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Siempre Soluciones

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Everything posted by Siempre Soluciones

  1. Keith, You wrote: "I don't think the Speaker in Canada's Parliament or the U.S. Congress would allow this radical's defamatory rhetoric." You apparently didn't have the opportunity to watch the recent impeachment hearings in the U.S. Congress, you would've thought they were prosecuting Attila the Hun!
  2. It looks as though an old time practice may end here in Boquete. People can no longer charge for parking in public areas or right of ways and may be subject to fines of $100 to $500.
  3. Grupo Aguas in Alto Boquete located just north of Ivan's Ferreteria/Supermercado now sells and stocks Rheem brand tank based hot water heaters. They've got both electric and gas models in 30, 40, and 50 gallon sizes. The 50 gallon electric and gas models are priced (including tax) at $358 and $480 respectively. They've even got a stash of spare parts on hand too! There's a 50 gallon unit with my name on it! No more having to rely on the folks in David for service! For those who don't know they're the go to guys in Boquete for all of your water system needs. https://grupoaguas.com/ Monday – Friday 8.00 am -12.00 pm and 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm Saturday 8.00 am – 12 pm Phones +507 720 3637 +507 6676 4715 info@grupoaguas.com
  4. Last year Costa Rica's new president proposed a 25% hike on fuel. He also proposed that they would be free of fossil fueled vehicles by the year 2021 but then changed that to 2050. I sure hope that our president doesn't follow suit!
  5. Keith, You wrote: "Why drill a tunnel underneath the Canal if there's a bridge above?" Because they can. All joking aside, the probability is that there's a company who builds tunnels looking for contracts and is willing to pay the right price to do so.
  6. You're correct, there's end to end encrytion in the Whatsapp client software. However, if either end is compromised malicious messages could be sent.
  7. I just successfully signed in. However, online my "oficina" shows that I owe the balance for the October statement but the actual statement online says its been paid. I paid it quite a while ago. Strange.
  8. I don't know what they're doing now but at the bottom of that ravine they dug they installed large water lines, say a good 3' to 5' in diameter in size before they covered them up.
  9. For Amazon or internet sales people without bank accounts or credit or debit cards just do what they've been doing for decades, purchase items using money orders from banks, pharmacies, etc. In fact online retailers such as Amazon have also accepted their own gift cards which can be purchased at 100,000s of retail locations in addition to using the new Amazon Pay service which too is just as widely available. There are countries that do not discriminate, I'm sure that Panama will do so eventually.
  10. In my home country one way they banned discrimination of poor people was simply by banning businesses that only accepted payments using credit cards. One was a popular chicken restaurant chain. Until the ban all poor people could do was gaze in the window and look at that chicken. Or better yet wait for a lucky privileged customer to open the restaurant door and then catch a whiff of that amazing chicken. I feel for the poor people of Panama without credit cards, watching all of those beautiful, clean, insured, Uber cars driving by and thinking to themselves what it would be like to enjoy a premium transportation option for less money.
  11. Interesting. In some parts of the world this practice would be banned since it's discriminatory towards people who can't afford to maintain bank accounts let alone credit or debit cards.
  12. I wholeheartedly agree as I've met many expats who have been taken not only by financial institutions but unscrupulous individuals as well. As we all know, this problem isn't unique to Mexico let alone in Latin America or anywhere throughout the world for that matter. I was amazed by the magnitude of the financial scam years ago in Costa Rica that ran for two decades totaling over a half a billion dollars, that one was a doozy!
