Tag Archives: relocating to puerto rico

Who are we? What do we do? Get to know Global Perceptions!


Who are we? What do we do? Get to know Global Perceptions!

By: Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D.



If you are new to Puerto Rico or are thinking of moving here, we are a crucial resource for you. Whether coming alone, with family, or with your small business, we provide what you need from start to finish. Learn more about who we are and what we do at this link.



Intrigued? Want to know more? Contact our relocation experts to start planning your move to Puerto Rico!

Eugenio Maria de Hostos: A Puerto Rican Legend

The Life and Legacy of Eugenio María de Hostos


Written by Kerri Applegate


Eugenio M. de Hostos

Eugenio María de Hostos was born on January 11, 1839 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, but for someone from modest beginnings, he lived an extraordinary life. He went on to gain a multitude of titles, traveled to other countries to fight for social injustice, became known for his writing and philosophy, and championed the independence of Puerto Rico and Cuba. He was known for his charismatic and staunch devotion toward humanitarian causes. To tell a small portion of Hostos’s story is to go many places; let’s begin!

Hostos received his childhood education in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but by the age of 13 he was sent to Spain to finish high school, which he followed up with a bachelor’s degree at the University of Bilbao and a law degree at Madrid Central University. During this time period he wrote arguments against autonomic reform and the abolition of slavery, and was a member of a group called Spanish Republicans. Hostos wanted to see Puerto Rico and Cuba gain independence from Spain. When Spain refused to grant independence, Hostos left for the United States, joined the Cuban Revolution Committee, and became editor of a journal called “La Revolución” in New York City.  After two years, he left New York for South America where he advocated across the board for education and humanitarian causes. A few of Hostos’s accomplishments included:

  • fighting against the exploits of Chinese workers in Peru.
  • being the first individual in Chile to fight for women to be admitted into educational institutions. Hostos was known for his support of women’s rights throughout his life.
  • helping to establish the Trans-Andean Railroad in Argentina.
  • working on educational reform in Chile and Dominican Republic.
  • championing the independence of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic and wanting to create an Antillean Confederation.

    Hostos with the Puerto Rican flag

Hostos returned to New York to support the Puerto Rico and Cuban independence movements. After the Spanish-American War there was hope for independence, but Hostos was met with disappointment when the movement didn’t gain enough support in Puerto Rico and the island became a United States Territory. Nevertheless, Hostos continued to support humanitarian causes and went to the Dominican Republic where he worked to further improve education and railway systems. In 1903 Hostos died in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and his remains, per his request, will remain there until Puerto Rico becomes independent.

Being a true writer, he even wrote his own epitaph:

“I wish that they will say: In that island (Puerto Rico) a man was born who loved truth, desired justice, and worked for the good of men.”



For further cultural insights useful throughout your transition to Puerto Rico, visit http://global-perceptions.com/. Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, works closely with you, your family, and your company to assure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

It’s all about Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!


Relocating internationally is never easy, but the thought of leaving the frozen north for the sandy beaches of the Caribbean may make the process more enjoyable. Imagine yourself resting peacefully in a hammock, sipping a refreshing beverage while the salty ocean breeze passes over you. Sounds good, doesn’t it?



Unfortunately, everyday life in the Caribbean is not quite that simple. Wherever you come from, relocating to Puerto Rico can cause major culture shock. If you have no real understanding of the culture or history and don’t speak Spanish, it can be even more challenging. But you’re in luck! Following is some advice from a professional relocation company to help you prepare for your relocation journey in Puerto Rico.

1. The relocation process will take much longer than you anticipate in Puerto Rico. Even the most organized person will find that everything moves a little slower here. This is largely due to antiquated policies left in place from Spanish rule and a generally laid-back approach to life. Add on extra time to whatever you plan to do no matter if it’s get the groceries, pick up the kids from school, catch a movie, or pay a bill. And don’t be surprised if you don’t accomplish everything in one day, even if the same activities would have taken you only a couple of hours back home.

