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-   -   Caribbean Working (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f19/caribbean-working-15298.html)

Macopa 15-05-2008 11:57

Caribbean Working
 
Anyone who's spent a lot of time in the Carib have advice on the best islands to look for work? (with layovers ranging 1 month - [insert infinity sign]).

:viking:

The most obvious and easiest in my mind would be Puerto but I'm curious how it gets closer to windward and further south...

Zanshin 18-05-2008 03:31

What sort of work and if you want to do it legally, what is your citizenship and visa status? If you are American and visaless, then your market shrinks down to Puerto Rico and the USVI. If you are part of the Schengen countries then a couple more islands open up to you. Working manual labour illegally is tough since the pay is usually pretty bad and you will get caught out sometime and from there on you've got a mark against you that might even prevent other nations in the Caribbean letting you in at all. High-paying skilled labour jobs in the islands are few and far between. It is usually better to earn in countries like the USA and then spend in the islands where the dollar (or Euros) stretch quite a bit further.

Southern Star 18-05-2008 03:40

Zanshin is correct - there are some resorts that will hire non-residents for specific functions (aerobic intstructors, tennis/golf pros) but certainly not as walk-ups. If you are on a boat, you may be able to find some work (if you have specific skills and the equipment) doing canvass and mechanical repairs - but even that is illegal.

The reality is that these are very poor countries who need employment for their own populous.

Brad

harryrezz 18-05-2008 20:03

The above posts are smack on. Don't count on earning your living working in the islands. Only significant exception I know of is to have a boat on which you can entertain charter guests, and that means a nice and spacious boat with a crew which is both competent and gregarious.

Macopa 19-05-2008 06:43

Very interesting. I've never stepped foot on any of the islands so I wasn't really sure. I would be looking for any type of work really. I'm trying to get my certs in welding right now... Outside of that maybe I will get my cert in deisel repair. I didn't think about the legality of working in foreign ports "under the table" on others' boats. Has anyone gotten in trouble for this? I'm assuming the other country wants tax... I have time to set up visa's since I won't be sailing from FL for a year or so...

Reality Check 19-05-2008 08:10

Your best bet is probably to take on work from other cruisers on a cash basis. As long as you do not make yourself a problem for local sources, most of the time no one is bothered, but keep it to other boaters. Things boat related, electrical, electronic, rigging, bottom cleaning are things you may be able to work out with other cruisers in an anchorage/ boating community. Just don't get too bold.

ssullivan 19-05-2008 08:22

You have to check each island individually.


I looked into this stuff to see if I could work down there with my EU citizenship. For instance... the French side may allow EU citizens to work there without any permit, but the Dutch side doesn't.

If you are only an American with no other citizenship, you may be excluded from just about everything but Puerto Rico and the USVI's.

SeaKing 19-05-2008 08:46

I worked in the Cayman Islands and in St. Kitts, but my employer had to pay for a work permit and it Cayman had to be a job that had been advertised but could not be filled locally. "Hydrographic/Dredging surveyor. I spent almost 8 years working there on both islands combined. Some of my best memories of my life and best of all I met my wife in Grand Cayman.

Macopa 19-05-2008 08:57

Wow SeaKing, good for you! That is a speciality I imagine...Hydrographic surveyor. How did you get into that? Surveying first? Do you have a background in Oceanography? That's something I'm considering for my Master's. More the physical side though... I couldn't imagine how great it would be to find a good job in such a great location!!! How was the pay compared to what is possible inthe USA?

SeaKing 19-05-2008 09:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Macopa (Post 164242)
Wow SeaKing, good for you! That is a speciality I imagine...Hydrographic surveyor. How did you get into that? Surveying first? Do you have a background in Oceanography? That's something I'm considering for my Master's. More the physical side though... I couldn't imagine how great it would be to find a good job in such a great location!!! How was the pay compared to what is possible inthe USA?

When I reached legal age to work my Dad put me to work on the offshore Dredge he was captain on in the 70's. I worked a summer in the galley then the following year tried to work in the Engine room on a steam powered hydraulic dredge. Well, the boiler room wasn't for me. I worked that summer in the "survey crew" learning hydrographic surveying for the dredging business. Managed to stay in the dredging business working the entire gulf coast mostly and up the Mississippi river at times as far north as Little Rock until I managed to get to Grand Cayman with the Jamaican company I worked with for 8 years.

Money in the Caribbean was OK nothing out of the ordinary salary wise, but my housing and vehicle were supplied and 1 month vacation. The best part was the working out of the U.S. tax deduction, that is what made the salary great.


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