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Old 08-10-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingcali View Post
What are your suggestions? Many thanks!!
Definitely try PR. The food is great, people are very friendly, same currency and no problems finding English speakers. You'll have Spanish colonial architecture and history (Old San Juan), a flourescent bay, tropical rainforest, Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean sea beaches, nightlife (great music and dancing), casinos, shopping, museums, caves, water sports, etc. Really there is so much to see and do no matter what you enjoy. You can travel the island easily (it's only 100 by 35 miles). Also, December is a good time to go because it won't be too hot and humid. Enjoy your birthday!

 
Old 09-02-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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"no problems finding English speakers" - Is this your experience as a tourist visiting primarily tourist locations or as a resident there? I ask because the demographic info for PR on wikipedia says that only 1/4 of the population speaks English.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Gulfport, MS
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I just bought tickets for myself, my mother, and my brother to PR for December 3-7. We've been wanting to go for a long time and we finally decided to just do it! Does anyone know of any cheap little hotels in San Juan? I don't care much about comfort, I just need a place to stash our stuff while we go exploring. What's the best way to see the rainforest? Are there buses that will take you there? Can anyone recommend the best clubs for young folks (20s-30s) to go dancing?
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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I'm from PR but live in TX now. I've stayed at El Canario Inn, very simple and affordable. It's in the Condado area, which is on the beach and there's a lot of restaurants around. I'll include links at the end including links for tourism info. For nightlife I recommend Old San Juan, it's great to go bar-hopping and there's a couple of clubs there too. I would stop at a mayor hotel in Condado and ask the concierge about the trendiest spot at the time. I think the best way to visit El Yunque is by renting a car. It's about a 45 min. drive from San Juan and it's easy to find. There's a visitor's center and a couple of waterfalls to visit. Don't miss La Mina waterfall. It's a hike to get to it but it's worth it and you can swim in it. After visiting El Yunque, I suggest you go to Luquillo Beach. It's just east of El Yunque and it's beautiful. Right outside the beach there's a bunch of kiosks selling fried pies or turnovers filled with seafood. Yes it's fattening but it's good!! Keep the car for a few days because you have to go to Culebra. It's an hour away from Fajardo (east coast) by ferry and it has the most beautiful beach in Puerto Rico. The underground caves in Camuy and the fluorescent bay in La Parguera are also a most. Feel free to ask any other questions.

El Canario Inn - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Vacations | Puerto Rico Tourism Company | Puerto Rico Tourism & Travel
Puerto Rico Guest™ - A Travel and Sports, Inc. MasterGuide
Enjoy Puerto Rico (http://www.enjoypuertorico.com/naturalattributes.shtml - broken link)
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythspell View Post
"no problems finding English speakers" - Is this your experience as a tourist visiting primarily tourist locations or as a resident there? I ask because the demographic info for PR on wikipedia says that only 1/4 of the population speaks English.
I base my comment on living there for 9 years. While there are definitely more bilingual (Spanish/English) speakers in the tourist areas, you can find English speakers just about anywhere because many people live in the U.S. mainland for a while and later return to PR. I visit almost every year with my husband (who is not a Spanish speaker) and he manages fine in English even when I'm not with him.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlv311 View Post
I base my comment on living there for 9 years. While there are definitely more bilingual (Spanish/English) speakers in the tourist areas, you can find English speakers just about anywhere because many people live in the U.S. mainland for a while and later return to PR. I visit almost every year with my husband (who is not a Spanish speaker) and he manages fine in English even when I'm not with him.
I was born and raised in PR. It is sad to say that even though english is taught in schools as a requirement, they don't really learn it and are also scared to speak it. I also happen to be an international flight attendant for a major carrier that flies to PR and when I ask them "Do you want something to drink?' they look at me and frown saying "I don't speak english". However, I know that after a few attempts you will find someone who will speak english to you.
 
Old 09-04-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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mlv311 & purtex,

Thanks for your replies. To both of you, if someone relocated to an inland area up in the mountains - such as Utuado/Arecibo - do you think they could get by in English during the first year until they had a chance to learn some Spanish? For example, typical stuff such as getting signed up for electricity/water/telephone/driver's license/etc. and common activities such as grocery shopping/post office/etc. I have no doubt this would not be an issue in San Juan or tourist areas along the coast but obviously I'm less sure about the area above. Also, do either of you have any experience in that area to know how receptive they are to mainlanders moving there? I only ask because I've read, for example, that in Hawaii there is a certain amount of hatred/discrimination by the native Hawaiians towards mainlanders who move there. Since Puerto Rico is also an island separated from the U.S. mainland by both distance and culture, I wanted to get a sense of whether there was anything like that there as well - especially after Purtex's comment that they are scared to speak English, which gives the impression that there is some discrimination or hatred against english-speakers.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer into what things might be like if relocating to the Utuado/Arecibo area.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythspell View Post
mlv311 & purtex,

