By now, most people know that Hurricane Irma is a Category 5 Hurricane and the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Geography buffs also know that the Caribbean Sea and Caribbean Islands are considered part of the Atlantic Ocean. We live in Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean, in the Atlantic Ocean, where this monster hurricane passed through leaving massive devastation in her wake.
Here is the real impact of Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico.
We are lucky. Puerto Rico is lucky. Hurricane Irma passed to the north of our island, slapping our little island of Culebra along the way. Electricity went out throughout the island hours before Irma passed by. Many areas of the island were without water for days, and more are still without electricity (5 days and counting). But our buildings are still standing, and we are alive. We are lucky. Continue reading Hurricane Irma Impact in Puerto Rico→
We recently moved to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I was a little nervous about the culture shock of leaving our hot, dry desert city and adjusting to small town, island life. It sounds weird, but it turns out growing up in Phoenix has actually prepared me for living in Puerto Rico.
Here are 10 ways growing up in Phoenix, Arizona prepared me for living in Puerto Rico:
Close connection to foreign countries.
It is faster to drive to Mexico from Phoenix than any state in the US, Mexico is Arizona’s neighbor to the South. Likewise, Puerto Rico’s closest neighbors are definitely not the US mainland (Hello Dominican Republic and British Virgin Islands)
Everyone is (a little) Bilingual
Anyone who grew up in Arizona speaks at least a little Spanish. I even attended a bilingual elementary school for English as Second Language (ESL program). Everyone speaks a little English in Puerto Rico. Many people are fully bilingual in both Arizona and Puerto Rico. Admittedly, Arizona Spanglish is a different dialect that the Puerto Rican Spanish, but it is a good foundation to build upon. Plus I was always really good at charades, so I can act out many difficult phrases.
There are more Snowbirds than Local Residents half the year
Winters in Phoenix are overrun by people from the Mid-west desperately trying to escape the cold and warm up. Since arriving in January, we have seen the population dwindle as the snowbirds leave the island for summer. I just cannot escape snowbirds!
After extensive preparation to move to Puerto Rico (read about it here), we are LOVING the island life!
Here is a recap, as we pass the three-month milestone of living in Puerto Rico.
Long Term Rental on a House
Working with the realtor before arrival really paid off! The first house we looked at was everything we wanted, in our price range, and it was almost perfect! We viewed several other properties and decided to make an offer on the first house. We provided current credit scores and reports with our application. Security deposit, plus first month and last month rent were paid with a local check (opening PR checking accounts were part of our six month preparation steps). Our house was partially furnished, so we could move in right away, but there would be extra expenses to purchase more furniture. Continue reading Living in Puerto Rico 3 month check→
Are you traveling to Puerto Rico? Thinking about it? Do you like food? Do you like Free Entertainment? If you answered YES to at least one (of course you did), then I have an event for you!
Every month the city of Ponce, on the Southern coast of Puerto Rico, host a huge Food Truck Festival! There are musicians, performers, and entertainment, children’s play area, great people watching, and FOOD!
The event is held in a local park (Parque Dora Colon Clavell) in the heart of Ponce, just off of the the 52 highway. The streets directly around the park are closed to vehicle traffic, and cars are directed to nearby parking, then just follow the music to the event. It is well organized and safe.
We are coming up on Living in Puerto Rico for three months (that story will come next), here is all the preparation that we needed to get here!
Three years before our move, we stepped foot on Puerto Rico for the first time. While enjoying delicious local cuisine for dinner, we casually asked our waiter about living in Puerto Rico. He talked to us about cost of living, economy, politics (it was around the vote for PR to become a state, which did not pass), hiking, and he showed us family photos of waterfalls and beaches around the Island. I had never given Puerto Rico any thought, I could barely find it on a map, and I knew nothing about the island. After our far-too-quick visit, PR was stuck in my head.
One year before our move, we researched tax implications, tax incentives, Puerto Rico economy (it is not good) and what jobs are available. We discovered that there are great incentives to move a business to PR and hire employees. Finding a job on the island is difficult and lower pay than comparable US Mainland jobs. The only way we could move to PR, was to bring our jobs with us. Continue reading Living in Puerto Rico; Preparation for the Big Move→
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