Americans Flee to Guatemala to Escape Bleak Job Market

GUATEMALA CITY — John Wilson holds a PhD in physics and has worked in the aerospace industry for over thirty years. Today he is selling cheese-stuffed pupusas — a native Guatemalan delicacy — from the back of a burro-driven wagon.

With unemployment over 10 percent in the United States, many Americans are finding job opportunities south of south-of-the-border, in towns like Antigua and Huehuetenango.

Guatemala’s burgeoning third-world economy has been a welcome respite to formerly high-paid professionals who have toiled for months to get a job state-side.

“I was out of work for over a year,” noted Wilson, as he dowsed some meat with a chunky red sauce and handed it to a customer. “Now I’m pulling in 8,000 quetzals a month.”

That’s equivalent to about ten US dollars, but according to Wilson it buys a lot more in this country than it does back home. He also makes “after hours” money, performing in front of a live audience at the local gay strip club. “I don’t feel comfortable discussing the details,” he said, “but it was part of the deal I had to make to get the food wagon.”

His wife works as a maid and “legal” prostitute for wealthy Guatemalan businessmen. “If they decide to pay her,” noted Wilson, “they can be very generous.”

Wilson said the lower cost of living allows his wife and him to live like royalty. “Our neighbors call us ‘Gringo Rico y su Puta’ — the Rich Americans down the street.”

It is estimated that over half-a-million job seekers will emigrate from the United States to this Central American country by the end of next year in search of a rewarding new career and, along with it, a renewed sense of self-esteem.

Allison Borden worked on Madison Avenue, creating some of the best-known television commercials of the last decade. When her firm shut their doors in the spring, she had a hard time relocating. “There are only so many positions for advertising creatives,” she noted. “When I couldn’t find work, I became desperate.”

That’s when she heard about the Guatemala work-incentive program for Americans. For two days each week, Borden works for the Guatemala Parks Department, giving tours of the 2000-year-old Mayan pyramids in the ancient city of Tikal. For the remainder of the week, she serves as the private masseuse for the Minister of the Guatemala Parks Department.

Borden said the pay is more than sufficient for her new lifestyle. “And there’s very little sex involved,” she explained, “except for the few times a week he invites his friends over to have sex with me.”

Wilson and Borden are part of the new reality of the US economy. Until the domestic job market begins to rebound, more and more Americans will follow their careers paths down to our neighbors in the south, where the greeting of “Chupa me, verga!” – We Have a Job for You – is graciously extended to all Americans.


  1. Josephine Roy says:

    Hi everyone, thank you so much for your great reply and comments regarding this repulsive article. I am very thankful cause I am wishing to find an opportunity to work in this beautiful country. I will love to do something to the down-to-heart native people their, as much as I could. Anyone deserve the best in their live. I am a French Canadian, and I wish to learn more about culture, tradition, history of Guatemala people. I will really appreciate if you have any clue of where I could started to get a permit for working there, I will very grateful. Have a great day, aurevoir, Ciao 🙂

  2. Luchos says:

    After living in Guatemala for a fair amount of time I can say that this article has a fair amount of fallacies in it. For example, one US dollar is worth 7.75 Quetzals. If the man were to make $10 us dollars a month in Guatemala he would still be extremely impoverished. 8000 Quetzals is worth roughly a $1000 US dollars a month, Which would allow a person to live a fairly moderate lifestyle in a major city such as Antigua or Guat City.

  3. lita Rivera says:

    Does anyone know places hiring in guatemala for American citizens? I want to live there because my boyfriend/baby daddy got deported I need help and don’t know what to do

  4. ricky blanco says:

    I lived in Guatemala, and is a beautiful country, with so little money you can eat fresh, maybe in Guatemala can get $80,000 jobs but with 1000 quetzales you can live well. I really heat that article, I lived in the usa for 24 years ,In 1 year I enjoy more that when I lived in the usa.

  5. tumarido says:

    What a Cerote mas Pendejo….
    who ever wrote this shit has no clue how Guatemala is.
    He based this fucking article out of prejudices and stupid movies.
    Next time you write something, make sure to do a little research pedaso de mierda.

  6. Kevin says:

    I love that the first article that pops up when you search what are the requirements for an American to work in Guatemala. I will have to look elsewhere before I apply to the job that also requires “only a little bit of sex”.


    For the record, what their Guatemalan neighbors are really saying is “The rich gringo and his whore”. This is a stupid article. Guatemala is a wonderful place to live but finding work is difficult. You shouldn’t come here unless you respect the people and their traditions.

  8. Kevin J Rodriguez says:

    I can already tell the person who wrote this has no clue what so ever how Guatemala is, ignorant. This full story is pure bullshlt and fake. $1.00 USD = 7.00 GQT not exact but fairly close. Zona 10 is were most Americans like living do to low costs and safty over there. I’m Spanish but i have famaliy living over in central America, Guatemala.

  9. Jay says:

    I think that it is repulsive,to think that two successful (married) people would consider any form of sex work a good trade to the American lifestyle.

  10. Wake up people says:

    what a way to earn a living…. “Little sex involved”, how comforting….. I don’t like this article at all…. in other words, if you want to be a legal prostitute male or female then Hell Guatemala is the place for you… idiots.

  11. Jim says:

    It is interesting that the two women mentioned both work as prostitutes. Wilson’s wife “works as a maid and “legal” prostitute for wealthy Guatemalan businessmen” and the Bordon woman who ““except for the few times a week he invites his friends over to have sex with me.”

  12. John says:

    Thanks Lucy for the correction. I was about to do the same thing, but I see you have clarified the U.S. – Quetzales rate. Right now, that former $1000 has dropped a tad, but it’s still in the range of accuracy. I’ve been to Guatemala several times and wouldn’t mind working in an air-conditioned call center (if such a beast exists over there). But I was surprised how places like the Galleria Mall and regular supermarkets charge prices way above the standard economy there. Milk, cheese, meat, etc… from a regular reputable supermarket is about the same price as we pay here in the states (with perhaps a marginal variance). You can buy vood from street vendors for about .60 for a sandwich or tacoesque type food. Street vendors are quite inexpensive, but may not really provide everything necessary for meals at home.

  13. lucy says:

    I wanted just correct that Q.8,000 is not USD10.00, that’s USD1,000

  14. Suzie Homemaker says:

    I love this article! Just one quick addition, having been to Guatemala myself; I am aware of many opportunities for Americans to lift the Mayans up to reach things too! 🙂

  15. Delbert Dimwinkle says:

    What a wonderful venue for those seeking gainful employment in these difficult times! Folks needing monetary relief will be thanking you for your Article showing the way to economic success!………….
    There is another benefit I recall from my extensive study of Guatemala….for
    men & women that suffer from pressure to frequently “pee”……..That Country is blessed with abundant rain forest………So no more agonizing discomfort looking for the closest public toilet…….Just a step away, you look for a gigantic leaf, step behind and “let-ur-rip”!!

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