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Old 06-22-2011, 09:14 PM   #21
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Kidnapping is indeed well entrenched in Mexico. It happens when the drug trade shuts down and also when it gets too competitive. (Afghanistan, Iraq, and probably where the Arab Spring pushes aside long time autocrats).

There's a Venezuelan film, "Secuestro Express" (Kidnapping Express) that deals with this organized kidnapping. A bit overdramatic at times but much of what it shows is real. Spanish with English subtitles, available at Netflix.
I bet the OP wasn't thinking of this when he said "Help!"

Thanks for the film suggestion, I'll get it.

Ha
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:18 PM   #22
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And in a major thread hijack: any other Spanish language films that have English subtitles that you'd recommend as we prep for our trip to Peru, Michael? I got a few from the library and some suggestions from our Peruvian tutor, but still looking! Trying to improve our listening comprehension.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:53 AM   #23
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Sarah, if you're looking to prepare for the Peru trip I would stay away from the film I referenced above. A few we have seen and enjoyed

Maria Full of Grace (Colombia)
Real Women Have Curves (US, don’t remember if in Spanish or English)
Y Tu mama Tambien (Mexico)
Amores Perros (Mexico)
Motorcycle Diaries (Argentina)
Pans Labyrinth (Spain)
Talk To Her (Spain)
All About My Mother (Spain)
Belle Epoque (Spain)

Note: most of these are not family movies. In general, Latin American movies are not intended for children.

Mexican movies probably have the most neutral accents and would be most helpful. Followed by Spain. Movies from the deep south (Argentina, Chile) have heavy regional accents and slang that may not be very helpful.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:33 AM   #24
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And in a major thread hijack: any other Spanish language films that have English subtitles that you'd recommend as we prep for our trip to Peru, Michael? I got a few from the library and some suggestions from our Peruvian tutor, but still looking! Trying to improve our listening comprehension.
I just watched Sin Nombre last night and it held my attention quite well. It was available through Netflix as an instant play.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:18 AM   #25
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Sarah, if you're looking to prepare for the Peru trip I would stay away from the film I referenced above. A few we have seen and enjoyed

Maria Full of Grace (Colombia)
Real Women Have Curves (US, don’t remember if in Spanish or English)
Y Tu mama Tambien (Mexico)
Amores Perros (Mexico)
Motorcycle Diaries (Argentina)
Pans Labyrinth (Spain)
Talk To Her (Spain)
All About My Mother (Spain)
Belle Epoque (Spain)

Note: most of these are not family movies. In general, Latin American movies are not intended for children.
And some of them can really pull the guts out of a full grown man too.

I have a special section on my shelf with spanish language DVDs which are subtitled in Spanish as well as English. I think almost or all of the

Pedro Infante movies are, the one I have is El Seminarista.

Then some Almodvar movies:
Átame ( This one made me fall in love with Victoria Abril. Also has a great song at the end- Resistiré)
Carne Tremula
Mujeres Al Borde De Un Ataque De Nervios

And some Mexican Films:
La Ley De Herodes
Por La Libre
Sexo, Pudor Y Lágrimas

These are from pretty good to very good as movies, and being able to see Spanish titles is helpful to me sometimes. La Ley De Herodes is one that I like enough to watch frequently.

My study goes painfully slowly. From listening to all these movies, and lots of songs, and my carryover from years ago my accent is pretty clean. The trouble is in trying to remember all the words you need to talk reasonably well about almost anything.

I started going to a MeetUp in a bar nearby, but it is stressful because it is typical noisey bar, and about 30 Hispanics from all over and some learners are shouting in Spanish in one area, and the usual horde of English speakers are shouting in English in another area, and of course the TVs are blaring.

Sarah, I hope you and hubby are learning faster than I am!

