New members of the Puerto Rico forum, introduce yourselves here – June to December 2017

Caos and people becoming violent

Welcome CatsMeow83

You will love PR.  We just need some time to recover.   We plan to return in November, but only if the utilities are back on, the wife says we're done "camping out".

I hear that, Sitka.  I think I will just wait patiently for the power to come back on before I head down.  I was down in PR right before the storm and it was hot as hell - I cannot imagine what it's like down there right now without any A/C or power.  It's got to be terrible.  I'm thinking it will probably be Nov. before I finally get down there as well - assuming PREPA is able to glue the power grid back together by then.

Hi everyone! Thanks for the warm welcome! My husband and I are thinking of relocating to PR. I'm half- Puerto Rican and my family is from there but I grew up in the States. I'd love to return to my roots a little. We lived in Africa for 6 years where I ran a non profit assisting women and children. I'm now a life coach for aid workers/expats. I'd be interested in seeing how I can help in the non profit sector/hurricane relief efforts. My husband is an entrepreneur and interested in Act 20/22 and economic development for the island. Our main concern is Zika virus. We've struggled with infertility and several losses for years, and are now doing IVF soon. Is Zika still very active?  and is it true if you get it before pregnancy you can be immune? We were thinking of visiting again in December but are wondering if that is a good idea or not or what precautions people take. Having lived in Africa I know sometimes the US can blow things out of preportion that the locals don't consider big issues. So I just wanted to get my facts straight. Any advice you can give is helpful!

Welcome Saritahartz

You should look at the CDC for information about Zika.    My daughter is a physician and she takes it very seriously.   If you are trying to have a child, you need to get medical advise about the risks involved.

Hi Saritahartz,
I would go with the CDC advice and wear repelant during daylight hours just for added protection.

Welcome to the forum and maybe Puerto Rico soon.

In your shoes I would recommend waiting just before Jan 1 so you can claim residency starting Jan 1 and also so that there may be a chance of having electricity. Right now rhe places that do have it they are still a bit unstabled.

Facebook has several Act 20 / 22 advisory groups that can help your husband get the paperwork out of the way and get him going.

We are here to answer questions so let us know
Rey

Hi, my name is Andi and I just joined this site yesterday, I have NO idea how it all works!! lol I'm a stay-at-home mom, Doula and blogger and my husband is in the funeral business. We are in the early discussions of moving to PR to have a change of pace and a partial retirement for him. We have two boys, 3 and 1, we love to be on the water, sail, and he does photography. We have no clue where to start but I'm looking forward to getting to know some people on this board.  Thanks for this board...post...thread..whatever it's called. I'm glad to say HI!

Welcome Andi,

We live in Hatillo, when we are on the island.   We plan to return this fall after the power and water are back on.  Till then, staying in CT.

Welcome Andi!

If sailing is in your plans, and you intend to sail with a destination in mind, you may want the east coast, gateway to the Lesser Antilles.  Sailing on the west coast is fine, if you want coastal cruising, but if you want to do any "island hopping" the east coast is the place to be.

Of course, the east coast just got hammered....

Thanks. Does anyone know of a place to find job listings and rentals? like other places have craigslist but PR is completely in Spanish??..or the one I see is.  any other options or are direct website the best route?

Sounds like you found Clasificados.  If you use Chrome as your browser, you can right click on the page and select the translate option -- at least until your Spanish improves  ;-)

Jobs, especially with no Spanish, will be very hard to come by.  Rental market (the entire real estate market) is in turmoil after Maria.  Clasificados may give you some idea about the going rates, but your best bet will be to hunt for housing in person.

Hi, everyone! I am Kristina. I'm so glad I found this site. I first worked in Puerto Rico at the Arecibo Observatory as a student over 3 years ago. I came back to visit the island about 5 times a year since then and decided to move to Puerto Rico in August. I have been living in Vega Alta. I stayed with friends in Lajas for both hurricanes and that was very scary and unlike anything I have ever seen. The house I was staying at in Vega Alta is destroyed so I am looking for something in the suburbs of San Juan. I work as a software engineer in San Juan. I have been searching and reaching out to the people on clasificados but honestly I am a little hesitant. The house I was staying at before was very cheap (huge and less than $350/month) and I am friends with the owner. I am a young female so I feel a little scared just going to live in the houses posted online alone without knowing the owner personally. My boyfriend lives in LA and comes to stay from time to time but needs to be in LA most of the time for his music business (I wish he could find a job in the music business in PR then I wouldn't have my hesitations). I was wondering if anyone knew of a safe, secure, and cheap way of living in Puerto Rico (Metro Area). Also, my version of the metro area goes a little farther, I would love Rio Grande or out to Vega Alta again. My favorite part of living in Puerto Rico is the nature. Thanks all for your posts and help!