  13. American expats say their life savings vanished from a Mexican bank Lindsey Bomnin Lindsey Bomnin is a producer at NBC News. SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO — Not long after Kathy and Jim Machir retired nine years ago, they left San Diego for a new home along the cobblestoned streets of this vibrant mountain town four hours northwest of Mexico City. "We had been on vacation to San Miguel once and loved it," Jim Machir, now 72, said. San Miguel de Allende is famous for its colonial architecture, bustling art scene, mild climate and low cost of living. It has long been a magnet for American retirees, and more than 1,000 U.S. expats now call it home. The Machirs sold their house in the U.S. and used the proceeds to begin building a new house in San Miguel de Allende. But their retirement dream turned into a nightmare in December 2018 when they suddenly found themselves unable to pay their contractors. Their story may send a chill down the spines of the more than 1 million other U.S. citizens, many of them retirees, who live in Mexico. The life savings they had entrusted to their local banker of more than six years had all but disappeared. "I was speechless," said Kathy Machir, 67, recalling the moment she found out she had roughly 40 cents left in her account. "It just gives you a sense of ultimate betrayal, loss, horror…" But the Machirs weren't the only ones. Lani Van Petten is another Monex client who saw her money disappear in December of last year. She is the aunt of Marcela Zavala Taylor, the former banker accused of stealing money from several accounts in the San Miguel area.NBC News NBC News spoke to nine American families who say Marcela Zavala Taylor, a former banker with Grupo Financiero Monex, had gained their trust only to disappear after they discovered money had gone missing from their personal accounts. These families, whose estimated losses total more than $7 million dollars, all say they were blindsided by what had happened. NBC News had chosen not to disclose how much money each individual said they lost over concerns they expressed about their safety. Jim Karger, 67, and his wife Kelly, 59, moved from Dallas, Texas to San Miguel to retire nearly 18 years ago. The Kargers said they began to rely on Zavala after the brick-and-mortar Monex branch in San Miguel had closed. She continued to represent Monex and handle the accounts of several clients in the area so they wouldn't have to travel. "She was a very warm person," said Jim Karger, who like the Machirs alleges Taylor took advantage of his trust. The Kargers and various other individuals say that Taylor's family is well-known in the area. Her father, Manuel Zavala, was once the town's mayor and her mother was an American. This, they say, contributed to their trust in Taylor. Taylor's parents are not accused of any wrongdoing. "She wanted to know about your family. I knew about her family. We didn't consider Marcela Zavala our banker, we also considered her our friend," Karger said. For a while, the Kargers said they had no trouble accessing their money as periodic statements would come in and money would be available through a runner. And even last June, when the Kargers stopped receiving bank statements, they said Taylor told them that it was because Monex had been upgrading its computer system. At the time, they believed her. But by December, they finally realized something was wrong. Kelly (left) and Jim Karger (right) moved to San Miguel de Allende from Dallas more than 18 years ago. They said they found out that nearly all the money they had put away through Monex was gone when Jim visited a Monex branch in the city of Quer?taro last December.NBC News "She became harder to find, which was never the case," Jim Karger said. "Getting money was more difficult." Karger's worst fears were confirmed when he visited the Monex branch in the nearby city of Querétaro. "He said to me, 'It's all gone. All the money is gone,'" Kelly Karger said, recalling the phone conversation she had with her husband as she was out having lunch with a friend. "I just remember bending [over], just stopping in the street thinking, 'I'm going to be sick.'" Devastated, Karger said she was eventually able to go through years of bank statements and determine that money was slowly siphoned out of their accounts. However, it wasn't just regular clients who had allegedly lost money at the hands of Taylor, but family too. Lani Van Petten, Marcela's U.S.-born aunt, said she was comfortable having a family member look after the money she had saved to buy a house and pay for her granddaughter's education. "It worked smoothly because I never asked questions," Van Petten said. "I never got a statement. I thought, 'Oh well, you know, Marcela's on top of it, no problem.'" That is, until December came around, and Van Petten needed to pay for her granddaughter's schooling. "I had been telling her since mid-December, 'I've got to pay for Maria Jose's school, so, you know, send the money,'" she recalls telling Taylor. But Marcela never answered, she said. Van Petten then called Monex. Kathy (left) and Jim Machir (right) moved to San Miguel de Allende from San Diego nearly nine years ago and had been building a house in the area when they found out all but $.40 was left in their accounts.NBC News "They told me she no longer worked there," she said. "And they told me I had 1000 pesos in my account [about $50] and that it was all gone. I started to cry. That was the obvious thing to do." In a statement to NBC News, Monex said 45 of the 50 complaints received from clients