Friday, June 29, 2007

Reflections on Panama

I'm back in Canada. I missed my wife and son while I was in Panama, and knew I had lots to catch up on when I got back from my latest trip there, but part of me didn't want to leave. I envy my partner Phil and his wife, who now live in Panama and get to experience the relative tranquility and beauty every day.

The two Canadian friends I took with me on this trip loved the country and our Roca Milagro project so much that they have decided to join us not only in our venture but to build a home in our development eventually and perhaps retire there some day. Who can blame them? Not I.

Many people have this idea that Panama is a backward place with grinding poverty, poor infrastructure, political instability and lots of risk for investors. In fact, while there is poverty there in relative terms, the people are happy, relaxed, friendly and open. Much of the country is pretty much like parts of California or the American south, and was so, long before swarms of gringos arrived at the start of the current economic boom. The picture displayed above was taken near Cerro Punta and, I think, illustrates my point.

What is happening in Panama is truly amazing. The entire country is a beehive of activity. Billions of dollars are puring into the country and those dollars are being spent on projects of every description. The increased tax revenues to the Panamanian government allow for dramatic improvements to infrastructure. In the Boquete area, near our development, there is zero unemployment. Everyone who wants to work is working. Panamanians are industrious and quite entrepreneurial, so this generation is going to benefit significantly. The next generation will benefit beyond what we can imagine. All this while other Central and South American countries are moving backwards. The difference is entirely due to the infusion of capital because of the welcome given to capitalists and their money.

One of the things I like in Panama is that everyone is treated the same. There is no racial tension. Blacks and whites and Hispanics and orientals all mix and live together and treat each other with respect. I'm sure that if Martians or Vulcans showed up in Panama some day, they would get a few curious glances for a day or two, then become part of the general milieu in no time.

I will post more as I get caught up a bit, and will also try to catch up on posts written by all my blogger friends while I was off in paradise.


  1. Welcome home. We'll look forward to reading more about your adventure. Sounds like a lovely place.

  2. Sounds like you are quite taken with the place.
    When the time is right, you'll need to make your expatriation sure, because whatever political mirrors HITLERy will have in Canada will want to keep people of means from leaving.
    I would imagine Americans make up a big chunk of the new immigrant class in Panama as they that can, sense the anti-capitalist police state that is coming and are "taking the Midnight Train."

  3. From the picture, the place looks absolutely beautiful!

    As much as I am determined on Thailand, it looks like Panama would have been a good choice, too.



  4. Collapse comments

    phlegmfatale: thanks! I'll try not to bore everyone to death with my stories.

    Galt: You are right about many of the expats in Panama, wherever they are from. They are tired of being robbed blind, over-regulated, micro-managed and disrespected.

    Chani: I don't know if this will work if you are not a facebook member, but I have photos there at:

  5. Not a facebook member and won't be. I'll wait until you post some more here. :)


    galt-in-a-box.... loved your comment! I think you're speaking, um, more of the truth here than you might realize. :)