Neighborhood feel of Boquete, Panama: Just like the bygone days of the U.S.!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

On any given morning here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, you will open your eyes to the smell of morning coffee and your prepared breakfast. This is our normal morning, but, what about the community?

 

 

 

Walking past the bed and breakfast will be dog walkers, children heading to the bus station, the elderly couple walking down the street and stopping to smell the flowers or pet the dogs. You will see a special lady who will go around picking up the trash in front of every house and place it in a trash bag. You will see men stopping to talk to each other, never seeming to be in a hurry. And that’s just a start.

People in Boquete, Panama, live outside. We even have an outside space designed for every room. We also serve breakfast outside on the back terrace. This is very different than the communities that lock themselves up tightly and live their lives behind walls and locked doors.

Below is a testimonial from a newly transplanted couple Joyce & Scott Kinnear:

We have had some lovely sunny afternoons this week. A couple of days it didn’t rain at all (or not enough to hardly matter) and the other days, it waited until night to rain.

It is interesting the difference between our neighborhood in California and here in our neighborhood in Panama in the afternoon.

In California, when I would be working from home or have the day off, there was lots of traffic going past our house—sometimes doing some pretty crazy stunts. Also, there were lots of people walking past the yard or waiting for the bus. Many of these people would pick our flowers or drop trash in our yard. We were constantly picking up cigarette butts, dog crap, old and nasty alcohol bottles and fast food containers. It was nasty. However, there were never any people out in the yards around us. I almost never saw our neighbors. The people next to us lived next to us for nearly 20 years. We maybe saw them outside the house 1 time a year or so—usually going to their car. Other neighbors we saw less often. The only people we usually saw were the seniors from the nearby senior facility. They would walk the neighborhood and stop to talk to me about how lovely the flowers were.

When we are here on a sunny afternoon, the neighborhood is literally buzzing with people. We do see some cars or people walking down the road, but what you hear is the noise of people living in their yards. There will be contractors in several houses near us. Other houses have gardeners out doing work. The woman across the street may come out to sweep her driveway. Other neighbors putter in their gardens or sit on the veranda to read, have a drink or look at their phones. Any of these people are more than happy to stop what they are doing to chat for a few minutes if you pass by.

Since children go to school early in the morning, they are often at home the majority of the afternoon.

As I weed the flower beds, I can hear the neighbors’ children behind us playing and laughing in their yard or the baby crying for attention.

There is just so much life in our neighborhood on a sunny afternoon. How can you not love this?

Is this the isolated experience of people just in Boquete, Panama? Or more of a small town experience? Who knows, but peace and tranquility can be yours while you are staying at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Come and stay with us and experience living life in Boquete, Panama for a little while. Come and slow down. Oh, and if you think you want to know more about this lifestyle, check our Boquete Overview Tour and see for yourself the neighborhoods that are mentioned by Joyce…..

Is it worth taking the journey to Panama? Yes it is!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

I feel old! The first thing that Joyce said when she wrote about her trip back home to Boquete, Panama, from the U.S.!

The fact is that you can indeed arrive in one day to Boquete, Panama, where Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast is located. However, unless you get a head start in the morning, you may lose your sleep schedule if you are taking a red-eye flight and you may need a day or two to feel “normal”. Is it worth it? Or would it be better to make the journey slower (stop along the way)? Take the time to see what is best for you as you read a local Boquetenian, Joyce’s, recent journey:

I feel old. The trip back to Panama from Reno just exhausted me. We had a late afternoon flight to Las Vegas, which was 30 minutes late (quite a trick for a 75 minute flight). After getting our luggage in Las Vegas, we had a short night at a hotel (getting up at 1:30 am) to catch our far too early flight to Panama City.

After the 6-1/2 hour flight, we got our luggage again and went through immigration, where we had our own line as “foreign residents”! Luggage was a crazy scramble. The current terminal in Panama City is just too busy. They are building another one, but until it is finished, things are busy, busy, busy at Tocumen International Airport.

A really friendly guy–a former contractor for the US at the military bases, when the US was in Panama–drove us to the bus terminal on the other side of Panama City. We then got on a bus which left immediately for David. Of course, this bus stopped at every hamlet in the country, and we arrived in David about 11 pm.

Fortunately, we were able to get a taxi relatively quickly, and we were home by midnight. Still, it was an exhausting trip, and a couple of days later, I still have not returned to a normal sleep schedule.

You know it can be done! You can get directly to Boquete from most places around the world. But is it worth it? Several people travel from Europe and other faraway places across the globe. They do indeed have an adjustment to make with their sleep schedules, and yet, they endure the journey to get to explore the exciting trails, beaches and activities that Panama has to offer. There are also many activities in Panama City and other locations inside of Panama to see and accomplish, so take your time. If you need an adjustment or feel sleep deprived, we can offer you an excellent bed and an in-room massage. Arrive safely to Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast! Contact us now or book through our website where we offer specials and savings.

 

Panama Relocation versus Living elsewhere: What do we miss?

blog by Terry Richmeier

If you are thinking about relocating to Boquete, Panama, then you will have to think about what you may miss about living in your own country. We here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast have experienced this ourselves! When you are here in Boquete, you do miss things from your previous home, and when you fly back to see family and friends, you miss things from Boquete. And so have other expats. Here is recent transplants Joyce and Scott’s thoughts:

We have been on a trip back to the Western part of the US for a couple of weeks and will be headed back to Panama soon. So, the question—what have we missed from the US (besides family and friends and our amazing conversations we’ve had the past couple of weeks), and what are we missing now from Panama?

Well, I have missed dry weather. It’s wet season now in Panama, but hot and dry in the Western US. I love hot and dry weather, and I’ve been soaking up the sun. Also, it’s cherry, sweet corn and stone fruit season here, and I’ve been eating as much corn, cherries, peaches, nectarines and especially apricots as I can fit inside for

the drought that we will have when we return to Panama.

It’s been nice to go to a Michael’s arts and crafts store, too. For someone as interested in yarn and painting as I am, having a specialty store in every town is nice. Of course, we have missed San Francisco, the Sierra Nevada mountains, the summer flowers in the US and so much more.

What are we really looking forward to when we get back to Panama? Of course, the people are the most important thing, and we have a number of friends we are looking forward to seeing.

Food also is near the top of this list. We were at Safeway just yesterday and saw super, super green pineapples for $3 each. They didn’t smell like pineapple at all and looked tasteless. I will be glad to see the vendors and their $1 pineapples when we return. The constantly good coffee will be wonderful to return to, as well. We’ve had some nasty stuff at hotels and buffets here (not from our friends, of course!), and I am so looking forward to consistently wonderful coffee every morning—especially when served with the hojaldras downtown (they’re like sopaipillas for you New Mexicans).

It will be lovely to do all of this just after a hike through the green and beautiful mountains filled with hibiscuses and other flowers in and around Boquete.

Life is what you make it, and every place in the world is special and beautiful. The more you travel, the more you feel at home everywhere, but miss other parts of the world that you have grown to love.

We couldn’t have said it better or any differently! For us at Casa de Montaña, we miss family and friends the most! And the only way to solve that problem is for you to come and visit your family and friends here in Boquete, Panama. Give us a look, come and stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Surprise your loved ones with a visit and take care of that special place in the hearts of your loved ones that only you can fill!

