Latin American Dreams

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I am looking at a four foot snow drift right next to my car, and I am wondering how on earth I am going to move that?! Even with a snow blower, this will be a tough one. Just a few days before, I had a snow drift four feet up blocking my front door. I could not get out of my house because of that, and I had to go out the back door and dig my way through to the front door. To put it mildly I am in extreme pain. My fingers hurt, my back feels like a lead weight ton was put on it, and I can barely get out of my chair to do much. Since I cannot really move from my chair, I decided to surf the Internet looking for news items. I found one. It seems that more Americans are moving to the southern U.S. states more than ever. It has a lot to do with the weather—I am not the only one who cannot stand the snow, the ice and the sub-zero temperatures anymore.

Plus many of the jobs that seem to be left in this country have gravitated to the southern states like Florida, the two Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. I have learned that people can deal better with heat than with extreme cold. But one interesting item was that more and more Americans are retiring to various countries in Latin America. Mexico being still the most popular destination. More Americans live in Mexico than just about any other country in the world (simply because it is right next to the U.S.). More Americans are now moving to Costa Rica and Panama in Central America and Colombia and Ecuador in South America. The four main draws for so many Americans to these four countries are the climate, the availability of having beautiful homes, the low costs, and that these countries are generally stable. Even with the different cultures and language (Spanish), many Americans would rather brave these conditions than suffer frostbite and being stuck in their homes when everything is frozen over up here.

Since Americans can now receive their U.S. Social Security checks regardless of whatever country they move to, this makes their lives so much easier and affordable. Of course, for those Americans not entirely ready for a Latin American adventure or retirement, there is always Florida. I know a number of people from my area who “winter” in Florida and then fly to parts of Latin America for the weekends. I also know some people who go to their villas in Mexico and Ecuador to enjoy the fun and the sun and enjoy being with the people of these countries—many of them life long friends. Meanwhile, I am up here concerned about how I am going to get my car out of that four foot snow drift, worried about the temperature plunging to minus zero later in the week, and trying to keep my fingers from turning purple as I type this commentary…………………………..

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