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


Donna is in Scotland this past week. Cold is what I keep hearing from her but I am pretty sure she really enjoyed herself. She was invited to share in some of the festivities of a wedding and she really got a kick out of how great the guys looked in their dress kilts and how funny some of the people she talked with from North America said there is no way their husband would wear one - she was pretty sure I would and I agreed - it would be cool to partake in a bit of my Scottish heritage. The Clan Dawson was a splinter group from Clan Davidson. Not that there is much to revel in the Clan Dawson or Davidson according to Scottish history :}

Panama celebrates a milestone today - the new Metro system opens its doors to riders. While the cost was staggering for a country of only 3 million people everyone is hoping it will reduce some of the crazy traffic jams throughout the city. The current government desperately wanted it opened before the election considering the negative press on the canal expansion that will come at least 12-24 months late and way over budget. If all goes well with the metro, there are plans for at least 2-3 new lines that would make a huge impact on the freeways and bridges.

Speaking of election, there are flags everyone proclaiming one candidate or another. I see more flags than posters. Funny how in Canada we'd see yard signs - here, most yards are behind a wall so not as effective.

Our office is growing again. We've been interviewing for almost 2 weeks. The number of prospective candidates was amazing. It took us several interviews to narrow the group down to the 4 people we offered the job to - and I was pleased to see all 4 accept. I was even more excited to see their enthusiasm. We had a tough 2013 but I am really pumped about what 2014 and 2015 will bring. A new focus with a lot of new blood. It meant we needed to add new work space and to ramp up our training.

This increase in staff takes into a new mode with the Ministry of Labor. Any company that gets over 10 full time employees are required to create and register a detailed handbook for the employees. Incredible the types of things the Ministry insists on being in this handbook. Some are funny, some are just bizzare.

I wanted to add I read a great article written by Chris Powers of PanamaForReal.com - it is titled 15 Quirky Things About Panama and Its People - I could relate to about 80% of the items - it is funny so check it out.

more news >>


Friends of ours arrived last week from Canada and we had decided to go for dinner in Casco Viejo. The day before there was a huge fire on one of the streets but of course I never connected this with us going out for dinner. I should have :} We made our way in from the Cinta Costera and instead of being able to turn left toward the presidential white house we were forced to head further into Casco Viejo. Everywhere I wanted to turn I was forced to go further until I found myself in Santa Anna and then Chorrio - yikes - what was I doing driving around Chorrio at night especially when I had no idea where I was or how to get back to the restaurant. Lots more to this story but it would take way too much room to describe - sufficient to say I found myself on a "pedestrian only street" talking to 2 nice policeman who kept telling me I should get  ticket:} We survived obviously :}

The dry season is almost over - we've been having more cloudy days with major threats of rain - so one of these days we will see the daily rains return. Donna really looks forward to this time of year as everything becomes green again from it brown dried look.

I posted a picture of a really pretty yellow trumpet flower tree in full bloom. I thought you might be interested in seeing the tree a week after the flowers drop. Check out the huge hanging seed pods - pretty cool.

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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