US Family Finds a Future in Argentina
November 17, 2011
What really sold me on this place were the people. Not exactly the ex-pat pensioners you find in a lot of places, but young people with families, young couples just starting out, people that want to build this community into something great.
Dec. 20, 2013 - EDITOR'S NOTE: This did not work out as hoped. Do not pursue.
I'm writing to you from northwestern Argentina ( Cafayate in Salta province) where I have relocated with my wife and our three young children.
I know that many millions of people in the US and Canada are deeply concerned about where their countries are going. After years of trying to educate friends and family of the coming financial collapse, and engaging in whatever political activism I could, including being a very early and vocal supporter of Ron Paul, any rational person would realize that the time to stay and fight has long since past.
I've even changed my opinion that the problem is primarily the egregious political class we have elected (President and Congress), but that the fundamental problem is that tens of millions of Americans (and Canadians) don't have any idea what's going on and continue to participate in their own destruction.
For the US, Bush and Obama aren't so much the problem as are the 50-60 + million people who got them elected. I admire the convictions of the minority that want/need to stay and fight for "their" country, but when I see no future for my children, and I'm primarily concerned for their safety, it's time to go.
WHERE TO GO
In considering almost the entire world to pursue independence, safety and opportunity, one can quickly rule out Europe (breaking up faster than N. America), Asia (too difficult to assimilate), and Africa (nowhere is safe).
We quickly gravitated towards the cone of South America (Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay). There are other interesting opportunities in Latin America for second citizenship, economic opportunities, and tropical climates, but most of Latin America is still under the thumb of the American military complex, and I'm more convinced that the Southern Hemisphere will be safer from the coming collapse and geopolitical fallout.
Chile, Argentina and Uruguay each have their merits and challenges, and I wouldn't disparage anyone for considering any one of them. However, by far the most important thing to consider no matter where you go is that you are a part of a community. When the going gets tough, and IT WILL, a warm and inviting foreign populace is not going to cut it. You need a COMMUNITY of trusted, deeply committed, like-minded folks that really love each other and are committed to each other's safety.
While I originally had my eyes set on Uruguay (and still have invested in property there), I eventually became part of a near ideal community here in the wine country of Argentina. There are hundreds of ex-pats settling in this remote region of the Calchaqui Valley, the vast majority from the US and Canada.
The founders of the community were the governors of this Salta province, so we have some political clout, but also Doug Casey, a legendary investment adviser, financial writer, and author of the best-selling book "The International Man" back in the 70's.
Everyone here knows the geopolitical turmoil that we are facing, and are reasonably like-minded in how to approach these challenges. Most of us are loosely libertarian, but all are independent, freedom-oriented, hard-working and self-sufficient (to a point).
This place was largely selected because it has an ample underground water supply and is a prolific agricultural region so that we can assure our own food supply. This is also a prolific wine growing region, and we have hundreds of acres of some of the top wine grapes in Argentina in production. We also have the best golf course in South America, one of the nicest polo fields, and are building what will easily be the best health club in South America, with tennis courts, pools, lakes and gyms.
Some are loosely referring to this place as a bit of a "Galt's Gulch", modeled on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged utopia for the productive class escaping the destructive political class and the decaying society they wrought.
What convinced me this was the safest place to raise my children over the next decade was the people. Not exactly the ex-pat pensioners you find in a lot of places, but young people with families, young couples just starting out, people that want to build this community into something great. There's a vibrancy here you don't get anywhere else in Latin America. Our neighbors are from California, Vancouver, Seattle, North Carolina, Calgary, Colorado, Germany, etc.
At about 6000 feet up in the Andes mountains, the air here is clean and fresh unlike anything I have experienced since I was a kid going to Lake Tahoe. There's 330 days of sunshine each year, and the local town of Cafayate has everything you need on a daily basis from groceries, to restaurants and hardware stores. When you are here you realize again what fresh food really is, and all the toxins we are subject to in the food, air and water in North America. After her first bite of locally made ice cream here, my daughter exclaimed, "Wow, we don't have ice cream like this in the US".
"La Estancia", as we call the place, is not heaven, but for us, at this time, it's the closest place we can imagine. But more importantly, we are building something that we want for ourselves, and we are doing it as a community.
Already the frustrations I had with the economic situation in the US, the growing threats of war in Iran, and the troubling news about Fukushima radiation are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Argentina has its challenges for sure, and this particular community may not be for everybody, but I haven't felt as optimistic about my family's future for a long time.
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at