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


Description: Description: Description: cid:image006.png@01CD497D.59D40820‘Like’ on FACEBOOK! www.facebook.com/GardeningTours



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


I don't think a week goes by that I don't talk to someone in Canada or the USA who asks about our move to Panama. To us it was such a simple decision but I think to be fair we are not the typical expat moving to Panama to retire. Donna continues to create and do her gardening tours around the world - if you have any gardening bones in your body or you know someone who is a gardener - check out her tours - www.gardeningtours.com. I continue to do my work with clients around the world so for us all we needed was a good source of Internet and an airport. We still need the other elements we tell expats to consider like the medical care but we were pretty much relegated to the city. Who knows in the future where we will find ourselves when we begin to wind down our involvement in our businesses. I am intrigued by some people who have decided to just travel and spend a few weeks to a few months in various locations. Donna shared one of these people with me last week https://www.facebook.com/hogaralbergue.sanroque?fref=ts - Evan from Panama took off with his mother over a year ago to just "see" Europe - they moved from country to country, house sitting. 

I'm also intrigued by the experience of others as they experience Panama. If you are ready this you are likely close to our generation :} - I find reading sites of younger people very refreshing. One I stumbled across a few weeks ago is http://www.permanentlypanama.com/ - this is a great perspective written in a very enjoyable style by Alice Beth. Treat yourself to her stories. The other site is written by Chris Powers - http://www.panamaforreal.com/ - Chris spends a lot of time traveling around Panama and providing his take on each of the areas. I also like his articles on day to day things we all encounter - like how to renew your license plate.

There are a lot of other resources for new expats or aspiring expats considering Panama.

I would suggest joining a number of the Yahoo groups and the Facebook sites like Canadians in Panama or Expats in Panama. Just remember that these groups attract all types so be aware that not everything you read will apply to your experience (a nice way to say there is a lot of BS) :}

Finally, join a group like InterNations or participate in recurring events so you get a chance to meet and get to know other expats and locals.

more news >>


Are you a dog or cat lover? Does it break your heart when you see the strays in Panama - there are a few organizations you should know about and I hope support - the first is one called Hogar Alberque San Roque - this is a shelter run by a lady with a HUGE heart for these poor animals - her name is Mari Pily - we have known and supported her for almost 8 years and we created a web site www.theyneedyourlove.org to help people donate using our paypal account - we're thrilled everytime one of our friends feel moved to donate - we had one lady last year donate her entire business account when she closed it down in Panama and moved back to the USA - Mari was overwhelmed and so grateful - she used the funds to do much needed repairs and pay some outstanding vet bills  - if you have one or two dogs you know what it costs to keep them every month in food and vet bills - now imagine that for over 400 dogs and almost the same number of cats - all done by donations and you get some idea of what she faces every month. Beyond providing these pups and cats with care she looks to find them a "Forever Home" where someone can give them the love every day.

The other group you should know about and support is www.spaypanama.org - Patricia Chan and her group have been spaying and neutering dogs and cats all over Panama for years. A herculean effort as the culture here believes this to be cruel - yet they think nothing of letting these same poor animals suffer on the street or go without love and food.

Finally there is a group called Adopt Panama - www.adoptapanama.com - a site to help people find new friends.

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

One last note - are you a diver living in Panama - have you been diving around Portobelo - are you interested in meeting other divers, if so email me and I will let you know the next time we go diving.

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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