Hi everyone! My name is Jill and I have been a lifelong Bostonian (with the exception of college, when i ventured as far as Amherst, MA). My husband is an electrical contractor who owns his own business in Boston. His company does almost only commercial work. I was a teacher in the Boston Public School system until a two and a half years ago, when i decided to stay home full time and raise my boys, who are now ages 3, 2, and 11 months. We just returned from a week in Aruba (my 4th time) and are seriously considering relocating there.
I have become increasingly disheartened with the direction our country is going in, from the economy to the school systems, to the environment, etc. Living in Boston, i feel like the boys and i spend almost half the year cooped up inside because of the weather. I want more for my kids and have been thinking about moving for awhile (even though all my family and friends are here), and when we were on vacation last week i was talking to some people from the island, and thought, why not here?
I'm looking for any advice about the logistical side of relocating - basically - what do we need to do to get working permits, and primarily what avenue i should take to help my husband find employment? He has his master's electrical license and his class d(?) CDL drivers license (excuse the ignorance, but he used to drive an 18-wheeler and would be HORRIFIED if he knew i wasnt sure of the exact title). He also bartended for many years at night.
With all the new casinos and resorts going up in Aruba, i would imagine there would be a need for electricians, but does anyone know how to search for such a position? Any other advice you could give? Also, i do plan to go back to work eventually, but do you need to be multi-lingual to teach in the Arubian schools? Or does anyone know about teaching inthe international school there?
There is actually a new forum available for Moving to Aruba. You may want to post this there (or a moderator may simply move it for you) as it may get a better response.
One thing I've learned from reading these forums is that getting work in Aruba is no small task for folks from outside the country. (i.e. not native to the island) There's a reason their unemployment rate is so low. Not saying it can't be done, only that my understanding is it is difficult.
I do wish you good luck. As a fellow Bostonian I understand your desire to seek warmer climes, and given the means and opportunity I may do just that someday.
Jill, After being in Aruba for 2 weeks and it was my second time there and my fiance's 4th, we were thinking of the same as you. We talked with quite a few people about this. Employment is hard to get in Aruba, and you are only allowed 90 days there, if you are not a citizen. The give all their work to their own first. Unless you have a profession that is hard to fill. I was told being a dialysis tech that I would most likely land a job because they are very scarce and needed. I heard teaching is much different there. They learn mostly language, so I would say you would have to know many languages to teach there. Good luck to you, if this is what you really want. I have decided that it is a really nice place to visit but I don't think I could live there full time.
U.S. Citizens can stay up to 6 months as indicated below:
VISITORS WITHOUT A VISA REQUIREMENT FOR ARUBA: Countries allowed to visit Aruba for up to 180 days: Nationals of the countries mentioned in list A (Including the U.S.), are allowed to visit Aruba as a tourist for up to 180 days, provided all aforementioned requirements were met. The total number of days per year cannot exceed 180 days.
Tourists who are nationals from one of these countries, and who during their stay in Aruba have decided that they would like to stay for more days than they indicated on the ED-card upon entering Aruba, can do so provided that the total number of days does not exceed 180 days. They are not required to contact the DIMAS for an extension of their stay.
I hear what you're saying. I live in Aruba 6 months of the year and have varied experiences there, mostly all good.
However, working in Aruba at this time will be very difficult unless you have a way to secure all the permits and things through the channels with plenty of help. I know of people waiting over a year and still don't have what they need. Also, the wage structure may not be what you're used to. There is plenty of work for electricians but getting hired will be tricky as you are an American.
Furthermore, don't sell the United States of America short. There are problems and you'll find similar problems in Aruba and some of them are much worse. This is an honest opinion, wrought through experience. It is unfair to put short snippets of these issues here but I would be happy to discuss them with you some day.
And living on an island is completely different than living on a continent. If you are getting cabin fever in the winter, you might likely suffer island fever in Aruba. Of course, in the beginning everything is new, but as time goes by it is less unique. And getting somewhere else become costly and returning with items you wanted even more costly.
Naturally I hope you find a comfortable spot in Aruba or anywhere else. Just remember that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence but you still have to mow it.
I hope your dream of moving to Aruba comes true! If you do make it down here, there's a really great Montessori school opening this year and they are currently enrolling children 3-6 years old. Here's their website: