Melissa Asked, Why Did You Change We Can Live Abroad from 500 to 1000 Per Month?

Catherine Todd

I live in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala where you are visiting. I'm sorry to say that most places for rent here are $300 to $400.00 USD per month now. I have seen single rooms for $50.00 per month staying with a Guatemalan family but it will have no kitchen and an outside toilet, and no internet and perhaps very little electricity and no hot water. If you like cold showers, then this would be for you!

Many people here would love to know the name of your hotel, as it seems like a very good deal. Name and contact info, please? Also, where are the rooms for $50 to $100 USD per month? There are lots of people who could use a very inexpensive place like this!

Thanks for your videos and more...

CatherineTodd2 at gmail dot com


We are in the Hotel El Amigo. Generally people need to walk around more, and stay off the Internet to find cheaper rooms, apartments etc.

Catherine Todd

Thanks for the name and referral!

How do you "walk around more, and stay off the Internet to find cheaper rooms, apartments" when a person does not speak the language?


Hotels, rooms, apartments and even houses are available everywhere, every time I walk around I find another I haven't seen before. Then simple body language can get you in to look at a room and then if you like it have them write the price on a piece of paper which you could then negotiate on.


Generally, the translator will never find you cheap rooms, it is more about walking, translators just do not care. First you need to know the words for of renting room in Spanish, You an stop in front of signs, look up the words in language dictionaries. There are 100's of ways to say, for rent, from the simplest saying, "Cuartos," to the most complicated something like "habitación por alquiler." But, walking around, asking questions. You can have the words in Spanish written down on a piece of paper. Usually, you will find some "cling on," who starts to show you room.


Here is my collection of over 300 ways to say a room to rent:

In the end, it is walking around in "AREAS you want to LIVE, " talking to people, saying hi, and working it.

Catherine Todd

Thanks for the great information for newcomers, especially writing the words down on paper and showing it. I did that when I first went to France and knew not one word but "pomme de terre" (potato).

Excellent links too, especially your "collection of over 300 ways to say a room to rent." Fabulous!


Cathrine thats pretty funny! Cant really do much without knowing potato lol!


My final tally from the Guatemala City Airport, 33 days at Panajachel, and back to the Guatemala City Airport.

$650 total

includes $50 transportation to Pana and back to the airport, $60 for a few deep tissue massages, $185 for 33 nights in the hotel, all meals eaten out at restaurants, all tuck tuck/taxi/truck/bus/boat transportation, $1 each 5 gallon water jug refills, and everything else I spent money on including Q1 ($0.13) slices of fresh pineapple.

I had budgeted $900 for the trip and knew within a day or two I wouldn't get close so I didn't even think about budgeting the rest of the trip except for being aware how much money was in my pocket. $500 a month would be simple to do without a lot of thought and $1,000 a month is an excessive budget based on my experience.


alwaysrgt, how arent y9u tempted to have an expensive meal or to do something fun that costs money??


First, I learned a long time ago there is not the direct correlation between costing more and getting more that most people think. (ie. is a $10 coke at a fancy restaurant better than a $1 coke from the store? No they are the same but the store is a better value.) I spent Q12 going to Concepcion and had a wonderful time (I could have spent Q160 getting there). The only thing I wanted to do but didn't because of money was para-sailing ($90 for 45 min).

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