Tag Archives: Puerto Rican food

Vegan food options in Vieques, Puerto Rico!

New to Puerto Rico? Struggling to find healthy food alternatives? Try these tasty ideas for your visit to Vieques!


Lighthouse in Vieques

Lighthouse in Vieques

For additional relocation assistance following your move to Puerto Rico, please contact Global Perceptions. We provide relocation and language learning programs for your whole family as well as corporate communication training. Contact us today!



Relocation, Relocation, Relocation: Part II

The latest installment in our Relocation, Relocation, Relocation series is here! Count on Global Perceptions to provide you with the tips and advice you need to facilitate your international relocation process in Puerto Rico. Read on to find out what to expect in terms of weather, food, clothing styles, and holiday celebrations.

Weather: Puerto Rico is an island located in the Caribbean Sea where the temperature fluctuates between 80 and 95 degrees during most of the year. The sun shines for a good part of the year while rain takes over at other times. There is little that can be done to prepare yourself for drastic temperature changes other than to purchase lightweight clothing. Air conditioning will be your best friend for awhile, but watch out as electric bills can be very high if the AC runs often. Because of its location, Puerto Rico is also prone to hurricanes. Hurricanes can be scary, but with our tips, you’ll be ready!

Dress: People in Puerto Rico are very conscious of their appearance. Whereas some cultures are laid back in their approach to clothing or hair styles, Puerto Ricans prefer to make positive statements through the use of designer clothing and accessories, paired with fresh haircuts and manicures. Women often dress up and apply make-up to run errands. Men also pay attention to their image. They buff their shoes, starch their shirts, and do a considerable amount of “man-scaping.” If you are ever confused about what to wear to an event, it is recommended to be over-dressed rather than under-dressed.

Food: One of the best things about living in a new culture is trying the different foods. Use this opportunity to try local seafood, plantain side dishes, rum drinks, and custard desserts. Stop at a roadside stand for alcapurrias, bacalaitos, empanadas, or piononos. If you’d rather fill up on fruits than fried foods, there are plenty to choose from as well. Mangos, papayas, pineapple, and guava are widely available depending on the time of year and make great fruit smoothies. Desserts range from flan (vanilla, cheese, guava, among others) to tres leches (3-milk cake) to arroz con dulce (sweet rice). Be adventurous! Try them all!

Holidays: Celebrations are rampant. Anything, small or large, can cause people to gather and toss back a few. If, however, you’re celebrating a major event, months worth of planning may take place prior to the big day. Such celebrations include: your baby’s first birthday and christening, your daughter’s 15th birthday (quinceañera), or a wedding. Such grandiose celebrations can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Some may see this as a waste of money, but in Puerto Rico such lavish parties are commonplace. Of course not everyone has the money for events like this but for those who do, giving their child the best party ever is paramount on their minds.


For more tips and advice on relocation in Puerto Rico, keep reading our blog! More relocation tips are soon to follow! We share what we know to help you through each step of the relocation process.  Feel free to comment and to share your experiences as well! We look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t forget that we are offering FREE CONSULTATIONS for Spanish lessons for both adults and children until September 15, 2012. Contact Global Perceptions TODAY for an appointment! Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764. 


Supermarket alternatives in Puerto Rico

One comment that Global Perceptions staff often hear from clients who have relocated to Puerto Rico is that they prefer the grocery stores back home. Usually this is due to what they perceive to be a lack of selection. Those accustomed to shopping at World Market or Trader Joe’s will not find that type of store here. Remember, this is an island in the middle of the Caribbean where the intense humidity makes food spoil much more quickly than in cooler climates, preventing people from buying in bulk. If you don’t want to give up high quality, fresh, or even organic foods, there are a number of alternatives. Read on for details on meat markets, organic food stores, and farmer’s markets across Puerto Rico.

Meat Markets

To purchase high quality cuts of meat, visit La Hacienda Meat Center. Their selection includes chicken, ground beef, churrasco, pork, steak, fish, lamb, and more. They also carry fresh fruits and vegetables and offer a nice selection of foreign foods including Mediterranean and Middle Eastern products like hummus and tabouli. Juices and wines from across the world are also available.

La Hacienda Meat Center has 3 locations: one on Ave. De Diego near Logan’s Pub in Cupey, another in the Garden Hills Shopping Center on Carretera 19 in Guaynabo, and a third store in Dorado on Carretera 693 between the Walgreen’s and CVS Pharmacy.

You can also find quality cuts of meat and fresh produce in bulk at Cost-co and Sam’s Club stores throughout the island.

Organic Stores

FreshmarT was founded in 1995, establishing itself early in the race to provide natural foods in Puerto Rico. With 5 stores across the island (Aguadilla,Caguas,Carolina, Hato Rey, and Manatí), it’s easy to find healthy substitutes that may not be available in major grocery stores. Whether you’re looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free, they have it. FreshmarT stores also offer a variety of baby food products, bath and body products, vitamins, supplements, snacks, beverages, and even pet products.

Many smaller stores also exist across the island some of which include restaurants where they serve vegetarian and/or vegan meals. For a list of these stores and their locations, click http://www.happycow.net/north_america/caribbean/puerto_rico/.

Farmer’s Markets

Río Piedras is well-known for its market in the center of town. All types of local products including: yuca, plantains, pineapples, mangoes, yautía, ñame, avocados, fresh fish, chicken, and much more line the booths of the kiosks. The incredible variety of products can be overwhelming, but the overall experience can be more than overwhelming for those who are not accustomed to such a sight or don’t speak much Spanish. For those who are adventurous, it’s definitely a great place to learn more about the Puerto Rican culture and its foods.

In La Placita in Santurce there is also a market much like that in Río Piedras, but smaller. For those in the Condado, Isla Verde, or Santurce areas, that one is closer.

Those who prefer to stay in tourist areas where more English may be spoken, should consider the different Farmer’s Markets that take place during the month. On Saturday mornings in Old San Juan, make your way to the Mercado Agrícola Natural at 150 Calle Norzgaray in the Museo de San Juan. There you can find organic foods, plants, homemade cards, and other local specialties.

The first and third Sundays of the month showcase organically-grown foods at the Placita Roosevelt in Hato Rey. Additionally, Plaza las Américas has nearly 100 vendors selling foods, cheeses, honey, soaps, salsas, plants, breads, and candies the last Thursday-Sunday of each month. Go to the third floor near the JCPenney entrance.


As you can see, there are several alternatives to the chain supermarkets in Puerto Rico. Many more vegetarian restaurants and stores are popping up all the time so be sure to visit them and try all the delicacies that Puerto Rico has to offer!


For more information on the products and services offered by Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, please visit www.globalperceptions.net