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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.


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About Pantah

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  • Real Name:
    Jaime Costa
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
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    In Chiriqui
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  1. I hope the authorities rethink their position. There are well over 100,000 Panamanians that are in the US with more liberal stay times. If the US decides to reciprocate like Brasil on visa issues, it will not bode well for them. Also the most populous countries in the western hemisphere don't require attorneys for residency, and they issue 6 mo tourist visas. I see a lot of tunnel vision here. Furthermore I commonly see glib comments about deportation of non compliers. Panama simply doesn't have the budget for it. I also hope someone in the Panama government sees this post, but doubt they will be able to shake the attorneys loose from their self serving positions regarding their role in this process,
  2. Excellent article. You may get the necessary 40 credits other ways. Several countries have totalization agreements with the US (Canada for example). Many developed countries in Europe and elsewhere have reciprocity agreements with US Social Security. You can google this. You don't have to be a US citizen to earn or draw SS, but there are certain requirements. PS: the Supreme Court ruled SS a tax, so congress can change it at any time. Also to open an online SS account you must provide a US address.
  3. If I am correct the slope you have planned is 4.7 degrees. The water will run off, but it won't flush any leaves. I have a 10 degree slope on my back roof, and what accumulates grows stuff, and I have to remove it. My front roof is 20 degrees and doesn't have this problem. Hope this helps. Your plastic cover is going to sag somewhat, so even more slope is needed.
  4. Bonnie, here is what is reported on "ning": Just two months ago mt wife, ****, was returning to Panama' from Atlanta and encountered a problem. They would not honor her cedula. They even claimed that the "expedido" date indicated that it had expired. In fact that is the date it was issued. They ignored the "indefinidamente" which indicates indefinite expiration. She even showed her Panama' drivers license but that did nothing. As a result Delta airlines made her buy a Panama' to Atlanta return ticket. Of course, she made sure it was refundable, but we were out about $1,500 for two months plus a service fee. My comment: I would assume she had her passport to board in Atlanta. The UK lady I know personally, and will add more info when see her in Boquete.
  5. Two stories this time. UK citizen tried to re-enter at Paso Canoas, after doing a border hop to make her foreign drivers license good again. Agent noticed 90 day intervals on her passport stamps, and stated "I know what you are up to, and you can't come in"! Second reported on "ning". US citizen with both the pensionado and Panama driver license shown after entering at Tocumen (PTY) was required to buy a return ticket to US to enter, even after protesting, at some expense to her. Both within the last few days to weeks. So just another heads up, expect the unexpected.
  6. There is no standard time period that I know of. US, Canada, and Mexico give 180 days. In Mexico I got residency in less than 3 weeks, no attorney, police or health check. NB: many people quote the time periods incorrectly. It is 90 and 180 days, not 3 and 6 months, And yes it matters!
  7. I am not sure migracion practices "legality" as demonstrated in the Law Keith posted! I will state again, who benefits from the 3 day stay out? I smell a rat.
  8. Roger, thanks for your informed response. Last year, I stumbled across a Wikileaks document talking about "irregularities" in Chiriqui province by governmental authorities. The situation at the border may be related to that. Quien sabe! I don't want to speculate on that. I do know from past experience that the policy has been different at different crossings. Again I just want to make a heads up on Chiriqui policy change only to those that are unaware. I don't want to discuss the merits or lack thereof.
  9. Roger, I fear for the travel industry. The law Keith provided is not being followed, and he said it is how they are applied that varies. Migracion will not let you book a return ticket to your residence country, and the 3 day stay over as far as I can tell is only to reset the $2000 duty exemption on re-entry, nothing to do with the person transiting. This is not an issue for me, but my observation is that many countries let you do an immediate turnaround and for tourist who want to visit several countries with Panama on their itinerararies are going to have a problem. Researching ones trip to Panama is dicey as the policy (not the law) changes without warning. I have friends here in the travel business and they are getting complaints. I am curious as why the change, and how does Panama benefit? For sure Costa Rica is getting the tourist spending for the 3 days the tourist have to be out of Panama.
  10. Keith, Thanks for providing the law expanding the definition Article 43.7 clearly states 'return passage to country of origin or residence'. This person had Mexican residence, and a ticket to Mexico was not acceptable, contrary to the law you cited. This is not about me. I applied for pensionado status in 2005. This is a heads up about how things work here. Brundegabe pointed out the same. It comes with the terratory. It is in my opinion not good for the tourist industry, but that is another thread, Again, for me just advising people that may be affected by this. I have a few friends that I will advise, as it will affect them.
  11. The point I am making is Panama is not following their own laws. They are not "playing by the rules" My second point is a "pay it forward thing" as a heads up to be prepared for the changes if it affects you. It has nothing to do about getting residency. The people it affects are those who are passing through, and the tourist businesses that cater to them, among others. Some years back, Migracion dropped the stay to 30 days without warning (twice), causing major cancellations of trip packages at the time. The then Minister of Tourism, Ruben Blades was not happy. I may add, my post was an advisory to others that your travel plans will be impacted by unpublished rules and adjust accordingly. Not complicated really.
  12. Bonnie, I in no way expect foreign embassies to get involved with this. My main reason for posting is to give a heads up for border hoppers and onward travellers that they can't go by what Panamanian law says, and what the new changes are nothing more. I don't desire to get into a dialog on what people "should do". It is too much a case by case, and individual decision.
  13. Two problems here. Re: Article 43.7 clearly states 'return passage to country of origin or residence. The US persons residence is Mexico. The 3 day stay out is for $2000 duty exemption, not the physical person. The issue is that they are applying rules that are seemingly by whim. 43.7 in particular causes grief to onward travellers. I understand other countries embassy comments on this are now incorrect, as far as the practice in Rio Sereno, but they were correct before. This new border policy has been in effect for two months. This person does not wish to apply for Panama residency, as he is waiting for US social security. To summarise, two new strict rules not supported by law.
  14. An acquaintance just returned from a very problematic border hop at Rio Sereno, where he has hopped before. He left Panama on Monday and was told he could not come back until Thursday. On returning he showed showed his airline reservation as before. No good, reservation must be paid. Migration was asked if it could be onward travel. They said no, it must be to the US. (this runs counter to what the US and UK embassy states on their webpages). He managed to get a paid reservation after a few stressful hours. His ATM statement showing a balance in six figures meant nothing. This person shares his time between Panama and another Latin American country, with no intention of returning to the US anytime soon. He is considering bailing on Panama if he has to go through this again. Anybody have any Panamanian government connections to put an end to this idiocy.
  15. TwoSailors, quite perceptive, who knows! Anyway, I recommend that one pays close attention to how their insurance is cancelled, and for any typos on their policies, as an error there could set up problems with the people who have an interest in getting you towed, accident claims, etc. My first agency had me auto renewed on my credit card, which was a surprise to me. Had to go to David to get it undone. Once there I found out the agent who had insured me initially in Boquete was no longer with them and he wouldn't tell me, they did. I pay cash now on just about everything, lesson learned. So I am batting 100 percent hassles with every agent so far, even the ones that appear recommended. Still waiting to sort my current mess out so I can drive again. Really frustrating to not talk freely about this, with the lovely laws here. References here are really dicey, as odds are (51 percent or more) that the person giving a good reference hasn't had a bad experience (yet). A good book to read, if interested is "Invisible Bankers" by Andrew Tobias, which is about the insurance industry and how they get in bed with regulators and lobbyists. When I first came here I could self insure. Not anymore.