Sounds like a chaotic banana republic ghetto

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Rachel B

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Dec 30, 2007
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My husband and I are thinking about moving to the DR and settling in the North area (although we don't like heat that much and would prefer the mountains). After reading a number of posts here on DR1, the impression left about living in the country is a pretty horrific one.

Constant and epidemic theft, from common pick pockets to customs agents to government police.

Robberies of persons and households common. Pros and cons of gated communities aside, some even recommend carrying weapons.

People see you as a target and many of them are dishonourable to say the least.

Government is so corrupt you cannot send anything saving in the DR from abroad without overpaying on tax (with no published rates) or having it stolen outright.

Drugs out of control in the cities. Haitians pouring into the country to be exploited for cheap labour (like Mexicans in California years ago) and perhaps to contribute to the overwhelming crime problem.

Can't really trust the police so don't even bother to report crime. Don't pull over for them at night or in rural areas even if they flag you. You could get robbed or shaken down.

The DR is the second poorest country in the Caribbean. People have said that the massive infiltration of drugs within the last 7 years so so has changed the place dramatically.

So, my question is, WHY IS ANYONE STILL LIVING THERE? WHY ARE PEOPLE MOVING HERE?

This is not a rant against the DR, it is not intended to be insulting. I am telling you this is the impression a newcomer once excited about the possibility of retiring to the DR has received, not only from this site but several others as well.

I am not shrinking violet either, both of us were hippies in California back in the day and have seen our share of life.

TELL ME WHY WE SHOULD MOVE TO THE DR? What are the wonderful things about life there?

Thanks - I am looking forward to your replies.

Rachel
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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Dammit, i didn't know it was that bad here. I getting the hell outta here. bye.
Thanks for the heads-up.
AZB
 

Rocky

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My husband and I are thinking about moving to the DR and settling in the North area (although we don't like heat that much and would prefer the mountains). After reading a number of posts here on DR1, the impression left about living in the country is a pretty horrific one.

Constant and epidemic theft, from common pick pockets to customs agents to government police.

Robberies of persons and households common. Pros and cons of gated communities aside, some even recommend carrying weapons.

People see you as a target and many of them are dishonourable to say the least.

Government is so corrupt you cannot send anything saving in the DR from abroad without overpaying on tax (with no published rates) or having it stolen outright.

Drugs out of control in the cities. Haitians pouring into the country to be exploited for cheap labour (like Mexicans in California years ago) and perhaps to contribute to the overwhelming crime problem.

Can't really trust the police so don't even bother to report crime. Don't pull over for them at night or in rural areas even if they flag you. You could get robbed or shaken down.

The DR is the second poorest country in the Caribbean. People have said that the massive infiltration of drugs within the last 7 years so so has changed the place dramatically.

So, my question is, WHY IS ANYONE STILL LIVING THERE? WHY ARE PEOPLE MOVING HERE?

This is not a rant against the DR, it is not intended to be insulting. I am telling you this is the impression a newcomer once excited about the possibility of retiring to the DR has received, not only from this site but several others as well.

I am not shrinking violet either, both of us were hippies in California back in the day and have seen our share of life.

TELL ME WHY WE SHOULD MOVE TO THE DR? What are the wonderful things about life there?

Thanks - I am looking forward to your replies.

Rachel
No way you should move here.
It's all you said and more.
The only reason I'm still here is that I can never seem to save up enough money to buy the air ticket back home.
I'm seriously considering getting onto a yola to Puerto Rico.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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If DR is just like the way it has been described above, then I guess i am going to haiti in a yola. can't be all that bad there.
AZB
 

Tallman1818

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Nov 19, 2007
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My husband and I are thinking about moving to the DR and settling in the North area (although we don't like heat that much and would prefer the mountains). After reading a number of posts here on DR1, the impression left about living in the country is a pretty horrific one.

Constant and epidemic theft, from common pick pockets to customs agents to government police.

Robberies of persons and households common. Pros and cons of gated communities aside, some even recommend carrying weapons.

People see you as a target and many of them are dishonourable to say the least.

Government is so corrupt you cannot send anything saving in the DR from abroad without overpaying on tax (with no published rates) or having it stolen outright.

Drugs out of control in the cities. Haitians pouring into the country to be exploited for cheap labour (like Mexicans in California years ago) and perhaps to contribute to the overwhelming crime problem.

Can't really trust the police so don't even bother to report crime. Don't pull over for them at night or in rural areas even if they flag you. You could get robbed or shaken down.

The DR is the second poorest country in the Caribbean. People have said that the massive infiltration of drugs within the last 7 years so so has changed the place dramatically.

So, my question is, WHY IS ANYONE STILL LIVING THERE? WHY ARE PEOPLE MOVING HERE?

This is not a rant against the DR, it is not intended to be insulting. I am telling you this is the impression a newcomer once excited about the possibility of retiring to the DR has received, not only from this site but several others as well.

