My Five Million Questions About ES

Particular information of interest:
~'Transfer' of US college degrees (Bachelors in Social Work [BSW], Masters in Social Work [MSW], PhD [undetermined at this point, looking at Social Work, Political Science, Public Health or Public Policy])

~Relocating with an American child (who doesn't speak fluent Spanish and not of Latino decent)

~If gaining citizenship, can you still maintain American citizenship e.g. dual-citizenship

~I tend to be a very liberal person (but know when to keep my mouth shut [most of the time]), any do's or do not's

~Any universities that teach subjects besides languages in English

~How is higher education viewed in the country, especially for women

~I know poor, have been poor for most of my life and have fought for everything I have..... but currently, I am 'comfortable' poor as a graduate student, single mother with no support, etc etc... what has been your experience with adjusting?

~If someone saved all their money while in the US and wanted to retire there... build a decent house ... and not have to work, what is your estimate of how much money would be needed for 30 years?

~'Social Security'/Pension in ES for those that gain citizenship? Requirements?

~And anything else you think you can add that would be helpful

~Laundry... my assumption would be that there are laundry mats in the big cities and people hand wash/air dry in the rural areas

~Female sanitary items? The same as the US? (Please say so.)

And I am sure I will have a million other questions! *wink*

I've been to ES to visit a couple of times, each stay was a month or longer. I love ES!

As far as education/college goes I do not have much information to offer except stuff I've read online. I can say though, a college education helps you find a position. As far as being a woman with an degree, this helps your cause since it proves you had the brains to get through college. It is basically the same as being in the USA. Prove yourself valuable.

~Relocating with an American child (who doesn't speak fluent Spanish and not of Latino decent)

Relocating w/your child is a very differcult thing to explain. There is crime, as i imagine there is crime in Ann Arbor. Still moving to say NYC you would have to consider crime a issue. Apply this same concern to moving to ES with a child. You have seen the stories of "ransom", "kidnappings", "disappeared". BECAREFUL of anyone you leave your child with, and more so MINDFUL of the neighborhood/barrio you live in. If you notice tattoos or wierd loitering you might want to think about moving or talking with trusted family, friends, nieghbors...or the police about security.

I say this because my son is Latino. He speaks English and Spanish, but he still sticks out in ES. NO one have ever approached us in a bad way, the children there play with my son as if a regular neighbor, but his father and I are very cautious when we visit ES. I don't want to scare you.
ES is a lovely place if you know who your with and where you are.

~I tend to be a very liberal person (but know when to keep my mouth shut [most of the time]), any do's or do not's

I'm liberal and have had arguements with nationals in ES, no one has attacked me, yet. lol

Seriously, it is the same as while in the states. Know your company and try to understand the others POV. When you see someone getting real aggitated you might want to back off the convo when you do not know the person your speaking with.

~I know poor, have been poor for most of my life and have fought for everything I have..... but currently, I am 'comfortable' poor as a graduate student, single mother with no support, etc etc... what has been your experience with adjusting?

My fiance owns his home and car. He lives off about $350 a month. That's food, gas, utilities (water and electric). He makes $200 a month at his job (mech.) and does side work to make ends meet.

~If someone saved all their money while in the US and wanted to retire there... build a decent house ... and not have to work, what is your estimate of how much money would be needed for 30 years?

If you find this out, let me know!

~'Social Security'/Pension in ES for those that gain citizenship? Requirements?

If you find this out let me know! My fiance explained a system they have, but to me it didn't sound anything like SS.

~Laundry... my assumption would be that there are laundry mats in the big cities and people hand wash/air dry in the rural areas.

There are laundry mats in San Salvador. There are dry cleaners. There are places that wash clothes for you. There are ladies who will hand wash, dry, iron for a fee.

~Female sanitary items? The same as the US? (Please say so.)

Yes, they have everything we have. For a tad bit higher price.

You can contact me directly at [email protected]

Thank you for taking the time to respond and share your experiences and knowledge.

Unfortunately, considering an trip to ES or an extended stay might be in the near future. The climate in my area for immigrants is turning for the worst very rapidly.

