I am fed up with tourists!

reese_in_va

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Feb 22, 2007
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Not all tourists of course, but the tourists who come here for a short visit and leave a wake of disaster.
Everytime I go into town I get molested at every stop light by gangs of window washers. Why? Because foreigners throw their money at the Dominican children thinking it is a pleasure and getting there kicks off. They think they are making a difference, helping some poor kid out. Don't they have power window washers installed in their car? Don't they realize that NOW every little kid (teenagers too) thinks that the white skinned driver NEEDS the windows washed and has tons of cash to throw out?
Yesterday it was raining, I mean pouring down and still I can't get through town without having some foam or sponge thrown out of nowhere and smacking my windshield at every stop light. This is a shame! What has been done here is irreversible. Now the window washers DEMAND payment, they expect it and NOW will give you a hard time if you tell them no.
Also, the tourists who go driving around in their rented out little suv's and Geos in a caravan. They come up here now in the campo to get a good view of the city and ocean passing out money to all the little kids who hang out in the streets with nothing else better to do. When the caravan comes around the kids run and chase them getting money which is passed out of the windows.
This never used to happen, at least not up here in the campo. Now it is a weekly frenzy. Don't people understand the impact they are causing by doing this? We live here. We have to deal with the aftermath of Dominican children "believing" that every foriegner is filthy rich, that they don't need to hoard there hard earned money, that they can just give it away freely to any hand that is out in front of them. This is an utter disgrace! This is causing an unforeseeable future with this kind of pattern.
I'm not saying don't help out. I just want people to know that there are many other ways to give and to be charitable to those in need.
I am totally fed up with this kind of behavior and ultimately we are ALL going to have to pay for it. We have to live with the consequences.
 
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InsanelyOne

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Oct 21, 2008
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You can't really blame the tourists intent. I would suggest you make an attempt to educate them of the unfortunate side effect of their generosity. Maybe post signs informing them not to give handouts?
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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I give to children in the street. Maybe I shouldn't but I do...I always keep change in my pocket for that purpose. I do not know what they use the money for but I cannot walk past a child with 1 shoe on too big and another (different type) on the other foot too small. I do not think that giving a child 5 or 10 pesos is the reason that the window washers are stopping you at every light. Someone has to have some humanity.
SHALENA
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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You can't really blame the tourists intent. I would suggest you make an attempt to educate them of the unfortunate side effect of their generosity. Maybe post signs informing them not to give handouts?

This isn't Yellowstone National Park and these are kids, not bears. The signs wouldn't stay up 5 minutes anyway. I think dealing with this kind of thing just goes with the territory if we choose to live as an expat in a third world country frequented by tourists. I would think eventually the kids would learn that you live there, and while you may look like the tourists to them, your situation is totally different.
 

Beads

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May 21, 2006
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Quite a few of these kids who are in the streets begging for money are earning what a typical adult earns at a regular job or sometimes even more.

I have given small coins and even bought food for the kids I see in the street before up until one day myself and a friend of mine felt really bad for a kid whos always out begging for food and money and his shoes were literally destroyed.

We bought him a brand new pair of sandals and a pair of sneakers for school. He was grateful and we felt good for doing it. The next hes back on the street begging in his old shoes. I asked him where his other shoes were and why he wasn't wearing them.

He said he gets more money with his old shoes on!

That was the last time him or any of his buddies got 1 peso or any more food from me.
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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Sking: I do agree is hard to not give to kids...

Hmmm...I do understand what Reese is saying. It doesn't happen as much in "regular" towns as opposed to tourist towns, but even in such non-tourist places as Cotui you'll find some people asking you for money when they see you look like you just came from The US or other place.

This promotes a culture of begging and lack of shame in these kids, as it is a lot easier to just beg for some money than work for it. I grew up poorer than most of these kids and I would have never dared beg anyone for money as pride was instilled in me by my parents from a young age...So much so that we wouldn't even go stand in line to get government handouts when the politicians came around (every four years or so).

