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One only has to attend a few events organized by the Municipality to realize there has still been very little integration by expats into the community at large.

 

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Keith

That is not good.  By integrating as part of the local community and not only hanging out with people from your same country of origin you will be considered by locals as an important part of the community.  There wont be any difference like: "us and them".

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Not good, but not surprising. Lots of advertising for Boquete claims it is a retirement community with lots of English speaking expats. The gated and guarded enclave in the center of town does not welcome anyone except those with a pass. Even the workers going to the Finca up the valley were denied access to get to work after decades of using the camino real.

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Jim you might want to get better information. You can eat at the restaurant, join the gym, play golf WITH/OUT living there or being a member. Workers pass the gate every day.

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My observation has to do with transplants participating in, or attending, local cultural events.

* Valle Escondido is owned and managed by Panamanians.

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exactly. A lot of foriegners live here and mingle well with Panamanians. Events are put on all of the time here and invitations are sent out to the public.

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3 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

My observation has to do with transplants participating in, or attending, local cultural events.

I also understood that clearly.  We talked about participating with local authorities in meetings related to things in the districts, attending local cultural events, participating with activities of the local schools, etc.   That your presence be noted and felt.  

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Posted (edited)

It does not seem like I am that far out of touch.  Here is another view.

Quote

Boquete

2016-12-14-1481752163-9599189-boquetepanamajardincasa-thumb.jpg

Say “Panama” and “retirement” in the same sentence, and most listeners hear “Boquete.”

The tiny mountain village of Boquete was targeted for development for the foreign retiree market by one gringo developer in particular named Sam Taliaferro. Sam introduced me to Boquete on the day that he closed on the piece of land he eventually developed into Valle Escondido, one of the best known private expat communities in all Central America.

In addition to his Valle Escondido development, Sam invested in restaurants, hotels, and a golf course in Boquete, all intended to attract the foreign retiree buyer.

As a result, Boquete, Panama, 2016 is home to one of the biggest communities of foreign retirees in the world. That has its advantages and its downsides.

More English is spoken on the streets and in the cafés of Boquete than Spanish, and the foreign retiree never looks far for other foreign retirees to pal around with. The retiree moving to Boquete doesn’t have to learn a new language if he doesn’t want to and has an instant support network to help with all phases of the transition.

Maybe that sounds like just the kind of place you’re hoping to find for your overseas retirement reinvention or maybe it sounds, as it does to some, like a gringolandia you’d rather avoid. Lots of foreign retirees with lots of time on their hands and not enough to fill all that time can be a formula for discontent. Idle hands and all...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-peddicord/retiring-in-panama_b_13635288.html

The worker access took a few years of legal battles to clear up before the workers were given access to Valle Escondido.  As to Panamanian ownership, that was after Sam's death.  As for expats participating in any local events, that requires some measure of Spanish for appreciation or to even read the announcement.  The sad part is that the expats are missing out on most of what Panama and Panamanians have to offer by not learning the language.  Best way to do that is to immerse in the local population.

jim

Edited by Admin_01
inserted quotation formatting
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I know a lot of expats that emerse themselves in panamanian culture in Valle and Boquete. Perception is the key.

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4 hours ago, Hil said:

I know a lot of expats that emerse themselves in panamanian culture in Valle and Boquete. Perception is the key.

Los chiricanos dirían, "estás hablando yuca".

Of course they would not say that TO you. Regardless, be well and enjoy. 

jim

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12 hours ago, JimAndNena said:

Los chiricanos dirían, "estás hablando yuca".

<snip>

My [admittedly limited] translation skills tells me that you are writing "Chiricancos would say 'you are talking yucca'." I suspect the last phrase is an idiom meaning something more like "nonsense", or perhaps something stronger in a negative direction.

I would appreciate clarification or correction, as appropriate, if you would be so kind.

