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Costa del Este
Panama City, Panama 







Donna


Tom


Tom



More News - 2008 & earlier
 

December 2008

A sad day today, Donna happened to look out our kitchen window toward the river and she was seeing a few people looking at a man down on the river but wasn't sure what he was doing. The man was trying to help a dog that was caught in the water up against a log. By the time I go down to the rivers edge the man had the dog out of the water and it was just laying their shivering or twitching. I went back to the condo, got some towels and the car and took him to the vet at Animals & Pets. Dr. Ovidio was on call and he was amazing - he tried everything to help - after almost 4 hours he had come to the conclusion the poor pouch was suffering from the last stages of distemper and it was not treatable. He made the dog comfortable, warm and calm during this time but he never stopped shaking and twitching. We finally decided that the only companionate thing to do was end his suffering.

This is THE reason Donna and I are so wanting to help both Mari Pily with her rescue shelter and Spay Panama so that this kind of suffering does not continue.

If you are a Canadian company here in Panama or if you are a Canadian that loves animals as we do, you can help. You can volunteer or you can contribute.

I attended the 1st hearing of the proposed changes to the Reform Agrian and Law 2 where it concerns Derecho Posesorio. There were some 100 people in attendance and we heard many parties speak in favor of the Panamanian Government adopting the changes to the laws of titling. With one exception, the Ministry of Finance.

I had the privilege of meeting two ladies that owned land in Bocas del Toro and were in favor the of the laws being changed.

I've heard that some Panamanians think it's wrong that expats are supporting this change to ROP but i am perplexed when everyone I've had the pleasure of meeting is in favor, not just expats. So why is it wrong if we agree?

________________

What is happening in the north of Panama - we asked E. David Brewer - the manager of the Panamonte -- here is his reply and a release

"Yes, a bit of a mess but progress is being made and all roads into and out of Boquete are open LADERA and PALO ALTO hit badly ...but all other hotels are fine. The Panamonte did not get touched at all and we are operating as usual. However, the perception out there is one that Boquete is out of business...not so...please visit www.boquetetoday.com  and there should be a press release on there advising as to the state of affairs. Yes, the bridge went and now we wait to see what will take place....but, it is not stopping traffic getting to the Inn"

See more on Boquete

The last 10 days have been the rainiest I've seen since we arrived more than 2 years ago. It reminded me of Vancouver in the winter, but much warmer. Drizzling, overcast skys with down pours virtually everyday. Today was the first day without rain. A gorgeous day in paradise.

Thursday, December 4th, will see the first hearing of the proposed changes to the ROP laws. This is a historic event for Panama. If the government follows through with these changes all of the land in Panama will be moved into the 20th century and will allow the Panamanian people to be more secure in their land ownership, and it will allow people like us who want a slice of paradise the comfort of knowing that any land we are buying is secure as if we were buying it in Panama City or Canada.

If you are able to attend the meetings on Thursday at 10:00 am in the Blue Room - Salon Azul of the Legislative Palace. If you need more information email me at tomd@tsdconsulting.ca

 

November 2008
 

We expect to hear some news shortly on the recent meeting of the Conseljo Consultivo de La Sociedad Civil, a group hired to assist the government and Pronat with respect to the necessity of titling all the current Right of Possession land in Panama. There is a proposed amendment to the laws being debated in  the legislature. From what I hear the turn out in Pedasi/Los Santos, there were quite a few locals, expats, government people and the media there to hear the governments changes.

We've heard unofficially that Castastro is being replaced by Pronat when it comes to titling and if that is so that should be a big move forward.

I don't know about the rest of city as I don't get around too often, but there are two towers in our area, Costa del Este that have come to a complete halt. No activity. It's been more than a month since we've seen workmen in them. One is probably 80% done but no sign of them finishing it.

We're still looking for people to assist a new friend of ours, Mari Pily, who runs an animal shelter wher she feeds over 200 dogs and 100 cats on donated money from her friends. We are trying to find a more structured method of making sure there are sufficient funds there every month. Can you help? Do you know anyone who can provide food or expertise in getting into businesses who can help? email us if you can.

 

On the home front, we are getting ready for a couple of friends of ours arriving in December and we are looking forward to a short sailing time we've booked in December. We are going to spend 3 nights sailing around the San Blas Islands.

We are also gearing up for our annual Christmas open house that we hold every year. We began this tradition of inviting our friends, business acquaintances and neighbours to an open house way back in Canada. Speaking of Canada, we've heard that our old home in Alberta saw the first few flakes of snow. Yuck.

Donna is off to China this weekend so she will busy when she gets home in December.

Multiple Entry Visas

August 26th, 2008 a new Migratory law started.

1. Decreto Ley N°3 de 22 de febrero de 2008.
2. Decreto Ejecutivo N°320 de 8 de agosto de 2008 (Reglamenta la Ley N°3 de 22 de febrero de 2008).

Residents don’t need the multiple entry visas. A pensionado is a permanent resident and does not need multiple entry visas.

Decreto Ley N°3 de 22 de febrero de 2008:
Artículo 46: La autorización de entrada y salida múltiple constituye una visa de entrada y salida del territorio nacional, que expide el Servicio Nacional de Migración o el personal diplomático o consular autorizado para realizar funciones migratorias, a los extranjeros no residentes que lo soliciten…

Decreto Ejecutivo N°320 de 8 de agosto de 2008:
Artículo 264: Todos los residentes temporales o residentes permanentes, intrínseco a su permiso otorgado, tienen la posibilidad de entrar y salir del territorio nacional sin necesidad de autorización previa del Servicio Nacional de Migración, a excepción de los casos en que las autoridades competentes interpongan medidas cautelares o restricciones de entrada o salida.

Just an update on the pet front - we heard from Mari Pily again this week to let us know a couple of her shelter dogs that were being treated are now recovered and fine. Also, the dog that our local vet, Dr. Frank from Animales y Mascotas is now back with his security guard friend and looks the picture of health thanks to the efforts of Dr. Frank.

We are getting ready for a couple of friends of ours arriving in December and we are looking forward to a short sailing time we've booked in December. We are going to spend 3 nights sailing around the San Blas Islands.

We are also gearing up for our annual Christmas open house that we hold every year. We began this tradition of inviting our friends, business acquaintances and neighbours to an open house way back in Canada. Speaking of Canada, we've heard that our old home in Alberta saw the first few flakes of snow. Yuck.

Donna asked me to mention Spay Panama again as we see so many stray dogs and cats that are so thin, it almost breaks your heart. This could all be eliminated or at least reduced if only the strays were spayed.
Go to www.SpayPanama.org  to make your contribution - do something - get involved. There are lots of animal shelters that could use your support as well. Email us if you want to know how to help. We added another new pages this week - "Other Sites" - links to various web sites we feel of value to our readers. We also added new "articles".

Check out Donna's monthly articles being published in Vivir Bien -- in Spanish and English -- so she is now published in English, Cantonese and Spanish.


October 2008

I had the privilege of attending a meeting in Los Santos this past weekend that had a series of very interesting presentations on the issue of ROP land being titled. It seems that the government could be on the verge of making some monumental changes to these laws - if you are a foreigner in Panama and have invested or would invest, the government needs to hear your story - please email me so I can tell you how to have your voice heard. My email is tomd@tsdconsulting.ca

Also, we've had a couple of pet related stories - one, a stray we help feed was so infested and covered in mange, we thought it might be too much, but our local Vet, Dr. Frank from Animales y Mascotas in Costa del Este took him in and is treating him. Also, a new friend, Mari Pily who incredibly feeds and care for over 200 dogs and 100 cats. If you have a heart for pets and want to help - email donna@icangarden.com.

Donna asked me to mention Spay Panama again as we see so many stray dogs and cats that are so thin, it almost breaks your heart. This could all be eliminated or at least reduced if only the strays were spayed.
Go to www.SpayPanama.org  to make your contribution - do something - get involved. There are lots of animal shelters that could use your support as well. Email us if you want to know how to help. We added another new pages this week - "Other Sites" - links to various web sites we feel of value to our readers. We also added new "articles".

