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how friendly are Chileans

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6/17/2013 12:36 EST

I have read several posts that say that the people in Chile tend to be conservative, and, although friendly; it is hard to make true friendships.
Since I am a single, retired male, this would be a concern for me. Obviously, moving to a different country creates many challenges and surprises. I am pretty independent, and don't rely on others much, but to deal with all the difficulties that is involved with moving to another country, knowing that I will also have to deal with the feeling of being isolated would just make the transition that much more difficult.
Ihave traveled extensively throughout Mexico and CA, and Chile seems my only viable option in Latin America.
Any thoughts on this?

6/17/2013 17:48 EST

Don't forget that there are also many expats from many countries here to make your friends. We have made many good friends that we can depend upon here and due to some language constraints find that more of our friends are expats but a good number are also local. You need a nice longish visit to see who you meet before you actually move.

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7/5/2013 23:32 EST

Dear Bluewind, I am Chilean. I lived from 6 until 13 in England and have now lived for 25 years in Chile. From a woman´s point of view, I have found it very difficult to make friends. Chileans have their extended families as friends - cousins, aunties, nieces, nephews, great aunties, granmotehrs, etc,etc. So, who really needs to look after friends when you have your own blood to share with? Really, one of my best friends is Polish. As Chielans get older, they are expected to be looking after their big families, Raking grandchildren to sports competitions or to the theatre, park, whatever. So maybe you should give yourself say, six months, to see if you could deal with this. You can make friends, it just takes a lot of time and effort and its not always recompensated. I have had friends simply not turning up for lunch and never even mentioning it to me! Chileans take a long time to visit each otehrs houses. Especially if you are single. Single older women are seen as possible rivals (the nacho culture says that machos cannot control themsleves and that single women are always out to get it), or a single male (must be homosexuals). Chielans are quite intrusive in your personal affairs. Oh! You would have a lot of getting used to see, so give it a trial run first. That´s my advice. Obviously, as suziehammond said, you must have a lot of interpersonal skills and a great ability to get around. There is an organized expat community here and its also good to hang on to your roots.

Good luck!

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