replied to the thread My Utopia
on the Uruguay forum on May 22, 2015:
This is my blend of the "Opinions on areas to live" thread and the upcoming "My Utopia" thread by Readytobe.
The following is intended to explain what I am looking for with hopes that someone may tell me where to look and offer helpful advice. Let's all agree in advance to keep this and all other threads friendly.
Utopia: An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.
I dream of a place where I can live a wholesome life with my wife and son. A place where we can sow and reap and live our lives in harmony with the land. We like to always leave a place better than we found it and if everyone would live by that rule, the whole world would be utopia.
We would choose to be mostly self sufficient, but always social and willing to participate in the local economy. I could even imagine serving the public in some unforeseen ways.
I'm looking for a medium sized house on piece of land with many acres for vegetable farming, free range chickens, pigs, goats, cows and a horse or two. A small pond with a brook would be wonderful. I'd be grateful if it had a good sized section of trees for sustainable harvesting of firewood.
I'll need Internet access of at least 2.5 Mbps to interact with the outside world for news and possibly income. I'm learning Spanish quickly and hope to be fluent someday reasonably soon.
Access to a city of around 25,000 people would be beneficial as my son will need some formal schooling, although I would really like to homeschool him. In a large city you are basically anonymous in plain sight - you can life there without anybody really knowing you. That is the problem. Accountability breads trustworthiness. This new era is going to be about living by your morals.
The idea of sharing a property with strangers will only work if everyone shares the exact same goals and those goals never change. Society is changing more rapidly now then ever. Goals change. People change, so I hesitate to join a group to which I would be dependent. A loose knit group of similar people with similar goals would be key and that's what I'm looking for.
If you have some wisdom and ideas of where and how we might fit in, please, please share them with us. Rivera seems like a good place to look, but we need more suggestions and information. All we want is peace.
Thank you sincerely,
I have to agree with you and Brian, that buying land and leave some of it available for everyone to work in common is more likely to not work, but we can still use our common goal to have some land and instead of paying 10 or 20k per hectare we can get together to purchase in bulk provided we agree who is going to have what and for how much. The one of the problems that comes to my mind is to make roads to have every subdivision accessible.
From the research my wife and I have done, Uruguay seems to be the best place we can choose to move to. BUT, if for some reason we don't qualify for Uruguay, what other countries do you suggest we consider moving to. So far Ecuador looks like a good choice. We think South America is the safest bet, but we're open to any suggestions people may have. Thank you!
edy, Brazil changed its name back
in 1969, and since them is called República Federativa do Brasil.
Carlitos: The argument that is wrong to call yourself “American” if you’re from the USA is getting old and stupid. Most people from everywhere in the world understand that an “American” is a person from the USA and not just a person from somewhere in the American Continents. Notice that the “A“ in USA stands for “America” and therefore is appropriate to use it as the short country name. A person from United States of Brazil calls himself a Brazilian, and the country Brazil, are you saying they’ve been wrong all along? How about a person from Canelones (city)? Is it presumptuous or offensive to the people of the rest of the department if they say they’re from Canelones. You said you don’t give a damn about it but is not the first time you bring it up.
replied to the thread Any feedback on Alvarez Briano moving company?
on the Uruguay forum on May 21, 2015:
We have rule out Uruvan as they seem to be the "cadillac" of movers & are considering 1 of 3 options.
1) Autogiro (I have heard good feedback on this company on this blog)
2) Alvarez Briano (one of the shippers we are considering working with knows the owners personally & thinks highly of this company)
3) using an importer/exporter to move our items from the port to our home (should save about $ 750 or more but will break the insurance coverage at the port as the shipper of our goods to the port will no longer be responsible with a 3rd party they do not know)
Just wanting to get anyone's thoughts as planning to lock in with a mover & UY handler of our goods within the next 2 days!
We used Uruvan. I bet Autogiro is almost the same price. The only issue we had with Uruvan was that they ignored our values for the container and just picked some arbitrary number based on the size of the container. But if you have land, you can do the bond instead, right?
The insurance coverage thing is a big deal. Because you're not just losing it from the port to your house, but all the way back to the US. This is because the mover up there can just say that whatever was broken had to be broken by your mover here, right?
I would just recommend picking Uruvan or Autogiro and pay it. It will cost more. But you're buying fewer headaches at a time when you'll have a lot of headaches.
I wonder if anyone is willing to expand on the topic begun by Carlitos, Kimbo, and CrazyFarmer on the the thread "Other good choices if we can't move to Uruguay?"
Very briefly: Carlitos suggested a farm community mixing expats and natives.
CrazyFarmer suggested some reasons to be cautious about such an arrangement.
