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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.

Bill Uhlman

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About Bill Uhlman

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  • Real Name:
    Bill Uhlman
  • Reason for registering:
    Considering relocating to Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    Outside of Panama
  • Birth (home) country:

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  1. Could someone give me contact information for the fundation pro integration? Preferably an email address, as we currently are in the US.
  2. Thanks for this conversation. We are getting our ducks in a row for a potential move, and after a few visits using ATMs we had a similar question about why have a local account. Two Sailors makes a good case to have one if the fees are right and the required balance is low. We also appreciate the idea of a Schwab account and a Barclay or similar account. These are mostly things we can do before a move to ensure the greatest financial flexibility we can get moving to a new country.
  3. So, help me understand. They are charging tourists $10 a trip to promote tourism? While I don't care much about a $10 fee added to my trip, it seems kind of backwards to me...
  4. We are "liberals" from the US who have been visiting Panama for almost 4 years with the intention to live here after retirement. Richard Detrich, in his two books, references the trend being discussed where every 4 to 8 years expats arrive due to the political situation in the US. i assume in his relatively long tenure that he has seen enough to know that this is a real phenomenon. I am kind of happy to contemplate that Boquete has been in an out cycle, lately, as rents still seem to be on the increase. So when you see us "liberals" around town in 2017, just know that some of us were on our way here after a long path of discernment and not due to the change in administration! Retirement for us just happens to coincide with the change in the political winds...
  5. So if we are visiting for a few weeks in early 2017 and want to check out price smart ( as a part of determining if we want to live here) could we join price smart? If so how? Their website is not very clear. And we understand a Costco membership from the states is not transferrable.
  6. Doesn't this thing blow about once a year?
  7. I just read this earlier today and went to show it to my wife and it was gone. Fortunately the link was still in my browser.
  8. According to money magazine today, Social security has dropped the texting requirement: The Social Security Administration has dropped a measure to boost its website security that had the effect of locking some people out of their online accounts. About two weeks ago, the agency began requiring people to use a security code sent by text message to a cellphone—in addition to a user name and password—to log into a “my Social Security” account. That requirement was problematic for some people, including seniors, who don’t have reliable cellphone service or text-enabled phones—or who simply aren’t comfortable with this means of communication. That “multifactor authentication” rule is now gone, the agency website declares:We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting.
  9. Thanks for all your comments. We are looking forward to our rainy season trip. While we are more cautious than many of you,I have to admit that i admire those of you who just jumped into your dream. But we will probably take the advice of many of you and keep dipping our toes in a little deeper each visit until retirement, and then make a 3 to six month trial stay before deciding if purchasing is right for us.
  10. Yep that is a place we have looked at and there are still quite a few opportunities on air bnb and other places. I was just surprised that Expedia kept saying things were booked and wondered if any of you knew about the demand during this holiday.
  11. We were trying to schedule the third visit of our annual discernment process during the rainy season in 2016. We had picked Oct 9th through the 22nd, 2016 due to our own work schedules and to be sure we experienced the rains. Expedia told us that rooms were at a premium those weeks, which surprised us. I checked holidays, and Dia de la Raza is on the 12th. Is that a big deal in Boquete? If we can find a place, will there be parades and other celebrations? Thanks for your help...
  12. We have a paperthin bowel (Like the lower left) we bought from you on our second trip to Boquete. Friends remark about it on our coffee table, but to us it is hard to describe, as it represents the beauty of not just a bowl but of where we want to be once we retire.
  13. Today we got our nearly daily email propaganda from IL. Given everything we have experienced from our annual visits and extensive browsing of CL and other sites, it was WAY out there.  While we look forward to our continued careful discernment of whether to retire to Boquete, including annual visits till retirement date. We feel for those who succumb to this kind of material.


    You are receiving this e-mail because you subscribed to International Living Postcards.
    To change your email settings, view the information at the bottom of this email.

    Feb. 15, 2016

    Dear William,

    My two-year-old granddaughter has a Panama passport. (Our son, you see, fortuitously married a Panamanian.)

