In general, Latin America is a great place to nearshore your software development. It is in our time zone and culturally a good fit, but it comes at the price of being the most expensive region to outsource for your software development. It has a large number of software developers, business analysts, and project managers, but it does not have a large community of mathematical IT professionals such as data engineers and data scientists.
For more detailed information, please read below. I have broken this information out by the categories I feel are most relevant.
Latin America is similar in time zone to the US which provides some great advantages, especially for special situations and certain positions. Additionally, travel between Latin America and the US is quite easy without any jet lag.
For situations where you have changing requirements or you need your offshore resources to be available during standard business hours, Latin America is your best option. This is especially true for positions such as business analysts or graphic designers.
Depending on the country, flying to Latin America and flying people from Latin America is quite easy. In fact, I’ve had many developers fly to clients in the US, and I have flown clients to offices in Argentina without an issue. Nice hotels in Latin America are typically staffed with people who speak English quite well.
Due to the proximity to the US, people from Latin America tend to understand American work culture fairly well. Although you can find a lot of developers that speak English well, those with accents are typically easy to understand given that the Spanish accent is quite common in the US.
For general software development, Latin America tends to be quite good. Technical skills like React.JS, .NET, and Node.JS are prevalent in the community, and artistic talent is excellent in the region, with a good supply of high-quality Graphics Artists and UI/UX designers available. Due to the high prevalence of good English communication skills, business analysts and project managers are very good in this region. The mathematics education in Latin America is not as good as in some other regions, so finding highly talented data engineers and data scientists is not as easy as it is in other regions of the world.
Latin America tends to be the most expensive region to offshore. However, on a total cost basis, Latin America tends to cost about 50-60% of a US employee for equal skills. Due to the negligible time zone differences, good communication skills, and cultural similarities, the losses that I would place in using Latin American labor would be quite low.
Some countries in Latin America, such as Uruguay, also allow for bank accounts in US dollars which allows you to save on currency exchanges and attract better talent since most people and vendors will prefer payment in USD.
Latin America, like many regions of the world, can and will suffer from high inflation. Due to high inflation and currency risk, I recommend that you work with a vendor to hire people in Latin America instead of hiring directly as they tend to understand the market and the currency risks of the country that you are dealing with.
A good vendor should be able to offer you a year’s worth of price stability. I recommend you avoid more than a one-year contract of pricing because the vendor will either inflate the price on the front end to account for potential inflation or will have problems retaining his people on the back end. Using a quality vendor will mitigate this risk and result in a successful offshore venture.