Frequently Asked Questions – General and Miscellaneous
Please also see other FAQ pages at the bottoms of many of the main menu options.
Are you going to be in Vieques while we will be there? Unlikely, but if we are staying at our in-laws we’ll probably pop round and say hello.
Who’s responsible out there if something happens and if you are not there? Our house manager Edguardo. Contact details at the house.
We are thinking of living/buying a house on a Caribbean island. Would you have any advice on that? Yes, think very, very carefully before you do!
Vieques is in may respects a typical Caribbean island – its a paradise, but it is a dysfunctional paradise. This is a wonderful place to come on holiday, hang out on the beach, sit in a bar and drink Pina Coladas. Many people, including many of our guests, fall in love with it and start to dream of coming back here to live.
However, the economy is sluggish, and most of the jobs will be related to the tourist industry – and hence very cyclical. Unless you have independent means, or a job that is location independent (such as work you can do from home over the Internet), then you may find it difficult to make ends meet here.
In terms of buying a house, it took us about four months to get a mortgage, and that was dealing with Citibank (Puerto Rico). There are language problems, legal issues, and a very inefficient government bureaucracy to deal with.
Last but by no means least, if you have ever though dealing with contractors was a pain, try doing house renovations on an island. The water goes off (no water, no cement or plaster!), ferries get delayed (no supplies), or locals just get priority and your workers disappear halfway through a job to do something else. That’s just the way it is!
We’d recommend you read “Don’t Stop the Carnival” by Herman Wouk. Set on a fictional island that is based on one of the British Virgin Islands (very close by), it tells the story of a New Yorker who falls in love with the idea of moving to a Caribbean island and his misadventures. It will give you a quite good idea of island life.
Is the US military still on Vieques? No. All former US Navy lands are now managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Most former military areas are open to the public.