    My granddaughter, of course, doesn't yet know what an asset that is. Having a second passport...especially one as coveted as Panama's...can open many doors. (Fortunately, even if you weren't born Panamanian, it's easy enough to get a Panama passport. More about that in a moment...)

    If you've spent much time around two-year-olds, though, you know that nothing much impresses them. A most favored word is "no."

    Truthfully, that's a word that comes in handy in Panama. Because here in Panama:

    There are NO hail storms, NO tornadoes, NO hurricanes. And definitely NO snowstorms or ice storms.

    There are NO problems with drinking the tap water (yes, it's safe) and NO complicated currency conversions. The U.S. dollar is the official currency.

    There are NO issues with political stability. And certainly NO worries about the country's financial stability. (Panama's is the most vibrant economy in Latin America, with a nod to that healthy income "stream" otherwise known as the Panama Canal.)

    In Panama, Secure in its First World Status,
    There are NO Sacrifices.

    In Panama, you'll find just about anything and everything you might possibly want... There are both discount and upscale shopping malls, ultra-modern supermarkets with all the in-demand brands, wine and cheese boutiques...

    You'll have NO problems finding top-quality (and affordable) healthcare, including hospitals and medical centers with state-of-the art technology such as at Panama City's gleaming Punta Pacifica Hospital, affiliated with Johns Hopkins in the U.S.

    Best of all, in Panama, you'll have NO worries about outliving your retirement nest egg. (You can easily live on your Social Security income as expats Bill and Mitzi Martain are doing. Their story is here.)

    But what's really important for you to know is this:

    There is NO Other Country That Offers So Much
    to Foreign Retirees.

    I'm Suzan Haskins, reporting to you from the 2016 International Living Fast Track Panama Conference. Over the coming days, I'll take you behind the curtain to learn exactly what's going on at this extraordinary International Living meeting and in Panama itself.

    That's a lot to cover. So let me get this out of the way upfront:

    *** If you're considering Panama as a retirement destination or as a place to start a new business or a new life, you really should be in the room with us here at this conference. And of course, there's a way you can be. Listen in to the recordings from this conference. Keep reading for the details. ***

    Nearly 40 presentations are being given over these two-and-a-half days—all by well-vetted experts on the topics they're covering.

    (And wait until you hear the stories from the expats on hand at this conference. They're dishing out firsthand info about what it's really like to live in Panama. "NO sugarcoating," as one said today. They're telling all: exactly how much everyday life costs them here, what they do for healthcare, how they keep busy every day, what their daily challenges are, and much more. They've been asked to be perfectly candid so you can be sure you get the true picture. NO rose colored glasses here.)

    What was on the agenda today? If I cover it all in this letter, you'll be reading for hours. But briefly...

    International Living Panama Editor Jessica Ramesch explained why Panama is #1 on International Living's Global Retirement Index this year.

    "This is a First World country," she said, "with high-speed internet, reliable telecommunications, and more. It's a multi-cultural hub for multi-national businesses and that's not to mention the great climate and low cost of living."

    And then, of course, she went on to share what she believes are the best and most affordable places in Panama City to live.

    As one attendee remarked to me, "This city is where we want to live—close to cultural activities and great healthcare." So knowing where the "best of the city" neighborhoods are, is critically important.

    Longtime Panama expat Rosalind Baitel shared the ins and outs of Panama's cultural heritage. It's important to understand why some things are done the way they are here, and there's nobody better to share those insights than Rosalind, who's been living here 31 years now.

    "Everybody is here from somewhere else. It's like a little United Nations and everybody gets along. We don't have those racial and ethnic tensions that you'll find elsewhere."

    She's right, of course, and that's why Panama City built the Plaza de las Etnias, devoted to the eight primary ethnic groups you will find in Panama. (And there are far more than eight ethnicities represented here, believe me.)

