Hello From Austin, Texas.

MoJoInDR

Active member
Aug 23, 2023
407
133
43
Austin, Texas
This is for my wife and I... We're considering a move to the DR in the future (no set timeline) and so are beginning to get familiar with all the necessary matters related to our doing so. We're nearing retirement age, but not considering a retired type of life as we're both still quite active and would like to continue working, which we think is actually good for maintaining good mental health. We also think that we should have a disposition of giving back to the local community we live in and working within it is one way to do so.

Although we are American citizens, we're actually both from the Caribbean (Haiti and Jamaica) but moved to the US many years ago. Because of this, we're pretty familiar with the climate and tropical Caribbean environment; and having lived in Miami for many years, we're also familiar with Latin American type culture (mostly Cuban-related, but also others as well). My wife has family in the DR that she's visited. I've also visited the DR, but that was over forty years ago. I went as part of a Jamaican swim team to compete in an international event. Shoot, I must have been 10 or 11 at the time... Time flies. If memory serves me correctly, I believe the pool we competed in was located at some kind of resort that was outside of Santo Domingo, but I could be wrong.

We're both active in sports... Mountain biking is what we do together. I raced many years ago. These days we just ride the trails for pleasure, and I have a workshop in which I help keep neighborhood bikes in good order. I also play squash and was happy to discover that there are courts and a squash association in the DR.

Professionally... My wife is a well-qualified, very experienced administrative assistant who has worked for small to medium multi-million dollar firms and is quite exceptional at her job... As well as being wonderful with people. Me, I'm a bit more reserved, but am also sociable. My professional background is in new product development/marketing/advertising, with a start-up business development lean.

We're both Christian believers and try to live our lives accordingly, but not religious. One of our considerations is to work with a non-profit organization helping underprivileged youth.

Anyway, not sure how long this should be so I'll end here. I look forward to participating in the forums and hope to gain, and would appreciate, any thoughts and advice regarding moving to the DR.

Thanks for having us.
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
23,377
6,661
113
South Coast
Welcome aboard. When you say you want to continue working, do you mean for a salary or volunteering? Are either of you fluent in Spanish, and do you plan to apply for residency? (A requirement for paid employment and process begins in USA). What area of DR are you considering?
 

MoJoInDR

Active member
Aug 23, 2023
407
133
43
Austin, Texas
Welcome aboard. When you say you want to continue working, do you mean for a salary or volunteering? Are either of you fluent in Spanish, and do you plan to apply for residency? (A requirement for paid employment and process begins in USA). What area of DR are you considering?
Hi AE... Thank you. Regarding working, we're looking at the options available. My wife is fluent in English and French and can get by with Spanish. Having lived in Miami for many years, and enjoying Latin food, I learned enough to not starve, but beyond that, I'm in need of help. We'll both be taking a Spanish course online and have Spanish-speaking groups that we'll be participating in as things develop. Being immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment is the best way to develop what we're learning online.

As you pointed out, residency will have to be a consideration if we want to be employed locally, but we're looking at the possibility of developing a farm that could be used in association with an existing DR non-profit as a type of vocational school. If we take this route, then, given the land prices, we'd probably be looking at land in the area of the mountain range to the north of Esperanza, possibly along the Puerto Plata/Valverde Province border, perhaps where it meets up with the Santiago Province border. We're looking for land that is off the beaten track that can be developed for organic permaculture farming... And we'd like to bring young people, perhaps in their late teens or early twenties to learn farming, but in a holistic life-skill-building environment. This is why we'd like to find somewhere that's away from the distractions of more populated/popular areas. And we're also considering forestry as a part of the curriculum.

Would you happen to know what the price of land is in areas such as I'm referencing? I know from what research I've done that it's a bit of a crap shoot as prices seem to be all over the spectrum and what's really needed is feet on the ground. This project would probably need to start with 50+ acres, with the possibility of growing. And we're not in a rush, nor looking to just invest foolishly.

Thanks.
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
23,377
6,661
113
South Coast
I’m familiar with that area, my husband had family there and a close friend lived there. However, as far as land prices, I’m clueless because we live on the southern coast in San Cristobal province. Hopefully someone else here might be able to give you a ballpark figure. I’d strongly suggest that your wife’s relatives do the groundwork and initial price inquiries, prices may double for gringos. 😊
 
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MoJoInDR

Active member
Aug 23, 2023
407
133
43
Austin, Texas
I’m familiar with that area, my husband had family there and a close friend lived there. However, as far as land prices, I’m clueless because we live on the southern coast in San Cristobal province. Hopefully someone else here might be able to give you a ballpark figure. I’d strongly suggest that your wife’s relatives do the groundwork and initial price inquiries, prices may double for gringos. 😊
Cool... That's a bit of a coincidence... You having family and a friend with history related to that area... And yes, the feet on the ground needed to research land purchase opportunities would utilize my wife's local family.
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
7,206
3,043
113
OP...Austin Texas is a top of the line city in the USA if there ever was one. I'm sure it has met all the needs of you and your wife over the years. I'm curious, why the move to the DR? That's not a negative hit on the DR as I live here after a lifetime on the east coast of the US, (BTW if I had my life to live over I would love the life of a texan) I ask because I'm interested in what motivates people to take the folk in the road that is life changing.
 

