Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Report of what it's like to live there - 10/13/21
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?
No, eight different tours throughout the world.
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?
Florida. Short flights to Miami, Atlanta, NY.
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 is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
Embassy compound. Great for families with small children. Plenty for them to do, pool, park, sports areas, etc. Short commute to the Embassy. Negative aspect: it is like a fishbowl, glass doors, everyone looking at what everyone is doing, etc. Singles and smaller families can have apartments outside near restaurants, etc. Negative aspect: a long commute, traffic in DR is terrible.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Same as DC or lower for local products.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Local food, plenty of deliveries, etc.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
Any tropical bug will visit your home at some point or another.
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
DPO, less than a week turnaround.
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Around 15 dollars per day.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
Small gym at the compound and a larger one at the office.
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?
5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Some will help.
6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Yes, many difficulties.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
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?
High of the ground. Nothing new. Get ready to battle if you are planning on driving.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Start the process before your arrival. Good quality connection. Bring plenty of Wi-Fi extenders to be able to expand the signal through concrete walls.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Same as other posts.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Average coverage. Miami is a short flight away.
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?
4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Warm year around.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
Carol Morgan, good school but with a terribly long commute, 45 minutes to an hour each way. Sports after school are lacking, in my opinion.
2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?
Baseball, soccer, but the commute is long.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
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?
Low morale, still recovering from covid lockdowns. Hopefully, morale might improve soon. There is a history of morale issues. The country is great, but working conditions are not, in my opinion.
3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
Yes, once out of the office.
4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
No. Latin culture and mentality.
5. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
Yes, if you speak Spanish.
6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Weekends at the many beaches around the country, rum tours, cigar tours, baseball, concerts etc.
7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
Beaches, fishing, hiking, tasting local dishes etc.
8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
9. 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?
How bad the traffic is.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
Not to the Dominican Republic city. Traffic is terrible.
3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
4. But don't forget your: