Surviving in Peru

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SilverbackPeru
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Surviving in Peru

Postby SilverbackPeru » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:25 am

The subject of the cost of living and jobs usually comes up regularly in this forum and as someone that has lived in Peru for over eight years I have enough experience to know that Peru can be a very unforgiving place to live with the low wages and high costs of living.

It can be a good opportunity for those with degrees in areas which Peru is in demand for their skills but is it possible to really get by and do well in Peru if you don't have any skills at all? What are the real income prospects of living in Lima without a degree, is it better to start your own business? How difficult is it to get your business to succeed? Without being overly negative having had to manage an office before I found getting things done almost borderline impossible when it came to the local repairmen fixing something or waiting for replies from outside companies. Do these problems effect the chances of your own business being a success??

Is teaching English a valid option as I've heard mixed things from people doing really well to others saying it's awful. I have to admit the though of being stuck in a combi all day travelling from lesson to lesson doesn't appeal to me much and I've heard you spend most of the day from 7am to 8 or 9pm doing lessons.

if you were to start your own business what would be a good option and what have other people had success with?

After working in Peru and looking at the jobs on most of the forums here all I can think is that there has to be something better than working for someone else here as most of the jobs pay between $300 upwards, maybe $1000 a month if you get lucky. The hours will be long and the bosses total @rs£holes most of the time I would imagine. Plus you need a degree to serve coffee in Peru by the look of most jobs advertised!!


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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby Cactus fan » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:18 pm

Peru is a nice country to visit for a vacation. There are many nice places, the people are friendly and the food is good but it you shouldn't go there to work for a living. There are better places for that.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby carloso » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:50 pm

I am trying to figure this out myself. I am originally from here so I had pretty low expectations to begin with. I was making a nice living working in upscale restaurants in the US. Even when I worked at mediocre ones at some point, I could feed and clothe myself, go out on the weekends and take the occasional vacation. What little offers I see in the market here are somewhat discouraging though. Most fall around the USD 300 monthly take home pay, barely over what I pay for the room I'm renting.

I was curious about the English teaching option too. I gave a few lessons to an ISIL student and got PEN 20 per hour, having to travel from Pueblo Libre to La Molina. I am currently working on a TEFL online certification that I hope can broaden my appeal and increase my compensation :wink: but we'll see.

I agree with you: there has to be something better than working minimum wage for 48 hours a week. I just don't know where it is and no one is telling me. I keep sending resumes out but I have a feeling they are going straight down a black hole. I realize I will never make close to the same money I was making in Seattle, but is there a middle ground of decent wages for experience and hard work? Because I bring both to the table.

I don't despair, however. Growing up my folks would work several jobs/ventures at a time; diversification is the name of the game. While stressful, I would rather work part time in a restaurant (if that even exists) and teach English on the side, precisely because I would prefer to avoid being locked inside a place all week for 300 bucks. If I don't make any more than with just the one job, maybe I can at least retain a somewhat flexible schedule so I can still go to the gym or take a class.

Good luck to all of us!
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby toughrider » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:34 pm

As you can speak English, you can go to the hotels and hostels. They often look for receptionists.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby SilverbackPeru » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:32 am

toughrider wrote:As you can speak English, you can go to the hotels and hostels. They often look for receptionists.


They really don't pay much money for you to survive here. You'll be lucky if you get $400 a month, I'd be amazed if you got $500.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby gringolandia » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:58 am

It takes money to make money, and that is more true in Peru.

If you have money, Peru is an excellent growing market that has great opportunities for wealth expansion.

If you don't have money, it is going to be a real struggle to live here.

This is NOT a good country for lower income people from developed countries to come "live as kings". There are far better countries for that.

If you are middle class yet highly educated in a desirable field, then you can make a good go of it here, particularly if your knowledge applies to mining somehow.

If you're wealthy and smart and can create your own businesses then Peru is full of golden opportunities.

As one friend said when I got here, (and excuse the crassness, but these were his literal words): "Everyone in Peru is trying to f**k everyone else, so you are either doing the f**king to you are getting f**ked." Truer words were never spoken.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby SilverbackPeru » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:42 am

Yeah that is very true. Peru really is two worlds. Easy if have the right skills, hell if you don't. The good thing about home is even if you have no skills (like myself) you can still do pretty well. I'm working with lots of Polish, Romanians, Chinese and Iranians and they all say how easy it is to get by in the U.K just by working hard. They all usually have a plan, working hard for so many years in the U.K, save enough money and then return home and either build a family home or start a hotel or restaurant.

I work 53 hours a week just doing fast food delivery and yet makes me about $3'500 a month which is S/.11'000. Yet in Peru a degree will usually only see you make $1000 a month. Just look at the job advertisements on the gringo webpages, call centre, must have degree....seriously wtf!! Then you have to include the long hours of work, add on to that the daily commute which leads to not having a life at all and being a slave to that lifestyle cos there's few jobs that pay enough money to escape it.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby SilverbackPeru » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:55 am

gringolandia wrote:It takes money to make money, and that is more true in Peru.

If you have money, Peru is an excellent growing market that has great opportunities for wealth expansion.

As one friend said when I got here, (and excuse the crassness, but these were his literal words): "Everyone in Peru is trying to f**k everyone else, so you are either doing the f**king to you are getting f**ked." Truer words were never spoken.


Yeah this is definitely true and I think i'll return to have a crack at something when I have money, but even when you have money and you are running your own business you still have to deal with people who want to F**k you! I have a deep hatred of Peruvian builders due to running an office while in Lima. The amount of money wasted because of their ineptness on repairing anything was shocking, although deep down I know with most times it was nothing to do with poor work skills but more a case of them f**king me over. And that can be one of the biggest problems with starting a business here, trust.

I know that won't sound nice to a Peruvian reading this, and it honestly isn't aimed at all Peruvians as Peruvians can be the nicest people you will ever meet but the sad fact is there is a lot of people in Peru that are willing to just f**k you over unfortunately.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby toughrider » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:34 pm

SilverbackPeru wrote:I know that won't sound nice to a Peruvian reading this, and it honestly isn't aimed at all Peruvians as Peruvians can be the nicest people you will ever meet but the sad fact is there is a lot of people in Peru that are willing to just f**k you over unfortunately.


I think Peruvians will be agree.

My gf told me that you can't trust anyone in Peru. If they can take advantage of you, they will.

She also refuses to introduce me to some of her family members. She neither tells them that she lives in Europe because she's sure that some will pester her with the usual ''can you BORROW me some money'' accompanied with some sad story (read lie).
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby mrsteak » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:52 pm

I wonder what happened to that guy from Belgium, who wanted to move to Lima and live in Villa Maria with his GF? Did he come already and is he still alive? :mrgreen:
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby toughrider » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:23 am

SilverbackPeru wrote:I work 53 hours a week just doing fast food delivery and yet makes me about $3'500 a month which is S/.11'000.


It's not a lot of money in London. And you risk getting attacked by moped gangs who are after your moped and money.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby Formidable 1 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:52 pm

My MIL lives alone in a big ole house in Ica.
Just her alone, BUT when my wife and
Mr. Gringo (me) go for a visit, suddenly all the relatives come out of the woodwork to stay a few weeks.
Can't get any peace and quiet.
It's gotta be because Mr Gringo (me) is there.
Sometimes I feel like a freak in a travelling circus and all the natives are there to gawk at me.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby toughrider » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Formidable 1 wrote:My MIL lives alone in a big ole house in Ica.
Just her alone, BUT when my wife and
Mr. Gringo (me) go for a visit, suddenly all the relatives come out of the woodwork to stay a few weeks.
Can't get any peace and quiet.
It's gotta be because Mr Gringo (me) is there.
Sometimes I feel like a freak in a travelling circus and all the natives are there to gawk at me.


Every time they gawk at you, charge them ''veinte lucas''. And soon, you'll be a rich men.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby carloso » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:39 pm

What up? So this thread is still alive. I haven't checked in for a while.

So still unemployed and all that has been said above is true enough:

-Ridiculous salaries with even more ridiculous requirements.
-Long work hours and no flexibility.
-Peruvians will try to ***** each other (not in the fun way, alas).

I will start working as an interpreter in a few weeks. Pay is 3.3 USD an hour with a 50 USD "bonus" after 180 hrs or something like that :lol: Coming to about 500-600 USD a month working 48 hrs a week. I've made that much on a Saturday night at my previous job, but c'est la vie :cry: (waiting tables, not stripping btw).

While my initial optimism is all but gone, for lack of better options I am going ahead with the job. Sounds mind-blowingly boring tbh, but my mindset has shifted to survival. A man's gotta eat.

It saddens me that thing are this way and other expats confirm my less than flattering impressions of what living in Peru is like. Being gone for twelve years, I had put it all behind me and never wanted to look back. Now I remember why. Until I can leave again I will have to accept things as they are and hope time goes by fast.

On a lighter note, do expats hang out somewhere? Like is there a bar you all go to? I miss English convos.
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby atpe » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:33 am

Cactus fan wrote:Peru is a nice country to visit for a vacation. There are many nice places, the people are friendly and the food is good but it you shouldn't go there to work for a living. There are better places for that.


I totally agree with you
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Re: Surviving in Peru

Postby mosquitobite » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:25 pm

Remember that in this country nothing gets done unless you know someone, it’s been that way since Pizarro and Almagro arrived and fought each other and will always be unfortunately.

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