Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Report of what it's like to live there - 10/05/11

Personal Experiences from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 10/05/11

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, Lima, Peru

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Boulder CO, 7 hours to Miami, then 5 hours to Santo Domingo

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3. How long have you lived here?

10 months

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Spouse of an FSO

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Houses are nice, apartments are nicer, commute depends where is your house. If you are North of 27 of Febrero. it will take a while to get to the embassy. South of 27, not to bad.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Pricier than the US if you want us products. Rice is cheap. Some fruits also. But we spend a lot more in groseries than we did in the states

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Tires

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Everything. US prices

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5. What kinds of organic, vegetarian and allergy-friendly foods are available, such as organic produce, gluten-free products, meat substitutes for vegetarians, etc?

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6. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitoes, Ants

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes. the embassy has a small gym

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Do not use your c/c here. Or use only one and check your statement frequently

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Yes - 40 US month

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

some

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Depends, ramps are almost non-existent

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Not safe

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

SUV - Toyota, Honda, Suzuky

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes - 40 US month

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Claro

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

HUGE TICK PROBLEM in any kennel, from the really expensive ones to the real cheap ones. If your dog goes to a kennel it will get ticks.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

no

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Work:BussinessPublic: Anything

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

yes, roberies

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue. If you need surgeries you will be medevac'd.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Moderate to unhealthy

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

New Horizons, is good.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

New Horizons, is good.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, at school

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

good

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3. Morale among expats:

low

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Good for singles, couples w/o kids. Is not a kids friendly country, there are parks and playgrounds, but they are in very bad condition

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Yes, cat-calling to females. They don't like Haitians.

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Great resorts

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Resorts

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Beer - Presidente.

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Beaches

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11. Can you save money?

Maybe, if you don't leave Santo domingo, or if you eat just beans and rice everyday you will same even more.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

No.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Car - sell it for your US purchase price.

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3. But don't forget your:

Deet, sunblock.

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

Sugar

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6. Do you have any other comments?

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