Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Living in Boquete, Chiriquí, Panamá

Living in Boquete, Chiriquí, Panamá by Lee Zeltzer from Arizona, USA (Boquete is in the mountainous area north of David near the Costa Rica Boarder, a popular retirement area for "senior" ExPat):
Posted: 19 Nov 2012 04:40 AM PST
Some people have given voice to the complaint that Boquete is too noisy. The Mayor seems to support them in their quest to close down bars and restaurants with live music. The Mayor however has provided us with a glaring exceptions, the Patriotic holidays and January Fair. Complaints about the marching bands and discos playing until three in the morning are from expats. Panamanians who also find sleeping impossible those nights know the drill and although they might not like the noise, they understand the reasons, these events inject money into the local economy.

In reading the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum about Boquete I chanced upon a question from a person planning a Panama holiday. The question was simple, he asked, I am in my twenties and want to party, should I visit Boquete. The responses were few,  but a clear, no; Boquete is a drag, it’s a town for old people.
I might have more than sixty years under my belt but at times I still like to dance the night away or listen to a good band. We in Boquete have few options. Amigos is banned from having live music, Mikes Global Grill has to request permission weekly in fact the only two spots with dancing to live music are La Posada and Coca Cola. I like them both and apparently the local community does also,  La Posada is usually hopping on Saturday nights.
Boquete has a three phase economy. Agriculture  is in serious jeopardy with the US free trade agreement, residential tourism, the people who moved here and invest in the community and plain old tourism. We lack beaches, we lack the architecture of Imperial Spain, what we have is nature. The government of Panama is two faced on tourism. Panama spends a lot of money promoting Panama as a tourist destination and then the same government continues to pave the country, dam the rivers and desecrate the environment. The mayor of Boquete has been more consistent, he appears to do all things possible to discourage tourism.
Tourism is a potential replacement for the jobs to be lost in agriculture. For this evolution to happen Boquete needs better education for it’s young people and more noise! We need to have live entertainment for all age groups all week. Tourists of all ages are looking for a holiday, many of those of us who live here like entertainment options. The Patriotic holidays of November and Fair in January prove that when there is noise in Boquete we have tourists, with tourists comes money and the local businesses rejoice. Boquete needs more noise.

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