American living in DR

DJPrice

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Oct 5, 2005
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I have a friend who has just moved to DR (SD) to work for Peace Corps. His living allowance is small, so I'd like to send him some things that might help him. He is not living like a tourist. He does not have running water or electricity all the time. Can anyone tell me what kinds of things he might need down there. Common personal items like postage stamps (where can I get DR stamps in US?), hygeinic products, and any other things you can recommend would be useful to him. Would pre-paid phone cards be of use to him? Correspondence is slow from his end right now, so I cannot ask him these things yet.
Thank you.

Donna Price
 

Eddyx

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Sep 9, 2005
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Sending things from US

Hi!

At first you should give us in which town or city he will serve in the Peace Corps. All service you want will depend of that. I have seen members of the Peace Corps serving in little towns far away from the cities. Sometimes in mountains where there are deficiency of many public services. Even there aren't cellular signal.

If you want to send him somethings from the US. He should open an account in a courrier office, like EPS or Continental Parcel Service (CPS).
Where you can send everything you want to an address in Miami, and later they bring it safety. He just has to pickup the things in their office in Santo Domingo. They even have some offices in other cities of the country.

The website of CPS is http://www.cps-dom.com/

I personally use this one.


Regards,

Eddyx
 

HOWMAR

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Jan 28, 2004
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DJPrice said:
I have a friend who has just moved to DR (SD) to work for Peace Corps. His living allowance is small, so I'd like to send him some things that might help him. He is not living like a tourist. He does not have running water or electricity all the time. Can anyone tell me what kinds of things he might need down there. Common personal items like postage stamps (where can I get DR stamps in US?), hygeinic products, and any other things you can recommend would be useful to him. Would pre-paid phone cards be of use to him? Correspondence is slow from his end right now, so I cannot ask him these things yet.
Thank you.

Donna Price
Forget about the Dominican Postal Service, it is practically nonfunctioning. If you are going to send things regularly, use one of the services thee above poster mentioned. For a occasional package, FEDEX and UPS have offices in most major cities in the DR. He can pickup at their offices. Most cities and towns have call centers where he can pay per call (3 minutes to the US is about 20 pesos ($0.65). Internet centers are also available in most towns.
 

DJPrice

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Oct 5, 2005
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His host family is in Santo Domingo, but he is working and staying in smaller villages outside of SD right now. I think what I'm trying to find out from anyone out there is what are some essential necessities he might not be able to buy there? I know I can Western Union him money if he needs it, but are there things that aren't available even if he has the money, for instance batteries, hygeinic products (soap or toothpaste), or maybe that I could send? I just don't know what he has access to buy.

Thanks again, Donna
 

KateP

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May 28, 2004
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DJPrice said:
His host family is in Santo Domingo, but he is working and staying in smaller villages outside of SD right now. I think what I'm trying to find out from anyone out there is what are some essential necessities he might not be able to buy there? I know I can Western Union him money if he needs it, but are there things that aren't available even if he has the money, for instance batteries, hygeinic products (soap or toothpaste), or maybe that I could send? I just don't know what he has access to buy.

Thanks again, Donna
He can find pretty much all of those things down here, although maybe not the brands he's used to if they're more exclusive. I would personally say that cash would be more useful to him so he can buy exactly what he needs. Other than that, searching this board for information on "where" to buy stuff might be useful information to him too ;)
 

HOWMAR

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Jan 28, 2004
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Agreeing with the above post, most items he may need or want are available here for a price (maybe double the US). So it is easier to send money and just pay the higher price here. What he may most appreciate though is a touch of civilization. After a period of time living here one begins to miss the nice touches of modern conveniences. For example, most Dominican homes in the country, including many in the major cities don't have hot water. A long hot shower can really make your day. I might suggest that you contact one of the major hotel chains (Hilton, Weston, etc.) and arrange a gift-certificate good for a weekend stay. This will give him a chance to reenergize himself.
 

riravaga

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Feb 24, 2005
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I agree, to send him money will be better, western union has offices and representatives all over the country. Here he can buy all things that he think are necesary.
 

jstnorv05

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Jun 13, 2005
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Mega Centro

I used to live in Santo Domingo and although I hated malls when I lived in the US I used to go to this mall all the time. They have Dominos, Pizza Hut and a Game Works bar that made me feel like I was back in the US. They have a GAP and a place called Americana with a great cafe. He can get almost anything he needs there and the prices weren't that bad the last time I was there. They actually lowered the prices signifigantly when the dollar/peso rate dropped signifigantly last time I was there.
 

