Are there young people down there?

HeyItsMe

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Apr 29, 2014
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Thanks AnnaC!

Hello! My name is Heather, I currently live in Golden, Colorado with my husband and our 2 young kids.. We have been looking into moving to the DR for a while now, mainly the town of Cabrera, but it seems my in-laws are ready to pull the trigger and get serious about this. I have lots of questions about living in a third world country, however.

My #1 question is, are there young people down there? I know this may come across as ignorant, but my in-laws are in their 60s and they say yes, and name 1 or 2 that they have met on their visit. But being that we are about 30 and our kids are 5 and 7, I want to know if we are going to be around a bunch of retirees, or is there people our age to connect with.

Question #2, if you could give any words of wisdom to a young couple with 2 kids moving to Cabrera, what would you say? Any advice?

Thanks In Advance!
 

zoomzx11

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Jan 21, 2006
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Retirees, ha. The number of retirees here is miniscule. In fact we need more of them. The country is full of Dominicans and they are mostly young. Speak Spanish is a big help as most Dominicans do not speak much English. As far as connecting you will not have much in common with the average Dominican but in general they are a warm wonderful people. Living here is not for everyone and some cannot adapt. Be a good idea to try out the country for a while before moving if possible. Otherwise you run the risk of being driven crazy by what we have learned to get used to over time. Things like no electricity for extended periods and when it is on its very expensive. You like hot, you will like it here. its hot, hot, hot. Welcome to DR1. This site will answer all your questions and maybe some you did not even ask. We know lots about the DR.
 

HeyItsMe

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Apr 29, 2014
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Thank you, zoomzx11. That's my fear, no connection. I'm going to be visiting here in a few weeks with my husband, I hope it's better than everything that I have read, not here but the internet in general. I am new to this forum, in fact I didn't even know this existed until a few hours ago, so I plan to spend many hours reading about much of the questions that I have. Have you run into expats between 25-30yrs? Or younger children that my kids can play with? And if so, what area are you in?
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Thank you, zoomzx11. That's my fear, no connection. I'm going to be visiting here in a few weeks with my husband, I hope it's better than everything that I have read, not here but the internet in general. I am new to this forum, in fact I didn't even know this existed until a few hours ago, so I plan to spend many hours reading about much of the questions that I have. Have you run into expats between 25-30yrs? Or younger children that my kids can play with? And if so, what area are you in?
There are several private elementary schools in Sosua/Cabarete with most of the children coming from expat homes.

There are lots of expat families here and most do not have problems with electricity, etc. They live in condominium or housing communities which have a generator. Also, where the bills are paid. People who have the most trouble live where there is no generator and in an area where it is common not to pay bills. Where I live we have a generator but only need to run it about 1 hour a day. Electricity service is much better than it used to be.

I don't know what you have read, and a lot of what you read in this forum has to be taken with a grain of salt

I can only speak for Sosua/Cabarete. I don't know what the situation is in Cabrera with respect to young families with children. Probably not to the extent of Sosua/Cabarete. But there are people on the board who live there and they can give you more information.

You should also get acquainted with Sosua/Cabarete when you are here.
 
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Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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That's my fear, no connection.
You are probably going about making this decision incorrectly. Ask yourself why you wish to leave Colorado and move to the DR or anywhere else for that matter. Your answer is the reason to move. If your reason for moving is not sufficient to outweigh all other considerations, then becoming an expat at this stage of your life is probably not for you.

People move to the DR for a lot of reasons:

-Because they can
-for the warmth
-for the culture
-to work
-missionary work
-to avoid going to jail at home
-to live a comfortable lifestyle for less

There are all sorts of people here. You will find new friends in the DR. Some older, some younger, some Dominican some from other countries. Your social group is way down on the list of reasons to move to the DR. Whether you leave the US only depends on why you want to in the first place.
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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yahoomail.com
How do you plan to support yourselves once you get here?
How many times have you already visited here, and for how long?
What will be your monthly budget for all expenses?
Answer those questions and we can give you helpful responses.
Cris Colon
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
 

Mauricio

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Nov 18, 2002
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Im 39 and my wife is turning 33 this week, but we live in the capital. We have three children aged 8, 5 and 3 and one on the way. So yes, there are young people. But I'd rather be in europe actually...I think being young or middle aged is better there, maybe I'd come back when I'm 65 and don't have to live in Santo Domingo.
 

Tim Smith

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Apr 28, 2014
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Everyone here has given good solid advice as well as questions to ask yourself and your family. There are good and bad everywhere but if its a slower pace you are looking for the DR is as good as any you will find. Making a living I would say should be the top question you ask yourself and others here. It can be done but concessions will have to be evaluated to lifestyle and future. Read on in the forums and ask all the questions you can. Welcome to dr1 H.I.M.
 

drSix

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Oct 13, 2013
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Hello,

My wife and I and our three kids moved to the DR about seven months ago. We started in the Campo (The country) and now live in Sosua. We are in our early thirties and have a teenager, a school aged boy, and a toddler. It's not easy, but it is not as impossible or difficult as many will tell you.

Rent in a monthly vacation rental for a couple months while you look for a long term rental
Rent, rent, rent.
Learn as much Spanish as you can, but you can get by with a little, and a phone with Google translate
You need some sort of outside income, I don't think it is possible to get a job here and raise a family
If you estimate the cost of something, double it... (Food, gas, electric...)
 

