Is there a place like this in Santiago???

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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Hi guys. If you remember me I am moving to SaJoMa in August with children and I just have a quick question. The question I am being asked time and time again is "Why SaJoMa". I am being told that Santiago is so much better. I just returned to the US about 3 weeks ago from a trip there for 9 days. I spent 7 of those days in Santiago trying to find what drew me to SaJoMa, to no avail. Maybe I am not looking in the right places...advice on any "urbinazaciones" that fit this description would be sooooo welcome.
- working class: people that work period. Not necessarily "professionals"
- the kids are OUTSIDE: I went to several neighborhoods where I liked the homes but did not see not one child outside playing (and yes, I did return on different days at different times). Everything was so quiet, I did not hear not even one Frank Reyes or Antony Santos song!) That's just not Dominican.
- most of the adults are outside: I only found one neighborhood where I actually saw adults outside chatting or sitting on their patios talking.
-the homes do not have tin roofs but they aren't mansions either.

Is there a place like this in Santiago??
 

Funnyyale26

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Dec 15, 2006
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Most of the people from SAJOMA are actually abroad, this town has the largest diaspora in all of the DR, that is why you did not see many people.

Quien entiende al mundo, ehh? mientras la mayoria de los extranjeros se quejan de los tantos ruidos que hay en nuestras ciudades, hay gente que quiere vivir en el tumulto.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago has plenty of barrios like you describe. The very upper class "urbanizaciones" are almost like subdivisions in the US with one big difference - the people actually know their neighbors and greet them when they see them. As far as the "bulla" (the noise as they say here) being absent in the barrios, that is typically by design as mandated by the "junta de vecinos". Take it from me as someone who has lived in the campo, barrio and a nice area in Santiago and Moca for almost three years, while the music and "bulla" etc. can be fun in the beginning, before long having bachata rocking you're house every weekend until 2 am will get old soon. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it and you will just have to be content to yell to hear yourself being heard and take phone calls the following day. You're best bet is the middle of the road urbanizaciones where the people are out and about and the kids play with their neighbors.

Furthermore, there are many "middle class" urbanizaciones where homes will range from RD2.5M to RD5M close to good bilingual schools and just enough bulla to make one feel at home.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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Los Jardines
El Ensue?o
Villa Olga
Prados del Este

Kids do not seem to play in the streets like we used to. they are inside withtheir X boxes and Game cubes...or at a club playing or swimming or practicing.

HB
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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Furthermore, there are many "middle class" urbanizaciones where homes will range from RD2.5M to RD5M close to good bilingual schools and just enough bulla to make one feel at home.
That is exactly what I want.

Thanks Hillbilly for the suggestions, I will check them out when I go in April. I will be renting for the first year, thanks to the advice of so many on this site. Do these neighborhoods usually have houses for rent or mainly just for sale? Also, in talking with the Director of the private school in SaJoMa I was shocked to find that shool is only 3 hours per day. The older grades from 9a-12p and the younger kids form 2p-5p. Is this normal in the DR? All of the blingual schools that I visited there in Santiago in Jan were like here, from 8a-3p or something like that. Should I be concerned about these "shortened" hours?
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Also, in talking with the Director of the private school in SaJoMa I was shocked to find that shool is only 3 hours per day. The older grades from 9a-12p and the younger kids form 2p-5p. Is this normal in the DR? All of the blingual schools that I visited there in Santiago in Jan were like here, from 8a-3p or something like that. Should I be concerned about these "shortened" hours?
Are you sure it was a private school? That timetable is typical of a public school, but as you say, the usual school day in private schools - in the big city anyway - is 7:45-2:00 or 2:30. (Only pre-school finishes at 12 or 12:30).
 

Adrian Bye

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Jul 7, 2002
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Looking at your list:
- working class
- the kids are OUTSIDE
- most of the adults are outside
-the homes do not have tin roofs

That to me means the poorer areas of Santiago (there's a lot of them)... Areas like:
- los ciruelitos
- villa olimpica
- corea
- los pepines

Personally I wouldn't live in one of these areas; the recommendations hillbilly gave were much better but don't meet your specifications. You may want to reconsider what you're actually looking for.
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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Looking at your list:
- working class
- the kids are OUTSIDE
- most of the adults are outside
-the homes do not have tin roofs

That to me means the poorer areas of Santiago (there's a lot of them)... Areas like:
- los ciruelitos
- villa olimpica
- corea
- los pepines

Personally I wouldn't live in one of these areas; the recommendations hillbilly gave were much better but don't meet your specifications. You may want to reconsider what you're actually looking for.
I think that you misunderstood what I described. Please read Chip's response or at least the last part of it. That is what I am looking for, in so many words. I am 100% sure that I am not the only person who wants to live in a neighborhood such as that. I live in a subdivision now that I moved into 2 years ago and still only know 1 neighbor personally. And it is not because of lack of effort on my part. I do not want to change my children's lives drastically, but I also do not want to move into a duplicate of my current subdivision. Thank you for your suggestions.
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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Are you sure it was a private school? That timetable is typical of a public school, but as you say, the usual school day in private schools - in the big city anyway - is 7:45-2:00 or 2:30. (Only pre-school finishes at 12 or 12:30).
I called the school again today and they assured me that it was a private school (you have to pay tuition). But again the hours seem odd to me. I think I will stick to Santiago for education, although the daily commute (if I don't find the type of neighborhood that I am looking for in Santiago) is going to get old. But moving to another country, as you all know, is a very stressful undertaking. And after all this, I am definitely going to live where I feel happy.
Someone also told me that one of the teachers there does not teach anymore but does tutoring on the side, I had considered using her to bridge the gap because I do not understand how the grades are equal when one school teaches for only 1/2 of the day.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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I called the school again today and they assured me that it was a private school (you have to pay tuition). But again the hours seem odd to me. I think I will stick to Santiago for education, although the daily commute (if I don't find the type of neighborhood that I am looking for in Santiago) is going to get old. But moving to another country, as you all know, is a very stressful undertaking. And after all this, I am definitely going to live where I feel happy.
Someone also told me that one of the teachers there does not teach anymore but does tutoring on the side, I had considered using her to bridge the gap because I do not understand how the grades are equal when one school teaches for only 1/2 of the day.
I can assure you if you don't find the type of neighborhood you are looking for here in Santiago it is because you haven't looked long enough. You need to have someone carry you around all day to do it. There are some areas you might like near El Leon Jimnez called "Ollo del Caimito", with a good bilingual school close by.
 

