Here is a wonderful opportunity to move abroad, live on the ocean, in the tropics and open your own business all in one foul swoop. Have you ever dreamed of running your own boutique hotel/bed and breakfast? In the dream was it possible you were viewing a beautiful beach from your hotel? Well if that´s the case or you are genuinely adventurous and would like to begin a new life in Paradise then you should take a peek at this.
The hotel is in Las Tablas on the Azuero peninsula, also known as the dry arc because it has the least amount of rainfall in all of Panama. It is on the Pacific coast, the area has a lot to offer, Isla Iguana for it´s world famous diving, Playa Venao, arguably the best surfing in Panama which will hold it´s second international world championship this spring, deep sea fishing, Las Tablas itself where Carnavale is celebrated every year, nearby Pedasi the folkloric cradle of Panama.
It is my favorite part of Panama and my favorite part of the world. I planto retire there (if the wife let´s me), enough about me. This is worth looking at, it is a fire sale as the owner is departing for Europe.
There are many lovely and varied neighborhoods in Panama City, all of which have something to offer. It is rare though to find a penthouse that has it all, a combination of what every great neighborhood has to offer and at a tantalizingly low price. By everything I mean, a lower price per sq metre, ocean view , city view, large terrace, 5 minutes to Multi Plaza, 5 minutes to Parque Omar, next door to to the new Metro, 5 minutes to the banking area.
Coste del Este, Punta Pacifica, Ave Balboa are all contenders as being considered the nicest neighborhood however for the most part they are over priced, over developed or too far away to be considered Panama City. In my opinion it is idiotic to pay too much for anything or a small fortune to live in the armpit of Trump Ocean Club or another small fortune to spend your down time listening to traffic but I digress. The markets is so transparent that your reason for wanting to live there would have to out weigh how much money you are willing to spend.
Having lived here since 1994 I feel I am qualified to say this is a beautiful penthouse, it is a great price, it is PROPERLY centrally located, it has beautiful sea views it has beautiful city views,, it will sell for $200,000 less than similar penthouses less than 5 minutes away.
Have a look for yourself, http://www.twooceansproperties.com/panama-real-estate/Panama-City/Obarrio/2002.php
Panama is becoming a prime destination for international conferences with growth in this sub sector of the tourism industry increasing by over 50% from 2011 to 2012. Once again there are several dynamics that are making this happen, connectivity, safety, welcoming immigration, tax breaks for US companies, complementary convention space and more, dare I say a liberal city with something for everybody. One could even say “what happens in Panama is illegal everywhere else”
Let´s get back to the conventions and the right side of the law for now, first up, connectivity, Panama is the hub of the Americas and therefore Panama´s Tocumen International airport is a major factor for organizers of events, be they corporate, religious or stag or hen parties. Prior to 9/11 Miami was the chosen destination for Latin American conferences but now Panama is more attractive because of it´s infrastructure and welcoming immigration policies.
When it comes to safety the World Tourism Organization (WTO), says Panama City is the SAFEST capital in the Latin American region. say no more. What about TAX BREAKS anybody? Hold on to your britches corporate types because one of the most attractive aspects of the new Trade Promotion Agreement between Panama and the United States is that US companies can claim expenses incurred from holding an event in Panama against their US tax returns. WTF? Does that include the Colombian girls you ask, probably not but contact your local Secret Service office for confirmation.
Holding an event in Panama as opposed to Miami or Las Vegas can already represent significant savings and so tax breaks can make it even more attractive, plus what about deep sea fishing, jungle treks, Pacific beaches, lap dances, scuba diving in the Caribbean, all possible and within reach of Panama City. Need I say more?
How about a “free convention”? Currently Panama´s site for major events is available for free to organizers of events who meet a minimum set of requirements in the number of international visitors that will come into the country. That´s it, I am sold, are you?
Sitting in traffic this morning driving from San Francisco to Obarrio I was looking at the finishing touches being put on to the massive extension being added to the Punta Pacifica shopping mall and my wandered back to 1994 when I first arrived in Panama. This very spot in front of me used to be Paitilla Airport. Punta Pacifica did not exist and neither did the mall, there was no Punta Pacifica hospital, no Trump Ocean club, no Cartier, no Hermes. no Apple store….
I have two memories that came to mind of Paitilla airport, the first is because it is where 4 US Navy Seals were killed in action during Operation Just Cause in 1989. They came in from sea (as they do) to secure the airport and prevent General Manuel Noriega from fleeing the country.
