The ins and outs of living in Puerto Rico

Why People Hate Puerto Rico and Why You Will Too


Hello, I’ve decided to write a post on why people hate Puerto Rico and why you will too! Why? Well, I’ve been receiving so many mean comments that are full of hatred without any substance and reasoning, some of them attacking me personally, so I’ve decided to just write it all here so you know many of the reasons why people hate Puerto Rico and why you will too if you decide to move here. So, basically if you are considering to move here, read this post carefully and take this into consideration.

This is a very long post and a very honest one, not meant to insult or offend; I’m just telling it how it is. So, behold some of the reasons why people hate Puerto Rico and why you will too!

  1. Puerto Rico is not the USA (or wherever you may be from). Well, of course you knew that! You thought that we were part of the USA but not the USA, except that in recent events we have now learned that we are nothing more than a colony or we are basically owned by the USA and our constitution is not even valid! So, this is not the USA or even part of the USA. We just belong to the USA. So why would you care? Because this is also a different culture and that bothers many people. Things are done differently here and in most cases they will not make sense to you. This is not to say they make sense to me! I personally wish that so many things (such as government services) were more like the USA, but alas, it is not, and it frustrates many people who come from abroad. So don’t expect things to work the same way they do in the USA and don’t expect the same culture, because it is not, at all. And you will become homesick, expect it.
  2. Puerto Ricans are happy. So, even when so many bad things are happening, especially financial, many people from abroad get confused as to how is it that we still seem “ok” with the way things are going! Our protests are full of happy music and dancing, the music at the stores is loud, we hug and kiss each other, give others genuine smiles, we have a very small personal space. This “excessive happiness” bothers a lot of people, especially when something bad happens such as the recent island wide power outage and most of us went “meh” let’s get the lanterns and candles and buy ice to keep the food cold. I receive soooo many mean comments of people who get angry at the simple fact that Puerto Ricans don’t seem to care much about how bad things are, and I am here to tell you that this is very true, most of the time Puerto Ricans focus on the good things, not the bad. We dance, laugh, play loud music and have a close personal space that could seem invasive for many. Bad things happen, we just roll with the punches.
  3. The infrastructure sucks! Yep! It does! Although I don’t think it’s THAT BAD, it truly leaves a lot to be desired. We have numerous potholes, the electricity seems to go out randomly for no reason, the water does too, the customer service is terrible. Add to that the fact that the power plants are old and need to be upgraded, so does the water treatment facilities, yes the local infrastructure is in bad shape, and unfortunately we do not have the money to make big improvements. Don’t like potholes? Don’t come here. It rains A LOT, and we have lots of traffic, all of which are terrible for roads, plus the fact that we don’t have an infinite budget to be resurfacing the roads every few months. So, yes, avoid the potholes or deal with them, or be mad at the fact that we have them, but you’ll be mad every day if they bother you that much.
  4. Other people tell you how scary it is. I see this VERY often, especially for those families who live on military bases. There is this rumor that life is extremely dangerous outside of the military bases as if it were a war zone or something! And then they believe it and they have this notion on their head that makes them focus on all of the bad things that go on! I have met families who have spent YEARS here, all of them stuck inside the military bases because they are too afraid to drive outside and explore what’s outside! So they can’t wait to leave PR because it is “SO BAD” out there! The truth is that there are some bad areas, and driving here is certainly not as easy as it is the US, but there is so much out here! There are many nice places to enjoy if you are open to it.
  5. They do not immerse themselves in the local culture. Research has found that there are many stages to living in a different place other than your hometown. There’s the “cultural adjustment curve”, which only gets from one end to the other if you immerse yourself in the local culture. Unfortunately I see many groups here of people who come here for one reason or another and they just stay in those groups with no interest of getting to know the local culture. You see the sub-groups going to dinner or forming book-clubs and such, which is great! But you would be doing yourself a disservice by not getting to know the Puerto Rican people and everything they may have to offer. When I ask people what was the most surprising thing you found about Puerto Ricans, I often hear how incredibly accepting they are of other people from other cultures. In fact I remember as a kid seeing that a new kid from the states came in to my school and all of a sudden he was the most popular kid in the school! Everybody wanted to get to know him and play with him etc. Puerto Ricans are very nice people, if you are nice to them. Which brings me to my next point.

    Culture Adjustment Curve


  6. Puerto Ricans are genuine! Which means that whether they like you or not, you will know. When I lived in the USA and worked as a massage therapist there was a strict policy that we had to smile! We smiled to all of our customers and people like if everything was honky-dory fine! Interestingly it really bothered my sister when she came to visit, it bothered me, and it bothered an Italian client we had! The smiles were fake! And it is beyond annoying to see someone smile at you when the smile is not genuine. I want someone to smile if they want to or not to if they don’t want to! Be genuine, be real! So, if you are nice to a Puerto Rican, chances are they will be nice to you, if you are not nice to them, they will not be nice to you! Also, if you are a customer and you are unhappy about something, yelling and screaming and demanding will get you NOWHERE! If fact, it will make most people here work slower and make your life more difficult! People here will be nice to you if you are nice to them. Simple.
  7. They have a “Type-A” personality. This is a big one! Puerto Rico is the very definition of island living! We do not over complicate things and we just let things slide. We don’t start on time, we don’t stick to a strict schedule, our doctors spend a lot of time with the patients so we wait for hours after our scheduled time before we are seen. We also tend to close stores earlier than scheduled if there is no one inside, so don’t be surprised if you get to a store at 3:50 PM  and it is closed even though it was supposed to close at 4:00 PM. So if you are an uptight person or have a “Type-A” personality, you WILL hate it here, every day, every single day you will hate it, and the local people will see that and they will simply shrug their shoulders, and it will bother you even more. So do yourself a favor, if you have that personality, avoid living here if you can, it will stress you out to no end.
  8. Puerto Ricans are politically incorrect. If you are easily offended, this place is not for you either! We WILL make fun of you and everyone else! In fact we make fun of everyone, even ourselves! Our comedy shows make fun of all different ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, language accents etc. And we mean absolutely no harm by it! It is just who we are! We will make fun of you in front of you and then laugh and give you a hug and a kiss! Why? Because more often than not we find your language accent (to use as an example) endearing and cute! YES it’s true! We’re making fun but we also think it’s cute! And we love it! Heck I married a woman with an accent and I love how she speaks and I laugh at it too! One of our most famous comedians made fun at the most common religion here, Catholicism, and he got away with it beautifully and it became one of the island’s most watched comedy shows! Everyone loved it, even the church leaders. We are very good at making fun of others and ourselves, and that’s just how we are, we do not take life seriously, at all. If you are offended by simple things like that, you will have a hard time here and you will likely have a hard time making lasting friendships (at least local friends), you will seem too uptight to most people.

So, what is my take on all this? Puerto Rico is certainly not for everyone, and if you only focus on the bad things it will not be for you either. There are many reasons why I have decided to stay here, I actually live better here. My family is not bullied by racism or other fundamental differences, I have never felt more accepted as a person than I do here, the beach is just a few minutes away any day of the year, it is warm enough to wear shorts every day, the Christmas atmosphere and music is very festive and happy, we like the happiness of the people all around us even in such bad financial times, everyone is ALWAYS willing to help their neighbor, we like how we can laugh at everyone including ourselves without offending anyone. Life is overall more relaxed for us here, which was never the case for us in the US, I really disliked how strict everything was there. Here, so what if we’re late? Pff there are worse things in life. I’ll be sipping my piña colada in my hammock at the beach on January 2nd and not think about all the troubles in life.