The primary subject here in this topic is community integration. That is important to me, as one significant purpose of my efforts regarding CL is the integration of the various communities (personally speaking I prefer the word 'cultures' here, but we are talking about the same concept) that are converging in our area. Just look at the second section about the goals for CL in the "Welcome Aboard" posting.

For completeness, there are two main goals of our efforts here with CL, one is the integration item mentioned above, and the other is service to those who live, work, or visit here. The words in the Welcome Aboard were written in September 2015 while CL was being planned, and before it went live.

Glad that Keith started this topic. A bit curious what triggered this topic.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, JimAndNena said:

Los chiricanos dirían, "estás hablando yuca".

Of course they would not say that TO you. Regardless, be well and enjoy. 

jim

Jim I have taken a few spanish classes and my girl friend is FLUENT in Spanish. Her family is poor but a very good family and second generation Boquete family. This city is only about 100 years old. And I have been involved with the public here in Boquete and David. My loved one is a Boquetena.You can not insult me with your misinformation. By the way, Bud and I were in a spanish class together and he is more fluent in Spanish than you would know. There are many expats (not all expats are americans) that are involved here all of the time. I have talked with the Mayor Of Boquete many times at Las Lajas on weekends. He is actually a welcoming guy. He does not exclude expats in his position as Mayor. I have used mechanics, lawyers, maids, and needed information from Panamanians many times. Also,I love the Panamanian food and eat in those establishments probably more than Expat eateries for good reason----they are better for my health. NEVER ONCE have I had a bad experience on the HUMAN side of these realationships. I did have a Panamanian woman in David one time tell me she was still a NORIEGA FAN and wished I would go home (this was not a relationship of a friend or business). She is the exception on relationships with Panamanians. She was loud and obnoxious in Super 99. All of the Panamanians listening to her came up and apologized when she was finished hosing me down. I NEVER opened my mouth and she left. Had I retaliated I would have been the FOOL. I always tell myself------life is what I make of it anywhere I land. Panamanian people of all of the other cities I have visited have been good to me and I recipocate well with them with friendship and spending money locally. The Panamanians I associate with are very honest and humble people. We travel every Sunday to a different location in Western Panama and have always been welcomed by the locals. Perception is key to life.

End Of My Story. Life Is Good.

Edited by Hil
misspelled word
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The phase is a common one, Bud. You have translated it correctly and it is an indication that the speaker may be misinformed or exaggerating.  Panama is rich with idioms as much as anywhere in the world. Here in Texas, "he's all hat and no cattle" has the same connotation.

CL does not seem to be very integrated with the local population. The only regular poster from Panama is Roger and his insights are valuable.  To have numbers of locals posting on CL, in Spanish, about local events, news, etc would reflect a level of integration. CL is mostly where expats come to look for help with issues that most locals could solve if asked.  When I first arrived with Nena in Boquete in September 1970, all her neighbors wanted a look at the strange person she had brought with her. I was even present at a neighbor's "hen party" where I sat quietly in the corner while Nena caught up on the local bochinche. Soon the talk turned to "ribbing" Nena about the guy with her. She got more and more tickled because she knew that I was understanding what was being said (my Spanish was in the listen, don't talk phase).  The ladies in the group quickly discovered that I was understanding the conversation but everyone had a good laugh and we moved on.

I love every trip to Boquete since that time. I do not integrate when I visit. That is to say I don't mingle with the expats but I have listened to the locals' opinions of what has happened to their town. Keith has always had the opinion that a "few expats" can't possibly affect Boquete. In listening to the locals, they don't share the opinion. They see prices rising, land being bought for subdivision housing, infrastructure stressed to breaking and they see expats as a prime reason.  I don't have answers but learning to speak the language is a great start. Very tough to integrate into any population without communication.

jim

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Posted (edited)

21 minutes ago, JimAndNena said:

Keith has always had the opinion that a "few expats" can't possibly affect Boquete.

The above statement is totally incorrect.