Welcome Kristy,

If you worked at the observatory you know the Arecibo area.  We live in Hatillo.  I believe that the western side of the island is safer in terms of gang violence and drug wars in the city.   Also, I think rent prices go down when you get away from SJ.

When shopping for a residence, perhaps you could have a friend accompany you when look at houses? 

As a software engineer (my son is also) you may be able to work remotely?  If so, then all you need is a good internet connection.  That would open many areas for possible living.

Thanks for your response, Sitka.

Arecibo and Hatillo are very nice. I've stayed in El Buen Cafe and have shopped there multiple times. I would love to live in the West. I have lived in Aguadilla and Lajas and those are my two favorite places besides Arecibo.

The only problem with having a friend come with me looking for places to live is all my friends are in Lajas, which is probably the furthest point on the island from where I am looking :(. I wish I could work remotely but it is a team effort. We code for pharmacy so I need to be in person to have meetings everyday with the business analysts and my team.

Thanks again!

HI Kristycoqui,

So sorry to hear about the place you were previously staying in, but happy to see that you are still sticking around PR.   We ( I have a wife and 4yr old son)  live about 15 mins from the observatory and love this part of the island.. My job requires me to commute to San Juan typically 3 days a week,  and I'm constantly in communication with realtors and property managers pretty much island wide,   I can put you in touch with reliable people to show you safe and secure places in the areas you like..

Thanks, Larry,

I would really love that! I haven't been able to find the property managers. The people I talk to aren't getting back to me or only have one property which they aren't willing to rent without electricity and water.

I would really appreciate it 😊

Thanks, Larry,

I would really love that! I haven't been able to find the property managers. The people I talk to aren't getting back to me or only have one property which they aren't willing to rent without electricity and water.

I would really appreciate it 😊

AndiL :

Hi, my name is Andi and I just joined this site yesterday, I have NO idea how it all works!! lol I'm a stay-at-home mom, Doula and blogger and my husband is in the funeral business. We are in the early discussions of moving to PR to have a change of pace and a partial retirement for him. We have two boys, 3 and 1, we love to be on the water, sail, and he does photography. We have no clue where to start but I'm looking forward to getting to know some people on this board.  Thanks for this board...post...thread..whatever it's called. I'm glad to say HI!

Hi AndiL,
Welcome to the forum and hopefully Puerto Rico soon.
I am sure you have lots of questions.
You should perform searches on the site as a lot of questions have been answered and create new subject threads for any questions you were not able to get an answer to.

With the issue of the storm damage a lot of members dont yet have Internet and or electricity, so we will do what we can to help answer your questions.

kristycoqui :

Thanks for your response, Sitka.

Arecibo and Hatillo are very nice. I've stayed in El Buen Cafe and have shopped there multiple times. I would love to live in the West. I have lived in Aguadilla and Lajas and those are my two favorite places besides Arecibo.

The only problem with having a friend come with me looking for places to live is all my friends are in Lajas, which is probably the furthest point on the island from where I am looking :(. I wish I could work remotely but it is a team effort. We code for pharmacy so I need to be in person to have meetings everyday with the business analysts and my team.

Thanks again!

Hi Kristina,
Welcome to the forum.
Crime is everywhere but the chances are low of beciming a victim if you use some common sense. Most crimes are drug related.

The metro area should be fine for most people it just depends on your level of risk acceptance. You were lucky to find such a cheap apartment, too bad the storm took it away  as people move out of the island I have a feeling that more properties will be put up for rent and that the prices will come down. You do not want to be too far from your job if you have to be there daily. Spanish is the primary language and not everyone understands suficient English to perform a business transaction. How about the people you work with? Would they consider giving you a hand and or go see places with you?

I live in Isabela; we have had power since October 15-ish, and water came back about 9 days later.

Welcome to the group,

Sarita, Kristy, Andy, Mac and all the ones I've miss lately. Great place to chat & to learn more about our island. Feel free to ask questions!

