If you think that living in Latin America for months or ears at a time is going to be easy for an American whose grown in the confines of a first world country most of their life, I’m sorry to say there’s going to be something that throws you off in the whole process. I had visited Latin America very frequently, but only for weeks at a time before the summer of 2016. As an intern who worked down there for roughly three months over the summer (their winter), my experience was radically different. Everything from supermarkets to living in a house changed for me, and things that missions trips kids would find “quaint” or adventurous got really old, really fast. So here’s a list of a few things to expect and tolerate when living long term down south.
- Water: It’s always in abundance, but just cause it comes out off the sink doesn’t mean you can drink it. Go for bottled or purified water only. Heated water often cuts out in many neighborhoods so if you haven’t had the chance to wash using a pot of heated water in a shed behind the house, I highly suggest it as something to cross off your bucket list
2. The Heat: Depending where you are, it might be extremely hot during the summers and very hot during the winters. Take Paraguay for example, that hits highs of 110-114 degrees in the summer with about 80% humidity year round. It makes Florida look like a snow globe and you should really prep yourself for living in this kind of environment long-term.
3. Safety: Depending on the country, it might be very safe or very not-safe. Be sure to check the crime statistics of the country and city you plan on living in. The town I stayed in had recently been experiencing a crime wave and let me tell you, not being able to walk or go around outside at night without a large group of people gets old real quick.