What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Bahia de Caracruz
How long have you lived there?
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Here you meet others through shopping for food, necessities for the home, and dining out. There is a Rotary International group here but they only speak spanish.
If you have a talent, such as painting, you can set up in one of the parks and meet people.
There are a dozen expats here that speak english and most are very helpful for newcomers.
Also there are about 30 to 80 boats from all over the world at the marina, depending on the month, and most "boaties" speak English and are helpul. The marina owner, an American, also runs a restaurant there and he and his Columbian wife speak english.
In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
The majority of people here are Catholic. There are a large number of Evangelical Prostestant Churches. Also many Mormons are here helping the poor.
They are very tolerant of all religious followers here, as long as you don't tell them their religion is wrong.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
The main industries are building trades, making building supplies, Running small businesses, fishing and domestic services.
For bi or multilingual persons there are jobs in businesses.
Young people go to trade schools or apprenticeships to learn trades. Many follow their fathers in the family business.
Most people find jobs via a friends recommendation or going door to door of businesses. Work is hard to find for many who do not have a college or trade school certificate.
Working for foreigners is difficult unless you have specialized training and speak Spanish.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
People here have one main priority- putting food on the table and caring for their family. They work 7 days a week when they have work. They sell items on the street, bake bread and torts for sale, clean, do general labor or what they can to exist.
They are mostly industrious, though there are those few who will loaf, steal, and rob to stay alive. Those with solid jobs then concentrate on their children and homes.
The wealthy associate with others like themselves. Most are middle class here- which would be considered dirt poor in the US.
I have not met a single discourteous or unkind person toward foreigners. Everyone says Good morning or afternoon as you meet.
They are respectful of older persons and help those whom are infirm and need assistence. In many ways it is like the US was back in the 1950's when life was slower, easier going and people had respect for each other.
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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
1. Learn some basic spanish before coming here.
2. Have a source of income to sustain you, don't expect to work to survive.
3. Keep an open mind and expect things to be very different from home.
4. Come for 3 to 4 weeks to see if you will like the country and city before making permanent immigration plans.
5. Have great patience and don't expect the people to act in a manner to which you are accustomed. Things here take time.
6. Remember you are a guest in their country so be respective of their customs, If you don't know what is expected-- ASK.
Don't demand anything. They wll be nice if you are.
7. Always check your passport for visas and date stamps. They have been known to make errors on dates--quite often!
8. Be flexible, things are not under your control. Have Fun!