Who has not dreamed of living and working on an island in the Caribbean at least once in their life? The Caribbean islands occupy part of the Caribbean Sea. The archipelago consists of numerous islands: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Barbados, Jamaica. Puerto Rico, Cuba, Martinique and many others. Some are French, some Dutch, some American, some British, but most are former Spanish or British colonies that are now independent.
The most popular of all islands with foreigners is the Dominican Republic. It has the fastest growing economy in the entire Caribbean. It has beautiful beaches. It offers options for every budget, from the lesser known and economical areas to luxurious destinations.
Since there are many islands that are different from each other, life on each island is also different. Some islands are safer than others. Medical care is better on the larger islands, but the crime situation is worse. The transportation system is better on the larger islands, but urbanization has often destroyed the beauty of the natural environment.The landscapes change depending on the island, but always consist of beautiful seas with magnificent beaches.
The infrastructure on the islands is often inadequate: inadequate road network, inadequate garbage collection, power outages, slow internet, etc. Government corruption delays all renewal processes. The state officials are so corrupt that no islanders trust them.
Many people are drawn to the Caribbean because they are attracted to the climate. And it’s no coincidence that the climate in the Caribbean is almost perfect. Normally the temperatures are about 28 degrees during the day and 24 degrees at night. But after 7:00 p.m. it is always dark. The islands are near the equator, and the sun generally rises between 6 and 7 in the morning and sets between 6 and 7 in the evening
The problem in the Caribbean is not the heat but the humidity, which can also be very high and very annoying. This climate is also responsible for the enormous number of insects on the islands. Insects are literally everywhere in the Caribbean. It should also be remembered that the hurricane season lasts from July to September, is no walk in the park in the Caribbean. Some islands are more prone to hurricanes and tropical storms than others.
The cost of living varies greatly depending on the island, but basically most goods and products have to be imported because there are generally no local production and agriculture is very limited, so they are very expensive and the range is not very wide, the shopping is limited, and many people go to the United States to shop. Travel to the Caribbean is very expensive: there are no budget airlines and a flight to a nearby island can cost up to $250. And that’s a shame if you just want to take a short vacation to another island.
Apart from the Dominican Republic and Cuba, the rest of the islands are very sparsely populated and all the inhabitants are somehow connected. So you will find yourself in a very small environment where everyone knows each other and in small communities there is no privacy and no secrets.
People have a totally relaxed attitude, they live from day to day and don’t know the meaning of the word stress, which is a great way to deal with life, but if you need something or someone (plumber, mechanic, etc.), you should know that you can trust anyone. Here are some simple rules: “I’ll do it today” means they’ll do it in five days. “I’m on my way” means they haven’t even left yet. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes” means it’ll be in two hours.
Getting a good job depends on “who you know” If you have the right connections you can get a job or do something within a few weeks, otherwise it can take years. In terms of job opportunities, to work in most Caribbean islands require a work permit, which is issued only after the government determines that no local person can fill the position.
Tourism is the main industry on which all the islands depend heavily. Therefore, the only jobs available to a foreigner are in the tourism industry. Keep in mind that unemployment is very high on the islands, so do not think that travelling to the Caribbean to look for work is a piece of cake.
Living and working in the Caribbean – pros and cons
Living and working in the Caribbean, pros
- Good weather
- Relaxed life
Living and working in the Caribbean, cons
- Poor services and infrastructure
- High cost of products
- Difficult to find work
In summary, what is it like to live in the Caribbean?
It must be said that the various Caribbean islands differ greatly in size, nature, language, people and economy. The one thing that unites them all is the joy of living. The Caribbean is a paradise, but of course it is also fraught with problems. Living on a Caribbean island surrounded by jungle hills and postcard beaches seems like a dream. Life on an island can be a paradise, but it can also be stressful, depending on your character and ideas about life.
That is why life in the Caribbean islands is not for everyone. Many people return to their countries of origin after a short time. Life on a small island is suitable for those who like to talk to everyone on the street, where everyone knows everyone. It is suitable for those who want to find themselves.
Certainly there is good weather, beaches and nature in the Caribbean. But most islands are very small and travel is very expensive, so options are limited and it can get very boring in the long run.