 

Shopping for what you need (and want?) in Panama!

Blog by Manzar Lari

Our guests at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast often ask us whether or not we can purchase everything here in Panama that we used to purchase in the U.S. One would think that it would be an easy question to answer but it isn’t for us. Our story is probably no different than most of the expats who move here. We have been in Panama for almost 4 years. We are used to a different way of living now. Unless it is something we absolutely need, we have learned to do without. We typically shop at the stores in David for household goods and some hard-to-find items. Sometimes we never find those items! We have a Mailboxes Etc account. We can generally buy something on Amazon.com and then have it sent to the Mailboxes Etc address in Miami and then they forward our package to the Boquete location of Mailboxes, Etc. It takes an extra week, but we do receive the package safe and sound at their downtown Boquete store. Oftentimes, we have friends pick up small things for us while they are on vacation in the U.S. We do the same for our friends when we are on vacation. I guess after living here for a while, either you learn to make do without certain products or you figure out a way to get them through other sources (for a higher price).

It is always interesting to see the settling-in process new residents of Boquete go through while they learn the rhythm and norms of their new culture and surroundings. The stories and experiences of our new Boquete residents Joyce and Scott continue:

So, I’m not a big shopper. Clothing stores are meant to be gone through fairly quickly, in my mind. I’m much faster than my daughter Amy and slower than my husband Scott. However, I am a bit crazy about garden and hardware stores. I find them very fascinating.

So, imagine the heaven of finding yourself in a country that does a lot of repair work. Lots of repairs are done for a variety of reasons—the weather is hard on things, people have less money to buy new things so repair the old, and some contractors are terrible and you have to fix things that were just built/installed. I’m sure there are more reasons, but all of this has resulted in hardware stores that sell absolutely everything you could ever imagine to repair anything you could have ever thought about.

Our closest hardware store is a large maze of aisles just filled with every screw, nail, and piece of plastic and little doo dad you could possibly imagine. Since the store is absolutely jam packed, all the way to the 20 foot ceilings, with stuff everywhere, new items can be placed absolutely anywhere you could imagine—and places you can’t.

For the hardware enthusiast, such as myself, this means that you can spend hours in the store, looking at each item and always find some new little gadget that will be useful for something or other. Oh man, it’s like a child let loose in a candy store for me.

Amy thinks I’m weird, of course….

The shopping adventures of Joyce and Scott continue from Boquete/David to Panama City:

Today we took a taxi to David for an early morning bus ride to Panama City. The taxi went well, but it was the most expensive part of our day. It wasn’t bad though. For a 30 mile drive to David, it was only $35. In David, we paid a little over $15 each for a 6-1/2 hour bus drive to Panama City and Albrook mall, which is right on the canal on the northern side of the City. It was a very smooth and easy drive for us. It didn’t seem as long as it might have, since as I’ve not been feeling well for several days, I slept most of the drive.

When we arrived in Panama City at the mall, we took a taxi to our hotel, which is on the old military base. It was such a short drive (only about three miles), that we decided to walk back to the mall after checking in.

The Albrook mall is the largest mall in Latin America, from what we have been told, and it is immense. I estimate that it is about a mile long and 2-3 stories. There are numerous large department stores, plus any number of other stores, including about every shoe store known to human kind. You could spend days in that mall.

We went into a three story HUGE department store that seems to emphasize inexpensive items. After our three months in the small town of Boquete with occasional trips to the mall in David, it was really a bit overwhelming to see so many items and so many people in one store! There were tons of things that looked interesting, but we were mostly able to restrain ourselves—fortunately for our pocketbooks!

So, apparently there are many more items of interest available in the malls of Panama City! Joyce has written above about Albrook Mall but there all sorts of other malls like Multiplaza Mall and Multi Centro Mall, for example. Many of the Boquete/David residents also make regular trips to Panama City for their shopping and dining needs. We do the same periodically. Plus it is great for a change of scenery as well. After the hustle and bustle of Panama City, it is always great to be back home in the cooler and quieter Boquete environment and familiar surroundings.

There is a new mall in David that is under construction and promises to be similar to the Albrook mall, only smaller. The main David bus terminal will be relocated from its current location to the new mall. From the looks of it, it is about halfway done. Maybe in a year or two we will be able to do most of our shopping there? Rumor has it that the best grocery chain (in our opinion!) in Panama, Riba Smith, will have a store there! We can’t wait. Look at the architect’s rendering of the David mall below:

Hope to see you down in Boquete soon. We have a lot more information available for you! Make sure you ask us about life in Panama when you come and stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast.

How does one find a good builder, contractor or a handyman in Boquete, Panama?

Blog by Manzar Lari.

Short answer – It is not easy! Long answer, do your online research before coming here. In addition, talk to acquaintances and friends who have been here a lot longer than you. As I usually say to our guests at the B&B who are contemplating a move to Boquete, “talk to at least 12 different people locally about a topic of interest to you, synthesize and then distill the answers and then come up with your own truth”. Each person speaks from the standpoint of their own experiences and points-of-view. As a good “researcher” one has to initially gather as much information as one can until one starts hearing the same kinds of answers and collecting more data is not going to help inform the conclusion(s).

I do a “Boquete Overview Tour” for people who are considering moving to Boquete and we touch on many topics that may be relevant to a future Boquete resident. I have noticed that the visitors generally have tons of questions and they are “hungry” for answers. Frequently, people are looking to buy land and build their dream home here. I inform them that you will never hear people publicly say that someone is an awful builder or that the contractor didn’t do what they were paid to do. You can only find those things out when you talk verbally and in person with someone. We have different slander and libel laws here as compared to the U.S. and people are very cautious about divulging their true (negative) experiences to strangers.

Just recently our friends Joyce and Scott had this to say:

Friends here in Panama wanted me to discuss the issues with contracting. This is a tough and complicated subject that I (Joyce) have been thinking about for a while.

The problem is that contracting is never fun, wherever you are. There are always problems from delays in construction, parts not being available, costs being more than you expect, etc. This happens in the US as much as in Panama.

I’ve been trying to figure out the difference in these situations and I think it’s mostly that in the US there are more ways to find out about a contractor before you try to work with him. In the US, there seems to be more controls through state licensing and disciplinary procedures on incompetent contractors, YELP reviews and so on. It’s a bit more based on word of mouth references here.

Word of mouth references are always good, of course, wherever you live. Some of our best experiences in both the US and Panama have been in working with friends or people recommended by friends.

The problems that we have experienced in Panama seem to be that it is harder to find out if a contractor isn’t what he is cracked up to be. We have heard stories from friends of contracting with an electrician, who blows up everything in the house through bad wiring mistakes and then later says, “But I’m really not an electrician, so it’s not my fault if things don’t work out.” Other bad experiences include contractors getting the money for parts and using that money for someone else’s job or just never showing up at all (or, as in our case, abandoning the job after taking money and just disappearing from existence). It’s just difficult to find out if a contractor really knows what he is doing and whether he will complete the job.

I suspect that word of mouth worked better in the past when Boquete was a very small town, and everyone knew what was going on everywhere in town. With the growth in population in the past few years, the competition for the best contractors and the escalation in costs that come with population growth, the historical practice of working only with contractors who have a good reputation through word of mouth has some problems.

