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Overview of Nightlife and Activities for Younger People

There are many reasons to live in Santiago: jobs, business and networking, modernity, large First World areas, great medical care, extensive and modern shopping, amusement parks, bowling, golf, international access/airport hub and access to language schools or many people that speak English. Other than work and business, Viña del Mar can tick most of those boxes, albeit on a much smaller scale, and what lacks is just ninety minutes away in Santiago. What Viña has over Santiago is less traffic (except during the Summertime, when it can be a bit oppressive on the coast), cooler weather in Summer, ocean views and no air pollution. The rest of Chile pales by comparison to these two spots, and thus it is no wonder that well over ninety percent of the expats we have serviced settle in either Northeastern Santiago or Viña del Mar.

Nevertheless, one thing that often goes unnoticed is the needs of younger, usually single people, mainly in their 20s and 30s. Most expats that we see are 45 to 65 years old. A few come with children, but most do not. For that reason, these immigrants rarely ask me about what social life is like for younger people. Other than church groups, I really do not know–being a man in his 50s that likes the quiet pleasantries of Viña del Mar. So I asked my 27-year-old son what cities he prefers to meet people, go out and have fun: restaurants, dancing, pubs, shows, casinos, soccer matches, beaches, concerts, horse racing, movie theaters, whatever.

While one observation (my son’s views) is hardly scientific, I think it could be of interest to readers since he was partly raised here and has since lived in Chile for many years, attended graduate school here and is perfectly bilingual. He also gets out a fair amount.

I asked my wife to fill in bits of information she knows about Southcentral Chile. I have a few bits of information to add to the mix, too, based on locales I have seen and activities I have witnessed during my extensive travels in Chile.

In my son’s view, Northeastern Santiago is clearly the best choice. It is a “10”. However, other places are also good or fair, while most places are mediocre or outright terrible. Here are the rankings:

10 Valparaíso/Viña del Mar on New Year’s Eve and during Festival de Viña (around February 19-28)

8 Viña del Mar during the summertime (including Reñaca and south Concón)

7 Viña del Mar during the rest of the year

6,5 Concepción

6 Pucón or Villarrica (especially) and Puerto Varas during the summertime

5 La Serena and Iquique

4 Temuco and Valdivia

3.5 Puerto Montt and Rancagua

3 All other popular lakes and beaches during the summertime, Antofagasta

2 Arica, Talca, Curicó, Linares, Chillán, Los Ángeles, Punta Arenas, Coyhaique, Osorno, Calama, Copiapó, Los Andes, Quillota, Pucón and Villarrica and Puerto Varas during the rest of the year

1 Rural areas and small towns throughout Chile, other lakes and beaches during the rest of the year.

Take the ranking for what it is worth, but at least you now have an idea of what to expect in each area of the country. My son would not live anywhere but Northeastern Santiago or Viña del Mar, unless (of course) he was called to work in another city. Remember, too, that even if Viña del Mar is more suitable for his parent’s generation or retirees, there is still a fair amount for younger people to do and he can easily get to spots in Santiago by bus/metro in a couple hours for Friday and Saturday night–a virtue that no other provincial urban center provides (like Concepción–too far away).

In many ways, Viña del Mar is the superior choice if a young person does not have to work in Santiago every day. He gets the benefits of nightlife in both of those cities without having to put up with the disagreeable aspects of daily life in Santiago (smog, traffic, summertime heat). Overall, it seems pretty clear that young people will tend to be most comfortable and content with social life in either Northeastern Santiago or Viña del Mar.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

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 years, I have searched in vain in Chile to find size 13 shoes (size 46 in Chile). Normally, one can find up to Chilean size 44, and in recent years size 45 shoes have been seen. But beyond that size there are slim píckings’. Chileans rarely have larger feet, except for the occasional guy of German, British or Croatian descent, and thus there has not been sufficient demand to keep larger sizes in stock. The usual answer I have heard to my inquiries at shoe stores was to get shoes in another country or have them tailor-made.

There are a couple of big and tall stores in Santiago that have carried larger sizes now and then, but the supply has been anything but constant, in my recollection at least, and I did not bother to check much because price to quality ratios were outrageous in those stores. It was simply easier to pick up a few pairs of shoes while traveling abroad to the USA or Europe. Shops in Argentina also carry larger shoe sizes, especially in custom-made dress shoes. Another choice in recent years has been to use Amazon or another service and just pay the expensive shipping and customs duties.

However, USA chain Merrell in Chile now has some size 13 shoes in stock. While checking out 5 or 6 stores in the Marina Arauco mall in Viña del Mar, I was surprised to find that Merrell had two pairs of size 13 shoes! None of the other stores did. I picked up one of the two pairs on hand.

Note that shopping for size 13 shoes is a different buying experience in Chile. One does not start by looking at the shoes on display and asking to see one in his size. Instead, one asks that all size 13 shoes available in stock be brought out. Actually one asks for both size 46 (which until now has not been available) and size 45, on the odd chance that one finds a large or incorrectly-tagged 45.

Merrell’s only presence in South America is in Chile, and it has nine stores in Santiago, and one store each in Concepción, Viña del Mar, Temuco, Los Angeles and Valdivia. Their website has details, also stating that they ship anywhere in Chile free of additional charge. Plus, returns and exchanges by mail are also free of delivery charges. So Merrell is bringing some American convenience to Chile. If you are not familiar with the brand, I can attest that it is very high quality. The shoes are not cheap, but the prices are not outrageous and they are a bit cheaper on the internet. Check for seasonal lineup changes so you can get 30% to 40% off on the outgoing stock.

By the way, I checked back with the Viña del Mar store a few days after my initial purchase and found that a new shipment had just arrived, including 5 more pairs of size 46! I rushed down to see the spectacle and asked the saleslady to bring out all the available stock. She did so. However, two of the five were actually size 45 and thus did not fit. The other three pairs of shoes were fine, and I left with two of them. A man with bigger feet in Chile learns to stock up when he can.

If you want the last pair or two in Viña del Mar, better hurry! The saleslady there called branches in Santiago for me and found that four of them had size 13 shoes as well, probably in more copious quantities. So, like most things in Chile, if you are living in Santiago you will have an easier time finding larger shoe sizes. And if you are living in Viña del Mar and the local Merrell store does not have any size 46 on hand, you can always make your way to Costanera Center in Santiago, Metro Tobalaba (red line 1).

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.infoVisit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they
would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
Dr. Cobin’s next sequel, Living in Chile: Key Details of History, Culture, Politics and Places for the Serious Immigrant, goes into detail that mainly those people living in Chile already or serious immigrants will be interested in. It is also of special importance to libertarians that want to know something about the political and ideological undercurrents, past highlights (like having a free port much like Hong Kong or free banking), and people that want practical information and where they can retire on their budget. The travel section compliments the other books in the series so that those that read all three books can be sure to have covered the key places of the country from top to bottom.
This book is chock full of savory details that only a true immigrant and former American with many years of experience would know. Some things are only learned over long periods of time and observation. Take advantage of tapping into Dr. Cobin’s deep knowledge of the country and insights of importance to serious immigrants.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.
Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Forestal (Poor Section of Viña del Mar)

With the exception of Vitacura (Santiago), every nice comuna in Chile has a nasty or poor section. Even Las Condes has a not-so-nice part of town near Colón and Padre Hurtado. Lo Barnechea (Santiago), with its posh La Dehesa district, also has some of the poorest places of Santiago along the Río Mapocho.

However, Viña del Mar has probably the starkest contrast and largest percentage of lower-class living of all the major otherwise First World comunas. Perhaps the best example of one of these sections is the spiraling hillside/hilltop section called Forestal (200+ meters above sea level). This neighborhood is comprised of both legally-titled land and homes as well as tomas (which I wrote about five years ago regarding coastal settlements in the 3rd Region)–what are effectively squatters communities without utilities formed by people taking land that does not belong to them and setting up a household with inexpensive building materials. These sorts of structures were what went up in smoke in the great Valparaíso fire of April 2014.

The blighted Forestal toma can be seen as one comes into Viña del Mar off the Las Palmas freeway. Take a look at the images below.

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The trash-strewn roadside is blight enough, but really just the tip of the iceberg when one considers the shanty style construction that is commonplace. (Believe it or not there are actually homes in here with fairly decent interiors, often owned by carpenters or handymen, but do not count them as the norm.) To live in this porquería (pigpen) is anything but paradise.

