Moon Living Abroad in Guatemala
By Al Argueta
Paperback, Avalon Travel
Reviewed by Living Abroad Editor Volker Poelzl
Guatemala is not your typical expat destination. It is not an investment or retirement haven like many other countries in Central America and the Caribbean, and it does not stand out as a popular place for overseas employment or opening a business. Yet, in large part because this beautiful country is under the radar for most North Americans, author Al Argueta recommends it as a great destination that “offers the opportunity to return to a simpler state of being surrounded by nature and lively Latin/Mayan culture.”
The content of “Moon Living Abroad in Guatemala” is presented in an easily readable format and covers all the important aspects of daily life in Guatemala. In the introductory chapters, the author goes into detail about Guatemala’s unique culture, history and social dynamics, and writes that “those seeking an extension of Costa Rica or even Mexico will most likely be disappointed.” Guatemala has a unique culture and history that is very different from other countries in the region. Al Argueta explains that many of Guatemala’s contemporary problems—such as rising violence and social inequalities—are rooted in the 30-year civil war that devastated the small nation. He also covers important issues that need to be addressed before settling abroad, such as “Planning Your Fact-finding Trip” and “Making the Move,” which provide important information about the logistics of relocating to Guatemala. The author also pays close attentions to important facts and laws regarding residency in Guatemala, as well as the practical details relating to buying property, opening a business, and retiring in Guatemala. The section on “Daily Life” also covers the details of moving to Guatemala, such as housing, language and education, health and safety, employment, finances, and communications.
The section on “Prime Living Locations” provides an introduction to the culture, infrastructure, climate, etc. of the most popular destinations for expatriates, such as Guatemala City, Antigua, Quetzaltenango, Lake Atitlán, and several attractive rural regions. The “Resources” section includes useful contact information for banks, government offices and embassies, education, housing, health, communications, employment resources, transportation, prime living locations, etc.
“Moon Living Abroad in Guatemala” is one of the latest titles in a series of guidebooks about living abroad in countries worldwide. For anyone interested in relocating to Guatemala, the book serves as a well-researched and practical companion that provides all the information and resources you need to make a successful move.
For more information, and for a preview of the introduction and table of contents, visit the Moon Living Abroad in Guatemala web page on the publisher's clean new website.