What is the best part of living in the DR ?

Ken

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Originally posted by Chris We live in a community about 5 minutes out of Cabarete. A farm was subdivided and there are three properties out here plus the farm that is still being actively farmed. Two properties are owned by Gringos and one is owned by Dominicans. There has not been a problem here in 8 years. Our landlady lived here alone for most of the eight years. We all know all the neighbors and if there is anything wrong anywhere in our vicinity, all the neighbors (Dominican and Gringo) talk together and decide what to do.

I believe it is more an issue of finding the right community for you, and this may not necessarily be one with walls and security. The property next to us is only sporadically inhabited and the watchman over there keeps an eye on everyone. Know your neighbors and know the people in your neigborhood. This is excellent security.

This is a poor country and theft happens frequently. Murders I believe don't happen so frequently. On a philisophical level, I cannot understand how can we say that there are great people in the DR and then lock ourselves into gated communities so that we have nothing to do with the great people? There are safe communities and safe places to stay.

A couple of comments, mostly positive, about Chris' post:

1. I agree it is not essential to live in a gated community, as Chris is demonstrating. But for most foreigners coming here looking for their first house, unfamiliar with the language and the general area, I believe a gated community with 24-hour security and a generator to supply electricity when the government power is turned off is the best place to locate as it will make the transition much easier and less stressful.

2. Both Chris and soon_free offer excellent insight into what contributes to a good life in a home that is not part of a development. For example, employ someone known locally and give this person responsibility and something important to do. If this person is respected locally and lets it be known that nothing is to happen at the house of his employer, then chances are excellent nothing will. I had some experience with this in Samana, when for 12 years I employed a respected person from the area to watch the 2 acres I owned and keep squatters and farm animals off the property. Because this man was looked up to in the area, I never had one problem. Had I built on the land rather than sell it, I would have continued to employ him.

3. Or locate, as Chris has, in an area where the residents are community minded, feel responsible for each other, and keep their eyes open for anything out of place. Then become part of that community group so that they freel as responsible for you as they do any other member of the community.

4. The one thing in Chris' post that I do take very serious objection to is that those who locate in a gated community are "locked in" and "have nothing to do with the great people". Chris, I can't believe you really mean that. Living in one neighborhood rather than another does not, repeat does not mean that you have divorced yourself from the people of the Dominican Republic. While it may be easier to live a life almost completely separated from the Dominican people in a community like Sea Horse Ranch, the fact that you live in what is called a gated community does not in an of itself isoloate the residents from daily interaction with local residents. While it is true you may be awakened less often by roosters crowing at 5am or find it difficult to fall asleep at night because of loud music from the neighbor's house, you are by no means cut off from the people unless you elect to cut yourself off.
 
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Bill Parker

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Keri,

I too am "from" Iowa. I understand your desire to try or to live elsewhere.

You have now received a lot of great insight to your question. I'd recommend you follow your plan to next go and visit. Travel around and just enjoy live at a different speed. Don't put a time limit on yourself, there are many different areas to experience.

I've talked to several ex-Peace Corps people who's lives were changed more by their time in the DR than the people's lives were changed by their being there. What you find will depend on you.

I hope you let everyone know what you experience on your travels.

- Bill
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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quoted from Ken's post
Living in one neighborhood rather than another does not, repeat does not mean that you have divorced yourself from the people of the Dominican Republic.

You are absolutely right Ken. It depends on the kind of person you are. And we do have to physically turn on the generator when we have a power interruption. There is no 'community management' that does this kind of stuff for you.

When we first decided to live in the Dominican Republic, one of the best pieces of advice that I got from this board, was to rent first and not to buy immediately. When we started looking for rental property that we could buy in future, the realtors generally were amazed when we asked specifically for property not in a gated community. Every realtor tried to use the 'fear-factor' to try and put us into a gated community. It was something like "Gringo's belong in gated communities!". So, I guess I'm quite passionate about people using fear to convince others that this place is dangerous. It is no more and no less dangerous than other places. Everywhere one goes, one has to be security and safety minded. It is the same here in the DR. In the US and Canada, people are concerned about the safety of neighborhood they live in. The same goes for the DR.

I'll repeat the good advice that I got from this board - rent first for at least 6 months or a year, get knowledgable about your environment and only then figure out where you want to be.
 

Ken

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I agree with you about not using fear as a sales tactic. It is as bad as the resorts that use fear to keep guests from venturing outside the complex. I have a good friend who is a realator in the Sosua/Cabarete area, someone whom I trust and recommend, and I know he has properties both in and out of "gated" communities. I would imagine that he, like I would, first shows property hunters relatively new to the DR and who don't speak Spanish what is available in a gated community, but if someone indicates they would prefer to be outside a gated community he is happy to show them what is available there.

I hope your comment about having to physically turn on the generator rather than having management turn it on was not meant to be sarcasm.
 