Let’s just say that while there are always horror stories about contracting experiences wherever you live, the stories, experiences and lessons learned are a bit more expensive, worrisome and common here in Boquete!

We have been in Boquete for almost four years and our experiences were not so different than the newbies Joyce and Scott when we first arrived in August 2013. Hopefully we have become a little wiser in those four years! Bad experiences have a way of teaching us some life lessons. We are fortunate that we have been able to find some reliable and trustworthy individuals who show up (mostly!) when they are supposed to, finish the job, give us a warranty, and not charge us exorbitant amounts of money.

If you are contemplating a move to Boquete, why not book a room with us  and schedule a Boquete Overview Tour? Terry and I (Manzar) love to assist our guests in any way we can to make your transition to Boquete a smooth one. See you soon!

 

Expats residing in Boquete, Panama, from many different cultures. Are we living in harmony with the locals? Come and see for yourself!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

At Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, we have been in business now for 3.5 years and have discovered there are differences in each culture we have encountered! Differences that are neither bad nor good, just different. Here in Boquete, Panama, for example: you see the Indigenous women in their Mola dress and now we are starting to see more and more of the Indigenous men wearing western clothes. And the younger generation is now in shorts. Something that was really NOT acceptable for Panamanians several years back. I (Terry) myself spend my life here in shorts! This is not an isolated incident, and is just one example of many, as Panama is known to have so many different cultures living here. Are they coexisting in harmony without major problems?

Here is one experience from local expats Joyce and Scott Kinnear…..

Scott and I have lived outside of the US twice—once in the 1980s when we lived in rural far Western Germany and now we are living in rural Panama. We’ve noticed a large difference between the stereotypes with which we were and are viewed in these two experiences. I don’t know if these differences are due to locations, our own stereotypes about the people there, the difference in time or what, but it is interesting.

In Germany, we were told that Americans were too nice, too friendly, too ready to smile all the time (lots of white teeth) and far too naïve. We were not really accepted into our village until we discovered that our landlord was trying to cheat us by having the grandmother’s electricity plugged into our meter. When we figured that out and stood up to our landlord, the landlord and neighbors began to treat us as part of the community—inviting us to their homes and sharing drinks and food at the local beer fests.

On the other hand, in Boquete, we hear that North Americans (particularly US citizens) are viewed as too rushed, too pressured, too hurried and less friendly than the locals. This seems to me to be because things are very likely to not happen or happen much later than originally planned here in Panama, especially Boquete, and North Americans (used to time schedules and things being completed within a certain time of when originally agreed) tend to get a bit upset, even pushy when things don’t work out.

I don’t think we’ve changed that much over time, but it is interesting that what we hear about ourselves and our cultural background has gone from “too naïve and smiley” to “too pushy and demanding.” I wonder if the Germans and other Europeans who have moved to Boquete feel this difference even more than we do?

Anyway, bouncing from different cultural expectations is very interesting, as long as you stay flexible and calm. For a psychology major, it is always interesting.

 

 

For the crew of Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, it is also very interesting. We can only recommend that you come and stay with us, and experience more than just the Latin American culture in Panama but many other cultures that are represented in Boquete, Panama at the same time! It make for great discussions and who knows, maybe even friends from all over the world. Contact Us and Come

We are feeling a bit bugged (in Boquete) and want to inform you as to why!

blog by Terry Richmeier

Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast  has been open for 3.5 years now and we feel fortunate enough not to have experienced any scorpions, spiders, or snakes inside our Bed & Breakfast! That’s saying a lot considering where we live! Tropical climate attracts and sustains a wide variety of creatures.

A couple that stayed with us, just made the move to Boquete, Panama. They purchased a home high on the mountaintop and made a list of the top bugs that “bug” them. Read below:

By Joyce Kinnear

The things a person learns about bugs when moving from a temperate/arid climate to a tropical one:

 

  1. It is hard to tell a centipede from a caterpillar when it is crawling on your neck.

2. Many bugs dislike the smell of cinnamon and lavender, which is why my doorways look like witch’s circles with cinnamon around them, and my cleaning supplies are all lavender scented.

Bar of natural aromatherapy soap with dried lavender and essential oil

 

 

3. The dilemma is real about spiders in the house–they kill bugs, BUT they can also bite you. When they are crawling all over the house, which is worse?

 

4. Scorpions are, in fact, pretty damn ugly, whether small and in your bed or large and in a bathroom.

  1. Beetles/June bugs are unbelievably stupid, but loud, when they fly around the house, noisily bumping into walls everywhere, crashing and then doing it again.
  2. Moth balls serve a purpose, as you can tell when the only thing with light in your house is the cell phone, and you become a moth attracter of amazing capabilities.
  3. Ants are the worst possible pests–the leaf cutters that can destroy a plant before your eyes, the little black ones that crawl all over your feet and into your shoes and leave stings that itch and hurt for weeks, or the little red ones that feel like hypodermic needles are injecting you.
  4. Coffee flies are practically microscopic, but the sting hurts and itches for at least 3 weeks.Our thoughts on these bug problems:
    1. Why does it matter if it’s a centipede or caterpillar? Some species can be poisonous here. That said, having any bugs crawl on you is creepy!
    2. You can make an all-natural lavender scented mix to spread around your house.
    3. No spiders – EVER! Enough said.
    4. Scorpions tend to be in the mountains and are not found in the area we are located.
    5. These guys don’t hurt anything, they just look creepy. That said with full knowledge of not having them in our Bed & Breakfast or near us.
    6. There is a season when the moths are flowing through the town. Still we haven’t seen them inside our Bed & Breakfast.
    7. Then only ants we seen are so small you can hardly see them. We exterminate frequently.
    8. Coffee Flies go for blood! They are all over tropical areas. That said, they usually bite at dawn or dusk.We here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, believe that the bugs are not to be bugging our guests! We spray frequently inside and out to prevent them from making their home inside ours and on you! You will be able to rest peacefully knowing that we are on the job of de-bugging your life and travels here in Boquete, Panama. Come and stay with us and don’t be bugged!

Scott is volunteering in Boquete, Panama – both Scott and Joyce are really busy!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

(This is a follow-up to last week’s blog titled: Joyce is working hard at volunteering in Boquete after retirement – resistance is futile!) 

So, you get nervous around large animals and yet you love them and want to help! This is me as well and you’re not alone! This is called Zoophobia: However, this is not what her husband (Scott) has…

This is Joyce’s story…..

Scott is the animal lover between the two of us. I have always been extremely nervous of some animals–particularly large ones that have a tendency to jump up on me. Animals can sense my nervousness, and it’s a negative feedback for us both.

Scott, on the other hand, is really, really good with animals. They nearly always like him, especially how he scratches their itches–literally. A couple of weeks ago, he was scratching a goat between its horns. The goat was in love and cried when we left.

So, he has started volunteering with a group (Amigos de Animales) that does monthly neutering and spaying. Vets are brought in from Costa Rica and some from other parts of Panama–apparently, the few vets in this area work on large, farm animals. Volunteers bring in strays and coordinate local families to bring in their pets. The day long clinic neuters and spays hundreds of animals, with volunteers running all parts of the operation except the actual surgery. Scott says it’s quite an operation.

Many of the animals who are spayed and neutered are strays, feral or abandoned. Recently, a local woman was introduced to one of the animal organizations in town. She is a soft hearted woman who was taking care of 39 drop-off and feral cats. The organization is helping her pay for food, move the cats into homes and pay for the low cost spaying and neutering with the organization Scott is working with.

