Tag Archives: moving to Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irma Impact in Puerto Rico

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.

Hurricane Irma eye over BVI
Hurricane Irma eye over BVI

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

How Growing up in Phoenix Prepared Me for Living 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.  GrowingupPHX

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!

Continue reading How Growing up in Phoenix Prepared Me for Living in Puerto Rico

Living in Puerto Rico 3 month check

After extensive Preparation (read about it here), we are Loving Living in Puerto Rico!  Here is a recap, as we pass the three month milestone in PR.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 expense to purchase more furniture.

Exactly one week after arrival on the Island, we moved into our new home!  Our realtor states over and over that this is not typical.  You never know what properties will be available.  I pushed everyone to get our house quickly, two weeks would have made the process easier.

We took a quick trip back to Phoenix to pack and ship more stuff, and to bring our dog to the Island.  He is now a 2 month resident and loving his new home!  Our house has plenty of grass in his fenced dog run and back yard (pet friendly and grass yard were housing requirements).

Utilities; Water, Electric, and Internet all fully functional in the house! Switching water and electric was pretty easy, and both complete within a couple days of move-in.  The internet company had to come out to trench our yard and run new cable, since our house had never had internet before.  It took a whopping five days for Internet to be up and running (including time to trench and lay new cable).

Furniture Purchase; This is why I say our house was almost perfect, it had a guest bed, dining table and chairs. We had the extra expense of buying furniture for our rental house.  Not something we specifically budgeted for, but we knew it was a risk and prepared – just in case.  We purchased furniture for the Master bed room, two offices, patio set, and living room.  Our house it still not fully furnished, but we can add more stuff gradually.

Continue reading Living in Puerto Rico 3 month check

Ponce Food Truck Fest Monthly Event

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!

Food Truck Festival Children's area
Food Truck Festival Children’s area

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. FTF_Busy Trucks

Food trucks from all over the Island come down to Ponce for this monthly Festival. There is traditional Puerto Rican food and drinks, pizza, burgers, fusion, noodles, and more!  We ordered small plates from several vendors, each dish was delicious!  Two adults (us) spent $21 total on food!   Continue reading Ponce Food Truck Fest Monthly Event

Living in Puerto Rico; Preparation for the Big Move

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!

First sunset in Puerto Rico
First sunset in Puerto Rico

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. Google Map Caribbean PR

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