The operation began with an assault of strategic installations, such as the civilian Punta Paitilla Airport. U.S. Navy SEALs destroyed Noriega’s private jet and a Panamanian gunboat. A Panamanian ambush killed four SEALs and wounded nine.
The second memory I have is from 5 years later when I arrived at the airport flying in from the island of Contadora in the pearl islands. It was a Sunday afternoon and the city was quiet as it always was and is on a Sunday. At that time in 1994 most taxis were “heaps” as in you would´nt stick the mother in law in the back seat. Therefore I was surprised to see and be offered a ride in a nice looking Toyota Carina, not new but clean and definitely not a taxi. The driver asked where I was going and seemed in a hurry, a bit shifty so naturally I was hesitant to jump in. I told him where I lived and he said $5 , at the time $1.25 would have got you anywhere in the city so I asked why so much. He explained he was the president´s driver and “El Presidente” was flying in from Contadora himself in 20 minutes so we would have to hurry. Game on!
This morning I was enjoying a coffee on my balcony at 5:30am. Ever since I moved to Panama I enjoy getting up early and spending a few minutes on the balcony. It is a quiet time, the sun is not yet up and the day is just about to start. It feels to me like you have a quiet few moments in harmony before it all kicks off again and you are off and running with whatever is thrown at you. A thought came to me this morning though that back in Europe in November, it was too cold and dark to even think about what a nice day it could be, pretty much the Sun and the lifestyle that goes with it had to be forgotten about until May.
So basically I am grateful today for everything that comes with the “tropical lifestyle” , from the never ending warm and cool climate to the sandals and shorts and T shirts you can live in if you so choose. It does not take too much effort too realize you have it good, really good in fact when compared to other people not too far away that are flooded or without electricity as is the case with Colon and parts of La Chorrera. The reason for that is November is the last month of the wet season and usually the wettest, this year it was even wetter than normal and because of that parts of the country are flooded.
In some locations it was naturally unavoidable however in some others, in my opinion it was avoidable. There are new affordable housing projects (maybe a year old) under water in La Chorrera, regardless of the price you pay there should be some guarantee the developer has not built too close to a river or in flatland that are likely to flood. The fact is as well in some of the poorer areas the government is not as quick to respond simply because they do not yet have the infrastructure to do so.
The reason I mention this is regardless of where you live or where you are going to move to it will not be perfect. It may work out well for you most days However there will also be imperfections that may or may not affect you and how you will respond to negative aspects of another country is something you should decide before you make the move. There is no point in moving if you want everything to be the same as Europe or the USA for example. My attitude is for whatever reason or another I just like it here and I take the good with the bad.
In my opinion though the reality on the ground here is there are 2 countries all in one. The Panama I live in where everything works well and does not flood and is perfectly safe and could be compared to living in the US or Europe or Argentina and the Panama on the outskirts of the city or the interior where the electricity sometimes fails and right now there are floods.
Since I arrived here in 1994 this country is slowly but surely moving in the right direction, canal expansion, better infrastructure, better and more schools, more foreigners, more business, more tourism, more everything basically, simply moving in the right direction, in my opinion of course.
I think this is just brilliant, it is exciting to be in a place that is growing , that is changing, where business is being done. Long may it last.
As most of you local readers will know we at Two Oceans Properties have been focusing our efforts on selling and delivering the remaining houses from our affordable housing project, Villas de Ensueno. Our development is located in La Chorrera, a satellite town an hour outside Panama City. It is the fastest growing town in Central America and demand for housing there is as high as ever. We are as enthusiastic as ever about this demand fueled market and want to share that excitement with you but also want to get you up to date with movement and trends in the property market here in Panama City. However before I do let me tell you about a housing deficit of 150,000 houses, an investment opportunity in affordable housing and an economy that has grown every year since 2002 and is set to continue to do so until the end of the decade.
Thankfully with the success of our project in La Chorrera and additional manpower on the sales force you will hear from us with a daily update on the property market here in Panama from here on in. Now back to that deficit of 150,000 houses and investment opportunity in affordable housing.
Panama is going through an unprecedented boom, everywhere you look there is activity, in the building sector there are apartments being built with ocean views, city views, also hotels like the Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Hard Rock are all here now, there are offices being built to cater for the massive influx of multi nationals setting up their regional headquarters here, industrial parks, the canal expansion, a $5 billion project, Panama Pacifico , not one but 2 new Metro lines, the list goes on and on.
First of all what I am about to tell you this is not sales talk from a real estate professional, expert that I am I cannot take credit for this so please read carefully….According to the ministry of public housing there is a deficit of 150,000 houses in the affordable housing market in Panama City and La Chorrera. Right now local developers are delivering 15,000 per annum which means the demand is there for the next 10 years. As I said these are GOVERNMENT FIGURES, take a drive to La Chorrera and see for yourself.