have been resolved and that the remaining five are still in negotiations. "Monex reiterates that it is an institution that acts with strict adherence to national and international rules that all its businesses and operations fulfill according to law and are regulated and supervised by the corresponding authorities," Monex wrote in a translated statement. Several of the people NBC News spoke to say getting their money back from Monex has been an uphill battle, especially when it comes to getting refunded for 100 percent of the amount they say was initially in their accounts. They also told NBC News they were upset with the way Monex responded to their concerns and believe the bank was involved in the alleged fraud. But many of them, including the Machirs and Van Petten, have since settled and said they were asked by Monex to pursue legal action against Taylor. They have signed confidentiality agreements that keep them from disclosing how much of their losses they were able to recover. Monex also said it has initiated criminal legal action against the former banker and has strengthened its internal controls. However, Monex declined to say where or when it had filed any lawsuit against Taylor. NBC News checked with Mexican legal authorities who said they have no record of any complaints related to the alleged fraud. Taylor did not respond to several requests for comment. Van Petten said that if she saw her niece, "I'd probably hold her hand and say, 'Marcela is this possible? Could you really have done all this?'" But Van Petten claims she has not been able to speak to Taylor or any of her family members. The alleged victims say they don't want other hundreds of thousands of other Americans living in Mexico to go through the same thing they did and advise expats against placing all of their money in one spot. "I think it comes down to doing your homework before you make any decision, and especially if you're going to do it in a foreign country," Kelly Karger said. Kathy Machir agrees, adding, "Be alert. Be aware. Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Didi Martinez reported from New York. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/american-retirees-mexico-say-their-life-savings-vanished-mexican-bank-n1059666
  14. You just had to make us aware of this evilness..... I don't even go down that isle at Pricesmart!
  15. Faro Panama on Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g12175845-d17487831-Reviews-Faro_Panama-Alto_Boquete_Chiriqui_Province.html
  16. Dottie, Don't worry, you're not going crazy! I was at Pricesmart last week and again yesterday and both times I checked both of the areas where they stock plastic bags. I unfortunately found none, I guess they must have run out of stock.
  17. Keith, You're correct, leading by example is one way to get people to conform. However, for decades first world nations especially in North America and Europe have implemented stringent pollution controls on fossil fueled vehicles as well as power plants in addition to enforcing strict recycling policies and it appears that third world and developing nations have not followed suit. Perhaps more time is needed. As for the TPP, that along with the Paris Accord was a big loser for the United States hence their lack of participation.
  18. In the past couple of weeks I've been asked about clarifying the UN law as it pertains to refugees in Europe so I'll post it here since I bet there are people here that are probably curious too. A majority of the millions of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa that have sought asylum in Europe entered through Turkey via boats into Greece and then on to their final destination countries in Europe. There's a UN law that allows European countries to return refugees to the country of origin where a refugee entered Europe. A couple of years back German Chancellor Merkel toyed with the idea of exercising this law to reduce their burden associated with these refugees thus returning refugees to Greece. Chancellor Merkel received mixed responses from other European nations. Understandably Greece claimed that exercising this UN law it would put an over whelming burden on their country. The US has forged agreements similar to this UN law with several Central American countries with Guatemala being the latest in order to curtail the influx of refugees into the US which is on track to total more than one million for the 2019 calendar year. The basis for this is that asylum can't be economic based since it would set a precedent. It would allow refugees to country "shop" say first by seeking asylum in the US and then determining that the standard of living is higher in Switzerland and then subsequently seeking asylum there and then perhaps next to an oil rich nation such as Kuwait.
  19. I recently purchased a few items from Casa del Jamon and I was charged seven (7) times the price on one item as indicated on the item's attached price tag. I have not opened this item so it is as new. Do I: a) Ask for a full refund. b) Per the Acodeco rule, keep the item and ask for the difference in price refunded to me. c) Return to the store and purchase all of the remaining mispriced items and repeat option "b" above? I'm a regular weekly shopper there so I think option "c" is a bit overboard and would not be received well but I'm sure I could make a killing at the Tuesday Morning Market!
  20. This privately owned pool by Plaza San Francisco is larger than Valle Escondido's, I believe they're now charging $1.5 per adult per day.
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