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Marcelyn

Changes in Behavior toward Gringos?

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During lunch with a friend last week, she mentioned she is taking a class here in Boquete. Enjoys it and believes she is learning and benefiting from the experience, but said she may not continue.

My friend has a big smile for everyone. Her Spanish is good but usually speaks only English during class sessions. She told me several Panamanian females talk negatively about “gringos” and don’t like Americans or Canadians being in Panama.

Yesterday a car with two Panamanian men left turned right toward our car. We stopped to avoid an accident. They started yelling at us. I offered a giant smile and waved a big hello. Their facial expressions changed to shocked stares and their mouths stopped moving.

Today two Panamanian males gave Bud “the finger gesture”. The same morning another man yelled “gringo go home” as Bud drove down the street near Romero’s.

What is happening? We don’t know any of these people, certainly didn’t do anything wrong, and don’t believe we deserve this kind of treatment. Have never noticed this rudeness from the locals until recently. Anyone else seen this escalation of dislike toward gringos?

Comments requested.

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10 minutes ago, Marcelyn said:

During lunch with a friend last week, she mentioned she is taking a class here in Boquete. Enjoys it and believes she is learning and benefiting from the experience, but said she may not continue.

My friend has a big smile for everyone. Her Spanish is good but usually speaks only English during class sessions. She told me several Panamanian females talk negatively about “gringos” and don’t like Americans or Canadians being in Panama.

Yesterday a car with two Panamanian men left turned right toward our car. We stopped to avoid an accident. They started yelling at us. I offered a giant smile and waved a big hello. Their facial expressions changed to shocked stares and their mouths stopped moving.

Today two Panamanian males gave Bud “the finger gesture”. The same morning another man yelled “gringo go home” as Bud drove down the street near Romero’s.

What is happening? We don’t know any of these people, certainly didn’t do anything wrong, and don’t believe we deserve this kind of treatment. Have never noticed this rudeness from the locals until recently. Anyone else seen this escalation of dislike toward gringos?

Comments requested.

 

Amazing, I've never heard of any overt actions like that.  There was a woman on Panama Expat Exchange last year stating that she's received treatment like that in La Chorrera.

 

Some say the Panamanians didn't like the gringo "invasion" of the past two decades.  Perhaps they don't like the fact that many have moved on, less people are moving here, and that tourism is slow all of which would negatively effect them financially if their lively hoods depended on resident gringos and tourism.

 

I hope this isn't a sign of the future?

 

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I've never experienced any of this personally. I do, however, believe there is a move to restrict gringo-owned businesses. They seem to want to assess giant tax increases on business (or what they perceive to be a business).

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55 minutes ago, Penny said:

They seem to want to assess giant tax increases on business (or what they perceive to be a business)

Do you mean the government requiring businesses to collect sales tax?

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I hope these were hoodlums and this bad behavior towards gringos will not become common practice.

 

 

 

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Yesterday a car with two Panamanian men left turned right toward our car. We stopped to avoid an accident. They started yelling at us. I offered a giant smile and waved a big hello. Their facial expressions changed to shocked stares and their mouths stopped moving.

Today two Panamanian males gave Bud “the finger gesture”. The same morning another man yelled “gringo go home” as Bud drove down the street near Romero’s.

Some national drivers like to dramatically point up the slightest perceived imposition or infraction by expats, which is really a bit humorous considering overall driving behaviors. I've experienced it any number of times.

As an example, one day while parallel parking in front of the Parque, I had to get out of the car to have a discussion with a horn-blowing Señor who was intent on lecturing me about  the illegality of reversing on a public street.

Edited by Keith Woolford
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3 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Do you mean the government requiring businesses to collect sales tax?

No, I mean the tax for doing business. The sales tax is merely a pass-through. I'm involved with two organizations and the business tax has gone up at least 500% for both of them this year.

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6 minutes ago, Penny said:

I'm involved with two organizations and the business tax has gone up at least 500% for both of them this year.

Wow. Are these local taxes? Re-assessments? Hard to figure.