Edited by Keith Woolford
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3 hours ago, Bud said:

My [admittedly limited] translation skills tells me that you are writing "Chiricancos would say 'you are talking yucca'." I suspect the last phrase is an idiom meaning something more like "nonsense", or perhaps something stronger in a negative direction.

I would appreciate clarification or correction, as appropriate, if you would be so kind.

The primary subject here in this topic is community integration. That is important to me, as one significant purpose of my efforts regarding CL is the integration of the various communities (personally speaking I prefer the word 'cultures' here, but we are talking about the same concept) that are converging in our area. Just look at the second section about the goals for CL in the "Welcome Aboard" posting.

For completeness, there are two main goals of our efforts here with CL, one is the integration item mentioned above, and the other is service to those who live, work, or visit here. The words in the Welcome Aboard were written in September 2015 while CL was being planned, and before it went live.

Glad that Keith started this topic. A bit curious what triggered this topic.

Last Saturday's Canine Day event?

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1 hour ago, Keith Woolford said:

The above statement is totally incorrect.

I like this version better than the one that showed up in my email notification. Typically trying to appear correct in public while showing true colors privately.  Perhaps this is part of what the locals are talking about?

Regardless, I'll leave the issue with all y'all.  It will not affect my visits. jim

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Hi JimAndNena,
Keith Woolford quoted one of your posts in a topic.

 
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Posted in Community Integration
17 minutes ago, JimAndNena said:

Keith has always had the opinion that a "few expats" can't possibly affect Boquete.

bull****

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2 hours ago, JimAndNena said:

The phase is a common one, Bud. You have translated it correctly and it is an indication that the speaker may be misinformed or exaggerating.  Panama is rich with idioms as much as anywhere in the world. Here in Texas, "he's all hat and no cattle" has the same connotation.

CL does not seem to be very integrated with the local population. The only regular poster from Panama is Roger and his insights are valuable.  To have numbers of locals posting on CL, in Spanish, about local events, news, etc would reflect a level of integration. CL is mostly where expats come to look for help with issues that most locals could solve if asked.  When I first arrived with Nena in Boquete in September 1970, all her neighbors wanted a look at the strange person she had brought with her. I was even present at a neighbor's "hen party" where I sat quietly in the corner while Nena caught up on the local bochinche. Soon the talk turned to "ribbing" Nena about the guy with her. She got more and more tickled because she knew that I was understanding what was being said (my Spanish was in the listen, don't talk phase).  The ladies in the group quickly discovered that I was understanding the conversation but everyone had a good laugh and we moved on.

I love every trip to Boquete since that time. I do not integrate when I visit. That is to say I don't mingle with the expats but I have listened to the locals' opinions of what has happened to their town. Keith has always had the opinion that a "few expats" can't possibly affect Boquete. In listening to the locals, they don't share the opinion. They see prices rising, land being bought for subdivision housing, infrastructure stressed to breaking and they see expats as a prime reason.  I don't have answers but learning to speak the language is a great start. Very tough to integrate into any population without communication.

jim

So why don't you get the locals (with all the answers) to sign up and use CL? Their input would help with integration. 

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On 4/11/2017 at 7:40 AM, Keith Woolford said:

One only has to attend a few events organized by the Municipality to realize there has still been very little integration by expats into the community at large

The topic of the discussion is about expats and their attendance or participation in local cultural events.

It has nothing to do with a Panamanian owned development which was initiated by a North American many years ago, or the effect that expats have on the local population. That might be good subject material but a totally different issue, imo.

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14 hours ago, JimAndNena said:

Los chiricanos dirían, "estás hablando yuca".

Of course they would not say that TO you. Regardless, be well and enjoy. 

jim

Jim

You cant deny that you are a long time "Chirigringo".   Great!!!