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Because of this, Boquete is not beset with hundreds of feral and wild dogs and cats roaming the streets, as is the case in many places we’ve visited. Because people are not inundated with so many wild and somewhat dangerous animals, people tend to treat the animals better, thus they are not mean, and the positive circle.

Here is a video of two dogs that are loved tremendously!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23872rWorXM&list=PLwz-744OmrNPdFOjzK8uojrPnMUnaLDLp

 

This is a great thing for the animals and the people in the community and Scott is really enjoying working with the animals. The last two times, he’s had the job of waking cats up from the surgeries. As anyone who knows Scott has experienced, he loves playing with cats, so he’s gotten to have fun while helping out. I can imagine him doing more with this organization over time, as they always seem to need more help.

We here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast help out in the form of donations as well as our staff volunteering. Animales also supplies a calendar for purchase each year and the proceeds go to the clinic. Come and stay with us, if the time is right, we can get you in touch with them and you can volunteer to help in the clinic or support them financially. You have a great heart and we cannot wait to meet you!

Working hard at volunteering in Boquete after retirement – resistance is futile!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

So, you’re thinking about retiring in Boquete, Panama? As many of us have already taken the leap, we want to welcome you to your next new adventure! We at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast had the great privilege of having two of our former guests, (and now friends) finish their journey home to Boquete, Panama. And now, here is their story of being here after about three months:

Scott and I have both been doing some volunteering in Boquete, and I’m sure we will do more over time, as we are relatively young and healthy and hard workers. Once that is discovered, we’re in trouble.

My volunteering, so far, is with the knitter’s and crochet’s group. Scott is working with an animal group, and I’ll talk about them next time.

The knitter’s and crocheter’s group makes blankets, hats and sweaters for babies and their siblings. The group works with a clinic that provides well baby checkups and classes for mothers (nutrition and other child rearing items) and the hospital clinic for preemies and children with malnutrition in David.

The idea behind these clinics is that many of the indigenous young girls begin having children at 12 or 13. Since they, their mothers and grandmothers are so young, it is often the case that they haven’t had some of the nutrition and other training that is so necessary in rearing healthy babies. They often can’t afford the even extremely inexpensive care provided by the health system here.

Combined with crushing poverty of many families, there are too many babies and children with malnutrition and similar health issues. Check out the video:

The clinics provide assistance for the mothers and children. The mothers are given our blankets, sweaters and hats for their babies for free. Prior to the clinics providing these items, I am told that some of the poorest mothers from the high mountain areas where it gets quite chilly were wrapping their babies in newspapers. Our group leader says she hopes no one ever has to wrap her baby in newspaper again with our help.

I’ve been finding out about other activities that are related–donations of food provided to 120 families each month (by Buenos Vecinos de Boquete), services for handicapped children and adults and many other things. I’m really glad to be helping in a bit of this and can see that in a couple of years I will have to be protecting myself from working too hard.

 

Scott and Joyce have, within a short period of time, jumped in and have settled into the community with their joy, hard work and loving hearts!

 

Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast has been able to help. From the beginning of their stay with us, we have been “hands on” in helping them to acclimate to their surroundings. Come and stay with us, especially if you are thinking of making a move to retirement and volunteerism. We will take the same “hands on” approach to see if Boquete, Panama is right for you.

 

Talking about “sloths” in Panama!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Most people either love them or think they are cute or they fear them and think they are ugly. My cousin Tiffany, absolutely loves them, so when her mom came to Casa de Montaña and shared on Facebook a video and photo it was all too much for her! She went crazy (not literally) with jealousy! Watch the video below to see Tiffany’s mom and what sent her through the roof!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtRAlAFvQ2E        (Take a look at the video of the event)

 

Excerpts taken from Wikipedia.

Sloths have a bad rap! First of all, they have been named “Sloth” from the 7 deadly sins. Because they seem slow and lazy. However, what is actually happening is that they are conserving energy. (Something I think we all should try from time to time.) When faced with a predator, you would be surprised how fast of a burst of speed they can become. They are also really good swimmers.

And just how big can these lazy, good for nothing, and so loving little guys get? Extinct sloth species include many Megafauna ground sloths, some of which attained the size of elephants.

Extinct sloths are medium-sized arboreal (tree-dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America.

Though they have really long claws, which are for hanging in the trees and make it difficult to walk on the ground, they are so gentle. They like to sleep in a ball between the forks of two branches but can also sleep by hanging from their claws. They will leave the tree to poop and swim.

We here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, have been fortunate enough to know a special lady that rescues animals including sloths. Her animal rescue is named “Raquel’s Ark”. She is located in the town of Volcan, about an hour and a half drive from Casa de Montaña. She has the two sloths that she is currently taking care of (that you watched on the Youtube video. Along with two baby monkeys that remain on her body 24 hours a day. Raquel has an amazing love for animals and if you would like to go and hold a sloth or play with a monkey and see other rescued animals, we can help set this up for you. Just ask us when booking  a room with us!

 

Why are Panama Hats Called Panama Hats if they are made in Ecuador?

Blog by Terry Richmeier

In my last blog about Traditional Clothing. I came across a fact that bewildered me. The Panama hats are NOT made in Panama! What the….?

So, I dug in to find out some information about them. Here are the results:

Panama hats are Ecuador’s most iconic souvenir, yet their name is attached to the country whose strip of land connects Central and South America. The handwoven hats, made with straw from the toquilla palm plant that is endemic to Ecuador’s Pacific coast, have been made in Ecuador for centuries and can be traced back to the Incas. So why, then, are they called Panama hats?

There are several theories as to why, and it is probably true that each theory has contributed to its reputation in some way. One major factor was Panama’s position as a center for trade and transport, especially in the mid-1850s during the Gold Rush in the United States. At the time, Ecuador did not see much tourism or trade, so it exported its hats to Panama to sell from here.

Additionally, Ecuador did not have the technology to be able to mark the hats with a stamp or label that said “Made in Ecuador,” so people assumed the hats were made in the same country they were bought in.

“Panama Hats,” by capelle79 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51252776@N04/5655872438/)

When thousands of North Americans on the east coast went in search of gold in California, many traveled by boat through Panama to get there, as it was a quicker option than traveling across the United States via land. Many of these American travelers bought the straw hats while passing through Panama and returned to the United States with their new accessory. When asked where they got their fine woven hats, people said Panama.

In 1881, the 23-year project to build the Panama Canal began. Many of the workers who constructed the Panama Canal wore the hats to fend off the strong sun, adding to its association with Panama. These hats were perfect for the job since they are lightweight and breathable. The Panama hat gained even more fame when President Theodore Roosevelt was photographed in one of the straw hats while visiting the Panama Canal in 1906. The photo was widely published in the U.S. and was mistakenly called a Panama hat; from that point on, the name “Panama hat” really stuck.

President Theodore Roosevelt in a Panama Hat

Others claim that the travelers passing through the Panama Canal over time who wore the hat gave it its name, rather than the canal workers or President Teddy Roosevelt. No matter what you believe the real origin or continued use of the term “Panama hat” for the Ecuadorian-made product is, there is no doubt that these hats are made in Ecuador,  primarily in and around Cuenca and on the coast in towns like Montecristi and Jipijapa (which is why the hat was actually technically called a Jipijapa hat).

