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Chile Expat Forum

Considering a move; worried about earthquakes and weather

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joeaddison79
9/5/2017 18:13 EST

I am an ESL teacher with a wife and a toddler.

We are considering a move to Chile.

I like tropical beaches, nice weather, and organic food.

Will I be able to find something fitting this description in the North along the coast, or does the Atacama go right to the coast?

Also, I'm worried about earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides.

Any advice?

Thanks!

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RyanInArkansas
9/5/2017 20:01 EST

Please do yourself a favor and come for a visit. Visit for a full month before you decide to take the leap. You might save yourself a ton of grief and expense.

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Socium
9/5/2017 20:50 EST

The planet is trying to come to a balance causing extraordinary events everywhere. We call this phenomena antropocen: created by human influence. So Chile is not an exemption to the rule.

Then, our decisions about relocating must include preparadness of the country to face Climate Change, earthquakes and other hazards. Chile is well known internationally both for suffering very strong earthquakes and tsunamis and also for the for its human skills to face and live with them.

I think La Serena is suitable for you. Enjoy its long beach (15 kilometers), but buy a house on the upper part of the city. So, you can enjoy a nice weather, the sea while keeping safe your home.

Regards

Teo

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joeaddison79
9/5/2017 23:59 EST

Yes, of course! I'm considering several different countries, and I'm trying to narrow down the list before I try a short visit. This is a huge leap. This is pre-preliminary research.

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joeaddison79
9/6/2017 00:07 EST

Thanks a ton for the advice! I'll look at it!

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MDGringo
9/6/2017 08:51 EST

visited three years in a row now
planning on making it into a longer stay each time going forward and eventually buying property there
my goals are different than yours tho
i want a farm (orchard/vineyard/chickens++) further south (i don't like hot/tropical/beaches/etc)

can tell u the chileans really have this earthquake thing down; it is not a concern as they have developed technologically to deal with them
as you indicate tsunamis could be a problem if you own property right on the beach, but you can simply buy higher up on the hill (most beaches in chile have a hill or cliff near by)

I love chile. i love chileans. i love the looser gov't and the less taxes. I love the climate (not too hot / not too cold.. in the central area anyway). I love the soil.

Whatever you do: LEARN SPANISH
Start now (if u r not already fluent)

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FAIRCLOUGH
9/6/2017 12:31 EST

Our case is different.
we have purchased a home on the side of a hill between Lake Villarica and the Villarica volcano.
The homes there are built to be able to take earthquakes and any quake under a category 7 is no concern. Small quakes are a daily event and go unnoticed. skyscrapers in Santiago are built on springs in the basement and sway with the quakes but they do not fall. Only some of the older adobe homes in rural areas are prone to cracks in the walls and crumbling.
No tsunamis on the lake and all we have to worry about is the odd volcanic eruption. There have been two in recent history (50 years ) and they were not a problem. Since we live in Houston and are always worried about flooding, this will be a relief.
The weather there is cooler and wetter than what we are used to but we can adapt by wearing all those winter clothes that we have not worn for decades.
We welcome the good food, low taxes, great people and the incredible silence.
You may see us complaining about those darned birds chirping way off in those trees half a mile away.

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joeaddison79
9/11/2017 02:30 EST

MDGringo,

Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely a tropics guy. I'd actually prefer to be somewhere I can swim in the ocean year round. Any chance that is the case in the far North of Chile? And have you been to the Atacama? I've read cool things.

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FAIRCLOUGH
9/12/2017 09:48 EST

You ca swim in the ocean year round anywhere in Chile but you will have to wear at least a 6 mil wetsuit year round. maybe 8 mil in winter. You will also have to fend off the jellyfish.
As fo Atacama, the high desert has never seen rain in recorded history. A little further south they had record breaking floods about a year ago that washed out the road. The Eastern Pacific ocean is not known for warm waters.
as for earthquakes they are a daily event but small in intensity but everything is built accordingly.

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FAIRCLOUGH
9/12/2017 09:49 EST

You ca swim in the ocean year round anywhere in Chile but you will have to wear at least a 6 mil wetsuit year round. maybe 8 mil in winter. You will also have to fend off the jellyfish.
As fo Atacama, the high desert has never seen rain in recorded history. A little further south they had record breaking floods about a year ago that washed out the road. The Eastern Pacific ocean is not known for warm waters.
as for earthquakes they are a daily event but small in intensity but everything is built accordingly.

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KellyCannon
10/11/2017 06:56 EST

My family of four is planning to move to Chile next March. We have been twice to visit and love the country and people. I have had many conversations about earthquakes and tsunamis and it sounds like if you live on higher ground, you will be safe. The building codes are able to withstand major quakes. Chile has low crime and they are helpful to visitors. It is a conservative country with low national debt and a healthy economy.

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cesarolga48
10/11/2017 08:20 EST

Good morning. I'm a US citizen and live in Ecuador, Belize, Costa Rica, Chile and Puerto Rico. Of all the places I choose always Chile for many reasons.

My family of 4 is also planing to move next June 2017. I would like to give some advise. 1) When you go to Chile people will always tell you what you want to hear, thats why everyone seems so nice and helpful.
2) must keep all family members busy doing something, find you're tribe or community and serve in some way. 3) Stay away from Santiago and surrounded areas, Smog will make you sick eventually. 4) If you like warm and dry weather go to Arica or stay north, if you like Mediterranean weather and farming stay in Central Chile, if you prefer hot- cold and humid go south. 5) if you buy or rent a house make sure is build with 6" thick blocks, not 4".
6) Look for like minded motivated people that is doing better than you, who share the same goals and values. If not, some people will pull you down and you will lose all motivation.

Just find a good community, look for you're tribe and serve in some way, and during the journey you will find real Happiness.

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