I am not shrinking violet either, both of us were hippies in California back in the day and have seen our share of life.

TELL ME WHY WE SHOULD MOVE TO THE DR? What are the wonderful things about life there?

Thanks - I am looking forward to your replies.

Rachel


Boy, it sounds like the south Bronx!!!, in the good old USA.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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I think your best bet would be to peruse the forums, especially the "Living" and "North Coast" ones - give yourself a few weeks at least.

BTW, drugs are not out of control in the cities here as most of the people can't afford to buy them. Rum is the drug of choice here. If you take the time to learn the language, you will learn that the average Dominican is more friendly that his Western counterpart. If you don't learn the language, you will always be seen as an outsider, and thus a monetary target by many of the people here, as there is quite a great deal of misunderstanding and exxageration of the wealth of foreigners. For this reason, many Dominicans die or put their life at risk to go to other countries in search of wealth.

Corruption is very bad here, but if one is not into illegal activities and running with the wrong crowd(like drugs, money laundering, etc.), one will more than likely not have a problem.
 

Rocky

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If DR is just like the way it has been described above, then I guess i am going to haiti in a yola. can't be all that bad there.
AZB
I hear that you can just walk across the border, so no need for the yola.
I also hear that Haiti's economy is on the rise, and that there were fewer kidnappings and murders last week.
Beer is cheap and so are bananas.
Maybe we could travel together and save on transport......
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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Right .. this is not about the South Bronx OK .. it is about the DR.

To the OP .. perhaps you should read a little more in depth. There are many areas as described, but many more that are not. I've travelled the length of the DR up and down by myself and never had a problem. The only problem I had once, was of my own doing in choosing the wrong gringo neighbor.

Yes, petty crime/theft that is rife in all latin american countries is rife in the DR, so, we don't walk about 'dripping jewels'. ;) It is also true and discussed that crime in the DR has changed its nature from the petty crime of opportunity to violent crime. So, one does what what needs to do for protection.

I'd still rather go for a drive/walk in the DR and feel safer, than in many large cities. Don't be a victim, don't flash cash, don't look like a 'rich gringo', look after your personal security of your home and surroundings and be very sure to make friends with good people only. You are who you associate with.

By definition you are rich and most of the other people around you are poor. Don't be a tempting little morsel for the tigres to eat ;).
 

Berzin

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Nov 17, 2004
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To the OP-stay home or do what the rest of Americas' walking dead when they want to retire-move to Florida.
 
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Mr. Lu

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Mar 26, 2007
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I'd say to the original poster come up with a list of the positive things you've read/heard about the DR whether it be on DR1 or otherwise and compare your positives to your negatives. And then before you make the move come down here a few times and interact with expats and real Dominicans before you make a move. Everything has its positives and negatives and remember that some people tend to exaggerate certain things...
 

trabajadora

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Aug 29, 2007
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Dammit, i didn't know it was that bad here. I getting the hell outta here. bye.
Thanks for the heads-up.
AZB

AZB you just made my day! I was sitting here reading the OP's post while brushing my pearly whites; then I went down and read your first answer, totally not expecting the above. That was funny as "heck" and could not contain myself; I was totally out of control. I just burst out laughing! Now I gotta go clean all the toothpaste off my monitor! (lmao) Yikes.... where's the front door!!!! Lemme outta here!!!!
 

49erman

On Vacation!
Sep 3, 2006
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moreorless dead on

Except for the part of the drugs- in fact the drug problem here is not as bad as some places in the states. I live here, and leave in May permanently, but I have no idea why anyone would by choice come here to live when you add up all the unneeded stresses and frustrations. Costa Rica or Panama are much better options. It isn't so much of the problems you mention, just the overall lack of progress you see here. Just my 2 bits.
 

PICHARDO

One Dominican at a time, please!
May 15, 2003
12,349
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My husband and I are thinking about moving to the DR and settling in the North area (although we don't like heat that much and would prefer the mountains). After reading a number of posts here on DR1, the impression left about living in the country is a pretty horrific one.

Constant and epidemic theft, from common pick pockets to customs agents to government police.

Robberies of persons and households common. Pros and cons of gated communities aside, some even recommend carrying weapons.

People see you as a target and many of them are dishonourable to say the least.

Government is so corrupt you cannot send anything saving in the DR from abroad without overpaying on tax (with no published rates) or having it stolen outright.

Drugs out of control in the cities. Haitians pouring into the country to be exploited for cheap labour (like Mexicans in California years ago) and perhaps to contribute to the overwhelming crime problem.

Can't really trust the police so don't even bother to report crime. Don't pull over for them at night or in rural areas even if they flag you. You could get robbed or shaken down.

The DR is the second poorest country in the Caribbean. People have said that the massive infiltration of drugs within the last 7 years so so has changed the place dramatically.

