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John Cobin

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Planned and Actual Improvements to Chile’s Southern Highway

One of the biggest infrastructure problems in Chile has been reaching isolated towns in the deep south. Now that Douglass Tompkins is dead and his lands are passing to the Chilean government, it will be more feasible to put a highway through from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales. There are already stretches of paved road […]

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Dishonesty in Chile: Once Again a Nightmare

Lying, cheating and dishonesty are par for the course in Chile. This fact has hardly been hidden from my readers. The problem is so pernicious and pervasive in Chile that it is worth mentioning again, and I have recetly been reminded of it as I myself fell victim to a clever scammer. I was speaking […]

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Bring with You to Chile These Little Things

Over the last 20 years that I have been associated with Chile and bringing things down here from the United States and Europe, several “little” items pop up as necessities that simply are not available in the country. Therefore, I suggest that whether you are bringing a container, pallet or many suitcases that you slips […]

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Immigrants that Are not Welcome in Chile

Immigrants from 51% of the countries of the world are not readily welcome in Chile. It is very difficult for most people in the world even to obtain a tourist visa. The restriction applies mainly, although not exclusively, to Third World, Muslim, violence-ridden and communist countries. Some notable non-Muslim standouts included in the lists are […]

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Using a Firm Hand with Suppliers as a Business Owner

It is difficult being a manager or business owner: long hours, dealing with employees and their problems, financial and time pressures, etc. In Chile, add to the mix poor customer service and often deceit. Let me give a couple of recent examples of situations in Chile when the business owner had to deal with returning […]

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8.4 Earthquake in Central Chile (September 16, 2015)

Anyone who was not a true believer in Chilean construction quality before, sure must be now. On September 16, 2015, just before 8 p.m. (the sun had recently set), central Chile was struck by a powerful 8.4 Richter Scale earthquake, followed shortly thereafter by major aftershocks on that scale of 7.6, 7.2 and 6.7. The […]

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Offshore Banking Under Fire

One of the worst parts of holding an American passport, besides FATCA rules that impede financial privacy and freedom overseas in general, and the obligation to pay income taxes on worldwide income, is traveling among hostiles. I am not just talking about travel within Arab countries or places like Central America, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and […]

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Size 13 Shoes in Chile

Not often, but every once in a while, a Chilean company gets a plug on my blog. I am not in the business of offering free advertising or promoting brands in general. However, when some benefit arises that truly affects the well-being of newcomers to Chile, I am happy to report it. For nearly 20 […]

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Chilean Spanish: Not So Aberrant

Language is a complex thing. For years, I have talked about how “bad” Chilean Spanish has become, degenerated over years of geographical isolation and popular ignorance. Much of the basis for my comments was rooted in the self-flagellation of Chileans themselves, which have on many occasions told me how poorly they speak by cutting out consonants […]

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Increased Real Estate Taxes in Chile

One of the worst outcomes of the landslide election in favor of the Chilean Left in 2014 was the reality of paying higher taxes. Now it is coming to fruition in some areas, although for most people coming in from abroad the effect will be minimal. Unfortunately, those few newcomers that will be engaged in […]

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