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      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café   01/12/2017

      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café begins Thursday, January 12th and runs until Sunday, January 22nd. For those who have not yet seen -- and experienced -- this magnificent fair, you are in for a treat, and some inconveniences. Most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  During these eleven days you also need to be extremely careful, especially while driving and in planning your activities. In recent years there have been well in excess of 100,000 visitors to Boquete. Last year that number was closer to 200,000, and some predictions for 2017's Fair are closer to 300,000 people coming to our area to see the Fair. Traffic congestion will be the norm. Getting seats in restaurants will be difficult at times. Parking spaces will essentially be nonexistent. Buying groceries may be difficult and time consuming. Busses will be parked on the side streets, making driving difficult. There will be lots (as in LOTS) of people walking, standing around the bridge and the Feria and the many tiendas (small shops and stands [kiosks]) while taking pictures, talking, viewing the scenery, etc. Please be extremely attentive while driving, and drive slowly. Some streets will be blocked and require passes to use them. Other streets will simply be blocked based on congestion. Please be careful of your personal items, such as purses and wallets. Having so many people in one area creates a prime target for pickpockets and other maliantes to do their thing. To repeat, most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  Three closing thoughts. First: enjoy. Second: be safe. Third: you might wish to post your pictures, comments, reviews, etc., here on CL (start a topic or reply to an existing topic in http://www.chiriqui.life/forum/118-boquete-feria-de-las-flores-y-del-café/).   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.