So, my question is, WHY IS ANYONE STILL LIVING THERE? WHY ARE PEOPLE MOVING HERE?

This is not a rant against the DR, it is not intended to be insulting. I am telling you this is the impression a newcomer once excited about the possibility of retiring to the DR has received, not only from this site but several others as well.

I am not shrinking violet either, both of us were hippies in California back in the day and have seen our share of life.

TELL ME WHY WE SHOULD MOVE TO THE DR? What are the wonderful things about life there?

Thanks - I am looking forward to your replies.

Rachel


Let me be honest and tell you (me being a 100% Dominican) that each and every point atop made by you carries some weight to it...

Yet, for all the bad things you pointed out, the good ones obliterate them by a large %...

The DR is a country of contrasts, rich and poor, modern and arcane, beautiful and ugly... You just have to pick one you'll feel at home with.

I have never been the victim of a crime in the DR, lucky you may say, cautious I respite. Just as any country in the world, crime lives and thrives well in some areas but does poorly in others. Take your country as an example!
I'm a 100% sure that you know of places where not to go, even on daylight...
While would you pose such a risk and to what gain?

The DR is not a poor country, but a country where the contrasts between haves and have nots is immense and ridiculous compared to the social-economic compositions of many cultures/countries.

Is like seeing a Hatteras on the dock and some 1/4 km out a dirt road with huts that house 2 and sometimes 3 generations of the same family.

You can say many things about the DR, but you also must understand that your "understanding" of how a country should look like, ends as soon as you disembark from your airplane in Dominican soil.

Why choose the DR to live at? You fell in love with the nice beaches/green mountains/fertile valleys... But you must also know that just like in your country, it also owns a bad reputation in some places as well.

For you electing to move here, it would mean a balance act of the pros and cons that represent such venture. After all, it took you a lifetime to understand and accept your country's shortcomings along all the goods it offers. Why would you think that the DR will be any different or faster to learn?

So then your question should be more "why will you love to move to the DR" than "Why others did" in retrospect to all the bad points you list...
 

M.A.R.

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Feb 18, 2006
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Boy, it sounds like the south Bronx!!!, in the good old USA.

what? the South Bronx is great right now, you probably thinking about the decades of 70's and 80's. lol

come on Rocky there is some truth in what she's written. I even think twice about going for vacations but when I get there I forget all about it and I spend 2 weeks under the influence of presidentes, heheheh.
 

Rocky

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I'd say to the original poster come up with a list of the positive things you've read/heard about the DR whether it be on DR1 or otherwise and compare your positives to your negatives. And then before you make the move come down here a few times and interact with expats and real Dominicans before you make a move. Everything has its positives and negatives and remember that some people tend to exaggerate certain things...
What you say is not only true, but excellent advice, but it does not apply to the OP.
The OP is predisposed.
Nothing can wipe that attitude out of his/her mind.
The first time something goes wrong, the OP will be blaming in on the DR and cursing the day that he/she made the decision to move here.
In sales, we used to call it consumer confidence.
If a client wanted to buy an RCA TV and you switched him to a Sony and it happened to break down one day, even 15 years later, he'll be thinking that he should have bought the RCA, yet if he does buy the RCA and it breaks down several times, he will blame it on bad luck.
The same theory applies to the OP.
This is the type of person who, if he/she ever does move here, hangs out at happy hour every day in some bar, complaining about everything that is wrong with the DR, and how all the Dominicans are stupid, and thieves, etc.
These are the type of people who give other decent expats a bad name.

The Doc is out.
Stay tuned for another session later.
 

Kat1144

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Nov 23, 2007
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Well stated Pichardo. Thanks for your input. I have to agree with the OP .. it is a bit scary when all you read is negative. It's all about adapting to a different country. It all has its pro & cons.
 

Rocky

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come on Rocky there is some truth in what she's written. .
It's totally true and more.
He/she should not come here.
Might even get murdered the first day he/she gets here.
I mean, c'mon.
It's a revolution out there.
I haven't even left my property in 3 years.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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good thing the dominicans don't know what you expats experts know about their country.
All the stress and frustrations???
I agree, I was so stressed out as i couldn't make up my mind for the new year: sosua or capital?? Now we have a series of long weekends coming up, I would again have to go through the torture of deciding whether going to the beach or spend it in jarabacoa in my friend's luxury home or capital with my buddies. Choices choices and I am going nuts.
AZB
 

Rocky

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Well stated Pichardo. Thanks for your input. I have to agree with the OP .. it is a bit scary when all you read is negative. It's all about adapting to a different country. It all has its pro & cons.
You just hit the nail on the head.
And the reason that so much stuff you read is so negative, is because so many people write negative things.
How interesting would it be for me to start a post like this?
Had a good day today.
Met a nice chica and 20 people smiled at me.
But this one will draw more attention.
Two crazy drugged out Dominicans raped my billy goat lastnight.
It's a public forum, and that's the nature of the beast.
 
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