I found this information on Vivatravelguides.com

So do as President Theodore Roosevelt did, come down, Stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, Purchase your hats and enjoy the benefits of sun blockage, pass the Panama Canal and be a part of history! Just as we did!

Traditional (and not so traditional) Men’s and Women’s Clothing of Panama

Puttin’ on the Ritz! Where fashion sits!

Traditional (and not so traditional) Men’s and Women’s Clothing of Panama

Ropa tradicional (y no tan tradicional) Hombres y Mujeres en Panamá

Blog by Terry Richmeier

There has been a great interest in the blog written last year by our former staff Maria Isabel Zapata, http://www.casademontana.com/blog-traditional-costumes-of-panama-and-some-central-south-american-countries/ in which she strove to show you different dresses from all over the world. So we here at Casa de Montana Bed and Breakfast, thought I would narrow it down a bit and show you clothing that has been a part of Panama’s history and has lasted the test of time!

(The following description has been taken from an Embassy of Panama in Japan)

Starting with the Pollera:

Ha habido mucho interés en el escrito (del año pasado) realizado por nuestra colaboradora María Isabel Zapata, http://www.casademontana.com/blog-traditional-costumes-of-panama-and-some-central-south-american-countries/ en dicho escrito se esforzó por mostrarnos diferentes tipos de vestimenta alrededor del mundo. Así que aquí en Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, pensamos en ir un poco más profundo y hablar un poco de la ropa que ha sido parte de la historia de Panamá y ha pasado la prueba del tiempo.

 

La siguiente descripción ha sido tomada de la Embajada de Japón en Panamá.

 

Empezando con la Pollera

POLLERA

“Pollera” is a traditional costume of Panama worn by women. It originally came from Spain during colonial times.  It is basically a blouse and long skirt, which in Panama acquired its own characteristics, differentiating itself from Spanish dress and other Latin American dresses of Spanish origin. Pollera is formed by multicolored cloth and embroidery. It can take around 8 months to make a complex design of Pollera. In addition, Pollera is also decorated with jewelry over the blouse, and the head of the woman is adorned by fish scale (peinetas) and beaded hair decorations (tembleques).

Women wear Pollera in special events such as Carnival, folklore events, and town festivities. It has received international awards due to the complex design. In view of its cultural importance, Panama celebrates the Pollera Day every year on the July 22.

Now, let us show you some photos so you get a better idea!

LA POLLERA

“Pollera” es un atuendo tradicional, utilizado por mujeres. Originario de España, llego en la época colonial. Es básicamente una blusa y una falda larga, en Panamá adquirió sus propias características, diferenciándose del vestido español y del resto de los vestidos latinoamericanos que tuvieron su origen en España. La pollera está compuesta por muchos bordados y telas multicolores. Puede tomar alrededor de ocho meses en confeccionar una pollera. Además la pollera es también adornada con collares que van sobre la blusa, y la cabeza de las mujeres es adornada con peinetas y tembleques (hechos de escamas de pescado y chaquiras).

Las mujeres utilizan la pollera en ocasiones especiales como el Carnaval, evento folclórico, en ferias y desfiles nacionales. Ha recibido premios internacionales debido a sus complejos diseños. Debido a su importancia cultural, Panamá celebra el día de la pollera cada 22 de Julio.

¡Ahora dejamos mostrarte algunas fotos para que tengas una mejor idea!

And for the men………

Y ahora para los hombres…..

FORMAL MONTUNO

 This traditional dress worn by men is used during town festivities, national celebrations, and particularly when performing Panama folk dances, together with women wearing Polleras. It consists of a white long-sleeve shirt and closed neck (Camisilla), black long pant, traditional straw hat with black lines (Sombrero Pintao), small bag hanging on the left side of the body (Chacara), and black and white shoes (Chinelas).

Again, let us show you some photos so you get a better idea!

EL MONTUNO

Este es una vestimenta utilizada por los hombres durante festivales pueblerinos, celebraciones nacionales y especialmente cuando están presentando los bailes típicos de Panamá, junto con las mujeres que llevan las polleras. Consiste en una camisa manga larga y cuello cerrado (Camisilla), pantalones largos negros, sombrero hecho de plantas tropicales con líneas negras (Sombrero Pintao), una pequeña bolsa colgando de su lado izquierdo del cuerpo (Chácara) y zapatos blanco con negro (Chinelas).

¡Una vez más déjenos mostrarle algunas fotos, para que puedan tener una mejor idea!

 

Another variations, you will find the following:

MONTUNO OCUEÑO

Montuno Ocueño is a more casual traditional dress worn by men, which is composed of a shirt (Cotonoa) and knee-length pant (Chingo). Montuno is well known for its colorful and beautiful embroidery, which is found in part of the neck, shoulders, front, cuffs, and around the lower edge of the shirt. The design of embroidery looks like geometric forms of flower and animals.
Chingo is also adorned with similar embroidery.
Other accessories include a white straw hat (Sombrero Tipico), sandals (Cutarras), and long knife wrapped by leather case (Machete).

Take a look at these….

Montuno Ocueño

El montuno ocueño es más casual, ropa tradicional usada por los varones, la cual es compuesta por una camisa (Cotonoa) y un pantalón a la rodilla (Chingo). Este montuno es conocido por sus colores y sus bellos adornos, que se encuentran alrededor del cuello, hombros, parte delantera, los puños y los bordes inferiores de la camisa. Los diseños de los adornos tienen formas geométricas de animales y flores. Los pantalones o Chingo también tiene adornos similares.

Otro accesorio es el sombrero blanco hecho con plantas tropicales (Sombrero Típico), sandalias (Cutarras) y un cuchillo largo en una funda de cuero. (Machete).

 

¡Mira esto!

That’s only the beginning, I wanted to show you what the indigenous men and women wear in different parts of Panama.  I will start with the NgäbeBuglé here in Boquete, Panama, and follow with photos of other regions in Panama.

Eso es solo el inicio, quiero mostrarte como los indígenas: hombres y mujeres se visten en diferentes partes de Panamá. Empezare con los Ngäbe Bugle aquí en Boquete y siguiendo con fotos de otras regiones de Panamá.

And, it’s very important that you have “the Hat” Panama is well known for, even though it originated from Ecuador,  they are amazing hats!

Take a look now

¡Es muy importante que usted adquiera “El Sombrero” Panamá es muy conocida por su sorprendente sombrero! Aunque realmente es originario de Ecuador.

¡Miren!

These “Sombreros” have become part of the fashion world and to this day you will see them worn all over the world! Oh, and you can pick up a couple when you come to Panama and stay with us at Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast!

Estos sombreros se han convertido en parte del mundo de la moda, en estos tiempos se ven utilizados por todo el mundo! Oh, pueden adquirir algunos cuando vengan a Panamá y se queden con nosotros en Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast!

Quiero compartir con ustedes algunos vestuarios de Panamá…

Look for our next featured blog on history of Panama Hats!

Este pendiente de nuestro proximo articulo sobre la historia del Panama Hat

And now I want to share a little “Costume” or two from Panama…..

Quiero compartir con ustedes algunos vestuarios de Panamá…

The fashion of Panama can be seen all over the world! Mattel’s Barbie is not immune!

La moda panameña puede ser vista por todo el mundo! Las famosas muñecas de Mattel: Barbie, no es inmune.

 

Beyond the clothing, which you can see for yourselves if you come and stay with us during the festivals and holidays, you can see so much more! From Horse parades to coffee farming. Send us an email to see when the best time to come and experience what YOU want to experience!. Book your room with us and let the live activities begin! See you soon.

Más allá de la ropa, que podrán ver por ustedes mismos si vienen a quedarse con nosotros, durante festividades o vacaciones, podrá ver mucho más! Desde desfiles a caballo a granjas de café. ¡Envíanos un correo para ver cuando es el mejor momento para venir y vivir una grandiosa experiencia! ¡Reserva tu cuarto con nosotros  y deja que la diversión te invada! Nos vemos pronto.

A Contrast of Boquete Before and Now

Blog by Omar Fuentes.

Boquete is one of the most famous places to visit nowadays in Panama. There are so many things to do here that you will want to stay here forever. But, how was Boquete like before it became so popular? Let’s share some history about this small town in the province of Chiriqui.

The meaning of Boquete is “hole or cavity” and was founded in 1911. Caldera River goes through the town and Volcan Baru is also part of this community.

Here are some pictures of was Boquete before and how is now:

Caldera River and its surrounding

Central Park

Bridge above the flower and coffee fair

Boquete Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boquete Town

Flower and Coffee Fair

Church

While Boquete is a small agricultural and retirement community, there is history and culture associated with it. Those who are looking for a slow-paced way of life will love this area. You can take a walk in the forest or enjoy a hike on the highest peak in the country. Stay with us at Casa de Montaña and we will provide you with all recommendations when visiting Boquete.

LGBT RIGHTS IN PANAMA, PART II

(Part One published on January 26th, 2017)

Blog by Omar Fuentes

It was back in 2014 when Gay Marriage was first presented as a bill by the government ministry to pass into law that would have allowed marriage between same sex couples.  Within a few days there was so much protest by church groups against gay marriage that the proposal was withdrawn before it made it to the legislators to be voted in.

 

Then in2016 there was a second discussion about the topic when a couple that was married in another country wanted their marriage to be recognized in Panama as well. Registro Civil (courthouse) denied their petition stating that Panamanian laws don’t accept this type of marriage. The couple didn’t agree with this decision and decided to file an official complaint to the Supreme Court and argued against an article from the Family code in the actual constitution stating that it has discrepancies. No action has yet been taken on their petition.

 

In April 2017, another complaint to the Supreme Court was submitted to legalize Gay marriage, this time by a law firm against the article 26 that says “marriage is only allowed between a woman and a man”. According to them, the article 57 in the Panamanian Constitution states that “Marriage is the legal foundation of the family, it rests in the equality and rights of the couple and can only be dissolved by law”, so it differs within the two codes.  This is the second formal Complaint about Gay Marriage to the Supreme Court that looks forward to legalizing same sex marriage in Panama.

Panama’s New Men and Women Association, a non-governmental organization created in 1996, accuses the Panamanian Catholic Church, in a compromise with the Government, of encouraging legislation to prevent gay marriages.

The argument set forth by the proponents of the bill states that Panama should adopt the most modern standards of inclusivity and diversity and gives examples of other countries in the Americas and the Latin world who have already passed legislations legalizing gay marriage. Some of the examples of the countries quoted that recognize this freedom are:  Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain, Colombia and the United States.

These countries all allow gay marriage and full legal rights to their LGBT citizens. The last two countries are the two most recent ones to pass the legislation.

 

The Panamanian vice president and chancellor, Isabel De Saint Malo, stated that she is in favor of marriage between same-sex couples. Isabel shared her public support on her Twitter account of the original post by a Twitter user who wrote in favor of gay marriage. “I share my opinion. We must all have the option of joining our life to a loved one. Sexual orientation is not chosen, it is born with it. ISMA”

It is important for gay marriage to promote a law for non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, because today the Panamanian State does not recognize this as subject of law. Many people think that the only problem the LGBT community has is that there is no “gay marriage” in Panama and most issues stem from that.

Regardless of how this judicial battle is resolved, the debate over homosexual marriage has once again taken the pulse of our small country, which boasts of being tolerant and cosmopolitan but increasingly influenced by religion and conservatism. We will keep you posted about any future developments as they unfold.

At Casa de Montaña we keep you updated with the latest information about LBGT community and other communities. Whenever you visit Boquete stay with us and we will make sure that you feel comfortable and you can be yourself and share your ideas with us about the progress in the LGBT Community of our wonderful nation. You can book your stay directly from our Booking Page .

Boquete Continua siendo un destino de establecimiento para extranjeros!

Blog por Manzar Lari

 

El otro día estaba hablando con algunos amigos sobre las personas de todas partes del mundo que se hospedan en Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast. Muchos de ellos están buscando una nueva aventura o un lugar para retirarse y son traídos a Boquete por su belleza, clima primaveral, personas muy cordiales y el gobierno estable panameño, requerimientos de visa nada complicados, entre otras razones. Si, Boquete (y Panamá en general) tiene sus retos y la transición de mudarse de diferentes partes del mundo puede llegar a ser un poco difícil para la mayoría de las personas, pero las recompensas superan con creces los inconvenientes.

Como cualquier otra ciudad en cualquier parte del mundo, Boquete está tratando de ajustarse a la afluencia de personas, mejorando sus infraestructuras en la ciudad y sus alrededores. Esto ha creado algo de estrés para los residentes y algunas personas han estado comentando al respecto. Es cierto que en Panamá las cosas toman más tiempo en realizarse, estamos contentos que el gobierno asigno fondos para el mejoramiento del sistema de distribución del agua del centro y comunidades vecinas.

En la otra mano, la construcción de casas está en incremento de nuevo desde hace ya 2 años. Nuevas casas y negocios se están surgiendo a lo largo de la carretera de Boquete-David. Muchas casas nuevas son construidas en barrios privados (como Los Molinos y Boquete Canyon Village.) la construcción de casa en tierras privadas también está en incremento. Muchas personas optan por comprar casas ya existentes o construir sus propias casas en Boquete y ciudades vecinas. Definitivamente podemos sentir la diferencia desde hace dos o tres años hasta ahora. Mientras que la demanda por renta se mantiene, la primera opción de muchas personas por mudarse aquí es la adquirir una vivienda propia. Las personas con mascotas son las que tienden más a esta opción ya que es difícil conseguir lugares para rentar donde acepten mascotas. Hay muchos Bienes y raíces en la ciudad y “venta por propietario” también es una buena opción.

Buscamos sobre el turismo y establecerse de Panamá y esto fue lo que encontramos. En el 2016 en general el turismo en Panamá incremento 7-8% sobre el año pasado. Estas tendencias han variado entre 5-8% (incremento) en turismo cada año sobre el anterior. El aproximado en gasto turístico ha incrementado en general 4-5%. En proporción el número de personas a establecerse continúa creciendo, especialmente en Coronado y Boquete.

Muchos de nuestros huéspedes más recientes han estado preocupados sobre la política y otras condiciones en sus propios países y se han mudado al área de Boquete recientemente o están contemplando la idea de mudarse en un futuro cercano. Rutinariamente recibimos correos electrónicos de huéspedes tratando de obtener más información sobre Boquete (y Panamá) y hacemos lo mejor en responder con información o conectarlos a diferentes recursos. Mi “Boquete Overview Tour” (diseñado para personas que deseen experimentar la belleza del área), continua siendo un tour popular entre los huéspedes que se quedan en Casa de Montaña y otros que visitan Boquete. Visítanos y quédate con nosotros en Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast y haremos lo mejor para ser de sus experiencia una que recordara siempre.

Boquete continues to be a relocation destination for expats!

Blog by Manzar Lari

The other day I was talking to some friends about the people from all over the world who stay at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast. Many of them are looking for a new adventure or a retirement destination and are drawn to the Boquete area because of its beauty, spring-like climate, welcoming people and stable Panama government, easy visa requirements, among other reasons. Yes Boquete (and Panama in general) has it’s challenges and transitioning and settling here from different parts of the world can be a bit difficult for most people but the rewards far outweigh the inconveniences.

Just like any other town anywhere in the world, Boquete is trying to adjust to the influx of people by upgrading its infrastructure downtown and nearby areas. This has created some stress for the residents and people have been voicing their concerns. While it is true that things take longer in Panama, we are glad that there is funding allocated by the government to improve the water distribution system of the downtown and the nearby communities.

Home construction is on the rise again in the past 2 years. New homes and businesses are popping up along the Boquete-David road. Several new homes are being built in the gated communities (such as Los Molinos and Boquete Canyon Village). Home construction on private land is also on the rise. Many people are opting to either buy existing homes or constructing their own homes in Boquete and nearby towns. We can definitely feel the difference from two-three years ago to now. While the rental demand stays strong, home ownership is now being considered as the first option by many people moving here. People with pets tend to prefer this option since it is more difficult to find a rental home where the owners allow pets. There are many realtors in town and “For Sale By Owners” is also a great option.

We looked into the tourism and relocation trends of Panama and this is what we found. In 2016 the overall tourism to Panama increased by 7-8% over the previous year. The general trends have varied between 5-8% (increase) in tourism each year over the previous year. The overall tourist spending has also increased each over, generally 4-5%.  Proportionately, the relocation numbers continue to rise, especially to Coronado and Boquete areas.

Many of our recent guests are concerned about the political or other conditions in their own countries and have either moved to Boquete area recently or are contemplating a move in the near future. We routinely receive emails from our former guests regarding Boquete (and Panama) and we do our best to respond to them with information or get them connected to different resources. My Boquete Overview Tour (designed for people who are contemplating a move to Panama) and the Boquete Scenic Tour (designed for people who would like to experience the beauty of the area), continue to be popular tours with our Casa de Montaña guests and others visiting Boquete. Please come and stay at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast  and we will do our best to make your experience a memorable one!

 

Casa de Montaña- Comprando Víveres y Utensilios para el Hogar en Panamá

Para traerles las habitaciones mas limpias, el desayuno mas refinado y el tiempo mas relajante, nosotros compramos en todo Chiriqui, Panama, la mejor calidad, precio y productos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iniciando con el desayuno, compramos en mercados locales! Desde el Mercado de los granjeros en el pueblo con frutas y vegetales locales, hasta el “Tuesday Market” para esos articulos mas dificiles de encontrar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Periodicamente, visitamos “Organica” aqui en Bajo Boquete por productos libre de gluten, pan de grano germinado y otros productos naturales/organicos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pero esto no termina aqui! Semanalmente vamos a la ciudad de david donde visitamos Pricemart (Equivalente al Costco), Super 99 y Rey (Equivalente a Krogers) y el Super Baru (Equivalente al SuperValue).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y siempre estamos buscando mas lugares donde se pueda ahorrar y encontrar calidad. Recientemente una nueva tienda por departamento que abrira dentro deun mes. Se llama ‘Xtra” (equivalente a Aldi solo en precio) que esta garantizado a ser el precio mas bajo en Panama. La ciudad de Panama ya tiene algunas de estas tiendas. Estamos emocionados en visitar cuando abra!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tambien esta pendiente por abrir un Nuevo centro commercial llamado “Federal mall”. No estoy seguro de cuando sera abierto. Este tendra mucha tiendas deparatmentales y todos los restaurantes favoritos. Tambien, se espera que sea la nueva terminal de transporte para viajar a traves de Panama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aquí en Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast continuamos buscando lo Mejor! Desde comprar vasos en Conway o Novey, hasta comprar muebles y electrodomésticos de Panafoto y Arrocha parea su comodidad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

También para estar al tanto con la información actualizada, de nuevas aperturas de tiendas y nuevas propiedades y negocios en el mercado. De esta manera podemos sugerir y mantenerlos informados en nuestra comunidad. Si este interesado en adquirir una propiedad en Boquete accede nuestra página web en la sección “Relocation”.

Talking about new, here in Boquete, Panama, a brand new Deli Baru will be opening soon which will provide competition for two of the other grocery stores, Romero and Mandarin.

Hablando de cosas nuevas, aquí en Boquete, Panamá, un nuevo Súper Baru estará abriendo pronto el cual pondrá competencia a las otras dos tiendas Romero y Mandarín.

También una nueva escuela fue inaugurada por el presidente Varela, que abrió hace ya un mes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hace un par de meses atrás, la nueva Compañía cervecera de Boquete abrió frente a la calle principal en la locación original. No solo pensamos que es grande sino que mejor que la anterior. En un buen lugar para pasar rato con los amigos, hay conciertos en vivo con buena música. No olvides de pedir tu comida del menú ofrecido por el camión de comida estacionado en la parte trasera.

En cuanto se den mas cambios, los mantendremos informados a medida que nos enteremos. Nos vemos pronto!

Casa de Montaña – Shopping for groceries and household goods in Panama

Blog by Terry Richmeier

So, to bring you the cleanest rooms, the finest breakfast and the most relaxing time, we shop all over Chiriqui, Panama, for the best quality, price and product!

Starting with breakfast, we shop the local markets! From the farmers market downtown with local fruits and vegetables, to the “Tuesday Market” for those harder-to-find items.

Periodically, we head to “Organica” here in Boquete downtown (Bajo Boquete) for Gluten Free products, sprouted grain bread and other natural/organic products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But we don’t stop there! Weekly we run into the city of David where we will go to PriceSmart, (Our equivalent of Costco), Super 99 and Rey (Our equivalent of Krogers) and then onto Super Baru and Song (Our equivalent of SuperValue).

 

 

 

 

And we are always looking around for more places for savings and quality. We recently discovered a brand new store opening 1 month from now. It is called “Xtra”(equivalent to Aldi only in price) which is guaranteed to be the best cost value in all of Panama. Panama City already has some of these stores. We are excited to check it out when it opens!

Also due to open in David is a new mall called “Federal mall”. Not sure when it will be finished. It will have many specialty stores and a food court with all the favorite restaurants. Also, it is expected to house a new bus station for travel throughout all of Panama!

Here at the Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we continue to look for the best! From buying bar glasses at Conway or Novey, to buying furniture and room equipment from Panafoto and Arrocha for your comfort!

We also try to stay on top of all the latest information, from new stores opening to newly listed homes, properties and businesses on the market. This way, we can make suggestions and get you connected in our community. Interested in a purchase, take a look at our “Relocation” page.

 

 

 

 

Talking about new, here in Boquete, Panama, a brand new Deli Baru will be opening soon which will provide competition for two of the other grocery stores, Romero and Mandarin.

Also new is the school, just finished and blessed by President Varela, that opened one month ago.

And a few months back, the new Boquete Brewing Company pub opened across the street from the original location. We think that it is not only bigger but better than the other one! It is a great place to hang out, people watch and even listen to some live music. Don’t forget to order your food from the limited menu offered by the Food Truck that is parked outside!

Want to check out these stores and more, come and stay with us and we will get you on your way to shopping and visiting some new and interesting businesses!

As more changes happen, we will keep you updated as we find out. See you soon!

 

 

15 Cosas que tal vez no sabías sobre Panamá!

Blog por Omar Fuentes B.

La población de Panamá es relativamente joven.  Un tercio de la población tiene 14 años, mientras que el seis por ciento tiene 64 años. Sorprendentemente Panamá tiene una población muy diversa, el resultado de grupos indígenas intactos y la inmigración continua alrededor de los últimos años. Su rol como punto de transito comercial jugó una parte importante en este hecho. Las personas vinieron (en muchos casos fueron traídas) aquí a construir el canal o las vías del tren y hacer negocios en la capital. El grupo más grande de inmigrantes vino de China y África, pero hay grupos  sustanciales de la India, Europa, Caribe y Norte América. Es difícil obtener un estimado correcto de las etnias en Panamá, pero la mayoría de los reportes establecen que entre 65-70 por ciento son mestizos (mezcla de Amerindios y caucásicos), 8-10 por ciento Amerindios, y el resto con ancestros Africanos y Europeos.

Aquí hay 15 datos interesantes sobre Panamá:

  1. La ciudad de Panamá, la capital más grande del país, es la única capital en el mundo que tiene una selva en los límites de la ciudad.
  2. Panamá celebra dos días de independencia, el primero es la separación de España en 1821 y el segundo la independencia de Colombia 82 años tarde en 1903.
  3. Panamá fue el primer país de Latinoamérica en adoptar el dólar estadounidense como su moneda oficial. La moneda oficial es el balboa. Un balboa equivale a un dólar estadounidense.
  4. Panamá está localizado al sur del paso de los huracanes, so rara vez se afecta por tormentas tropicales o huracanes.
  5. Panamá tiene más de 976 especies de aves, siendo más que Estados Unidos y Canadá combinados.
  6. Panamá cultiva uno de los cafés más finos del mundo, los cuales pueden ser probados en tiendas selectas alrededor del mundo.
  7. El senador John McCain nació en Panamá, en la zona del canal, el cual en ese tiempo era considerado territorio estadounidense.
  8. Panamá es el único lugar en el mundo donde se puede observar la salida del sol en el pacifico y la puesta en el atlántico desde el mismo lugar. En el lugar más estrecho del país, solo 80 kilómetros separan el atlántico del océano pacifico.
  9. Panamá es casa de 10,000 plantas de diferentes especies, incluyendo las 1,400 variedades de Orquideas, 678 helechos y más de 1,500 variedades de árboles.
  10. A 11,397 pies, la elevación más alta de Panamá es el Volcán Barú, un Volcan que está localizado cerca de la ciudad de Boquete.
  11. Panamá tiene la fauna más diversificada de los países en Centro América. Es casa de especies de Norte y Sur América.
  12. El Canal de Panamá genera casi un tercio de los ingresos del país
  13. Panamá tiene la segunda zona libre más grande del mundo.
  14. Panamá es tropical, pero las temperaturas varían de acuerdo a la ubicación y altura. Mientras la ciudad de Panamá, Colon y David son calientes y húmedas, el área montañosa es un clima tipo primavera durante todo el año.
  15. Tranquilo es una palabra que escucharas mucho cuando viajes a través de Panamá. significa que todo está calmado o pacífico y puede ser aplicado a una persona u una situación. Es un buen ejemplo de la percepción del tiempo para el panameño.

Si desea descubrir algunos de estos hechos por usted mismo, lo invitamos a que reserve directo por nuestra página web en Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Aquí en Boquete tiene acceso al clima fresco, ver hermosas flores, visitar el Volcan, experimentar la diversidad en la fauna, observar las aves más hermosas, probar el café más fino de Panamá, experimentar quedarte en uno de los mejores hoteles en Panamá, y mucho más por hacer. Visita nuestro website en la opción “exploring Boquete” para obtener más información sobre la variedad de opciones que tenemos disponibles para ti.

Te esperamos pronto.

15 interesting facts about Panama.

Blog by Omar Fuentes B.

Panama’s population is relatively young. One-third of the people are under the age of 14, while just six percent are older than 64. Panama also has a surprisingly diverse population, the result of intact indigenous groups and steady immigration over the last 500 years. Its role as a commercial transit point played a huge part in this. People came (or in many cases, were brought) here to build the canal or railroad, and do business in the capital. The largest number of immigrants came from China and Africa, but there are substantial groups from India, the Middle East, Europe, Caribbean and North America. It’s tough to get a reliable estimate of the ethnic breakdown in Panama, but most reports put it at somewhere between 65-70 percent mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Caucasian), 8-10 percent Amerindian, and the rest with African or European ancestry.

Here are 15 interesting facts about Panama:

  1. Panama City, the nation’s capital and largest city, is the only capital city in the world that has a rain forest within its city limits.
  2. Panama celebrates two independence days, the first from Spain in 1821 and the second from Colombia 82 years later in 1903.
  3. Panama was the very first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. dollar as its official currency. Panama’s official currency is the balboa. One balboa is equal to one US dollar.
  4. Panama is located south of the hurricane alley, so it is rarely affected by tropical storms or hurricanes.
  5. Panama has more than 976 bird species, which is more than the United States and Canada combined.
  6. Panama grows some of the world’s finest coffee, which can be tasted at select coffee houses worldwide.
  7. Senator John McCain was born in Panama, in the Canal Zone which was at that time considered U.S. Territory.
  8. Panama contains the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic…from the same spot! At the country’s narrowest point, only 80 kilometers separates the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean. 
  9. Panama is home to 10,000 different plants species, including 1,400 varieties of orchids, 678 ferns, and more than 1,500 varieties of trees.
  10. At 11,397 feet, the highest elevation in Panama is Volcán Barú, a volcano which is located near the town of Boquete.
  11. Panama has the most diversified wildlife of all the countries in Central America. It is home to North as well as South American species.
  12. The Panama Canal generates almost one-third of the entire country’s revenue.
  13. Panama has the second largest duty free zone in the world.
  14. Panama is tropical, but temperatures vary according to location and altitude. While Panama City, Colon and David are quite hot and humid, the mountain areas are spring-like climate all year long.
  15. “Tranquilo” is a word that you may come across while traveling in Panama. It means calm or peaceful and can be applied to a person, place or a situation. It’s also a good example of the Panamanian perception of time.

If you want to check out some of these facts for yourself, we invite you to book directly with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Here in Boquete you have access to experience the fresh weather, see beautiful flowers, visit the volcano, experience the diverse wildlife, observe the most beautiful birds, taste the finest coffee in all of Panama, experience staying in one of the best B&B/Inns in Panama, and so much more to do. Visit our website under the tab “exploring Boquete” to get more information about the variety of options we have available for you.

Hope to see you soon…

 

 

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