Search Results for: panama

Boquete relocation Consulting

After many years of writing and observing Boquete I receive many requests from newcomers to Boquete and people considering Boquete as a home asking for my time. I have always been willing to meet and help anyone who asked. I am glad to help but my time has become scarcer over the years.

Many people have told me I have saved them thousands of dollars, so I am going to now turn this into a service. I will now offer two hours blocks of my time for one on one meetings at a cost of $100. For those who consider this a value, I will be there for them. But I can no longer give free consulting. Monetizing my time has become essential since I incur costs providing my time.

If there is a demand I will create monthly seminars at a reasonable price to share all contacts and information that I have acquired over the years.

I have a bilingual Panamanian associate who has many years of experience in both Panama City and Boquete. She has an extensive network of contacts in Panama and will be a part of our meeting.  Myrna can add the insight of a native and she the ability to aid in negotiations that can be best handled by a local. Sometimes it makes a difference when a local is the face seen by a seller of real estate and other large items.

If you are interested in one to one time please email me at: BoqueteGuide


Mango, a stellar restaurant

The President of the Republic of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, was not at the opening of Boquete’s Mango Restaurant. I suggest that when he is in Boquete to cut the ribbon on the new highway to David, he might find Mango worth a special visit. We have a long anticipated gourmet restaurant in Boquete.

Mango Restaurant Boquete Panama

Craig, formerly of Rancho Caldera and his wife Maureen, with the support of Eva of Isla Verde have created a winner.

Mango Restaurant Boquete Panama

I and forty five others had the opportunity the enjoy appetizers and five courses of cuisine and beverages. All of this set in a comfortable but elegant indoor and outdoor environments.

Our food ranged from the simple, like caramelized onions and zucchini and an organic green salad, through the savory like a Beef Ragout served over Polenta and a radiant and surprising Macaroni and Cheese, made with blue cheese and fresh Rosemary. Dinner ended with something aromatic  and sweet,  a desert pizza.

The wine  flowed all night, but for me the liquid high point was the fantastic Boquete Microbrew beer.  Once found at the Rock, the Bennett family beer is now at Mango, and it alone is worth a stop.

Mango Restaurant Boquete Panama

The art of a gourmet restaurant is being able to take food,  simple or complex, prepare it well, and then to serve it with elegance to a clientele that is enjoying the entire dining experience. The staff at Mango did all of the above; for a first evening at work they excelled.

Our entire experience was worth repeating. The food was excellent and creative, the beverages intoxicatingly good and the service the best I have experienced in Boquete. Forty six people were served appetizers, five courses and drinks in virtual synchrony. I want to congratulate Craig and Maureen on providing an excellent dining and social experience.

I can eat at home, but when I want to dine, not eat, I look for the synthesis of food, drink, atmosphere and company. That combination can make a simple song into a melodic symphony. Mango has all the elements to be a local success story, you should try it.

Mango is located in the Isla Verde Hotel and is currently opened only for Breakfast and Lunch, a dinner menu is coming in a few weeks. Breakfast is served from 7-11, lunch 11-3. You can reserve a table by calling 720-1539

Some news things on the short term horizon

As we enter the final fiscal year of the current government in Panama we are seeing many projects come to completion. Most like the Metro bus and subway are in the Capital, others like the new David Boquete Highway are more visible to us in Boquete.

There are two more very close but not so visible, yet.

One is the new massive municipal market in David. It is not completed yet, but as you can see from the photo above, it is getting close and will be a major improvement over the now demolished old David Municipal Market.  The market is located very close the the Prison in David, just off the road to the Airport.

When complete the new Municipal Market will have three different sections. One for meats, seafood vegetable and fruit sales. Another area for restaurants and a third for general commercial spaces.

Initially there will for sixty commercial stores, fourteen restaurants, eighty stalls for the sales of food products and in traditional fashion, ten stalls selling fried food.

While this market in David is being finalized work has started and stopped on the new Municipal Market in Boquete. The former Mothers Park and part of the old market have been removed and the land is ready for development.

Perhaps they are waiting for July 1 when the new budget becomes available. There are images of what was proposed for Boquete posted at the Municipo, it will be an improvement over what we have now.

