Thursday, May 8, 2008

Some Good Links

I've had very kind reactions to my last post. As a result, I want to add a few more links to this site and would urge you to use them.

Eric Jackson publishes The Panama News out of Panama City. It is the best English-language publication with which I'm familiar (and I'm certain there are others) to get a feel for what is going on politically in Panamá. Yes, his slant is from the capital, but he does make an effort to visit and talk about other places in the country. In this edition's home page, among other things, he talks about the confirmation hearings of the proposed new US ambassador to Panamá, the "Pink Revolution" in politics that has swept most of Latin America, and other topics both great and small. I don't read every edition, but when I do, I think it gives one of the best English-language views on what is happening in Panamá overall that I know of.

I read La Prensa nearly daily, and I recommend doing that but for the most part, the newspaper is dull and since it tends towards the party in power currently, more or less sweeps ugly political realities under the rug. Still, it's useful.

The other link I would recommend highly is It's constantly updated and contains a good deal of useful information. It is one of the first places I turn to for possible info on the latest laws that affect the ex-pat community (such as driver's license renewals, for example). It by no means is comprehensive but it is a good place to start.

If there are other links anyone would like to recommend, please let me know, I'll check them out, and if I think they're worthwhile, I'll publish them. Send me spam and advertising of whatever stripe and I promise I will blister your rodent's behind in public. I'm too old to care about what you think of my insolence.

Frankly, most of the time, I would rather post about my bougainvillea, our dogs and cats, the spectacular gardens around here, more on the coffee growing process, and other such topics, and I will. I'm planning a series of posts on the gardens of our Panamanian friends, the Espinosas, and the one of another Panamanian friend, Gladys Haynes. Much closer to my heart.

But I will continue to post, as I am moved (somewhat fitfully) on what I see around me. I repeat: I like Panamanains, I enjoy their culture with all its warts, and I love living here. But I am if nothing else a hard-headed realist. I should put in my profile that on my best days I am a cynical misanthrope (in my book, the adjective is not a redundancy); you don't want to know about the worst.

Thanks for all the kind comments, those of you have have written. I appreciate them.


sunshine said...

Joyce, apologies, I have been absent from email for a couple of weeks.

I saw your new post today in google reader. I had a look through some of the blogs that I watch (via the superb google reader) and I recommend:

Hopefully there will be something new in the above list that will be of some interest.

Best Irish wishes.

sunshine said...

oops, I meant to add another site, that I have in my bookmarks.

Bob and TC (north american gringos who moved down and built in altos del maria, in 2005) are lovely people and their website, which is full to the brim with excellent galleries and text, is essential reading for those who want to see the practical issues re moving and building in Panama. I have not come across a better website that covers the development of a villa build in Panama. Essential reading. They typically have monthly galleries of images. I love their site. Mind though, there is a lot of take your time and enjoy.

Joyce said...

Hi, Will-good to hear from you again! I'll check them out--already know some and I doubt that there is still anyone left in the known universe who doesn't know about Don's Chiriqui Chatter blog! In fact, I already have a link to his excellent site.

sunshine said...

Hi Joyce!

Yes, Don's blog is by now well known across the universe. Even aliens will have heard of it by now! :)

I also enjoyed reading, this past year or so, about the development up in Caldera.

I must get back to you sometime soon re Brazil. I was googling more on a specific recommended location down there, by the ocean. The prices are delightfully low.....e.g. 12 to 15,000 dollars for ocean plots.

All my best.

Anonymous said...

From Don's site, I wandered here. I've enjoyed your take on Panama immensely. We are heading that way next week, after four months of frustating dealing with the US passport office.
You and Don are the two voices of reason in a sea of hype, and are doing a service to lots of folks who maybe aren't ready for what they'll encounter. At the very least, you both should be a caution for folks to go down and exist for a year or two, before buying. It's interesting to see how the traffic on Craigs list for housing in Panama has increased dramatically since the financing problems in the US and elsewhere.

Joyce said...

Hi, Anonymous--

I only vaguely know what Craig's List is except to note that I've seen a headline somewhere that talked about it being in trouble for fraud, maybe? Not sure.

I'm also interested to know how people are going to finance housing here if they can't sell their homes in the US and elsewhere. While I know that housing prices here are dropping--people no longer believe their going to get 300% of their investment back--from every single thing I hear in Potrerillos and elsewhere, there is just no movement.

Frankly, I don't pay that much attention, except to note how construction costs are soaring here. And that's only because a month or 6 weeks ago, I had to buy sand, gravel and cement for a couple of small projects and nearly choked on what I had to fork over as compare to even 18 months before.

Personally, I think there are cheaper places to live than Panamá for someone who's contemplating moving to Latin America.

And I couldn't say "Amen" more to your comment that people should live here--I would recommend a flat-out minimum of 6 months, that's bare bones, and has to include September and October--before making a decision. It is beyond me how supposed adults make such staggering life-changing decisions based on less research than they would do in buying a refrigerator.