Bonnie

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    Bonnie Williams
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  1. U.S. Embassy in Panama Security Message for U.S. Citizens January 20, 2017 The U.S. Embassy in Panama City informs U.S. citizens that it has received a report of at least one planned demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Panama City related to the Inauguration. One demonstration is scheduled to begin 10:00a.m. in Parque Belisario Porras. All U.S. citizens are reminded to remain diligent in your personal security. U.S. Citizens should plan their travel accordingly and avoid all confrontations. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security. For further information about security in Panama: · See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Panama Country Specific Information. · Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. · Contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama, located at Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue Clayton, Panama, at +507-317-5030, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +507-317-5000. · Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  2. I received the below message tonight from the U.S. Embassy in Panama: Dear Wardens: Based on multiple inquiries from U.S. citizens in Panama regarding Decree No.590 dated December 28, 2016, the Consular Section contacted the Panamanian Servicio Nacional de Migracion (SNM or Panamanian Immigration Office) for further clarification on the length of time U.S. Citizens are able to stay in Panama as tourists. The SNM confirmed that U.S. citizens (as well as citizens of the UK, Canada, and Australia) are still allowed to enter Panama without a Panamanian visa and they can stay for up to 180 days as tourists. For more information regarding this matter, please visit the SNM’s Twitter account, which is available at the following link: https://twitter.com/migracionpanama?lang=en Kind regards, Stephanie Stephanie Espinal Unit Chief/Jefe de Unidad American Citizens Services/Federal Benefits Unidad de Asistencia a Ciudadanos Estadounidenses/Beneficios Federales Consular Section / Sección Consular U.S. Embassy Panama / Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América en Panamá e-mail: Panama-ACS@state.gov Tel: (507) 317-5000 http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://panama.usembassy.gov Fax: (507) 317-5303
  3. I received the below message tonight from the U.S. Embassy in Panama: Based on multiple inquiries from U.S. citizens in Panama regarding Decree No.590 dated December 28, 2016, the Consular Section contacted the Panamanian Servicio Nacional de Migracion (SNM or Panamanian Immigration Office) for further clarification on the length of time U.S. Citizens are able to stay in Panama as tourists. The SNM confirmed that U.S. citizens (as well as citizens of the UK, Canada, and Australia) are still allowed to enter Panama without a Panamanian visa and they can stay for up to 180 days as tourists. For more information regarding this matter, please visit the SNM’s Twitter account, which is available at the following link: https://twitter.com/migracionpanama?lang=en Kind regards, Stephanie Stephanie Espinal Unit Chief/Jefe de Unidad American Citizens Services/Federal Benefits Unidad de Asistencia a Ciudadanos Estadounidenses/Beneficios Federales Consular Section / Sección Consular U.S. Embassy Panama / Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América en Panamá e-mail: Panama-ACS@state.gov Tel: (507) 317-5000 http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://panama.usembassy.gov Fax: (507) 317-5303
  4. This just adds to my confusion, I'm afraid. The chart itself is confusing, and I can't see where it plugs into the decree. I guess I'll just have to wait for guidance from the U.S. Embassy as to how it applies to U.S. citizens.
  5. Which word "visas," Keith. I see only one in Articulo 16, and I don't see what you mean. The following was mailed to a Canadian citizen from the Canadian embassy, who agrees but doesn't explain why: As per Panamanian immigration information will not affect Canadians, it applied only for countries that needs visa to enter the country. Canadians still allowed to stay 180 (6 months), but and the end is the sole prerogative of the country to allowed you to enter the country. Do Venezuelans, Colombians, Nicaraguans, etc. need a visa to enter the country while Americans and Canadians do not? I'm getting questions about this as U.S. Warden and am struggling to understand the two decrees. In the meantime, I'm waiting for the U.S. Embassy to offer its interpretation.
  6. I don't know about Marie, but I am. Where is that in 590? I just reread the Decree (590) and, unless my Spanish is worse than I thought, I see no mention of Canada, the U.S., Australia, and the European Union. It simply says 180 day visas will be reduced to 90 days and six months rather than a year allowed to get a permanent residency visa of some sort. It is Decree 591 that relates to tourists from these countries, as I read the two decrees..
  7. Yes, I understand, Roger. I just can't understand why no one seems to be able to better summarize the decree. It's a fairly straightforward concept, but the language has confused many, many people. And efforts to clarify haven't gotten much if any better.
  8. I thought I had made a note of it, but I can't find the website for researching one's property tax records. Does anyone have it, please?
  9. It seems that every effort to describe the effect of Executive Decree 591 devolves into gibberish. From Newsroom Panama this morning is the following paragraph: The decree is justified, among other things, in that the Executive is interested in regulating the migratory flow of immigrants of nationalities that have greater incidence in the index of insecurity of the country reports TVN. I got a chuckle out of "nationalities that have greater incidence in the index of insecurity of the country." In other words, Panama Immigration wants to turn its attention to Latin American and South American immigrants, whom they see as the major source of the problem, and let other countries vet most other immigrants who, presumably, create the fewest problems (at least on a percentage basis). This is a logical and worthy move, in my opinion. I just don't know why no one seems to be able to express it.
  10. If the decree itself is no clearer than Mr. Jackson's article, I can understand the confusion generated. I had to read it multiple times and then think even longer to figure out what I think the decree means in terms of U.S., Canadian, and Australian citizens: namely, nothing. It does, however, apply to persons who already have been granted immigration to those three countries and who have actually been there within a year. They would not have to be vetted again in Panama for purposes of obtaining a visa. So, essentially, as Keith says, the government of Panama seems to be saying that vetting by those three countries is sufficient to allow entry into Panama. This decree (591) is separate from Decree 590 relating to the length of stay under a tourist visa. Is that the "apples and oranges" the Moderator refers to? (If my understanding is correct, it might be better that the two decrees have two separate threads in CL to avoid further confusion. On the other hand, maybe I'm the only one who was/am confused.)
  11. I notice that this event is advertised in the calendar and was recently posted by the moderator. I would like to know the mission of ABC (Amigos de Boquete Ciudad) and what a Poker Run is. More interest may be generated if a description of the organization and the event were included.
  12. I find it hard to believe that most Panamanians can afford these increased rates. Whatever the law and the chart says, it appears that different rates are being applied to different people. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this. I have a private garbage service and a different water junta, and I pay still different amounts. My water bill last year was $132 (and I get hit up every now and then for special repairs), but who wants to p.o. the water administrator? I feel confident that my Panamanian neighbors don't pay this much; they couldn't afford to. I pay $1 a week for garbage pickup, left by the trash receptacle on pickup day.
  13. I'm with Bud and Keith on this. This kind of over-simplistic hype promotes unrealistic expectations and subsequent disappointment.
  14. I believe the Panamerican Highway runs east/west, doesn't it, and the Boquete/David road north and south?