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I had breakfast this morning with a friend who was born here, and spent most of her life here.  I feel her pain in one area.  Building costs and regulations have reached the point where it's the rare Panamanian who can purchase a home or even repair their current home.  She says you have to go to the outskirts of David to find land or homes anywhere near affordable.  She noted it has all occurred in the last 15 years, and yes, it's because Gringos are willing to pay exorbitant prices for property.  I have to take her word on this, but part of me also thinks ex-pats do not compete for smaller, Panamanian style homes.  But, I guess our houses have made even the smallest home here go up in value based on the supply, demand and location.  I can see that being very worrisome to the locals.  My friend says neither she nor her almost grown children could afford any home in Boquete. And she is an educated professional. They would  be near homeless but for the fact her parents bought the home she lives in 50 years ago, that she now struggles to maintain, as building materials have skyrocketed.

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It’s the same anyplace where people find a desirable place to live, imo.

In my home town of Toronto the average house price has climbed to over $1,000,000.  

First time home buyers face an insurmountable challenge.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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We just have to not let a bad attitudes ruin our day....or retirement.  Thank God the majority here don't have them.

_MG_5671.jpg

Edited by Brundageba
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56 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

It’s the same anyplace where people find a desirable place to live, im

Absolutely.  Same thing happened in the 50's-60's in Santa Fe and Taos.  Folks get offered big bucks (more than they'll ever see over a lifetime) for their property so they sell and find out too late it'll take as much or more to buy something equal.  Prices skyrocket on everything (economic domino effect).  Both towns are now only for the very well to do.

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My daughter lives in the Fort Worth, Texas area. Her job requires her to move to the Houston area. When she recently sold her house in the Fort Worth, there were numerous cash offers. Same with where she closed escrow in the Houston area. According to my daughter, most of the buyers moving to Texas are coming from California. I won't give any political comment for this. 

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It's just my guess, but I suspect that there has been a net outflow of gringos from Chiriqui in the past 12 months, largely due to the end of "perpetual tourism".  And, although construction material costs have skyrocketed in recent years, I'm not sure a gringo influx is to blame. Think of the mountain of concrete and steel going into Federal Mall in David.

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20 hours ago, Palo Alto Jo said:

  Building costs and regulations have reached the point where it's the rare Panamanian who can purchase a home or even repair their current home.  She says you have to go to the outskirts of David to find land or homes anywhere near affordable.  She noted it has all occurred in the last 15 years, and yes, it's because Gringos are willing to pay exorbitant prices for property.

Boquete is a desirable area in which to live and prices increase as a direct result. However, my observation (15 years worth) are that most middle class Panamanians can own their own home. I worked six days at the David Fair in the business expo area and at least 2/3 of the booths were for residential developments. These houses are priced in the 40k - 120k range and financing is easily available. Payments are made bi-monthly and are affordable. Also, it is my understanding that the Panamanian government subsidizes the first 10 years of a mortgage for citizens. I would be willing to wager that Panama has the highest per capita of home ownership of any Central American country.

 

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18 hours ago, Dottie Atwater said:

My daughter lives in the Fort Worth, Texas area. Her job requires her to move to the Houston area. When she recently sold her house in the Fort Worth, there were numerous cash offers. Same with where she closed escrow in the Houston area. According to my daughter, most of the buyers moving to Texas are coming from California. I won't give any political comment for this. 

At one time, 35 years ago, I moved from Southern California to Texas.   The difference in housing was dramatic, I wanted to buy up all the houses and "re-sell" them.   Luckily, I found out quickly that the housing market in Texas was never a money maker back then.  We lost money on our house every time we were transferred, about 6 times in 30 years.  In 2010 we actually made a little on our house sale.   Now, the house I sold in 2010 is valued at twice what it was then.   I think you hint at the possible reason,  it probably has a lot to do with politics, taxes, schools and jobs.  People will pay more to be in a desirable location, and Boquete certainly qualifies as more desirable than David to most ex-pats I assume.  

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Timing is everything. I recall in the late 70's/early 80's (if my memory is correct), houses were being snapped up in certain areas of California up despite very high mortgage interest rates. I lived in San Clemente, CA at the time. I traveled back through there perhaps 20 years ago. I was amazed that San Clemente was no longer a pleasant little beach town but had turned into a tourist destination. Also amazing was that small OLD condos, one story atop a second story, much like a motel, that sold for around $50,000 at that time were now selling for $250,000!