Chris

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No Ken, no sarcasm whatsoever - my apology if it sounded that way. English is a third language for me and my written language constructs sometimes come out 'strange'.

Just trying to illustrate, and agreeing with you, that living 'outside' has a different set of problems that one has to deal with. These types of things would usually be taken care of by the community management as part of the service I believe.
 

mainer

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Mar 22, 2002
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Chris,
Our rental house is in a gated community, but each house is responsible for its own security and secondary power source. I live in a development of four houses, so we do have someone employed to do all of the maintenance. However, we have looked at several houses within the gated community that have no secondary power source. You would need to buy your own inverter or generator, or just deal without the power. The gate is oftentimes unmanned and dominicans live within the community as well as foreigners. I would say that the community is equal to a US subdivision.

Some of the communites are completely enclosed and gated, but most are not.

Mainer
 

Chris

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Mainer,

Do you have advantages where you live that you would not have living outside a gated community in a relatively 'safe' area?

Your community does sound more like a sub-division instead of what I understand a gated community to be - By gated community, I mean something like Seahorse Ranches (here where we are, most folks would recognise Seahorse Ranches or Haciendas El Choco as gated communities).
 

Chris

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Oops! I got so involved in the 'gated community' discussion that I forgot to answer the original question.

1. The best part of living in the DR for me, is quite clearly, the people. I've lived in many places and this is a very easy place to integrate into the local community. This is not so easy on other islands.
2. Also, fresh 'real' vegetables and fresh fruit.
3. Also, a sense of freedom and fun.
4. Cabarete is just my favorite town - even though it has lots of tourists. An hour down at Cabarete beach and I'm refreshed and rested!
5. Just 10 minutes away from where we live, is the most beautiful beach - no-one goes there excepting a few friendly locals.
6. It is possible for us to carry on with our two businesses from here. Problematic sometimes yes, but possible to remain economically active.
7. It is close to the US if I have shopping withdrawal.
8. But, I can get just about anything I want here - excluding all English books, music cd's and marmite. The books and cd's are possible if I pay a bit extra. The marmite is a real problem!

This has become home in a very short time after living in four other countries. I'm not leaving! Brugal and Presidente!
 

JOHNNY HONDA

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Sep 25, 2002
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Mr Thate should move somewhere else,if I have to choose between Dominicans and Gringos the Dominicans win hands down,sounds to me like hes another one of these people who dont like their own country,or cant go back so they want this country to be what they want,Ive been here 18 years and yes there are some problems his story about the burglar all I can say is his friend either didnt know the rules or acted like a hauty gringo who thinks hes better tha Dominicans,as for car accidents I ve been in one and the Dominican involved had ten moto conchos on his side I left the Police station in one hour driving my vehicle the Dominicans vehicle stayed impounded 2 weeks,all gringos are not created equal,its the Dominican Republic not the gringo republic if you cant stand Dominicans thete are several flights leaving daily,have a great trip
Johnny Honda real tired of people who blame Dominicans because they themselves havent got the guts or inteligence or even the common courtesy to accept that they are guests not owners of the Dominican People[

QUOTE]Originally posted by Paul Thate
thats rather easy
ofcourse the climate.
then the beautiful island.
the fantastic sights all over.
The lifestyle.
the following is probably not going over well.
Its not the people.
While ofcourse there are many great dominicans.
Dominicans are not the reason why its great living here.
Gringos have no rights here.
Have an accident here which is not your fault.
Your problems will be endless.
Have a dispute with an employee that
made false statements to the secretariat
Your problems will be endless.
A dominican lawyer stole a house from a friend of mine .
No lawyer wanted to take this case as it was political.
This case is well known here
Talk to your own lawyer for details,
Only due to much power did he get an meeting with the supreme court who appointed a lawyer. Its stll ongoing.
Not many of us have this power.
So if a lawyer and a judge decide they like your house its gone.
You have no rights. It has happened for real.
You shoot and kill a armed burglar in your house ..
5 days in jail and 150 000 pesos in bribes later the case still goes on , even with a letter of thank you from Candiliero ( spelling?as it was a wanted killer that was killed.)
This also hapened to a friend of mine.
Real cases. Real scary..
Renew your papers you have to pay bribes to get it done.
In general the dominican people do not make it easy to live here.
So i would say
Inspite of the dominican people its great living here.
[/QUOTE]
 

Timex

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1st warning, Fight NICE or else!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing bad yet, but Please do not let this get out of hand.

:cool:

Thanks
Tim H.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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what I love best

(I adapted this from a previous post on my loves and hates)

Dominican attitude to kids - when the sight of my two-year-old reduces sane men and women to jibbering idiots

Kids' attitude - the children I know here are much nicer than my friends' kids back home

The treatment I got when I was pregnant - no need to queue (stand in line in American English) at the bank!