¡Buenos Días!

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Author: Jay-Webmaster

Jay is an Atmospheric Physicist and Massage Therapist who was born and raised in Puerto Rico but went to college in the US before moving back to Puerto Rico. Creator of and the new forum


  1. We were born in Puerto Rico. My son and I would love to go back.My husband is Italian-American and lived in Puerto Rico about 20 years ago. We were there during Irma due to medical reasons. My son has a serious medical condition and saw a doctor in the island. He was amazing and probes the fact that doctors take the time. He did and gave hope to my son.

    I love your article. I wish I could stay in contact with your to know how things are. I hope thta you and your family are OK. We worry about our Puerto Rican people and everybody that lives in the island.

    My son and I love your article. It’s beautifully well written and surprising. Thanks for your input.
    Bless you.

  2. Love it! I have to share it! Just moved out of my beautiful island to Palm Beach, Fl last year and every day I feel the urge of educating people about our unique way of living! Our culture is so colorful and indeed we are VERY HAPPY PEOPLE! Missing all my friends and family and we are sure that we’ll be back to where we belong. Thank you so much for your fantastic blog! Kudos to you!

  3. You hit the nail on the head with everything! The “new” Puerto Ricans that came with bad habits from whatever state they learned their “trade” are the main cause off how Puerto Rico is now perceived. Puerto Ricans are the most friendly loving people you will ever know. They will invite you to their home when they casually meet you and treat you like you are family. Really, who nowadays does that? The island is beautiful, so many places to see and if you are an A personality in fear of everything, you will miss it. You must have a car or know someone who is willing to drive you anytime, anywhere, sometimes a promise to pay for all they eat as you travel and gas is all they ask. I own land there and a home taken over by a family member because I left in 1960 and have lived there 3 times since, never more than a year. I have thousands of family but don’t know them, the older ones I grew up with gone. I love PR but don’t get used to the easy going way PR island people work in govt places and how long things take to be taken care of. And now this…love my island, miss its beauty but will only visit😏

  4. Hi Jay,

    Good to hear that you and your family are safe and sound. You’re right about there being no differentiating between Indo, Euro and Afro-Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico. What’s happening though in the states is that many African Americans want Latinos/os mixed with African genes to claim it and not just say Latina/o. Hence, Afro-Latina becoming a popular term in the states.

  5. Hello Jay I pray that you and your family have survived this current calamity in the the Island.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      You mean the Hurricane? Yes we are doing just fine, thank you! The benefits of the concrete construction of the houses here is underrated.

      • Yes I did mean the Hurricane, when I wrote to you I was trying to reach out to many family members in the Island. I am glade to hear from you. Your blog has been instrumental in our decision to move there. In fact we were to move on the 2nd of Oct to Aguda. We are going to wait a month to do so.

  6. Hi Jay–I am so encouraged to have found this site! It has been my lifelong dream to live in Puerto Rico. I am seeing that dream within arm’s reach in the next few months. We have a soon to be 10yr old son who has heard Spanish all his life but who doesn’t really speak it so I appreciate your comments on the education. My husband is in the IT field and I am working to get into the field. I am sure I will be visiting this site to look for advice on many questions I will have. I hope to be sending you a message soon that says “we have our plane tickets!!!”

  7. Love this article! It is very informative and a realistic look at expectations when moving to Puerto Rico. Some people just aren’t built to live outside their bubble which makes it difficult for them to adjust. As well, as see the good in new surroundings when they are accustomed to having things their way. Diversity for some is a very scary thing and because of this some people build up preconceived notions and shut down any opportunity of embracing new things.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I always laughed at the “melting pot” argument of the US. Because there’s no comparison to the level of tolerance and diversity I see here. Heck, I’m an example, we are a “mixed” family and we decided to live here in PR instead of the US precisely to avoid prejudice and racial discrimination.

      • One of the reasons why we are hoping to locate to Puerto Rico. We are both Nuyoricans but my husband is Euro-Puerto Rican and I am Afro-Puerto Rico. With race relations getting worse in the states it just makes us all the more determined to be on the island around a lot less racism and prejudice.

        • Jay-Webmaster

          It’s interesting that you mention Euro-Puerto Rican and Afro-Puerto Rican, because we don’t even have qualifiers like that here, you’re either Puerto Rican or you are not, which is probably a main reason why we don’t have that racial tension that you see in the US. Everyone is the same here. I hope you do get to relocate here, we will welcome you with open arms.

  8. Hi Jay!
    First, thanks so much for making this blog, taking the time out to create a discussion space about moving to Puerto Rico!

    My name is shelley and I am very interested in attending uprm for one of their agricultural programs. I have never been to Puerto Rico but am taking off work next month to go visit.

    I lived in Hawaii for a year and loved it but there were a few problems for me, being too far from my family on the east coast, and I had hoped to find better prices on local produce there because I mostly eat just fruits and vegetables. Also I worked with a lot of native Hawaiians and while they were loving to me because I had come to do conservation work, I realized that most natives feel that white folks take up precious space and push them off their homeland, that was another reason I came back home.

    So for Puerto Rico I am just wondering a few things if you know anything about them would love if you could address!

    What are farmers market prices like for local fruits and veg? I can’t find any prices on the internet.

    I have taken 5 years of Spanish from middle school to college but haven’t studied in 7 years, I hope to become fluent and take some classes there.. how hard of a time do you think I will have going to college in Spanish? I am used to teaching myself curriculum anyway so if I can use the English textbooks I think I can manage.

    Is there any sentiment/reason in PR that gringos are taking up space and resources and gentrifying neighborhoods? It doesn’t seem that way from what I have read. I never want to make anyone feel that way

    Do you have any tips for me for things I can do/research/bring before my visit next month? If it feels right I would like to move down there to establish residency and start learning Spanish this fall

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Shelley! So are you going to Mayagüez? That’ll be a cool experience. You may be better than me, I went to college in the US and my case was that going to college in my non-native language (my native language is Spanish) proved to be incredibly difficult. It took me much longer to grasp concepts that I thought it should. Most of the time I just didn’t know what they were asking, I didn’t know what professors meant even though I understood what they said. Having said that, usually the textbooks are either in English or there is an English version of it so you may be better off than I was.

      Well, first of all, don’t expect PR to look or be anything like Hawaii or any other US-State, things are very different here and for 99% of people from the states things are incredibly frustrating for them. So please be ready to encounter many things that simply will not make sense to you. Having said that, once you’re set up and settled things get much better.
      Farmers markets here are not as popular as you would find in the US but there are some, especially in the San Juan metro, however, the prices are not that different than at the grocery stores. I know there is a farm in the southwestern section of PR that has a program where for a monthly fee they give you a weekly supply of vegetables from their garden, I forgot the name, remind me in a week via a facebook message because I do have their business card, I’m just out of town at the moment. I remember liking that program but I live really far from them to go weekly to pick up the veggies. Since the prices are somewhat similar at the markets and grocery stores, here’s a link to the weekly flyer (er call them “Shoppers”) of a local economy grocery store called “Econo”, it is a budget store and the only one I can afford to go.

