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Old 09-30-2021, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Bar
882 posts, read 1,463,335 times
Reputation: 664

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Hi,

My 76 year old retired/widowed mother who lives near us in Charleston SC wants to stay active both physically and mentally. She already speaks several languages and her new ambition is that she wants to learn Spanish. She has started the process with audiobooks but wants to spend six months in a Spanish speaking location to immerse herself in the language and culture, not only to learn something new but to have a small adventure. As a US citizen PR makes the most sense for her over other places. So I’m going to fly her down there in about a month to spend a week or so to explore the area and to see where the best place for her would be.

She’s not a woman of great wealth but neither is she slumming it … budget is really more a function of her inherent stinginess rather that her means. I’m thinking of a budget of around $3k/m for a 1br apt but she can go higher if that’s what it takes to find the right spot for her. More important to me is the area … as in it needs to be walkable for her to get the basic stuff done (she doesn’t drive but doesn’t mind occasional ubering, she loves buses for some reason), and it needs to be super safe. For her the worst thing would be to be stuck in a resort or in an expat type community where everyone speaks English all the time … if he has to make an effort to speak Spanish she could do that in Miami and that’s not what she’s looking for.

Obviously we’re going to explore San Juan but if anyone has any thoughts about smaller towns that are safe, walkable, have decent medical services nearby just in case, and where she can engage with the local culture rather than just with tourists and anglophones I would be grateful for your input. Sorry if some of the questions seem super basic but neither of us have been to PR before so I’m just looking for a starting point from which to explore so that we can make our week there more productive.

Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2021, 02:54 PM
 
3,562 posts, read 4,394,513 times
Reputation: 6270
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsea View Post
Hi,

My 76 year old retired/widowed mother who lives near us in Charleston SC wants to stay active both physically and mentally. She already speaks several languages and her new ambition is that she wants to learn Spanish. She has started the process with audiobooks but wants to spend six months in a Spanish speaking location to immerse herself in the language and culture, not only to learn something new but to have a small adventure. As a US citizen PR makes the most sense for her over other places. So I’m going to fly her down there in about a month to spend a week or so to explore the area and to see where the best place for her would be.

She’s not a woman of great wealth but neither is she slumming it … budget is really more a function of her inherent stinginess rather that her means. I’m thinking of a budget of around $3k/m for a 1br apt but she can go higher if that’s what it takes to find the right spot for her. More important to me is the area … as in it needs to be walkable for her to get the basic stuff done (she doesn’t drive but doesn’t mind occasional ubering, she loves buses for some reason), and it needs to be super safe. For her the worst thing would be to be stuck in a resort or in an expat type community where everyone speaks English all the time … if he has to make an effort to speak Spanish she could do that in Miami and that’s not what she’s looking for.

Obviously we’re going to explore San Juan but if anyone has any thoughts about smaller towns that are safe, walkable, have decent medical services nearby just in case, and where she can engage with the local culture rather than just with tourists and anglophones I would be grateful for your input. Sorry if some of the questions seem super basic but neither of us have been to PR before so I’m just looking for a starting point from which to explore so that we can make our week there more productive.

Thanks.
Check out Dorado! You can't go wrong with Dorado! It's clean, safe, near San Juan, yet far enough away from it. Good supermarkets, roads, and ambiance.

Good luck
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Old 01-01-2022, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
50,367 posts, read 63,948,892 times
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I’ve been to Dorado and it’s nice. Your young at heart mom can jump off the bridge there...people do that. Dorado is between San Juan and Vega Baja, where my DILs family lives. One thing for an older woman to consider is safety.

My DILs grandparents (84) were robbed at gunpoint in their own home last week. They live in a walled Casa with security systems and a gate. Her grandfather went to get the mail, and the robber came over the wall and forced him into the house while his wife was still in bed. The robber was masked and the local police aren’t wasting much time on the crime. My sons wedding was held at their house, and there was armed security there. This is normal to them, but we mainlanders don’t think about things like this.

Last edited by gentlearts; 01-01-2022 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:15 PM
 
3,562 posts, read 4,394,513 times
Reputation: 6270
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I’ve been to Dorado and it’s nice. Your young at heart mom can jump off the bridge there...people do that. Dorado is between San Juan and Vega Baja, where my DILs family lives. One thing for an older woman to consider is safety.

My DILs grandparents (84) were robbed at gunpoint in their own home last week. They live in a walled Casa with security systems and a gate. Her grandfather went to get the mail, and the robber came over the wall and forced him into the house while his wife was still in bed. The robber was masked and the local police aren’t wasting much time on the crime. My sons wedding was held at their house, and there was armed security there. This is normal to them, but we mainlanders don’t think about things like this.
Question? Do the grandparents live in a gated community (GC)? Also, was the wedding held in a GC?

If ever I move back to PR, I would only live in a GC.

I have lots of family there. And although everyone has read or heard of crimes such as the one you describe, no one in my family has been a victim of such crimes. BTW, I currently have 2 family members living within GC's. Everyone else lives in urbanizations. Lucky I guess.

My 85 year old father and his wife live in an urbanization. Their dead-end street is quiet and apparently safe. Nevertheless, I dread the fact that, each time I visit them, their front door and marquesina gates are always wide open. Sometimes they're in the backend of the house with the front door wide open. Each time I say something their answer is always the same, "It's safe here." Well, I hope I'm wrong and they're right.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
50,367 posts, read 63,948,892 times
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They don’t live in a gated community, they live in the country. The entire house and yard is surrounded by a high concrete wall with a gate. I guess if someone wants to rob you bad enough, they’ll figure out a way.
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Old 01-03-2022, 04:16 PM
 
1,960 posts, read 4,663,072 times
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Just came back from 9 days visiting my folks down there.

Yeah, it's the opportunity cost of living among so much poverty. Folks' second home in Aguadilla has the newly installed AC units gated on top of the roof, and a cage constructed for them, since the house has already been broken into multiple times before, as the locals know the house is unoccupied save for the few times a month they go. It used to have the front gate operated by a motor, but they kept stealing it, so now the whole thing is only manually opened and chained. Good times.

That said, I had a pleasant stay twice during the year 2021 (most notably when I flew my own airplane from Texas all the way down there, and departed via the close in BQN airport, epic trip I posted on here before). The house location is very convenient to the BQN airport and all that Porta de Sol region has to offer. It just sucks that one cannot escape property crime anywhere in the island. Their primary home is in a somewhat gated community in southern San Juan muncipality, but the entry controls are kinda placebo, they're not all that robust tbh.

Growing up we lived in the Hato Rey house, open urbanization. We never encountered a break in, we did however had such a situation in the late 80s/early 90s when we used to live in a lower middle class neighboorhood abutting the caserío Monte Hatillo. Break-ins became commonplace so we fled to the aforementioned Hato Rey residence. These days, said neighborhood is just spillover UPR student off campus rentals, which that property now caters to wholly (subdivided now by 4). I can't wait for them to sell it and rid of the tenant headache in an island so anti-small business, but that's for another day.

I don't mind navigating the grit of puerto rico poverty. My growing up experience was fairly locked down, it was safe by mere extension of limited exposure to the places where young people congregate and get shot over bumping against the wrong character, which is how the innocent bystanders get mugged/killed in the island outside of the bona fide drug trade disputes. Sure, that approach worked for my parents raising me, but that isn't exactly a glaring compliment of the place. Now as a father myself, since I don't have an absolute necessity to raise my family with said constraints up here , I don't incur the hassle. My Anglo wife laments his lack of command for Spanish, but I got bigger fish to fry in life right now lol. She'll have much more lucrative career earnings as an RN up here, so all is well.

At any rate, I do intend on pursuing some degree of snowbirding back home after the military, to include probably maintain some real estate footprint. But full time living back home? No, and especially not in my 70s and/or where proximity to specialized medical care becomes a priority of my life. Horses for courses. A six month stay? Sure, why not OP, YOLO and all that jazz. Cheers and happy new year everybody.
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Old 01-10-2022, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,227 posts, read 16,817,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I’ve been to Dorado and it’s nice. Your young at heart mom can jump off the bridge there...people do that. Dorado is between San Juan and Vega Baja, where my DILs family lives. One thing for an older woman to consider is safety.

My DILs grandparents (84) were robbed at gunpoint in their own home last week. They live in a walled Casa with security systems and a gate. Her grandfather went to get the mail, and the robber came over the wall and forced him into the house while his wife was still in bed. The robber was masked and the local police aren’t wasting much time on the crime. My sons wedding was held at their house, and there was armed security there. This is normal to them, but we mainlanders don’t think about things like this.
this sort of thing happens on the mainland US as well but in certain places rather than everywhere.

wonder if this led to a spike in crime, I would think so.

https://apnews.com/article/business-...7ea94e30d50327
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Old 01-10-2022, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,258 posts, read 43,185,236 times
Reputation: 10258
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsea View Post
I’m thinking of a budget of around $3k/m for a 1br apt but she can go higher if that’s what it takes to find the right spot for her.
$3,000/month just for a 1-bedroom is a lot of money anywhere in the world. That means you would be able to put her at almost any location anywhere in the world and extremely comfortably.

Why not 'Canary Islands' perhaps? The average 1-bedroom is around 650 euros in the city center, or 475 euros outside the center.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Day Heights, OH
189 posts, read 309,745 times
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My Mom has spent the winter months in PR, usually staying in Condado. I've visited her there and liked the area and it seemed safe enough about five years ago. Not sure if it has changed for the worse.

She has rented apartments by the month at both Condado Del Mar and Torre Del Mar. Those are high rise buildings and if you search their names on Google with 'rental' in the search you will come up some listings.

Condado Del Mar is right on the beach and when I visited there she was on one of the higher floors with a million dollar view of the ocean.

Torre Del Mar is adjacent to Condado Del Mar. The pool is not heated, she didn't think the apartments there were as nice, but it was cheaper.

There is a small grocery store about a block away. Several pharmacies also within walking distance. You are also next door to a hospital, which some seniors like to have close by. Plenty of good restaurants and some night life right there on Ashford Ave.
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Old 03-13-2022, 09:45 PM
 
689 posts, read 639,447 times
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I would consider Condado as well as Ocean Park and perhaps parts of Miramar and Santurce. Everything is pretty convenient there. There's the big Super Max at the corner of Loiza and De Diogo, the Freshmart near the Marriott, two Pueblos, a Walmart, many restaurants, and at least three museums. Even though her goal is to learn Spanish, there are many English speakers in the area because of the high number of tourists. The area is highly walkable. You don't even need a car if you are staying there and if you want to travel there are Enterprise/National and Avis in Condado.
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