Some useful healthcare information

Healthcare and healthcare issues are some of the most significant questions new immigrants and tourists have when considering a move to Panama and Boquete in particular. We have had speakers on various health insurance programs, most of which will not insure seniors over seventy anyone with preexisting conditions.

Today I want to share some information some might know and most do not. In Boquete there are two public clinics, MINSA the Ministerio de Salud has one on the corner near Romero and Caja de Seguro Social has a second across from the Bomberos. Anyone can use either clinic.


I visited both over the past few weeks, I wanted to know the procedures and some basic costs. I stopped at the MINSA clinic, walked in the the entrance then walked to the office and asked if someone could check my blood pressure. I picked a time with few people waiting and within five minutes a nurse came for me and took my blood pressure. All they needed was my cedula number, no charge. I asked about the cost to see a doctor, $0.50. The MINSA clinic is usually full of people mostly indigenous but they are open late and there are slack periods.


Today I decided to stop at the Caja de Seguro Social Clinic. Most working families use Seguro Social, they receive free services if they are paying Social Security.


I was greeted by a young woman at a desk and I asked her if I could use the facilities since I am not on Seguro Social, the answer was yes. Again the cost to see a doctor, $0.50. The waiting room was full but I asked what would happen if I needed emergency care, she answered I would be seen immediately. That clinic however is only open until 3pm.

The summary is that anyone, resident or tourist, can use either facility at a low cost in an emergency or if you are willing to join the often long queue. Good to know and it applies to all of Panama.

Banana News

Chiquita seeks to return to Puerto Armuelles lands


Chiquita Brands, one of Panama and Central America’s main distributors of bananas, has set their sights on Puerto Armuelles, in the province of Chiriqui, after a dramatic exit ten years ago which cost the region its economic stability.

Estimates are that if the former banana workers, the government and the company reach an economic agreement they could export about 6 million boxes of bananas from Puerto Armuelles, which would complement the 15 million boxes of bananas from Bocas del Toro that the company sells.
Julio Vásquez, Manager of Chiquita in the province, said that, “the only thing needed to begin negotiations and re-start banana activity in Puerto Armuelles is deciding the economic model by which the activity will be conducted.”
Puerto Armuelles’ future might depend on this negotiation. It’s a region strongly affected by unemployment that can’t afford to repeat the mistakes that led to the end of the banana sector there.
Vasquez acknowledged that, despite the multinational company’s great interest in reopening its banana activity in Chiriqui, it would be difficult to separate the history of what happened in Puerto Armuelles and the decision that will be taken in the near future.
“It is a fact that the lands now belong to the workers. We need to find ways to invest significant amounts of resources in these lands to reactivate them,” Vasquez said.
Source: panamaamerica.com.pa


Publication date: 6/24/2013


Almost three years of construction and soon a ribbon cutting

I have been told the President of the Republic of Panama will be in Boquete Panama on August 17 2013. The President is coming to cut the ribbon on the new four land highway from Boquete to David. I doubt the entire project will be completed but they will find someplace that looks done and they are working overtime to make it happen.

This project, like all of it’s type morphed several times from the original plans and we can only speculate on the real reason for the $100 million plus, investment in thirty seven kilometers of a well built road to a dead end in Boquete. Few people believe this was built to make Boquete more accessible, most believe is  first step toward something bigger like a new path to the Caribbean.

Below are four videos I shot driving from Bajo Boquete to David on 21 June 2013. I choose spots where they are still working and a bit of the completed project both leaving Boquete and entering David. This shows how very different the road is from the two lanes we had in the past.

The first clip is driving from Bajo Boquete through Alto Boquete

This clip is the El Frances into Dolega

The third clip is passing through Dolega on a detour as they cut a hillside for the highway

The Final clip is Algarrobos to David

With a posted speed limit of 80km for most of the road the ride from Boquete to David should be about 30 minutes at most times and 20 or less in an emergency.

Scavenger hunting in Boquete

Shopping in Boquete can be either limited by what Romero carries or as varied as a scavenger hunt. Today was a scavenger hunt, KimChi, coffee, eggs and trout. Tomorrow, more hunting in David.

Today as many were in the Tuesday Market I did some shopping. In addition to buying some breathtaking, literally breathtaking,  KimChi from Kurt and Candice at their truck at the market, I visited three other often unknown Boquete treasures.