      So you’re concerned about what we think of Gringos, valid concern, but let me start by telling you that I am married to a Gringa, one who loves PR and its people even more than I do. Even while we were dating, from the very first day she was taken back at how well she was treated, she was treated like a local, and once people noticed she wasn’t they all tried to show her everything to make sure she has a great time. The problem, or clash comes when people from the US comes and hates it here and the people. These are different cultures and we don’t really tolerate arrogance and sour moods. So we get some people from the US who are quite demanding, who freak out if things are not how they want them to be, who would yell at the clerks at the stores if something is not right (I had to deal with that crap when I lived in the US and I hated it), and the difference is that in the US if you have that attitude then you get your way so you are happy, here not so much. If you are demanding or upset and start insulting others under your breath etc. Then you will be ignored and treated even worse. At times, it is very difficult for my wife to sit in a group with other people from the US and talk about PR because they normally have nothing good to say and are very insulting of everything from the “mañana” approach to life to the way women dress, usually speaking without knowing anything or even taking their time to spend time with the locals and getting to know the local culture. So, normally as a culture we are very inclusive and do not have anything against people from the US that come here, in fact the number of people coming from the US has been increasing steadily, but the moment you or someone else has an attitude of “I am better than you, I am a civilized person from the US”, that’s when you will lose everyone here. I highly recommend you spend time with the locals and make your own judgement, I think you would be surprised to see how welcoming we are as a culture, but don’t take my word for it, go out there and see for yourself.

      So no, there is no sentiment against people from the US in general, there is some sentiment that we are not accepted by them though. We try to offer our food, music, culture, etc. And it is sometimes met with resistance, some people from the US stay together in clubs and segregate themselves from the locals, they usually don’t last long here, those who immerse themselves in the local culture are usually here for many years.

      Speaking Spanish is a huge plus, as long as you try you will be fine, my wife gets many compliments simply by trying, people here are very encouraging and as opposed as being annoyed because the Spanish is not perfect, you will usually be met with smiles and encouragement, maybe a correction for next time.

      The biggest tip I can give you is to expect that this is a different place and culture. It will not look or work like any of the US states. Ask around, if you are coming on a scouting trip more than a tourist trip, go to the places you would need to go when you live here, get familiar with how things are, expect many things to be odd, frustrating or not make sense. Bring sunscreen as you’ve probably never experienced a sun quite as strong as the one here, I always joke that we need sunscreen “Puerto Rico SPF” because even with 70+ SPF people get sun burnt. Expect things to move slowly, we are on island time, we take life less seriously which keeps us from stressing too much over things but it stresses people from the US and Europeans quite a lot. Enjoy the beaches and the sun, life is sweeter near the salty water.

      Hope this helps, if you need anything at all, drop me a line. Remind me of the farmer’s market weekly program via FB message or direct email, I will be back in town this Saturday and I can give you their details, you can contact them.

      Take Care!

    • There is a organic market every sunday in Rincón, PR. You need a car to move from Mayagüez to Rincón . It’s near but in a car .

    • Shelley, Plaza del Mercado in Rio Piedras has a great farmers market with reasonable prices. Also, Rincon (in northwestern PR) has a farmers market every Sunday. There is also a lot of gringos there so they have many vegan and vegetarian catered services. All the best to you in your journey!

  9. Thanks for all the info. My husband and I vacationed in Puerto Rico a couple years ago, and we happened to be there at the same time as the San Sebastian street festival. It was a fantastic time, with the crowds and the music and all the food! We felt very safe as there was a large police presence, but really not needed as everyone was just having fun.

    I have two questions specific to our needs in considering a move:

    How is the internet and phone service in the greater San Juan area? Reliable enough to tele-work in computer software with a company in the States?

    Second, how is veterinary care? Are there emergency vets or specialized practices? We’ve got a couple pets with high-maintenance issues that are managed great at home, but I don’t know if we’ll find the same facilities and available meds for them there.

    Thanks. We loved the “not quite US, not quite Mexico, not quite Europe” vibe that we saw in our short trip, and immediately put it on the list as a possible relocate.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Carolyn:

      Well, there are many people who live here and Tele-Work. I personally haven’t had significant issues with DSL internet but Cable internet was iffy and the speeds fluctuated too much.

      We have veterinary care just like in the US but cheaper. Our dog required a major surgery and the Vet surgeon performed the surgery the next day. The surgery, multiple different kinds of images, a week-long stay with care etc. cost us a total of $3k (including the ER). Compare that to my neighbor who had to perform a similar procedure for her dog when she lived in Florida and it cost her over $9k plus the ER visit.

      There are facilities here for different needs. There’s also Banfield Hospital located at Pet Smart stores if you prefer a Vet setup like that.

      Hope that helps!

  10. We are here by accident (Long Story). We have been here since the start of April and have no intention of leaving already put a bid on a house. If you aren’t a happy person that can’t go with the flow and enjoy the incredible people and atmosphere. There is no need to come to this magical island and mess it up for anyone else. The rhythm of this place is amazing, People love life and truly like each other. I had been wanting this but didn’t know it could be possible.

  11. I came to Puerto Rico in 2013 for work. I’ve lived in 9 different countries. PR has, without a doubt, been the worst. The happiest day I have had since 2013 was last month, when I was finally able to move out of that dump hole of an island. In PR, I paid more taxes than in NJ!! Why?!? Because of the bloated, corrupt, inefficient pubic sector and the lazy, non productive, burden on society population. Despite the sky high taxes, the infraestructure is poor, public services are apalling, and I had to pay thousands to send my kids to private schools. On top of all of this, everything is expensive and there’s an 11% sales tax. Any sensible person with only a little bit of common sense would avoid this island like the plague that it is.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Well I am so glad you got to leave! These are good news for everyone!

      Interestingly we had the chance to move to Newark about a year ago and we decided against it, the pay would’ve been the same but after running the numbers we decided to stay precisely because it was cheaper for us to live here in PR than in New Jersey. Although you are right, taxes are less in NJ and we would’ve saved about $1,500 in income tax when considering Federal and State taxes and the sales tax is 7% as opposed to 11.5% here in PR, there were many other things that did not make it worth it for me to move to NJ.

      Car insurance in PR, I pay $200 per year, my quote for NJ was $1000! Difference of +$800 per year.
      Health insurance, I pay $210 per month for high option coverage in PR, I would’ve had to pay over $600 in NJ for the same coverage! Difference of about +$4,680 per year.
      Property taxes, I pay $1,200 per year here in PR while in NJ I would’ve had to pay $5,600 for a house of the same Price!!! Difference of +$4,400 per year.

      When you add those things up you get about $10,000 more in taxes and insurance in New Jersey than you do in PR, which is much more than the $1,500 in income tax I would’ve saved.

      Not to mention the outrageous cost of other things like music lessons, gym memberships, veterinary care and others, the list goes on and on. Other than “Stuff”, just about every service is cheaper here in PR, so after taking into consideration that the outrageous property taxes in NJ may be tax deductible, the difference would’ve still not been worth the move.

      Then there’s also the “intangibles”, things that could not be measured with money, such as the fact that I have the personal cell phone number of my primary physician, pediatrician, and even the veterinarian! All of which I have called at random hours due to medical emergencies without cost to me! Just because they are nice and actually care for the people they take care of.

      I’m assuming also that you didn’t take advantage of the numerous ways to save on state income taxes such as retirement accounts and others. I just learned about them myself so I will be taking advantage of those and in the process my tax burden will decrease significantly.

      Best of luck wherever you are!

      • I have been here a month; went to Panama with plans to go to Ecuador, then Costa Rica trying to find a home outside the United States. I even thought about the Philippines which I have visited several times, but Puerto Rico is a pleasant surprise. I have a contract on a home in Arecibo and it will take the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force to get me back to the United States.