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4 hours ago, JimAndNena said:

  I don't have answers but learning to speak the language is a great start. Very tough to integrate into any population without communication.

jim

I do agree with this statement.  It is something that I have written for so many years in BN and the other forums I have participated.  Some people says that they are to old to learn another language.  They like the old saying in spanish that says "Loro viejo no aprende a dar la pata".  I think:  If you really want it you will do it.  You dont need to master spanish language to give a lecture on TV but enough to made yourself understood and communicate with locals.  

You dont know the magic it does when an english speaking person try to speak in spanish to a panamanian.   Immediatelly the panamanian change his/her mood and try to help the expat as much as they can.  It is something very well appreciated.  It tells people that you are making your best effort to communicate and being part of the community.  That you respect them.   You dont need to master the language.  YOu don need to emulate Cervantes.  You can have a lot of errors in tenses, gender, grammar, pronunciation, etc.  but it doesnt matter to panamanians.  They will smile and politely will try to correct you with the right word.  It really makes magic.

Also I read recently that learning another language is a mental exercise that will help you to reduce the risk of alzheimer and other mental disease when we get older. 

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Well.  I think this is a very good theme to discuss and develop here.   It has some sociology things involved.  I has also a lot of common sense measures to be taken.  Not something difficult but easy to accomplish.   It is not rocket science.  

How could you feel at home in a place you are segregated and dont share with the locals.  Not all panamanians are bad people.  NOt all panamanians are trying to get advantage of expats. Not all panamanians thinks that all expats are millionares and full of money.  How could you get away with the feelings you have that you are only a "guest" and not a resident.  I have written several time that all of you "legal residents" in Panama have rights and duties in the country and community you live.   You are now part of the country. Our constitution considers you as part of the country.  So I do really think what Keith was trying to say is that there could be more expats living in Boquete to become more active and integrate with the community, local culture, local activities:  see and being seen by the panamanians.  Fight together for improvements needed in the community.  To have a representative of the Expats community in the meetings with the local authorities to have a voice to be heard as active members of the community.  Go to schools and donate a couple of hours of your time by teaching english to the kids.  The actual president is aiming to increase the english language knowledge and this initiative will be highly appreciated.  Also I know that some of the expats living there have some skills and knowledge of their former profesional careers.  Teach young people new trades, new stuff from the accumulated knowledge you had from your country of origin.   That really makes a difference and I am so sure that you will be appreciated kindly by those simple and humble people of Boquete and Chiriqui province.   It is probably that the initial perception some of them could have will dissapear when they see you really care about that place and its people.

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Roger,

Thank you very much for your postings here on CL. We appreciate them all, and know that our community is better by seeing Panama through the eyes of a Panamanian, and especially one who writes so well and is not bashful with the truth.

This particular topic of cultural integration is especially important to Marcelyn and me. We shared that importance in prior postings in this topic for all to see, as well as with you in person when we first met you at the Machu Picchu Restaurant there in Panama City.

We are honored to call you a friend.

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24 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

Roger,

Thank you very much for your postings here on CL. We appreciate them all, and know that our community is better by seeing Panama through the eyes of a Panamanian, and especially one who writes so well and is not bashful with the truth.

This particular topic of cultural integration is especially important to Marcelyn and me. We shared that importance in prior postings in this topic for all to see, as well as with you in person when we first met you at the Machu Picchu Restaurant there in Panama City.

We are honored to call you a friend.

Well said.  I second that.

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1 hour ago, Roger B said:

Jim

You cant deny that you are a long time "Chirigringo".   Great!!!

Just read this to Nena. She is still on the floor, gasping for air with laughter!

😂

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7 hours ago, Roger B said:

YOu don need to emulate Cervantes.  You can have a lot of errors in tenses, gender, grammar, pronunciation, etc.  but it doesnt matter to panamanians.  They will smile and politely will try to correct you with the right word.  It really makes magic.

Roger, I have never had a Panamanian correct my Spanish, even my employees, neighbors, and close friends. I've found Panamanians to be too polite. Perhaps they think I might take offense? Actually, the opposite is true. I can use all the help I can get to improve my Spanish.

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