Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is Curaçao getting dangerous?

Since I did say this was not going to be about whining, or complaining about my new home.... I have to talk about everything about my old one: good and bad. This weekend I had a long phone chat with my good friend Kathy, still living in Curaçao. After our usual ramblings about what have we been up to... we came to the part where I asked how are things back on the island. This usually means...is it still safe? are there any new threats to personal security? Well, there are the usual: robberies, break-ins, people don't just go walking alone, or go out at night alone. There are the sprinkle of murders and rapes, drug busts and fatal car accidents. None of this is peculiar to this island.... look around where you live....

In the few years since I left, people seem to have discover Curaçao. Can't believe it took them so long. Unfortunately, this interest has come from all sorts of people. Not everyone that arrives is a desirable expat...isn't that something?... but expected. In the meantime, Holland has diminished the help it once gave Antilleans moving there...many have moved back and there are not enough jobs or services to keep up with this returning population. Curaçao is after all..... a third world country. Can't get used to the developing country bit.

There is a great program for retired people or pensionados that give them tax breaks and other incentives. This has attracted many Europeans and Americans looking for their spot in the sun. Property prices still seem great to them, so there is a construction boom. New hotels are popping up and that can only be good... if the developers keep them as hotels.... not all inclusive resorts. Or maybe that is only my wishful thinking. Individual hotels and secluded beaches are more my style.

Because the Antillean Guilder is attached to the dollar, your money can be safe there. Don't forget that the island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, so indirectly you'll be in an EU country..... with a beach! Talking of which.. the weather is gorgeous, dry and breezy and outside the hurricane belt.. could it get better? Yes, the people are friendly and would go to lengths to be helpful. Finally, there are the year-round activities: Carnival, Queen's Birthday, Sinterklas (Dutch St. Nicholas), New Year's Eve island-wide fireworks....life in the Tropics is a party. At least part of the time.

If you are looking for a new home.... why not Curaçao? You'll be able to afford a better life, probably. All depends if you are willing to go native: learn the language...not Dutch but Papiamentu...the musical language of the island, mix with the locals and make friends, get to understand the culture, get involved. Unfortunately, not everyone does this...it happens in any country with an expat community, but do I think Curaçao is more of a melting pot than other places.... or it was when I lived there. There is more acceptance too.

So, those looking for a spot in the sun, could do a lot worse than Curaçao...trust me! If you are one of those free spirits that can adjust and enjoy... this can be for you. Do your homework and you'll see. And is Curaçao getting dangerous? maybe, but isn't that called progress? It was last time I checked!

6 comments:

Jas Endicott said...

I'm considering emigrating from the U.S. to Curacao and would appreciate your advice and comments. If you have contact with an English-speaking expat community and attorney, please forward links to those sites. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Curacao is not a third world country. It has good infrastructure, good medical system, good social system (insurance) good education, an income per capita of USD 21000 etc.

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