        I am a veteran with 3 honorable discharges and former police officer who was born in total segregation. Every country I visited treated me better and I grew tired of competing against inept, misinformed, miseducated “pseudo” intellectuals. The empire that was the United States (America is two continents) is on it’s last leg.

        • Jay-Webmaster


          Well I’m glad you like it here! Looks like you’ve traveled a bit! Hopefully someday I get to travel to those places myself!

    • You are definitely common in that United States kind of way. in 2016 more expats left the United States (world’s largest open air insane asylum) than at any time in history. As an airline retiree and former military I have traveled to many countries and heard your kind of unenlightened arrogance perpetrated by what has been known in other nations as “Ugly Americans” since the 60s. Trying to remember if I ever heard anyone else brag about New Jersey.

  12. Jay-Your blog has been instrumental in our decision to look for a home in Puertorro we are currently in the Aguadilla area. 🙂

  13. Jay – I’m not sure why you spend the time to do this Blog but I’m so thankful!
    My wife and I are retired and planning to move to Puerto Rico early in 2018. This Blog has been so helpful in our research efforts.
    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I do it because I saw a great deal of misinformation online and I wanted to really help those who were wanting to move here. If you need any help don’t hesitate to ask!

  14. Great article! We moved here (Rio Grande area) in May 2016 and everything you say is spot on…and we LOVE it here! I especially love the people:)
    Thank you for your site it has been very helpful!

  15. Hi Jay,
    I love your post! It makes me want to go to Puerto Rico right now, especially to escape the snowy March we are having in New England. More than 100 years ago, my paternal grandparents, who had emigrated from Scotland in the 1890’s and settled in New Rochelle, New York, sold their house and their business (wines & liquors), packed up their four children, and moved to Barceloneta, PR. That was in 1912. My grandmother had a difficult time adjusting, but my grandfather apparently loved it, as did three of their four children. The oldest, a preteen, was not happy to leave her friends. My father, the youngest, was happy on the grapefruit farm/plantation they bought. The sun did not agree with him. He was a platinum blonde with very fair skin and got terrible sunburns, so two years later they sent him back to New Rochelle to live with his aunt and uncle. He was seven years old and was devastated. Anyway….I won’t go into all the details, but I am now writing a partly fictionalized account of their life in Puerto Rico. I have to imagine some of the details but I am trying to make the historical context as accurate as it can be. My grandfather was an optimist and he loved Puerto Rico—the climate, the people, the beauty of the land (he wrote about it in letters to my father which I have in my possession). Eventually two hurricanes in the 1920’s and the stock market crash of 1929 hurt them financially. When my grandfather finally returned to NY in 1936 he died within a month at the age of 73. My grandmother had returned earlier. She lived twenty more years after his death. Do you have any suggestions for me as to how I can get the best information about Puerto Rico in the early 20th century? Any good history books? Would the San Juan historical society have any materials I might be able to see online? I can get some information on Barceloneta online, but not much. Their farm was in Barceloneta, Florida Afuera. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thank you, Joyce Hepburn Radochia

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Joyce!

      Well unfortunately, there isn’t as much history about Puerto Rico online like you have mentioned. Barceloneta is a very small municipality so it would be hard to find information online. The only places that I know would have some real historical information regarding Puerto Rico in general and Barceloneta would be the actual municipality offices. However, you could always look at the Wikipedia page on Barceloneta and click on the different reference links. As far as the fist half of the 20th century, there is some information online but it is in Spanish, you may have to use your browser’s translate feature if you don’t know Spanish, I found this from the humanities department regarding the first half of the 20th century in Puerto Rico.

      The history of Puerto Rico is a rough one, filled with oppression, corruption, colonialism, lots and lots of hard work, struggling for acceptance and much more. You can dig and read and learn about the local history and then you may understand the reason for the things that are happening now. It truly is remarkable.

      Some time ago I read a book called “War Against All Puerto Ricans” by Nelson Denis, it is a good book with historical facts (and references with copies of the documents). I must warn you, it is a partisan book and it does have a “point of view” so it is not to be used as a historical reference book, but it is very easy to read and very interesting. It gives you the point of view of some people who lived here during the first half of the 20th century which is what you are looking for. However, like I said, it is a partisan book and it is basically trying to convince you to see things the author’s way; my grandfather for example would agree with the historical aspects of it but he had a very different perspective on the whole thing. I like to always see both sides of the coin so I read the book and met the author. So I recommend the book on top of the historical information that is out there.

      Your history is very interesting and it looks like your family really loved it here. Truth is that this is a pretty amazing place with amazing people, but it really depends on what your priorities and focus on life are. I have a sister who moved to the US because there are so many things up there and there’s this and there’s that but the warmness of the people and the amazing weather is missing, so she can’t wait to retire to move back. However other people don’t feel that way at all and hate it here and are much happier in the US. Looks like your family loved it here and if you read up on the history you’ll see why.

      Let me know if you need more help! I’d love to hear what you found!

      • Thank you, Jay, for your thoughtful and detailed response. I will continue my search for information using your suggestions. I have thought about learning Spanish; they say it is good for the “older” brain to learn new things, and learning a new English is a particularly good exercise. A trip (it would be my first) to Puerto Rico would also be fun, just to get the feel of the place. Although it’s been more than a hundred years since my father’s family first moved there, some things have remained mostly the same, such as the climate. I think I would enjoy the liveliness and friendliness of the people. Regards!

  16. Me and my wife are planning on taking a vacation to Puerto Rico in June 2017. We plan on staying at a beautiful air/bnb in San Juan called Atlantis. Can you tell me if you are familiar with this location, if so can you give us a list of places we can go to enjoy our stay? Thanks

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Jeff,

      Is it Atlantis in San Juan? That is a nice building very close to Old San Juan and a short-ish walk to Escambrón Beach (Which has no waves FYI).

      Where can you go? Well, it depends on what you like. There are tons of things to do in Old San Juan with first class restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Do you plan to stay nearby your place of stay? If you are willing to adventure out a bit, you can go to Orocovis (about 1:15 to 1:30 hr drive) and go to Toro Verde where you can find the tallest and longest zip line in the world! You can also go to El Yunque Rain-forest about 45 minute drive. If you like the night life you’ll have no shortage of it in nearby Condado. Also, Atlantis is very close to “Paseo Caribe” where you can go and enjoy food or drinks from one of the nice restaurants there and/or enjoy the live music on Friday nights.

      Will this help?

      Take Care!

  17. Thank you so much Jay. I am seriously considering relocating to Puerto Rico from Colorado. I know nobody in Puerto Rico, and I have only visited once for a college conference, so I did not get the chance to explore. I appreciate your honesty, and from what you have said here, I think I WILL love Puerto Rico. I am excited to explore more of your site so I can learn more from you. Thank you for creating this!

    • Jay-Webmaster

      No problem Arianna, Thank you for the nice words!

      The truth is that if you like it here you will be in the minority, for some reason the negative aspects seem to impact people more profoundly than the positive aspects. Even for me, it takes sometimes deep and objective thoughts in order to decide whether I should stay here or not. Very recently I concluded that I will probably never leave here, for many many reasons, but the bottom line is that moving back to the US for me will not provide any added benefit to my life, at all, but that’s just for my specific circumstances.