Check out Donna's monthly articles being published in Vivir Bien -- in Spanish and English -- so she is now published in English, Cantonese and Spanish.
 

September 2008

John headed home last week to the beginning of fall in Canada. Hard to imagine overnight temperatures dipping to almost freezing. Yuck.

Donna asked me to mention Spay Panama again as we see so many stray dogs and cats that are so thin, it almost breaks your heart. This could all be eliminated or at least reduced if only the strays were spayed. Go to www.SpayPanama.org to make your contribution - do something - get involved. There are lots of animal shelters that could use your support as well. Email us if  you want to know how to help.

We added another new pages this week - "Other Sites" - links to various web sites we feel of value to our readers. We also added new "articles".

Check out Donna's monthly articles being published in Vivir Bien -- in Spanish and English -- so she is now published in English, Cantonese and Spanish.

August 2008


The last couple of weeks we had some new friends from the Chicago area, Missy and Jim. They are new to Panama and checking out various areas. They were smitten with El Valle. To read more about their stay read the complete details under the "articles" section. We love meeting new people to Panama.

The local papers have had numerous articles on the decision of the government of Panama to move forward with the titling of the Right of Possession land (direcho possessorio). One paper indicated this was an 18 billion dollar decision. I don't know about the figure but I do know that it will explode the development of the Caribbean and many other areas of Panama. If you think the real estate boom had hit, wait for the impact of this decision over the next 5 years. It will make the recent boom pale in comparison. At least according to the "oracle of tom" :}
 

July 2008
07/07/2008

Lots of interesting things happening in Panama with respect to the land ownership in the form of "right of possession" that much of the Caribbean coast and agricultural land is currently held under. We've heard some encouraging news, and we'll report as we hear more.
Malls are such interesting places - not only to browse and people watch but to meet people. I had the pleasure of talking with a fellow about kayaking, then moving things to Panama and eventually our mutual interests in Panama. His background is quite unique and should be well suited to Panama - check out his site at www.BradywKeresey.com. More later as I get to know Brady.

Friends in from Ontario this week. They are in Boquete and Vocan region as this is where they are sure they will settle. They are finalizing their Pensionado Visa application and we hope to see them full time Panama residents by the end of this year. Check out Alan's comments in the Articles Area.

Check out Donna's monthly articles being published in Vivir Bien -- in Spanish and English -- so she is now published in English, Cantonese and Spanish.

May/June 2008

During the past couple of weeks more "new friends" have emailed saying they were coming to Panama or are in the initial process of investigating Panama as a possible home.

We've also been privileged to be involved in a series of meetings recently regarding upcoming changes to the land ownership laws in Panama, particularly as they apply to the land on the Caribbean.

Check out Donna's monthly articles being published in Vivir Bien -- in Spanish and English -- so she is now published in English, Cantonese and Spanish.

Donna was in contact with Spay Panama and she has put their logo on the site to left in the hopes you will see it, check out their site and contribute. If you have been outside the city you know how many dogs and cats wander around under nourished and skinny. All of this can be prevented through birth control.
 

February 16th, 2008

This past week I  had the pleasure of spending 3 full days exploring the coast line of Costa Arriba. From Playa Blanca near Portobelo to past Santa Isabel, almost to the San Blas Islands. The coast line and the small towns are all different ranging from large sweeping beaches to rocky hills descending into the Caribbean. As i mentioned in my previous note we had done this trek by car.

I was there to see how the area Pedro owns compared to the rest of the coast, and i can now say without any hesitation, he has the two finest pieces if the beach and swimming are important. There are lots of pieces with spectacular views but no beach and others with great beaches but with very aggressive waves.

The week before we had the pleasure of meeting Alan & Geri from Canada along with their friend Jacob. We enjoyed spending time around Panama City in Casco Viejo and the Amador causeway. They went on to Boquete and other areas around Panama checking out various housing projects to see if anything might fit their lifestyles. Check out Alan's running commentary here.

i will have pictures online next week so check back.

January 27th, 2008

So many people have asked us what things we see and do in Panama that we thought we would jot some things down once in a while. This area won't try and be a diary, but will try and capture some of the more interesting things we encounter.

The week of the 13th of January, 2008 we had the pleasure/privilege of seeing some amazing things – some things that just driving around you would never normally get a chance to see – we put on almost 2,200 km – and worth every single km –

We left Panama and drove the PanAmerican Highway to Boquete – about 5.5-6hrs – this meant we passed the Pacific coastal area from the city to the province of Cocle where it becomes inland area – mostly farm and sugar cane fields – then through Veraguas which is similar but it becomes hillier and greener. Finally Chiriqui where we came to the city of David. From there you head “up” to Boquete – climbing to over 1200 meters. We had rented a house in Boquete – 2 bdrm, 3 or 4 yrs old – clean – 40.00 per night all in :} – We visited the Boquete flower show and spent time at the house of an acquaintance of Wayne & Elaines. Interesting couple from Kelowna/Calgary who moved 4 yrs ago to Boquete and renovated a house. They have now bought in the Boquete Country Club area and will build their own home.
 
The next day we went back to David, further into Chiriqui and then “up” to Volcan and Cerro Punto where we visited an orchid “finca” (farm) with over 2600 varieties of orchids, but primarily known for their “Dracula Orchids” – hence their name Finca Dracula. Needless to say Donna and Elaine took almost 400 pictures and could probably fill 12 pages of descriptions on what they found in Finca Dracula. Back to Boquete and out for dinner at the old grand hotel, the Panamonte. Excellent, incredible meal. Before the meal Donna and Elaine had a facial and pedicure and would highly recommend that as well.
Then the next day back to Panama City for a day of rest.

Friday we left for the Caribbean where we met our friend Pedro and spent 2 nights at Ralph & Claritas house on the cove. We swam and drank. Hmmmm .. Ralph has a fellow, Porfirio, do all the yard work and cook when they or friends are out there. That evening Pedro arranged for us to go a neighboring town, Mirimar, where he arranged a local dinner, lobster, octopus and rice – and he arranged the towns “congo dancers” to entertain us – they had all of us up dancing – what a hoot … Pedro tried to arrange for us to go on his friends boat but the waves were a little too high for comfort so the next day we got up, had a Tom’s prepared breakfast (with the help of Porfirio who I am sure thinks we’re crazy) , then headed out to Pedros other land in Santa Isabel – virtually the end of the road on Costa Arriba – right on the edge of the San Blas islands.

It’s only 40 km but the last 20 are “unimproved roads”. I had no idea what that really meant when we headed out. All I know is Pedro asked me very casually at one point on our way, “have you ever tried your 4 wheel drive in the Mitsubishi?” I told him, yes, as a matter of fact I had just to see how easy it was. Well, we hit the unimproved – wow – we’re talking roads simply “plowed” over land, through farms, up hills and then ……. Across three rivers …. No bridges… true river crossings … we have pictures as no one would believe us.

Needless to say it was white knuckle for 20 km – we had to pass vehicles and one huge – I mean HUGE shovel unit – unreal. Another time we had to pass an SUV on the side of a hill on a single lane road. He got the inside by the mountain – we got the side that went down the hill for what looked like a mile:} We finally made it to his property – almost 400 hectares from the Caribbean beach to inland backed by a river that runs around the property. Pretty spectacular land. And in 10 years it will be surrounded by development as they are building a new road direct from the Tocuman airport to Santa Isabel. This will take the trip down to 45 -60 min from Panama City to Santa Isabel on the edge of the San Blas Islands. Back for a local fare lunch (and BBQ’d sausages) prepared by Porfirio, time to swim and then head back to Panama City.

January 20th we drove to El Valle de Anton about 1.5 hrs on the Pacific side right near Coronado but up in the hills. We had lunch reservations at a restaurant called Lourdes. It is owned and run by a lady who designed this restaurant and hotel to look like it was right out of Tuscany. She even imitated the olive trees in the back ground. The food was some of the best I’ve eaten anywhere in Canada, the USA or Europe – and 4 people, wine, appetizer, main course and dessert – 160.00
 

Read the comments from the other years

More News  - 2011
More News  - 2010

More News  - 2009
More News  - 2008 & earlier

 

 




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