What’s up everyone! I have been thinking of doing a sit in Colombia, Mexico or other Latin countries. Those who have already done it, please share your stories, experiences and suggestions. What country and city did you visit? What did you like or dislike about your sit? How were the house owners and their pets? Was it safe in the country or area? How was the transportation there? Did you use public transport/taxi? Was it difficult to communicate with the locals? How were the people there? How was the food? How was the wifi/electricity? Were there any unexpected rules/laws?
I’ll be interested to see replies. I know a few people have housesat in Mexico but not seen any in Colombia. There were a few sits in Buenos Aires before the pandemic but they seem to be non-existent now. I’d love to visit Colombia and Argentina
I have completed sits in Panama, Ecuador and Costa Rica. There are other people on the forum that almost exclusively sit in South America so they will have lots more information for you.
I felt very safe throughout the sits. There were no language difficulties as we could always find a common language. Between us we speak English, French, Spanish and German. We hired a car in Ecuador, used public transport in Panama and the pet parent loaned us her car in Costa Rica. There was no difficulty with any of these modes of transport. Just be aware that time tables are a recommendation not an absolute. If you have to get somewhere in a timely manner take the early (at least a hour earlier) bus. We called it “sunshine “ time. No one is in a hurry and everyone loves to chat.
As for the actual sit nothing was much different. The dogs needed fed and exercised. The property need looked after and cleaned.
Look at it as an adventure. Be confident. Ask lots of questions about the area you will be staying in and be aware that in some places there are packs of wild/stray dogs that wander and can cause trouble and fights. We always kept the dogs on a lead and carried a large stick to break up fights. I would say it is better if you are self reliant and have experience of living off grid as countryside properties have a lot of power cuts and the WiFi can be slow. Check when the rainy season is as weather causes a lot of problems.
Our very best South American sit was on an Island in Bocas del Toras in Panama. Two months off grid with the only mode of transport back to the mainland a water taxi. No TV. The WiFi would disconnect when storms went through. However, the colours, sounds and sights were magnificent. I’ll never forget watching the changing sky as the next thunderstorm rolled in or paddling round the edge watching the sea life. As long distance sailors who are used to isolation and making do we loved it but we are aware it’s not for everyone.
Wow! Thank you so much for such an extensive reply. I enjoyed your story on off grid sit in Panama. I would love to try a remote off grid lifestyle sometime, but I work remotely. With the wifi situation my guess is that I would probably have to look at something closer to the city and at a non stormy season. I am hoping more people will share their experience on their sits in Latin America, especially on the safety and transportation part.
Hi @anilopa —
I haven’t done a housesit in Mexico but I’ve lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for 10 years
NB. These are my opinions based on my experience of living here for 10 years.
— Oaxaca is extraordinary - full of mountains, I live on the beach nearby lakes, waterfalls, it’s a pro surf destination, fibre optic wifi, everything you need
— Transport: Taxis, collectivo (shared) taxis (and Uber in the most touristy towns, not mine!), Oaxaca is very safe, just keep your wits about you as you would in your home town, Mexico is safe provided you don’t buy or sell drugs (I feel safer anywhere I’ve been traveling through 22 states in Mexico than I do in the US), and learn Spanish little by little to be respectful, this opens hearts & minds because many tourists don’t bother.
— Locals are warm and friendly. I settled in Oaxaca because I found the locals here to be so kind and friendly. They will drop whatever they are doing to help you. I still commit to learning Spanish every day which invites you deeper into the culture and into the hearts and minds of locals.
— Food is wonderful, but that’s a personal preference! Lots of fresh seafood, excellent quality food is everywhere if you KNOW where to look! Making friends with locals will help you find these gems more easily. The tourist surface food culture can be terrible. Each state in Mexico has its own unique food culture with nuanced regional cooking.Lots of handmade, heirloom ingredients
— Wifi can be great or terrible, ask for speedtest before you commit to a sit if you need it at home, or look for local co-working spaces (I get 105/65 speeds at the ones in Oaxaca)
— Electricity is normally great, there can be power cuts in the whole block for hours at a time, wherever you are in Mexico
— Mexicans are very laid back and despite being a highly policed country, people are very relaxed & friendly.
Let me know if you have more Qs!
San Miguel is a little different, being in the desert & no beach nearby if you’re looking for that. It is also a very touristy town & there are a lot of ex-pats here, so you’ll be ok getting by if you can’t speak Spanish, but there are also a lot of opportunities to speak & practice Spanish, if you can or are just learning like me! Which is much appreciated by the locals. Apart from that, the locals are lovely, warm & welcoming.
The sits I loved. Couldn’t fault either of them & had a lovely time, so much so, the original sit I went there for, the owners asked me to return & that’s why I have stayed so long, as I am currently back at the original sit!
Both areas I stayed in were safe & I walked several times home in the evening after dark. In saying that though, like anywhere, just keep your wits about you & you will be fine. I also use the public buses here which are 8 pesos or approx 50us cents a ride/local taxis 80pesos/$5.00US anywhere or other ride share services.
Wifi & electricity - no problems at all & the food, you can take your pick. Both Mexican & western food, but ask the locals, as a lot of the touristy places are overpriced but still fun to go to every now & then.
Good luck & you’ll be fine. Oh & if you do try for this area, be quick to apply, they go quick but it’s worth it!