Experiences Living in Zona Colonial

KJS73

New member
Feb 25, 2011
207
0
0
I've spent about 2 1/2 months in the Colonial Zone earlier this year. For the most part I liked it, but at times it felt like a small town with everyone knowing your business and as a tourist I was constantly asked for money on the streets. The building I stayed in though was excellent. The management actually has an office there and I never had problems and felt safe.

Sunday I return for at least 6 months. I've decided to stay in the same apartment building even though in some ways I'd prefer a less touristy area. I was wondering what other have experienceed living in the Colonial Zone or if you haven't lived there would you or wouldn't you and why. My main concern is learning how to say "no" to the beggars and to find public transportation along the Malecon. I actually prefer guaguas to taxis.

When I returned to NYC a couple of months ago I felt very sad to leave SD. Now that I'm taking the 6 month plunge, living in SD, I have butterflies in my stomach. Not sure why. As for work I'm hoping to teach English. I'd prefer that to a call center.
 

DRob

Well-known member
Aug 15, 2007
8,082
463
83
KJS,

Good luck, and have fun. Would love to read about your adventures (and misadventures), so please post often.
 

JMB773

New member
Nov 4, 2011
2,625
0
0
When people see you as a regular on the streets they will stop asking for money. I knew by your other thread you would return very soon. A lot of people do not like the CZ but I really enjoy the CZ.
 

Criss Colon

New member
Jan 2, 2002
21,843
188
0
34
yahoomail.com
Don't worry!!!
"And This Too Shall Pass!"
When I was 45,(20 years ago,"My God")
I decided to get the DR out of my system.Before that,I only came once or twice a year.
I came every moth for a week to 3 weeks.
I knew every prostitute in Boca Chica,and SD by her "Real" name.
And all her relatives too.
I spent about $30,000 US that "rear", I mean YEAR!
My plan baackfired! BIG TIME!!
Each time I returned to Boston I had panic attacts.
I saw a psychiatrist at Mass General Hospital.He gave me Prozac.He said it would lower my "libido".Again a failure.
All he wanted me to talk about,in GREAT DETAIL,was evert sexual encounter I had in the DR.He should have paid me!
I desided it would be cheaper to take early retirement than to continue going back and forth.
It wasn't,who knew????
Funny thing happened,I was offered a great job in the medical field,and workrd there for ten years.
My point is: "Go For It!"
We find excuses not to cut-the-cord and go.
You will be just fine.
My only advice is,Ala Hillbilly,Don't hang out with the low life street people.And don't try to become a Dominican.You can't,and never will.
Dominicans can tell when you try.
They prefer foreigners who live here,make friends, andTRY to understand their culture.but not Dominican Wannabes.
They look at you as a clown when you try to act "Dominicanisado".
Be the great guy you were at "Home" and you can make real friends,not just a bunch of Takers.
Took me a long time to figure that out.
Good luck,and use DR1 as your "touch stone" for advice,and friendship.
You won't go wrong.
CC
 

KJS73

New member
Feb 25, 2011
207
0
0
Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

Interestingly Chris, when I came back to NYC I saw a psych who put me on meds due to feeling very depressed after returning from DR. I'm wondering if I'll still need them when I return to DR. Did you stay on the Prozac or didn't you find your depression lifted upon return to DR?
 

Ken

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2002
13,510
172
63
Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

Interestingly Chris, when I came back to NYC I saw a psych who put me on meds due to feeling very depressed after returning from DR. I'm wondering if I'll still need them when I return to DR. Did you stay on the Prozac or didn't you find your depression lifted upon return to DR?
If you had read CC's posts over the years you would know that his depression was not the only thing that lifted when he got back to the DR.
 

Kozy

Member
Jun 1, 2002
219
17
18
To give or not to give on the street- always a difficult decision for foreigners in the DR. My decision- I do not give money on the street- ever, to people asking me. There are countless other ways to help those less fortunate in the DR. After so many years here and much refection, I believe giving on the street is more a negative than a positive for DR society overall
 

KJS73

New member
Feb 25, 2011
207
0
0
Great advice Kozy!

My friends have conflicting opinions regarding me living in DR. One is very supportive. The other said, "I'm not doing the adult thing. That I should go to Costa Rica or Colombia, where I'm more likely to find work teaching English." That would be fine but I already have made a personal connection with DR. I have Dominican friends in Santo Domingo poor and well off as well as some expats. I feel giving DR a shot for at least 6 months will not break me. I am fortunate to afford to take some risks. If it doesn't work out the US and those other countries will always be there.
 

DRob

Well-known member
Aug 15, 2007
8,082
463
83
Great advice Kozy!

My friends have conflicting opinions regarding me living in DR. One is very supportive. The other said, "I'm not doing the adult thing. That I should go to Costa Rica or Colombia, where I'm more likely to find work teaching English." That would be fine but I already have made a personal connection with DR. I have Dominican friends in Santo Domingo poor and well off as well as some expats. I feel giving DR a shot for at least 6 months will not break me. I am fortunate to afford to take some risks. If it doesn't work out the US and those other countries will always be there.
It's your life, and time goes faster than you think. If your plan was to retire and live off your income there, I'd say yeah, they have a point. But your plan is to do only six months there, off your income.
 

