The lost art of recycling being reclaimed in Panama?

Blog by Terry Richmeier.

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast we try our best to be environmentally friendly. We re-use, reduce, and recycle what we can.

When we first came to Panama we arrived at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. We had arranged for a taxi pick us up and drive us to our hotel. On the way, we noticed piles of trash all over the city in the northwest neighborhoods of town. When we moved to Boquete, Panama we noticed the same thing here as well. We were also told by others that the beaches in Panama City were completely covered in trash as well. Amazingly, most of those piles are now gone! So is the trash along the way to Boquete. The future looks better for Panama in regards to recycling and trash control. There is more awareness and efforts underway to clean the surroundings and volunteer programs are popping up in places. Here is a message from a former guest Joyce Kinnear:

This Sunday morning before Halloween, I got up at 5:30, so that we could join the Boquete Recycling group at 7 to “clean up Boquete.” The whole team split into at least four groups. For two hours, we picked up trash (7 bags with our small group), as well as a bag of recyclable metal and recyclable plastic bottles. We would have stayed longer, except that we had another event to go to.

Boquete is attempting to get “reuse/recycle/reduce” and “clean up” to be a larger part of life. It’s been difficult to get recycling service in town, so far from everything in Panama. We always say we are at the end of the distribution line here in Boquete, and that includes recycling.


It was heartening to see so many people gather together so early in the morning to pick up trash and recycling along the main road into town. We had a number of people thank us and help us—one young woman staying with our team for an hour to help in cleaning up the trash before she had to go.
Now, we just need to figure out how to get the beer and water bottling companies to pay for recycling efforts, since their products are the majority of what seems to get dumped. Wouldn’t that be something?

Another former guest that lives in Panama City named Colin, has started, with a group of friends, picking up the trash from the beaches. This was discovered by the city and now has become a city effort as well. The beaches are starting to look like beaches again.



Here in Boquete, as you can see, efforts are being made. Perhaps one day we will have our recycling company back in action.

The Panamanian government has just signed a law that starting in 2019, there will be no more plastic grocery bags allowed in Panama! Another great move forward.

And, we here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, continue to do what we can to reuse, recycle, and reduce. From picking up trash in our yard to reducing usage of our precious resources and recycling by sharing in the community programs.


When you come down and stay with us, just let us know what you would like us to do in order to save our environment. Things such as placing a note on the door that you would like to re-use your towels, or leave your room to not be disturbed or cleaned. Whatever way you prefer to help us reuse, recycle, and reduce.


Why fall into Fall in Boquete?

Blog by Terry Richmeier.

I HATE the snow! I really do! And growing up in Colorado, I had my fair share of snow. I didn’t particularly like fall either. Why, because it was followed by winter….

But, that is not everyone, some do like the cold and snow. And many enjoy the changing of the colors in fall. And I must admit, when I lived in Minnesota, the harvest of apples and the off the road pie shops were amazing during the fall drives through the state.

We here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, well, we cannot lie, and we miss the fall just a little….We don’t have much of a fall here. Just a gentle rain in the afternoon. From about 2 pm into the night! Cool, crisp mornings that are perfect to sleep in. And that’s not too bad…..

Here is a statement from our friend Joyce Kinnear:

We’ve been in the eastern part of the United States for the past couple of weeks and will be heading back to Panama soon. The eastern part of the US has always felt a bit like a foreign country to me. Since I’ve spent the vast majority of my life in the west (Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, California and Nevada), the east has always seemed a bit like Europe to me—filled with history, museums, and monuments. Also, the changing seasons are more like you see in cards and read about in books.

Fall in the west is really not so different from summer. Depending on the location, you might have hotter weather or a bit more rain. The trees are mostly evergreen firs and pines, so the “color” that you read about isn’t there or a bit of yellowing in the grasses and few alders and aspen. I never got the attraction of fall. Panama is similar, in that when you live near the equator, “fall” is really nonexistent. Like California, you move from wet to dry with some variations in flower types and color schemes, but it’s nothing like the massive changes in the east coast.


The last couple of years, I have visited sisters in Maryland and North Carolina. Really, the east coast does its best in the fall. The colors are amazing, with trees ranging from yellow, to orange, to red, to a maroon/brown that is really spectacular. Flowers are blooming in their fall best. The weather, when sunny, is amazingly beautiful during the day. Temperatures are warm, and the sun has that slightly lower in the sky profile that makes photographs turn out great and walks pleasant without getting sweaty.

Maryland, in particular, appeals to me. There are so many museums and historical sites with an amazing diversity of people, restaurants and neighborhoods. If it wasn’t for winter, I’d be interested in living here.

But now, it’s time to get ready to head back into the depth of the rainy season in Panama. Here’s hoping I don’t get too inundated with rain!

So, if you are like me, or even if you’re not, plan to come down to Boquete, Panama and with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast! Winter is summer here and you can bask in the sun, white water rafting, or enjoy a massage in your room, all while others are shoveling out!



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