Old Apr 20th, 2002, 09:57 PM
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I am not trolling, or being stupid, or trying to start World War III, but.... what is the hang up several posters have on not wanting to go to an island with poverty? Is it just too "unsightly" and will ruin their vacation? Do they fel guilty? And where in this country do they live where they have not experienced it? Every major (and many minor) city has problems with this - there are homeless people everywhere living in cardboard boxes. You cannot escape it, or is that the point? Its never "bothered" me while traveling - just made me realize how fortunate I am & how I need to help others....
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 08:38 AM
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There are plenty of places in the world with no problems, you are just too poor to live in a gated community with no crime. Obviously, you are a very terribly informed and poorly educated person.
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 09:07 AM
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Just my two cents:

In the islands, sometimes it's not a case of poverty, but of priority differences. People's priorities in the islands are different than those of people in the US and some other countries. You don't have the "keeping up with the Jones'" factor.

For instance, you might have people who live in a run-down home, yet drive a brand new car and have Direct TV. Or someone may have a beautiful, large home and not have the other "luxurys" that most people consider important to everyday life.

Keep that in mind in your travels thru the Caribbean, not to mention other parts of the world. Priorities vary country to country and people to people.

Old Apr 21st, 2002, 12:40 PM
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I agree it just make me very thankful for the things I have. It seems to me the more you have the more you want, thats where the stress comes in for us in the US.There comcept is NO problem!
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 03:07 PM
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Don't mistake the lack of glitzy homes for poverty. Some of those folks do have more money than you will ever dream of having (they don't live on credit) and have things far more valuable than money can buy. What might look "unsightly" are homes with the roof the last on since there are no taxes to pay until that roof is on, the "junk cars" are invaluable as a source for scrap metal and usuable parts plus there is no place to dispose of them. Those who don't want to see how the rest of the world lives should go to plastic commercialized sterialized DisneyWorld where even the characters when out of costume must walk under ground in tunnels so not of offend the guests!
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 04:26 PM
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Kim and Frankly:

You got it!
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 06:19 AM
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This question was asked on this forum about a year ago and I wondered the same thing. Many felt proverty can be a factor for crime.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:07 AM
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I suppose poverty CAN be a factor for crime at times, but I've found crime in the islands to be more related to drugs than anything else.

I just meant that in the islands, prioritites are different, and what LOOKS like poverty isn't always so. Some people you might deem as being poor have more money than you would imagine, they just choose to spend it differently, or not spend it at all.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 11:27 AM
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Oh boy, here we go again. This is the topic that gets me into so much trouble...
Curious: (IN MY OPINION - disclaimer
I have been to 25 to 30 Caribbean islands - several of them twice or three times.
It seems like there are 3 kinds of Caribbean travelers.
1.) Those who only want to impress their friends with how much they spent on vacation and try to find a place - I won't name names - where they can recline resplendently and expensively on a sugar sand beach without having anyone less fortunate than their fabu selves enter their line of vision the entire time. I always recommend AI's for them.
2.) People who love the region for its natural beauty as well as are genuinely interested in the people and their culture who live there, and don't give a hoot about what their houses look like or how much they make.
3.) People who don't know much about the region and just want to go have fun with their families in a beautiful setting.

It's the nasty rude uneducated traveler who ruins it for the rest of us. The main thing people need to do before traveling there is EDUCATE YOURSELF!!!
The whole place is NOT a giant Carnival Cruiseline advertisement. Read or hook up with a reputable travel agent to find which island suits you.
Although they are all in the same region, they are all different.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 11:49 AM
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You said it perfectly, Nancy.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 12:36 PM
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Poverty & drugs go hand-in-hand. Most people don't deal because they want to, they do so b/c they're poor and have no other options.

I live in NYC, so don't lecture me about homelessness and poverty -- I see it everyday and I volunteer through my church and local Y.

BUT I prefer to take my 2 annual Caribbena vacations to destinations with a high(er) standard of living, and therefore less overt & obvious poverty. Why? Because they tend to be cleaner and safer, which is important less to me than to my wife and 2 youngsters. They don't want to worry (more than common sense mandates) about walking around at night on the beach or otherwise.

Grand Cayman & Aruba are examples of islands with very high standards of living and, not coincidentally, low crime. Places we avoid include St Martin, Jamaica, Grand Bahama Island, USVI, etc.

Hey, it's a vacation. I get plenty of reality every other day of the year.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 12:41 PM
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Here's a fact whether you want to admit it or not: Poor people commit more crimes than people with an income. Poverty = Crime
Even in the US, when the economy tanks, property crimes go way way up.
I think that should answer curious's original question about why several posters have a "hang up" about not wanting to go to an island with poverty. They want to lower the odds of becoming a crime victim. Simple enough.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 01:01 PM
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I think the problem lies with people who do not do enough investigation about where they are going and then are shocked to be confronted with real life.
It's not that tourists must have it shoved in their faces, it's that the tourism industry puts such a whitewash out to travelers that people think the entire Caribbean is a dream vacationland put there just for their use. The commercials I see on TV are so far from reality, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
They portray islanders so insultingly. It makes them look like all they want to do is drink rum and hold limbo sticks for attractive white couples to cavort under - it's pathetic.
Until people take the time to learn about the region instead of buying into this crap, there will be disappointed travelers whose unrealistic expectations are dashed...
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 01:30 PM
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Let's just say Aruba and some of the islands get less press about the crime that does occur there. It is buried and hidden by their tourism depts. But then if you choose to go to those places that are imitation BeachTown,USA with cookie cutter timeshares, chain hotels and very little indiginous culture and oasis of sprinkler-produced green lawns and palm trees, head there. You'll be more comfortable with those who are just like you, have the same values (of lack of them) and wallow in familiarity but still if the opportunity arises, crime happens whether it is the robbery at knief point when you sit on your patio in Aruba as happens or elsewhere. Most deal because its easy fast money and not because they are poor but because it opens the door to things that are considered "valuable" by others - a nice car, good threads, etc etc. I want what I want right now! Drugs are epidemic not only in poverty - their choices are limited cause they don't have the coin to buy the fancy, expensive designer drugs but in some pretty wealthy and powerful neighborhoods as well! Don't kid yourself!
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 10:55 PM
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"Frankly," this is what you said above: "Some of those folks do have more money than you will ever dream of having." All I can say is--keep DREAMING because you don't know what you're talking about!!
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 06:43 AM
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Frankly is right... Who do you think gets paid millions for their oceanfront property so hotels can be built?
Land is handed down through generations and oceanfront acreage is through the roof right now. You can't even buy a single lot for less than $250,000 US on most islands.
Also, Bob, some islands don't allow foreigners to own or run businesses. So who do you think makes the money from all of the expensive restaurants and tour companies on the islands - locals!
Frankly is right. Just because some choose not to spend their money on visible material goods does not mean they are not extremely wealthy.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 07:04 AM
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I seen more taxi drivers with more gold jewelry than Mr. T on some of the islands. I also saw where some of these local entrepreneurs lived. Nothing to sneeze at. Sure, there's poverty, unfortuantely, but there are also some very wealthy people living on these islands making a great living, primarily due to the tourist industry. And some of them do live quite modestly as well so you would never know how well off they really were.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 07:51 AM
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We live in a fairly poor rural area in the US and we always feel right at home when we visit the Caribbean, provided we avoid the more expensive hotels.

Rather than spending our money to move to a better neighborhood, we save it for trips to the Caribbean. This has a double benefit: we get to spend more time in the tropics, and we don't feel uncomfortable while we're there.

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