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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.

Roger B

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About Roger B

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    Roger Bellido
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    In Panama, but not in Chiriqui
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  1. I know that some fees, tariff, etc of some public services could have a different rate based on the "social" component. In Panama I live in middle class professional neighborhood with a good location within the city. In my neighborhood there are people from Colombia, Venezuela, Portugal, Spain and a couple of people from the US that have more than 20 years living in the neighborhood. We have a relative reliable service from water, garbage, electricity, cable tv, internet, etc. Because of that our rates are higher than those people in a not so far neighborhood. That neighborhood is where people with low income lives. The "social component" of the rates we have to pay in our neighborhood is just as a solidarity action for those who needs the service but couldnt affort to pay the full rate. I would recommend to ask for an explanation to the Major office directly. To make him explain the rates tables and how it was based for the calculation. Invite him to any or your tuesday meeting.
  2. Bonnie Panama authorities have never had problems with immigrants of the so called FIRST WORLD COUNTRIES. In Panama we have had periods of uncontrolled immigration and a large influx of immigrants in the last 25 years. I do remember the first raid of colombians. They were flying away from the drug war and the guerrilla war they had in Colombia and the economical problems they did had to make a living there. Then we have a second wave of dominicans. Travelling to Panama for the same reason as colombians. Third wave were nicaraguans. NOW the largest and most traumatic wave have been of venezuelans. The problem seems to be that they came in large numbers. More than those who were in first place like colombians. Panama is a small country with less than 4 million people and cant have room for all the venezuelans that are coming and still are willing to travel to Panama. Venezuela is a country with more than 32 million people and more than 4 millions wants to emigrate somewhere and we cant open our country to this large amount of people willing to come. Most of them doesnt have the economical means to live in Panama.
  3. Keith Reading it very well. Booth of them are almost similar. It is a question of redaction. The decree of 2009 says ALL PEOPLE NOT MATTER THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. it covered anybody those that need visa to enter Panama and those who doesnt need visa to enter Panama. The decree of 2016 says PEOPLE WHO NEEDS VISA TO ENTER PANAMA. So, people who dont need visa to enter Panama this new decree did not affect them at all. It will only benefit specifically those who needs visa to enter Panama. It is just a change in the phrases and concept but at the end it was the same thing that was set originally at the decree from 2009
  4. Marie Elaine All of you. Legal residents of Panama with your Cedula and Visa are protected by our constitution and you have the same rights and benefits of all citizens in this country. The article of the constitution that talks about it is: Article 19. There will not be privileges or preferences neither discrimination by reason of race, place of birth, disability, social class, sex, religion or political ideas. So laws, taxes, fees, etc must be the same for everybody in the same condition. So in many cases some fees are based on the place you are living but they shouldnt be based on your nationality. If you are a legal resident they should give you the same rate.
  5. Keith That is correct. That is the general idea of the scope of the decree.
  6. Well. Seems like some is lost in the translation and there are some articles that confuse more some expats living in Panama. First there are two things very and totally different in the two Presidential decrees. DO NOT CONFUSE TOURIST WITH IMMIGRANTS. Two different things. A tourist is a person who will visit a place for leisure, fun, etc for a limited space of time like vacations. An immigrant is an individual from a foreign country moving to another country to reside, live, work, etc. Let see the two decrees in particular Decreto Ejecutivo 590. Del 28 de Diciembre de 2016 This presidential decree supersede the Presidential decree 536 from 28/May/2016. The immigration law always granted 90 days for a tourist to stay in the country without any problem. President Martinelli did a Presidential decree 536 in May 2016 rising the stay period from 90 days to 180 days. The law wasnt change. Only a decree was used to grant some tourist to stay double time in Panama. What this new decree by president Varela does is to supersede the Martinelli's Decreto Ejecutivo and return back to 90 the original time stated by the law. It is being supposed that there will be some "special" considerations to those immigrants who are working toward getting all the immigration paperwork done to obtain their legal residency. The law states the payment of a $50 fee for giving more time to those people that requires it. Decreto Ejecutivo 591. Del 28 de Diciembre de 2016. This presidential decree talks about tourist or foreign people that require a VISA to enter Panama. There are some countries that by any special reason their nationals require to have beforehand a tourist visa. Like panamanians travelling to USA. The decree states that nationals from those countries that Panama request them Visas could enter the country without visa if they already have visas from countries like: USA, Canada, Australia and European Union. I think that the main idea is not to discover the hot water and saving panamanian immigration authorities to do this screening for those nationals. It is a very lengthy and hard process for some countries get a tourist visa to the US and Canada. So if that individual from those countries that requires visa to visit Panama own and has an active and valid visa to those countries. They wont be requested a tourist visa when travelling Panama. This decree wont affect in any situation people from other nations like USA, Colombia, and many other countries that do not require tourist visa beforehand to enter Panama.
  7. Yes. There are. Never been a problem. It is getting improved every legislature. It is clearly stated at the Constitution. Last project of law will enhance those related to gay and lesbian persons.
  8. Judy. I love when you talk LATIN.
  9. Judy It probably will. One of the owners is partner at Price Smart and Payless. For sure the Barcenas family will open this franchise in the main cities in Panama.
  10. People: The increasing popular pressure it is building up quickly. This new fee that is proposed by the ATTT will have some legal claims in order to eliminate it. There are citizens and lawyers that will accuse the Director of the ATTT to propose this law without doing a popular consulting with the people involved and interested. Also it is going against one the campaign promises done by the president Varela that he will never increase any tax, fees, rates, etc that could affect the people in the country. Also it will be also presented to the Supreme Court as inconstitutional because it did not follow the normal procedure. People will start protesting and according to the lack of popularity it has, soon the government will have to go back.
  11. Hil Your writting has a lot of sense but.... we have a lot of taxes other than the 7% salex tax. Problem is that poor people dont pay taxes... because of their economic situation. Rich people pay lower taxes because they have good accountants and lawyers that find a "legal" way to pay lower taxes. The professional middle class is the one who is carrying the heavy burden of taxes in the country. We dont have any trouble by paying more taxes if we really see that all that money is going effectively where it is needed and you see the investment in infrastructure in the country. The problem here is our political class. There are corruptions scandals in almost all governments in the last 20 years in Panama. We are making new rich people in the political class because they use our tax money to get kickbacks and promote ways to become rich quickly and safely above the law. Some projects end costing more of what was budgeted because they have to pay the corrupt politician who helped to get the contract. At the end we finish with a lousy and bad quality project, costing more of what was expected and a politician and their friends happy with easy money on their bank accounts. It is really frustrating. I have paid all my Social Security payments. I can retire because I have paid all the payment but I dont have the age for retirement yet. Even that I have paid Social Security I never use it for medical assistance. Me, my wife and my boys have had to use private medical attention. Why? because the service is terrible and bad. So. I dont care to pay more taxes if they are used the best and honest way in making this country better each day. I hope that we could change the laws to make easier to investigate politicians in corruption cases.
  12. High School students 12th grade.
  13. JohnF13 We cant expect more from politicians. It is what is called "bread and circus". They need projects that could be shown on TV, photographed and print in the newspapers.... I do agree that sometimes priorities are not well set. They do projects just to show when looking for votes.
  14. The guy in the middle of the flag. Holding it is my cousin, Inocencio Garcia. He survived. Still alive and present in all the ceremonies for the 9 de Enero.
  15. Bonnie In plain english ( or my bad english LOL) they were sanctioned because they fail to complain with the regulations that have to do with the controls on Money Laundering. They were not enforcing the law that have strict requirements on this matter. It is funny that an stated owned bank was fined and sanctioned.