Europeans emigrating to Latin America for work

Europeans emigrating to Latin America for work

Europeans emigrating to Latin America for work

With high unemployment rates across parts of Europe, particularly Spain, many Europeans are moving to Latin America in search of work.

A report by the International Organization for Migration and the European Union in May showed that in 2010 more Europeans emigrated to Latin American countries than the reverse; this was the first time this had happened for almost two decades.

The majority of those heading to the other side of the Atlantic were from Spain due to its economical problems and the fact that many Latin American countries share the same language and a similar culture. In 2012, 85 per cent of EU immigrants to Latin America were from Spain.

In the opening quarter of this year, Spain’s unemployment rate increased to 23.78 per cent, according to its national statistics institute. Youth unemployment, meanwhile, is at a worrying 50 per cent.

In 2012, Spaniards in Latin America and the Caribbean remitted around US$2.4bn – 53 per cent of the overall amount received by EU states from outside the bloc.

With a booming economy, Peru is among the most popular destinations.

Spanish expat Alba Garcia, who lives in the Peruvian capital Lima, explained that there were many things that took some getting used to, such as cars not stopping when you crossed the streets and the classism that was present in society. He acknowledged that there was rich and poor in his homeland, but said that living in a new country opened your mind and taught you so much.

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