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Where to live in the Caribbean?

Where to live in the Caribbean?

Old Dec 20th 2020, 9:55 pm
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Question Where to live in the Caribbean?

I'm looking to retire in a couple of years. I have worked in medicine (Paramedic then Physician Assistant which practices like an MD in the US.) and practiced in different areas of specialties including Adult medicine, Pediatrics, Wound Care and Hyperbaric medicine for a total of 35 years.
I want to get back into diving (I spent a year as a Divemaster in Grand Cayman many years ago and was a scuba instructor for 5 years in California ), I would like to volunteer and put my medical background to use in clinics, missions (non religious) or help out at diving recompression chamber.
I would like to find an area with great diving and a nice mixture of local and some expat communities.
I grew up in Northern England (Morecambe) but have spent the last 40 years in America. I have both British and US passports.
I expect to pay my way and be a benefit to a local community in any way I can
I plan to take vacation to various area to see what i think in the next couple of years
I've had Roatan suggested? BVI seems inviting? Bonaire has got fantastic diving?
Any suggestions from the community members would be appreciated
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 1:15 am
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Firstly consider whee you would be allowed to live. Your British passport means nothing and your us passport will let you live in a few American colonies like Puerto Rico.

Otherwise how will you gain permission to reside and work in the places you mention, doing work a local can probably do. Typically the best places only welcome citizenship by people who invest, a lot, and work permits though technically possible are granted at a cost to employers not employees needing skills not locally available.

Honduras is easy to retire to with a visa if your pension is enough but it doesn’t let you work.

Last edited by uk_grenada; Dec 21st 2020 at 1:21 am.
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

2 books were written maybe 20 years ago that are still relevant and will give you s lot of pointers - how to live in the Caribbean and how to retire in the Caribbean- same author.

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Old Dec 21st 2020, 5:49 am
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Im not looking to take job from a local. I'm not looking to be paid. I'm looking to live somewhere and give my services to the local community wherever I can
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

You misunderstand, im telling you the realities how it is viewed by most countries governments and some locals and why it is made so difficult. EG you worked in caymen, were you not aware of the governments views on incomers there?

Volunteering is a route in to some places, but these are normally managed by agencies in donor countries. Whether you are paid is sort of moot, you always require a status to reside somewhere and this is by connection or purchased effectively. A few places mostly poorer or underpopulated or less desirable regard retirees as a green industry, to be welcomed for the income they bring.
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

The realities financial and physical of what is usually island life, are very different from many other places, and its entirely correct of you to spend an extended time - 6-12 months? at no risk before you decide where, as too many have rosy glasses from time spent in 5* bubbles or local hotels with all whims catered for.

I would suggest you do as the book says - document what you must have , whats important to you, and investigate. I ended up here because i wanted to be in a green environment, no water issues, self sufficient agriculturally but with great stores, a place where income isnt taxed too much, has very low crime [this is vital] and a stable setup with not particularly racist population/government. Try the french islands if you want to interact with a population generally not happy to see you. Downside - its in most ways not cheap. Oh we have good diving but its all offshore, and we have excellent fisheries.

Consider - how good is a places education system? This will produce your politicians, bakers, cleaners, car mechanics and shop workers. How smart would you like your plumber to be? Actually i want them all to be smart and able to decide which politicians to back and to be able to do a good job and earn a living wage. This often doesnt happen and makes your life more difficult. Education in your country of choice matters.
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Thanks
I really appreciate your thought out views on the matter.
Do you happen to know how long one is allowed to reside in an island on as a visitor/tourist?
I'm sure it varies from country to country, but is there a typical time? Beyond that period what type of visa is required to live there longer?
Is there a web site (or some section of this site?) that deals with those issues?
I have been in communication with a large clinic in Roatan that seems they would be glad to have my help?
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

A tourist typically can stay between a month and 3, some islands will extend it for a fee and some wont. Also immigration will always want to know what funds you have and where you have arranged to stay. For example you cannot come here as a tourist unless you have a place booked and paid for your entire stay [receipt needed] plus health insurance plus currently of course a negative test. Your first week must be in an approved quarantine hotel.

These are all sovereign countries and their governments all operate websites and they are the only trustworthy sources as of course right now the info changes frequently.

Roatan is one of those places funded by tourism, this means that its populations poor right now and petty crime will be high, Honduras is rated as one of the most dangerous places to be in this part of the world, so be careful. https://www.ajs-us.org/learn/honduras-homicides
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Old Dec 21st 2020, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Maybe this is a nice starting point?

https://barbadoswelcomestamp.bb/

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Old Dec 21st 2020, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Thanks again
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Old Dec 22nd 2020, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

I rather fancy living in Havana. Not sure that is possible though in the past I have met English-speakers who worked there teaching English.
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Old Dec 22nd 2020, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I rather fancy living in Havana. Not sure that is possible though in the past I have met English-speakers who worked there teaching English.
Its interesting, i have a Grenada passport. As we were liberated by the cubans many years ago, [then liberated by the americans] we have a very close friendship, and an almost unique visitor arrangement. We are allowed to use the local currency, not the CUC most of the world are forced to use, we can stay indefinitely and dont have to pay for a visa. Its great to arrive on a US cruise line, refuse to complete the US documentation and saunter past huge queues of americans being fleeced, though i think these cruises have been stopped, access is via Miami Cayman Venezuela or Trinidad. NB all visitors have to pay into their national health service as a health insurance. Locally its about 1 us a week, or 1 us a day for tourists.

Can you teach there? Probably only as part of a cuban govt approved scheme with some NGO, and not if you have a us passport i suspect.
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Old Dec 22nd 2020, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

I think Cuba would be a great place to spend some time and with a UK passport perhaps more open to an extended stay?
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Old Dec 22nd 2020, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

No, the uk isnt regarded favourably, just not as disfavourably as the us. You can only stay a limited time as a tourist.
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Old Dec 23rd 2020, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Where to live in the Caribbean?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I rather fancy living in Havana. Not sure that is possible though in the past I have met English-speakers who worked there teaching English.
The poverty and real living conditions would certainly put me off and according to a Cuban work colleague I used to work with, this seems to be reality for a lot of people there.
https://havanatimes.org/features/liv...na-ruin-video/

I think I'll stick to visiting the "Little Cuba" in Europe:-)
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