JuanDolioLiving

New member
Sep 7, 2010
215
0
0
Don't give money to people on the street because sometimes they can be mugger and just want to see how much money you have in your pocket so that they mug you. Always carry small bills and never show large sum of cash, if you have to pay for something and you have a large sum of cash in the same pocket ask to use the bathroom to pull the small bills out.
I am a Dominican and my advice to you like someone say, don't hang out with the low life because is very danger and you could get yourself in trouble very easy. Try to hang out with people that have some education and that have jobs. You can recognize when a Dominican just want to be around you because you buying because when you buy 2 or 3 drinks they should be able to a least buy one and if they don't walk away
 

Kipling333

New member
Jan 12, 2010
1,616
14
0
I live in Zona Colonial ..I have had a home there for more than 5 years , If I listened to advice from Dominicans , I would never leave my house , never do any shopping and definitely never walk in Conde .I shop in Ave Mella and on saturdays in the market below el elevado ...and I walk everywhere and I feel safe and no one asks me for money any more than they ask others .In Conde I appreciate the eyes from the girls just focusing on me for a little too long
Yes you have to be street wise as you do in any poor country .
In el malecon as in any street all gua guas and taxis publico are looking for passengers so the slightest indication to them and they will cut everyone off just to reach you ...but actually El Malecon mainly has gua guas for longer distances ..for around the capital Bolivar has the lions share of local public transport
 

william webster

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2009
23,520
534
113
Nice to hear a positive response... my experience here for four years is similar - not the Zona, but RD generally.
 

KJS73

New member
Feb 25, 2011
207
0
0
Nice to hear some positive feedback. When I first visited Colonial Zone, I felt such a sense of wonder walking the streets and I've never felt unsafe. I plan to apply for work at Dominico-Americano. I walked there from Zona Colonial along the Malecon, but of course I wouldn't want to do that everyday. Yes, Simon Bolivar has great public transportation options.
 

william webster

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2009
23,520
534
113
The Zona - How about the oldest church in the New World ?
That's impressive.

We overlook the oldest lighthouse in the New World - here on the North Coast.
Imagine - reference point #1 on the navigational maps.

Both those things are mind boggling to me when you consider the past/present state of the country.

An unpolished diamond......

Personally, I share your comfort in ZC -- we visit there often.

I wouldn't think once, let alone twice about 6 months there.
 

karlheinz

New member
Oct 2, 2006
451
4
0
I've spent about 2 1/2 months in the Colonial Zone earlier this year. For the most part I liked it, but at times it felt like a small town with everyone knowing your business and as a tourist I was constantly asked for money on the streets.

I live in the colonial zone and have been living here on and off for several years - your definitely right about it's like living in a small town because that is exactly what it is....a small village within a large city. My likes: the public concerts at Plaza Espana and Parque Colon. People watching on the Conde, the colonial architecture, plenty of restaurants in the area or close to the area. I normally don't use the guagua's but if I need to seems like everything starts and ends here in the CZ.
Downsides: It's much more expensive to live in the CZ then in lots of other parts of the city but then again it seems people gravitate here for one reason or the other so might as well live in the center of the action.
 

Viajero

New member
Dec 16, 2011
1,593
0
0
Great advice Kozy!

My friends have conflicting opinions regarding me living in DR. One is very supportive. The other said, "I'm not doing the adult thing. That I should go to Costa Rica or Colombia, where I'm more likely to find work teaching English." That would be fine but I already have made a personal connection with DR. I have Dominican friends in Santo Domingo poor and well off as well as some expats. I feel giving DR a shot for at least 6 months will not break me. I am fortunate to afford to take some risks. If it doesn't work out the US and those other countries will always be there.
Just be careful Consejo Presidencial del SIDA: Inicio
 

KJS73

New member
Feb 25, 2011
207
0
0
Yes I've heard that SIDA is quite a problem in DR. I'm not one to have multiple partners and if I do I'd use protection. I read that many Dominican females have it from infection by their cheating husbands. I get tested at least every 6 months.

How did we get n to this topic when living in Zona Colonial? A
 

Zulu

New member
May 27, 2012
106
0
0
I always went back & forth from where i lived to Zona Colonial, it's nice to walk around as well as the entertainment such as Hard Rock Cafe, Restaurants my main objective was to get one of the old buildings and remodel them from the inside into a townhouse and leave the outside as it is by that time i had something by the beach hopefully next time around.
 

JMB773

New member
Nov 4, 2011
2,625
0
0
KJS73 where do you buy your food at Jumbo express on El Conde or are you close to La Sirena?
 

beastwood

New member
Jun 30, 2011
295
0
0
I live in Zona Colonial ..I have had a home there for more than 5 years , If I listened to advice from Dominicans , I would never leave my house , never do any shopping and definitely never walk in Conde .I shop in Ave Mella and on saturdays in the market below el elevado ...and I walk everywhere and I feel safe and no one asks me for money any more than they ask others .In Conde I appreciate the eyes from the girls just focusing on me for a little too long
Yes you have to be street wise as you do in any poor country .
In el malecon as in any street all gua guas and taxis publico are looking for passengers so the slightest indication to them and they will cut everyone off just to reach you ...but actually El Malecon mainly has gua guas for longer distances ..for around the capital Bolivar has the lions share of local public transport
Bolivar out and Independencia back towards conde for publicos