Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Report of what it's like to live there - 02/03/21
Personal Experiences from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
I've lived in Europe, Haiti, and S America.
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?
3. What years did you live here?
4. How long have you lived here?
5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Everything is available in SD, but watch out for food poisoning.
2. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
Mosquitos, roaches, everything tropical.
1. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Inexpensive, but in my opinion they do not work very hard and are not very trustworthy.
2. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Spanish is extremely helpful.
3. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Petty crime, car break-ins, etc. I was robbed by someone claiming to be a "customs official."
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
I have heard there have been a number of deaths related to plastic surgery and my understanding is that food poisoning is common. Verify your medicine when buying at a pharmacy. If they don't have what you need, I would be concerned they'll give you something random without telling you.
1. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
Drinking and dancing.
I've heard prostitution is extremely common and I understand STDs rates are high.
Dominicans are often looking for a relationship with a wealthy foreigner, man or woman.
2. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
If you are single, just be careful.
3. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
It seems that the darker your skin is, the worse you will be treated.
4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
It's ok in SD but very looked down upon in the countryside. It's my understanding that gays are often sexually abused and raped to "teach a lesson" or "convert" them.
5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Nature, beaches, 27 charcos.
6. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
27 charcos, 3 ojos.
7. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
Words of Wisdom:
1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?
That people do not seem trustworthy here.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?