...then there are those that are sent out by their parents to beg for money. Whatever money they get their parents take...most times to spend it on booze and other non-essential things.

What I do now is that if a kid is just there asking me for money I don't give him any, but I do reward those that work for it (i.e. shine my shoes and does a good job, I give them twice as much as it costs).

I don't know that we'll be able to do anything about this, as it is so cheap for tourists and Dominicanyorks to give some money away. They think "It's just the equivalent of a dollar"...
 

Luperon

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Jun 28, 2004
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Have there been many cases of beggers doing damage to cars that dont give money?
 
Mar 2, 2008
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"This promotes a culture of begging and lack of shame in these kids, as it is a lot easier to just beg for some money than work for it. I grew up poorer than most of these kids and I would have never dared beg anyone for money as pride was instilled in me by my parents from a young age...So much so that we wouldn't even go stand in line to get government handouts when the politicians came around (every four years or so)."

Absolutely right. Mowing lawns, odd jobs, and shoveling snow is how my brother and I got what little spending money we had as kids. We never even considered there was another to get money other than to earn it.

A good idea might be to offer kids a chance to earn some money instead of begging for it. It could be something as simple as picking up trash, running errands, carrying groceries, or pulling weeds and other yard work.

With a larger group of kids, a couple neighbors might get together and assign the kids a section of the neighborhood to keep clean. If they do a good job, give them a set amount each week, not much, but enough so they feel rewarded. They would learn something of civil pride and responsibility, and also have a chance to earn some money.

There are always small jobs to be done, and kids will appreciate the opportunity. It is difficult for kids to earn money when there are few real jobs for them to have, even when they want to work.

Of course, this situation is compounded by the reality of there being many fatherless families, and the scarcity of positive role models, which is all the more reason for offering work instead of giving hand-outs.

It is important to realize that the system is in effect teaching kids how to be beggers, as much as the tourists are. There are also some definite cultural influences that dissuade kids from understanding the ethics of work.

It has to start somewhere. It might as well start with you.
 

reese_in_va

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Feb 22, 2007
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There is not much that can be done on a large scale, I agree, without the awareness of this situation.
It does have negative consequences though.
Case in point:
*We have a hard time keeping locals employed, it's so much easier to beg when the tourist trucks come around and lately this has become an ongoing trend. Even worse when the giant trucks roll up with 25-30 tourists. The pay-off is much easier for them.
*Our housecleaner looked at a nice piece of furniture we have and asked if she could have it, that she needed it for her family. Afterall, she said, we can buy another one.
*Prices have risen due to these hand-outs. Remember when a coke was 5 peso's? Since people give a tip for a soft-drink (sometimes more than what the drink is sold for) the vendors know that they can up their prices.
*More and more indigenous peoples see a way out of working for their survival, just beg.
All in all it's not only the tourists that are responsible for this situation, it's also the expats who are just as guilty.
Think before giving away money.
And yes it's almost at the point to where a window washer will scratch your car just because you say no. They already spit and call names, such as whore!
 

donmobay

Say what ! ???
Dec 10, 2005
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****ed on and off!!!

i jumped out of the car last week at one of them. this guy cleaned my windows last week after a kid comes to my place and washes all vehicles and polishes all. i made him do front and back and when i got home later i realized that the water he used was so filthy it streaked my clean glass. so i jumped out and he ran away and now knows my ride...hes saying he has to eat and i told him where the restaurant was...
 

bigguns672003

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Feb 10, 2009
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i feel the same way you do. i dont live in d.r. yet, but would like too. i have put up a blog about job inquieries. i currently live in the u.s. im x-millitary and do have a deg. and looking for a new start. any ideas?
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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You can't expect to live in a place without changing it.
As the previous poster said - this isn't Yellowstone Park.
If you beleive that you are not a part of this issue then you are wrong - by merely living here you affect the locals' perceptions of foreigners.