2. Be prepared for the traffic and driving techniques. If you come from a place where a traffic jam consists of more than three cars at the one red light in town, it can be a major shock! Driving in Puerto Rico requires one to be creative as well as watchful. Stop signs and red lights are merely suggestions, any lane can be a turn lane, turn signals are rarely used, speed limits are posted but not followed, and the slow people
tend to drive in the left lane. It takes some adjustment, but you can do it!


3. School curriculum may also be different from what you or your children are accustomed to. Even at the English-language schools that cater to newly-arrived families, there seems to be much more focus on reading and writing than creative thinking or problem solving. Additionally, daily homework in most classes is a reality and many projects require parental supervision if not participation. This is not necessarily bad, but is something parents should be aware of as they go about selecting schools.

4. Legally Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Culturally, it is far from the same. Do not expect your experience at McDonald’s, Home Depot, or Sears to be like that of any other experience. First, you are likely to find more people shopping on any given day. Second, employees will attend customers in more of a triage fashion than an “I was in the line first,” fashion. Third, the checkout lines are bound to be longer and slower. It doesn’t seem to matter where you go. Plan for such an experience; look at is as part of your cultural initiation and learn from the situation.

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. 

Continued Need for Cultural Training

The end has come to another thrilling two weeks of spirited athletic competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games. During the past two weeks, the world gathered virtually to cheer for their home teams and witness great triumphs from around the world. Oscar Pistorius of South Africa become the first double amputee to take the track. Sarah Attar became the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in the Olympics. American swimmer, Michael Phelps, became the most decorated Olympic athlete ever. These moments will forever be etched in history as moments when the world came together to celebrate no matter their cultural background. Sadly, thanks to Twitter, Greek triple jumper, Paraskevi Papachristou’s racist comments against the African immigration population of Greece will also live on in history.

As global citizens, we have come a long way from the days of boycotting Olympic Games due to political dissention and from the atrocities of the Munich games, but Papachristou’s comments demonstrate that we are still far from living in a culturally harmonious world. In the everyday world we have to interact with people from multiple cultures on a daily basis, making it crucial for us to understand basic intercultural communication principles.
However, most of us lack this knowledge. Cross-cultural communication training can go a long way toward resolving this issue.

Cross-cultural training can take many shapes and forms. Some companies offer information-rich, lecture style programs while others are more interactive. Some programs are theory driven and based on extensive research while others take a more practical, applied approach based on real world experience. Training professionals and company global mobility staff should carefully weigh the benefits of each style, always keeping in mind the style that best fits the culture of the organization. A group of educators, for instance, may prefer an interactive approach while a group of lab workers may consider lectures more appropriate.

If you are thinking that cross-cultural training is unnecessary in today’s corporate world, you may want to think again. The 2012 Brookfield Global Trends survey reports that 68% of respondents rated cross-cultural adjustment as “very critical” or of “high importance” in aiding their international transition. From helping expatriates and their families adjust to creating a more culturally sensitive workplace for all, cross-cultural training makes a difference.

Even on the small Caribbean island of Puerto Rico cross-cultural training has positive outcomes. Following their participation in cross-cultural training workshops, Global Perceptions’ clients have felt better prepared to interact and compete in the world market. Several participants have even gone on to work in other countries, applying their knowledge in new locations. In such cases, cross-cultural training is a win for the company and for the individual. That alone makes these programs worth the financial investment.

To schedule your FREE consultation regarding cultural training seminars in Puerto Rico and beyond, contact Global Perceptions TODAY by visiting www.globalperceptions.net or calling 787.455.7764. Hurry! This offer is good through October 31, 2012!

Back-to-school Spanish Tutoring from Global Perceptions



Help your child feel comfortable and confident with private Spanish tutoring from Global Perceptions!



It’s back to school time across Puerto Rico! It’s an exciting time for you and your child! If your child, however, has never attended a school in Puerto Rico, going back to school can be daunting. Your child may ask, “Will anyone be my friend? Where will I sit in the lunch room? What if I get lost? What if my teacher is mean?” These are normal responses. After a couple of weeks in the new school, your child will know how to navigate the system, where to sit, and will begin developing friendships with other students.

