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


It is Thanksgiving already - Canadian Thanksgiving that is - not to be confused with American Thanksgiving. When you check out the history of Thanksgiving Day it turns out to have actually been many days of giving thanks from the 1500's on through WWI - after that it seemed to simply become a tradition. Unlike the American Thanksgiving Canada Thanksgiving does not hail the beginning of Christmas shopping.

Donna is in South Africa so I sitting reflecting on Thanksgiving today. It's been a trying few weeks but I still couldn't help but think of how many things we have to be thankful. First for Donna - it would be hard to imagine a world where she is not the center of my life. I am thankful for my parents. I know when they were alive I didn't tell them that often enough - if you're parents are still around - tell them how much you appreciate them. My mom and dad taught me values, how to be thankful, how to enjoy life and that I could be anything I set my mind to -- a great gift.

I am thankful for good friends, some we've had the pleasure of knowing and enjoying their company for 40 years. Four our business partners that are more friends than just partners. Like every relationship we've had some times but I am thankful for being in business with them. I am thankful Donna has a business she loves and provides her with not just a living but fulfillment and enjoyment - how many people do you know start off telling you about their business by saying "there has to be a better word than job - how can you call what I do as a job".

I am thankful for life in Panama. What a great decision to move here over eight years ago. Again, it was our partner who suggested we take a trip to Panama to check it out.

I am thankful for our health. So many people go through their lives with illness or injury - we have been so blessed.

I am thankful for having had Cricket for 16 years - she has given us so many years, hours, of fun, love and enjoyment. I saw a video today on facebook that reminded me of this - it was called "so God made a dog". I went to visit our foster pups today to take them their treats and to enjoy their company.

I am thankful for finding out how much fun diving can be - I should have done it years ago. 

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I could go on with things I am thankful for - I am sure you have your own list.

This weekend and tomorrow is a time to to stop and write some of them down. Last year at this time we were off to Argentina on Donnas tour and to visit our friends in Mendoza. It was fun rereading the notes from that time and reliving how much fun we had enjoying Argentina and visiting Sandra and Jose Luis.

I was talking to our friends Alan & Geri last week as they are planning on coming through the city on their way to Miami - it will be great to spend some time and get caught up with them. I has been almost a year since they moved to Boquete and they left a big hole. Between them moving and Sandra and Jose Luis going to Argentina we miss a lot of their company.

Alan sent me an article about the Colon Free Zone that was really interesting. The Colon Free Zone is essentially a cross dock type environment - goods arrive from all over the world are dropped in the Free Zone, repackaged for distribution in other locations and shipped out Free of Duty and Tax as they never left the "free zone". There are lots of these Free Zones around the world but Colon is reportedly the largest in the Americas and the second largest in the world. What is interesting about this article is the context of the world problems today - Colon is a microcosm of how the world should work. It is a conglomeration of Panamanian, Jewish, Arab, Indian, European and North American peoples all coexisting in what will become almost 1800 hectares of land doing an annual business of more than 15 billion dollars in exports.

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. I want them to have seen the beaches, the two oceans, mountains and the city. All of this where muslims, jews, christians, hindus, and who knows how many other religions get alone with no wars, riots or killings. In fact during the Noriega days the owners banded together to forcibly protect the free zone - it was never looted. Check out the article at "The Arab Traders of Colon"

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

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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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