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An Expat Talks about Moving to Panajachel, Guatemala

Oct 18, 2017

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Panajachal, Guatemala

A French expat who went to Panajachel, Guatemala on vacation loved the climate and locals so much he ended up staying. He advises other newcomers to rent first, pack lightly, use a lawyer and translator when signing contracts and leave your prejudices behind.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

I wish I had brought a LED Flash light, portable water filtering device and portable solar phone charger when I moved to Guatemala. I wish I had left behind extra clothes, luggage and prejudices.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

I would advise someone moving to Panajachel, Guatemala to rent first, read the Facebook expats group, read expats' blogs, pack lightly, use a lawyer for any relation with locals and use a translator to understand what's going on when you sign a contract or deal with locals.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

A vacation rental, because I arrived for vacation but then moved to a locally built house not specifically for expats. I would say that's what happens with others expats.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

By accident.. renting a place and discovering the area. Arrived without knowing the area, first struck by the climate and then by the locals. I found my house by world of mouth.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

The housing costs in Guatemala are much lower. You can get a 2 bedrooms houses for around $500 per month

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