My additional question, beyond exploring the subject brought up, is were money no object for any of you what would be your ideal design of a Uruguayan Utopia? If you had some money? If you had no money? Or would your utopia even be in Uruguay?
It is a bit whimsical but I think it could be a very practical exercise that could be helpful for sharing ideas, potentially linking people, informing those in Uruguay and those of us looking in about a lot of practical information, and helping us all perfect our individual homes, plans and futures... dare I say maybe even the world.
I plan to offer my own thoughts which I have been turning over in my head for some time when I have a chance to type them out. To start: I believe in collaboration and think that a good form of Carlitos' idea is not only a great idea but is arguably the only way. I also appreciate the concerns of CrazyFarmer. I think the key to the future of relatively free humanity may involve a way of overcoming those very real obstacles (for Christians or those who appreciate the logic of the philosophy of Jesus I would think there is a great spiritual need to overcome these concerns as well). Those with money, those without, natives, expats and so on, I think all have something to offer each other and I think all suffer in very real ways from not finding a way in which all can work together for the gain of all. More to follow from me. Any and all ideas, plans, thoughts, concerns, hopes, dreams, stories of successes and failures on this topic encouraged and appreciated!
>If one have all the papers in order, the contract, the times, the
>payments, all passed by an escribano and an accountant, all
>receits I don't see why not having uruguayos employes.
Strikes, difficult and expensive to fire them even if you can't afford them anymore, poor worth ethic, they can lie and say whatever they want to BPS later and you have no recourse.
We did everything right with our casera, complete with a contract and BPS handled by Fischer and Schickendantz, everything to the letter. To have a casera who did nothing but her own laundry for 6 months, it ended up costing us US$5000.
>May be your friend did not have everything in order that's might
>explain their lost on the law suit.
There wasn't a law suit. They were just told how it was going to be by BPS.
>Before was like hell here, people took a lot of advantage on
>workers, that might explain why uruguayos don't like to work that
I doubt it. The US has a long history of people being abused by their employers.
Back in the 80s, the air traffic controllers went on strike. President Ronald Reagan himself fired *all* of the air traffic controllers and had them replaced.
The people in the US who have not embraced the socialist welfare state still have a good work ethic.
>on the law schools did they ask you for revalidas? I did
>highschool in Brazil and they did not ask me revalidas.
I didn't go myself, it was for my daughter. And it wasn't for law school, it was for medical school. My daughter skipped the 3rd grade because she was very advanced and graduated 6 months early. She took the highest available math class at her high school (Integral Calculus) in the 10th grade and got and A. When we got to revalidas, the idiot in charge said, Calculus? Oh, Calculo. You need more math than just adding up numbers. Back to high school for you. No amount of reasoning could make this woman understand. So she had to retake the last year of liceo here, got all 12s which apparently no one ever does. The teachers and other students looked at her like she was a freak. It was a complete waste of time.
Then there was the American nurse practitioner who had more than 20 years experience working in the US. When she went to revalidas, they refused to recognize her degree and suggested that a woman in her 40s go back to liceo.
There's a lot of dumb out there. But I guess it's better than the US where they would simply refuse to accept your education out of arrogance leaving you with no options at all.
If one have all the papers in order, the contract, the times, the payments, all passed by an escribano and an accountant, all receits I don't see why not having uruguayos employes. May be your friend did not have everything in order that's might explain their lost on the law suit. Before was like hell here, people took a lot of advantage on workers, that might explain why uruguayos don't like to work that much.
on the law schools did they ask you for revalidas? I did highschool in Brazil and they did not ask me revalidas.
replied to the thread So many questions as we pack....
on the Uruguay forum on May 20, 2015:
In process of packing & going through things. Think I have read answers to some of the questions I am going to ask but at saturation point with all the information so please help with some more questions.
1) do people decorate their homes for Halloween or Christmas (outdoors &/or indoors) in UY? Trying to discern how many decorations to bring given very limited storage space.
2) please verify that any electrical item we are bringing must be 220 V or it will not work without converter to modify current. Guessing by the time you buy the appropriate powered converter, that this only makes sense for most higher dollar items versus less expensive items (standard coffee maker, hair dryers, etc.), correct?
3) saw something about oxygen absorbers being recommended as something to bring. How many of these might one need?
4) going to get cameras for property for security. Buy in UY or U.S. & if latter, 220 Volt?
5) our understanding is we can not bring any household or yard chemicals in container. Can we bring non-hazardous liquids in container (I.e. Laundry detergent,dish soap, shampoo, motor oil, etc.) in container?
I've noticed improved availability also. And the prices for computer parts have come way down at Banifox. They used to cost double, and it still does for some things, but many things have come down to maybe a 20% or 30% premium over amazon.
replied on May 20, 2015 with:
I must say though that even since we came in 2011, there is much more available here.
I always seem to find some new thing in the stores that I have never seen here before.
I am always told that Yes you can find most things here, you just need to know where to look.
You may pay more than you expect though.
Just trying to do so much in a short period of time so going out to all of you with the questions versus trying to research each thing is such a huge timesaver! Thanks in advance. I am so appreciative of so many people being so giving of their time. Hopefully I can return the favor after our relocation for future expats on this blog!
1) Does UY use mailboxes? We have a beautiful mailbox that was a mutual Valentine's day present. Not sure whether to bring or sell here in states. Could it set us up for crime if too fancy if mailboxes are used?
2) Our container guy has made a point of sharing that if we had any new items in our container (i.e a new mattress or a new lawn mower) then we will get hit with the 40% import tax. It stinks b/c we are wanting to upsize our teenagers' beds with the move from twins to queen size. That said, based on what I have read on the blog, even if we pay the $ 400 or $600 for the queen sets (mattress & box springs) & get hit with the 40% import fee, that we should still do this b/c the quality is superior & the cost is lower in the U.S. so you end up with a better quality mattress at a similar price (price pd in U.S. + import tax) to what you might pay for the same size mattress in UY. Correct? Wondering if this holds true with lawnmowers.
3) For U.S. expats, what mail forwarding service is the most reliable & lowest cost with a competitive delivery time frame?
4) We most likely will be renting for 3-4 weeks while the house we are buying has the bathrooms renovated as they are old & not functioning as they should. If anyone has a rental property that is reasonably priced in Punta Ballena (1st choice) or Punta del Este or nearby that would be available in June, please send me info.!
Thanks again. We are trying to get there even sooner in June so prayers for everything to fall into place for our family will be greatly appreciated. :)
>2) Our container guy has made a point of sharing that if we had
>any new items in our container (i.e a new mattress or a new lawn
>mower) then we will get hit with the 40% import tax. It stinks b/c
>we are wanting to upsize our teenagers' beds with the move from
>twins to queen size.
He doesn't know what he's talking about. Buy all new mattresses like you want and bring them, and even some extra for guest rooms. You can even leave the plastic on them. If they see 20 mattresses in your container on the x-ray, they might stop and question it. But if they see let's say 8 mattresses and you have 5 people, they won't question it. Chances are they can't see on the x-ray with enough detail to count them anyway.
Buy all the new stuff you want, no matter what it is, and put it in there.
If what you want to bring has a gas motor, I've heard that it might cause problems. But I've also heard of people bringing push mowers or chainsaws with no problem. A riding mower might be a little more iffy. I'd say a motorcycle will get your container stopped for sure.
If you're unsure about anything, ask whoever is handling your container down here to call customs or the despachante. They should be able to give you a better answer that's less likely to be wrong.
>That said, based on what I have read on the blog, even if we pay
>the $ 400 or $600 for the queen sets (mattress & box springs) &
>get hit with the 40% import fee, that we should still do this b/c the
>quality is superior & the cost is lower in the U.S. so you end up
>with a better quality mattress at a similar price (price pd in U.S. +
>import tax) to what you might pay for the same size mattress in >UY. Correct? Wondering if this holds true with lawnmowers.
It's true about almost anything, especially mattresses. But they won't give you any trouble for bringing new stuff.
The idea here is that you're bringing "household goods" for use in your home here. There appears to be no clear definition of what that means. But if what you're bringing can be reasonably be called household goods, then you won't have any problems. I brought an entire woodshop full of machines with no problems. So the definition is pretty flexible. Just don't bring 8 refrigerators for example. But 2 or 3 is probably ok.
Morel brings up a good point. Bring a good grill. Gas grills from the US can easily be converted to supergas. And they're expensive and not so great here.
replied on May 20, 2015 with:
I'm asking a friend whether you can rent her house for a month in Club del Lago which is quite close. You can also check airbnb.com and see what they have in Punta Ballena.
replied to the thread Jade Helm
on the Uruguay forum:
ok, USians, this is the official Jade Helm thread. At the very least, I think this is the prepositioning of assets. At worst, it won't end until it goes live while they continue to to call it a drill. What do we think about this?
Lots of friends going back for a visit now. :-/
I think it's a subtle suggestion that "you're weak, you're old, you've taken care of us (the government) and now we the Government will take care of you. Don't fight, don't resist..... very creepy though.
