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I'm currently looking at the more mountainous areas of Panama

Hi:
My name is Suzan and I am single, semi-retired, and looking to relocate to Panama in the next year.  I'm currently looking at the more mountainous areas of Panama and would appreciate ANY helpful information you would care to pass on including over all safety for someone such as myself.  I am also interested in the overall quality of life for a single female on a  low retirement budget.
Thanks so much for your time.

Suzan Colley

Hi Suzan....

I also am single, semi-retired and will be moving to Panama later this year.  I will be relocating to Boquete, Panama and am interested in the very same issues that you addressed.  Who knows? maybe we'll catch up with each other some day!! :-)

Hi Cecileth....

Can I ask what made you choose Boquette?  I'm really confused as to WHERE
the best place for me would be.  After living YEARS in Florida, and having the heat
and humidity get higher each year, I'm for someplace cooler and less humid. But
as I'm sure you know, the cost of living plays a major part of this decision.
As for meeting up someday - it's always nice to know of someone at the other end,
making it not so UNKNOWN if you know what I mean.

Hi FlaGirl!

After doing extensive research and concentrating on both Costa Rica and Panama - I finally decided on Panama.  There are so many reasons for finally selecting Panama....as you've already stated the weather is apparently fantastic!; cost of living; access to good medical facilities; access to friendly expats; sound economy; the dollar is the currency so there's no exchange issues, etc. From all I had read about Panama City, I definitely knew I didn't want to live there.  Anything you read about Boquete is positive and upbeat - weather, environment, and friendly people.   I decided to test it out by volunteering for 4 - 5 months to teach English as a second language and I'm also hoping to get a business project - I'm scheduled to start in August.  I've just completed the online course in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and I'm being tutored in the Spanish language so I'll know a few basics before I get there.  I also was frightened by the UNKNOWN but just decided to get on with it - I'll only know if I do it!!  So where are you in the process right now??  Anything I can help you with?

AWESOME!!!!  I wish you the VERY best.  It sounds like a great plan to me.  I've given the idea of teaching
English many hours thought but was concerned with the age factor and that I do not hold a college degree, more than 40 years experience in accounting and I am certified in Quickbooks Pro.  But this doesn't seem to be of much value outside the states.  So I'm having to rely on my small retirement and maybe can add to that after I get to where I end up going.  I'm also giving some thought to doing some house sitting to get my feet wet while saving some money in the process.
Please keep me posted on your progress and hopeful I can gain insight from your adventures.  Especially the teaching English part.

Hi everyone and welcome on board  :)

Just to inform you that this new thread has been created from your postings on the Panama forum so that you might get better interaction with members.

All the best,
Bhavna

Hey There!
Never worry about the age factor....I'm positive I'm older than you are ;-)   As for teaching English it doesn't matter if you have a degree or not, if you're in a position to take the certified online course for TEFL (if you're interested I'll give you the details) that would be more than enough....I've often read you don't even need the certificate but I'm always one to be on the "safe" side.  Also another good reason for moving to Panama is that they make it fairly easy to start your own business so you could probably have a little business going in doing quickbooks for whomever??
I know that  it's daunting to think about moving but I will say that once I made the decision, I felt good about it!  There's just so much to do before I actually move!!  Anyway, good luck and feel free to contact me for any reason!!

Thanks Bhavna!  I had trouble finding the thread initially but it looks good now!  Thanks again!

I lived in the mountains of Chiriquí for some years and I am also from Florida.  Being a single, older female I thought you might have some questions for me.  I have been living in Panama for almost 20 years now.  I live in Panama city now.

Hi Suzan,
Other mountainous areas of Panama you might want to consider are the mountains close to the Altos de Campana NP. It's actually much closer than the Boquete area, only a one hour drive from Panama City. In the town of Chicá are some gated community developments starting now. Climate is perfect there with nice temperatures and always a mountain breeze. Location is close to the expat communities of Altos del Maria and the beach town of Coronado (20 minutes drive) with all the amenities you need.

Thanks for the insight - I will look into the area.

Lauke :

Hi Suzan,
Other mountainous areas of Panama you might want to consider are the mountains close to the Altos de Campana NP. It's actually much closer than the Boquete area, only a one hour drive from Panama City. In the town of Chicá are some gated community developments starting now. Climate is perfect there with nice temperatures and always a mountain breeze. Location is close to the expat communities of Altos del Maria and the beach town of Coronado (20 minutes drive) with all the amenities you need.

Hello.
Thanks for the info on this area.
How do the costs in this area compare with those in Boquete?

I am also looking at the slightly elevated areas.

One thing I am curious about is how much sunshine these places get because if I look at sites like worldweatheronline it seems like they get very little sun although from other reports it seems like even when it rains its usually only for a few hours at a time.. so which is correct?

Thanks!

Hi,
Don't worry about sunshine, this place gets a lot of sunshine! I only noticed that the higher areas in Altos del Maria are often clouded so I should avoid places higher than 700 metres. Chicà is situated at about 560 metres and very sunny, average temperatures range from 22 till 28 degrees Celcius, at night it doesn't get below 17 degrees so perfect for sleep and you don't really need airconditioning there.

I have never really stayed for long periods there during the rainy season, but what I have been told is that it usually rains for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I have been there once in November for 5 days and hardly had rain. This area is also called the arco seco of Panama, which means dry arc.

Thanks Lauke! I appreciate the input.
For interest's sake, where do you go during the rainy season?

I'm still curious about the Chica costs of living if you or anyone else has info on that.

I live in David - I know, hot, but I find it actually more comfortable than my previous home in Sarasota Florida. It's also quite a bit more affordable than Boquete. There is shopping, health care, everything you need here but it's an an easy drive to Boquete or beaches. I really love Chiriqui, the lovely people, all that is available, and it's so beautiful. You also have the option to live in one of the towns part way up the mountain at whatever elevation and price suits you, or on the other side of the mountain in Volcan. I know a number of single women here who are doing just fine. I would recommend that you learn as much Spanish as you can though. It's very useful outside of Boquete and will enrich your experience a lot. Come and spend some time here and see how it feels to you. It might be the best thing you ever did for yourself.

Thanks for the advice kristc99!

Valid points especially the Spanish...

All the best!

To know about cost of living in Chica it would be best to contact the company who is going to develop both projects there (Campana Villas and Villas de Chica). I guess it would be somewhere between the popular areas of Coronado and the rural areas. Panama City is another world though only an hour drive away.

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