Saturday, January 17, 2009

Moving to Puerto Rico?

For those who have never been to Puerto Rico, and are interested in living or visiting the island, I have a bit of friendly advice. Please be patient, as you'll see, many things just simply don't make any sense here! Everything here takes place at a much slower pace. Although Puerto Rico is officially part of the U.S, it is not at all like the mainland. Look beyond the Wal-Marts, Walgreens, Best Buys, etc., and leave the glitz and glamour of the tourist areas, and you'll see how different life is.

First of all, Spanish is what most Puerto Ricans speak. You can get by with English, if you're in San Juan, but it's certainly to your benefit to learn how to speak Spanish if you plan on living here. Second, there is a lot of red tape here. For example, getting or renewing your license might almost take a whole day, depending on how many people are standing in line. In most cases, the local government has not given its citizens the option of using the Internet to make their lives easier. Third, the crime rate in Puerto Rico is high. You should always be aware of your surroundings, and use common sense, as you would anywhere else.

Below is a list of resources to help those who might be moving to Puerto Rico. As you'll see, most of the Websites, with the exception of the Taxation Department (of course!), are in Spanish.

The Fundamentals:

Departamento de Hacienda (the Tax Dept.):
Departamento de Transportación y Obras Públicas (DMV & Transportation Dept)- in Spanish only:
Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (Puerto Rico's public electricity company)- in Spanish only:
Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (Puerto Rico's public water company)- in Spanish only:
Puerto Rico's Government Website (in Spanish only):
Puerto Rico Telephone:

Fun & Entertainment:

San Juan (Going Out) Guide:
Puerto Rico's Restaurant Guide:

No comments: