Macho, Macho Men: A tale of two men in Boquete, Panama.

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast we have met people from all over the world! We meet all of these people while they are at their happiest time in their life -they are on vacation!

And what about the locals? What do tourist run into when they arrive in Panama and especially in Boquete?

They will find kind and caring locals and if you try to speak Spanish at all, Boquetenians will greet you with a great big smile! Panamanians and especially Boquetenians, love to show tourists their country and their world!

With the world having so many different personalities, you can pretty much be assured you will recognize some familiar personalities when you are touring Boquete, Panama. From arrogance, to a presence of all-encompassing love!

One short story from a friend of ours, Joyce Kinnear talks about two men she recognized as good and not so good! In this story, Joyce talks about a foundation that Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast supports through donations.

A tale of two men:

This week I met the stereotypical macho, Latin American man for the first time in the years we’ve been visiting and now living in Central America. He was everything I dislike about the stereotype–macho, dominant, totally inconsiderate of others, especially women and poor workers. All of this was done with a wink and an attitude where he seemed to think this all made him the sexiest thing alive (as opposed to reality where most of the women on the bus wanted to puke)

The second man I met today at an event for the foundation, which provides therapy, skills and socializing for handicapped children and adults, as well as help for the caretakers. At this event, one man stood out. He guided his son, who appeared to have cerebral palsy and some brain function issues, carefully to his chair, dancing with his son and making sure the boy had a lovely time. I found out that the boy’s mother and man’s wife died in a car accident a couple of years ago. This man has been caring for his son and clearly adores the boy.

I want to point out that while I have met one example of the first man, there have been many of the second type around me in Panama. Perhaps the tired old stereotype of the Latin American man needs a major overhaul to that of a view of a man who loves his family and children, works hard and yet still dances with them to ensure they live happy and full lives, no matter the child’s abilities.

So, come down to Boquete, Panama! Stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Let us help you set up some time to visit the foundation, or other different volunteer groups here in Boquete. Spend some time seeing the different personalities of the Panamanian and especially the Boquetenians people! You won’t regret it a bit.

 

Dreaming of opening a Bed & Breakfast / Inn in Boquete, Panama?

Blog by Terry Richmeier and Manzar Lari

Our Logo Re-Sized

Has this been a lifelong dream of yours? Do you want to reinvent yourself? Do you enjoy being around people? Are you open to taking some risks in your life? Do you like to travel and appreciate different cultures? Do you have some financial means to make your dream a reality? Well, it sounds like your time has come to take that leap and own an international B&B!

At Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, we started out by spending a few years researching what it takes to start and open a bed and breakfast. During that time we were getting our business plan solidified and our finances in order. After all the preparations, building our home, learning the government requirements, jumping through hoops and finding the financial support, seminars on running a bed & breakfast and developing a marketing plan, we opened Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast on Friday, January 10th, 2014. We are truly blessed that our business has been well-received by our guests and the Boquete community alike. Our biggest challenge has been to learn all aspects of operating a business in a different culture than we had been used to. With all kinds of challenges we face we have to dig in and research and find the answers as well find support that will work best for us.

1483282_471002276342951_462131993_n

Within the past several months, we have been approached by people who are looking into the possibility of opening their own bed and breakfast or even a restaurant or two.  We have chosen to share our experiences and knowledge with these folks. We have sat down with these folks for a chat. It generally starts with an informal conversation and answering any questions that they might have. We generally continue through emails back and forth. Questions from Marketing to Hours of Operation to the choice of builders and architect, all are fair game.

Recently we completed a three month training for a lady whom we equipped with all she needs to get her own bed and breakfast underway. She is a friend of ours who has had the dream for many years to be a bed and breakfast owner/operator. It was a good opportunity for us to sit down and write up all the processes. In addition, we created a checklist that contained each aspect of the business so that we didn’t miss training her on anything. The process worked out really well. She was eager to learn and took her role of a “trainee” very seriously! One minute she was helping out with the recipes in the kitchen, a bit later she was working in the office learning our business machines, and later in the evening she was hobnobbing with the guests at the upstairs bar for the Social Hour! This gave her some solid experience in seeing for herself what day-to-day life looks like at a bed and breakfast. It worked out for us too since we learned some things also as we looked at all aspects of our operations. We were able to update and fine-tune some processes that needed to be changed. We also appreciated the extra help we received from her as much as she appreciated learning new skills.

DSC023401

So come and stay with us here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast and ask us all the questions you want about opening a business or bed and breakfast in Panama or even in your own hometown. We will honestly tell you all we know, or at least our experiences and perspectives, and encourage you to follow your dreams, whatever they may be!

Casa de Montaña – We keep growing and changing!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

 

On January 10th, 2015, we celebrated our 1 year anniversary as a Bed & Breakfast! We keep thinking of ways we can updates things, especially our gardens and open areas.

cambios1

We know that changes are continual and are part of what one has to do to make the space look nice and well taken care of. Keeping up with all the upkeep and changes can be a challenge and Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast is no different. We are taking it in our stride and try to keep a positive attitude. This positive attitude comes in handy when one wants to be creative!

We are fortunate enough to have had all of our staff working with us for an entire year now. We have been able to meet incredible guests who have taught us an amazing amount and we have created worldwide friendships.

And we too need to continue to grow. Here are some of our New Year’s developments:

  • We have hired a professional gardener who has been planting tropical trees, trimming, weeding and moving plants around the property. This has created a much more of a cohesive look, especially on the hill around the main water feature.
  • We’ve adjusted the Sunday’s Panamanian Breakfast to be completely vegetarian and have changed the recipes to be more authentic to Panama. (Previously, we were told by one of our workers that we had actually been using recipes that were more Costa Rican than Panamanian! Oops!).

We’ve created a new and different Friday Mexican Breakfast that has been quite well-received. You can read about this on our website:http://www.casademontana.com/amenities/international-breakfast/cambios2

 

  • We began offering “Pakistani/Indian Cooking Classes” for locals and guests staying with us during our class time. We have added a link to our website with the recipes : http://www.casademontana.com/cooking-classes/
  • We have created a video and posted it on our “Directions” tab to get you to Casa de Montaña once you enter Alto Boquete on Boquete-David road. http://www.casademontana.com/about-us/directions/ This is in addition to the original video on the main page that showcases the home.
  • We have added a Boquete Relocation tab for those who are looking at a possible move to Boquete, Panama. http://www.casademontana.com/boquete-relocation/
  • We have created a “Boquete Overview Tour” designed just for you to get to see all the neighborhoods and communities here in Boquete. So you can make an informed decision. You can check this out on our website: http://www.casademontana.com/boquete-relocation/
  • We have placed a new Panamanian flag out in front of Casa de Montaña in order to be a part of the community and pride of Panama.
  • We have placed two new signs on the road, one at the beginning of Downtown Boquete (aca Bajo Boquete) to indicate 2.5 km distance to Casa de Montaña and the other one by La Posada Restaurant to indicate that we are only 1.0 km up the hill from there.
  • We have partnered with Boquete Outdoor Adventures to offer package tours and stays for a discounted price for you. See our ad on our website: http://www.casademontana.com/specials-savings/
  • Here is a photo of some of our recent guests during Social Hour!cambios3So, as we look toward 2015 and beyond, we are envisioning great times spent providing the best possible services to all of our guests or should we say “our new friends”!?! You are the reason we are here and when you come and stay at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, you are coming home!

Welcome to Boquete’s Newest B&B!

Welcome to Casa de Montaña, located in beautiful Boquete, Panama. (More info to go here)

%d bloggers like this: