Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby JPeterman » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:14 pm

Hello! Love the board and the wealth of info here. Have lurked for about a year now, reading up on info as much as possible.

I'm relocating to Chile the first half of 2012. Originally, the plan was to move to Puerto Varas, with La Serena a close second option. My background is in computer forensics/investigations (cybercrime, if you will). I do not want to live in Santiago, but I'm concerned about a "market" per se for my services, which is why I wonder if living closer to Santiago, in La Serena, will be a more viable alternative (or would it even matter due to distance). This is a guess, as I don't know if there's a viable market out there near Coquimbo or in Los Lagos region.

Though I am fluent in English, Spanish is my first language and an accent can be detected depending on the words :) Plus, while I have an aptitude for teaching computer skills, teaching languages is not something I've tried to do before or had the desire to do. I will bring along a wife and a 6 y/o child with me.

With that as a backstory, my question is:

1) Where is the market/does it exist for a network/forensic/cybercrime investigator stronger?
2) Which place is easier to adjust for a newcomer (I know, many factors play into it... feel free to psychoanalyze me through the post above ;)?
3) Since Puerto Varas, from what I can tell, has the laid-back, small-town, nature feel I'm looking for to raise a family, are there any similar alternatives I should consider?

Thanks again for any input you can offer. I really appreciate it.
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby el gatito » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:31 pm

W...... .o .h. ..r.m.
Éste era un gato
que tenía los pies de trapo
y la camisa al revés.
¿Querís que te lo cuente otra vez?
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby JPeterman » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:11 pm

Thanks gatito :) Decryption is not my strong suit, but that was easy enough :P
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby el gatito » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:31 pm

With respect to a "market" for such kind of services, this very board is something that needs them badly, for a number of posts from one of my beloved posters tell us nothing but "xxx". So sad.

It's such a pain that there is no way to restore at least some of those [sometimes poetic, and at some other times dramatic] revelations.
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby griffin » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:11 am

Hi JPeterson,

I can't help you with the job market, but I thought I would mention a common work pattern around here that you could emulate to keep your family outside of Santiago wherever you end up getting a job. Not that it would be my first choice, certainly.

Many people working in mining or observatory jobs La Serena work "turno" shifts, typically eight days on and six off, but this varies. Many of the observatory workers commute by plane or bus from Santiago or even Concepcion. You could commute into Santiago instead. Hopefully you could minimize the number of days you actually needed to be physically present in the office...and you'd need a place to stay while you were there...

Anyway, if you're going to pick a place to settle before you find a job :? , my two cents is to pick a place you could commute to Santiago from if it turned out you had to.
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby zer0nz » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:29 am

Your going to have to hit up the international accounting firms they are the ones most likely to require your services... and its going to alwys be financial fraud....

the rest of that industry is undeveloped, and because of the cost to make a system secure, they re not interested in developing it..... even tho they should.....

IT in chile is a hard field to break into,, to get a good pay your going to have to get out there and NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK.....

any advertised job is going to take someone with no experince and pay them $1200 per month to do 1/20 what you could do....
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby JPeterman » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:50 am

griffin wrote:Anyway, if you're going to pick a place to settle before you find a job :? , my two cents is to pick a place you could commute to Santiago from if it turned out you had to.


That's what I surmised from reading up as much as I could find about Chile. La Serena seemed to me the nicest place to be if you had to be within fairly easy reach of Santiago. As far as mining or observatory jobs, I'd have to look into those facilities. My background is not astronomy and mining is not a profession I'd like to embark upon at this stage in my life. But I can sure do anything tech/computer related they might need... for the most part.

I'm not really looking to duplicate my standard of living from the First World. I'm content with living a more simple lifestyle and adjusting to other cultures than working myself to death to keep an expected 'standard'. I expect a considerable drop in pay, relative to my current earnings. It's all a tradeoff. To paraphrase something I read in one of patagoniax posts, bureaucracy, corruption and evil are everywhere, only the names and faces change. Que sera, sera.

Thanks for the input :)
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby JPeterman » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:54 am

zer0nz wrote:Your going to have to hit up the international accounting firms they are the ones most likely to require your services... and its going to alwys be financial fraud....

the rest of that industry is undeveloped, and because of the cost to make a system secure, they re not interested in developing it..... even tho they should.....

IT in chile is a hard field to break into,, to get a good pay your going to have to get out there and NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK.....

any advertised job is going to take someone with no experince and pay them $1200 per month to do 1/20 what you could do....


Interesting observation... I've looked into some accounting firms, but not hard enough I suppose. And you're right, networking nowadays is more than important than EVER. No enllave, no trabajo. Merits don't have the cachet they once used to :?
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby nwdiver » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:55 pm

I think with your skill set you will need to be in Santiago or Valparaiso a small city like La Serena will have nothing for you to do (Pt. Varas is a bedroom community of Pt. Montt which is better for work than La Serena). As you will need to network and develop work I think you would need to live in the city until you build up a client base then you can live anywhere.

Chileans will be suspicious that you are a lifestyle type (which you are but don’t ever say that) and not “serious” (a term you will hear allot, normally in the sentence ... they are a serious company...) and you won’t find much no matter how good you are. The life work balance is a laughing matter in Chile, as in its a joke.
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby JPeterman » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:57 pm

nwdiver wrote:I think with your skill set you will need to be in Santiago or Valparaiso a small city like La Serena will have nothing for you to do (Pt. Varas is a bedroom community of Pt. Montt which is better for work than La Serena). As you will need to network and develop work I think you would need to live in the city until you build up a client base then you can live anywhere.

Chileans will be suspicious that you are a lifestyle type (which you are but don’t ever say that) and not “serious” (a term you will hear allot, normally in the sentence ... they are a serious company...) and you won’t find much no matter how good you are. The life work balance is a laughing matter in Chile, as in its a joke.


I did figure P. Montt would be where I'd work if I chose P. Varas, due to the port being there and more commercial activity likely to be found. Just wasn't sure there would be any opportunities in my field.

Reading other threads here I did get the sense as you mention that a business-like appearance is needed. Not looking forward to hanging on to my suits, but having lived in/seen other Latin cultures where this is prevalent, I figure I can play "dress up" well with the rest, at least where work environment is concerned.

Looks like networking and maybe creating my own little niche/throwing my name out there will have to do. And finding a related occupation to hold me over until I get some clients.

Thanks for the insight guys :)

Now off to open a business checking account.... :lol:
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby JPeterman » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:18 pm

patagoniax wrote:
JPeterman wrote:

1) Where is the market/does it exist for a network/forensic/cybercrime investigator .....


Did we ever address this part? This is not my area, but I somehow suspect there is not a great demand. And outside of Santiasco I would guess much less. Is there a Plan B for alternatives?

May wish to read up on some of the criticisms of IT security in CL, some of the half-hearted protection measures, who is presently working in the area, and particularly the CL law (e.g., Ley N° 19.223, Ley N°19.799, Articles 193 and 198 of the Penal Code, to name just a very few). I dare say that an entire course on the subject is in order, just covering the related legal issues in this country. Without demonstrating an understanding of the CL law in this area, I can't imagine anyone making a good interview or CV impression.


From my research I did determine that while Carabineros in Chile are further along than many of their Latin counterparts when it comes to cyber-investigations, their training/resources are lacking. When it comes to combating child pornography, for example, they are better prepared and actively pursue such investigations, while other countries don't even acknowledge it. Not sure how yet how I would approach them specifically, as a consultant, regarding training, help them set up a proper lab environment, use the latest techniques/tools, etc, but I'm guessing lawyers in Chile are smart enough to poke holes when sound forensic preservation of evidence is not followed through with.

I can also think about matters involving civil suits, corporate espionage, and other malfeasance and white-collar fraud that can be aided by properly collecting the required data. There also seem to be more than a few academics interested in the forensic side of things over there, or so at least Google says. They would be target #1 for networking.

Plan B? Good question... IT security would be a related field, or system administration ::shudder:: if needed. Have also looked into online businesses and remote work, and have some ideas rattling around that might work, until the collide head on with reality (crossing fingers they work out). Looking at all options as objectively as I can right now.

As nwdiver pointed out, I'm more of a "lifestyle" person, if I understood him correctly. I'm content with working 20 hours a week and having my moderate needs met, versus working 60 hours, having all the toys, but not time to enjoy them. And I know, I'll likely have to work 60 to keep a moderate living, but hey, dreaming is fine as long as I don't let it get out of hand ;)
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Re: Yet another relocation question: La Serena or Los Lagos?

Postby nwdiver » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Look into Startup Chile, in this forum, maybe an IT startup is an angle to work ;)
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