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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in San Salvador, El Salvador

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

San Salvador

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

Before, on the streets of New york City

Moving to El Salvador soon?

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

Yes and yes, before I moved.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Very little.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Mostly irritation to anger phase, but soon came out of it as I gained more patience.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Frustration, things get done much more slowly here.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

People are warmer and will often go out of their way to help, even people I hardly know.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The way of thinking is very different than someone born and raised in US, Canada, UK, Australia or Western Europe - Often 'never the twain shall meet'

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Many, when I got angry or stressed out I often became rude to locals and hurt their feelings, also even though I speak spanish well made many mistakes in pronunciation at first resulting in many misunderstandings, my mentors then told me never to show anger in public.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

On your first visit...

. Of course there exist serious security issues in many parts of Latin America so be aware, especially when traveling alone, and use common sense.

The more Spanish you know, the easier AND less expensive your journey becomes.....

A stressed, lonely and tired traveler is a VULNERABLE traveler to pickpockets, thieves and scammers, one can only do and see so much in one day!

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