    We also got a rundown of the "nuts and bolts" of living in Panama (or anywhere overseas, for that matter). As a 15-year expat now, I was pleased to host that discussion. How will you get your mail, pay your bills, how do you open a bank account, what do you need to do to get your pets here, what about vaccinations, and on and on...

    Plus, Panama Offers the Best Retiree Benefits Program
    in the World...

    This afternoon, Panama attorney Rainelda Mata-Kelly shared some of the details (benefits, discounts, and big savings) of the world-class Panama Pensionado Program. To qualify, she said, you'll need a pensionado (retiree) visa.

    "Panama offers the best residence options in the region—the fastest and most affordable," Rainelda said. "You can become a resident within six months and it is not costly, as compared to other countries in the region. And this is a permanent visa that never needs to be renewed."

    But of course, there are more than 30 residence visas available to you in Panama, she explained. One in particular is not popular at all but sometimes gets confused with the pensioner visa. It's restrictive and will end up costing more than necessary, and she doesn't recommend it. (Just say "NO" to this one.)

    She did, however, share details about the three best ways to obtain a residence visa in Panama...and of course, she explained what those are and how to qualify for each.

    She also ran down the list of documents you'll need to apply for a visa (and what you needn't bother with), and she explained what every document you bring MUST contain.

    By the way, all documentation from the U.S. must be "apostilled." What does that mean? And how do you do it? All will be revealed when you listen in on Rainelda's presentation.

    And she clarified what items you can bring with you duty-free and how long your window is open to do that...

    There is one particular visa you can easily obtain if you purchase real estate in Panama... And another that allows you to qualify via your IRA funds... And one that's specifically tailored to business investors. And an employee visa... And an executive visa...

    Importantly, there is an outstanding new "friendly nations" residence option for nationals of 50 countries—and it allows you to obtain an indefinite work permit. If you want to work or do business in Panama, it's in your best interest to understand all the details of this exciting new option.

    About that coveted Panama passport: If you want to get on the fast track to getting citizenship and a Panama passport that goes with that: NO problem. It's easy enough to do. Just listen in to the recording of Rainelda's presentation for all the details.

    And we'll hear much more about the value of a second passport tomorrow...

    Your No-Risk Way To Discover All You Need
    to Know About Panama
    It's the Next Best Thing to Being Here in Person

    We'd prefer you were here with us in person, of course. But to get all of the current and reliable information about Panama that's being shared here at the conference this week...and to get it in your hands as quickly as possible, we're putting together a complete package of everything that's happening here at the conference. We're making audio recordings of all the presentations.

    We're also making copies of the conference workbook and all the PowerPoint and visual presentations.

    And of course, you get the complete packet we give to all the attendees when they showed up here in Panama.

    And we guarantee this—our 2016 Fast Track Panama Package—will help you fast track your plans of moving to or investing in the #1 retirement destination in the world: Panama.

    So how do you listen in on Rainelda Mata-Kelly's discussion of visas and other legal issues in Panama? How do you get the inside scoop on the next big Panama destinations for Jessica Ramesch (and the name of my own new favorite place)? How do you hear Rosalind Baitel's (and my own) tips for easing into life here in the "hub of the Americas"?

    Easy enough...

    Reserve the 2016 Fast Track Panama Package Today

    The full price to attend this exclusive event was $1,095—and worth every penny. But you can secure yourself a copy of the 2016 Fast Track Panama Package right now for only $199...a mere fraction of what attendees paid to join us here in person in Panama City.

    To sweeten the deal, we're throwing in a $100 voucher toward the next International Living Conference. Use it to attend next year's live program in Panama (or any future conference you may be interested in). There is no expiration date on this voucher.

    But, this is a limited time offer only.

    At midnight Thursday, February 18, 2016, the price of this 2016 Fast Track Panama Package will increase to $349.

    There will be NO more affordable time to reserve your copy than right now.

