The Local Expat: Larry

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What is it like to live in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico Luxury interviews expats that have moved to Puerto Rico in recent years. Learn what motivated them to move here, how they live and how they have managed to adapt to the change.  If you are considering the move yourself, learn from their observations and experiences in Puerto Rico, a place they now call their home.

Meet Larry from Ohio via Chicago who relocated to Rincón, Puerto Rico

How long have lived in Puerto Rico?

Larry: Full time since 2013– part time since 2009

How many people moved to Puerto Rico with you?
Larry: I moved by myself after my daughters graduated from high school

What did you know about Puerto Rico before coming here?
Larry: I knew a fair amount but not much Spanish

What where you most anxious about when moving here?
Larry: How I would integrate culturally

How did that perspective change?
Larry: I started to volunteer and got involved with the road cycling community on the island

Do you think Puerto Rico gets a bad rap in the press?
Larry: I think some is deserved – the government does not function efficiently and they have are not good at a lot of basic services – garbage pickup or power outages for example

What surprised you the most about Puerto Rico once you got here?
Larry: The weather is much nicer than Chicago and the people are very friendly

What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life in Puerto Rico?
Larry: I have a gringo mindset around efficiency and that just isn’t how this island works. We don’t even have street addresses in Rincón

How do you rate services in Puerto Rico (1-10)?
Larry: 4 /10. It’s hard to get things done here – especially government related services

What areas do you think need most improvement?
Larry: Privatize the basics – garbage, utilities and focus on improving schools

Has it been easy for you to meet new people?
Larry: Yes – there is diverse community in Rincón and I am very involved in activities.

How do you feel Puerto Rican’s treat foreigners?
Larry: In the west, it’s great. I make it a point to get involved though.

What is your favorite thing to do in Puerto Rico?
Larry: Cycling – awesome and friendly group of people

What is your favorite place in Puerto Rico?
Larry: Rincón – Sandy Beach specifically

What is your favorite restaurant?
Larry: Pool Bar Sushi and Green Thumb Grill – both in Rincón

Are you learning Spanish?
Larry: Yes!! Rincón spoils you because English is widely spoken. I am catching on!

What is the word in Spanish most often used by you?
Larry: Qué haces??

What makes Puerto Rico special / what do you enjoy most?
Larry: Weather, tropics, music, culture.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about relocating to Puerto Rico?
Larry: Go for it! It’s been one big adventure since I moved!

As American living in Puerto Rico, Larry wanted to find a way to give back.  The local public elementary school had dreamed of a library and even had plans drafted up years before.  But they needed a building, books and a librarian.

Larry funded and coordinated a group of people from the community – American and Puerto Rican – took a pavilion and added walls and flooring and built the structure.  They were able to get free labor or discounted help from local contractors then used social media to start a book drive and literally received books from all over the island, the U.S. and all over the world – even Spain.

“It was great to see everyone working together.  Too often American’s don’t get involved but this Island has lots of needs if we are going to make it great!”

Pool Bar Sushi, Rincón, P.R., http://poolbarsushi.com/

Green Thumb Grill, 1 Calle Comercio, Rincon, P. R. 00677, 787-609-7777

Sandy Beach, Rincón, P. R.

New library in the Public Elementary School, Rincón, P.R.

 

 

 

 

 

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