Chile is one of the richest countries in all of South America. Chileans receive decent wages, and therefore many people from neighboring countries are currently living and working in Chile.
A negative aspect that immediately strikes the eye is the fact that the inhabitants find it difficult to open up to people from abroad. Chileans are generally much more shy when it comes to foreigners. But once you get to know them, they are approachable and sympathetic.
Chilean society is basically closed-minded and xenophobia has increased due to recent waves of immigration. In general, however, Chile is not a racist country, although it is class-oriented. The difference between rich and poor is enormous, and Chileans’ behavior differs depending on where immigrants come from. They tend to be more aggressive and hostile toward people from neighboring countries, but friendlier toward people from Europe and North America. By the way, most Chileans do not speak English.
The cost of living is not cheap, only things produced in the countryside and sold in local markets have ridiculous prices. Everything else, starting with rents in the big cities, is quite expensive. Food prices are relatively high in Chile, high quality tools and equipment cost more in Chile than in Europe. or in USA. Even in the most favorable case, you must expect to pay more for most goods of the same quality than in your country.
Security is a major problem in Chilean cities, where robberies and thefts are common. Half of the population believe that crime is the country’s main problem. 60 % also believe that punishments for criminals should be toughened. Most private homes have multiple layers of security against burglars, with doors locked at all times, fences covered with wire mesh and barbed wire. The police are basically unable to solve most cases, and the penalties for the few thieves caught are often ridiculously low. leading to constant recidivism. This is especially true in the capital and the largest cities.
One of the things you will have to get used to if you decide to move to Chile is bureaucracy. You will have to do paperwork for everything in this country; even for the simplest thing in the world you will have to go to a notary.
Chile is a long and narrow country that stretches from the tropical to the subantarctic regions, so the climate varies greatly throughout the national territory. One must also take into account that Chile is an earthquake country. Practically every day an earthquake occurs, even if it is often not noticed by the population. Chileans are very used to earthquakes, since it is the third most active country in the world. It is enough to remember that the most devastating earthquake (magnitude 9.5) ever recorded on our planet occurred in Valdivia, Chile, in 1960.
If you think you can move to Chile and live there doing low-skilled work, forget it. Although salaries in Chile are higher than in most other South American countries, the minimum wage is very low, about $350-500, and that is not enough to guarantee you a decent living. On the other hand, if you have a good specialization (engineering, computer science, etc.), the salaries are reasonable and will allow you to live well.
Those who have a technical degree and are fluent in English and Spanish have a good chance of finding work. In fact, special programs have recently been launched to attract people with technical skills to the country.
Living and working in Chile – pros and cons
Living in Chile, pros
- One of the most stable countries in South America
- Beautiful landscapes
- Health and education are not free, but cheap
- Excellent business opportunities
Living in Chile, cons
- Few employment opportunities
- High crime rate (especially in Santiago)
- Highly earthquake-prone country
- Closed society
Who can enjoy Chile?
Entrepreneurs are often drawn to Chile for two reasons: many opportunities and little competition. Chile is an emerging market. Combine that with a relatively clear rule of law (which means local authorities won’t extort bribes if you succeed) and a high percentage of the population with disposable income, and you can draw your own conclusions about why Chile can be a very attractive place for an entrepreneur.
Adventure sports fans
Fans of adventure sports love Chile. Chile’s Atacama Desert is home to salt plains, towering volcanoes and an entire mountain range made of salt crystals. At the other end of the country, in southern Chile, is the second largest ice area outside the poles. Mountain biking, surfing, skiing, sailing. These are just some of the many sports you can practice here..
Those who value property rights and personal freedoms
One of the best things about living in Chile is that people can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.In many countries in Europe and North America, you have the impression that the city government, the police, and thousands of others are constantly telling you what you can and cannot do on your private property. Just think of how many permits and documents you need for even a small change to your house. In Chile, you can do whatever you want on your property as long as you don’t harm anyone else.