Olimpicos – not just a sandwich

The “Olympic” is a favorite Uruguayan sandwich. But right now, it’s also los Juegos Olimpicos, the Olympic Games.

Here’s a picture of our National Team entering the arena at Friday’s Opening Ceremony. Uruguayn Olympic Team

A report (in Spanish) from La Republica  newspaper shows them entering and gives some background on the team.

As an expat USA Citizen living in Uruguay, but temporarily back in the States for about a month, covering all of the Olympics, this is one of life’s little expat dilemmas – who to cheer? Continue reading Olimpicos – not just a sandwich

Adios Pluna, Uruguay’s miserable little airline.

If you are a Uruguay Expat, or are visiting Uruguay to investigate if our lovely Oriental Republic is right for you, you have to fly here. Sadly, or more likely luckily, you won’t be doing that on Uruguay’s own airline, miserable little Pluna. They have suspended all flights and are shutting down.

The story on the closure from my friends at Sky Today news.

We don’t need Pluna. It was a regional-aircraft-only airline that Continue reading Adios Pluna, Uruguay’s miserable little airline.

Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA

I wasn’t going to get dragged into another Uruguay costs social network discussion again, but some Facebook Uruguay Expats group members pulled me back in.

I’ll say this: There are at least three to five types of “Uruguay Expatriation” with very different costs:

Type 1 Expat. Live in a North American/English/Oceania-oriented Expat Compound (e.g. something like the Sugarloaf Development pushed by International Living). Everything you need is there, the world is gated off, and they discourage going to town. “Everything is here in The Village, why are you being unmutual?” Meanwhile missing out on the true Uruguayan life in the beautiful and affordable resort city of Piriápolis which they show on their website. In which town I could rent a 2-bedroom sea-view raised apartment for under $800 USD. Or simpler, away from the beach properties, cheaper. But the Type 1 Expat would not consider such integration.

Montevideo 35% cheaper than Boston
Comparing Montevideo Uruguay and Boston, MA, USA cost of living

Type 2 Expat. Live in a Major City or Major Resort Area, in upscale US-upper-middle-class-equivalent with a full North American lifestyle (anything based on the Expatistan cost of living calculator that factors in buying 42″TV, new VW Golf TDI, regular meals out, regular pub drinks out at “an expat bar”, regular paid entertainment – read the assumptions on it.) Continue reading Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA

DIY Residency Part 1

I’m overdue on this update – we have started the official residency processing. Lisamaria and I are doing this as much as possible “do-it-yourself” – both to save money, and because that’s the kind of people we are. At least in travel. Not so much on home repair, jejejeje.

Two weeks ago we made a day-trip into Montevideo, to visit the Dirreción Nacional de Migraciones – the National Directorate of Immigration. Quite friendly and helpful office. Purpose: to deliver our “Carta del Soliciud para Cambio de Categoria” – our letter of request for Change of Category, from Tourist, to Resident.

certificates of arrival as residents in processing

Said letter which I wrote myself, by the way, primarily in Spanish as the original language rather than translated. Simple language and phrasing, explaining as required why we wanted to become residents, how we could afford it, where we lived, and the bare facts (passport numbers, dates of birth, etc.)

Obviously we had done a lot of research ahead of time, and had chatted with cyberspace and local expat friends. However, we did not hire any kind of “expeditor”, of which there are many, nor an immigration lawyer. We had arranged a tradeout of editing-for-translation with one of Lisa’s clients. Because what would be a “Mark & Lisa have an adventure” experience without something going wrong, they had a conflict and couldn’t make it.  So we were on our own with my long-ago junior high, high school, college, and once-in-a-while self-studied español and Lisa’s 9  months in Uruguay osmosis-spanish for this first visit.

Result: Continue reading DIY Residency Part 1

US Dollar up vs Peso – good for expats, uruguayos not so much

21.40 Uruguay pesos to one US dollar today. Excellent news. Best exchange rate in over a year in terms of people in Uruguay geting paid in US dollars – like me and Lisa Marie Mercer.

The linked article from Subrayado TV News (en español) mentions it is in part due to investor worries about the Euro, so the Dollar is strengthening worldwide. It also points out downsides, in that it could feed inflation in Uruguay, which is already is a problem. But for us estadosunidenses (the correct term for “Americans”, literally USA-ians) in Uruguay, this means more pesos to pay the bills for the same amount of dollars income – for now.

There are downsides beyond just inflation. Continue reading US Dollar up vs Peso – good for expats, uruguayos not so much