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How about some poker. Don't hate me for stating the obvious and lets all admit it. I enjoy going shopping, to lounges, hookah bars, pool, bowling,Broadway shows, out to restaurants, when it's warm the park, maybe ride bikes, amusement parks, comedy shows, listening to music, and open to other ideas (just no clubs), also wouldn't mind just relaxing at my place sometimes have some drinks, listen to music and talk or watch a movie and order some food. We talk on email for a while then lose track of each other.
I am in the process of exploring an expat position in Ponce. I have a husband and two young girls. I am interested in advice on where to live. We currently live in a VERY safe community in MN with lots of other young kids that my girls can run around the neighborhood with. I know it will be a bit different for them, but I want to find a community where we feel safe and they can find some friends. Do those who work in Ponce live in Ponce or do they commute from other areas?
If commuting, where are some good neighborhoods? Also, I am looking for a good English speaking elementry school.
I have seen the websites for Washburn and Caribbean schools. Any opinions on those? Are there others near Ponce? Any advice would be very much appreciated! I have been living in Ponce part time for 13 years. I do not have any children but I can offer some suggestions.
My home is in the historic center and I have a room available on airbnb. There is a section just outside of town called EL Monte. Here is where one of the wealthier community is. It is about minutes to the center of Ponce. Homes are around , and up. There is another wealthy community developing along the Caribbean coast at the South end of Ponce. I do not know at this time the name of the community but it seems to be the new development the likes of El Monte..
If you are looking to rent you can come across listings in the news paper La Perla Del Sur. You can read it online by googling La Perl Del Sur. The English translation is bad but you will find plenty real estate listings. I have a friend with 3 kids who works for The Centro Historico and she could have suggestions regarding schools, etc. Mark, Thank you for the response! If your friend has school recommendations, I would love to hear them.
I was just talking with one former Ponce expat from the US and he stated that if he did it over again, he would live in Cauguas, Guaynabo or Ricon instead of Ponce and just make the drive everyday for work. His reason was that there are large expat and American communities in those areas, which makes socialization, adjusting, etc. He said he never met another expat in Ponce in his 22 months there and they really struggled to find other families to hang out with and for their kids to play with.
What are your thoughts on that? Hi Michelle, Here are some of my opinions. I hope you can appreciate these with some levity. Ponce is a love it or leave it kind of place. It does have culture that those other cities do not have. Most of my Puerto Rican friends speak perfect English and there is very little difference to me in social behavior between Puerto Ricans and Americans unless you are in the mountains where I spend a lot of time.
Jibaros, as they are called, speak very little English and their Spanish is very difficult to understand. Ponce has a great world class art museum and plenty of smaller museums. There is a performance art theater too. Only San Juan offers more than this. If hanging out on a beach is more of your ideal which seems to be the case with most expats then Rincon is a great place to do that.
Commuting from those places to Ponce for me would be short of a nightmare. Ponce is definitely not for everyone. Most of our airbnb guest love what it has to offer and prefer it over other cities in Puerto Rico Puerto Ricans are very family oriented. If you can relate to art and culture with an open mind to Puerto Rican culture I am sure you could connect with some fine families by becoming a member of the Art Museum for example.
Getting invited to join the Yacht club would be a great place as well. It is progressing slowly and once anchored it will make Ponce an even more interesting place. We have an organic farm overlooking Ponce and the Caribbean. It is about 12 minutes from town and with this we get the best of both worlds. Ponce does quite well meeting our needs but we have custom created our contacts based on our specific needs.
I do not think this makes good human relations. There is a bit of a stigma of Rincon from the outside, It is known as gringoville. Maybe my response is due to the fact that I lived in Ft Lauderdale for 30 years and I saw the limitations of beach mentality. I lived in Peru for a couple of years and I really appreciate colonial architecture. If you decide to live in Ponce I would encourage you to show your appreciation of its cultural treasures and you may just be welcomed to become on of its citizens rather than a tourist passing through.
I will Forward the information on schools as soon as I can reach my friend. Any other questions feel free to ask. Mark, I really appreciate your response! I was also a little surprised by the suggestion I had received to live elsewhere. A huge part of the reason we are considering this move is so my daughters can experience a different culture, learn new things, become bi-lingual, etc. I am happy to hear that most people's English is good. Since I don't yet speak any Spanish I plan to try to learn, but languages have never been my specialty That being said, I certainly don't want to surround myself with only people like me, as that kind of negates the purpose of moving there.
