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#142844 - 05/15/02 12:49 AM Relocating
lizard Offline
Hi,
Wanted to know about schools(kids 7&8) in San Pedro and possible employment for an american trained Massage Therapist and a professional "DAD". Any spas or resorts to check out. I've heard about another massage therapist that is living and working down there. If anyone knows them let me know.
Peace~Shannon
_________________________
Peace~Shannon

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#142845 - 05/15/02 01:34 AM Re: Relocating
rickcheri Offline
Sorry- just being honest...if ya don't have ALOT of $$$$$$ ....forget about it!!!! C

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#142846 - 05/15/02 03:48 AM Re: Relocating
susangg Offline
Forget living anywhere in Belize and especially on Ambergris Caye unless you either live off trust funds and investments (big ones) or enough capital to invest in a business (like a hotel or a factory) that will bring money into the Belizean economy (and you still need money because you will run in the red for a few years).
The Belizean economy cannot sustain its own people, it surely cannot sustain gringos who come to play in the sun. You will not get a work permit to perform
massage therapy unless you build a hotel and work in it yourself.
As a capital investor you can easily get a work permit to run your own business.
Bear in mind that living in San Pedro is far more expensive than living in most parts of the US.
Suggest you take a hard look at your finances and then buy Lan's book "Adapter Kit Belize."
If you have enough money saved to take a sabbatical and live off your savings for a few months, that's fine. The book will help you figure out how to do that.
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#142847 - 05/15/02 03:53 PM Re: Relocating
ljacks Offline
We moved down here a few years ago with children for some of the same reasons that you mention.

Things you should know.
-Difficult to get a work permit but if you have skills that are need or lacing locally, and can find an employer, they can apply for a work permit for you.
-The doors are wide open if you want to start a business. So much is need here. The most recent ones I can think of is a fellow who opened up a pizza delivery place out of a mobile home and couple that came here and opened up what is called the sausage factory (for meats and sausage)
-rent is very expensive as is utilities. You most likely have to pay about $1000.00US a month for you family to get something decent.
-The island Academy is the only good school here. It is an elementary school. It is private and imports teachers from abroad. It has a mixture of kids in it, has a great reputation, costs (i think) $250.00US per month.
- We now have our own home here and rent an apartment to a family that has a 10 year old in the school and they love it. The family moved here from the US as the husband manages a local resort.
-if you have the desire to move here then come down and take a good look. You need something to do here. Sitting on the beach will not work. This is not for everyone but is great for some.
-There are drugs and alcohol problems here just like where you are. You will not escape them here.
We started our own business here and it took a year to get the licenses in place. It was hard but now that it is done we relax and really do enjoy the life and the ocean. You can go to the mainland, to the jungle, and Miami is a short flight.

You do need finances to get started. Building you own home would be the best way to go and property is only going up so a good investment as well. The cost of living is high but taxes are low and you don't need a car. So I think in balances out.

Finally I would like to say that this is a nice place to live. Come here and check it out. If you post your e-mail I will communicate with you on a more personal level.

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#142848 - 05/19/02 01:52 AM Re: Relocating
silkpainter Offline
I don't really see where you're coming from susangg, your posts have taken on such a cynical tone, I used to enjoy reading your thoroughly researched responses. Good information ljacks. Like ljacks, I actually live here and have gotten my residency. I came with some money (not a lot though), and it wasnt trust fund money. I was very careful about who I did business with and where I spent that little nest egg. I would recommend at least a couple of trips here to check things out first before moving your family. I was lucky, I met some good people who gave me valuable advice and steered me away from the land sharks. I also wasn't in a big hurry to invest or buy property or build a house.
Work permits are possible to get EVEN if you dont build a hotel and work in it yourself. If an employer wants you they WILL get you your work permit. Most massage therapists that I know work independent and went straight for their residency as a business person and skipped the whole work permit stage. You have to come here with enough money to live and not work while you are waiting for your papers. I did it, but my children are all grown and out of the house. You definitely pay for lifestyle here, and it didnt bother me to live in a less than luxurious apartment, but if you're looking to replicate your life in the U.S. you'll pay for it in San Pedro. SP is singularly the most expensive place to live in Belize, Belizeans come from the mainland to make what they consider top dollar here. I was just in Sarteneja a couple of weeks ago and could have rented a 2 bedroom nice (in my opinion) cement house for $150 U.S. a month, but in Sarteneja your customers would be locals paying you in mangos and fish, not cash. I've not been in Belize as long as some, but I've seen people come and go, and one big factor is bar-stool time, the longer they sit on the barstool, the more despondent they become. Living in paradise successfully means long hours, working on Christmas to serve the tourists and living with less (but being happy with less). There is so much about my old life that I don't miss, I live much simpler now, and I spend a lot less on my lifestyle here than I did in the U.S. I dont need all those "things" to make me happy.
--Silk www.caribbean-colors.com
_________________________
-Lee Vanderwalker-Alamina
http://www.caribbean-colors.com
http://www.caribbean-colors.blogspot.com

