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We had a champagne experience in David about midday yesterday. I am applying for a handicap parking placard (already have one from Texas, but want to be completely legit here in Panama). We are smiling now because of how smoothly this process went; it took less than 15 minutes (once I had all of the necessary documentation). Here are the details in case you need to apply for a handicap parking placard. First of all, the name of the government agency that deals with these matters is called SENADIS. That acronym stands for the Secretaría Nacional de Discapacidad. The David office of SENADIS is in Edificio Brencan. Brencan is literally facing the main town square in David, on the same side as the Catholic Church. It is a three story building, and the SENADIS office is on the secundo piso, oficina #27. (That means it is on the third floor, given that the ground floor is known as PB.) See more location information below. Next is a scan of the documentation requirements: There is no fee for this service. Apparently the placards are prepared in PC, and then shipped to the office in David. The agent told me that it will take about 15 days, and then to expect a telephone call to come by their office. A few comments here about the process and how it worked for us. We stopped by our doctor prior to going to SENADIS (the first time), and the doctor wrote a "prescription" type document to indicate the medical basis justifying the application. We then took a copy of my driver license and cédula, and went to SENADIS about a week ago. We were not successful on our first visit, but only because they have a specific set of documents that are needed, and I did not know that in advance. See the scanned version of their documentation requirements as shown above. It turns out that the documentation needed is NOT onerous. Note that the medical justification must be a signed, original version, as no copies will be accepted. Obviously the other documentation will be copies. On our second trip we had the required documents, and the total time in their office was less than 15 minutes. We left with a smile on our faces. One comment about the medical justification that the doctor/doctora needs to provide. A general practitioner is not authorized to sign these kinds of applications. You will need an internist or other specialist doctor to sign the medical justification. At the current time there is only one doctor in Boquete, and that is Dra. Digna Virginia Diaz, who practices at the Boquete Medical and Associates (next door to La Reina). I would assume that there are many qualified doctors in David, but have no referrals to provide here. Here is a map showing the location of SENADIS in David. If is directly facing Parque Miguel de Cervantes (the main parque in David), but the entrance is on the side street. For those who use Google Maps, the SENADIS office is located at 8.428777 -82.425734. Here is what the entrance looks like, and again you will see a sign at that entrance with the Edificio Brencan name clearly on display:
Is handicap parking available at BCP Event Center? Went to the Tuesday Market today and found a very full parking lot. Looked for but couldn't locate a Handicap Parking notice so we asked the parking attendant. He indicated the back of the building has reserved spots for handicap parking. So off we drove in that direction. What we found were many, many vendor vehicles parked in a variety of confusing positions and blocking the entrance/exit route. Fortunately my friend is good at backing his car and managed to escape the area without damage, but it was a scare experience that came close to an argument with a vendor who was a hazard to others but didn't want to move his truck. (Maybe an "off road rage"?) Just asking: Is there a designated Handicap Parking area at BCP Event Center?