      If you do relocate, all I can say is that you need to EXPECT that things WILL be different, some better than what you’re used to and some worse. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

    • My name is Courtney my Instagram is Court_187 Im an American (from Kentucky) living on the west side of the island which is where you will find many Americans. Anyways, since your post is so recent feel free to DM me on Instagram and maybe I can help you with things once you get here. I don’t think the author of that post really illustrated just how FRUSTRATING it is here doing things that involve any sort of line, usually involves a poorly trained, oblivious girl working while gossiping about her day in Spanish and generally treating every customer like a burden on her personal time…also, he left out the importance of knowing SPANISH! Here on the island I wouldn’t go as far to say it feels like racism but it’s definitely a thing for Puerto Rican’s to stick their noses up at anyone that doesn’t speak Spanish. Some establishments don’t even have employees that speak English. Sometimes I even get the feeling people are intentionally speeding in Spanish when they clearly speak English just to really be extra difficult. Some PR women DONT like American women! EXPECIALLY if your with a PR man…they get super adgitated and I feel as though I get treated really poorly in those situations. I don’t know anything about your back ground but thick skin is a must. And I’m not even sure if I’ll be staying here long. It can be draining.

      • **That was for Arianna**

      • Jay-Webmaster

        Hello Courtney, thank you for your comment, I am Jay, the author of this post.

        First of all, I’m truly sorry that you’re having a hard time here, it is never fun to hear when someone is not enjoying their time here. As often as I hear it, I always feel bad for the hard times some go through while living here.

        Quick background before I answer your post just so you know where I come from. I was born and raised here in PR, moved to the US where I lived for 10 years then moved back to PR. I am married to a woman born and raised in the upper Midwest who doesn’t speak Spanish. I work for the US Government and I am surrounded by people from the US who are married to other people from the US or married to Puerto Ricans. I have been able to see many angles and points of views regarding living here as a native and as an “expat”. I have been able to see some definite patterns in people who like it here vs those who don’t. I couldn’t possibly have addressed all the things that could potentially be frustrating to some people because there are many different things that could be frustrating to people depending on the situation and the affected person’s overall personality.

        So, yes, it can get frustrating waiting in line and people (or girls as you mentioned) will gossip and talk in Spanish, but, why wouldn’t they? I was honestly confused as to why is that even an observation, it’s like me complaining about girls gossiping in English while I was waiting in line at a store in Kentucky. You’d be like “Yeah, this is the US, what do you expect?” So, yes people would gossip and yap yap yap about whatever in their native language, in this case Spanish. And I wouldn’t say it’s always the case, in fact most of the time there’s no problem, but occasionally, we do get treated poorly by customer service agents, like you properly mentioned, they treat everyone like a burden, key word being “everyone”.

        I didn’t mention knowing Spanish because I have mentioned it in many other posts. Although there are many people from the US in western PR, I would want to clarify that I can agree to that if you’re talking specifically about Rincón or some sections of Aguadilla, but not all western PR. I think San Juan and Guaynabo easily takes the highest number of English speaking US Natives battle, in fact there are days when I forget that I am not in the US because of how much English I hear everywhere. So, knowing Spanish is helpful, yes, I wouldn’t think essential, and I have 50 or so colleagues that don’t speak Spanish who live here and one of their biggest complaints is actually that Puerto Rico does NOT force them to learn Spanish because people immediately switch to English once they realize they struggle with Spanish. BUT, that is here in the San Juan/Guaynabo area where apparently there are more bilingual people.

        Having said that, Yes, there is a struggle with languages sometimes, and it depends on several factors. Some people stick their noses up at someone that doesn’t speak Spanish, that is true in some cases, mainly in cases where the other person EXPECTS to be spoken to in English without even trying to say “Hola, habla inglés?”, You’d be surprised how just the mere act of TRYING goes a long way, but you may get resistance or a “look” from someone if you (or anyone) expects the other person to know English while you don’t even try to speak Spanish all the while we are in Spanish speaking island. The same sort of resistance would be seen if someone goes to the US and expected to be spoken to in Spanish while in the English-speaking country or if I expect to be spoken to in Enlgish (or Spanish) if I go to France. It is the same story everywhere and it is very important to put things into perspective and put oneself in the other person’s position. So, some establishments don’t have employees that don’t speak English, and that’s because it is not a requirement for many establishments, the official language here is Spanish, and the best thing you can do is to not “sponsor” that shop or whatever because no one there was bilingual and instead you’re going to this other place where they speak English.

        Having said that, one of my very best friends who doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish just got a job at a local gym! That confused the heck out of me because over 90% of the local population speaks Spanish as the main language, but she got a job there without any problems at all, and in fact she’s not the only non-Spanish speaker that works there. BUT, again, this is in San Juan.

        Some women don’t like women from the US? I don’t even want to go into that rabbit hole, but strangely enough, my wife has many more local friends than friends from the US. Just yesterday she had 3 different women all over her telling her how beautiful she is and how they love the way she dresses etc. My wife has never felt prettier than the way she feels here because of the constant random compliments she gets here. I’m not exaggerating in the least, she gets stopped by random women asking her about where she got her skirt or how beautiful her makeup is and many more compliments. The jealousy my wife has encountered 99% of the time has been from other women from the US and NOT from the PR women at all, and that thing about married to a PR man thing? This is the first time I have heard about this, I’m surrounded by “mixed” couples and I have not heard this complaint a single time. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but I am surprised to hear it, because in the years I’ve lived here that particular complaint has never come up.

        Funny thing is that my spoken English is fairly good. Good enough to make many of the locals think that I am a native English speaker, and as often as I can I speak in English for the simple fact that I actually get treated WAY better than when I speak Spanish. There is a sort of confidence when people speak Spanish and in many cases I just get treated like the rest, but when I speak English I get treated with a level of respect I don’t otherwise. So I actually prefer to speak English as often as I can just so I feel “important”.

        So, what’s the take on all of this. You don’t like it here, which is the main purpose of this post, and you brought up some good points. On the other hand, I feel obligated to put things into perspective for everyone who is thinking about moving here. I am currently learning 2 other languages, simply because i would like to visit those places and I want to be able to communicate, even though I could get by with English, but my perspective has always been that everyone feels appreciated and respected when you try to speak their language, so before I go there I will learn at least the basics, and if I plan to live there I want to make sure I speak fluently. But that’s just ME! On the other hand, I can’t help but to feel “irked” when I hear people complain about the few places that don’t speak English here in PR, I mean it’s not like I’m going to go to the US and expect people to speak to me in Spanish. If you go to any other Latin-American country you will find many people that speak English in the tourist sections, but not so much in the non-tourist areas, the same happens here.

        I am so sorry you’re having a hard time here, but I assure you that a different approach to some circumstances will give you a new outlook on life here. This island is not for everyone, and I have worked with many people from the US from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, married to locals or from the US, etc. The main pattern persists, those who want to be a part of the local culture and are willing to learn the basics of Spanish and go out and explore the island, are by far the ones that love it here. However, those who believe that the US is better than PR, who thinks everyone has to speak to them in English because English is better than Spanish (especially some really arrogant and rude people), and those who have a superiority complex; those types of people HATE it here. The rest fall somewhere in the middle, some good things some bad, sometimes more bad things than good things. I personally think there are more good things than bad but I wouldn’t consider myself someone who thinks this is the best place to live in the world because it isn’t, there are some definite drawbacks, but I’ve also noticed that my attitude towards the problems are a better predictor of my satisfaction here than the situation itself, meaning that I can make a big problem seem small and spend more time and energy on the good things.