Your comment about living on an organic farm close to town is really interesting to me. He will be a stay at home dad, so he will need things to do while the girls are in school. Perhaps he could also work or volunteer at a nursery or farm Again, I appreciate your comments. I tend to agree that we will need to make an effort to get involved and make new friends. However, you made me feel better about living in the Ponce area.
If you hear anything from your friend about schools, please let me know. Hello Michelle, My friend Mabel had this to say. She prefers Liceo Ponceno that has books in English but Spanish is spoken.
I think this is her home Phone She asked me how old your children are and what kind of work you will be doing? I work in Quality at a medial device company. My children are 4 and 6, so they will be starting Pre-K and 1st grade. I think Mabel said that the school Liceo Ponceno is preK to 12 grade.
What kind of work does your husband do when not being a house mom? The Community is called Villas de Monte Verde. It is on highway just above La Yuca and just below Monte Llano. Monte Llano is a community the sits on top of a muntain range above Ponce. This whole area is very nice and very little known outside of Ponce. I have a little difficulty trying to understand why some one would leave the mainland to live in another country and isolate themselves from the people of the country that is offering them residence?
They were here for 2, 3 years and moved on to the next station on their way to the top. In a way I can understand them. They are in a country for a limited amount of time, are very busy with work and the stay at home partner is busy enjoying the luxury live and taking care of the kids. Other expats, the ones who are here to stay behave differently. They learn the language, eat the local food, talk with neighbors, make friends with locals because they're here to stay.
Of course there are shades of grey in between the above described white and black or black and white and I'm not saying that either group of expats is right or wrong, to each his own. As for me, I'm here to stay and I live happily in our small barrio up in the mountains. Hi Michelle, We had a very similar situation as yours moving to Ponce with young children.
We lived in Ponce for a couple of years, and enjoyed our time in PR. We wanted the same experience for ourselves and our children as you were--experience a different culture, learn new things, become bilingual--and did get most of what we were looking for. A few comments regarding my experience, but only my opinion.
Please forgive how long this response is, but the experience is very fresh in my mind: Our kids went to Caribbean School, and they really enjoyed it and made really good friends there. It is a good school, with good families and teachers. But as mentioned in other posts, it is English only. We were hoping our kids would pick up Spanish there, but they did not learn as much as they have in a full-immersion Spanish speaking environment.
The school is great, but it will not help your kids become bilingual./p>
We lived in Ponce for a couple of years, and enjoyed our time in PR. We wanted the same experience for ourselves and our children as you were--experience a different culture, learn new things, become bilingual--and did get most of what we were looking for. A few comments regarding my experience, but only my opinion. Please forgive how long this response is, but the experience is very fresh in my mind: Our kids went to Caribbean School, and they really enjoyed it and made really good friends there.
It is a good school, with good families and teachers. But as mentioned in other posts, it is English only. We were hoping our kids would pick up Spanish there, but they did not learn as much as they have in a full-immersion Spanish speaking environment. The school is great, but it will not help your kids become bilingual.
If it's not that important, then I think you'll enjoy Caribbean School. I don't know much about Washburn, but we did look into it because I could not get an immediate commitment from Caribbean. Caribbean definitely has a longer history and is more established. Making friends with other families from the school may not be that easy as many people are not fluent enough in English, or not comfortable enough to speak it with a gringo family but this isn't because they aren't friendly or welcoming.
We had the same concerns as you do regarding where to live. Safety was my 1 priority, regardless of what it would cost us in terms of "integration" whatever that means. You really stressed the word "safe" in your original post, so I assume you feel the same about safety as I do. I know the other contributors value this integration, but at the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable about where your family is while you're away.
I'm certain you've done a ton of research about living in PR, and have undoubtedly read some horror stories about crime there, so feel free to choose a community where you feel comfortable living in. I can tell you, however, that there is no "gringoville" no expat communities that I know of in Ponce, and you will have Puerto Rican neighbors wherever you choose to live. Also, your kids will make friends and be invited to birthday parties in other communities. If safety or peace of mind is paramount, then you should look at El Monte or Costa Caribe.
Unfortunately, both communities are very expensive in terms of rent. El Monte is on the side of a mountain, so the temperatures are a bit cooler. The houses are nice and big, and not so much cookie cutter, and has great security. Costa Caribe is on a golf course by the coast, and also has great security. Which brings up a big problem--the cost of electricity.