I noticed you have one reply from Denver and one from Ann Arbor. My best advice to you is to travel here, stay a month, there are furnished rooms to rent in safe areas for as little as 75 Dollars per month or if you have relatives or friends, even better, arrange to stay with them. San Salvador is hot and humid all year round. tropical rainy season mid May through late October. Dry season late October into early May. Coolest months December and January. Once you are are here take it a day at a time, learn the public transportation system if you have not the money to hire a local driver owner by the day. San Salvador is not a pedestrian friendly town, if you decide to relocate you will need a car to get around, especially if you are a tall white female, security issues are real here so do not walk around alone late nights.
One mistake wannabes make on forums and BBs is asking too many detailed questions, I have not the time to answer yours, however, one day at a time, poco a poco se va lejos, from my database able to answer all your questions and send you url of pertinent websites, as long as you are able to read in Spanish, the majority are in Spanish. E mail aaronadvocate at  saludos y buena suerte.

In El Salvador if you are married to an El Salvadorian citizen getting residency takes 2 yers or so, if no El Salvadorian rlatives 5 years. Decent full time jobs aside from traching English ..low pay, long hours with no work permit...not enough to live on. Ok for retired with other income or young people with savings who require teaching experience abroad. The Call Centers are hiring English speakers, but full time at most Work Permit or Residency required. Same as USA, you work illegally you are exploited.
What to do if You Can't Find a Job Abroad ? 
By Elizabeth Kruempelmann

Summary: If you live overseas looking for a job and have not been able to get hired by a company, it may be time for a different approach. Start thinking like a business owner rather than a job hunter.

Overseas Jobs - What to do if You Can't Find a Job Abroad

Is this you?

You are looking for a job in a foreign country. You're facing at least one of the following obstacles, and it is starting to get tough:

    * You don't have a work permit
    * Job prospects are sparse
    * You want a flexible work schedule
    * You are running out of money
    * You don't know where to look next

What do you do?

If you live overseas looking for a job and have not been able to get hired by a company, it may be time for a different approach.

Here is a quick and easy answer that can open up many kinds of exciting and profitable opportunities for you:

Start thinking like a business owner rather than a job hunter. Set up your own consulting or freelance business, and start to scout for clients, not a job. Send out brilliant business proposals instead of résumés. Have business meetings with potential clients instead of interviews with potential employers. Propose clever ideas for improving your client's business. And when the time is right and your client is ready, name your price. They can accept it or reject it, but eventually you will probably end up negotiating the terms, just like you would when accepting a job offer.

Setting up your own business is not as hard as it sounds. And, it is a little-known trick to potentially getting around the work-permit issue . . . at least for a one-person business in the short run. (If you want to set yourself up as a corporation with more employees than just yourself, the process becomes more complicated but can be done with the help of lawyer.) Plus, having your own business can open up worldwide opportunities, as well as multiple streams of income, which can lead to quick income as well as a flexible lifestyle.

Setting up your own business is a perfect solution for expat professionals looking for ways to use their professional skills locally, on a full or part-time basis, and can be a particularly fitting solution for expat mothers who want flexibility to care for the family while still enjoying professional fulfillment.

Thinking like a business owner can help you create your own exciting and profitable opportunity abroad in at least three ways:

1. Get Your Foot in the Door to a Company

By setting yourself up as a consultant or freelancer, you may also be able to sell yourself to a company. Instead of hiring you as a full-time employee, a company can hire you on a contract basis, which may be an advantage for both of you. In the future, you could be considered for a long-term position if one becomes available.

Additionally, in many countries the company might be able to avoid paying expensive social security and other taxes by hiring you as a consultant. This is a good negotiating point when you are trying to convince a company to hire you as a consultant.

2. Create a Portable Career

If you move from country to country every few months to every few years, you may desire a portable job and career that you can take with you wherever you go. You can do lots of interesting work from a laptop, including writing, website development, graphic design, software design, content development, research, translation work, business consulting and many other Internet-related jobs.

3. Be Inspired by other Expat Entrepreneurs

Find out how other people are living and working overseas. If you hear ideas that strike your fancy, make contact with the folks and ask them for advice. One middle-aged American couple buys and restores old farmhouses and rents them out to tourists. Another American living abroad gives seminars and workshops in photography and art. And one woman who lives abroad permanently uses her graphic skills to design newsletters for clients in the United States. These people are living where they want and the way they want. And with a little ingenuity, you can too.

If you are in parts of Central or South America, S.E. Asia and other parts of the "real world" (we are NOT any 'third world')
and enter an ex pat bar or restaurant hang out, the first and foremost bumper sticker on the wall you'll see is NO WHINING, over 26 years have seen thousands come and most GO before a year. Visit your target country first and see if it's for you, if not, move on, about 220 countries to choose from on the globe.

PS El Salvador is NOT for the bleeding heart neither faint of heart, especially if you are planning on purchasing a vehicle and driving in and around San Salvador!!!

Hope you got a sense of humor.....otherwise you'll go back home in 6 months in a camisa fuerza..strait jacket!!!!

My article (from my own El Salvador & Central America travel information bloq)
Why not El Salvador and Guatemala??

Guatemala - The Director of INGUAT, Institute of Tourism of Guatemala,

estimates that is possible for the country to reach an increase of 3

to 4 percent in the tourism industry for 2009.

The current financial crisis in developed countries could make

Guatemala, neighboring El Salvador and the rest of Central America a

very attractive travel destination suiting all budgets.

World renowned publications like

Forbes Magazine and others have described how much

'bang you get for

your travel buck' in Guatemala.

Guatemala's advantage is that we are

considerably cheaper than Costa Rica and we have much more to offer.

Actually factual.

Pacific Ocean destinations like Monterrico are a favored tourist hot

spot. The new surfing madness brings young visitors to the beaches.

There is sports fishing, a newly developed industry that is taking of

with great success, so are the newly discovered opportunities for

whale watching.

For water and adventure lovers there is river rafting in river Cahabon

and many others.

Guatemala will have the usual culture travelers. The Mayan culture is

a magnet that brings hundreds of people from all over the world to

explore Tikal, Chichicastenango and many archeological sites all over

the country. One of the favorites is Tak alik ab Aj, down on the

pacific coast near Rethaluleu.. There are so many sites that the time

is usually not enough to visit them all.

El Salvador

El Salvador boasts 'The Pompei of the Americas' Joya de Ceren, the

Pyramids of San Andres and Tzumal and the recently excavated Ruins of

Ciuhatan, City of Women.

Back in Guatemala, for nature lovers, Bird watching tours are also a

trend that is

developing, so is the visit to the natural reserves like Laguna del Tigre

and la Lechua.

In El Salvador don't miss the nature preserve of Parque

El Imposible and the Cloud Forest of Montecristi in Parque El

Trifunio, summit is located where the borders of El Salvador,

Guatemala and Honduras meet. On a clear day one can view the Heart of

Central America from the Carribbean to the Pacific! Awesome! No

'tourist hordes'

Lake Atitlan in the Highlands of Guatemala is more majestic than ever,

it is recommended as a

phenomenal natural wonder and some funky tourist towns like Panajachel

and San Marcos, a pristine Lake village, where continental travelers

have a lot of fun and rub shoulders with our "Living Maya". And

Antigua is as beautiful and charming as ever.

In El Salvador 330 km. (220 miles) of unbroken pristine Pacific

beaches, bays, islands and mangroves await, along with World class

surfing, and yes El Salvador boasts charming colonial towns such as

Suchitoto, indingenous villages of Panchimalco and Santo Domingo de

Guzman , volcanoes, cloud forests and much much more. Uncrowded.

The world is in crisis, so is Guatemala, so is El Salvador, so is the

rest of Central America, so what!

Tourism, travel must go on. Tourism is a

motor for development.

The recommendations or precautions to not visit Guatemala and even

more so El Salvador are unfair

and geopolitically motivated.

The following lists of countries are

promoted to the wazoo by "the powers to be" and they share every

single problem that both Guatemala & El Salvador possess; some of them

additionally have

terrorism. Really. Sad but true.