Thanks for your replies. To both of you, if someone relocated to an inland area up in the mountains - such as Utuado/Arecibo - do you think they could get by in English during the first year until they had a chance to learn some Spanish? For example, typical stuff such as getting signed up for electricity/water/telephone/driver's license/etc. and common activities such as grocery shopping/post office/etc. I have no doubt this would not be an issue in San Juan or tourist areas along the coast but obviously I'm less sure about the area above. Also, do either of you have any experience in that area to know how receptive they are to mainlanders moving there? I only ask because I've read, for example, that in Hawaii there is a certain amount of hatred/discrimination by the native Hawaiians towards mainlanders who move there. Since Puerto Rico is also an island separated from the U.S. mainland by both distance and culture, I wanted to get a sense of whether there was anything like that there as well - especially after Purtex's comment that they are scared to speak English, which gives the impression that there is some discrimination or hatred against english-speakers. Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer into what things might be like if relocating to the Utuado/Arecibo area.
Mythspell: My family resides in Arecibo and I spent a good part of my childhood there. I don't think you'll have problems finding English speakers when trying to get utility services and your driver's license. The main challenges you may face are if you shop at local mom & pop type of stores versus chain stores. When my husband has traveled with me, he has gone to local hardware stores and sometimes there is no one who can speak enough English to get him the parts he is looking for. But if he goes to Walmart, for example, there are plenty of English speakers.

As far as discrimination, I don't think you'll face any challenges. Puerto Ricans are very warm and friendly. I have known many English speakers who move to the area (Arecibo, Manati) to work for pharmaceutical and environmental companies. You'll meet other similarly situated. Puerto Ricans are always helpful when you ask for directions or need help. Even if they have to draw you a map or sign the directions, they will.

The only thing I'll warn you about is the aggressive drivers. It's like driving in any Latin American country so be prepared. And you do need a car to get around because the jitneys (shared taxis) have limited hours and places where they'll go. Best wishes with your relocation plans.
 
Old 09-12-2007, 12:41 PM
 
491 posts, read 316,152 times
Reputation: 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythspell View Post
mlv311 & purtex,

Thanks for your replies. To both of you, if someone relocated to an inland area up in the mountains - such as Utuado/Arecibo - do you think they could get by in English during the first year until they had a chance to learn some Spanish? For example, typical stuff such as getting signed up for electricity/water/telephone/driver's license/etc. and common activities such as grocery shopping/post office/etc. I have no doubt this would not be an issue in San Juan or tourist areas along the coast but obviously I'm less sure about the area above. Also, do either of you have any experience in that area to know how receptive they are to mainlanders moving there? I only ask because I've read, for example, that in Hawaii there is a certain amount of hatred/discrimination by the native Hawaiians towards mainlanders who move there. Since Puerto Rico is also an island separated from the U.S. mainland by both distance and culture, I wanted to get a sense of whether there was anything like that there as well - especially after Purtex's comment that they are scared to speak English, which gives the impression that there is some discrimination or hatred against english-speakers.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer into what things might be like if relocating to the Utuado/Arecibo area.
No, when I said they are scared I meant they are scared. They don't feel comfortable speaking english and don't want to make mistakes. It's not any kind of hatred or discrimination. I travel a lot for work and I witness a lot of americans demanding the locals to speak english to them. That's when people loose it with americans and give them attitude. If you approach with humility and attempt to speak spanish they will be receptive and help you out. If I were to move back to PR I would move to the mountains. People there are more "relaxed". You shouldn't have any problem communicating with them. The first year you could go to big stores in town to practice your spanish and slowly graduate to the smaller family owned stores up in the mountains. I have a lot of relatives in the Arecibo-Hatillo-Camuy area and I love it there......
 
Old 09-13-2007, 07:33 AM
 
59 posts, read 344,134 times
Reputation: 55
mlv311 & purtex,

Thanks again for your replies and information. I really appreciate it. Your responses were definitely what I was hoping to read. The only reason I had any concern is because of a short thread I had seen on another forum (it was from 2005) where someone else was asking about relocation to Puerto Rico and got a reply back from a resident of Puerto Rico part of which said "The basic Puerto Rico local is a nice person, helpful and appreciative, yet there is a lot of anti-american feeling coming to the surface more and more."

Obviously it's never a good idea to rely on just one random posting found on the internet - that's why I wanted to get input from others. So, thanks again. And if anyone else reads this and wants to add their comments, please do - especially if you have any ideas/suggestions/etc about relocating to the mountain/lake region. I think the biggest problem will be if we can manage to move there before retirement. To do that would require my wife to be able to find a job - the good news is that she already knows some Spanish but the bad news is there are hardly any jobs in her field (IT - Information Technology) within reasonable driving distance - e.g. Arecibo or Ponce. So, all of this could be years away but we'll hope for the best.

P.S. - It's really a shame they don't have a dedicated Puerto Rico forum on here like they do for each of the 50 states. If anyone knows any of the site staff or how to make that suggestion, that would be great. Considering Puerto Rico has a population larger than several states and there are a lot of people moving back and forth between there, I definitely think its own forum is justified.
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