m65swede

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Mar 18, 2002
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DJPrice said:
I have a friend who has just moved to DR (SD) to work for Peace Corps. His living allowance is small, so I'd like to send him some things that might help him. He is not living like a tourist. He does not have running water or electricity all the time. Can anyone tell me what kinds of things he might need down there. Common personal items like postage stamps (where can I get DR stamps in US?), hygeinic products, and any other things you can recommend would be useful to him. Would pre-paid phone cards be of use to him? Correspondence is slow from his end right now, so I cannot ask him these things yet.
Thank you.

Donna Price
Welcome to the board, Donna. In order:

1. His living allowance is small Supposed to be so; enough to be able to live on though.
2. He is not living like a tourist. He does not have running water or electricity all the time. That's the way it is in the DR. In Peace Corps training they address the issue of "Culture Shock". He has to learn to deal with it.
3. Can anyone tell me what kinds of things he might need down there. Common personal items like postage stamps (where can I get DR stamps in US?) He can buy virtually everything in the DR that he can buy at home. Large supermarkets such as 'La Sirena' have huge inventory. Can't buy DR stamps in the US but they are cheap as dirt in the DR.
4. Would pre-paid phone cards be of use to him? Correspondence is slow from his end right now He can always call from a phone center in the DR. Cost isn't bad. I've actually had pretty good luck with the Dominican post office. Just received a large registered envelope from the DR yesterday that only cost the sender $RD64. Mighty cheap and got here (Illinois) in 2 weeks

On the issue of sending him things, I would say to forget it. After shipping costs etc, it would not be economical. Send money if you wish and let him buy the stuff locally. There are options other than Western Union that are more cost effective and convenient. Services such as https://www.enviosboya.com/ cost less and allow you to send money to be picked up or deposit directly into his Dominican bank account.

Good luck to your friend. He will love the experience. There are several former PCV's on this forum and we are always glad to be of help. :)

Swede
 

daddy1

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Feb 27, 2004
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send cash!... and as much and as often as you can! wire the funds threw a dominican money transfer company and not western union..which is vimenca...if you use a private Dominican one they will send to el hemispherio which can deliver funds..with no hussle or hassle, look he is in the peace corps he is not there for material things..but cash can get him in and out of the capital..for good dining, catching a movie, transportation, and buying clothing...the one thing I missed in D.R. as an American were all the specialty cereal's, wonder bread and BOOKS!.. other than that..he will be fine
 

Chirimoya

Moderator
Dec 9, 2002
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You could send books, they are very expensive in the DR and the selection in English, even in the good bookshops like Cuesta and Thesaurus, is limited. Also, you could tell him there is a pretty good English library, the Helen Kellogg' behind the Anglican church on Av. Independencia in Gazcue. They hold cheap book sales on the first Sunday of every month.
 

Eddyx

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Sep 9, 2005
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He can buy almost everythings he want here. We have large stores and supermarkets in Santo Domingo where He can buy. Other way to send him money is making a transfer from bank to bank. For this, He should open an account in dollars.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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I wish somebody had worried about me like this!!

Forty odd years ago we lived on RD$110 a month! And there was no such thing as an internet...or call centers, -----or malls....Sheesh! what a baby.

He will probably need some clothes. Depending on what his assignment is he might need good boots.

However, I am not up on PCV regs right now, but I suppose it would be impracticable to prohibit direct mails from reaching them..


Enviosboya.com is a very capable company and they will get the kid the money, if he is desperate. But if he is desperate, maybe he shouldn't be in the Peace Corps?? He is supposed to live on the level of his counterparts and within the normal flow of life. That $110 allowed me and two others to rent a house and eat well for two years. Our job- school construction-allowed us to have a vehicle--something no longer done, however. Some people would abuse their vehicle privileges--like going into Santiago for coffee and a movie???? But most of us did our jobs and got a lot out of it...

Of course, the best thing would be for you to come and visit him :p......

HB :D:D former PCV
 

HOWMAR

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Hillbilly said:
Forty odd years ago we lived on RD$110 a month! And there was no such thing as an internet...or call centers, -----or malls....Sheesh! what a baby.
But HB tell her the whole story..When I was here 40 odd years ago, 1 peso=1 dollar. A meal was 20 centavos and a Presidente was 20 centavos. Ah, the good old days.