China, India, Mexico, Colombia, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam,

Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, are all on the list of

the 50 most visited countries in the world. Last time we checked they

had crime, drugs, human rights violations, organized crime, poverty,

inequality; etc.

So what makes Guatemala and El Salvador different from these other

countries? One

thing: the patronage they have, the promotion they get. "PR" Rumors

and bad press are nothing more than cheap online gossip, written

mainly by those who never even have traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador

or the rest of Central America!

There are of course security issues, as everywhere one will travel way

from home, however out of thousands of visitors evey month only a

handful experience problems and even some of those are preventable by

using common sense and being aware!

Entonces, le esperamos……

*The week that Mumbai in India was taken hostage by terrorist, 'CNN'

ran advertisements to promote "The exotic adventure of India".

Colombia, who still exports the same amount of drugs as 10 years ago,

is also being promoted in the US, sponsored by the US. The same

applies for Mexico, never mind the atrocities of the internal drug war

that is now spilling over its borders.

*So, if anyone can give me a specific reason to not visit Guatemala or

neighboring El Salvador, or Honduras or Nicaragua if you prefer, using

comparative objective criteria, I will listen. ¡Digame!

The Myth: "El Salvador is the most dangerous country for travelers in

Central America...."

The Reality: NOT SO, even in the congested capital city of San

Salvador are many small and affordable Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast

and small Hotels catering to budget travelers on pleasant tree lined

streets, in fact, next to San José in Costa Rica, San Salvador, El

Salvador turns out to be the safest and most pleasant capital city to

base in, in all of Central America, the Beaches of La Libertad are a

45 minute drive or less and Suchitoto is about an hour. Slightly more

time on public transportation. The entire country can be seen in a few

days, no 'all day' bus rides or drives, where you arrive exhausted.

People are friendly here in El Salvador, willing to help out travelers

in a pinch. There exist now in El Salvador dozens of CS members, so if

traveling here try to contact a few CS hosts well in advance of your

arrival, especially if arriving holiday seasons such as December & New

Years. Neighboring Guatemala and nearby Costa Rica boast many CS

members while the number of members in Nicaragua has almost tripled in

recent months.
Advice is cheap..el aviso sale barato
Experience is priceless..el experencia real no tiene ningun precio

Those traveling to Central America teh first time best to join one of the Hospex sites, be met up or hosted by usually bi or multi lingual locals, good for lone travelers or couples with no family nor contacts here to rely on...women traveling alone best to stay with female members...
Couch Surfing (over 150 ES members now)
Hospitality Club
Be Welcome
(moderated: no ads please)

Need information on relocating, retiring, traveling around or volunteering in Central America, have magicjack, simply message me with a us telephone number and convenient time to call you. Our time is us CST or gmt - 6, one hour behind NY, two hours ahead of the west coast. Keep things simple. There is a solution to every problem if you have patience. Contact and then have me call if you wish, I do neither sell real estate, land or condos, never lived in one. Have been a resident ex pat in Central America for 25 years. Invite those serious about relocating down, lodgings and transportation arranged to suit your own particular budget. Meet locals, make contacts and nuture friendships before you quit your day job and sell your home. /lets talk E mails are tedious to me, I do not hide behind a comouter screen, am a people person. no whiners please, changes attitude with changes in latitude, changes in attitude..Jimmy Buffet. A    sense of humor indispensible El Sal Wizard.


i've been living there 15 years,
all over CA and SA since 1976, Colombia is my fav

elsalwizard?  pay him any of you even asking, he knows a lot, daytime tours sane , YES!

$20 a day is cheap

[Moderated] since 1995, a info portal
Mr. Lee full bio


I just added a new topic on business for this 'blog'
and MY blog

7 Buddhists in Latinolandia


as far as products and services El Salvador is pretty darned Americanized. Pretty much most things are the same here and even about the same price as the US. Hard to believe when wages average between $800-1500 a month in the city. Best advice: don't buy like an American. Eat at local restaurants, dont buy lots of useless stuff. Don't shop for entertainment. Go out and do things instead.
As far as kids and schools there are tons of great schools and lots of bilingual schools.