Moving to Guatemala
Expats moving to Guatemala will find a geographically diverse landscape with a rich culture and history. From its tropical jungles and vast plains to soaring mountains and mysterious underground rivers, expats will have lots to explore in Guatemala.
The expat population in Guatemala is relatively small but is growing steadily as it becomes a popular retirement destination for expats from North America and parts of Europe. Some expats settle in Guatemala for a shorter period of time to learn Spanish and use the country as a base from which to explore the Americas. Most expats living in Guatemala settle in the capital, Guatemala City, or Antigua.
The country’s favourable climate serves to draw foreigners looking to settle down in the land of perpetual spring. For those interested in history and culture, Guatemala has a whole host of interesting Mayan archaeological sites, colonial cities and art galleries to explore.
Spanish is the official language of Guatemala and having at least a basic knowledge of it will make an expat's experience more enjoyable. For those moving to Guatemala with children, there are a number of international schools that allow children to follow the curriculum of their home country.
The standard of healthcare facilities in Guatemala is varied; the major cities boast state-of-the-art facilities while hospitals in rural areas are underfunded. Expats will find it more convenient to use private hospitals in Guatemala City, where waiting times are shorter and doctors usually speak English.
Crime is an issue in some parts of Guatemala, but it's mostly opportunistic. Expats exercising the same caution that they would anywhere in the world should lessen their risk of being targeted. Most mid- to high-range accommodation complexes are highly secure and come with 24-hour security.
While Guatemala is still developing in some respects, it's easy to see why its popularity as an expat destination is growing. For expats who are flexible and open-minded, Guatemala offers a great lifestyle and an abundance of opportunities.