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Old 04-14-2020, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,087 posts, read 38,423,886 times
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Is there a flow of people between PR & Dominican Republic?

I saw there is a ferry between PR & DR...does that mean there is a flow of people going back and forth? Or is it fairly one-sided, PR/US going to visit DR, but visa-wise a bit harder the other way?

How many posters on here have taken the ferry to PR? Are there also reasonable-priced planes between the two as well?
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Old 04-15-2020, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
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There definitely is, but it´s evolved over the years. For a long time Puerto Rico was seen as a land of opportunity for Dominicans, and if I´m not mistaken it was in the 1980s that people started risking their lives by crossing the deep, shark-infested Mona Passage in wooden yolas to get from the DR to the west coast of Puerto Rico, and from there get jobs, housing, and maybe eventually legal documentation which could get them to the US Mainland if they so chose. I met a few living on both sides who had made the voyage...it´s not an easy one, people die in the process.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6ZxdR0pWIg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKBDEhBHgF8

The appeal of this has lessened over the years with the DR´s economic successes, Puerto Rico´s economic harships, and increased immigration enforcement (probably in that particular order of importance). Over the last 5 years or so, there´s been a small but visible reverse trend, not just of many Dominicans returning home, but of some Puerto Ricans taking professional jobs in the Dominican Republic.

Dominicans have made their mark on the island though. It´s easiest to see in San Juan. I feel like every other taxi driver there is Dominican, there are Dominican-owned businesses like restaurants, of course there are many mixed marriages as well. You even have US Citizens of Dominican ancestry who move to PR to be able to easily visit family and friends, feel close to home culturally, but still keep the benefits of the US system.

When I lived in Puerto Rico I remember there was a ferry line called Ferries del Caribe I believe...I´m not sure if it still operates. They had a small cruise-sized ship leaving some days from San Juan and others from Mayaguez, all to Santo Domingo. Some of my friends had taken the ferry years before that, with some other company, and they said it was pretty awful. It takes 12 hours I believe, and at least years ago with the old company it dropped passengers in a not so great area of Santo Domingo. I was told that a lot of needy kids would congregate and desperately try to get "un pesito" from passengers, or maybe try to offer something like a tour, restaurant, etc.

I didn´t seem to meet a lot of Dominican tourists in PR, but maybe I wasn´t in the right place at the right time. Puerto Ricans taking trips to Punta Cana were similar to Mainlanders going to Cancún, only it´s quicker and cheaper for Boricuas to do.

Nowadays there´s not much reason to not hop on a flight from SJU to get to places like Santiago, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. It might be cheaper or the same price as the ferry, and it´s clearly much shorter and more comfortable.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,087 posts, read 38,423,886 times
Reputation: 9857
Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
There definitely is, but it´s evolved over the years. For a long time Puerto Rico was seen as a land of opportunity for Dominicans, and if I´m not mistaken it was in the 1980s that people started risking their lives by crossing the deep, shark-infested Mona Passage in wooden yolas to get from the DR to the west coast of Puerto Rico, and from there get jobs, housing, and maybe eventually legal documentation which could get them to the US Mainland if they so chose. I met a few living on both sides who had made the voyage...it´s not an easy one, people die in the process.

The appeal of this has lessened over the years with the DR´s economic successes, Puerto Rico´s economic harships, and increased immigration enforcement (probably in that particular order of importance). Over the last 5 years or so, there´s been a small but visible reverse trend, not just of many Dominicans returning home, but of some Puerto Ricans taking professional jobs in the Dominican Republic.

Dominicans have made their mark on the island though. It´s easiest to see in San Juan. I feel like every other taxi driver there is Dominican, there are Dominican-owned businesses like restaurants, of course there are many mixed marriages as well. You even have US Citizens of Dominican ancestry who move to PR to be able to easily visit family and friends, feel close to home culturally, but still keep the benefits of the US system.

When I lived in Puerto Rico I remember there was a ferry line called Ferries del Caribe I believe...I´m not sure if it still operates. They had a small cruise-sized ship leaving some days from San Juan and others from Mayaguez, all to Santo Domingo. Some of my friends had taken the ferry years before that, with some other company, and they said it was pretty awful. It takes 12 hours I believe, and at least years ago with the old company it dropped passengers in a not so great area of Santo Domingo. I was told that a lot of needy kids would congregate and desperately try to get "un pesito" from passengers, or maybe try to offer something like a tour, restaurant, etc.

I didn´t seem to meet a lot of Dominican tourists in PR, but maybe I wasn´t in the right place at the right time. Puerto Ricans taking trips to Punta Cana were similar to Mainlanders going to Cancún, only it´s quicker and cheaper for Boricuas to do.

Nowadays there´s not much reason to not hop on a flight from SJU to get to places like Santiago, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. It might be cheaper or the same price as the ferry, and it´s clearly much shorter and more comfortable.
Pretty cool for sharing all of that. I really appreciate it.
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