A Travellerspoint blog

October 2014

Testing the waters

Immigration, the beach, and other stuff

sunny 83 °F

Prior to coming to Panama for this extended stay we started the necessary paperwork to obtain a Pensionado Visa. This would give us retiree discounts on almost every purchase except booze and groceries. Additionally, there are special lines for retirees so they can go into the theatre first, get on the bus first, etc. However, to get one of these visas you must obtain a clean FBI report, have guaranteed monthly income of at least $1200 (for the two of us) and be in good health. We completed all the forms, obtained the necessary apostles (an internationally recognized notary) and submitted them to our representative in Panama. IMG_9814e.jpgLast week we had our first of two face to face meetings with Panama Immigration. Typical government bureaucracy; long lines, but we were in the retiree line so it was much shorter, paperwork at one window, photographs and fingerprints at another. We were in and out in 2.5 hours. Yesterday we went back for our second visit to pick up our temporary card and in about two months we will receive our permanent Pensionado card. Along with this we got a multiple entry visa which will enable us to come and go in Panama without being concerned leaving the country every six months so we don't overstay our current tourist visa. Roy Canon, an American ex-pat, that lives here and is fluent in Spanish was our paper work killer. He helped us get through the immigration process with easy. We would recommend his services to anyone interested in living in Panama whether full time or part time. We got everything completed in one week, we have friends here that have paid Panamanian Lawyers thousands of dollars and are still waiting on their visa over a year later.

Even though this time of year is considered the rainy season we have only had one day of hard all day rain. We've seen micro bursts in the mountains and out in the ocean but nothing of any consequence in our neighborhood. At night we've seen storms five or six miles out in the ocean with lightning but the storms didn't move inland. However, three nights ago a storm rolled in from the Pacific that really gave us a lightning and rain show. Sometimes the lightning was so strong when it hit it was almost like daylight and the rain coming down in buckets. We'll probably have a few more nights like that one.IMG_9620e_edited-1.jpgIMG_9619e_edited-1.jpg

On Monday, Kryss and three other ladies went to Penenome, Panama to visit two orphanages. Two of the ladies had been collecting donations and supplies for the orphanages. They had purchased clothes, diapers, toys, and personal items for the babies and the pregnant mothers waiting to deliver their baby's. Kryss said it was a very sad situation where babies were waiting to have babies. All the pregnant girls were 13-14 years of age and had been raped or abused by a father, uncle, brother or other close family member. This depressing situation is something that is an ongoing and difficult to stop. Maybe over time this is something we can help change.

Next on our agenda a Panama bank account, a driver's license and buy a car. All of this is part of the fun living at the beach in a foreign country. IMG_9813e_edited-1.jpg

Posted by rhislop 13:30 Archived in Panama Tagged rain storm panama visa canon coronado orphanages coronado_beach pensionado retiree roy_canon penenome Comments (2)

We made it!

New home, familiar surroundings, new adventures

sunny 85 °F

A82D2B2DE638087F4B11A935EDF2E4A2.jpg

That is our view from our south facing deck. Since Panama lays east and west in our world we look directly south to the Pacific Ocean. Sunrises to the left and sunsets to the right. Depending on the time of year we can see the Big Dipper and North Star early in the evening and by ten o'clock we can see the Southern Cross.

This is our fourth trip to Panama. Each of the previous trips brought us closer and closer to the country, the people and the lifestyle of Panama. We decided to sell our house in Colorado, put possessions in storage, sell our cars and try living in Panama for an extended period of time. Our previous trips had introduced us to the wet season (May-October) and the dry season (November-April) now we will experience the transition from one season to the other and decide if the weather is a factor in our decision to stay or go. The average temperature is usually about 85 degrees but will fluctuate a little bit during the peak of both seasons.

We have leased a three bedroom condo in the Playa Coronado community. IMG_9570arrowe_edited-2.jpgMost of the residents of the building are Panamanian who work in Panama City and only come here for the weekends. Last weekend was the celebration of the Jewish New Year and the place was very busy. Now, there are only about 24 occupied condos out of 175. It's very quite and very relaxing. We've been told the next busy weekend will be November 1-4 which is a celebration of Panama's independence from Columbia.

We have incredible views from our condo, the constantly changing clouds, the color of Pacific, the rolling tides and the varying sand colors of the beach make every moment a new memory. The sunrises and sunsets seem to be new artist palettes daily. IMG_9580e_edited-1.jpg

In the next couple of days we will be going into Panama City to visit the Immigration Department to get our Retiree (Pensionado) Visa. This is an on going process that we started before we left the states and will continue for a few more months. Once this is completed we will have permanent residency in Panama. However, we will not have Panama citizenship.

Posted by rhislop 11:34 Archived in Panama Tagged sunset sunrise panama playa pacific coronado coronado_beach Comments (14)

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