MoJoInDR

Active member
Aug 23, 2023
407
133
43
Austin, Texas
OP...Austin Texas is a top of the line city in the USA if there ever was one. I'm sure it has met all the needs of you and your wife over the years. I'm curious, why the move to the DR? That's not a negative hit on the DR as I live here after a lifetime on the east coast of the US, (BTW if I had my life to live over I would love the life of a texan) I ask because I'm interested in what motivates people to take the folk in the road that is life changing.

Hi johne... For my wife and I, "...top of the line..." is subjective, not the determination of politicians, media, corporations, or even human society.

We've been in Austin since the summer of '07, and before that, Miami... Me from '95, my wife from early '80s. Our choice to move to Austin took maybe 6 weeks (short, I know). We had been considering a move out of Miami for a year or two, looking at Central America, North Eastern US, England, and even Kelowna in British Columbia. It was only when my sister, who lives in Dallas, asked if we had looked at Texas that we realized that we hadn't, and then did. And not wanting to move to a big city (which was one of the major reasons for leaving Miami), when we looked around Texas we were attracted to Austin, which at the time was around a population of 750,000 people and really had a small city vibe... But that has all changed over the last fifteen years... And I mean really, really changed... Which for us, does not mean for the good.

My wife and I live a small life/lifestyle... And are really looking to make it even smaller. Austin is not conducive to this desire of ours... And cost-of-living is just obnoxiously high.

Now sure, lots of people are busy making lots of money and are living seemingly wonderful cookie-cutter lifestyles — albeit, under many different titles — but it's not for us.

A few years ago I found a property in Arkansas, 600 acres. I told my wife that I wanted to buy it and live in the middle of the property so I wouldn't have to see anyone.

Yeah, that's another issue... Socially speaking, people are going off the reservation (can I use that idiom these days), and I see no end in sight.

Okay... That's the natural man's view... But as I said in my original post, my wife and I are Christian believers, and we try to live our lives according to our Christian belief. And again, we're not religious... We simply have certain beliefs as presented in biblical scripture, and try to live our practical life applying these beliefs as we can. And no, we're certainly not perfect in this, or many other things. We simply try to do the best we can.

And all the world's Texan, Dominican, Haitian, European, American, black, white, gringo, local, rich, poor, he, she, they, them, it, this and that designation... It all really doesn't really matter to me much... Other than respecting others and their choices, and what they hold as valuable... I take the following scripture verse as being what everything is subject to... Psalms 24:1... "The earth is Jehovah’s, and its fullness, the habitable land and those who dwell in it."

And no, my wife and I are not fundamentalist crazies... We are both very thoughtful people who try to understand things through research, reasoning, and logic... But who, through actual life experiences, both know there is something more to life than what may be visible... And the best explanation for this something more that we have come to see is what is presented in biblical scripture... But again... Not religion... There is a difference.

So the above should provide a bit of an insight to your question of why the move to the DR... We simply go where we have an inward sense that we should be.

Perhaps, if it were up to my natural man preferences, that 600 acres in Arkansas would be the deal... But it's not, the DR is... And we're still trying to work out what exactly this means... Especially when I read through the overwhelming number of, honestly, negative comments related to the DR environment and living in it. Seriously, talk about Debbie Downer stuff... The last two days I had to just leave the dr1 website and go try and shake it all off as I was thinking there is no way the DR move would happen. No disrespect, I get the content is very helpful, which is why I joined... But this is not a very happy content website. But then again, in this world, when the rubber hits the road things get very dirty.

A few years ago my wife watched a video on the meat and poultry industry in the US and it turned her into a fresh-caught seafood/vegetarian consumer. It took a few years, but since I'm the household grocery shopper and cook, I eventually succumbed to better eating habits as well. Needless to say, this all led to taking a close look at where the food we eat on a daily basis comes from... Which began to influence what we wanted our future living environment to be (in the US and other countries)... This led to us looking at places where this kind of lifestyle would be possible... This led me (my wife had been considering the DR for a few years) to take a closer look at the DR... And Bob's your uncle... Here I am on the dr1 website forum.

And so what's the vision (Proverbs 29:18, "Without vision, people cast off restraint/become chaotic.") from all of this?
There's a small non-profit that we've come across, Project Esperanza. It's located in Puerto Plata and serves underprivileged children, especially Haitian immigrant children, whom we'd like to work alongside, in the hope of giving these children an opportunity to progress beyond the education level that they currently are afforded by Project Espranza. And we believe that this can be done in and through a farming environment.

Over the last year, the more I have learned about farming and agriculture as a whole (all that's involved in it), the more I've come to see how closely the related principles are to the fundamental principles present in biblical scripture. And in this, I believe that along with vocational training, a farm environment can help build character as well.

Okay, so I've gotten up on my soapbox. Forgive me... But I'm still trying to work it all out in my head, and sometimes speaking openly about it helps me to do just that.

Well, I know this is probably way more than you expected as a response to your questions, but there it is... That's much of it in a nutshell.

Thank you for asking the question that you did... I am a firm believer in community and community building... And asking questions is one of the most productive ways to carry out and build community.

Amen.
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
7,206
3,043
113
Well, I know this is probably way more than you expected as a response to your questions, but there it is... That's much of it in a nutshell.

Thank you for asking the question that you did... I am a firm believer in community and community building... And asking questions is one of the most productive ways to carry out and build community.

Amen.
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
7,206
3,043
113
Thank YOU for sharing all that information with us. And NO it was not more than I expected since the OP had a lot of details...other than why? So I naturally assumed there was more to the story. Good luck to you and your wife with whatever you decide.
 
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