Make sure you either budget for that when house hunting, or negotiate with your employer. And one last note--we were not victims of crime the entire time we were in PR. As far as other communities go, I would not recommend commuting from Caguas, or any area around San Juan. Traffic will get to you, and I simply did not feel it was worth it. You have everything you need in Ponce--a modern mall, movie theaters, museums, good schools, great restaurants, etc. And San Juan is only 1.
Our experience regarding language was mixed. I would not expect most people to speak English conversationally with you. In some touristic areas, you'll be fine, but not with everything. For example, it may be difficult to communicate with local government agency employees DMV, Hacienda , utility workers water, electricity , or Doctor's office staff.
Don't let this demotivate you--maybe a co-worker can help, or some other friendly acquaintance. I speak Spanish, but my wife did not. I was not available to help her a lot, but she found a way to make due with most tasks. If your spouse is interested in finding a job other than teaching English , it will be very difficult to find a job.
There are many Puerto Ricans that are highly qualified, are bilingual, and willing to take lower pay compared to what is paid by CONUS employers. Unless he speaks very good Spanish, he may not compete at all. Perfect segue into doctors and clinics--usually, no appointments are taken, and waits can be very long.
The price of food is higher than you're used to paying. I remember beef and milk being particularly high. Also, definitely less selection than you're used to. And I'm certain you've already read a lot about "island time", but you should prepare yourself for long waits, frustrating processes, and slow customer service.
Anyway, good luck with your decision. If you have any other questions, I'm more than happy to try to answer them! I really appreciate the time that you took to share your experience.
I actually just arrived in Ponce today to check it out. I am meeting with a realtor tomorrow to look at rental homes and then have appointments with a couple of schools. Your comments about schools was helpful. Since we are only going to be here 2 - 3 years, I want to ensure my girls don't get behind in English reading, etc so they have a smooth transition back to the states. Or may a tutor, depending on the cost?
I am really looking forward to seeing everything tomorrow! If all goes well, I will accept the position and all 4 of us will take a trip back down in a couple weeks to finalize housing and get all the school paperwork done. That age, , is the perfect time to learn a second language fluently. In years you could give them a gift that lasts a lifetime.
I also wouldn't worry too much about integration. These are your kids, so I understand your concern, but just something to think about.
Not many people get to experience the culture of another country. Not many get the experience of learning a second language. Imagine the life they can have if they are adventurous and learn the Spanish language and learn the culture. History books written by non-Natives don't share the truth when it comes to Natives.
Be the first to comment. Peanut Has Indigenous Roots. In modern American society, the peanut is ubiquitous. ICT editorial team Editor Aug ICT editorial team Editor Jul Indian Country Today Editor Sep 8, If you enjoy Native American films, help some dreamers make thier new film that touches on Native American genocide. Vincent Schilling Editor Feb 12, Thank you for telling your story. It is indeed a hard thing to do but maybe by you stepping forward our other brothers….
Corrections to stories posted by Indian Country Today. ICT editorial team Editor Aug 2. Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California. Indian Country Today Editor Dec 5, I can help I know the truth. My father Bobby confessed to me that he murdered your son. He was named the best student actor of the southern region of the United States. In , Ponce participated in the Southeastern Theatre Conference and competed for the chance to win a scholarship. He won and enrolled in the New World School of the Arts conservatory.
However, the Spanish-language television station Univision offered Ponce the opportunity to host a show called Hablando Talking.
This was his first serious television debut and after his debut he gave up his university studies. After the show came to its end, Ponce went to Mexico to visit a friend. While there he visited the Televisa television station. The talent director of the station met Ponce and offered Ponce his first role in a soap opera: He participated in another soap opera for Televisa, Sentimientos Ajenos , in which he played the main character.
Ponce also sang the theme song for the production. In between productions, Ponce returned to Miami and Univision hired him as the host of a new show, Control. He hosted the show for three years and won an "ACE Award". In , Ponce joined Entertainment Tonight as a correspondent. Ponce also starred in Perro Amor in on the same network. In , Emilio Estefan Jr. His first album was entitled Carlos Ponce , and included three of his own compositions.
The album reached the 1 spot in the Latin Billboards for nine weeks in the Hispanic community of the United States. It also reached the 1 spot in Central America and South America. He was Awarded a Double Platinum Award for the sales which his album generated.
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