<div id="myExtraContent1"> </div>
<div id="myExtraContent5"> </div>

We’ve decided

After a lot of research, and a one month visit in 2006, we decided to make the move to Panama and were pretty confident that our decision was the right one for us at this particular time. What we were less sure of - where in Panama did we want to live? We arrived determined not to rush, to explore our options, talk to people, and gain some first hand experience within the country. We considered everything from Cerro Azul (east) to Cerro Punta (the far west) and lots of places between. Jane ruled out “high rise” living and our island experience left us with no great desire to reside in a beach community (Caribbean or Pacific), other than that we were pretty open.
We considered both “gated” and non gated communities, country versus city, the mountains and lowlands. People all over were willing to spend time with us and (not surprisingly) always give us valuable information (good and bad) about their particular “place”, while at the same time wondering out loud why others would choose alternatives. In short, we took our time and had a lot of information to digest.

But, the longer we were here, and the more we looked, the more obvious it became that we wanted to be close to Panama City and it’s amenities. Our island stint, with it’s limited access to goods and quality services, obviously had an affect on our priorities - just as someone else’s desire to escape the hustle and bustle of their present life may lead them to a quiet mountain community. Everywhere had it’s tradeoffs, but in or near the city seemed to best fulfill our needs.

Then we moved to our rental apartment in Casco Viejo, which way back during our visit in 2006 had intrigued me. The predicament, we had visited places in Panama that had more spectacular scenery, cheaper housing options, a lower cost of living, and a whole lot fewer problems than Casco Viejo - did we really want to live here? Looking back on our two months in Casco I don’t think it was a case of “getting comfortable” with our new surroundings as much as verifying our willingness to accept the place for what it is - a piece of the REAL Panama. The poor living alongside the wealthy, kids playing in the street, street vendors, small shops, parties, the elderly ladies gossiping in the street, the men that play chess on the park bench, the shoeshine man, the hole in the wall grocery stores, school kids on tours of THEIR national treasure, and much more. Yes, the National Theater and it’s concerts, great restaurants. outdoor cafe’s and historic sites are great, but . . . Casco is more than that, it requires that you be an adventurer, while testing the limits of your comfort zone. It wants you to become a part of the community not just a visitor. It challenges, while making our lives more interesting and it’s why we’ve decided to make Casco Viejo “our place” in Panama. Let the adventure continue! Take care.

<div id="myExtraContent7"> </div>
<div id="myExtraContent8"> </div>