Why are so many people interested in Panama?

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Yesterday we greeted visitors to this blog from the United States, Canada, Thailand, Mexico, Panama, United Kingdom, Japan, Greece, Costa Rica, Japan and Australia, and that’s a pretty typical mix of where visitors come from on a typical day.

Why this great interest in Panama?  

Well Panama has always been at the crossroads of the world.  Geographically, but also in terms of its strategic and political importance.  Yes, today it is bolivar_arturo_michelenalargely because of the Canal and one of the largest international hub airports in the Americas.  But even before the Canal … during the Spanish conquest, as Spain started sending back the treasures of the New World, most of that went through Panama City, then “the richest city in the world.”

The great liberator of Latin America, Simon Bolivar, once said, “If the world had a capital it would be Panama.”

Today the attraction of Panama is …

  • It is at the “crossroads of the world,” “the hub of the Americas.”
  • It is a neutral country, a peacemaker on the world scene not given to stirring up conflict and anxiety.
  • It has one of the most, if not the most, robust economies in the region.
  • It uses the US dollar, calls it the “Balboa” but it is in fact the US dollar, still considered by most to be one of the most secure currencies in the world.
  • It is outside the hurricane zone.

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  • It is safe and peaceful.
  • It is still in many ways relatively affordable.
  • Although officially a Christian, Roman Catholic country, it has total religious freedom with large groups of Jews, Muslims, Evangelicals and many smaller faiths.  It is home to a Mormon Temple and a Bahai Temple.
  • Because it has been at the crossroads of the world, Panama is composed of a rainbow of people from different cultures and backgrounds.  Panamanians come in all shapes and colors and live and work happily together, and in fact Panama has scored as one of the “happiest” countries in the world.
  • Anyone can own property in Panama.

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  • For most people, assuming you have no criminal record and you come from one of the many of Panama’s “friendly nations,” it is easy to get permanent residency and after five years you can get a Panamanian passport.
  • It is tropical, with lush foliage, no snow, no big time changes, and tropical climates ranging from hot & humid to the cool, year-round Spring-like climate of Boquete and Volcan.
  • Panama has beautiful beaches, snorkeling and diving, and some of the most fantastic fishing in the world.
  • For 27 years Panama has been a thriving democracy. [Presidents are limited to one 5-year term, then must sit out 10 years before being able to be re-elected.  Politics are grass-roots.  People are elected based on party and program and not TV ads and robocalls.  There are three parties with passionate followers but no great political divide, since everyone pretty much wants the same things and it’s just a question of which group is going to pocket the money for the next five years.  Candidates are typically all slightly right-of-center business people.  When elections are over everyone just works together to move the country forward.  Once in a while there is a fist fight on the floor of the Assembly, which may actually be a better way of resolving differences than perpetually blocking all progress.]
  • Panama is not a one-pony economy but has strong international banking, is home to many of the world’s largest corporations, has registry of about 25% of the world’s ships, has the world’s second largest free trade zone, is a rapidly expanding airport hub of the Americas, and has a booming tourist industry.
  • And, oh yes, did I mention … The Panama Canal.

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Thinking about Panama?

  1. Get my book THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE all about our experience moving and retiring in Panama.  As my expat neighbors say, “Richard tells it like it is!”
  2. Check out the Welcome To Panama List of Friendly Nations
  3. Come on down and check it out for yourself!  Panama is not for everyone, but it just may be the Paradise you are looking for!

 

Paradise … Panama

Panama Paradise for Sale

Yesterday, walking down our road to the tiny little, strictly local cemetery at the end/cow pasture at the very end, three. … count them THREE! … blue morpho butterflies fluttered by.  Don’t get me wrong, we have all kinds of butterflies around the house.  At noon I can easily count 100 in the various shrubs I’ve planted around the house specifically to attract butterflies, but the blue morphos are special and my favorites.  If I see a  blue morpho it is going to be a special day in Paradise.

I’m lucky to be able to be on cruise ships around the world four to six months a year, and paid to do so!  It’s a great “retirement” but, being gone so much of the time, we’ve reluctantly come to the realization that it’s time for us to downsize from our beautiful home and coffee farm, so it is for sale.  Where do we go from here?  Who knows, but it will be another great adventure wherever.

We’re looking for the right folks who will appreciate this paradise. That mountain in the back is Volcan Baru,11,400 feet tall … and the sun set every night just to the left … beautiful! Even if you’re not looking for Paradise, I’d appreciate it if you repost. Someone, somewhere out there in the world is looking to escape to THIS!

For The Birds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPanama has over 975 species of birds and sometimes I think almost all have visited our farm at one time or another.  Some of our birds are indigenous and are here year-round and others really are snow birds who migrate down to enjoy Panama when North America is freezing.  We don’t pay thousands of dollars to have a “Bird Friendly” seal, but we really ARE bird friendly and the birds seem to know it. P1000662

These guys are probably the fifth generation have been hatched in this old tree.  We have another old tree I refuse to cut down because it has been home to generation after generation of woodpeckers.

We have lots of orange and banana trees. Most of the oranges fall to the ground because although delicious, aside from our own personal use, they costas much to pick as you can get selling them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe always have a big stalk of bananas ripening in the car port which we enjoy, share with neighbors and friends, and give to the birds and our dogs. Our dogs think bananas are a great treat and they carefully peel them before eating. Unfortunately we’ve never been able to train the dogs to pick up the banana peels.

We have so many humming birds! We used to put out hummingbird feeders, but they just caused the birds to fight and fly into the house. But we’ve planted lots of flowering plants in the garden which attract humming birds. You can’t walk through the garden without spotting at least a half-dozen humming birds.

Bird watching is a popular sport for expats in Panama, and particularly in Boquete.  These are folks who take their hobby very seriously and will set out on tours all over the world just to watch the birds.

And the parrots, scores of them, especially when a number of the trees are sprouting the little fruits the parrots love.  And just before a storm blows in they all squawk and fly away at once, their iridescent green feathers catching the rays of the sun.  Truly amazing!

And in the mornings … or before a storm … when the birds all sing … it all reminds me of the old Disneyland Tiki Room where “the birds all sing and the flowers bloom in the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki room.”  Who ever thought I’d get the opportunity to live in this paradise called Panama?  All the birds are just one of the things that make this property so special. In a world sometimes seeming to have gone mad, there is something very special about a spot that is incredibly beautiful, private, peaceful and where one is surrounded by fluttering butterflies.

Click here for more information on this incredible property for sale in Boquete, Panama.

You have no idea how long it took to get this picture of FOUR hummingbirds sharing a feeder.  By nature these guys are fiercely territorial and vicious with each other when competing for territory.