My background and how I ended up in Latin America…
I grew up on the shore of Lake Superior. I did good in high skule but never considered going to college. I wanted to start a business. So I did. A few of them. All spectacular failures until I eventually hit on one that worked. I started making good money for someone in his early 20s. This was the early 90s, before the internet exploded and started producing tons of young gazillionaires.
One morning a note was left on my vehicle. The guy assigned to the parking space next to mine where I lived left me a message saying he slipped and fell on an oil spot in my parking space and broke his elbow. (I wasn’t even aware there was a spot. It actually was power steering fluid.) I cleaned it up and prayed he wouldn’t sue me.
A few weeks later I got served. He sued the owner’s association of the condo complex (deeper pockets) and they turned around and sued me for the same amount- $277,000 (about $420,000 in today’s dollars). He was trying to claim it would permanently affect his work, that’s why he wanted so much money. Well, I felt bad about his injury but I wasn’t owing anyone $277,000 over a broken elbow, sorry.
During the following months I started researching places to live outside the US. I would take the money I had saved and restart somewhere else. I decided on Roatán, an island off the coast of Honduras. Three weeks before my flight to Roatán my lawyer contacted me and said the guy settled out of court with the owner’s association for $75,000 and the owner’s association was not going to come after me.
I had already shut down my business, got rid of my place and had someone lined up to buy my vehicle. Everything was already in place so I thought “what the hell” and went to Roatán anyways. That was ’96. I’ve been living back and forth between the US and Latin America since.