3rd world regions ~ Any comparison?
Just curious... Has anyone who has posted on this board/topic been to the 3rd world regions? Just for comparison sake is St. Croix similar to the pollution, crime, poverty, corruption(sounds like it),etc... of 3rd world countries?
Maverickelly- I spent a month in India last year- and was in STT in May (sorry- can't say anything about St Croix). It was NOTHING like a third world country. Sure- trash/crime and poverty- but- if you have been to a third world country than you know that trash/crime and poverty don't even begin to describe what their living situation is like. I don't think I was STT long enough to make any comments about corruption. I may even be out of line speaking to the trash/crime and poverty (one week is not that long) but I am just giving my initial opinion.
I hope it helps.
Many people here consider St. Croix "third world" although we do not face the same political instabilities and deadly problems that many third world nations face. Whether we are considered "third world" is definitely a question that could be heavily debated. If you define "third world" as a place that constantly depends on a lot of imports to survive with a developing economy and a lot of poverty - the "textbook definition" of third world - then St. Croix could be considered "third world". Howevever, the stereotypical things that people associate with "third world" such as rampant disease and starvation are not as big of an issue here.
I've been to many 3rd world countries. StX is much cleaner than Mexico, Fiji, Tatahi,Martinque, and Bora Bora. It's about the same as Morrea and Eleuthura. It is more run down than Turks and Cacios.
I would say it is a 2nd world country, although I have never heard that term used to describe any country.
It is not as clean as MOST small towns on the US mainland, but I have seen worse on the mainland.
In any country you have good area and bad areas. I do think that the officails should keep the ruins of the older buildings in Christiansted cleaner. When we were there in December, there were old appliances and thrash in amongst the ruins. The ruins are kinda neat, but not the trash.
Don't know about the Goverment corruption. But here in Arizona, we have had one governor impeached, and another sent to prison. So I guess I'd be right at home. LOL.
(Yes I have visited some 3rd world countries.) I equate 3rd world regions with skinny naked children running around playing with sticks in the dirt, pre-adolescent girls being prostituted, people walking for 2 or 3 hours to get to and from work (if there is work for them to have) to make in a year what folks here make in a week and some in a day, famine, social issues related to disease, education and well being… Perhaps my image is stereotypical rather then the accurate definition but in any case that’s what I picture.
And there is no comparison to the VI.
What’s the USVI like…
If you could build a micro version of the USA, which is 3,717,796 sq miles in size, and take just a little beach front USA, a little park land USA, a little ghetto, a little agricultural, a little small town residential, a little rich neighborhood, a little poor neighborhood, a little condo living, a little boating town, a little good, bad and other from the US mainland population, add some West Indian culture, a good dose of nepotism, VI history and the US Dollar and squeeze it all into the tiny 135 square miles that makes up the USVI. Then change the majority white population to Black Caribbean people - you'd have roughly what the USVI is like.
A little off topic…
If you live in a nice neighborhood, county, area of your state and you don't venture far outside of that area you might never, ever see projects, a ghetto, the beach, the mountains, a river, a desert, people that look, talk or think different then you.
If you live on St. Thomas or St. Croix and to a small degree St. John you could certainly just stay in your residential neighborhood, around your work and around commercial areas and be unfamiliar with the island in its entirety. However, even if you stick to the home, work, grocery store you can not avoid seeing the ocean, the tourists, different types of people, housing projects, trees, trash, nice cars and broken heaps of junk, mega-yachts and tiny little fishing boats, huge houses with gates, shacks… you can't because the islands are small. So you get the big picture of a small place and you see it all when in the VI. In the states if you stick to your neck of the woods then you have a small picture of a big place and you might perceive everything to be as you experience it.
I stated that because I find that some new residents and visitors know (or not) that the islands are small but it doesn’t sink in as to how small. And it is important to understand the size because it forces you to deal with everything and everyone.
The difference with political corruption here vs. the US, is that in the VI there is an acceptance. Even when a government official is caught red handed, people forget about it and many times even if the official is fired from the job - he or she is inevitably offered another government job. It’s the 'not dealing with the problem' that I see as a corruption here. I don't follow US politics much but it seems in many cases when they catch officials that are up to no good they are fined, fired, imprisoned, investigated, a trial is held... not the case here.
Very well put, Islander. I heartily agree!
I am constantly explaining to real estate clients on St. Croix that there is no way to make a blanket statement about an "estate" being good or bad to live in. Each place has a little of every kind of element within it. The island is too small to pocket all the negative elements specifically in one location. But that's real life, you take the bad with the good and you learn how to cope with something that is not as ideal as you would like. I find most parts of the island to be predominantly a positive experience to visit and/or live.
A walk on the pedantic side...
The term "First World" refers to so-called developed, capitalist, industrial countries, roughly, a bloc of countries aligned with the United States with more or less common political and economic interests: North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia.
"Second World" refers to the former communist-socialist, industrial states, (formerly the Eastern bloc, the territory and sphere of influence of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic) today: Russia, Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland) and some of the Turk States (e.g., Kazakhstan) as well as China.
"Third World" are all the other countries, today often used to roughly describe the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The term Third World includes as well capitalist (e.g., Venezuela) and communist (e.g., North Korea) countries as very rich (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and very poor (e.g., Mali) countries.
The term "Fourth World" first came into use in 1974 with the publication of Shuswap Chief George Manuel's: The fourth world : an Indian reality, the term refers to nations (cultural entities, ethnic groups) of indigenous peoples living within or across state boundaries (nation states).
Thanks for all of the response! You all rock!! I asked the question because I want my boyfriend to have realistic view of what to expect of life in the USVI. I want him to hear about what it's like not only from me, but from you. I have lived in Indonesia, have travelled throughout Southeast Asia and have been to STT and STJ. He, on the other hand, has travelled and lived in Europe-- very different, in my estimation, from living in the USVI. We are both REALLY excited for our move. Thanks again! See you in 19 days!!
IMHO, the majority of people that move here come with certain preconceived ideas of what it will be like, and, as most always happens, it's not even close to their expectations and they end up moving back to the United States within a few months. The best way for you and your boyfriend to come here is with an open mind, no expectations and a very patient attitude. The way we do things here are the 'way they've always been done', and they will continue to be done that way. Come down with an attitude of acceptance, and you will both be very happy here. The best description of life here is 'different'. If you can accept the differences, you'll fit right in. If you can't....
I feel the "Preconceived" idea's come from watching TV and tales of long ago, thinking it is going to be as clean and beautiful as an island set on TV. We watch TV and see people sitting around, sipping Pina Colodas and RumRunners with beautiful people serving them on the most beautiful beach ever, NO SWEATING, NO WORRIES, just fun in the sun...THEN, we come here and find out that it is a struggling area and it isn't all beaches and drinks...
also, THIRLD WORLD's don't have a choice, this place does and the governement spends time arguing about where to locate the new supreme court and ignoring basic things like decent schools, WAPA, jobs for the new graduates and so on...
i agree that your analogy of the v.i. is perfect as some of the others have stated. bravo! while reading your post, i got chills. absolutely the best description of the v.i. you could possibly come across. i'm going to quote you to a couple people who have been asking me what it's like to live here. after 4 years, this is the perfect description. thank you and continue your excellent work with this site. i wish i would have had it when i moved here. 🙂
Those preconceived ideas people arrive with about what their new life in the islands will be like are precisely why so many transplants complain about their island experience. They arrive expecting things to be done exactly as they're used to in Hometown, USA, but also that they will be on a permanent vacation in a tropical resort. Then reality hits.
Before you start complaining that the islanders do things differently than they do them on the mainland.... or before you complain about the customer service (or serious lack thereof) at the local McDonald's drive-thru... stop and think about why that is the case. No matter where you grow up, you learn by watching others around you. Then you emulate what you have seen and assume that is how things should be done. That is true in the islands, just as it is true in the states.
In the islands, the kids growing up are experiencing the same level of customer service that you aren't happy with getting here... and naturally they'll grow up to think that is the way to do their job, too. They aren't being lazy or bad employees. They have not been trained differently and don't have a lifetime of experience with mainland-style service to tell them that things could be done "better".
Actually, I think the slower paced lifestyle in the islands is not a bad thing. It suits the climate. So many people escape to the islands to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban and suburban life on the mainland and then are angry that things are different here. Why is that?
Before moving you really need to make yourself a list of things that are important to you in your life and then rate them by just how important they are to you. What do you absolutely have to have to be happy? What has to absolutely not be present in your life for you to be happy? What is on your "highly desired" and "highly undesired" lists? And your "I'd like to have" and "I'd prefer not to have" lists? (sounds like deciding who to date, right?) If the things on your Absolute lists are in opposition to island life, then you would probably not be happy here.
Bottom line to people thinking about moving to the islands: If you want everything to be done exactly the same way as it is where you live now... DON'T MOVE! Come for a vacation and hang out on the beach and then go home to your conveniences. If you are up for some changes and don't get stressed by the small stuff, then come on down.
As resident of st.croix the rumors of st.croix being a 3rd world country is just that a rumor. It is true our government is corrupt, and disgusting. it is true that the loss of hovensa is a devastating blow to our economy but don't count us out yet. Our corrupted officials will fall, and we will recover, because that is who we are. We are still a beautiful amazing, and fun island, and I hope to see you viewers soon. 🙂
Great thread and great posts!! I don't think it was 3rd world (but I haven't been to one) on my PMV. I went with REALLY low expectations because I know I get dissapointing easily when it comes to something I've been working for almost a year on. I went thinking I was gonna hate it, humid, not friendly locals, crime etc. I am glad because it WAY exceeded all my expectation and I felt very much at home there. I think mostly because I am very much a nature oriented person. Luckily for me all I need is good people and beautiful landscapes around me, my pets and my man 😉 oh and Internet, can't go without that one for too long! Lol!!
I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the posts and found them to be quite relevant I have lved on STX for two years and have no regrets and interest whatsoever in moving back to Virginia. I have also traveled in third world countries and see no comparison between them and STX. Maybe between STX and N'Awlins but N'Awlins has better food and worse beaches.
You two crack me up. You are so young and naive. Lived in STX for 2 years. Beautiful beaches, etc.
But the cost of living will killl you. Couldn't afford to use the AC or flush the toilet everytime.
Crime is rampant....don't get hit by a stray bullet when you are out for dinner!
If you like to consume rum like water you will be fine!!!!!