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#142849 - 05/19/02 03:01 AM Re: Relocating
JmHanna Offline
I totally agree with Silkpainter.
_________________________
Jim

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#142850 - 05/19/02 09:58 AM Re: Relocating
susangg Offline
Cynical? Well...I dunno. I'm not much for happytalk (You'll never see "LOL" in one of my posts...). The lady asked for advice and I assume she wanted straight talk so she got it from me, like it or not.
Look, this lady described the situation as: married couple, 2 young kids, husband unemployed (unless I misunderstood what she meant by "professional dad"...) and she's a "massage therapist." She wants to live in San Pedro if she can find work to sustain herself and family. Looks like a recipe for disaster to me. You say she can easily get a work permit. Maybe so...it looks like anybody can get just about any kind of permit if they have the capacity to demonstrate a sufficient quantum of "gratitude." It strikes me that these folks probably won't be able to do that.

What you call "cynicism" may be a touch of my politics showing and perhaps it came out in my post.

My take: Belize is a cash-poor developing country with a rapidly imploding economy. It is blessed with much natural beauty, a fabulous environment (other than the odd hurricane) and a surfeit of well educated young people who can't live in their own country because there is no work for them.
Under such circumstances I do not believe expat gringos looking for a relaxed lifestyle in the sunshine have the right to come to Belize and ask the local economy to sustain them. Gringos who have not paid their dues and don't have money to invest to create wealth and jobs FOR the community instead of taking FROM it ought not to be able to live in Belize unless they bring their own money to do it. They have no right to take jobs away from Belizeans.
There are certainly exceptions -- for people who have valuable skills that are not sufficiently met in Belize -- that might include medical doctors (real ones, not the phony kind, ahem..), public health nurses, teachers, scientific and technical personnel who are willing to work a lot cheaper than they would in the US when no Belizeans are available (and that would rarely include San Pedro, most of the need for such people is in the Toledo District, Orange Walk, etc.)
It does NOT, in my humble opinion, include "massage therapists." Surely if there is a crying need for rub-downs in San Pedro, there are Belizeans who can do this work or could do it if they had some training.
That's my opinion; as Dennis Miller says, I could be wrong. If it offends some people, well, it won't be the first time nor is it likely to be the last.
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#142851 - 05/19/02 01:08 PM Re: Relocating
checker Offline
Yeh Belize is not for everybody and lots of times people find that out the hard way.

Well that's okay, nobody said everything is suppose to be easy.

To watch a dream shrivel and die hurts.

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#142852 - 05/19/02 05:33 PM Re: Relocating
LaurieMar Offline
Back to the subject of massage therapists: I had the best massage I have ever had just last week at La Diosa Spa by Lynde. She is from California and has been on AC for 3 years. She told me she is looking to move in the next year because her daughter will be starting high school and there is no place for her to receive schooling, unless private. You may want to contact her and talk to her about her experiences.

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#142853 - 05/19/02 08:38 PM Re: Relocating
belizeanblue Offline
Here is an angle from a Belizean....I just want to share an observation which one or the other may want to consider. Quite often when foreigners open a business in Belize, and they are welcome to do so, they prefer to hire other foreigners for the high paying posts. Quite a few Belizeans are well educated and hard working and with some training would perform marvelously at the jobs, yet many foreigners will get work permits for other foreigners to work in Belize. And the menial tasks stay for the Belizeans. I wonder why is that?

[This message has been edited by belizeanblue (edited 05-19-2002).]

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