of violent robbings,terrorism or kidnappings. This is a plus in South America(unlike countries like Argentina,Colombia,Mexico and Brazil,unable to control the huge amount of violent crimes and abductions)

- the availability of lots of international brands & products at great prices, in relation to the country of origin(cars,electronics,households,etc)

- the kindness, respect and diplomacy of the people,specially with foreigners,makes it comfortable while living in Chile

- the possibility of growing financially in my profession,thanks to the stable economy and the easiness to get well known if you do good marketing of yourself while provide good professional services.Some foreigners grow faster in their business than many chileans,because many of us come with new ideas,might be more creative than the average chilean,or more trusted for our work or product.Part of the chilean society prefers products or services that come from overseas than the local ones

- the political,economical and social stability,where social unrest,street manifestations or union strikes are uncommon.Also,there is almost no inflation,banks are 100% trustable and investing is not that all risky

- the great amount of foreigners from all parts of the world

(north americans, europeans,latinamericans,mexicans and russians among others ),making it interesting to socialize with other cultures rather than the locals only.You can hear people in fine restaurants talking many languages

- No racial problems,even if there is no black community living in Chile.    I personally think this is an issue when living in the States or other places,specially for emigrants that have been raised in a a caucasian society.There is though some discrimination against chileans with indian traits,but it hasn´t been that bad,because there is no provocation on one another.Or maybe because chileans never show or express their racist and classist feelings or thoughts.I did noticed some discrimination against asians 

- The nice weather of Santiago: 4 well-differenciated seasons,with absence of winds,absence of rains between october and april,absence of humidity, a winter season that isn´t that tough and summers that aren´t too hot nor unbearable.The dry weather is similar to Southern California.

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robert2010 New member
Member since 30 December 2010
Texas, USA
6 Comments
evolo
evolo
3 years ago

Cons... I´ll give you cons all day long. 1. It is the third most polluted city in the world. As a Canadian there isn´t much worse for me than not being able to see 10 city blocks. The mountains are beautiful, if you can see them. 2. The drivers are terrible. I've driven all over the world, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, Australia and I can tell you that the drivers in Chile are on par, if not worse, with Mexico and Spain. Forget signal lights. In order to change lanes you must make eye contact with the other driver, wave your hand out the window (no passenger, no right turns), and wait for them to acknowledge your existence. Don´t forget to fake a smile. 3. It is horribly expensive in Chile. The gasoline is almost 2 dollars per liter. Clothing is 40% more than North America. Food is sometimes slightly cheaper but generally exactly the same. You won´t notice. Alcohol is however cheaper. For now. 4. Nobody speaks english. Only the richest 3% (under the age of 40) speak any English. And the Spanish they speak is muddled and often impossible to discern. Picture five drunk Irish men speaking English amongst themselves and you will have a rough idea of what i´m talking about. 5. The wages are two to four times lower than North America and Australia for educated jobs. A young (connected) lawyer can expect to earn 48000 US per year. Chefs make 2 dollars per hour. 6. Everything and I mean everything requires a RUT. It´s like a social insurance number that you have to give out at every moment of every day to accomplish even the simplest transaction. Want a cell phone contract, you need a RUT. Want a gym membership, you need a RUT. Use a credit card, they will ask for a RUT and then require your passport number if you don´t have one. 7. Everything needs to be notarized. Period. 8. The government system is a nightmare. If you come you will understand. Make friends with a Lawyer, and fast. 9. The people are racist. If you are black, asian, pretty much everything but white, you will have problems. 10. Everybody cheats. Not just sexually, although it is pretty much compulsory to do so, but at everything. They will lie cheat and steal if given the opportunity. 11. The "nice" neighborhoods look more like upscale prisons than townhomes. Electric fences, guard dogs, spikes, razor wire, barbed wire, you name it they have it. I even saw a preschool with broken bottles lining the top of their 7 foot concrete wall. 12. The average work week is 48 hours but they accomplish only 10 hours of real work. If you own a business, good luck. But what do you expect when the average wage is only 350 dollars per month. 13. The adults are more like children. Most Chilean girls live at home until they get married. Even into their 30´s in some cases. The men leave home earlier but have been so babied that even in their late 20´s they behave like teenagers. Gossip, backstabbing and general high school mentality is rampant. Never get too friendly with people at parties. Most are looking for gossip to spread about you later. And as everyone in Chile knows each other it will spread fast and be permanently damaging. This country runs on gossip. 14. If you leave the "rich" neighborhoods poverty, garbage and crime are everywhere. 15. Traffic. Santiago grew so quickly that their roadway infrastructure couldn't keep up. Rush hour is from 7am - 10am and 3pm - 8pm. 16. You have to pay for everything from people bagging your groceries to parking at a 7-11. Nothing in Santiago is free. Nothing. 17. Integrating into the population is almost impossible if you are educated. If you are poor you can get in no problem. Apparently the rich people have made it easier so they can import impoverished Peruvian nannies. However if you are educated get ready for one of the most expensive, time consuming, government red tape experiences of your life. Even sending mail through the post office feels like a day at the department of motor vehicles. Get ready to spend your first year in Chile standing in line. 18. Your consulate will be of little to no help. They are more like a team of sales associates helping Chileans travel to your country than a group of government officials paid to help their citizens. I was asked 3 times if I was sure I needed information on working in Chile as a Canadian and not visa versa. 19. Absolutely nothing works! As they say... "It´s the Chilean way!"

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doode
doode
9 months ago

Thanks for a very candid and thorough viewpoint. I'm Black British and was considering going to work in Santiago Chile. This had been extremely useful.

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JustJilly
JustJilly
3 years ago

Where are the cons? And I read elsewhere that being black in chile will get you long stares.. random people touching you.. or asking to take a photo with you... My husband is black and we're a little anxious to see how this will play out..

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doode
doode
9 months ago

Did you eventually go to Chile? If so how was it? I am considering a job in Santiago, I'm Black British so I'll be keen to know how you got on. Thanks.

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Guest
Guest
5 years ago

- the availability of lots of international brands & products at great prices, in relation to the country of origin(cars,electronics,households,etc): Sorry, but I disagree with you on this topic since car prices are by far more expensive than in the United States and the cars offered in Chile are car with basic features in them. Cars in the US are by far less expensive and come with many more amenities.

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Guest
Guest
5 years ago

Theres no cons.

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