"We want to get the Hell out because of our concerns over the right wing big religion/big business madness that's growing like a cancer here in our Constitutional republic. I'll be damned if I let those bastard Dominionist fascists like Ted Cruz turn my granddaughters into broodmares for Republican Jesus. NOT ON MY WATCH! " - MtMan
Hey Mr. "Live & let live" guy, read your words & see how well that matches up with your self-proclaimed mantra. I am calling out the hypocrisy. Also, go back & look at this thread prior to your first post. There is no blame or anger. You injected it into this thread.
replied to the thread Drilling for Water on Land in Rivera
on the Uruguay forum:
I am in Rivera and have 22 hectares and trying to find a honest and competent Driller for water supply to a coming house on the land.
It seems that only 6 are legally registered in Uruguay, I want to have the job done right at a fair price but have no way to determine which Driller can provide that.
Any suggestions would be helpful, If i can't find one within next couple of weeks i will go with:
Eula y Alvez
Barrio Paso de la Estiva
What makes me nervous is when i approached this guy he said he knew the area where my land was, there was good water, and should be about 30 meters down. When we went to the land, he had picked up dowsing rod, the depth magically became 60 to 70 metres effectively doubling/more the original guesstimate.
Second question i have is one of piping material. I do not prefer plastic (pvc) based on health reasons of leaching, i also am not keen on iron for rusting or of "steel" (he has not said stainless and i am guesing this is going to come from china, another strike against quality). What i do feel comfortable with is copper but he says it is impossible/very-difficult and responded with another possible option of bronze. I would be interested in anyone else's views on this subject.
True the difference between reading and doing. I have done cob and some strawbale myself and seen some projects first hand (done by first timers) that have been standing for 10 years plus. Cob is incredibly easy to do and very forgiving. You could buy the book by Ianto Evans and easily learn and be successful on a humble home without any experience. I am not trying to tell you what to do or argue with you, just offering that because I can say from experience that there is no reason to be intimidated or concerned about a learning curve or lack of ability to build successfully with cob or strawbale at a cottage level. Good luck to you and best wishes for a happy home however it is constructed.
I don't use skype and don't have web at my home for the moment so its not a terribly convenient time for me to start. I would love to talk more with you in general if you are willing to share a bit - i'm very curious about your experiences thus far, how you have made this happen so far and your plans for the future. I think I sent you my e-mail and phone would be cool too. Let me know...
replied on May 15, 2015 with:
thankyou for your message, i am aware of cob and permaculture but it is one thing to read and another to do. I am opting at the moment to have a structure built, and i do plan to stay away from cement as much as possible other then foundation and mortar for bricks. pls feel free 2 contact at shawnriley123 at skypppe
replied to the thread Can one drive to Uruguay?
on the Uruguay forum on May 18, 2015:
I've been reading this forum and doing some research with regards to moving to Uruguay this summer. This will be my first post.
Is it possible to drive there from the U.S.? There is a ferry from Key west Florida to cancun. We would drive my pickup truck and pull a small camper.
What difficulties might we encounter at various border crossings?
I'm going to take a wild guess that this will not be possible, but it solves a few of my initial problems: vehicle, shelter, seeds, water... I'd like to be self sufficient from day one. Your thoughts?
replied on May 18, 2015 with:
First of all there is noroad connection between Panamá and Colombia.. Anyway I don't know how save it could be foran American to travel along the roads of northern South America with a truck & Camper.
Moving to Uruguay also driving down will have another problem. You will enter the country as a tourist but the moment you file the residency application you will not be a tourist any more and leaves your truck and camper in an ilegal situation.
No Sir, no books and no blogs, just our pictures and memories that we share sometimes. Once I started to plan a car trip to visit the people we stayed with, but then one project after another and we are here and 10 years have gone under the bridge.
replied to the thread Light bulbs in UY
on the Uruguay forum on May 17, 2015:
We have a bunch of incandescent & compact fluorescent bulbs. Will these work in lamps & light fixtures in UY? Understand that many people prefer LED due to lower energy costs but just trying to make go/no go decisions.
The wiring in your lamps will support 220, but the bulbs from the US will not, regardless of the type. You need to replace all your bulbs when you get here. But all your lamps will work just fine unless there are electronics in them. So if it's one of these lamps where you just touch the metal base and it turns on, or has some special kind of lamp or bulb driven by a ballast, then it won't work. If you can just screw in an incandescent bulb, then your lamp will work fine. You just have to change the prongs on the plug.
We're in the process if replacing all of our lights with LED bulbs. They consume 5 to 10 times less power. And they're not dying constantly like the incandescent bulbs here.
replied on May 17, 2015 with:
I am not an electrician but I do not think so.
We were told to bring all our lamps etc. but you have to change all the bulbs to local ones to use them. I have a Ott Lite and brought extra bulbs but only use it plugged into a transformer.
There are lots of energy saving bulbs here but I find many do not last long.