Saman? beaches - need I say more?

Non-smoking culture - even as a 'social smoker' I appreciate the fact that most public spaces are smoke-free.

Not needing to be stick-thin to be treated like a normal attractive woman (and before you men all start - I'm not fat, just not stick-thin)

Can be 'blonde' without spending a centavo in the salon!

Sunny warm winters

Cerveza bien fria

Tropical fruit for breakfast

Old-fashioned courtesy (although it magically disappears when behind steering wheel)

The colours people paint their houses, especially blackberry-yogurt pink

Bizarre slogans on guaguas

Amapolas in bloom

The coffee

Unconditional hospitality, especially in the pueblos and campos

Servicio a domicilio

Dancing

The richness of the language

Male and female beauty, of all colours and shapes

Music

Last but not least - DR1
 

Paul Thate

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Jan 11, 2002
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I do not understand Johnies post at all.
Why do I have to move because of some of his personal likes or dislikes.??
I only met him once.Not enough for him to suggest I move.
Luckely we do not move in the same social circles.
Neither do i like his personal attack suggesting I am not allowed to live in my country of choice.
I agree with timex 's warning.. I think he overstepped
boundries .
There was nothing wrong with my previous post . No attack.
I like living here because of the climat , great diversity of
the sights.Very inexpensive.
and a great divers internatinal community.
The same day you can have discussions in french. english
german and italian.
The food is incredable.
 

Timex

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May 9, 2002
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Last Warning!!!!!!

No personal attacks allowed!!!:angry:
On the next one, I will move the POST to the
General Stuff forum

Thanks
Tim H.
 

Cleef

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Feb 24, 2002
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Chirimoya

Wow!

Well done!

The only thing I'll add is that you can see all of these "parts" on a daily basis - perhaps weeks on end if you're real good.
 

trishdeyar

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Thanks!

For this post! I enjoy reading why people who chose to relocate to DR did so. I would love to see a forum of your stories. What you did before you came here, why you came here and how life has changed since you got here!
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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here we go again....

Look you will hear those on here describe this as paridise and I can only guess at what they are trying to accomplish...but the truth is in what you hear from the skeptics...

The people here like you for one thing and one thing only...what they can get from you. If they can screw you out of money, etc...they will do it without batting an eye. They are habitual liars and tend to say what you want to hear. They will change their information 180 if you don't like what you hear.

Even people I figured to be good honest people turn out to be the same as all the others.

You have to be damn street smart here and always on your toes. This is a simple example...take a taxi and don't ask the price up front...they will overcharge you. Rent an apartment/house and don't ask every question in the book up front and they will constantly add more and more to the cost of your rental. Never let anyone borrow money...you will never see it again. If you try to help someone here...they don't say thank you because the truth is they are not grateful. They just want to take.

You don't live here for the people...the heat is terrible...it is expensive...sometimes to the point of being just stupid...the electricity problem here will never get better because the stand alone electric device industry wont allow it. You have to buy one eventually.

You can't trust attorneys here...well...you cant trust them anywhere.

I could go on and on....but you get the idea. But once you learn how to deal with these people...your life becomes a lot easier. There are many other countries to live in where the people are wonderful.
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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Snuffy - This may sound like a stupid question, but why do you live here?

Your post is just one big generalization, how very sad...
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Re: here we go again....

Snuffy said:
.....but the truth is in what you hear from the skeptics...

The people here like you for one thing and one thing only...what they can get from you.... They are habitual liars and tend to say what you want to hear. ...
Even people I figured to be good honest people turn out to be the same as all the others.

You have to be damn street smart here and always on your toes.... Never let anyone borrow money...you will never see it again....If you try to help someone here...they don't say thank you because the truth is they are not grateful....You don't live here for the people...the heat is terrible...it is expensive...sometimes to the point of being just stupid...the electricity problem here will never get better because the stand alone electric device industry wont allow it....You can't trust attorneys here...well...you cant trust them anywhere.

I could go on and on....but you get the idea. But once you learn how to deal with these people...your life becomes a lot easier. There are many other countries to live in where the people are wonderful.

I've been living in the DR for 17 years. If all the terrible things had happened to me that have apparently happened to Snuffy, I would be a basket case by now.

No, life here isn't perfect. And you do have to be aware of the differences in the DR culture from that you are accustomed to. Hiring a competent attorney you can trust is not as simple as picking a name from the phone book, but there are attornies you can trust. Fabio Guzman who answers questions in the Legal section is one of them. And sure you must keep in mind that nobody will protect your interests other than your self, so get the price before you ride and take the other steps necessary to protect yourself. But this isn't specific to the DR. "Let the buyer beware" is good advice everywhere.

The good thing is that unless you are in prison you can leave. And if I were as sure as Snuffy there are much better places than the DR, I would have left long ago.