I cannot say for the entire island, but my neighborhood, here in Isabela (Bo. Arenales Bajos); all I saw was people helping people. I saw no crime, during the storm, and after... but I did hear a story about a man, who tried to drive through the front doors at walmart. I saw the doors all smashed in, and they did catch the guy, and during National Disasters, violent & theft crime penalties can be magnified 10-20x, so if this guy could get 5-10yrs for what he tried to do; he may be looking at 50-200 years!

That was one crime, of despertation, from one man, against a store... of all things, he was trying to steal water and sneakers (to sell?).  But, from what I've seen personally, EVERY neighborhood I have lived in, here in Puerto Rico (Arroyo, Guayama, Rincon, and Isabela) I have only met wonderful, friendly people, who offer bounties from thier fruit trees, knowledge of best places to find the best/cheapest mechanic, etc. I love the Pourto Rican people; thier tenacity, resourcefulness, and friendly demeanor. The climate, although sometimes HOT, I love also. The landscape is breathtaking, and if you love the cooler weather, why not look into something in the higher mountains?

Since Maria there are more bug bites because of the exfoliation of the trees. You will quickly learn to carry bud spray. Select a product with DEET for the best protection. I have done a lot of camping and hiking and this works the best.

If you end up on the east coast I would love to pick your brain about Africa. Right now I am going to South Amaerica. Will be back in Puerto Rico in January.

Hello,

My name is Nick Maya and I work for AmeriCorps St. Louis.  I am currently living in San Juan helping with AmeriCorps' Hurricane Maria relief/clean up mission.  At the top of next year we will be bringing up to 75 more members down to Puerto Rico to help with the relief/cleanup efforts.  I was wondering if anyone could recommend cheap or free housing for a large group of people, and or be willing to offer up space in your homes for AmeriCorps volunteers depending on the municipality.  The 75 AmeriCorps members will be broken up into teams so all 75 will not need to be housed together.   Thanks in advance for your help!

Best,
Nick Maya

Hi Nick I responded with an idea to your other post. In this forum there is no need to double post. Welcome to the forum and thanks for helping the island.

I am praying for PR and one day hope to move there. God bless.

Things will look a lot more normal in spring.

Hello!!

There is about  a 90% chance our family of 4 (6 if you count the dog and cat) will be moving to PR for my husband’s job. He will be working in Carolina and our primary concern is finding a school for our 2 kids: ages 4 and 6. Ideally we would live very close to the school within a reasonable commute for him to work.They do not speak Spanish (yet), so will need to be English speaking classes.

Also, I am a nurse practitioner in Indiana and I am trying to get a sense for the demand for this in Puerto Rico? I speak enough Spanish to get by.

Thanks all for your insight!

Hi Abby
Welcome to the forum and hopefully Puerto Rico soon.
Due to lack of electricity, and lack of Internet due to the storm Maria a lot of our members do not have as much access to the Internet as they did prior to the storm. You may want to also post your questions in Facebook group “Or xpats In Puerto Rico” for additional chance of getting your school and children related questions answered.

As to nurse jobs, a lot of the nurces are being recruited out by Florida, Texas and other states. This leaves openings in the island, however the jobs are low wage and the situation with the government being broke and lowering payments to healthcare providers does not help matters.

Hello glad to find this forum my wife bard and I are retiring I sold my company and have sold our house and was just about to build a new house of technology with Purdue university but have decided that this cold is for the birds as well as want a slower pace We are looking to move in 2018 wanting to buy a house was planing on shipping a lot of the materials to a house there instead of building we want  to revamp a house there and take advantage of all the mass existing  looking for any advice on best areas we only speek English for now have translation systems but understand they are limited what is the best cell service for the the island I am looking at coming there for the first time and prospecting the island in The next month or so is it ok yet also any advice on best prices on shipping thanks I look forward to meeting new friends

Hi Biliclin,
Welcome to the forum and hopefully Puerto Rico soon.
We do not recommend you purchase property immediately, we instead recommend you rent at first so you can figure out which of 78 towns will best fit your life stile. There is always San Juan and Condado general area, there is Luquillo, Fajardo and Palmas Del Mar in Humacao. There is also Dorado in the north of the island and there is the General area around Rincon. All those have large populations of English speakers. But renting you will be able to be boots on the ground before you make a final commitment and allow you to visit different areas and take Puerto Rico for a joy ride.

