Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Report of what it's like to live there - 09/21/23
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, nine other posts.
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?
Miami is a 2.5 hour flight.
3. How long have you lived here?
4. What years did you live 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?
Compound housing near the embassy if you are one of the lucky ones to get in. Further out for the rest with heavy traffic and over an hour commute battling motorcycles, cars, trucks and drivers that do not obey traffic laws.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Little lower than the US for local products. More expensive for imported items.
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?
Caribbean dishes, some international restaurants. Fish and vegetables are great, meat not so much.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
Typical Caribbean roaches and mosquitos.
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
In my opinion, embassy staff are compensating household assistance generously. It's advisable not to exceed a daily payment of 900 pesos, which is notably higher than the typical remuneration offered by local residents to their domestic workers.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
Small gym at the embassy.
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?
Should have some Spanish
6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
2. What kind of vehicle(s) including electric ones do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, infrastructure, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car or vehicles do you advise not to bring?
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Yes, can take some time to install.
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?
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Dengue and mosquito diseases.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Medical care is not the best.
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 do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?
Bring pills and eye drops
5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
Carol Moraga. The school is quite decent, though it offers a limited range of after-school activities and entails a 45-minute commute from the housing compound.
2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Large with extremely low morale.
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?
Baseball games, beach, etc.
3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
Night life could be dangerous, families can enjoy the beach.
4. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
Not supported by local officials.
6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
Beach, cigar and rum tours, baseball games.
9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
10. 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 hot it is.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
In my opinion, there is a lack of leadership that has been causing various challenges and inefficiencies within the organization or community. Leadership plays a pivotal role in setting the tone, making crucial decisions, and fostering a sense of purpose and unity.
3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
4. But don't forget your: