Products and Services In The DR. A Visit To Che’s Garage

Che and his team of technicians.

Che and his team of technicians.

I’m often asked questions related to the availability of products and services in the DR. The inquiring minds constantly want to know is it difficult obtaining products and services in the DR. I can understand the concern about being able to find the products and services we all need in our everyday lives.  The short answer is yes it’s all here and available. The extended answer is in the following few paragraphs.

After living in five different countries the first point I’d like to clear up is the following. When relocating anywhere everything requires an adjustment period… EVERYTHING!  Adapting to how things work in any particular country of choice takes a fair bit of getting used to and the DR is no acceptation. The next point worth mentioning evolved from my own personal experiences so if it makes sense to you feel free to go with it and if not just tuck it away somewhere in your G file. Try to lose the “that’s not how it works in my Country” attitude. It’s offensive to the locals and secondly you’re not in your country.

At Che's they have all the modern diagnostic equipment needed to cut out the guesswork and do the job right.

At Che’s they have all the modern diagnostic equipment needed to cut out the guesswork and do the job right.

Consider the following the next time you may want to slur out that “DONE IN MY COUNTRY” phrase.  Even if it stems out of nothing more than sheer frustration in the heat of the moment consider what follows before commencing with that phrase. Chances are the country you’re currently residing in is rapidly swirling down both drains of a double sink. The first sink for most might be called “the sink of lost freedoms” and the second might be “the sink of economic disaster.” So in reality if that’s how it works in your country in the first place wouldn’t we all be a lot better off if you left it there? Just a thought you might want to ponder for future reference. Now onto some other points of interest to consider in the subjects of products and services.

Che has an excellent relationship with all of his customers. THIS SHOT WAS NOT STAGED! and is quite a common site at the shop. A fair price and done right the first time.

Che has an excellent relationship with all of his customers. THIS SHOT WAS NOT STAGED! and is quite a common site at the shop. A fair price and done right the first time.

I found myself in Nagua today just doing some errands and thought I’d pay a visit to Senior Che owner of Che’s Garage. Here in the DR it’s customary to stop by unannounced and have a chat along with a coffee. Since the last time Che’s garage serviced my car all’s been running well and besides I had a few minutes to kill anyway. The concept of the whole DR Escapes thing is assisting others and while we don’t recommend any particular business it is where my family and most of the DR escapes families go for their car repairs. Che also speaks English and his son is enrolled in English classes over at Johnny’s English School.

Che’s been the owner and operator of a sizable car clinic in the greater New York area for many years. He has his New York state certified license of automotive mechanics. Che hails from Nagua and after banking some savings decided to sell and leave the Big Apple and head for his home town and perhaps a simpler life style. If you ask him I’m sure he’ll tell you it was the right choice at least for him it was.

It's always busy at Che's so better off booking a time before heading out from Cabrera.

It’s always busy at Che’s so better off booking a time before heading out from Cabrera.

Along with his son and a team of good technicians they seem to have a thriving business.  It’s refreshing to see before each morning the whole team holds hands and thanks God for another day that they can be productive. Che himself leads with the prayers. How often would you see that in western cultures? Some of Che’s automotive thoughts for success in the DR are following in the next paragraph and after living here for some time Che’s suggestions make great sense to me.

He states always buy what the region has a lot of. Meaning don’t buy a Kia if you don’t see several Kia’s. If you do you might find diagnostics, parts and in general reliable service harder to obtain. If you’re seeing Honda, Toyota and G.M. you might be better sticking with those brands. The same holds true for scooters. A friend of ours got a good price point deal on a scooter but it’s an off regional brand and every time it needs servicing there’s a considerable downtime due to the lack of availability of spare parts.

My hobby and labor of love. 1991 Landcruiser Prado SX5.

My hobby and labor of love. 1991 Landcruiser Prado SX5.

The same goes for me. Most wouldn’t know it but I’m an old truck guy. It’s my hobby when I’m not out touring and the same rules apply to me.  I have a 91 Toyota Prado SX5. They were made in Japan and sold in the Japan and Australian markets only. A real collector’s item but parts and repair knowledge are a bitch. Instead of hanging around in bars it’s my hobby and a labor of love so it’s not an issue for me. We often use it when touring the back country as it’s a mule and will go almost anywhere.  I believe you get the jest of what Che and I referring about stay with what’s common.

When it comes to house inverters and generators the same holds true. Liane and I have what seems to be the most reliable power in our house. Even when the system needs repairs or last year when the battery room got hit by lightning we were up and running in hours. Whenever Blady (our Inversol Guy) has to come over and repair a problem it’s what he’s used to working on.

Secondly he also has the parts so for about 15 or 20 dollars we’re up and running. If you can believe it that even includes the road time. Buy the brands that can be serviced not the exotic stuff that only one person has a clue of how it works. The law that states everything that can go wrong will go wrong must have been thought of while visiting the DR but if you adhere to a few simple rules it no big deal at all. This holds true for any country and besides anywhere you choose to relocate you don’t want to be heading up the chapter “don’t let this happen to you”.

Clothes and shoes are also easily obtained. Personally I find it better to order on line. Several name brand sites actually have great prices. Getting it here is easy as well. We use two ways to ship our stuff. One is there’s almost always YOU the DR escapes folks coming to visit so we just have it sent to your address and seems everyone is more than happy to carry it with them. Second is if choosing to reside here it’s good to set up your own US address and P/O box account with a major freight forwarder.

An example would be Aeropost. They have an office right in the town of Cabrera. Their rates are really fair and you can even track your package by their web site. They email you when it’s in their office and a 3 minute ride and it’s done. Typical delivery time is about 6 days from the states.

When it comes to food everything is available. From the GMO corn syrup western crap to the best of the naturally grown local foods you have it all for the taking. In the country regions though you’ll find it not to be so common to find huge varieties of western based brands which suites us just fine. When food shopping in the large cities of Santo Domingo and Santiago everything is available. No one has to go without their Bon Bon’s or Coco Puffs if they don’t want to.

I hope this post helps address a few of your thoughts and questions when it comes to products and services available in the DR. I know the DR escapes folks who’ve relocated here could shed even a brighter light if they care to do so. I’ll be addressing Nagua in the upcoming new DYD Tour YouTube soon to be released. If you really want to see what a DYD tour covers this new soon to be released YouTube is for you. I’ll be out touring for a bit so until next time this is Barry in DR.

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