New Jersey Couple Moves to Puerto Rico to Start Coffee Company

Jarrell Chalmers and partner, Jose Diaz, are Puerto Rican immigrants from Jersey City and Hartford, Connecticut. They moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, last April, after living in Jersey City for a month. The cost of living in Jersey City was significantly higher during the pandemic, leading to a lack of quality of life. Chalmers and Diaz decided to move to Puerto Rico, as their rent is about $700 cheaper a month. They stayed in an Airbnb for one month before finding their apartment online.

Jarrell and Jose both work remotely as independent marketing contractors, and neither of their clients mind them living in Puerto Rico. Rents in Jersey City were skyrocketed during the pandemic, and the quality of life was not the same as it used to be. The cost of living is one of the main reasons they chose to move to Puerto Rico.

Rent is cheaper, but groceries are more expensive due to laws like the Jones Act, which raises the price of many imports into the island. Farmers’ markets can be good value, and Costco tends to be a bit cheaper than in New Jersey. However, many places to buy groceries here are quite expensive.

Puerto Rican tax breaks are attracting wealthy newcomers, but they also face hidden costs when moving to Puerto Rico for tax breaks. JetBlue is cutting 20 routes and abandoning 5 cities as it scrambles to slash costs amid its failed Spirit merger.

To help combat this, Chalmers and Diaz started giving back to locals by helping them with their résumés and cover letters for free. They have grown a following on TikTok and Instagram, sharing their experiences, tips, and recipes. They also started a coffee brand called Planeta De Cafe, which aims to amplify local farms on the island and donate $1 to a nonprofit called Puerto Rico Rise Up that teaches students how to get more competitive jobs.

Jarrell and Jose share some negative aspects of living in Puerto Rico with their audience, such as the split between native and American-raised Puerto Ricans, crowded hospitals, and frequent power outages. They believe it is important to shed light on real issues so more people are encouraged to work on and fix them.

Adjusting to the pace of life in Puerto Rico has been hard at times, but ultimately rewarding. Things move slowly because people in Puerto Rico live in the moment, and they miss their family and friends, but they plan to stay long term. They have decided to build a life here, as their families left the island decades ago to find opportunities in the States and raised them to be self-sufficient.

Read More @ Business Insider

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