Articles by David Hammond
- A Tour-Guide-Free Waterfall Adventure—Thanks to Spanish
Posted on November 21, 2013 by David Hammond
When I first moved from the U.S. to Uruguay, I didn’t speak Spanish. And while some English-speaking expats get by without learning any Spanish, my experience is, the more Spanish I learn the richer my expat experience becomes.It took just a little study to learn to greet people and show respect. Now, after a little more study and practice I can express my needs and wants and I’m starting to build rapport with my Uruguayan neighbors. More and more, it feels like I’m getting ready to take off my Spanish “training wheels” and learning to communicate like a local.
Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city, has a culture that many North American expats find comfortable. It’s a place where the traditional and the modern weave together. For example, Montevideo has a prosperous economy, but people still take time for one another. It has new gleaming malls, but it is also teeming with small family-owned shops. Each child in the country receives a free laptop computer, but time with family is still cherished above all else.
There are situations in life we cannot escape. But fortunately, a long cold winter in the U.S. or Canada isn’t one of them. When it’s winter in North America, it’s summer in South America. And there is no better place in South America for a winter respite than the beaches of Uruguay.
To apply for residence in Uruguay you must be in the country, this is perfect for those that try out the country and decide to stay. Uruguay’s Dirección Nacional de Migración (DNM, or Immigration) is the government office that deals with residence matters. The complete process for obtaining permanent residence takes 12 and 24 months in addition to the time it takes to obtain the necessary documents.
“Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja (Old City) is as close to time travel as I can get,” says expat Madeline Parmot. Madeline’s home is on a pedestrian street of restored colonial buildings, just a few blocks from Plaza Matriz, Montevideo’s original plaza.
- The Five Best Areas for Expats in Montevideo, Uruguay
Posted on August 20, 2013 by David Hammond
I go to enjoy the capital’s great quality of life. You can walk, run, or socialize on the rambla, the wide coastal promenade that runs the full length of the city.
- Video: A Great Quality of Life in Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on July 10, 2013 by David Hammond
Punta del Este, Uruguay, is, without doubt, the most fashionable beach resort in South America. During the high season, there are polo tournaments…yacht races…fashion shows…lazy days on the beach…and celebrity parties. To many vacationers, Punta del Este is a beach resort…
If you fall in love with Uruguay, as I did, one thing you’ll appreciate is the high-quality, affordable health care. In Uruguay, medical equipment is modern and doctors highly trained. There are two medical schools in Montevideo, but many senior doctors in Uruguay were trained in the United States, Germany, and Brazil.
- Start-up Strategies: What it Takes to ‘Make It’ Overseas
Posted on April 26, 2013 by David Hammond
Its growing economy, political and social stability, negligible taxes, and everyday safety make Uruguay an outstanding country in which to do business–not to mention its enticing culture and quality of life.
I have a confession. Before I moved to Uruguay I regularly associated with criminals. And their crimes were many and diverse. I lived in Washington State. And the crimes I speak of ranged from collecting rainwater in barrels for the garden (against Washington State law), to advertising a large home for sale as “ideal for a large family,” a HUD violation.
- The Best Things in Life Are Still Free in Montevideo, Uruguay
Posted on April 2, 2013 by David Hammond
Somehow, in my adult life, I developed the belief that I needed money to have a good time. However, living in Montevideo reminds me that’s just not so. Here, there are so many public spaces, celebrations, and ways to socialize… all for little or no money. In fact, the idea that the finer things in life should be available to all is so important to Uruguayans that they dedicate a whole weekend to it every spring.
- Affordable Properties in the Best Areas of Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on March 26, 2013 by David Hammond
Believe it or not, you can still find a nice condo in a coveted Punta del Este neighborhood for less than $150,000. There’s a secret to buying affordably here. And it’s simple. Folks from North America determine a property’s value by three factors: location, location, location. But in Punta del Este’s condo market, a property’s location is less important.
- Video: Three Areas to Consider When You Move to Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on March 22, 2013 by David Hammond
Punta del Este’s identity is evolving. In addition to being the area’s most popular beach resort, it is becoming an education center. It currently has four bi-lingual schools and a new university is being constructed. There is also a new large conference center in the works. In addition to traditional resort businesses extending their seasons, there are new stores and businesses being set up.
Punta del Este is South America’s premier beach resort. It is often compared to the Hamptons of Long Island, New York, or Europe’s Saint-Tropez. For decades, it has been a prestigious vacation destination. Now, a growing number of people are living in Punta del Este, Uruguay, making their favorite summer resort their full-time home.
- The Trick to Buying Affordable Property in Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on March 10, 2013 by David Hammond
Punta del Este, less than two hours from Uruguay’s elegant capital of Montevideo, has long been the most fashionable beach resort in South America. An apartment sold here a few years back for $7.2 million… but believe it or not, you can still find a nice condo in a coveted Punta del Este neighborhood for less than $150,000. There’s a secret to buying affordably here. And it’s simple.
- Uruguay: Buy a Million-Dollar Address for $150,000
Posted on February 25, 2013 by David Hammond
Across from the beach near Avenida Roosevelt, where I ride my bike to the mall, is the completed sales office for Trump Tower Punta del Este. Construction is scheduled to start in June. Prices for condos start at $700,000, and the sales people say “it will redefine what is meant by luxury living.”
Just a couple of days into my new life as an expat in Uruguay, I was having lunch on the patio of a restaurant in Punta del Este. I had ordered by pointing to an item on the menu that I imagined was a large Italian-style salad… Ten minutes later, however, the waiter set a large glass serving bowl of sliced beets in front of me.
My winters in Uruguay are very different than in my home state of Washington… There, my December, January, and February routine comprised keeping the house heated, wearing a coat to go outside, and occasionally scraping ice off the car windshield to drive to work. But in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite. Now, in Uruguay, my December, January, and February routine includes keeping the windows open…
I remember the day I ﬁrst left everything behind and set out in a rental car to explore the Department of Rocha in Uruguay. Rocha covers more than 4,000 square miles and stretches from the eastern reaches of Punta del Este to the Brazilian border. With several large lakes and more than 120 miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, it’s rural Uruguay proper.
I came from the US to Uruguay in 2006. After living in the beach community of Punta del Este for a year, I decided to explore Uruguay’s interior. In Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, it is common to run into bilingual Uruguayans who speak English. However, in the country’s rural interior there are few English speakers.
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