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There is often a spectacular view from these home sites, both of the distant Pacific and the towering Andes–which seem closer even though many miles further away. Life is “boring” and even quaint, with nosy neighbors and pots boiling over open fires in people’s patios. The next images are from the part of Forestal with property rights, showing a wide range of vistas, including looking across the valley to the Miraflores section. Viña del Mar has such a wonderful, cool climate and frequently blue skies that yield precious sunsets.

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How much would you pay to rent one of these places? The going rate is around 40,000 to 60,000 pesos per month, with some “chalets” fetching up to 70,000 pesos (that range is about US$64 to US$112 per month). If a husband and wife can take in $1,000 per month together, it is no surprise that many families can afford a used car and a new plasma television in their home with the significant disposable income left over after paying rent.

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The toma section, as noted earlier, has great freeway access. The roads are paved in the part that is not a toma and along them are found little markets that have inexpensive prices for most goods. The roads of the toma are dirt, and often feature men demanding coins, which are accumulated to pay for road maintenance. Corner markets and bakeries are seen but forget about finding an ATM, bank or pharmacy. There are significant dog populations and lots of children around, and in the “legal” part of the barrio people are quite friendly. I was also surprised to hear one man talk about how left-wing President Bachelet had to go. Things are not going well for poorer people on account of socialists (no surprise).

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In the tomas, especially the crime-ridden and “dangerous” section called Puerto Aysén,” there are dirt roads, and people often have dirt floors, too. The shanties up there make the legal homes down below appear relatively splendid. And certainly the rental price of a toma home must be less than 40,000 pesos per month.

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Not to worry, however, the government has stepped up with an adjacent project designed to relocate all the toma shanty dwellers. Most of the occupants do not like being forced to move into these new, white homes since they will have less space. Apparently, many plan to fight and stay put. They don’t need interventionists messing up their lives!

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Some of the shacks are in pretty bad shape in the tomas, as the images below show. The stores are run-down and the playgrounds are sad, even though the children in them seem quite happy!

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At any rate, I often talk up the virtues of Chile and leave out some of the negative aspects, like local pockets of poverty in the midst of First World communities. I have seen many Forestals in Chile, and anyone that chooses to live in Chile will eventually see many of them, too. Class D people (official designation) need to live somewhere.

On the bright side, we can say that at least the poor have a fighting chance to make a better life, largely because there is little housing regulation in Chile to force them into projects or less affordable, unsavory housing circumstances. It also is interesting to know just how cheaply one can live in Chile if he has to do so, and that even poorer people can live in a wonderful climate and have a great view from their home!

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info.
Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service – Chile Consulting – where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
Dr. Cobin’s next sequel, Living in Chile: Key Details of History, Culture, Politics and Places for the Serious Immigrant, goes into detail that mainly those people living in Chile already or serious immigrants will be interested in. It is also of special importance to libertarians that want to know something about the political and ideological undercurrents, past highlights (like having a free port much like Hong Kong or free banking), and people that want practical information and where they can retire on their budget. The travel section compliments the other books in the series so that those that read all three books can be sure to have covered the key places of the country from top to bottom. This book is chock full of savory details that only a true immigrant and former American with many years of experience would know. Some things are only learned over long periods of time and observation. Take advantage of tapping into Dr. Cobin’s deep knowledge of the country and insights of importance to serious immigrants.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Chilean idols

     Every culture tends to have its idols. Americans, for instance, idolize youth, consumerism (including keeping-up-with-the-Jones'” syndrome), celebrities and imperialism. Chileans have different idols and they seem just as obnoxious to newcomers as the idols of the First world seem to Chileans. Chilean idols can be summed up by three Spanish words: imagen, vergüeñza and pesada, when considered in their public context. I would like to briefly consider each of these in turn (image source).