For Coffee I visited Ruiz, the coffee shop on the road to Los Naranjos. They have a larger variety of coffee than Romero at a lower price. I also visited the Suarez Coffee Finca, but it is a long ride for coffee.

Ruiz Coffee

Ruiz Coffee

Then Toledano in Los Naranjos across from the stadium for eggs. As you can see from the photo, people arrive in many different styles of transportation.

Toledando Outlet

Toledando Outlet

Finally the trout also in Los Naranjos. Drive toward Bajo Mono and look for a whilte picket fence on your right. Go to the office and they will sell you bags of trout.

Lamasur, the Boquete Trout Farm "factory outlet"

Lamasur, the Boquete Trout Farm “factory outlet”

Fresh frozen filets of farm raised trout for $5 a pound. Two pounds is a lot of trout. :)

A Freezer full of trout

A Freezer full of trout

Why the adventure, I know these resources but many newcomers in Boquete are not yet aware of places they can find things for less cost or like the trout, things grown here but not sold in other locations.

For the more adventurous or if you are not food adicted, this is a photo of the gym in Los Naranjos where there will be boxing again this Saturday night 22 June at 7:30PM Panama Time; that means 9PM mas o menos.

Los Naranjos Gym

Los Naranjos Gym

If boxing is not enough, this is the front of Coca Cola where the dancing will start about 11PM about when the boxing ends. Coca Cola is a short walk from the gym so you can be a spectator and then a participant.

Coca Cola Disco

Coca Cola Disco

TCM: Medical Home Care and end of life care

Today at the BCP Justin Reinholz from Medical Services International spoke about his company and their service for in home nursing assistance. Justin offers nurses on contract for people who need in home care.

His service stimulated a convergence of thought on recent experience with end of life care and the resources available for the terminally ill in Panama. There are three resources I know of that are available to assist the families of those who are in an at home end of life situation.

People too often chose to deny the very real fact that all of those who enter this world will on day leave it. If we are lucky we have a quick, painless termination of life, but often it is long and dreadful, even more so for the surviving and attending family.

The Boquete Hospice and Health Foundation was created to help people facing and end of life at home.

According to the Boquete Hospice website, they “are dedicated to providing care-giving services to the dying, those suffering temporary disability or illness and support to their families.”

They “are a non-profit foundation and provide our services free of charge. We are currently sustained by contributions from the kind and generous community we serve and in which we live.”

In addition the Hospice and Health Foundation is the resource providing the medical providers list on this website and source of emergency blood donations. They are important in the Boquete community.

I discovered this past weekend that two agencies of the government here in Panama also provide assistance for end of life care.

Someone a I know, a Panamanian eligible for Social Security in Panama, was visited by a team from the Caja de Seguro Social, CSS, under a program called SADI. The friend is suffering from terminal cancer, the team that made a home visit included a doctor, a nurse, a psychologist and a nutritionalist. In addition to assisting the patient and discussing dietary needs, the Psychologist met with family members to help prepare them for the inevitable.

SADI team, Photograph from CSS Panama Website

SADI team, Photograph from CSS Panama Website

This is a translation for the Caja de Seguro Social website.

“People with sequelae of cerebrovascular accidents are those that mostly are served by this program, but, also, are referred patients with fragility and unsustainable  conditions that prevent them from moving easily or  because they live far from the clinic.

Patients are classified in the SADI depending on their severity, as very serious are Grade 1 and are visited each week, the Grade 2 are those with end-stage cancer, and therefore require a visit each twice a month, the grade 3 are those with ulcers and, or recent stroke, who should be visited constantly. Furthermore, terminal cancer patients diagnosed, but not advanced, require monthly visits.

Grade 4 patients are those who are stable, but their condition can not go to the clinic and visit every three months.

A multidisciplinary staff made ​​the visit, as scheduled, for the same are examined carefully and were taking blood pressure, blood glucose sample, perform healings, if required, changed, and finally probes prescribe prescription drugs needed prolonged and schedule the next visit.” CSS

In addition to to SADI, MINSA, the Ministry of Health, has a parallel program for those not eligible for Seguro Social, it is called Cuidado Paliativo, Palliative Care. I had to look up the word Palliative, it means treatment for pain without treating the underlying cause, i.e.: end of life.