Once your child begins to adjust, you may still be wondering “How will my child communicate with classmates if s/he doesn’t speak Spanish?” This is an important issue and unfortunately requires much more adjustment time than your child’s other concerns. You may opt to avoid that issue altogether by registering your child in English-language schools. There students are welcomed by English speaking teachers, staff, and classmates. But even in those schools what happens between classes, at lunchtime or at recess? Many of native students in those schools grew up speaking Spanish at home and therefore, are accustomed to playing in Spanish. They speak English quite well in class, but when outside of class, they revert to Spanish or a combination of Spanish and English. In this crucially important social setting, how will my child fare? How will my child develop the friendships that s/he needs to adjust to this new school and culture?

The answer is simple! Enroll your student in private Spanish tutoring sessions with one of the bilingual education professionals at Global Perceptions. Our innovative curriculum can be custom-designed to fit the specific needs of your student no matter if s/he is 5 or 15. We offer age-appropriate study sessions, games, and crafts that help your student master basic Spanish skills needed to survive and thrive in everyday kid-friendly situations. Your child will have fun while learning about the language and culture of Puerto Rico!


Contact your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist NOW to find out about back-to-school offers including FREE CONSULTATIONS until September 15, 2012. Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764 TODAY!

Cross-cultural trainers in Puerto Rico

Is your company searching for cultural training programs in Puerto Rico? Look no further! Global Perceptions provides multinational corporations, universities, hospitals, military personnel, and non-profit volunteers with the information and skills to adapt effectively in the Isla del Encanto.

Relocating to Puerto Rico is not an easy task, even for those coming from the United States. People from all across the world experience adaptation highs and lows no matter where they move to, which can impact their professional and personal lives in both positive and negative ways. This is one reason why having competent, experienced intercultural trainers at the ready is so crucial.

At Global Perceptions we welcome all those making the move to Puerto Rico by providing them with intercultural training programs specific to their needs. Custom-designed programs developed with each client in mind include information to facilitate daily living, negotiate business deals, and generally acclimate to the host culture. Because we recognize the need for the whole family to be comfortable, pre and/or post-departure orientation programs, as well as on-going coaching services, are available for both adults and school age children. This approach stresses the challenges that each member of the family faces and helps them work through any difficulties with experienced professionals.

Global Perceptions staff have adjusted to life in a variety of cultures resulting in compassionate, understanding trainers who can address client needs in either English or Spanish. Staff have also received coaching from Dr. Julie Parenteau, the relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, making them uniquely qualified to serve as intercultural trainers. Perhaps most importantly, they have successfully adapted to living and working in Puerto Rico and are excited to share their experiences with newcomers.

At Global Perceptions we understand the relocation process and the toll it can take on people. That is why we make sure that we address the concerns of all family members, while helping them feel more comfortable in their new home. As a result, program participants develop the confidence needed to navigate their own adaptation process in Puerto Rico. Your company will most definitely benefit from working with our experienced intercultural trainers for your employee’s relocation needs.

To find out more about our intercultural training programs or to request a proposal, please contact our office at 787.455.7764 or visit www.globalperceptions.net.






Should I move to Puerto Rico?

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Are you considering relocating to Puerto Rico? Not sure if it’s the place for you? Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, has some ideas for you. Whether you want to retire,study, start over, or are on assignment from a major corporation, Puerto Rico has something to offer everyone. Here are a few reasons to answer the question of “Should I move to Puerto Rico” with a resounding, “YES!

The weather

Located in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico’s climate is warm year-round. Temperatures usually range from 80 to 95 degrees depending on the time of year and municipality. The humidity serves as a warm blanket the second you exit the airport, enveloping you in the culture and customs of this magnificent island. If you are tired of shoveling snow or have an illness aggravated by the cold, Puerto Rico is a good option for you.

The scenery                                                         

Puerto Rico offers a tremendous variety of beautiful sights. Whether beaches or mountains, rain forests or deserts, golf courses or coffee plantations are your choice, the Isla del Encanto has it all. Amazing beaches line the coasts, attracting surfers, sailors, and tourists to their crystal blue waters. World-class resorts and golf courses cater to celebrities and locals alike. Come and see the sights for yourself!