        A recent example is a former co-worker I had who is African-American decided to move back to the US after living here for 10 years. She recently said that she had forgotten how bad racism was over there and that in just 3 days after her arrival up there she started to hear tons of racial slurs and hate towards her, something that she never experienced here even though she didn’t speak any Spanish. So, like you, she was incredibly frustrated with many things about PR, but she never felt less than, while now that she’s back in the US it’s becoming increasingly difficult not to get angry at the whole racial supremacy thing. You see, some things affect some people more than others, it depends on which affects you and what you thing it’s best for you or for anyone else who reads this.

        I hope things get better for you and I wish you the best of luck in whatever decision you make. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need anything.

        Take Care

        • HI Jay,

          I just stumbled upon this site while looking for inexpensive places to rent short-term while I look for a house of my own (away from cities!). I’m Puerto Rican but we spoke English at home.

          I never really learned Spanish (which is shocking!). But when I write to say, an fb site, I candidly write in English. I understand all to well the issues Puerto Ricans have with their own command of the language and feeling offended when people think everyone knows English.

          But I also think it’s high time that we all get over it and do our best to go on with communicating. I do understand, read and write Spanish well. So if I just write “You can answer in Spanish”, even that doesn’t seem to help.

          C’mon folks! When I do come back home to live out the rest of my life, are we going to be like acting stupid or are we going to be the open, friendle, do anything for your neighbor kind of people we are at heart?



          • Oh, when I’m home for a couple months I will be rattling off in Puerto Rican just like the next gal. Sometimes I think about pretending I don’t understand Spanish just to see how that goes – it would be a social experiment!


          • Jay-Webmaster

            I’ve done it. I’ve never had anyone say bad things about me or my family in Spanish (contrary to the persistent fear of people badmouthing others). I actually get treated rather nicely when I speak English. But that has been MY experience. I have seen others get treated poorly but it is mainly an attitude thing, many people think that if you are rude and tough when you are demanding a service then you will get what you want, it doesn’t work like that here. If you want good service you have to be nice, if you are rude and demanding you’ll get ignored or get worse service, and it is like that with just people in general.

        • Hi Jay,

          I am Priscilla who wrote the comments that I’m not sure if your reply below them were actually meant to be in response to them.

          Would you please explain?



          • Hi again Jay!

            I understand now about your comment in response to folks getting bad experiences at stores.



  18. Jay-My wife and I are getting close to retirement, about 6 months. Our plans have always been to move to Puerto Rico. Both of our parents were born there, when I was younger I would go there every other summer. It was my fresh-air fund.
    We are concern with health care in the Island we hear so many horror stories. Our hearts are so set in retiring that is why we are doing our homework.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I am not sure why the horror stories or which stories you’re talking about. But I can tell you that a big reason why I am STILL in PR is precisely because of the doctors and the care we receive here. I’m not exaggerating, one thing I LOVE about PR is how easy it is to get the healthcare I need. Message me on Facebook or the webmaster email account, I can answer some questions you may have.

  19. Jay…thanks sooo much for this website! I am 57 years old still working and have the opportunity to relocate to PR with my employer…(not government) I have heard good and bad about PR over the years but have never had the opportunity to visit. Have always dreamed of living in the islands. Love everything about new cultures, water, beach, adventure and sailing. Reading all these comments (and your replies) has been a great resource for me. Thanks Again

    • Jay-Webmaster

      You’re very welcome, this is the main reason why I spend the time doing this. I’m so happy you find this site useful!

      Hope to see you around here soon!

      Take Care

  20. Hi Jay,

    Thanks for the nice article. I like the positive spin you put on all the “negatives” that people new to the island or culture might find disagreeable. Kudos.

    I think there is one important point missing in your write up. It is something that I don’t think you’ll be able to find much silver lining for. Too many people here are simply inconsiderate to each other and the environment – there is no nice way to put it.

    This is what I think one person referred to as the third worldish. I don’t know if it has to do with the level of economic development, but it is certainly lack of personal and cultural development. And yes, based on something like that you can make objective and comparative judgements about one culture vs another. I actually find myself agreeing more with the comment you took offense to.

    When you see someone stopping on the road to talk to a friend blocking traffic for minutes (pull over for crying out loud), throwing trash out the window while driving, throwing an old fridge (or a car) down the mountain to save themselves a hassle of a trip to the dump, dumping oil down the municipal drain, or blasting a radio on the beach or in the car, you can call it a happy go lucky attitude, or a joy of life, but I think at some point you have to admit that those people (not everyone of course, but enough to not be rare here) are just interested in their own well being at the EXPENSE of everyone else. I think this attitude is very prevalent here and is at the heart of many things you pointed out and then so nicely span into semi-positives.

    One example, government offices. I find the employees there on a constant power trip, completely disinterested and ignorant of their customers’ problems, time, well being, etc. It’s not happy go lucky, be nice to me or I’ll be nasty to you, but just not giving crap as long as they get their (unearned respect, money, time off for lunch, coffee, chat etc).

    Sorry to be a dumper on this “positive criticism” parade, but I’m interested in your take on that. Do you see it and does what I wrote change your point of view at all?

    Thanks again, I really enjoyed your article.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Unavo and thank you for your well articulated comment, this is what I am looking for in comments from the readers.

      First of all, this is not a “positive criticism parade” in the least. In fact, if you knew me at all, or if you read all of the posts I’ve written over the years you would know that I am neither an optimist or a pessimist. I am a realist, I say things how they are and I always want to always expose the other side of the coin. People get hung up on what they believe is true but most of the time it is because their point of view is what they focus their time and energy on and they don’t bother to see things in a different light. This article was mainly written to that type of crowd, those who come here and have one point of view or are “tainted” by those who surround them and then they only see the negative side and never either the positive side or the actual real side of things.

      It happened as recent as last week. A now former co-worker of mine moved back to the US, not because he hated it here, he actually liked it here quite a bit, but his wife, which never left the house and only stayed home or in contact with a very small group of friends (none of which were native to PR), decided she has had enough and she hated it here and was ready to take the kids and move back by herself leaving him here. I told him from the first day that she needed to experience PR and make her own judgement, but she didn’t and she had to leave, on the other hand, he did experience PR on his own and met the local people and understood the culture and he told me that he would’ve liked to have stayed in PR through his children’s college since it is so cheap here.

      So, since most of the people I encounter from the US are here generally due to work (mostly Federal Government), I wrote this post to let them know what to expect because these are by far the most common complaints I hear. The points I wrote about are not MY complaints, they are the complaints I hear over and over again from those who move here and hate it. Which brings me to the next point, the trash.

      The trash point you argue is something that is very true and it makes my blood boil when I see it! The reason I didn’t write about it was because it is actually not the most common complaint, in fact it probably isn’t even in the top-10 complaints about Puerto Rico from the people I encounter on a daily basis! But it is true, and there is no way around it, it is rather unfortunate to say the least. There has been numerous campaigns and the fines for throwing trash has increased from $100 to $1000, but nothing seems to work. I don’t know what will. Having said that, I did write about that very subject on another post called “6 Things I Wish Were Different in Puerto Rico”.

      The people, when I was talking about a happy go lucky type of culture I was not talking about people who blast the radio in the beach or the car, and even though like you accurately pointed out that it is not rare to see that (I would argue it’s a known issue but a rare occurrence), the overwhelming majority of cars on the road or people in the beaches do not blast their radios. Having said that, that truly is annoying for me and others but some people don’t really care, also, out of the numerous times I have been to the beach, I’ve only encountered a loud radio once, and I just set up shop far away so I didn’t have to deal with that “music” (I’m not a fan of rap), so it really didn’t bother me anyway.

      Government offices are a common problem and I wrote a completely separate post just on that very subject although not explicitly worded, I did write about my recent driver’s license renewal called “The Wonders of Renewing Your Driver’s License in Puerto Rico”. I also did write about it in the aforementioned post of 6 Things I Wish Were Different in Puerto Rico. That too is not a common complaint and the reason is because you have to deal with them on rare occasions, once you’re set up with them you only have to deal with them once every couple of years or so, therefore it is not a huge deal.

      So, does it change my view? Not really, as you can see, these issues you pointed out were out of this particular post but not the website overall. Like I said, I am a realist and I certainly do not see Puerto Rico through rose-colored glasses. I want people to know the good, the bad and the ugly before they move here so it does no one any favors if I only post the positive, I just want people to know the whole truth before they make their decision or judgment. Having said that, I do have a point of view and I know that some things suck, but certainly not all, and each one of us ultimately decide how we react to any one thing and how one thing affects you or me. What I love about this island may be what others hate.

      I really appreciate this comment, it gave me the opportunity to expand on a few other things that maybe other people were wondering about and didn’t get to read my other posts.

      Much appreciated.



  21. Hello Jay-Webmaster,

    I’m seriously considering a move there for a few years for education, cultural learning, and to speak better Spanish. I really don’t know where to start. I did find a school that will teach Nursing in English for my sister. now I have to narrow it down for me. We are older students with work experience.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I personally know someone who is going to 1 of the 2 Universities with English nursing programs. What I can say is for you to move quickly, these programs are extremely popular and fill up very quickly with people from the US due to its accreditation and the fact that it is MUCH more affordable than in the US. There will be no shortage of colleges and universities for you to attend here, the limitation is the language as there are only a few offerings in English.

      Is your main focus going to school? Then choose the school and move to a place nearby. That’s really it. Let me know if you need specific help! Happy Holidays!

  22. I have mixed feelings about the island. The laid-back attitude is great for vacation. You’re sure to have a fun time with people who don’t care what time of day it is. I can take it for two weeks. But any longer than that… OH HELL NO!

    I know this might offend people, but the Puerto Rican culture is third world-ish. At best!

    All you have to do is take a drive around to see what I mean. People are impatient on the road and don’t care if they disrupt traffic. As long as they get their way. Same goes for lines – might wanna check out Black Friday stores for this. And for he that says “it happens everywhere”, that doesn’t justify it happening here.

    There’s no respect for people’s private space. I don’t want to listen to what the neighbor’s listening to – probably because I’m trying to listen to music myself within the confines of my home. But nooooo, I have to engage in a high-school type shouting match with my speakers against theirs. It’s ridiculous.

    Oh, and what about those “tumbacocos”, advertising like it’s the 1980’s. With so many publicity platforms available these days, having a truck with loud speakers making noise promoting stuff I just don’t care about is flat out obnoxious. You’re pretty yelling “HEY! STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME! WHETHER WHAT I SAY IS OF IMPORTANCE TO YOU!” Annoying to no ends. Even AC consoles blasting around the house can tame the loud, crappy promotions you have to hear – you have no choice.

    And I don’t mind the laid back working attitude; again, it makes for a very relaxing environment. But when that attitude is followed by a bad decision, after bad decision, after bad decision – then the laid-backness is neutralized by the need to make ends meet. Which creates the crime waves PR is so famous for. And don’t get me started on that rotten attitude of “I do what I want because I can”. Ugh

    People who don’t get that you enjoy life after the work is done are a) too ignorant to know better, or b) too stupid to know better.

    I have had the opportunity to travel around the world (currently residing in Dusseldorf, Germany), and I must say – there’s a reason we have first-world countries and third world countries. And culture plays a major factor in the development of a community.

    Puerto Rico= nice place; lousy culture; tolerable (maybe even good) for vacation; unbearable to live and raise a family in.

    Happy Holidays everyone! 😉

    PS: I’m in PR right now for Thanksgiving. I come this time instead of Christmas because I find the Black Friday incidents hilarious. Like watching a bad movie.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Juan,

      First of all thank you for taking the time to write a good comment with some substance, even if I disagree, I really appreciate the well thought out comment as I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. Having said that, here’s a few things:

      1. What you don’t like about the laid back attitude is what I like the most. You mentioned living in Germany, funny thing that I spent Thanksgiving with some friends, one of which is from Germany and lives here now. She said that she can’t go back to Germany because the strict and rigid culture although efficient it makes for a constant stressful situation. She told me that she got the cops called on her one time simply because she was warming up her car before getting in while it was freezing in the winter. She is a lot more relaxed here, she laughs more and the four seasons are overrated. Interestingly though, I did too have friends who couldn’t wait to get back to Germany, they finally moved back to Germany last May, they lived here for 3 years and hated it, even though they didn’t go anywhere or did anything to get to know the people, culture, cuisine or places to see; they decided they hated it here and decided to move back, they are happier there. So there are people who like one thing and other people that like another thing, you find what fits you.

      2. You said the comment may offend some people, then you said the Puerto Rican culture is third world-ish at best, then you said further down that the culture is lousy. Yeah, that’s offensive. Regardless of whether I like one culture or not, agree or disagree with a culture, I personally would never make any comment suggesting that any one culture is better than the other. I personally enjoy the Puerto Rican culture quite a bit and I was born and raised here, love many things about it, just like the German likes his/her German roots. i don’t think my culture is any less than any other and I don’t think other cultures are better or worse than any other. Yeah that was offensive.

      3. Loud speakers, I have to deal with that maybe 2 or 3 times a year except for election years like this one. It’s part of the deal and it lasts for all of 30 seconds at most.

      4. I happen to have studied criminal justice and criminology in the US, I also studied drug habits and crime in PR. Too long of a subject to argue here, but there are MANY reasons for why the crime is the way it is here.

      5. Like I said, I was born and raised here, I did not grow up with fancy things and I always thought (still do) that many other countries are far more advanced technologically. But I grew up in an environment free of racism and prejudice, an environment full of music and laughter and a culture that made me feel like the stranger was your friend and not someone to be scared of, a culture full of dancing and hugging and kissing and just niceness all around. Most of those things I could not do in other countries.

      BUT, having said this, there is a certain appeal to other countries that have figured out how to be more efficient. There are good things and bad things to everything and every place. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

      Thanks again for the good comment.

  23. P.R. is like a Facebook photo, it looks good on-line until you see it in person.

    I hate it here. People here are racist! My wife is white and she gets mistreated all the time no matter where she goes. My guess is that she has naturally blond hair and green eyes. She didn’t have to go to the store to look that way. My kids get made fun of for not speaking Spanish and not by the kids either. But hey “WE are colorblind, we love you, and blah blah blah” It’s a bunch of BS.

    I cant wait to leave here. The way my family and I have gotten treated since we have arrived has been nothing less than a nightmare. I’m Puerto Rican and I am embarrassed that my family has gotten the “American Treatment” because I married a white woman and did not teach my children to speak Spanish.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Oh boy, another angry comment that just accuses others without providing any substance or examples (insert emoji here).

      First of all, your accusations are so incredibly outlandish that I personally question how much truth there is to this comment. In the 20+ years I’ve lived here I have never heard anything even remotely close to what you described!

      In case you didn’t know, I too married a white woman with green eyes, and like your kids, mine do not speak Spanish either and I (nor anyone I know, and I know a lot of people from the US living here) have gone through anything like that AT ALL! In fact, I had a co-worker move back to the US after living here for 12 years, she told me that the ONE thing she will miss the most about PR is the lack of racism and it hurts her deeply to have to go back to that environment in the US.

