Tag Archives: relocation to Puerto rico

Wake-up Call

Written by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions Communication and Relocation Consulting


 Wake-up Call

IMAG0142Cocka doodle doo! Cocka doodle doo!

It’s early morning and the sky is still black. The normally bustling neighborhood is silent at this hour. Then it hits again.

Cocka doodle doo! Cocka doodle doo!

“All right, already, I’m awake,” I shout.

Through sleep-mattered eyes I peer at the clock—4:30am. It’s much too early for me to be awake, especially in the middle of July when there are no classes in session. This is supposed to be the time when I make up for all of the quality sleep time that I missed last semester, but it appears that someone, or rather something, has a different opinion.

Cocka doodle doo! Cocka doodle doo!

“All right, that’s it! I’m coming after you, you stupid bird!”

Feeling my blood boil, I wrap a pillow around my head. I have had enough of that ridiculous rooster waking me up before the crack of dawn, and I’ve only been here for a week. “So this is how the farmers live,” I think. The problem is that I am far from anything that resembles a farm to me and even when I lived in the small farm towns of Wisconsin, I was never bothered by a
P1020488self important rooster. Now that I am in the middle of a major metropolitan area, I certainly did not think that a rooster waking me up would be one of my dilemmas. Traffic jams and long lines were things that I expected. A rooster was not. I began to wonder just how people lived here. I mean why is there a rooster in the neighbor’s yard in the middle of the city anyway? This simply made no reasonable sense to me.

The next few minutes were silent and I drifted back to sleep. Dreams of the peaceful countryside back home filled my head allowing me to calm down. Half an hour later though, the rooster was back to his antics. “This is too much. How am I ever going to manage to survive here if I can’t even get a good night’s sleep?” I wonder. Giving up on sleep for the moment, I turn on the television. The bird may have won today, but I vow to win the overall tug of war battle with that bird. Before long, he will have met his match.

Or so I thought…fast-forward seven years and now all of my neighbors have roosters. In that time, I have learned to sleep through their wake-up calls and largely ignore then during the day. They no longer annoy me like they once did. Now my biggest concern is keeping my dogs from killing the darn roosters. In the beginning this challenge seemed insurmountable. Now it is an everyday occurrence. I guess the rooster won after all.

Cultural Training in Puerto Rico: Global Perceptions Offers the Whole Package

Are you new to Puerto Rico? Have you participated in a cultural training program yet? If so, your cultural training experience likely consisted of theoretical knowledge about one of the many cultural adaptation models, basic tourist information, and some highlights of the host country. When the adaptation program was over, did you feel any more comfortable or confident about living in Puerto Rico? Major corporations invest thousands of dollars in your adjustment process, yet most people walk away from those cultural training programs without the practical knowledge that they need to deal with the day-to-day life.                                      

What if there were a company that not only offered a more application-oriented cultural training program than that mentioned above, but also assisted you with establishing your phone, cable or electric service, getting your driver’s license or buying a car, finding service professionals like doctors, dentists, hair stylists or housekeepers, obtaining government documents, making appointments, and provided on-going coaching services? You’re in luck! Global Perceptions, your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist, offers this and more. We don’t believe in leaving you high and dry post-cultural training. Instead, we are there to assist you through every step of the challenging adaptation process. Whether you need a little or a lot of help, our staff welcomes the opportunity to help you through this cultural transition.

Not a Spanish speaker? We can help with that too! Our innovative Spanish-language curriculum is custom-designed with the individual and his/her specific needs in mind. We help you get around town, make formal business presentations, and everything in between. You will learn at your pace from bilingual education professionals who are committed to your progress.

There you have it! Global Perceptions is your relocation solution in Puerto Rico because we offer the Whole Package. We will be there with you every step of the way!

If you have been through a cultural training program, but still feel lost in Puerto Rico, contact Global Perceptions today by calling 787.455.7764 or visiting www.globalperceptions.net

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

The Expat Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Puerto Rico

The malls are packed, the parrandas are in full swing, and giant inflatable Frosty the Snowmen grace the front yards. Yes, it’s Christmas time again and as the current slogan goes, Puerto Rico does it better. If this is your first Christmas season in Puerto Rico you are in for a real treat! There may not be snow on the ground, but it isn’t necessary. Here in the Isla del Encanto you are encouraged to get out your best holiday attire, get a haircut, and find your dancing shoes. Plan to party the night away by eating, drinking, singing, and dancing at any number of corporate-sponsored or house parties.

Although traditionally Puerto Ricans celebrated Three Kings Day (January 6th) instead of Christmas, the close ties to the United States have increased sales of Christmas merchandise, increasing the interest in celebrating both days. So what should you expect from your first Christmas in Puerto Rico? Read on to find out!

  • The malls will be packed! Shop early to avoid the crowds from Black Friday until January 9th. Parking is at a premium and stores are crowded, making shopping uncomfortable for many.
  • Grocery stores will sell out of many products. Particularly in the expat communities where baking supplies and holiday ingredients can be found, you’ll want to buy ingredients in advance. Also, recognize that some things simply don’t exist here. Plan ahead so a friend can ship them or order them online if they are that important to you.
  • Lechón, lechón, y más lechón! Roasted pig carved from the spit is incredibly popular during this time of year. Usually it is accompanied by rice with pigeon peas, blood sausage, a marinated banana salad, and pasteles. Desserts include tembleque, arroz con dulce, and flan. These are likely not the standard holiday foods made in your home country, but give them a try!
  • Drink and be merry! Puerto Rico is known for its rum so many drinks served during the holidays, like coquito, sangria, or pitorro, include rum. Whether you are accustomed to having a few drinks or rarely imbibe, take a sip of these drinks before downing them quickly. They are usually homemade and very strong, but don’t let that keep you from trying them.
  • Parrandear into the night! Mobile singing parties have long been a staple of the Puerto Rican Christmas. Groups usually gather near a home where they will sing and play local instruments until the home owners open their doors and welcome the “carolers” inside. Owners provide food and drink until the group moves on to the next home, continuing the parranda until at least 3AM! Nowadays, owners typically know that a group is coming so that they can be prepared, but that was not always the case.
  • Remember the Three Kings! Traditionally boxes of hay are left under children’s beds on the night of January 5th. The hay is meant to feed the three king’s camels in exchange for a gift. Gifts are left in the boxes much like is done with stockings in North American and some European cultures.
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. 

Top Five Reasons to Learn Puerto Rican Spanish from a Native English Speaker

My family moved (AGAIN!) the summer before eighth grade, forcing me, a 13-year old girl at the time, to try to fit into yet another school and community. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad we made that move now when I look back because the new school only had one foreign language option—Spanish. I had already started taking French classes prior to the move, but now decided that I would add Spanish too. I continued studying both Spanish and French in high school and college. After obtaining my Ph.D., I made the move to San Juan, Puerto Rico where I immediately put my vast knowledge of book Spanish to the test. There was just one problem with this. Book Spanish is NOT the same as practical, everyday Spanish. And Puerto Rican Spanish is even more different than what was in the books. I began to seriously doubt whether I was ever going to be able to communicate effectively in my new home. Luckily for me, I’m a very determined woman and wasn’t going to let this stop me from getting the most out of my Puerto Rico experience.

To get to where I am today, I made a lot of mistakes, got lost numerous times, and paid more than I should have on several occasions. After more than five years, I have reached a point where I can speak fluently with natives and have them ask me how I can possibly speak Spanish so well. It’s comforting to know that they approve of and appreciate my efforts. Now I use my experiences to teach other non-Spanish speakers to speak local Spanish so that they can complete daily tasks with minimal stress.

So why should you take Spanish classes with me versus a native Spanish speaker? I’ll give you five reasons!

  1. I have been in your shoes and know the feelings that you’re experiencing.
  2. I know the mistakes that English speakers make when speaking Spanish and can help you avoid them.
  3. I can explain things in ways that you understand using examples from English.
  4. I provide speaking opportunities with someone like you so that you can build your confidence.
  5. You need practice, not perfection!

To take advantage of your FREE, no obligation consultation, call me at 787.455.7754 or send an email to jparenteau@globalperceptions.net. Hurry! Free consultations last until January 31, 2012!