prieto

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Feb 29, 2008
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Interview Questions

I'm not sure if this is the correctboard, this is my first post. Can anyone tell me what types of questions to expect in our interview for a K1 visa. Thanks
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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I can assure you if you don't find the type of neighborhood you are looking for here in Santiago it is because you haven't looked long enough. You need to have someone carry you around all day to do it. There are some areas you might like near El Leon Jimnez called "Ollo del Caimito", with a good bilingual school close by.
Thanks, Chip. That is the purpose for my trip in April (besides the medical exams in the Capitol). I am writing down the names of the neighborhoods that everyone is suggesting and will visit each and every one on my trip. I was very rigid at first due to my first experience in Santiago, but I am loosening up now:squareeye Living in Santiago would definitely be more convenient. I will try hard...hopefully I will find my "Sajoma" somewhere in Santiago;)
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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Uh, SKing, that should be Hoyo de Caimito.

There are tons of lower tier bilingual schools. One of my favorites is ABBA, near my house in Los Jardines. Reason? Good Christian school, no nonsense teachers, small classes and affordable. Just around the corner from New Horizons. The gatekeeper still asks about my grandson, a year and a half after he left for the states!! Now that is nice!

HB
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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Thanks Hillbilly. I will try to get their info and call them. I have just had a bad experience with New Horizons, and it's a shame because I really did like that school. Long story short...lack of attention. And if it is that way before my children are even enrolled, I can't imagine how they treat the parents of enrolled children!
 

gurabenogringas

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Mar 3, 2008
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Santiago has a lot of nice little neighborhoods that aren't too "barrio" and aren't so closed off either. I live on the cusp of los Cerritos and Gurabo, right near Los Rieles in an apartment complex - tons of kids, tons of people hanging out and the occasional bachata, merengue... and unfortunately reggaeton.
La Hoya is nice, but the delincuency is high (my husband owns a school there) but Las Damas, right behind La Hoya is a nice area too.
Schools, even private schools, in the dominican are 4 hour days. Most kids go to "sala de tarea" *homework centers* or have other "extra classes" like art, english, french, sports, etc... to fill in the gap. The bilingual schools and some of the more expensive spanish schools are "full day" but I wouldn't recommend bilingual in santiago. as a teacher i can say confidently that there is poor philosophy, a lot of greed and little education going on. Santiago Christian School however is fantastic (if pricey)
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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The bilingual schools and some of the more expensive spanish schools are "full day" but I wouldn't recommend bilingual in santiago. as a teacher i can say confidently that there is poor philosophy, a lot of greed and little education going on. Santiago Christian School however is fantastic (if pricey)
What other schools would you recommend? My ONLY problem with SCS is that there does not seem to be any Spanish teaching done. So it is really not a bilingual school. I did have a tour and have spoken several times with the Admissions Coordinator and loved the school, but that part is what is holding me from immediately enrolling them. My children are American, speak basic Spanish at this point and my goal for them is that when they graduate from high school that they are fully bilingual (read,write, and speak in both languages perfectly). Every Dominican friend that I have says "Don't worry about that!!They are going to learn Spanish just by living there". That is not true... I have several friends that if you text message them and ask them where they are going, they will text you back "Boy al cine"
For that reason I wanted New Horizons but after my trip I tried several times to get in contact again with the Admissions Coordinator. Sent emails, called and left voice mails at least 7 or 8 times in a 3 week span to no avail. Finally, I spoke with someone else on staff and complained. She emailed me that day apologizing for the lack of attention. Since then, I have emailed her and called her again to ask if I can fax over my children's documents and how I could go about sending a check or wiring money to reserve their spaces and have not heard from her yet and I emailed and left a voice message last Tuesday. I give up.
So right now I am looking at other schools, I do not want to pay the price of SCS if there are somewhat equally appropriate schools for what I want.
 
Jan 5, 2006
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Sking, I'm more familiar with Embrujo I; that's the one on the northbound side of the autopista with the entrance at Rafael Vidal Ave. or Piky Lora Ave. It's a very quiet area, although the people are very friendly and outgoing. There's a fairly large group of kids of varying ages, who get together almost every late afternoon for basketball or other games at a small park in the neighborhood. A large group of older adults, including my parents, get together for walks through the neighborhood, prayer groups at different homes, and dominoes at the park on Sundays. Most residents are Dominicans who retired from the US and working professionals.

I would compare it to a nice upper middle class US suburb with a Dominican touch.

The other 2 are located on the opposite side of the autopista and seem a notch down, but still not that bad.

If you want nice, but still a little more action or more sounds of the DR, then Villa Olga would be perfect, as HB suggested.