Welcome to Panama

So Why Panama?
Panama is such an amazing country and surprises everyone who visits. I joke with our friends that if they are planning on coming to Panama be prepared to be overwhelmed.

So Why Panama? Is there a reason - No, There are several reasons -- the opportunities are plentiful, albeit the prices are going up.

We have really taken to the Caribbean coast as it offers so much nicer water and beaches.

Costa del Este
Panama City, Panama
They Need Your Love
They Need Your Love - animal shelter in Arraijan near Panama City. Hundreds of dogs and cats that have been rescued from a life on the streets, starving, hurt, and unloved.

We have set up a web site to help.

You can Adopt a Pet no matter where you are in the world. For as little as $15 per month you can help make the life so much better for one dog or cat.

Donate Now

The 2012 Spay Panama calendar is now available and it's their best ever! Both Panamanian AND U.S. holidays are labeled. The pictures featured are all of formerly homeless dogs and cats that were neutered and lucky enough to have been adopted. All proceeds go to support the wonderful efforts of Spay Panama to control the overpopulation of unwanted pets. Since its inception in 2002, Spay Panama has sterilized over 24,000 animals! The yearly calendar is their main fundraising tool and they really need your support. Like most other non-profit organizations, Spay Panama has seen a severe drop in donations due to the economy.

So, by purchasing a calendar you get something truly useful and you help out a great cause at the same time! The price is a ridiculously low $7.00 and the calendars can be found at: the U.S. Embassy, Excedra Books, Balboa Dental Clinic, Los Angeles de los Animales (cell 6781-2641) or Mailboxes, ETC in Coronado

Pat Chan


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Since we moved to Panama in 2006 every time we tell one of our friends that we moved to the Republic of Panama, the first question is always "Why Panama". So we decided to build a web site to help them understand how simple the decision to choose Panama really was to us. We have included some links to other sites and to articles we think might help understand Panama. This  is  by no means exhaustive, so be sure to move through the suggested sites and explore the links and resources they suggest to ensure  you get as much information as possible.

News and events


A huge thanks to the Canadian Club (David and Lourdis) here in Panama for organizing a great day yesterday. The day included a trip via bus to Colon to see the construction site of the new 3rd land expansion to the Panama Canal. David and Lourdis did an outstanding job organizing the day - right down to the boxed lunch and wine - it was excellent.

Considering we only saw one piece of this project it makes the scope of the project gigantic. Looking down into the new 3rd lane and seeing people look like ants gave it some perspective. Once it gets flooded it will be harder to really get the same sense of size. After spending time at the construction site we moved on to the existing Gatun Locks. We were treated to a few ships moving through the locks. To think these two lanes are the equivalent of the new 3rd lane it added to the scope and size. The final stop was to see up close and personal the new gates for the 3rd lane. These 16 gates were built in Italy and brought by boat to Panama. Check out the size of these gates - 100 feet high -   30 feet wide and 150 feet long - huge - they weight up to 3700 tons.

Donna took a lot of pictures and videos of the day trip. She did a great job on showing how the existing canal and locks work with a video of the Gatun locks. The "mules", the little train engines that pull the ships through will be replaced in the new huge 3rd lane with tug boats each costing over 11 million dollars. There is even talk of China wanting to invest in a 4th lane that will be even bigger to allow for the transfer of the extreme super tankers and cargo ships. Wow.

We are looking forward to visiting the site again to see how the construction is coming along.

more news >>


We've been trying to purchase an office in a new building in our area. To give you some sense of the different world we live in I am going to describe the "issues". Finding an office is not easy, like any real estate transaction there is no one place to go to get a listing of what's available. Any real estate might be listed by 2 or 20 agents all for different prices and they do not share information. So it's up to the buyer to check it all out first. Then when you've decided it should be a simple task to write up an offer and put a good faith down payment to hold the unit until the "subject to clauses" are dealt with. Then the funds would normally go escrow or to the lawyer to hold in trust for the final deed. Simple right. Not--- Here I emailed the agent that showed us what we would be prepared to pay and what we wanted and we had the cash so there would be no mortgage to hold us up qualifying or arranging. So far so good. First response was the sellers had no issue with our offer (which means we probably offered too much - but hey - we were ok with our offer). Then the zinger - they want 30% in cash paid to them the seller once we do the final offer papers and if we want to start work on the finishing (it is delivered grey (meaning nothing but the concrete walls, plumbed pipes, and windows are included - we have to do sprinkler system, a/c, ceiling, floors and wall finishing as well as bathrooms and any office stuff we want) we have to pay the owner "rent" until the final 70% is delivered - at 1% per month. Are you serious - first 30% - in cash - not in escrow but cash to the seller - sure that will happen - then 1% per month until he gets all the papers done at land titles - He makes more than 12% on his money for as long he wants and we have no choice - I think not - there is no incentive for him to get the paperwork done. Where in the world can he get 12% on his USD.

We told the seller the money is waiting = being held by the bank as a letter of guarantee - deliver the documents - you get your money - just like any other irrevocable letter of credit used all over the world to deliver goods.

So we are considering our options -  we will continue to look at other buildings.

Went to a movie this week - The Guardians of the Galaxy - what a hoot - 3D in a lounge chair with food and beverage delivery - regular price $15 - my discounted old person cost $7.50

If you are considering Panama - do your homework - I've mentioned it before but it is worth repeating - there is a lot of information available from a number of sites - check them out - ask questions - we love Panama but I understand it is not for everyone and it is a very diverse country.

If you want, write us if you have questions - we love to help.

Check out our site - we listed People and Services we have found we trust - we also have contacts for even a great handyman - Juan

more news >>


Donna started iCanGarden.com and now almost 18 years later it has become Canada's largest Internet gardening resource site. Several thousand people visit her site every day. Spend some time looking over the thousands of pictures of gardens from all over the world.

We are so proud of the TV special just aired by Recreating Eden - entitled "the Gardening Tourist".

Donna recently changed the look of the site - - if you enjoy it - let her know - I am really proud of her.


In 2006 Donna started a site dedicated exclusively to her garden tours.

For more than 8 years she has been hosting groups of gardeners to gardens all over the world.

Donna has some incredible garden tours lined up for 2013 and 2014 - her 2012 tours were all either fully booked or over booked. China 2013 is already closed as it is full. 


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