      I suppose I sometimes get “the look” from the locals when they find out that my children have been here for so many years and we have made no attempt to teach them Spanish, but it is because we as parents are doing as disservice to our children by not making them learn Spanish. Nowadays it is incredibly important to know more than 1 language and we are not taking the opportunity to teach them Spanish, which is bad. Except that the problem is that we are actually trying to teach them Spanish and immerse them with Spanish-speaking children, but the other kids like my kids so much that they speak to them with the little English they know so that they feel included in the group.

      I don’t know what you mean by the “American Treatment”, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that, especially when we don’t even say “American” with respect to the US. To be fair though, just because I nor anyone I know has experienced anything remotely similar to what you describe doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, it’s just so completely uncharacteristic to everything I know about the Puerto Rican culture and people, it just doesn’t even make sense, it doesn’t compute, my brain is going “Error, error”. In fact, even though I know perfect Spanish, I sometimes speak English or have my wife make the arrangements of something for the simple fact that people respond more positively to us when we speak English, so I hope you understand that I feel that your case is extremely isolated, if it’s even true!

      Another thing, if you read the post, you have to realize that people in PR are not politically correct at all, and they are not used to having people be offended as easily. So many people from the US come here and get super offended over every little thing it’s ridiculous, so if that’s you, then you will have a very difficult time, especially when they are not trying to offend you, people here are just “real”, they say it how it is and that’s it.

      I don’t expect for everyone to like it here, I know many people who hate it, most of which really don’t leave the military base or the neighborhood they live in, they don’t go anywhere and just hear what other’s say and then believe blindly that it is “SO BAD” here without actually experiencing it. In some cases it’s so bad that a group of people i met wouldn’t even TRY THE LOCAL COFFEE! Why? Because they heard it’s not good!!! Are you kidding me!? This is a group of people who live in a nice neighborhood with a pool and nice commons area, they keep to themselves and rarely if ever leave the neighborhood, yet they hate it here and they hate the delicious Puerto Rican coffee without even trying it!

      I really hope, for your sake, that you get to leave soon and live happily wherever you go, Puerto Rico is not for everyone. But please don’t say and make accusations that we are a bunch of racists and that we treat people poorly based on looks and background because that is simply not true, not true AT ALL, not even a little bit.

      Thank You for your comment.

  24. I was born and raised in PR and left the island when I was a young man. I have been in over 27 countries and hundreds of cities around the world and I will have to say that there is no other country like Puerto Rico. I know by now you are saying am bias, Yes. I suppose I’m. But what makes the island the best country in the world to me is that we love everyone the same way, no matter what. We are color blind. If you are black, white, Chinese, European, or what ever, we don’t care. Period. We get down and accept everyone, no matter what.

    The US, however, is racially motivated and it is difficult for non-whites to be accepted and be treated fairly.

    Keep the island happy.

    God bless Puerto Rico and its beautiful people.

  25. the reason that we are retiring to PR is not because my wife is Puerto Rican but i born and raised in the states and not being Puerto Rican love the simplicity of life there. i love the fact that people are always happy no matter how rich or how poor they are. ive always been accepted where ever i go. i might get a few stares now and again but i have never had a bad experience. as i have said i am not bilingual but can get by and if we dont understand each other we will talk and find a way to understand. my step children and my wife helping does not hurt. on weekends in the towns or mountains there is always music being played and always dancing and people having a good time. unlike here in the states searching for something to do other than yard work or house work.ive been visiting PR for 25 years now and it is time to live it

    • Jay-Webmaster

      That is very true. No matter what happens, most people here are happy overall and their spirit never breaks. Music and dancing is everywhere, people are very accepting of others as well. Strangely though I’ve met many people from other countries who actually hate that about the local culture, they hate the music playing at stores and they feel that by still being happy regardless of what happens it means that they don’t care, which is not true, they simply react differently and decide to continue being happy. I’m not saying that one way is better than the other but if you are the type of person that hates it when others are happy and like to sing and dance and laugh at anything, then this island is really not for you.

      • I tell this story to a lot of gringos like my self and it took me a couple of years to understand it but the story is as follows.when my wife and I would go to see her family in New York and they lived in Bushwick its one of the poorest areas in new York and a predominantly Puerto rican and black area.we would be there and I myself would think “what the heck am I doing here” this is to rough for me. she would see something,maybe a flower or a set of curtains,or just any object.she would see it and say Aye Que Lindo,Que Bonito and the whole day be so content with that object and not seeing the bad or impoverished area around her just that object which was Que Lindo. I now understand why after visiting Puerto rico and her family for some 25 years now. there is always beauty every where no mater how poor or bad things are there is always something just to be content about. that is Puerto Rico and its people and that is why I love it there.

  26. Hey Jay,

    You just keep your head held high. People who complain are most likely the type that complain about everything. You know the type, they say things like “we don’t do that where I come from”. To them, nothing is better than where they come from and they should just stay there. As a blind person I can only imagine the natural beauty of the island but, the true beauty is the people. I can tell you care about people and Puerto Rico from your writing. My wife and I do not live on the island yet, we do spend a lot of time there. Perhaps one day we will meet and take you for lunch.

  27. WOW!
    I don’t think I have ever sat here, and smiled more about any ‘review’ like I smiled about yours! I am very much a newcomer to this gorgeous paradise, and fell in love with it the very first week I got here. I was just supposed to stay here for vacation for two weeks, but turned around after week one, canceled my return ticket, and just stayed. After day 10 I was an official resident here.

    I LOVE the mentality of the people here, I love their affectionate, welcoming ways and their willingness to accept you just the way you are, and that from the first minute they meet you.
    I LOVE this island with all its beautiful sights, even with the annoying potholes. I think there are much worse things on this planet than dealing with stuff that you know will be unavoidable. I am glad that PR is NOTHING like the US!! You have your own history, you have your own unique mix of people, and that is just the way it needs to stay.
    Yes – things here are different. Yes, the power goes out, the water goes out, customer service sucks a lot of times, but you know what? PEOPLE TRY. And that is all that matters. There is a price to pay to live in paradise, no matter where on this planet.
    And this price, I gladly pay.

    IN LOVE WITH PUERTO RICO. Forever and always.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Kiki!

      I am sure glad you like it here! Like anywhere else, PR is not for some people, and I really wanted to hit on some topics that I have actually gotten lots of complaints. The one that really baffles me is that so many people think that because so many people here are still happy regardless of the financial situation that somehow means that they don’t care and that they don’t try. It’s hard for many people to understand how hard it is to break our lively spirit even in the worst of times. Yes we complain, we try, but ultimately if there’s nothing else we can do we just roll with the punches and try to have a good time while we’re at it!

      But, truth is that this is a different place, which could be good for some (like in your perspective) but bad for some other people’s perspective. I’m glad you liked my post, I hope it is a helpful post for many who are considering to move to Puerto Rico.

      Like you, I gladly “pay” the price to live here. I was supposed to be here for 2 years and It’s been 8 with no plans of leaving.

      Take Care!

  28. Wow, sorry to hear you’re getting hateful messages. People should be grateful for this wonderful website that you put so much personal time and effort into. Not to mention the time you take to answer so many questions and comments. I have my own personal issues/challenges with living here but I try to work them out the best I can. You’re free to either lead by example or leave the island.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Thank You for the nice comment, I truly appreciate you taking notice of the hard work I put into this website to help others.

      Take Care

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