You seem to see the problem in terms of yourself - it is upsetting you - try to think about the other people involved here and why they do what they do.
The problem was here long before you arrived and will be here long after you have gone.
Whilst I agree that it can be a nuisance having people begging at intersections and dripping their dirty rag over your clean windscreen - a quick shake of the finger and the correct expression and they go straight onto the next person they think they can get some cash from.
If they are persistently harassing you then you need to learn to look like you are not worth hassling - it will come with time.

I have become an expert - even on a crowded beach an reproaching seller will just walk away without opening his mouth if I give him my 'look' and maybe wag the finger imperceptibly - it is about poise.

This problem is not caused by tourists - it is caused by a relatively poor society where tourists are part of the mix.

Like sunburn and potholes - learn to deal with it and you will be fine.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i never give anything to those kids. maybe my heart is made of stone.
giving only makes them beg and teaches them that money comes for nothing.
i would also never let them run errands for us for the fear they will talk about what we have at home (not much but more than they will ever have) and i'll have their tigre tios visit me with a gun.

as far as the car washing goes - i lock my doors and windows, when they jump on a car to wash it i give them "i'm broke" sign and turn on the wipers. if they insist and wash the window - i don't care, i don't give them even a single peso, as soon as they find out i am "taca?a" they leave me alone.
 

catch

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Apr 25, 2007
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Last week I had a rental and drove all over the Island ,every major city had kids and grown men washing your windows . driving through Santodomingo was the worst . Block after block someone would clean my already cleaned windows .saying no is useless , I finally did somthing stupid when the next sponge hit my windsheild . I lost it , I SAID NO and with the back of my hand i hit the windshield . Oh ya it cracked my watch or ring must have caught it just right. great now what its a rental . Well I got real lucky ,after being told i was looking at 5-6 hundred .my girlfriend of 3yrs made a couple of phone calls ,And for 3000. pesos someone came from santo domingo and changed it in about 1 hour . needless to say he wasnt thrilled to see me,i would have easly paid double. he did a great job, even with the stickers . i gave him a extra 500 pesos . I think he was happy I sure was .
 

Kyle

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Jun 2, 2006
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i hate change, therefore i always give it out to the kids. didn't know i was creating that much of a frenzy.
in sosua where tourists always throw money around, it's not such a big deal i think. i will say i'm partial to the CD/DVD, massage, manucire ladies since i don't drive....
 
B

BettyDiamond

Guest
Wagging your digit doesnt always work even if you are Domincan. I have been in a car when a Domincan driver has wagged his appendage at a windscreen washer and hes has still come away covered in suds and this was in Moca which isnt a tourist town.

The skipping rope across the road is another favourite trick in mountain areas
 

49erman

On Vacation!
Sep 3, 2006
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The skipping rope across the road is another favourite trick in mountain areas[/QUOTE]

Skipping rope? Is that where the kids are doing their own roadwork supposedly and then ask for money?

Here is a hint- tint your windows....
 

DominicanBilly

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Mar 9, 2005
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Wagging your digit doesnt always work even if you are Domincan. I have been in a car when a Domincan driver has wagged his appendage at a windscreen washer and hes has still come away covered in suds and this was in Moca which isnt a tourist town.

The skipping rope across the road is another favourite trick in mountain areas

You're right wagging you finger doesn't work but after saying no often enough and not paying to have your window washed in the rain or when it does not need it they get to know your vehicle. The problem that arises now is when my window is dirty and needs washing they won't come near my car.
 

catch

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Apr 25, 2007
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driving to santiago from sosua area {mountain road] I see this young boy filling pot holes with dirt from the side of the road , with his hand out . Now him I would have tiped , but was moving to fast . I actually thought of turning around , but i didnt next time I will get him
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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driving to santiago from sosua area {mountain road] I see this young boy filling pot holes with dirt from the side of the road , with his hand out . Now him I would have tiped , but was moving to fast . I actually thought of turning around , but i didnt next time I will get him

Haha...this is just a tactic. They don't actually fill the pothole...just pretend like they are doing it. Put in a little dirt when a car is coming...