    The discounted price includes:

    1. Audio recordings of all our Panama experts' presentations
    2. Copies of the conference workbook and PowerPoint presentations
    3. Plus a special bonus report, titled: Rescue Your Retirement And Live the Good Life in These Five Panama Destinations. (This report is only available to conference attendees and to you, when you reserve your 2016 Fast Track Panama Package.) We created this report specifically to deliver actionable information and real examples about life in Panama and the best destinations for expats to consider.
    4. And a $100 voucher toward any future International Living conference anywhere, any time. There is no expiration date on this voucher.

    Reserve your 2016 Fast Track Panama Package today by completing our secure online order form and save $150 now.

    Reserve Your 2016 Fast Track Panama Package Here.

    Still not convinced? Learn more here.

    By the Way: Here's Our ROCK-SOLID GUARANTEE...

    If This Information Doesn't Work for You (For Whatever Reason), You Pay Nothing

    This is your best chance to fulfil your dreams in Panama, whether it's to:

    1. Enjoy a comfortable, secure (and utterly relaxing) retirement.
    2. Own a second home in the #1 Retirement Haven, on the beach, or in Panama's glorious mountainous countryside.
    3. Start that business you've been dreaming about, or
    4. Successfully invest in what is the best-value, most affordable real estate on our beat, in the world's most attractive retirement haven...

    Best of all, we guarantee that the information in our 2016 Fast Track Panama Package will help you make your Panama dreams come true...whatever they are. If you don't agree, we'll return every penny you paid.

    You have nothing to lose: You can call us any time within 30 days of receiving the package and tell us the information didn't help you.

    We'll give you back your $199. And the Special Report and the conference workbook with all the Panama contact information and the $100 voucher, good toward any future event, is still yours to keep.

    So you've really nothing to lose. If you're serious about tapping into the opportunities available in the world's #1 retirement haven, reserve your 2016 Fast Track Panama Package now.

    Remember: this special $199 price is only good until midnight Thursday, February 18. After that, the price goes up.

    Reserve your 2016 Fast Track Panama Package here now.

    Or learn more here.



    Suzan Haskins
    Your Conference Insider, International Living

    P.S. Now's the time to say "YES." Remember, you get $150 off the regular price of the 2016 International Living Fast Track Panama Package, and the Special Report, and a $100 voucher toward any upcoming International Living conferences, and valuable contact information for all our best Panama resources. But this special conference discount is only available until midnight February 18, 2016—after that the price goes up.

    Don't wait. Because if you do, you'll pay more. Reserve your 2016 Fast Track Panama Package now.

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    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. Brundageba


      Stay in touch...we can have lunch when you come down.  We can share some stories.   ...and think of window bars as a Spanish Colonial thing.   Everybody ( or almost) has them.   We think now looking back at when we had ours made we could have chosen a different design to up the security value of them.  Bars and gutters were one of our first additions to the house.

    3. Brundageba


      BTW....crime has been waving here for a long time...it's not new.

    4. Bill Uhlman

      Bill Uhlman

      Altho i would like to say we hadn't bought into the IL hype, but until recent published events, we hadn't thought much about crime either. Two years ago, we drove a rental car from PC to el Valle to Pedasi to Santa Catalina to David to Boquete and then Boca Chica, we were careful but not obsessed. We stayed at B&B's and some resorts, and recognized their security. Perhaps we still didn't get it.  We just wandered around the country and loved it. We've read Dietrich, the Boquete Guide and everything the old ning had to offer, but we still didn't think about security as a priority in selecting a place to live when the time comes.  Even after staying in an apt in town for a few weeks, again, we were careful, but it wasn't the first priority.  We watched a local drug dealer selling to young gringos from our balcony on nearly a daily basis (oddly he had a routine) and as inveterate people watchers, thought we knew what was going on around us. I am not sure where I am going with this, but our views about security have changed, and that is probably a good thing.

  14. Nearly every morning I get my Boquete fix by clicking on these webcams from here in Oregon. Sometimes I am treated to parades and festivals, other times I just get to experience the weather and the feel of daily life there as I go about my work here vounting down the months to retirement!