First, Chileans have an exaggerated preoccupation for their public image or imagen. They will do whatever they can to appear to be more important or wealthier than they are in order to serve this idol. They will falsify their resumes or aggrandize their accomplishments. They strive to live in upper class neighborhoods in order to have a “good” address and to be able to boast about it. They wear their best clothes in public on their way to work, even if their jobs are menial or blue collar (e.g., the maid), and they change clothes once they arrive. They do nothing that might make them “stick out like a sore thumb.” They are proud of their last names if they are of Spanish or other European origin, especially with names that contain a double “rr” consonant in them, and do anything they can to hide any indigenous lineage. They do anything to attain more prestige at work or in society, even if it means undermining the position of someone else.
Second, Chileans hate to be put to public shame. It is uncanny that when arrested, criminals always try to hide their faces and in the criminal act itself, they are often hooded and/or masked. Many Chileans love to get away with lying, dishonesty, adultery or stealing, but never to be caught in the act. To say something shameful or to do something embarrassing or loud is humility that must be avoided at all cost. That is one reason why Chileans are so loathe to admit fault or to say that they are sorry. To get away with something is glorious but to be caught is high shame because of what others will think. Avoiding shame and humility, vergüenza, is an idol.
Third, Chileans glorify the idol of public nicety. It matters not how ignorant or mistaken a person is. So long as he is nice, friendly, uncritical and dignified, he can do anything or go anywhere–even be President. To be a person that is pesada (i.e., literally heavy, in terms of his character or conversation) is unacceptable and will be shunned by nearly everyone with whom he comes in contact. Critical or independent thinkers are not lauded, but rather those that follow the pack, since to be critical requires one to be pesada. Saying something considered mean or calling out someone’s sinful actions are, of course, off limits.
Surely, someone will now comment and complain that I am generalizing. All Chileans are not this way, at least not on every count. Of course, that is true. However, who can deny that these idols apply to the great majority of Chileans? Indeed, Chilean culture is in large part defined by these premises.

Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.
Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).
Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service – Chile Consulting – where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
Dr. Cobin’s next sequel, Living in Chile: Key Details of History, Culture, Politics and Places for the Serious Immigrant, goes into detail that mainly those people living in Chile already or serious immigrants will be interested in. It is also of special importance to libertarians that want to know something about the political and ideological undercurrents, past highlights (like having a free port much like Hong Kong or free banking), and people that want practical information and where they can retire on their budget. The travel section compliments the other books in the series so that those that read all three books can be sure to have covered the key places of the country from top to bottom. This book is chock full of savory details that only a true immigrant and former American with many years of experience would know. Some things are only learned over long periods of time and observation. Take advantage of tapping into Dr. Cobin’s deep knowledge of the country and insights of importance to serious immigrants.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Chileans Are Never to Blame

I have written on other occasions that most Chileans like to be liars, cheats and thieves, but none wants to  be known as such or to be caught red handed (pillado). Another aspect of Chilean culture is that no Chilean wants to take responsibility for errors or problems he causes. He will always blame someone else or the person that complains.

For instance, I have a swimming pool (image source) membership and the times for free swim are posted under the website tab called horarios (open hours). However, like in so many places in Chile, the management of the fitness club is poor. They arbitrarily change rules and opening hours. In the case of the pool, they decided to rent the lanes and close free swim for several blocks of time during the week. They did put a notice in an obscure part of the website (current events section) which contradicted what was listed under the horarios tab. In other words, someone neglected to update the main hours section of the website. The trouble is that members are more likely to look at the obvious place, the horarios tab, to see what the free swim times are. The result? Wasted time and conflict when one shows up to swim and cannot do so.

The administration, not wanting to admit fault, blames the customer and member for checking the website to see if there is contradictory information. They also point out that they laser printed a schedule that they keep behind the desk and if one would simply read that paper then they would have known. Very stupid. Old folks like me leave their eyeglasses in the car since they are not needed to swim. Not only that, many non-Chilean natives are not accustomed to snooping behind the desk for calendars or notices.

The biggest problem is not just this fitness club. The issue is that many businesses in Chile are similarly poorly run. People are neither careful nor thorough in collecting facts or presenting information. In fact commercial information is often irresponsible and based on childish research. (Think: here’s a business opportunity!) They will often not admit they are wrong and are loathe to take the blame for any problem. So just get used to it.

Check out this free book of Chilean slang phrases dealing with corruption and blame shifting: Diccionario del Corrupto de la Lengua – Súmate al Chile Sin Corrupción.

If you are going to live in Chile you are going to experience this sort of thing time and again. If you approach any situation knowing that you will possibly be disappointed and dissatisfied, then the likelihood of being enraged and having a really bad day is greatly diminished.

Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.
Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).
Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service – Chile Consulting – where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

American Chilena? This is about as close as it gets.

You’ve heard me mention the Cobin scale for Chilean Spanish in the past. If not, here’s an entry I posted on it – The Cobin Scale of Spanish Proficiency.