Those of you who know us know we have other projects and other businesses taking off here in the city, because of that we are offering an investment opportunity in the second phase of Villas de Ensueno, here is the link
Unfortunately that is all we have time for today however we are back with a daily blog from today so look out for the Panama City property news tomorrow and then a Caribbean update on Friday.
What a difference six years makes. I drove through La Chorrera in Panama yesterday to go see the new casa modelo in the Villas de Ensueno development. The developer is Two Oceans Group and the houses are now under construction. The population has grown 20% in Panama from 2000 to 2010 and is set to grow another 20% this decade also. There are building developers from all over the world investing in this vibrant economy in Panama, property developers are building homes from $65,000 for a three bedroom in Villas de Ensueno in la Chorrera to 2.5 million for a luxury home in Santa Maria.
So back to Villas de Ensueno and La Chorrera, the population has doubled here in the last 10 years and will continue to grow, the largest, most modern shopping mall in central America will open here in December, it is called westland mall and is 10 minutes from Villas de Ensueno. Villas de Ensueno in La Chorrera in Panama is in a great location, it is 5 minutes from the hospital Nicolas Solano and less then 10 minutes from the town center of La Chorrera.
Condado country club in Condado del Rey in Panama city is a lovely new project with a huge swimming pool and the model apartment is now open. in San Francisco, you can see the new model apartment at San Francisco bay just across the street from Bluebay Tower which is where Louis O Connor lives , the nicest guy in central America. There are doing roadworks in San Francisco on 75th street where you have Waterview and Bluebay Tower. There is a UN convention on climate change under way at Atlapa which is the convention centre across the road from the Sheraton hotel in Panama city, republic of Panama.
Also under construction in nearby Arraijan is Aragon , these home are also affordable housing. There is demand for this housing in Panama for the next 8 to 10 years at least. If you drice from Arraijan to La Chorrera you will see numerous projects with sales offices and model homes, here are a few Amarillo housing, El Naranjan casas, Montelmar, Hato Montana, Brisas del Golf I and Brisasdel Golf II. La Exitoza the radion staion is a great way to advertise in La Chorrera.
Enough about La Chorrera , let us talk now about Panama City, the crossroads of the world and now the most vibrant city in Central America, lots of beautiful new buildings to see on Ave Balboa, Casco Viejo, Coste del Este, the listb goes on and on, come to Panama city and see for yourself, houses , apartments everywhere for sale and for rent.
I always read as much as I can about Panama and the changing demographics and culture are interesting reading.
Panama had a population of 3,405,813 in May 2010. The CIA World Factbook gives the following statistics for the population: “mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%”. The Amerindian population includes seven indigenous peoples: the Emberá, Wounaan, Ngöbe Buglé (formerly the Guaymí), Kuna, Naso and Bribri. More than half the population lives in the Panama City–Colón metropolitan corridor. The African american population was brought to Panama as slaves.
The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean and Spanish. Spanish is the official and dominant language. About 93% speak Spanish as their first language, though there are many citizens who speak both English and Spanish or native languages, such as Ngäbere. Some new statistics show that as second language, English is spoken by an 8%, French by a 4% and Arabic by 1%. The private educational system also offers German, Portuguese and Italian as languages that are available to learn.
Panama, because of its historical reliance on commerce, is above all an ethnic salad bowl. This is shown, for instance, by its considerable population of Afro-Antillean and Chinese origin. The first Chinese immigrated to Panama from southern China to help build the Panama Railroad in the 19th century. They were followed by several waves of immigrants whose descendants number around 50,000. Starting in the 1970s, a further 80,000 have immigrated from other parts of China as well.
Afro-Panamanians have played a significant role in the creation of the republic. Some historians have estimated that up to 50% of the population of Panama has some African ancestry. The descendants of the Africans who arrived during the colonial era are intermixed in the general population or are found in small Afro-Panamanian communities along the Atlantic Coast and in villages within the Darién jungle. Most of the people in Darien are fishermen or small scale farmers growing crops such as bananas, rice and coffee as well as raising livestock. Other Afro-Panamanians are the descendants of later migrants from the Caribbean who came to work on railroad construction projects, commercial agricultural enterprises, and especially the canal. Important Afro-Caribbean community areas include towns and cities such as Colon, Cristobal and Balboa, in the former Canal Zone, as well as the Rio Abajo area of Panama City. Another region with a large Afro-Caribbean population is the province of Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean coast just south of Costa Rica.
Most of the Panamanian population of West Indian descent owe their presence in the country to the monumental efforts to build the Panama Canal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Three-quarters of the 50,000 workers who built the canal were Afro Caribbean migrants from the British West Indies. Thousands of Afro-Caribbean workers were recruited from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.
Panama is the smallest Spanish-speaking Latin American country in terms of population.
The most common religion in Panama is Roman Catholicism – various sources estimate that 75–85% of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic and 15–25% percent as evangelical Christian. The Bahá’í Faith community of Panama is estimated at 2.00% of the national population, or about 60,000 and is home to one of the seven Baha’i Houses of Worship.
Smaller religious groups include Jewish and Muslim communities with approximately 10,000 members each, and small groups of Hindus, Buddhists and Rastafarians. Indigenous religions include Ibeorgun (among Kuna) and Mamatata (among Ngöbe Buglé).
The culture of Panama derived from European music, art and traditions that were brought over by the Spanish to Panama. Hegemonic forces have created hybrid forms of this by blending African and Native American culture with European culture. For example, the tamborito is a Spanish dance that was blended with Native American rhythms, themes and dance moves. Dance is a symbol of the diverse cultures that have coupled in Panama. The local folklore can be experienced through a multitude of festivals, dances and traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Local cities host live Reggae en Español, Cuban, Reggaeton, Kompa, Colombian, jazz, blues, salsa, reggae, passa passa, jerk and rock performances.
Outside of Panama City, regional festivals take place throughout the year featuring local musicians and dancers. Another example of Panama’s blended culture is reflected in the traditional products, such as woodcarvings, ceremonial masks and pottery, as well as in its architecture, cuisine and festivals. In earlier times, baskets were woven for utilitarian uses, but now many villages rely almost exclusively on the baskets they produce for tourists.
An example of undisturbed, unique culture in Panama stems from the Kuna Indians who are known for molas. Mola is the Kuna Indian word for blouse, but the term mola has come to mean the elaborate embroidered panels that make up the front and back of a Kuna woman’s blouse. Molas are works of art created by the women of the Central American Cuna (or Kuna) tribe. They are several layers of cloth varying in color that are loosely stitched together made using an appliqué process referred to as “reverse appliqué”.
The Christmas parade, known as El desfile de Navidad, is celebrated in the capital Panama City. This holiday is celebrated on December 25. The floats of the people in the parade are decorated with the Panamanians colors and the women dress in dresses called the Pollera the men dress in the traditional Montuno. In addition, the marching band in the parade which consists of drummers keeps the crowds entertained. In the city, a big Christmas tree is lit with Christmas lights, and everybody surrounds the tree and sings Christmas carols.
The traditional Panamanian dish for Christmas usually includes chicken tamales, arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), puerca asada, pernil, pavo (turkey) and relleno (stuffing). Bowls of fruits and fruitcake are set out on the tables along with the dishes. Along with these foods and dessert, a traditional drink is served which is called Ron Ponche (eggnog). Which consists of: two cans of condensed milk, three cans of evaporated milk, six eggs and half a bottle of rum and nutmeg for some extra flavor.
A Panamanian women’s traditional clothing is called the Pollera. The Pollera originated in Spain in the 16th century. Later on the Pollera was used as a typical dress in Panama in the early eighteen hundreds. The Pollera was worn by women servants or maids: “it was especially the dress of the wet nurses who nursed the children of the family” (De Zarate 5). As years went on, the upper class women adopted the dress.
The original Pollera consists of a female wearing a ruffled blouse that is off her shoulders. The skirt is on the waistline with gold buttons. The skirt also has ruffle so when she lifts it up, it looks like a peacock’s tail or a mantilla fan. The designs on the skirt and blouse are usually flowers, or birds. A two large matching mota(pom-pom) is on the front and back, four ribbons are hanging from the back and the front on the waist line, caberstrillos (five chains of gold) are hanging from the neck to the waist, a gold cross or medallion that’s on a black ribbon is worn as a choker and a silk purse is worn the female waistline. Zaricillos (earrings) are usually gold or coral and to complete the outfit the female wears slippers which matche the color of her Pollera. Her hair is usually worn in a bun held with three large gold combs which have some pearls and is worn like a crown. The best pollera can usually cost up to ten thousand dollars and may take a year to complete. The men also wear traditional clothing. Their outfits consist of white cotton shirts, trousers and woven straw hat. This traditional clothing can be worn in parades, where the females and males do a traditional dance. The females do a gentle sway and twirl their skirts while the men hold their hats in their hands and dance behind the females.
A pollera is made with a “cambric” or “fine linen” (Baker 177). The color of the Pollera is always white and it is usually about thirteen yards of material. Today, there are different types of polleras; The Pollera de Gala consists of a short sleeved ruffle skirt blouse, two full length skirts and a petticoat. The girls wear tembleques a gold and tortoise shell combs with pearls in it in their hair. Gold coins and jewelry are added on the outfit. The Pollera Montuna is a daily dress, with a blouse, a skirt with a solid color, a single gold chain and a pendant earrings. The hair piece is a natural flower in the hair. This Pollera is slightly different from the rest because instead of off the shoulder blouse, the females wear a fitted white jacket, shoulder pleats and a flared hem.
Spectacular premiere residence located in Linda Vista, it has three levels, is 300sqm of construction, 400 sqm of land , 3 bedrooms each with bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, maid´s quarter, 2 covered parking spaces, fenced, fine finishes.
Do not miss this opportunity to live close to everything
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Ten homes were destroyed and another ten houses were affected by flooding in the sector of Pueblo Nuevo of Gonzalo Vásquez, in the district of Chiman, by strong waves that have been recorded since last Wednesday. This was announced by the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC). Another 40 homes were flooded in the area of Gonzalo Vásquez Centro. The Regional Deputy Director of Panama East, Kerly Gutiérrez, together with officials from the Technical Department of the SINAPROC, came to the affected communities to make a report of what happened, and so to present the situation to the authorities, so they may take the necessary measures.
The community of Gonzalo Vásquez is divided into two sectors. The first is Pueblo Nuevo which has a total of twenty houses, and of those ten were completely destroyed. While in the area of Gonzalo Vásquez Centro, the homes suffered minor damage. Officials of the Ministry of Social Development arrived to provide humanitarian aid. Another of the sites affected by strong waves is Puerto Caimito, where there have been waves of up to six meters, which have already destroyed two shops.
Experts have explained this natural phenomenon is a result of a low pressure system accompanied by strong winds, the products of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, typical of the season, which has produced such damages. It is noteworthy that the SINAPROC staff conducted an assessment of the damage caused by the strong waves recorded during the days August 30th, 31, and September 1st in the early morning hours, in addition to maintaining a continuous monitoring of these affected areas. The Director General of SINAPROC, Arturo Alvarado, recommended that people living in these areas that are highly vulnerable to this phenomenon of nature, should take preventive measures – especially children, people with special needs, and older adults – who should move to a safe place and be alert to the presence of these high tides.
Al Capone wore one. So did Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway. We are talking about the Panama hat, which is traditionally made in Ecuador. The elegant headwear woven from palm fibres, considered a status symbol for men for decades, is now making a slow comeback. Custom-woven Panama hats are in worldwide demand and numerous German milliners are in the business of refining ones imported from Ecuador. ‘These days when people want to treat themselves to something special, they buy a Panama hat,’ says Andreas Voigtlaender with satisfaction. He is the chairman of the society of German speciality hat shops (GDH) and runs a hat shop himself in Wiesbaden, central Germany. The headwear, which is also popular as an elegant sun protection, has now found its way into famous boutiques along the Berlin Kudamm and the Kö in Dusseldorf, the main retail and shopping centres in the cities. ‘The Panama hat will never be a mass product like it was in the 1920s and thereafter. But you can definitely say it is experiencing a comeback,’ said Voigtlaender. One man who is pleased to hear about this positive trend is Kurt Dorfzaun, a Bavarian whose company in Ecuador has been preparing these hats for decades. ‘Golfers especially have learned to appreciate our products,’ said Dorfzaun from his company in the Andes.
‘We have been working with the Dorfzaun family for decades,’ said Klaus Rock, sales manager of the company Mayser in the Bavarian town of Lindenburg. Seamstresses in the Mayser factories give the final touch to some 10,000 prefabricated Panama hats per year.
The name Panama hat comes from the times when the headgear was stored in the central American country of the same name prior to being shipped all over the world.
The hats can be wide, skinny, slack or firm. The hat ribbon can be classic in black material or casual from leather. Women’s hats are often decorated with a hand-made flower. The palette of colours is huge, ranging from light and beige hues through to green and bright red.
‘It is all a question of quality. The finer the fibres, the more expensive the hat,’ explains Katt Schweizter-Nacken of the federal hat-makers guild. The customers are usually men aged over 30 but the clientele could change with the hat already being worn as part of the ‘gangsta-look’ adopted by artists such as reggae musician Daddy Yankee.