Please Tell Us About Life in Santa Cruz

by Craig

Hi, Myself and my wife are thinking of moving to Santa Cruz from Scotland later this year. She is from Santa Cruz so knows her way around. We have 2 young children as well. I have been a few times and I have really enjoyed it. People are friendly and weather is nice, etc.

Just wondering what the other expats think of good areas to live (including gated communities), costs of some of the country clubs and private schools (and are they easy to get in to) and medical insurance. What is they typical cost of nice houses and are the prices going up.

I saw some of the comments about shipping stuff over so it sounds like we will avoid that.

I also wondered about crime as well. I have never felt threatened when i have been before although that was a few years ago and I guess having children makes you a bit more nervous.

Thanks for any answers to the above questions.

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Jan 30, 2014
by: Craig

Thanks for both of your comments. I work for an oil company as well and I remember reading my companys security page (back in 2000) and it more or less said stay in tourist areas and avoid street taxis, etc. Needless to say I ignored all of it and never saw anything dodgy (I never went on business only as a tourist). I stayed with my mates family and would walk to most places and never thought anything of it. Everytime I go I end up staying with locals and I guess they know the risks better than the expats. Last time I went I remember my friends family talking about an increase in crime. Thanks again.

Jan 28, 2014
by: Anonymous

Dear freind...I have lived in Santa Cruz for two years and completely agree with Jenny...everything she stated is true and I cannot write a better paragraph myself....visiting here and living here are two completely different things....have you considered Tarija or Cochabamba...very nice and safer....

Jan 23, 2014
Life in SC
by: Jenny

I am a mother of three living in Santa Cruz for my husbands work, we have been here almost one year and came from Aberdeen.
Everyone has their own opinion on the questions you have asked and I will give you my honest opinion for how I think and feel. Others will disagree and that's their prerogative.
Firstly, crime. It is going up as far as I am aware. We are in Las Palmas and the crime here is silly. We are not allowed by my husbands work to walk around because of the hold ups - hijacks. Only in October was a teacher from the school here held up at gun point and robbed just walking down a busy near the school, in broad daylight. He didn't have anything to attract him to the robbers, was just a regular guy. He is one of many in this area this last year.
Not a lot to do for the kids because we can't go out. Not allowed to the parks etc as they are deemed not to be safe enough for us. Life can be tough to amuse three small kids as a result. We go to the country club but even here, not a lot for small kids to do.
I would definitely live in a gated condo - so your kids can play outside safely. We tried to get a condo house but as soon as the owners found out we were gas and oil they more than doubled their rental price and pushed the house out of our allowance, obviously thinking we would just pay because the company would increase the rent - which they didn't. So we are in a house in LP with a guard.
It is fine here but I will be glad when our assignment is over. I wouldn't want to stay here longer than our three year assignment.
Everybody seems to love having maids to do everything for them. I personally hate it. Our maid has wrecked several items of our clothing and doesn't care, so I now do the washing. It is inconvenient always having someone in your house. I am having a hard time brining my kid up to realise that this is not how our life will always be and that they should still try and clean up after themselves etc. I am not the maid when we return to the UK.
The weather is a benefit, although that is the only real good thing about it. Even a lot of the Bolivians I know moan about Bolivia and how it is changing and not necessarily for the better.
The school is good - excellent teachers so far, and a relaxed environment. But obviously not to the same standards in regards to resources available. But my boys are happy and that's the main thing for us.
Anyhow, I don't want to seem negative or put you off - it would be a different experience without kids, but to be honest, the crime is always in the back of my head, and we stick out like sore thumbs, like when we go to the supermarket. White, english, three boys, no spanish speakers. Nightmare. A lot of the Bolivian men like to stare, it's unnerving.
However I know a couple of expats who love it here - I just don't think I am suited for South American living.

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