This is a slideshow on the program from MINSA, it is in Spanish, if you click on the box with four arrows on the far bottom right the presentation will go full screen so you can see it all. MINSA usually provides services to all people in the country but I am not sure at this moment if non Panamanians can avail themselves of this specific service. I will be making that inquiry this week.

Bravo to the government of Panama for making these services available to those who need them most.

Dear NSA, Saturday Night was the bomb, truly explosive

I am sure that there were some Muslims, a few Jewish radicals and a few pagans mixed with the normally tranquil Panamanians at the Coca Cola when it exploded with live music. I doubt the was any nerve gas but the odor of rum was abundant.

Enough for the NSA, I am sure their computers will pick this up as a suspect communication along with all the millions of others as the United States marches forward toward being a Police State. George Orwell could not have predicted the ability of todays computers to probe into private communications, but he did predict the use of media to seduce people into thinking it was good; it is not!

If you have no idea what I am talking about start here.

“Documents obtained by Guardian show the NSA conducts dragnet collection and storage of Americans’ phone records; exploits data from the world’s largest Internet companies with their apparent co-operation; and cases potential targets overseas for pre-emptive cyber-attacks. Further documents show the agency, using a system called Boundless Informant, counts and geographically locates the data it collects globally.

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, on Saturday decried the release of the information and said media reports about it have been inaccurate. He said the Prism program with Internet companies is not unilateral and is conducted with congressional oversight and within the bounds of the law. The nature of the law, the secrecy under which it is interpreted and strength of oversight, meanwhile, are under debate; senior senator Dick Durbin said Friday that “you can count on two hands the number of people in Congress who really know”. The Guardian

It does not matter where you are in the world, nor who you are, nor what you think, Big Brother is listening. If you are out of the US there might be a drone with some spare missiles close to you too. The US government has used the terrorist attack of Sept 11 2001 as a justification to pry into the privacy of everyone, everywhere, they do not discriminate, they scan for words and phrases.

All of this is justified as anti terror, but they have at times tied the drug business, pornography and of course money laundering to terrorism.

The biggest terrorists are the Muti National Banks who do in fact launder money for real bomb throwing terrorists.

“HSBC and Standard Chartered were fined last year over allegations they had acted as banker for rogue states, terrorists and drug lords, channeling billions of dollars through the US financial system. The fines, especially HSBC’s record $1.9bn penalty, proved controversial with politicians and other critics, who demanded to know why the Justice Department had not pursued criminal actions against the banks and bankers and questioned whether some financial institutions had become too big to indict.” Guardian

The Wall Street Journal ran a Orwellian version of the same case, but omitted the interesting question as to why no bankers where criminally charged. Bankers never go to jail unless they steal money from rich clients. Wall Street Journal

They are too big to fail, so US taxpayer dollars bail them out so they can continue finding ways to fund anyone, anyplace for anything, if they can profit.

We the people of the world are the targets of governments whose prime directive is to survive. We the people are not important, protecting institutions and cash flow is important. They can spy on us, ignore our rights and make us criminals overnight using secret courts, secret warrants and so many things that violate the concepts of rights; but are all there to protect us.

You can read the actual Secret Court Order here, the Guardian again.

But all of this is perfectly acceptable to the US government.

“A White House spokesman said that laws governing such orders “are something that have been in place for a number of years now” and were vital for protecting national security. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the Verizon court order had been in place for seven years. “People want the homeland kept safe,” Feinstein said.” Guardian

“People want the homeland kept safe,” as if this justifies everything. I am glad to be in Panama knowing this post, all my email, all my telephone calls and who knows what else are bing scanned by computers looking to know I had an explosive weekend of dancing at Coca Cola.

More Saturday in Boquete

It is only 11 pm at Coca Cola in Los Naranjos and you are not here. Part of the pleasure of living in Panama is immersion into the culture of Panama.

I find it sad how few expats here in Boquete make the effort to experience part of what makes Panama an exciting place to live.

Perhaps I need to organize nights out on the town?

Now 12:30 and rum Abuelo has taken my halo. It is really a lot if fun to dance to Typico and Rum.

%d bloggers like this: