5. Close to Home – I am living abroad; however, I take comfort in the fact that I am just a plane ride from home. If anything happens or I find the need for a quick visit to the United States, I know that I can hop on a plane that morning in Guatemala and be home with family that same day.

4. International Environment – I really enjoy the international environment that living in Antigua, Guatemala brings. It is a well known place to study Spanish and that attracts a number of international visitors who come to learn the language. Also, slowly the secret is getting out as to just how great of a place Guatemala is from those of us that live here. We enjoy a variety of international visitors and there are ever more of us that call Guatemala home. From living in Guatemala – I have made friends from all over the world.

3. Ease of Starting a Business – Guatemala is full of local entrepreneurs and they are open to us foreigners coming in and starting businesses of our own. Guatemala has allowed me to start and grow my business with low start up costs and taxes. I have had great success hiring local Guatemalans and I enjoy their dedicated work ethic and positive attitudes. The low cost of living has afforded me to take the risk and start my own venture – something that I don’t think I could have accomplished as easily in the U.S. due to rising living costs.

2. Climate – The climate in Guatemala, especially the Antigua area, is ideal. The daily temperature range is from the low 70s to the mid 80s. There are two seasons, the rainy season (May-October) and the dry season (November-April). The climate is ideal for growing a garden, eating lunch out on the patio, and always having a variety of fresh produce in the marketplace.

1. Affordable Living and Quality of Life – Guatemala is such an affordable place to live and from my first two years spent here as a Peace Corps Volunteer – I really learned how to stretch my money. A trip to the market to buy all my food for the week is a fun adventure and I pay a little over $25 for everything I need. My sister just commented on how a recent trip to her farmer’s market in the U.S. cost her over $50 and that was just to buy the ingredients to make one dinner. In Guatemala, people enjoy living and take the extra time to stop and chat on the street or linger over a cup of locally grown coffee. We work hard but we also remember to really stop and enjoy friends, family, and all the beauty that surrounds us here.

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