The food

All across the island you can find incredible local delicacies, as well as restaurants that serve dishes representing the palates of the world. Although rice and beans are staples, they can be prepared in many ways and accompany everything from churrasco to pork and chicken to seafood. Side dishes made of plantain or yuca like mofongo, tostones, or arañitas are also popular. Thick soups and scrumptious desserts are sure to please everyone so go ahead and try them!

The activities

It’s hard to be bored in Puerto Rico with the host of activities available across the island. Outdoor activities include: hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving, surfing, fishing, golfing, hanging out on the beach, attending outdoor concerts, strolling through Old San Juan, visiting places like Piñones or Guavate, flying kites near El Morro, and much more. If you prefer being indoors, visit one of the many museums, go to a play or concert, wander through one of the shopping centers, catch a movie, gather friends for a game of dominos, watch a boxing match, go salsa dancing, or try cooking local foods. There’s always something to do no matter your age!

The people

Puerto Ricans are a truly unique group of people full of contradictions and intense passion for their families and their country. They are generally humble people who welcome the opportunity to share their culture with foreigners. If you are open to listening and learning from them, you will be welcomed by them and thought of as part of their family. Work on speaking Spanish like them, and you will be welcomed even more!

The culture

Influenced by Spanish, North American, African, and native Taíno customs, Puerto Rico has developed a unique culture. Today the culture is a mixture of all of these people and their customs. Politics is sport, boxers and Miss Universe competitors are celebrated like gods, and the flag reigns over all. Puerto Ricans are incredibly proud of their culture and work hard to keep it alive all over the world. They await the chance to share that pride with you!

From the small coastal towns to the metropolis of San Juan, you can smell lechon cooking on the spit, see the beautiful flamboyanes in bloom, hear the waves of the ocean crashing, taste the rich flavors of sofrito, and receive kisses from everyone you meet. Puerto Rico truly provides something to please all your senses whether you are 5, 25, or 65. If you are considering moving to Puerto Rico, we hope you that this article helps you see how much the Isla del Encanto offers.


For more information on relocating to Puerto Rico, please visit your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist at www.globalperceptions.net or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Relocation.Specialist.PuertoRico.


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

Ten Tips for Relocating to Puerto Rico

Legally Puerto Ricans are Americans, but culturally the country and people are quite different from the mainland. People who come to Puerto Rico thinking that their experience will mirror living at home just because they see Walgreen’s on every corner and can shop at JCPenney, Kmart or Home Depot soon discover that they are mistaken. Puerto Rico is a different country and those relocating to Puerto Rico should recognize that. Spanish is the dominant language, rice and beans are the main dishes, and radio stations play everything from salsa to reggaeton to ballads. The differences don’t end there. Want to be better prepared for your cultural transition to Puerto Rican life? Start with these 10 tips!

  1. Be open-minded and flexible.
  2. Do your research. Read about the history and political situation on the island.
  3. Read between the lines. Learn to recognize when yes means yes and when it really means no.
  4. Learn to be patient because you will wait in line.
  5. Don’t expect to accomplish as much in a day as you would in the States. It will only frustrate you.
  6. Don’t bring valuable furniture, artwork, or photos. The humidity can ruin them.
  7. Learn to expect the unexpected while driving.
  8. Explore beyond the shore.Puerto Rico offers much more than beaches.
  9. Don’t procrastinate. Pay bills, buy groceries, and take care of household items ahead of time.
  10. Start taking Spanish classes shortly after arrival. Even if you speak some Spanish, you will likely struggle simply because the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico is challenging even for native Spanish-speakers.

These tips will prepare you for the everyday situations that you will encounter while relocating to Puerto Rico; however, keep in mind that each person has his or her own experience upon arrival. Tips like these can make your relocation experience smoother, but they do not take the place of actually relocating to Puerto Rico. Talk with locals and non-Puerto Ricans about their experiences living in Puerto Rico. Find out what suggestions they have. Listen and learn from them. There will likely be moments of frustration, but if you keep focusing on the positive and take good care of yourself, you will enjoy all that Puerto Rico has to offer.

To register for your FREE copy of the upcoming DVD “Getting Your Feet Wet: Top Ten Tips for Adjusting to Puerto Rico,” go right now to Global Perceptions on Facebook.