Ha
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:39 AM   #26
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These are great, thanks! I already picked up the Motorcycle Diaries but haven't watched it yet. We are also suffering through the Destinos series each week at the behest of our tutor. Love the 80s! I'll see about the others, as we have a fairly decent Spanish language section at the local regional library.
Ha, it is going pretty slow, but anything is better than nothing as far as our skills go! If I can get tot he point where I can understand directions, numbers, and distances when we get lost in the Andes, then that will be a major victory. Oh, and parts for the motorcycle!
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #27
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La Ley De Herodes. It's not in Netflix but I'll keep a watch. We enjoy many of the same films and directors.

Mexican films are quite good, and the better ones are critical views of Mexico. They focus on corruption, exploitation of the poor, lawlessness, and other social themes. The fact that they enjoy both critical and popular success suggests the issues they portray reflect one view of reality. Just something to keep in mind for those planning on relocating to Mexico.

Ha, your spanish might improve if you spent less time at the bar. By that I mean, start at the bar, but then continue your evening practicing your spanish in a more personal setting. It's amazing how a couple of drinks can help loosen one's tongue.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #28
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It's amazing how a couple of drinks can help loosen one's tongue.
Beautiful set-up, Michael, and normally I would spike it, but I may be on probation so I reluctantly pass...

ha
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:21 PM   #29
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The three top 3 things to enjoy your overseas experience are learn Spanish, learn Spanish, learn Spanish. The fastest way to learn is to have a girlfriend that only speaks Spanish. Also, Madrigals Magic Key to Spanish is an excellent way to learn faster. This is a good time to remember that no good deed goes unpunished. Many expats lend money/things or go into business ventures with locals and lose their a**. Many folks don't realize that in some Latin American countries, if you get taken advantage of, its seen through the eyes of many in that culture as your fault. Juego Vivo. Remember, this aint Kansas.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:07 PM   #30
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Good luck, Surewhitey. Please let us know how things go for you.
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We are moving, likely to Playa del Carmen, Mex. We've visited there a lot over the years and we have hooked up with 2-English congregations for local support and volunteering.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:11 PM   #31
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... any other Spanish language films that have English subtitles that you'd recommend as we prep for our trip to Peru, Michael?
Have you considered a language exchange website? Use skype to speak with someone who is a native speaker of the language you're learning and who is learning your native language. This site is free. Right now there are 8743 Spanish speakers who are learning English, including 9 Peruvian members on the first page of results. I think results are ordered by time since last logon. sharedtalk.com. I haven't tried it yet, too much procrastination.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:49 AM   #32
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Have you considered a language exchange website? Use skype to speak with someone who is a native speaker of the language you're learning and who is learning your native language. This site is free. Right now there are 8743 Spanish speakers who are learning English, including 9 Peruvian members on the first page of results. I think results are ordered by time since last logon. sharedtalk.com. I haven't tried it yet, too much procrastination.
We actually meet weekly for 1.5 hour private lessons with a Peruvian who teaches and translates here in town. She is married to an American and was trained to teach (and worked at) Berlitz when they had an office here. Vanessa is a great teacher but we are slow students. We really need the motivation of the private one-on-one type experience but I love the idea that skype is enabling this sort of exchange.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:32 AM   #33
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The three top 3 things to enjoy your overseas experience are learn Spanish, learn Spanish, learn Spanish. The fastest way to learn is to have a girlfriend that only speaks Spanish. Also, Madrigals Magic Key to Spanish is an excellent way to learn faster. This is a good time to remember that no good deed goes unpunished. Many expats lend money/things or go into business ventures with locals and lose their a**. Many folks don't realize that in some Latin American countries, if you get taken advantage of, its seen through the eyes of many in that culture as your fault. Juego Vivo. Remember, this aint Kansas.
Had one of those. She did help me learn lots of Spanish. It was an immersion program and a half. However, I don't think that's a realistic option even here in Florida because most of the Spanish-speaking population's English is way better than my Spanish, so even if I do land a Puerto Rican or Dominican girl, it's not going to help my Spanish that much.

