Who we are
My name is Charles Spencer, (a.k.a. user 'admin' on the forum). I am originally from the United States, the son of an American attorney, and married to a Chilean.
I have lived as an “expat” most of my adult life. When I was 12 years-old, my father decided to retire in Mexico after reading the classic expat book, How to live in Mexico on a dollar a day. I also read the book. Although that book was dated at the time (written in the 60's), it opened both of our eyes to the prospect of living happier life, somewhere else in the World.
So, I found myself living in a Mexican beach resort at the age of Twelve. I fell in love with Latin America specifically, but the greater adventure of exploring the World in General. I came to understand this basic truth: there is a lot going on in the World beyond the boarders of my own country and culture. I traveled the World for more than two decades, living everywhere from Mexico and Central America to Europe and China.
The Law office of Spencer Global
In 2004, after travelling the World for several years with my wife, Zandra Valenzuela (a Chilean attorney, and professor of International Law), we returned to Chile to live. We looked around Chile at the many opportunities Chile presented to us, and the most obvious thing that seemed to be missing from Chile was simply an English speaking law office that specialized in handling the unique legal issues and problems that foreigners face in Chile. Such Law offices are common in most countries in Latin America, South America, and countries around the World; but none existed in Chile.
Thus, we started Spencer Global (www.spencerglobal.com). We handle everything from real estate and immigration law in Chile, to inheritance and international child custody cases, to international corporate law. Our clients range from the expat retiree, to the small investors, to families, to fortune 500 companies and even other international law firms. If it involves the law, Chile, and international clients, we pretty much have done it all; still, we are always looking for a new challenge.
The start of the Chile Forum
At first, It would seem strange that a law office would sponsor a forum. What happened was, we found ourselves repeatedly answering the same questions about Chile in emails, phone calls, and often in person. Much of it we would term “Chile 101” type questions, but we knew people had more questions. We decided that there had to be a better method to get this basic information about Chile out to the World. If one or two people had the same question, chances are thousands of people had the same question about Chile. It was the sort of information that everyone needed just to get started, and there was likely many more questions they did not even know they should be asking. Looking around the internet, there was very very little in English about Chile in 2006. What little information about Chile there was, was often bad, out of date, or at best misleading. To this day, there is still far too little information about Chile in English to be found on the Internet.
Thus, this forum at allchile.net was born. Later the Chile Wiki followed. We hope to add more resources in the future; however, keeping it simple, and getting the information out has always been, and always will be, our first guiding principle to how this site is structured and run.
The largest English Language Web Site on the Internet about Chile
Since my first initial test post on the forum in 2006, the forum has grown beyond our wildest imagination to encompass every possible topic on Chile (and a lot of things not really about Chile). We have thousands of members, tens of thousands of readers, hundreds of thousands of posts.
By many objective measures, we might be the largest English language website only about Chile (The next closest might be wikipedia section in English about Chile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chile). This is all due to the dedicated and diverse group of people that have volunteered to contribute over the years. Our members range from people thinking about moving to Chile, to people that have lived in Chile for decades, to Chileans that have lived in Chile their whole life. We have returning Chileans, people teaching English, people working for international companies, foreign spouses of Chileans, and many many more. Our members hail from nearly every country on the planet. We even have a small following of people that really have no interest in Chile, but just read the forum because they find it interesting.
How AllChile.net is funded
This forum is privately owned and funded by our law office. We are not supported by user donations. We are not supported by the Chilean Government or any other government. We are not a none-profit organization. Although it is expensive and time consuming for us to maintain this forum, we have found it might be the only way such a forum about Chile could ever operate on the internet. We are able to keep our independence, while providing a wider diversity of open public discourse because we are not associated with anyone but us.
If you really would like to show your appreciation for this resource, then we simply ask to that you consider hiring us to handle your legal issues in Chile. Visit Spencer Global Chile for more information.
Finally, relax, enjoy.
Founder, General manager, Spencer Global Chile, (a.k.a admin)