good bye Panama,hello USVI
Greetings all.After 12 years on the Carribean side of Panama on a remote island way off the grid.we moved back to the states Weve been in theUS for only 3 months and find ourselves missing the island lifestyle.One of our reasons for leaving our lovely island IslaSan Cristobal was the rapid decent into lawlessnes,Out island there are no police.Serial killers,home invasions,and murders of touists and expats sent us looking for safer invirons.Also health issues for myself and my wife are of concern.Any folks on this forum that has spent anytime in Panama that could give us some educated contrasts between the two islands would be a great primer.From reading your local paper seems that many locals as in native islanders are shooting each other.As in many tourist island destinations crimes against tourists and expats go unreported for fear of losing business.Am I missing something?Thanks in advance,and look forward to visiting
If a tourist is murdered in the VI, it usually makes international news, so no, you're not missing those crimes. There hasn't been one in years.
Some home invasions may go unreported, though. I'm not sure if the Police Blotter is published online, but it usually includes crimes that don't make headlines.
If you haven't already found it, there is a ton of general information in the drop-down menus top of this page which you may find helpful. The three main islands are rather different from each other in many respects - none is "better" than the other but each has its own character and devotees.
As far as crime is concerned, we're certainly up there statistically where murder per capita is concerned compared to stateside numbers but to the best of my knowledge (I'm a 30+ year resident of St Thomas) we've never had a serial killer here, crimes against tourists are rare, home invasions are rare and murders are primarily related to gangs, drugs and domestic violence.
One area which might be of concern to you is health care. We have good health care but we're not covered under the Affordable Health Care Act and affordable individual health care just isn't available.
Good luck with your research and hopefully you'll find enough positives to warrant a pre-move visit so you can see for yourself if living here is an option for you!
From reading your local paper seems that many locals as in native islanders are shooting each other.As in many tourist island destinations crimes against tourists and expats go unreported for fear of losing business.
Violence against white people is very rare but the criminal element of the young black population certainly are working hard to eliminate each other. Other than that, the VI is a very safe place to live and I never worry about being a victim.
I spent time on Bocas Del Toro and Bocas is much cheaper, housing and groceries, and if i remember basic health care was affordable, anything major would go to PTY. Mind you this is 5 year ago before Bocas got hit hard by the crime wave (or so I've heard). There are more amenities in the VI though. Better stocked grocery stores, Home Depot etc. I never felt threatened in either place. I sold my place in Bocas and bought here in STX. Every now and then I regret it but overall I am much happier here.
You might want to read this recent letter to the editor of out online paper 'The Source' - it does reflect a growing feeling in the USVI from one mans viewpoint.
It's an impassioned letter but I don't agree with the generalization epitomized by, "As much as I care about our tourism based economy which pumps hundreds of millions into our economy yearly, I care more about the people who live in fear and as a result, are now living in their personal mental prison, hoping to avoid being the target of violence in a place that seems like just yesterday, was one of the most peaceful places in the western hemisphere bar none."
We all care about those who've been affected by violent crime (and I have been) wherever we choose to live. I understand from whence Mr Payne comes as he's apparently recently experienced a closeness with someone who's been sadly affected by it. There's no question that violence has increased here as it has done worldwide but I've never once thought of the USVI as being, "one of the most peaceful places in the western hemisphere bar none" in the decades I've lived here.
Hola,I know JB well.Small world Look for Hacienda del Toro on Trip Advisor.It took me 3 years to build,You passed it on the way to look at property I know that development,only problem is not much breeze,and not much views.I havent been around for over 4 years and am afraid the jungle has taken over.I have much info to share,well tslk more later.
Good day,Thanks for the heads up.Island living has thickend our skins towards pin heads.I see you are a regular poster I enjoy your informed posts.Just figuring out how this site works,plus using a touch pad with stylus,looking forward to more lenthy posts when I have a real keyboard.Ciao Neil Thomas