When I left I sold an exquisite new 3BR, 3-bath residence on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean with an almost 180-degree view of the ocean for $103,000. Probably today it would be "worth" a million or more. No matter. I've never regretted moving on from wherever I was at the time.

I've "moved on" numerous times in my lifetime, but now I'm very happy with my life in Volcan, my relatively small property, my house, my dogs, my neighborhood, and my work with the spay/neuter clinics in Volcan. I've been here for almost 14 years, which is the longest time I'd previously lived in any one place,  ever. I have at last found "home" and my purpose in life. This is where I will live the rest of my life and then die when my work is done here.

 

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10 minutes ago, Dottie Atwater said:

I have at last found "home" and my purpose in life. This is where I will live the rest of my life and then die when my work is done here.

 

You found your nirvana! :)

 

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I am one of those who moved because of the cost of a pensionado.  I moved to Medellin like a lot of folks who are leaving chiriqui.  A brand new 1 bedroom condo can be had for $35K U.S. in Sabaneta.  Larger units are equally as cheap.  Like Boquete, Medellin is in a valley so land is not cheap and lots are small.  Unlike Boquete there are 2 million people here and, if you stay away from trendy expat areas like Poblado, you can stretch your dollar pretty far.  I never had a chance of owning a home in Chiriqui but, if I choose, home ownership here is a lot less expensive.  Like the previous comment about Chiriqui, I may spend the rest of my life here.  Love it!  Highly recommend it!

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27 minutes ago, Dottie Atwater said:

Yes. I did!

At one time I also lived in San Clemente, 3 bedroom home with huge ocean view.  I was a renter, $550 a month, 1978.  We may have been neighbors!!

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Homelessness in Hawaii where we came from. 

  From downtown Honolulu ( photo #1) to the beaches from Diamondhead to the North Shore ( #2&3)  there are tents and make-shift homes.  These are homes with families being raised, furniture inside and all using public facilities to shower and toilet.  Paradise?.....nope dangerous.  Lots of drug abuse and drug sales.  With that goes theft of all kinds with tourists as prey.  Our condominium we purchased has tripled in value.  It's a 30 yr old building with maintenance fees now at $700/month.  I calculated at that rate we would have paid in the area of $100,000.00 in maintenance fees for the two condos we owned since we left 11 years ago....(that's not including utilities BTW).     Soooooo, folks ask us "Why did you leave paradise?"....and "What ever do you do there in Panama?"   Those are the common questions. 

Today, I'm doing nothing, enjoying everything turn green and bloom, listening to the birds tweeting and thanking God I'm here !  ( I do a lot of that !)

web1_20150630-6233-CTY-KAKAAKO-HOMELESS.jpg

Diamond-Head-Ohe-Street-Tents3.jpg

5531536_web1_Homeless_0002.jpg

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Sorry to know about this situation in Hawaii, but confused how this posting relates to Panama.

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After having lots of experience with "boards of directors," I would never, EVER again buy a property with an "association" to which I paid fees each month--and could tell me what I could and could not do with my property!

 

 

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2 hours ago, Pat said:

Sorry to know about this situation in Hawaii, but confused how this posting relates to Panama.

Others here were posting comparisons .  Changes, struggles with housing and cost of living, and with that sometimes bad attitudes ...thus my 2 cents. In Hawaii the white man and the tourist receive the spit in the face from those who have-not.  

1. Rare to see this kind of homelessness in Panama.  Penny had mentioned that. 

2. When home costs escalate, and no provisions are made for low-middle and low income families such as affordable housing , problems like this Hawaii-homelessness occur.  You don't see that severe degree of homelessness here.  ( I compare Panama to Hawaii because everybody perceives Hawaii as paradise)   In this day and age, most communities have their problems, some worse than others.

3. As a Gringo here happily retired with my memory of the Hawaii I left not too dim, I can easily tune out any bad attitudes directed at me for "causing cost of living problems here ".  I am sympathetic, and will do my share to help others, but I will not internalize blame for problems I did not cause.

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