I looked at a conversational Spanish meet up, but it's only for intermediate to advanced speakers. I also don't feel like forking over $500 for a community college course only to find that I'm sitting with a bunch of non-motivated students who are there simply to get the credits. That leaves CD courses, Google Translate, watching Univision soaps with subtitles, and getting private tutors for $20/hour. Any other options?
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:25 PM   #34
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That leaves CD courses, Google Translate, watching Univision soaps with subtitles, and getting private tutors for $20/hour. Any other options?
I used Learning Spanish Like Crazy (LSLC) CD course to revive my High School Spanish. Their technique is different. After the teaching part of the lesson one then has to respond to questions before the recorded voice. Every other CD lesson plan I looked at is the 'repeat after me' type. LSLC forces one to generate and say answers. Only way to do that is to both know the material and not think too much.

A spaced repetition flash card program. The program uses elapsed time between card presentation and user clicking to see the answer and the user's self grading of how well he knows the answer to determine the elapsed time until the card is shown next. For example, I've known 'con' means 'with' ever since I started eating Chile con Carne as a boy. My flashcard program is due to show it to me next in 6.1 years. I use Anki, it's free. Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and Android phones.

A free online language exchange community.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #35
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I just found this discussion of expatriating to Costa Rica.

Expat Experiences: Costa Rica - Andy and Fran Browne | Move Abroad, Live Abroad, Work Abroad, Retire Abroad

Several interesting comments there that are in line with my thinking.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #36
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... I also like the KCowan approach.... but we would rent.
Yes many rentals are quite inexpensive. In our case, because we rent up north, buying a place for $150/sq.ft. was cheaper because of our length of stay in Mexico. And DW had a place to call hers.

Rentals for that class of place in season are $150 a night so it was an easy decision.

For OP, make sure to visit Mexico Expat Forum for Expats Living in Mexico - Expat Forum For Expats, For Moving Overseas And For Jobs Abroad for more general questions.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:46 PM   #37
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Agree.

Renting for a year or two when you first become an expat has a double advantage:
1) You can decide if it's the right move for you, as mentioned above, and
2) You get a feel for the local market, and will likely get a much better deal on the property you do buy (including possibly the price for a local, versus a foreigner, because you can make friends and get them to find out the local's price before you inquire)

Well worth renting for at least a year, to save money and make sure it's the right move (BOOM pun)
Agreed on much of your thoughts. We've already made contact with some locals and they have been very helpful without looking to profit from our coming down.

We'll definitely rent for at least a year, probably for even longer unless we just come across a smokin' deal.

Mexico has been our destination of choice (just below Hawaii) and the cost of living, food & area has been our favorite for 12+ years. Not to mention the endless places to see & visit (Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, etc.) We plan to possibly live in any one of these places for a month, so our "living" costs will not be in addition to our travel costs.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:05 PM   #38
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We have spoken with a few in the area, some have been there for 9 years and still happy there (they're in their 50's now, originally from WA). They did not mention any violence and we have never felt unsafe when walking / biking the streets.

We also have found places from $600 to $1k monthly a few blocks from the Caribbean. The street taco / torta guys are awesome too. We are budgeting $2k-2,500 monthly and will live "under the radar" with the poor people...so they won't want to kidnap us...
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:45 AM   #39
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I haven't visited this web site in a while, but you may find it useful:

paulvicgroup

The people who run it are perpetual travelers and have been so for many years. Some of their time has been in Latin America.

Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:54 PM   #40
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I haven't visited this web site in a while, but you may find it useful:

paulvicgroup

The people who run it are perpetual travelers and have been so for many years. Some of their time has been in Latin America.

Good luck!
Neither had I visited for a while. Their Chang Mai visit was at least two years ago...but they are definitely on the move and a useful resource! I think their home outside Buenos Aries is a sign that they needed some roots.

Billy and Akaisha Kaleri are also a useful resource. They got their start in Ajijic.
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