12 Tips for Living in Patillas, Puerto Rico, US
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An expat talks about what it's like living in Patillas, Puerto Rico. The beaches are beautiful, there are wonderful bakeries and lots of Dominicans and Americans who have moved down from New York. Local food is great, but ethnic food (i.e. Chinese) is much better in San Juan.
Expat Life in Patillas
Most people moving here are Americans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans who spent most of their lives in New York, at least in the time before Hurricane Maria.
Cost of Living in Patillas, US
It is one of the few areas of PR where rentals right on the beach have always been attainable for around $600 per month. Those prices tripled due to the FEMA influx caused by the 2017 hurricane season but the expectation is that prices may return to normal when FEMA leaves.
Local Clubs and Organizations
I am not much of a club person but regular beach cleanups are organized.
International Schools in Patillas
The public schools are unspectacular. There is 1 hour a day required of English class. Many Puerto Ricans have learned more English from rap and reggaetone songs. English speaking kids are generally put back one year when they arrive but catch up quickly because of what they have already learned in their previous schooling. So a college prep child is not in the best possible place, but a child leaning toward Tech school will have a paradise of choices of excellent classes.
Shopping in Patillas
Their are great bakeries in the centro of Patillas and one well stocked supermarket but most people drive 20 minutes down the road to Pueblo or Amigo for grocery shopping in Guayama.
White vans known as guaguas travel main routes fairly regularly and will often detour or arrange a special trip to your destination for an extra fee. But it is better to rent a car if you want to go a distance too far for the guagua driver because taxis are going to get pricey.
It is tropical, but close enough to the dry forest to get less rain than the rain forest. Still you must protect your cell phone on a clear day if you don't want to pack it in rice for three days because of a sudden horizontal rain.
Restaurants and Nightlife
It is a pretty quiet area for nightlife. The best restaurants are local cuisine. The local Chinese food is unbearable. In fact if you want ethic food other than Puerto Rican, San Juan is a better choice.
Health Care Facilities in Patillas, US
This is a bit tricky. Sure good care is available, but I have seen Americans get treatment for an emergency and their insurance would be fine with that but tell them to go stateside for follow up treatment.
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Recreational Activities in Patillas
The beaches are the most popular recreation in the area. The nearest golf course is at Humacao. Hiking is best at El Junque. If you hear of a football game you can watch it will probably turn out to be soccer.
Residency and Visa Requirements
PR is a US territory, so Americans only need to arrive. Residency and Visas for other nationalities have the same requirements as the USA.
Crime in Patillas, US
As in most of the Caribbean, you have to be careful, aware of your surroundings, and smart. Your best jewelry could make your a target. Something left visible in your car could gt it broken into. Men can be obsessive pests to women. The usual things people watch out for are as much or more usual here.
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