Raising kids in Guadeloupe

Hello everyone,

How is raising kids in Guadeloupe different from raising kids in your home country?

What are the activities that your kids seem to enjoy the most in Guadeloupe?

Do you feel that the country is "family-friendly"?

Do you recommend Guadeloupe as a good place to raise kids? Why or why not?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Hello Priscilla,

As with anywhere, there are positives and negatives about raising kids here. I have only lived here for one year. My son was 15 when we left mainland France and is now 16. But as I am interested in the topic of raising children, I regularly ask French expats who have lived here much longer about their experiences raising their children in Gwada. I would say that it's mostly positive, particularly if you are bringing young children over as they adapt and make friends more quickly.

Not enough can be said about how fantastic nature is here. Great hiking and beaches (when there is not a sargasse (seaweed infestation) ! Many families (expats and Guadeloupéens) go to the beach on the weekends. Just know that if your children don't like the beach (as is the case with my son :( ) your options will for things to do will be more limited. But depending on where you live (Grand Terre vs Basse Terre) there will be numerous activities for kids - the former having many more activities than the latter. As an example, I live on the calmer side of the island in Saint Claude, Basse Terre. My son plays tennis and is learning to surf.

I  would say the biggest positive about Guadeloupe is the people. After having lived 20 years in mainland France, I can honestly say that as an American I feel more at home with the attitude here which is more extraverted. The people here are just plain friendly. Sure that's a generalization. As with anywhere you can come across negative racist people. (I personally have never experienced any racism here, but people do talk about anti-white, or more especially anti-metro French attitudes. But I have just really appreciated the warmth of the people here. Chatting with people you don't know is a breeze. Granted I'm fluent in French so that helps ! But I think that even if you don't speak French well, people will be kind and helpful about that.

Now for the negative : the educational level is very low. I think this is less of a problem at younger ages. At least that's what many parents who've lived here 10 + years have told me. My son's first year in high school was extremely difficult for him because the demands made on the students were so low and the students were largely unmotivated. With hindsight I now realize that I should have put him in an international English section class. He did not want to do this because he's already fully bilingual and has suffered somewhat in the past in France from being the "American" in the class. But the main advantage to putting your child in an international section is that he or she will be with students who are really motivated to learn. International section classes are for Guadeloupéens and expats alike.

This is a long post, so I'll sign off here. Don't hesitate if you have any other questions !

best
my dragonfly

How is it that so many people have looked at this post but not replied ? I would be very interested to hear about other people's experiences/points of view....

Hi my dragonfly,

Very interesting post. I m a taïwanaise mom with a French husband and 2 trilingual boys ( French/Chinese/English). We are moving to Guadeloupe for coming summer. I'm struggling which school I can put them to preserve their English. They are young 3 and 6 year old. No many choices on the island. If you have any information regarding bilingual schools or international sections, that will be much appreciated !

Thank you
Hsin-yi

thank you so much for all the information you have put above my dragonfly!

we are about to move to Gwada in March, with a 3 and a 6 year old - currently struggling to find a creche for the older one (he will start school in August/Sept).

would you have any recommendations?
merci. :)

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