Land of Opportunity II


In I called Guatemala the land of opportunity because you could live cheaply and then develop your income model. The only trick is that your income should come from outside Guatemala. Examples I offered including being an on-line computer geek, author and more. In this post I want to detail how cheap is cheap.

What is right for you will, of course, depend on how you want to live. I will try to offer options. I will post numbers in USD assuming the exchange rate is about 7.7 Quetzales to the dollar.

  • Housing will, of course, big one of your biggest expenses. While you could find something really cheap in a rural area let’s assume you want a place with reliable and fast internet. You could get a room in a house for $100-$150/month. If you want your own apartment, $400 to as much as $600/month makes sense.
  • Next comes Internet. Tigo and Claro offer reliable cable Internet. Their packages include TV and a fixed phone. Expect to spend under $30/month for a 10 Mb connection, about twice that for a 50 Mb connection.
  • Food can vary all over the place — particularly between cooking at home or eating out. When I was “temporary” here I elected not to cook. What I would do was eat breakfast at a local restaurant for about $2, splurge for lunch — say $5 — and then have an avocado, four tortillas and a beer for dinner for a total of about $1. That would amount to about $240/month. Clearly you could spend more but you certainly don’t have to.
  • Let’s toss in another $100/mo for a cellular phone (your balance expires in a few months with Claro but Tigo never expires it), electricity if you have your own apartment and other expenses.

That gets you to about $500/month on the low end, $1000/month on the high end. Seriously, that’s it. That’s way more than a rural Guatemalan family would be spending (and, yes, I mean for the whole family) so you won’t appear to be poor.

Did I leave something out? Well, the weather is such that you need no heating or air conditioning. If you need clothes, sheets, … there are lots of used stores around. There are laundries what do your wash by the pound.

Is it right for you? That’s up to you to decide.

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