Healthcare in Puerto Rico

Helpful health tips and information for both visitors and new residents living in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is a US Territory, and it seems more like a foreign country when it comes to healthcare. Here is everything about medical care, prescriptions, and laboratory tests that I wish I had known when we moved to Puerto Rico. Here are some helpful health tips and information for both visitors and new residents living in Puerto Rico.

Healthcare for Visitors

The first time that my parents visited Puerto Rico, my Father ran out of his prescription insulin. His prescription and corresponding refill was through Walmart and we assumed that not only would Walmart US and Walmart Puerto Rico be the same, that also the US Medicare healthcare program would be the same. We never did get consistent information, but long story short, the insurance would not cover his prescribed insulin but did offer a lower dose insulin (without prescription) for less than the regular co-pay. The crisis was diverted and now my Father always verifies his insulin and all medication before coming to visit Puerto Rico.

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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!

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Living in Puerto Rico 3 month check

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.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”

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”