TravelHippo

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Mar 24, 2008
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Hi! Cabrera... a great choice! :) Yes, there are a few expat families here in Cabrera, but I will admit, not loads. However, that doesn't stop us from living here and loving it. I am 29 and my husband 39. We have a 2 1/2 year old and another on the way. I have a good friend who is also an expat around the same age with a 3 1/2 and almost 2 year old. My husband and I run a small school for kids aged 6 to 16 and my friend mentioned above runs a preschool / first grade school for kids aged 2 to 6. Attending our school we have a couple of kids from expat families but the majority are Dominican / Haitian, which is the same at the preschool. But both schools are taught mainly in English, so the kids could easily communicate. There are at least a few other young expat families with kids around town as well.

We live right in the town and wouldn't have it any other way. A quick walk to downtown, shops, restaurants, other neighbour kids, etc.

To save me just rambling on about how much we love living in Cabrera (we've been here 6 years now), I would be more than happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
 

LTSteve

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What will you do for a living in the DR? Are you bi-lingual? Do you know anything about the country and it's culture? I would not make this move with 2 small children. Why, because of your in-laws? Don't make plans around others wishes. Their lives could change and then you will be stuck possibly where you don't want to be. Think hard about this.

LTSTeve
 

tommeyers

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Jan 2, 2012
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I live in Santiago
Maybe if I rephrase your question it can be answered: "are there peers for my children by socioeconomic and educational measures". The answer is not many; children of some expats and of some deportees.
 

retiree

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Jan 18, 2008
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If I had young school age children and wanted to live on the north coast, I would want to live in Sosua area where there are other young expat families with children and schools where my children could attend with other children from expat families.
 

HeyItsMe

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Apr 29, 2014
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of the advice.

My husband and I have an internet business and can make our money anywhere in the world, so that's not an issue. I don't know Spanish, but we are learning. Worst case, I'm great at charades, ha! We plan to speak it fluently by the time we would move. There are so many reasons for moving out of the country for us, the questions has always been where. I will admit, I love the comforts of my home and the amenities around it, but to live in freedom in a beautiful country I do believe will be more than enough for us. I haven't settled on Cabrera, like I said, we are making a trip out there in the coming weeks and are going to see some of the surrounding areas, including Sosua. I think our plan is to rent for a few months at a time and then come back to the states for a few months, at least until we decide exactly where we are planning to be. I typed a list a while back on the pros and cons of living in the US, and the cons far outweigh the pros, at least for my family. The biggest pro for us is our friends, that's why I asked about the people. It's not a deal breaker, but it would definitely help ease our minds to know we wont be alone in a new country. I realize the only way to know all of this is to visit and check it our for ourselves.

So in your opinion, where on the North coast would be the best area for a young expat family? What would you say would be the pros and cons of living there?

Also, and I hope I'm not sounding stupid here... I was told I will stick out like a sore thumb as I have light blonde hair, is this true? Should I dye it to blend in more in your opinion, or is it not that uncommon?

Thanks again for every ones time.
 

HeyItsMe

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Apr 29, 2014
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LTSteve, can you please elaborate on why you would not make this move with 2 small children? Thanks
 

Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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Congrats on realizing that there may be a better place to live and raise your children. That is a stumbling block that most cannot get over. There are lots of reasons to leave N. American. I'm not an American so I can't speak from a position of authority but your income will be taxed by both the US and Dominican Govts. You may not actually have to pay anything to the IRS but you will still have to file.

It is my personal opinion, based on the course set by my Govt. just about anywhere but here is better for my wife and me. We'll be in the DR in Aug. to find a rental and we move permanently in Sept./Oct. Maybe we'll bump into each other. I'll keep my eyes open for a blonde. If you end up using dye, just wear a shirt that says, "I used to be blonde" and I'll find you. :)
 

HeyItsMe

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Apr 29, 2014
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Haha, sure thing!

Can I ask where you are living now, if not in North America, and your reasons for choosing the DR?
 

Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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Can I ask where you are living now, if not in North America, and your reasons for choosing the DR?
I'm a Canadian currently living in Ontario.

The DR wasn't my first choice admittedly. We considered Panama, Belize and Costa Rica as well. Up until a year ago, I was pretty sure the winner was going to be Belize. Now after a years worth of serious research and following all of the local news outlets, Belize appears to be just a tad too 3rd world for us. The political system is really corrupt, the infrastructure (water/electricity) can be problematic for lengthy periods of time and the internet speed is awful. Still relatively cheap cost of living but a pain to ship our stuff there. Belize is an english speaking country though.

We've been to the DR 3 or 4 times a year for the last 7 years or so. We know the north coast area pretty well. Language will be a priority for us as I believe that will pose the most significant hurdle initially. Not having to work will give us the time and flexibility to work through things without the need to get all stressed out by time limits and economic pressures.

It's still going to be quite the adjustment, but it is doable as all these other Expats can attest to.

Rgds.
 
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HeyItsMe

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Apr 29, 2014
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Thank you, that's very informative. We too have looked into Belize, Panama and Costa Rica. I really liked Costa Rica but the more we read about the DR, we decided it was a great choice for us. I wish you well, perhaps I'll see you around, Canadian!