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Hi, My name is Stacey and I will be moving to Boquete (from Los Angeles) around March next year. As such I have a ton of questions. I was in contact with admin who suggested that I post these questions. Banking 1. What are the best banks that would allow me to access money from my LA account? 2. I understand there are some global banks that have no maximum withdrawals and will reimburse for the ATM fees. Do you know what banks? 3. Is it necessary to have a Panamanian Bank account? 4. What else would I need to know that I'm not thinking of. Shipping and mail 1. I'm going to be shipping things to Boquete from LA. What is the best way for me to do that? 2. How do I arrange to receive mail? 3. What else would I need to know that I'm not thinking of. Buying a car 1. How do I go about purchasing a car? Home 1. What is the best way to find a rental while still in LA? That's it for now. I appreciate your help Stacey firstname.lastname@example.org
Boquete Newcomers - Useful resources (by no means, is this list complete but it can get you started with information about your new town) Public Facebook groups: (sign up for notices) - login into your Facebook page and search BOQUETE Examples: Boquete Community Group – information about what’s going on in town, places to rent, public notices Boquete Music Calendar – what’s happening at the bars / live music venues/ who’s playing Meet Boquete Newcomers – social group and information sharing efforts. BCP – Local Theatre, weekly talks, and sponsor of Tuesday Market 9.00 a.m. – 12 noon every Tuesday - across the bridge near the Feria. Mayor’s office : Alcaldia De Boquete ( public notices about water, elec., projects etc.) and Municipio Boquete Public websites: Sign up for notices email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/groups/News.Boquete/ http://www.chiriqui.life/ https://boquete.ning.com/ https://allaboutboquete.com/ APPs: Boquete and Beyond https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.chiriqui&hl=en ( listings of all kinds of things here – avail for Android) Panama Good Times (avail for Android and iPhone) – details about all types of things, tours, places, restaurants In need of health equipment /hospice /what to do if die in Panama : http:// www.boquetehealth.org ( can obtain printouts to complete) Emergency services/spanish translation/police contact/ambulance/fire contact/medical discounts: Rodny Direct ( subscription) https://rodnydirect.com/ Mail / shipping services : Post office is located across from the Park, in the corner of the Admin building MailBoxes Etc., EShop Boquete, UnoExpress (Alto Boquete), Fletes Chavales – overnight and goods shipping – approved by US Embassy Supermarkets ( Mercado ) e.g .Super Baru , Romero’s, Mandarin ( Bajo Boquete) and host of smaller ones; Alto Boquete : Ivan’s , Dorado, Mini Dorado, El Dorado Plus etc. (To get keys cut, plumbing parts and groceries = Mandarin) Banks: Multibank, Banco General, Global Bank, Banco National, Banistmo (David – has ATM in Super Baru) Cell phone services: Mas Movil, MoviStar ( have offices here) , Claro (David) Volunteer organizations: heaps of them!! for handicapped, dogs, cats, children, education, veterans, indigenous causes Social groups: several for women ( e.g. Chica’s, Girls and Gals ) and men ( e.g. Romeo’s) etc Boquete Newcomers - information sheet.docx
The Correro Nacional has received an order from the Director de Servicios Postales - As of April 15th, the Suspension of Mail Service for North America and the Caribbean has been lifted. Mail can be sent and received once again.
Based on a recommendation from a friend we decided to try Airbox Express for shipping some larger packages from the US. We were initially impressed by a nice, older lady who went over all the the charging structure with us, emphasizing there are no hidden fees. We have now received and paid for two packages and have decided to go elsewhere. This is our experience. First box was over $80 at 5 pounds. Asked about additional fees. Was told there is a fee to get it to PC and then a separate fee to get it to Boquete. This was not presented initially to us. Second box, many delays. We were told that the box was being held up in customs because we didn't have an invoice on the outside of the box. This has never been an issue with other mail providers in town. In talking with the young girl at the shop she told us not to worry about it, the box was on its way. Three days later we get another email telling us that we needed to produce the invoice or the box would be returned. We went back in and was now told by the same girl that yes, we needed to produce an invoice, and now we were being charged custom fees for holding the box awaiting the invoice. I gave her a copy of the invoice and she said she would handle it. We finally got the box after a two week delay with this issue and was charged $108. This included a $30 customs fee. In attempting to get more information from our young clerk I get 'smart ass' one line comments that are not helpful in answering my question. She seemed more interested in watching the TV on the wall than helping me. We consider ourselves very tolerant people that have adapted to the Panama culture, but our experience at Airbox express goes way beyond, "It's just Panama". We are back to our previous provider where the service is much better and, after this experience, the prices are not that bad.