There are plenty of building materials in PR, I see no reason to ship anything and you can always order online unique items. As to shipping there is the standard Post Office, UPS and Federal Express. Do not that Federal Express and UPS are a heck of a lot more expensive since they consider Puerto Rico a foreign country and not part of the US.

I would recommend waiting until March before coming to the island, a lot of hotels, motels, and AirBnB properties are full with people coming over to help rebuild, also only 55% or less of the island has power and the power that is there is unreliable at the moment. Be prepared to build water before drinking it, it is not yet safe to drink out of the tap. Bottled water should be fine.

Hard to tell you what are the best areas since we know next to nothing about what you like, dislike and or stile of living.

Your post shows like you are or plan to live in Guynabo, so at first I thought you were a local.
Rey

Thanks for the info so fast. I really appreciate everyone's help. I know you are right it would be better to move and rent for a while to learn the island. One nice part of being retired is I can devote most of my time to finding out more about the island. Part of why we were going to ship the materials is that we already have them purchased for a house that we were going to build. We would be taking a big loss to sell them now, only getting half of the value at best. Currently we have sold the property we are living in and have to be out by November of 2018. We have another problem that we are paying taxes, utilities, insurance, mowing, etc. on the other property of 40 acres. It is costing us around 600 a month to keep it. We had hoped to get a good deal with all the homes available there now. I truly believe that Puerto Rico will be revitalised with the new infrastructure build.  We also believe that real estate values will increase.
We are looking for a property on which we can do some improvements. We have already spent a lot of money on light fixtures, fans, smart home technologies, appliances....you name it we have it. I would like to put all of this into a property down there. We want out of the big cities,  but don't want to be in the boonies.  We want a big master suite,  a big kitchen, and 2 bedrooms.  We don't mind blowing out walls to make bigger rooms. We also have collected a lot of treasures over the years of antiquing and collecting and would like to bring a lot of it with us.

A lot of common housing in PR is in Urbanizaciones (communities) where the property has very little land in front, back and sides. These are build or were build by developers (land: 5-7 feet in front, 12 feet in the back, 4-5 feet on each side). If you want to expand and make modifications the only option these give you is upward, add a second floor and or make facade changes. Interior you do whatever you want. Houses are almost touching each other.

You have also some Urbanizaciones that the homes have at least 100 feet on each side some 1/2 acre lot. It is not until you head away from the town centers and move toward the outskirts where you find much bigger lots.

There are plenty of properties that you caan consider as fixer upper all over the island.

As to moving stuff, you may want to consider shipping a container, something like U-PACK. Not sure if you will incur any taxes, but normal household items pay no taxes. Another option is to hire a mover and deal with the materials where you pack it instead of them.

You are the first asking for shipping of pre-purchased building materials as of this time.

If you want space to build and maybe later add a second home or workspace you probably are talking country side or just outside the prebuilt communities. you will then be surrounded by locals, some may know English but not all, but you will still be 10-20 minutes away from plenty of places where English speakers hangout.

You need come to PR on an extended 2-4 week stay to get a feel of the different areas. A lot of people fall in love with areas they never taught they could.

By the way a lot of homes sizes in PR are smaller than what is common in the states. You can find homes in all sizes but most homes do not have huge kitchens or Jacuzzi in their bedrooms. Homes 700-1500 square feet are the most common, 2000 and above are less common, people able to afford a 3,000 square feet home, are not as likely to leave the island since they are not likely to live paycheck to paycheck. 1-3 bedroom homes are the most common most have 1 to 2 bathroom.

The above is in general, there are exceptions to everything I posted.
Rey

Hello,

My husband and I are excited to be moving to PR this spring! We're from NYC, mid-30's, with two kids under 3 years old. I speak intermediate Spanish (and look forward to becoming fluent); my husband doesn't speak any Spanish but is excited to learn. We run our own software business and will be hiring in Puerto Rico.  We'll be on the island in Feb, to recruit at the job fair at University of Mayaguez and also to scout for homes.

Looking to connect with people, especially families with young kids and/or people working in tech.

I've been doing a ton of research on PR, and this forum has been extremely helpful.

I also just posted asking for advice on where to live: http://www.expat.com/forum/profile.php? … mp;lang=en

Good morning all,
anyone know of a Martial Arts club around San Juan?
Mike

Jellojello,I assume you have investigated ACT 20 for your business

Yes, thank you!  We have already incorporated and submitted our Act 20 application.

Hi,

I invite you to follow this topic on this new thread:
http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=751409

Thanks!

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