For most of us, level 10 will be forever elusive. Unless we started studying Spanish at a young age, the learning curve can be long and challenging. But even those who are proficient in Spanish can find Chilean Spanish difficult.

As an adult, it will likely take you months to get to a level where you can form simple sentences, and it will be frustrating for you to get your point across. With hard work, dedication and good training, you could get slightly conversant in less than a year, but that would be exceptional. On the average, it takes adults at least three years of effort to become conversant. I’ve defined conversant as:

passably bilingual and “fluent;” can communicate with some difficulty, understand about 80%+ in social or church settings where the context is known, can give an intelligible lecture; basic writing can be done; can fill out government, job application and insurance or other forms; one regularly utters sentences in English unintentionally laced with Spanish words; Spanglish becomes more the norma and intelligible; one encounters about 20 new vocabulary words per week; books and newspapers can be read by looking up fewer than 5 words per page; little problem ordering food in restaurants.

Some families think they want to wait a few years before moving abroad, so that their children can mature before taking them to another culture. If that’s your plan, then let me offer you a challenge. There’s no better time in life to learn a new culture and language than when we’re children. Before twelve years of age, the child’s mind can intuitively pick up nuances and accents far better than an adult’s. This is even more pronounced with children immersed at younger ages.

I ran across an example of this recently and wanted to share it with you. Here’s a young American lady who married a Chilean (Chileno). I don’t know how young she was when she started learning Chilean Spanish, but I’d guess under ten years old. Her accent is all but absent. And her use of slang is excellent. In fact, she’s incredibly close to a 10 on the Cobin Scale of Spanish Proficiency.

She talks about the 10 things she loves about Chile: cazuela, ferias, peruvian food, good character of Chileans–“buena onda,” 6 months of post natal time off, carabineros (police), teletón, french bread–marraqueta, asados, natural beauty, and Chile’s many holidays.

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as an American Chilena. If not, this is probably as close as one can get.

Thanksgiving Offer – 25% off

It’s no big surprise that when people expatriate from the country of their birth they bring along traditions and cultural nuances. When it comes to Chile, the result is quite a mix. With the various influences from Europe, North America, Oceania and Asia (not to leave out South America), you can find just about everything in Chile. Of course, you might not find exactly what you’re looking for in order to create the feast of your ancestors, but with a bit of creativity and imagination, you should be able to come pretty close.

One tradition that can be held onto from the US is Thanksgiving. And we see many American expats here celebrating in their new country. While the US is a far cry from the freedom the Puritans sought when arriving at Plymouth Rock, many of the ideals we’re pursuing are the same. They left confinement for freedom – oppression for opportunity.

As the US increasingly embraces fascism and the police state grows in power, it becomes ever more apparent that it is not the place for those who embrace libertarian ideals. Reflecting upon these things, I’m very thankful to be in Chile. To say that a load was lifted off my shoulders when I left the US for the last time would be an understatement.

There are some similarities to the reasons the Pilgrims left Europe for America. And it is these pursuits of freedom and a desire to offer a setting where people can concentrate on the important things in life rather than the onerous laws and regulations that hang over American heads 24/7, that have resulted in my residency and consultancy services, Red Hot Chile radio show and, more recently, Freedom Orchard.

I’m also grateful to you for being a part of my life in Chile. It’s been a blessing to share my insights with readers from around the world and help many embrace Chile as their new home. And your notes of encouragement reveal that what we’re doing here is certainly needed. As an added encouragement, the new newsletter format we offer has grown our mailing list by almost 50% since it started!

As an expression of my gratitude to faithful readers like you, I’m offering my books on Chile at a 25% discount through this coming weekend. My residency services are discounted 10% as well.

We’ve made it very easy for you to access these discounts. Simply visit our “Thanksgiving Special” page and input the password, “ThankYou.” The page will open up with all your discounted opportunities available. In case your browser removes the link, the page is – http://escapeamericanow.info/thanksgiving-special.

All you need to do is click on the payment link and make your payment through PayPal. Once you’ve made your payment, the page will reveal a contact form where the button was. Fill this out and your book will be sent to the email address you use in the form within minutes of when you press “Send.” The discounts are already applied.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. And please pass this on to those you think might be interested in Chile.